Hurry Up . . . Wait . . . Hurry Up . . . Wait

One of the great disadvantages of hurry is that it takes such a long time. ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

My goodness, it’s been a long time since I posted. That time has been filled with a lot of hurry up and wait. And, during the wait times, we’ve been quite busy with the family and moving stuff from one storage to another!

Let’s see . . . when I left you we were still waiting for the builder. Waiting . . . waiting . . . waiting . . . He took forever! 😑 Finally, on Wednesday, August 7, Jim text us from Hawaii that he had gotten a call from the builder but it was in the middle of the night (time difference!). Jim said he called him back but got his voice mail. Builder did not call Jim back. Finally we text Jim and asked if we could call the builder and talk with him. Jim said yes.

To be honest with you, I cannot remember if we talked with the builder on Friday, Aug. 9, or Monday, Aug. 12. But, we did get to talk to him first thing one of those mornings. He still really wanted to sit down with Jim and us to discuss everything. We said that was fine, but asked if he could give us a verbal estimate over the phone first. Honestly, we were so tired of waiting. It had been 5 weeks! And, I kept thinking of those grains of sand slowly emptying out of the timer. The builder gave us a price. It was about $15,000 less than our price and that included his management fee. We were definitely interested at that point. We set up a meeting with him and Jim for the afternoon after Jill and Jim returned home from their trip, Tuesday, August 13. We really wanted to get our house started.

The week before our movers called and wanted to know when they could move our stuff from storage down to our pole barn. Bill decided that he would kick things in high gear to get the pole barn insulated and walls up and therefore, he scheduled all of our belongings to be moved on Wednesday, August 14. Marty, the college student, said he would help Bill. They worked some long days, but they got all the walls insulated and interior walls installed. They also got part of the ceiling insulated. The rest will have to wait until a later date. Here are some pics of their progress.

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Our meeting with the builder was scheduled for 5:00 pm on Tuesday. Let me give you a run-down of what that day was like before the meeting. Bill and Marty worked in 90 degree heat in the pole barn and finished the insulation and walls just in time for Bill to shower and head for our meeting. Marty spent the rest of the evening organizing and stacking what was left in the pole barn so we would be ready for the movers the following morning. While Bill was in the pole barn, I was with the grandkids getting them ready for their first day of school the next day. We ended up having to buy a bunch of new school supplies that Jack’s teacher had emailed Jill while they were in Hawaii. Who wants to be out shopping for school supplies the day before school starts? πŸ™„ We also had to pick up lunch supplies and stop at the library. I got home about a half hour before Bill finished in the barn.Β  Jim and Jill were delayed getting home from Hawaii Monday evening and didn’t get home until about midnight. Jim got up early on Tuesday and headed for work – probably about 5:30. Jetlagged and with little sleep Jim worked a full day after being gone from work for almost two weeks. Can you imagine how three of the four people felt when the 5:00 pm meeting started on Tuesday?

We all perked up when the builder arrived at Jim’s office. After cordial greetings and a little small talk, the builder explained how he did his cost breakdown. He handed us one copy of the cost breakdown with all the amounts listed on it. The three of us had to shuffle the paper back and forth to look at the prices. We quickly noticed that the majority of the line items were material and/or labor allowances. There were a few fixed prices, but the majority of the items were allowances. Once I figured that out and could get my hands on the sheet, I immediately tried to focus on the items I knew our prices from bidding out. The line item allowance for carpet, tile, and hardwood was half the price of what we had already picked out. I mentally added the extra amount to the builder’s total. I saw that he had a material allowance for light fixtures and ceiling fans. Really? πŸ˜• We had already purchased all our light fixtures and ceiling fans and all were listed on our spec document. I mentally subtracted that allowance. Bill zoomed in on other line items that were his expertise. He noticed that the insulation that was listed wasn’t the type he wanted. There were other things but there was no way to compare apples to apples until after we got home and could pick through this cost breakdown and the fixed quotes he gave us and compare them to our bids. We told the builder we would get back with him with our decision probably by the end of the week. In the back of my head I was thinking maybe we should wait five weeks to get back with him. πŸ‘Ώ But, those grains of sand were dwindling away and our house was not going to get built without making a decision soon!

But, when did we have time to spend on the lengthy process of making up spreadsheets and going through bids one by one, line by line, and making those comparisons? The movers were set to arrive the next day, Wednesday, August 14. Our dear dog Goldie Girl was going downhill and one of us had to be with her almost all the time to help her go up and down the stairs getting to and from outside at all hours of the day and night. And, if that wasn’t enough, both Bill and I received letters in the mail Wednesday stating that our application for credit for our construction loan had been denied! 😯

Talk about stress!

Stress-thecrazytown

I had reached my limit and was ready to throw my hands up and say forget it all! However, I knew we couldn’t live above Jill and Jim’s garage the rest of our lives. I told Bill maybe we should just sell everything we purchased for the new house, forget about the cabinets Bill built, forget about house plans. Just build a little shack on the property. He just shook his head and said, “Maybe we should!”

