Sunday, August 6, 2017

Fire: Full Review

I've heard horror stories about people who have had a house fire. The insurance company didn't pay for this, they denied that, the contractor didn't do the right thing, etc. I am so grateful that my experience was exactly the opposite.

If you've been following along, you've seen the progress as things unfolded in the past four months. However, I'd like to take some time to thank all of the wonderful people that made this happen, and who went out of their way to eliminate any stress on me.

If you're new here, you might want to start at the beginning of this ordeal here.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Home Sweet Home

I'm home. I'm sleeping in my own bed in my own house. It's been 4 months (and change) and it feels great to be home. Here's how Operation Move Back In went down...

Wednesday

I bounced out of bed at 4:45am, which is beyond abnormal for me. I was just so excited to start the day and get moving! I knew that Day 1 would be utter chaos, so I mentally prepared myself over breakfast with my parents.

I started by making a stop at Home Depot (and by the way, Home Depot that early in the morning on a weekday is a totally different crowd...) to pick up some new light fixtures for my kitchen because the electrician was not comfortable reinstalling the old ones due to their age and bad wiring  (and I concur, I don't need any fire hazards!). I also stopped in at Walmart and picked up some other odds and ends. I got to the house at 8am and the siding crew was already getting started.

9am, ServiceMaster arrived right on time with the first load of furniture. We unloaded the first truck and they went back to their warehouse to get another load. At 9:30am, CRDN arrived. This is the company that took care of all textiles and electronics. It was perfect timing - since there is only one space in the driveway due to Big Red the Dumpster occupying the other half. The CRDN crew was awesome, two girls and two guys who clearly enjoy working together, they were cracking jokes and having a good time while they unloaded my stuff.

One entire van was just my clothes on hangers. It was absolutely ridiculous. Plus, they are dry cleaners, so guess what that means? Everything is on those stupid wire hangers and wrapped in plastic. As an added bonus, they tag everything (and I mean everything...every shoe, every hat, belt, placemat - you name it has a tag on it). So, I get it - they keep track of everything and that's perfectly fine, it's just a pain in the ass to unbag and untag everything. But, everything is clean and that's what matters. The closet was too much of a shit show for me to even think about on Day One.

That's boxes of hangers that will be fed to Big Red the Dumpster:


ServiceMaster arrived with the second load just as CRDN was unloading the second truck and so they swapped spaces in the driveway and the rest of the day was pretty much ServiceMaster in and out, returning all my furniture and over 130 boxes of stuff.

The plumber from Southern Lakes showed up...which was very exciting because that meant I would have functioning toilets! Hooray! He got to work hooking up all the new faucets and toilets.

Then the backsplash guys showed up. Now it was getting crazy...I had the tile guys starting on the backsplash in the kitchen while the plumber was under the kitchen sink getting that all set. I ran to Home Depot to pick up my bidet toilet seat that had just arrived, and as soon as I got back, the internet/phone guy showed up to get me rolling.

All of the vehicles parked on the street were there for me, and it became a one-lane road as my neighbors came and went, and I got a lot of huge smiles and waves as they drove by. It felt good!


As things were starting to wind down, half of the Brady Bunch showed up and started giving me a hand unpacking and putting things back together. These kids ROCK. They were actually excited to help out and play "Where's the boxcutter?" and "Who's got the Sharpie?" (which, incidentally, are games I am playing every day...I should have just placed one in each room).

I finally packed it in around 9pm and headed back to my parents' house, since I was not yet cleared for occupancy. It was a very overwhelming day, but all of the folks coming and going made it a lot easier and fun!

Thursday

Once again, up before the sun. Lots of work to do! I got on the move and was again tardy to the party because the siding crew was already at it. This day would be calmer since there wouldn't be so much commotion with people coming and going, but it was still a long day with a lot more unpacking.  My mom arrived and started working on my closet, since she is the only person I trust to get my closet right...she literally spent most of her time sorting hangers (which was a necessary preliminary step for my closet strategy) and getting all of them sorted by color (white for white stuff; black for black stuff), and by type (pants, skirts, shirts without the strap holders, shirts with the strap holders). Seeing what she did to get those ready for me made my heart melt. She gets me.  She also started unbagging sweaters and folding them up (again, by color) so that I could easily sort through them and put them in their proper place.

The Brady kids showed up again, ready to be put to work (have I mentioned how much these kids rock?), and we had a good time getting things unpacked. After my mom left, I took the kids with me to Lowe's, and of course we had to get one of the race car shopping carts and the 10 year old sat in the cart while the 13 year old "drove" and was basically pulling some Tokyo drift shenanigans throughout the store as they raced through the aisles.

The 15 year old was my right hand guy to find some specific screws we needed to attach my TV to its legs. They had a ball and we headed back to my house to get some more unpacking done.

Once again, I packed it up late and headed back to my parents' house to get some sleep.

