Monday, August 31, 2009

This Is Great, This Is Not

The house is coming along nicely. Today the guys got the microwave installed and the electrician got the stove installed - and the stove fit! I was so worried about it not fitting. Why in the world would I worry about something so silly? I was so relieved when it actually slid right in. It did fit :-) Perfectly. This is great!

However, Houston we have a few problems. The biggest one is the electric. BJ, the first electrician, came in and did the wiring for the house before the sheetrock guys came in. After the sheet rock and painting, Josh, the new electrician came in to hook it all up. What. A. Mess. And of course there is no way to 'see' how to fix the mess.

This switch does not work. This is not great. Our kitchen used to have a three way switch. It is no longer that way. We can only turn it on with one switch - not the two on either side of the room that we previously could. The biggest issue is in our bedroom. Josh got the light to work. When you click on the bedroom light, it comes on... so does the closet light in the same bedroom... and the closet light in ANOTHER bedroom. How silly is that? Can we say we had an electrician problem? It is not Josh. Poor Josh :-(

Josh started to say "The only way to fix is by..." and he was explaining a perfectly impossible way to fix it - at which point I interupted and said if he didn't want to fix it, he needed to talk with the boss, because it needed to be fixed correctly - this way certainly wasn't going to work. He immediately agreed it wouldn't - and I know he knows that. I also know he is frustrated, and I honestly feel horrible he is having to come behind someone to do the clean up - but it has to be done. If not by him, by someone. Come on folks, do they really think this is ok?

Also, the medicine cabinet in the front bathroom was up but it was not wired in. It looked great! Remember how pretty is was?

It was up, but it was not wired in. Sooo, Josh took it down to wire it. When I came in tonight, this is what I saw:

This is not great. Not happy, though I know this will be hid. Still not happy. Critters can come in. Must fix. Big hole in our pretty sheetrock = not happy owner. Please tell me it will get all better again?

I keep looking at the caulk work on the sink. Not real pleased with it, but not sure what can be done differently. I am going to let Steve work that out. It looks very... um... unprofessional? for lack of a better word. I am being patient and hoping it comes around. Something is not working for me:

This is a great glob, but it is not great to me:

All in all, it is looking wonderful. I am not naive in that I think it will all be perfect. I am not; I know there will be issues and I am a patient person. I just want it right, and I want it right now! Is that too much to ask for? lol...

Steve, it is time for you to come home. Any day now, you may come home and take over taking care of business. I will gladly turn it all over to you. I am done. Overdone if I do say so myself. You can make my life great by just coming home.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Quick Update :-)

Our house is finally close to being finished! We still have a bit to go, but it is very, very close. I know, it has not been that long, but dealing with it on my own, it seems like it has been forever :-(

Our cabinet drawers and doors are being made, the last of the varnish is being put on, the bathroom cabinets are installed and the plumbing in the bathroooms is working. They are doing touch up painting, have added the last of the baseboards, are hanging the medicine cabinets and last of the lights. The only thing I have a question about is the electrical they cannot seem to fix. We are still waiting on that... have no idea what the problem is there, but maybe it has not been an issue for them yet. One thing at a time, one thing at a time... lol...

Here are the updated pictures:

The kitchen of course, with the crown molding, stain and varnish on:

The window over the kitchen sink:

Looks great, doesn't it?

The front bathroom, with the medicine cabinet, pantry, and sink basin attached. We know we have some touch up painting to be done:

The back bathroom - I think the medicine cabinet is a little high - I can only see from the top of my shoulders up. Steve will love this though ;-)

Tomorrow, I will wash the windows inside and out. I want them to be ready to move in. I should be able to start getting things back in the house week end! Can you believe it? I am so excited! *she dances!*

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Being Small

Being small has its advantages. This is 'Bean' our newest carpenter. He fits quite nicely into the cabinets to stain them, don't you think? If he is 5 feet tall standing up on shoes it would amaze me. He is a great carpenter though :-) Thought I would start the day smiling and expect good things.

Can you imagine Steve doing this?

Update on today: It went great :-) Electrical issues fixed, electric working fine. Air Con did not get messed up single phasing, cabinets got stained, varnish is started, paint touch ups began and a beautiful shelf got installed between the kitchen and living room. We are nearly done! YIPPEEE!

