Climbing Out

I’ve been in a funk the last few days. I’m bored of it, so I’m climbing out.

Yesterday I prepped the last part of the living room for painting. It was a bit much. I basically had a ton of pictures and clocks stuck all over the place. When I didn’t know where to put something, I was just putting in a nail and hanging everything near my desk.

Now that it’s all clear, I’m thinking maybe it was contributing to the chaos in my head.

This is where I left it last night:

I was a little excited, because this represents the very last of the nasty beige blah in this house. Oh, wait, that’s not true. I still have 2 closets that need doing. But for areas I have to look at all the time, this gross soul sucking color is on its way out.

All those white spots were where something was at one time hanging. That’s a lot of chaos!

This morning after the Hubs left for work, I got right to painting.

Yes, I was working around all those obstacles! I think that is what took so long to get this done.

But done it is!

It’s like a big fat sigh of relief.

Now I’m weighing the options available for putting this back together. We’ve been kicking around some ideas of moving back into the guest room, and moving other furniture here and there. I kinda would prefer the dining room, but it’s pretty packed in there at present. I think staying here is my best option for the time being.

There are 4 outlets and 2 switches left to swap out, and that is the end of that chore.

While I was painting, I got a call from the ever-popular Anisha. It’s funny, in my head, I was composing my email to the owner of the company when my phone rang. How’s that for burning ears?

She reported the 3 items I’m waiting for are in. Only 10 weeks after they were due. We have set up an appointment for the 28th for someone to come and install 2 screens and fix the balance on the kitchen window – which means I’ll be able to open it by myself whenever I want and I won’t need a stick jammed into the frame to keep it open.

It’s the little things.

If this happens, the whole window ordeal will have only taken 62 weeks from order to completion. That has to be some sort of record someone is proud of!

So, to recap, next Tuesday I have the electrician and the window guy on site. I’m just waiting for Brandon to let me know Tuesday’s his only open day for months. I’ll have the trade trifecta! I actually hope he doesn’t do this, the chaos will be too great!

I almost forgot! We finished the AC in the shed. When I say “we” I mean the Hubs. I could not reach the top of it, so he had to do my part (caulk). But that is one more project off the list:

Super anti-climactic, right? But whatever, it was on the list and now it’s not.

Last but not least, I hung a stained glass dragonfly on my slider the other day. The tail is about 4 feet off the floor. Mayhem wanted that thing so badly!

So far, it’s still hanging there, but he has actually been able to touch it a few times so far. I am sure one day he will manage to get it to fall.

Damn kittens.

It’s December

Welcome to December! Last month of the year, we celebrate the birth of our King, and people are generally in a good mood. What is not to love?

To kick off the season, I made fudge today:

I’m gonna send some to Cat and hope she likes the kind with nuts!

I brought in some Christmas boxes:

I told myself I was going to bring it all in and use what I can in this house and donate the rest. When we were in the attic, I found myself on the steps saying, “No not that one…” a bunch of times! It wasn’t even December and I had already backed away from my plan.

In my defense, I was thinking I would not put ornaments on my tree because – kittens.

But yesterday I remembered it’s been about 3 Christmases since we left Richmond and for one reason or another, I have only put up a lighted tree and not much else.

And it’s been a little sad.

I’ve had about all the sad I can endure this year, so when the car leaves the garage, all the rest of the boxes are coming down. I’m doing both trees, ornaments, swag, the works.

Then this happened:

In Richmond I had a deep mantle, and I collected all these trees to fill it. It looked pretty good, too, But this here, it kinda looks like a perp walk at a local tree jail.

I’ll edit, futz with it, and see what I come up with.

I still am undecided on where to put the actual tree. The Hubs says in front of the fireplace, and with the tree line up happening, I’m inclined to agree! But I think I can find a better spot.

I’m listening to a randomized playlist of every piece of Christmas music I own. I have Pentatonix mixed in with TSO, the Nutcracker, Harry Connick, Jr, big band music, classical, pop, rock, and country. I wonder if I’ll get through the entire playlist this year.


