Remodeling: Day 9

OK, I’m running a day behind now, but yesterday was a crazy day. The plumber was here and he couldn’t get the sink to fit once it had the faucet and other parts attached. So he had to cut away parts of the countertop. Whoever built this house jury-rigged pieces of wood together to hold up the cast iron sink. Yes, cast iron. I can only imagine how heavy that thing was.  At least it’s gone now.

Anyway, the plumber was getting very upset and grouchy and it was making me uncomfortable, especially when he started swearing.  I’m normally OK with a little swearing, but I don’t like angry men swearing in my house when I’m alone.  (DH had to work.)  It made me cringe, so it must have triggered the fear factor I get when men are angry (probably PTSD from an abusive relationship).  Needless to say, I was very relieved when they left even if it was in a huff.

The tile guy went by Lowes yesterday to pick up my tile and they didn’t have it.  They told him it was on order.  The reason why it was on order is because we bought the last of it off the shelf.  I watched them pick it up and put it in the cart.  They put the cart in the back where they store things for pickup later.  It took two employees all day looking for that tile in order to find it.  Someone had shoved three appliances up around the shopping cart holding my tile (bright, eh?) but at least they found it by the end of the day.

So not a lot got done yesterday, but tempers did flare.  I wish I could be more assertive in situations like that and not let it get to me.  I didn’t like how the lead plumber treated his assistant either, who was rather nice.  The plumbers are done today and I am so glad to have them out of the house.  The tile folks are still working, but I like them.  They are very nice and do great work.  We’re almost done.

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Remodeling: Days 7-8

Well, there really wasn’t much to say about days 7 & 8.  On Sunday, they cleaned up everything and put everything back.  They put the final coat on the hearth, which is thicker than originally anticipated to make it more durable.  We came home Sunday night to the most gorgeous countertops you can imagine!  They are concrete, but look like stone.  Varying shades of green ranging from emerald to forest, with traces of copper streaks as if a creek bed had run through it.  Glossy and beautiful, I couldn’t stop touching the bar area it was so unreal.

On Monday, nothing happened with the house.  It was a long and frustrating day, waiting for news of tile guys and plumbers.  Finally, today both will be here, as well as the carpet guy.  It’s like a party here! 😉  The electrician is missing out, he won’t be here until next week.

On a personal note, I saw my psychiatrist yesterday.  I told her I was concerned that I was on too high a dose of Paxil, so we cut it back and my Geodon is cut back to 80mg.  The reason the Geodon got cut back is because when I went to fill the 20mg script (I take 100mg total), they told me the medication was going to be over $1000!!!  (I haven’t met my deductible yet.)  Isn’t that crazy?!  It goes generic next month so if I hold off for a bit (psych is ok with this) maybe we can afford it again.

Anyway, that’s all for now.  I’ll post later when I have some update on the remodel. 🙂

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Remodeling: Day 6

This morning, DH & I were talking about the hearth we had seen before we left. We weren’t crazy about it but it was still better than what we had so we figured just not to worry about it. Shortly thereafter, I get a call from the contractor: can we redo your hearth? He said he didn’t like it and didn’t want his name associated with it, but if we really liked it he would leave it. We told him it was fine to redo it and even talked a bit about the color. This should be a nice surprise when we get home.

We have the best contractor ever. He’s really making sure things get done right. The original builder created a house with “good bones” but skimped in some weird ways either for money or time. His tile work certainly could have been better. I can’t wait until our new tile goes in. Supposedly we have some of the best tile guys in town. Once they are done we can have the electrician come and replace our fixtures and fix our short to the garage. Then I think we should throw a party to show off our beautiful new kitchen with its crappy appliances. 😛

DH wants a new stove. I want new carpet. I really want to redo the bathroom. This remodeling stuff never ends! By the time you finish what you want to do, its time to start over. Home decor is such a fashion industry.

I can’t wait to get home tomorrow. We are having fun up here but I want to see my new counters and I miss my kitties. I’ll post when I’ve seen them!

Remodeling: Day 5

Color. Today was the most fun of all the days because it involved color. It’s the artistic day. I don’t have much time to write because we have to get out of the house so they can seal it, but I wanted to post a couple of pictures:

Copper trails

The whole kitchen in disarray

Kitchen bar area

Detail on the edging

I’ll post more later. Gotta get on the road now!

