Thursday, October 19, 2017

Moved In and Internet

Ok, I hate typing posts on my phone, but we have not had Internet.

Still don't.   With a possibility of not having it. Yeah.

We are partially moved in.  Love it, but fraught with problems left and right.  I am ready for a morning without a contractor here and without a problem presented. 

I will post when I either have access to Internet or get it here in my home.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Shower Porn

I took a turn for the worse today - slept most of the day, voice is non-existent.  Feel like complete crap.

I packed one box of videos today.  You would think we were setting up camp here rather than moving tomorrow.  Thankfully, DH took 1/2 day vacation tomorrow.  I about cried, so very thankful!

Anyway, the builder was nice enough to send me this extremely sexy, to the point of soft porn picture of our shower. It is incredible!

Exhausting week

I am taking it slow this morning.  My back is seriously out from laying floor and just standing or walking all day - every day.  It is only where my life long problem is - everything other part is doing fine.  I have to baby that L4/L5 spot.

Today is the last big push.  The appraiser comes tomorrow and we are finalizing paperwork, getting the survey, etc.  The roll over to a permanent loan will happen soon - I hope - we are already talking about the title company.

Yesterday was a whirlwind and part of me wants to write it all down so I don't forget, but it is so exhausting, I don't want to remember it all - just the final product.

But, I will tell you a little bit.

All these contractors were there at one time yesterday.  The gutter installers, the plumbers, the electricians, the trim guys (think baseboards, etc), the painters, the propane guys, the tiler, the mason, my builder, his helper, and me.  There were 15 trucks in my yard.  Mine was on the street.  It was a mad house - the painter was sealing the stained built in shelves - only it was a spray sealing, so the air was thick with that polyurethane, I could not stay in there.  I had already turned off the air conditioner, opened all the windows and doors and turned on the fans, but it was overwhelming.  Once they stopped spraying, it cleared up quickly.  I was thankful for the temps being low with a breeze.  It was a gorgeous day!

Today, more painting - they will be there through Friday probably, the glass install for the shower, weather stripping all the doors as well as all the handles and locks, installing all appliances, cleaning up and level the land, graveling the driveway to the barn/shed, finishing the backsplash and hopefully sealing the back patio, some minor electrical changes and shoring up a few things.

Some work will spill into Friday and the screens for the patio are going in Saturday and Sunday.

Bummer thing about right now - I am a little sick.  I have no voice....again, and what I really need more than anything is a day of watching the entire Twilight series, sipping ginger tea and eating soup (with buttered crackers) in my comfie chair in my new home. 

Oh, our hot tub came yesterday and we though they were going to set it up - THEY DID NOT!  They did not even hook up the electrical!  I am so mad about that!  Now, we have an empty hot tub just sitting there.  Sigh.  I sure could use it to.

I really need to get out to the new house and open up the barn/shed, but they have not started asking for me yet, so... I really should start packing this place up.  We are moving out of it tomorrow.  Just sleeping here on Friday night with nothing but a tooth brush and a change of clothes. 

This is all almost over - back to the real life.  I wish I could say I was excited, but mostly I am just grateful it is almost over.  I am so tired and deeply in need of rest.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Short and Sweet

Nope, we officially do not need a permit to occupy. 

Yes, we are still planning on moving this weekend!  Our original plan stands as is.  There are a lot of little things that will need to be done afterward, but it is fine.  We can get back to our life - it was a difficult 7 months, but it will be worth it!

Hot tub comes tomorrow and the building trash gets picked up.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Man vs deer

This morning my husband had a deer jump in front of him and basically shatter the front window, made a mess of the hood, side panel, passenger door and broke the rear view mirror AND the right side mirror.

He is ok, but was showered with glass, so he has lots of cuts on his face and arms.

The deer busted up the window.

We have no idea where the side mirror is.

This 10 point is what did the damage.

On house news, Noone is really here working today at all.  The tiler, but he is here every day.  A helper guy, but he more just puddles around unless the builder is here.

I went off on the builder.  He said they were doing their best.  Nope, I don't buy it.  He knew for 2 months this was our deadline.  There were at least 4 weeks where Noone was here but the tiler and the stone guys.  LOTS could have been done.

I am shaking I am so mad right now.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunday, bloody Sunday

Yes, stealing from U2, but it was bloody in a different way for us.

How so?  Glad you asked.  My knuckles, my knees, daughter's finger, hubby's fingers, and son, well, he lucked out.

You see, we were laying flooring - a simple, floating laminate.  LOL - I laugh at simple.

This is what we started with - a dirty, dead insect filled room.  Luckily, the air conditioner was connected 2 days ago, so the room was cool at least.

Looks are deceiving with this beautiful midway shot of the flooring.  Yep, this project with problems from the get go.  DH had to build his table saw, but that was ok because I swept and cleaned the room - which took more than an hour.  Then I laid down the insulated pad that supports the floating laminate.

Well, we started on the longest wall and tried to get through the rows, but it was frustrating and I said bad things to my husband. He did not deserve it and I cried feeling so bad.  We decided to take a break and eat lunch.  Then we decided to start on the shortest wall to give support to the longer stretches - this was the BEST idea yet - could have even been in the instructions.

We had a system for this first halve.  My daughter and I snapped each piece into place, son was the runner and DH cut.  

It worked until we got to the long, narrow part, but we worked through it - lots of precision cuts.  This room is about 300 square feet and it took us about 10 hours.  My back is killing me!  We are all hurting really.

To see what it will look like with the baseboards and quarter round, we set a strip down.  It looks fabulous!  We just could not do those today - no more energy.

This is the room above the garage that we added in the framing stage, but after the contract.  We decided to do the flooring ourselves to save money.  This room will be for guests and boomerang boy from college. 


What would we do if we lay another floating floor?

1.  Start on the short wall - hands down best thing.

2. Use MANY 1/4" blocks to keep flooring even and away from wall the required amount.  Believe me, it will be worth it.

3. A pull bar for the last row, so that row can be hammered in, just like the others.

4. Knee pads

5. Oil pencil for marking on pieces for cutting

That is it - very minimal changes really - it gets easier as you go, but the cutting can be tricky and as easy as it is, the piece do not snap together THAT easily.  It really took 2 people for each piece.  My daughter was fabulous at it.

My back is really out now, but DH can put in the baseboards and quarter round by himself - those are a lot easier with his new table saw.

I am so grateful that I had enough foresight to put a meal in the crock pot before we left.  I put carrots, onions, celery and potatoes in the bottom of a crock pot, tossed them in garlic, italian seasonings, turmeric, smoked paprika and thyme, then set a roast on top of them (salt and peppered it), poured beef broth over and let it cook on low all day.  We will all so grateful knowing this fabulous meal was waiting for us and we did not have to cook after the hard day.

We are very proud of how it looks.  Overall - good weekend!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Whew - I am exhausted

It has been a long week and next week isn't going to be better.  My back has been sort of out since the shoveling of dirt at the beginning of August.  It just needs time - I need to relax and do some long slow stretching after the tens unit.  There just has not been time for that recently and won't be this next week either.

We are on a tight deadline - next Sunday is the last day we can be in this rental, so my plans are to start moving Friday.  The kids and I will pack up everything we can - which will be the majority of whats here and move it during the day.  Then, we possibly might move the dressers and freezer that night.  Spend the night at the rental or wait until Saturday morning. 

However, on Saturday, we are going to start moving small and light things to the house - including beds.  My goal is to sleep at the new house on Saturday, clean up the rental on Sunday morning.

