Wednesday, March 27, 2013

the making of a vintage clothes/coat hook...

Started with a "found" 6' long vintage wallpaper hanger's ruler. This was something that was in our garage when we moved to our house. Didn't know what I would use it for, until the idea came to me last month.

I had bought a TON of vintage door knobs on eBay a few years back. So, now I was trying to decide which ones to use for this project. Pretty soon I will have found a use for each and every one. Mostly I use them in glass vases as a decoration, but this time they will be put to a more useful use.

Jerome used a "tap" to make sure that the threads in each of the doorknobs were the same size and width all the way through and that it would fit the large screw we bought at the Home Depot. Luckily the metal in these doorknobs were soft enough to allow them to be re-threaded. 

Making sure the screw fits. If the screw fits, wear it ~ ha ha.

Drilled holes in the 6' ruler every 9" (starting at 4 1/2" and ending at 4 1/2")….I had polyurethaned the ruler to bring out some of the details.  

Screwing in the backplates.

And today we hung it in our closet. I know, such a work of art should be where everyone can see it, but the need is in the closet. (We just painted the closet in the last month and added crown molding). I will have to add another pic when Jerome has all of his clothes hanging from this :)  


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

thursday. the third day...

Oh are funny.

So, as stated before, our plans with the Estate attorney have been postponed for a couple of weeks, so we just stayed home and took care of a few things on Thursday.

Funny thing.  Ever since we "secured" the house, the pressure on my chest just "poof" went away.  So, Jerome was right, was stress.  Crazy what stress can do to the body.  So I've postponed my doctor appointment for a couple of weeks to see if the symptoms are really gone or were just temporarily gone.

Headed over to the rental house to start cleaning up.  Washing walls, floors, windows, fans, closet shelves, etc.  Was able to get a few things done before the interested party brought over his wife and kids.  By that time, my sister and my son were over for a visit, which turned out to be a really good thing because I had mentioned to my sister that the guy sings for the Detroit Opera House and my sister used to work for the Detroit Opera Theatre.  Turns out that the wife also worked for the DOH so when names started being thrown around by my sister, they knew the people she was talking about.  So, I think that made them feel a little more comfortable.  And then I was happy that Justin was there so that they could meet him.  If they ended up being our new tenants, I wanted them to know that if we aren't available for some reason, that they could call Justin if need be.

They signed the form and gave us the money for the background check. They left just before Jerome got there.

We worked on the house til around 9:30PM, then headed home.

We took a look at the background check and decided that we would have these people rent from us.  They were informed through the website we use.  We made an appointment with them to come back to the house to fill our the paperwork and sign the contract on Monday.  Not a bad turn around.  I hope they work out OK.  As I wanted to say to Jerome, "Here are the new people we will be disappointed with in time".  Hope not.

Busy day.  We started off our day by going by the condo.  We were meeting with the contractors that are doing the balcony.  Last week in the midst of all the madness, we got an email from them stating that they had sent over their painter and he came back with an estimate of $495 to paint the siding and stain the wooden parts of the balcony.  I think this was the last straw for Jerome.  I think I saw the top of his head explode.  This teeny-tiny raised "deck" is costing us more than $5000 already.  And every time they make a mistake or have to change direction, they want to charge us more.  Personally, if it were just me, I would cave or as my hubby calls it, "settle".  I just have an adversity toward conflict.  I told him that I have no problem painting it myself.  And that he should look at that as an option.  He said it's most likely that we will have to do it ourselves, but he's not going to let it go that simply.  He's going to fight.  I really admire my hubby.  He's a better man than me :)

And so, after meeting with the original guy and Jerome really making valid points, the guy agrees that they will paint the siding for us at no charge!  Amazing.  We still have to stain the wooden parts of the balcony, but we already intended to do that.  WIN!

At the same time, I deposited my nomination to be a part of the condo board.  They are having their yearly meeting in May and wanted any new nominees to be presented before the end of this month.  If I am elected, I will serve a 2 year term.  I will also be exempt from paying association fees.  That's almost $2500 that we would save.  Plus I would love to be a part of the association.  It runs in my family.  My mom was the president of the Pointe Rosa Association when we lived on the canal and then when they moved into the condo, she was on the Association board but I'm not sure what her job was...?

Then we headed to meet our Realtor at the condo complex in which we've been desperately trying to buy a unit, at first for us but then for my mom.  It's a hot property and we needed to wait for 15 minutes before we could enter.  It was a nice unit, but too far from the elevator for my mom.  Plus they just raised the price $4000 in the last week!  As we were walking out, there was a maintenance man in a unit right next to the elevator, we asked if we could see it as we overheard that it was a foreclosure and was going on the market soon.  Now this one would be perfect for my mom.  Kind of a bedroom and a half, one bathroom so not too big.  The biggest issue is that it reeks of smoke.  So that would mean a lot of work would need to be done before my mother with emphysema could move in.  Told our Realtor to keep an eye on this one.

