Update Post


I’ve been meaning to come around and actually write a blog post, instead of posting YouTube videos.

I’m pleased to say that First Sight is progressing nicely. Since starting to put more of an effort into the book at the beginning of last month, it has gone from, a word count of around 4,800 to 20,650, which is amazing. However, on the downside of the book’s progress, I have recently discovered that I need to change it’s title, for there are too many books out there with ‘First Sight’ somewhere in the title. So, unfortunately I’m back to untitled; which I think is sort of better, considering, that I have no idea how this story will end. I have a feeling that it’s going to be one of those books, where the author is blind until somewhere around the climax. At least it’s progressing, and I’m getting more of a sense of my main characters Roxy and Lexi; both of which have a tendency to surprise me on a daily basis.

On an entirely different subject, I should have some new posts revolving around the house, home Improvement projects, contracting don’ts (which will save you from home owner hell,) as well as some painting tips. I think that I might start with the contractor don’ts. Now that I’m in a better position with the deck; I think that I can actually get through writing a post, without cursing my contractor’s name, on every other line.

I think that’s about covers it with this little update post. Hopefully, I’ll be back around sometime next week, once I’ve finished filing my taxes.

I’ll see you guys soon.

Enjoy your weekend ūüôā

Contractor Don’ts


To be perfectly clear this post has to do with a contractor who really sucks at his job. This post is not meant to be a guide on which contractors to avoid, though you might take a tip or two away in this post.

I hired this contractor in late June to re-build my second story deck, which runs across the length of the back of my house. The old deck had seen its best days perhaps forty years ago. At first the guy seemed great, he had given me a good price and began to re-build the structure immediately. That first week was paradise he had the old deck torn down within three days max, and began to build the frames for the new deck.

As I said that first week paradise, now it’s August 9th and I don’t even have the flooring fully in, so now that you’ve gotten an idea of what I’ve been dealing with I’ll continue.

For privacy sake I’ll be using a different name for my crazy, nut job contractor, we’ll call him… Loony Larry, or just Larry for short.

Hmm, let’s see what was the first indication that Larry was indeed loony, ah yes the garage door moment.

Friday, 10:30AM, July 29th, location: driveway/garage.

I came around to the back of the house to ask Larry a question about the deck, I expected to find him up on the deck. Instead I find him sitting again one of my garage doors, with his radio sitting beside him. The radio was cranking out country music, I’m pretty sure I heard Reba McEntire’s For my broken heart playing.

Larry sits against the garage door, his face, the definition of gloom. The lyrics, (I guess the world won’t stop, for my broken heart.) Play on, making the gloom on his face even more defined. I approach him¬†cautiously, for fear that I might be seeing apart of him that he wouldn’t want one of his customers to see; or at least I certainly wouldn’t if I were in his shoes. He looks up and sees me, suddenly I feel awkward, as if I’ve intruded on a private moment. But then the business side of my brain pops into play with, he shouldn’t be having a private moment while on the¬†job site. This propels me forward and I stand near him waiting.

Larry: (Turns down the music) Sorry Chelsea, I’m just feeling a bit blue at the moment.

Me: (Can’t help feeling sympathetic, though I don’t even know why he’s depressed.) I’m sorry to here that.

Larry: (Kicks at a piece of gravel.) I’ve been working so much, and I guess I’m just worn down.

Me: We all get worn down, but I wouldn’t get depressed about it.

Larry: It’s not so much that, it’s really the fact that I had to fire one of my guys last week, for stealing tools.

Me: (I have heard this story a dozen times since the termination of the employee’s position. I know the details so well, that I could recite them. So I do; out of pure annoyance and frustration.) I know the guy worked with you for years, and you’ve known him since you did flooring installs for Bob’s furniture. But the guy can’t have been that great if he stole from you.

Larry: (sighs.) I know you’re right, but he was a good friend, and I miss him.

Me: (I feel the need to repeat the last bits of what I just said to him, but decide not to because he’ll yammer on and on about the guy, and all I want Larry to do is get to work on the deck.) Say you know what would help take those blues away? (He looks at me perplexedly, then shakes his head.) Good old fashioned hard work, so roll up those sleeves, and I bet you’ll be feeling better before you know it.

Larry: You know something Chelsea, I haven’t had to use. (He raises his fists.) Old Betsy, and Bertha, since I was in high school. We’re talking fifteen years.

