Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tuesday Tile

There was tile drama and the day is all about the tile!

Last night, hubs and I went to the house to check out the tile that had been started.  This is my special Saltillo Tiles - Mexican clay tiles. 

It was after dark and there is no electricity in the house, so we only had the flashlight that was on our phones.  I was not happy - the grout lines were big in some areas and thin in others.  I hated it!

I texted the builder and told him I was upset with it, so he scheduled a meeting with me and the tiler for today. I was really dreading that meeting, I hate confronting someone about their work.  It is ALWAYS so personal.

So, we went to bed and I slept, but not well.  Dragged myself out of bed and showered.  Not looking forward to the day and I went out to get some coffee when I saw DH!  The wonderful man called in sick to go with me to tell this tiler we did not like his work!  He also said we needed some time together since he was gone all weekend.  Boy, did we!

When we got to the house, we went to our daughter's bathroom and looked at the tile in the day light.  It was not bad - the tile was irregular (which I love) and gave such warmth to the little room.

The tiler was working on our son's bathroom - which he finished while we were there and it looks fabulous!  It works so well with the tile in the shower as well - even the builder was impressed.

It is exciting to see the tile go in - unfortunately, you will not get to see pictures until the grout is in.  You would not be able to see the true beauty of it until the end - the color are still dull until they are cleaned and sealed.

This evening, we are just taking it easy watching Lord of the Rings and relaxing together.  It is wonderful and was very needed!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Year Long Menu

Leave it to me to modify a plan.  I don't think I can ever follow directions exactly because I always think of something that can work better for our family or just plain better all around.

Even with recipes, I don't think I ever just follow the directions, the main exception being baking.  I just don't mess with that because you can screw it up in a heartbeat - ask my son.

Anyway, the premise of the year long menu is to plan out your dinners (at minimum), breakfast and lunch if you are really ambitious.  I chose to go with dinners.

Then you basically have to decide on seven categories.  I did it by meats - beef, chicken, pork, fish.  We are doing 2 beef nights, 2 chicken nights, 1 pork night, and 1 fish night with the last night for out-to-eat or eating leftovers.

Others have done styles for their categories - Spanish/Mexican, Italian, Asian, Comfort, Pizza, etc.  That did not work as well for us, so we defaulted to meats.

I brainstormed last night and came up with 24 beef meals, 24 chicken meals, 12 pork and 12 fish.  That is 3 months of meals (average).  The main idea is then to just repeat it - you would essentially only eat 1 meal 4 times per year.  Which is not bad for variety.

However, I KNOW we are going to add recipes to the mix.  So, I am putting together a master spreadsheet and giving each meal a name and where the recipe is located (if I need a recipe).  Given this, we are going to start with 3 months and see how we feel about repeating or adding in something new.  The good thing is if we are busy - then we can just repeat.  If we feel creative, we can try something new.

I am not using this menu as the end all be all - moods change, you forget to go to the store, someone gets sick, you have to suddenly go out town - the list of possible derailments are long and not very distinguished, but the basic plan is there, so on Sunday, there are no excuses.  We have it available.

Here are my meal ideas - I am not putting sides with them because it depends on what is at the farmer's market that week and what is on sale.  Sides are not difficult though - some beans, rice, or pasta and greens - viola!

Beef

Now, we just got our side of beef, so all this will come from a no antibiotic, grass fed cow.


Beef Tacos
Taco Bake
Sloppy Joes
Hamburgers
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Spaghetti with meat sauce or meatballs
Cajun Dirty Rice
Chili
Hamburger Soup
Cajun Meatloaf
Lasagna
Stuffed Peppers
Pot Roast
Chipped Beef Sandwiches
Beef Stroganoff
Grilled Steak (with various rubs)
Steak Fajitas
Steak and Pepper Stir Fry (asian)
Steak Skewers
Beef Tips and Gravy
Vegetable Beef Stew
Potatoes, Sausage and Green Beans
Sausage Pasta Stir Fry (with onions and peppers - so good!)
Barbeque Sausage

Chicken

Chicken Tacos
Italian Grilled Chicken
Mexican Grilled Chicken
Barbeque Chicken
Vegetable Chicken Soup
Breaded Chicken Tenders
Cheesy, Broccoli Chicken Rice Casserole
Chicken and sausage Skewers
Tuscan Chicken Pasta
Chicken Stir Fry (asian)
Baked Garlic Butter Chicken
BBQ Chicken Pizza
Grilled Chicken Salad
Pesto Tortellini Chicken Salad
Chicken Picatta
Chicken and Stuffing
Chicken Divan
Chicken Fajitas
Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken Noodle Soup
Bone-in Chicken and Vegetable Bake
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken
Chicken Tetrazzini
Mustard Chicken

Pork

Ham
Ham Steaks
Ham and Potato Soup
Pork Stroganoff
Lemon Pork Piccata
BBQ Pork Chops
Pork Stir Fry (Asian)
Pork Carnitas
Pork Roast
Cajun Pork Loin
Red Beans and Rice
Zuppa Toscana (italian soup)

Fish

This is a little harder for us because we have not eaten much fish, but we are going to give it 12 weeks, if it does not work, we will blend it with a veggie night.

Grilled Salmon
Breaded Tilapia
Orange Roughy
Breaded Cod
Grilled Tuna
Baked Trout with lemon
Blackened Mahi-Mahi with lemon butter sauce
Striped Bass (need recipe)
Grilled Halibut
Grilled Red Snapper
Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya (probably a little fish in there as well)
Mystery fish  - this will depend on how well the rest of this has gone - worse case, we go out for shell fish (I refuse to cook shellfish at home after getting violently ill one time) or we simply make Fish Tacos with Tilapia.


There you have it!  I am glad to have this much done.  I now need to put it a calendar type of form.

What about you?  Do you think you would try a year long menu?  Maybe 3 months like I did?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Busy Saturday - Going to Town!

Since DH is gone this weekend at his step-father's funeral, the weekend happenings fell to me.  Most of the time, it is a divide and conquer, but I was alone this time.

So, I woke up and damn, no coffee and I SUCK at making a pot.  All I can say is thank goodness for the Kuerig.  The coffee was strong, but it made the morning better.

Then I cleaned the kitchen, put on a load of towels, straighten up my office getting ready for a customer, prepped for the day into town.

I woke the kids up, so they could get breakfast and dressed for the upcoming day.  My customer and her mother got here on time (thankfully), and when they left, we immediately had to leave.

On the way to drop DD off at rehearsals, she mentioned that she had not eaten yet.  Kill me now.  Luckily, we left a little early because there is a wine and music fest in our town we are staying in.  (on a side note, we had planned to go as a date, but the funeral was booked so I did not get to go.  Going alone is not my cup of tea)  Anyway, we stopped for Chick Fil A, and the kids ate while I ran the truck through the car wash to get the love bugs off - 3rd wash this week.

I still got her to rehearsals on time.  Then it was a trip to the bank to get our blow money cash and allowances.  I got the bad teller - she sighs heavily because she has to count out 5s and 1s.  Sometimes she has to get it from the safe and she just looks at me like I am going to say, "Oh, don't worry about it."  They are a bank!  At least my transaction is straight forward unlike the others that don't know their account numbers AND then have no money in it when they are asking for cash.

Moving on - next stop was Office Depot.  I needed a chair mat so I did not ruin the rental's hardwood AND mine.  It was pricy, but given I use for daily for years - the $50 was fine.  The office chairs were on sale, and I decided to get one.  The one I have is split open 5 different places and the padding has long since disintigraded so I am sitting on a board.  This chair is very comfortable and drops at the tail bone which took pressure off it.  It was 50% off and I got a 10% loyalty discount.  So, this awesome office chair was only $80.   I also picked up some friction pens (on sale) for my sewing.

