Posts Tagged With: home improvement

hatching thoughts

My brain currently is all over the damn place.
If you’re not ready to handle a brain dump, I encourage you to look away.
You’ve been warned…

*****

I’ve been considering words.
Specifically the word wallow.
It’s not actually onomatopoeia…but it totally sounds like what it means.
I love that!
Also twinkle.
Twinkle sounds like it’s meaning too.

*****

I felt like my 2019 planner was my worst purchase last year…then I had a thought.
Lipstick.
Lipstick, (or lip gloss) is actually the worst 2019 purchase.
All those new colors. Hidden behind masks.
I expressed this thought to Thing 1.
She disagreed. She reasoned that a 2019 planner can never be used again, but lipsticks are good for a while. They’ll be able to be used in the future.
She may have a point.
Of course she asked me just yesterday if I thought I had enough lipstick in the ditty bag in my purse, so…

*****

Waiting for election results was interesting.
We made a conscious decision not to watch news coverage.
I checked the results each morning and before I went to bed.
Saturday came and Biden is our president elect.
Now, I don’t care what side of the aisle you’re on, this vote counting process was something to behold. Every vote, cast in whatever form, was counted.
It may have gone ‘your’ way, it may not. But either way, that’s democracy at work, y’all.

I also kind of love that the Count became a meme.
Like her Auntie Thing 2, Baby K loves Count von Count, especially his laugh.
Ah! Ah! Ah!

*****

Family stories.
I think most families have weird stories, but I pretty much only know my own.
Here are some of them.

My great aunt was engaged to a man but they never married because he died.
Only he didn’t really die. He knocked up another woman and had to marry her.
My aunt told everyone he died and remained unmarried for her entire life.

Grandaddy was in the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) in Alabama in the late 1930s. He met my grandmother, a local college student, they began dating. He contracted polio. When the university found out, they told the her she must stop dating him or leave school. With a semester to graduation, she chose to leave school and marry him. (he had no lasting effect from the polio)

My dad was adopted when he was five, before that he spent most of his childhood in foster homes. He had only a few memories of being with his birth mother.
One was vivid enough it stayed with him his entire life. They were in the kitchen and my dad was sitting in a high chair. His mother and a man (his father?) were fighting. His mother hit the man upside the head with an iron skillet. Blood spattered into my dad’s oatmeal. He never ate oatmeal the rest of his life.

*****

Remodeling construction finally ended.
The work was good, but the management and communication were shit. I won’t have this company back in my house. That’s OK, two bathrooms with brand new finishes are happily in use and we’re back to some semblance of normal around here.

*****

As much as I love Hocus Pocus, it is actually a terrible movie.
Though I am actually Winnifred Sanderson. Not that I want to consume the lives of little kids to stay young, beautiful and alive forever.

But that I’m pretty much fed up with everybody coming back in here with their bullshit while simultaneously coming back in here with my own bullshit.

*****

I’m so sick of being sick.
I’m sick of being tired.
I’m sick of being in pain.
Do not get Lyme disease, friends. It fucking SUCKS.
Four-hundred-sixty-two-thousand days left in a twenty one day cycle of antibiotics.

*****

Thing 2 and Boyfriend M arrive Thursday afternoon.
So! Excited!

*****

I’m absolutely heartbroken about the death of Alex Trebek.
May he rest in peace.

*****

Letterkenny.
It’s laugh out loud funny.
It’s head-scratching confounding.
It’s ridiculously low-brow while remarkably intelligent.
It’s brilliant and obvious at the same time.
It’s streaming on Hulu, and I encourage you to watch it!
Pitter patter.

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Wednesday morning thoughts

We’re getting a break from construction for a few days.
Our bathroom is finished (and gorgeous) but the shower glass is taking longer to manufacture than expected. And while it would be convenient for the contractor to demo and start on the hall bathroom we have no place to shower if that happens.
So, they can’t demo until we have shower glass.
Which means we get a break from having people in the house. It’s easier for the dogs. It’s easier for the baby. (therefore easier for Thing 1 and Husband N) And let’s be honest, it’s easier for me too. I like to write in my bedroom and with the work going on, that’s simply not doable.
Waiting is a pain in the ass, but at least we can clean our asses, you know?

