Monday, December 19, 2016

Moving is the worst...

Hey All,

I think that all of you will certainly agree: moving is the absolute worst.  It's the worst under the best of circumstances, and we're not exactly under the best circumstances right now--but the move must go on!  

I assume that you already know this, but just in case you hadn't's really stinkin' cold outside, it's the week of Christmas, and we're getting ready to move home.  Poor Kurt is off work this week, which means that he had to go to the house today (twice) to put the finishing coats of poly on the floor, and he's having to do the majority of the moving.  Now for those of you that know me--you know that this is basically torture for me!  Ugh!  I just want to be in on the action!

This weekend we moved everything from the entire house into the long room, so that we could knock out the floors.  In Kurt's professional opinion: "They look really good in the dark."

Needless to say, the long room is not a pretty sight right now.  I can't believe that I'm going to post this picture but....this is our life right now.  This is almost everything we own, crammed into one room, and stacked to the ceiling lol

You may not think that it looks that bad, but to me, it definitely looks that bad!  On the plus side, yesterday, Kurt and I bought a couch, a love seat, and a mega chair for him! They're being delivered on Friday that means we're going to have to shake a leg and start getting things put away!  #nopressureoranything

As I've been sitting here at work, trying to formulate a plan of attack, and making to do lists (don't tell Kurt he's finally rubbed off on me!) I started thinking about the paint colors for the house.  I was looking at the paint swatches in my little notebook, and it made me wonder, "Am I boring? Or am I just consistent?" I'm not sure, and it's entirely possible that it's a little bit of both?

This weekend, the cats really started to get along.  For about 45 minutes they even sat in the same chair (on top of Kurt's jacket lol).  They're so cute.  I hope they adjust to being in the house once we get moved back in. I'm sure Scotch will be fine, but I don't want Mickey to get lost in any nooks or crannies.  Kurt keeps reassuring me that they'll be fine--and he's always right.  But this cat mom can't help but worry a little bit.  They're so cute when the snuggle up!  I just don't want them to hide in different parts of the big house, and never snuggle each other, ya know?  It'll be fine...

Everything will be fine, and we'll be home for Christmas!  


Thursday, December 15, 2016

It's the Final Countdown!

Hi All,

Oh my heck, has it been over 1000 years since the fire??  Because I feel like it's been well over 1000 years since the fire.  But the good news is, we're getting down to the end of it!

Paul Davis claims that they're at the house today deep cleaning it....we'll see if that's true, but it's what they've said.  On Saturday a guy is (again supposedly) coming to refinish the bathtub, and then that's the end of working with PD!  This whole process with them has just been the opposite of great--but anyone who knows me already knows that.  But I digress.

As we get closer to moving back in, there are more and more things that we keep thinking of for our to do list.  From the beginning Kurt kept telling me that this is  how it would go, and I should've just listened to him--but don't tell him that!  ;)

Tomorrow night we're going to pick up a floor sander (deja vu right?) and we're going to try to knock out refinishing the upstairs floors, and the downstairs back hallway, and back bedroom areas.  We talked about redoing the living and dining rooms while we're at it (Kurt's idea).  But really, I just want to do the bare minimum, and be done with it.  In my mind, by the time we put down some rugs, and furniture, the imperfections in the living/dining room floors won't be that noticeable.  Plus, I want to be able to knock all the steps out (or as many as possible) this weekend, so that we can start moving back into the house early next week!  Technically our lease isn't up until December 26th, but it turns out that the office workers at the apartment don't want to come in on Christmas to check us out and take our key. #weirdright? But if we leave the living/dining room floors as they are, then we have those rooms to put things in while the poly cures upstairs, and we have to actually live at the house.   Whew,  did you follow all of that?  I know it's confusing.  The biggest take away is probably this:  by this time next week, the four of us will be mostly moved back home!

This is Mickey, our new kitten.  They're pretty stinkin' cute.  

He likes to sleep under the dresser.  He's safe from Scotch there. 
Mickey likes to sleep as close to your face as you'll let him get.  He prefers to keep his paw on your face, but that's a little much sometimes lol plus, he's so warm, that it gets uncomfortable after a while.  

The other exciting piece of news is that my dad found Kurt and I this sweet record shelf!  We've been talking about building one for a few months to hold our constantly expanding record collection.  This shelf will take up most of a wall in the living room (mom for scale), plus, there will be room on the side for a table/shelf/cabinet/something to hold the record player and accessories that Santa may be bringing us!