Then the next Monday, we are going to hire movers to move JUST the furniture.  Anything too heavy for DH to pick up alone or with the kids help gets delegated to the movers.  I just cannot lift anything very heavy right now.  But, we are moving all boxes, and loose items - round trip, it should take the movers about 2 hours max - there is not a whole lot when you take out the beds and 2 dressers.  But, again, it is needed.

Unfortunately, this has to happen regardless of if the house is done or not.  In being paranoid, I booked for an electrician to get power to the shed just in case we have to stay in the RV.

Last week

1.  The Driveway was poured Friday, so it is curing this weekend.

2.  All floor tile was laid down.  The patio still has to be grouted, but they are working on sealing the inside tiles today and hopefully grouting the patio.

3.  The wood floors should actually be done by now.

4.  Everything else has just made it a little further - there was some final paint, some final trim, some final cabinet work, a few low voltage things put in, most of the door knobs, etc.

This coming week - Due Date Wednesday - part of Thursday.

1.  All appliances must be installed

2. Whole house water filter must be installed.

3. All special doors and final knobs/locks must be installed.

4. Sheetrock finished (yes, there are areas without sheetrock! - small though)

5. All painting/staining must be done - there is a LOT to be done, but they can also accomplish a lot in one day as well.

6. Cabinets must be finished (this is a problem - their soft close is not working, so they need to figure it out!)

7. All trims must be completed - attic entries, mirrors, garage, touch ups

8. Driveway to shed rocked

9.  Final grade on land

10. Backsplash must be put in

11.  All plumbing finalized - sink faucet in kitchen and outdoor kitchen, master shower as well.

12. All low voltage completely installed - speakers, under/over cabinet lighting, etc

13.  Complete main electric work - there is a problem in the garage, some switches are super funky - like the one for the pendants light is under the sink in the bottom cabinet.  Really?  Also some outlets are not working.

14. Propane installed and coordinating appliances installed - grill, gas logs, range, hot water tank

15. Final accessories - toiler paper roll holders, towel rods, drawer pull, cabinet knobs etc.

16.  Garage door figured out.  Seriously - this is a MAJOR problem.

17.  Final work clean up

So, needless to say, I have to be there so I can make a quick decision for anything that goes wrong.  Plus, there are things getting installed that I have to be there for - internet, phone, electricity to the shed, garbage can delivery, pest control, etc.

DH wonderfully gave me today to kind of relax and putter around the rental by myself.  DD is at theater rehearsals, DH and DS are running errands.  I am doing laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, sweeping, vacuuming, getting organized, packing, etc.  Sitting down every now and then to just chill.  I may start commercial cleaning here in a minute.  Get my HGTV fix.

Hope you are all having a great weekend - a cooler one!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

All Build, All the Time

You all are going to be SO sick of hearing about this, but this is my complete life right now.

We have to move into the house on the 15th.  This is a hard date because we lose our lease on this temporary rental.  Yes, we could move into the RV, but it is not ideal - no water, no electricity.  We cannot set that up without the house being done.

Yesterday was a rough day - it seemed like the builder was just la-ti-da about finishing the house.  However, the appraiser called me yesterday evening.  Yep, that changed his mind.  The appraiser wanted to come today, but I put him off until next week because the house is not done.  Like a lot not done.

However, today we were hopping.  

1. The garage door was installed.  Looks great - huh?  Well, there is a major problem.  In all likelihood the garage door opener motor will not fit.  The garage door is too big due to us adding a loft on top of the garage.  Now, this really is the builder's fault because I made this change VERY early in the process and the door was not ordered until about a month ago.  He should have made the adjustment - so we will see what happens.

2.  The trim work guys were there installing caps on the posts located in the patio, spindles and trim for the stairs in the garage, frames around the mirrors and finishing up any missing baseboards, trim, etc.  They did not finish and will probably take 2 more days.

3.  The cabinet guy was in making adjustments, touching up nail holes, etc.

4.  The electric company was in installing electricity for the entire house!  YEAH!!!

5. The HVAC guy came to hook us up with air conditioning.

6.  The tile guys were in grouting all interior tiled areas. 

7.  Shed guys showed up to replace a part - good thing I was there because I was not notified in advance.

8. I walked around with the gutter guy to develop a plan for gutters and got an estimate.

9. I walked around with the builder and concrete guy to decide and plan on the driveway to the house and also the shed, plus a parking space.  No estimate yet, but I hope to get that tomorrow.

10.  I spoke with the cleaners to see about getting us a clean before we move in.  The construction guys just won't do a good job - they are not about the cleaning. I don't think the cleaners come up to us now - I am still waiting to hear.  I am bummed because they have been with us for about 13 years.  I trust them and they do a great job. 

11.  I made a call to the pest control guys.  I would like the house and shed done before we move in.

12.  I set up propane for the house and made the appointment for install.

13.  Accepted a few deliveries as well.

Everything is functioning like we live there.  The mailman even searched me out amongst 20 people, 8 vehicles, and so much craziness.  He appreciated my oversize mailbox.  He is a great guy - one of the many reasons I love living out a bit - we know our mailman!

Just for fun - these are the beams in our living room - we will be painting the vertical area of the tray the same color as the walls - because it is just too white.  However, you can really see those beams now!  These are over 100 years old from a Mennonite Farm in Wisconsin.  I will get a better shot without the lighting before long.

Overall, I am a bit frustrated about the process.  Our builder is great, but he is unorganized and cannot keep the pace of this and so many things fall through the cracks.  For instance, we had a standing appointment that the electric company would be by to connect electricity on a certain date for about 2 weeks.  On that morning (yesterday), they could not connect it because we did not have the conduit available to run the wires up the pole.  Seriously!  The builder brought it by that afternoon, but we had to set another appointment to get the line up there and really get started.  Thankfully, the electric company came back today and got it going.  This stress could have been avoided by having the conduit there on the APPOINTED day.  Things like that are happening left and right.  Not very efficient.

That is why I am there day in and day out right now.  The contractors are coming to me even when he is there now.  As for the garage door - the builder is ignoring this problem and it is a problem, but tomorrow, it will come to light and he NEEDS to listen to me on this.  Even if they get the motor working, we will have problems.  We may have to leave it until after the appraisal though.  We will see.

Anyway, tomorrow, our wood floors get installed, more trim work done, hopefully the loft air conditioning goes in, tile guy can work on the patio, the garage guy will come and the forms for the main driveway will be set.  I need to set up trash pick-up and follow up with the maids and pest control people.  So much to do, so much to say.....

Monday, October 2, 2017

September Goals Revisted, New ones?

 OK, September was C.R.A.Z.Y. - with family deaths, a hurricane, a torrential flood, pending homelessness - I am not sure I accomplished much - lets see...

New House Related:

1.  Set new appointment with permaculture guy. If he will ever get back with us.  We may have to find someone else because we need to get a plan for the yard grading. - YEP!  We have a plan! We are excited about it - I will let y'all know with it another day.
2. Take one day to clean up the area around the house - Yes, and no.  It is a work in progress - we cleaned up, it got messy again, we cleaned up again, it is messy again.  I am ready for the dirt, building materials and guys trash to be GONE!
3. Refinish Front Door - A MUST! - We tried but could not because of humidity.  IF we get electricity this week, I will work on it this weekend.
4.  Begin work on Roll Top Desk - Nope, did not even start.
5. Purchase all lighting - A MUST! - YES!!  All of it, even the bulbs are purchased.

