Monday, July 24, 2017

Manic Monday

I had to get up early today - which killed me almost.  Plus, it is a long day where Darrell is working late, so I am on duty for dinner after spending almost the whole day outside in what is supposed to be the hottest day this summer.  The heat has exhausted me.  I am taking a quick break for lunch before heading back up there.

I oversaw the guys installing my beams!  FINALLY!  Felt like it took them a long time, but really, it has only been one week.

 I was very worried a couple of times as they balanced on 2x4 pieces of wood they quickly put together.  But they are in and look great.  There is a little more reinforcing to do - by running cables, but they are almost done. 

They will look even better when the sheetrock goes in - which may be as early as Wednesday.

Overall a low key weekend - grocery shopping, cleaning, chilling out - listening to the rain.  Nothing too major. 

I hope you all are having a great Monday!  I think I am just too tired to say much of anything.  Bye for now!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Week 25 Update - missed 24

So much going on that it is really getting difficult to keep up with on here, but you get the highlights.  The minutia is boring really.  Although when it is your home - it is always something important!

Land Home - We are moving right along.  The BIG NEWS of course is that the builder told us we are about 2 months from being done.   Which, honestly, throws my mind into overdrive and the nights have been showing it by my lack of sleep.

All electrical work is in - including outlets, fan boxes, light boxes, cable boxes, phone jacks, switch boxes, alarm boxes, speaker boxes and all the wiring that goes with it.  All in wall and floor plumbing is in as well.  When I visited this afternoon, they were blowing in the insulation in the outer walls.  It really makes it feel more homey even though you can see the insulation.  I did not take a picture because they were working and stuff was flying everywhere.

PLUS, I made them mad because I asked them to get off my beams.  They are in plastic, but it did not deter them.  Sigh.  I just really pray that they don't damage them. I cannot keep them off.  They got off when I said something, but I know they were mad.  I have a feeling this is how it is going to go from now on.  I sure wish I had that shed.

Speaking of which.  The Shed.  Another problem.  So, their concrete guy quit on them. I get it.  However, I could have had the pad done back when the house was being poured.  Anyway, they have found a guy now, but he has to finish up his house concrete work, then he is going to work for our shed people permanently.  We are not at the very top of the list, but close to it.  Maybe two weeks before they get out to us.  Thing is, the appraisal is based on this being done AND after our driveway is poured, there is no way to get back there with a big concrete truck - the driveway will not be able to handle it.  (I refuse to put in 2 entrances)

Now I have to start working with the crappy bank that we are going to leave as soon as this construction loan is converted.  We have to start locking down rates, etc. 

Also, the to do list just long and very undistinguished.  Cable - possible we can get business cable - we just have to get a box installed.  Sometimes the wait is long, so we are starting now.  Propane tank install and contract.  The well is going in next week.

RV Living:  Upon hearing of the great exodus, it almost made living here just a bit harder.  We are longing for things even worse now, but this is where the perseverance will really pay off.   We are holding the course and keeping strong.  It is hot, hotter than hot. 

I have gained so much weight while here, probably from a little depression, but also just from not moving.  It really is too hot to breath outside - this is where I usually just did yoga, but I have no room on the RV.  We are also eating out more because cooking is difficult and makes the RV even hotter. 

We are just ready to be living in a home.  

Homeschooling:  Well, although we stopped a general curriculum, we have joined a group and did the field trip today.  I ordered some solar glasses so we could see the solar eclipse in August - it will only be around 75% here, but still fascinating to look at.  I am having them create reports on solar eclipses - one scientific and one historical and lore.

It is almost time for me to start planning out homeschool for the year!  We start in earnest after we get back from taking College Boy back to school.

I will have pictures this weekend when noone is there.  I hope you have a great weekend yourself!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Fried Green Tomatoes and Neurology Tour

It has been a slow day.   I was able to sleep in a bit - after an especially rough night of trying to sleep.  That is 4 nights in a row for me - I need sleep really badly.

