Monday, July 27, 2015


I consider myself a decent person.  I'm not a saint, but I try to be nice, to do the right thing, to treat others fairly.  Sometimes I fail at these things, but I'd like to think, on the whole, it all averages out to me being a pretty okay human being.

Some people are NOT decent human beings.

And one of those decidedly NOT decent human beings HIT my car over the weekend.  And drove off.  No note, no knock on the door. NOT a decent thing to do.

Some background before I tell the tale...We have a very narrow driveway, only big enough for one vehicle. You see, we live on a cul-de-sac and so our property is like a slice of pie, narrow in the front and quite wide in the back.  Our one car garage is used for storage, so we park our van in the driveway. My sister has been parking to the right of the driveway, in the grass, and we park our car on the street in front of our mailbox.  This is totally legal and there are others that do the same.  There are five houses on our cul-de-sac, three tri-levels in the center and a double on each end/corner.  One of the doubles is under construction, putting on a new roof and new siding.

I left work early on Friday to take Tyler to the dentist (No cavities--YAY!!!)--Michelle (my sis) drove Tyler up to Adam's work in the van so I could leave the car for Adam to drive home.  He got home around 5:45 pm and parked in his usual spot.  Michelle went out for a bit in the evening and go home around 8:30.  She didn't notice anything strange at that point.  So, fast forward to Saturday morning.  Mom takes the car to work at the bookstore on Saturdays. We were all getting ready to leave at the same time, around 9:00 am, because we had appointments to get the kids haircut.  Mom left first, but she called right after she left and said that something was wrong with the car, that it looked like someone had hit it.  She came back to the house and we could see that the front drivers side had been hit by another vehicle.  At first glance, the damage didn't look too bad, dents, scrapes, and a plastic underside of the wheel well was broken and pressing against the tire.  We took some photos and Adam was able to move the pieces away from the tire, so since mom needed to get to work, we decided it was probably okay to drive it and we'd get it looked at later.

She did manage to get to work in it, but it seems as though the damage is much more extensive than we thought.  When the tires are straight, the crossbar on the steering wheel is not straight across like it should be, but at a sharp angle.  It's very hard to make the car turn and the brakes are squealing.  It's definitely out of alignment (remember I JUST got the car aligned along with 4 new tires and a new rim like a month ago) and who knows what else. I'm really worried that the axle or frame is bent.  It's a 2008, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that there might be more damage that the amount the car is worth. 

I spent Saturday afternoon filing a police hit and run report, starting a claim with my insurance company, scheduling a repair shop to come get it for an estimate, and setting up a rental car reservation (which I had to do again on Sunday, because something wasn't done right in the system).  They picked up the car this afternoon, so we'll see what they say when the estimate is ready.  I'm dreading the phone call, honestly. 

When we saw the damage, we did approach the contractor working on the house on the corner, because it seems awfully coincidental that something like this happened on the same day that many trucks, vans and trailers were taking over the street and backing in and out of the small area. They claim to know nothing about it, both the contractor and his team, and the group of roofers (though most of them didn't speak English).  I certainly can't prove that they did it, I suppose it could have just as easily been someone doing doughnuts in the middle of the night, but it certainly seems suspicious to me. We didn't hear anything and so far none of the neighbors have reported seeing anything.  It could have been during the night or early in the morning, we just don't know. The police officer said she would hand the report over to the hit and run detective and he might give us a call, but it's unlikely they'll find out who did it.

So the whole thing is horrifically frustrating, but there isn't much we can do.  We have a $400 deductible, which means the chances of us being able to pay that, plus the extra charges on the rental car (We have an allowance of $20 per day from the insurance company, but with tax the car is slightly more than that, plus we opted for the $16/day insurance coverage, because we're feeling anything but lucky right now), and continue to work on the house and move this fall are slim.

We spent the day Sunday moving Michelle's stuff from her storage unit to her new place. She's renting a half double from a really nice lady and it's not far from our house, so that is good. It was hot, but at least it didn't pour rain on us.  When we moved her last time, it was snowing and sleeting.

