Tuesday, November 21, 2017

It is actually Exhaustion

Yes, I have been diagnosed with exhaustion.  Seriously.  My blood pressure is up.  I am not sleeping well.  My nutrition is poor, but not because of my eating - my body is literally exhausted.

-D was getting worried about me being so tired, so I went in and yep, an official diagnosis.  I have to rest, eat well, take vitamins, exercise (but not to the point of exhaustion) and get the stress down in my life. 

So, I think for the rest of the year, we are not going to allow visitors. 

I am going to chill out.  Just spend as much time at home as possible, not booking early appointments if we HAVE to book them at all.  I am not going to take in any more work and Christmas is going to be low key.

I have to track my water intake and keep a food journal, but that should not be too hard. 

I was told to get a massage.  I am allowed to forgo blood pressure meds right now.  There was an unusually high reading for me, but it could be dehydration and the fact I am on decongestants.  So, we are waiting a couple of weeks and trying again.

Is anyone really surprised though?  I am not.  I know I have been running thin.  We need to have a family meeting though and really discuss expectations.  -D is going to freak, but we will get through this.

Let me tell you folks.  Clinical exhaustion is awful. It is beyond tired.  I am ready to be myself again.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Completely exahusted

The weekend was very long.  I love my elementary friends.  Don't get me wrong.  It was lovely to see her again after 21 years, however - it completely wore me out.

She did not want to do any of the things I had planned other than shop for Christmas items and decorate.  No antique shop, no movie.  So, we talked and talked and talked and talked.  Her interests are very different from mine.  She is extremely opinionated and our opinions are opposite.

She is not intelligent either and has no interest in learning, so it was difficult. I mostly just listened to her.  She wants to live in the past and that is just not something I am interested in.  However, it was nice to reconnect and talk about childhood a bit.  One day would have been good, but she was here for 3.  My whole family is just not used to that length.  I will do more in the future to curb that.

On to other things, my hormones are going CRAZY!  I am in peri-menopause and have been for about 2 years for sure.  I am very late and thinking I will skip this monthly visit.  We will see - no I am not pregnant. It still feels like I am PMSing though, so that sucks 2 weeks of PMS.

We did mostly set up Christmas decorations though.  The big tree needs to go up and I need to organize the Nutcrackers as well as get the outside wreath in shape.  The house really looks cozy with the 2 smaller trees, a garland on the mantle and the stockings. 

If I have not said before - we have 3 trees.  The big one is the family tree with all the ornaments from the kids and our lives over the years.  One of the smaller trees has ornaments from all the states we visited as well as the national parks and monuments.  The other smaller tree has the White House Historical Society ornaments that come out every year.  We have all of them.  They are gorgeous!

To recover, I am going to read and nap.  Probably nap first.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Company's here!

My sweet DS#2 come home last night.  DS#1 came to visit with him and they went riding around - ah, youth.  DS#2 came home sick, with a duffle full of laundry.  LOL

I stuffed him with soup, some medicine, the neti pot, helped him start his clothes, made him take a shower, then he felt better.  He said our new place smelled like home.  Isn't that just the sweetest thing!?!

I am letting all the kiddos sleep in this morning, so I can go a little slow.  I need to work, but I am having a hard time getting started because a friend from elementary is coming in this weekend!  I have not talked to her in at least 10 years and have not seen her in 25 years.  Should be interesting.  I am not sure what we have in common anymore.

However, she said she was willing to help me out in any way since I have been so stressed lately.  I am going to put her to work (not really).

Tomorrow, I think we will shop at an antique type store I have been dying to go to - their sign says, "If you like Chip and Joanna, You will Love Us!  We're cheaper!"  Cracks me up.  We went to Waco and stopped by their store - Magnolia.  It is very expensive and crowded oh man.  There was a waiting line to get into the store!

Anyway, I would go there, then to Hobby Lobby for a few Christmas things - taking advantage of the sale and coupon, then go see Bad Moms Christmas.  Having lunch along the way.  Then back to the house, for time in the hot tub and just visiting. 

Then on Sunday, I was going to have her help decorate with us.  Or make something for her grandkids (embroidery wise).

I am not a go-go-go out and about person.  I am a homebody.  

Luckily, we have a lot to catch up on, so I don't think there will be lingering lulls in the conversation. 

What all are y'all up to this weekend?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Morning "Coffee"

Well, this Morning "Coffee" with our homeschool is going brilliantly!  I have a cup o' joe and DD has a latte or hot chocolate and DS#3 has a hot chocolate or apple juice.

We start at 9 am, then go over history and literature because they are tied together.  Then we work on Latin.  2 days a week we add Science and Logic.  After group time, they do their individual work with math, vocabulary, writing and any work left over from the group time. 

The morning starts with low energy, moving slow teens, but after a few discussion questions, their energy increases and they are good to go!  Math scores have gotten better and their writing is is more mature. The Morning "Coffee" has given us much more than I ever dreamed!

There is a thing going around the homeschool community that has a Morning Basket - consisting of a devotional, prayer, poetry, etc.

Well, we are more secular in our home with school AND my teens want to be adults (like most teen do).  So, I thought Dad has morning meetings and most everyone brings coffee to the conference room, so why don't we?  It is like a morning-get-the-day-going meeting.  I usually have handouts - ie, weekly schedule, declension sheets, graded papers, etc.

It also keeps us on a schedule.  I am scheduling appointments and my day around this meeting.  Even if I have errands, we just make the meeting short - only doing history and literature, and then I leave to run the errands. 

So far this week, we have met every morning and it is getting easier for me and they are loving the consistency.  They don't know, but I am training them to get up earlier, eat breakfast and have a morning routine.  It is not as early as public schools, but I always hated that they started class at 7:20 am anyway.  9 am is good for all of us.

At this point, I love all our curriculum choices, but science.  It is the most difficult one to do and not because of experiments, it is just finding one that is secular and can be taught at home.  Textbooks are very dry and not made for homeschool, more for someone with a science teaching background.  Homeschool classes in the area do not teach secular science,  so we just have to push through.  Luckily, -D is doing the experiments with them on the weekends.  He lectures a bit, but it is good for them to get used to that!