Anyway, nothing really happened until around lunch.  I was able to meet with the builder and talk about doors and lights.  Nothing earth shattering, I was just concerned about the lighting in the master bathroom and the 2 - 1/2 lite doors in the laundry room and our bathroom.

It was wonderful that I got to meet with him because he told me that we are just about 2 months out from being done!  WOW!!!  That lit a fire under me again.  Counting down the days!

When I got back, the internet was down, so the kids could not watch their history show and that meant I could not "work". 

What do I decide to do?  Watch Fried Green Tomatoes.  I cry every single time I watch it, but I love it.  My daughter said that it was so southern and it made me feel a little bad that she does not know her roots very much.  Not that I love everything about the south, but there are some things that are just wonderful - warm tomatoes, getting so hot and jumping in the lake, iced watermelon, sticky tar, the smell of summer in the warm, moist evening, chasing bats at dusk...

This movie in a particular reminds me of all that - the good stuff.

We also prepared for our field trip tomorrow - an encouragement tour at a Neurological Hospital, making encouragement cards and talking about some of the people we will meet, how to behave, etc. Since we fall under the older student crowd (yeah!), we get a more in-depth talk about neurological issues and accidents that cause many.  Good stuff - always means more coming from another source than parents when they are teens.

Because ALL my crafting items are in storage, we had to get pre-cut cards and tags, then used stickers to decorate and a paint pen to write a encouraging quote.  It will have to do.  Otherwise, I probably would have sewn something.  Like the Christmas card I did a couple of years ago.

Anyway, I need to figure out what we are going to have for dinner and get ready to back to the house to approve all the electrical work and take pictures.  We are getting insulation tomorrow! 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Finishing Type Items

OK, this is where I think frustration will rein with me.

So, we are starting to get some finishing type items in - what I mean by that is the things that you actually will see or touch when the house is done.

The first thing to come in is the beams that will go in the living room and the mantle.

Here is where the problem lies.  The company we bought them from power washes them and then fumigates them.  Yesterday when they were delivered, it was pouring down rain in the city.  Sunny where we were, but the beams got wet.  Not a problem - water isn't killer, they just need to dry and not sit in water.

Background on these beams - they are over close to 100 years old and are from a couple of Mennonite Farms in Wisconsin.  They are not sealed, so are very susceptible to staining.  But they are gorgeous!  A little over 16' long and 8" wide and 7" tall weighing in at over 250 lb each.

Beams that are going in the living room ceiling tray.

This one is the mantle above the fireplace.

When we went to the house last evening to check - we do every evening (I am there during the day also- yesterday I was there for 5 hours).  The workers had a BLUE GATORADE sitting on one of my beams!  OH MY GOODNESS - I freaked out.  A stain like that would ruin them.

Then today, they had a blower leaning against my mantle.

We cannot wrap them in plastic because they need to dry, but the workers have absolutely no regard for the delicate nature of them.

They are too heavy to move and should be put up sometime this week.  Lord help me if anyone stains my mantle.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Whirlwind again - talk about Chaos

OK, even the builder is wondering how I am keeping it all together.

We just found out that DH's step father is in the hospital and not expected to make it tonight.  DH's mother told us not to come, but she would get with us in a couple of days about arrangements.  I think (not sure) that they are unplugging him today or something - how could you be so sure!!?!!  I don't know the ends and outs of all this at all, but I do know if it going like she says, we will have another funeral within a week.

This time the builder freaked a bit.  I was the one reassuring him that I will be available and stay on target with decisions.  There is a lot going on with electricians, carpenters, the brick and stone guys, and decisions about casings and baseboards, outlets and the amount of electricity running to each.  We are decided on glass for the master shower - kind of a big deal, interior door styles, and the cabinets.  The cabinets are HUGE!  The building industry is so busy right now here and my style of cabinets is not cookie cutter, so we are having a bit of trouble finding a local company that can make them in the time frame we need.

However, I am not stressed about it right now.  We have family things going on and so if we have to wait a week or two, so be it.

