Monday, September 23, 2013

my faith is being restored in human kindness.

When I said that I wasn't sure how this whole renovating thing was going to go, I wasn't lying. I wasn't fooled to believe it would be a smooth, well oiled machine, that would actually be completed in the time I was told it would be completed. We have been very fortunate though in that no BIG problems arose during the renovations- i.e. termites, mold, super big construction issues etc. However, that isn't to say that annoyances, frustrations and completely aggravating situations have not arisen.

Appliances were ordered and scheduled to be delivered early in September until a request made by the contractor to change the date came along to which I obliged, which turned into Sears having to refund my appliance delivery charges, no tip for the delivery men, and a super aggravated me. It was endless, no one was there to accept delivery, they couldn't deliver as promised, no one on Sears' end answered the phone, blah, blah, blah. Needless to say, they are in and they are fabulous.

I decided to get a shower door [stupid move], because we got some money back when we had to reorder a new toilet, one that would fit more appropriately in our bathroom. That took way too long and cost WAY to much, it looks amazing though, nothing obstructing the view of my wonderfully retro bath tiles.

To closet system or to not closet system? well, this was a decision that I should have simply made for our bedroom closet and not both bedrooms because, our closet system purchased at the amazing Container Store worked out great for our bedroom and stupidly for the guest. Resulting in 3 trips to the store and a nice little fight between RB and I about putting the damned thing together. Once our stuff is in, I'm not worried too much about what it looks like, I simply want to utilize the space to it's maximum capacity.

All I really needed wanted was a farmhouse sink. It's an odd thing I know, but I envision babies bathing in it for some odd reason. It's homey and rich with style, I love them. I didn't care the size, and my blessed plumbing guy asked me about a million times to be SURE on the size. I check with the designer a million and one times on the size and sure as shit it was too big for the space. I was LIVID. I was so angry, not simply because I asked a million and one times, not because I looked like an idiot to my plumbing supply guy, not because I had to now order a size down, not that I even had to postponed the measuring/template of my counter top by 2 weeks, but because I had to pay the restocking fee on this enormous sink that was mistakenly ordered and it wasn't my fault! This wasn't the first time my designer/contractor made a mistake that cost me time, and money, remember the appliances above, yeah, because of him, I almost got a divorce- not really, but you know what I mean.

I decided I would tell him of my aggravation and complete and utter disappointment. He had nothing to respond to me with. When the head contractor/owner/carpenter picked up the new sink, and shower door, he paid for these items. When he and I were talking about it, he said, I paid, so we can work that into your final payment later. I replied with, "oh great, thanks, you saved me a check to write. how much was it again?' I knew full well how much it was but I was fishing to see if he would ask for more money. To my surprise and restoration in human kindness, he said, "well, you have to pay for the shower door, it was $xx plus tax, but since *Tim messed up big time with the sink, and that's not your fault at all, I'm going to take it out of his cut." with a slight chuckle, he looked at me, and I was overwhelmed. I said thank you, and mentioned how thoughtful that was, and he simply said that it "wasn't a problem, and it's what you do".

The head contractor has also decided to fix our vestibule floor free of charge, for having the renovations take so long and not having things goes as on schedule as he would have liked. This is a nice human, and maybe, maybe, most people would have done the same thing, and maybe he's playing me so that he can not hear me complain or whatever anymore, but he didn't have to do any of it. I would have complained, but still paid for the restocking fee, and the vestibule floor. But he didn't. He restored my faith in human kindness, in that people want to do nice things. It means a lot and Karma is working it's way around.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

time flies when you're still wearing Birkenstocks

I'm still trying to catch up, find that rhythm i'm used to, being in Paradise for two weeks threw me off. We are on week 5 of living out of our home, it's interesting, mostly because now I'm worried I have to readjust to not living at home when this is all over. I love it here. As much as I miss my [our] own space, I truly love it at my parents house. Don't be fooled though into thinking that it's because of home cooking, or mom doing my laundry because that's a far cry from reality. Cooking is a shared chore in this house, I cook at least 2 times a week, I've been doing my own laundry since I could see the agitator inside the washing machine [age 7] and their dryer is broke. needless to say, those are some of the drawbacks, sharing the guest bed with RB, and living out of a suitcase, wearing sandals [still], is also a draw back.

being with the 3 people I love most in the world everyday AND my old pup, that's really the highlight. sure, I'm 32 and it's a little cramped here, and I haven't slept well in over a month, it's still pretty great being here.

Being at work isn't fun, at all. I don't teach, and that isn't for lack of trying. Between the new standards for students and teachers, and how we are being rated, the amount of paperwork required of us now is worse than ever. How can it be considered teaching when I'm too busy trying to prove to the city, state, and anyone outside of my building, why my students can't learn certain things. Alas, I digress.

Taking 3 classes this semester just pits the cherry on top of the things to get through on my "to-do" list.

With all that being said, I'm really, and truly, fine and dandy. I mean, I have my moments of, "I want to punch this person in the throat", but when isn't that the case.

So, here we are, weather getting chilly, I'm still in open toed birkenstocks, and we should be here for a least a few more weeks, between the floors and the painting, we are close, but not done. I figure you're all welcome for a visit around Thanksgiving- I should be ready by then for guests. RB and I are running real low on cash, which isn't something I am used to at all, but in a year, we'll be up and running like our usual selves, I presume.