I was outside yesterday doing yard stuff and I saw this:

I could not imagine what this was. It was too localized to be an accident, and when I went closer:

They seem to be dried peas. Seeds? But how did they get there? Did some enterprising squirrels make a pea dump? Will they be back later for them? Should I pick them up? Will that cause the perpetrator to starve over the long days of winter ahead? Did someone pour them over the fence? Why?

They are still there today, so I guess it wasn’t a squirrel. But why would someone do this? Every so often we find bottles or some piece of trash someone has thrown over the fence. But seeds? If I leave them will I have snap peas in the spring?

And finally, I have window news.

Tuesday the inspector came. And failed us pretty much immediately. After being assured it would not matter if the kitchen window weights weren’t here, that is what he failed us on!

I’m not gonna lie, I was kind of giddy about it.

On the other hand, if we never pass inspection, we can’t sell the house.

I waited til this morning to call the company.

My favorite person, Anisha, answered.

You know how there are really unpleasant people in the world? They can say “good morning” and it just sounds bitchy? Yeah, well, Anisha is one of those people. I put on my nice-as-pie voice and asked her if the weight was on order. She said “Of course it is.” And were the screens? Of course. And they’ll be out long before the 160 days til the permit runs out, and after they fix it all, they’ll schedule the inspection.

I thanked her and told her to have a wonderful afternoon.

What can I say, I’m a giver.

Of course I do not believe a word she said.

I Know The Key

Stunningly, the key to getting something to happen is to quit caring.

Over the weekend, I decided I didn’t care if my windows were ever installed.

An endless 39 weeks later, the installers arrived this morning promptly at 8:15. To say I was shocked is an understatement. I had fully expected Anisha to shuffle me to the bottom of the pile after our last chat.

Am I giving her any grace about it?


If I were her I would have moved every appointment around to fit me in so I could be rid of me. And that is probably what she did.

Anyway, the nicest guys were here doing the work. They were kind and helpful and answered every question and concern.

And now they are gone. I have to wait for the inspector to arrive before I can take stickers off the glass.

That parts sucks.

And the fact that 2 screens are missing – one on the slider, and the kitchen window won’t stay up. But I am ssured those will be fixed within 6 weeks. Which is funny because between now and then there are 3 holidays.

But, with my newfound powerful knowledge, I don’t care.

But I kinda do because until then I can’t leave my slider open to get fresh air in here.


So here is a little show of what we’ve waited so long to see.

Office before and after:

Slider before and after:

The frames on these windows are much larger than the old aluminum windows. But they are so easy to open and close, and the screens are tight (the ones we have), and it’s so very quiet in here. We should be nice and energy efficient as well.

We also got a new front door, but I’m not ready to totally reveal that yet. But I will share this:

This is the old door. It let in a ton of light and air! And bugs, I’m sure.

This is the new door, nice and snug:

I wanted them to add my door knocker, but they said it would void the warranty. I almost said I didn’t care as I really would not love dealing with this company ever again. But in the end, I did not have them install it.

I thought it was going to be white and I would have time to do the painting, but it’s this awful shade of BLAH both inside and out, so all of a sudden, painting rocketed up to the top of the list! I’ll probably do the inside tomorrow while the Hubs is at work, but the outside will have to wait because it involves a tarp and leaving the door open, so the weather has to cooperate.

I have not yet seen it from the outside, I am almost afraid to look!

Friday was the last 80 degree day we’re gonna have for a while, so naturally, we hit the beach:

It was super windy and the water was raucous.

Some enterprising beach goer left this:

The wind made this:

The setting sun made these ripples look really cool:

Last but not least, the Hubs really came through for the anniversary! On the sly he acquired a piece of local art I had my eye on.

Meet Pelican Pete!

The F’ing Window Saga Continues

I just got a call from the lovely Anisha who schedules the window installs. I’m sure you recall that 2 weeks ago during the arrival window, she called and cancelled. She promised to send 2 crews on the 11th to get this job done.

Yesterday I called and confirmed that yes, we were good to go for tomorrow.

So imagine my utter shock when my phone rang this morning!

While she was making excuses and cancelling my appointment, I felt my blood pressure rising.

She wants to reschedule for Monday.


She explained there was a week long job that isn’t finishing, and a 2-day job that turned into 3.

This sounds a lot like a YOU problem.

I asked if I could count on Monday.

And she just went OFF.

