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!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Colorado Catch Up!

Hey Everybody,

Wow, it's been like a month since I've written a blog post. I am really not a great blogger! It's not like things haven't been happening. It's more that, things have been happening, and I've just been trying to experience them, and not get too focused on trying to photograph every stage of it.  Don't worry though, I've taken plenty of pictures of all of the excitement, and they'll be coming.

But for now--VACATION.  Let me tell you, I needed this break, and it was totally awesome.

So last weekend, Kurt and I headed out to beautiful Denver, Colorado for vacation!  It was really just  a long weekend trip (Saturday through Tuesday), but it was great.  Before this trip I'd never been west of St. Louis, so this was like, half way across the country to me! Luckily for Kurt, there was less screeching about how far west we were than there was when we were in Canada, and I'd never been that far north.  Poor guy.  How does he put up with me?!

Anyway, we headed out there to see a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater to see Old Crow Medicine Show in concert, hit a bunch of new record stores, hike, see the mountains, and just hangout.  Well, the concert was AMAZING, we had stellar luck at the records stores, and we even got to see a snow storm in the mountains!   I'm just a mid-western girl--these things are super fascinating to me!

We crossed off a lot of firsts on this trip! When I think about it, it's kind of funny (funny hmm not funny haha) how something can feel so familiar and so new at the same time.  This trip included firsts such as: our first plane ride together, our first out west, first concert where we got to stand next to each other, the first time Kurt saw me hungry cry, and the highest elevation that either of us had ever been to!  It was my furthest trip west, and the first time Kurt has ever had dessert at the Cheesecake Factory.  Whew!  Talk about an adventure!  

You know how it is after vacation, getting back into the swing of things can be a daunting task.  It's hard to believe that we've only been home a week!  It feels like so much has happens--and I guess it has. I know that I owe you guys an update, but I'm just not quite ready yet.  One is coming, but probably not today. If you've met me, you know how I am.


Old Crow Medicine Show - Humdinger

Old Crow Medicine Show - Take 'Em Away

Monday, August 1, 2016

That will be 8 check marks please!

Holy. Hell.  This was quite possibly the longest weekend in recent memory.  Don't get me wrong, it's not an entirely bad thing, but I am exceptionally glad that this weekend's events are over.  So, I hope you're ready, because big things have been happening!

It may be commonplace to show the "after" pictures first, but you know how contrary I can be.  You'll just have to bear with me.

Ooooh yeah, all the way back!  Brown paint, blue carpet, poorly painted and chipping white trim.

 Ripping up the carpet helped, and stripping all that woodwork made a huge difference!
 Goodbye red paint!
 Tearing up this last bit of blue carpet was soooo satisfying.  I can't even begin to tell you.  Such a dirty job shouldn't be so satisfying.

Getting everything sanded was a filthy chore. 


 It'll be worth it.....when you see how it looks now...

I'm a big fan of this stain.  Varathane in dark walnut.  I had to stop half way to go buy another gallon from Menards.  Oops.  At least it's rebate time again!

Here it is in progress....

And here it is with two coats of stain, two coats of poly, fully cured, and ready to walk on!  Plus the cat.

This is better right?  Right.  Remember when we started this, and I kept telling everyone to try to see the potential.  Well here it is.  Potential fully recognized, and looking great, if I do say so myself!

You know I can never resist a before and after picture of people.  People change as much as houses during the remodeling process!  This weekend was really hard, but now I know that I can do it.

I am exhausted, and it's probably because in between coats of stain and poly for almost 1200 square I went to the grocery store, Menards (twice), mowed the lawn, and weed whacked.  Woof.  No wonder I feel like I could use a nap!  But, the good news is, by completing these tasks, that crosses eight - EIGHT things off of the list.  We'll get there guys!  Maybe, if we're lucky, it won't even take five years to straighten out this cluster!


Alabama Shakes - I ain't the Same