Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Heritage Sampler progress

I finished the tree ornament! At first I didn't think I was going to like those flowers much particularly the yellow ones as I thought they were getting lost a bit. Once I got the leaves stitched in though I'm thrilled with how it looks! :) I'm going to keep going with this one a little bit more, the next bit is to stitch in my last name in one vertical band and the word "Family" in the other vertical band on either side of the tree ornament area. I also need to stitch in my initials and the year on top of and below the tree. Hmmm... what year should I use? I started this piece in 2007, but not sure if I should use that year as it is likely to be several more years before I actually finish the piece. Maybe I'll do 2007 and find a place for the year ended somewhere else in the piece. Since all those letters and numbers are over-one I think I might tire of this pretty quickly, but I'm going to try to do a little of that before I move on - maybe back to Alhambra Garden as it is whining to me from the WIP pile ever so quietly.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Alhambra Garden progress

I was going to finish all of the top triangle before I posted a progress pic, but on Saturday I decided to stitch some on Heritage Sampler and before long Alhambra Garden was tossed back into the WIP pile. I thought I'd at least take a pic and post it to show I did work on it a little. I'm still enjoying stitching it, I'm just enjoying Heritage Sampler more at the moment. Maybe I'll come back to AG when I get tired of Heritage Sampler. :)
I have made an executive decision to only stitch on what I feel like until the new year. I'll probably try to go back to some sort of rotation then, but for now I'm going screamin'.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Smart Kid!

I just finished meeting with Katie's Pre-K teacher for her first parent-teacher conference. Apparently despite some of the behavior issues we have at home, she is one of those kids who has perfect behavior at school. Always listens to directions, is kind to the other kids, knows all her letters, is above average for what she should know for this age. Miss Erin even said that if Kindergarten were starting tomorrow she is more than ready! I specifically asked because her birthday is May and we wondered about waiting another year. Alex had an August birthday and although we sent him the first year he was eligible, he really struggled that first year and we didn't want Katie to repeat that bad experience.

What really had me rolling was the picture journal the teacher showed me - Most pictures are of her and me or of strawberries - her favorite food. Miss Erin also told me that Katie tells her at least twice a day, "I'm never getting married - I'm gonna stay by my mom!" Smart kid - some days I think that is advice I should have taken!

Anyway, it was good to see her through someone else's eyes and to hear that she is attached to me and actually might like me a little bit. With the amount of general whining she does some days I was really, really beginning to wonder.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bleh, Bleh, Bleh

Ever feel like your job gets in the way of your life? There are so many things I could be doing right now. For instance, I could be taking down the glass “cups” around the light bulbs in all the light fixtures and cleaning them. Or I could be raking all the leaves that have blown back from the curb or the neighbor’s yard into our driveway. Or I could be touching up the paint job on the drywall from the plumbing incident, or I could be sorting through the stash, or I could be watching some mindless TV show.

*sigh* All of those things sound more appealing than sitting at my job doing my work these days. I’m just feeling so lazy and I know I’m one of the lucky ones – I still have my job, the people are pretty nice and the work isn’t too hard. But ugh I feel blah about it. And I don’t want a different job either – I just want to stay at home and take care of the kids and house. Katie will start Kindergarten next year, so she’ll be in school most of the time anyway – but I still don’t wanna work.

Problem is I’m completely capable of holding down a well paying full-time job and doing so affords me the financial ability to do a lot of things I couldn’t do without that. DH says I should just quit and we’ll take our house off the market. (We could live on just his income if we stay in this house). I don’t want that either. So add selfish and materialistic to the aforementioned lazy in my list of flaws.

Maybe I’m just PMSing… or maybe its the weather turning all gray and ick... I dunno

Monday, November 17, 2008

Someone likes our house!

Everyone cross your fingers for us - we have at least one interested buyer, and perhaps two! Our realtor called Saturday and asked if another realtor could show the house on Sunday. We hesitated because we just had the drywall patched from the plumbing incident, and it hadn't been painted yet. She urged us to hurry up and get it painted so they could see it, so that is what we did. They probably smelled fresh paint, but otherwise the wall looked good as new when they were here.

Our realtor called today to say that the showing went really well, they liked our house best out of all they had seen and would have written an offer except that they first have to sell their condo on the other side of town first. Supposedly there is interest in the condo, but of course they need an offer first, like we need an offer before we can buy bigger.

I guess this really doesn't put us anywhere, except that it is really encouraging that someone besides us thinks this is a great house. I know condos can be tough to sell and there is no guarentee that it will sell - we'll just see what happens. I'm just glad to know that maybe, just maybe someone might think about buying this place!

Oh, and the "maybe two" - our buyer's agent has another client she thinks will be interested in our home - they will probably see the house sometime this week. So again nothing as great as an offer - but at least it is interest!