Friday

Up before the sun (this is becoming a trend). I stripped my bed in preparation for ServiceMaster to come and get it and bring it home. On the way up, I was on the phone with ServiceMaster to confirm they were indeed coming to get my bed,  and CRDN to ask a few questions about some items I couldn't locate (such as my AppleTV remote). Another stop at Home Depot and I was ready to continue unpacking. I had to get my bedroom cleared in anticipation of my bed's arrival.

The siding guys beat me again, already getting started by the time I arrived around 8am. Two of the Brady kids showed up to help and on this day we proved that they are in fact capable of doing dishes. Apparently they are only able to do so at my house, and not their own. I pointed this out to them and they said it's more fun doing dishes at my house. I also learned that I have an absolutely unreasonable number of dishes for one person. I counted three different styled sets plus an entire set of china (which I will probably never use, but won't get rid of). The kitchen unpacking generated several boxes for Goodwill and for what couldn't go to Goodwill, fed Big Red.

The contractor came by to install a replacement mirror in the master bath (the original one had been chipped when it was moved into the basement). They dropped off the wire shelving for the garage and also installed my new blinds, which apparently were new because it was cheaper to buy new ones than to clean the old ones. Fine by me!

During the contractor visit, the kids busied themselves with creating floating creations out of bubble wrap in the pond:

During this experiment, we learned that it takes about 100 little rocks to sink bubble paper.

While there, the contractor noticed that my toilet was leaking onto the floor, so he called the plumber out on the double to rectify that.

We made a lot of progress and things were starting to come together. The kids wanted to make another run to Lowe's (pretty sure just to ride around in the race car cart), but I needed to go to Target and Home Depot is near Target, so I convinced them that it was a good deal since Home Depot also has race car shopping carts (and Target has silly carts as well, they just aren't dressed up as race cars).

The little complained that the Home Depot race cars have far less leg room than the Lowe's carts, so I've made a mental note of that.

I had to make a run back to my parents' house Friday evening to pick up my pillows, comforter, and other odds and ends. I pulled into their driveway, opened the garage door for where I had been parking, and saw Mom's car nestled in there. I stormed into the house, "Really Mom? You couldn't wait to get your parking spot back? Sheesh!" Of course, completely kidding, but I had to take the shot. I wasn't even completely moved out!

By the end of Friday, the living room was pretty much done and the kitchen was well on its way. I was at it until after midnight and then I slept at home in my own bed, after four months of being away. It was glorious!

Saturday

I slept in until 7am. Wow! I got started right away and Mom and Dad came up to help out with more unpacking. I was finally able to get the kitchen into a state where I could wipe the grout haze off of the backsplash and it looks so great!

I also found that I was in possession of the perfect tool for scraping stray grout off of things:

I'm loving the backsplash design, and it looks so perfect with the granite:



Sunday


Finished the office (needed that to be in ready-to-go condition so I could get back to work on Monday morning!). Mom and Dad came up again and we tackled the closet. Before they arrived, I had gotten all of the plastic off of the hanged items (scissors and a ladder, just cut them off going down the line was most efficient). Dad was on untagging duty and Mom took everything off the wire hangers and placed them on the proper color hanger to be rehung in the closet. We made a good team and got it done! There are still a few boxes of folded clothes that I still need to go through but it's in far better shape than when we started. After we were done with that, I was utterly exhausted and needed to take a nap, so I did. In my own bed, in my own house.

I got up and took a shower and since the weather had been so nice all weekend, I went in my sewing room (which has not been tackled yet, due to the desktop being discolored from the fire and needs to be replaced) to open the window and turn on the ceiling fan...and no power. The fan had been working the day before so I went down into the basement to see if we tripped a breaker somehow and after I confirmed the breaker was on, I heard dripping...

My toilet and tub are leaking into the basement. And, my digital piano just happens to be right below those pipes. I wiped it down and put some plastic over it, so we'll see what happens. I let the contractor know, and the plumber will be back out first thing in the morning. So, we'll see what the verdict is on that front.

Now, I'm a huge Game of Thrones fan and I've been holding out on watching Season 7 since the season premiere because I promised my two neighbors that we'd do a marathon catch up once I got moved back in (I'm the one with the HBO). I have no food in the house, so they brought the pizza and Mountain Dew (this is my last day of eating garbage), and we settled in just before 7pm to rip through the first two episodes and watch the third "on time" so we are now caught up!

My refrigerator as of now:


And with that, Operation Move Back In is at a close. There are still a few things that need to be finished around the house - wrapping up the siding, rebuilding the column posts for the front porch, painting the outside trim around the garage, painting the garage, installing the garage shelving, epoxy flooring, and other miscellaneous touch-ups inside.

I'm so grateful for all the help I've received in making this happen! The past five days have been so tiring and overwhelming, but exciting as I get everything put back into place. I'm so happy to be home, in my natural habitat!!

Read on for Fire: Full Review

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Grommet Top Curtains and Sheers

As move in date approaches, I needed to get my new curtains made for my living room. I did a grommet top with blackout lining and I'll tell you how...