Kids/Family Related:

1. 1 Social Event for kids - teen dance at the end of September. - YES - it was fun!
2. Homeschool at least 15 days this month.  We have field trips, science classes and a funeral, so this will require tenacity. - We got 5 in and decided there was too much to focus.
3. Set a physical education schedule for family, even if it is simple. - Nope, no time to think about it.
4. Pick up and store beef side at rental.  At least we have food coming in. - Yes, we have the beef and have been eating it!  Delicious - we missed this quality of meat.
5. 2 dates with DH - I am going to count it, even though one was cleaning up and one was shopping for furniture.  It is our life right now.
6. 1 adult social visit - Yes, I did meet up with some friends while DH was out of town at his step-father funeral.
7. Start moving items from temporary shed to our garage/shop to cut down on expenditures.  We did start moving, but have not been able to move out of the temporary sheds completely because of the lack of electricity at the new home.

Me Related:

1. Lose 3 pounds.  I am starting small and slow. - Lost 2, but I am counting that as a win!
2. Some form of exercise daily, even if it is back exercises.  I am in lots of pain and need to get better. Not really, but I have been stretching more and walked a few times.  Pain is less.
3. Take planner one step further and schedule processes for goal completion. No, there is so many last minute things with the house that scheduling was frustrating.  I am going to wait on this.
4. Finish 2 Tshirt Quilts - Not even one.
5.  Make hooded blanket and stuffed lamb for 7 year old Harvey victim. - Did not happen - guilt is there.
6.  Make wolves for my Father-In-Law's family with his clothes. - Not this either - no time.
7. Talk to my sister once per week. - I have not talked to her once, but I am texting her.
8. Message/email/tell 5 people of my gratitude of them. - Not this either.
9.  Journal daily gratitude - Yes, I have kept up with this.
10.  Start 100 day of photo of something that makes me happy.  I reserve the right to do multiple on one day because of stress.  However, when I start, it will be 100 pictures in 100 days. - I started taking pictures - every single day something goes up on Instagram.  It is quite fun!

September was ok,  I lost sight of these goals, but it is no wonder really.  I think for October, I am going to let the goals go.  We are moving, setting up a new home, my sister is coming in, we are planning an open house - so much going on.  If I come out breathing and we are mostly settled in the house, I will be thrilled.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Sick - I think...

I think I may actually be sick.  My stomach has been cramping and not feeling well, slightly nauseous.  I am very achy all over - slight headache, beginning of a sore throat.  Crapola!

No time to be sick, so I am going to seriously rest this weekend. 

So today, the traffic from the festival was not bad at all.  The little town close to it had officers directing traffic and it went very smoothly.  The tile guy came to the house today and finish tiling in the house - he still has to grout, but finishing up the tile was MAJOR progress.  He was working on the patio when we left.

We had gone there to sweep out the barn shed, there were thousands of dead love bugs, so we finally got that out.  We put a lot of the trash that was laying around in the dumpster and put our house number on the mailbox.

Tomorrow, if I am up for it, we are going to the furniture outlet to see if we can find a couple of bed frames.  We also NEED to put the cabinet knobs and drawer pulls in their perspective places, so the people installing can get it right.

This is a picture I took of our kitchen countertops.  It is uba tuba granite that is leathered and the edges chiseled.  You can see the saltillo tiles on the floor - they just do not have grout in them yet.

Everything in the house is dirty - saw dust, tile dust, dust, dirt, dust.  I am looking forward the clean look! 

Hubs is off to get me some soup - With this increasingly scratchy throat, I am looking forward to it.

Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Week 35 Update

We are now 35 weeks!  Some days, it does not feel it like that long and others, I feel every second of it.  This day, I feel every second.  It is wearing on me because I feel like all the pressure is on me. 

Anyway - We got some things done, but there were so many problems this week that it feels like 3 steps forward and 4 steps back.

New Home:  I don't even know where to start. 

1.  We tried to sand and stain the front door, but it is too humid for the stain to dry and there is no electricity (thus no air conditioning), so that project is on hold.  However, they did put up the door jam and drilled for the door knob.

2. Tile - I mean progress was made, but there are so many little pieces here and there.  The grout was supposed to be put in so plumbing could get in there today, but when I checked this morning, there was no grout around the toilets.  So, we will see.  PLUS - the grout color is wrong, but I may not have a choice if he DID put the grout just around where the toilets will be installed.

3.  Granite countertops - They were installed this week.  They look good.  Except, they ruined my copper sink, so now the island countertop cannot be done until the new sink gets in.  They are killing me.

4. Stone and brickwork is done - thankfully!  No issues there.

5.  Exterior Painting - we picked a new color that works much better and they painted everything, so the paint is done.  In the process, they broke 3 windows.

Really, that is all that was done.  For having to move in there in 16 days, it sure wasn't much.  I am getting VERY nervous about it.  No, I did not have to pay for those mistakes, my biggest issue is the delay it will cause.

Electricity MIGHT be in next Friday.  MIGHT.  Lets just say am not holding my breath.

I was going to list what was supposed to be done, but I am not going to be negative.  The festival starts this weekend so no one will be working at our place this weekend.  The builder is going out of town for 3 days, so the build will probably just sort of stop - it always does.  He has to have a life though.

Part of my problem right now is I feel out of control.  I am not a control freak but everything is in someone elses hands.  Our credit card number was stolen, the contractor just seem to be doing whatever they want with no regard for our things.  The builder is on top of it, but seems la ti da about it all. 

Probably everyone gets this way at the very end - at least those of us in the "know".  DH is so excited - butterflies and all.  Me, not so much - I see all the problems and what is left to do and the things I had to compromise on because of contractor errors, etc.   I know, I know - if the contractor made a mistake, make them change it - it is not that easy and time delays could cause problems.

At the rental, we are starting to pack up what little we had here, it is feeling very temporary.

Gratitude:  Especially today, it is difficult to feel grateful, but I do.  I am grateful for the ability to go through this process of building our own home.  It is one of the most difficult things by way of stress, but literally a dream come true.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Busy day at the Build!

It was another busy day at the build and honestly, these will probably happen more and more until we are done.  There are so many little things to decide on and each one feels like such a production!

The granite was supposed to be going in today, so I decided to spend the day there.  Glad I did - lots to make decisions on!

1. Where to put faucets in granite.
2. Where to put the soap dispenser.
3. Where to put the disposal button (we are going with an air disposal)
4. Walk through with sheetrock guy for final punch list and put tape on all areas
5. Backsplash layout design.
6.  How to make 16 tiles fit into a 25 tile space.  That was fun.  I basically decided to cut out a tile area.  We cannot easily order more - they are hand made custom tiles. 
7. Decide on dates to meet the driveway guy.
8.  Remind builder about gutters, so he texted the guy.
9. Decide on window sill treatments for kitchen.
10. Talk money
11. Talked about upcoming things - plumber this week, granite finishing tomorrow, hot check on lights and outlets, tiling continuing, stonework done tomorrow.
12. Discussed how farmhouse copper sink fit in cabinet with countertop.  It will need a small piece of finishing on it.
13.  Topper for stone on posts on patio - only acceptable option is cedar.
14. That we needed a faucet for the outside sink
15. That we needed bulbs for all the lights.
16. Reconsidering the tile issue when an inventory was done.  The place I cut out could take the other size of tile, so we are going with that.
17.  Seeing the living room beams get unwrapped.
18. Seeing that one of the beams is sagging and need to be supported ASAP!
19.  Deciding on the type of baseboard for the loft.
20. Deciding to put a lock on the master bathroom door that faces the bedroom.  Since that bathroom has a door to the outside, we felt that guests might want to use that bathroom and we could lock our bedroom door to keep them out.  It is the easiest place to go.

