Monday, July 28, 2014

Two steps forward, giant fall backwards

Typical week on the compound. Running to work, picking up kids, dinners, laudry, blah blah blah. So Tuesday morning, Kyle gets to go meet with the engineer. Basicly, we had our house plan, one that had been built before by our builder, and the engineer was reviewing it to see if we could make a few changes. The answer: NO. There was a wall and the stairs we wanted to move, and that just couldn't be done. I was a little disappointed, but thought no big deal it will still work.

Overnight I got an idea...and I acted on it. So the builder had built this house before, and I have driven (stalked) by it a few times to take photos of the exterior secretly in my car. I liked how it looked and everything. Well with my sweet googling and investigation skills, I found contact info (email) for the owner of said house. type in address, go to the assessors website, look up owner/tax parcel, google name, BAM they own a local busiess. So I took a chance and emailed the lady. I just asked hey, we're building your house, by chance do you have photos of the interior you would mind sharing with me. This really could have gong 50/50. She could have thought I was psycho, I admitted to driving by her house, and slapped a restraining order on me OR she would say no problem. Well it turned out even better, she invited me over for a tour! So now I'm thinking, what if she's a psycho?! Anyways, I went Wednesday night after work. Looked through it, took a few photos and left. I hated it. Yes, i just said that. I hated the house that we have been planning on building the last 7 months.

All you can see when coming in the front door is
a wall of stairs. Then you jog right, and walk
down a narrow space between the stairs and a wall.
Just not for me.

So I made the drive home and told kyle my concerns. But I didn't quite admit yet that I hated it. I thought, sleep on it, you might change your mind. Well morning came...and I had thought all night about it. That house was not my dream house. So I tell Kyle, and frankly I felt just sick. Here we've sold our house, getting permits, etc and I have just put a screeching halt to everything. Kyle was supportive as always. He said if there was a time to change our minds, now is it. We haven't submitted building permits and we haven't had to pay the engineer to bring those plans to code. So no money lost.

I came home Thursday after spending most of the day on the computer searching and searching and searching for house plans. I found 3 that I really liked. And they had interior pictures so I could really visualize the space. Well, there were things Kyle didn't like, and there were things my MIL didn't like. Yes my MIL has an opinion. Everyone runs everything by her. Doesn't matter if you don't, she'll tell you anyways. So just save yourself the trouble and have her involved from the begining. And honestly, she usually has some really good ideas. Sometimes she overwhelms and confuses the shit out of me. But we work it out. Anyway, so no one loved any of the plans as much as me. Everyone was a little short, and well I was just super sensitive about the whole thing.

To top it off, while we're looking at plans, talking/arguing, Miss Ellie comes to the back patio door covered in mud from the bay. She states she "fell down", I call bullshit. They had a mud fight. I am already upset, and well this is just icing. I tell both kiddos to get to the front yard, I'm grabbing the hose. Yes, I sprayed my kids down with cold water from the hose. And well, I thought this will teach them not to get into the mud. But no, they loved it and were laughing the whole time. Ugh, cannot win. Still, they then got put into the showers and then PJs. Luckily the clock struck 6PM and I got to escape to book club.

I whined to my girlfriends over glasses of wine. And they all pitched in to think of a solution. That's what they do. So I'm feeling much calmer now. I walk into the door after being gone 3 hours, and Kyle and his mom have drawn up a whole new floor plan. WE ALL LIKE IT. its a miracle. I thought it was really nice. They heard what it was I hated about the original. And what I was wanting out of a new plan, and they created it. And now I'm fairly confident we will truly have the most amazing house.

So Friday, I whipped over to Best Buy and bought the HGTV design software (of course, HGTV is the king of all things design). I spent the whole weekend designing the layout out the plan so we can send the CAD file to the engineer. Kyle has to work on the roof layout, which is tricky and not my area. Hopefully by the end of this week we will be almost back to where we were.

The weekend ended nicely with amazing weather and a friends 50th bday. My siblings were able to join me for the night, which is rare we all 4 are ever available at the same time. I do have other family besides the Camuses, and occasionaly I hang out with them too :-)

Monday, July 21, 2014

One month down and little pink flags

The first month has gone by remarkably fast. This week my nephews came up from Portland to have a week at nana's house. I must say that I did not think one more person could fit into the house. Well we fit two little boys...and the house looked like a tornado ripped through it for a week. The kids and the boys had a blast together, exhausted every night. I'm not gonna lie, I'm glad the week is over. I had a brief glimpse of what Sue (MIL) endured with 5 kids...and I'm not equipped to deal with all that.

I beleive this paragraph will conclude the "Breve the cat" saga. But don't hold your breath. He of course returned to our old house. And the new owners are taking him in with open arms. We are welcome to visit him. I'm just glad he's safe, and with a loving family. And we will for sure visit, Ellie has demanded it.

