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?  

Sunday, September 11, 2011


9/11 has been on my mind for a while. There have been increasing reminders of the approaching day all over, from newspaper to the local church where members placed a single, tiny flag for each of the fallen victims.

When I woke up this morning, the awareness was there again and I took a minute to remember those who lost their lives. The victims who died at the hands of hate. Those who died trying to save other people. Those who died afterwards from health problems arising from the destruction. Those who have died since then, trying to secure our freedom and prevent attacks like this from happening again. I remember where I was, and how awful it was to watch the events unfold on TV; the sadness, outrage, and the helplessness. At the time I was married to a military member, and wondered how this would impact our family. And when I was done remembering, I got up and went on about my day. And made the mistake of comfort. In my little world, with no other ties to what happened than empathy and fear, I didn't even take the time to talk to my children about this day. Then something happened that set it off for me...

I was listening to the names of those who died being read at the memorial, and my son was playing a video game on the computer. All of the sudden he yells out about killing something on his game, and when I admonish him for it, he says to me "What? I'm only making an announcement like those people on TV." And that brought tears to my eyes. I had failed. Somehow this child was unaware of the importance of what was going on. It could be just that he wasn't paying attention, or it could be that I have insulated him too much, or it could be that I have not fulfilled my duty to him or all those who lost their lives to impress upon him the tragedy of the day and why that ceremony was so serious.

So the video game was turned off. This is the child who was already a secret in my womb when the towers fell. My surprise pregnancy after 9/11, but not because of it. I sat down with him, and with tears in my eyes tried to convey the depth of horror and loss that not only I felt, but the rest of the nation. He watched the attack with me online, and I saw the instant understanding fell through him. His heart has changed. It's not the same as if he had been there, or even here watching on TV as it happened. But it's more than he started the day with.

We have all said "I will never forget" but in my comfort, I made the mistake of not carrying on their memories. From now on, I will say "I will always help others remember."

Saturday, September 10, 2011

1st Lesson Learned

Getting Homeowner's Insurance isn't going to be as easy as I thought it would be.

As soon as I came home from closing on the house, I set my first priority as getting the house insured. I thought it would be as simple as calling the people I have my car insurance with, telling them what I was interested in doing, answering a million questions, and setting up payments. I was a little scared, though. I live in an area that has been heavily affected by hurricanes and tropical storms. When I saw that "Nate" was in the Gulf of Mexico, I thought that might prevent me from getting a new policy issued. Silly me!

It turns out that if you are an honest person, and you admit that your home needs repairs beyond chipped paint and dirty carpet, they won't insure you. They also refuse to insure you if your roof is close to being 20 years old, regardless of how much life your home inspector believes it has left. Bummer.

So my new home is uninsured. I feel like I'm just tempting fate for something bad to happen. I am going to continue to call other insurance agencies to see what their policy is, but I've got a feeling this is standard for them all. This means on top of all the repairs we knew about, it's possible that I am going to have to get a new roof put on. That was one expense I wasn't counting on having for at least a year.

What was your first lesson learned as a new homeowner?

Friday, September 9, 2011


Today, I made one of the scariest steps of my life...

I signed for and turned over payment on my very first house. To say that it is a "fixer-upper" is an understatement. It needs a lot of love. But it has a lot of potential and it's MINE! I'm looking forward to making this house a home for me and my children. And I'm taking pictures!

Stay tuned for the BEFORE pics soon!