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Remodeling: Day 4

Today’s issue?  The sink.  They had to try out the sink to see if it would fit before concreting the counters.  Well, it didn’t.  The old kitchen sink was cast iron and the builder had put in some extra pieces and braces to make it fit.  He also never sealed the sink, so we had rust under the lip of it around the edge of the counter. The supplier couldn’t leave until we had the sink sorted out, and the builder had to come over and look at it because the workman didn’t want to make the call on his own.  (Don’t blame him.)  So we have 5 people (the builder, the workman, the supplier, DH & I) and one uncooperative sink.  Although this sink wasn’t nearly as uncooperative as the original appears to have been. The final solution was to remove the braces that were put in for the old sink and cut notches into the counter to allow for the clamp mounts fit and the sink would drop in.  Not sure how they will clamp it now, but they will figure something.  Also they said they would seal it.  BTW, who the hell puts in a sink without sealing it???

Sink problem fixed. The counters got the final coat of concrete.  The texture looks amazing – just like slate.  I can’t wait to see how the color will work out.  The hearth is textured the same way but it will be brown.  Already replaced the knobs in the living room on the built-in.  Bought the tile at Lowes. Need a date from the tile guys so I can schedule the electrician.  Then I don’t know whose house I will be living in, because it will look way too cool to be mine.

Remodeling: Day 3

OK, I started this post this morning when I was tired, frustrated, and had just dropped the kitties off at the kennel.  Things have changed dramatically since then, so I am re-writing this now that I am calmer and some things have been resolved.  The problem we have been having is with tile.  Because the counters are going to be custom and unique works of art, we have to pick tile to go with the counters or at least what the counters will be most like. We went to the local tile store yesterday, and while they have a huge selection, it’s actually difficult to find something that works. Marble would have been $9/ sq. ft.  The travertine was nice and would have gone but they only make it in 4×4.  They had some larger sizes but not in the same color.  Doing 4×4 tiles would have made everything infinitely more complicated but I was determined because I don’t like the look of the larger tile.  DH & I were fighting over tile with both of us getting very frustrated and upset.  We took a break, took the dog to the dog park and ate lunch.  Tempers receded.

There’s no Home Depot in this town, and the local tile store has a buy by the box and no-returns policy.  They also have to order most things.  So we ended up back at Lowe’s.  We lucked out in that one of the flooring experts helped us pick out grout, tile, and even design our tile layout.  Best of all, our tile guys happened to come by Lowe’s while we were working out the design and joined in the discussion.  The lady at Lowe’s had taken a multi-tile background piece that had been torn and she cut it for us so we could actually see the layout.  Then the tile guys were there to see it too – how fortunate!  🙂

New tile layout

(Sorry for the crooked picture.)

They make a 12×12 version of the tile as well that we can use in the living room.  It will tie the two rooms together subtly, which is nice because it’s sort of an open-concept design.  (I can watch TV while doing dishes, for example.) So finally we agree on a tile!  Thank goodness because I am SO sick of this decision making crap.

The workman made some headway on the countertops and hearth.  He had to spend a lot of time laying down plastic and cardboard to protect everything.  But I would rather have them do that than to spill on my current carpet or tile.  These guys are good – they even clean up after themselves!  Cross your fingers that this tile business is behind us (except for writing the check) and we just have to have faith that the rest of it will work out as planned.  I cannot wait to see the finished product!

The most heart-breaking thing today was taking the cats to the kennel.  We had forgotten Goldie’s medicine, so we had to stop back there later in the day.  Saxon was just sitting in his kennel, cowering on the ledge (built-in loft).  He looked so wretched, staring out the window at me.  It broke my heart.  I sent a straw in for him to play with, but I doubt he will. (He loves straws.)  The kennel gave the cats deluxe accommodations: double rooms and cat beds.  In part because Princess was sleeping in her litter box.  (They use shredded paper for the litter boxes.  Never seen that before.)

That pretty much sums up today.  Going out to have dinner soon – we can’t cook anymore (no stove & no pots/pans/dishes/etc.)  It’s going to be a long week in the food department.  It’s going to be a long week, period.  I can’t wait until I have my kitchen back, and more importantly, my kitties home again.