After that was Lowe's to get the drawer pulls and knobs for the cabinets.  I ended up also getting the mailbox and numbers for that as well as a trash can.

DS got sick at Lowe's, so I dealt with that, then we headed to the libary.  It was a quick run in and check out from the hold shelf.  He stayed in the truck.  He was fine - I think something didn't settled right on his stomach.

We went back to the rental, and I unloaded the dishwasher, folded the towels, and built the chair.  Put on potatoes because we were having baked potatoes and salad for dinner.

I left to pick up DD - back to town.  Got back, threw together the salad, and the toppings for the potatoes.  While we were eating, DH called, so I talked to him a while.

Then I cleaned the kitchen and decided that I need to cut the tshirts for the next quilt.

I think I will call it quits tonight and watch the Hallmark Channel.  I miss my DH severly.  We don't spend nights away from each other - very, very rarely and we have been apart 5 days in the past 2 months.

I know other couple spend lots of time apart and I know they have it worse than we do.  It does not make us like spending time apart any less.

Tomorrow is a work day for me - I really need to get one quilt almost done. I have to run to the new house just to check.  I was not able to get there today.

Chili is on the menu tomorrow!  Plus I get to sleep in.  YEAH!!!

Gratitude:  I am so grateful for my 19 year old son and my 13 year old son, they both have the ability to make me stomach laugh even when I am sad.  They are truly beautiful people!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Week 33 Update - Getting closer!

So much is going on and not going on.  It seems like I am running to pick up things, purchase things, bring them to the builder (which is at our house in the barn shed), but really it is a lot of hurry up and wait.  Builder - I need the lightening!  Me - OK, I will get tomorrow.    Where is it sitting? - unopened in the barn shed for the past 3 days.

No matter - I like having it there, so when it is needed, it is there - no delays, no excuses.

The BIGGEST thing that happened this week was the completion of the barn shed.  I mean this alone seemed to get the ball rolling even with our builder.  Maybe seeing something completed made him feel the urgency.

We officially get to call the bank on Monday and tell them we are at the 30 day mark.  I never thought this day would come.  I feels like a Christmas Miracle!

The cabinets were also installed!  It is amazing, but seeing them without countertops makes them look not all there.  It is stunning how countertops actually bring out the cabinets.  We are very pleased with these cabinets!  Soft close doors and drawers.  LOTS of drawers!  We only have 2 cabinets on the bottom - all the rest are drawers - including a set of drawers on each side of the island.


The tile in all the showers are in, they just need grout now.  We are over the moon excited about the master shower - kind of our dream shower.  There will be a large piece of glass in the opening and we plan putting hooks (for towels) on the side you cannot see.  There is a thin, long window that you can barely see in the top middle of the picture.  The bright light is the tiler's lamp.  We will have 2 can lights and the light from the window. 



We were very surprised, but the mason built the structure for the outdoor kitchen area!  Caught us by surprise yesterday!

There will be a large grill - big enough for rotisserie and skewers.  We are actually thinking about the turkey for Thanksgiving in this grill!  Then it will have a cabinet underneath with 2 drawers, a mini fridge, and trash drawer and a sink.  Stone is going all around with black galaxy granite for the countertop.


In addition to all of this, we have a preliminary design for our permaculture!  It is going to be so good!  It is hard to wait, but we are going to have to let it sit for a year because the soil is so bad from the build.  Though it was good that we burnt the brush and the trees.

You can see the tree line in the outdoor kitchen area - that area will consist of natural grasses - citronella, lemongrass, pink muhly grass and dwarf fountain grass, along with blooming flowers - like daffodils and such along the patio line.  We have to put in a drainage ditch in between.

We will have a pond, a chicken coop and run, a long, rocked, dry creek going between the house and the barn shed, the kitchen garden and herbs will be built by our side door and 2 long swales at the back of the house probably with fruit trees.   This will all happen over LOTS of time - not right at first.  This is the exciting part for me though.  Together, we started with a dream of this, to planning to re

ality - it is the most magnificent thing.

Homeschool - Yeah, we are sucking wind.  They were good and did their work without me for 6 days, but I am so far behind with grading that I told them to stop yesterday.  We are breaking today as well.  I will catch up with grading this weekend.

Unfortunately, this is not the end all be all priority this month.  It will be when we move, but getting this house done so we can have normalcy is the priority.

Gratitude:  I am grateful for my husband.  I know it is cliche, but he supports me wholeheartedly, caters to me and actually feels it when I am sad.  So, it is with a loving heart that I am grateful for my husband.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hump Day

And the week is downhill from here!  Sad because DH is leaving for the weekend.  We just don't do well apart.  I am going to really try to keep it together this time.

OK, so Tuesday was better.  I had to spend the day at the house (such a sacrifice - LOL) and it was a good thing I was there all day. Cabinets started going in and they had LOTS of questions - there was a knock at my RV door every 15-20 minutes.  Makes me wonder how things get done when I am not there.

I brought lunch, 2 books, 2 movies, this year's and next year's planner and my camera, thinking I would get things done or at least relax.  Nope, did not crack the book once.

I could not take pictures because the love bugs are SOOOOO bad.  I mean as soon as I walk outside, they attack at me flying up my nose, in my ears (my mouth if it were open) and they kept getting on my lens.  Promise some soon though - so much has happened!

Today, I picked up all the grill items, took them to the barn/shed and answered questions about the cabinets.  Then I headed out to pick up our side of beef.  I left the house at 10:15 this morning and sat down at home around 5 p.m. this evening.  LONG day riding with a truck that is losing air conditioning, but we have a freezer FULL of beef, so I am excited!  It will keep us for a year.

Tuesday, my gratitude was being able to walk.  It wasn't long ago when I could not walk well, so being able to shovel clay and still walk (albiet with pain), it simply amazing!  I also was thankful for being able to hoover all the love bugs in my RV.  Gave me such pleasure!

Wednesday, I am grateful for our ability to build a home like we are.  It is awing for sure. 

So, yes, Tuesday and Wednesday were much better than Monday.  Much, much better.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Today sucked

Today sucked - tomorrow gets a do-over.  Moving on.

What I am grateful for: WINE!  It is crisp, cool and makes a shit day look downright peachy.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Stone, Tile and Shed

This are the only 3 things being worked on this week.  Sigh - I am getting more and more anxious for it to be done.  I said before and I will say again.  Building a very custom house is not for the faint of heart.

Jamming to Artic Monkeys while typing and getting a groove to the typing while trying to sing and write!  LOL

Ok,  the entire front of the house is going to be this stacked stone.  Gorgeous!  This is the stone we have used for our fireplaces and island in the last house - we just LOVE it.

Stone that will be all over the front.


We decided to use wood look tile for the large master shower.  This was not a mistake - this picture does not do it justice at all!  It is breathtaking.  This opening you see will be glass.  2 shower heads - one normal kind and one rain showerhead.

Lots of work still to go!

Yesterday morning, this was just a concrete slab.  They will finish all but the garage door.  That will be done sometime next week.  So excited this is getting done in time to accept the appliances.  Oh, I am not sure if I told you all, but we have to take our appliances before the builder is ready because of Sears needing the warehouse to stock appliances for the rush from Harvey.  Just glad this shed is getting done or I would have been camping in the no air conditioning and mosquito filled house because building lots get robbed often.

This shed is insulated and we have a portable air conditioner we bought to use in it.  Quite the set-up!  It will house the RV, trailer, truck and golf cart plus the workshop.  It is 30' x 40'.  Believe it or not, this is a small shed compared to others around us.

The scale of this is off - it much larger than this shows!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Day of Decadence

Today, Thursday, I did something I never do.  I did nothing.

I had to meet the shed people early this morning to get started.  It was very cool - around 63F - which here in southern Texas never happens in September.  The RV was inviting and situated as such that I could see how the shed and the stone work was going through a window.

