Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The First Christmas

Time has flown by, and we just spent our very first Christmas in the new house.    Money was tight because of all that was put into the house, but it was a good one.  I have a lot of bad memories from this time of year and I usually hate it.  The Grinch has nothing on me.  This year, I felt the need to get over MY feelings and try to make some good memories for the kids.  I managed to get the tree up the first week of December, and got it decorated.  Of course, it has been un- and re-decorated many times, thanks to Josi!  lol  I even tried my hand at baking some holiday cookies, and hosted Christmas lunch here at the house.  Hopefully the good memories I'm making with the kids will redeem my feelings towards the holiday too.

One thing I noticed while doing decorations is the house is missing an outside outlet.  I didn't get to put up any lights on the outside of the house.  Maybe that will be remedied before next year.  I'm still having mixed feelings about the house...  Some days it feels like home, and some days it just feels like another in a long line of rentals.    Running out of money to make repairs is helping that along.  My uncle repaired a leak in the toilet in the front bathroom, but the floor is still staying wet.  Not sure if there is another leak (in the toilet/floor seal) or if it's from something else (rambunctious bathing?!) but the floor under the tile is black, moldy, and soft.  NOT a good sign.  Just praying none of the kids falls through the rotten floor.

Other than that, out of my list of unfinished things, the only things that effect me daily are the lack of drawers and cabinet doors, and the lack of insulation over my bedroom and no heating in my bathroom.  I still want to do soo much here to make it our own, but seeing as I can't find a job still, they are going to have to wait.  Then I'm torn between putting more money in this place or just letting it go.  At some point the investment is going to be diminishing returns, because no one will want to put out $100,000 on a 60 year old wood frame home, no matter how nice it looks on the inside.

On to a brand new year.  Let's hope it's a good one.  I really need it to be.  The knot in the end of the rope I'm hanging onto is unraveling.  /sigh

Monday, November 21, 2011

What?! 3 weeks?

(WARNING: this post contains gratuitous and copious amounts of CAPITAL letters for added emphasis)

I just can NOT fathom that I have lived in a home that I OWN for three weeks now.

I must have entered into the twilight zone or found a short cut in the space/time continuum.  It really doesn't feel like it's been that long.  I do have a few pictures I took before the move that I need to add.  I have zero pictures of after the move to add.  I have been doing much better keeping this place clean than I ever did at the old place.  (even after unpacking lots of boxes)  I can't explain the difference.  As much as I would like to contribute it to home ownership and a sense of pride, I think a lot of it boils down to the purging that took place, the additional space, and the fact that this place is brighter and more open than the other.  Sunshine and space realllllyyyy help my mood, and thus help with motivation.  It seems that I have developed a decent mode of attack for the week, but weekends are chaotic with ALL the kids home ALL day long.  So that's why I'm not running around with the camera this morning to update you and show my home off.  LOL  I hope you understand.

My illusion of moving into a finished and completely renovated home died a slow, cruel death as each day and each dollar slipped away.  Some things I have found DON'T bother me unfinished, and some things are grating on my nerves.

Taking a mental tour through the house, some things that are NOT done are:

  • Living room - trim still not painted
  • Kitchen - half painted with just one coat, no trim painted, no cabinets or drawers, never painted the countertop, never replaced or fixed the floor (missing, loose, and ugly tile)
  • Utility Room - Never finished the patch over the water heater, never rehung cabinet or shelves
  • My Bathroom - the only room in the house not painted at all, no medicine chest installed
  • My Bedroom - trim still not painted, door swing direction not changed
  • Spencer's Room - trim still not painted, closet door swing direction not changed, ceiling texture not fixed
  • Front Bathroom - trim still not painted, floor still rotting away, tiles still loose and missing
  • Girls' Room - trim still not painted

Some things in general that never got done:

  • The rotting wood along the sides of the house hasn't been replaced
  • The water drainage issue along the carport was never taken care of
  • Never got a Termite Bond
  • Still no home owner's insurance policy (still not sure anyone will ever cover it)

Some things I'd like to get to sooner or later:

  • All the things that never got done - LOL
  • Getting a lawn mower
  • Demolishing the mosquito breeder dilapidated, unused water feature
  • Finishing/repairing the wiring in the shed
  • Adding an outside electrical outlet for holiday decorations (in case I ever start to like holidays)
  • A new deck or patio out back, close to the house
  • Complete and total remodel of the kitchen and both bathrooms
  • Replace all the door frames and facings, and all the molding and trim throughout the house.
  • New flooring in the whole house
  • Vinyl siding
  • Metal roof
  • Landscaping
  • Fill the hole in the driveway and have some cement/concrete poured
If your eyes haven't glazed over and you're still with me, thank you, and be on the lookout for pictures soon. I won't commit to an actual day, but they are on my list!!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Well, I didn't wallow...