Up Next: The “mover” adventures; saying goodbye to Goldie; and deciding if we would just build a shack . . . or not!

This Waiting is for the Birds!

Yeah, I’m thinking we’ve waited long enough to hear from the builder. I’m tired of waiting. And, STILL NO PROPOSAL! I warned you that I failed my patience lesson.

Jim called the builder a week ago (July 29) and asked if he could please get an answer before Jill and Jim left on vacation on Wednesday evening (July 31). The builder called Jim on Wednesday and told him that he still did not have the proposal complete. 😑 He told Jim they had completed another home similar in quality to ours which was 1800 sq ft but had a 3 car garage. He told him a price per square footage that it ran. It was really low to what we got from our bids. But, like Jim said, we still don’t know if the builder had weeded through our thick specifications document yet to make a true comparison. We would LOVE for the price to be that low per square foot, but we just don’t see how that is possible. Jim asked the builder to continue to work on the proposal and to get back with him ASAP even if it was when he was on vacation.

It’s going on four weeks since we met with the builder. I keep picturing the grains of sand trickling down the hourglass. We locked in our construction loan with the bank some time ago with the house to be completed by March. If we keep getting delayed, I’m afraid we won’t be able to meet that deadline. Not sure what happens then. We locked in our rates, too. They have gone up since then. In the meantime, our loan has gone to underwriting and we have had to provide them with every receipt and/or invoice of each item we purchased for the new house. That took me several days to compile, but I did it – complete with a spreadsheet and corresponding numbers to match receipts to the line number on the spreadsheet. Our loan originator was so impressed she wants me to work for her! πŸ™‚

During our waiting time, they did finally install the cupola on the pole barn!!!!

The cupola sitting on top of the pole barn. That white door needs to be painted bronze!

The cupola sitting on top of the pole barn. That white door needs to be painted bronze!

My expensive cute cupola

My expensive cute cupola

Guess what? It leaks! Yep. After our last rain, Bill said water was trickling down from it. He called the barn foreman and he came out and looked at it. He is supposed to send someone out to caulk it. Wonder how long that will take? Do I sound skeptic? Where is that sarcasm font when you need it?

Bill did make a trip up to Indy to get one load out of the storage unit we have up there. Unfortunately, he will have to make another trip to get the rest. But, we do have most of our new cabinets down here now. Well, they are all in pieces and unfinished, but they are here. Still more up in the unit, but they will be here soon. And, he was able to bring the rest of the mahogany wood, shop vacs, and three antique chests that Jill wants to have re-done.

Mahogany wood from storage unit

Mahogany wood from storage unit

Cabinet parts from storage unit

Cabinet parts from storage unit

Bill has stayed busy while we wait on the house building. He has taken advantage of the two Lowe’s 10% off coupons we got from Lowe’s when we moved. And, he’s taken full advantage of the 11% rebate program the last several weeks at Menards. He’s been purchasing all his supplies for insulating the pole barn walls and ceiling, in addition to putting up interior walls. Thanks to Jim, Sr. having scaffolding and a large ladder for Bill to use. Plus, they are letting us use the electricity from their barn to ours until we ever get electricity down there.

2 x 4s

2 x 4s

scaffolding and ladder

scaffolding and ladder

One wall all prepped

One wall all prepped

Rolls of insulation

Rolls of insulation

One wall with insulation up

One wall with insulation up

Area around garage doors and man door insulated (including the ceiling area)

Area around garage doors and man door insulated (including the ceiling area)

When I saw what Bill was doing to install that insulation on the ceiling (standing on a board on top of the scaffolding!), I made him promise he wouldn’t do any more of the ceiling by himself. He’s too old to be up there. I asked that he have Marty, the college student who works for Jim’s parents construction company, to do the ceiling. Now, if we can only get Marty to help that will be wonderful.

Bill found another piece of equipment he wanted to buy. I didn’t even complain. It will help him with the installation of the interior walls which he will probably be doing himself if Marty isn’t available to help. It’s called a drywall lifter. But, Bill will use it to lift up the interior wall panels so he can then nail in place.

Drywall Hoist

Drywall Hoist

Panel Lifter

Panel Lifter

Bill has already found a use for it to lift several rolls of insulation at a time, too. He says he’ll sell it after he’s done. But, I have a feeling he could find other uses for it as time goes on.

