Friday, March 31, 2017

Round Top Texas

If you have never heard of the largest flea market in America, well, you are missing out.  Two times a year, a very tiny little town (and those surrounding it) becomes a mecca of everything old, wild, unique and fun!  Johanna Gaines from that TV show goes here and made it really famous.

I have never been before, but I am going today!  My sister came in town and we going to look for furniture and other other accessories for the home.  We are only spending one day though - some people spend the whole week.

I will take lots of pictures - we are off to explore.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Builder Update

Oh My Goodness did he come through!

He answered all my questions plus some.  We have completed and true estimate, finalized plans, and a contract I have not signed just yet.  The red is my response, but I did not send them to him - this is for you all.

1.  I want to make sure you got that we want a brick mailbox.  I just don't want to be short bricks because we forgot about this.  Also, when can I start receiving mail at that address?  (trying to get the we moved cards out)  
Stone/ Brick mailbox included in my price.  You could put up a temporary one now and start getting mail as soon as you want.  Beats having to forward mail twice.  WOOHOO!!  I am so excited about this!

2. Vetting process - I know this is a touchy subject.  But, do you periodically vet your contractors to make sure they are continuing to to give you (and me) a fair price for the work? Not looking for the cheapest, but I don't want the most expensive either.
Absolutely.  I actually always know the current market price for labor in the different trades, and usually end up telling them what we are going to pay.    Good to know - huh? 

3.On the pad prep - different uses of terminology - you said we would need more bags of sand, but the estimate used the term select fill.  Is this one in the same?
Yes, did not mean to say bags of sand.  We use select fill on the pad and it is purchased in 12yard truck loads.  The slope of the lot is the main determining factor in the amount of select fill needed. I had a feeling he said the wrong thing, but I hate to assume.  The whole ass u me thing.

4.  Also on pad prep - when they prep the barn area, is it prepped to clay pad?  Do you need a plan from Hawthorne?
The barn pad will be prepped using select fill just like the house pad.  Select fill has a low Plasticity index, which basically means it does not expand and contract as much with varied amounts of moistures.  Again, it is so nice to learn!  I will have to get with Hawthorne and ask them if this is acceptable and get on their waiting list for a build!

5. Hot Water Heater - Darrell REALLY wants to talk about this one.  He is confused about the whole tank vs tankless.
 Have Darrell call me to discuss at his convenience.  In a separate text, he also told us this could be decided during the plumbing step, so not a rush, but it will need to be decided close to when the concrete pad is poured.  I have turned this over to them since Darrell is more interested in this part.

6. When can I expect to see the updated plans?  I try to get them back in a timely manner, but I am feeling some pressure now that our home has sold.  I am really ready to get this part done.  I know if we add the moutdoor  kitchen, it will change things a bit and I am truly sorry about that.  We are just trying to see what all we can or cannot get and still be within the financial possibility.
I should have the updated plans tomorrow.  I got them this morning and approved them.  We are moving on along now - a hurry up and stop kind of things.  We will be on hold until until we close on this loan.

7.  How many plans do we have to decide on - so far, house in general, electrical, outside of the house, - any more?  Plumbing for instance?
We have what we need for the bank after Terry sends me the plans tomorrow.  THe only other plans we will need are the foundation plans which will be completed once I have soils report.  I ordered a soils samples late last week.  It usually takes about 2weeks to get the results. Something he did not tell me previously, but is good to know.  I like knowing that he is doing some work on our home and we are not being pushed to the side.

8. Estimate.  You do not have to do the estimate if you do not feel like it is time.  You just mentioned last Tuesday that you were going to revise it and send it to me, so we got kind of anxious about it.  If we need to wait until the plans are finished - fine.  Just let me know.
Emailed today for your review.  Yep, received it last night and Darrell and I reviewed and approved.

9.  What all has to actually be turned in for the construction loan?  Rick is contacting me periodically asking where we stand.  I think because we are good to go on this side - especially since the house in pending.  We are past the option phase and are through the inspection.
We will need to submit the final plans which we should have tomorrow, an official contract, and description of materials.  Everything else will be on your personal financial side which I am sure you have sent him already.  We have all of these.  He is just waiting on us to sign the contract.  I need him to answer those 3 questions first - about precommences items, changes during the build, and communication.

This is what I needed for sure.  I did get the estimate.  I am not going to post the cost because talk about getting land blasted.  It is ours and we are going to pay for it with 20% down and 15 year mortgage, so that is good enough for now.

However, we are thrilled at the price for getting basically everything we want including:
  • 10' ceilings throughout
  • Tray Ceilings in the living room and master bedroom
  • Wood beams in the living room tray
  • Stone fireplace to ceiling
  • Built in shelves for with wiring for tv from fireplace through wall
  • Walk in shower in master - no door, 2 shower heads and a seat
  • Laundry Room with room for a freezer
  • 821 sq ft of patio space - covered and screened
  • Patio is Hot Tub ready
  • Outdoor Kitchen with stone and stained concrete countertop with grill, storage area, mini fridge, and sink
  • Kitchen cabinets with lots of drawers
  • Walk up stairs to get to attic space, fully floored with plywood and lights.
  • Driveway is completely concrete
  • Saltillo Tile and Engineered Hardwood throughout the house
  • Stained cabinets in bathroom - not the paint grade ones that expand with water.
  •  More outlets than I count and more recessed lights than I can count
  • Spray foam insulation in the roof so our wireless connection is better
  • 2 x 6's in roof to help with hurricane winds
  •  Stone in Full Front of House with brick covering the rest of the hou
 I am thrilled.  Truly thrilled.  Now he just has a few clarification questions on the contract, but it looks good to me.  We will more than likely sign tonight and be able to get the loan process started immediately!