Today is the first day this week that I am able to stay home the entire day.  DS#2 is coming in from college and I have work to do!  I am hoping to get 2 quilts finished today.



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Christmas Decor obsessed!

My need want to put up Christmas is overwhelming me.  I thought I was alone in this, but on Facebook several of my friends are beginning to put up their trees already!

Now, we are literally 1 week away from when I would normally put up decorations.  We ALWAYS put it up either on Thanksgiving or that weekend.  Since all my kids will be with me on Thanksgiving, I really think we are going to start decorating very soon.  I will put the tree up, but we will wait to hang ornaments until Thanksgiving Day.

We are not going to do much outside as noone can really see our house from the road.  However, I want to make the front porch charming!  What I would LOVE is a sleigh to prop in the corner, but they are so expensive - who knew?

My father in law talked about this once.  The years where people really go all out with the Christmas decorations tend to be the years that there are hard times.  This year is no different.  I truly believe all the talk about Christmas here is because of Harvey. 

I know for me it has been a very rough year - just the house building was trying enough, but 2 deaths - a whole generation for me is gone.  All my grandparents have now passed.  We lost one parent, so it is the start of another generation leaving.   I am still seriously underwater with things and trying desperately to catch up. 

So, Christmas, for me, is the brightness in this trying year.

How about you?  Ready to start decorating?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

House Pictures!

OK, I finally took some more pictures of the house.  There are still a few more things I want to show you, but not too much more.


 Cords and all - our living room.  The books are not all up yet and that is my heating pad draped over my chair.  There is so much room - this is the largest living room I ever had!  The picture doesn't show it though.



 BEAMS!  I LOVE these beams.  They are so rustic and gorgeous.  We were told that they came from an old Mennonite barn in Wisconsin.



Our stone fireplace.  I cannot have a house without it - this is the 4th house I have put a stone fireplace in.  We are going to do something about those wires - just no chance yet!



 Another view of the living room from behind the couch looking out to the patio.



 This is the front entry and part of my office as looking from the living room.



 This is my messy office.  The room is a different shape and smaller than what I wanted, but I am going to make it work.  Quilts on the ironing board, blue bags with more quilts to make.  The embroidery machine I have yet to turn on!



 This is the entry from my office.  These are raw doors that I have to stain.  My list is getting longer.



This is looking back down the house from the entry - the kitchen to the right and living to the left.  All our bedrooms are back this way.



 I think I mentioned back in August that I was able to take one of my grandmother's chairs and that it was interesting.  This is it!  It sits in my bedroom.  It is VERY comfortable and the fabric is growing on me.



 This is the best picture I could get of our bedroom.  It is not particularly large, but we do not need a large bedroom. 



This is a new dresser that we bought this summer. We are not using it as dresser, more storage and entertainment center, but I LOVE it - semi-rustic and about 4 1/2 feet tall. I got for less than $100 -That may be why I love it so much!



 The famous shower in the master bath.  Double rain heads and it feels like walking into a spa every day!  I literally cannot believe we own a shower like this - never before and probably never again will we have a shower this good.



This is the master bathroom looking from the door to the patio.  The shower is on the left, water closet at the end and clothing closet to the right.  We kept it smaller because we did not need lots and lots of space.  It is actually a very good size for the little time we spend here.



This is our master closet.  It is huge to us.  There is a motion light and what I could not get a good angle on is all the shelves - both to the left and right.  We have a seat on the left with an electric outlet that we charge our phones at night and can sit down to put on shoes, etc.  There is cabinet above the seat as well.  It is amazing.



 This is the view of the patio from the master bathroom door.  Our hot tub!  So far, we have used it about 3 times per week.  It is lovely.



This is the patio from the screen that blocks the hot tub.  Our outdoor living room.  It is so comfortable.  We all have taken naps out here and D and I have morning coffee on the weekends lounging on the sofa.


 This is the outdoor kitchen area - complete with sink, pull out trash drawer, soft close storage drawers and cabinet and a mini fridge.  This is the grill that we are cooking on turkey in.  It is hooked up to the house propane, so no more small tanks to fill!



 Our dining room - The table is 7' long and made our of reclaimed teak wood from a boat!  The iron work underneath is custom made.  The chairs are the ultimate, but they will do for now.  




 Our view from the patio and living room.  So far, we have sees roadrunners, rabbits, deer and a racoon.




 It was too dark to get a great picture and no still picture will do this justice.  This is our $50 water fountain!  It sounds gorgeous and D put a light in it so glows on the trickling water and sends a ripple light on the ceiling above.  Very relaxing.



 This is the custom stained glass we had made for the actual front door.  This is from inside on the patio - the colors shine into the living room in the evening before sunset.



 This is the front door of the house. 



 This is the mostly finished house!  You can see the rye grass and clover seed we spread out is already growing!  It looks so much better than the crappy dirt blowing and muddy!



This is the house and barn/shed.  There is a lot of work on the land to do, but we need to give it time to settle and let the land get fertile.  I am not sure trees would grow if we planted them now.


Well, that is it!  We love our little home.  I it about 2,200sq ft, so not super huge, but big enough.  I still want to show you the storage room, laundry room and loft area, but that will come in time.

OH - almost forgot!  We are closing tomorrow!  YEAH!!!  Finally!  It really is not closing, because we already closed in May, but it is a modification of the loan. We had to jump through the same hoops, so it feels like a closing.  Anyway, tomorrow we sign the papers and then we have a mortgage.  So glad to be moving forward now!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Chaos Reigns

I am finally done being sick - still a little drainage, but mostly back to normal.  I feel certain it is the new house smells and dust doing us in.  I am taking some time to air out the house, but we all have fall allergies, so it is 6 or a 1/2 of dozen.

All in time.

My work office is still not set up.  We have not unpacked any boxes in over 2 weeks.  We have worked on the yard, and setting up things however. 

The kids have photography class today and I have to run to the grocery store for the free turkey my son gets for working at a grocery store.  I still took advantage of the buy a ham, get a turkey - now we will be set for all the holidays.