This window happened to be where I could lay in bed and watch.  So I did.  But it was cold in the RV, and I had no pillow, so I grabbed some blankets (from my business stock that were stored on the RV) and made a makeshift pillow, then used my most favorite sunflower blanket to wrap up in.

I drifted off to sleep watching the wind move through the trees and hearing the generator hum.

When I woke, I was hungry, so I went for a burger and came back.  I dozed in and out the entire afternoon in that RV.  At times I was awake and let my mind drift and honestly, I cannot even tell you what I thought about - I was so in and out of sleep and drowsy feeling.

It was pure BLISS!

This was exactly the kind of day I needed.  I only had my cell phone and did not look up anything or spend time on Facebook.  I texted with my sister a bit.  Sent pictures of the build to my husband.

I stayed away from Harvey posts and political crap.  I did not think about money, work, homeschool or the build other than what was happening right then.

It was the best kind of day.  With all the sleep, you would think I could not sleep tonight, but I am tired and really for rest.  It was like my brain and body just repaired themselves today, tonight's rest is the true rest.

That is something I have not had in a very, very, long time.

Grateful:  I am grateful for today, in its delicious decadence of nothing and allowing my brain to reach full stop.  No one could ask for more than that!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

No time for wallowing

Today, is we are out of the house day! 

I have to meet the builder at the granite place to pick our slabs.  Then, head over to the stone place to pick the hearth stones. 

Lunch with Dad

Then I need to stop by the library and Joanns on my way back since we tend to bunch errands when going into town.  If you are going to drive an hour to get somewhere, you better stop at all the places you can. 

Right now with the house:

1.  The masons are continuing their work.  The brick is almost done, but there is a considerable amount of stone work to be done on the outside of the house as well as inside.  Stone is going on the fireplace and the island, the outdoor kitchen and around each cedar post on the patio. 

2. The Tiler has finished putting tile in the kids' bathroom showers, and is working on ours right now.  He is about 1/2 way done.  We picked grout colors yesterday.

3.  The Garage/Shop is slated to go in starting on Thursday.  We had to move our RV last night - that was fun.  The fridge had been left on and the battery ran out, but that was nothing compared to the mosquitoes!  They are crazy bad - I had deep woods off on and they still were attacking me.  They attacked the truck as it pulled in!  2 things I am looking forward to - 1) a pond to collect the excess water with fish to eat the mosquitoes.  2) Chickens to eat the bugs as well.


That is about all that can be done right now!  We are waiting for the cabinets to get in before we can do anything else. 

I cannot wait until we can start moving forward with this - I know we are, but we have been in tile and brick land for weeks. I am ready to start seeing it take shape. It still looks like a bomb went off inside.

I am trying to think of something for dinner.  We did not set a menu this week and we are hurting for ideas.  I have plenty of food so I will think of something.

Hope you all have a great day!


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

When it Rains, It Pours

I am not sure my light depression is not warranted right now.

Toward the end of July, my last remaining grandparent died. 

Last Tuesday, the last day Harvey was here, my husband's step father died.

Yesterday afternoon, I found out one of the sweetest customers I have lost her battle with cancer.  I used to sew the patches on her boys' uniforms and we would talk and laugh.  She was a beautiful person.

So much death as of late.

I am really trying to see the positive side of things, keeping a journal, reading uplifting books, trying to laugh with my kids - even fart jokes.  But overall, there is just a touch of sadness.  I think I really have not had time to grieve all the loss lately.  I need some quiet time to think. 

We started homeschool back up today.  As expected they are struggling with math.  Their little brains have to get back into the groove of it all and remember percents, probabilities, coefficients and all that.

Gratefulness:  I am grateful for my Yeti tumbler.  I always have cold water now - day or night, it is sublime!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

September Goals

Goals are so difficult right now with everything going on.  A funeral, house being built (as well as shed, barn, storage, maybe 2nd garage/shop?), homeschool, business and aftermath of Harvey.  There are gas shortages, food shortages, all kinds of shortages, but we are making it through.

I am going to set some lofty goals again - why not?  If they come to fruition - wonderful, if not, no big deal.

Here goes:

New House Related:

1.  Set new appointment with permaculture guy. If he will ever get back with us.  We may have to find someone else because we need to get a plan for the yard grading.
2. Take one day to clean up the area around the house.
3. Refinish Front Door - A MUST!
4.  Begin work on Roll Top Desk
5. Purchase all lighting - A MUST!

Kids/Family Related:

1. 1 Social Event for kids - teen dance at the end of September.
2. Homeschool at least 15 days this month.  We have field trips, science classes and a funeral, so this will require tenacity.
3. Set a physical education schedule for family, even if it is simple.
4. Pick up and store beef side at rental.  At least we have food coming in.
5. 2 dates with DH
6. 1 adult social visit
7. Start moving items from temporary shed to our garage/shop to cut down on expenditures.

Me Related:

1. Lose 3 pounds.  I am starting small and slow.
2. Some form of exercise daily, even if it is back exercises.  I am in lots of pain and need to get better.
3. Take planner one step further and schedule processes for goal completion.
4. Finish 2 Tshirt Quilts
5.  Make hooded blanket and stuffed lamb for 7 year old Harvey victim.
6.  Make wolves for my Father-In-Law's family with his clothes.
7. Talk to my sister once per week.
8. Message/email/tell 5 people of my gratitude of them.
9.  Journal daily gratitude
10.  Start 100 day of photo of something that makes me happy.  I reserve the right to do multiple on one day because of stress.  However, when I start, it will be 100 pictures in 100 days.


There are my lofty goals.  Yes, I am putting more into the Me Related category, but that is the category that I have control over and it also the category I am most likely to put off.  Sad, but true.

 

Early Rise

I am literally up before the crack of dawn this morning to see my son off to college.  He left with DH in a whirlwind trip - 5 plus hours there and 5 plus hours back IF all the roads are clear.

Usually, I get a little emotional, but this morning through my sleepy eyes and foggy brain, it just did not hit me.  Not that I was itching for him to leave, he actually just got here.  It's just we did not really get to spend much time together this summer.  Sad, because it might be the last summer he even wants to stay with us and I will be relegated to visits at family events and holidays.

It is a bittersweet realization.

Watch, because I said this, he will be with us until he is 45, only leaving because because work transferred him to another state (unlikely!)

Sometimes as our family grows, it feels like some kind of force is slowly picking us off one by one - 1st, our oldest made the decision to start a life without college.  This was the most dramatic change of our family dynamic.

1st born son is loud and likes to be the center of attention all the time.  But he is the first to help out and cries at goodbyes.  The noise level went down a bunch of notches when he left, as did the smell factor.  He and my youngest have a bond though and I have seen 4th born struggle since 1st born has been gone.

When 2nd born son semi-left, it was not so drastic.  He is quiet, sneaky - climbs on the roof to watch the stars at 2 in the morning.  He likes to follow rules and is Mr. GQ.  He never goes to bed without hugging me goodnight - which is something I miss, because he was the only one.  He also bridged the gap between the younger two, completely amazing because he is 7 years older than them.

3rd born daughter and 4th born son will leave together or if not together, within a year of each other.  This depends on when I decide to graduate them from high school.  That one will probably do me in because we are so much closer than I was with the older two.  Just geographically speaking - it makes sense - I homeschool the younger two, so I am around them all the time.  The older ones went to school everyday, so I was not as privy to their lives.

Maybe when they leave, I will volunteer to hold babies at a hospital or something.  They won't mind a few tears will they? - tears not of sadness, but of the changing of an era - one that was very long and very full of surprise that moved me - by lifting me up in joy and dragging me through the muckiest of mud.

