My new ride, Fraelsi

My new ride, Fraelsi
Fraelsi means Freedom in Farose

Friday, October 10, 2014

Almost mid month, again

It seems that time is flying by and I am not getting much progress done here on the current old house project.  But I do have the paint color and some is on the wall.  Tomorrow I will make some progress, and it will not be long before we have my jury rigg kitchen back in working order.
The installer has come and done his measuring, he will then fax the information to Stacy at Lowes and we will then be able to get the cabinets ordered.
I will work upstairs on the electrical and on the drywall up there while I wait for cabinets, once I have done all I can do in the kitchen.  I have a lot of trim work to do, and I will get as much as I can done so that there is very little to do once the cabinets are in, and then again, once the counters are in.
But the windows are a huge improvement, as is all the other work we have gotten done, I am sure it will make the kitchen far more comfortable, temperature wise, not as much heat loss in the winter, not as much heat gain in the summer.
And once the kitchen is done, I have a new mortgage and will work on the house as I can, both financially and energy wise.  I started this project in August and it might be December before it is done.  But I have waited almost 10 years to do a good kitchen in this, my last old house.  And I want it very handicapped livable, because I need that, now and in the years to come.
I have had some battles with the bank over getting the loan to do what I wanted with my house but it has been resolved for the most part.  I did not expect the problems but I am determined that I will decide what is done for my house, to my house and what I make payments on.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

I finally got the bugs worked out with the bank for my house refinance and finally got my kitchen planned out at Lowes, all the pieces  I wanted, very handicapped friendly, in case I ever need that, and the granite I want. 
All the electrical issues have been dealt with, the new windows, door and drywall are in, Ben has been doing a great job with the mud work, seams are very good, many cannot be found.
The wiring has been run up for the future upstairs bathroom, I will need to add 2 more circuit breakers to the box but     I have the stuff to start the wiring work so hope to see at least 1 sheet of blue board on that ceiling this winter.
10 hour day tomorrow so it is about time to turn in here.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Old houses and renovation

Inspection accepts New construction is all new stuff, new lumber, new wiring, new outlets and plumbing, usually clean and start from scratch, follow the plans and get the job done.
Renovation on old houses is very different, nothing is new or clean, there are usually ugly problems lurking beneath, behind, under everything.  No part of the job is simple and easy and you always need more of something than you planned on.
But today my old house gained properly wired outlets in the kitchen, 2 new ones were added and some older ones were replaced, all were wired properly, to code and done right.  But the kitchen sure looks worse than when we started.  New drywall, all the way up to the ceiling to go in and 2 new windows, a new door, floor tile to be replaced where it is damaged, and in time, cabinets and counters, good quality, handicapped friendly, a good paint job, trim work done, and then plan for the next job here.
A refinance to do a huge, expensive job and then nickel and dime the small jobs for awhile, the railing along the landing and patio so it is inspection acceptable and safer from falls down onto the bike patio.  Keep working on the drywall up in the attic, read up on bathrooms and showers so the new bathroom up in the attic can be sealed up from potential water damage, get the vent/light/heat unit and vent pipe to that done, get the plumbing roughed in, and the blue board and tile board in, at least on ceiling areas where there is the most heat loss/gain issue......and the list goes on.
But I am content, at peace and happy here in my old house, despite all the problems and all it still needs.  It will look better in a few days, and keep improving, and stuff will get back in order, the kitchen will become usable again, it will take some time but for now, the electrical is safer and that is a big step in the right direction.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Back to work

A week of vacation went fast with a lot of it spent working on this old house, and not getting very far on the list of what all I had hoped to get done.  But I made some important progress in the kitchen and that was high on my list.
And I am refinancing the mortgage, for the new kitchen windows and door and to do a proper, good quality kitchen here, finally.  The paperwork has been signed at the bank to refinance, the house inspector has been here and I have contacted several people about the kitchen job, 3 have been here to talk, look and measure, the 4 th is Lowes.
I want to see rough plans/ideas and rough estimate of costs and then will decide who I will work with for the job and want a contract. 
I know some of what I need and want, but until the windows are in, some measurements will not be valid.  The east facing window can really change a few things with cabinets and I plan to whine but move the water and drain for better kitchen sink set up.
It may be months before I see a finished kitchen but having coped for 9.5+ years here with what I have! I will manage until the new kitchen cabinets and counter are installed and I have everything put away.
Temps are dropping and we have a chance of seeing our first frost some time in this coming week.  It will drop pollin counts but I am not wanting winter to be here early and if fall comes early. I can expect winter to be right behind.
Off to bed as I am beat tired tonight.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Old house progress

