Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What will break next?

Pulled the carpet from mom's house - not the pad since there are ten thousand staples and it will be easier to see the staples in the pad as I pull them. 
When we pulled the bathroom rug - it was wet behind the toilet - so now that is added to the list.
After pulling carpet and filling dumpster - went to get new washer and dryer.
Delivery is the 27th - two weeks from now.  The computer wanted to go three weeks for something they have in stock.  I said you won't need my address, I will be the smelly woman in dirty clothes.
I probably could have made it two weeks, but naturally, you don't discover the washer is not working till you already have a weeks worth of laundry. 

Went to get my yearly quilt pin.  On the way there - suddenly there was a doe popping out of the ditch and woods onto the highway - I thought - lovely doe - not usually this close and she really is quite lovely...  before finally thinking - holy crap - I am going 55 miles per hours, and there is a deer in front of my car.  Luckily, the deer was smarter and more used to cars than I was seeing a deer in the road, and stepped out of the way before I even got to the - holy crap - thought. 

Then on the way home decided to drive past my ex-husbands trailer.   I do not go out of my way to do this, just if I am out of town and coming home past there.  We were married in 92 and divorced in less than a year - and then I dated him again in 2007 when he was busted and filing bankruptcy in 2007.  Last time I saw him was then and we were throwing stuff in my front yard and screaming at each other.  But I figured he could replace the stupid wet plywood under the toilet - and I would have to pay him something - but since he always seems to be home, and sometimes is out of work - maybe he needs the money as much as I need the help.  So I drove past, and like the silly deer standing in the road, he was outside - so I rolled down the window and asked him is he ever goes to work....
He asked me to come in to talk, and I did. 
A beer later for me, and two for him, and we went to my mom's house to look at the toilet.
All through this - men will follow me to that house when I show up out of the blue - it is VERY weird.
He looked at it, and yes it is leaking somewhere - but till I pull the toilet, it is hard to tell.  It is solid around it, and may be just the wax ring leaking slightly - and we could see the floor from the basement - and it is not wet through the plywood.  But he said if I pull it and it needs to be fixed - he would help me.  But I know that depends on what he charges me. 

But we caught up on everything since 2007.  And he said he was just released from the local version of the psych ward within the last two weeks.  He was drinking with his brother in law with his sister, and probably complaining about paying his bills since he is just working temp jobs and side building jobs.  I am sure he was drunk and said something that hit her as odd, and so she called the cops who took him to the local hospital psych ward.  He sat there for 3 hours - they did not have a room, they shipped him down the road to another town hospital and let him sit there for another 3 hours.  They had room and admitted him for three days.  He got the bill for the three hours at the first place and said it was $2000.  He has not gotten the bill for the second place.  He has no insurance.  He takes drugs for anxiety and depression - and is off his meds because he cannot afford them.  And he has been suicidal before at some point while I was not around him.
So I understand why she did what she did - but by doing that - she buried him in hospital debt.
If he was barely able to cover things before - he is screwed to the wall now and can't cover this at all.
I was around for the last bankruptcy, and sort of curious as the 7 year mark rolled around if he finally would be fine - or it he would be right back to bankruptcy again.  So it was mostly my own curiousity that brought me around to see him.  And like the rest of the men in my life since my mom's death - they show up as I need them.  If he had been inside - I just keep going - and if the local store had the washer and dryer in stock - then I don't go out of town and past him to see him... was lots of combinations to put me there then to see him outside.
He makes his own choices and he chooses to drink beer every day - and smoke.  It is what makes him happy.  And now he is smoking not cigarettes now but small cigar type things.  And today I can smell it -
and if it is indeed in my clothing - I can't wash it out of my clothes for two weeks yet.
Today I am off to pull some staples from the pad and fill nail holes.
Crank up the music and sing to my self with headphones on.  The time will pass quickly.

But with two things already wrong this week - I am waiting for the third thing to break.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Two year mark

Got paint for the living room and bathroom at mom's.
The carpet and vinyl is on order.
The roofer has me on his list.
Then my clothes washer decides to stop working on the two year date of my mother dying.
This was not part of the plan.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Still Learning -