College Boy is on his way over to talk for a bit, but I have to head out to the land to oversee the delivery of our beams and mantle.  I need to shower, but I am waiting until after this because all I do is sweat and I would prefer to wash the sweat off when I am done going outside today.

So many other things, but all I can say is that I am SOOOOO glad we put off homeschool.  It would be a nightmare right now to keep it going.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Back at home

It was a long couple of days.  When I came home, it felt like I had been gone for weeks instead of a couple of days.  Hubs felt it too.  Very emotional, very intense, very loaded with drama as most family deaths are.

There was only a very short service at the graveside, no service at the chapel.  It even was not too hot - slightly overcast with a small breeze and then we sat under the tent.  The cemetery was an old one and had quite a few of my family members - including my grandfather.  I think we are going to go back.  My cousin told us of one young man - who would be another cousin of mine who was the youngest to be granted a commercial pilot's license at the time - which would be around 1948-50 in Mississippi.  He died in a plane crash carrying politicians who insisted he fly through a storm.  Just interesting!

I am dehydrated - it seems no one there drinks water!  I suck down 60 + oz a day usually.  The food was horrible - green beans with onion and bacon that tasted as though it was doused in syrup!  YUCK!

So, just glad to be home.

The main drama was the inheritance issue.   My Dad and I were given special things others did not get and it caused an uproar.  There is more inheritance to come as a trust was set up, but I do not know how much or when.  I just know I get 1/3 of 25% of what is in the trust.  What she gave me that caused a fit was her jewelry.  I did not get all of it - but I did get some choice pieces.  Which is really ironic because I don't much care for jewelry!  However, my mother-in-law suggested that I take the stones and put it in something that is more my style - I just may do that.

Anyway, we have go back sometime in August and start cleaning out her house.  I am in charge of digitizing some pictures and recipes to distribute to the family members that want them.  I  will probably take care of anything computer oriented.  Lot of furniture to disperse and papers to go through.  We are giving each family member whatever has their picture or name on it.  Since I am more detailed oriented - my job is the office.  Hey, at least I get to stay in air conditioning.

Well, not too much happened at the house while I was gone and I am not caught up yet, so no update until Sunday probably. 

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Packing to Go

I am leaving tonight, but only a late flight was available.  It is a small city and not many flights go there, so I am at the mercy of the airlines.  I will be getting to my hotel at around midnight - suck!

I have to get up and going as family is getting to the funeral home early, then visitation starts mid morning.  There is no service at the chapel, only a grave side service - so nice and hot - 90+ degree with lots of humidity and me on the second day of my period.  That is absolutely fabulous!  May God help me.

We decided not to do flowers, but contribute to the continued care of her and my grandfather's grave sites. 

Kind of sitting around waiting for this to be over honestly.  Family drama is very draining and it has already started.  Not long now Papa Smurf.

However, things at the house are moving right along.  I am very anxious about leaving because so much is happening and I have been the one to make all the decisions.  Plus, I typically go 2-3 times a day - it is an obsession right now, but you almost have to be when you are building totally custom like this.

I have pix on my phone, but I won't take them off until later - sorry!

We have stairs to the loft now!  YEAH!  Also the egress window was delivered, so that will hopefully will be installed by the time I get back.  They were framing out the access pull-down stairs for the utilities when I left.  HVAC was there and getting ready to install the duct work and air conditioner.  The electrician will probably get there tomorrow or Thursday

It is little things now, but when you wrap your head around it - it is amazing how this fits together and feeds into it.  Insulation and sheetrock starts sometime next week!  WOO-HOO!

Take care, I will catch up with you all when I get back.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Funeral and Updates

When we picked up the kids from my sisters, they were sick, so I have decided to go to the funeral by myself.  It is not a big deal, when you have kids and the funeral is far away, one person represents the family.

My Dad will be there and I have not seen him in a while, so that will be good - he is getting older too, so seeing him will be a priority.  He lives far away as well.  It is tough, because none of our parents live close and to visit each once a year would be 3 separate trips.  Still having kids at home, running a business and homeschooling makes it tough for 3 trips.  These are not weekend distances either.

