Day In, Day Out

What happened to spring? We got snow last week and now again today.

car snow

 

It’s not just the adults who are getting antsy about spring.

i want to go out

I made the mistake last Thursday of suggesting to my daughter-in-law that we take the kids outside for a bit as it was chilly but not too bad.  She thought it was a great idea. We both knew it was supposed to rain later in day and turn to snow during the night so this would give the kids a chance to be outdoors before the weather changed.

I turned to the kids and asked if they wanted to play outside and while they both excitedly dropped what they were doing it was the baby who arrived at the door first and kept hitting the door (he can’t quite work the handle to open it….yet) and calling “Outside!” over and over until we opened the door for him.

As I said it was a mistake to suggest this as the rain came early, right as we walked out onto the deck.  At first it was just a few big drops but before we got to the yard it was pouring. Since it was nearing time for little man’s nap my daughter-in-law decided to just head home before the rain got any worse. Unfortunately, as a result she had a crying toddler to contend with who was very angry and felt we’d lied to him.

I’ve been keeping busy between a handful of jobs that came in all at the same time, the kitchen, which is driving me nuts (more on that in a moment) and pretty much anything to keep my mind off the fact that cabin fever has hit full force.

What about the kitchen you ask?

Not much has happened since I last shared the progress. I assembled and painted, to match the rest of the kitchen, the new cabinet that will separate the sink cabinet from the washer. Kitchen cabinets are made so the drawers (and this is a three drawer cabinet) do not extend all the way to the back of the cabinet giving us plenty of room to run the plumbing and know it won’t be damaged in any way.

llittle handyman

Little guy has taken to wanting to play with the tools and seems to think I need him to inspect my work.  🙂   I have a small screwdriver, fat enough for his hands but stubby so as not to hurt him and he confiscates my tape measure whenever possible. His love has now extended to the power drill too.  I keep power tools in my bedroom closet, for his safety, and the door to the bedroom closed when he’s here but he knows only too well where that drill is and will point to my room and say “Drill, please.”

lil handyman

The neighbor was throwing out toys her boys had outgrown.  I don’t want to have my power drill carried around the house so when I saw the John Deere drill in her box for the trash I brought it home and cleaned it up. It may be plastic but it doesn’t operate on batteries at least, instead it winds up on the bottom.  He finds it interesting for short periods of time but his attraction to it doesn’t even come close to that of my drill. 🙂

Then there is the washer.

I ordered a refurbished model but then had to delay delivery. This week I received a call telling me I had to pick up my washer, wait I wanted it delivered! That’s when I learned the salesman missed that part and never charged me for the delivery. Faced with a $200 delivery fee I decided to pass and look for another washer.  My son just gave me the name of the company he deals with to purchase used appliances for his properties. I’ll wait to call them until the plumbing has been run and just ignore that entire subject for now.  Of course, the smart a** my son is, he then informed me that I could wait and buy a brand-new model for a good price when the stores put them on sale. The next big appliance sale, nationwide, is Memorial Day weekend. I’m not waiting until then but if you are considering a new household appliance you may want to check out the sales in your area come Memorial Day.

That’s pretty much where the kitchen stands. The drawers are sitting in my bedroom while I wait for the handyman to show up. It makes no sense to put them in the cabinet only to remove them for the handyman to be able to work in there.  Have you wondered why I don’t show you the bedroom, it’s pretty much done?

Well, that’s not everything, I guess. The neighbor boy came over and carried the old flooring from the kitchen to his grandmother’s house. No matter how many times I showed her the problems with the laminate flooring and explained it was falling apart she felt it was better than what she had in her bathroom and will be laying it in her house. She will pick through for the best pieces and the rest she will use to make a floor in her laundry space in the basement.

When the neighbor boy came over to get the flooring he spotted a box of scraps I had left over from laying the new flooring. He asked what I was doing with it and I told him that sadly it wasn’t any good and had to be thrown out for trash pickup. I showed him where I had cut off the glue strips on some to finish off small sections where the floor meets the wall or I had cut the corners out of others. He wanted those pieces so badly that his mother agreed he could have them.  Guess what use he found for them? He’s sorting through the pieces and laying them next to their front door which is currently just gravel to make his mother a patio. 🙂

So far, lifting of the old flooring, laying the new flooring, and even removing a cabinet has resulted in zero waste!  The remaining pieces of the last box of flooring I have given to the boys mother to replace the old carpet in her entry way.  It didn’t make sense to try and sell it as I only had half a box and a full box only costs $36. She’s thrilled because she doesn’t have excess money to put into her home as a renter.

