Happy Monday……

We worked a lot of hours over the weekend at the Milwaukee street house…we are now officially at the ugliest stage before it starts to get pretty.

I worked on the prep on the windows in our room to paint…I wasn’t satisfied so I really got after them.  I sanded them, put wood putty in the holes where all the drapery hardware had been through the last 100 years…and sanded them again.  Inside our closet….what can I say…I am so over stripping wall paper from every room in that house over the last thirty years and the wall paper in the closest actually laughed at me and said you can’t paint me….of course I stepped up to the challenge and said the hell I can’t!

I knew through putting joint compound on a screw hole that moisture would make some of it (top two layers) come loose.   So I did what anyone that was tired of stripping wall paper would do….I spray painted it to seal it prior to painting…I will let you know how that works.

After a final wipe down of the woodwork, I deem the woodwork ready to prime in that room and closets ready to prime….next work trip in.  We have been doing such time consuming, tedious things, that I am very ready to see results, even if it is only priming the woodwork in one bedroom.  After that is primed and painted, I will plastic it off and get the texture gun out and texture it and then paint it.  Then I will head to the next room…probably should be the west bedroom.  We will take the carpet out ahead of McKenney building the closet in that room…then we will buy carpet to match the other two bedrooms.

We will have to patch the pipe holes- where the radiators came up through the floors yet, the list is long…..and the more I think about it, the crazier I feel…so I will concentrate on finishing the one room…and not let my mind wander to the extent of getting overwhelmed…

My friend Tami stopped by yesterday and picked up the original front door that we had.  She will clean it up and put it to use as a door at her house.  Perfect!

She got a full visual of our chaos at the Milwaukee street house…describing the chaos in words must not have done it justice!  She was somewhat stunned at the resulting water damage.  She understands transformation and what you can do with a house and she was even a tad overwhelmed at the magnitude of the project we didn’t want!  But, I will keep in my mind how it will look when it is done…it will be clean, nice, new, and best yet…FOR SALE.  (Although I still love the charm it holds)

Time to hit this day, time to be grateful that we are making progress, be grateful that we have jobs and that we have this life to live.  Many things to give thanks for.  By concentrating on the things we are thankful for, it makes the obstacles seem less…



We worked at the Milwaukee street house until 7 on Friday…Jeff started early, I worked til noon and then joined him.  All the radiators are free from the pipes that bound them.  I have a guys name and phone number to call on Monday to see if he wants them…and to see if he has 6 or 8 NFL linebackers to get them out of the house.  The radiator in the dining room is about 24 inches high and like 7 or 8 ft long.  Jeff used a prybar to lift an edge at a time so I could put sliders under the feet.  With a large tow rope, him pulling, and me pushing, we moved it about 5 ft.  Just a guess, but he thinks it is near a 1000 lbs.

I was scrubbing woodwork in our bedroom upstairs getting it ready to paint..I thought this is a “small” radiator…I will just inch it away from the wall.  Ha ha!  I did my best and it did not even acknowledge that I had touched it….holy crap is all I have.  There are 9 radiators, with 5 of the 9 being upstairs.

Today, I will scrub the wood work around our windows in our bedroom, and hope to get the woodwork primed…then I will work in the two closets and get them ready to prime.

The main floor work won’t start until the radiators are out………………….ugg.

So we will work upstairs and in the basement, getting those spaces all fresh and ready to sell…the damage to floors/carpet were limited to two bedrooms and the bathroom upstairs so we will put new carpet in the third bedroom on our own dime.

It is a slow go, but I think we are just about over the ugly hump and things will start improving quickly.  Time to do some laundry and start this day..

Summer is waning

It has been a crazy short summer in my opinion…how I long for the boredom of summer days I had when I was a kid!  I can’t remember the last time I was bored…

Our days are filled with work, which by the way, I am glad we are able body enough to do.  I always find it interesting to hear my teacher friends lamenting about going back to school…God bless teachers, but please don’t complain about having to go back to work after having the summer off.  There are many of us that work well over 40 hours a week every week, many of us spend our own money for work, and many of us have to have continuing education every year.  I am grateful for my job and am grateful for the opportunity.  My profession chose me….and you chose to be a teacher.  God bless you and as you start the school year, please know that you are blessed.  Please know we  appreciate you and Please find something positive to say on social media about going back to the classroom.  Remember, social media follows you and your students may very well follow you as well and learn from your example..so spread something positive.

