Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A novel, stitching and a giveaway


Long time no blog.  I've discovered that the longer a person waits to blog the harder it is to blog again.  Thoughts run through your mind and you can't decide whether you should spill everything that has happened over the course of the 6 weeks of silence or pretend you haven't been absent and just jump in with both feet.  Or perhaps you try for middle of the road and just hit the highlights.  I have a hard time with the middle of the road part, I tend to be an all or nothing person. Just jumping in doesn't feel right to me and writing a short novel on the perils and pitfalls of life in the McConnell household could send what followers I still have running for cover!  So once again here I sit trying to decide how to proceed.   After pondering for a bit I think I will just write what comes to mind and see what happens.

When last I blogged, we were trying to get the guest bathroom repaired and put back together before Adam and Marcia arrived.  This turned out to be a complete nightmare.  I'll try to be brief...eta: Ha!  like that will ever happen!

1.   Plumber arrives to replace tub.  Cuts old tub out, installs new tub.  Informs us that it wasn't actually the tub   that was leaking.  Toilet just needed re-seating.  Too late now! I just love throwing away money on things that don't need doing.

2.    New tub makes weird noise when you step into it and wobbles a bit.
3.    Tile guy came out, measures, will get us an estimate but can't do anything until the problem with the tub is fixed.

4.    Call plumber, they come out, tub must be replaced.

5.    Dan and I go order our chosen tile.  OUT OF STOCK ~ 10 weeks till it would come in.  
6.    Choose 8 different tiles to bring home over the course of the next couple of days.
7.    Only 1 of the 8 is in stock but it is 3 times the cost of the one we wanted. Can't do it.
8.    Plumber installs 2nd new tub.

After 2nd tub installed
9.    Try yet another different place for tile, find one similar to original, all in stock.  YEAH!!
10.  Call tile guy with new tile sizes.  Wait for estimate.
11.  Call tile guy again.  Still waiting for estimate.
12.  3 days later and still no estimate.  Call another friend who has a tile guy she likes.
13.  New tile guy calls (we'll refer to him as A), comes out and gives estimate on the spot. Says his brother (we'll refer to him as B) will do the actual job.  When asked if  B was any good was told better than A, has done it more.  Great!

14.  Flooring installation gets pushed back.  Just can't deal with both the bathroom and the kitchen.   Installation of tile begins.  I do not look at progress as I want to be surprised.  Take it from me...don't wait.

15.  Tile guy finished, wants money.  Leave work to come home and inspect the job and get a sick feeling in my stomach.  Refuse to pay tile guy.  Call friend that recommended  tile guy and ask if she can come look at it to see if I am being too picky.  Head back to work.

16.  Return from work to find shower covered in pink sticky notes pointing out all the bad spots.  Seems I am not being too picky.   Discover that toilet is leaking again, this time from the seal on the tank.  My guess is B had a hand in breaking the seal.  Has leaked through to the kitchen ceiling.  Good thing we hadn't repaired it yet.  Dan bought a new seal and got it fixed when he came home that evening.  

17.  Partner of A comes out (we'll refer to him as C) to inspect the job and collect money.  I tell him we have a problem and show him the shower.  After looking it over thoroughly, he asks us what parts we could live with and what we would need to absolutely have fixed.  There was no way to fix it completely without a complete tear out and we are now 4 days away from Adam and Marcia's arrival.  C also informs us that this was B's first solo job.  Really?  News to us since we were told he was experienced.  I could spend a lot of time on what went on here but you don't need all the gory details.  Suffice to say we agreed on what needed fixing and C supervised while B fixed, this took another 2 days.  They did not reduce their fee. At this point I just want them gone so I paid them and showed them the door.  

New tile
The tiles have a metallic sheen to them and in certain lights you can see the blue that you see in the picture.  I am thinking of painting the walls a pale shade of the blue. 