Thing 2 and Boyfriend M will be here in five weeks, everything will be finished by then, so I’m not going to worry about timing.
I’m going to enjoy less chaos in the house for a as long as I can.

YBW and I are going to the design center Friday. It’s the first meeting about the new house. Navy kitchen cabinets, here I come! We’ve been on their website ‘hearting’ what we like, and if I understand correctly, they’ve pulled everything we like and we’ll have the opportunity to lay hands on it. I’m especially curious to look at flooring. There are two different options I like, and being able to see them live will help make that decision.

I’m having a hard time with keeping track of the date.
I know what day of the week it is, but I’ve no clue as to the date. I was looking at the milk this morning, it has a sell by date of 10/4. I had to ask Thing 1 about today’s date because I realized I had no earthly idea.
I mean, I’m putting stuff in my phone calendar and writing it in my planner…you’d think I’d have some idea WTF day it is…is it just me, or is it covid life?

My TBR stack continues to grow.
Why do we purchase books at a faster rate than we read? (I say we to ease my conscience)
I’m reading a book called Rules for Being Dead.
So far, I like it.
Have any of y’all read this yet?
I just got Matt Haig’s new book and I’m excited to start it.

I miss being at school.
I haven’t been to school since February. And distance learning doesn’t really require subs so I’ll be waiting until we actually go back to school.

What makes missing school tolerable is spending time with Baby K.
That girl is something else!
I am so grateful to be an active part of her daily life.
My time teaching and learning with her is sacred. I know how lucky I am.

I’m going to wrap this up. I realize I’m just rambling at y’all and most likely, that’s not much fun to read.
I hope your Wednesday is lovely.
I’m going to go read now…

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favorites or tricking myself to write

Y’all I’m so distracted.
Between the construction and a house full of people I just don’t stop and do any of my normal things.
You know it’s serious when I’m over here like, “I’m going to need you to get it together.” to my own damn self. I keep recognizing that I need to, but don’t quite seem to get around to doing it.

You hear about the glorification of busy…I’m not there. I’m not enthusiastically embracing being busy. I am simply more busy than I’ve been in a while. And the kind of busy that isn’t actually accomplishing much, you know?
Toddler in the house keeps us all on our toes.

I’m making the time to write today.
Of course I sit with my fingertips on the keyboard and wait…where are the words?
My brain is simultaneously empty and full.
Full of ‘stuff’. Empty of words.
In the hopes of jumpstarting the writing, I’m tricking myself by doing a random favorites list and inviting y’all to join me.

Favorite pasta dish?
cacio e pepe
all day every day

Favorite vacation you’ve taken?
Barbados
hooooon-ey-mooooon

Favorite show on the Discovery Channel?
Expedition Unknown
Josh Gates is a great big goober and I kind of love that!

Favorite toy as a child?
Barbies
no unrealistic body image bullshit here, just a girl who love(s) to play dress up

Favorite makeup you can’t live without?
Benefit Cosmetics BADgal BANG! mascara

Favorite thing you’ve done in the last 24 hours?
rock Baby K to sleep for her nap
All! The! Snuggles!

Favorite animal?
kitties
cutie little fluff balls with claws of death

Favorite cover song?
Guns N Roses Live and Let Die

Favorite children’s show?
Bubble Guppies
Baby K digs it and now I do too

Favorite thing in the sky?
the moon

Please play along so I can learn some random cool things about all y’all!

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timelines and titles

Turns out I have a new title to add to my list.
Project Manager.
I mean, it’s not that serious, the title. However the project is pretty serious.
The project is getting this house ready to go on the market.
I mentioned I was concerned it felt like a long time, but between now and May isn’t all that long.
And though the list isn’t terribly long, it’s still a list.

Remodeling will be tricky with extra people in the house. But we’re just going to have to find a way to make it work. Since we’ll be down two bathrooms, (hopefully one at a time) Thing G is moving to his mom’s sooner than originally planned. He expressed his disappointment and anxiety. YBW encouraged him to examine what about the change was causing his anxiety. Thing 1 assured him leaving the home he grew up in was a big deal so feeling anxious about it was normal. YBW and I were gentle with him when we made it clear he was truly without choice in the matter and reassured him of our love and support. We reminded him he was not being thrown to the wolves but going to his other parent where he would be loved and supported. He’s accepting of the situation, and we’re accepting of his feels.

