Friday, November 30, 2018

It's Friday and so ready for it

I swear, every morning it's getting harder and harder to wake up at my normal time. I know I've always been a person that needs a good 9 hours of sleep, but most nights I get at least that. It might be that DH put some sheets over the shop garage door windows, so I'm not getting some of the natural morning light coming in as daylight starts, not to mention it's  not getting light out until later. It's almost 8am before it gets light here! Oh well, hopefully my extra sleepy-ness will start to reverse after the winter solstice and it gradually starts getting lighter earlier each day.

DD is checking on if they can get the PMI insurance dropped from their mortgage. They have been at their home 2 years now and estimated value (and what other homes are selling for in her neighborhood) has gone up quite a bit. She emailed her mortgage broker, who ran a valuation on the house and it is a bit more than they would need it to appraise at to drop the PMI. That would give them about $200 a month extra, she said.

House update: we still do not have a complete roof on the house. Hopefully by the end of this weekend we will. They didn't order enough siding, so now have to wait for more of that to come.

FIL/MIL update: Both are still in the rehab care facility. FIL got pneumonia last week, which they are trying to clear up. They said MIL is ready to leave on Sunday. SIL tells them she can't go home, there's no one to take care of her. Again, that is not the facilities problem! She's had 6 weeks now to come up with a plan, knowing on the high chance that MIL probably would not have to stay as long in the rehab place as FIL. They told her she could stay on for $345 a day. So, do that then. I'm not sure why she is ignoring that she needs to come up with a plan for this. Especially knowing the past almost 2 weeks that FIL got pneumonia and isn't going to be able to care for himself, let alone his wife, for awhile. Just because she is not physicall able to care for herself is not a reason for rebab place to keep her in! They put her in for a medical reason from her hospital stay and now that is cleared up. She needs to pay for her care now herself, if she can't take care of herself. So, of course FIL is now saying he's going home Sunday, too, no matter what. That's just a recipe for more problems SIL will have to deal with, in my opinion. She's the one in charge of them, proximity wise and financial wise, so she's going to have to make some decisions. She probably could have had something figured out during this time she hasn't had to constantly be running errands and going to their house all the time for them. But, she seems to wait until it's "maybe" a crisis, like when FIL's surgery went bad and he was in ICU. Then's she's texting her brothers asking what should I do? Then she doesn't take their advice. Oh well, one way or another it will work out for them all and they will figure it out.

Thankfully my mom is like her boyfriend, who has a little apartment in assisted living place. He planned ahead and knew he'd need help and not to rely 100% on his kids for figuring it out/taking care of him. He sold his home a few years ago and moved into this nice place. That is my mom's plan, too, when she can't take care of herself well anymore either. Whether that ends up happening by her deciding to move before it gets absolutely necessary (the plan) or whether something happens to her healthwise, making it happen. She has her home "sale ready" for when the time comes. Over the past few years she has reduced her belongings and given stuff away she doesn't or won't need. She had dd and I make a list of the stuff she currently has that we may want, when she has to move/sell. Thank you mom for being so proactive with getting older!

Inlaws do not take care of their house and never have, really. Plus, they have not tried to downsize their belongings as they got older. My grandma did. My mom has done that. My grandma was able to live on her own until her early 90's, but when the time came to move into assisted care, her home was "sale ready" and since she had gotten rid of stuff over the years, in preparation for it someday, it was a pretty painless process. Same way will be for my mom. My inlaws house is awful. According to SIL they have not even turned on their furnace for a good 10 years because FIL is afraid it will blow up or something (they heat their house with their fireplace insert/firewood.) They could certainly have had it repaired/replaced. DH tries to blame this on "well they are poor". Well, they are not poor. They aren't rich, but they are not poor. They own a house. They have a retirement pension and social security.  My grandma had even less then they do, but managed to have her little mobile home clean and maintained and easy to sell and move out when the time came.

So, I'm sure starting Sunday will be a bunch of texts from SIL as she doesn't know what to do again. Like my DD said, does it really need to be this hard to figure out? No, not really. The in-laws own their home except SIL said they have like a $20,000 line of credit against it they owe on, plus their retirement income. It basically boils down to they either need to sell their home and move into assisted living, or since they refuse to move, they need to do a reverse mortgage then and get the equity out of their home so they can fix it for living in and pay to have some help come in on a daily basis and live in help if FIL has to go into the hospital, so MIL can stay at home and have someone there to care for her.  What other options are there?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Color me a headache

I hate trying to decide colors!! While I'm happy with what I chose for the siding for the house and shop and what we ended up with for trim and shakes, there are still small decisions to be made that when the painter lady asks me, I just freeze up! I instantly doubt myself.

Our siding is a two tone wood/mostly dark brown, from a distance. Up close you can see the lighter tone. Originally the trim work was going to be dark brown, but the siding ended up being quite a bit darker than I realized it would be and when the builder was going to paint the trim the dark brown he thought it looked too dark (when they put a little bit on some trim) and I totally agreed. We decided on the tan trim, which I am very happy with. Originally the shakes were going to not be pre-painted (as the siding is) and I honestly don't know what color we were going to decide. Then the builder suggested going with the prepainted shakes because they won't have to be painted for a very long time and it's way up there to have to repaint, so less work down the road. So, I only had a handful of choices to pick from (which was nice, ha!) and I picked a complimentary color. The soffits are tongue and groove and they used a darker stain on that (they didn't ask me, but it looks good). The house is having the same, but.....

The front (and back) porch is timber frame beams. I think I blogged about this a couple/few weeks ago where DH had told her we were having the beams stained the same dark stain as the soffit wood. NO! I wanted the front porch to stand out and be a warmer stained color. I didn't want it to just blend in with the rest of the house. And the painter lady said that if she used the same dark stain as the soffits, it was going to look even darker than the soffits, because it's raw beams, so they would just soak up the stain and make it even darker. That was not the look I was envisioning.  Underneath the porch roof is tongue and groove boards that are also stained same color, though, as painter lady said, they are finished/sanded wood, so it will look a bit lighter, and it does. Here is the front portico with the stain applied on the top beams in front. It will also look different, once the rest of the front of the house gets sided, I'm sure.

The framer guy doesn't like it, haha. The painter lady just says "it's whatever you like" (which means she probably doesn't like it either LOL). DH was leaning toward their opinions and would just say same as painter lady (if you like it, that's all that matters). Then over the weekend he said he took some of that dark stain left over from soffits and painted a scrap of beam. He said ya, it would have been way too dark brown.

So, now I have to soon decide what color to stain our front door. I'm thinking it should be same or similar to the front porch "warm" stain. I could tell she was thinking dark brown....she says "oh, not dark brown?", but then later she said you want your front door to stand out. Well, if it's dark brown it's not going to stand out next to the brown siding, I don't think. Plus, inside the flooring is going to be a warmer wood laminate, so I want the door similar inside to that.

Then she wanted to know what I want done on the back patio doors. Eek. I have been expecting that question and trying all last weekend to decide. Picture the below sided with the brown siding, and the bottom of the house will be stone

There is some door casing trim that needs to be painted or stained. And then what color to paint the white part of the doors. Ugh. So, we've decided to just continue the tan paint color that's already on the trim around the door into the door casing. It's too cold to paint the doors right now, anyway, so I have time to think more on it. I'm leaning toward the dark brown, that our garage doors are, since there's not much actual door to be painted, since it's mostly windows. Then she was talking about the door color inside and she made it sound like it would have to be same color as outside. Well, I definitely don't want dark brown inside. But I must have misunderstood her. She said usually the inside doors are painted same color as the walls, so whew, cuz that's kind of what I was thinking, too.