One of the things I am verifying with him is the communication.  I am asking for a weekly quick check (during times of work) just so I know what is going on.  I will be checking the site daily after the work is done and report any issues, check mail, clean up, etc.  Workers are disgusting and they will toss trash in your walls if you are not careful.  I have seen them do it before.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Starting the mini RV Renovation!

Last weekend, while I sewed, Darrell started working on the largest part of the mini-renovation in the RV.

We are taking out the dinette set and a small cabinet next to it and replacing it with some shelves and a larger cabinet to hold our kitchen appliances - like the coffee pot, crock pot, toaster oven, toaster, and possibly an electric skillet. Yes, the RV has an oven, but it is a camper oven, so not great.  The toaster oven is excellent and the kids can use it without lighting a pilot light.

Let me preface that the pictures are bad - Darrell really tries, but he cannot get a handle on the phones pictures!  LOL

Before work started and this is with the slide out in, so not much space.

The dinette and this thin counter top cabinet is going
This is with everything out - so roomy!

The box is holding the electrical and duct work, with the shelves! Yes, the slide is still in!

The box is not completely done, but good enough right now.  This weekend, he will caulk, do a little sanding, paint it so it does not splinter and screw the shelves into it.

The cabinet is going to be flush against where the box juts out.  Now, there will be that gap there, but it was necessary for all the duct work and water tanks.  With the outlet being on top, we can easily plug in appliances and possibly even use that area for umbrellas, or other semi-tall things that we need to move out of the way. 

The shelf you see will hold all our homeschool materials, and some kitchen items that need drawers.  We also plan to give one unit to each of the kids for their items.  We may get a box to stick in there - depending on what they need.

This is the biggest part of the renovation - others include adding a TV arm, attach a fan to the wall, put up organizational things as we sit fit, etc.  Just small things.

Oh, by removing the dinette we also opened the space so we could fit two more chairs in there!  I am super excited about this one!  They are slim line Ikea chairs that give great back support, so I am stoked.  That is where I will sit in the morning with the heating pad and drink coffee.

So, off to work on Quilt #3 - yes, 2 down, 8, 9 or 10 to go!

Update on the builder:  He just wrote me and said he will answer all my questions and send us the plans for the final review this afternoon.  He wants to send the paperwork to the lender no later than Friday.  OK, depending on how this goes, will help us decide.  We may need to just get on the same page in regards to communication. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Frustration with builder

Well, it may just be frustration with myself about the builder.

First, let me preface by saying that my mind works on warp speed, so I sometimes have expectations that are difficult for others and I have to reign myself in.

Now, that being said, I still believe he should answer any and all of my questions.  Granted, I don't expect them to be immediately answered, but we have questions from the beginning of February that have not been approached.

I know he has other projects and ours seems to have no time limit, but we will be moving in our RV in less than 3 weeks.  I never dreamed that the construction loan would not even be started by then!

We have been planning this house since mid-February.  Yes, I have made some changes - but only 3 sets of changes.  I have only seen 2 updates.  I get the changes to the designer within hours, not days, but he takes a week or more to give me the updates.  They are not big updates either - just make a pocket door a swing door and move the window along the wall.   That is it!  VERY easy stuff.

So, here we are approaching April and no plans finalized.  I am very frustrated!  No land has been cleared, no permits back, nothing.  Sigh.

The bank takes a minimum of 35 days to approve the loan.  That means that we will be in the RV two weeks before approval if we get the paperwork to them today.  With how slow the builder and designer are going, it looks like we are going to be in the RV two months longer than anticipated and I am doubting that we will be in by Christmas. 

This is extremely frustrating.  I know we could change builders, but you have no idea how difficult it is to find someone.  If, and that is a HUGE if, we decide to fire him, I will probably act as the "builder" and manage the process myself.  I am not wanting to do that though, really - not yet anyway.

I sent him an email with all the questions that were not answered, giving him the option to talk with my husband (good ole boy system here) because at this point, I don't care if he talks to me or my husband, we just need to get this process moving!

Thought you might like to know the questions:  Here they are!

1.  I want to make sure you got that we want a brick mailbox.  I just don't want to be short bricks because we forgot about this.  Also, when can I start receiving mail at that address?  (trying to get the we moved cards out)

2. Vetting process - I know this is a touchy subject.  But, do you periodically vet your contractors to make sure they are continuing to to give you (and me) a fair price for the work? Not looking for the cheapest, but I don't want the most expensive either.