18.  Called the plumber the day before Adams arrival to finish the installation of the faucets. Shower is now usable.  But no time to paint or make it look like nice.  Walls are beat to crap from the repair of the tile.

As if this was not enough to deal with, during this time period my father also had surgery and as a result of the surgery he had pneumonia.   He's fine now.   The air conditioner broke, got it fixed.  Dan had to replace 2 tires on his car.  Dan is also working on replacing all the woodwork on the main floor including the doors (bathroom, laundry room, basement and hall closet).  He managed to get 3 of the 4 doors replaced before the arrival of Marcia and Adam.  Still no molding though.  Another incident during this time involved the piano tuner.  I pissed him off but good.  We had scheduled the piano for a tuning and a cleaning back in January but if you will remember that far back, Gracie was ill at the time and I couldn't afford it so I needed to re-schedule and it was June before he could come at a time I could be here.  Normally he gives me a call to remind me he's coming the next day only he didn't and with everything that was going on it just wasn't on my radar.   So when the doorbell rang I was just about to head to work.  I answered it and when I opened the door and saw him I said shit!    I explained that I was on my way out and besides, you couldn't get to the piano due to all the boxes that Abby had piled up around the piano, because the other thing that was happening during this time was Abby moving out. She had boxes packed and piled up all over the house.  It was a mess!!   He tried to tell me he could crawl over and around the boxes to do the tuning.  And maybe he could have but here's the thing.  The.dude's.blind.  Literally.  I did not need a lawsuit because he fell and hurt himself.  So I said I was really sorry that I had forgotten, explained about my dad's surgery being the day before and how I must have missed his reminder call.  He admitted to not calling and tried to tell me he never gives me a reminder call (total lie on his part).  Then I explained again about  the boxes, my not needing him to get hurt crawling around  etc. and that it just wasn't going to happen that day.  He took an attitude with me and demanded I pay him the full amount for the tuning.  By this time I was angry and said fine I'll give you a check how much do you want, he tells me and then says he'll apply part of it to the bill when he comes to do the tuning.  I told him that wouldn't be necessary as I would find another tuner, he started huffing and puffing and then finally left.  So now I have to find a new piano tuner.  My bad.

Adam and Marcia arrived on a Tuesday and that next week was spent cooking, cooking and more cooking.  We got to know Marcia a bit better and I think she had a better impression of Nebraska than she got back in January.  She and Adam make a cute couple and it's obvious that they love each other very much.  I might not like the fact that he lives in D.C. but I'm happy that he's happy.  

Adam and Marcia
As for the last 2 weeks that I haven't blogged, blame it on procrastination.  Decompressing from the month before or just plain laziness on my part.  Take your pick.  

Other random bits from the time of silence:

Amy got a black eye.  I'm not supposed to say how it happened, let's just say Amy v. Shampoo bottle.  Shampoo bottle won!

Abby and Jordan broke up.  He needed space.  She is coping as well as can be expected.  

Dan's mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, has had her surgery and is doing well.  Prognosis good. 

Dan picked up some contract work with his old employer.  The extra money will be nice. 

Work has been busy but not as busy as it has been which is good.  I can almost see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I've had an idea for our Spring retreat but am still pondering it a bit.  Trying to flesh it out so to speak.  And I've done some stitching. Not as much as I might have liked but still progress is being made.  

My parrot's tail feathers are almost done now.  That leaves just some flowers and leaves.

I've worked on Coverlet Houses some more.

I started this design from Jeanette Douglas, the name escapes me at the moment and it's a chore to climb over all the furniture to find the pattern right now.

I started and finished this design on July 4th.  It's from Threadwork Primitives and I'll make it into a pillow one of these days. 

And finally I have pulled the floss for one of my HAED's.  I'm missing a few skeins though and I have to wait for the silk gauze to arrive.  Yes, that's right, I'm thinking of doing it on 40ct silk gauze.  Insane I know but I want to at least try it.    