Then off to the rental house to do some more clean up.  Jerome worked on the hole in the wall in the kitchen that the electrician made to drop a line to one of the outlets.  And later he worked on re-attaching one of the fence panels whose brackets broke.  I continued washing walls, floors, windows, etc. and then doing some touch-up painting.

All the while I was trying to capture Miss Beta.  I successfully captured one very large Tom cat and one very cute raccoon, but I released them.  I have my sights on Beta.

My sister and son showed up around 5pm.  We were all meeting at Boston's for dinner and then going to CJ Barrymore's to play some Laser Tag and some games.  We had purchased a Groupon for 4 games of laser tag and 132 tokens which we divided amongst ourselves.

Afterward, my sister followed us home and stayed with us that night.

Slept in!!!  When I got up I decided I'd try a recipe that I found on Pinterest.  This was a strip of bacon in a muffin tin with scrambled egg, cheese and milk poured in the middle.  Bake for 30 minutes and voila! cute breakfast.  I would cut the baking time by 5-10 minutes.  They were a little dry, but cute and you could eat them with your fingers.

Headed back to the house to finish up.  My sister stayed at our house to do my mom's taxes on our computer.

I think we were done with cleaning the bathroom, kitchen and washing all floors, etc. by 9:30PM.  This is totally not bad.  Only 2 1/2 days on this project as compared to 3 months when our last tenant "moved out".

We consumed NO green beer.

Headed over to the house to meet with the new signers of the contract.  They signed and gave their security deposit in cash.  We shook hands and will meet them again on March 29 to hand over the keys.

We stayed a little longer as Jerome wanted to fix the water heater.  Jerome replaced the fitting to the cold water supply that seemed to be leaking and getting corroded.

With that, we hope that everything that needs to be fixed IS fixed.

We do have our handy-man coming by either today or tomorrow to fix two pieces of vinyl siding that broke because a tree limb fell.

So, as you can see.  You have a plan for the week and pretty much nothing stays the same.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

monday. one day. tuesday. two day. wednesday. when? huh? what day?...

That's a quote taken from Joey of Friends.  He was explaining the week.  Can't wait til tomorrow to use what he says for Thursday :)

We didn't have anything planned, but oh how plans change.

Decided to postpone the attorney visit for the Estate Planning for a couple of weeks.  We are and will be just too busy.

Had put the house on Craigslist on Tuesday night.  So, we needed to show it on Wednesday to the many hoards of people who contacted us about it.  Wednesday was a day of calling a ton of people and sending a ton of emails with more details and pictures.

We met a few nice potential tenants.  Two seemed really interested but only one has made a plan to look at it again with his wife and kids on Friday.

...hummm, Joey never got to Friday in his explanation.

We did some cleanup, such as changing the locks and toilet seat.  Took out the garbage and recycle bin.  Took down some Christmas lights that we assume are now ours to keep.  They are the nice LED lights and there are a ton, about $100 worth of lights.  So, cool.

The garbage had been all over the place.  Some animal had gotten into it and there were things everywhere, including some ripped up papers that I noticed right away because I saw that it had a SSN right in plain view.  Turns out our tenant was not just running from us, but the IRS and other bill collectors.  Seems from the ripping up and throwing it in the garbage that he is not planning on paying them what is due.  But don't worry...from what I could tell from the used condoms that were also scattered around where the garbage was, he's getting plenty of sex.

And he obviously did not give the Post Office a forwarding address because a bunch of bills for him were in the mailbox.  Now we're going to have to get a hold of his workplace.

This reminded us that we needed to change the utilities into our name.  So when we got home, we logged in to the Landlords section of the utility companies and wouldn't you know, he had already taken the bill out of his name.  And we were not informed by the utility companies - which we should have been.  And this would have been a nice "heads-up" for us.  I am a bit frustrated with how that turned out because this is the exact reason why I signed up for the program.  To be informed if something strange were to happen.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

update for tuesday...

Can't present paperwork to a tenant that never shows...

Jerome and I drove from work to the renal house. Got there at 5:20pm and sat in our car watching the Disney movie "Bolt" on my iPad.  We needed something to break the tension.  Jerome spoke with the next door neighbors while I was trying to coax the feral kitty (Beta) into the car.  This was one of the mama kitties that we were not successful capturing last year.  She'd get close, but not completely into the car.
We waited until 6:10pm before we called him.  Went straight to voicemail as it has for a couple of weeks now.  Drove to McDonald's to get WiFi to see if he emailed (we don't have smart phones).  He did not. Went back to house and this time looked thru the window in the breezeway and saw that the exercise equipment was gone!  It was there yesterday evening, which means that between the time Jerome went there yesterday to meet with the tenant (which the tenant wrote to us that he was going to be at an appointment in Livonia, so he could not meet until Tuesday) and 5:20pm today, the tenant went back to the house and finished packing up.
We're saps.  Totally played.  What will we learn from this experience...?

At that point, what do you do?  We drove to the Clinton Township Police to see if it was OK for us to go into the house and the nice police officer told us yes; in order to secure the property and make sure nothing was damaged or stolen such as copper pipes.  So we drove back and entered.  Tenant is definitely moved out.  House is clean as a whistle and holes where he had pictures hanging are patched.
Cleanest "get-away" thus far...