I have not been doing anything productive since the other families went on vacation last week. In fact, I’m having a pretend vacation for a couple of days. It got quite hectic in the household the week before Jill and Jim left on vacation. They were working long long hours and that meant I was in charge of the kiddos. Let’s just say it was a little stressful by the day they left because we had all had been together too much! πŸ˜‰ I’m sure they are having a wonderful time in Hawaii! Bill and I are pet sitting: four dogs, two cats, six chickens, two roosters, one guinea pig, one rat, and two beta fish! Thank goodness Bill is taking care of those chickens/roosters. I don’t like them. Bill said one of the roosters is so mean. For years I had nightmares of the roosters out at grandma and grandpa’s chasing me around and I’d scream and scream. I hated them! 😑

I definitely am out of my comfort zone with the rat. I don’t mind Mario when he’s in his cage and I feed him through the cage. But, today I had to clean both Cookie’s (the guinea pig) and Mario’s cages. That meant I had to take those little ones out of their cages and put them somewhere while I cleaned. 😯 Megan had shown me how to handle Cookie. She was fine. I held her close and Megan even had an alternate place to put her while cleaning. I started cleaning Cookie’s cage first. Unfortunately, she is the messier of the two. Bill gave me throw away gloves to wear while cleaning. Thank goodness. It was bad-smelling and yucky to clean. But, her cage is now nice and sparkly. Now, Mario is another thing. I HATE mice. Mario has a long tail. He’s a rat. A large rat. All Jack told me to do was coax Mario into his rat house and carry him in it to the bath tub. Yeah, well that was easier said than done. I didn’t want to hold Mario. I got him into the rat house thingy and carried him with his long tail hanging out of the house. πŸ˜• As soon as I placed the house into the tub, I quickly shut the tub enclosure door so he couldn’t get out.

Mario’s cage wasn’t nearly as bad to clean. He isn’t as messy or stinky as Cookie. I brought the tray back upstairs after cleaning and tried to figure out how I might be able to carry Mario from the tub back to the cage. I get the bright idea that I’d place Mario’s rat house inside the cage tray and carry him that way out to the bonus area and then put the cage on top of it. OMG! That wasn’t the brightest idea. As soon as I started walking, Mario came out of his rat house and tried to crawl over the side of the tray. I had to actually touch him and hold him in place as I was walking. That wasn’t easy. I kind of ran and then immediately put the cage over the tray so he wouldn’t escape. Whew!

Cookie up close

Cookie up close

Cookie in half of her cage. Note: I had just put her in there after cleaning it and putting down new bedding. She had already dirtied it!

Cookie in half of her cage. Note: I had just put her in there after cleaning it and putting down new bedding. She had already dirtied it!

Mario the rat - he's cute as long as he's in the cage!

Mario the rat – he’s cute as long as he’s in the cage!

Look at that tail! Eeeek!

Look at that tail! Eeeek!

I really do NOT want to clean the cages again. But, I’m supposed to . . . on Sunday. 😦 I guess things could be worse. At least I don’t have to take care of those chickens and roosters. Thank you, Bill!

I did join the YMCA and immediately signed up for an arthritis water aerobics class (free for members). I go twice a week and I love it. There is no bouncing in this class but they stretch every muscle and joint in your body. It’s really helped the knees. However, I think I won’t be knee pain-free until we move into our house without any stairs. I do more stair climbing every day than I ever did in our other house because of guiding Goldie up and down the stairs. Poor thing. If you get out of her sight she gets lost. And, her balance is bad and she doesn’t hear. But, she keeps waddling along.

I’ve also had fun taking some nature photography lately. I probably need to regain possession of our big SLR Nikon with the huge zoom lens which Jill borrowed a year or two ago. However, my Sony Cybershot 12X optical zoom camera has worked fine with the photos I’ve taken. I take the majority of the construction photos with my iPhone 5 just because I always have it with me. Although the most of the photos are fine, I prefer the photos from my Sony. I can definitely zoom a lot more. As you can see from the photos below, I should have used my Sony for the deer photo. I zoomed as best I could with my phone. But, then you just never know when a deer is going to run across the lawn. I grab whatever is handy and try to get a shot.

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Today I have my “Welcome to Medicare physical” at my new doctor. I hope I like her. Afterwards I’m heading to water aerobics and maybe a little shopping. Bill and I have to coordinate when each other is away from the house because of Goldie. She has to go outside quite often. I’ve already decided I don’t think we’ll have another pet after Goldie is gone. It really limits what we are able to do. Besides, it seems we have enough pets living around us to get a fix if we need one. We’ll see if we stick with that decision when the time comes.

Bill was able to find a new doctor who is an internist and has his first appointment next week. I still need to find a dentist . . . soon.Β  We are gradually getting things set up for our new life here. We got our driver’s licenses changed. I got a library card for the county library branches. I’ve become pretty proficient in finding my way to most of the stores we frequent. And, for being so directionally challenged, I’m probably better at getting to places than Bill is. I think it is because I take the slower side roads instead of the highway. Heck, I’m retired. I have all the time in the world.

I have to admit, I really miss my friends in the Indy area. We were there for 30+ years. That is a long time. I keep in touch with a lot of them via text, email, phone, and FaceBook. But, there is nothing like face-to-face friendships. I need to find some other outlets to meet people besides the Y down here. I’m thinking I might volunteer at Megan and Jack’s school. They start back to school next week. I met a couple of volunteers at Jill’s business. I probably should volunteer there, too! πŸ˜‰ I’ll find my way. It will just take some time.

In the meantime . . . I guess we will continue to wait on the builder to get back with us. TickΒ Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock. And, I’ll continue to enjoy my pretend vacation. πŸ™‚