3.On the pad prep - different uses of terminology - you said we would need more bags of sand, but the estimate used the term select fill.  Is this one in the same? 

4.  Also on pad prep - when they prep the barn area, is it prepped to clay pad?  Do you need a plan from Hawthorne?

5. Hot Water Heater - Darrell REALLY wants to talk about this one.  He is confused about the whole tank vs tankless. 

6. When can I expect to see the updated plans?  I try to get them back in a timely manner, but I am feeling some pressure now that our home has sold.  I am really ready to get this part done.  I know if we add the outdoor  kitchen, it will change things a bit and I am truly sorry about that.  We are just trying to see what all we can or cannot get and still be within the financial possibility.

7.  How many plans do we have to decide on - so far, house in general, electrical, outside of the house, - any more?  Plumbing for instance?

8. Estimate.  You do not have to do the estimate if you do not feel like it is time.  You just mentioned last Tuesday that you were going to revise it and send it to me, so we got kind of anxious about it.  If we need to wait until the plans are finished - fine.  Just let me know.

9.  What all has to actually be turned in for the construction loan?  Rick is contacting me periodically asking where we stand.  I think because we are good to go on this side - especially since the house in pending.  We are past the option phase and are through the inspection.

If it is easier to talk on the phone about this - that is fine.  Darrell can do that - I cannot hear on the phone due to a hearing problem.  Just let me know.

Bottom line, How soon can we get all the information the bank needs so we can get this construction loan going? 

Monday, March 27, 2017

1 of 10, well probably 11, and maybe 12

All focus is on getting the business closed down temporarily.  I am working my tail off - literally!  Quilting day is hard on the rump!

I did not really start counting until this weekend.  So, the one I finished today is #1.  I am sandwiching #2 this evening (I need Darrell's help), and will finish it tomorrow.  Whew!

This was thankfully did not have a border!  There were so many shirts - I think 52 total and it is very heavy with all those jerseys.  It was problem filled as well, but some quilts are just like that.  There is an issue at every turn - with the shirts themselves, with the piecing, with the quilting, with the binding.  One thing after another and I was glad to finally be done with it.  It is for a mom - her kid's shirts from them growing up. (She favors the boy!)

I put them in order from most amount of shirts to least.  But that does not mean they will necessarily be smaller, just less work.  Nothing over a full though.  That is a relief.

Why 11 or 12 total?  Well, one has been telling me 2 all along, I just think she is waiting until the 1st one is done.  I am absolutely expecting that one.  Then, another person is making a decision whether she wants me to make hers on the RV or not.  She is the only one I will do it for.  I have made a quilt for her before, so this is a return customer.

Good/Bad News - I post my work on Instagram and with this picture above, I have gotten requests for 2 quilts.  Unfortunately, I cannot accept orders!  However, it is good in that when I start back up, I should not have a problem. 

Yes, I have a waiting list going and with a new area, that is more marketing!  LOL  I AM going to try to keep it low key though.  Homeschool is my priority from here on out.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

New RV Home

We went to the RV place where we will be staying so I could show Darrell the spots we chose.

There was one spot (#60) that we liked in a new section, but it was not set up with Wi-Fi just yet.  It also was quite a distance from the amenities we are going to use - like the laundry and rec room.

There was another spot (#4) that we loved with Wi-Fi and close to the amenities, but it was occupied.  Now, the couple that was there was THINKING about moving to the new section, but was not sure.  They were going to give it a few days to think about.  Funny thing, the spot they would move to was #60 - our second choice.

Anyway, when we got there, someone was in #60,  but I thought it was a weekender, or over nighter.  Then we went back to #4 and it was empty.  WOW!  We went back to #60 and talked to them - they did just move from #4 - super nice, she crochets and knits and are also building a house.

We get the one we wanted!! 

Here is a picture of this site.

Lots of trees and quite a bit of yard space.  We can park both of our vehicles in this spot as well - which is super nice.  It is right across the drive way from a nice gazebo and a short walk to the laundry and rec room where we will do our homeschool most days, plus the area where I will layout a quilt if necessary. 

I really needed something good to happen after the hell day yesterday.

Today, Darrell is off to pull out the dinette table and get the small renovation going.  We are really starting to pare down now.  Our community is having a garage sale next weekend, so we are getting rid of the last things we held back for showing.  Not long now!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Weekly Update - Week 8

It is a week of ups and downs for sure!  Busy week as well.  The selling of the house, my daughter's birthday, the house building, the rv, the business!  So stressful.  I am seriously down today as I see things falling through the cracks and I cannot seem to keep on top of it all.  I know it is just all this pressure, so I am trying to work though it at a steady pace.

1. Suburb House - Well, it went on the market at 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning, but there was no way to schedule a showing until around 11:00 a.m.  By 11:42, we had 5 showings.  It was crazy!  The kids and Darrell had run to the bank and I was working - the house was mostly ready, but there were lots of little things. Got it done just in time and then went out for the day.  The first offer came around 7:30 p.m. then the second by 10:30.  1 more after midnight.  We had 4 showings on Sunday and got another offer from the Sunday showings.  We accepted offers until noon on Monday, then made a decision from there. 

