Tuesday, April 30, 2013

april week 4 ~ anything new and exciting?...

Let's look at the bright side, shall we?

I could make this a b!tchfest, but I will try to see the good in all of it.  So, here we go...

Just before my sister surprised me, we received our first official request for a room in our home, but had to turn down our first guest from AirBnB...but on the other hand, we hosted my sister!

All weekend and all week long
Worked on the kitchen demo, at this point we have no more cupboards/cabinets/sink/dishwasher...as Jerome puts it, we've never been so close to finishing.

Had our first stop by the Riverside house (only took 3 weeks of the new tenants) to take down the canopy that the previous tenant left.  The winds were strong last week and picked up and threw the canopy...the good news is, I will sell the panels to be used as trellises, should be $5-$10 a panel on CL.


Got to bring my sister with me on my MOW run and per usual, it was an awesome day.  Never had a bad day on my MOW run.

My sister Terry's focus for the week was to bring my mom to all the Senior Living facilities in the area so that she could decide on which one to move into.  Little did we know that mom would make a decision and put down a deposit.  I guess Terry's Mission was Accomplished.

In the meantime, while my sister was on the phone with one of the Senior Living places, I needed to make a run to Ruth's house (next door to our rental) to see about one of the female ferals (Delta) who was thought to be very sick...looks like she may have only been basking in the sun.

Jerome visited Allstate...this needs a longer post, but let's just say "he has 5 days"...which ends this week Wednesday (5 working days).

I had plans to spend the entire day working in the yard but the kitchen had a different idea.  A disaster with water (your enemy)...the water valve for the hose that takes water into the refrigerator was not completely shut off, thus we had a constant drip...into the basement.  Totaled 4 ceiling tiles and dripped all into the dishes we are storing in the basement...the bright side, you ask?  There are actually two ~ first one is that we were storing all that stuff on tables and the leak ended up in all the dishes instead of on the carpet.  And the second is after our kitchen renovation, we will get to replace all the ceiling tiles in the basement, which was something that was on my to-do list.  Winning.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

seven working days...

 Kitchen remodel started Saturday, April 13 and this is what we've done in the seven days that we've worked on it...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

anything new and exciting?...

Every week, my sister from New York calls me and asks "anything new and exciting happening in your life?"

So I've decided I would start a list that will help me answer her question, because even though I know it's coming, every week I have to wrack my brain to think of anything to tell her.

So here we go with the beta version of my new weekly segment "Anything new and exciting?..."
I hope to keep this up every week and post it on Fridays.  Knowing me, you are currently reading the only submission...

Saturday we woke up to a perfectly functioning kitchen and while I was at a fundraiser, Jerome decided that today was the day that we would begin demoing the kitchen.

Sunday we continued demoing the entire day.  I'm not sure what we were thinking but we didn't empty any of the cupboards or drawers!!  This meant that Monday and Tuesday would be dedicated to washing everything in the cupboards and finding a place to store them for the next...I don't know...2-3 months...?

Monday afternoon we all were stunned by the senseless bombings in Boston during the Boston Marathon.  After reading about it on Facebook, I immediately called my sister Terry who lives outside of Boston and whose husband Bill usually runs in as many marathons as he can.  They were just headed out of Boston when I called, having been spectators and cheering on their friends who were running.  They had been in the area, but safely away when the explosions went off.  Thankfully Bill has been on a one year hiatus from running marathons and needless to say, we are very thankful that they were both OK.

Wednesday we were planning on going out to $1 Burger Night at our local restaurant Younger's.  We met Justin there for two reasons; my birthday was the next day and my son's wife was out of town, so it gave him an excuse to see us and to eat while she was away.  We had a nice dinner, Justin had to leave because he had to work early the next day and Jerome and I headed home.  I got into my PJ's and settled in to watch some TV and go to bed.  Around 10PM there was a knock at the door.  This startled me because we NEVER have anyone just stop by and it was so late.  Jerome got up to answer and then quiet...I listened and there was nothing, so I started to worry if it was an intruder.  I got up to check it out and there to my wondering eyes should appear, but my sister from Boston!!!  She came early to surprise me!!!  When does THAT happen?  To me? Never.  She kept it from my mom so that we could spend a couple of days together without obligation.  Very nice :)

Thursday was Bring Your Sister To Work Day!  So that's what I did.  I did it so that maybe they would let me leave early...which they did!  Terry and I spent the day together going out to eat in Rochester, checking out the Tile Shop since we need to figure out what we want to do with the kitchen when the demo is done and then off to my neck of the woods and even further north to visit the Sheep Stuff so that Terry could check out this very cool place and maybe buy her daughter some skeins of yarn.  It wasn't open, but it was such a pretty day and the sheep that make the wool are right out the back in the rolling fields.  So, we spent some time walking the property and taking pictures.

Friday was the day we would let my mom in on the secret that Terry is already in town (she wasn't expected until late Saturday night).  I had talked to mom earlier and made a time to come see her later in the day (around 2:30PM).  When we arrived, she was in the bathroom getting ready.  When she came out, she was so shocked, it was cute.

We only spent a little time with her and then we were off to take a small tour of Jerome's work; Takata.  They make Airbags, Seatbelts and Steering Wheels.

Then off to Detroit to meet with my friends Kelly, Dee and Lou and my son Justin for a nice dinner at Slow's BBQ.  Later I started thinking that all these people have gone to Europe with us on our different trips and were able to share their experiences together.  It was a fun night and it rounded out the birthday week perfectly.

Clearly, I have to cut this to bullet points and then perhaps make new posts about the different things.  It's still a work in progress.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

finished deck...

This is the completed (by the contractors) project.  We will still need to power wash the posts and stain them in the spring.

After much frustration and arguments negotiations, this balcony or second floor deck cost us $5300 and took 6 months, start to finish.

The final issue ~ the white aluminum siding sticking out like a sore thumb ~ was taken care of by a painter who tried to match the color of the very old, very faded, already existent aluminum siding.  We were told that he would be spray painting it, but it is clear that he used a brush.  And he was on the sloppy side; getting the paint on the decking and on the existing siding.  I would have done a much better job myself, but it's done and we were not going to keep up with the complaining.  We paid our final payment, shook his hand and left.

All in all the deck/balcony is nice and sturdy.  It is a little larger than the other balconies in the complex which didn't seem to bother the association all that much.

The contractor that we hired was Father & Son Construction.  I would give them an A+ for all the running around that they did, dealing with the Association and the Township.  I would give them a C as far as attention to detail.  They provided drawings/blueprints that didn't include things like the concrete slab or certain dimensions.  Every problem that they ran into turned into our problem that was going to cost us more money.  The project supervisor would report to us the progress without ever going to the site to lay his own eyes on the progress.  And typical of most contractors that we've dealt with, they downgrade all other work that other contractors had done and they downgrade the materials that you have picked so that they can sell you something that is more expensive.  Personally, I think paying over $5000 on a 6X9 balcony is shocking.  I would give the amount of time it took a C.  And finally, I would give the paint job a C-, as it was sloppy.