I told her this was frustrating and ridiculous.

She started not-so-calmly explaining shit to me.

Let’s be clear:

I HATE when someone says one thing and does another.

I F’ING HATE when that same someone starts explaining why they are doing the other thing and telling me I have no right to be upset.

You have been jerking me around for MONTHS! I get to be frustrated.


You can rest assured you’ll be getting a review from me after my windows get here. You can also be sure your owner will get a letter naming names.

Do I think anything will change?


What are the odds my windows will be installed Monday?

ZERO. I have NO expectations.

She had the NERVE to tell me she would call me over the weekend if there was a problem because SHE’S ALWAYS WORKING.

Again, YOU problem.

Clearly, you SUCK at your job Anisha.

I think I will get a call over the weekend telling me the crew ran into a problem and there’s no way they can start Monday.

Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t you deliver my windows and door? I’ll hold on to them while you work out your issues. And in the meantime, I will hire someone to install them.

And here is the hilarious part:

I know in my heart that the reason she keeps canceling is because my windows are not in their warehouse yet.

I should NEVER have ordered these windows from this company.

If they EVER show up to install, I am going to be SO fricking picky about every little thing it will surprise me if they don’t walk off the job.

I thought this would make me feel better, but in fact I am still shaking with RAGE.

The Window Saga

It’s no secret that this house is a dud. It’s been basically a soup-to-nuts situation of trying to get this place back from neglect-Hell.

And we kinda knew this going in.

We planned new floors and new windows when we bought the place.

Well, new floors got installed – the day before we moved in.

New windows. Not so much. In fact, I knew there would be a delay getting them, so I made an appointment to get them ordered as soon as I could. It took weeks to work out the details and get the measure guy out the house. We sent in the down payment, and got a letter back dated March 4th.

That is the date we’ve been working from. The estimate was 18-32 weeks for install. But I’m told it’s usually no more than 24 weeks.

OK, not ideal, but there was not really a lot of choice.

In June, I realized the light switch for the back slider was on the opposite side from the opening. I figured I was well within my timeframe, the windows should not even be in production yet. I called the sales guy to ask if we could change the opening.


OK, not great. So I called the office (I don’t do well with no) to see what they would say. Their answer was, “Well, they are in production, and we expect them on July 11th.”

I like this answer, even if I am not getting my way.

Fast forward to July 18th. I have not heard a peep, so I call for an update. I’m nice as pie because I still think I’m getting my windows.

This time I get told there is a new target, August 11. What happened to already in production?

I’m getting windows for my birthday!

Yeah, I think you know where this is going.

My birthday comes and goes. Hell, I gave them an entire birth MONTH in which to hit the target.


Feeling sassy, I email. Then I call. And call again. And again.

Each time I am told someone will get back to me. No one does.

I call again. We’re in the car on our way home from someplace. I don’t know why I felt this was an appropriate time to call, but WTH.

There is an older woman who answers their phones. She’s nice but short with me. I get bounced around on several holds. It’s hot. I’m not happy.

I lose my shit.

All over this sweet old lady.

She says she’ll email Brian. I snap, “Email him twice because you people have been ignoring me for over a week and I’m pissed off.”

And then I try to save it by wishing her a nice weekend. But I didn’t mean it.

How freaking lame am I? The Hubs was like, “Um…”

And then I felt so bad. I feel like I should call her back and apologize. The Hubs advises against it.


The following Monday, I get a call from Brian. And I’m so stupid, I think it’s the window manager. I have an entire conversation, very genial, even though I am told there’s been a setback and he has NO IDEA what the new target date is. He says he thinks it’ll probably be 3 weeks. WTF happened to already in production?

We hang up. I mark my calendar to wait 6 weeks before I call back.

I start thinking about the conversation and realize I had been talking to the sales guy.

For the love of…

Of course he has no idea when they will be delivered.

I decide I’m definitely NOT going to apologize to the lady. I don’t go as far as to hope she had a shit weekend, but close.

Spin forward 6 weeks. It’s now 3 October.

I send a nicely worded text to Brian asking for an update.

And oh boy did I get one!

“Good morning. I’m not going to speak negatively about them, but there were too many things I could not live with, so I left (co name) 2 weeks ago.”

