This week’s house trauma is flooring. Like most of the interior finishes, we picked the flooring before we even started building the house. Our original desire was to use porcelain tile everywhere in the main house. That turned out to be way too expensive. The tile is relatively cheap, but the cost of installing it more than quadruples the price. And we have a lot of flooring.
In a cost saving measure, we selected some luxury vinyl tile (LVT) to use on the second floor and in the basement. Our understanding was that it would be less than a third of the cost of the tile. That turned out to be wrong, which sent our builder on a hunt for an alternative. What they found was engineered bamboo, which looks good, is harder than hardwood and is environmentally friendly.
So, problem solved, right? Not exactly. Our tile guy (who also quoted the LVT) really, really hates bamboo and doesn’t want us to use it. He’s currently scrambling to put together a quote for doing the whole house in tile at a price that’s competitive to the tile + LVT number. Still a bit more than we were expecting to pay, but giving us the material we really want throughout the entire house.
We’re supposed to get the number on Monday. We’re also supposed to get the revised estimate for our new landscape plan. Meanwhile, the utility company finally showed up yesterday to run the power line from the street to the house and workshop. Of course it’s a different crew that actually moves the transformer and connects the power, but that’s supposed to happen next week. Gonna be a big week.
The forecasters finally got it right. The massive snow event did not just miss us to the north or south, instead it stalled out right over the Twin Cities, eventually dumping about 9 inches on us. It started at 9:00 am yesterday, so I was able to get through my personal training session, followed by a quick stop at the grocery store and still get home before any significant accumulation. That was lucky.
Then it really started coming down. I pushed the garbage and recycle bins through two inches of snow just after 1:00. Less than three hours later the tracks were completely obliterated. By the time the sun set, we had some pretty impressive drifts outside of the front door. This is the first significant snowfall we’ve been home for in quite a while.
Fortunately, we have plenty of food in the house and plenty of projects to keep us busy. I spent a good portion of yesterday afternoon taming the towering inferno of empty boxes that threatened to take over our house. Early this morning I shoveled a small space at the bottom of our drive to accommodate the trash and recycle bins. I’m pretty sure they don’t get emptied if they are buried by snow.
Our street was cleared early this morning, but our driveway is still buried as of noon today. Fortunately, we have no compelling need to leave the house. Our Cayenne could probably make it out, but I don’t want to test it. I can’t imagine much happened at our new home yesterday, anyway. There won’t be any trucks getting up our hill today. Temps are supposed to be pretty warm for the next ten days, so hopefully a lot of it will melt. Meanwhile, consider us snowbound.
I’ve never been so happy to get out of the warmth and sunshine and return to the bitter cold. Nothing like three days of non-stop dusk to dawn cleaning, organizing and packing to make you feel like you had a real vacation. We managed to get through pretty much everything in the garage yesterday. I hauled eight big trash bags to the dumpster and several more to the recycle bin.
Midway through the purge, I got a call from my mom. She had tripped and fallen going into her house and ended up calling a neighbor to take her to urgent care. Turns out she fractured her elbow. I’m ashamed to admit I spent most of the call moaning about how shitty our week here had been. I just ended up making her feel guilty about hurting herself. I’m a total heel.
This morning I took three big bags to charity. Normally I would box those things, but I am scrounging every box I can find to pack up our stuff. I’m not too proud to admit I salvaged a flattened box from the street. I wish there had been some good ones in our recycle bin.
Our flight home was on time, the car started when we got to long term parking at MSP and our driveway had been plowed when we arrived at home. That’s the best day we’ve had in a week. So, despite the barely above zero temp outside, I’m happy to be home.
Yesterday might have been one of the most exhausting days of my life. Today wasn’t much better. I spent nearly three hours moving stuff in and out of our storage locker yesterday afternoon, while my husband was running errands and getting the Xterra emissions tested. My task included shifting nine extremely heavy solid wood doors from the back of the locker to the front, as we need to sell or donate them.
