Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The State of The Cottage

This week has found me juggling a gazillion things. My storage rental that I obtained back when I thought I was moving out of state over a year ago is due to be paid again on October 4th. Though I've not really been ready to bring more things into this house (it's alot easier to work in it with less stuff to have to maneuver around!) I realized I could save some money if I went ahead and started getting things in order to have it emptied before the 4th.

So, when my parents came this weekend, we took off in both vehicles and filled them full a few all that's left there is my leather sofa (that has a little bit of damage from being stored), my bedroom furniture (bed head and foot pieces, metal rails, 2 nightstands, dresser and chest), and two bar stools plus two large boxes that for the life of us we couldn't fit into that last run of stuff. Then, everything will be here under one roof which will make me oh-so-happy.

The problem with being an artistic person is the fact that you accumulate ALOT of things. I've painted, made jewelry (to display my art), made artistic cards, made collages, sewed, etc...which means I have tons of things. Plus lots of glassware, wood pieces, etc in which to paint on. Some of those things were already painted in a toll style fashion which I was doing alot of back in 2008 and 2009 like this one:

So, as I've started going through these things, I've found so much more work that I need to do. It's overwhelming and the house is full of boxes, here's my view from the hallway into the living room: life is a total chaotic mess right now!! lol :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mirror Mirror On the Wall

In my apartment were two HUGE mirrors - one in each bathroom. Because of that, I had no need to purchase any during my stay there, and I actually didn't even think about it. Until....being here. Well, let's just say I'm sure I looked atrocious for about 2 weeks, as I had no mirror at all and the small ones I had were still packed somewhere.

As money has been allotted for more important things (electrician, plumber, etc), I've had to work on some creative options as much as I can. The mirror was no different. My parents, along with my Uncle, had acquired some things from an estate sale, basically what was left over that no one bought during the sale itself. One of those things was a mirror. When I saw it, I knew it wouldn't fit with what I was trying to do with my new house but felt it might have potential to at least work for a little while.

It is a very large, heavy, old and well made mirror. It's oval in shape with some decorative trim around it. However, it was gold on the frame. I've never personally cared for gold, even in my jewelry. I've seen homes it looks lovely in, but it's not for my tastes in my own home.

I wish I had taken a photo before putting the plastic on it in order to paint it, but here's a before and after photo of what I did with it:

Since the walls aren't finished yet, I can't do anything else in that room but hey - I have a mirror!! And, let's just say I definitely never need to be without one in the future lol :) 

Cost for this project? $2.58 
(paint, plastic and tape was leftover from other projects, mirror was a gift, and the special hanger to hold that kind of weight was $2.58...not too bad for a girl on a tight budget)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Catching Up....Part 2

I guess I'm on a roll now!! :)

So here I am a little bit later and the plumber fixes my water - there was trash in the lines at the hot water pipe for the tub from the rust. Then the water for both hot and cold didn't work for the washer. Both of those are now fixed. The dryer needed a new plug-in to fit the outlet and still the duct needs to be trimmed so the dryer isn't in front of that door, making it inaccessible. Still, I can use that dryer during these cooler nights, let it vent into the house and it takes the chill off. I make sure the lint filter is clean as a whistle each time to avoid any lint issues. I don't want to do this for much longer though as it's a moist heat, but still I'm thankful for it! The gas logs in the fireplace are broken so they aren't going to be any good as a heat source and the only other thing is a gas heater in the hallway:
(photo taken when i first looked at the house, but the heater still looks the same)

I've not had the gas company out yet to see if this heater is ok to use. My handyman tells me he doesn't think they'll cut the gas on in here for several reasons. So, in feeling sorry for me, he brought me a 4 stack electric heater to use "as long as I need it". He also brought me a new-in-the-box ceiling fan he'd had in his garage for a year. A very, very nice man and I'm thankful for him and all his work on this house. 

So let me take you into one room and show you it's progress to this date (new photos were taken tonight while writing this post, see those at the end of the before):
The bathroom - the walls are mostly up and the floor is down and has the temporary vinyl tiles on it. There's still one spot that the studs are still visible but it's not big. Then the window needs a new piece of trim on the bottom side. The walls still have to be mudded when he's finished in there. Right now, there are some pieces he needs to countersink screws and cut off some excess where the pieces were a little too big. I just take careful baths for now. Eventually the area surrounding the tub will be tiled, the walls will be painted, and there will be a bathroom sink in there, storage above the toilet area, among other things. But it's functional and I'm thankful for that. A reminder of the before photos:
(the very first time I saw the house, I snapped this photo)

(old walls, old tub surround, old moldy caulk)

(a close-up pic of what I actually cleaned off this tub, ugh lol it was a grin and bear it type situation for sure!)