Oh, and Beta is pregnant, ready to drop.
Meanwhile, my mom, my son and his family are waiting for us at the restaurant.  We finally arrive WAY after they are already done with dinner, but they humor us and stay for an extra hour while we eat and have dessert.  Peyton is way busy and apparently was inconsolable that we weren't there with her.  I'm sure my mom loved that.

Headed home around 9:30pm and immediately sent our tenant a final email stating how disappointment we are with him.  Then put the house up on Craigslist to begin renting April 1. 

Didn't get to bed til 12:30am and I personally listened to Jerome's soft snore while my thoughts went wild until around 2:15am.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

plans for this coming week...

"The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!"
- Robert Burns, 1785

...let's see how this week turns out.  Tune in next week to see the outcome.

I've been having some health issues lately and am trying to figure out what it is.   To me the symptoms are very similar to what I was experiencing when my thyroid first starting to "go".  Heaviness in the chest, not wanting anything to touch my neck/throat area, difficulty or very noticed breathing, fatigue.  So, I went to my Endocrinologist last Friday.  They did blood work.  She told me that I should see my family physician and tell her what I've been experiencing.  She said it could be gerd, or gallbladder or at the worst cardiac.  So, I've made an appointment with my family physician for this coming Friday.

Hubby thinks it's stress.  Could be.  It started about 2 months ago and that's when the latest tenant/rental stress had started.

So, let's go over what the week has in store.
Tuesday (Today):
Jerome's dad's 71st birthday!
Need to go to rental #1 and have tenant sign some papers of "non payment of rent demand for possession".

Tenant was unable to pay rent or utilities for February and was going to have difficulty with payments in March as well.  We came up with a new payment plan that would bring tenant up to date with rent by April 1.  Tenant agreed.  It was to be put into play on Monday, March 4.  Tenant did not pay.  Now tenant is difficult to contact.  Cell goes directly into voicemail.  No response to emails.  Tenant didn't even sign and send the new agreement back as stated that he had on Monday, March 4.

An informant told us on Sunday that tenants trailer is no longer in the driveway and that there is trash on the side of the house.  Very suspect.

Another informant told us that he had indeed moved out on Sunday.

Finally received an email from tenant on Monday stating that he will be out by next weekend.

Once we're done there, we meet Justin, Sam, Peyton and my mom somewhere to eat.  Not 100% sure this is happening since I just spoke with my mom and Justin hasn't called to confirm with her, but I'm sure that in his mind it is a "go".

We had plans to see a 2 bedroom condo (for my mom) this evening, but already those plans have changed to Saturday around noon.  This is a place that my mother thought she would like to move to as a step down to eventually being in senior living.  We've put in offers twice in this complex for one bedrooms, but both times were out bid.  Mom said she'd like a two bedroom, so maybe this will be the one...?

In the meantime, since now we don't have anything planned, we should be getting our paperwork together for our appointment on Thursday with a lawyer.

We will be meeting with a lawyer after work to finally work on a will.  This should be an interesting and stressful evening as well.  However my husband is all about fair play so, I'm sure that I've got nothing to be concerned about.  I totally trust that he will have everyone's best interests at heart.

Also, my oldest sister comes to town for the weekend.  It's tax season and she has done my parents taxes for years.

Sparky's 11th birthday!...and to me he's looking a bit on the scruffy side.

The appointment with my family physician.  Need to have the whole thing that I've been experiencing written down.  I don't want to have another ultrasound of the heart.  That $h!t hurts!

Our tenant should be out by now.  Hopefully nothing is wrong with the place.  He was always very clean and one only hopes.  Need to do the move out check list.

Looking at the condo, but without mom because she'll be at a brunch...

Just made plans to have as many of the nieces and nephews meet us at CJ Barrymore's to do some laser tag while their Aunt is in town.  She's been wanting to do this for ages now.

St. Patrick's Day.  Nothing planned but maybe we'll have some green beer.

My oldest sister leaves early in the morning.  Very happy she rented a car at the airport so I don't have to be up that early to take her! :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

ok people, what do you think...?


Alright, now that you've got a good look at it, what are the first words that come to mind?

We were called by the Project Manager of the balcony Wednesday morning and told that they were done, just waiting for the final inspection from the township.  He told us that neighbors had come to look and gave many compliments telling them that they should be commissioned to do all the balconies in the complex.  So when we got out of our car I said "fingers crossed it looks good"...

I agree, it looks sturdy and I really like the railings and we knew we'd need to apply some stain...but do you see what we see?

We were told that they would need to add vinyl trim under the floor of the balcony because when they removed the old one, there wasn't any siding.  We were fine with that and we told them to contact the Association to see what color they wanted under the decking.  They were told white by the Vice President.

...But the "wings"????  What the...?  We knew that they couldn't "match" the color of the aluminum siding, but really???  Couldn't they come up with something that wouldn't stick out like a sore thumb???

The big question to them is "Would they use this example of their work on their website?"

We've called and praised and complained and asked for a solution.  Hope they've got one for us.