I am not much of an early morning person, but I can see how people are - it is the kind of quiet that no other part of the day gives you - so quiet like you are stealing time itself.


Saturday, September 2, 2017

August Goals Revisisted

 Yeah,  I did not get much done - not even close.  I don't care though.  August was a tough month.


New House Related

1. Reschedule all deliveries for mid-September - appliances, furniture, hot tub, etc  um, they are all rescheduled, but not for mid-September.  That has all been pushed back.  I consider this a good try though.
2. Clean up the house area every weekend  - Nope, not a chance.  We have been so slammed, I have not picked up one thing.
3. Refinish front door - Nope,  we have to wait until the shed is done.  The Stained Glass is on the way however.
4. Start work on rolltop desk?  Nope
5. Order kitchen sink  - Yes!  Not only ordered, but arrived!
6. Order all lighting - No, but we since we are paying for them, we used credit card points to make the purchases.  The gift cards are on the way, but Harvey delayed them  We are so close!
7.  Finalized/order outside kitchen items - sink, fridge, storage cabinet, grill  - YES!  I take small wins!
8.  Purchase rain catcher basin - Another resounding YES!
9. Follow up and push Shed production! - Yes, shed is going in next week.  Weather delay, so I forgave them.
10.  Make appointment with Permaculture Consultant - I made an appointment, then it got delayed.  Trying to set another appointment, but I think his house got flooded.

Kids Related

1. Family Dinner with all 6 of us! - 3x!  It was a banner month
2. Get list of needed supplies from college boy and shop! - Yes, completed!
3. Pay tuition for college after scholarship are logged - Yes, completed!
4. Sell ticket for play DD will be in - Yes!  DONE!
5. Take DS to at least one social event - No, with everything, we did not make this happen.
6. Get overall homeschool plan set - Mostly, we have not started yet, so I won't claim this fully.
7.  Plan first month in written format of homeschool - YES!  This I did do!
8. Decide for sure if teen led newsletter/newspaper is going to happen. - It is not - final decision.
9. Work together to develop a plan for physical excercise - Not happened.  No excuses.
10. Book hotel for taking college boy back to school - We are not going.  Hubs is taking him and coming back in one day.

Me Related

1. Utilize planner daily - specifically with goals, not just check lists - Sort of, it is check listy, but I am working toward it.
2. Eat lunch daily - I have a habit of not eating until I am ravenous around 3 pm. - Nope, I am so bad about this.
3. Consciously drink more water - at least refill my Yeti 4 times. - YES!  My drinking water has gone up majorly!
4. Back stretching daily - this is a MUST - my back has gotten bad and stretching is a paramount! - I am stretching more, but not like I should.  There is room for improvement.
5. Set a time to start getting up daily in preparations for the school year.  - Fail, we just ran out of steam.
6. Get a massage - No, it did not happen
7. Make daily cleaning checklist - Not at all.  We are thinking about it though.
8. Create year long menu - yes, this is something I really want to do!  I laugh and laugh - not a chance
9. Create and send out We've Moved cards - Nope, not this either.
10. Gratitude Journal.  I need to spend a little time thinking about the good - I would like to purchase one I can fill in rather than brainstorming.  This should be a nightly thing.  - OK, I checked a book out at the library and am putting into practice some of the themes.  I have not started a gratitude journal, but I am telling people I am grateful for them and the things they do.  Trying to be very specific and genuine.  

 Well, there are certainly more yellows then red and for that, I am thrilled.  Many, many things are out of my hands.  Funny, the things that are I did not follow up with. 

I am a little drained right now, so I get very tired in the evenings.  I am starting to work on my eating schedule and taking some vitamins as well as getting some exercise.  This month is a very busy month with the house and getting ready to move.  Also starting homeschool and my business.  I will make another goal list for September - tomorrow probably while hubs is gone.  That and clean house!  LOL

Friday, September 1, 2017

House pictures as of August 31

This is really my only forum for talking about the house now.  Others have specifically asked me not to talk about it any more because it makes others feel so bad.

This is really what feeds my guilt.  Even though we have both worked very hard and for very long on this house, others feel we do not really deserve it.  It is a shame.  I am not saying we deserve it, I don't think anyone DESERVES anything - too much entitlement goes with that, but I do think I have worked, saved and penny pinched for it and it is something we started long before Harvey happened.

Anyway, here are the pictures of our house!
 

Entrance view to inside of home.

 
My office



View of kitchen from living room

View of Living Room from kitchen

View down hall to bedroom from Living room

Laundry room

One bedroom (not master)

View of patio via entrance

View of patio from the end of the above picture

View of our open area of our lot

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Guilt

Survivors Guilt is weighing heavily on me.

Where we live did not flood the home.
It did not flood the little city.
We never lost electricity.
We never lost internet.
We never ran out of food.
The grocery store within walking distance opened on Tuesday.
We were able to fill our truck with gas.
We never got stuck in this rental.

NOT ONLY THAT, but...

The 1st home we had when married, was flooded in.
Area of 1st home is STILL flooded and waters are rising from the reservoir.
The 2nd home was flooded in.
The 3rd home was flood in.
The RV park was flooded.

NOT ONLY THAT, but...

Because my grandmother died and left me a little money, we were able to get this rental.  (I got bashed a little for that, but now I am thankful).  Just 5 months ago, we moved out of house #3 leaving behind LOTS of friends that DID get flooded.

Its like we left behind the wake of mass descruction.

We were abel to get our boys out yesterday and they both stayed here last night.

I feel guilty because workers showed up at our house yesterday and worked.  We are meeting the builder today to discuss time lines and work issues. 

It just seems so out of place when so many people don't have homes at all.  Rental properties are flying off the market, there are not enough places.

Food and gas and other supplies are not coming in Houston fast enough.  Shipments supposed to go to Dallas are going elsewhere closer to the Harvey fallout (not necessarily Houston), so Dallas is having gas shortages.

A plant in Crosby will be exploding on the east side of Houston - close to areas that were already hit so hard.  Luckily, it is rural and the explosion is only supposed to affect 2 square miles, but the winds are blowing, so the chemical fallout will be worse.

My son has to get to college this weekend, but we cannot get supplies for him.  I am also worried about them running out of gas.  I hope that by this weekend things get a little better in that realm.

My guilt is from being able to bounce back to normal and so many others bouncing back as well, juxtaposed next to those that without a home, lost all their possessions, and are just starting a very long, grueling process.

Schools don't when they will start.  We are starting next week when Dad goes back to work.  Aransas ISD is closed indefinitely.

Also, last night, Darrell's step-father passed.  It has been touch and go for a couple of months now.  We are just hoping the airports open back up by the time the funeral comes.

Life will go on and I will work through this guilt.  Every day that the sun shines right now is a brighter new day. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tuesday check in - its not raining

Well, it seems as though Harvey has finally left our area.  He definitely over-stayed his welcome.

We fared better than most, but our rural area in general did well.  We know what areas will flood and what roads are blocked.  There were no surprises.


Dams and levies are the problem now.  2 levies broke - causing a major amount of flooding in areas that actually were spared Harvey's wrath.  2 levies are releasing into the bayou at the highest extinct, but the water influx from higher rivers is too high and the water is backing up into their flood areas that were developed.  Now, these levies have not EVER reached these levels, so their was no precedence to know that this level of flooding would ever happen.  This storm brought in the most water ever in the continental US.  EVER!

One dam is being released and putting pressure on little rivers and creeks, but again, there was no choice.  If they held the water, the dam could break.  That would cause more damage than anyone could imagine.  They are doing the best they can though!


Both my sons are in neighborhoods that are flooded.  One has no water or electricity.  The other does.  The rain has finally stopped, so DS2 and I think he will be able to get out of the neighborhood tomorrow and come to us.  DS1, I have no idea yet.  He is older and wants to be on his own, so ....I wait.

