Posts Tagged With: home improvement

don’t make me use my teacher voice

As you may recall, a tree fell on our house during the mad windstorms on March 2.
That was seven weeks ago.
Seven. Weeks.

State Farm completely underestimated the extent of the damage as well as what it will cost to repair it. I mean, of course they did.
The roofer sent an updated proposal for the repairs to State Farm…the week of Spring Break.
Meanwhile, there’s still a big ass hole in our house!
And it’s finally starting to let water into the livable parts of the house.

To State Farm I say a vehement:

There’s absolutely no excuse that the work isn’t finished…even less that it hasn’t started. YBW’s at his wit’s end with these jokers. Seeing the toll it’s taking on him, I offered to handle the situation from here on out. The relief on his face made me sad I hadn’t offered sooner.
When you call and are forced to leave messages day after day, your messages tend to become less and less polite.
I’ve gone quickly from “butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth” to:

Five weeks until graduation.
Five weeks until a house full of people needs places to lay their heads.
Oh, State Farm, I’m just shaking my head. Oh, roofer dude, you’re getting off any better.
I’m going to need for y’all to get it together. This little red haired girl is over the run around.
You should be afraid…I’m just sayin’.

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never a dull moment

So this happened yesterday.

Yeah. It was awesome.

That wind was no joke. Schools were closed the night before. Seems silly to think high winds closed schools, until you realize how many kids ride the bus and actual school buses blew over in this storm.
The wind began to howl in the middle of the night and got even more howl-y in the morning.
Thing G and I were home, we ate breakfast and started watching a little Beat Bobby Flay when the power went out.
That’s cool, we had sweatshirts and blankies. I had a stack of magazines I’ve been trying to get through and Thing G had a full charge on his Switch. We got this.
About an hour later, Southern Living in my hands, we hear the damnedest noise and I found myself watching the tree coming straight at the house

My God that was so scary!


We’re lucky in the fact that the hole in our house is only in the attic. The corner of the ceiling is buckled in what used to be Thing C’s room but not damaged enough that you can see the sky.

Power came back around 4:00 pm yesterday.
Small victories, y’all.


Tree guys came yesterday and again this morning. Need a crane to remove the tree from the house, so the first company recommended the second company.
State Farm still hasn’t returned a call or even emailed the name of an adjuster. So I’m feeling a pretty big “f**k you” to them.
We gotta get this tree out of the house and get it tarped up before rain rolls in on Tuesday.

This super sucks.
There is a big ass hole in our house.
Other random house and porch damage.
It’s a hefty chunk of change for the homeowners insurance deductible we weren’t budgeting for.
But…
We’re all safe.
There’s only minimal damage in the livable part of the house.
Thing C no longer lives in the room where the damage is.
We were planning on replacing the roof this spring or fall anyway, and now at least part of it will be covered by State Farm.
If they ever freaking call us back…

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if you give a girl a shelf

Y’all know I’m a sucker for an around-the-house project. And with this unpredictable weather we’ve been having, icy days close school even though the ice turns to rain, which means I’ve had some time on my hands.
So…I decided to paint and add another shelf in the laundry room (closet?).

Years ago, YBW put up a shelf and hanging bar. But recently I realized how underutilized is the vertical space in there and decided we needed a second shelf.

And just like with If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, another shelf needs cute and practical storage bins, and while I’m at it, might as well paint. And I might need some fun laundry signs to go over the door…and so on…and so on.
Until at last…

Tada!

Cute, right?

Tuesday after school I got to painting.

Two good coats of Waterscape by Sherwin Williams (SW6470) and I rocked it!

Of course I had to do one last load of laundry before I could get started.

Y’all, that was one sad coat of builder grade paint up in there and the walls just soaked in the new paint.

Tuesday evening just after nine, we got the email that county schools would be closed Wednesday. Hot damn! That meant I could sleep in and finish all my laundry room work without interruption!
The drill/screw gun and I are total BFFLs. Up went the old shelf brackets. Up went the new shelf brackets. Boom! Shelves went up. Great washable storage bins on the shelves and lastly, hang the dryer shelf on the wall.

Two days of my time + approximately $60 = a gorgeously organized and functional place to perform my absolute favorite household chore.
Yassssss!
It’s good to be me.

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disinclined to acquiesce to normal life

Now that International Week of the Birthday has passed, I find myself a bit ‘Barbossa-esque’ about returning to normal life.

Yet normal life is here, and I’m kind of in the middle of it.
Between finishing up waxing the upper cabinet doors, painting the base cabinets, and planting herbs for my back porch…my dance card is rather full.
That said, YBW and I drank wine on the back porch Monday, then again last night in front of the television, catching up on shows in the DVR. Clearly, I’m not jumping back into the deep end of normal life…

YBW and I are going to NYC to see a play and hang out a few days over Memorial day weekend. The goal is the have the kitchen put completely back together by then. So, I should probably do a little bit of waxing this afternoon. (As soon as I pot those plants.)
I’m certainly not going to have the base cabinets painted by then…but twenty-one days left in the school year. (I know I’m not the only educator that knows that number.) Soon, I’ll have all the time in the world to finish the kitchen. Then begin other projects!
Two rooms are in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint and I’ve already chosen colors!

Right now, I’m going to get back to regular stuff by eating some breakfast and switching the laundry, projects will sort themselves out as we go along. And I’m acutely aware that the world truly does not revolve around me.

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kitchen in progress

What day is it?

GRANITE DAY!!

(as Thing 1 would say) Wootness!!

