Monthly Archives: August 2017

And Again. . .

The chimney people were here yesterday. We need a new connection to and chimney pipe, $xxxx money — again. Considering we heat mostly with wood, this isn’t optional,  it must get fixed, ASAP.

We figured out how we’d pay for it last night and have a few questions for the guys before we say “Do it.” But this is one disaster we sure weren’t anticipating! DH left them a message today, so we’re already in process.

My long-term lesson from this is that we need to change when we get our chimney inspected and cleaned. NOT at the end of summer, but at the beginning or middle. Much longer to recover from unforeseen issues! If it was June or the beginning of July, I wouldn’t have panicked as much as I did.

was diligent. I think I called for the appointment a month ago but they were busy with a large construction job. Just the same, next year the chimney gets inspected in MAY, not August.

Re coming up with the money, I took down my beloved 6 slot candle fixture. I love it and have since the day I found/bought it. However, a wall-mounted candle fixture is not practical in a LOG home. Especially a log home with only one place it might be safe to use it (the stairwell) and that’s impractical because, oh, it’s the wall facing the stairs and over 6′ off the ground. Soooo. . . . I’ve debated and thought about it and left it where it was, several times, until today. Today I took it to the antique shop.

Tomorrow I talk to the fellow who manages consignments for the high-end antique shop hereabouts. Assuming things go as expected, the marble/wrought iron table will go to them some time next week. (I’ve already talked to the delivery guy once, we’ll talk again the beginning of next week.)

At the antique store, I marked down (a lot!) the Hoosier. If it doesn’t sell for that price, I’m prepared to haul it to the auction house where we bought it, next Tuesday. I also took the Victrola horn I’d gotten at auction earlier this year. I fell in love with the images of pendant lights made from them, but hadn’t realized they were so BIG! Even looking at it at the auction preview didn’t really get that point across. But when we got it home? Yep, same problem as the six candle holder. Nowhere to put such a thing! (The image is from etsy, NOT mine!)

victrola horn lights from etsy

There’s one of our fave white elephants this weekend and although we’re up to our eyebrows in home improvements which require us to work like dogs to get them done ASAP, I still came up with ideas about how to sell at a flea market this weekend AND donate the unsold stuff to the white elephant.

If that doesn’t work because the home improvements take too long? We’ll go anyway, and there’s another white elephant in the town on the other side two weeks later we can donate things to! I’ve always planned that whatever unsold stuff I had left by Columbus Day would be donated, somewhere, or 90% of it anyway. I’ve already done major donations twice this summer of unsold stuff. I find things (mostly those we already own) put them in the booth for a while, mark them down if they don’t sell. If they still don’t sell? I pull some of them and just donate them to a thrift shop. Or, I pull the stuff and set it aside as flea market fodder. Then I do a flea market. If it doesn’t sell there? It’s usually donated. I pack the car so that one side of it is made up of things going to the dump’s swap shop.

Other news: the memoir is approx. 1/3 retyped and the reformatting is in process (Well, Word is winning the battle, but I’m determined!) The first third has always been my bugaboo, it’s the background, about the years of abuse. The middle section is about meeting my current husband and more healthy behavior slowly but surely becoming my norm.

Anyway, had two breakthroughs: got the first 1/3 of the memoir redone, again, and got through the first major headache in the reformatting. So, onward!

J

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Morning Methods or Madness?

Not only is it MONDAY, so my brain is buzzing with all sorts of “things to be done,” but the construction people aren’t here, and there’s this huge back log. It’s also nearly FALL and so all the “delayed” and “put off” chores are screaming! at me.

Accordingly, my ADD tendencies have run amok this morning. I have worked on these items and finished the lined-through ones:

  • filing manuals, etc. for things we own.
  • cleaning out behind the washer/dryer Finished about 11:30 a.m.
  • culling/clearing out the top shelf of the small freezer
  • figuring out what I will use to replace the French door blinds
  • Researching how to do it.
  • Finding the fabric I already own for the curtains.
  • Figuring out a way to “put away” the scrub brush which went missing.
  • Figuring out a possible way to “put away” various roll goods: masking paper, Tyvek, shelf liner & weed cloth are the immediate needs
  • Work on clearing out the attic.
  • Work on cleaning up my office.
  • Laundry x 2 2nd load started around noon. Two loads done Tuesday as well.
  • Determining the trunk in the kitchen is still empty.
  • Figuring out another set of crates, etc. to take to the antique store as shelving.
  • Cull the clay flower pots — I have too many of course. Started about 2 p.m. but not yet finished. Worked on this Tuesday as well. Completed Sunday.