Yesterday the entire day went to making a menu, writing a grocery shopping list, gathering coupons, loading coupons, grocery shopping and unloading.  It was a stock up time.  I did not have vinegar, spices, lemon or lime juice, flours, baking mixes, etc and most all of it was on sale.  We spent nearly 1/2 of our monthly budget on food, but I am not sure how it could be helped.  We saved close to 40%, so the bill would have been much more if I did not take advantage of the sale.  The spices were buy one, get one free - so that was major!  I cannot wait for a garden when I can grow most of this stuff.

We also bought as much as we could for Thanksgiving - things tend to run out here like heavy cream, eggs and baking mixes.

Speaking of Thanksgiving dinner:

Breakfast /Appetizers:
Sausage Balls
Cheese Ball with crackers
 Fresh veggies

Dinner:
Rotisserie Turkey (on our new grill, so excited about that!)
Stuffing and gravy
Green Bean Casserole
Sweet Potato Pie - YUCK!  I am doing this for my son, but I do not like it.
Fruit Salad with whipped cream
Deviled Eggs
Cranberry Sauce
Rolls

Desserts:
Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Before that though, DS#2 is coming home from college Thursday.  My best friend from elementary is coming to visit this weekend.  DD's play is premiering right after Thanksgiving, so she has more rehearsals.  We got behind in homeschool, so we are trying to catch up! 

We made a deal with the builder that we would finish the house if we did not owe him anymore.  Sigh - it is a bittersweet thing.  We are so strapped for time, but I have now have 3 raw doors that need to be stained and sealed.  Usually I do that, but I have 6 quilts to get done before Christmas, so I am really hurting for time. 

Good news about all this is that it keeps us from spending money!  LOL  I am too busy to spend money.

No word on the closing yet.  Tick tock.

Well, gotta run - questions to answer for homeschool!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Our temp to perm budget

We did sit down and hash out the budget last night.  We were tired, but pushed through.  There were bills to pay and 2 months of reconciling to do, as well as planning, etc.

There is not a long term plan as of yet - there is too much up the air still - closing on house, finishing with the builder, receiving the inheritance, the holidays, the yard, etc.

As of now, we plan on hitting CC#1 immediately.  We paid a little over $2,000 toward it last night, but held off putting all the savings toward it because of closing on the home.  We are waiting for that first and foremost.  They are in the final underwriting, so hopefully we close this next week.  I think we may lose our locked in interest rate, but we will see.

OK, that is the first step.

Second step - Waiting for the bonus and inheritance money to come in.  We decided to pay the 401(k) and CC#4.  CC#1, #4 and 401(k) are all the largest cash flow items and would be best to pay off as soon as possible.  We are not going smallest to largest, according to Dave Ramsey, because of the large amount coming in at once.  We decided to go with what would make the biggest cash flow impact.  We would like to have all three gone by the end of the year, but that would be VERY, VERY tight, so we will see.  I am done with Christmas gift buying, so it just may happen.

We did not go further really because we need to see how the rest of this year pans out.

However, we began saving for irregular expenses - which makes me feel so much more secure.

These include:  EZ Tag (toll roads), Home Maintenance/Repair, Medical, Birthdays, Homeschool, Vacations, Car Insurance, Christmas, Electric, Propane, Car Repair, Pest Control, Auto Registration/Inspection, HOA dues, Hair cuts, Clothing, Beef, Trash, and Summer Camps.

With these, we typically can cash flow most everything that comes up. 

Our budget will change heavily for a while since living in the country has different types of bills than in the city.  Auto gas is a little more, but we have no water bills or septic bills.  But, septic must be cleaned out every now and then and I have no idea how much that costs.

So, we have a budget now - feels terrific!  A plan for slashing the debt.  A beautiful place to live.  We are truly living the high life.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Fridays Numbers

I am prepping for our budget meeting.  So many things have popped up - like Septic Walk Through, errands and just life. 

So, I thought we may have to actually sit down and do the budget tonight.  In getting ready for that, I decided to go ahead and post our numbers today.

Disclaimer:  I don't want anyone thinking this is how they should work a budget or follow in my footsteps - this is a lesson on how NOT to do your money.   I will not tolerate bashing of any kind.  We are both pulling up our big girl and boy britches and tackling this debt with a vengeance.   Also, I would not trade this house for anything - I love where we are right now and I am owning up to the debt that got us here - I don't blame anyone nor do I expect anyone else to pay it - ever.  We have a pretty big shovel (Dave Ramsey term), so here we go.

I will post our plan on Saturday or Sunday depending on when we hash it out.

Debts:

401(k) loan for land - $42,627 (nothing but a bunch of stupid - love the land, hate how we bought it)

CC#1 - 30,400.81   (life gone out of control)

CC#2 - $13,943.95 (some of this is college, some is car repair, and the rest is travel for the family deaths this year)

CC#3 - $17,279.17  (This is the RV)

CC#4 - $32,855.22 (This was mainly what we spent on the house build)

Truck - $21,753.52  (used, but we financed all of it)

Car - $7,013.68   (we bought a good used car, paid 1/2 in cash from what we got in the insurance settlement and had to financed the rest.)

Mortgage - $332,480.00

Total Non-Mortgage - $165, 874.09

Total Debt - $498,354.09

We do have an idea of how to tackle this, we just don't have the specific numbers yet.  Around $100,000 will be used to pay off debt by the end of year, between my inheritance, the amount we have saved for closing and a bonus we know is coming.  We are paying off the 401(k) loan first.  It needs a lump sum - you cannot put small amounts toward it (which sucks).  It gives us the biggest bang immediately both in future money and monthly cash flow.  CC#1-3 are next.  Then, we have to chunk away at the rest.  I won't know how much monthly will go toward it until January when we get the new balances on the 401(k) payoff and the social security adjustment.

OK, I came clean.  Now we move forward with intensity.  Our #1 goal is to payoff the non-mortgage debt by the end of 2018 while cash flowing college and life.

Let's get it going!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The No Days

This past week, although my posts have been about the exciting, have been no days.