So that's the goings-on here!  More to come as this story develops LOL!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Staycation 2015

Thanks for the comments on my last post ladies!!  You're so sweet!

Last week, Adam and I took off work to spend some time with the kiddos (before Tyler goes back to school NEXT WEEK) and to accomplish a few things on the house.  The weather wasn't exactly cooperative (rainy, stormy at times and HOT) but we did manage to paint our bedroom (which included the walls, ceiling, and trim) and Tyler's room (just the walls). I feel pretty good about that, as I wanted to tackle two projects and that qualifies, although I would have liked to tackle something bigger that will be more of a challenge on a weekend.  We went with a warm tan/sandy color in our room and although I'd planned to do white in Tyler's room, he convinced me to let him pick a color (with guidance) and chose a light blue, which I ended up being happy with.  I was very sad to paint over his stamped paw prints, though!  It broke my heart a little bit! We did leave one behind, at his request, and I'll just paint it over before we move.  Oh, I did have a bit of an issue when we were taping off Tyler's room.  I was finishing taping the ceiling and had just one piece left to put up. I was trying to reach, using a three step step ladder.  As I was reaching, I thought "I'd better just get down and move over, or I'm going to fall.  So I started to get down. And the ladder tipped over and I fell.  Oops.  I actually cracked my head pretty hard on the door frame as I went down, which was a little scary.  Luckily, aside from a bad bump and a headache, I felt okay, not dizzy or anything.  I had put my hands out though, and the pinkie on my left hand got sore pretty quickly and swelled a bit.  I sat down for a few minutes to make sure I was okay, and then we went ahead and painted.  I felt fine, just a little sore and then a lot sore the last few days, pulled muscles and stuff. My head is still tender and muscles in my upper arms and neck are pretty sore.  My pinkie is still swollen, stiff, and aching, so I am wearing a little splint on it, which makes typing interesting. My backspace button is getting a workout!

Other than painting, I tried to take the kids to the park, but it was too muddy, so I let them play a few minutes at the indoor playground at chick fil a, but that was pretty awful--crowded and the lack of manners of the kids there made me crazy.  Instead, we took the kids to to Monkey Joe's on Friday, which of course they loved.  And they are still young enough that they are tired after about an hour, so that works for me!  Adam and mom both go auctions, so they spent some time on that.

Friday was our 11 year anniversary (can't believe that) so we planned to go out, but it was really storming and literally POURED for like 5 hours, so we stayed home and went out Saturday night instead.  We had dinner at Texas Roadhouse and then drove around for awhile, looking at houses for fun.  Then we got some fro yo at Orangeleaf (YUM).  After that we hemmed and hawed over what to do and ended up at Goodwill, where Adam found some awesome deals to sell on Ebay.  Then we stopped at Walmart to get a curtain rod for Tyler's room and got AJ some socks (I swear, he has dragon claws, he gets holes in all his socks) and got the kids some PJs.  We laughed at how dull the evening probably seemed, but we had a really good time anyway.

So there you have it, our staycation!  I leave you with pictures!

AJ got ahold of my phone. He also erased all my pictures. Thank goodness for auto back up!

Tyler at Monkey Joes

AJ getting ready to slide!


Farewell Pawprints! (And our initials, which Adam put there way back when)

Painting-Adam, you're doing it wrong
Bedroom color-it's actually a bit lighter than this. The other pic I took, you can't even tell it's not white

Tyler's room--it's blue, I promise. #bad lighting Also pictured: Coconut the Monkey's whole family and my old friend Whiskers the seal

My boo-boo

Friday, July 10, 2015

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it's off to work we go

Shew, we have been BUSY!  When we aren't at work or out running, we are working on the house!  We've been trying to get ready to list our house for sale for AGES, as I've mentioned here before, but we weren't really making much progress.  We finally sat down and made a list of all the projects we wanted to do and actually put them on a calendar.  That put things in perspective, because with mainly only have time to work on things on the weekends....well that was going to take a lot of weekends.  We've been hard at work for about 6 weeks solid and we've actually made a lot of progress!