There were other smaller things and some of these took forever because of a language barrier.  It is coming together though - 18 days left!  DH is already imagining coming in the front door to be greeted by the trickle of water from our fountain, a breeze from the fan and Ottmar Liebert playing in the background, grabbing a beer from the fridge and settling into the sofa with me, as I drink a glass of wine.  His words - not mine! Remember, this is all the patio - not even entering the actual home!

I am still in detail land since I am the lead in this build.  It is coming together - the builder paused at one point today when we were coming out of the master bedroom looking back to the entry and said WOW!  I am telling you - this tile is amazing.  I know I said hand made to order, but it is only about $3.00 a square foot.  It is a mid-range cost for tile.  Not expensive.  It is not consistent, wavy, irregular and so freaking gorgeous!  I cannot wait until it is sealed and really shows the colors.  It is so dusty right now.

Gratitude: Today, I am really grateful for air conditioning.  Going onto an air conditioned RV was heaven today.  In between times after sweat rolling down my back, it was wonderful to step into a cool, not so humid place even for a moment.

P.S.  As soon as electricity is hooked up, builder said I could run my ice maker - Sonic Ice folks - I cannot wait!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

100 Days of Happiness

I missed this by one day, but I caught up on Day 2, so I am all in now. 

There is this thing that goes around on social media that happens on the last 100 days of the year.  They want you to sign up, but I don't need any more emails, so I am just posting on Instagram pictures that make me happy or at least smile a little.  These are not earth shattering things, but just tidbits of the day.

I first caught wind of this 3 days ago - in the late evening actually, so decided to jump on board, since I was already bouncing this around in my head anyway. I did not want to be 2 days behind, so I just took a picture of something around me.

Day #2 officially, I will go through Day #101 to make up for it.

 Although it looks like a very large glass of wine - it is not.  I think it may be a 6 oz glass - not much, I assure you.  But, I love my white wine - dry, white wine. 

Day #3

 It was a harried morning, rushing here and there, errands, errands, errands.  I saw this in the middle of the driving area of a parking lot.  I know someone lost it, but the glimmer caught my eye and thinking of little girls and their bling made me smile.  I risked life to take the picture and was surprised to see a few of the gems were still around it on the ground when I put it on my computer  Yes, I doctored this picture, but it looks so much better with a darker background than plain ole concrete.

Day #4

It is no surprise lately that I am in absolute love with dragonflies.  I always have been, but lately, since we have been building, it is more so.  My best friend, John, gave me this dragonfly - it is metal and the wings actually flap - it is gorgeous and something I very much enjoy everyday.

If you want to follow me on Instagram - I am threadedlines.  I will try to keep posting here as well - maybe do batch posts.  You will definitely get a better story about here.

I am just taking care of odds and ends today.  Making dinner, cleaning the kitchen, wiping down the bathroom, mailing a check, uploading files, check in with a class for kids, sign up for a dia los muertos field trip at the Funeral Museum, go over calendar and update, ran to the house to open the shed (tiling and painting today), chose windows for doors, packed up 3 boxes, washed/dried/folded a load of towels, finished a book, and now I am about to head out to return/exchange some lights, pick up laundry detergent and back to the house to see what was done and lock the shed. 

Yep, I am getting tired today.  But overall, it was a good day.

Gratitude:  I am grateful for loving family.  I did not grow up in a loving family, but I made sure my children would - with parents that love each other, a mother that does not scream and just an air of trust and love.  I take it for granted sometimes, but I adore our family.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Weekend Fun and Realizations

This weekend was a lot about catching up since DH was gone last weekend.  DD has rehearsals every Saturday, so it splits our time.  We love how she has bloomed!  She talks louder and sings all the time - she is happy!  We love it!

So, Saturday morning, we started sanding the front door to put a finishing stain on it.  In talking with the builder, we would just have enough time.  While we were at the house, the builder actually came - WOW!  We had to walk through the Saltillo tile since the irregularity of it is affecting the amount that we can worth with.  Then, we spoke about a few other things.  DH had to leave to take DD to rehearsals, so I continued to speak with the builder, then got to work staining the door, then left.

It was taking a VERY long time to dry, so we decided to call it - there is no way with this heat and humidity that it can dry, so we gave up for now.  The door needs to be installed and is supposed to be today, so I hope it is, so I can see it with the stained glass installed!

Anyway, on Sunday, we needed to get some things from Lowe's.  We used our points to get gift cards, so the majority of our purchase was covered!  We bought toilet paper holders and towel racks.  Also, we decided to purchase the flooring for the loft since we are installing it to save a bit.  We decided on a laminate that looks like wood and we are going to float it - which should make for easy installation. We also invested in a table saw to use for cutting the flooring, but also for upcoming projects - the tree house, the garden - as we can cut tile and stone with this table saw.

Then we picked out a couple of colors and got samples for the exterior of the house.

After that, we headed back to the house to pick out grout for the saltillo tiles, see what exterior color we wanted, check on the door to see if had dried at all and were met with a big surprise!

Our mailbox was done!

It is unconventional, but we love it - it is the brick and stone that is on the house in an arch shape that is represented throughout.  The mailbox itself it very large, but we tend to get quite a few packages, so this helps the mailman not have to hike back to the house for every little thing.  Plus, it keeps the packages out of the rain!

So, realizations:

1. The door cannot be done before we move in, we have to wait for cooler weather.  Bummer, but not the end of the world.

2. We only have 2 weekends left at the rental.  CRAP!!!!  Time to start sort of packing again - for sure the homeschool.  Most everything else is what we use, just a little more of it than we had on the RV.

3.  A major festival is going that will affect the work on the house, our ability to get there in a timely fashion, and for us to have guest - who knew?

4. There is a good chance we are going to have to move back into the RV before this is all said and done.  The house can be completed, but we cannot move in until the bank says we can, well, or until they stop visiting - which is after the appraiser.

All good things.  This all points to an end time, so there you go!

Gratitude:  I am grateful for a nice warm shower.  It felt great, yet again, to be able to get into a nice, big shower with ample room, ample water pressure and the ability to walk around naked while getting dressed.  Its the little things you take for granted that you miss so much when they are gone.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Homeschool Fail

Homeschool is just my bane this year!  ARG!!  Everytime I try to start, we get derailed.  For example, we decided to get it going again and started on Monday.  I went over everything with them, had individual time.  Tuesday, I had to leave to talk to the builder - ended up being gone for 5 hours.  They did their work, but without any assistance.

Wednesday, deliveries were coming and needed signatures, so I had to spend the day at the house.  Good thing too, contractors were knocking at the RV door every 20 minutes.  The kids did their work again with no assistance.

Thursday, there were plans to stay home, but again, had to go to the house to talk to the builder, then I had to go searching for items for the house.  The kids said they did their work, but without my assistance, they did not finish.

Friday, I promised myself I was going to grade, but again, things came up at the house.  This house build is a full time job plus some.

So a full week of them working on their own, let me just say the amount they got done and the quality of their work diminished greatly.  It is different if I am home with them.  Plus, that was the week that we were moving things into the shed and moving the RV, so we were gone every evening - I did not grade anything.  It was awful.

We made the decision that we are calling it for the school year.  There are 15 lessons left of Math - 1 is going to repeat the work, but at a more mature level and the next is more than ready to move on.  History never really got started, so that will start over.  We never did start Science, so we have a fresh new year.  Writing/LA - they both completed 2 books, so we will just continue from where we left off.  Latin never got off the ground.  Logic either.