Still to do:

  • Go to the hardware store for a piece to determine if the method of hanging roll materials will work.
  • Clean the laundry room. Finished just before noon.
  • Make the bed.
  • Find the missing fabric and determine which piece will be used for the door curtains.
  • Clear out enough of the attic that the trunk can be moved from the kitchen up there. Enough of the attic was cleared Monday, but the trunk hasn’t been moved, yet.
  • Get the crates, etc. in my car and to the antique store. Completed Tuesday.

Drowning in Food

This is the mid to end of summer glut: peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, kale, greens, onions, carrots, etc. all at once.

I got up at 5 a.m. to start dealing with my overflowing counter. In the past 4 hours I’ve roasted red peppers and chopped some for the freezer, dried a little, set aside tomatoes for salad/fresh use, made roasted tomato sauce, put the latest batch of potatoes away, etc.

veggies

I have a flea market tomorrow, so need to pack the car for that, involves a trip to the storage during the day (no access at night to the new space), my tables and most of the flea market merchandise is in storage, although of course I have some here. I have other steps to do for this as well, before 5 this evening.

If it wasn’t raining, again, I’d be outside as well today, putting Rustoleum on the wrought iron tables which we’ve stored for the past few years. We intend to use them on the porch. Great, but they’ve gotten rusty and so need to be wire brushed and then painted beforehand. Without the rain, I could do some or all of that or painting clapboards when I got to where I wanted to pitch tomatoes across the room rather than deal with them. (It happens. Not that I pitch them — but that I get where I want to!)

So — I’ve been up about 4 hours, had 1 cup of coffee and dealt with 10 lbs of food or more. How’s your day going???

J

Saving $$$

Because of the new porch and wanting to pay off the loan we got ASAP,  I’ve been looking for ways to save money.

Usually, this means that I find a lot of sites/data that I already know. However, pleasantly enough, I found one this morning which had info. new to me!

(here)

I get aarp’s emails regularly and from them and other sites, most of the ideas are those I know and have used for years:

  • Drink water at restaurants
  • DIY morning coffee/snack
  • Cook at home, from scratch
  • etc.

The saving $ ideas of mine which I’ve never seen elsewhere:

  • Buy the most concentrated form of soaps, or anything else that you can. If you use it with water, you can add it yourself.
  • Buy unscented products rather than buying “his” and “her” products.
  • Use tank tops as underwear, flipflops as slippers during the winter and other such so that you can buy less stuff to start with.
  • Have a set budget for restaurant meals and plan to eat at least one other set of meals from it, whenever possible. (Our budget for 2 adults = $20, and the 2nd meals make that $5/per meal, still expensive, but a lot more affordable than it might be!)
  • Shop your fridge/pantry and use what needs using first instead of sticking with a meal plan.
  • Use a chamois to “mop up” steam from glass and metal shower/bath rather than using glass or chrome cleaners. The steam is a free by product of bathing, use it!
  • Use “snow” from your freezer as sweeping compound to clean your hard floors.

Not unique to me:

  • Buy in bulk when you can afford to, items are on sale, and you have the space.
  • Have a price book.
  • Share and borrow, as needed.

 

 

dollar sign from zazzle.com

Been Working on the “Temporary” Drains

from the construction site. They and the rough grading of the land around the new patio are done. Supposedly we’re getting a new batch of soil from the contractor. Thought that would arrive today, it didn’t. It did get here and was used. The “temporary” drains became possibly permanent — we’ll see next spring!

Not sure what’s up with the contractor? He was going to come by with a load for the dump today too and add some stuff here to it. Haven’t seen him, dump closes in 15 minutes or so, so obviously, if he was going to add our stuff, he isn’t now. We had a sort of “fight” this morning, no one raised their voice or even disagreed, but things got tense and DH sent an email which essentially said, “finish these pieces and we’re done.” Before that the contractor and I had talked and exchanged texts about the soil and dump. So I have no idea wtf will happen. We’ll get the soil/not? He’ll show up Sat. to take the stuff to the dump/not? He’ll finish the pieces DH asked for/not?

I have no idea.

There was a piece of the work which we’d all talked about, in detail. How to do it, when to do it, etc. We bought all the materials for it, weeks ago. He’s been running on money we gave him 2 week ago, so we knew he’d used it up and expected something like, “Look, this is taking longer than I expected, can you give me $$$ more?” What I got told this morning was that “it wasn’t in the contract.”