Sometimes I wish I could just have a decorator say "ok, here's the colors you need to use" LOL. and I just need to trust my own instincts, I guess.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Some reprieve from the stress sounds like our contractor is going to cover his screw up with the insulation amount he put in our contract with him. He said the guy he usually uses increased his price from $1 sq ft to $3 sq ft in recent months. We're kind of guessing the change of attitude might have something to do with the guy with the bank who stopped by last Friday to do a check on progress and make sure it's matching what the draws say have been completed. In conversation with the guy asking how it was going DH mentioned how some of the contractor's costs (after we asked and asked that he make sure he had accurate sub numbers before we submitted to bank) for sub work is way off. Like double and more. Especially on the insulation. This guy kind of acted like the contractor should have to honor the price he put in for it, too. He asked DH, well I can tell D at the bank about it.  DH said he told him 3 times, no, please don't. It's not going to do any good. We can't seem to communicate with our builder, he just gets angry and blames everything on us, and the bank set our loan limit, so we can't change that. He will just tell the bank it's our fault and we made changes. DH did mention to him though that even though our contractor says we didn't tell him what we wanted for insulation, he is wrong. We have it in email where we told him exactly what we wanted and we told him at a face to face meeting when we sat down to look over our plans. DH said 1) I have email where I told him what we wanted. 2) Why would I put lesser insulation in my house than I had him put in my shop??!! 3) if he thought we were having the foundation crawl space with insulation blankets, instead of having it spray foamed (like we told him we wanted) then why didn't he put in the mounting brackets for the blankets when he did the foundation?

We are having a feeling maybe the guy did in fact talk to our banker lady. Because contractor called and talked to DH yesterday and was very calm and cooperative and said he'll take care of it with the insulation issue, as well as getting all our foundation crawl space mold mitigated.

Monday morning, some local guy who does finish work stopped by our jobsite to give DH his card and see if he needed any work done. So...framer guy (contractors son) asked who it was DH had been talking to and DH told him "some local guy who does finish work looking for work". Well, then when DH was talking to contractor on the phone he mentioned that he and his other guy will be out there as soon as drywall is in, to do the finish work....because his son probably told him some one else was trying to get the work! The labor doing the finish work is part of how our contractor earns his money on this job (on top of the contractors fee he's charging us). He doesn't want us to use someone else on the finish labor work.

In other house news. Months and months ago DH contacted some guy about doing some metal art to put our address on a big rock at our gate entrance. He's contacted him several times and the guy keeps saying he's working on it. Well, 4 months is long enough. DH contacted someone else to do it yesterday. We'll see if this guy fares any better. This is going to be our Christmas gift to each other.

The rest of the windows finally got delivered. These were the special order, triangle shaped windows that are up high in front and back. Roofer is supposed to be back tomorrow to finish the roofing.Painter lady and crew are back this morning to work on painting the trim. Framer is being grumpy because either she needs to use one of the ladders or the scaffolding and DH says whatever she's trying to use he's telling her he needs it (there's only like 6 ladders all around here)

This morning I got my good hair cutting scissors out and cut almost 3" in length off my hair. So much better! Now it's just above my collar bone.

A package just got delivered in my name. I was trying to recall what I might have ordered recently (nothing coming that I could think of). I looked at the shipping label and it was from Key West...well, some good friends of ours were down there vacationing over Thanksgiving. They sent me an amazing hanging glass sign with a rooster on it that says Welcome Friends.  What a nice, thoughtful thing to do! It sure made my day.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The kids

I forgot to mention the highlight of the long weekend. DD and her DF were spending the weekend at his parents house. Anyway, she texted me "have you ever heard of Dave Ramsey and his books?". Ahhh, music to a frugal mom's ears, LOL. It sounds like they have accumulated a bit of credit card debt since they bought their house. Now with DD's big raise with her new job and her DF just got a $5,000 a year raise, she wants to get their credit card debt paid off. She also told me with her new job she is putting the max 7% into her 401k and her company matches 75 cents. That's a good match. My company only does .50.

I told her I have read his book(s) years ago, as well as I used to sometimes listen to his radio show on my way to work and that he is very good for help with getting out of debt. She said she was going to check out her local library and see if she could borrow from there, since she doesn't want to spend money on them, when the whole purpose to read them is to get out of debt, LOL. I told her the library was where I borrowed them from. She's a pretty focused person, so she'll probably end up going all gazelle on the bills, haha. I told her about his snowball method, to pay off smallest debt first and then use that monthly payment (and whatever else you can add to it) towards the next debt and so on.  She also mentioned the book would be a good Christmas gift for her.

Speaking of children, the last I had heard from our son was several months ago, when he emailed to ask me if I had his social security card I could email a copy back to him, as he needed it to accept a new job. Through the grapevine (grandparents) we heard a couple of different stories of what job he was changing to (he had been working at a computer repair store the past 2 years). One was he was going to be a sheet metal apprentice (sounded like a good job to get into) and the other was some other more specialized type of labor (I can't recall). Turns out he ended up going to work with his buddy, hanging drywall. Who knows for sure, with him. I was hoping he was moving into something that he could learn a trade that pays well and make a career out of, if he isn't wanting to stay working with computers.

He's back on Facebook again, we can see a bit of his page. As usual, he's back on because he has a new girlfriend. I'm sure once that goes south in a few months, he'll be back off Facebook again. It's what he's been doing for several years now. Again, the new girlfriend is an older woman. DH says she's 38 (though how he knows that I didn't ask). From her Facebook page, looks to have a 17 year old daughter that doesn't live with her, and a younger daughter, maybe around 9 or 10. Again, another "winner" with the crude Facebook posts. What is it with these adult women, with children, acting like they are 15 years old? But, hey, at least this one doesn't have piercings everywhere and doesn't work at a pot shop.  She just tagged him in a photo from this weekend, with her little girl. He does look better than the last picture I saw of him or year or more ago. He has dropped the eyebrow piercing and the lip piercings.  Something to be thankful for.

Monday, November 26, 2018

The restful days

It was a very restful 4 days off. I didn't even sit at my desk to use my computer, except for a couple of very short few minutes. (mostly because DH was using the chair to be on his computer, ha!). I really had no alone time to sit and write a blog post.

We really didn't do much, which is exactly what I wanted to do. We slept in until 8 or 8:30. The first morning (Thanksgiving) I woke up my usual time, so I got up, had coffee, read for awhile, sitting on the bed, while DH was still asleep. And then I got sleepy and crawled back under the covers and fell back asleep. I think we got up at 9:30.

Thanksgiving afternoon our next door neighbors brought us over 2 plates of dinner! Ham, potatoes, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. It was so sweet of them. And much better than the Stouffer's lasagna I was going to make in the microwave, LOL.

I watched a little bit of tv on my ipad mini. Finished last weeks episodes of The Voice. We watched a little bit of news shows, as well as Gold Rush, which DH enjoys.

I finished one book and read two more during the 4 days off. All 3 were good books. The first book was I am Pilgrim. Quite a long book, but kept me interested. Good if you like CIA, spy type stories. The second book was The Atomic City Girls. It was good for the WWII history lesson, I wasn't aware of.  The third book was The Lovely Bones. It was a very good book, one of my favorites.

