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Category: My Thoughts

Catching up

Good Morning Friends!

I have a lot of catching up to do!  I have been away from the blog for some time now and I apologize for that, but as I know I’ve mentioned before (hehe-a couple of times) life can throw you curves.  Well, this curve took me some time to navigate!  Almost 5 months!

I started this journey to share my creations that I make with Stampin’ Up products, some DIY projects and my journey as an empty nester.  That is still my plan and I believe that I can now devote more time into that sharing:)  My latest share are pictures of the before and after of my craft room.

This was my craft room in our old house. (I know, it’s a bit obsessive, right? lol)
This is how the room started in the “new” house. Pretty huh?
This is how it looks now. Still a work in progress:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the pretty floors! It’s the one thing the contractor did right!

The subfloor in the entire house had to be replaced or you might fallen through!  Not only that, supports had to be built to hold up the joists to support the awesome new floor (distressed hardwood bamboo).  Needless to say, the house was more of a fixer-upper than we originally thought!  Where is Chip and JoAnna when you need them???  Not here in Indiana that’s for sure!!

We also had some contractor issues.  He could not get a dry wall sub to show up and work or to actually do good work!  We had a professional electrician and plumber do some work (okay work is a loose term – it was a major overhaul on both accounts!!!) and they kept saying “you are being taking advantage of.  These guys are not professional.  You need to fire them”.  Well, we wanted to but to educate those who aren’t aware, and we weren’t, if you buy a home that HUD has listed and you have a contractor bid the work, you have to use that contractor to finish the job because the renovation funds come listed in your name and the contractor’s name.  Boo!

We wanted to fire him before we closed but that would meanthe whole loan process would have to start from scratch and that would mean another 60 days!  Not gonna happen!  So, we muddled through and we are now finishing the reno on our own.  (We finally said enough is enough)

The contractor did discount some for the sub-par work that was done and did vapor barrier the crawl space (at no charge) to protect the supports his guys put in, but it still did not make up for the headaches and work we had to re-do.  (Whose going to replace our front doors? Yes, plural-it’s a double front door that some id— sawed them off to make the threshold higher, and now you can see daylight through it! The contractor said “I didn’t authorize that!”  Well you’re the boss so the buck stops with you!  (He didn’t think so.) Oh well, live and learn.

What was supposed to be a nice pre-retirement house with a lower mortgage payment ended up being a lot of extra money out of our pocket that we hadn’t banked on and now we have to work longer than planned.  (okay that was sort of a pity party, sorry)

The house is becoming beautiful!:)  Now that my craft/studio room is coming together I feel more complete and creative so the projects will begin soon!  My kitchen is functional and our master bath is almost done.  I still have a garage full of boxes to unpack (seriously, it’s the entire 2 car garage!!!) but if I have lived without it this long, I see a major garage sale coming this spring!!

The lesson learned is do your homework!  Get a certified home inspection (don’t rely on HUD or your contractor, they both under-reported the issues), really research your contractor-talk to people he has done work for and don’t just go by the reviews on the internet, sign a contract with the contractor and have a completion date noted with penalties if it’s not done by that date, make sure he has your budget and have a lot of patience.

I’ll sign off here with a very simple card from a retired Stampin’ Up stamp set that I love.  It’s to all of you who read my posts and hope you return for the posts in the future!

Just a quick card I made this week. I don’t have my “picture stage” set up yet:)

Christmas Wishes

Happy Holidays –

Blessed Christmas Wishes to you all!  Is everyone ready for the Holiday?  I know I have all my gifts bought, but wrapped? Well, that’s another thing entirely as I’m sure some of you know:)

This year in the Ingle house (well it’s really the Shaw house, who are allowing the Ingle’s to stay with them since the Ingle’s are currently homeless!), we will be celebrating Christ’s birth early on Christmas Eve.  We will be getting together for brunch and then sharing gifts, visiting with the family and enjoying the newest grandbabies on their first Christmas!

Tradition-

Traditionally we would meet at my parents house.  We would have a small snack and then head to church for the Christmas Eve service.  Then it’s back to the house for another snack (of course) and then share presents.

As our children have grown and moved away, travel time has had to be taken into consideration.  We really don’t want our daughter’s family (1 1/2 hour driving time) and our son’s family (1 hour driving time) to be out on the interstate late at night.  So, we opted for brunch instead of supper.  This way no one is out on the road during the dark.

I know that as everyone’s children grow up and start their own families, they also start their own traditions.  Because of that, we are all too aware that we may have to be flexible around all holidays.  That’s okay, because just being together is the important part of a family.

***Update – I failed to mention that we also have to be flexible around the holidays with our “middle child” (lol Amy).  Amy lives in Tennessee, so seeing her during the holidays becomes even more problematic due to her job and our jobs.  Carl went to see her over the Thanksgiving Holiday but I can’t get down there until the 2nd week of January.  She does have friends she will be sharing Christmas with, but being so far from her tugs at our heartstrings.

Although I missed putting her in this post, she is never far from our thoughts!  Sorry Am!