Basically, we are going to wait until we are in the house - we are looking at 4-5 weeks and then we will just work from there for 180 days.   It will be fine. 

There were so many things against us - some of the school items are in storage, no one felt like they had a spot to do their work.  None of us felt comfortable for that one on one time.  It has just been awful.  We really are creatures of habit.

When we get to the new house, I will have my office back where they can sit across from me and all my teacher's books will be there to grade immediately.  DS is getting his own table in the living room, whereas DD will use her desk in her room.  DS I have to keep an eye on more.  DD probably could educate herself, she just lacks motivation.

We did discuss how we wanted homeschool to look - where to put the books and supplies, scheduling, etc.  Something we are all excited about is morning coffee. 

Morning Coffee takes place after breakfast and is the start of the school day (DD and I drink Coffee, DS can have hot chocolate or whatever drink he wants.)  We will discuss history and literature, then go over any specifics I want from them.  They will break into their individual work where I will meet with each one when needed.  After lunch, we meet up again for science and logic - we might do that outside on the patio and probably only 2x per week.

Field trips start next week though - they have science classes at the Museum once day per month.  No other homeschool can be done on those days as the museum is over an hour away and is 4 classes.  It is a full day of school.

I am so excited to get started, but just in a way that it is the main focus, not an afterthought.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


I decided to snap a few pictures today while I was checking on things and thought the tile looked good enough and had enough light to show you.  In the bathrooms, since there is no electricity yet, it is very dark and you would not be able to see much. 

Well, as you can see here, the outside of the house is ALMOST done - there is just that one little section by the front door.  The stone looks fabulous and we are very happy with the colors.  The builder asked if we wanted to acid wash the brick.  I have never heard of acid washing new brick - just molded and older brick.  We politely refused. 

I don't think I ever took a shot of the shed since it was completed.  The roll door is a dream!  The RV fits nicely with a lot of room to spare.

They got the stone on the island which looks so good.  I took a side view of it so you could see the drawers!  Drawers everywhere!  I LOVE IT - these will probably hold some crafty things for my nephew on the bottom, and odds and ends for drinks - since the drink and ice station is right across from here.

This is the saltillo tile.  We went with the hexagon shape for a classic design.  I wish there was a little more color variation as was their original style, but this is lovely as well.   I am still really in love with this tile.

Our signature stone fireplace - this one with an actual hearth for sitting.  It will be a gas (propane) fireplace because we do not need a traditional one for heat.  This puts out a little heat, but not too much.

We are in awe of the mantle - it is very old - about 120 years old and has the old pegs and iron nails.  I cannot wait until we can unwrap the beams on the ceiling!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tuesday Tile

There was tile drama and the day is all about the tile!

Last night, hubs and I went to the house to check out the tile that had been started.  This is my special Saltillo Tiles - Mexican clay tiles. 

It was after dark and there is no electricity in the house, so we only had the flashlight that was on our phones.  I was not happy - the grout lines were big in some areas and thin in others.  I hated it!

I texted the builder and told him I was upset with it, so he scheduled a meeting with me and the tiler for today. I was really dreading that meeting, I hate confronting someone about their work.  It is ALWAYS so personal.

So, we went to bed and I slept, but not well.  Dragged myself out of bed and showered.  Not looking forward to the day and I went out to get some coffee when I saw DH!  The wonderful man called in sick to go with me to tell this tiler we did not like his work!  He also said we needed some time together since he was gone all weekend.  Boy, did we!

When we got to the house, we went to our daughter's bathroom and looked at the tile in the day light.  It was not bad - the tile was irregular (which I love) and gave such warmth to the little room.

The tiler was working on our son's bathroom - which he finished while we were there and it looks fabulous!  It works so well with the tile in the shower as well - even the builder was impressed.

It is exciting to see the tile go in - unfortunately, you will not get to see pictures until the grout is in.  You would not be able to see the true beauty of it until the end - the color are still dull until they are cleaned and sealed.

This evening, we are just taking it easy watching Lord of the Rings and relaxing together.  It is wonderful and was very needed!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Year Long Menu

Leave it to me to modify a plan.  I don't think I can ever follow directions exactly because I always think of something that can work better for our family or just plain better all around.

Even with recipes, I don't think I ever just follow the directions, the main exception being baking.  I just don't mess with that because you can screw it up in a heartbeat - ask my son.

Anyway, the premise of the year long menu is to plan out your dinners (at minimum), breakfast and lunch if you are really ambitious.  I chose to go with dinners.

Then you basically have to decide on seven categories.  I did it by meats - beef, chicken, pork, fish.  We are doing 2 beef nights, 2 chicken nights, 1 pork night, and 1 fish night with the last night for out-to-eat or eating leftovers.

Others have done styles for their categories - Spanish/Mexican, Italian, Asian, Comfort, Pizza, etc.  That did not work as well for us, so we defaulted to meats.

I brainstormed last night and came up with 24 beef meals, 24 chicken meals, 12 pork and 12 fish.  That is 3 months of meals (average).  The main idea is then to just repeat it - you would essentially only eat 1 meal 4 times per year.  Which is not bad for variety.

However, I KNOW we are going to add recipes to the mix.  So, I am putting together a master spreadsheet and giving each meal a name and where the recipe is located (if I need a recipe).  Given this, we are going to start with 3 months and see how we feel about repeating or adding in something new.  The good thing is if we are busy - then we can just repeat.  If we feel creative, we can try something new.

I am not using this menu as the end all be all - moods change, you forget to go to the store, someone gets sick, you have to suddenly go out town - the list of possible derailments are long and not very distinguished, but the basic plan is there, so on Sunday, there are no excuses.  We have it available.

Here are my meal ideas - I am not putting sides with them because it depends on what is at the farmer's market that week and what is on sale.  Sides are not difficult though - some beans, rice, or pasta and greens - viola!


Now, we just got our side of beef, so all this will come from a no antibiotic, grass fed cow.

Beef Tacos
Taco Bake
Sloppy Joes
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Spaghetti with meat sauce or meatballs
Cajun Dirty Rice
Hamburger Soup
Cajun Meatloaf
Stuffed Peppers
Pot Roast
Chipped Beef Sandwiches
Beef Stroganoff
Grilled Steak (with various rubs)
Steak Fajitas
Steak and Pepper Stir Fry (asian)
Steak Skewers
Beef Tips and Gravy
Vegetable Beef Stew
Potatoes, Sausage and Green Beans
Sausage Pasta Stir Fry (with onions and peppers - so good!)
Barbeque Sausage


Chicken Tacos
Italian Grilled Chicken
Mexican Grilled Chicken
Barbeque Chicken
Vegetable Chicken Soup
Breaded Chicken Tenders
Cheesy, Broccoli Chicken Rice Casserole
Chicken and sausage Skewers
Tuscan Chicken Pasta
Chicken Stir Fry (asian)
Baked Garlic Butter Chicken
BBQ Chicken Pizza
Grilled Chicken Salad
Pesto Tortellini Chicken Salad
Chicken Picatta
Chicken and Stuffing
Chicken Divan
Chicken Fajitas
Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken Noodle Soup
Bone-in Chicken and Vegetable Bake
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken
Chicken Tetrazzini
Mustard Chicken


Ham Steaks
Ham and Potato Soup
Pork Stroganoff
Lemon Pork Piccata
BBQ Pork Chops
Pork Stir Fry (Asian)
Pork Carnitas
Pork Roast
Cajun Pork Loin
Red Beans and Rice
Zuppa Toscana (italian soup)


This is a little harder for us because we have not eaten much fish, but we are going to give it 12 weeks, if it does not work, we will blend it with a veggie night.