Saturday morning we woke up to everything covered in white with a couple of inches of snow. It was pretty, but ugh. They need to get this house all buttoned up! There are still windows that need to get in and the back half of the roof to get done.

DH got our new little electric fireplace out of the box to make sure it worked. It was making a strange noise. I read through some of the questions for it online on Amazon and a few mentioned that, too. He had to remove the back and bend the "brush" back in a little. It's the strangest thing what makes the "flames". It's a wire across the back with all these short pieces of like metallic paper. They spin around against the light and make the flames in the front. They were rubbing on the back panel. It was an easy fix. The little thing blows out some nice heat too. All in all, for $135, we are very happy with it and it should look good up in our loft sitting area in the house and make it nice and cozy feeling.

Friday, the blinds I ordered for the shop bathroom came, so we installed that. It looks so much better than a towel hanging over the window, LOL. The only Black Friday shopping I did was online to order the cabinets we want for this shop laundry. They are the same ones we got at Lowe's for our previous house laundry room, but since we wanted the brown color, and not white, those one's have to be ordered. They weren't on sale, but MyLowe's was having a one day 15% rebate back in the form of a Lowes gift card for online purchases. I bought a 3 door cabinet for above the washer and dryer and a narrow 15" wide tall cabinet for next to the washing machine. The total was $288. I saved 5%/$14.40 using my Lowes card, 4%/$11.52 back in ebates, and will get a gift card back for $41.04, bringing the total cost down to $221.

Saturday evening we decided to run into town and have dinner at the restaurant.  I had french dip and DH had a burger. I love their french dip sandwich. They also put on onions, mushrooms and swiss cheese. We were both stuffed and couldn't even finish all the fries. I think our stomach's are shrinking from the weight loss. Especially DH. He is down to 191 pounds (from 230 before we started all this construction early last spring).

We were pretty much of out food, so yesterday afternoon we drove into the city and went grocery shopping at the grocery store and Target. On the way out of the city we grabbed an early dinner of McDonalds. All the road construction between our place and the city was finally removed and no more slow downs. It actually was 35 minutes from our house to the city, now.

I got a nap in most days. By last evening I felt very rested up. Almost overslept this morning and woke up feeling like I was so NOT rested. Gah! I'm not really feeling the Monday and back to work, at all.

I have an old iphone 5s. I got this phone 4 years ago, Thanksgiving, for $99. And even then it wasn't the newest model. DH got one too, but his died about a year and a half ago (he uses his more than I do). But, since this phone is something I need to stay connected to my work phone system (via an app), I use it quite a bit more than ever before. How much longer can it last? I've just been waiting for it to die, before I have to cough up money for a new one. But, I also don't need it to die on me and then have to scramble for a new one, so that I'm quickly connected back to work.

Verizon sent me a Cyber Monday offer to upgrade to a 6s (obviously knowing I still have a 5, haha) for $5 a month/or $120 total. That's all I need really, I don't need the latest and greatest version, or even need what DH has (a 7s). I just need a phone that isn't 4 years old and probably going to give out on me here in the near future. It's a today only offer. I think I'm going to order it. It seems like probably the best deal I'm going to get on an iphone, even if it is a very older model.They mail the phone, no trade in required, but I'm assuming I'll have to take it into the Verizon store to have everything transferred from my old phone? I'm hoping it's an easy swap, where all my apps and work phone/email settings just transfer over to the new phone.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Let the days off begin

Ya just gotta love people that can have some fun in life, especially while working. The contractor's two young sons that do the concrete work were here yesterday. The youngest is just 18 or so, just graduated high school, I think. They were getting ready to pour the front entryway slab and he saw DH had the ipad recording and says "is that on time lapse?".  They are busy doing stuff and DH notices him doing something in very slow motion and is like "what in the heck are you doing?!" He's like you'll see.

Last night DH runs the video, this fast timelapse, where everybody else is moving fast and you see this goofball doing Michael Jackson moves with the crotch grab and all, which looked like it was in real time. OMG! I was dying laughing. DH sent him the video and he was "yes! nailed it" LOL

I only had to work until noon today. Big change at work between the end of today and starting Monday. We are discontinuing repping a big company as of the end of today. Lots of concerned employees who want to make sure our customers are taken care of, with big job orders placed before the termination, but will be followed up on by the mfg. after today. As one of our owners said, it's just a "moment in time" to deal with and we will take care of our customers to our best, as we always have, and everything will work out.

DH came across two old snow sleds for sale on Craigslist, from someone who sounds like they must live pretty near us. I texted and they said they are still available, but they are out of town until the 28th. So, I just said no problem, message me when you get back. When DH saw them online he said he's always wanted one of those old wooden sleds. When I looked it up online this morning and then asked him if he wanted me to message them, he said "nah..." but I said they sure would make a neat Christmas decoration on our future front porch, to which he thought was a great idea.

I don't think I am going to to any Black Friday shopping, even online. The only Christmas gifts I have to do are for DD and her DF and my mom. DH's parents will probably get a gift card, not sure yet, I'm going to have to wait and see if they are out of the rehab care facility or not. We don't really have room to buy ourselves anything, so aren't doing gifts to each other this year. Not to mention everything we will buy for the house, can be like a gift to ourselves.

I think I feel a nap coming on this afternoon. And hoping to feel rested up after these next few days of nothing to do. Hopefully DH won't get too bored, with nothing going on. He gets crabby and thinks too much when he's bored. I was so hoping the roofers will be able to come Friday and get back to work on roofing the back half of the house and that would keep DH occupied for the weekend, but the framers are not done with what they were supposed to be done with, which I'm sure won't  make the roofer very happy, either. Again, if they worked more than 6 hours a day, they would have had it ready for the roofer.

I guess lots of reading, napping, and watching shows online are on tap for me, this weekend.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Revisiting the numbers

There is so much to keep track of when building a house. So many notes and numbers in my head. In my computer. In a notebook. It all starts to jumble after awhile - even for an accountant. With the excess we are going to have to pay for HVAC and insulation (a total of $20,000 combined) I was about to go into "not think about it" shut down mode. Yesterday I got a bit of a break and decided to relook at our house cost breakdown numbers again. I have this spreadsheet done up last July or August. This number is what went to the bank. Then a few actual bids I went and got (flooring, cabinets and counter tops) came in right after that, as well as we adjusted a couple other lines (like we didn't need the $1000 for "sanican, dump fees, clean up". We are paying the monthly sanican bill ourselves and we have a dump trailer we own and DH is doing clean up as we go. Whatever he can fit into our regular garbage service he does, and he's been able to do most of it that way. Stuff that is wood scraps, we burn. So, I had forgotten we actually went into this house build with a $16,000 cushion for overages. Now I breathed easier yesterday. A couple other things a little higher and a couple a little lower, we are right now sitting at just being $5,000 over budget. That I can do with my income, by the time this is all done. Between what I have in savings set aside now and what I will have by the end of the year will be about $13,000.  Not to mention, there is no way this house will be done by the end of the year anyway, so I'm going to add in January extra money from my paychecks, which should be an additional $3500. I think we'll be ok and we are both more relaxed now about it all.

The HVAC furnace system we are getting is Lennox brand, which I have heard good things about. This is being done by a guy we know through DH's friend. He just built his own new house last year and this is the system he put in, along with a heat pump too. Gotta figure what he would put in his own 5000 sq ft house is good, right? He said it's super efficient and heating that big house (they are on the same electricity coop as we are on) with 5 people living in their house, he said his last month electricity bill was under $100. Plus we feel really confident he knows his stuff.