Yesterday I managed to get a few things done.  It wasn't nearly enough, but it wasn't a totally wasted day.

  • went to bank - I am now officially out of money for this reno/move
  • took paperwork to AL Power re: water heater replacement
  • Priced and decided on floor for kitchen...  laminate for 0.79/sq. ft.  YES!
  • Painted the insides of kitchen cabinets
  • Finished cutting in living room so Unc could paint.
  • Found a refrigerator... if it's still there Friday, and we can figure out how to get it through the doors, I'm going back for it.
  • Met my neighbor K.  She's super nice, and they are renovating too.  
Unc managed to get the living room painted (first coat, gonna need 2 /sadface), fill the hole in the floor where the dishwasher goes, and spackle up some holes/cracks in the kitchen.  Maybe more, but I left before he did.  Had to pick up the baby and keep the older kids from killing each other.  Then I went to Walmart for yet MORE paint and caulk.  bleh.

Still haven't finished packing for the day.  My itinerary today is:

  • drop off baby with Memaw
  • go start cutting in 2nd coat in living room so Unc can repaint it
  • start packing last minute stuff
  • take ever growing pile of stuff to donate!
  • drop off lock w/ storage people!!  (I forgot... I hope they don't think these 5 days I'm late adds another month!)
  • Arrange for moving truck
  • disassemble Spencer's bed and Josi's bed so they will fit through the doors (and maybe the other beds too)
  • figure out if I want to get another labor estimate for laminate installation or do it myself.
  • If I want to do it myself, do I want to go ahead and buy enough for living room? (to be installed later)
  • Hope Nick shows up to help us! LOL
  • worry/procrastinate/freak out/etc....
Hopefully next time I see/talk to you, I will be done with the majority of moving, and be on to cleaning out the duplex to turn over the keys.  Wish me lots of luck!!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

TITLE: because I couldn't think of a better one ~

I just really don't have the words for how I feel right now.

None of my stuff is ready to go.
My house isn't finished.
My duplex isn't packed.

I just want to wallow and cry.

I've been pushing my body and my sanity to the limit, and somehow it just feels like no one else in my life is making this important or a priority like I am.  My children have not been helpful.  I was trying to leave Josi with my grandmother during the mornings, but it was wearing her out.  Then I tried to do stuff at home during the day, and the new house in the evenings after the kids got home.  But I couldn't get out the door before the older kids were arguing.  I don't mean just verbal arguing... I mean knock down drag out physical someone is going to get hurt fighting.  Over stupid stuff.  And when I leave in the afternoon, 2 of the 3 never get their homework done, and their grades were suffering.  I have begged, yelled, spanked, and put on restriction, drug them with me, and still no results.  It's insane.  I feel completely betrayed and resentful.  :(  Then I feel guilty for feeling like that.  *sigh*  I cannot do this all  myself.

I was supposed to move today.  TODAY.  None of the kitchen has been touched.  Neither has my room.  I got more done in 2 hours in the girls room than they did in 2 days.  But I've only been able to do stuff while Josi is asleep.  I've done 7 loads of laundry in the past 2 days.  The living room and kitchen at the new house still haven't been painted.  My kitchen cabinets and drawers are still sitting outside under the shed undone. unstripped.  There's a hole in my kitchen floor that needs to be filled.  There's about 12 tiles completely pulled up and missing from the floor.  The bathroom floors are still rotten and in danger of falling through.  And none of the trim in the house has been painted.  There are only 3 out of 9 windows that have the blinds hung in them.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I have heating and air conditioning!
SO glad to be done with that!

Started cutting in paint around the doors and windows in the living room.

Target date for moving:  Tuesday and Wednesday ~ yes,  that's 4 days left.
Wonder how many days I will last without a refrigerator.
Can I live out of an ice chest?