We are officially in the option pending period, and the inspection was done yesterday.  No word yet which is driving me insane - I am of the opinion, the longer it takes, the worse it gets.  They were here with the inspector so they already heard everything. 

Just heard, they have repairs they want done, but we will get the list either later today or tomorrow.  OMG - I am in tears.  We have worked so hard and we have never had to make repairs when selling before!

We have a closing date of April 21st.  Double gulp.  In my mind, we were middle of May. But, I am ready to move forward, so I will make it work.

2. Land Home - I had another meeting with the builder and designer.  We are down to the final stages, but it is a very long process - they get me the plan for review, I get it back to them in 1-4 hours, then I wait a week.  It is frustrating.  I am such a quick person and we are so close to being done that I just want to move on.

The final house size is 2243 sq ft. with screened and covered patio size at 821 sq ft.  It is a good size, but not too big.  The builder wanted me to go bigger, but I said no.

I signed the paperwork to get permit approval for clearing and building from the county and HOA.  That will take a little while.

The biggest thing we worked on though were the electric outlets, lights, and switches.

3. RV Living - Well, this took on a bigger role this week.  Now we are looking at moving in the RV in just at 3 weeks.   So, Darrell will be removing the dinette table this weekend and hopefully repairing the box where wires and the ducts are located so we can put in a shelf from IKEA we already own.  That would be a big step because everything else - better storage - can be done as we live there.

This is the shelf but we are laying it on its side and it is black brown, not white.

I also bought 2 of these storage box things to go on the chairs.  I will more than likely either use velcro to attach them or use E-6000.  I just don't know how permanent I want them on the chairs (pictures of the chairs later)

Any way to add a little space to the RV is going to be good - especially since we will be homeschooling the entire time.  I am a big believer of books - so this may be the place they put their library books and and their personal chapstick, ipods, etc.  I got one for each of the chairs. 

4.  Business - sigh.  I am working like crazy - almost done with 1 quilt this week.  I need to finish it and one more by Monday.  I will be able to - I am on track.  I need to pick up the pace though and get 2.5 to 3 done per week.

We decided that there is no way I can get done by the time we have to leave, so we have started planning for finishing up while I am in the RV.  We think it is possible - just not ideal.  The RV place has a rec room that seems to have enough space for me to layout.  Sandwiching is going to be the hard part.  The really hard part.  I am still thinking about it.

I had to accept another quilt today though.  She had contacted me in January before all this mess started and I told her I would do it at that time.  Unfortunately, I cannot go back on my word.  I took it.  Now, there is 11. 

Also, another one that was slated to get me her last shirt by the first weekend in May, I had to tell her that I need all the shirts now.  She is deciding this weekend if she wants to go ahead and do it now or wait until next year.  She may decide not to use me at all.  I feel bad, but I had to make her aware of the situation.

See, if it had gone like normal - the house would have had a buyer in 2 weeks with a 45 day closing.  That would easily put us in mid-May and we were going to ask for a lease back until the end of the month.  HOWEVER, it turned out that we sold very quickly, short closing, and no lease back allowed.  Sigh.  I could have never predicted.

This week was very frustrating from the current home to the new build, to the RV, to the business, to the homeschool, to the parents, to the kids, to the everything.  I need a good night's sleep.  A little sleep helps me so much! 

OH, OH, OH!!!  I forgot to add - my car would not start this morning, so I could not go to my chiropractor appointment (needed!)  All lights come on - no start.  We had to get it towed and still have not heard anything. The longer it takes, the worse the outcome (happens to me all the time).  I am so done today.  Murphy can please go.  Poke a fork in me - I AM DONE!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Running today

Our cleaners came this morning, so we ran some errands - book donation, pick up batting at Joann, return a record player to Amazon.  This was a birthday present for my daughter, but it was awful.  I remember just being able to go to the store, buy something and it actually work.  Not anymore.  Granted this was Amazon, but no stores carry record players anymore.

Then, home to straighten up a little more and get the dishes washed in the dishwashers, put on laundry (the sheets), and start piecing a quilt together.

I could not get far though because I have to keep the house clean - the inspector is coming today.  I did not want to set up my iron, then it is be hot and pieces of the quilt everywhere, etc.   So, I am just bidding my time browsing, answering email, etc.

When the inspector gets here, we are going to go up and book the RV site where we will be living.  I will take pictures if I can (if someone is in the spot currently, I will not be able to).   3 weeks and counting!

Then when we get back from that, I am finishing piecing the quilt and making the backing so we can layout tonight.  If there is time, I will be starting the next one as well.  I doubt there will be though.

2-3 quilts a week.  I started with the most numerous and the last week will be the small ones with the least amount of shirts which makes the sewing go a LOT faster.

Finalized the house layout plans and working on the electrical plans.  Also finalized the plot plans.  I am hoping to get these done this week so we can move forward with the construction loan.  35 days once the bank gets all the paperwork.   I really wanted to close on the loan right after we closed on the house, but there will be a lag - which means longer in the RV.

Ah, well - off to book the RV spot!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Ups and Downs

Well, when they tell you that building a custom home is stressful - oh, boy - they did not lie.