Remodeling: Day 2

Well, I think we are a day behind. The sink was supposed to come out today but instead we got the tile removed and the backsplash area re-drywalled. So tomorrow is the day real work begins. We lose the sink, everything gets taped off and maybe concrete gets poured. Then staining and epoxy on Friday. Hopefully. We are supposed to go away on Friday & Saturday so we don’t interfere with the drying process. Hopefully things come back on Monday (sink & tile) then we can have the electrician in for the lights. The carpet guys have to come put our carpet back too. Another cost because I can’t afford to replace our crappy carpets yet. It all adds up so quickly.

DH and I spent most of today at the tile store. We found a different tile that looks a bit better. (DH likes it better than I do, but maybe I’m just nervous about a final decision. I’m bad with decisions.) Now there’s grout decisions to be made and aarrrgghhhhh!!!!! I’m taking Klonopin every day because of this. 😦

My angels go to the kennel in the morning. I will be sad without them, but they need to be out of the way for the rest of the remodel. I just think of it as part of the remodeling expense. The dog goes on Friday. Then there’s the weekend. Honestly, I don’t really want to travel, but it is kind of necessary that we be out of the house for the epoxy to dry properly.

I think this is a little of the depression talking. More and more Paxil and no real improvement. Maybe the Geodon prevents it? I don’t know. Anxiety over this kitchen is driving me to (want) to drink!

Remodeling: Day 1

I had pre-remodeling jitters all day yesterday.  I was going to write but ended up making cupcakes instead.  (Yes! I can do this now with a minimal amount of assistance! It was only a 1/2 batch anyway.) Baking is soothing to me.  It’s not stressful like cooking.  It is precise and straightforward, you get to take a break while the stuff is in the oven, and there’s something yummy with sugar when you are done.  It might even look pretty too.

One of my first attempts at piped frosting

It wasn’t as relaxing as usual because I couldn’t find my regular recipe book so I had to pull a new recipe off the internet, which I then proceeded to screw up by creaming the sugar with the butter instead of creaming the butter alone first.  Furthermore, I put in both eggs instead of one at a time, but this really isn’t such a big deal I don’t think.  The vanilla went in at the wrong time too.  When the batter was done, it was way too thick, so I thinned it out a bit with extra milk.  Finally, it only made a dozen cupcakes so I had to cut the frosting recipe in half.  I put too much almond extract into the frosting and it’s overwhelming.  I think the cake is a little too dense and a touch dry – maybe overdone a little by a minute or two.  It still hits the sweet spot craving.

So anyway, we decided that we can’t decide between the door pulls and we aren’t 100% convinced on the tile.  It’s easier to match tile to the countertop than vice-versa since the countertops with be concrete and a one-of-a-kind type of thing.  Since they were closed today, we have to go tomorrow to look at the tile shop. The one tile I had posted in Estimate is nice but there is something about the combination that is just a little bit “off”.  I can’t put my finger on it but it’s there.  Do you know what I mean?

Today, the contractors were running a bit late because their previous job ran over, but this trip didn’t last long.  They tried taking out the tile and it was so stuck to the sheetrock that it started coming off too!  So they can’t remove the old tile like normal.  The tile guys have to come in and cut out the sheetrock with the tile stuck to it then re-sheetrock the entire area.  Just a quick shot to show you all the fun:

Tiles reluctant to leave

No remodel without stumbling blocks, right?  Well, we got all excited to do the fireplace too except that estimate came in at $656.  If we tile the face of the fireplace instead of concreting it, then we can knock about $100-$120 off that price.  Basically, I’m waiting for the lighting parts estimate so I can figure our totals.   I might just have them do the cheaper tile option.  I hate to leave the fireplace looking so crappy when everything else will look so nice.  (Of course, the cabinets in the kitchen are still going to look crappy too, but they will cost us ~$2500-$3000 to have redone so not happening now.)  Everything adds up so quickly!!!

