"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."
~ Henry Van Dyke

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I hate Murphy!

Yep! I really do hate Murphy! Many of my friends online and in real life have been saying it is Murphy's Law at play with the renovation of our new house. I have had enough of Murphy and he can move on to somewhere else. Our new wood floor arrived over an hour early today and will be laid tomorrow so I was feeling like things are looking positive again. Our new dishwasher and fridge arrived well on time too today.
The man who was installing them came to do his job. Jos and I were bringing some of the packaging outside when I saw this...

I said to Jos why is it wet here and we followed the drips up the staircase only to discover that the man who put our freshly painted radiators back on earlier that day had not tightened the connection properly to the one in the bathroom. By the time we discovered the water, the bathroom was completely flooded.

We rushed to start cleaning it up only then did Bep and I realize that the water was seeping through the grooves of the newly laid laminate floor.

It all had to be pulled up including the under floor which was soaked through in the hall and into the bedroom.

So where I should be showing you some photos of the guest room looking really nice, I now have a huge mess again. So forgive me while I indulge in some great hatred for Murphy tonight!

Another gross photo of the freezer door when the kitchen front was removed to pull out the built in appliance. Again, at risk of repeating myself...how can anyone have lived in such filth?

Please pray for this to start going smoothly for a change. We need to see the tides turn now for us. In two weeks, we have to move from our home to this one and I am not even sure I want to live there now. Tomorrow the new floor will start to be laid so all your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Will we ever move???

Hi there! It is me...Dagi! I finally figured out what all the coming and going means in our house. We are moving but when will I get to go along? I tried in my own sneaky way to make it faster. *meow* I crawled into a box my mommy was packing but it did not work. She saw me and told me it was not my turn to move yet.

I am not sure I am going to like this move but she tells me that I have a nice big house to explore when I get there. We'll see!

She has friends stopping by to help her out regularly and she is very grateful for that! Silvia stops in whenever she has a free hour. Bep came again for a day last week and helped put the cupboards together for the quilt studio. Recently, Carolien came for two days to help and her daughter Sofia came one day too. Oh...I loved that as they are cat people and gave me lots of needed attention! Here is Sofia scrapping paint spatters from the windows.

More bad news but first some good news...

The front door has gone from this...

...to this! The second coat of paint is still not covering it well though and it will have to be sanded down and started over again. The two windows behind the iron grates open and it is really nice to be able to allow fresh air in without having the door open.

And now for more bad news. The wooden floors should have been finished two weeks ago. The man who is supposed to do them keeps saying the floor is too wet. This is a 16 year old wood floor and after the third time he said it and left, my mommy and daddy started to question it. Daddy called another man for his opinion. This guy said it was fine and could start right away. So Daddy called the first man and told him we would be going for another option. Suddenly the man was back within a couple of hours and said he would start on Monday. Well, that is today and Daddy is at this house very early this morning. He says that if the man doesn't start this morning, he has no other option than to tell him forget it and go for the other company. Now that man we have is supposed to be one of the best and we do not understand why this is happening but we cannot put it off any longer or we will have to put all our furniture in storage since we have to be moved out on November 4th.

I am really missing having my mommy around all the time. She is busy with the new house during the day. She is so busy with things that I decided to do this blog entry to update you all about how far things are (or are not as things are going). Thanks for your comments and hello to the newcomers to the blog. It was nice to read your comments and Heidi will visit you all as soon as things are settled in.

Meow, Dagi

Edit: Total disaster has struck! Jos and the man were met with a floor having bowed floorboards this morning early. The floor cannot be renovated as it is letting loose in the hallway, bedroom and just as you enter the living room. The previous owners said they never used the heating and now the floor is dry from us heating the house in the last two weeks which resulted in the floor boards coming loose. Repairs are very costly and there is no guarantee that it will work. The result is the man is now contacting some companies to see if he can find us a wood floor in stock for us to lay over this floor. I really am beginning to think this house has a curse on it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Coloring life.....

Lots of hard work being done this week! We found out that we had to paint the walls as well as the repair work and painting of the ceilings before Friday. The man for our floor switched us with another project this week so we had 3 days to get it done.

It has been hard but after today, we will be ready. Yesterday, my dear sweet friend Bep's husband dropped her off at the house at 9am where I was already busy painting. She stayed until 8pm when we drove her home. We got all the walls in the living room and hall painted and the first coat on our downstairs bedroom walls. They have to have the second coat today. Thank you so much Bep! I would never have gotten this far without you. We talked about missing not being able to quilt or stitch so I painted a Nine-Patch on the wall to compensate. Too bad my art work only lasted a minute. *wink*

I choose Histor extra mat paint for downstairs using two colors from our couches. The main color is called Forel (a taupe color) and Klei (grey brown color) is an accent color. For the first time after seeing the walls changed, I feel like this house is being transformed into home.

The painter is working on the second coat of paint on the ceiling as I type this and Jos ran over very early to get in a couple of hours of painting before he has to rush to work. I am off there now to take over but needed to take a nice long soak in a hot bath as I woke up very stiff in my joints.