House update-

As I mentioned above, and in other posts, we are living at my parents house and are so grateful to have a place to lay our heads.  We purchased a fixer-upper.  We thought it just needed some cosmetic updates, but when you open walls and pull up floors you sometimes get more than you bargained for as you can see from these pictures:)

Master bedroom
Master bath

As you can see in the master, once they pulled up the bad floor, the subfloor was also bad and needed to be ripped up.  The master bath shower fell apart when we tried to change out the shower handle so we have to re-do the entire shower now.

I know you can’t really see the picture of the main bath very well, but there is no floor at all!  Water damage.  The kitchen was gutted as well.

Main bathroom
Kitchen

Okay friends, these are current photos of the house.  I took them a couple days ago, but as of last night, they haven’t changed.  Our contractor promised me that we would be enjoying Christmas dinner in our new house.  By looking at these photos, do you think we will be in the house by Christmas?  I highly doubt it!

It was our Christmas Wish that we would celebrate the season in our new house, but that may not actually happen this year.

Light bulb moment –

As I stood in the living room last night waiting on the electric company to turn the power back on (oh wait, forgot to say that we are having the electrical panel upgraded so the electric has been off for a few days), I felt like crying!

It finally hit me that we are not going to be celebrating Christmas in our new house this year.  I felt helpless.  There is nothing I can physically do to help this process along.  It’s all in the hands of the contractors.

But then I remembered something very important.  It doesn’t matter where we are living when we celebrate Christ’s birth.  It just matters that we do celebrate it.  It matters that we give to each other as He gave his greatest gift to us, His Son.  It is in that message that I am so humbled at the gifts he has given to me, my husband, my children, my family, my health, friends, a job and yes, a house.

I had gotten caught up in the idea of being in a new house and decorating it for Christmas and then sharing that with our family and friends.  I had momentarily forgotten the most important reason for the season.  Jesus Christ.

My Christmas Wish for all of you is that you will also remember the reason for this season and try not to be caught up with all of the commercial hype and the stresses that this time of year can sometimes bring.  Rejoice in the season of Christ!  Celebrate with your family and friends, no matter where you are!!  Have a very Blessed Christmas!

 

Finding time to accomplish everything

Hi Friends!

I mentioned before that life throws us curves and we have to deal with that.  Well I’m having to following my own advice now!  When I began this blogging journey I knew that finding time to write was going to be a challenge, but I never dreamed that life would throw as many curves at me as it has recently.  So, finding the time to devote to writing  and accomplish everything that needs to be done has become difficult.

I’m not going to go into great detail, but to summarize we sold our house, packed a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house and garage into a storage unit and are now currently living with my parents.

We have been empty nesters for a while now so moving in with someone else has been an adjustment.  My husband and I still work so our schedules and my parent’s schedules are not the same.  They are retired so they sleep in.  I, on the other hand, do not:)  So trying to be very quiet in the morning sometimes doesn’t work out.  Have you ever tried so hard to be so quiet and ended up being so loud?  Everything I touched I either dropped or banged up against.  On most days during that first week or two I couldn’t be quiet to save my life!  It has gotten a bit better, though.  They assure me that they don’t hear me in the morning so I’m going to roll with that! lol

It has been difficult to run my Stampin’ Up business here at my folks due to limited space.  My mom graciously gave up her laundry folding/sewing table for me so I would have a space to make cards and plan for workshops(and I so love her for it!).  It’s in the basement, which is great because it’s big, but it’s dark.

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My basement work area:)
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My craft room before we packed it all up:(

I was always so productive in this room!  This picture is a bit messy, but I smiled every time I walked in it!

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I find myself coming up with excuses not to go down and work because the room is not really screaming “BE CREATIVE!”.  I stay down there to get done only what I have to and then I come back upstairs.

So, how do I stay up to date on my blog and meet all of my obligations?  Well I took some time and browsed some blogs for the answer.  Imagine that! lol  The answer seemed to be universal, plan your day, week and month in advance.  Plan even the small things that don’t take up much time and have them completed early in your day so you can spend the bulk of your day on the major projects.  That seems to be a good idea.  If I have something written down, I’m more apt to complete it than if I just had it in my head.

The challenge I will have will be converting this plan to a person who works full-time outside of the home.  This planning will have to wait until I am finally living in my own home.  I will have a designated office/craft room (which I can’t wait to share with you all!) so I’m hoping will be more condusive to creativity.

My planned day will have to start around 3:00 p.m. each day, which I get off work.  I think the first thing on my list would be to check the mail when I arrive home, let the dog out and change my clothes.  Then I would take a hour or so to go over my email, and another hour to prepare a post and then another hour to produce a card.

As I look at that in black and white, I already see a problem.  If I take 3 hours complete this after work, by the time I’m done supper should have been cooked!  oops.  So I see where I’m going to have to plan dinners in there too.  Maybe then I should take an hour for email, then stop and start supper and then go back to posting for say a 1/2 hour then eat and then follow-up with cards.  I can see where having this on paper will be more beneficial.

I will work on my plan, put it in a form and then share it later.  I would love to hear all of your thoughts about how to organize a day to accomplish more.

Hope you all have a great and productive week!