Pictures of the progress to date:

*Are we going to make my 2 month goal?

Can we do it? Yes we can!

*she crosses fingers as she falls into a comatose sleep. Exhaustion has won.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Up In Smoke

Last week the electric box on the side of the house quit working. If you will recall, my really crummy Wednesday last week ended with me having electrical issues. It turned out to be a bus fuse in the box on the side of the house. (See picture above) I was down to one phase of electric until the electrician came in and hooked me back up again the next day. Thankfully I had the camper hooked up on that one phase and made it uneventfully through the night.

Today, there were issues with the front of the pantry and I had to run it 40 miles back to Lowe's and spent 3 hours sifting through 5 more pantry kits before we finally found one that was not messed up. Thankfully, I had a sweet guy that was really dedicated to finding a good one. I loaded it and drove 40 miles back home to find everyone working in the very dark hot house. UGH. Guess what? The same thing with the fuse happened again, only this time, it burned up something in the box and it smelled very electrical and very hot. They just shut it all down and waited for me. ME?? What the heck can *I* do? Call the electrician!

They call one and I call one. Whoever can come out first gets to fix it. Theirs came today, took one look at the box; the mangled mess of wires and melted plastic ick and said it was going to take several hours to change the box out IF he can find one that will fit. I have no idea what he meant 'fit'; something has to match something, but it sounded serious. He can't do it until Thursday and that is if he can find that perfect box. Soooo...

He gets in his truck and drives off into the wild blue yonder. And as the sawdust settles behind him, I walk back into my camper to crawl on the sofa and sleep it off. The very hot camper. Hot because the electric is not working. Not even the other phase of it. It was just working when the electrician was here!

I call Mike, who calls the electrician, who tells Mike to come back and check the connection. Mike, "Mr Braveman" we shall call him, comes out - and like me - doesn't want to be a crispy critter. Neither one of us know enough about electric to be comfy, but we do know the fry noise is not a good thing. He gets wood (he assures me it doesn't conduct electric), beats the connection back into place ignoring the sizzles (thanks Mike) and I am good to go again. Mike is not a crispy critter, I am a happy (?) camper and he races off to the games. He probably turned off the phone on the way. I didn't need him again any ol' ways. Yet.

Another electrician is coming tomorrow with the first electricians blessings - and probably his thanks as well. Hopefully he can fix the mess and I will still have arms and legs left to move back in.

Have you ever seen those shows where people stand in the glass box with the fan frantically blowing and the dollar bills flowing round and round them - but they can't seem to catch the money? We have plenty of flying greenbacks around here and for the life of me I can't seem to hold on to even one - it is time for them to migrate south. Or north. Or wherever they want to go. Just not here. Send the nesting ones this way please.

So another day down and another day gone. One more of those icky days went up in smoke.


Steve you owe me. You will be paying a very, very, long time. You might even owe Mike. He was such a brave guy...

To All My Expat Friends :-)

Has anyone ever tried learning different languages HERE ?

I just found out about it and will play with it today. Let me know what you think. I can't wait to dabble - do you think we will learn anything?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Spencer Did It!

We have a window in our bathroom shower. Who ever had that bright idea should be the one taking a shower in the window on the front of the house for the rest of their lives!

When we first moved in, we bought a shower surround and cut a hole in it for the window. It was easy then as the shower surround was in several different pieces; lay flat, cut out, install . However, over the years, the seams started looking icky and we repeatedly had to reseal them.

This time when we went back with a shower surround we decided to go with one that is one piece - tub and shower surround all in one. However, we were right back to the window problem - except now it is one piece and what happens if we mess up - we will be out one entire shower/tub surround! That would be one mighty expensive mistake :-(

So what do we do? Just to add to the stress, we built the walls in around it and completely finished the bathroom. They cut some studs out of a wall to bring it in, they install it, sheetrock around it, mud it, paint around it, and finally the toilet is installed right next to it. That leaves us with a perfect shower surround, but we still needed to cut that stinking window out!