Today the framers are trying to finish siding. They still have to finish the back patio, before the roofer can come back. It was supposed to be finished this week, so he could come Friday/weekend, but I don't think that's going to happen. The contractor's other son is here to pour some concrete. Apparently this is his last day of the year he's pouring slabs, it's too cold. They are pouring our front entrance slab, a slab in front of the tall shop door, as well as pouring slab for our shed floor. DH decided not to have the elk/mountain scene stamped into the front entrance. We are just going to have it wood plank with the slate border, like we did the back patio. I think it's going to look great with the timber frame portico.

I guess our neighbor quit his job. We were wondering why he's been home since last week. Figured maybe he just had some vacation time he was using up. I guess he wasn't too happy with the new head guy they brought in. It does sound like he's got another similar job lined up. Boy, I'd hate to lose a job around this area, there are hardly any jobs to begin with. Plus he's in his 60's, but not ready to retire yet. Last August the company his wife works at closed their office here in town, so now she has to drive into the city every day to work at one of the other offices.       

Monday, November 19, 2018

A little complain'

After the quick and busy weekend, Monday is back at work and back to house building...if you want to call starting at like 9:30 or 10am...back at it.  Here's the mystery... the whole time the guys have been framing, since the end of August. It's basically 3 guys. The head guy is our contractor's son (mid 20's), it's his framing business. His younger brother works for him, as well as another guy who is around 40 years old.  The older guy (a very nice guy) shows up around 7:20 to 7:30 every morning. The other two show up at 8:30 am at the earliest. Most times it's getting closer to 9am. WHY??!! Why does he sit in his truck in our driveway for an hour to an hour and a half every morning? I told DH to ask him, LOL, but he won't for some reason. During the warmer days I figured maybe he just likes the quiet time to relax for the hour, read, take a nap, whatever, before they start work. There isn't anything he can do by himself, so he never starts work without them. Now it's 25 degrees most mornings, so he has to leave his truck running to keep warm. WHY??!! why would you waste the gas and sit there for an hour or more every single morning? I just don't get it.

This morning DH was still in the house when they were finally getting started around 9:30. (again, I ask, why does that other guy want to sit and wait for them for 2 hours?). DH was waiting for a call back from an electrician (because you know....we have apparently had to become our own general contractor to get these subs lined up). He looks out the window and sees them pulling our big slab of raw edge wood from our wood pile where we had all our trees cut into lumber pieces. This is like a big 16' length, wide piece of live edge wood. We want to use it for something in the house. Hopefully it can be used to make our kitchen bar countertop or maybe DH can make a table out of it. They had taken it out to use as a plank they could put up on the forklift forks and something to walk back and forth on. The framer knows what that stack of lumber is for. DH went out there and asked them not to use that, as we plan to use it for a countertop in the house. Framer guy got all snarky and was like "what? you mean for like a bathroom countertop?" DH was like, "no, for our kitchen island bar countertop". Then framer says "well, it'll be fine, we won't get it muddy". (there isn't anything they haven't gotten muddy!). DH comes back in the shop all mad and tells me obviously they don't want to listen to him. We don't want their boots and dropping their tools marking it all up, let alone putting 2-3 guys weight on it is going to bow/warp it, most likely and then it will be no good to use. DH asked me to go out there and tell them not to use it. So, I did. I just said "hi, sorry, but we had this cut to use for a countertop or a table, so can you not use it?" Framer says "ok, we won't use it". Geez. Not to mention we paid money to have the trees cut down and we paid money to have the boards cut for us. Then we find out the reason they didn't show up until 9:30 (and left their guy sitting there waiting an extra hour for them) was because they stopped and went hunting this morning.

What's the point of having your phone number on the Do Not Call Registry if you still get tons of spam phone calls? My cell phone is being bombarded with them the past couple of weeks.

ok, done complaining. I'm going to try a new vet. It's a little closer than the one I have used. Should save me 20 minutes each way. Plus, it has pretty much all 5 star reviews online, where the other vet has like 3.2 stars. I didn't really have a problem with the vet, though the second time I went there it was very chaotic and crowded in the small waiting area and just made me feel very stressed out. The chairs and benches were taken, everyone else was standing in the middle, because there was no where else to stand, plus some were actually trying to stand in line to check in. Plus, it's kind of a traffic drive through the city to get there. I noticed this other vet when we were at the fireplace shop looking around. It's the first exit to the city and just a couple of minutes drive off the freeway in a little business park. Better parking, too.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The quick, tiring weekend

We had a quick weekend visit from DD and her fiance. It was good for DH to see her (he hasn't seen her since May) and to get little break from the house stuff. They decided to stay in the motel rather than bring their camper trailer for such a short visit. They got in Friday night after midnight, so we didn't see them until about 8am Saturday morning. They grabbed breakfast at the motel lobby and then came over.

It was kind of a tiring 13 hours, LOL. We gave them the house building tour. Then came inside the shop for awhile and sat and visited. It was getting close to noon so we decided to drive into the city for lunch and we really needed to stock up on some soda for dh (and he puts soda out in a cooler for the workers). First we stopped at a feed store in the next town over as DH wanted to get a couple of bales of straw/hay to put down over the muddy area next to our shop, to see if it will help cut down on the dogs muddy paws. I had no idea what bales cost, haha. $6.75 ea. LOL. They also had a little area in the store with gift type stuff and DD bought a jigsaw puzzle as a Christmas gift for her fiance's parents. DD has a Costco card, so we decided to go and get the soda there, as that is where they wanted to fill up their truck with gas. I still hate Costco, LOL. It was so crowded, you could barely get around the place. But, the lines weren't long, at least. Of course we couldn't get out of there with just soda. DH found some insulated winter work gloves. Then I saw a big bag of Ghiradelli peppermint bark...and then a sweater top for $7. I could use another warm long sleeve top and who can beat $7.

Then we went next door to Lowes and looked at some shelving and lighting, just to look for ideas. We are going to have to change our original plans for porch lights, because this stupid huge house isn't big enough to put up porch lights?! Good grief. The windows next to the back patio doors should have been smaller, apparently, as they are too close to the doors and not enough room to put porch lights in between the trim. I haven't really decided now what I want to get, instead. I did find that the porch lights we got for the shop also carries a hanging pendant light that matches, so I'm going to get that for the light under the covered porch. Only $50 on Amazon.

We grabbed lunch at Wendy's and then were trying to figure out something to do for the afternoon. I suggested a wild life conservation place I had seen advertised on a billboard, so we killed an hour or more walking around that. Came back home and visited for a couple of hours and then went out to a nice dinner. Then we came back home again and visited until they went back to their motel around 9pm. We were all pretty tired. Their dog is exhausting! He will just never leave our older dog alone and our older dog won't put him in his place, so it's several hours of trying to sit, relax and visit, but try to keep their dog in line.

There isn't much to do around here and not much comfortable sitting here in the shop, so we went ito town this morning and met them for breakfast and just took our time with that. I think we were all still full from the big dinner we had the night before. They were going to leave by 11am or so anyway, so by the time we got done eating and visiting it was around 10am so they just decided to get checked out of their room and back on the road.

DH and I got back home and we were both just exhausted, still. We both took a nap, which seemed to do us both some good. He's been piddling with stuff outside and I've been looking at lighting fixtures online. I think I've decided what I want to get for dining room, kitchen, entry way, etc, and the ceiling fan.