We have work to do in every single room in the house.  A lot of projects are just fresh paint and curtains, but we knew that both bathrooms and the kitchen needed major overhauls.  We've already redone the floor and countertops and sink in the kitchen, but the raggedy wallpaper needs to be removed (yeah, I talked about starting this in the Spring of 2014 and I'm ashamed to say only one wall got done back then), the walls and cabinets need painted, new hardware will be installed and new lighting will need to go in. 

I'm thrilled to say that the upstairs bath is DONE!!!  Well, we still need to install one more towel rack, but I'm calling it done anyway!  We replaced the flooring, shower surround, vanity and counter, both lights and painted the walls and I think it looks really great!

BEFORE:  Sadly I lost the other before pics I took when I accidentally deleted all the photos on my phone
AFTER:  Vanity cabinet purchased at auction, top from the Habitat for Humanity REstore, and the faucet was an auction leftover!

AFTER: Shower Surround after!  Also bought at an auction. The shower head and faucet are also from plumbing auctions

AFTER:  New lighting, purchased at the REstore for I think $15.

The downstairs bath is basically done too!  It was a HUGE huge HUGE change.  The downstairs bath is really a half bath with the laundry and utilities also housed in it.  Until recently, it had mis-matched paneled walls, exposed rafters, icky flooring, a cheap accordian door, a bare lightbulb, and the heater and water heater were very much out in the open.  With the help of Adam's coworker/contractor, we now have clean white paneled walls, new flooring, a drop ceiling, can recessed lighting, a newly stained vanity with a new faucet, a sliding paneled door (like a pocket door, but it just slides against the wall, and a the utilities are now tucked away in a closet with slatted wood doors.  I'm thrilled with how it turned out!  I love the doors and the lighting! It was so dark and dingy before and now it's bright and clean!  I need to put a coat of paint on the door and hang curtains, but then it's done too!
BEFORE: Dark, mismatched walls, exposed ceiling

BEFORE: Exposed utilities (excuse the litter box)

BEFORE: accordion door, exposed duct work/pipes

AFTER: New sliding door, enclosed utilities with slatted doors (REstore, $10 a door)

AFTER:  Stained Vaniety and added hardware, new walls and towel rack.  Mirror Walmart $15

AFTER:  New flooring, drop ceiling, recessed lighting

This weekend we painted our hall (just white, not very exciting, but fresh and clean) and finished up some things on the bathrooms.  I feel like we've made progress, but there is still a lot to do. We are taking next week off work and we plan to work on the kitchen walls and also outside.  Outside we want to paint the shutters and front door, remove the damaged outdoor carpeting from the porch and stairs, clean out the gutters, power wash the patio, porch and siding, put up a new porch light, and do some basic pruning and weeding.  I also need to put down a little grass seed in a few places. Eventually I'll plant some flowers in the pot at the curb, but I'll probably leave that until right before we list.  Of course, these outdoor plans are hinged on the weather, which has been really crummy here lately.  Enough rain!  Don't make me call Noah!

Over the next few months, we have more painting to do (master bedroom, Tyler's room (sob!  Goodbye pawprints!), living room, downstairs hall, and mom's room), flooring (stairs and upstairs hall and new carpet in the family room), change out the ceiling tiles in the basement, lots of lighting (family room, entry, hall x2), and putting up curtains in basically all the rooms.  It's overwhelming at times.  I hope we can keep this momentum going and I hope the money holds out (actually that's it's replenished, because Adam has been working so much on the house that ebay has suffered).  I touched base with our realtor and she's happy with our progress and they're going to update our information to give us a better idea of our budget and what we might expect to get for our house, so fingers crossed for some good news there!  Michelle started her new job awhile back and it's going well so she's starting to look for a place as well, so it seems like things might be beginning to fall into place. I hope I'm not wrong about that!