We stopped homeschool.

I, mostly, stopped working.

The house is a big mess.

And not much has gotten done.

We are still sick.  K (DS#3) and I are almost done - the last vestiges of the hacking cough and stuffy nose.  We are still taking decongestants and sleeping with humidifiers, doing the neti pot and taking vitamins C & D. 

L (DD) is in the throws of it.  Poor thing.  She got it last.

D and I decided that this week is all about getting us better, so we are doing the bare minimum and getting rest.  I am not above thinking it may have something to do with the building dust.  We are going to change to the house filters asap and really work at cleaning this weekend - like vacuuming the walls and such, again.

Since we are just resting, we took our new to us care to get looked at.  There was a scrapping sound at the back wheel, the cigarette lighter did not work (could not charge cell phones), the windshield washer fluid would not spray, and the trunk could not open from the pull switch inside the car.  All of that is repaired now.  So, it really feels like a new, new to us car.

I know I keep saying it, but I am really starting to feel like me again.  I am home, things are normalizing, I have a kitchen... It really is bliss.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Putting together a Budget

After 10 months, we are finally able to put together a budget.  We decided yesterday that even though we have not closed on the loan fully, that we have a good idea of what the mortgage note will be and we are going to formulate a budget and put it into practice.

This includes our monthly budget, projection for 2018, thoughts on the next 5 years - everything!  I am beyond excited.

We have been living without a real budget.  It has been like this - spend as little as possible and save everything else, which has been insane with building a house.  Money has flowed like water and we cashed flowed a ton, ran up the credit cards a ton (not going to hide it) and just all around floundered.

We still don't know how to disperse the cash we have built up because we have not closed.  But, I will tell you that ALL that cash is going to debt when we do close.

Some things happened during this 10 months - my son's car, 2 family deaths (of which I am getting an inheritance with one), our car, and a major flood.  Things that by themselves cause turmoil and financial difficulty, but we got all that WHILE building.

And so it goes...

Time to pick up the pieces.

This coming weekend, we put on our calendar to work through this budget and get back on track!

2018 is going to be the year we get out of non-mortgage debt!  Through hell or high water - we are determined!

(numbers will come next week)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

New Kitchen!

The kitchen was clean this morning, so I decided to grab some shots before the kids made breakfast.  This house is such a mess, I am embarrassed to take pictures - stuff is just everywhere.  As I get things cleaned up, ie, unpacked, I will take more pictures.

The kitchen is a big one though.  I did not put much thought into the bedrooms.  The focus was the kitchen, master bath and outdoor patio.

Without further ado:

This is the main view of the kitchen.  All ceilings in the house are 10ft tall.  We decided NOT to take the cabinets to the ceiling, because 1) who could reach them and 2) we LOVE over and under cabinet lighting.

I decided on a U-shaped kitchen since usually there are 2-3 people in there at any time - this shape gives lots of space without taking up too much square footage.  Although the picture makes it look small - the island is 7 ft wide.

I did not get the arch in here; even though this is an open floorplan, we added an arch above in oreder to delineate the space. We echoed this arch in the island top.



I love drawers - like I have a very deep-seeded obsession with them.  They are so much more practical than lower cabinets.  I only have 3 lower cabinets (and one of those houses our trash and recycling bins), but I have 27 drawers just in the kitchen.  It is heaven and I do not regret it one bit.




The backsplash - funny story.  For 8 months I stressed about the backsplash.  When we renovated our LARGE home several years, I picked a backsplash and it made the countertop look neon green - it was awful!  Noone saw it but the installer and me because I painted a glaze over the travertine that made it look so much better.  I was nervous about a repeat of that and I did not want to make a bad decision.  

Since we had so much natural stone and wood everywhere, it looked odd to have a porcelain tile as the backsplash.  We thought stone, but it looked too busy, especially with our floors.  It was after all other tile had been installed and the builder said, "You have to make a choice" that I finally figured it out.  DH and I were walking through the house one evening and I noticed there was quite a bit of the tile we put in the kids' bathrooms left over.  I had fallen in love with that tile - a lot of movement - like stone, but it was a well done ceramic tile.  However - it was large - 24" x 12".  Great for a shower stall, not great for a backsplash. After much talking and translating, we decided that this was perfect as a backsplash - natural looking, but not busy and the tiler cut the large tiles down to 6" x 12" and laid them in a brick pattern.  You don't even really notice it - which is what I was going for.




The barstools.  I looked a long time for barstools that would be comfortable and swivel.  They were expensive, but I did buy them at a clearance store for less then 1/2 off - still pricey at $150 each, but these will last a very long time - they are heavy and very sturdy.



We ended up getting black stainless steel appliances at a very deep discount over Labor Day Weekend.  I love the color - it is a deep gray rather than black, but it does not fingerprint up like stainless.  They look sleek.



My jewel of the kitchen - a Farmhouse Copper Sink!  It is gorgeous and not hard to take care of.  Just don't leave dishes or food in the sink.  Only use mild dish soap for cleaning - simple.




This is my Grandfather's ice cream scoop from his restaurant he had in the 40's and 50's.




Ah, granite.  Yes, we ultimately decided on granite.  I think we were talking about soapstone, but I did not want the green coming out and we talked quartz, but I do not like how it looked - too fake to me.  We discussed concrete, but ultimately came back to granite over and over again.

This is Uba Tuba that was leathered with a chiseled edge and it is GORGEOUS!!!!!  It doesn't stain or show water marks, hides a little bit of the mess.  Even my husband, who was very leery and the builder - who fought me all the way, they both loved it.



My floors.  6 years in the wanting.  I found this company - Rustico Tile - years ago.  I ordered samples and carried them around everywhere.  Finally, I got them!  We have these saltillo tiles in the entry, kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room in the hexagonal shape.  Then we have rectangles on the patio.  They are Manganese Satillo Tiles that have been sealed.



I chose simple pendants over the island.  I did not want to spend a lot of money on lighting and we can always change later.