I am so glad next week is going to be a short work week.

Friday, November 16, 2018

the money flows back and color decisions

ok, so I can't read. The $180 charge on my credit card by the insurance company was actually a $180 credit! That was a nice thing to find out this morning. Instead of being $180 poor I'm $180 richer, it's like a $360 turnaround, LOL!

I do not know what color to paint our patio doors exterior. We picked these pit way back in January. I seem to recall the building supply expert telling us we want these doors that are painted rather than  real wood doors, that have to be stained. I can't recall the exact reason now, weather exposure, I think it was. Anyhow, they are starting to install them. Our siding is a two tone dark and tan, but mostly dark. Our window and door trim outside is a light tan (see shop photo below for example)

I hate trying to decide/figure out colors! They are just patio doors with glass in most of it, so just a trim area around the doors that needs painting. I can't decide if to just go with the light tan (that will already be around the whole door frames) or go with the dark brown, like our garage doors are. Ugh. I always feel like I am going to make the wrong choice.

On another note, I forgot we ordered these patio doors with the blinds inside the glass. Those will be nice to have. They also apparently come with slideable screen doors, which neither DH or I recall the guy telling us. I'm not sure we would have ordered them with screens. We'll have to see what they look like on, but looks like easily removable, I guess, if we don't like them.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Follow the money

Some days I feel like we are just bleeding money with this construction! When we had to add more insurance for the start of the construction on the house it was an additional $996, which I had to pay all up front, before we signed for our construction loan. No problem. Then this morning I log into my credit card account and see another $180 charged to this insurance company. I have no idea what that is for. I have an email into my agent to find out. Would have been nice to get a notice about it. There probably was...mailed to our old address, because I can't seem to get these people around here to update my address.

It's warmed up here the last couple of days. Almost 50 degrees. Wooo! The roofers are still working at it. But they can't finish until the framers have the back patio cover built, because that is also roofed and ties into the back side of the house roofing. The framers have been working on it the past two days, so it should all get done so the roofers can finish. Today they are roofing the garage part and haven't done the back of the house yet. Hopefully they will both time it out so it all works out. I know they are having trouble as both seem to need to big forklift thing at the same time.

We've both been very exhausted lately. After dinner, it's pretty much all we can do to stay much awake for the evening. Just lots going on with the house and some of it stressful. Wears a person out. I'm hoping with next week being the holiday week, we'll be able to get a bit more rested. I only have to work through noon on Wednesday and not get back to work until the following Monday.

We are getting low on food again. Always happens quick now, since we don't have much space to refrigerate. I'll make a quick run into town tomorrow at lunch and pick up a few things, then I will probably make another trip into the city next Wednesday afternoon, since I only have to work half day. The menu is getting tiresome, LOL. Can you believe we have not been out to eat once since we moved into the shop here? Well, I take that back. "We" have not been out to eat, but DH has been out to eat lunch a couple of times with the framing guys.  I think we'll probably take DD and fiance out to dinner on Saturday night, treat them and boy do I need a treat to eat out, haha.

I've been slacking on doing M-turk hits again. Just too busy to even take breaks from work lately. I did do about $2 yesterday and today I got a follow up email that I qualified for a $5 hit, based on previous survey's I've done, so I did just do that one, for sure. Took maybe 20 minutes or so. Maybe next week, during the holiday break I can do some more.

The one framer that brings his little dog, well she keeps quite busy all day long. LOL. The other day she found some fish bones she was chewing on. Today she went off with the neighbors dogs for awhile, came back with do I put this....the part the hunters cut off the deer or elk to prove the sex! Yesterday she stole DH's bottle of water. She's not much bigger than a chihuahua, haha.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Middling through the week

I haven't had any more vertigo, so that is very good. Not something I want to have to go through again, that's for sure. I'm just glad it didn't hit me when I was trying to get payrolls done for my jobs.

The house is slowly getting shingled. It's a crew of 3 guys and apparently they are staying in the town motel, as they expect to be here 3 or 4 days. Head guy complaining to DH that he's broke, etc. Well, then gee...maybe instead of going hunting each morning before you come here to work, you come here to work, get it done, so you can go on to the next job. They showed up this morning at 10am. Same thing with the framing guy/crew. Maybe if you worked all 3 of you each day (the head guy was here 3 hours on Mon and none yesterday) and you all worked more than 6 hours a day, you'd be a lot farther along. The work ethic/mentality of this area is so foreign to us. Today, the framing crew brought an extra guy, so 4 people working today. I guess this extra guy is a landscaper, but obviously is probably done working on that job for the year, so picking up extra work in construction. DH said he was very impressed with our rockery.

The house is partly sided now. Thank goodness for pre-finished siding! It's like instant gratification when it goes up. We are still waiting on the rest of the windows (triangle shaped) that go in above the front door and above great room wall overlooking river. Exterior doors were supposed to come at the end of last week and still haven't showed up. They told DH they needed the front patio area prepped like 5 weeks ago, so they could come and pour the concrete. So, he got the excavating guy out really quick and got that ready.......still not poured and now we are hearing the concrete guy thinks it will have to wait until spring. Well, they should have come when they told DH they were (hence getting the excavating guy out in a rush). They are just not very organized at all.  DH just realized the plumbers did  not rough in the half bath on the main floor. So, now they have to come back and do that.

I really don't know how to get people to work/do their job around here. Back on 10/19 I emailed our county clerk recorder to ask how I go about changing our mailing address for our property taxes. She replied back that she updated it.  10 days later our property tax statement was mailed out - to our old PO Box address. When I mail the check in with the remittance stub at the end of this month, I'll include a note of the address change. Maybe that will work.

I just got an ebates rebate of $5.40 on a $135 Amazon purchase I made. I don't even remember what I bought, LOL. We've been ordering so much stuff. Oh, it was the little electric fireplace I just ordered. Sweet, a 4% rebate is pretty good. Plus I'll get 2% cashback from my credit card it was put on (which I paid off today). I always laugh at those ebates commercials on tv where the people say "I've gotten back $3082, or some huge amount. OMG, with the average rebate probably 2%, they would have to order like $150,000 in product. Even if they got 10% back, they had to have purchased something $30,000. I doubt the average person makes purchases like that, LOL.

Our new neighbors (also building) at the end lot told DH they have a snow plow for their quad and will be happy to plow all the way to the start of the lane, they have to get out so the guy can get to work, anyway. Now we just have to figure out what we are going to do for our driveway area.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

It's a topsy turvy world

Oh my goodness. Yesterday afternoon, as I was working at my desk, I felt a little light headed. Thought maybe I was dehydrated, so I got up and got a bottle of water. Felt a bit light headed walking back to my desk. Drank most of the water and was trying to read an email and the words were all over the place. I put my head between my legs and that helped. Sat up again and was all dizzy. Was bent over trying to text DH to come into the shop, when he happened to walk in. So, he came and sat with me. He thought maybe some fresh air would help so he opened a window and I took some breaths. A little better. But, then all of a sudden I would get all dizzy again if I moved. Then I realized it must be vertigo!