I stress and worry and fret about everything already though, so this just adds to my stress  exponentially.  I have been in flight or fight mode for so long now that I am going to more than likely get depressed or sleep for a week when we are all said and done.  I am really glad at this point that I am stopping the business for a little while - telling everyone that it will be the early part of 2018 and keeping the time soft.

We should be in the house before the holidays so that will give me 3-4 months before I start working again.

Darrell told me last night that I keep saying, when we get over this hump, when we get over this hump.  Those humps are not going to stop, so I need to change my outlook.

However, building a custom home is stressful.  It is not just about picking tile and paint colors.  I am making decisions about where to put the house on the property, exactly each individual tree to cut, permits, 6" of space in a kitchen layout, where every single electrical outlet is going, where every light is going, every switch, problems with our flooring choices, a door issue, how large or small for each window and exactly to the inch where they go keeping in mind support beams and how the light will come in.

You think this is up to them, but no, it is up to me.  And I am doing this on paper, I do not have the luxury of walking through a room and thinking about it.  I asked for this, and I am not complaining about the process, just how I am stress about it.  It is not for the faint hearted.  I do feel like if I decide wrong, it will ruin everything or make life hard.  The builder does try to offer advice and sometimes I take it, but sometimes, it is something that would not work for us or our taste, so ultimately, it is our decision.  Well, my decision because they have to be made quickly and Darrell is at work.

I worry about money, with every change am I putting us in the poor house.  The changes are small and important and are acceptable at this stage.  They certainly cost less than changing during the actual building process.

For example, did you know an electric outlet might cost a builder a couple of dollars.  In the plan, you put an outlet everywhere you think it should go.  Well, you get to the home site, the timber is up, the slab is down, electric is about to go in, you look at the plans with the electrician and decide to add an outlet - $125 per outlet.  Nothing has happened, it is still just on paper, but since the cost of the electrician was negotiated up front, NOTHING can be added.  You can take out, but not add.

Same thing for lighting.  Same thing for sand.  Same thing for timber.  Same thing for windows.  Same thing for every single piece of the house.  It all has to be decided up front or it costs you an arm and a leg.

This is why I am stressing and think, when I just get past this hump.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Verdict Is....


In just 48 hours, we received 4 offers.  We showed the house 9 times.  Almost 1/2 of the people came made an offer. 

Offer 1 - $8K over asking, but wanted $5K in seller contributions, May 1 closing.  Also was a FHA loan.

Offer 2 - Asking price, conventional loan - 15% down, no seller contributions, 30 day close, and they wanted the refrigerator, washer and dryer. 
  • Revised offer when they found out we were getting multiple offer - $6K above asking - 30 day close, not asking for anything.
Offer 3 - Asking price, conventional loan, $2.5K in seller contributions, low option fees on their part and May 5th closing.

Offer 4 - Asking price, conventional loan, contingent on closing of their home they are selling - still in option period and could not close until they did.

Obviously, with these options, we went with Offer 2's revised offer.  They really wanted this home.  They showed it by the amount of money they are putting down, their interest rate (which is lower than ours right now), the fact they are asking for nothing, high option fees - ie, they are putting more money in the game up front.

So, we picked them and we will be signing tonight and need to get going on moving out!  There is no way I can get the quilts made, but I am going to try and get as many done as possible! 

OMG!!  We are over the moon excited!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Fingers Crossed

We had 4 showings today!

Tomorrow (on Sunday), we have 2 showing already and more will come tomorrow.

2 realtors told our realtor that they will be sending offers.  One said a full price offer.

OMG!!!  We may be done sooner than expected, so I better get sewing.  Fingers crossed that we do get an offer tomorrow and that it is smooth sailing from here on out. 

1 day people, 1 day!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Weekly Update - Week 7

Overall I am frustrated this week with so many things.  It seems as if everything is at a standstill and Darrell has to remind me that I move at warp speed, so I need to take it easy.  It is no wonder I married him - he is so easy going.  I would have probably had a heart attack if it were not for him.

1.  Suburb House -  All repairs are done!  FINALLY!  The house could use some really deep cleaning - way beyond the norm.  That will be done as we go though.

The real estate agent and photographer came and measured rooms, took pictures, etc.  There is a sign in the front yard, the key box in on the front door, but it is not on MLS yet and our local home finding website.  I am frustrated with that because it seems to take SOOOO LOOONG.  There are several open houses in this neighborhood this weekend and we could really use this house being up to get some of that traffic.  We will not hold an open house, but the serious lookers could schedule to look here.

I am finally done with the roof - sort of.  The last check from the insurance came it and the roofers picked it up yesterday.  Now, we just have to work out the roof warranty.  If we get a quick buyer, I can just put it in their name.  I don't think there is a enough time, but if we put it in our names, there is a real possibility it will not be completely processed by the time we close.  These companies have to make it so complicated.

 2. Land Home -  Last week, I posted the preliminary plans and although the end result will stay about the same, there are many small changes.  Well, I was getting no feedback on my questions, so I finally pressed and the builder gave us some poignant issues to consider.  We considered them, wrote back only to find out the designer is going out of town for a couple of weeks.  Sigh.