Now that I have ruffled some feathers…

I started watching a little of Marley and me last night on TV…I knew how it ended, so I quit watching after a little bit, nothing sadder than a dog story.. Terri came over last night and I got to visit with her.  She is a ball of energy….and I am not a ball of energy in the evenings (see the whole work over 40 hours a week above). She has been doing a lot of photography and has a ton of baby pictures in her portfolio.  She has a good eye.

Today is Travis’ Birthday!  Happy Birthday Travis!! I am certainly not old enough to have  a 29 year old…. Love you bud!

Time to embrace this day, give it what i have…and embrace the weekend that starts tomorrow!


Living the dream in midwest paradise.

So fun fact of the day…there is approximately 200 ft of piping (just in the basement) for our radiator heating system.  I say this because Jeff & I spent the weekend taking out the said 200 feet of piping.  We drained the system but there was still some water in the pipes..the first cut was a gusher.   I had a large tote handy and we waited about 20 minutes for the approximate 5 gallons to drain out of that one.  Thank goodness for good blades and a good sawzall…

We had a stack of 2×4 studs down there to do a project that got derailed years and years ago because life basically got in the way.  I carried those all out and Jeff had to move a light switch upstairs.  It was right where the duct work was going up.  Together, we got a lot of stuff done this weekend.  We have a lot more to do to get the radiators ready to move.  The basement looks really different without all the pipes.

As we worked this weekend, I told Jeff that I still love the house on Milwaukee Street…but I DO NOT miss all the stairs.  It was hot on Saturday, and we were both soaked through with sweat.  I had had a fan in the upstairs bathroom that we had running to help dry out the moisture from the winter fiasco of the boiler quitting.  I grabbed that fan and put it on us in the basement..it seriously felt like I turned on the air conditioning.

Zomer has all the ducts ran in the attic to all the rooms upstairs.  I have to say, I was pretty excited about that!  I think is this an ideal job for him.  I told him we have until winter to get it done- so he can work on it and still take his normal jobs.  It is a win win for all of us I would say.  The new windows should be here for the kitchen in a couple of weeks and Doug McKenny will get those in.  I am waiting for Rainbow to call with their final estimate so they can get going on tearing out the floors on the main floor.

We have given thought on the replacement flooring and will make a final decision when the floors are out.  We are leaning towards a hardwoodlook laminate throughout the entire main floor.  We will see how that goes.  If we can’t do that, then we will do similar to what was there.  Do 1/2 in laminate and 1/2 in carpet.

We worked yesterday for just over 8 hours there and when we were done at 5 we came home and I did all the laundry and put it away…it was a work filled weekend.

Saturday we worked there for at least 8 hours.  Rushed home, got showered and headed out to golf with friends.  We sat and visited afterwards and got home just before 11 pm.  I crawled into bed and slept like I was dead.  Jeff said we had a storm come through that was insane.  He got up and watched it for a while…I did not hear a thing.  He said my gosh woman- it sounded like a freight train and the thunder even shook the house and bed…Yep, didn’t hear a thing!  I was exhausted..

Time to hit this day and embrace it!  I have so many things to be thankful for and I need to remind myself of that daily.

The finer things in life……

I am not cultured..but I do get to spend the next two days with our grandson Cade!  To me, that is the finer things in life!

Friday night, I got home from work.  We babysat our foster ganddog Molly.  Terri and Cody were headed for Nebraska for a weekend of fun with friends.  Molly is a good dog and still has a lot of puppy left in her.  We kenneled her in the entry way and headed for the Milwaukee street house and loaded up old paint and TVs.  I had studied up on the hazardous waste drop off facility in Sioux Falls.  They take paint, oil and other household hazards.  They also take electronics.  You are limited to 5 electronics per calendar year.  So Jeff & I loaded up totes of old paint.  30 years of accumulation for us plus probably 7 partial gallons that were left from Mom’s house.  All in all, I think we had over 40 partial gallons.  Between the paint (in totes) and the oversized TVs and two computer monitors we had a pick up load.  I left for Sioux Falls at 7:30 am and Jeff headed to Marion with his pickup and trailer to get some auction stuff he had bought.