Grilled Salmon
Breaded Tilapia
Orange Roughy
Breaded Cod
Grilled Tuna
Baked Trout with lemon
Blackened Mahi-Mahi with lemon butter sauce
Striped Bass (need recipe)
Grilled Halibut
Grilled Red Snapper
Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya (probably a little fish in there as well)
Mystery fish  - this will depend on how well the rest of this has gone - worse case, we go out for shell fish (I refuse to cook shellfish at home after getting violently ill one time) or we simply make Fish Tacos with Tilapia.

There you have it!  I am glad to have this much done.  I now need to put it a calendar type of form.

What about you?  Do you think you would try a year long menu?  Maybe 3 months like I did?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Busy Saturday - Going to Town!

Since DH is gone this weekend at his step-father's funeral, the weekend happenings fell to me.  Most of the time, it is a divide and conquer, but I was alone this time.

So, I woke up and damn, no coffee and I SUCK at making a pot.  All I can say is thank goodness for the Kuerig.  The coffee was strong, but it made the morning better.

Then I cleaned the kitchen, put on a load of towels, straighten up my office getting ready for a customer, prepped for the day into town.

I woke the kids up, so they could get breakfast and dressed for the upcoming day.  My customer and her mother got here on time (thankfully), and when they left, we immediately had to leave.

On the way to drop DD off at rehearsals, she mentioned that she had not eaten yet.  Kill me now.  Luckily, we left a little early because there is a wine and music fest in our town we are staying in.  (on a side note, we had planned to go as a date, but the funeral was booked so I did not get to go.  Going alone is not my cup of tea)  Anyway, we stopped for Chick Fil A, and the kids ate while I ran the truck through the car wash to get the love bugs off - 3rd wash this week.

I still got her to rehearsals on time.  Then it was a trip to the bank to get our blow money cash and allowances.  I got the bad teller - she sighs heavily because she has to count out 5s and 1s.  Sometimes she has to get it from the safe and she just looks at me like I am going to say, "Oh, don't worry about it."  They are a bank!  At least my transaction is straight forward unlike the others that don't know their account numbers AND then have no money in it when they are asking for cash.

Moving on - next stop was Office Depot.  I needed a chair mat so I did not ruin the rental's hardwood AND mine.  It was pricy, but given I use for daily for years - the $50 was fine.  The office chairs were on sale, and I decided to get one.  The one I have is split open 5 different places and the padding has long since disintigraded so I am sitting on a board.  This chair is very comfortable and drops at the tail bone which took pressure off it.  It was 50% off and I got a 10% loyalty discount.  So, this awesome office chair was only $80.   I also picked up some friction pens (on sale) for my sewing.

After that was Lowe's to get the drawer pulls and knobs for the cabinets.  I ended up also getting the mailbox and numbers for that as well as a trash can.

DS got sick at Lowe's, so I dealt with that, then we headed to the libary.  It was a quick run in and check out from the hold shelf.  He stayed in the truck.  He was fine - I think something didn't settled right on his stomach.

We went back to the rental, and I unloaded the dishwasher, folded the towels, and built the chair.  Put on potatoes because we were having baked potatoes and salad for dinner.

I left to pick up DD - back to town.  Got back, threw together the salad, and the toppings for the potatoes.  While we were eating, DH called, so I talked to him a while.

Then I cleaned the kitchen and decided that I need to cut the tshirts for the next quilt.

I think I will call it quits tonight and watch the Hallmark Channel.  I miss my DH severly.  We don't spend nights away from each other - very, very rarely and we have been apart 5 days in the past 2 months.

I know other couple spend lots of time apart and I know they have it worse than we do.  It does not make us like spending time apart any less.

Tomorrow is a work day for me - I really need to get one quilt almost done. I have to run to the new house just to check.  I was not able to get there today.

Chili is on the menu tomorrow!  Plus I get to sleep in.  YEAH!!!

Gratitude:  I am so grateful for my 19 year old son and my 13 year old son, they both have the ability to make me stomach laugh even when I am sad.  They are truly beautiful people!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Week 33 Update - Getting closer!

So much is going on and not going on.  It seems like I am running to pick up things, purchase things, bring them to the builder (which is at our house in the barn shed), but really it is a lot of hurry up and wait.  Builder - I need the lightening!  Me - OK, I will get tomorrow.    Where is it sitting? - unopened in the barn shed for the past 3 days.

No matter - I like having it there, so when it is needed, it is there - no delays, no excuses.

The BIGGEST thing that happened this week was the completion of the barn shed.  I mean this alone seemed to get the ball rolling even with our builder.  Maybe seeing something completed made him feel the urgency.

We officially get to call the bank on Monday and tell them we are at the 30 day mark.  I never thought this day would come.  I feels like a Christmas Miracle!

The cabinets were also installed!  It is amazing, but seeing them without countertops makes them look not all there.  It is stunning how countertops actually bring out the cabinets.  We are very pleased with these cabinets!  Soft close doors and drawers.  LOTS of drawers!  We only have 2 cabinets on the bottom - all the rest are drawers - including a set of drawers on each side of the island.

The tile in all the showers are in, they just need grout now.  We are over the moon excited about the master shower - kind of our dream shower.  There will be a large piece of glass in the opening and we plan putting hooks (for towels) on the side you cannot see.  There is a thin, long window that you can barely see in the top middle of the picture.  The bright light is the tiler's lamp.  We will have 2 can lights and the light from the window. 

We were very surprised, but the mason built the structure for the outdoor kitchen area!  Caught us by surprise yesterday!

There will be a large grill - big enough for rotisserie and skewers.  We are actually thinking about the turkey for Thanksgiving in this grill!  Then it will have a cabinet underneath with 2 drawers, a mini fridge, and trash drawer and a sink.  Stone is going all around with black galaxy granite for the countertop.

In addition to all of this, we have a preliminary design for our permaculture!  It is going to be so good!  It is hard to wait, but we are going to have to let it sit for a year because the soil is so bad from the build.  Though it was good that we burnt the brush and the trees.

You can see the tree line in the outdoor kitchen area - that area will consist of natural grasses - citronella, lemongrass, pink muhly grass and dwarf fountain grass, along with blooming flowers - like daffodils and such along the patio line.  We have to put in a drainage ditch in between.

We will have a pond, a chicken coop and run, a long, rocked, dry creek going between the house and the barn shed, the kitchen garden and herbs will be built by our side door and 2 long swales at the back of the house probably with fruit trees.   This will all happen over LOTS of time - not right at first.  This is the exciting part for me though.  Together, we started with a dream of this, to planning to re

ality - it is the most magnificent thing.

Homeschool - Yeah, we are sucking wind.  They were good and did their work without me for 6 days, but I am so far behind with grading that I told them to stop yesterday.  We are breaking today as well.  I will catch up with grading this weekend.

Unfortunately, this is not the end all be all priority this month.  It will be when we move, but getting this house done so we can have normalcy is the priority.

Gratitude:  I am grateful for my husband.  I know it is cliche, but he supports me wholeheartedly, caters to me and actually feels it when I am sad.  So, it is with a loving heart that I am grateful for my husband.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hump Day

And the week is downhill from here!  Sad because DH is leaving for the weekend.  We just don't do well apart.  I am going to really try to keep it together this time.

OK, so Tuesday was better.  I had to spend the day at the house (such a sacrifice - LOL) and it was a good thing I was there all day. Cabinets started going in and they had LOTS of questions - there was a knock at my RV door every 15-20 minutes.  Makes me wonder how things get done when I am not there.