I started thinking and thinking about the ceiling in the living room and we decided that we did want a shallow vault with wood beams.  The builder said we would have to change the roof.  The designer originally said that there was enough room for a second story.  Which is it?  There are so many emails flying around and I work much better face to face with a conversation rather than in a thread with 3 people all throwing ideas around faster than any one can keep up with.  Darrell said when the designer is back, we are putting our foot down and making them sit down with me.  All of this can be decided on within 30 minutes - I have no doubt.

At this point, I highly doubt that we will have the land cleared in 8-10 weeks.  I am frustrated about this as well.  I could have had this house plan settled last week if they had just met with me.

4. RV Living - Darrell wants to start the RV this weekend, but I think we need to breath one weekend.  It is not looking like we will show this house this weekend, so we can just relax a bit.

5. Business - I finished one quilt and damn near finishing another one.  My back is really affecting my ability to sit at the machine and sew or stand and cut.  This is not good.

I have 10 quilts to make before we move and I listed them order of most number shirts to least number of shirts, so as we get closer to moving, the jobs will go faster.  I still have one Girl Scout troop to come in - embroidering their names and sewing the beginning patches.  As soon as are listed, I am sending her a link so she gets motivated to bring it to me, so I can get done with them!

My back is the absolute worse thing that could have happened to me this week.  Bad, bad, bad.  We have a Washington DC trip coming up quick and right now, there is no way in hell I can walk.  I am worried as all get out - which is not helping it, I am sure.

It is a double-edge sword, rest, light stretching, let it heal and get behind in work - making me have to push harder when I start back up OR - work through the pain and it take longer to heal - still going slow, but making progress.

It has been a LONG time since I have had problems like this - about 5-6 years.  I never thought I would go back.

Well, I am going to go ahead and call the chiropractor.  Maybe he can help this!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Its Official!

The realtor and photographer came today to take pictures and put a sign in our yard.  We are officially for sale.  It does not go on the web until tomorrow when pictures are ready, but for all intensive purposes, we are on the market.

It has been a whirlwind and there are some minor things left to do - like clean out the pantry and wipe a few baseboards.  No more repairs!  The only one I am allowing is to replace some light switch plates that are cracked from over tightening the screws.  I think there are 3 and that is it!

I have to move on with quilting and getting the new house going.  So, after this weekend, our focus is probably going to change to the RV mainly while I work during the day on the other things.

The other official thing is my back is out!  I should not have pushed so hard, but I did and now I am paying for it big time.  On a scale of 1-10, I am at a solid 7, with times that feel like 10 and I cry.  I hate crying from pain.

I am resting it now, not working, not doing anything on the house, just resting and stretching every now and then.  I feel exhausted and want to sleep.  I very well may take a nap.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


We all have 'em, we all deal with 'em, what do we do with 'em?


OK, I have some neighbors directly across the street from us that are just clueless.  It has affected my kids, my husband, me, my customers - all complain.  The main thing is they park their cars all along the road and it blocks the ability for us and the people next door to us to get out of our driveways sometimes and we have to back out over the yard and sidewalk.

They have teens that are, shall we say, popular, and all their teen friends bring their cars and hang out.  Loud, teen parties - often - going into the night.

The day of the garage sale, I had a customer come over to pick up a quilt.  The teen across the street and her friend decided to layout in the back of a pick up truck with their legs facing the road.  It put their crotches at eye level.  My customer was appalled and said it was inappropriate.  My husband didn't want to go outside to pick up the garage sale items, even my daughter was embarrassed by it.

Then yesterday, a customer came to pick up a quilt, the teen's boyfriend decided to pull up in his huge pick up truck and sit in front of their driveway and wait for her.  Only he sat in the middle of the road where no one could pass.  Then the teen got in and they just sat there.  My customer had to park at the next door neighbors to get to me.

Just annoying as all get out.  There are other things - phallic symbols painted in the driveway, constantly getting yard rolled so I am picking up the trash because it blows in our yard (because they don't pick it up).  Just annoying things like that. 

I hope they keep it together while we are selling!

For other news, there was a house similar in size, similar in in asking price - literally right down the street from us.  They are in contract within 6 days of putting it on the market.

Crossing fingers!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Moving like a bullet train

Things are going so fast - I cannot wait until we can slow down a bit.

We are still hashing out the plans - our builder finally got back with us on some things that made sense, so we are making a few more changes.

Getting this house ready to show is just incredible stressful. I have almost shut down.  Darrell says I do this - I go like crazy the first 90%, then just shut down the last 10%.  I need to learn how to pace, but after 44 years, I am not sure I can - it is my nature.

Last night, Darrell talked with his Dad who is going through cancer treatments.  His Dad was asked recently what he would like to do when they are over and he feels better - he could go anywhere in the world!   Do you know what he said?  He wants to come see us.

I cried.

We are not the ones that are the "golden" children.  We tend to stick to ourselves, help when needed and live quiet lives.  We are not flashy.  However, he wants to come here.

I would LOVE if the land was cleared so we could walk it and they could decide where the treehouse is going.  Plan for it, etc.  The builder said he would try.   I may take a machete and go to town.