So again, cross your fingers - okay?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Spring Queen

This is a replacement piece for Debbi for the last Mira RR. She was the other person whose RR went missing in the most recent Mira RR.
Now I'm going to try to get some progress in on my Alhambra Garden!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I should have been a plumber

UGH! It has been a week. Alex brought home a nasty cold that had him out of school on Monday and me sick the rest of the week. I went home from work early on Tuesday because of the icky cold and then decided that since I was home I would kill a few birds and make some phone calls for appointments. Big mistake – should have just slept off the cold.

Background: Our shower has not been shutting off properly for several weeks. I tried disassembling it to replace the cartridge, but I could not remove the cartridge myself. Somehow messing around with it seemed to get the water turning on and off again properly. This solution was only temporary though as Sean called me as I was getting in to work one day to tell me that “the bathtub is gushing water and won’t turn off”. He did eventually get the water to slow to a trickle by using brute force to push the handle in – but of course that isn’t a permanent solution either.

Soo.. lying on the couch I think good chance to get an appointment with a plumber to have him replace the cartridge – I thought I’d be making an appointment for next week or something. First place I called I explained the issue and that I think it’s the cartridge and he says, “Sure we can replace it. It is a $59 service charge – I can send someone right out.” I think great – I won’t have to take more time off from work, $59 is manageable, he’ll be in and out in about an hour or so and I will still have time to take a nap before the kids come home from school (this was about noonish). Yeah, I guess I’m that naïve.

As soon as the plumber arrives he looks at the type of faucet I have, agrees that the cartridge is the problem, and tells me that the total bill to take out the old and replace with new is $275 and change. I say what about the $59? “Oh, that is just to get me here, doesn’t include actually doing anything.” Since I have to pay the $59 anyway, he is right here and it still sounds attractive to get this all taken care of right now without missing more work, I reluctantly agree. I really think the guy I talked to on the phone (which I later learned was the owner of the company) should have told me the range in which I’d be paying for a replacement cartridge, since he knew that is what the call was for instead of misleading me into thinking I was only going to pay $59. By the way, I thought $59 was reasonable since the cartridge itself costs about $16 – since taking it out and replacing would be about a half hour of labor – that sounded about right to me.

But that’s not the end of it. Plumber tries to extract the old cartridge with a special tool and the cartridge was so corroded that is broke off and could not be fully removed. Now I have a dripping pipe sticking into my shower/bathtub, the water to the whole house is shut off, and my only option is to purchase and install a new faucet. I have to do it right now because this is the only place to shower in the house (damn one full bath) and I cannot turn the water on for the rest of the house until it is fixed unless I want water spewing from that pipe full blast. Now that part isn’t the plumbers fault, the faucet was probably original to the house (1981) and we have very hard water here, making corrosion pretty common after that many years. I have no trouble believing that the only true fix was to replace the faucet.

I did have a problem with paying for the new faucet on top of the “repair and replacement charge” of $275. The new faucet to install cost $848, after he told me it would cost between $600 and $900 depending which faucet I choose. I told him whichever was the least expensive option and that is what he came up with. *sigh* Apparently the cheaper faucets were not stocked on his truck (kinda convenient, eh?). I don’t know the actual cost of just the faucet itself because it is only sold to professionals, you cannot go to home depot or wherever and buy this particular brand. I do know that I could get several similar models in other brands for between $100 and $200 dollars. Still I think I could swallow that if I wasn’t still being charged for the repair that didn’t happen. It is a really nice faucet with a hot/cold water pressure valve that makes sure the water temp doesn’t change when you use other water in the house, and did take him several hours to install.

So grand total for missing half a day of work and deciding to make an appointment: $1123 – ugh. And I’m still sick, and now there is a whole in the drywall in the kitchen where he had to go in from the back to replace the faucet so as not to mess up the tile in the bathroom. Now I get to call around to get that fixed. I’d wait til I was well, but the house is on the market and who knows when someone will want to see it. I’m thinking a big whole in the drywall in the kitchen is not really a good selling point. *Sigh* at least the new owners will have a new faucet, with extra good temp control, and which has a 100 yr warranty on the cartridge. I swear by the time we leave this place it will be an all new house – we replaced windows, roof, garage door, the kitchen plumbing and now the bathroom plumbing.

Oh, and icing on the cake? The next morning when Alex tried to take a shower the pipes start spewing water into the kitchen and into the wall. I immediately have him turn off the water. Plumber comes back out (at 6:30am) immediately and fixes the problem for free, he forgot to sodder one of the joints – but sheesh! Glad we didn’t fix the drywall the same day – no way we’d have known until the water damage started to come through the wall.

I called the owner up and complained about having to pay the extra $200 or so (the cost of the failed repair after you subtract the $59 service charge) and the two of us went round and round for about 15 min. on how ethical their charging practices were, but in the end I couldn’t make him do the right thing. I suppose I could dispute the charge on my credit card, but I’m not sure that is the right thing to do either. I guess I’ve eliminated one company for any future issues…