After we got home, we spent the rest of the day cleaning stuff out of closets, cabinets and drawers, throwing things away and packing boxes. Lots and lots of boxes. This involved a few thousand trips up and down the stairs. Our only big break was eating the late lunch/early dinner we had delivered. I crawled into bed at 10:30, physically and mentally exhausted. Then I woke up abruptly at 4:00 am, positive I heard a noise. Of course I had to creep downstairs to check it out. It took me over an hour to fall back asleep.
Today was lather, rinse, repeat. With an earlier start. By the end of the day I had hauled six big bags of garbage out to the dumpster. Dinner was another delivery, deep dish pizza this time. By 7:00 we were both exhausted and soaked with sweat, so we called it quits. Best shower of my life. Amazingly, the only big area we have left to tackle is the garage. So guess what’s on next morning’s agenda?
It’s been a rough couple of days. Wednesday afternoon we took our Xterra to the dealership to get whatever was tripping the “check engine” light repaired. Early Thursday morning we found out just how much that was going to cost. So much that they made my husband come back in and pay a deposit before they would order the parts.
Then on Friday afternoon we met with a real estate agent to talk about listing our house here. We found out that not only is it worth less than we thought, but she highly recommended we get it listed by March 1st. Gulp. Right after we finished that meeting, the dealership called to tell us the Xterra was ready to be picked up.
So we do the car shuffle and then head to a late lunch followed by a much needed gas stop. Meanwhile, I get a call from our builder following up on an email they had sent a few hours earlier regarding our flooring. One of the estimates was nearly double what they projected, so they were scrambling to come up with more cost effective alternatives. Unfortunately, nothing they proposed would save much and it would compromise the aesthetics of the house.
It wasn’t really a happy phone call. There might have been some harsh words exchanged. Meanwhile, we were driving the car around to get some miles on it before taking it back for the emissions test. My husband went to do just that today, while I spent a few hours taking everything out of our storage locker so we could pull out the hardwood doors we salvaged from my dad’s house when it was demolished. The only good news – the Xterra passed the emissions test and we can now renew the tabs. Finally, one small victory.
Monday morning we dropped the furry little beast off at the kitty condo for his boarding stay. Our flight to Phoenix was yesterday morning, so naturally I spent all day Monday power cleaning while we were temporarily cat-free. I actually accomplished more than I thought I would, so I was feeling pretty smug about it. I waited until after dinner to shower, since I knew the cleaning would leave me sweaty. Of course I had some wine with dinner, so by the time I got into the shower, I was feeling no pain.
Until I shaved my legs and learned an important lesson. It’s a really bad idea to shave after drinking. One half-assed swipe at the back of my calf left a trail of blood running down my leg. I never knew that a razor could qualify as heavy equipment. I won’t make that mistake again. It looks like really bad road rash. I guess I should be glad it’s too cold for shorts in Phoenix right now.
Speaking of Phoenix, we got to watch a drug bust in the parking lot of our condo complex right after we arrived. At first it just looked like a resident reporting an abandoned vehicle to the police, something that’s happened before. Nope, there were two people apparently living in the car and we later saw both of them handcuffed and sitting on the curb with what looked like a crack pipe on the hood of the car.
It made for an awkward exit from our garage when we left to head for the DMV. The police officer very nicely asked if he needed to move his SUV for us to get out. We just noped right out of there. Our first errand of the trip was obtaining a temporary permit for our Xterra so we can get it repaired and emissions tested without risking a ticket for expired tabs. That proved to be relatively quick and painless. Let’s hope it’s setting the tone for the rest of the trip.
My apologies for yesterday’s rant. I just needed to get a few things off my chest before closing out 2017. I will do my best to maintain a more positive attitude in 2018. What I won’t do is commit to posting something every single day. It was a good challenge, but some days the pressure was overwhelming.
Here are some fun statistics for the year.
Total number of posts: 365 (duh, one a day). This blows away my previous average of just under 150 per year.
Total number of photos posted: 898. This is completely off the chain, as it very nearly matches the total number of photos I posted in the previous seven and a half years.
I will guarantee those are records that will stand unbested for eternity. I’m starting off 2018 with what is likely to be an extended break from posting. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Netflix awaits. Happy 2018!