Category Archives: self-interest

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.

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!)

Favorite Foods

We have a new favorite yogurt, and, knowing us, that means it won’t last, alas.

DH bought two Yoplait yogurts this week, packaged in glass. The flavor is vanilla, the stuff is expensive, because of the packaging and no doubt because of the lack of preservatives. The ingredients are very simple, something like: milk, sugar, yogurt strain bacteria, and vanilla extract — that’s all.

It’s called “French style” yogurt and their website doesn’t even have a picture of it. We have decided we love it and need to buy a lot of it ASAP, because it no doubt won’t last. Simple foods which taste good, with no crap added to them tend to be short-lived.

Remember Haagen-Dazs Five ice creams? They were around for what, a year? Ice cream with 5 ingredients, milk, cream, sugar, flavoring. It was wonderful stuff — and it’s gone.

The other ice cream we fell in love with is almost impossible to find in New England, although it CAN be found, again it’s pricey. It’s Three Twins, organic ice creams.

vanila 3 twins image

Sigh. I long for the days when simpler meant cheaper and easier to find rather than the opposite. Ah well, we are food snobs and swimming upstream is something I’m used to, ‘eh?

J

Stuff Reduction

What I’ve done this morning:

  • I waxed the edges of the new desk with beeswax to help the piece run smoothly.
  • I washed down two exterior walls which because of the way the roof was originally built were really dirty. These two walls now have a concrete floor, in the patio, so there should be a lot less asst. dirt, leaves, etc. to crud them up.
  • I decided to sell my espionage paperbacks as a lot. I like them, I even every now and then look through or read a book or two, but not enough to justify the nearly 4 linear feet the collection needs. I can use the $20 more than the nearly 40 books.
  • Then I got a new container for and culled the vegetable seed collection.
  • I ate breakfast.

It’s about 11:45 a.m. and I haven’t done anything this morning at all ‘eh?

Next Steps

So, it’s supposed to rain this afternoon, delaying the roof/patio project.

walking

Here’s what’s new:

  1. Worked on the attic. Pulled out 6 citronella candles which we’ll use on the porch if and when.
  2. With help from DH stacked the drawer units in my office and got a top made for it. Needs to come down because of something we didn’t expect to be a problem, one more time, but at the moment, the drawer units have a top, there’s a “hole” in my office, the bookshelf I’m trying to empty has 2 empty shelves (on the stack and in the drawers).
  3. A box of books was removed from the office yesterday and went to the flea market/antique store as was 3 rolls of wallpaper, which sold. There are 2 more boxes of books to remove from my office (well there’s more than that, but there’s 2 more egg boxes).
  4. The attic got worked on Saturday. There’s enough room for the trunk in the kitchen to be put away there. I looked at things and decided I wanted to keep the trunk for sale (now in the storage) and take another to the dump, it’s in the worst shape and is currently full of mildewing clothes.(Ick!)
  5. For a long time we’ve kept empty boxes for big ticket items. We’ve decided we’re going to limit this, which is good, as it’s just storing air, yes?
  6. In the process of working on the trunks, I discovered why the Christmas cull was so easy last December (see here) there were TWO trunks of the stuff in the attic I didn’t touch, sigh. I’m not culling them right now. I have an “island” of stuff to get through in the middle of the attic first. After that, I’ll cull the things along the sides.
  7. That said, I’ve already talked about the fact that I needed to cull china. I did. I need to do it again, probably at least 2 more times. There are pieces I’m not sure where they are. There are pieces which I don’t know if they’re really only the 2nd copy or the 5th? There’s at least 2 boxes of china, glass, and other kitchen stuff unaccounted for. When the missing pieces have been located, or given up as lost forever,  then I’ll do another china/glass kitchen cull. For example, the piece of furniture I call my “china cabinet” at the moment has < 10 items in it, not a single piece of china. Still too much in flux to do more than a really minor culling!
  8. I have books in my car to give away. They were supposed to be gone last week, but didn’t make it because the car has been full of flea market stuff and the house has been chaos because of people working on the roof. I gave a magazine away yesterday, but that’s pretty much it.

Today

DH is working on upgrading the electrical system on his motorcycle. He helped me with some of the leaf moving (rake, then relocate). Later today, we’re off to the storage to work on that.

There are probably more books here ready to be gotten rid of. I gave one  to a neighbor. Have another to ask a second neighbor about and the yard is tidier than it was. All good.

The fertilizer I used up (we’d had it for 2 years, why?) was rained on for the next two days. A lot of it went into the bulb beds, and the daffs. and other bulbs are shooting up green sprouts all over the place. Partly because it’s time, but partly because they got fertilized just as they were starting their spring push. The rain was a blessing for them.

So we need to buy more mulch for the bulb bed to keep out the weeds (grass), but the bulbs should spread out quite a bit this year because of the timely fertilizer and rain.

I’ve been working on the spring/summer food/garden plans,  Between the farm we belong to and the garden I grow (sometimes, didn’t last year) we are usually drowning in green stuff by June. I want a better plan for what comes in/when and what I intend to do with it this year! I’m about 25% done with this piece. Finished the initial data gather yesterday. Pulling it together.  There are 2 or so more data gathering steps before I can make an actual plan, but it should get there.

Off to the storage — ho!!!!

J

We took a file box full of books and a few besides to the market which has the book bin. Gone! I have gone through one box since we got home and have started the 2nd. There’s about 10 more books in a bag to be donated, wherever it is we go next that will take them.

Worked on Storage, Yesterday

Intend to do more, today. And yet more, tomorrow. I may have to rent a tiny unit to take the furniture. I’m not sure if the antique store has a place for furniture in its new location. If not, then pieces need to be hauled to auction, sold otherwise, or given away. (Purged books from the house today instead.)

We are getting a new back roof this year and maybe some storage space along with it. However, it will NOT be filled with boxes of books. If I bring the stuff home and it just sits here, I have only gained the price of the storage. And the price of the addition has to be considered in there too. The difference of course is that an additional utility area adds to the value of our home, not just a landlord’s bottom line. But as we’re talking about it right now, it will be a much bigger undertaking than we’d originally planned.

I still have WAY too much stuff. My ultimate goal this year is to have NO storage unit by 12/31 and be able to sanely (no box stacks, except perhaps in the attic) store what we keep. There’s a huge amount of stuff to shed between us and that goal, but I’m really tired of hauling things back and forth, trying to sell them or determine what happens to them. I don’t need the camouflage anymore and I’m tired of drowning in stuff!

stuff stacks

I have no idea how well we can manage this. All I can do is try!

J

Took a box to the dump’s swap shop today. Also wrote notes to booksellers, collectors, etc. who are friends. Were they still interested in x or y or z type of book? If so, exactly what did they want? Got answers, Am getting a list together.  More stuff gone. Also, will have a way to sell the best of the stuff it looks like. Hurrah!

Crunch Time

We’ve pared down the stuff and space and stuff, and space. . . .

And now? We have too little space for what’s left. I have a bag of books to go out hanging on the front door knob. I have 4 boxes of books to go through before I leave here today, with the idea that I remove whatever other bags of books that generates.

Also today I’m supposed to finish up the move from the old storage unit to the new, smaller one. And it’s going to be tight, sigh.

boxes

 

Crunch time indeed.