Our area was the least impacted - we got a lot of rain, but because our area is rural, there are many, many more places for it to go rather than in homes.  Suburban and urban areas have so much concrete and developers that do not care about the natural drainage of water.

Even our water will eventually be that way in the neighborhood we are building in - it is inevitable.  But, we hope people stay away as long as possible!

So, we are hanging in there.

Today, we decided what we are going to do to help the efforts going on.

We are background people.  What we contribute usually is not in the forefront of people's mind, but usually appreciated in a way that is unexpected.  For example, for funerals, we give toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, plastic silverware, etc.  It is always met with the same response, "OK, um, thank you."  Then, the thank you notes are full of thanks, we had no idea we need this, etc.  These are things noone thinks to bring, but everyone brings food.  Noone wants to wash dishes and the influx of people usually causes the restroom to be over used.

We decided with this to do exactly that same thing.  We would buy personal care items from CVS deals and basic food items - rice, pasta, can goods - to continue to give for at least one year.  We set a line item in the budget and started today.  We went to CVS and bought toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shaving cream, shavers, shampoo, paper towels, toilet paper, mouthwash, etc.  We will build up as deals come up.  Everytime we grocery shop, we will buy a little more.

A local food bank that we have given to for years that is located in a hard hit area is who we will donate to, but I just recently learned that families in my homeschool group have completely lost their homes, so we prefer to give to them first.

Quiet, no flash.  It isn't fancy, it isn't something people write home about, but we will be giving long after the TV cameras are gone, long after people have gotten back to their lives.

So there you have it.  Hope you all had a great day.  I saw the sun - my day was unimaginably great!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Monday, Monday - that rainy day

Yes, it is still rainy.  Not hard, but the wind is harder!  The eye of the Harvey is coming closer to Houston and although that sounds bad, but honestly, I if it comes and moves East, we will get a break.  That is a clean side.  I am done with the dirty side even though we are high and dry with electricity.  I want it for my dear friends that are sitting without electricity, without water and cannot leave because the roads are flooded.

I want it because the county is about to release levies (which they have to do or cause more harm than you can imagine), and this will flood homes that managed to not get flooded so far.  Over 30 neighborhoods have to evacuate before they release.  These are people we know and neighborhoods we lived in before.

I want it because buying food is tough.  People cannot leave their neighborhoods and even those that can make it out go to store to find it empty.

There was just no way to predict how bad this would be.

Now, CNN is saying the government failed us by NOT requiring an evacuation.  I live here, my friends live here - this has NEVER happened before.  NEVER!  Now, the last time the government issued a mandatory evacuation (Hurricane Rita) - 10 million people tried to get out of Houston and you know what - they ran out of gas in stopped traffic in 100F days with no food, water or bathrooms.  It was mass hysteria.

Also, neighborhoods that flooded before are not flooding now.  There is no way to predict where it is prudent to evacuate.  So, if the government HAD issued evacuations before the storm came in historically flood prone areas, they would have missed those that got it the worst with this storm.  CNN needs to shut their fucking mouth!  I am done with them!

Not one person I know, have heard about or anything is complaining about staying.  People are helping people, more rescues have happened than they can report because not all rescues are reported!  People who are without power and water are sharing their rations.  This is how everyone should be all the time.

OK, my rant is over.

Good news for me with all this awfulness.  We decided to try to get to our land this morning and were able to drive there with no problem.  So far, our home is water free and did not even feel humid.  It has held.

We were thrilled!  I am actually exhausted now and hubs thinks it is because I was so worried about it.  The neighborhood did not flood either.  Good, good news.

We also went grocery shopping and got some basics so we could go much longer if we needed to.  The store was rationing  - no more than 2 of items like toilet paper, bread, milk, beer, crackers, etc.  (Yes, beer was rationed!)

So, we are fine - we will be fine.  I am aching like crazy for my friends, but they cannot get to me and I cannot get to them.

We are not through this yet, but the end is coming soon - very soon!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Checking in

We are still hanging in there.  Lots of rain last night, lots of tornado warnings, but we are good.  We still have electricity and are just hanging out.

Where we are, the little lake is over its bank, but holding good and no streets are flooded.

Houston however is under water and many of my friends are stuck in there homes - no way out - water lapping at their doorsteps.  More rain is coming.

I am not sure how our land/house is doing - the road there is flooded, so we could not get there even if we tried.  Our realtor lives in the neighborhood though and she is keeping me informed of the general neighborhood happenings.  The neighborhood is not flooded, but I am concerned because our house is not water proof yet.  We have temporary doors and the brick is not fully installed.  I am anxious to see what the damage is.  This is how people people who evacuate feel - only more so.  It is awful!

However, we are hearing that the RV Park where we were is flooded, so good move on our part.

But, with this all, the dark skies and pitter patter of rain has allowed me to sleep so good.

It is difficult to think of anything else though - this is all encompassing!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Still Hanging with Harvey

We are fine.  We are pretty far north of Houston, so we have gotten some rain and light winds, but nothing bad.  We kept electricity all night last night. 

There is a lot of areas that normally flood in Houston, they are currently flooding.  What is going to get us is that it will be rain and rain and rain so more.  Our area is supposed to get 18", inside Houston 25".  We are not called the Bayou City for nothing.  It will be bad in Houston.  San Antonio is going to be getting it awfully bad!  My beautiful Hill Country area is getting pounded.


We were at this beach last year down in the area that the eye of hurricane came in on.  This beach got the worse of the winds down close to Mustang Island.




I am concerned about these trees - some of the oldest trees - like birth of Christ old.  But they have seen more than this storm, so I hope they fare well.

It was bigger than I could take a picture of.


Some other news.

In light of the rain we would be getting, we decided to move our RV to our land - our land is higher than the RV park and if we waited, we would have had to move it on Wednesday through LOTS of rain and mud.  So, yesterday in very light rain, we moved the RV.

Also, our farmhouse copper sink came in!  It was good timing - the Fed-ex truck was pulling out of the neighborhood when we pulled in.






It is gorgeous!  This picture does it no justice!  I chose bronze drains since I am doing a bronze faucet and handles in the kitchen.  It is a subtle copper - antiqued.  I chose not to have it hammered - I don't like that look. It is smooth.  And just stunning - I literally had an intake of air when I saw it!  LOL

So, today and tomorrow and probably Monday and Tuesday, we are just hanging out.  As long as we have electricity we will be good to go. 

I hope you all are having a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hanging with Harvey

Well, since the eye is not hitting Houston and we are pretty north of Houston, we decided to stay and hang with Harvey.

We had a good amount of water already, bought a little more, stocked up on non-refrigerated food and snacks.  We are good on batteries, so we are going to sit here.

Out little rental is pretty high in the area, so the water would have to get almost 40' to flood us.  That will never happen.  All of Houston would be underwater.  We will probably be flooded in and lose electricity for a while. 

All of this made me realize how we set ourselves up with the new house.  It is hurricane rated for support, we will have a house generator that runs on propane - which we will have a large tank of, we will also have a well - with a house filter and will be able to filter further during these times, so no worries about water.

I always thought I would just leave for a hurricane, but after living through one, and having friends and family sit on the highway during another, we feel we are far enough from the coast to miss the majority of the storm and are set up to ride out the aftermath.  We take all hurricanes on a case by case basis.

So, if anyone was wondering - we are fine.  Stocked and ready to go - feeling optimistic, but ready to get it over with.

I will check in unless we lose electricity.  If you know anyone in Corpus Christy (or has evacuated), know I am thinking about them - hoping they are all safe!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

First day home in over a month

I am staying home today no matter what!  I guess I should preface - unless the builder asks me to come.

There literally has not been one day in the past month where I was just at home.  That does something to the body - too much busyness.