As Big Sister would say…


So I get on the phone to the company. Thank God the lady who answers is not the old lady! She puts me on hold so I can speak to the sales manager. Hilton.

I shit you not. I could not make that one up.

Eventually, Hilton gets on the phone, “Hello?”


And I start channeling the Hubs:

Name, issue, waiting, unhappy, etc. A whole 2 minutes of verbal diarrhea.

And yes, I was kicking myself the entire time because I have basically just handed this asshat all he needs to know about me to pat me on the head.

He says, “I’ve got your file right here, I’m gonna put the phone down and see what it says.”

Kick Kick kick

I can hear paper shuffling. He gets back on and tells me just last week he got an update from the window manufacturer. They say 18 October, just 2 short weeks away. Then of course it’ll be 2-3 weeks more to schedule the install.

Out of my mouth are reasonable sounds. In my head I am screaming, “LIAR!” over and over and over.

I did ask if he was at all confident in this estimate. He answers “70%”

October 18th comes and goes.

On the 21st, I’m getting ready to go outside and do some raking but my phone rings.

And proving there IS in fact an all powerful and loving God, it’s Anisha. She tells me the windows are in and she has an opening next week.

Before I even hear what she has to say, I say, “YES.”

She schedules us for the 27th and 28th of October. In just one week my window project will be complete.

Assuming no drama occurs between then and now.

And now you are up to date on this ridiculous situation. And only 34 weeks later. Just a short 2 weeks after that outside target date which I was assured I would never get to.

I am sort of expecting someone to show up between 8-9 tomorrow morning. I’ll be a little shocked if someone actually does. I am assuming a 3-4 man crew. The Hubs is betting on one 60+ year old guy.

Update… 8:28am. Phone rings. The Hubs answers.

Bottom line: No windows.

Rescheduled to 11 November.

Sure. Pull the other one.

And the Week Finally Ends

It’s been a whirlwind week of filth, mold, and progress. OK, the progress part is a myth. I actually feel like I’ve made zero progress. My body, however, has been making me remember I am no longer 30. What the heck was I thinking taking this on?!

But it’s mine now, so I have to press ahead. The floors got measured today. Today? I thought that was yesterday? So did I! In fact, when I called yesterday at 1:30 to ask where the guy was, they made up some stupid story about how my order got shuffled to Friday’s pile. Well, upshot is, he showed up this morning, but I won’t hear from the company til Monday, maybe, about when these floors will be installed. The hubs suggested we go to another place and see if they have any sense of urgency.


Oh! The window! I have some disgusting window pics for you!

Seriously? You are supposed to clean these now and then!
After some bleach
And here’s where I quit

The hubs looked over my work, deemed it halfassed (with which I agree) and announced he’d be over there Saturday and get these windows cleaned. There’s like 8 of them in all, so I will prioritize them for him and set him cleaning! YAY! That means I have the day off!

And while he was there, he installed the new hardware on the front door. I refer to it as the lipstick on the pig. See if you agree:

Beat up door, newish lock

This is the pig. It’s been patched badly, needs painting, and we think the tenants took the keys when they left. So I bought a new lockset, and the wrong inside part.

Lipstick on the pig

And just like that, there is a stunning lockset on the door! Don’t you just love the little keyhole cover? If I can find one, I’m thinking about adding a twist doorbell.

After it takes me a week to decide on the new color, the Hubs will decide to get a new door. Actually, he’s making new door noises already, but with the ridiculous delays we’re facing I am going to paint the pig and make it pretty til there is a new door.

upside down lever

Here is the inside. What you can’t see is 20 paint chips taped to the door to help me decide what color it will be. I had a front runner, but today I decide it’s ugly and threw away the chip. Only 18 more to eliminate! I guess I really am making progress!

I finished cleaning the master bathroom today. I got a tip from YouTube about cleaning the tub and decided to try it… I mixed baking soda with Dawn and a little water to a paste. Then wax-on wax-off. After about an hour, I started to consider maybe taking a shower in there someday. I really wish I had a pic of the way it looked originally. The bottom was black.