Talking out loud...


I am so overwhelmed with this move and trying to finish the house that I'm paralyzed.  I'm stuck dead in the water thinking about everything that needs to be done.  I can't manage to prioritize, initiate a plan, or let go of the idea in my head that I wanted for the house once I finally moved in.  I've run out of energy and patience, out of money, and out of people to help.  Nick will only be available Friday and Sunday to move stuff, but Unc isn't off until Tuesday and Wednesday. So that leaves me without a moving truck for Nick, and without any HELP moving stuff for Unc.  I've been trying to fix the new house, clean and pack the old house, and I'm doing it with an almost 2 year old under my feet and three older children who won't help unless I turn into something akin to Mommy Dearest and Freddy Krueger mixed together.  I'm so completely over it all.

Even though I've moved at least 10 times, I'm having trouble figuring out what to do next.  I've been trying to go through things and purge as I pack.  This is going nowhere fast.

I have 4 boxes done.
I have a pile of crap stuff to take to donate.

Ridiculous.  /sigh

  • I think I need to leave all the stuff on the walls, because it won't be in our way while we move.
  • I think I need to start cleaning the junk off the TOP of the furniture, so it can be moved.
  • I think I need to get everything up off the floor so it won't be in the way when we move stuff.
  • I think I'm going to stick with leaving clothes in drawers, and just take them out of dressers to move.
  • I think the clothes in the closet can stay til we are done moving furniture.
  • I think I need to empty the pantry so it can be moved.
  • I think that means I need to make a meal plan and only leave out ingredients I will be using before the move.
  • I think I need to clean the sticky film left over from ugly contact paper out of the cabinets at the new house so my kitchen stuff will have a place to go even if the cabinet doors havent been finished yet.
  • I think I need to finish painting the livingroom before I move because I dont want to paint around furniture later
  • I think the kitchen being painted at the new house can wait til after the move if it has to because there wont be much in the way.
  • I think the kitchen floor needs to be taken care of ASAP so it's ready for the dishwasher and refrigerator.
  • I think I need to get off the computer, turn on some jams and GET MOVING!!

Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Getting the carpets cleaned today ~

A little early, but now most of the traffic is out of there.  I feel like the days are wasting with nothing being done,  and I was trying to be proactive.  Maybe I'll be able to walk across the floors now without wanting to disinfect myself afterwards.

A/C is installed all but the return vents.  Will be doing that tomorrow.

Hoping to get some work at the old place knocked out.  I hate packing.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The day when you realize you only have 13 left...

Today is my *Oh Crap* day...
It's been building for a while, but it's really hit me this morning.
I'm in deep trouble.  /sigh
Here's what I still have LEFT to do ~

Living room:

  • prime and paint window seals
  • paint walls and trim
  • strip and repaint cabinets
  • paint walls and trim
  • reinstall chair rail
  • fix subfloor and install flooring
  • buy and install dishwasher & refrigerator
  • drop old gas lines
Utility room
  • texture and paint patch in ceiling
  • drop old gas lines
Girls' Room
  • paint closet and trim
Front Bathroom
  • fix subfloor and install flooring
  • take medicine chest down, put new mirror/lighting up
Spencer's Room
  • brace ceiling fan
  • fix loose outlet
  • switch closet door direction
  • replace closet door knob
My Room
  • switch door direction
My Bathroom
  • fix subfloor and install flooring
  • install medicine chest
  • paint
  • new vanity or sink so I can open the door all the way!
  • brace the tub so I don't fall through the bottom of it!
Whole House
  • clean carpets
  • clean and disinfect
  • have cable transferred and run
  • repair water damage and leaks from carport
  • repair damaged boards around the bottom of the house
  • fix wiring in shed
  • add a fence

  • Purge, Pack, and Clean!!
  • Have utilities turned off

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 38...

Today was a busy day, though I have no pictures to show for it.

I started it early at home with folding/hanging/putting away three loads of clothes, plus washing and drying another; cleaned the utility room out; fed the cats, the dog, and the baby; straightened up the living room and kitchen; took out the garbage.  I finally got to eat at 10 ~ lol

My aunt and cousin drove over from Summerdale to help out today.  The four of us managed to get my storage unit emptied out and put away in the shed at my house.  I'll be putting out $65 less a month now.  I get sick knowing I've put about $4000 into that place over the past five years.  Besides saving some money, I also have easy access to all the fabric I've been hoarding.  I've got some serious sewing urges now!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Ugly Bedroom, in progress...