I know, you're reading this hoping for a photo update of what our blissful living space looks like. look no further...
Kitchen on Monday

The wall with those double closets in the LR

Our Closet

Guest/Spare Bedroom

Bathroom (toilet not pictured)

Kitchen/LR entry as of today

Kitchen (as of today)

Kitchen as of today

Monday, September 9, 2013

go to Hawaii. That's a direct order.

I have traveled to plenty of places on this green earth to make such a bold and direct bossy-like statement. I have seen beautiful, interesting, and historic places on this earth and I still INSIST you go to Hawaii at least once in your lifetime.

Hanalei Kauai, Hawaii

Na' Pali Coast By Air

Duke's Oceanfest One Mile Open Water Swim
My favorite places that we saw there were Hanalei and all of Kauai, Paia in Maui, including the hike down Haleakala- a volcano who just might erupt within the next 1,000 years. Kailua, Oahu, beautiful beaches.

We did so much, and nothing all at the same time. The sun was amazing, the people are great, the food is delicious. I wasn't worried that RB wouldn't like it, I wasn't worried that being with my family for the majority of the trip would be an issue. I was pleasantly surprised by RB's enthusiasm to do things everyday, and wish he was in better shape to enjoy more of what Hawaii had to offer, I was pleasantly surprised by his growth in fondness for my family so much so that when we arrived on Oahu by ourselves he told me repeatedly that he missed them and wished they were with us still. 

I was feeling anxious over a one mile open swim race that I had registered for on Waikiki beach, because I hadn't been swimming all that often, other than that one race I did in July (finishing 3rd in my age group I might add), but after that it was limited swim training let alone, open water swim training. I didn't vomit in the beautiful Pacific, like I thought I might, and I didn't go as fast as I would have liked, but I did break 30 minutes, and finish 10th in my age group. 

RB and I have made the decision that this place is for us. We talk about keeping our tiny city apartment and saving for a Hawaiian getaway. We discuss going there on vacation from now until we find somewhere else to be. We love that place, and I can completely understand how and why my parents continue to go back. 

I know that I'll make it back to Paris eventually, but for now, I'm good with discovering all Hawaii has to offer me.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Where did August run to?

living room view from kitchen

So I am not sure how or when it happened, but summer is pretty much over. I'm sad about it on a variety of levels. Level 1: I love summer, I love the sun, and beach, and working out and the food. Level 2: I usually plan my time better to get the most out of the summer days and I didn't do that this summer. The stress of moving, coordinating contractors, and things for renovations, a new position this summer; which I must admit was hard work, but I loved it, taking two online courses that were supposed to be not as time consuming as they turned out to, and finally going on vacation which includes planning and packing of it's own, I barely saw the beach, or sleep, or anything, and it isn't as though I have much to show for it.

hallway to bedroom and bath
with that being said I bring you to my "nightmare". It's REALLY not that bad, I promise, and I am positive that I can think of eighty different ways that these renovations could be worse in 10 seconds, however, it is certainly one of the most inconvenient things EVER. In an ideal situation, the renovations should have been done prior to us living there, but, lets face it, that would be too easy. we do not do easy, we do interesting, incredibly annoying, ridiculously stupid, fall down, laugh out loud pathetic, and sometimes utterly outrageous, but never easy. (I suppose it's better that way, makes for a more interesting life). anyway, renovations began the day after we left for Hawaii- You must go to Hawaii, thats an order. It was a Wednesday and here are a few things we were told; your bathroom will take 5-7 days, so it will be done by the time you return, the gutting of the place will be done as well and you could stay if you need to. HA HA HA HA. Hilarious. I have to admit I thought these guys would be miracle workers if that happened, and you guessed it, none of them are the next messiah.

tiny bath
do you really want to know that scope of work I am referring too? total gutting of kitchen and bathroom, new electrical, new appliances, kitchen floor, bathroom EVERYTHING, fix walls, windows, base boards, all doors need to be replaced and closets reconstructed. You know, something small and easy. I'm sure I am missing something, but does it really matter? It's supposed to take 4-5 weeks. we are currently in the middle of week three.

I still have no toilet.
guestroom/office bedroom

ugh, i can't even

master "suite"

living room view #1 from bathroom
we cannot turn on the air conditioners because of saw dust and dirt.

living room view #2

kitchen view #1 from living room
all my furniture is there, and filthy.
kitchen view from window end

kitchen view from back end
I have nothing in the kitchen. I barely have lights that work. I do however, have a new ceiling. I will have a toilet this week, maybe, and an almost completed kitchen by friday. I know nothing looks that bad in the photos, but I tell you this place was the closest thing to a shit hole as I get. between the dirt, and the dead mickey's, the cigarette and weed smoke wafting in through a hole in a kitchen cabinet from our neighbor and the cockroach that you could throw a saddle on and ride, it was horrible. It will be great, and beautiful and all those other things. For now, it's a work in progress.

So nothing says welcome home from 2 amazing weeks on vacation in Paradise like, "oh you can't live here yet, guess you'll have to find some place to go in the meantime" like your home being a construction zone. for the last 2 weeks (this tuesday) we will have been living at my parents, out of suitcases, and in their guest bedroom. Wednesday marks week 4 of renovations, and I might have to loose my shit, should it go beyond week 5... only time will tell.

check back in December for finish product pics! ha ha. maybe if you behave i'll post "in progress pics" but those are all blurry.