Also taking place right now as we speak, or as I type is probably more correct...the tear out of the kitchen floor.  They sent only one man.  At the rate he is moving it will be winter before he's done.  In truth he is supposed to be done sometime Friday. 

And that my friends catches you up on the time of silence.  I tried to keep it as short as possible but it's still a short novel in my opinion.  I hope those that stayed with me till the bitter end thought it was worth it.  And as a reward for sticking with me through the time of silence I am going to have a giveaway for one of my Scissor Beak Birds.  Just the bird, it does not come with the scissors or the thread.  It will arrive naked.  You may  have a choice of which bird you prefer should you be the winner.   

There are a few simple rules to follow.  

1.  You must be a follower
2.  You must leave a comment on this thread only.  Leave a name and a contact email if you can not be reached through a blog. 

3.  You will have 48 hours to respond to the email I will send you informing you of your win, if I do not hear from you by then I will choose a new winner.

4.  The giveaway will end next Wednesday the 18th of July.  

That's all.  Not too difficult to figure out.  Thanks for reading and commenting and hanging in there with me!

Take care till next time!



Sue McCormick said...

Did you "bleep" yourself or did some things fail to load.

It looks like you've been having an extra hard time, but hand but hang in there!

Mouse said...

good grief ... well I managed to get through it all .*passes large mug of something to help you through the next few days ....
tiles look lovely and a nice shade of a warm blue will look lovely :)
stitching is gorgeous and amazed you managed to get some done with everything going on :)
nice black eye ;)
and mmmmm would love to be entered into the draw and love the pink and brown bird (would fit right into my decor ;)
deep breaths and cccccccccchillll ....
take care love mouse xxxxx

Lisa V said...

WOW, that sure is alot you have been dealing with. Please let me know about your experience with lifting your tile floor, we have a large area of tiles that were laid by the original owners of the house and they look dreadful, and it appears as if she never mopped them as the grout is disgusting. I would love to have it all ripped up, but I am worried about the mess.
I would love the chance to win one of your scissor beak birds please, I am already a follower and my email is in my profile.

Marilyn said...

Wow, what an ordeal to deal with!
Good luck with the rest of it.
Love all of your wips especially the Coverlet Houses.
I would love to win one of your scissor beak birds, they are too cute.

Doreen said...

I'm SO glad to see you blog updated. Please don't make us wait this long again. You have so much to share. I now have a lot of questions for you but I'll wait to ask them.

The parrot is so beautiful. I look forward to seeing how you frame him. As far as doing an HAED on gauze - that's just crazy talk, woman. But I imagine the past few weeks may have touched your brain a little....

I'd love to win a bird - can I choose which one when/if I win?

Take care,

scott doreen gmail com

Catherine said...

Oh my gosh! I can not believe all that you have been dealing with!!! I sure hope all has settled down for you and that everything goes well with the kitchen.

Love your birds, but since I already won one from you, I will leave the chances to someone else. I love mine!!

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Wow! You have had a time of it, haven't you? Getting work done is so stressful anyway but then add all the crap you had to deal with... Yikes! Your tile looks beautiful and I hope you'll be able to enjoy it without thinking about your knuckle headed contractors. Sorry about all the other events, too. Break-ups, black eyes and breast cancer, oh my goodness. So much to deal with. I am glad to hear that Dan's mom is doing well and has a good prognosis.
Your parrot is beautiful and quite a stitching accomplishment and I can't wait to see it all done. All your WIPs and the patriotic finish are all wonderful.
I would LOVE to be in the draw for your scissor pink bird!

Phyllis said...

Glad you are back. You sure have had more than your share of battles to deal with. Hope things are looking better for you. I would love to win one of your birds. I am a follower.

Sarah said...

Wow! You've had quite the summer so far. Just remember...what doesn't kill you makes you stronger! You must be a heck of a strong woman now! **grins**

sarahkrieser at gmail dot com

Robin said...