In the beginning, there was a horrid paint job.
They tried.
Bless their little hearts...

As much as I admired their creativity, my eyes would *not* let me leave this be.
(and neither would the girls!)
So armed with a paintbrush and some expensive paint + primer, I challenged the pink!!
May I "cut in"?  LOL

And then there was white, or actually "Natural Wicker".
This was one coat, definitely needs another.
I didn't realize how awful the trim color was until the walls had been toned down.

More before and after...

Oh, the utility room ~ major headache from the get-go.  
Not sure if these pictures even do justice to how bad it was. 



Still need to get the patch on the ceiling textured and painted, trim put around the window, paint the trim, and hang my cabinets back up.  I should have room for a shelving unit for all my canned goods and my freezer!

Some before and after...

Today, I managed to get the wallpaper stripped out of the front bathroom, and paint the utility room and my bedroom.  Sooo glad!  I almost said "It feels great!" but NOPE it feels pretty crappy - lol - I am whoooped.  And I'm hurting all over.

(click for larger view)
This bathroom had the same wallpaper treatment as the kitchen.  
Except not such a horrible color. 

 With these lovely gems on the walls...

Sorry, not my style.  Off with the ugly ~


Definitely needs new flooring, and the plumber recommended the subflooring be replaced...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hot water isn't really necessary, is it?

Um. Yes.
I happen to think hot water is *all that* plus a bag of Munchos.

So I started with a less than stellar gas water heater.  And I felt the urge to replace it.  And since the power company has a program where they give you a FREE water heater to switch from gas to electric, I kind of felt I was getting a good deal. I even managed to score a 50 gallon to replace the 40 that I got rid of.  With four kids (two of them being teenage girls) 10 extra gallons of hot water is an awesome thing.

I did the red tape dance to attain the FREE water heater.  I gave the contractors the puppy dog eyes to get them to pick it up and install it.  I gave thanks I didn't have to buy a new one.  Then it was installed.  And it leaked.  And we weren't allowed to just swap it out.  Nope.  Enter 1-800 #'s, scornful customer service, and random service technician.  Service technician's diagnosis?? "Well that ain't right..."

...  lolz

We get approved for a replacement, and told to get it we have to drive the old one 15 miles out of the way and swap it out.  You know, instead of taking it back to where we picked it up from in the first place.  ??  So I make a phone call to confirm this prior to making the trip, and no one actually knows what the procedure is to replace it.  So now I'm sitting at home in limbo waiting for final word.  What a crock.


The lady I called had to call someone else, but she kept going until she got an answer for me.  We were able to swap the water heater out at the same place we picked it up from.  Thank goodness.  The new water heater is installed and ready to go.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What's for dinner?

In the midst of all this crazy house stuff, dinner has been falling short most nights.  It's so much easier to go to the drive through, then throw away the mess.  But my wallet is getting lighter and lighter, and I just don't like that it's so very unhealthy.  Today I made it a point to take out something to thaw, and gave a new recipe a try!  I was inspired by a a recipe called Hot and Cheesy Chicken Casserole, and I found the link here.  (I would love to have her organizational skills!)  I reworked the recipe to fit my schedule and the kid's preferences.  The kids loved it, and said they would eat it again.  That's a win in my book.

Here's what I came up with:

Cheesy Hot Chicken & Rice

  • 3 baked chicken breasts, chopped
  • 1/2 of 14-oz. pkg. frozen broccoli florets, chopped small
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked instant rice
  • 1 10.75-oz. can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 10.75-oz. can condensed fiesta nacho cheese soup
  • 1 10- to 10.5-oz. can diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place chicken in baking dish of choice, and cook til done.  
  • Let chicken rest and cool while prepping the rest of the ingredients.  
  • In a crock pot, mix both cans of soup, the can of tomatoes and chilies, the water, and the broth.  
  • Add the instant rice and stir well.  
  • Chop broccoli to size desired (my kids don't eat stems!) and stir in.  
  • Chop chicken and stir in.  Cook on high for 3 hours.

You could definitely add more veggies to this version, depending on your preferences.  The instant rice cooks up pretty quick, and since the meat was already cooked, time in the crock pot will depend on how tender you want your broccoli to be.