I headed to Sioux Falls and took the new highway 100 to Rice street, then to Cliff Ave.  That new highway is impressive.  Of course being it was early on a Saturday, it was deserted.  I headed to Chambers street.  I had our old white pickup, I was dressed in work clothes and looked like the redneck that I strive to be.  The guy at the facility scanned my license and asked where all that stuff came from…I said- that my friend, is 30 years of accumulation.  They don’t let you out of the vehicle…so I happily sat inside the truck thinking YES! I do not have to unload!!  They sent 7 dried up paint cans home with me…that works.  When the totes were loaded, we didn’t pay attention to the weight of the cans, we just loaded all the paint cans in the totes..

I headed up to the habitat re-store after the drop off.  It was 8:30 and they didn’t open until 9.  I went to the least sketchy gas station on north cliff and got a pop and went to the bathroom and headed back to the re-store.  They opened and I went in and looked around.  I had measurements for cabinets.  They get some stellar ones in there at times….Saturday was apparently not the time…. but I did note that there was trim that would work well in the kitchen at the Milwaukee house.. I just need to make a bigger, better list.

When I got home, I just got out of the pickup and Jeff pulled in with his pickup and trailer.  We got his stuff unloaded, took the lids off the dried paint cans and tossed them in the garbage can.

I guess Cade must have came before I posted the above yesterday!  He is such a good baby.  He managed to entertain me all day.  We took a few naps in the recliner and babbled at each other when we were awake.  He told me stories for hours.  Not that I am partial…but he is so much fun!  It gave me pause for thought…I will never get these moments with him back..so the dishes remained undone, the bills not paid…and I didn’t care, it was Cade and I’s day and we made the most of our time together.  We went to the Senior Center and the ladies oohed and ahhed appropriately over him.  I wanted LeAnn to meet this little guy.  She got all teary eyed and made me all teary eyed.  I was going to take Cade in the Mustang, he would be the 4th generation to tool around in that car.  But seeing as how these new car seats are different than the old ones we had used…I wasn’t sure I could fasten it properly in the car….so that will happen another day.  I felt very blessed to have the day with Cade and am looking forward to spending today with him too.

He will be 5 months old next month.  He is in the 95th -99th percentile for everything.  He is a big, strong baby.  He is now rolling over and is just a gem.  I like being a grandma..and I think Cade likes me too.

Hoosier our cat, is a bit put out…we had Terri & Cody’s foster dog Molly this weekend.  Molly is so sweet, real easy going nice dog.  So the cat tolerated that our attention was elsewhere this weekend…but she had no idea that Cade was coming to visit during the day for a couple of days..and she is seriously insulted.  Tomorrow she will get back on her schedule.

Time to slurp down another cup of coffee and wait for Cade.  So many blessings in my life.  Today, Cade will have a spa day- the kitchen sink is ready for his bath..and then we will have tons of snuggles and giggles.  Time to give lots of thanks for all in my life.


Too funny…

I got home from golf last night and Jeff said that Mattie (the dog we do not own) was snooping around the garage and barking at the house.  Jeff was at the shed and reached in the white pickup and opened the garage door at home.  Scared Mattie..he barked and barked and slowly ventured into the garage, snooped came out and Jeff shut the door.  Mattie didn’t know what to think!  I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard.. Poor Mattie.. lol!!

He came up while I was watering flowers.  No friendly woof, he stared at me until I went to the garage and gave him a dog bone…he had bone in mouth and barked all the way home.  Funny dog.

He is still our friend..we only prank friends.

So this morning I met with the adjuster and the contractor…

Every floor and sub floor is coming out of the main floor.  All texture will be removed from the living room and foyer…all floor covering in 3 closets, two bedrooms and bath upstairs will be replaced.