This is why I was hoping our new house would be better for them to come see us - there is more room and more interesting things to do - projects, etc.  So maybe we visit one and the other 2 come to us and we rotate.  I don't know - they won't be able to travel soon enough, but by then we will not have kids living at home or even if they are, they won't need us.

Anyway, while I am visiting my grandmother's house, there are a couple of things I want to do. 

1. On the suggestion of cooking something of hers, I am going to write down some recipes - I highly doubt I will get the originals, but I can write some down.

2. I am going to ask my cousin who is the executor of her will, if I can take some of her clothes to make her (my cousin) a lap quilt, and other family members pillows or bears.  I am not sure how this will go, so I will feel it out first.  It might be just planting an idea and then looking at it later.

3. In the south, people do not talk about their wills - drives me up the wall!  I don't want any money and or anything major, I just want a little something I can remember them by.  When my grandfather died, 13 years ago, I did not get anything to remember him and I understand that - she was still living and she loved him, so I get it.  But now that they are both gone, I really want something - doesn't matter how small or insignificant.  I am weird like that.  If she asks though, what I really want is a bird clock.  It is round like a regular clock, but every hour, it chirps or sings like the bird that is pictured for that hour.  That would be the most amazing thing to have!

Moving on,  we joined a secular group for socialization - I am in over my head.  They are extremely active, but maybe it will get us moving a bit.  I have to host events, help with events, etc.  I need to do this.  I am just overwhelmed today.

So, I am leaving tomorrow - after the meeting with the cabinet maker.  I am still moving forward with the house.  It needs to keep going with or without me.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

My grandmother is gone

My last remaining grandparent died today.  I did not get to speak with her or see her, but it happened very quickly.

It is a sad generational passing.

Sorry if I am not around for a while but then again, this is my free expression place, so it might be where I am.

Thank you all for being here.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Week 23 Update

I know it seems like I am always updating, but there is a lot happening right now with the house and life, and just everything.  We both commented that we are excited when we can take a weekend and just be at home.

Land Home - Whew - so much it is hard to list.  All the framing except for the stairs, hearth and the access ladder to the utilities is done.  The roof is actually going on!  The windows came in today!

We have an appointment to meet the cabinet maker on Tuesday.  We are ordering the reclaimed barnwood beams on Saturday, finalized our granite choices (which I felt I needed to do before I picked the cabinet color), picked the baseboards, solidified decisions on 1/2 a dozen more things - lighting, fans, crown moulding, doors, etc.

I think most of the changes that need to be made are done.  It is just a matter of picking out the last few things and then letting them get built and put together.

RV Living - Well, this week was a little easier with the kids being at my sisters'.  We really did not do anything major - it was a lot of decision making about the house.  We mostly slept.

I was dragged into family drama that threw me for a loop.  It was to close to how my mother treated me and this is from an extended not even really family person that does not know me - she just thinks she does.  It made me cry though - I am so sensitive to that kind of crap and crap is what it is. 

My grandmother is not doing great.  I was finally updated.  She coded at the hospital.  She recovered though and is now at home in hospice.  She had a heart attack that left her with only 25%.  She cannot move hardly, cannot hardly talk, is on heavy medication and high amounts of oxygen.  She has melanoma and is in A-fib.  Her pain is tremendous because she has shingles.  Her body is just shutting down.  A bath wore her out so much that the Hospice nurse said every other day or maybe even every two days. 

It is sad really, you never want to see people in pain.

Homeschool - I gave up.  With my grandmother dying and the camp we put Laney in, there is only 2 here and then 4 weeks off due to camp and staying with my sister again, that both Darrell and I decided to put it off until Labor Day.  That is when the busy time of the house will be and all decisions have to be made.  Come September, it will just be finalizing, detailing, getting the paperwork in order, blah, blah, blah. 

I found another homeschool group that hopefully, will let us join.  They vet everyone, which is fine with me.  They had a run of people that did not really homeschool, but just wanted to advertise.  It happens.  They require religious freedom and no faith statements (you have no idea how difficult that is to find here).  Which is probably another reason they take their time admitting.  I had to answer very simple questions and then we have to go to a park day and meet everyone.  That is for both sides.  If we do not like them, we don't have to join, but they also get to see if we will fit in.