"To-Do" Tuesday ~

I'm keeping it light today, because I just feel like crap.  I really hate having fibromyalgia...  My body can never keep up with my brain and the things I need to get done.  There seems to be no pattern to when I'll feel bad or when I'll be completely incapacitated.  I do know stress makes things worse.  So, just listing out what I have no choice but to accomplish.  If I get anything else done, BONUS!

  • unlock door
  • get water heater, and start guys working on install
  • get to bank (why does it seem like that's on EVERY single list??)
  • take oldest to orthodontist

10:00 am and 3/4 of the list done.  That's what I'm talking about!!
               Maybe I should only make short lists from now on so I can keep this feeling of accomplishment!!

2:00 pm "Welcome to Snagsville, where all your well laid plans hit snags!"
               The brand new water heater that was installed this morning is leaking from the top.  Power Co. says we can't just come get a new one.  We had to call their 1-800 service number and arrange to have a technician come check it out in place.  They charge you for the service call if they think it was your (or your installer's) fault.  No mention at ALL of whether they will replace it or not.  Technician is supposed to come tomorrow.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Spinning my wheels...

I'm officially OVER it.
I've owned the house for 1 month, and I still don't live in it.
Tomorrow afternoon, the air conditioning man comes.
My biggest, all at one time expense.
And then I'll be broke.
But I still have more to fix.
Can I scream now?

HVAC Install
Fix Carport Leak/Water Damage
Window Sills
Paint Interior
Sub Flooring in Bathrooms
Flooring in Bathrooms & Kitchen
Appliances (Fridge & Dishwasher)
New Electrical Box on House
Wiring for AC
Empty Storage Unit
Hang Blinds
Carpets Cleaned or Pulled

blah blah blah blah blah

Bank/Pack & Clean/Memaw's

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thinking about my bedroom...

In my previous life, I spent almost 12 years as a military spouse.  That means I moved a lot.  Many people dread the moves, but I always looked forward to them as a way to start over.  It was an adventure.  You got to see new places, meet new people, and redecorate all over again.  This move is not very different.  A way to start over, and most definitely an adventure.  I'm not going far, but I want this to be an opportunity to actually have people over; to open my home to my friends.  I also want to decorate and make this little piece of property *mine*.

This can be pretty difficult when you have little to no budget, but there are ways around spending too much.  Almost all of the furnishings going into this house are already things I own.  Some things I have no choice but to replace.  Four kids and a dog can be rough on furnishings.  Some things I just want to splurge on.  Some things I will acquire by going "shopping" at Memaw's.  My grandmother has lots of good stuff and she likes to share.  I've also been really intrigued by the idea of reusing and repurposing.  Besides Memaw's, a really good place to get things to repurpose, reuse, and refinish is at local thrift stores.

Today, I spent a bit of time thinking about how I want MY bedroom to look.  This is what I've come up with:

In the real world, the spendiest pieces here would be the oriental rug and the dresser.  Good news is I have a rug and dresser really similar to these already.  In fact, the rug was my inspiration piece for the colors of the room.  My rug is more of a peacock blue color than the one shown.  The dresser is at Memaw's house sitting neglected on the carport waiting for a coat of glossy black paint.  I picked up two zebra throw pillows at Big Lot's for $9.99 each.  The other pillows aren't necessary, but I can make them if I want them.  I will have to buy new bedding, but I am thinking of making a duvet type cover for the bedspread I already have, and that will cut down on cost tremendously.  I can also make the curtains, and actually picked up what I think will be enough fabric today for $22.  All I need is some liner fabric to block light.  So that leaves me with finding an awesome mirror and (if I have any room left at all) a papasan chair.  I've dreamed for a really long time of having one of those as my reading spot!!

So what do you think??

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What's up Wednesday...

Geesh.  Started my day to the baby snatching about 25 keys off the laptop keyboard.  That's what happens when you leave her to take a shower and mistakenly believe she's being good just because it's moderately quiet.  Everyone knows silence means bad things, but moderately quiet is supposed to be safe.  HA!

My guys got my plumbing issues sorted out yesterday.  That was a surprise.  I thought they were only going to be doing electrical.  So two leaks under the house stopped and kitchen sink has been reconnected.  Bad news is I need to have a vent line for the plumbing/sewage run, and the sub flooring in both bathrooms needs to be replaced.  Good news is that's all they saw that needed to be fixed or replaced.

