Friday, November 28, 2003
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
I decided to call the township this morning to check on the status of our front porch plans. Afterall, the girl in the office did tell Ray that she would try to "sneak it through a little faster" for him. And that was ALMOST TWO WEEKS AGO. They put me on the phone with 'Todd'. He told me exactly what they told me FIVE WEEKS AGO when we first submitted the plans. "I'm sorry. The township does not allow anyone to build structures on their properties that are this close to the street." I was stunned. We had to give the original surveyor another $150 to come out and re-measure the property and draw up a new plan to show that the porch was NOT too close to the street. Then 'Todd' informed me that they must have "misplaced" the new survey as he couldn't locate it. I explained to 'Todd' that we had been patiently waiting for this permit for a long time. That we had wanted to give out Halloween candy to neighborhood children from that porch last month... but it wasn't to be. That we had hoped to bring Ray's mother over from Philadelphia for a Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday but the only door that was wide enough to accommodate her wheelchair opened up onto the porch that wasn't built yet. (She isn't really in a wheelchair, but I'm beyond telling them the truth at this point). Then I told him that the only hope we had left was to hear Carolers outside our house on Christmas Eve... BUT THEY WON'T BE ABLE TO SING IF THERE ISN'T A PORCH FOR THEM TO STAND ON! 'Todd' assured me that he will personally approve the plans on the spot if we bring them into his office tomorrow morning. All this to get a permit to build a porch the same exact size and in the same exact place where it had been built 15 years ago. Deja vu I guess. Speaking of which... where's that bottle of Scotch from last month...?
Sunday, November 23, 2003
Before I moved in with Ray last April I had been living in an apartment with my 2 daughters. I left most of MY stuff there for them to use, as Ray had more stuff than any one person on the face of this earth could ever possibly hope to use. It's hard to believe that his ex-wife already took half of their stuff when she moved out and they divorced. But now my girls are moving and I have to take whatever stuff I want out of the apartment and bring it to Ray's house. Anything that I leave behind will be stored in their father's garage, where it could be confiscated by his insignificant other if she happens to take a liking to it. The problem is that Ray already has so much stuff laying around, that there is no room for any of MY stuff. There isn't even enough room for all of HIS stuff. Even his stuff has stuff. He is a sensitive, caring, romantic and sentimental man, which are some of the reasons that I love him. But these traits have caused him to become a major pack rat. I figured if I wanted to get rid of any of his stuff that I would have to do it while he was out of the house, and dispose of it in someone else's trash. "Honey? You didn't throw away an old, beat up teddy bear, did you?" It was under the bed, torn, tattered and dirty. What possible reason could he have to keep it? "My mother gave it to me last year. She said it was mine when I was little and I slept with it every night. She wanted me to have it in case anything happened to her. I had to take it after she told me that she kept that bear for over 45 years..." I have a sinking feeling that I will NEVER be able to live this little momentary lapse of judgment down...
Saturday, November 22, 2003
Lamps Plus wrote to me today to tell me that they have shipped the light fixture that I ordered. Great news... except that I ordered three light fixtures. I know it wasn't a typo cause they re-adjusted my bill so that I was only paying for one. It was very honest of them to do that, but I wanted to pay for 3 lights. That would be like booking a trip to Disney World only to find out that you're only going to Busch Gardens instead. You discover that you were only charged for a trip to Busch Gardens... you know that you'll still have a good time... but you wanted to go to DISNEY WORLD damn it! I wrote back to them. Hopefully they will be able to send the other two lights out right away. Since I woke up in a hopeful mood I might as well hope that the township will call on Monday to tell me that they have approved the plans for our front porch. And the Siding Guys will come back and power wash the house to remove all of the fingerprints that they left behind. And I won't look too fat in the dress that I'm going to wear to the wedding we were invited to tonight...
Thursday, November 20, 2003
I'm back from Atlanta. We were stuck in the airport for over 6 hours because of the weather, and I was almost bored to death. Luckily, I had a few Home Improvement magazines and mail order catalogs with me to read. We'll have to take out another loan just to pay for the things I want to order. While we were away my son Joe painted a few rooms in the house. What a difference a fresh coat of paint can make! Everything looks newer, cleaner and bigger. He also replaced many of the old light switches and electric outlets with new ones, and insulated them from drafts by using spray foam caulk around the edges. Lowes delivered the composite wood we are going to use to build the new front porch, but it will have to sit in our driveway until the township approves the plans. I hope no one steals the wood in the meantime. I don't think that I'll ever leave Home Depot, but I'm definitely having a fling with Lowes!
Sunday, November 16, 2003
Thursday, November 13, 2003
Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
Monday, November 10, 2003
Saturday, November 8, 2003
Thursday, November 6, 2003
Wednesday, November 5, 2003
The vinyl siding is almost done! When I pull into the driveway I can't believe that it's the same house! We still have to build the front porch, have the rain gutters put on and get exterior lights. Ray and I just have to come to an agreement as to which lights to use. He likes ultra-modern contemporary lights and I like the traditional kind. We're also limited in which kind we can pick by the space that the siding guys left for the light fixtures. I wish they would have consulted me first. The landscaper will also add his own garden and walk-way lights. I can't wait. In the meantime, we'll be busy inside. The master bathroom is finished. It looks great! I painted it a light brown first, but it didn't look as nice as I had hoped. I was afriad to use a dark brown cause the room was so small. I decided to just take a chance and I painted it a very dark brown. I can't tell you how nice it turned out! We're on to the laundry room now while we wait for the township to approve the plans for the front porch. We're going to tear out the wall between the old laundry room and the storage room next to it that was flooded by the pipe under the kitchen sink upstairs. OK... I'm going in!
Tuesday, November 4, 2003
These are the before and after pictures of the renovations we did to our house. Actually... it's not a renovation... it's more like a RESURRECTION!
Please click on the "View Larger" option. It will put the pics in an album so you can see the before and after effects side-by-side.
I will keep adding more pictures and updating old ones as we go along. Don't miss reading the story though!
Sunday, November 2, 2003
I realize that things don't always go as planned. It's not unusual to encounter obstacles, delays and unexpected expenses in life as well as home remodeling. BUT DOES EVERY SINGLE DAY HAVE TO BE THAT WAY? Can't there be one day that goes smoothly? I bought the sink and the cabinet base it attaches to for the master bathroom. Three times. Once I found a nicer cabinet, once the sink was too big for the base and once I discovered that the sink was chipped. I had to lug them up 3 flights of stairs each time. The linen closet came in a box with no less than a million pieces. Four of which were missing. Back to Home Depot once again to get replacements. I accidentally got some adhesive on the exterior vinyl wall of the corner shower while we were gluing it in place. I tried ammonia, nail polish remover, peroxide, toothpaste, Vaseline, Massengill and alcohol. The rubbing kind didn't remove the glue either, but the drinking kind made me feel a lot better. My son finally got it off with 10W40. The new sink and linen cabinet were a lot wider than the old sink had been and I feared that there wouldn't be enough room on that one side of the toilet now, as they were all on the same wall. It seemed OK to me when I sat down on it, but Ray said, "Honey? Look! I keep banging my right elbow on the sink when I turn the pages of the newspaper too fast!"
I told him to quit speed-reading and I poured myself another drink...