Now though, giving the gaslighting that happened, I feel the need for a glass of wine.

I hope you have a great weekend - we are off to pick up the kiddos.  

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Electric Walkthrough and pictures

This morning, I got up early to do a walk-through with the builder for the electrical work - outlets, lights, fans, etc.

It was interesting.  Code now states that there MUST be an outlet on every wall - and I mean every single wall no matter how small or useless seeming.   The reason being is that cords will not be strung across walk ways. Whatever.  But no codes on the number of lights thank goodness.

I added an outlet to the mantle so I can put lights on it for Christmas for sure, but maybe other times.  I also added an outlet to our master bedroom closet since we are putting in a dressing area.  We may want to charge our phones there or something.  That was all I added.

Now, for placement, I changed the outlets in the backsplash to be low and horizontal.  So in general the appliances will cover them.  I also moved one outlet outside for the fountain. 

We talked about door swings and we ran into a problem with the laundry room door.  In order to get in or out of the coat closet, you would have to go into the laundry room and shut the door.  If it swung the other way, then you would have to go completely in and shut the door to get into the freezer.  We ultimately decided that the door would have to swing into the hall way, but if someone came in from outside (there is an exit door through the laundry room), they might hit someone walking.  Nevertheless, the swing into the hallway was the best choice.  I am going to put a single french door so you can see through it before opening. I don't mind it being open to the laundry - we do not pile laundry up in there anyway.  I may frost the windows to give them an opaque look, but since there will be french doors at the entrance, I felt this was the best choice.

I promised pictures of some rooms of the house - here you go!

Garage - The box for the stairs platform going up to the loft

Loft Door Framing

Patio from the "front" door - not the french doors.

Patio from the garage door

French door entrance to the house and my office

Foyer and entrance to the rest of the home.

Living room with tray ceiling and corner fireplace, built in shelves

Looking into kitchen from living room.

Storage room looking up to our tankless water heater

Master Bathroom

Another bathroom looking from a secondary bedroom

Side door that goes into the laundry room

They finally cleaned up!

I know it looks so large - it is a narrow and long house though.  The living area is only 2,247 sq ft.  Yes, large still, really, but it looks larger than it actually is.  The patio, however, is 821 sq. ft just by itself!

Next step is starting to work on the roof, getting the HVAC and the electrical work done, then the low voltage work.  In the meantime, we will pick cabinets and I am looking into ceiling fans and lighting.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wednesday, Wednesday

I am luxuriously tired today.  Slow - which is very welcome.  Darrell works late, so I have a long day alone.  I need to do some laundry, clean up a bit, sweep, and take care of some paperwork, oh, and go shopping for dinner.

All I want to do is browse Pinterest and Houzz, finish reading the romance novel I am almost done with, and watch the entire Twilight saga. 

I may find a happy medium there - LOL.

We did not celebrate the 4th of July.  It was over 100F, and we were not in the mind set of it - maybe next year when we are living in the house.  We did some furniture shopping at a large furniture chain clearance center.  I found a tall sort of like dresser - it has drawers, but also a cabinet - not quite an armoire, but in-between.  It is wide and reaches about my shoulder (I am 5'6").  Anyway - it is solid mesquite and slightly distressed and was perfect for our bedroom.  We got it for $340.   We felt we got a great deal on an excellent piece of furniture that will last quite a while.  No picture yet - it is wrapped in plastic wrap and in my storage shed.

We also started looking at outdoor furniture so we can jump on the end of season sales.

Then, we sat down with college boy and went over how much he needed to save in order to get through the next school year.  I am really proud of him - he had already ran the numbers and had a plan.  We ate at a Cuban Restaurant, then went back to the RV, watch Sunshine Cleaning and then went to bed.

As for our money talk, we discussed bills, the building, saving - everything, then said again, there is nothing much we can do until we move into the house, it is all about piling up as much money as possible until we move into the house.