This time while we're doing the floors, I'll try to take better pictures of the process!  Then, it'll be time for the big reveal of all the work that the PD guys did!  When I walk around the house now, it doesn't feel that different to me than it did before, and I've decided that maybe that's a good thing.  It really makes me appreciate how much work we were able to get done before the fire, and reaffirms that we were doing a good job on that work!

I know I say it every time, but I mean it now!  I'm going to get back into the habit of regular updates--especially now that there should be regular updates to give!!  :D


Europe - The Final Countdown

Foreigner - Hot Blooded

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Is November Really Over?!

Wow, it is so hard for me to get my head around the fact that November is almost officially over!  It feels like it was just August.  Heck, some days, it feels like it was just April! This year has definitely flown by with remarkable speed.

There hasn't been much to update anyone about with the house.  There are a couple of guys who seem to be there most days, just chipping away at everything.  In a weird way, it makes me feel a little better about all of the work we did there before the fire.  Like, if it takes a pair of professionals a month and a half to do everything, and they're working all day every day--then we really did an amazing amount of work for a few non-professionals, just working nights and weekends!  (That turned into a really long confusing sentence...please just imagine me reading it out loud to you, and hopefully, it makes sense  :P )

The good news is, we're getting down to the last few big ticket jobs at the house.  The roof has been done (twice), they've put up ceilings, mudded, taped, insulated, and painted.  They hung up new lights throughout the upstairs, and replaced all the upstairs windows.  Woo!  The only things left to do are for them to put the bathroom back together (new vanity, medicine cabinet, flooring, lights, tub surround, and sub-floor), refinish the hardwood floors, and clean everything!  I've begun to doubt whether or not they'll actually clean anything....but I'm trying to stay positive.

Since they've been getting pretty close to completing the rest of the house, Kurt and I have been knocking out some work in the kitchen.  Since there was no damage to the kitchen, the contractors wouldn't do any work in there.  And, since we don't have to live there right now, we decided that this was the right time to tear the kitchen apart!

Getting the kitchen painted was a huge relief in and of its self.  This was the last of the previous owner's paint.  Man were we glad to see it go! Here's one last look at what it used to be...

This redish brownish was just not for us...

The paint was such an improvement, that it really made us want to do something about the cabinets.  They were in good shape, but they looked pretty dated.  Again, the existing look just wasn't for us.   We went back and forth about whether we should paint the cabinets, or stain them, or start another fire in the kitchen (just kidding--are you still reading? :)  In the end we decided to stain them!  

I had hoped we wouldn't have to strip them, but as always, Kurt was right, and they had to be stripped.  Luckily that only took a few days!  

Once all the doors were stripped, we tested stains...we set up each door in the long room, and used Solo cups so that they wouldn't be flat on the ground.  Three coats of stain, and two coats of poly took over a week!  But, in the end, they look soooo much better!  I spent so much time staring at the doors once we got them back up, that I never even took a picture of the finished products!  I'll try to do that tonight!  Plus, I want to check the mailbox to see if the  new door pulls arrived!  

So, it's not a ton of updates, but it's something!  Hopefully the guys wrap up at the house soon, and we can get moved back in.  Kurt has already started a honey-do list for himself, and I think he's as excited as I am to move back in.  Now we just have to hope that we can move before a bunch of snow flies!  

I'm trying to get back into the swing of blogging, and regular updates--but I hope that the updates become less and less exciting with time!  Sorry for the radio silence, but it's better than Christmas music, right?  :) 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

October Wrap-Up

Oh Gosh, how can October be over already?!  It seems like only yesterday it was April...

In October we really got to do a lot of fun things!  I will (begrudgingly) admit that it was kind of nice to not really have to worry about making progress on the house.  I think that Kurt was more excited than anything that for a while I stopped questing for check-marks on his to-do list...but he's the one who made the list...I'm just sayin....but anyway, here's some of what we did on October!

Stacey and I spent most of a Saturday baking, making spooky, treats, and listening to records.  It's pretty clear that she not only gets me, but appreciates my (occasionally odd if not off-putting) sense of humor.  I'm sorry in advance for the photos I'm about to post...

After this feast was ready to go, all the boys joined in, and we watched some scary movies!  None of us even peed our pants--which I consider a huge success! 

We also went and watched Halloween (the original in the theater in FW on Saturday).  Kurt and I have been uncharacteristically social this month!!  