I brought lunch, 2 books, 2 movies, this year's and next year's planner and my camera, thinking I would get things done or at least relax.  Nope, did not crack the book once.

I could not take pictures because the love bugs are SOOOOO bad.  I mean as soon as I walk outside, they attack at me flying up my nose, in my ears (my mouth if it were open) and they kept getting on my lens.  Promise some soon though - so much has happened!

Today, I picked up all the grill items, took them to the barn/shed and answered questions about the cabinets.  Then I headed out to pick up our side of beef.  I left the house at 10:15 this morning and sat down at home around 5 p.m. this evening.  LONG day riding with a truck that is losing air conditioning, but we have a freezer FULL of beef, so I am excited!  It will keep us for a year.

Tuesday, my gratitude was being able to walk.  It wasn't long ago when I could not walk well, so being able to shovel clay and still walk (albiet with pain), it simply amazing!  I also was thankful for being able to hoover all the love bugs in my RV.  Gave me such pleasure!

Wednesday, I am grateful for our ability to build a home like we are.  It is awing for sure. 

So, yes, Tuesday and Wednesday were much better than Monday.  Much, much better.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Today sucked

Today sucked - tomorrow gets a do-over.  Moving on.

What I am grateful for: WINE!  It is crisp, cool and makes a shit day look downright peachy.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Stone, Tile and Shed

This are the only 3 things being worked on this week.  Sigh - I am getting more and more anxious for it to be done.  I said before and I will say again.  Building a very custom house is not for the faint of heart.

Jamming to Artic Monkeys while typing and getting a groove to the typing while trying to sing and write!  LOL

Ok,  the entire front of the house is going to be this stacked stone.  Gorgeous!  This is the stone we have used for our fireplaces and island in the last house - we just LOVE it.

Stone that will be all over the front.

We decided to use wood look tile for the large master shower.  This was not a mistake - this picture does not do it justice at all!  It is breathtaking.  This opening you see will be glass.  2 shower heads - one normal kind and one rain showerhead.

Lots of work still to go!

Yesterday morning, this was just a concrete slab.  They will finish all but the garage door.  That will be done sometime next week.  So excited this is getting done in time to accept the appliances.  Oh, I am not sure if I told you all, but we have to take our appliances before the builder is ready because of Sears needing the warehouse to stock appliances for the rush from Harvey.  Just glad this shed is getting done or I would have been camping in the no air conditioning and mosquito filled house because building lots get robbed often.

This shed is insulated and we have a portable air conditioner we bought to use in it.  Quite the set-up!  It will house the RV, trailer, truck and golf cart plus the workshop.  It is 30' x 40'.  Believe it or not, this is a small shed compared to others around us.

The scale of this is off - it much larger than this shows!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Day of Decadence

Today, Thursday, I did something I never do.  I did nothing.

I had to meet the shed people early this morning to get started.  It was very cool - around 63F - which here in southern Texas never happens in September.  The RV was inviting and situated as such that I could see how the shed and the stone work was going through a window.

This window happened to be where I could lay in bed and watch.  So I did.  But it was cold in the RV, and I had no pillow, so I grabbed some blankets (from my business stock that were stored on the RV) and made a makeshift pillow, then used my most favorite sunflower blanket to wrap up in.

I drifted off to sleep watching the wind move through the trees and hearing the generator hum.

When I woke, I was hungry, so I went for a burger and came back.  I dozed in and out the entire afternoon in that RV.  At times I was awake and let my mind drift and honestly, I cannot even tell you what I thought about - I was so in and out of sleep and drowsy feeling.

It was pure BLISS!

This was exactly the kind of day I needed.  I only had my cell phone and did not look up anything or spend time on Facebook.  I texted with my sister a bit.  Sent pictures of the build to my husband.

I stayed away from Harvey posts and political crap.  I did not think about money, work, homeschool or the build other than what was happening right then.

It was the best kind of day.  With all the sleep, you would think I could not sleep tonight, but I am tired and really for rest.  It was like my brain and body just repaired themselves today, tonight's rest is the true rest.

That is something I have not had in a very, very, long time.

Grateful:  I am grateful for today, in its delicious decadence of nothing and allowing my brain to reach full stop.  No one could ask for more than that!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

No time for wallowing

Today, is we are out of the house day! 

I have to meet the builder at the granite place to pick our slabs.  Then, head over to the stone place to pick the hearth stones. 

Lunch with Dad

Then I need to stop by the library and Joanns on my way back since we tend to bunch errands when going into town.  If you are going to drive an hour to get somewhere, you better stop at all the places you can. 

Right now with the house:

1.  The masons are continuing their work.  The brick is almost done, but there is a considerable amount of stone work to be done on the outside of the house as well as inside.  Stone is going on the fireplace and the island, the outdoor kitchen and around each cedar post on the patio. 

2. The Tiler has finished putting tile in the kids' bathroom showers, and is working on ours right now.  He is about 1/2 way done.  We picked grout colors yesterday.

3.  The Garage/Shop is slated to go in starting on Thursday.  We had to move our RV last night - that was fun.  The fridge had been left on and the battery ran out, but that was nothing compared to the mosquitoes!  They are crazy bad - I had deep woods off on and they still were attacking me.  They attacked the truck as it pulled in!  2 things I am looking forward to - 1) a pond to collect the excess water with fish to eat the mosquitoes.  2) Chickens to eat the bugs as well.

That is about all that can be done right now!  We are waiting for the cabinets to get in before we can do anything else. 

I cannot wait until we can start moving forward with this - I know we are, but we have been in tile and brick land for weeks. I am ready to start seeing it take shape. It still looks like a bomb went off inside.

I am trying to think of something for dinner.  We did not set a menu this week and we are hurting for ideas.  I have plenty of food so I will think of something.

Hope you all have a great day!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

When it Rains, It Pours

I am not sure my light depression is not warranted right now.

Toward the end of July, my last remaining grandparent died. 

Last Tuesday, the last day Harvey was here, my husband's step father died.

Yesterday afternoon, I found out one of the sweetest customers I have lost her battle with cancer.  I used to sew the patches on her boys' uniforms and we would talk and laugh.  She was a beautiful person.

So much death as of late.

I am really trying to see the positive side of things, keeping a journal, reading uplifting books, trying to laugh with my kids - even fart jokes.  But overall, there is just a touch of sadness.  I think I really have not had time to grieve all the loss lately.  I need some quiet time to think. 

We started homeschool back up today.  As expected they are struggling with math.  Their little brains have to get back into the groove of it all and remember percents, probabilities, coefficients and all that.

Gratefulness:  I am grateful for my Yeti tumbler.  I always have cold water now - day or night, it is sublime!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

September Goals

Goals are so difficult right now with everything going on.  A funeral, house being built (as well as shed, barn, storage, maybe 2nd garage/shop?), homeschool, business and aftermath of Harvey.  There are gas shortages, food shortages, all kinds of shortages, but we are making it through.

I am going to set some lofty goals again - why not?  If they come to fruition - wonderful, if not, no big deal.

Here goes:

New House Related:

1.  Set new appointment with permaculture guy. If he will ever get back with us.  We may have to find someone else because we need to get a plan for the yard grading.
2. Take one day to clean up the area around the house.
3. Refinish Front Door - A MUST!
4.  Begin work on Roll Top Desk
5. Purchase all lighting - A MUST!

Kids/Family Related:

1. 1 Social Event for kids - teen dance at the end of September.
2. Homeschool at least 15 days this month.  We have field trips, science classes and a funeral, so this will require tenacity.
3. Set a physical education schedule for family, even if it is simple.
4. Pick up and store beef side at rental.  At least we have food coming in.
5. 2 dates with DH
6. 1 adult social visit
7. Start moving items from temporary shed to our garage/shop to cut down on expenditures.