We received our bid for the house trusses...drum roll...$18k. Yes, took my breath away for a second. But that was about what our estimate was when we worked it out in our heads. So, I added that to the excel spreadsheet I created to keep track of all this estimating. The total number keeps getting bigger, weird.

Friday, I went on yet another bid for cabinets, and added in some doors and trim this time. Curious to see what they come back with, $$$. I swear all the names and colors are just a blur at this point. And I had this rule in my head for trim, that it needed to be 7% of the wall, so with 9 ft ceilings, that's roughly 7in trim. 7in trim seemed really thick, so I felt comfortable with 6. Well, they didn't carry 6. It came either 5.5in or 7.25in. So i picked 7.25 and thought Kyle could just cut it down to 6. He did not like that we'll see.

Saturday I went antiquing with Nicole (SIL). First we hit up Country Chicks in Rochester. I stole a find from Nicole, these cute old canisters that are all white. There was a large and a small, $5 each! I'm thinking flower holders on the island. Next we went to Centrailia and hit the main drag, and they were having some antique fest in the street. Good finds. Though I get overwhelmed by it all. I found the cutest milk glass dish. My first purchase of the kind, and I'm sure there will be more.

Sunday Kyle and I marked the property for where we think the house will sit. This consisted of me holding some big tape measure thing, and him walking 100ft and yelling at me to tie pink string to the tree. This also required me to walk through the woods. It was muggy, and the mosquitos were everywhere because Kyle had brush hogged parts of the property the day before. So we tagged and ran. Kyle would be way back in one corner yelling, can you see me?! Obviously no! there are trees everywhere. So hopefully he'll get to trimming those out soon. I'm a visual person and its just too wooded for me to get the full picture yet.

The weekend ended with me finishing up the laundry. No flooding this time. But as I went to throw in the whites, something RED caught my eye. Someone had, with red marker, drawn a star on my WHITE JEANS!!!! nearly fainted. One, I've gained a little weight and don't have too many pants that fit, and this was a pair that does. So the fact that I may be down another pair of pants was scary. So of course I was like WHY would they do this?!!  I marched up stairs to ask Ellie if she knew who did it. In my head I could picture Peyton and my nephews each with a red marker. I knew my sweet, smart, obedient Ellie would not. The minute I asked her who's guilty, while holding the evidence, she fessed up! Shocked is my best description to my reaction. And I couldn't even yell, I was so blown away that it was her. Her reason was that she just wanted to draw on something other than paper. I don't know what the best punishment should have been. But at that moment, sending her to bed was what I choose. She cried while I calmly (I was so proud of myself) talked to her and asked her why she would do that. Still no apology though... Then I was combing her hair, and I was pretty much done discussing it, I just wanted to add one last thing. I said Ellie, what you did really made me sad and hurt my feelings. That hit home, and she apologized. Hoping this was just a little acting out with all the craziness that went on the last 2 weeks.

Oh, I almost forgot to add this. I must say here I was so thankful that Sue (MIL) was around. She knew exactly how to get that marker out. We hairsprayed the shit out of it, with the purple Aussie hair spray of course. Appearantly hairspray is good at this stuff. Then Sue got the oxiclean detergent, not spray, and just scrubbed it into the marker. Kind of made a paste. We just kept going back and forth between the two chemicals. And it worked! Mama doesn't have to go buy a new pair of white jeans. Cuz, its summer you know, they are a staple in my wardrobe right now.

So this week I'm told I'll have the engineered plans Wednesday. Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sunshine and ....Breve

Let me see if I can recap week 3: I started the week with offering to mow my in-laws grass. I love to mow actually. This shocks most people. I like riding on the mower...really not having to think about much. And of course, working on my tan. So Monday was a lovely day and I pulled out the tank and shorts and hopped on the mower. Now, this mower is new to me, so it took me over an hour to work out the kinks. This consisted of me scalping one part of the lawn, grass getting stuck in the blades and the mower shutting off...and well me taking a break or two. I finally got in the groove and mowed the placed. I was feeling so confindent that I decided to mow the sloped lawn between the in-laws house and Gma Lois's house. Appearantly its steeper than it looks. I felt like I should have been wearing a seat belt. So did I mention I'm wearing shorts? I am, and my legs are grossly sweating on the plastic seat. Like I hit a bump and slide sweat. So this became really interesting on the mountain (hill). I completed it, but I must say...I didn't think I was going to finish it without some sort of crashing either climbing up or flying down the hill.