My head is spinning.  I can’t even begin to think of all the other things I need to be doing!  I just want to eat Nutella out of the jar and watch TV the rest of the day.  I really wish I could have a few rounds of tequila, but I can’t.  Klonopin is not enough today.  😦



I am no good with routine. I never have been. Perhaps my parents weren’t good at it either. I have childhood memories not of babysitters but of smoky bars and loud country music. Bored and tired, I was to be quiet and not interrupt – as if anyone could have heard me over the noise anyway. Even with my eyes stinging and my ears ringing, I would still fall asleep in the car on the way home. Dad worked the evening shift and sometimes I would fall asleep in bed with Mom. When I was little, he would carry me to my bed when he got home from work at 1am. When I got too big to be carried, he had to figure out how to convince this sleepy slug to shuffle across the hallway on her own. I was always hard to get out of bed in the morning (still am), and always running to catch the bus at the last minute. I had to walk to school in middle and high school, and never could be ready early enough to walk with the other kids. Instead, I procrastinated on getting up until absolutely necessary, and was frequently late for home room. By high school, my parents were separated and my father left me with the responsibility of taking care of myself because he worked when I was home and I was at school when he was home. He also believed so strongly in self-responsibility that I never had a curfew. By my second year of college, I was in a long-term abusive relationship. Chaos flowed around me as much as within me.

Not a lot of routine in my life. I despise routine.

As much as my body craves it, my mind fights it. I rebel against any sort of routine. I’m compliant with my meds, but I never take them at exactly the same time every morning. Or evening. Or bedtime. So setting the alarm to take my bedtime meds is really just a suggestion and it lets me know that 10pm has rolled around again. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, rarely the same time now. Although when I am working, meals do happen at roughly the same time, give or take an hour.

But I hate routine. It’s boring. This from a girl who, from all outward appearances, is boring. Even I think I’m boring. Although, DH doesn’t think I’m boring and he probably knows better than I.

I’m no good at organization either. I understand the concept, it’s the practice that eludes me.

Back to routines… I have a confession to make. I haven’t kept up my new routines like four things or one mile. I’ve outgrown four things for now (let’s hope it stays that way) and the weather just bounces around so much that it’s an easy excuse not to walk. The only routine I’ve kept up with is my PT exercises – I do them every day, albeit not at the same time every day.

Why do I fight routine so much? Is it just in my contrary nature? Does anyone else out there have trouble with routines? How do you deal with it?

The Empty Fortune Cookie

For Valentine’s Day, DH & I went to a Chinese restaurant.  At the end, they brought us our fortune cookies and when I opened mine, there was no fortune.  What does that mean?  In the grand scheme of the universe – nothing.  But those little fortunes that tell you to look up an old friend, seek out a new opportunity, or whatever, really mean something to me in a semi-superstitious way.  It’s fun, it may be a little cheesy, but it’s like buying a lottery ticket – you wonder for a little while.  So when I saw the empty fortune cookie it meant much more to me than the little slip of paper with some vague saying.

It meant the future is unclear.

Just like all the other vagueness in my life, I have no path, no direction.  I am in limbo.

Work has decided that they will not accept any transitional duty status (work restrictions).  So I am still off work for at least another 3 weeks.  I still don’t know anything about my job – I don’t know if I have  job.  The doctor suggested I contact HR but I’m pretty sure they won’t tell me anything.  Maybe I should probably just consider my job gone and move on.  Again.

So far the medical tests on DH have revealed nothing out of the ordinary.  So why is he so tired and having so much pain?  Another unknown.  They are sending him to a specialist, so we get to deal with that next week.

My meds? Still that stable, yet low level depression.  I think I may have to just learn to live with it.

The only concrete things going on in my life right now is the kitchen remodel.  They start on Monday – ripping out tile and taping everything off, by Tuesday my sink will be gone so there will be lots of eating out. Wednesday, the cats go to the kennel and they pour the concrete countertops.  Somewhere between Wednesday and Friday, they get stained and then the epoxy goes on Friday afternoon.  So we will need to be out of the house for the weekend so it can dry.  Monday the plumbing returns along with the tile.  A beautiful Italian stone.  It’s not cheap but not too bad on price either.  We are also having the fireplace and hearth done too.  (Beware these remodel things grow!)  By the end of the following week, we can have the electrician come in and finish all the lighting off.  Somewhere in there we need the exterminator to take care of the termite problem as well.

By the time it’s done, I won’t recognize my own house!  Everything will be beautiful and my carpet will look ratty in comparison.  (My carpet looks pretty ratty now.)  It’s not going to be cheap but it will be worth it.  Especially if we have to move.

Maybe the empty fortune cookie is a good sign.  Perhaps it means that I have options and life will not trap me again.

Or perhaps it means nothing at all.

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.