So why hasn’t more been done in the kitchen?  The handyman accepted a job that has him working every weekday which leaves only the weekends for him to do jobs at my house. Last week he couldn’t make it and this weekend his work vehicle is in the shop.

I called my son in frustration today asking for a name of another handyman I could call.  My son laughed and informed me I needed to be patient. I asked again if he had another handyman I could call and he told me no. None of the other guys he has will do plumbing and construction work and all of them charge more than this guy then added that even though they charge more the quality of their work is lower than the guy I’m trying to patiently wait for. My patience is running thin.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like this guy and he’s amazing in the quality of his work, plus he’s very reasonable. (He charges $50 per hour for all but plumbing which he charges $75 per hour, but he has a flat rate for my son – which I get as well- which is $300 per day so I can make a list of all the jobs I need done and know I will have licensed work done for an unbelievable price. How many licensed handymen can you employ from 9 am to 4 pm for only $300?).

The biggest problem I have right now is this guy has been ignoring my calls while he answers my son’s calls on my behalf immediately.  He’s doesn’t get that my relationship with my son and this house is not the normal landlord/tenant relationship. In most landlord situations the handyman/contractors do not talk to the tenant about repairs.

I caved and promised my son I would be patient and wait for this handyman to have time for me but said I’d talk to him about treating me as a normal homeowner to which my son chuckled and said he could see where that conversation would go and to please not have that discussion and piss the guy off because he doesn’t have any one as good to replace him

So here I sit, cold, trying to get my paid work completed,  putzing around organizing one space after another (which has only frustrated me more because most of what I’m organizing are borrowed tools that I could return if the work was done)  hoping when it’s done I can move outside and start on other projects to keep my mind off the kitchen.

And that’s the day in, day out of my life at the moment, learning to patiently wait. How are you?

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20 thoughts on “Day In, Day Out

  1. I am so glad you have an Official Inspector (Little Guy), grin…
    the neighbour boy…My gosh Lois, you have been a treasure and inspiration to him…He has learned so much and become so inspired from you, he is making decisions to take on/create projects (grandma’s floor/patio/etc)..WOW.. You have truly made his future so much brighter..No telling what he will now do with this / accomplish, but it will be with him for always. I can only guess at how greatful his Mom/Grandma are for this impact..

    re the tradesman who puts you off…(due to his schedule)
    -maybe you can stick to having your son make arrangements, since he seems to answer his calls?
    -also, I have seen this work (similar to my garbage man), make sure when he comes next (and each time after) you have something aromatic and fresh to offer as a treat/offer for him to take home. Fresh baking bread, etc..Have seen this work, as then subconsciously he will “want” to rush back..

    good luck all

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    1. Babies grow too fast but I have to admit I love this stage more than the newborn stage. The neighbor boy is something else, it’s as if he was waiting for someone who would encourage and support him to fix and do things and I happened to be the one to show up instead of a family member. I do have to clarify, the flooring for his grandmother’s house was her idea, he just carried it over to her house for me.

      Yes, I guess I will have to settle for the handyman calling my son instead of me, he does after all work for my son more than at my request. My son is busy and I wanted to be able to do the hiring of work on my own but looks like it’s not going to happen. As for bribing him, I’ve already tried that. well not exactly bribing but offering food for his work, he won’t accept. Last summer while he worked on my ramps and deck I brought my grandson in to make a meal and bake a cake then took him a plate. He thanked me but said he only eats once a day, at night when he’s done working and refused the food. My son says that’s how he always is.

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  2. It’s so hard to wait patiently for spring AND for someone to show up to complete work. I do hope both arrive soon!
    Your little inspector is so cute.

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    1. Tell me about it! Spring looks to be just a week away if the extended forecast is to be believed. I sure hope it’s right.