About to head out the door to run errands:

  • Put rent check and notice in the mail (5 days late /sadface)
  • Go to the AL Power Office about the water heater
  • Make my returns to Walmart I never got to yesterday.
  • Make *another* bank run...  (that hurts)

And more crap I'm sure.  I'm dragging this morning, and don't want to do anything but sit and sleep.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"To Do" Tuesday

First, an update on what has been done.
Most of it isn't real apparent just by looking at the house, but was very important work.

Two roof jacks were replaced, along with the shingles around them.  I had soffit and fascia board replacement/repairs done in three places, then repainted.  Inside I have had all the outlets in the kitchen and bathrooms replaced with GFCI outlets.  I have had one outlet in the utility room rewired, and one completely installed (dryer).  In the attic, wiring was replaced, junction boxes installed, and all the exposed, hot wires have been nutted.  In the front bathroom, there was an exhaust fan present, but it only worked when the attic light was on.  That has been rewired and a new switch put in so it works right now.  The bar has had supports installed and leveled.  I have all the wall paper in the kitchen completely stripped, and the cabinet doors and drawers have been removed so we can strip the paint off them. I bought all the mini blinds for the house but haven't installed any of them yet.  Today, the guys will be working on more electrical work.

My To - Do List:
  • Unlock the door (lol - I know... but I'm dragging this morning, and it seems worse than it is)
  • Take Memaw to the bank
  • Get my hair "did"  :P
  • Go to my bank
  • Pay the last month's rent, and give notice
  • Call AL Power about the water heater install
  • Be productive rather than sluggy! (I can mark this off even though I didn't finish, right? lol)
  • Make a couple of returns to Walmart
  • Figure out how much paint I need!
  • Finish scraping kitchen windows
  • Peel up shelf liner/contact paper from cabinets
  • Attempt to hang mini blinds (Only got one done ~ Put the brackets in upside down, and Unc finished it for me)

I have a couple of things I want the guys to work on that I feel are "necessary" that we'll get to this week...
  • rotten wood and water displacement issue over the carport
  • previous leak damage over water heater (goes from roof all the way through to ceiling)
  • water heater install (going from gas to electric - we'll be hitting up memaw's in case of a storm!)
  • electrical

Everything else that I WANT to do to the house is contingent on the HVAC install and the amount of money left when that's done.  I still have to buy paint and supplies for the entire interior, flooring for the kitchen and front bathroom, plus a refrigerator and dishwasher.

I've been slacking in the picture department, but here's a couple...  

The kitchen windows seem to have been painted without the benefit of being taped off first.
There is a ton is brown paint on the panes.

I scraped the paint of the bottom twelve panes, the top twelve still need to be done.
You can't really tell a big difference, because they are filthy and have paint smeared on the outside too.

I'll try to get more pictures up soon.
I know you'd rather see those than see my "outloud thinking" and rambling! LOL

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday "To-Do's"

  • Pay Storage
  • Go Shopping
  • Finish stripping wallpaper in Kitchen
  • Start putting up blinds
Okay.  So I made the "to-do" list at the end of the day.  I also didn't include ANYTHING I needed to do at the duplex.  Even with those cheats, I still didn't get the list done.  LOL  I suck ~

Good News = I found the shower curtain I wanted, got the ceiling fan for my room, the light fixture for the living room, the supplies to refinish the table I want to put under the TV...

Bad news = I still can't find blinds to fit one of the windows in the living room.  yay.  I guess tomorrow I will check with Lowe's to see if they have the size I need, and if not, meh...  My options are to get one too big, and cut some off the ends; get one too small and shim it in; or get custom cut blinds at 7-10x how much the cheapy ones cost :(  

ALSO!  I found a paint kit to take care of the ugly counter tops in the kitchen.  I bought 2 just in case one wasn't enough.  There was no price on them, but I figured they would be around $30-40 WRONG!!  Try $70!!  wth!?  

The one and only picture I managed to get before the camera died was of the paint colors I chose.  I got the sample size, and slapped some on the wall.  The wall color is Natural Wicker, and right beside it the trim is Marshmallow White.   I can't decide if the wall color is too light...  I may try one shade darker to see.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Progress Report

Josi helped me put the shop-vac together :)

I borrowed a ladder and got to work stripping those high spots!