So, that was not a fun 8-9 hours. After I realized I wasn't fainting and it was vertigo, I decided to try laying down. Laid down on my right side and the room just started spinning like crazy. Woo! Tried my left side and that was ok. So, that's where I stayed for quite a few hours, afraid to move. Anytime I moved my head to the right, or got up, I got dizzy. I laid there until evening, trying to sleep. Only getting up a couple of times to go to the bathroom.  Finally at around 9pm my left ear was hurting so bad from laying on it for so long, I tried to turn over. Spinning. I just stayed there a bit and it got somewhat better, but still spinning. I laid on my right side as long as I could stand the feeling (and it makes you nauseous, too) and went back on my left side for awhile. About half hour later I tried laying on my right side again. Just kept my eyes closed for the 20 seconds or so of spinning and then it settled down and stopped. Finally! I slept ok the rest of the night and am feeling much better this morning. Still a bit shaky and wobbly, but no more spinning, thank goodness. I've never had vertigo before and hope I never get it again.

Monday, November 12, 2018

This, that, and the other stuff

Friday was my half work day but I used some of my afternoon to work on my side job. Trying to get caught up so everything through October can go to their CPA for a review of where they are at, as the end of year is approaching. I also did about an hour on it yesterday, just so I wasn't so swamped trying to get it all done today. My goal was to have it done and the file uploaded to their CPA by the end of today, and I was able to get it finished up this morning, so that feels good. It won't be a stressful Monday, now.

The roofer didn't come this weekend, like he had said, but showed up at 7am this morning with his crew, so it is finally getting worked on again. We've only got two framers today. I'm not even sure what they are working on. I guess a week or so ago the head framer told DH he needs to be done with his part of our construction by Thanksgiving. Well, I see that is only a week and a half away. At the rate they work, I'd say he's still got 3-4 weeks worth of work! The back cover over patio needs to be built. The whole house needs to be sided and the tongue and groove soffits done. The staircase inside house needs to be built. Pretty sure you gotta work more than 30 hours a week to get a big job done in a timely fashion.

DD and fiance are coming over next weekend for a short visit. They were going to bring their new camper trailer, but last night she said she's just thinking about getting a motel room in town, since they will be in very late (like midnight) on Friday and then have to leave by late morning on Sunday to get back home by Sunday evening. Driving over 3 mountain passes, they can also probably get here quicker just driving their pickup, rather than also pulling the trailer. If they were staying longer, they'd bring the camper.  It's looking like ok weather for the end of the week, no snow expected and temps during the day in the mid to high 40's, which should make for an ok drive over the passes, I hope. They just put brand new tires on their pick up, too, so good to go there.

DD got a call that her wedding dress was ready to be picked up. They ordered the wrong one! Good thing she doesn't need it right away. She wasn't very impressed with the way they acted about it getting ordered wrong. Kind of poor customer service. And then she got $110 back, because the dress they ordered wasn't the same price as the dress she bought. We had kind of wondered on the total when we were at the store, but she had also added tailoring and washing/preserving after, and then thought we had the price on the dress wrong in our heads.

It pays to shop around. We need to get some blinds for the shop windows, but for now DH said he really just wants the bathroom one (we currently just have dark brown towels hung up over the windows). When I ordered a couple of blinds for our previous house I used Home Depot online for custom fit blinds. I priced out what I wanted for the shop bathroom window (all the shop windows are same size) and a 2" faux wood blind was $50 in the size I needed. on sale 20% off.  Then I decided to shop around and found Lowes for exact same thing was $39. $11 bucks is $11 bucks, plus with Lowe's I get 2% ebates cash back, whereas with Home Depot it's not offered. And I used my 2% cash back credit card (which I will pay off this week) for another 2%. It was a sale through Wednesday, but I'll just keep watching and when they go on sale again, at some point, I can order the rest of the blinds.

For something to do in my down time, I've been watching the Voice on demand, getting caught up with this season. I was reading so much, that I felt like I needed a break from reading for a bit. I'm getting caught up, 3 more episodes to go.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday morning

Friday was an exhausting day, just mentally. Thursday the framers started building our covered front porch. It's a timber frame style. They still also have to build a big one over part of back patio. I had zero idea the painter lady was coming mid day Friday to start staining it. They were still working on it Friday, anyway. Then that morning DH says she's coming to stain it and no one has talked to me about what stain I wanted it. Apparently DH told her just to use the same dark stain we used on the shop tongue and groove soffits.! That's not what I want. So, phone calls ensued. Painter lady was helpful, for the most part, and I sent her a picture of what I was thinking in terms of stain color. I wanted a warm/honey looking stain. Not brown. Plus, as she pointed out, that dark stain would look even darker on the timbers because they are rough cut, where as the tongue and groove soffits were smooth and sanded. DH was being kind of a butt about it to me. I'm like no one told me they were staining it already. And every time I try to bring something up with details of what I want, they tell me to wait, they aren't to that part yet.

Then we got the bid from contractor's insulation guy. $12,000 over what contractor has. Hey at least it's better than $22,000 over, which is what other bid we got, was. Good grief. And the contractors HVAC guy still has not come out to tell us what we are getting for the system, what it REALLY costs. We've been waiting 8 weeks now. I called up the contractor. Let's just say it was not a good conversation. Before I could even get what I wanted to say out, which was the bid is way over, so we're going to need some help figuring this out, (trying a nice approach) he blew up on me, all defensive. It's all our fault, we didn't tell him we wanted this or that. He can't control the costs being more when we are changing what we told him we wanted. blah blah. So, I took notes of everything he was saying, so I could tell DH this is the "reason" for the higher bids. DH has emails where he specifically stated what he wanted for insulation - spray foam and batting. He says he also specifically recalls seeing our friends crawl space/foundation (a house this contractor built), where they had spray foamed it and DH had told contractor I want it just like J's foundation was insulated and he had said that was a good way to  do it. Now he claims he knows nothing about us wanting these "extras".

Then he has the nerve to say "and your windows were $8,000 and I had to pay that out of my pocket". I'm like WHAT?! Why didn't you get a draw from the construction loan to pay for them them? He was like well, the bill came on the 4th and it's due like the 10th, so I covered it, since it's due now. I said, well, I thought that's why we've hired a licensed contractor - you have accounts with all these building supply places and then submit for draw. And do I really believe he didn't get 30 days to pay it, since he has an account there, so he'd have time to get a draw request in? No, most likely it was because he was on vacation last week and didn't get a draw in before it was due to the building supply place. It's not my problem he's unorganized and can't plan out putting supplies on his accounts and getting a draw before they are due.

He's being a complete jerk. He did finally calm down quite a bit the second half of the phone call, but he's just an idiot, really.  Nothing is ever his fault and if you question him about anything he gets all defensive. He has not even been out here once since the house started getting framed.  DH did thank me for calling him and dealing with him.

Yesterday we went into the city and looked at some more gas fireplaces. I think we've narrowed it down and found one we both like. Plus it will also heat, so if our electricity goes out, we can still have some propane heat coming from this. I did order the "fake" little electric fireplace for the upstairs loft sitting area from Amazon. It has really good reviews and was only $140.

 The roofer was supposed to show up at noon yesterday and get started again. Now he's supposed to come today. Painter lady and her "crew" (a son and his girlfriend) are here again. She's trying to finish up, mostly because of the weather and these need to get stained to protect them, while she says the contractor wants her doing an indoor job next week somewhere else and she said she's trying to tell him our outside work is the priority - she can do inside work anytime/any weather.

