furry friday celebrates the snowpocalypse

We were supposed to get a LOT of snow this week. Some reports were saying six inches, and some were saying twenty-four. As a precaution, the university  The Man and I both work at closed at 1 p.m. on Monday, and called off school on Tuesday as well. When we got up early on Tuesday morning, we were sorely disappointed. BARELY any snow!

But Abby made the best of it anyway. She put on her fanciest RC Pet winter coat that Grandma WriterCat got her as an early birthday present and prepared for fun.

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She said hi to Takara, her friend next door and the tussled a bit.

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She ate snowballs, because duh.

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And The Man created a fake snow fall for her.

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Needless to say, after about thirty minutes she was a VERY tired puppy, but very happy. We can’t wait to have a real snow fall to see what she does because if this is any indication? She’ll go nuts.

Hope everyone was warm and safe and dry during the storms this week!

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The saga of the bathroom

A long, long time ago, in a land far  you may remember me mentioning that we had no second floor bathroom, which is our main bath. Other than that it’s a toilet in a closet in the basement, or the third floor bathroom. I’ve actually been embarrassed about the state of our house for a long time because of this project. Well I figured it was time for an update!

We still have no bathroom.

On December 31, 2013 the saga of this all began with a leak dripping into our center hall, AGAIN, just above the radiator by our front door. The leak was coming from our main bathroom just above. The ceiling was discolored and at the advice of a plumber who had come over when it had leaked previously and couldn’t find anything, we opened up the ceiling so we could see where the drip was coming from. No such luck. The leak happened after we showered, and was sporadic. We couldn’t replicate the issue no matter how many times we filled the tub, ran the shower, jumped in the shower…. nothing. It leaked when it wanted to leak.

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We went back and forth with the same plumber a few times, with him basically telling us he had no idea what the problem was. Fast forward to June 2014 when I was walking Abby and ran into one of our neighbors. We got to chatting and I told him about our issues (because all our houses are built very similarly) and he was like, “Oh, that’s your main stack. It’s gone bad. Call “Plumber X” down the street. He does this work all the time.”

A few weeks later, Plumber X came down and gave us an estimate and asked what our insurance company had said. Insurance? The Man and I had never thought of that, but we were lucky enough to get some compensation for the damage. Because the bad news? The stack is located in the front wall of our house. THE LIVING ROOM WALL and THE GUEST ROOM WALL. Plus the hole in the ceiling. Plus the rest of the pipes were corroded. Plus all the pipes are laid in the original wet bed. All said and done, we were going to need to gut EVERYTHING.

I liked our bathroom. Off white and sage green, a vanity we had updated, a cheap mirror and light fixtures that I had spray painted silver… Very simple, but in keeping with the house and it worked.

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before this all began

We began demo in late July, early August. So now, it’s been six months, and we have nothing. New pipes, a new stack, but nothing else. Why? Because apparently Plumber X doesn’t believe in finishing the job. After demo and re-piping finished in early September, he just never came back. Toilet was picked, tub was picked, fixtures picked, inspiration photos shared, a layout, insulation purchased, and I had the bathroom electrical rewired. But nothing.

I pestered, and in October he came back with his finishing guy so we could get a quote for dry wall in the bathroom, replacing an entire wall in our guest room (which Plumber X put an irreparable crack across doing demo), closing the wall up in the living room, relocating the linen closet, putting in a sliding door so we could have a full size vanity, and redoing the ceiling in the center hall. Measurements were taken, plans laid out, tile discussed. Never got the quote.

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This is the wall where our vanity and medicine chest and toilet should be.

A few weeks before Thanksgiving after more pestering, I told him I was having 11 people in my house for the holiday and at least needed the toilet and the old vanity hooked up. He promised it would be done and HE would do the wall repair in the living room so I could paint it because that’s where our Christmas tree goes. I also said I needed the estimate for the final work and he said no problem. Never showed, never returned calls and texted. Thanksgiving came and went.

Finally mid December, and he comes over again and says he has the estimate. What he had was a wrinkled copy of the original one, and he proceeded to tick off what he had done and make generalizations about the price of what was left. I told him I was going to have possibly 25 people over the day after New Years. I NEEDED A BATHROOM. Here are the dates we’d be home, here is what we wanted, and once again not a problem. And once again, never showed.

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The back of our linen closet where we should have a tub and shower head

The Man finally got involved a few weeks ago and once again Plumber X promised he’d stop by. Shock of all shocks, no show. He’d get the estimate, he was meeting with the guy. No estimate. Now most of you are probably reading this and thinking, “FIND SOMEONE ELSE ALREADY!” Easier said than done. This guy lives on our street, knows our house, knows what we want, and has no problem with us leaving Abby home while he works. Plus? Abby LOVES him. Do I really want to start over again with someone I don’t know and don’t trust to leave alone in my house? I don’t have endless vacation days.

Yesterday, The Man and I went to the Philadelphia Home Show. We had gotten the tickets through Groupon, mostly because I wanted to go see Jeff Devlin from DIY/HGTV “I Hate My Bath” (and a bunch of other shows I’ve drooled over). He gave an awesome talk on some basic “dos and don’ts” of renovating. The Man and I spent half the talk laughing because all of the “don’ts”? Yeah we had basically done them. But I have to say I did learn a lot (and scored his business card!!). The major point? We screwed up, we should have done this differently, and we should have given up on Plumber X a long time ago, even if he does live 5 houses away. And what did The Man learn? That his wife TOTALLY geeks out when she meets someone she admires.