I have just about all the switch plates cleaned now downstairs. It is amazing what a scouring sponge and elbow grease will do! Soon we will be starting upstairs. The amount of paint on the plates was amazing seeing how the house looked like it had never been painted in years with the dirty walls.

The new fridge and dishwasher are ordered and should be delivered in just over a week. I know that photos of this house do not really show how filthy it is so turn away now if you are weak stomached.

The general smell and appearance of the fridge is one thing but...

How could ANYONE live like this????? This is the rubber seal of the freezer section. The whole fridge is gross like this.

Our renovations of the wood floor start tomorrow morning. I am so anxious to see the floor come back to life with a warm double smoked stain. The rest of the laminate flooring will also be laid on Saturday along with our new front door being hung and the baseboards installed in my studio.

Off for yet another busy day.....

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week two and things go down hill and up again.....

It has been more than a week since I updated the work at the new house as it has been a week from the place where snowmen melt. *wink* I was talking to my mother and used that to describe the plasterers that were in the house. Since I am not allowed to swear even at middle age, my mother laughed when I told her this description.

We thought it would be good to have the ceilings done up before moving in throughout the house. We had hired two brothers to do the job but only when work started on the first day did we start to realize that this was a bad choice. They did not do the work themselves and left a young man from Romania in the house often to do much of the work all on his own. The work he did have help on, he ended up having to redo as the man who helped him did a bad job on it. He spoke no Dutch or German and very little English. It was actually much better at the moments that the boss (one of the two brothers) left to go check another job as he was a very unpleasant and rude man. He also spent every moment in the house telling us what a great job they do. I was sick of him from the first day! He told us when we were arranging the work that it would be done in two days and then after two days for the plaster to dry, they would spray the ceilings. We are still waiting for it to dry and that after we rented an industrial fan to help dry it.

It was obvious to us by the second day that this company was not good at their work. For all the man's bragging about how mirror smooth they plaster, we now have to have our painter take away time from his work to the sand the ceilings to get them smooth and then paint them for us.

Friday, things came to climax as we decided to tell the man that he had to clean up the mess of his stuff and get out of the house on Saturday morning. He was completely foul to Jos on the phone and when he arrived the next day. I listened while he lied and insulted us until I went to walk out of the house before I said something. I then decided that I should say something. This was a very expensive lesson about not doing this ever again and why should I not stand up to this man. So I walked back and really let him have it! He was so shocked that for the first time since Monday morning, he shut up. He has absolutely no idea how to work with a customer and his method is to intimidate you once you give him the contract. Right up to paying. He tried to get Jos to pay him cash so he could pocket the money without declaring it to the taxman. Had I known that, I would have started on him again and told him he was out the door now.

Now all this being said, I do not like fighting with people but it felt so good to turn and give this rude man a piece of my mind. I was proud of myself afterwards for not cowering from him but taking forceful control instead. There were four of them there that morning and they stood quiet as mice at the shock of the only woman in the house standing up for what was right. Finally, today we felt like we got our house back. It has been an emotional week for us.

These men never cleaned up after themselves, helped themselves to our coffee and treats without asking and also to Jos' tool box. They used up all the tape we bought to use on painting our walls without asking. Even the street a mess and they were able to drag all the mess with them outside. The boss insulted the man who was working on our new shower room and said the wall was all wrong and needed to be demolished before he could plaster the new wall.

Each evening, I went back to the house to clean up as much as I could. Since then, we now know that normally things are much better covered than the way this company works. Everything was full of plaster and dust. It was never ending work that was making me sick as I cannot be in this kind of dust with my chronic airway infection and skin condition.

I looked a mess as you can see from my shoes. Jos actually pulled out an old pair of tennis shoes to protect his Cats (see this old blog post) from being all messed up. And Jos is never without his Cats. *grins* We had what is referred to as a Jewish or flat ceiling plinth created to line the living room ceiling. I am not sure that is the correct word for it though in English. Now tomorrow, work with start on lightly sanding the ceiling to remove all the blemishes.

In the midst of this turmoil, there are always bright points like the flowers still blooming in the new garden. I am already envisioning the changes I would like to make next spring.

And many good friends have been stopping by to help me out like Bep helping me clean and scrap the plaster that dropped on the floor due to them using only a tarp on the ground. Sonja, Saskia and Silvia have been over to help out too. The chatting and laughter while working help lighten the load.

Another bright point is that my new quilt studio has been painted and has a new floor. The flat trim in laid but the baseboards along the walls still has to be painted and then installed.

The door to the garage will have to be slightly altered in length now with the new floor. We bought an extra thick laminate floor since it needs to be hard wearing with 15 ladies from my quilt group getting together here once a month.

I try and come home during the day to rest as I have been increased pain levels with trying to do so much work. Chronic illness and fixing up a house do not mix well. I do what I can to help Jos as much as possible. This week, he has to return to work so I will have to be at the house during the day. We brought over my big leather chair and footstool today so I can relax in the studio as often as possible.

Each evening, this little guy waits patiently for us to return home and cuddle up with him. He is very aware something is going on. As you can see, he is waiting for me now under a warm quilt so I will say good night to you all.

Note: I hope to be able to visit with you once things settle down in a couple of weeks. I miss your blogs!