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  3. I can’t believe how big the “baby” is. Time goes fast, doesn’t it? Hopefully, there will be a break in the work at your house soon. Either the handyman will come and do the work you need, or the weather will break and you’ll be able to work outside. Or maybe both!

    You know how I love to hear stories about the boy next door and his family. What a difference you are making. I think there have been divine intervention for you to get this house next to them.

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    1. The baby will be two in August, time really does fly. I’m going to have to come up with a new term for him because baby just doesn’t fit any more. According to the forecast spring weather should be here by the weekend so maybe both will show up at the same time, I can only hope.

      You and my daughter-in-law both believe I was meant to live her for no other reason than the boy across the street. He’s a cute kid and I hope he continues to want to learn.

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  4. A handyman that’s any good should be hard to get and will probably be so busy. So, I’d suggest having his favorite sweet treats around when he does make it over. I’ve kept many a worker on the job with something good to eat. Men work on their stomachs. It won’t help to keep calling. They are used to it and tune it out. I understand the frustration. I have to wait for my handyman to get around to the jobs I have for him here. So I bought a couple bags of M&M’s and Bit O Honey. He has to work off the calories so I get lots of things done then. 🙂 I know how frustrating it is. I’m trying to be patient too but it;s so hard. Hang in there.

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    1. Yes, you are right. My son pointed out that we had freezing temperatures and snow this weekend so had he received a call about frozen pipes or a leaky roof that would have taken priority over my wanting to be done with washing clothes in the tub. He’s right. Food doesn’t work with this guy, I learned that the hard way when I prepared him a plate once with cake as the dessert and he refused. I’ll have to try fattening foods and see if he works harder and longer to work off those added calories. 🙂

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  5. Oy! I’m so sorry, both about the handy man delays and the weather! We’ve been very lucky so far, with mostly warm sunny weather – although yesterday was cloudy and CatMan & I even got caught in a thunderstorm on our bike ride! But the weather folks keep telling us not to get too content because April is our 2nd snowiest month with 9 inches on average. Maybe this year will be the exception.

    I don’t know how you have the patience to deal with all of the remodeling. This is the reason I’ve still got the hideous avocado green shag carpeting, and the kitchen and bathroom that would be improved by a hand grenade. But… I was chatting with my neighbor the other day. He’s moving to South Dakota. Sold his house for $230K!!!! Holy Moly! His house is 850 square feet, 2 bedrooms, no basement, 1 car detached garage, and believe me, the thing is in “bachelor shape” if you get my drift. The kitchen is original 1950’s with a tile countertop that’s cracked and damaged. The bathroom is slightly better, but honestly, still pretty much needs a complete makeover. It was on the market for 2 days and he got 20 offers! Sorta makes you think… Of course, since I’m not ready to leave Denver at the moment, cashing out doesn’t seem like a good option, but good lord. I just can’t believe the prices!

    Anyhow, my point (there was a point other than to marvel over Denver’s ridiculous housing market) is that in the conversation the topic of bathroom remodeling came up and he told me he had his tub reglazed for only $400. I went and looked at it and it’s beautiful – so I’m thinking this may be the year to tackle the bathroom. I’m in the middle of a big project work-wise at the moment, but hopefully I’ll be finished in a month or two and I’ll have both some more income (assuming my project is successful) and more time. So brace yourself, I may be pestering you for advice!

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    1. Nine inches is your second snowiest month, what is the most you average in a month? Sorry to hear you got caught in the rain, those spring rains can be very cold. Now summer, I like a light rain falling on me.

      Now I know you didn’t pay any where near that for your house. At least you know that when or if you want to sell you’ll turn a profit. Tub reglazing is a great way to update a tub as long as it’s in decent shape aka no leaky cracks, and an added plus is it’s something you have to pay someone else to do so that means that while you do have to pay for it you don’t have to do the work yourself. The seller had the tub here reglazed but because he didn’t want to replace a cracked tub, didn’t work the glaze peeled right off the tub the minute water hit it. Oh and the reglazer didn’t put the fixtures back on so you might want to check if those things are ones you have to do. Once you have a beautiful reglazed tub you will have to attack the rest of the bathroom. 🙂