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IT’S JEFF DEVLIN! And yes, I currently HATE my bath.

workin’ 9-5

For the first time in three years, The Man and I are on the schedule. He received a promotion at work (yay!!) and so now we’re both working 9 – 5. While this is amazing, I all of the sudden realized that instead of cooking something small and simple for myself, two of us were going to be home for dinner each night. Prior to going to the grocery store on Sunday morning, I made a game plan. I was going to cook. Every. Night.

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I had placed this cling dry erase board on our kitchen cabinet a long time ago. We use it for notes we need to remember, messages, and sometimes grocery lists.  I decided to use it for our menu for the week which has kept me on track. The nice thing about all the meals is that we had most of the ingredients already – just needed some meat – so grocery shopping was easy and pretty cheap. One of my friends thought I was crazy to cook every night, but it has worked out really well. All of the meals take 30 min or less to prep, and with the exception of the meatloaf only about 20 – 30 minutes to cook.

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Tonight was Tuna Mornay with a spinach salad including croutons, chopped eggs, some shredded cheddar, and sliced almonds. The dressing we used was a yogurt dill. I didn’t realize until I assembled it all on the table that our meal was all the same colors. Very spring like, though, so I’ll take it!

The best part is so far we’ve had leftovers from everything, including making an entire extra meatloaf to freeze as individual slices. The perk is that The Man and I had a very yummy lunch of meatloaf and tater tots today which was perfect with the impending snow.

I’m so excited we’re now finally on the same schedule, and The Man is super excited that I’ve been cooking. I just hope he knows that next week is his turn! 🙂

National Organization Day/Month!

Yesterday was National Organization Day! Did I know that when the day began? No. All I knew was I was cold, I woke up early because the puppy was dry heaving while laying ON TOP OF ME, and I felt under-caffeinated the whole rest of the day. Hence no blog post in honor of one of my favorite things.

But no fear! According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, I have a whole MONTH to get my stuff in gear. THANKFULLY. Because organization has taken on a whole new meaning in this house in the past six months.

Not only have we added a puppy into our house, but we also essentially removed a bathroom from it. How does that impact organization, you say? Well our second floor bathroom – the MAIN bathroom and one of only 2 in our three story + basement house – is not usable. It’s not like the thing was of Taj Mahal proportions anyway, but by “main” bathroom I mean the one where we showered, got ready, stored medications, and had the adjacent linen closet full of towels, toiletries, and what-not.

That means that since roughly July, all of our products and such had to be somewhere else. That “somewhere else” means mostly in the guest room. Our third floor bathroom has a stand up shower basin and a sink and medicine cabinet. NO storage whatsoever. It’s not even a vanity; it is a sink with legs.

On top of that we have PUPPY. Puppies eat things, move things, steal things, and generally get underfoot. Oh – AND THEY WANT TOYS. Oh and both me and The Man work full time. You’re probably thinking, “So what? Crate her.” Bless your soul. We would if we could but our poor baby has SEVERE crate aversion and a Jaws like appetite when it comes to gnawing on things that smell like us when we’re gone. Don’t believe me? Just wait for the post where I show the remote controls, cordless phones, shoes, and shirts she has eaten.

Needless to say, organization has taken on a whole new meaning in my life these days. I can still tell you where my tie-dyed Calvin and Hobbs t-shirt from high school is but I’d prove it by going down to the basement and getting it for you while tripping over one of 500 dog toys strewn about each level of our house. New year, though, and new goals and all. Anything that you’re planning on getting organized in 2015?

furry friday gets cuddly

It has been COLD around here the past week with howling winds at night, so the furbabies have been cuddling up with us each night in bed. Because Abby and I posted a selfie last week, I tried to get one of me and Luna, who has taken to curling up by my chest under the covers. Unfortunately, she’s not too good at posing.

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But she IS very good at getting good quality rubs and purring like crazy.

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Hope everyone is staying warm!

resolute

Most of us make New Year’s resolutions, and I would bet that most of us don’t keep them for very long. I decided that I wasn’t going to make any resolutions this year. Instead, I’m going to make myself mini goals throughout the year and try to achieve them.

Well, my dear friends, I already made and kept my first one: do not cry on my first day back to work after vacation. SUCCESS! I was unfocused and antsy on and off during the day, used to working on something for a few hours and then getting away and switching gears while I was at home. But, despite that, I made it my eight hours and then came home to a freezing cold house and Abby having eaten one of the Man’s books.

Now I’m curled up with a cup of hot chocolate, Abby, Luna, and the space heater trying to warm up. It’s a brisk 17 degrees out right now and VERY windy. Old house = no insulation, so we’re bundled up watching Netflix.

Bring it on, 2015! We’re ready 🙂

first crappy selfie of 2015!

first crappy selfie of 2015!

furry friday begins in 2015!

Since our family grew to include another four legged furbaby in 2014, I think it’s only fair to bring in a new era in 2015 and replace feline friday with *drumroll please* furry friday!

I can’t believe how quickly last year went by. Gutting our bathroom, finishing a guest room, and adding our puppy Abigail to our family were just a few of the great things that happened last year (and hopefully the new year will bring a FINISHED bathroom!)

Yesterday we had a lovely party for some of our friends to celebrate the beginning of the new year. And, in honor of the beginning of furry friday, here is a picture of Abigail recovering from all the festivities today.

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I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! I can’t wait to see what the new year brings!