Not too much of that ugly mess left... just a wee bit under the cabinets - 
And this one little corner at the top... Then I can prep for painting.

The roof repairs started today... this is the before.

This is after!  Add some primer and paint and it will be good as new :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Well, I attempted to buy blinds.  I managed to find 4 of the 9 that I need.  I'll be heading out to a different Walmart soon to see if they have the sizes I need.  If not, I shudder to imagine having to get cut-to-fit blinds.  I really want to make a trip to Target because they have a much bigger selection of home improvement/home dec  items.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I'm channeling G&R this morning...

Apparently, no one else is in as big a hurry as I am to get this house fixed!!  My AC guy (who came to the house Thursday) won't have a QUOTE for me until the end of the coming week.  I was hoping he would start WORK this week.  It's almost too hot for me inside if there isn't a breeze coming through the doors and windows.  I'm going to take today and go buy blinds to put up.  I think every one of the nine windows in this house was a different measurement!  I want to keep it at $100 or less for them all.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Today is the first day that actual WORK is being done at the house!  I'm having all the outlets in the kitchen and bathrooms brought up to code by replacing the existing ones with GFCI outlets.  I spent a couple of hours over there this morning pulling ugly wall paper down.  Take a look at what I'm dealing with:

The overall effect ~

Every. Single. Shape. is a separate piece of wallpaper ~

They don't come off in big sections ~

And the wall underneath??  It's FLESH colored.  O.o

That's as far up as I could reach >.>  

My pile!  (I already threw away a Walmart bag full)

But, I am soo glad  -  It feels good to be moving forward and doing something rather than just talking and worrying!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Is it really only Wednesday??

I swear ~ I still have a ton of stuff to do, but I just couldn't make myself write out another "to-do" list.  I'm exhausted.

Today started the first time at 1:30 am when Josi woke me up.  She got back to sleep but I didn't.

She woke up for good at 5:30 and my hopes for a nap were dashed.  My oldest missed the bus, so I had to take her to school.  Got the gas turned on at the house.  (The furnace is a 1975 gas model, and won't stay lit. I'm scared to use it.)  Air conditioning guy is coming out tomorrow.  After I finished there, my 2nd oldest called from the nurse's office sick, so I made another trip to the school to pick her up.  We had lunch, then another repairman came to check out the house.  GOOD NEWS!  I think we are going with him for the roof jack/leak repairs and electrical work.  If he does a good job and wants some more work, I'm going to keep him busy for a looooong time!  LOL  Finally it feels like a little bit of forward progress has been made!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday's "To-Do" List

  • Get gas turned on 
  • Schedule exterminator - Today 2 pm
  • package to Tasha
  • pay bills 
  • donation to goodwill/women's center
  • get light fixture and/or ceiling fan
  • get floor scraper
  • heating inspection/estimate = Thursday
  • record Deed = before 10/01
Also fit in a trip to the curb market for fruit and a visit with my grandmother!

Well, as usual these days, we have hit another snag.  The gas guy came out but couldn't hook the meter up or turn it on.  He didn't have the right pipe or the tools to make one.  That means bright and early tomorrow, I get to be at the house again so a "fitter" can turn it on.  This makes 3 phone calls, 3 days, an email, and a home visit (will be 2) just to get the gas turned on at the house.

Good thing is they can also inspect the furnace while they are there.  Why didn't I ask if that was possible from the get-go?  I guess that's lesson # 3 - the gas company can and will inspect your gas appliances for free.  Today he looked at the water heater and said that the repairs the home inspector said were necessary really aren't.  wtf-really?  /sigh

Monday, September 19, 2011


  • Get gas turned on - called and waiting on return call - called a 2nd time still waiting
  • call about getting garbage can 
  • bathe the baby!
  • laundry
  • get prescription filled
  • pay bills
  • get light fixture and/or ceiling fan
  • get floor scraper
  • package to Tasha
  • donation to goodwill/women's resource
  • record Deed
  • Thurs. = heating inspection/estimate
Well, I *tried* to get a lot done today.  Still don't know the status of the gas order.  Guess I'll be going in person tomorrow to get that done.  Goobers.  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Very Discouraged.