The weather is supposed to warm up a bit this coming week, mid to high 40's during the day, and still be sunny, so that will help a lot. This building is not for the faint of heart, that's for sure. Would I do it again, probably not, unless we could be our own general contractor and have more control and not be relying on someone else to get it right.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Just shaking my head

Our contractor is an idiot. After he was off on most of his subwork amounts he had in our cost breakdown for the shop, (and we paid for) we strongly and numerous times told him we need him to be right on for the house costs. We can't afford any more big surprises.

He appears to be off on the insulation costs by 100%! DH has been trying to have him get his insulation sub out to make sure it will cost what contractor says. Same thing with his HVAC guy. We have been asking him to get them out here for 2 months now. In the meantime, last week, we had that friend of friend, who has HVAC company come out. He also used to own an insulation company. He looked around and said, just ballpark, I'm guessing it would be about $35,000 to insulate. Builder put in $16,500 for"R-23 walls and R-50 ceiling blown in up, down, and garage." We then had the guy he sold his insulation company to come out and give us a bid. $39,000. Finally, yesterday, the builder's insulation sub came out. He's working up the bid, but said same thing - it's going to be at least $30,000 to do this. WTF?!!  .

We will probably have to consult with an attorney on this to find out what our rights are. In my opinion the builder screwed this up and he needs to eat the cost difference. We have a contract for him to build  this house for a specific amount, listed line by line. In the contract, it states if we want to make changes or choose higher cost "allowance" items (like fixtures, appliances, flooring) then we have to pay the difference ourselves. (of course). We have not changed what we want for insulation. He royally screwed up the bid. We were telling the HVAC guy about all this costs being higher on so many things. He said he's done contractor work/built stuff before and he said the builder should have to cover the cost on that, if he bid it wrong to us.

The painter lady just showed up to start on some outside trim (she is wife of contractor's finish guy) and she asked "when does it get insulated". DH just kind of laughed and said - maybe not ever....since the cost is more than twice what contractor put in bid. She's like "well, ya, that happens, sometimes costs go up". I said well, I might expect a cost to go up 10, maybe 15%..not over 100%!! Anyway, I was stressing over it yesterday and last night, but woke up this morning with the mindset the contractor can figure it out - it's his problem. (I know in reality it will still be my problem, LOL, but at least today, I'm not worrying about it, haha)

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Mail and whatnot

I've been expecting to get a bill in the mail for our new "homeowner's" insurance on the shop, since it's not under construction anymore, I changed it to a homeowner's type policy. I emailed the insurance broker this morning to check on the bill and she said they mailed it to our old PO Box address (even though I gave them our new mailing address) and that it got returned to them yesterday. Why didn't the postal service forward it to me?! According to USPS online they are supposed to forward my mail for 12 months. So frustrating. Probably explains why, since we've moved, I feel like I am hardly getting any normal amount of mail. I tried to find a ph# to call post office but it was a general customer service number and would be a 43 minute wait to talk to a live person (good grief!). Then I found our local office ph# and talked to the manager. She apologized, it was their fault, and mail is supposed to be forwarded for a year. Apparently they have some people helping there from a different post office, who aren't as familiar with everything.

It snowed a bit this morning. Ugh. Yesterday a bunch of the windows got installed, so at least there is that. Still some more to do, but only one lone guy working here today, so he can't do them by himself.  Framer texted DH this morning to ask how much snow, if any, we got. DH told him just a dusting and now it was raining. He said he wanted to say "what difference does it make - you have a house to build and get done!". LOL.  Then the rest of the roofing shingles got delivered this morning (roofer is supposed to come back tomorrow to finish it). There some some mix up in the billing or they were short a pallet or something, but the bill was $5475 and the roofer only had $5000, so we wrote a check for the $475. Not a big deal, as some of the work we are covering out of pocket anyway, when we can, and something about our contractors account with the roofing supply company is on hold....not a good sign.

My dd and her fiance went and visited in-laws on Sunday at the care center they are in. They are doing pretty well, all considering. Apparently MIL thinks she is there to keep FIL company, haha, and nothing is wrong with her. SIL said she thinks she is a visitor with overnight privileges.Then a staff member came in to ask her some questions that apparently she was answering wrong because FIL was shaking his head no to all her answers. Then she whispers to DD's fiance "they just ask you all these questions to keep you in here longer". I guess she was trying to outsmart them by giving them wrong answers. LOL.

So, we got a better HVAC bid, from the friend of our friend. He used to also own an insulation business and had insulated our shop at our previous house. His was lower than the other HVAC, plus he's letting us use his plumbing supply account to buy the fixtures, which looks to save $500-$600, too. The guy he sold his insulation company to came out and we got his bid this was almost $40,000! I about spit my coffee out when I opened the email this morning. Not even in the ballpark in the same state, LOL. Kind of like that one electrician's bid. So far out there, it's ridiculous.

Monday, November 5, 2018

A busy Monday

What a busy morning! I took today off to do some "shopping" for stuff for our house. First stop was at the cabinet place. Picked out the stain and glaze and also picked out the molding style. Next stop was a place that sells gas fireplaces. It had been suggested to go there as better prices, but I really don't know. They had no prices on any of them. Basically, it was pick out what you like with all the options and we'll quote you a price, plus $800-$1000 to install. I wasn't really done looking/asking questions, but stopped to take pics of a couple different styles I liked and she walked off and started helping someone else. I waited a bit wandered around and then didn't see her at all. So, I just left.

Then I went to the flooring place. My guy had stepped out but was on his way back, but a nice gal looked up my info and got me my samples to look at again. Then my guy (Bob!) got back and we looked at flooring for bathrooms, laundry and entryway. Going with a good vinyl that looks (and feels) like slate/stone.

Next stop was another fireplace store. Same place we got our stone for outside of our shop and house. They had prices on everything and much easier to figure out. I got some info sheets and took a couple pictures. Probably will use them, if we don't get the one thru an hvac guy's quote. Plus, their installing cost is $600.

Then it was on to a plumbing fixture supply place. Picked out sinks, soaker bathtub, and faucets and she gave me pricing (per our plumber's account with them). I was going to also go to the other plumbing supply place our plumber suggested, but when an hvac guy came out last Friday he offered us to use his contractor pricing with a different plumbing supply place. He's a friend of our good friends and he also insulated our shop at our previous house, so we've met him several times. So, I decided to go to that plumbing supply place, instead. What do you know, he was walking into the place just as I was getting out of my car! What are the odds of that, haha. I'm pointing at him and telling the gal at the desk he sent me here, LOL. I basically picked out the same stuff, as the other plumbing place, or very similar, and she will work up the pricing and email it to me. It will be interesting to see the pricing difference.

My fixed car drove splendid. No more shaking the steering wheel when coming to a stop. I took a granola bar and a banana with me and ate between stops, so I didn't spend any money on fast food. I don't mind driving around this city at all. It's really easy to find places and traffic is nothing, really. It reminds me of a town my parents lived in for awhile (and my dd went to college there). My dad used to say "everything is 5 minutes away" and that's how it is there. Got home around 2pm and I am ready for a nap. The framers are installing windows, which is nice. It's pouring rain - again. The exterior doors are supposed to be here at the end of this week.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Fixing the car

Saturday was a bit of a weird day. DH had called a tire store in the city a couple days prior to make an appointment to have our car looked at and at a minimum it would need an alignment (though he figured it was more than that). DH also said, twice, we will have to wait there, while the car is being worked on. They said be there at 8am. So, we were up at 6:15, out the door at 7:15 and at the tires store at 8am. Barely could even find a parking place. Check in and go sit with all the other people in the waiting area. There was a guy with a little dog, that kind of looked familiar to me, but I didn't think much of it. About a half hour later a woman walked in and DH says "that's so and so" as she's walking to the guy with the dog. It was the people we bought our house from in town, haha! I had only met them like once or twice and being 50 miles from our home town, didn't realize it was him. So, we sat and talked to them for about an hour, while their tires got switched to snow tires. Our car continued to sit out in the parking lot. They got done and left.