Like I have time.

 Finished one quilt and am currently working on making the quilt for the girl that died.  Her mother cried in my office.  It is always so sad, but I know ultimately, it is a very special gift that have these quilts, bears, pillows, etc made.  Out of her honor, I cannot post pictures of it however.  Here is the other one though.

So, the house goes on the market Friday!  We have finished the repairs and are currently still cleaning out and cleaning in general.  Off to sew and take a load to charity!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Weekly Update Week 6 (with house plans)

 This has been an extremely exhausting week, but we feel like we are making progress.  We hope the house sells quickly just so we can start relaxing and not have to be "on" all the time.  Yes, we are a house of introverts.

1.  Suburb House -  Well, painting the entire wall that was repaired did the trick.  Even though the paint did not match exactly, over a whole wall,  you can not tell at all.  It is the same color mixture, just age changes the paint color.   So, I painted 10 walls, then we decided the kids' bathroom is awful and really needs to be repainted.  Well, I will do that on Sunday.  Womenly issues are preventing me from painting it sooner.  Oh, if you are wondering why my husband cannot paint it - he has a hand shaking issues and cannot cut out very well.  Yes, he can roll, but that is the easy part - a bathroom has a TON of cutting out areas.

We are almost done cleaning out everything, finishing this weekend.  In fact, we will be ready to market come Monday.

The last roof check has been sent to the mortgage company.  This takes a long time of staying on top of it.  Almost 7 weeks total.  Ugh!  Pain in the Ass is what it all is.

I have already started marketing the house with the pictures I posted yesterday.  I am building interest and there is quiet a bit even with the realtors in this area.  I have gotten a great response.  The only negative is that the front of my house faces the side of another house.  Something with feng shui.  It didn't other me.  On the market next weekend, so we will see!

 2. Land Home - We got the quote for land clearing and building the clay pad for both the house and the barn.  We were quote $11,000.  Not sure if that is good or not, but it includes the driveway and culvert, so that seems about right.

We also got the preliminary house plans!  YEAH!!!

 This picture is sideways really, I know it is difficult to read, but hopefully you all can get an idea.  We are taking out the door to the office because we want it convert to a dining room if need be, but at this point, it will serve as my sewing room/office.  We are also taking out the media center in the living room and adding that space to the storage area.  Also, we are adding two windows to the back wall in the kitchen.

Yes, all that porch/patio area is covered.  All 842 sq ft of it.  This is our dream.  Not only is it covered, but screened.  Swoon!  The total sq ft. is 2196, so not a huge house - it is nice size with nice size rooms.  With the garage and porch area, it is 3100 sq ft.  (yes, we put walk up stairs to the attic space in the garage.

Even though this is not the final, it is starting to look real!

4. RV Living - Other than moving quite of bit of things to the RV that will be needed then, we are totally focused on the current home and getting it ready.

5. Business - Nothing done with the business while I changed rooms to make a dining room - my space was a mess this whole week.  Today, I have to get going on it.  It is extremely difficult though.

That's it - a rough week, but exciting too with getting the house plans.  Things are really starting to come together and take shape. Just imagine - a little over 6 weeks ago, this was no where on our minds.  I mean we had a long vision of it, but nothing immediate.

I hope you all have a very wonderful weekend!  We will be toiling away...

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The House we are Selling

I have been working VERY hard this week getting this house ready for sale.

We still have a couple of more things to do:

1.  Clean out the garage, our closet, and thin out the kitchen.  We have done everything else!  YEAH!

2.  Paint the kids' bathroom.  After looking at it last night, it really needs painting.  We have left over paint from painting the other areas and it will probably take me a total of 1.5 hours.  It is a small bathroom and would make a huge difference.

3. Replace the light fixture in my daughter's ceiling fan (a busted light light bulb blew the circuit).

4. Replace a hall light to get the gold out - on realtors suggestion.

5. Power Wash all concrete front and back. 

6.  Mulch the flower beds and weed eat  - normal maintenance stuff.

A run to the storage shed and the RV and we will be done!  Sooooo close now.  We go on the market next week.

I took come pictures today since I am marketing on my own just a bit.  Here you go!

Front of house

Living room

Closer view of the fireplace

breakfast area

kitchen from living room

kitchen from breakfast area

formal dining - that WAS my office!

Now my office in the office/bedroom

Daughter's room - she loves it!

Son's room


Master bath

As you can see, we are not frilly people.  I have taken out everything that has us in it.  Even the kids say it does not feel like home anymore.   That's a good thing for selling! 

Another house right down the street came on the market.  It is slightly smaller than ours, on a bigger lot with a bathroom renovation for $4,000 less than we are asking.  Just went up yesterday.  I am a little bummed, but they don't have a new roof and their kitchen is not upgraded, no landscaping, etc.

We will see!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

RV Living

I have been thinking about living in the RV lately while I paint, packing and driving.  With the renovations we are planning, I am really excited about it - maybe a little too excited, but looking forward to it for sure.