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      1. March is the snowiest month, averaging almost a foot. Can’t tell if that sounds like a lot or a little by your standards. Anyhow, I’m really, REALLY hoping that the European weather model is wrong, because it’s predicting over 40 inches of snow for Denver this weekend. Yikes! The North American models are all just saying lots of rain. We shall see…

        My bathtub is made from cast iron, so no cracks – it’s not a self-standing old fashioned tub or anything, but it is nice and deep, and great for soaking. So I’ll be really happy if it can be salvaged. Although, I need to tear out the tub surround and completely replace the fixtures and probably the plumbing behind the wall as well… so it’s not gonna be a minor project. But at least that part I think I can do myself. Just need to decide what order to do thing in. I’m sorta thinking the tub should be done as close to last as possible, but before the new floor and tub surround (or tile if I get really ambitious) goes in. We’ll see if it ever gets beyond the fantasy point! 🙂

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        1. 40 INCHES!! Yes, I do hope the European model is wrong that’s a harsh blow to take this time of year. This weekend we are expecting to see temps reach the 60s and I can’t wait. That won’t be warm enough to paint but I could get a few other jobs going. Since I grew up in the PA snowbelt I guess I always think of Denver with the altitude receiving similar snowfalls. I’m always taken aback at how much less snow you get than I used to.

          I wish I had a cast iron tub but the original tub was a claw footed one that is now sitting in my basement. I really need to see about getting that out of there. Depending on the type of surround you have that too can be refinished. If you have a tile surround there are companies that will put a new surround right over them so you don’t have to go to the mess of demolition, they are called tub and surround liners and are pricier than refinishing plus you’ll have the feeling of plastic (they are acrylic) when you sit in the tub. As for tile, I love the look of large tiles as the surround and would have that here in a heartbeat if I could talk myself into it.

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  6. I hope your patience is still holding out Lois.. It is frustrating when we are all upside down and waiting on the workmen to complete jobs.. I remember well around 8 yrs ago when I had a new kitchen fitted.. There were supposed to be two workmen, but one left the company and so I ended up with just one.. Who was lumbered with two kitchen jobs to get done alone.. So he tried to keep us both happy by alternating between us both.. Wrong thing to do..
    I was having to wash pots upstairs in the sink for a week.. No water, washer or heater.. He got both of his customers angry.. Where as if he had explained the situation I would have been willing for him to start my kitchen later ..

    Loved the little drill you found too

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    1. I’m practicing patience as instructed and am taking things one day at a time. 🙂 Like anything else I know it will get done at some point so I’m focusing on other projects as a distraction for now.

      How horrible you had to go through so long without a kitchen. I too would have been happier if the workman, in your case, admitted to the situation and asked me which option I preferred. Like you I would have been happier to wait therefore limiting the time without an operational kitchen.

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      1. It was one of those periods in life Lois where everything seemed to go wrong all at once.. It was supposed to be finished for Christmas.. it wasn’t finished until mid Jan.. It started work the first week in DEC.. Inbetween time my car was parked on our very quiet culdesac street.. and a young new driver backed out their drive into the side of my car.. I had just spent a small fortune repairing it.. LOL The insurance company wanted to scrap it and write it off.. I refused and they finally agreed to pay for the repairs to the side doors if I found a garage to do it.. 🙂 You know the feeling of when it rains it pours .. LOL>. So I know how you must have felt frustrated.. xxx

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        1. Oh, Sue, what a string of bad luck to fall on you and especially over the holidays. I hope you had Christmas dinner at your daughter’s or another family member. I can’t even imagine trying to wash holiday dishes in the bathroom sink. Insurance companies drive me nuts with how quickly they want to write off something that can easily be repaired and continue to function to fulfill our needs. Good for you for standing up to them and getting the repairs instead.

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          1. Yes they gave me a set some of money to get the repairs done in the end.. and the costs came in less than they gave, so all was well, but the door never really matched the rest of the paint work.. and it was not long after I sold it.. We are strange folk at times.. 🙂 lol..

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          2. I know me neither but I did.. 🙂 I still have the one I got after it.. less milage and more fuel efficient . 🙂 My Hubby said the same.. I think I didn’t want the memories of the bad energy the whole episode had caused.. And every time I looked at the door a slightly different shade of red.. I remembered all the negative months before hand.. I think that is what drew me to sell 🙂

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