Steve was fine cutting it. So fine cutting it he left before he got it cut. Convenient, right? He had turned the job over to Robert, who was fine cutting it. So fine cutting it he left the job and went on to bigger and better things. (I think he really left because of the window part of the job ;-) Joking! We move on to Jeremy (Bean), the new carpenter who we did not know and who was not so sure cutting it. He procrastinated and worked on other things. Occasionally, I would catch him looking at it - but he always went onto other things.

Finally, they called in a second carpenter that Steve does know and has confidence in, Spencer. Spencer looked at it Thursday and asked if we were sure we wanted to cut it to which I answered yes. Friday he came in and looked at it again, asked if he could call Steve to chat with him about it, and then he did call Steve to find out the particulars, then he promptly went about business doing other things - procrastinating I call it - as the others did. At least he stayed to contemplate it.

This morning, Spencer comes in and has a mission in mind. He said he thought about it all weekend and decided he just needed to get it out of the way. He marked it off, used a fine toothed jig saw and I am now proud to say, after 6 weeks of worrying about that stupid window getting cut, we have a window again in our shower - and no mistakes!

This faces the front of the house - less than 25 ft away is the street. Nice, huh?

YAY, SPENCER! You did what no man had dared to accomplish!

What a guy :-)

Now, just how do you cover a shower window successfully?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Our Little Project

After a completely crummy day, I had pR over for our weekly Friday night girls night. We picked up a project to do at Michael's yesterday and that is what we spent the evening doing. What fun we had! Raelee was really into doing her project and kept saying how much fun her project night was. Granny really enjoyed it as well - and I needed it after the day I had.

You will be happy to know that she did the project pretty much by herself and if it was placed crooked, granny let it stay crooked. Huge step for me :-) Here she is working on her project:

Grand kids make everything all right again :-)

She is snuggled into papa's pillow snoozing away now. I am not supposed to tell him ;-)

Here We Go Again

I am sick as a dog with my side that doesn't hurt (ha!), have been up all night and all day (I am still hurting like heck) and we have a horrible thunderstorm. Nice. Exceptionally nice since most of our possessions are in the shop - which is now flooded and yes, the stuff on the floor is soaked. I have been out in the shop for an hour trying to get things up off of the ground - but there is no room to move around in there.

I am sick of all of this! I knew this was going to happen. I said it would happen. Why didn't I listen to my instincts and raise everything before it happened instead of trusting that it didn't. Can I put out a white flag and admit defeat? I just want it all to stop.

I am done. Sick and done.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

pR called a bit ago and said to look outside, there was a huge rainbow! I looked and sure enough, there was indeed a nice, big rainbow. I ran back in to take a picture and later when I looked at it, this is what I saw:

What I want to know, is there a pot of gold waiting for me at the end of this rainbow - or is it telling me I spent a pot of gold? Shall I start looking now? Or shall I just nod my head in agreement?

Today was a better day. I think the carpenter issues might be getting worked out though it is still iffy what is going on. One says one thing, someone else says something else and another story from yet another person. Who knows where the confusion started, if there was any confusion or who is on the up and up with me... as long as our end is taken care of it is all good.

The door looks better today than it did yesterday. I think the carpenter worked a bit more on it - ok, so I don't think he did, I know he did. I am still very pleased with the speed at which this is all going. In some ways it is dragging (try sitting in a camper all the darned time) and in other ways it is going at lightening speed. I have been haphazardly taking my meds, and I think the depression and anxiety are playing games with me. Maybe I should get back on track there.

Last night my side woke me again but I was sleeping restlessly anyway. What is with these morbid dreams?! I have never had them - they are terrifying! They really must go away. I wake in cold sweats with a sense of impending doom. Yikes! How do I shake that off? What in the world would cause me to have them and have them so regularly? It is creepy!

A friend called me to go to her house and eat lunch. What a nice visit we had. I am so stuck to this camper I feel doomed. Getting out was great. Thanks Ann for the yummy lunch - you cook a mean Chinese rice dish - and I thought you were Italian. Such silly things we talk about - where do we come up with some of the stuff we come up with. Ann holler? You really must be kidding - I have never heard much more than a whisper from her!

And my nose is not growing longer either ;-) Gotta love Italians - they live life with great passion.

Friends are the spice of life. Have I ever said I love my friends? They are awesome! :-)

Off to check for that pot of gold...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

One Of Those Days :-(

Every once in a while you just have one of those days - today was mine. I woke from a horrible nightmare in a cold sweat and crying no less. I shook it off as well as one can shake off an awful nightmare and got up to start my day.