This past weekend, Kurt and I had a double date with some of his friends from work.  We had Mexican for dinner, and then ventured to Soul Taker's Acres....

Since this is the after picture, you can see that we survived!  And with only a little bit of screaming on my part.  But my night vision is terrible!  Kurt had to lead the way through the really dark parts. Overall it was a really fun night!  Meeting new people is always stressful for me, but I should've known that I'd like Kurt's people.  He seems to have good taste in people.  ;)   

As for the house...they've made some spotty progress.  Writing about all the events that have transpired would probably just send my blood pressure through the roof, and me to the parking I'll spare us all having to deal with that.  

They're (allegedly) fixing the roof this week, and we painted the kitchen over the weekend!  
When this is all done, I think we're going to have a really decent house!  :) 

Here's a quick before and after of the's not done, but it's feeling SO MUCH better in person!  

The yellow wasn't terrible, but that red/brown was terrible.  This pale blue/aqua is just so much more, us.  

You can see that the kitchen paint color is pretty similar to the long-room paint color.  At least we're consistent?  Now we just need to pick out flooring, a back splash, cabinet pulls, and stain all of the cabinets, and then this room is done! It'll be quick work! ( though I can suddenly see why Kurt gets annoyed with me lol).  Everything will work out.  And really, we still have at least a month, probably two before we can move back into the house.  So, there really is time!  

Sorry for the long post!  Apparently I had more pictures and updates than I though!  :) 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Checking in!

Hi All,

So, it's been a woefully long time since I've posted any updates.  And not that it's a great excuse or anything, but there just really haven't been any updates.  They have made literally zero progress on the house....Okay Okay, they cleaned most of the goop, gunk, and grime up off of the floors, but that's really it!

The asbestos remediation should be starting today...but if this process goes anything like the rest of it has, they'll be here tell me they're starting next Wednesday.  I don't want to sound ungrateful, but my current mood is: Confidence-waning.

The house will be done when the house is done.  I'm trying not to focus on the fact that soon I'll have lived in this apartment as long as I lived in the house.  I've been reading a ton to occupy my time, but I'm feeling like it's almost time to get back to work at the house.

In other, more fabulous news, here are some pictures from our last vacation!

We packed up our bags, and headed out west!  We visited the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest National Park, Winslow AZ, Sedona, and Jerome.  Oh and Phoenix, we also spent a few days in Phoenix.

Being out west, it felt like we were driving through a postcard ever where we went!  It was so beautiful!  The weather was very nearly perfect every day we were there too.  Phoenix was almost too hot to be enjoyable, but when we were north of Phoenix for the beginning of the week, talk about perfect! I've never spent a lot of time traveling before this year, and looking back, I've really missed out.  But then again, I love being able to see things for the first time with Kurt.  He's always so patient with me, and lets me explore whatever I want to explore.  He makes sure that I'm caffeinated, hydrated, and reapplying sunscreen at appropriate intervals.  He humors me with countless selfies, lets me eat candy till I'm ready to be sick, and never complains that I like to have snacks in bed.  To put it simply, he's damn near perfect.  I'm thankful for all of the things we've gotten to do together, and all of the adventures that are yet to come!

Getting to head out west was a dream come true for me, and I couldn't imagine a better trip than we had.  Now that we're back to reality, and getting back into the swing of things, I'm starting to think about redoing the kitchen at the house.  It didn't have any damage from the fire, and I think that now is probably the best time to do all of the upgrades that it needs.  There's no better time to destroy a kitchen then when you don't actually need it, right?  That's what I'm hoping for at least!  :)


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Update You've All Been Waiting For....

Hey All!

I guess it's finally time for the big update.  This week's post is brought to you by The Bloodhound Gang, and if you don't know who that is or what that means--consider yourself lucky.  (And Grandma--please don't Google them in this context.  You definitely do NOT want to watch that video.)

So, I guess I'll just jump right into it.  Two Fridays ago (on the 19th), at about 2am, I received a bit of  a rude awakening--literally.  I woke up to some people yelling and screaming, banging on my front door, telling me that my house was on fire.   Yep.  For anyone that hasn't heard yet (sorry about that!), my house was on fire.  It's kind of a long story.  And it took the guy a few minutes to convince me that my house really was on fire (surprise surprise, if you wake me up after I've only been asleep an hour by banging on my door and screaming at me, I'm extra combative--and not to mention, foul mouthed.  Who'da thunk it?!)