This island is HUGE!  I am completed thrilled that we chose to keep the island at counter height.  It looks expansive and we can do so much there - homeschool, plan, make cookies, paint - it is awesome.   Those that complain that water splashes from the sink - well, wipe it up!  It is not bad though - very little water gets on the countertop because the sink is really deep.



Ah yeah, now we are talking!  No regrets ever on this.  This is my ice machine!  Sonic ice anyone?


We went with simple bronze with copper accent knobs and pulls on the cabinets.  Nothing fancy.



There you have it!  Our new kitchen - dreamy? Absolutely, the best kitchen ever?  To us it is.  Our daughter summed it up pretty nicely - it is a small house with a mansion inside.  We did not want a lot of space, but we wanted what was in it to be nice.  I believe we accomplished that.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Monday Morning Coffee

This is the first morning in a week that I have been able to really enjoy coffee.  I think I am finally starting to recover from this extremely bad cold (possibly flu).  DS is about at my level with it, but DD is full in no breathing through the nose mode.

Homeschool has been fitful to say the least - we are chugging through, but we still have not had one week that was just calm.  There are still contractors coming in and out for little things and big things - electric work, painting, cabinets, doors.  That will still be going on for a while.   This illness really threw us for a loop, but DH thinks it is a let down from the months of stress, our bodies just relaxed a little too much.  I always get sick when I let down from stress.  So, I am not surprised this was a doozy.  Quite a few months of stress I say.

This weekend was the first time we felt a semblance of normal.  The internet really brought it together.  It is not as bad as my initial thought.  We can stream Netflix - though the quality is lower and it stops to load a couple of times.  You cannot browse the internet while watching either, but hey, we can make it work.

I am able to listen to my podcasts while working, which is MAJOR!  And, we can sit down and discuss budgets, pay bills, etc here.  DH was having to pay bills at work as everything is done on-line.

The rye grass and clover we planted is already starting to grow.  Less than 1 week!  We are doing this to 1) hold the dirt in place through the winter and 2) prep the land for the trees and garden.  Rye grass helps with nematodes as well. 

We have not closed yet.  In fact, we are just waiting on the title company.  This cannot come fast enough for me.  I am ready to move on from this process and start living!

Well, today, I hope to get a few things accomplished

1) piece together 2 quilt tops
2) clean kitchen this morning
3) find fabric in storage and wash for backing of quilts
4) Unpack 2 boxes (more if I get on a roll)
5) Sweep living room and entry
6) Write friend about her visit
7) Light homeschool with kids
8) Back stretches (I am not standing up straight right now)
9) Make menu for week using pantry items
10) Relax on patio with a book - its all about balance!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Thank Goodness

We have internet again!!  A sigh of relief is felt all around.  It is slow.  So very slow - a lot like dial up, but once it loads, it is good to go. 

I am sicker than a dog still - today I feel like I took a step back.  I am really dragging.  I am at the point in the cold where my nose is completely clogged while I am sitting, but starts to clear when I am walking around.  Only, I feel like crap while walking around and I get to where I have to sit down or I feel like I will pass out, then the stuffiness comes back.  Frustrating, but this too shall pass.

I hit the ground running with work - I have 6 quilts and a pillow to get done before Christmas - plus another quilt or two coming in for sure.  So far, only one person has minded the drive.  I am not giving in to meet people though - they can come to me or not.  There is always someone else who will, so I am not going to drive all over meeting people.

Even though me and the kids are sick and life has stopped, even though boxes are still unpacked, even though we are a mess, I love having a home again.  One where I can relax while feeling this crappy, and so can the kids.  We have an uphill battle to go, but it is just a small battle.  The war has been won.

I will leave you with this funny.

View from my kitchen window

Yesterday, the Tanks Alot company came and cleaned out this portable toilet.  It has been here, with no workers on site for 3 weeks.  I thought, as the truck pulled away, " Well, there is nothing like chopping vegetables while looking at the crapper!" 

Monday, October 30, 2017

No pix yet

I am struggling to find time to take pictures.  There are still doors that need to be put in and touch up paint.

My sister, her husband and son were over this past weekend.  Great weekend, but exhausting.  I just have not caught up from the hectic times these past few months. 

Between getting quilts done, homeschooling, unpacking, and the myriad of problems popping up - radio in truck gone - which means verbal commands are shot.  Sigh.

The new-to-us car has an axle issue.  Double sigh.

No internet yet.

I am running, running, running.  We still have not closed on the house either.  I just cannot wait until all this is over!!!!!

Sorry - you were last again today - so much to take care of when I finally get here.  I will try to write a blog off line this next time, so I can give you all the time I want to!

I will be back soon!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Giving it a try

Well, I bought more data for my phone.  $50 per month unlimited is not killer and without internet at our home oh, it is Paramount.

DH took a couple of days off work because I was having a mini breakdown on our Anniversary.   We have so much land that is literally blowing away in the wind and has started to erode around the foundation of the barn/shed.

I cannot put up books because the shelves need support.  Apparently,  we are the only people who have this many books.  I am down to bare level I will go with them.

So, I had run around today.

Joann's for thread for quilts

The bank to deposit the insurance check from the man vs deer issue, yes, we had to buy a new-to-us car.

Lowe's for shelf brackets, shelf hooks, a spreader and a set of lamps.

Got gas while in town.

Went grocery shopping.

Then loaded up at the feed store.   We are officially in the country now.  I picked up clover seed, elron rye seed and straw.


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Me loaded up with straw!  We are throwing out clover and rye seeds, then covering it with straw.  The straw will decompose and the rye will help the soil as will the clover until we can start planting and reshaping the yard for better water capture and drainage.

I am now lounging on the patio with a glass of wine waiting for DH to get home.  It is gorgeous, just cool enough to throw a blanket on.


I doubt I will do this often.  It has taken  me an hour to type this. 

Maybe tonight can be a better Anniversary.   18 years.  Time goes so fast, it feels like we have only been married a couple of years!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Quick Post

Sorry - last few minutes at Starbucks - had to take care of business.  Next week I promise - pictures and a big update!

Love you all and miss you bunches - I cannot even read your blogs right now - DYING!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Moved In and Internet

Ok, I hate typing posts on my phone, but we have not had Internet.