I am not exaggerating at all. The entire bottom of the tub was just black. It was very perplexing. Like, do they not shower in here? Do they not SEE that? Who ARE these people that they would live like that??? Before we closed they had professional cleaners come and “clean” so it was almost normal looking from across the room. But when you got up close you could tell it was not clean. I took pics, but they don’t convey the gross. I want to get the name of the cleaners so I can NEVER use them!

This is before, it’s just dull and splattered with paint and … other stuff
Now it’s all shiny and clean, inside and out!

I will say, the paste works like a charm, I was even able to get most of the paint splatters off. I banished the mold and the yuk, but I didn’t take a pic of the bottom, because it was just clean.

I have to admit, in spite of this really big win, the toilet seat bested me. I can not get the one on it off, and I cannot figure out how to put the new one on. Sheesh. Why is it so hard? Oh, I know! So the Hubs can feel needed!

Well, I guess that’s enough for now.

Drumroll, Please

As it turns out, I know me pretty well. I was up and at it pretty early this morning, ready to attack and conquer. I packed up the car, I had a plan, I had a list. I drove over to the house. I took pictures I will dribble out over time. I unpacked the car. I put on some music.

And I went into the hall bath (insert screeching halt sound here).

The toilet was running. And not a long distance run either, this thing was sprinting! The Hubs suggested I jiggle the handle. Which made it worse. My idea was to ignore it. Yeah, that always works out for me, I’ll do that. I put some Comet into the bowl, I scrub up the whole thing, inside and out (can I just say here how much I hate teenage boys?). But I’ve got gloves, this isn’t going to best me. I use liberal amounts of bleach, a toothbrush (not mine), and get it all cleaned up. I thought about getting my black light, but in the end, I chickened out.

OK, that’s done. I’m less grossed out. But it’s still running. Next brilliant idea: Take off the lid and see what’s going on in there (yeah, I’m a plumber, I’ll be able to figure it out). So I lift off the cover:

You did not expect me to take this bullet alone, did you?
Yummy, right?

And back out with the bleach and toothbrush:

Much better

Just ignore the corners on the floor, that will all be gone soon enough.

But I still had to stick my hand in there and feel that slippery flapper doohickey and press it down to get it to stop running. I am thinking the whole dumafloppy assembly should be replaced. But that is up to the Hubs.

Then I moved onto the vanity.

Oh shoot, I didn’t take any pictures of that. Suffice to say caulk around your sink is pretty important. I cleaned it all up and toyed with the idea of just replacing the whole vanity. But already costs are adding up. I’ll clean it again, and re-caulk it and live with it. For a while.

This is where I started to get overwhelmed. Or maybe just delirious from inhaling bleach! I took some time and made a new list:

To Do

Hard to believe, but to me, lists are the best things ever. Some people look at a list and feel hopeless. I feel like now, this is do-able, I can handle this.

OK that’s not exactly true. At this point, I am pretty much over this bathroom. But do I call a plumber? Do I look for new vanities? Do I close the door and ignore it?

I didn’t close the door, but I did switch my focus to the office. It’s really an easy one… clean it up, fix the walls, get it ready for paint. Oh, wait… the window…

Office Window

The blind is pretty much hanging by good will. All that black shit you can’t really see is mold. Oh, and there is some issue with it where it won’t lock. It’s gotta get done. Fast. I have a shop vac, I have bleach, I have rags and scrub brushes. I’m ready.

So what do I do instead? I text the Hubs:

Can I come home now?

I’ve been “working” for like 90 minutes and already I’m over it. I did make a list. It’s about half what the first one was. I’ll tackle that tomorrow.

Oh stop laughing. I will.

I did stop by the thrift store on my way home to see if they had a crock pot. Nope. But they did have a lovely aluminum pan… but I didn’t have any cash on me. I’ll have to go back tomorrow. Why do I want a pot? Why, to boil my hardware of course! Doesn’t everyone? I am anxious to try this, supposedly it’s a great way to clean up old hardware. If there is one place this has to work, it’s in this house. I’m hoping to save hinges, door knobs (maybe), pulls and latches.

Anyway… This is already a little bit long, so I’ll leave you with this last image:

What on Earth?

I’m a little afraid to ask what the heck kind of apparatus this is. Inviting huh? Schedule your stay at my place soon!!! HA HA HA!