OMG! What a time you have been having. I am exhausted reading it. When it rains it sure does pour. I hope all things are on the road to recovery, completion or just a smoother road. When things calm down and return to normal you will wonder what is missing!

Kim said...

Wow, home repair/ update issues can be a nightmare. The stitching is pretty though. The birds are really cute also.

Cindy said...

Wow...home updates are a bear! hang in there Julie! Would love to be entered in your giveaway! your birds are just awesome! :D

Jen Bailey said...

Wow Julie, you have and are going through a ton with your house projects! I'll bet you're glad the bathroom is done after all that!

I'd love to be entered in your giveaway for your Scissor Beak Bird - what a fun idea! I especially love the back one with what looks like Toile? Beautiful!

stitcheranon said...

Good grief you are really going through it. It is a shame when things get mucked up through no fault of your own and you have to chase it around the garden to get it sorted out. Such a waste of life. And so much going on with the people around you. And despite all this your are having a giveaway? generous. I would love enter pretty please. Scissor Beak birds look fun!

lynda said...

Wow! And how come you couldn't find any time to blog??? I'm exhausted just from reading all about it!Just think...when everything is truly finished you will look back on all of this and laugh...right? Anyway, it is good to see you back, and I would love a chance for one of your adorable birds...I love the pink one, but either would be wonderful. I am a follower and I think my email is in my siggie, but just in case it isn'
Thanks...and hope you find some time to relax soon!

Denise said...

Oh my goodness what a time you have been having. Hopefully things get better from here on out!
Your Parrot is beautiful and so close to being done.
Good luck on the new floor covering!
Please enter me in your give away of the Scissors Beak Birds, they are so cute. I would probably choose the pink one.
my email is in my profile.
Happy Stitching

Veronica said...

All I could think of to say is wow. You poor thing. You must have had quite the time. {{{{{Hugs}}}}}

At least you managed to get some stitching in and it's beautiful. Love your July 4th finish.

You're so generous to have a giveaway espite what you're going through. I've admire those birds for a long time now so I'd love it if you'd put my name in the hat. Thanks!


Patty C. said...

Oh my you have had a lot going on - hang in there!
So thoughtful of you to offer a giveaway - i would be absolutely beyond thrilled to have one of your scissor birds -i have admired them for a long time....thank you

Melody said...

Wow, Julie, what an adventure! It was fun reading your post with all the horrors of remodeling. I can appreciate them, since we have done some remodeling ourselves, and it never seems to go smooth.

Thanks for the drawing. I'd love to entered.

Mindi said...

You really have had a lot going on! The tile in the bathroom looks great, I'm glad you stuck with your high standards. Hopefully it won't be too difficult to find a new piano tuner.

I'd love to be entered in your drawing, those birds are sooo cute!

Meari said...

Holy Cow, Girl! That's a lotta stuff to deal with. I bet you're glad it's all behind you now. Wowee!!

LOL, @ DD v. Shampoo Bottle. Athough, it probably hurt.

I'd like to be included in your giveaway! Puleaze?!?

Last but not least, beautiful stitching progress. :)

Teresa S. said...

Julie-I loved your short novel. Should I tell you that my son-in-law is a plumber? I know where he lives if he installed a tub that wobbled or moved in any way! Or told me that the leak was the toilet AFTER the new tub was installed! That is unbelievable!
And the blind piano tuner acted like a turd (whoops, is that allowed?)
Hope I win your bird-very cute!

Maggee said...

I just found your blog via a link from someone else and so on! The saga was very amusing to read! My spouse is a contractor, and NO WAY would he ever leave a job with unhappy clients! I am amazed at some things I hear! No wonder lists like Angie's exist! Too late to enter your giveaway, but really enjoyed the visit! And so glad to hear your MIL is doing well. As a BC survivor--can't hear that enough! Hugs!

Anna van Schurman said...

I just love that parrot! Such a great job. (I did read the novel, but nothing I could possibly say would be a balm.)