Still learning - mostly stuff that I do not need to know on a regular basis.
Needed a new roof at both my house and my moms.  Both ranch houses, different style roofs.
I have learned that men do not agree about roofing.
Have talked to nine different guys that I know at least know something about roofing or have reroofed their own homes, and they agree about nothing.
I picked a roofer that has lots of patience to answer my questions and is willing to do it however I want - even when I am not sure because I have 8 of the guys telling me to do it different than what he is telling me.
I asked him to do mom's house, and I would still think about my house.  My roof is in worse shape - but mom's house is the one that is for sale. 
I think this is how women wear down men. 
I can see that after deciding brand, and style, and number of nails, and which guy to hire, and which guy is lying to me, that by the time it comes to color of the shingle - I tell the woman that helps me that the roofer says Pewter or Charcoal will look best - YOU pick.  Please...
I am out of decisions...  I think this is what we do to men all the time.
The weird part is, we are picking this for somebody else - not her or me.
I tend to look at function - most people are looking for curb appeal and first impressions.  I understand - but it is not the way I think.  You can have lovely dark house shingles - or lighter shingles - but here, if you have dark shingles and switch to lighter shingles - it cut one guys air conditioning bill in half.
Times three months of summer that you might run that air conditioner...
Times 50 years - or 30 years - or 20 years...
The money that you might have saved having lighter shingles verses darker shingles is enough to buy something nice. Not the next roof or the next air conditioner - but a sofa or lots of cross stitch stuff.
That is function thinking.  But I agree - from a curb appeal - those darker shingles look nicer.
But I am told people do not consider this at all.
They also do not consider the number of nails per shingle.  Standard is 4.  Why?  Because that is how the roofer before taught the roofer now.
Do you know how to get roofing with a higher wind rating?  Better shingles?  More shingles closer together?
Nothing changes - same shingle - same spacing - 6 nails per shingle instead of 4 nails per shingle.
And if you read the fine print legal stuff on the warranty - it says 6 nails - because they know no guy is EVER going to read the fine print on the shingle warranty.  I guess they never have to pay out a claim.
I asked for 6 nails before reading the warranty- he said that was not a problem - that I was only the third person in 17 years to ask for 6 nails per shingle.  I showed him where it says that in the warranty - he read it - and even with 50 year shingles and 6 nails - they will cover for wind damage for 15 years, not longer.
Ah, legal fine print -
But it still beat just 4 nails. 
If women all thought this way - we would all not have dishwashers, and we would all still be pounding clothes on the rocks to get them clean - because that is how the woman before us did it...
Silly men.

Then I repeat this with carpet...  The realtor says this use the cheap stuff, you are selling it anyway - I hate the cheap stuff, even if I am NEVER going to live there.  It was $1.55 a square foot.  What do I get for $1. more a square foot? 
You get better.  You get to at least move up to the middle level if there are three levels.  You can have a plush and not the multicolor carpet that is popular.  I think if you get a much nicer version of that carpet, it doesn't look too bad.  But mostly, I think it will look really dated in about 5 years.  But I can see that is what is popular right now...
But I am never one to follow style...  and I did not think it really looked right in my mothers 50 year old house.  I am choosing a nicer plush, that has a tone, and the shadow of the tone.  In a light/medium neutral.
And I have a paint color - in a light/medium neutral...  And new bathroom vinyl chosen - but in a grey, pink, granite look, and I will paint the walls sort of a gray.  Why all that wildness in the bathroom?  Because the original tub and toilet are in there, and it is that "flesh" color crayon color.  I know that nobody really is that color - but that is the non-politically correct way describe it. 

I knew about the tools, and I am slightly more lost with paint colors, and carpet colors.  I know what I like, and what I would buy for myself.  I paint everything satin - I like satin paint.  I know my mom had told me that is not right.  So I know what the wrong answer is - I just do not know what the right answer is, and when I am told - I can't remember it till the next time I need to know.  And with mom dead, I am deferring all the correct answers to my friend.  I narrow it down to two or three colors or carpets, or vinyls or paint colors, and then ask her - I think it is one of these - or tell me that I need to start over....
She owned the quilt store in my town.  That is how we got to know each other.  I know I already like her color choices or I would not have used the same fabrics to make quilts.  I am sure we do not agree on everything - nobody should - but it is nice trust her, and I do.

Today we worked to fill a small dumpster.  It is about 5 x 5 feet and 5 feet tall.  I am 5'6", I have to tippy-toe to look inside.
She is crazy and willing to get INTO the dumpster and stack the wood planks.  And lay the rolls of carpet that we wrapped and taped into 4 foot sections.  And what filled the floor garage stall - fits nicely into half a dumpster.  It is crazy amazing.  And we are bending over nails so that nothing is propping something next to it up even slightly.  It is a weird puzzle for her, and she did crazy great.  And she put in round posts - not little posts, but 8 inch across the top posts.  And two bedrooms of carpet.  Half a dumpster.

Our prediction is that by the time she is done - they will be able to tip it upside down and she will have it packed so that nothing will fall out - or it will drop out like a complete cube.  It is something men have never seen - they know it is possible - but no guy would ever really bother the load a dumpster this way.
Not even the most picky guy you have ever met.
We put some thought into it and we packed it like you would a suitcase.  A really HUGE suitcase.
This is the stuff that becomes really funny when you have been cleaning for two years.

I am hoping to be done with this part by the end of August.  Like any house, there is always more to do.
But I have the roofer and am on his list - and have chosen carpet and vinyl - and I have chosen paint colors based on that carpet and vinyl.  And there is other painting to do.  I am not a great painter, but I do not mind painting.  I get as much on me as I do the walls.  I am not sure how that happens, but it is the truth.
The house will go to a public listing with the realtor the first of next month - and I am praying that it will sell.  But I am starting high.  And I know that the house will still take the right buyer.  The days are counting down again.