There have been several people in my real life that have expressed great interest.  Whether it be because they are interested or just plain curious how we are doing it. I have found some vlogs and a couple of blogs about living full time, but most are older without children, and those with children have a more alternative lifestyle that we care to have - which is fine, we all have to live how we feel is best!

I have been thinking mostly about how our days will look and where our very pared down things will go.  Trying to make it comfortable for my family while also thinking about my needs with bouts of depression and my horrible back problems.

Although we are getting rid of many things, we downsized just at 3 years ago from a 4,300 sq ft house, to a 2,044 sq.ft house.  Our new home will be around 2,200 sq. ft, but the RV has about 250 sq. ft.

I am wondering...

Will living in a RV be too difficult for us, and we end up renting a place?

Will we get so used to the pared down lifestyle, that the house will feel cumbersome?

Will we be able to save as much as we think or will we spend more for entertainment to get out more?

Will we argue more?

Will the kids get depressed?

Will we instead become closer, instead further apart?

Will we all learn to live and want less?

Will we begin to fully understand gratitude and peace through sacrifice and "making due"?

So many wonderful and scary things, but this is only a few months of living and I think that despite all - we all will come away with a great story to tell!

I do have before pictures of the RV, so I will post those when I post what we have done with them.  Most is going to be about adding storage.  I will have a special one just for the kitchen and cooking portion however, it seems to be the area we are talking about the most!

Well, those walls won't paint themselves! 

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good

We enjoyed our little time away and decided to stay closer to home and discuss things at length - which we did.  We brainstormed ideas about the RV and have come up with a plan.  I am excited about it and think we can actually make it work nicely.  Of course, there will be challenges - nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I was also told this morning that we are getting a $200 referral bonus for our roof.  WOOHOO!

The Bad

Our depreciation check came in today - the last one from the insurance company so we have to send that to Quicken for endorsement before I can be done with this roof thing.  UGH!  I am so ready to check some of this off our list!

LUCKILY, I called about their inspection requirement got that taken care of the week of the roof replacement, so at least they are not going to hold the check until that is done.  This whole roof thing will not be done until AFTER our house is on the market - seriously. 

The Ugly

Walls.  We are just hard on them.  We had some repairs from the kids, but some are from using tape on the walls.  We used off brands of command strips - never again.  The only ones that came smoothly off were the Command Strips - all others ripped the paper off the wall.  Plus, the peg board in my office had to be attached with screws, so anywhere where screws were used (as opposed to nails), had to be spackled and painted. 

9 walls in all.  9 walls to paint.  9 freakin' walls.  10 ft ceilings.  AGGGGHHHH!  I hate painting, but I am good at it, so I painted 2 walls today.  My back is screaming from climbing up and down that ladder and reaching and bending over so much.  I see a bath coming on, but I am thinking that we will paint 2 more walls tonight.  I just want to get it done.

Going to get on some heat!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Update Week 5

 This week I am early.  The older boys are giving us a weekend away so we are really taking advantage of it!

1.  Suburb House - This house is going to kill me.  I say that about houses I am about to sell.  It is just one issue after another.

The biggest one is paint.  We took the old can to the same place we bought the paint, but it does not match.  Sigh.  This is 3/4 of our entire house.  I am not sure what we are going to do.  We had to do some wall repairing, so the paint is essential, but if we cannot find a match, then we have to repaint everything. This sucks!  It would put us back a couple of weeks!  Plus cost mucho money and time!

The recaulking of the windows is done, we planted some annuals for color, I am starting to pack closets and thin everything out.  We are waiting for the final check on the roof, then I can check that off.

The real estate agent came and we talked about the problems of this house - the size (smallish) and the lack of a 1/2 bath.  However, location, location, location - it is in a hot area and I have done some good renovations.  We decided to list at $229,900.

If we can figure out the paint problem (ideas anyone?)*, then we are set to have professional pictures taken on the 16th and the house goes on the market on the 18th.

I am very ready to be past this!

* Update:  Since Sluggy's advice was the best, but we do not have any old paint that is usable, we are going to use the new paint.  Only the walls that were repaired - like the other advice.  This is even what the paint store told us.  4 walls at this point.  We are going to be very picky about other walls.  Nail holes and small issues are staying just that.

 2. Land Home - I met with he designer/architect this week.  It was a smooth meeting.  He told me NOONE had ever come to him with so much detail and knowledge about what they wanted.  This is me in a nutshell.  By the time I actually get around to something, I have researched the hell out of it.  Sometimes I think it robs me of some of the fun, but then again, I love research.

That is it this week.  Just waiting to hear from the land clearers and the finance people.

4. RV Living - No talk this week at all - it is been so busy.  But since we are taking it out this weekend, this we probably will talk a TON about it.

5. Business - Another quilt done this week, plus over 100 patches.  Yes, more came in and I promised I would do them about 4 months ago.  AGH!!!  So much has changed.  If I did not have the quilts to make, I would pack it all away and tell everyone I am done right now.  I feel so pulled between my work and trying to get this house ready!

12 quilts and counting though - one is in the works!  This is the latest one - I was excited to make it - I love theme quilts - especially when I get creative license.  I am not artsy so much, but more clean lines and simple designs.  It turned out better than I imagined.