It is a bit frustrating, but the end will come in a 2-3 months.  Our builder sent me an email about setting up an appointment to choose cabinets!  WOO-HOO!  AND, Monday, he said we probably would be sheetrocking in 2-3 weeks, so by the end of July. 

Anyway - I better get going - only one cup of coffee so far!  Stay cool (if it is hot where you are!)

Monday, July 3, 2017

Manic Monday

Today is a busy one. 

It sort of started yesterday, but here we are today and it is the calm before the storm. 

Our framers have been working 10 hour days in this freaking heat of Houston where heat exhaustion sets in very quickly - only they are hanging around on the roof and getting the reflection from the bright wood.

When we saw the work they did on Saturday and then again on Sunday (not even a day of rest), we felt like we had to do something for them.  So, we are treating them with lunch today.  It is nothing major as I really do not have a way to cook for them and it has to stay good in the heat.  I ordered some slider sandwiches from our grocery stores (they are really good), and will put a bag of apples and oranges as well as some grapes on ice for a cooling treat.  Of course, I am getting them chips,but then also brownie bites for dessert.  Instead of soda, I was going to get lemonade and limeades.

We brought a work table to the property and set it up under some shade.  They made a checker board and used water bottle tops for the checker pieces.  They marked the board with the builder's pencil.  It is pretty ingenius.  I will try to snap a pic of it today.

As you can see, the soffits and fascia boards are up now, and they are starting the roof.  I am not sure what is next, but I meet with the builder this morning.

So, I have to leave in just a few to minutes to get the framers' lunch.  At the same time, I am meeting the builder on site.  Then I need to clean up the site just a bit - it has gotten out of hand.

Back to the RV for laundry and cleaning.  I have to lodge a complaint against the bank holding the construction loan (they are crap, and we be getting rid of them ASAP).  I need to prep some things to get mailed out including the gift we send to Darrell's mother monthly.

Bad news from yesterday that is keeping me on toes from now on for a while.  My last remaining grandparent - my Nana is going into hospice.  I was notified yesterday - she is currently in the hospital.  It was suggested that I wait until she is at home, then bring the whole family to say our respects, so we probably will go next week sometimes.  If she takes a turn for the worse, I have to leave immediately by myself.  They are keeping me posted, so I am on call.

Given that, I am trying to take care of things as soon as they happen and get some preemptive things taken care of.  It is in a precarious time with the build however, and Darrell cannot do it with his job.  So, I will talk to the builder today about that.

The kids are at my sisters.

When Darrell gets home, we are talking about money!  First time in quite a while.  Should be fun! 

OK, well, gotta get moving this morning.

I hope you all have a wonderful day - chins up, smile even if you don't want to - laugh lines are better then frowny ones.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

90% Dream Home

Lately, more and more I have been told, asked, berated, etc about building our "dream" home.

Dream home.  That phrase is actually on the verge of being offensive for me.  It denotes the kind of home that are longed for in a wild way - the most grandiose and flashy.  The most wanted of fixtures, floor plans, etc.

DIY Television show taut the "dream" home - and the ooo's and ahhh's commence. 

Unfortunately, I cannot wrap my head around a dream home.  The stuff of my dreams don't actually include a house.

Darrell thinks I am over-thinking it and people are happy/jealous that we are building a truly custom home.  I don't know - maybe.  I get the feeling that because we are building custom, I am not allowed to not like something or complain about it.

See, I compromised on a TON of things because of our budget.  The laundry room is small, our master bath is a nice size, but on the small side, all the bedrooms are on the small side for our area, the pantry in the kitchen is minuscule, but we have storage elsewhere so it will work.  I wanted cathedral ceiling, but settled with a tray. 

Yes, these are all above and beyond the normal living type things, I am not debating that.  This is just not a dream home.  It is a home designed for us to fit within a set budget.

Definitely not something dreams are made of, but it is the closest we will ever get to a house made for us. 

So, when people start talking about our "dream" home - I am going to call it the 90% dream home.