Monthly Archives: May 2009

Great day for a bike ride

I’ve been living in my house for over two months, and my list of things to do here is still pretty long. But it was a picture perfect day in Madison, and I would have been a fool to spend such a beautiful day working in the house. So I put a snack in my bike’s saddle bag, filled up the water bottle, and headed out for a long ride.

When I was house shopping, one of the reasons I chose the neighborhood I did was the close access to the many bike trails in the area. Where I used to live, there were just too many very busy streets between decent bike trails and my condo. I would often throw my bicycle in the back of the truck and drive a ways to get to some decent bike riding. No longer. My house is just blocks away from a great trail (which can also take me to other trails).

Today I biked my longest ride of the season so far. Around Lake Monona, a side trip along the Capital City State Trail for a while, and then through the side streets of Monona, back toward home. I took no camera, no ipod — I wanted to concentrate on biking and experience the world around me on such a nice day. Even though there were a lot of other bikers on the trails, it was great to be out there, just biking.

Years and years of tobacco smoke residue

Smoke residue on a rag

I could smell the old, stale, cigarette smoke when I first walked in. I was getting my first look at the house I decided to purchase. The yellowed curtain rods told me that smokers lived there for a long time. It turned out that the fifty-year-old home was owned by only one family, and from what my neighbors tell me, they were heavy smokers. But the price was right, and I figured I’d be able to deal with the stale smell and make it livable again.

Thankfully, all of the walls and ceilings were painted before the house went on the market. After I moved in, I got to work on cleaning the woodwork. I started with the hardwood floors. Once over with Murphy’s Oil Soap, then rinse. I could not believe that it took five, sometimes six rinses until the water would not be brown when I dumped it out.

Continue reading Years and years of tobacco smoke residue