Me: (Tried as I might to avoid this, he’s started to yammer, great.) I’m sure that fight is a hard thing to come to terms with. But I’m telling you the kind of work that you do, building things, that probably just makes you feel so good, and releases your tensions. Perhaps I’ll join you up there, that is if I weren’t afraid of heights.

Larry: Chels you’re gay right?

Me: (wondering what in the hell my sexuality has to do with this conversation?) Yes, why?

Larry: (beginning to sob.) I- I- was just wondering if you could tell me why guys are so mean?

Me: (He’s joking right?) Well that’s hard to say considering I’m a lesbian and have never dated guys.

Larry: (Now sobbing into my shoulder.) It just sucks, why can’t you just be able to trust an employee anymore? Why would they just rob you blind, I mean he was paid a decent wage.

Me: (Creeped out and losing my patience.) Sometimes people just suck and you just need to get over it. (I pick up his hammer and hand it to him.) I’ve got to get going, so you should get back to work on the flooring install of the deck.

Larry: Yeah, I should. (He begins to sob again.)

Me: (For Christ sake.) What now?

Larry: Nothing, it just, this was Kevin’s hammer.

Me: Look there’s another hammer in the garage, I’ll be by later to see how things are progressing.

It’s ten days later and I’m still waiting for him to finish the flooring, but he has at least attached all of the railing and some of the stairs. Apparently I attract the same type of contractors as the type women that I date, both are crazy, and are full of excuses, and are extremely lazy.

 

 

The flooring overhaul


I know that I’ve discussed my plans to re-do my office floor, which I’m still doing by the way. However I’ve found that when it comes to certain home improvement projects, you’ll find yourself doing more than you ever expected, and flooring falls under that category.

In this post I’m probably going to sound a lot like a broken record which I probably should have mentioned in the beginning of this post, but If I had would you have continued to read? I hope you would have, and now that you’re aware of this fact, I hope that you’ll still continue to read; although if you’re already this deep then odds are that you intend to do so.

A few weeks ago I completed part of a flooring overhaul which involved me ripping out carpeting in my office. This lead me to discover that the previous owner had not only one carpet pad underneath the carpet itself, but a second which had been glued to the hardwood floor. To fix this unexpected issue I had to use a paint scraper, hammer, and most of my patience. After working through that, plus sanding down the wood I figured I could handle the rest of the carpeting in the house confidently.

Not so much.

FB floor 1¬†I’m not sure who the previous owner had hired to do the carpeting jobs in this triplex, but I’d personally like to smack them upside the head.

We all know the basic idea of how carpeting is installed, you have tack on strips to help hold the corners down good and tight, you have the carpet padding, which you staple down, and then you lay the carpet. The idea seems pretty simple although physically it’s difficult; but the concept in general doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out.

FB floor 2In all of my years of seeing how the job is done and the material used makes me question the intelligence of the installers for this house. Instead of using foam carpet padding, as you would expect somebody to use, they laid down this sort of steal wool, I kid you not. This stuff was like a gigantic SOS pad with staples, so many fucking staples. The steal wool was so thick that I couldn’t even cut it with my exacto knife, instead I had to pull out my portable jigsaw (even the saw had issues cutting through the padding they’d used.)

FB floor 3As if the SOS padding weren’t enough to deal with, it left behind this black, rubbery, residue, which when I tried to remove with my sander made the entire house smell like burning rubber. (It still does.)

I really cannot for the life of me wrap my head around the installer’s way of thinking. Now I’m actually afraid to rip out the rest of the carpeting in the house. Oh and did I mention that they’d actually used linoleum as another avenue of laying down padding? That’s right underneath the carpeting in my master bedroom laid the SOS padding, followed by linoleum.

Scary right? And also just plain weird.

So much I wanna say, yet so little time


I want to start this post with something positive, well at least positive for me and all of my friends out in Colorado. I’m so happy that the Broncos are their way to Super Bowl 50.

(A quick side note:) I have friends and relatives that reside out here in Mass, so out of respect to them and the Pats I will say that the Pats played a good game and that Brady had me biting my nails in the 4th. So good game Pats I wish y’all the best next year.

This week was very progressive for me, I’ve accomplished a few goals that I’d set out a couple of weeks ago, until a slight elbow injury stopped me in my tracks. The first is that I finished ripping the rest of the carpet in my office.