Still don't.   With a possibility of not having it. Yeah.

We are partially moved in.  Love it, but fraught with problems left and right.  I am ready for a morning without a contractor here and without a problem presented. 

I will post when I either have access to Internet or get it here in my home.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Shower Porn

I took a turn for the worse today - slept most of the day, voice is non-existent.  Feel like complete crap.

I packed one box of videos today.  You would think we were setting up camp here rather than moving tomorrow.  Thankfully, DH took 1/2 day vacation tomorrow.  I about cried, so very thankful!

Anyway, the builder was nice enough to send me this extremely sexy, to the point of soft porn picture of our shower. It is incredible!




Exhausting week

I am taking it slow this morning.  My back is seriously out from laying floor and just standing or walking all day - every day.  It is only where my life long problem is - everything other part is doing fine.  I have to baby that L4/L5 spot.

Today is the last big push.  The appraiser comes tomorrow and we are finalizing paperwork, getting the survey, etc.  The roll over to a permanent loan will happen soon - I hope - we are already talking about the title company.

Yesterday was a whirlwind and part of me wants to write it all down so I don't forget, but it is so exhausting, I don't want to remember it all - just the final product.

But, I will tell you a little bit.

All these contractors were there at one time yesterday.  The gutter installers, the plumbers, the electricians, the trim guys (think baseboards, etc), the painters, the propane guys, the tiler, the mason, my builder, his helper, and me.  There were 15 trucks in my yard.  Mine was on the street.  It was a mad house - the painter was sealing the stained built in shelves - only it was a spray sealing, so the air was thick with that polyurethane, I could not stay in there.  I had already turned off the air conditioner, opened all the windows and doors and turned on the fans, but it was overwhelming.  Once they stopped spraying, it cleared up quickly.  I was thankful for the temps being low with a breeze.  It was a gorgeous day!

Today, more painting - they will be there through Friday probably, the glass install for the shower, weather stripping all the doors as well as all the handles and locks, installing all appliances, cleaning up and level the land, graveling the driveway to the barn/shed, finishing the backsplash and hopefully sealing the back patio, some minor electrical changes and shoring up a few things.

Some work will spill into Friday and the screens for the patio are going in Saturday and Sunday.

Bummer thing about right now - I am a little sick.  I have no voice....again, and what I really need more than anything is a day of watching the entire Twilight series, sipping ginger tea and eating soup (with buttered crackers) in my comfie chair in my new home. 

Oh, our hot tub came yesterday and we though they were going to set it up - THEY DID NOT!  They did not even hook up the electrical!  I am so mad about that!  Now, we have an empty hot tub just sitting there.  Sigh.  I sure could use it to.

I really need to get out to the new house and open up the barn/shed, but they have not started asking for me yet, so... I really should start packing this place up.  We are moving out of it tomorrow.  Just sleeping here on Friday night with nothing but a tooth brush and a change of clothes. 

This is all almost over - back to the real life.  I wish I could say I was excited, but mostly I am just grateful it is almost over.  I am so tired and deeply in need of rest.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Short and Sweet

Nope, we officially do not need a permit to occupy. 

Yes, we are still planning on moving this weekend!  Our original plan stands as is.  There are a lot of little things that will need to be done afterward, but it is fine.  We can get back to our life - it was a difficult 7 months, but it will be worth it!

Hot tub comes tomorrow and the building trash gets picked up.

WOO-HOO!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Man vs deer

This morning my husband had a deer jump in front of him and basically shatter the front window, made a mess of the hood, side panel, passenger door and broke the rear view mirror AND the right side mirror.

He is ok, but was showered with glass, so he has lots of cuts on his face and arms.


The deer busted up the window.


We have no idea where the side mirror is.


This 10 point is what did the damage.


On house news, Noone is really here working today at all.  The tiler, but he is here every day.  A helper guy, but he more just puddles around unless the builder is here.

I went off on the builder.  He said they were doing their best.  Nope, I don't buy it.  He knew for 2 months this was our deadline.  There were at least 4 weeks where Noone was here but the tiler and the stone guys.  LOTS could have been done.

I am shaking I am so mad right now.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunday, bloody Sunday



Yes, stealing from U2, but it was bloody in a different way for us.

How so?  Glad you asked.  My knuckles, my knees, daughter's finger, hubby's fingers, and son, well, he lucked out.

You see, we were laying flooring - a simple, floating laminate.  LOL - I laugh at simple.

This is what we started with - a dirty, dead insect filled room.  Luckily, the air conditioner was connected 2 days ago, so the room was cool at least.


Looks are deceiving with this beautiful midway shot of the flooring.  Yep, this project with problems from the get go.  DH had to build his table saw, but that was ok because I swept and cleaned the room - which took more than an hour.  Then I laid down the insulated pad that supports the floating laminate.

Well, we started on the longest wall and tried to get through the rows, but it was frustrating and I said bad things to my husband. He did not deserve it and I cried feeling so bad.  We decided to take a break and eat lunch.  Then we decided to start on the shortest wall to give support to the longer stretches - this was the BEST idea yet - could have even been in the instructions.

We had a system for this first halve.  My daughter and I snapped each piece into place, son was the runner and DH cut.  

It worked until we got to the long, narrow part, but we worked through it - lots of precision cuts.  This room is about 300 square feet and it took us about 10 hours.  My back is killing me!  We are all hurting really.

To see what it will look like with the baseboards and quarter round, we set a strip down.  It looks fabulous!  We just could not do those today - no more energy.

This is the room above the garage that we added in the framing stage, but after the contract.  We decided to do the flooring ourselves to save money.  This room will be for guests and boomerang boy from college. 


 


What would we do if we lay another floating floor?

1.  Start on the short wall - hands down best thing.

2. Use MANY 1/4" blocks to keep flooring even and away from wall the required amount.  Believe me, it will be worth it.

3. A pull bar for the last row, so that row can be hammered in, just like the others.

4. Knee pads

5. Oil pencil for marking on pieces for cutting

That is it - very minimal changes really - it gets easier as you go, but the cutting can be tricky and as easy as it is, the piece do not snap together THAT easily.  It really took 2 people for each piece.  My daughter was fabulous at it.