Me Related:

1. Lose 3 pounds.  I am starting small and slow.
2. Some form of exercise daily, even if it is back exercises.  I am in lots of pain and need to get better.
3. Take planner one step further and schedule processes for goal completion.
4. Finish 2 Tshirt Quilts
5.  Make hooded blanket and stuffed lamb for 7 year old Harvey victim.
6.  Make wolves for my Father-In-Law's family with his clothes.
7. Talk to my sister once per week.
8. Message/email/tell 5 people of my gratitude of them.
9.  Journal daily gratitude
10.  Start 100 day of photo of something that makes me happy.  I reserve the right to do multiple on one day because of stress.  However, when I start, it will be 100 pictures in 100 days.

There are my lofty goals.  Yes, I am putting more into the Me Related category, but that is the category that I have control over and it also the category I am most likely to put off.  Sad, but true.


Early Rise

I am literally up before the crack of dawn this morning to see my son off to college.  He left with DH in a whirlwind trip - 5 plus hours there and 5 plus hours back IF all the roads are clear.

Usually, I get a little emotional, but this morning through my sleepy eyes and foggy brain, it just did not hit me.  Not that I was itching for him to leave, he actually just got here.  It's just we did not really get to spend much time together this summer.  Sad, because it might be the last summer he even wants to stay with us and I will be relegated to visits at family events and holidays.

It is a bittersweet realization.

Watch, because I said this, he will be with us until he is 45, only leaving because because work transferred him to another state (unlikely!)

Sometimes as our family grows, it feels like some kind of force is slowly picking us off one by one - 1st, our oldest made the decision to start a life without college.  This was the most dramatic change of our family dynamic.

1st born son is loud and likes to be the center of attention all the time.  But he is the first to help out and cries at goodbyes.  The noise level went down a bunch of notches when he left, as did the smell factor.  He and my youngest have a bond though and I have seen 4th born struggle since 1st born has been gone.

When 2nd born son semi-left, it was not so drastic.  He is quiet, sneaky - climbs on the roof to watch the stars at 2 in the morning.  He likes to follow rules and is Mr. GQ.  He never goes to bed without hugging me goodnight - which is something I miss, because he was the only one.  He also bridged the gap between the younger two, completely amazing because he is 7 years older than them.

3rd born daughter and 4th born son will leave together or if not together, within a year of each other.  This depends on when I decide to graduate them from high school.  That one will probably do me in because we are so much closer than I was with the older two.  Just geographically speaking - it makes sense - I homeschool the younger two, so I am around them all the time.  The older ones went to school everyday, so I was not as privy to their lives.

Maybe when they leave, I will volunteer to hold babies at a hospital or something.  They won't mind a few tears will they? - tears not of sadness, but of the changing of an era - one that was very long and very full of surprise that moved me - by lifting me up in joy and dragging me through the muckiest of mud.

I am not much of an early morning person, but I can see how people are - it is the kind of quiet that no other part of the day gives you - so quiet like you are stealing time itself.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

August Goals Revisisted

 Yeah,  I did not get much done - not even close.  I don't care though.  August was a tough month.

New House Related

1. Reschedule all deliveries for mid-September - appliances, furniture, hot tub, etc  um, they are all rescheduled, but not for mid-September.  That has all been pushed back.  I consider this a good try though.
2. Clean up the house area every weekend  - Nope, not a chance.  We have been so slammed, I have not picked up one thing.
3. Refinish front door - Nope,  we have to wait until the shed is done.  The Stained Glass is on the way however.
4. Start work on rolltop desk?  Nope
5. Order kitchen sink  - Yes!  Not only ordered, but arrived!
6. Order all lighting - No, but we since we are paying for them, we used credit card points to make the purchases.  The gift cards are on the way, but Harvey delayed them  We are so close!
7.  Finalized/order outside kitchen items - sink, fridge, storage cabinet, grill  - YES!  I take small wins!
8.  Purchase rain catcher basin - Another resounding YES!
9. Follow up and push Shed production! - Yes, shed is going in next week.  Weather delay, so I forgave them.
10.  Make appointment with Permaculture Consultant - I made an appointment, then it got delayed.  Trying to set another appointment, but I think his house got flooded.

Kids Related

1. Family Dinner with all 6 of us! - 3x!  It was a banner month
2. Get list of needed supplies from college boy and shop! - Yes, completed!
3. Pay tuition for college after scholarship are logged - Yes, completed!
4. Sell ticket for play DD will be in - Yes!  DONE!
5. Take DS to at least one social event - No, with everything, we did not make this happen.
6. Get overall homeschool plan set - Mostly, we have not started yet, so I won't claim this fully.
7.  Plan first month in written format of homeschool - YES!  This I did do!
8. Decide for sure if teen led newsletter/newspaper is going to happen. - It is not - final decision.
9. Work together to develop a plan for physical excercise - Not happened.  No excuses.
10. Book hotel for taking college boy back to school - We are not going.  Hubs is taking him and coming back in one day.

Me Related

1. Utilize planner daily - specifically with goals, not just check lists - Sort of, it is check listy, but I am working toward it.
2. Eat lunch daily - I have a habit of not eating until I am ravenous around 3 pm. - Nope, I am so bad about this.
3. Consciously drink more water - at least refill my Yeti 4 times. - YES!  My drinking water has gone up majorly!
4. Back stretching daily - this is a MUST - my back has gotten bad and stretching is a paramount! - I am stretching more, but not like I should.  There is room for improvement.
5. Set a time to start getting up daily in preparations for the school year.  - Fail, we just ran out of steam.
6. Get a massage - No, it did not happen
7. Make daily cleaning checklist - Not at all.  We are thinking about it though.
8. Create year long menu - yes, this is something I really want to do!  I laugh and laugh - not a chance
9. Create and send out We've Moved cards - Nope, not this either.
10. Gratitude Journal.  I need to spend a little time thinking about the good - I would like to purchase one I can fill in rather than brainstorming.  This should be a nightly thing.  - OK, I checked a book out at the library and am putting into practice some of the themes.  I have not started a gratitude journal, but I am telling people I am grateful for them and the things they do.  Trying to be very specific and genuine.  

 Well, there are certainly more yellows then red and for that, I am thrilled.  Many, many things are out of my hands.  Funny, the things that are I did not follow up with. 

I am a little drained right now, so I get very tired in the evenings.  I am starting to work on my eating schedule and taking some vitamins as well as getting some exercise.  This month is a very busy month with the house and getting ready to move.  Also starting homeschool and my business.  I will make another goal list for September - tomorrow probably while hubs is gone.  That and clean house!  LOL

Friday, September 1, 2017

House pictures as of August 31

This is really my only forum for talking about the house now.  Others have specifically asked me not to talk about it any more because it makes others feel so bad.

This is really what feeds my guilt.  Even though we have both worked very hard and for very long on this house, others feel we do not really deserve it.  It is a shame.  I am not saying we deserve it, I don't think anyone DESERVES anything - too much entitlement goes with that, but I do think I have worked, saved and penny pinched for it and it is something we started long before Harvey happened.

Anyway, here are the pictures of our house!

Entrance view to inside of home.

My office

View of kitchen from living room

View of Living Room from kitchen

View down hall to bedroom from Living room

Laundry room

One bedroom (not master)

View of patio via entrance

View of patio from the end of the above picture

View of our open area of our lot