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Then the next piece of the project before sanding down the hardwood floor, was to finish painting the walls. They turned out to be a beautiful white.

wall painted

Hardwood sanded

Finally to wrap up part of this office space/home improvement I sanded the floor, and successfully got rid of the nasty leftover glued down bits of carpet pad. At least now I can say it looks and smells a lot better. The sanding I am most thrilled to be finished with because to do the job and to also save some money, I used my portable belt sander to do the job. I will say on the up side it gives your arms a fantastic workout.

The final and one of the most important things I did this week was that I continued to chisel out the fossil that is Jenny Mac, although no major story pieces have been written this week, two important pieces to Jenny’s psychic abilities were. Even though that seems pretty minimal it’s actually a big step for me at least.

I know that I haven’t blogged much this month I do apologize people I’m trying to better proportion my time, but I do however have a few Stephen King books that I’d like to share with you when I have more time. There’s three so far that I’ve read On Writing, Christine, and Carrie; I must say so far I’ve liked Christine the best. I’m also in the midst of Misery so I will have some new posts coming soon.

I hope y’all have a good night and I’ll see you soon.

Wait and sling


Yesterday and today I was having a very productive go of things. I was in the midst of ripping up carpet in my office, which I learned yesterday that the job was going to take a little elbow grease. If you pardon the pun, I say this because today I had a slew of incidents that lead me to this elbow pun.
1 my sister has a golden lab.
2 the dog is very crafty.
3 a busy road with plenty of traffic.
4 the dog can go from zero to sixty in the blink of an eye.
5 me plus chasing after the lab, plus ice is not the best of combinations.
So long pun short, the dog runs out of the door across the road, and as I attempted to catch him I had an encounter with a patch of ice.
The ice won, now my right elbow looks the size of a grapefruit. On the positive side of things I didn’t break any bones but I do have a lot of swelling, and I have to fashion this bad boy for a few days.

20160105_190958_1

If you were wondering why the carpet destruction would take some doing it’s because, whoever had the carpet installed thought that it would be a brilliant idea to do two layers of carpet padding. Oh and did I mention that they glued as well as stapled the padding to the hardwood floor.
People and their carpet.

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Ode to my Triplex


Dearest triplex I can’t wait to own you, to get to know, but most of all I cannot wait to customize you.

To give each of your rooms a splash of color, to smell the smells of fresh paint.

Shaping each room to meet its fullest potential.

Cosmetically remodeling your bathrooms, giving each of your bathtubs, sinks, and tiles a new sparkle.

Removing all of your dated kitchen cabinetry and replacing them with modern unfinished beauties.

I can already see your kitchen appliances shimmering, fitting in perfectly with the new cabinetry.

Oh how I can not wait to start building you up and to give you all that is needed to shine as if you’re a newly built beauty, and with closing day a mere 9 days away; I pack my things up patiently.

Awaiting for the deed, the keys, and the paperwork, soon it’ll be a matter of signing at the x then you’ll officially be my first property.

Coming to a close


I received word earlier this week that our closing date for the property I am purchasing, is set to officially close on September 8th 2015. WOW! I am one percent excited to be moving on to bigger and better things, however I am a bit… Okay I’m more than just a bit nervous, I think that the correct word that I’m seeking out is EXTREMELY nervous. It’s one thing to be paying rent to the landlord, but it’s an entirely different animal to actually become the landlord of a triplex.

A list of things that I will soon be responsible for

Repairs.

Health and Safety of my tenants.

Property taxes every quarter.

Maintaining the property.

Maintaining and attending to the above ground pool that will be coming with the property.

Pitching all of the old and outdated cabinetry, and appliances and bringing in updated pieces.

Replacing a deck.

And finally maintaining the oil furnace’s till they eventually need to be replaced; which will hopefully not be for a few more years.

It’s certainly a long road away from where I’ve been, and still currently am. But the thing is, is that it’s a terrific investment, as long as you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into, because if you bite off more than you can chew you’re completely fucked! And when I set out to look at properties I drew up a list of issues to avoid, the first thing being that I shouldn’t purchase a home for 100,000 only to find out that it would take an additional 100,000 plus to get the property in proper shape. With the property I’m purchasing I was very fortunate to find, that it was in good condition and that it as been well maintained, so that was a major point and it earned many check marks on the list of things I hoped to find while looking for a house.

Although I am nervous I have a lot working in my favor for this house. I’m good with my hands, I love household projects, and because I am a writer I have a very flexible schedule, so I can actually put in the necessary time needed for the house when needed.

Yes this should make for one fantastic adventure.