There is a lot going on today, but again, I have access to a restroom when I need it, water, food and a chair to relax in even if its for a few minutes.  Hopefully, this is a sign of what's to come.

As for my list on Monday - I actually did get through most of it - we did not shop until yesterday, ate dinner out because of a house emergency that kept us out until 10 pm and I have not called the payment in for the aquarium field trip because I did not get a confirmation until yesterday late.  That is actually pretty good for that list.  I was out all day yesterday at doctor's appointments, voice lessons, a committee meeting, checking on the house, etc.  We did get the grocery shopping done though as well as paid our son's college tuition, bought the copper farmhouse sink, and the fire escape ladder.

Although I should have more to write other than to-do lists, that is how busy I am.  I am not even reading right now.   The lists should get smaller soon.

On the docket today:

1.  Meet with 2 customers for 3 quilt orders.
2.  Oversee the pick up and subsequent drop off of the golf cart for repair.
3. Unpack and organize all homeschool materials/books
4.  Catch up on laundry and hang all clothes (still packed)
5. Call payment into aquarium
6. Find a part on my Juki that is missing and order it.
7. Start crock pot dinner - chicken and dressing with green beans and carrots
8. Call my sister and say Happy Birthday
9. Have kids clean up their rooms
10. Quick wipe of bathrooms
11. Look at backsplash options for kitchen - some research is needed.
12. Sit down for a spell

There are other things that could be done, but these are the big ones today.

So, today is all about me just being at home.  Plain and simple.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse

Was anyone in the totality areas?  We decided to stay in the partial eclipse area here where we live.  Luckily, I bought glasses a couple of months ago, so we had them and it made it so easy to view.

Since there was so much hype about bad glasses and people losing their vision, we only looked for a few seconds and then took a 10-15 minute break before looking again.  It was very cool!  The last time I saw it was through a pinhole, but the glasses give you a much different view.

Next time in 2024, the totality area is coming through Texas, so we will definitely see it.  I hope my kids join me, but they will all be adults then, so it may just be me and hubs.

I tried to get a picture with my cell - holding the glasses in front of the lens AND my eyes.  But mine could not get clear. 

My daughter, however, got a great shot!


Manic Monday

This day is even more manic like because last week was off from reality really.  Well, off from our daily life reality.

This is not only a Monday back from that, but a 1st Monday in a new place and a first Monday of starting homeschool and a first Monday of starting back at the business!  My list today is very long and not very distinguished, so here we go.

Neither hubs nor I heard the alarm this morning, so we got a 20 minute late start.  Worse for him than me.  I got to go back to bed, but I did not sleep - I felt bad for missing the alarm (it is my job) and too much on my mind for the day.

I hope I can make good headway on this list - really, I need to get all of it done, and I will be enlisting the children to help.

1. Unpack and prep formal dining as my temporary Office and Sewing Room.
2. Find spot for printer and get it working
3.  Print Price List
4.  Print Order Forms
5. Accept Golf Cart Delivery
6. Check on Home Build
7.  Take storage load to RV, Pick up things from RV
8. Unpack and organize the kitchen.  There is not a ton, but we need to find space for the few things we brought and unpack food.
9. Make grocery shopping list from menu
10. Sweep Kitchen
11.  Unload/Load Dishwasher
12. Print Aquarium Homeschool Field Trip form, fill out, send in, call for payment
13. Set Chiro Appointment
14. Set Permaculture Appointment
15. Cook Dinner
16.  Take time to view the eclipse!  Have kids finalize their reports.
17.  Have daughter pick songs for her voice lesson tomorrow (we are totally lost on this!)
18.  Go grocery shopping (probably hubs will do this)

I think I will leave it at that and see where we get.  It is a lot for one day, but this will really set me up.  I have a lot of places to go tomorrow, so I cannot get too much done then, then customers come 1st thing Wednesday morning.  Really, the focus today is my business.

There you go - I hope your day is productive, not too manic and at least one thing makes you smile!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Week 29 Update

Wow!   Where to begin.  It has been a whirlwind week and really, I need about 2 more days - which I will not get.  We will get there eventually though.

First, We went to help clean out my grandmother's house, but could not help much.  My cousin who is the executor and was willed MOST of the items in her house, could not let go of anything.  Hubs and I just threw away the trash mostly.  We did get 5 boxes of things for ourselves.  I took almost all of her pots and pans - copper bottom steel from the 50s, all her cast iron, and her 60s yellow bundt pan.  Gadgets and just things we could use - like furniture pads, placemats, etc.  My dad got the furniture, but every time I wanted a piece, my step-mother would say she wanted it - I mean this happened 5 times - items she did not even think about until I said something.  Dad even got mad at her once, but I gave in.  I took one stuffed chair and ottoman - it is a gorgeous bird and foliage fabric - definitely a statement piece, but so my grandparents' style.  It is not the typical grandmother stuff - when we move in I will take a picture of it - it is wrapped in plastic right now.  I also took a marble top plant stand. 

We got back late Wednesday night and could not help but stop by the house.  We were disappointed to see that really no more work had been done other than the ceiling of the patio and brick - nothing had been done inside!

Basically, we are waiting on supplies to be delivered.

Yesterday, we moved into our rental.  OMG!  It is gorgeous! Brand new and other than a few tweaks, it will work out great.  The space for me to work in will work fine, I have not made a decision about the embroidery machine.  It is huge - a 10-needle commercial machine and although there a good amount of space here, it is not a great layout.  We are going to bring our dressers here - there are NONE - and our TV.  Other than that, we are still living just on what we had at the RV.   It feels so good to be in a house, I am moving more, smiling more, have a better outlook - it is wonderful.

OK, here we go - updates.

1. Land Home - Brick is going in and is GORGEOUS!!!  Builder told us the masons would be done with all the stone and brick in about 2 weeks.  I am not holding my breath, but I do think 2-3 weeks is doable. (I cannot help but think about that movie The Money Pit when my builder says 2 weeks)

The patio ceiling is almost done - there is a small section left (waiting on supplies), then we have to put in a finishing strip - not a quarterround, but a 1 x 2 whatever they call it. 

The supplies to finish the trim and shelving is supposed to be there today so they can start working - when it gets in, they will take about 3 days to finish, then the painters can move it!

The saltillo tiles are expected to arrive on Tuesday and the tiler will come in.  All he does is install saltillo tile and works slow.  He sounds perfect!  This type of tile is about 1" thick, but varies slightly in thickness.  These are hand made and baked in the sun, so they are imperfect - which is what makes them perfect!  So, the tiler cannot lay them like normal tile - more grout is needed and spacers do not work at all - it is all chalk lines and eyeballing.    The finished product is gorgeous though - I mean really stunning.

OH, I almost forgot!  Our stained glass is done and they are shipping it today!!  This is for our "front door", the one that opens to the patio, but looks like a front door.



We went yesterday and looked at outdoor kitchen/grills and made a decision on them!  We spoke with the builder and are going to purchase them today.

In addition to that, we need to buy the fire escape ladder, copper sink, and really all the lighting.  That should pretty much wrap us up.

I need to set an appointment with the permaculture guy to get our design done and land grades figured out.

The business ensues!

RV Living - OK, this will be the last post of this one.  We started moving out yesterday and have a little more to go - all the homeschool items mainly.  Then we need to clean it really well and close it up.  We are leaving it at the park until the end of the month because it is pre-paid and we cannot get that money back, plus we are waiting for some supplies to be moved.  Then we are moving it to our land. 

Homeschool - We decided this next week is not a good one to start, we are still trying to get settled here and have LOTS of appointments, plus DD's 1st audition.  We will use this week to organize the books, set the schedule and get ready for starting the 28th - when all schools around here start.