The day went from bad to worse; our wonderful carpenter got moved to another job and some other guys got moved in. I had no idea this was going to happen until our carpenter handed me the key to our house and said his goodbyes. Until then, I was under the impression he would be overseeing it all. I was dumbfounded and blindsided. Of course when that happens, I am speechless until it is too late - he was gone - and I was left with my jaw hanging open wondering what happened.

The guys that are here working in his place did a crappy job on a door. Then when they figured out they had to fix it, they did a crappy job of fixing it. They seem nice, just not doing a 'great' job like Robert does. He takes pride in his work. I will give them a chance - honestly I will, but I hate changes. I especially hate changes that blindside me. I wish someone had talked to me about this and told me what was going to happen and reassure me that this job would continue in the manner it has been going. I don't even know these guys names! I was never introduced - they were slid in under the door and now I have a whole new crew here. Am I happy? Nope. Ask me if I feel safe enough to give them my keys and leave them here working...
I. Do. Not. Know. Them.

Then later I am inside the camper and change the channel on the tv. It went out. When it was quiet, I heard beeping in the distance. I started searching and found my external power source was beeping which meant it had no power. It was then I realized the camper was running on the 12 volt battery. I started researching the problem and half of the lights in the house didn't work. Finally, with Steve's help, we figured out that I had lost one phase of the power.

I have southern engineered it and now have power (albeit not too safely) in the camper. It should last me through the night and tomorrow I will have to find an electrician to come out and fix whatever the problem is. Half of the electric in the house is working, the other half is not. Yes, I have checked breakers - all of them inside and outside. No the refrigerator is not working inside. Neither one is in fact. Yes, I know not to open them until they fix the problem. I hate asking for anyone to help me and I have to have help to figure this out. As me if I am happy.

Now that I have that nasty stuff out of the way, one great thing did happen - our floors got finished today and our cabinet frames are all finished! As I said, Robert did a great job on our cabinets - I have no idea who is going to finish them, but they better darned well do as good of a job as he started. That is all I have to say about that.

It is so difficult to take a picture of the inside of the house. Here I am trying again to show Steve. When I get it done, I will take a video of it all and post it. Maybe that will work out better. Doors and window sills are going in. Trim is alread attached to both:

Anyway, that is my day. Tomorrow I have to get up on Steve's side of the bed again - I can't handle any more days like today. I have had enough fun.

It is time to be done with this adventure. I want to go hiking in a far distant place with some sweet, handsome man. I miss you Steve. Thank you for helping me long distance. What in the world would I do without you?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Laminate Flooring Coming Today :-)

Updating as the day progresses - comments? Lol... it is hard sitting here see it progress and not having anyone to admire it with. Admirers, please feel free to comment ;-)

These top pictures are more truer to the actual color. It does not have an orange tone.

Update to below - a picture with just feet :-) I had to share.

Coming right along :-)

They are working on our window casings now :-) Steve, are you ready to come home? This is going to be done soon

Finally, the last of the flooring is getting started today. I would show a picture, but when I went it to take it I got the guys 'less than better' sides and decided you didn't need to see that. I will wait until they are taking one of their many breaks. They came in at 8:45 and have had 2 already - it is 10am.

The doors are sitting patiently on the patio waiting on installation. They are already painted and ready to go. I have this knack for worrying. I have worried since the day they brought them in that we got the wrong doors - after all, they all have to open different ways. Say a little prayer for me that all goes well. I really don't want to have to buy more doors.

The carpenter is here working on the cabinets, Crystal, the painter is here touching up the paint and the flooring guys are in. Two other guys just walked in - what are they here for? lol... I am confused - did I have anyone else scheduled?

Oooohhhh, I got my curtains for the living room this weekend. They are gorgeous! I have never bought drapes for the living room before. GULP! The price was... well... I see why I never bought them before. Oh well, in 32 years I have never had awesome drapes - it is time, right?

I know, not a great picture because I used it off the internet, but you can get the idea, right?

I think they are so pretty :-) I hope they look as wonderful as I am envisioning.

More later.

Singapore Memory Project