In the never ending saga of Breve the cat....As you read in last Mondy's post, he was lost. We went camping and I couldn't find him. We yelled and looked, and still no luck. So Thursday I'm at work, and I get a text from Chantelle (new house owner), and the text reads "Does this belong to you?" And you know what, its a picture of Breve! Yes, that stinker went ALL THE WAY (1 mile) back to our old house! I loved Chantelle's telling of her finding him: She opened the door, and out he pops from under her car...yelling at her. She was so nice, and went to Traders Joes and got him some cat food. I tried to explain that now he will NEVER leave, because he gets the cheap stuff at the store, Friskies. So he has been back now several days...and has stayed. Though he usually is not easy to find in the mornings. So when he shows up late afternoon/evening he's starving and yells. Hopefully he'll settle in to a routine here shortly, otherwise Chantelle may be adopting him :-)

I went and had my eyebrows waxed and tinted this week! never done that. And to be honest its been a really long time since I've maintained by brows. In my mind...they looked fine. Well I was horribly wrong.  A little maintence can make a BIG difference. Take care of your self girls!! 

Oh and the REAL highlight of my week, no it was not finding Breve, was dinner with our relator Jessica Chase and her husband. Love her. She made this whole process of listing and selling our house so easy. She's amazing. If you are in the Oly area and need a realtor to sell or buy a home, you must use her. I'm not kidding.  And now I have a new friend too. So it was really a win-win. We went to dinner down at Heathfire on the water. Enjoyed the sun, though Kyle hated that part. We ate and sipped mojitos. In the end we closed down the place! haven't said that in a long time. Granted the restaurant closed at 10, but still I feel really proud about that.

This is a house blog after all right? So the pain in my side currently...among a lot of things actually, is cabinets. There is such a HUGE range. You can go custom. You can go semi-custom. You can scrounge some kitchen cabs for $7k, or you can blow your wad for $30k+. Its such a dilemina. I want quality. This isn't something I want to remodel in 10 years. Nor do I want my hinges falling off. So Kyle has me getting bids it feels like from every single cabinet maker in the NW. We have meet with a custom cabinet maker, BeechTreeWoodworks, and I'm in love with his ideas, his heart for the project, etc. And I know I will get exactly what I'm paying for. But in the doesn't get me every single cabinet area I need (aka laundry cabs) and its at the top of the budget for that area. So I'm getting one more bid...and then I'm making a decision. Any tips on this is GREATLY needed. Again though, I know everyone has a different opinion about cabinets too.

The other thing bothering me is just everything is sooooo slow. And actually its not that its slow, but so out of my control. You just have to sit and wait for John Doe to do X, and then Scuba Steve needs the info from X to do Y...and they say 2 weeks, but you're currently on week 4 and still nothing. Okay, I've vented.

So all that got accomplished this week was Kyle meeting with the well drilling guy on Sunday, and he's got us in the schedule for sometime in the next 3 weeks....right. #$(% !!!

Oh...actually the more I think about it, a lot happened this past week! We also got to spend some QT with our friends the Chases (different from Jessica :-) ). And we had a lovely time crashing at their lake home all weekend. Peyton LOVES the Chases. He asks when we will see them all the time. It doesn't hurt that they a) have a mountin of hot wheel cars for him to play with b) have a house where he can swim all day.  So we bbq'd and took boat rides, and the kids got to get in some tube time. This coming week is going to have some competition!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Missing kitty & flooded laundry room

Week two flew by, with little to report. We all, the whole Camus clan (minus Lynsie), went to the family property on the Wynoochee River on Thursday for camping over the holiday weekend. The weather was OK. I like it to be HOT if i'm going to camp, but it was nice to be technology free for four days- does reading a book on my iphone count?

So since we were going to be gone for 4 days, I couldn't leave the cat in the house. Maybe this blog needs to be renamed to be something about the cat... Any way, So I filled up a big bowl of food and one for water and set him up an area in the shop/garage. That way he would have shelter but could still be outside. Well we returned yesterday and he's no where to be found. I'd like to hope he's just off hunting and will return. He did do this a few times at our old house.

Since I had only yesterday to do laundry before the work week began, I asked Sue (MIL) if she would mind if I hogged it for the day, which was fine with her. I had a load or two under my belt when I moved a few things around in the room, to make room for more dirty baskets. Well...I must have "knocked" the facuet on the utility sink and didnt noticed the water on (its one of those cord facuets, so it was hanging in the drain...very technical explanation I know). Well Karlye (SIL living on compound, in tree house) had given her dog a bath and left a rag in the sink...which was clogging the drain. We all see where this is going. So I was getting my tan on outside, when i decided to go check on the status of the current load. I walk into the room, the sink is pouring over the edges and the floor is COVERED in water. SHIT SHIT SHIT. Sue was already in a fabulous mood, this was going to be the cherry on top, I knew it. I emptied my entire towel basket and started soaking up as much water as possible. Then I went to the base of the staris and hollered for Sue...and to confess my accident.

It all ended well...she was relatively calm. Really it was one of those things that you just throw your hands up at. We all pitched in and cleaned. If anything maybe I should get a thank you :-) now her floors are all clean and the cabinets cleaned out. Or not.

New house status: Septic approved (only took 9 weeks)...waiting on well. So boring...