I am finally replacing the last 2 windows and the damaged kitchen door.  And since the financing rate is so high and my current mortgage almost paid off, I went and started the process to refinance and get a real kitchen done, cabinets, counters, wall cabinets, real storage area, real food prep area, be able to wash dishes and put them in the drainer without dripping water all over the floor.
So, this week, while I am off on vacation, I have had son Ben down here to help and we are working on some of the kitchen projects I want done.  The old windows are out and so is the door, I still have the sub threshold there to replace but the windows are ready for the new ones.  We tore out drywall on the wall between the kitchen and living room and have the shelf units made and painted, will be setting them in place between the studs tomorrow and working on the wall between the kitchen and the laundry area.
I have talked with 4 different kitchen people as I want some choice and to try to get not only the best price but the company who will work best to give me a kitchen that works for me and meets my needs and wants.
The house is a mess, normal for renovations in a small space but much easier to live with when I am living here alone than with Jake living here also.  He is helping some with the work, and learning a bit with each job he is helping work on.  And I am not beating the heads together when they do hat sibling crap and antagonize each other and me.
This is the biggest house project I have financed here, and I want to make sure I make good choices and invest wisely in this old house and my being comfortable here for many years to come.  I like this place and am almost always content and happy here.
But it is a long week and has been a dirty, hot, frustrating week including truck problems to add to the load, cost and problems.  I am glad to be looking at putting the dining corner back together tomorrow and work on the clean up construction debris so I am able to go back to work with the place in better order and ready for the door and window contractor and crew to come and do their install, the kitchen people to show me their plans and costs so I can make a decision there and get a solid contract and start date and end date.
Slow progress on this old house, I have lived here with make do for a kitchen for 9.5 years now and am so looking forward to a real working kitchen, done to suit me, chosen by me for my needs and wants.
This place is slowly becoming very much my place, I am putting my stamp on it, and a lot of my income and sweat equity.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Feeling sorry for myself

I try and not do that very often, feel sorry for myself, wallow in self pity, or even think I have a rough/hard life because I know I have a good life, despite a few problems, some pain issues, too much debt load, old house needing a lot of work and money.
I have a good employer and good supervisors to work under, good co-workers to work with, a very short drive to work, a scooter that is paid for and in good shape and gets great gas milage for that short ride to work.  A lot more things to be thankful for and to appreciate but there are still times I feel sorry for myself.
And envy, ya, that green eyed monster stuff shows up now and then too.  But then I remind myself that I might not have gotten that cute bjd (ball jointed doll)that she got recently but I do have central air that works and a great unit up in the attic that makes a huge difference up stairs and I do most of my own home repairs.
The landing framed  up well, my sons were good help but I was the one who had it planned out and made sure it was done and done right, and I will get the needed step built this coming weekend, and the decking will go on next weekend.
So, I can't afford to go to the 40th year class reunion this month, I can get by in life without going, and so, I have not done as well with my life as some of those I graduated with.  I can live with that, with the choices I made and the mistakes I have made and had to deal with. 
The flax I planted at Clayville.org did well this first year and now is field retting, I ripped it last weekend, which means I removed the seed pods and I am slowly cleaning them, along with leaves and dirt, hopefully I will get it all sifted out by the end of this coming weekend and have some mature seed to mix with what I will buy next spring for re-planting.
I did get a pair of mittens done and the next pair started and have a lot of yarn to enjoy, stockings I am knitting for my 1820's clothing for Clayville and a sweater started I need to find time to work on, and bobbin lace to play with.
My life is pretty good, our weather has been cooler this summer so that has helped things grow with little watering and my grape vine put out it's first grapes this year, concord, not enough for much but eating but they are picked and Jake will help me get them eaten.
Ben managed to loose a key off the keyboard for my Nexus 7, I am not happy about that, but Ben is the kid that looses keys and it is not the first time a keyboard has lost keys with his help. I doubt if it is ever found, if it hit the floor and the foolish dog found it, he chewed it  up.
So, I can whine about that or I can be glad I have my iPad and my Nexus 7 and all the other goodies I enjoy, even the ones that don't get used very often.
The company picnic is at Knight's Action Park and I signed up 4 guests and plan to take Ben, Jake, Darcy and maybe Larry.  But I want 2 vehicles so I can leave the kids to play and escape when it suits me.  So, another thing to appreciate in my little life, the perks that come with where I work, paid vacations, paid play, and ok paychecks.
I dream about what I would do with lottery money but know it would create a mess and lots of problems, fun day dreams while working a labor job but it is only day dreams, not reality and I can get by with what I earn.  But funds to pay off the debt load, and to contract out work here and get this house done, like I dream of having it sounds good any day.  Little by little I am making improvements, and I accept the reality that I might never have this house finished before I die.  Discouraging thoughts but very possibly the real future here. 
In the meantime, I keep working on things, and enjoying living here and liking my life, and work on not feeling sorry for myself when I know how good my life really is. 

Friday, August 01, 2014

Catching up some

The plant is working 4 day weeks some this month so I put my paperwork in for a paid vacation day so  the paycheck would not be too short and then put today to good progress on the landing between the kitchen door and the new patio.
Ben and Jake were great help and the landing is waiting for decking and I hope in 2 weeks to have the funds to buy the needed lumber for that part.
This does not make the kitchen door a working door but it is getting closer, and I like how our little landing is looking.  It will need 1 step between it and the patio to pass any insurance inspections but that will not be a hard build.
And the boys went off to the movies so Shadow and I enjoyed a quiet house.  I got the tools all put properly away and then a shower, played on line some, hunted down some doll clothes to try on a doll from the recent UFDC convention.  And I knit on my mittens, watched some DS-9, put a few things away while I was looking for some of those doll clothes.
Finances are tight, will stay tight but life here still feels pretty good to me. The old house has made some important progress, my debt load creeps down a tiny bit every month, I keep working and life keeps being good.
We had a bit of rain this evening and so far this summer few of the nights have been very warm so the attic space has stayed comfortable also, and I hope to see a reasonable utility bill again next month.
Way past my bedtime now.