My back is really out now, but DH can put in the baseboards and quarter round by himself - those are a lot easier with his new table saw.

I am so grateful that I had enough foresight to put a meal in the crock pot before we left.  I put carrots, onions, celery and potatoes in the bottom of a crock pot, tossed them in garlic, italian seasonings, turmeric, smoked paprika and thyme, then set a roast on top of them (salt and peppered it), poured beef broth over and let it cook on low all day.  We will all so grateful knowing this fabulous meal was waiting for us and we did not have to cook after the hard day.

We are very proud of how it looks.  Overall - good weekend!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Whew - I am exhausted

It has been a long week and next week isn't going to be better.  My back has been sort of out since the shoveling of dirt at the beginning of August.  It just needs time - I need to relax and do some long slow stretching after the tens unit.  There just has not been time for that recently and won't be this next week either.

We are on a tight deadline - next Sunday is the last day we can be in this rental, so my plans are to start moving Friday.  The kids and I will pack up everything we can - which will be the majority of whats here and move it during the day.  Then, we possibly might move the dressers and freezer that night.  Spend the night at the rental or wait until Saturday morning. 

However, on Saturday, we are going to start moving small and light things to the house - including beds.  My goal is to sleep at the new house on Saturday, clean up the rental on Sunday morning.

Then the next Monday, we are going to hire movers to move JUST the furniture.  Anything too heavy for DH to pick up alone or with the kids help gets delegated to the movers.  I just cannot lift anything very heavy right now.  But, we are moving all boxes, and loose items - round trip, it should take the movers about 2 hours max - there is not a whole lot when you take out the beds and 2 dressers.  But, again, it is needed.

Unfortunately, this has to happen regardless of if the house is done or not.  In being paranoid, I booked for an electrician to get power to the shed just in case we have to stay in the RV.


Last week

1.  The Driveway was poured Friday, so it is curing this weekend.

2.  All floor tile was laid down.  The patio still has to be grouted, but they are working on sealing the inside tiles today and hopefully grouting the patio.

3.  The wood floors should actually be done by now.

4.  Everything else has just made it a little further - there was some final paint, some final trim, some final cabinet work, a few low voltage things put in, most of the door knobs, etc.


This coming week - Due Date Wednesday - part of Thursday.

1.  All appliances must be installed

2. Whole house water filter must be installed.

3. All special doors and final knobs/locks must be installed.

4. Sheetrock finished (yes, there are areas without sheetrock! - small though)

5. All painting/staining must be done - there is a LOT to be done, but they can also accomplish a lot in one day as well.

6. Cabinets must be finished (this is a problem - their soft close is not working, so they need to figure it out!)

7. All trims must be completed - attic entries, mirrors, garage, touch ups

8. Driveway to shed rocked

9.  Final grade on land

10. Backsplash must be put in

11.  All plumbing finalized - sink faucet in kitchen and outdoor kitchen, master shower as well.

12. All low voltage completely installed - speakers, under/over cabinet lighting, etc

13.  Complete main electric work - there is a problem in the garage, some switches are super funky - like the one for the pendants light is under the sink in the bottom cabinet.  Really?  Also some outlets are not working.

14. Propane installed and coordinating appliances installed - grill, gas logs, range, hot water tank

15. Final accessories - toiler paper roll holders, towel rods, drawer pull, cabinet knobs etc.

16.  Garage door figured out.  Seriously - this is a MAJOR problem.

17.  Final work clean up


So, needless to say, I have to be there so I can make a quick decision for anything that goes wrong.  Plus, there are things getting installed that I have to be there for - internet, phone, electricity to the shed, garbage can delivery, pest control, etc.


DH wonderfully gave me today to kind of relax and putter around the rental by myself.  DD is at theater rehearsals, DH and DS are running errands.  I am doing laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, sweeping, vacuuming, getting organized, packing, etc.  Sitting down every now and then to just chill.  I may start commercial cleaning here in a minute.  Get my HGTV fix.

Hope you are all having a great weekend - a cooler one!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

All Build, All the Time

You all are going to be SO sick of hearing about this, but this is my complete life right now.

We have to move into the house on the 15th.  This is a hard date because we lose our lease on this temporary rental.  Yes, we could move into the RV, but it is not ideal - no water, no electricity.  We cannot set that up without the house being done.

Yesterday was a rough day - it seemed like the builder was just la-ti-da about finishing the house.  However, the appraiser called me yesterday evening.  Yep, that changed his mind.  The appraiser wanted to come today, but I put him off until next week because the house is not done.  Like a lot not done.

However, today we were hopping.  

1. The garage door was installed.  Looks great - huh?  Well, there is a major problem.  In all likelihood the garage door opener motor will not fit.  The garage door is too big due to us adding a loft on top of the garage.  Now, this really is the builder's fault because I made this change VERY early in the process and the door was not ordered until about a month ago.  He should have made the adjustment - so we will see what happens.


2.  The trim work guys were there installing caps on the posts located in the patio, spindles and trim for the stairs in the garage, frames around the mirrors and finishing up any missing baseboards, trim, etc.  They did not finish and will probably take 2 more days.

3.  The cabinet guy was in making adjustments, touching up nail holes, etc.

4.  The electric company was in installing electricity for the entire house!  YEAH!!!

5. The HVAC guy came to hook us up with air conditioning.

6.  The tile guys were in grouting all interior tiled areas. 

7.  Shed guys showed up to replace a part - good thing I was there because I was not notified in advance.

8. I walked around with the gutter guy to develop a plan for gutters and got an estimate.

9. I walked around with the builder and concrete guy to decide and plan on the driveway to the house and also the shed, plus a parking space.  No estimate yet, but I hope to get that tomorrow.

10.  I spoke with the cleaners to see about getting us a clean before we move in.  The construction guys just won't do a good job - they are not about the cleaning. I don't think the cleaners come up to us now - I am still waiting to hear.  I am bummed because they have been with us for about 13 years.  I trust them and they do a great job. 