They'd already called 911, but I called too.  After all, the fire station is literally three blocks away, and I thought that 10 minutes was ridiculous...or maybe it was only five minutes...time flies, and stands still in these situations.

A couple of firetrucks rolled up, some ambulances, cops--loads of cops and they got to work!  It's kind of funny, they ended up being at my house for almost four hours!  It definitely didn't feel like that long (while I was standing in the middle of the street in my "funny old lady pajamas" as I call them), but at the same time, it felt like three days passed.  Time is weird.

It's funny, you don't get a lot of news from the fire folks while they're working.  They did come over to ask me questions a few times.  At one point they asked "is everything ok ma'm--there's nothing upstairs?" meaning "where the heck is all your stuff you crazy lady?!"  I like to think it just made it easier for them to put out the fire.  "Past Kelsey" can be thoughtful on occasion, either that or I wasn't strong enough to move my bed and dressers upstairs by myself earlier that very evening....I was finally sure that the hardwood floors had had enough time to cure, and moving furniture up there wouldn't mess them up.

A little before six, the fire was out, the roof had finally stopped smoking, and they were ready to take me inside by that point.  My mom had arrived somewhere after 3 or so, so we followed the Fire Chief, Fire Marshal, and another fireman inside for the grand tour....Getting a grand tour of your own house with some firemen escorts feels kind of weird.  Know what else feels weird?  Water dripping from the places your ceiling used to be while you stand in the midst of total chaos.  It looked...well, I don't know how to describe how it looked.  I really have zero frame of reference for if it was good or bad, or fair to middling?  Even now, I'm not entirely sure (though I am sure that I'll have a good frame of reference if it should ever happen again?  But let's just hope that this knowledge, like so much of what I know, is forever useless, shall we?)

So, here are a bunch of pictures.  I don't really have much to say about them other than, "yep"  or maybe "there it is".  What can you say, really?  "Attic fan fire."?  If the words haven't come to me by now, I'm not holding my breath that any more are coming.

It looks bad in the pictures, but logically I know, a lot of progress has been made since then!  After all, it has been 11 days.  It feels like I've talked to my insurance people 50 times.  BTW, I have State Farm, and they have been beyond AWESOME in all of this!  The folks at Paul Davis Restoration out of Fort Wayne has also been fantastic.  They got in the same day, got the electricity turned back on (because apparently the firemen have to turn off all electric and gas?!  I've learned so much already!) They also got everything scooped up off of the floor, and were in the next day to set up drying equipment!  Did I mention that they've been fantastic?  I wasn't exaggerating.  They're superstars.

A million other little things and thoughts have happened throughout all of this, and I had sincerely planned on sharing more/most of them, but honestly, I just can't see it being that interesting for anyone.  And if it is, meh.  Call me?  Meet me for coffee?  Reassure me that you don't just want a front row seat for the train wreck.   There have already been some serious ups and downs, and I know that there are more coming than I can even imaging.  They're going to have to do a TON of work to the house, and they're predicting it will take about four months.  Woof, right?  Oh well.  It'll be like a whole new house when they're done.  Plus--this is really shaving a lot of time and work off of my five year plan.
See look, I really am fine! :) Though I may need to start keeping a brush in my desk! 

Sure, it sucks.  I'm not going to say that it doesn't really really suck.  But there are also a million little things to be thankful for in this, and I fully recognize that!  I'm safe.  The cat is safe.  We're all safe.  It's only stuff, and hey--the records are safe!  What other stuff could I even possibly care about, right?  Right.  Things really are fine.  If anyone is just dying to feel like they did something, please, contribute something to the Red Cross.  Or take some treats to your local fire station.

I want to give a big shout out to everyone who's already been there for me, and to all of the people who have offered to help me out!  You know who you guys are, and I hope you know just how much I love you.  I couldn't be keeping it together today without all of you.   And I'm sorry in advance for all of times that are surely coming that I'll be leaning on you.  If you know me at all, you know they're coming!

Is it too soon for jokes about fire?  You know I've always been a little bit...irreverent.  Is that the right word?  I know me, so I feel like it is. Feel free to substitute a different adjective, if you'd like.

If you're not ready to laugh about this yet, you'll just want to skip this week's music selections...I'm going to guess that only my mother will appreciate these....


Joe Diffie - New Way To Light Up An Old Flame

The Trammps - Disco Inferno

THE BYRDS - This Wheels' On Fire

I know this was Bob's song, but you know me, and you know what I like!