YBW and I created a preliminary timeline yesterday. One that we’re both comfortable with. It started out a bit with him questioning my proposed timing. But then I expressed my concern about pushing everything off. I said I’d rather get it all done and breathe than be panicked about getting it finished in time. When I likened it to his travel anxiety he had an ah-ha moment and agreed to my proposed timeline. (He’d rather get to the airport early, get through security then use that extra time to walk around or sit at the gate than be running through the airport to get to the gate before the plane door closes. TBPH, I feel the same damn way.)

So our prelim timeline looks like two bathrooms asap, one right after the other.
Painting immediately after the holidays.
Flooring in March.
Pressure washing the exterior and lawn and garden touch ups in April.
All the myriad things can be inserted when and where most applicable.

The master bath plain old boring builder grade stuff that’s never been changed in the twenty years YBW’s lived here. We talked about changing it many times and right about the time we were ready to pull the trigger, the new house became a thing and we abandoned those elaborate plans.
Now we’re just going to update the floor and tile, light fixture, faucets, and cabinets.
Thing 1 and I went looking at tile Friday morning. (both my girls love any excuse for a trip to the hardware store)
We found this tile for the shower and tub surround.

We chose these beautiful porcelain tiles. The white ones are .79 and the carrara looking ones are .99 and I plan to set them vertically. We found 12 x 12 squares in a gorgeous gray for the floor.
Done and done.

On my calendar today is to call the contractors.
My notebook and pen are at the ready!
I got this!

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

time: spending spree or saving for a rainy day?

Excellent news!
The person who was in YBW’s office tested negative for covid!
WOOT!
Even though it turned out to be nothing, my husband’s company took this seriously and was proactive. The decision to send everyone home and have the office properly cleaned shows the health and wellbeing of the employees is important. While it may be a simple fact of keeping everyone healthy so they can remain at work, I appreciate the effort because it helps keep my husband healthy.

In other news:

With so much ‘free time’ we are tackling as many time consuming tasks as possible.
House things are at the top of that list. Things that need to be done as we live here, and in the knowledge that this prep work will assist us when it’s time to move into our new house.
YBW has lived in this house twenty one years. In addition to his own things, he accumulated things from his parents. This time is a gift in which to sort and purge, and make decisions about how he wants to curate his life at the end of his time in this house and the way he plans to live in the new house.

In the unfinished part of our basement in which the mechanicals are housed, there’s also shelving and storage bins. He began tackling his stored things early this year, but on Saturday, I requested his assistance to access three bins of my stuff. It was a successful bit of work as we did a quick survey and purge of other things too. All in less than half an hour!
I’ll be going through those bins this week.

I’m all about this organization, y’all!

Yesterday, YBW cleaned out his closet. And since I already did mine, I chose an activity that kept us in the same room and able to talk about what he went through.
I ironed all our napkins.

Y’all it was so damn satisfying.

Porch life is in full swing!
This week:
Nora joined me for a porch life visit.
we had a virtual happy hour on the porch with YBW’s work friends for which I quickly threw together a half-assed charcuterie board.
we popped bubbly during appropriately social distanced porch life with our neighbors.

Today we planned on a shoot day, but it’s cloudy and damp. Not the best lighting or weather for taking photos.
Maybe I’ll get on my bins sooner than I thought?

I find myself go through spurts of being uber productive. All mindful and self aware. Only to flip the coin and spend an entire day watching Youtube vids, or blazing through books.
I’m currently rewatching all the Harry Potter movies. In true Give a Mouse a Cookie form, watching them highlights how different from the books they are, and how book Ron and movie Ron are two completely different characters, and how much I adore the books, and now I find myself wanting to read them all over again.
My journaling already killed one pen.
I’m on the porch as often as possible.