Finally, at 9:45am, after almost 2 hours of sitting there and our car still not even started on, I went up to the desk and politely asked "can you give me an estimate on when my car will get started working on?" He goes and check and says "probably 11:30 or noon". I'm like "but we were told to be here at 8...we're supposed to just sit and wait 3 or 4 hours for you to even start on it?" Then DH walked up and the guy says just a minute and comes back and says "oh, it should be 30-60 minutes before they can start". DH then says, nicely, well, we were told to be here at 8am. If we'd been told you couldn't start on it for 3-4 hours, we would have come later, or went and ran some other errands and come back. The guy pretty much was like who cares. So, DH nicely says "ok, we'll just take our keys back and leave". He tries to say, but you are next - 30-60 minutes. DH says, no thank you. We'll just take our keys.

We drove over the another tire store across the street, but he didn't have a mechanic on duty to do an alignment. He was kind enough to call another tire store and see if they did (they didn't either). We got back out to the car and DH called up Firestone (this is the brand of tires we have anyway) and the gal said if you can be right over here shortly, we can get you right it. It was a couple of miles away and we were there in a few minutes. Before we even got finished checking in with her on her computer they had our car up on the lift and started working on it. We were out of there, completely fixed up 2 hours later! We needed new front brakes, a new tie rod, and the aligment. $600, but now the car drives good again. That is the only repair we have had to do to it in 8 years of owning it (118,000 miles) so cannot complain at all. I was expecting a bill of somewhere between $500 and a $1000, at a minimum, anyawy. And now we know where we will always go for that kind of work needed, right?!

Then we went and grabbed lunch at drive thru and went over to the grocery store and got stocked up for a few more weeks of eating.  We are both just relieved that our car is fixed and it wasn't anything too major or too costly.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Too much going on

Things with the in-laws are calming down a bit, so that is good. Yesterday FIL got out of the hospital and transferred to a rehab facility near their home. MIL is improving and is supposed to get released today, also to the same rehab facility, where they will get to share a room! I know that will help both of them tremendously. While it's not home, it sure nicer than their home, LOL. I looked the place up online and it was just built a few years ago. We have no idea how long they will have to be there, but at least for now it will be much easier on SIL. (DH always calls her "little sister" but now he calls her "little grandma sister" LOL.).

DH talked to his mom a few minutes last night and all's she knows about today is she's getting a surprise, which she is happy about. He also talked to his dad, who while tired and wore out, was also glad his wife will be joining him.

SIL is trying to figure out their "spend down" they will need to do. There are things they can use their money for that qualify as spend down - like a new furnace for their home! She also wants to know the tax implications by them withdrawing a large chunk from their retirement funds, so I am going to help her with that next week to figure out an estimate on how much tax will be, so she can make a tax deposit for it and have that count as part of the spend down, too.

Typical Friday - one framer here and he'll probably only work half a day. We've been waiting 7 weeks for the contractors HVAC guy to at a minimum tell us what we are getting for the money. The two bids we've gotten are 30% over what contractor put in the bid. Contractor is on vacation. Framer apparently doesn't work Fridays. It would help if it would stop pouring down rain.  Still waiting on that one electrician (that we hoped would be a good bid) to get us a bid, but since it's been two weeks (maybe it's been 3?) now, he's probably not going to come through. But at least we did get the one bid that was ok.

Every 3-4 months I get a reward from Verizon. The choices of rewards vary. The last one I got was a $5 Starbucks giftcard code - that didn't work! This time was a free movie from Vudu. I've gotten one of those from them before. Picked out a new movie. Will watch it one of these days.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Caught up

Finally caught up and now it's Thursday already. I think I mentioned last week or prior that I had signed DH up for short term non-Obamacare insurance to start on Nov 1st. I cancelled his old insurance effective the end of October. I also just received the notification in the mail on what the 2019 premium would be (had I kept it). Another $90 per month! Not to mention out of pocket costs increased. No. Thank. You. I am so done with paying that. That would have been $650 a month, starting in January. I am now paying $181 per month. Boy, it will be SO nice to have almost an extra $500 a month back in my bank account! That will save almost $6000 next year.

The house is coming along, bit by bit. The roofers got the paper covering the roof this week and started on some shingles (leftover from shop) and that's all they got to (waiting on the rest of shingles and they had another job to finish). So, at least it's not raining inside my house anymore.....or so I thought. It rained a bunch again last night and DH came back inside the shop this morning, fit to be tied, because it's obviously still not completely dried in, like they said, because water is still coming inside the house. GAH! The framers brought a couple of heaters yesterday, and DH got out his big oil heater and they had those going yesterday. Pretty much a waste of time, since some of it just got all wet again.

The upstairs is being a pain. Nothing is really going according to the plan, due to how they did the roof trusses. Using roof trusses (because it's easier than having to build trusses) made the usable space cut way down. We've had to reconfigure quite a bit. It was going to end up that I had no office room! That doesn't fly! I didn't want to make one of our guest bedrooms into an office, either. And now that they are getting to putting up the walls in those rooms, they would be too small to be an office and a guest room anyway. Oy vey! We ended up making the big guest bathroom a bedroom, one of the original guest rooms (with the river view) is my office and the other bedroom is the same. Now - we had to put a bathroom someplace and it is now in the angled area, that was originally supposed to be my office (with window/view). No window, of course, but not necessary. And  not nearly the nice size the original upstairs bathroom was supposed to be, with a neat clawfoot tub :(  So, the upstairs has been a bit disappointing, as it's coming along. The bedroom (with river view), with the dormer walls/ceiling and where the door needs to go, was not even really fitting a queen sized bed! Finally we just decided the bed will have to go into the dormer space, up against the window. Not my first choice. Then when framer was trying to lay out the "hallway" wall to this bedroom, it was leaving a very narrow space to get back to the bathroom and bonus room above garage. He's like "you won't be able to get any furniture past here.  Well, duh, we need to be able to furnish the bonus room! Couch, chairs, etc.  Finally, it got all figured out, but it was frustrating. I'm sure it will all be fine and look nice, once all said and done.

They got the back wall made for the kitchen island, which now makes the kitchen start to feel more like a kitchen. They did manage to fit in a nice sized walk in closet in the upstairs bedroom next to the bathroom, so that is good. There will also be another storage "room" space up there, where I can store like Christmas stuff or whatever.

In our great room, we planned to have a gas fireplace. Is anyone familiar with an electric fireplace? Seems like one of these would be much cheaper route to go, unless I am missing something. No hook up to propane needed, no venting needed. We are just wanting it for the "ambiance" - not so much heat or anything, though it appears the electric ones blow out heat, too. I know I am using a small electric one up in the loft room, which is why I started thinking about using one in the main fireplace, too. It's not like we will be using it all the time, either.

I've read a couple more good books lately.  The first was called The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. Really really good. I just started reading another book by him last night.  The other one was Ghost Boy, a true story by Martin Pistorius. Very interesting and inspiring. The human body is quite the mystery.