Fun fact for the day- Isaac, one of the contractors said that the newel posts in the stair way may very well hold the original floor plans for this house.  He said the top can be lifted off…not sure I want to attempt that, but it is truly intriguing…

So after an hour and 45 minutes at the Milwaukee house, a plan is in motion.  We have high end vinyl plank (Karndean) covering the foyer, dining and kitchen.  All that gorgeous flooring will come up.  Ironically, when Joe from Rainbow came in, he said usually wood floors cup…this hasn’t cupped, it is slightly seperated at the ends….I said it isn’t a wood floor, it is vinyl.  He actually got down on his knees to examine this floor that he was sure was wood.  It is nice vinyl… I sent a sample with the adjuster.  She will come back with an estimate.  They are open (if all floors are same height) to installing a decent laminate through the entire down stairs.  It will look more cohesive.  Although not everyone lives the lifestyle that Jeff & I do…Lack of carpeting is a blessing…so much easier to keep clean.

Joe, Also said the sheetrock in the living room was in good shape considering the amount of moisture (water) that hit it…I said it is plaster..not sheet rock.. He got his probe out and said by gosh you are right…oh lord…

The contractor is giving me the number to a guy that does architectural salvage.  He said that they had to redo a home in Flandreau and the people wanted it true historical.  It took him months to find radiators to put in that were of that period and he ended up shipping them in from a salvage store in Chicago.  So when I get that number, I will see what kind of deal we can reach for removal of them.  Win win in my opinion…otherwise we will take a log splitter wedge and pound them apart to get them to a weight that we can get out of the house…

Time line for finishing the house is October 31st.  The end is in sight. Here is to praying nothing else major goes wrong…But what the hell…we have been through a lot with it already, so I reckon we can survive just about anything.


Day of Truth……

Meet with the insurance adjuster again with Rainbow today to see if the floors in the Foyer and the dining room at the Milwaukee street house need to come up…the dining room has a noticable hump in an area so in my opinion, I think the entire area needs to come up.  This in turn will have a domino effect as far as floor covering goes.  That entire half of the house has Karndean flooring..so it may have to come out of the kitchen as well because it is all matched and continuous…

I will get a time line on repairs/construction and get them going.  I would not say we are cutting corners, but my choices in finishings are changing.  It took a few months to get the heating/cooling figured out, but as we are not currently residing in the house, I figured we had the time to take to figure the most economical, feasible way of doing things.  Being in the insurance industry myself, I know that they aim to get you back to where you started at…but gosh, if that means double the cost, I am all for finding a better solution.  Thankfully the insurance adjuster has been in the industry for years and was accommodating and had an open mind and understood what direction I was heading.

Replacement cost policies- which most people have and if you don’t, you should have….Will cover the cost of replacement-like kind- quality.  When a claim occurs, they base everything on Actual Cash Value- at which point you can take the money and run so to speak, but if you go in and have the work done, and replace with like kind and quality, they will write you a check for every receipt up to the policy limit, minus co insurance Penalty (if you are underinsured) and deductible.  So being the heat system is not like kind (forced air vs. boiler w/hot water heat) there was a ripple on the replacement cost aspect.  So they kindly increased the money they would pay out on the other system -increasing the actual cash value.  By being flexible, and knowing it too will be a quality system, they saved 1/2 the replacement cost to repair the current system.  So instead of spending lets say 200 bucks to repair a system that is old…they can get a brand new system for 100 bucks…no brainer, right?

So we will see today how many walls and ceilings need to come down and be redone…We need to move a light switch for the duct run…

I am very excited to get things a rolling.

We had golfing for the Cure last night.  We even had representatives from Susan Komen foundation golf with us last night.  It was $20 per person to golf (all went to Susan Komen).  We each brought a door prize and purchased raffle tickets for various prizes.  We golfed well.  I won a door prize.  I selected a basket that had wine in it and good quality golf balls.  I gave the wine, basket and glasses to my friend and kept the golf balls.  One less thing to drag home…but I still had the thrill of getting my number drawn!

The door prize I had brought was a wooden 6 pack carrier with a bottle opener on it- it was really cute, I bought it on clearance at Kohls for $5 in December. I filled it with Smirnoff drinks and two koozies.  My golf partner had no idea what I brought for a door prize and she picked it when her number was called.  Ironic!

Found out last night that South Dakota had ranked number 1 in breast cancer….we have now dropped to number 2.  A sobering statistic.

Well, better get my butt rolling…meet with the higher powers that will take care of our Milwaukee house then off to work…

I will make today great, I will give thanks for all my blessings and take away something positive from every lesson put at me today…