Business - 4 quilt orders are coming in this week, so I need to get ready for them.  I will do that Monday.  I did get shirts of my grandmothers to make my cousin a quilt, so I need to get started on that as well.  That is a joy though.

So, there you have it - so many more little things that go into life happened, cancelling the internet at the RV, getting the cable working here, meeting with the builder, getting gas, grocery shopping, mailing a card, etc, etc, etc.

I hope you all had a great week, I am off running now again - hopefully I can catch up on blog reading soon!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Finishes going in!




The ceiling of the patio is actually the same color in both pictures, it was just the angle and light that makes it look different.

The brick is amazing!  So much better than we imagined.

Sorry so quick, hubs is off this week and we are running like crazy.

Hope you all are having a good week.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Week 28 Update

The week started off awful, ended much better.  I still am just ready for this whole process to be done and us to start living our regular lives.  Such and adventure though.

Land and Home - I know this is an ever changing category - pretty much how I perceive it.  There are multiple area of attention so even as I talk about it to my family, the name changes.

With the house, we are to the point where all the internal doors (except one*) are going in, as are all the baseboards, casings, and other such trim work.  Masons will keep working on the outside - they are extremely slow with the stone work, but I guess you would want them to be!  I am really excited to see some brick work!  Those guys fly through that and it will really make the house look like it is coming together.

Really the good part about this week is we have finished the prep work and are starting on the finishes.  We get paint next week!

The shed is finally underway!  The concrete pad is done!  Now they can get the steel work done.  I was told that when the crew comes out there to start the welding (it is all steel construction) that it only takes a couple of days.  They pre-make pieces of it, then a crane puts it in place, while welders do their job.  Then the outside sheeting goes on, as does the insulation, put in the roll garage door and we are in business.  Just got word it will be done the first week of September!

The other part is the actual land, but there is nothing we can do about it right now.  The big trucks are coming in leave large ruts and there is so much digging to bury lines - plumbing, electric, water, sewage.  It is a mess and then when it rains, there is mud everywhere!  I told my DH that I just cannot wait until I am not slogging through mud and dirt all the time.

RV Living:  Well, if you did not catch it - this category will cease to exist in 1 week time.  We are giving up on RV living.  Lots of reason - I mean LOTS of reason, but mainly, we just hit a wall and are done.  We move into the VRBO rental next week.

Homeschool:  I am really wanting to start prepping, but so many things are keeping me from it.  Between cleaning out my grandmother's home to moving to overseeing things at the property - it is a more than full time.  When I had my mini breakdown earlier this week and stop doing anything for one day, DH tearfully said to me - "You are amazing, I don't know how you handle it all in one day, I was about to have a breakdown myself!"  Yep, I juggle quite a bit (nothing like Kim though).

We are going to get started probably the 23rd or 24th - at a modified pace - math and language arts.  Then add everything in after Labor Day.

My DD is going to be auditioning for a musical in a couple of weeks.  We are all amazed at her transformation in just 2 weeks of theater - she speaks louder, is more animated - it is like she found her voice.  Brought tears to my eyes.

Business:  Yes, this is going again.  I have 4 quilts that are actually on order and another one possibly.  I am hesitant to completely put it out there until we move into our home, but I do need something to do.

Oh, and I scored on supplies!  I bought 149 yards of interfacing and 3 queen size batting bags for $104!  The original price was $310.  I never buy this stuff for full price, but this is an amazing deal!  I can probably get 6-7 quilts done with that amount of interfacing and 3-4 quilts out of the batting.

* I forgot to add why that door is not being installed like the others.  We had to put in a glass door to the laundry room because it opens out to the hallway.  There is a door coming into the laundry room from outside, so someone coming into the house can see if someone is walking down the hall and someone walking down the hall can see if someone is coming in.  Nothing with glass is being put in until the very end.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Birthday and Stuff

Yes, today is my Birthday.  I am perpetually 29 according to my husband, but I don't mind getting older - I earned the right to get older!  I am 44 today - still young enough to accomplish much, old enough to take naps (according to my kids - they send me away for nap time) and I am looking forward to when it is just hubs and me for a while.

I am not into birthdays as a celebration really - no one in my family usually acknowledges it, so I just stopped caring about it a long time ago.  It was my luck of the draw with a family that is just sort of not with it.

With that, nothing special is planned - too much going on in everyone else's lives to worry about mine!

We FINALLY got the concrete poured for the shed this morning!  It was an amazing site to see.  Since the pad had been sitting there for so long - over 2 months, some of the dirt washed out.  The concrete guys just "packed" some more in.  Good grief.  I will have to talk to my builder about what he can do to reinforce it.






For an even better morning surprise, the sheetrock guys textured yesterday!  This was supposed to happen earlier this week, but they surprised us all by showing up last evening.  No one knew, it is was a total surprise to all of us.  No worries - those beams are wrapped in plastic.


Then, I walk outside checking things out and happen to look up - WOW!  The Chimney is being stoned!  They will get done this today!  Moving on.


That is pretty much it for this week by way of work.  Some deliveries will come in.  I am sure the masons will keep on going, but nothing like today.

Other than that, I am picking up some food for the cast this evening.  There were no drinks or food and they had 2 shows and had been there since 10 am.  They were all very thirsty and hungry. I am just doing some snacky things - cheese and crackers, veggies, grapes and a cooler of bottle iced  water - those stage lights are HOT!

Both DS and I are going to the 5 pm show.  Then all the kiddos are meeting up for the 7:30 show and then going to dinner.

It is a cute play - a condensed and modernized version of Shakespeare, but with Shakespeares words.  For a week's worth of practice, these kids are amazing!

Well, that it is for me today - I need to clean the kitchenette and start getting ready to pack up the kids and ourselves for the big move!  There are no regrets with this moving to a rental.  My outlook is so much better, the kids are laughing again, we were in a really low place.  Really low place.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

New Day

Lots of talking between my DH and the builder last night and the builder admitted to dropping the ball on some things.  That made me feel better - for him to admit it.

So here is the deal - still not great, but it will be a bit better.

1) The Master Bath - we are going to push back the shower pony wall by about 5 inches.  That will make the walkway approx. 43.5" to walk between the shower and vanity.  Still tight, but much more doable than the 38".  Sometimes a few inches makes all the difference.

Oh and for completely redoing it, it would consist of taking the roof off and pouring more foundation, reworking the plumbing, etc so close to $50,000 just to open up the bathroom.  We will work with what we've got!

2) The Kitchen Island - We had to compromise because of our sink.  I am only getting a 33" inch, but a sink of that size has to go in a 36" cabinet or 34", but this manufacturer does not make it in that size.  So, we have the dishwasher - which is a set in stone size, the sink cabinet - 36" and a trash drawer - 21".  We gained about 5" inches of walk space and that will have to do.

We told him that he really needs to pay attention to those narrow areas and make sure people understand what they are getting into.  He agreed.

Moving on.  The electric company put in the pole, now we just need to get the underground wiring done and we can install a meter.  Other than that, the rain has caused a delay.  Lots of things should be done while we are gone.

My daughter's shows start tonight!  DS and I are going to the first one, then DH and some friends of ours are going to the second.   Tomorrow, I will go to both sets and the whole family is attending the last one!  2 family events this month after all.

It is run, run, run today.  I am so tired that I feel like I could pass out right now.

No rest for the weary - at least until Sunday.

I am off - have to dinner in the crock pot - potatoes, sausage and green beans (by request from Miss Actress).  Fold clothes, shower, and clean up a bit. 

Keeping it real!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Today is not better

I did get a little sleep - about 4 hours.  It helped, just luck is not on my side right now.

Let me explain why I am upset about the house.

1) Kitchen - I have to have the island - the design of the house was built around and the plumbing for the sink and dishwasher is in the foundation.  For me to move it would mean A TON of money.