Every time someone comes to look at the house, the news gets worse, and I get more and more discouraged.  :(

I tried to approach this whole "buy a house" deal with caution.  I tried to educate myself along the way and make good decisions.  When this property came up for sale and I looked it over, I knew I needed a home inspection.  I paid $225 for someone to look it over and tell me what all was wrong so I would know what needed to be done now, and what will need to be done within the next few months and years.  Fast forward to now...

I honestly thought the inspector was on MY side, and wouldn't sugar coat or downplay the amount of work that would be needed.  I really thought I had made a decent investment, and that every dime I spent would increase the value of my home, and prepare it for future resale.  I've had two carpentry/woodwork walk-throughs and an electrical walk-through.  The inspector just barely scratched the surface.  He gave me a "best-case" scenario of what was wrong with the house.  Not a "worst-case" scenario or even a realistic view of what would need to be addressed in order to live in this house.

I'm terrified that it's only going to get worse.  I have yet to get a roofer or a plumber out to have a look.  The woodwork people haven't pulled away the outer layer to get to what's underneath.  I'm truly afraid that I'm going to spend every dime I have, plus some, and still be left with a sub-par home that is dangerous for me and the kids to live in.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Baby Step/Lesson #2 ...

Not very exciting news...  Water at the house is now in my name.  Wish I had more to tell you.

I learned something new today...according to the clerk that helped me, the city charges a different deposit for renting than it does for owning a home.  I was charged $70 and when I asked if that was a deposit or a "transfer" fee (like the power co. charges) she said it was a deposit; it is different for owning a house and what I paid for the rental unit would not go towards the fee today.  Whatever.  See me roll my eyes.

Seriously, if I have had continuous service for the last 5 years, and want to keep my account open, and there is NO other company to get it from, why must they charge me a fee??  And why would it be any different for rental  versus owning?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Doing the Shuffle

I'm shuffling around without direction.  That means new house stuff one day, old house stuff the next.

I'm not quite sure how I managed to convince them, but the older girls went through their closet last night.  I spent the morning unloading hangers and folding clothes for the donate pile.  Then I went to the store for odds and ends.  At one point in the past two years I must have had a cleaning fit and tossed the original shower head.  I had to get a standard one to replace what's up there now because I am NOT leaving my nice one.  I also had to pick up a repair kit for the cabinet door a certain little boy went swinging on and broke in half.

I also whined and felt sorry for myself, spent too much on groceries, and wondered what in the world I've gotten myself into.  So now I am exhausted.  lol  Til tomorrow ~

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One little baby step...

Not much headway made on the house.  Today I managed to get the power in my name.  My intentions were to also record the deed and get the water in my name, but I just didn't make it that far.  Good news is I didn't have to pay a new deposit for the power.  I only have to pay a $40 transfer fee.

Now for the bad news.  We had people come out and look at the house today.  The water damage is more involved than I was counting on.  And that's just what we can see.  There's no telling what's covered up.  At this point, the recommendation is for a new roof, plus siding, soffit, & fascia repairs/replacement, and new windows.  That is on top of needing electrical work, plumbing work, and some sort of HVAC.  It has central heat/ furnace, but it's non-operational at this point, and air conditioning was window units that aren't with the house anymore.  ALL of that is just the safety/functional work.  There is also a TON of cosmetic stuff that should be done, but isn't necessary.

I'm completely overwhelmed.  There is no way I can afford all of this right now prior to moving in.  :(


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Before pictures, HGTV Help!!

Front view of the house
Living Room from front door

Living room from kitchen

Kitchen from living room
Kitchen from utility room
Utility room from kitchen

Source of many headaches!

Rear view of house

Much needed storage in the back

Bedroom 1 (probably the girls') from door

Showcasing the lovely paint job...
the flower "portrait" is the breaker box for the house

Front bathroom, again with the custom paint...

from the bathtub, so you can see the peeling up linoleum tiles

Bedroom 2 (probably Spencer's)

wondering why the closet opens in the direction...

tiny window unit that was included in the sale...

Rear bathroom.  All mine ~ O.o
How do you like that custom cabinet built into the tub surround?  

Cramped, ugly floor, nasty toilet, etc.

Accordion fold door on the closet, and NO mirror/medicine cabinet

My room from the door ~

My room from the bathroom

The entrance to my room... nice view, eh?