Here's the progress of it:

(before I cleaned it out and finished cleaning the tub)

(the floor during the construction)

(view from the hallway check out that shiny tub!)

(view just inside the door, should have straightened that rug out but kitty likes to play, thus it's never in place right lol !)

(toilet area...though the concrete at the base of it will be removed when I tile it...the floor was built for real tile, not peel and stick (temporary fix) and then the concrete filler will go away. unsightly but necessary)

And, finally the sweetest picture of little Mietta who is happier in this house than I've seen her since her spay surgery. She's what kept me sane when things were bleak. She was too happy for me to be sad for very long :) 

P.S. I'm sooooo proud of my hard work not going to waste on that tub! It could have been a disaster under all that but I held out hope (and over 6 hours of hard scrubbing, scraping, etc) that it'd be lovely and I'm really happy with how it looks now. Notice the shine on the tub, floor and toilet? Well that makes me happy too :) 

Catching Up....Part 1

(before the toilet went in)

Gosh, I'm sorry it has taken so long to write in my blog. I've received emails asking how things are going since they've not had any updates on here. Thank you for following me and for caring!

Well, ok, so I did get moved in here on the 31st as planned. But that's about all that has gone as planned. My lovely internet company which I had scheduled my move date 2 weeks ahead of time, to avoid any interruption because above and beyond anything else, I didn't want my business to suffer from my personal life. However, as my luck would have internet cut off my internet TWO DAYS early....then "lost" the move order and told me they didn't have the new address on file. I told them that was impossible as I'd already received 4 pieces of mail from them at my new address. Fast forward 8 hours of phone calls including the automated "hell" that they now have "for your convenience" over a period of 9 days without internet, then a nice young lady took it upon herself to see it through and see that I got my internet. They had to cancel my old service, make a brand new order with a brand new phone number in order to make it work. Bless her heart though, another 2 days after she started working on it, I had internet again.

During the period of time without internet, I began working with a wet saw to cut the tile for the bathroom. Something was wrong with the saw in which sediment made it's way into the pump (from a previous user) and caused the water to go in elsewhere....leading to a horribly bad electric shock for me. I was jittery and didn't feel right the rest of the day...and it took about a week for the tip of my finger to once again feel like normal. This could have been due to all the work that finger has been seeing, no way to know I guess.

When the shock occurred, somehow it burned up my computer inside the house. Then the next day would be the day I got my internet back on. Again, this is my luck. I had internet but then had to use my laptop, which wasn't capable of handling many programs I use in my business and is extremely slow. However, I made do with it until my computer was repaired, which took alot of time, money and a new power supply. Needless to say, I decided to nix the tile idea for the time being as I felt a little shy of using a tile saw for a bit there. Peel-n-stick tiles to the rescue for a temporary fix! Just temporary though as I'm going to have that bathroom tiled one way or another!! :)

After getting the new power supply, the computer worked but kept shutting itself off. I finally became frustrated with it and went to clean the tub. Oh! Let me back up a bit, for almost 48 hours in this house, I had no toilet..just a convenience store down the road which was unpleasant to wake up in the middle of the night and having to drive to use the restroom. Still, I made it through that 48 hours. Still, I had no tub but I had a toilet and that made me so so happy. Back to the computer shutting itself off....that particular day my handyman was here and had finally gotten the wall up behind where the tub is and put the faucets back into place, I just knew I was going to finally have a bath! It had been 106 degree weather and I moved from an upstairs apartment...I wanted and needed my bath and not just a sink bath - a real soak-in-the-tub bath!! So I went to clean it and there was tons of construction debris inside it. I got up the nails, large pieces, etc and then plugged in the vacuum cleaner....which didn't have enough power to have any suction. And, when it was turned on, the lights went dim all over the house. OMG electric problems too??? Ok, one thing at a time, Rhonda. Right now you are going to have this bath, so do whatever it takes to get it clean. And, I did. It took 2 hours but I could think of nothing but a good hot bath. Finally, it's ready. I turn on the water....rust, rust, rust and rust. Then it stopped coming out. Nothing. I sat down in the floor and cried for a good long while. I guess I was feeling sorry for myself and I was terribly disappointed, felt personally hurt that this house took my precious bath from me. Did I mention this was Friday evening before the holiday weekend? No one could come out until Tuesday.