The cabinet maker is going to make it about 6 inches thinner, which will work, but I will have a smaller than usual sink.  The problem was the space walking between the pantry and the side of this island - very tight space.  It is just not what I wanted.

2) The Master Bathroom - It is a very thin bathroom.  If someone is standing at the sink, another person cannot walk by without the person at the sink scrunching up.  How often will that happen - a lot - to get to the toilet or the closet you have to walk by the sinks.  There is nothing that can be done about it and I am very upset about it.

OK, why this bothers me so badly is that neither the architect nor the builder said anything to me about these spaces.  They acted like it was a normal thing and those sizes were everywhere.  DH and I tried to measure it out, but until you actually see it - it is so abstract that you cannot tell.  Out of the two - I am most upset about the bathroom.

Now, I do lay some of the blame on the architect and builder, but mostly on me.  I have screwed up our house.   I signed off on these blue prints.  Everytime I think about it I cry.  I cannot even make decisions anymore because I feel like I am going to screw something else up. 

DH is going to meet with the builder tonight about the closet.  I cannot meet with him right now.  The builder is not answering my texts or email, but he is answering DH's.  That infuriates me even more.

At this point, there is absolutely nothing I can do about any of it and a normal person would let it go, but I cannot seem to do it.  Maybe when it is all done I can.

Everything seems to have that luster of sucking right now.

The concrete cannot be laid because we are having a week of flood producing rain.  Seriously - the week finally came that they were going work on the shed and we get this.

I went to the bank to get our monthly cash and make a deposit.  System is down - they cannot make any transactions.

Go to the library.  No parking whatsoever and I did not have my library card with me.  Sigh.

DH and I finally get a week together to spend time with each other (ie not doing so great right now), but we have to go clean out my grandmother's house.  Then move as soon as we get back for one day, then go pick up the kids.  Keep in mind - my grandmother lived 8 hours from me.  The sister is 5 hours from me in the opposite direction of my grandmother.

Homeschool starts that next week and no we cannot put it off any more.  Some of the extra-curriculars are starting their sessions, so we have to get organized.

I am just trying to breathe and work it all one day at a time.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Overwhelmed again

I feel like the world just keeps crashing on me over and over and over again.  I think my nerves are so frayed that every little thing is just like Mt. Everest!

Today, Rain - so no work on the house.  No concrete.

Times for DD camp changed so I had to cancel an appointment I really need and now it looks like I will not be able to reschedule for 2 or more weeks.

I have to go clean out my grandmother's house next week.

I also have to move next week.

I am not liking how small our master bathroom is or how small the island has to be in the kitchen - basically walk spaces are too narrow - which bothers me greatly because now we cannot do anything about it and I wish our builder, the architect - someone would have explained this to me.  Size is so abstract when it is 2D.

Our awning on the RV is going.

My back is out (appointment I needed) and it is not getting better, worse.  My leg is going numb again.  If I start falling, that means I will be back in a wheelchair - this sucks.

I am getting heart palpitations daily.

The builder is getting on my very nerve - absent mostly, condescending - but that is probably my perception through my negative filter. 

This show is overwhelming the hell out of me. 

I just want all of this to be over so I can have a home and normalcy again.  Though the building has been going on for 4 months, we have been going full throttle since January.  I am tired - I cannot sleep - not in 2 days.  I try, but it is not happening.

I am looking forward to being in a house, but since I now have to clean out my grandmother's place - it is delayed about a week. 

My outlook will be better if I can get some sleep - let's all hope it comes tonight.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

I am so excited!

I was going to wait to say anything, but I cannot tell anyone yet and I have to tell someone.

We decided today that we are definitely moving out of this RV.  10 days left!  We rented a townhome on VRBO and because of an unexpected bonus, we decided to move out of the RV for our last couple of months so we can get our lives back. 

With this, I will be able to partially get my business working again - Tshirt Quilts only - which is what my waiting list consists of.  There is no room for my embroidery machine, however.  We also will be able to buy a weeks worth of groceries at a time being able to take advantage of sales.  The kids will start homeschooling immediately as well.

We will have a master bedroom with our own bathroom and each child will have their own room.  They have to share a shower, but with 2 1/2 baths, we can dedicate one toilet to each child. 

The feeling was that the quality of life would improve so dramatically that it is worth the extra cost.  The RV will be moved to our property and as soon as the barn/shed is built, our off-site storage rooms will be vacated.

A library is right across the street from us and I mean literally across the street.  The townhome is 2,200 sq ft, so lots of space. 

I cannot tell you how excited I am.  I will never regret our time in this RV, it certainly served its purpose, it is just time to get our lives back, our privacy back, our intimacy back.

For those considering living in a RV while building - I HIGHLY recommend it.  For us, it would have been completely worth it IF we did not have teenagers.  If it were just my husband and I, we would be fine.

We are waiting to tell the kids until they come back from my sister's.  We are moving while they are gone.  It will be an amazing surprise.  Obviously, it will be best when we are in our home, but this will help me when the build goes over time or if anything comes up.  It is just easier to swallow when you have a door and a private bathroom.

As for the RV, we are asked all the time if we are getting rid of it.  Emphatically NO!!!  We are actually taking it when we take our son back to college.  Road Trip!  It is way more comfortable than a hotel.

Other than that, we are stuck at home mainly because DD will have theater practice every weekend until the holidays.  We are also considering a trip to DC, but I don't know if will be in the RV or not.

Hope you are having a great weekend - mine just got great!

Week 27 Update

This week was a tough one.  Frustrations, Boredom, Complacency, Laziness, Over-bearing, Blah, Blah, Blah.

Things are starting to get to me - well, let's face it - they have from the beginning, but I have been good at keeping them in check.  I literally broke this week - literally.

New Home:  I am not sure how much happened this week.  Nothing major really.  The drywall was floated and taped, then mudded.  I need to take pictures, but I have not been up to it.  Maybe tomorrow - it is so rainy and hot that it makes it difficult and draining.

The mason was supposed to start, but only has only minimally prepped.  The electric pole was supposed to go in, it did not.  The cabinets were discussed, but the plan was not complete, so no decision there. 

Between my builder's lack of attention to our place, the trash thrown in the wall and the constant rain - I am down about it all.  It will get done, I know, but it seems very difficult with me having to push and push to make anything happen.  I feel sometimes like I should have been the head contractor, but I know that our builder does help and so many things like inspections are done without my knowledge. 

RV Living:  Sorry - more complaints here.  I am so done with living in this RV.  We have been here for 4 months and I am done.  Our kids are done.  My DH is done.  We are done.  I have not talked to DH yet, but I am seriously thinking about getting a VRBO place or something.  I am that kind of done.

I miss a good shower, a place to chop vegetables, a bed to stretch out in, not worrying about sewage, a place for the kids to get separation, a place to work, a place to breath.

I don't know if it will happen, but we WILL have a conversation about it.

Homeschool:  I am starting to think about it more.  They have papers due in a couple of weeks about the eclipse.  We are going to stream it through Lowell Observatory (in Flagstaff, AZ - we love this place!) in the morning, then we have our glasses for when it passes over us.  They will present their reports in the evening to Dad and me.

DD is Lady Montague in Romeo and Juliet - a loose, condensed version.  Lady Montague is an amalgam of Lord Montague and Lady Montague set in a modern time, but done in old english.  Should be interesting - the play is this next week. We are also starting to prep for her Little Women Audition.

Business: You would think there is nothing going on, but I am getting calls almost daily!  I need to start working!  It is all I am thinking about.  An order for 9 quilts, another 3 quilt order - all willing to wait for me.  I am up to about 30 quilts now.  Last year I made 56 quilts - holy crap - I almost have a year's worth of work waiting for me!


Next week is slated to be very similar as this one.  Hopefully I will have more to say about the house build though in a more positive light!