Hm. No, but if you couldn’t do it and if you asked for more money instead of being defensive about it, I probably would have dug into the money market or retirement or deep savings to pay you. I’m reasonable. But to leave a chunk o’ work to the end then say, “it isn’t in my contract,” just annoyed us. It wasn’t that you needed more $ to do the work. It wasn’t that at all, it was the way you handled it. And, if you knew that you couldn’t do it, why not say something two weeks ago or more? Additionally, there are things which got done which we didn’t need or even necessarily want done, and there’s some pieces which are just unfinished.

This person is also a neighbor of ours, which makes the entire mess a whole lot more complicated.

Sigh. I wish we’d just gotten the back roof done, period. The first roof, with the same person running the show was easy. And that’s the only reason we let ourselves get involved in this much more complex and expensive venture. Never again.

We will in the future use Angie’s List, ask for complete estimates and get everything written. And no, we won’t work with friends, again. I learned that lesson years ago, I  just learned it again.

(The “cat snarl” tag is because it’s how this feels: like a snarl of yarn a cat’s been into!)

Forward!

  • DH thinks he has the door squared up in the frame, which means the first door is installed, or will be shortly.
  • The contractor has said he’ll bring back the material he got for us to make an entry, years ago, so we can make the entry when we’re ready.
  • I hung up the 3 yard sticks which have been perched in a corner of the hall, waiting to be put up. They got hung on 3 tiny walls, between the living room and pantry, the pantry and the downstairs office, the downstairs office and bathroom.

We looked at the kitchen cabinet ruler again, with the idea that maybe we could hang it in one of the two remaining spaces (bathroom/closet and closet/hall). But we can’t, no holes to hang it from, so it went back where it had been.

I am amused. It took me 3 rulers to hang 3 rulers!

I measured the first space with a tape measure, standing on a footstool. Then realized I couldn’t hold the tape and hammer in a nail at the same time, or mark it easily either. So, I got down, grabbed the ruler I’ve been using for the house cleaning journal. Got back up the footstool and realized it didn’t start at the left edge and I couldn’t hold it accurately, etc. either. So I went upstairs, grabbed a  6″ ruler which starts on its left edge, went back downstairs and proceeded to measure, using the trim which was my left edge to prop the left edge of the ruler. Marked where I wanted the hole to go with the nail, put the ruler in my back pocket, picked up the hammer etc. With the right tools? Easy. Without them, way too complex! Anyway, the yardsticks aren’t cluttering up the corner now, they’ve become useable decoration. They can be removed and used if needed, but are tidy and displayed to an advantage. Took me way too long to just get that job done!

New To Do List 8/14/17

to do list 1

 

Get at least one piece of one item off of the long-term list!

SHORT TERM:

  • Replace the north/south doors. (They’ve been ordered, will be delivered tomorrow.)
  • Work on the websites.
  • Prime & paint the removed clapboards from the laundry wall where the new door will be installed. (Priming has been in process since last Friday.)
  • Get the nailers up so the guys can finish up the trim. Monday
  • Get the clapboards painted? Started Monday
  • Paint the rest of the exterior of the house next to the porch.
  • Get the clapboards reinstalled.
  • Finish filling in the holes caused by the construction. Wednesday
  • Finish edging the “rain garden”.
  • Fill the bagster
  • Order gravel.
  • Order wood.

MEDIUM TERM: (in the next 2-3 weeks)

  • Empty the old coffee table full o’ stuff in the hallway.
  • Resolve the “too many” coffee tables dilemma.
  • Remove the “island” of boxes of stuff from the attic. Sell, donate, or trash enough that the floor can stay cleared.
  • Put food away for winter.
  • The fridge freezer needs to be organized and purged. Started Monday
  • Clean the fridge’s shelves.
  • Paint the laundry room, inside and out.
  • Paint the bathroom.
  • Get the new shower curtain liner painted and installed.
  • Get through more of the accounting backlog.
  • Get last year’s unfinished clean up done in the entry/living room/hall.
  • Get the marble table out of the kitchen and to the antique booth. [Called the person who had indicated he’d help me get it to the shop.]

LONG TERM & ONGOING:

  • Get a job.
  • Pay off the equity line.
  • Continue to use up the stored foods: grains, beans, pasta, etc. (The canned goods purge the end of last year beginning of this year worked.)
  • Rebuild the winter pantry.
  • Writing Projects: Memoir, 1st 3rd of retype complete 8/30
  • Writing Projects: Article
  • Writing Projects: Kitchen Book
  • Writing Projects: Novel