Family Magazine

Top and Bottom Ten of Our House

By Sherwoods
I like our house.  I really do.  Especially for being a house in a foreign country.  There was a discussion on Facebook a few days ago where someone wondered if all foreign houses are strange, and everyone assured the newbie that yes, all of them are strange.  But ours really is quite good.  Since I never, in the whole two years we've been here, took pictures of the whole thing, I'll give you a makeup tour of the best and worst things about our house in Baku.
Top and Bottom Ten of our House
The heated floors.  Before moving into our house, I had heard vague rumors that in some countries people heated their floors but I never believed them.  Guess what?  You can heat your tile floors.  There's nothing that warms you faster than standing around on toasty-warm floors.  This is something I firmly plan to put in my dream house that Brandon and I will build when we've gotten rich doing this diplomat thing.
Top and Bottom Ten of our House
See that bathtub?  It's looks nice and comfortable for soaking in.  It even had LED lights that change color.  But what it doesn't have is any kind of shower.  Which is unfortunate because that bathtub is in the master bathroom and I happen to take a lot more showers than soaking baths.  So Brandon and I shower one floor up in the bathroom next to the toy room.  Which is better than showering in the children's bathrooms because they're all in their rooms and that doesn't work so well when people are asleep.
Top and Bottom Ten of our House
The radiators.  It's nice having the ability to climate control each room separately because different parts of the house stay warmer or cooler.  And ours are super-special and have blowers on them.  So you don't have the heat just hanging around certain parts of the room.  If you're cold, you can turn the blowers on high and everything heats up pretty quickly, and they have (sort of) thermostats that will turn the fan on and off automatically.
Top and Bottom Ten of our House
The coolerators.  If you think this picture looks just like the one above, you're right.  Because in the summer the radiators are switched from hot water to cold and act like air conditioners.  Except for some reason the kind of thermostats don't work so you have two options: on or off.  And you have to turn them on if it gets hot and off when the room gets too cold because they'll just stay in whatever mode you put them in until you change it.  This leads to uncomfortable nights: either too hot or too cold.  Not going to miss that feature.
Top and Bottom Ten of our House
Ahh, my closet.  I will always miss my closet because I know I'll never have one like it again, especially while living overseas.  While we're discussing closets, let me show you the three other closets we have.  If you think I'm being strange for writing about closets, you've never lived overseas.  It's as if Americans were the only people on the whole planet to realize their utility.  Everyone else thinks that wardrobes are just as useful.  They're not.
Top and Bottom Ten of our House
This is a picture of the wall that adjoins our garage.  Do you notice something missing?  Look again.  That's right - there's no door into the garage.  It took us about three days when we moved in to confirm that yes, there's no door between the garage and the house.  So when the heaters are out (which happens twice a day in the winter), you have to open the garage door and leave the house to fix it.  Which is why I'm freezing my bum off today because Brandon took the car and there's only one garage door opener.  And I didn't even realize that Brandon took the car until all of the children were ready to go on errands and I couldn't find the keys.  Even then I couldn't know for sure until I had talked to Brandon because I had no way to open the garage and check.  I'm not going to discuss the dimensions of the garage because the car's gone and I have no way to take pictures.
Top and Bottom Ten of our House
The windows.  Notice there aren't any bars?  I'm pretty sure we're never going to see that again.  Benefits of living in a gated community.  You can see the whole view out of your window.  And they're such large, lovely windows to let plenty of sunshine in when Baku feels like having some of that sunshine.
Ahh, the easy-bake kitchen.  I've almost forgotten what it's like to fit four pots onto the stove at the same time.  Do those type of stoves actually exist?  We had to order a new pizza pan when we came as our normal-sized ones were about two inches too big for the oven.  Even the dishwasher is 3/4 sized.  Thank heaven we were issued a regular-sized refrigerator.
The oven.  Okay, it's small, but it has options.  Not just on or off, but you can choose to heat with just the top, just the bottom, convection (which is good since six loaves of bread are never going to fit on one rack), just the fan (for defrosting), small broiler, and large broiler.  Sure, the temperature is in Celsius (and I just realized last month that my phone will convert) and the timer is not user-friendly, but I'm going to miss all of those options.
Wall-to-wall carpeting.  I have mixed feelings about this one.  It's nice to have the whole toy room carpeted, but that's also more carpet to get nasty when the children play.  And the edges can never get quite clean.  On the other hand, it's a lot warmer when Joseph decides to sleep on the floor instead of his mattress every single night.
Our third-floor toy room.  We've never lived in a house with a dedicated toy room, and this one has been wonderful.  Not only are all of the toys in one room, but that room has a door and it's on the third floor.  Guests coming over and the children haven't cleaned up?  Not a problem - nobody's going to climb all of the way to the top our our house just to see our dirty toy room.  I'm going to miss it so much that I plan on turning one of our three bedrooms in Oakwood into a dedicated toy room.  After all, the children just sleep in their bedroom anyway, right?
One of the fun things about moving around and living in all sorts of of houses is you can make plans for that very far-off day when you actually own a house of your own.  This one has given me some good ideas and I'm pretty sure I'll miss it when we're all crammed into a three-bedroom apartment later this month.

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