It’s very exciting!!
Here’s what the kitchen looked like before.


and

The cabinet doors are still off because I’m in the process of waxing them. I’ll paint the base cabinets as quickly as I can. See how much better the island looks painted?
The guys are still here working nearly finished…so these are just “in the process” pics. But stay tuned, y’all.


and

I’m SO freaking excited!!

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

coming soon to a kitchen near me

One afternoon not too long ago, YBW suggested to me that since we had a bit of extra money it might be time to consider what to do in the kitchen. Let me assure you, he didn’t have to say it twice!
Thus began my search for the perfect countertops.
For a while I was convinced I wanted concrete. I moved past that and re-embraced my love of granite.

We wandered three granite yards to end up here.

It’s called Black Fusion and is quarried from Brazil. And soon coming to a kitchen near me!

So that granite really isn’t going to sit beautifully on the cabinets the way they are now.

So…I decided to paint them!

(don’t mind the messy cabinets, I was too busy painting to tidy them up for a photo)

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is my new BFFL!
One quart of paint covers 150 square feet.
I’m gonna Rock the Casbah out of these cabinets!
My goal was to have the uppers done before the countertops are installed…but there was a mishap at the fabricators…they only got in one of our two slabs. (Full on ‘Ice Queen Bitch’ mode phone call in which I will negotiate a sink for my trouble about to take place.) But…the bit of delay means I may be able to also finish the lower cabinets before installation!


One more coat of paint and a bit of wax and they’ll be ready for new hardware!
I’m so freaking excited!!

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Robynbird thoughts

The painters are here again this morning. They’re Spanish speaking and the foreman has a little radio on his belt while he paints my front door. The morning DJs are speaking Spanish but they just played Will Smith’s Men in Black. It made me giggle.
That movie came out the summer Thing 2 was born. My precious sister in law had Thing 1 with her while Thing 2 was born. They came to the hospital to visit and Thing 1 sang the Men in Black song to me. It was the first time I heard it. And though I’ve seen (and loved) the movie, I always think of that moment in the hospital when my three year old blonde pigtailed girl sang me a song to cover her sadness that she couldn’t hold her baby sister because she was in the NICU.

I had plans to go the farmer’s market this morning with my neighbor, but I can’t leave the guy kneeling in the doorway painting the front door. So we wait…and perhaps a farmer’s market trip turns into afternoon cocktails when her kids wake from their naps. They’ll paddle in the baby pools on their back deck while they’re mommy and I enjoy champagne cocktails.

The lula launch was a success! So many ladies in our basement going through and trying on clothes for about three hours. It was a fun estrogen fueled evening. When the trying on of clothes went on too long in the bedroom, there were flashes of undies and bras as they decided not to care and just began trying on clothes where they stood. Reminded me of high school.
There was a great deal of “Oh girl, YES!” and “You NEED that!” and “Your ass is perfection in that skirt.” as encouragement. We offered opinions and compliments and ideas for new and different outfits. I had a ball!
AND I had great sales, booked one online party and had one friend ask questions about becoming a consultant.
Overall I’d say it was a success!

I interviewed for a job at one of the local elementary schools yesterday, it’s a part time position as a “cafeteria hostess” this means I get to spend four hours a day with young children without the rigors and responsibilities of running a classroom. The AP and I got on beautifully, she was impressed with my passion and experience for early childhood education. I was impressed that she feels so strongly about learning through play. It felt right. I want it to be my new school family.
I was offered a position at my old, old preschool. Three days a week in the classroom I originated. I met with the director, liked her, and put a great deal of thought into the offer.
But that was telling. I put thought into the offer, but I felt nothing. I didn’t know it in my gut. I had to think about it. And that means it’s not right for me.
Of course I never considered the practical things: The ridiculous commute. The tiny salary.
I just waited for my gut to know. And because it never did, I’m going to turn down the offer. This will create sadness at the school, especially for the individuals who suggested I “come home” in the first place. But if I’m not true to me, how can I give those children and their families what they need?

I’m thinking of a line from Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity:
“I’ve been thinking with my guts since I was fourteen years old, and frankly speaking, between you and me, I have come to the conclusion that my guts have shit for brains.”
I always trust my gut.
My gut does not have “shit for brains”.
When my brain tries to logic and my heart simply feels, my gut tells them to get it together and makes clear the right choice.
I trust that.

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new blue loo

I needed a project. A little something I could do around the house to make me feel useful. I chose the main floor powder room because I could knock out in one day.
Tuesday I went on an inspiration trip, and found just what I was looking for at Home Goods.

20160205_144708.jpg

I fell in love with the deep purpley-blue color in the mosaic and knew that would be the wall color. I walked into Lowe’s with the soap dispenser and sorted that pretty easily. This was the first paint chip I pulled.
Valspar Precious Sapphire

It was a bit strange for me as it was the first time I made the decision to change something in this house without running it by YBW. Perhaps I finally feel at home here?
Wednesday morning I got up early and gathered my tools. After removing the mirror and other hardware, I took down a small cabinet and patched the holes. I ate a quick breakfast while waiting for the putty to dry then went to work.

Before:
20160203_082710.jpg           20160203_082703.jpg

After:
20160204_135956.jpg           20160204_140048.jpg

YBW and I chose a few architectural photos to hang on the wall. (He didn’t know what they were for when I presented them to him.) I actually took both of these with my phone. The first is Loudoun Street in Old Town Winchester. The second is the abandoned Harrison Point Lighthouse in Barbados.
They’ve been printed but not yet picked up and I don’t yet have frames, but here’s a sample:
IMG_20150830_115056                                                       IMG_20151203_150424

All in all, I feel exceptionally good about the work I did. I like to feel useful. I like to feel creative.

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