Do y’all find yourselves doing the home tasks you’ve put off?
Are you using this forced free time to your advantage?
Are you equal parts ‘ruthless efficiency’ and ‘straight chillin’?
Are your streaming subscriptions at peak ‘worth the cost’?
Are you tackling your TBRs?
What about your gardens?
Are you sick of the news?
Do you miss going places?
Are you content to be at home?
Are you tired of being asked questions?

Dang! All those questions felt a bit like…

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

it’s a sunshine day

I’m a big ol’ dork.
I’m actually pretty clear about it, and I’m at complete and total peace with it.
But y’all! HGTV just triggered my dork meter off the charts!

HGTV bought the house that provided all the exterior shots for the Brady Bunch and decided to recreate in the actual house, what was only ever on a sound stage.
Is it a restoration? Is it a remodel? Is it a renovation?
I absolutely do not care!
I was a bundle of nostalgia and pure joy watching the six Brady kids and some of my favorite HGTV folks get together and geek out over each other and this project!

I watched the Brady Bunch my entire childhood!
When I heard that HGTV was doing a show called A Very Brady Renovation, I will admit to amusement and curiosity. I set the DVR and went about my business.
But I watched the first episode and I couldn’t believe how much I smiled. How much I enjoyed what I saw.
How much I cared!

I was, and will continue to be completely invested in this program.
It’s the little things, you know? That’s where the joy is.
The big ol dork inside me is SQUEE x infinity over something that in the grand scheme of even my own little life is actually pretty small.
But these small things all add up, and when you collect many small things that bring you joy, you’re chock full of joy!
Joy is essential for life!

I’m gonna let my freak flag fly, and keep collecting joy in the smallest increments in the strangest ways.

I’ll be over here watching the Brady kids and HGTV folks work on that house, and start to wonder if there’s some car show that wants to build/remodel the Partridge Family bus…

In the meantime, here’s a little bit of the dorkiest joy.

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Soundtracking my Saturday

Soundtracking my Saturday.
It was a struggle to choose music that inspired me to tackle getting the house back together after the chaos of construction.
(In addition to the tree falling on the house which finally finished construction the last week of August, our main waterline from the meter to the house was leaking. Homeownership is NOT for the weak of heart…or stomach.) Moving the shelves of tools to make access for them to jackhammer out a place in the floor where the water comes into the house and now completely reorganizing the utility room.
We also moved Thing G into his brother’s old room. (the one damaged by the tree and rain in the house) Now we must disassemble Thing G’s old room.
Purging. So much purging.
Decorating for Autumn because I must honor the beginning of meteorological fall!
This is my life today and I’m cool with that.
But, I was slow moving and couldn’t land on a playlist that worked for me. Turns out, the wonderful thing about my madly eclectic music collection is how quickly it can surprise and delight me!
A song from Thing 2’s Cool Boy, Real Cool mix came on and fired me right up!
I’m inspired to accomplish great things. Let’s see how long I can keep up the momentum.

This is Brick + Mortar with Terrible Things.
Please listen responsibly.

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July – more yays than boos

As I put July in my rear-view mirror I’m realizing what a month it was. Some good, some bad. So just plain indifferent.
But as I consider a July-centric yays and boos list, even before I write it down, I know instinctively that July had more yays than boos!
Is that me paying attention to my gratitude? Probably.
Though I also think it has something to do with the fact that I actually do have a lovely life. I have good people in my world. I experience interesting things in the midst of ‘boring’ old normal things. This is not to say I’m without my share of unpleasantness, but the good really does outweigh the bad. Or perception makes it so. But our perception is our reality, so there you have it!

July got me like:

boos:
brand new car needed to go in the shop for a week after owning it only one week
not being with Thing 2 to celebrate her twenty first birthday
(approximately) 8 billion days of rain
substantial rain in the house
Pottermore
one migraine

yays:
fried green tomatoes and fireworks with people I love on Independence day
new reading glasses (absolutely adorable)
O’s game to celebrate Nora’s birthday
two of the three alternative practitioners
celebrating my BIL’s fiftieth birthday
helping Thing C get settled in his new home
Bloom gin
brand new roof
remembering how much I love Cher
last minute vacay planning
the kindness of strangers
wonderfully good friends
stellar mental health providers
Nora’s decree

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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…

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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