Eventually I got over that. The next day, my parents came over. By the way, I still had no fridge and no stove, so I was eating out every meal or eating junk here. There were no cold drinks or ice, I had to go out and get one if I wanted something cold to drink. Anyway, back to my parents coming over. We worked on a few small things and they had brought me some roast beef, some pinto beans and some cornbread. I'd eaten mostly junk food/fast food forever while moving and living here so I could have cried when they told me what was in the bag. Well, they finished and left and I went immediately to heat up my precious food in the microwave...which didn't have enough power to turn on. What? Try another outlet. Same thing. Ok try another room. Same thing. Again, I sat down and cried my eyes out. I just wanted a hot meal. but I ate that meal cold and was glad to have it because even cold, it was marvelous.

In the meantime, I was still working on my business, working on this house and just wanting a few things to work or work somewhat normally. I feared sleeping with anything on because what if the electrical here was dangerous? So I unplugged everything before bed except the air conditioner. And just prayed it would be ok. I could have made it without the air but little Mietta in her fur coat? Well let's just say that wasn't going to happen.

With the electrical issues, there were several which were repaired by an electrician. There was an issue with the line that went from the house to the pole thanks to a squirrel(s) pretending it was a chew toy. It was so bad, they had to bring out a bucket truck and replace the entire line from the house to the road.

There are still some electrical things that need to be fixed but all are "ok" for now. Mainly some electrical boxes are in poor locations and could be a big problem, as could the wires that should be in a pipe that run outside the house. All these will be fixed soon, but there have been bigger things and my electrician says they will be fine for now but not to forget about them.

There's more but this post has been like writing a book....I'll pick back up on more as soon as I can. It always feels good to get all this out of my head, as I've held onto it to share here. I think I have all my days straight and somewhat in the order they happened lol but I've no idea if I missed something or not. If so, I'll be sure to share.

Hopefully when reading this, you take it with a grain of salt. I really was feeling sorry for myself when those two things happened (the hot meal and the bath) and they were very low moments. I did snap back out of it - the hot meal as soon as I ate those cold tasty morsels and the bath as soon as I took buckets of water from the kitchen to the tub a couple days later. I bounce back pretty good and really am glad I went through what I did with all of it. It makes me appreciate the hot bath and hot meals I'm having now. Very very much. :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Ok, so I'm feeling a little better. I just talked to my boyfriend about all that's going wrong in my world right now. He told me to take a step back and breathe, told me I was getting very overwhelmed with everything. Then I stopped to think about how happy Mietta is here and I started talking to him about that. She's running around, exploring, jumping over things, and is more active than since she had her spay surgery. So, there are good things going on too. I know I have to take one thing at a time and I've honestly been trying to do that. It was just seeming every time I did one thing and was ready to move to the next, the first thing didn't work.

But, alas, I'm listening to my boyfriend. Those kinds of reasons are just a small tip of the iceberg as to why I love him so much.

Very Very Sad

Another night goes by that I feel like sitting somewhere in this house and crying my eyes out as I've done the nights I've not been frustrated and worried. I'm so very tired. Nothing works in this place. If I plug up a vacuum cleaner, it barely runs and lights dim to the point of going out. If I turn out all the lights and unplug everything in the house it has a tiny bit of suction.

Unfortunately I'm not so fortunate with the microwave. My parents brought me some food tonight and after they left, I went to heat it up and no outlet in this house is strong enough to power the microwave.

I took an electrical shock with the wet tile saw and still am not really sure why, as it was used as I've used any in the past. The electrical inconsistency burned the power supply on my desktop computer and money keeps pouring out to fix everything that is wrong. I can't share pictures again as I have no SD card adapter on this laptop, not that there's anything but a mess to show to anyone at this time.

The plumbing doesn't work anywhere except to the toilet and to the kitchen sink. No hot water comes out of the bath faucet. The lines to the washer are also clogged.

I'm tired. I want a hot bath. I want to have a fridge again. (It's supposed to be delivered tomorrow though I have my doubts if the electric can handle such a thing and am honestly surprised it's handling the AC ok.)

For the past few days, I'm wondering if this was a bad idea. I'm falling out of love with this house and I'm miserable. It feels like I need the strength of 10 men and I feel I have the strength of a feather. Even after writing this, I still feel like sitting in the middle of the floor and crying. I just don't know how much one person can take. Everything I think is ready to go (like finally getting the walls up in the bathroom and having the faucet put in day before yesterday) doesn't work.

Even a hot meal that's not from a fast food restaurant seems to be a far away dream.