11.  I made a call to the pest control guys.  I would like the house and shed done before we move in.

12.  I set up propane for the house and made the appointment for install.

13.  Accepted a few deliveries as well.

Everything is functioning like we live there.  The mailman even searched me out amongst 20 people, 8 vehicles, and so much craziness.  He appreciated my oversize mailbox.  He is a great guy - one of the many reasons I love living out a bit - we know our mailman!

Just for fun - these are the beams in our living room - we will be painting the vertical area of the tray the same color as the walls - because it is just too white.  However, you can really see those beams now!  These are over 100 years old from a Mennonite Farm in Wisconsin.  I will get a better shot without the lighting before long.


Overall, I am a bit frustrated about the process.  Our builder is great, but he is unorganized and cannot keep the pace of this and so many things fall through the cracks.  For instance, we had a standing appointment that the electric company would be by to connect electricity on a certain date for about 2 weeks.  On that morning (yesterday), they could not connect it because we did not have the conduit available to run the wires up the pole.  Seriously!  The builder brought it by that afternoon, but we had to set another appointment to get the line up there and really get started.  Thankfully, the electric company came back today and got it going.  This stress could have been avoided by having the conduit there on the APPOINTED day.  Things like that are happening left and right.  Not very efficient.

That is why I am there day in and day out right now.  The contractors are coming to me even when he is there now.  As for the garage door - the builder is ignoring this problem and it is a problem, but tomorrow, it will come to light and he NEEDS to listen to me on this.  Even if they get the motor working, we will have problems.  We may have to leave it until after the appraisal though.  We will see.

Anyway, tomorrow, our wood floors get installed, more trim work done, hopefully the loft air conditioning goes in, tile guy can work on the patio, the garage guy will come and the forms for the main driveway will be set.  I need to set up trash pick-up and follow up with the maids and pest control people.  So much to do, so much to say.....


Monday, October 2, 2017

September Goals Revisted, New ones?

 OK, September was C.R.A.Z.Y. - with family deaths, a hurricane, a torrential flood, pending homelessness - I am not sure I accomplished much - lets see...

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. - YEP!  We have a plan! We are excited about it - I will let y'all know with it another day.
2. Take one day to clean up the area around the house - Yes, and no.  It is a work in progress - we cleaned up, it got messy again, we cleaned up again, it is messy again.  I am ready for the dirt, building materials and guys trash to be GONE!
3. Refinish Front Door - A MUST! - We tried but could not because of humidity.  IF we get electricity this week, I will work on it this weekend.
4.  Begin work on Roll Top Desk - Nope, did not even start.
5. Purchase all lighting - A MUST! - YES!!  All of it, even the bulbs are purchased.

Kids/Family Related:

1. 1 Social Event for kids - teen dance at the end of September. - YES - it was fun!
2. Homeschool at least 15 days this month.  We have field trips, science classes and a funeral, so this will require tenacity. - We got 5 in and decided there was too much to focus.
3. Set a physical education schedule for family, even if it is simple. - Nope, no time to think about it.
4. Pick up and store beef side at rental.  At least we have food coming in. - Yes, we have the beef and have been eating it!  Delicious - we missed this quality of meat.
5. 2 dates with DH - I am going to count it, even though one was cleaning up and one was shopping for furniture.  It is our life right now.
6. 1 adult social visit - Yes, I did meet up with some friends while DH was out of town at his step-father funeral.
7. Start moving items from temporary shed to our garage/shop to cut down on expenditures.  We did start moving, but have not been able to move out of the temporary sheds completely because of the lack of electricity at the new home.

Me Related:

1. Lose 3 pounds.  I am starting small and slow. - Lost 2, but I am counting that as a win!
2. Some form of exercise daily, even if it is back exercises.  I am in lots of pain and need to get better. Not really, but I have been stretching more and walked a few times.  Pain is less.
3. Take planner one step further and schedule processes for goal completion. No, there is so many last minute things with the house that scheduling was frustrating.  I am going to wait on this.
4. Finish 2 Tshirt Quilts - Not even one.
5.  Make hooded blanket and stuffed lamb for 7 year old Harvey victim. - Did not happen - guilt is there.
6.  Make wolves for my Father-In-Law's family with his clothes. - Not this either - no time.
7. Talk to my sister once per week. - I have not talked to her once, but I am texting her.
8. Message/email/tell 5 people of my gratitude of them. - Not this either.
9.  Journal daily gratitude - Yes, I have kept up with this.
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. - I started taking pictures - every single day something goes up on Instagram.  It is quite fun!

September was ok,  I lost sight of these goals, but it is no wonder really.  I think for October, I am going to let the goals go.  We are moving, setting up a new home, my sister is coming in, we are planning an open house - so much going on.  If I come out breathing and we are mostly settled in the house, I will be thrilled.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Sick - I think...

I think I may actually be sick.  My stomach has been cramping and not feeling well, slightly nauseous.  I am very achy all over - slight headache, beginning of a sore throat.  Crapola!

No time to be sick, so I am going to seriously rest this weekend. 

So today, the traffic from the festival was not bad at all.  The little town close to it had officers directing traffic and it went very smoothly.  The tile guy came to the house today and finish tiling in the house - he still has to grout, but finishing up the tile was MAJOR progress.  He was working on the patio when we left.

We had gone there to sweep out the barn shed, there were thousands of dead love bugs, so we finally got that out.  We put a lot of the trash that was laying around in the dumpster and put our house number on the mailbox.

Tomorrow, if I am up for it, we are going to the furniture outlet to see if we can find a couple of bed frames.  We also NEED to put the cabinet knobs and drawer pulls in their perspective places, so the people installing can get it right.

This is a picture I took of our kitchen countertops.  It is uba tuba granite that is leathered and the edges chiseled.  You can see the saltillo tiles on the floor - they just do not have grout in them yet.


Everything in the house is dirty - saw dust, tile dust, dust, dirt, dust.  I am looking forward the clean look! 

Hubs is off to get me some soup - With this increasingly scratchy throat, I am looking forward to it.

Hope you all are having a great weekend!