May 31, 2010

Marvelous Monday Update 5/31/10

For those of you in the U.S., I hope you're enjoying the Memorial Day weekend. It makes for a 3-day weekend for me. Woo Hoo! If you'd like to see a beautiful Memorial Day tribute, click HERE.

Last summer while driving through the countryside, there were was a sign at the end of a driveway that said, "Perennials, FREE" Bascially, they were roots covered with some dirt. I didn't know what they were but I thought, "What the heck! I'll give it a try." They've been growing and growing and growing. One day I noticed blooms!

Anyone know what they are?

Remember the Hens & Chicks from earlier this spring? (Here and Here) Also this past week, it started blooming!

I received a surprise package from Trecie as a Thank You for sending her a box a yarn a while back. She sent me a knitted washcloth and a stitched kimono. Both turned out really nice. Thank you, Trecie!

The weather has been horribly hot and humid the past couple of weeks. Temps have been in the 80's and 90's. I've felt like a knife cutting through humidity as I walked outside. It's also wreaked havoc on my head (headaches) and lungs (allergies/asthma). To top it off, I'm having to deal with bad hair. Oh what fun!

With all the "excitement" going on last week, I forgot to share! Way back in February, tickets went on sale for a concert. What concert are you wondering? Daughtry, Lifehouse, and Cavo! It was an awesome concert. I was in the upper level but right in front of the stage. Had I known I could've taken my camera, I would've gotten some great pics. :(


Daughtry's light show was fantastic, and I loved the artwork on his backdrop.


The lead singer of Lifehouse has a really good voice! He did a duet with Daughtry toward the end of Daughtry's set, which was really cool.


I'd never heard of this band, but they were really good.

I have a tiny patch of rhubarb in my backyard. With jelly jars I received from a lady on Freecycle, I tried my hand at canning jam.

Apparently the patch isn't all that small, since I was able to make 12 jars of jam!

I am sooo close to being done with ABC Lessons. So close that I've started looking for the "perfect" frame for it. Here's what it looks like so far:

I started a new project. (I know... naughty me) In one day, I was able to complete one half of the Tulip Bouquet Biscornu.

I substituted SSS floss for the Gloriana and Needlepoint Silks. I almost had a "disaster moment". I was running low on the SSS Spiced Drop after stitching the first square. I started looking through my SSS stash to see if I could find something close, and viola! I had another partial hank of Spiced Drop. :)

May 25, 2010

Part Three: Stage Left...

... enter Contractor #2.

The day after *the incident*, I called another contractor who is licensed and insured, as well as an electrician. I explained what happened with the first guy. His reaction was disbelief as I unfolded the experience to him. We made plans for him to look at the “handiwork” and discuss what I wanted done. Coincidentally, it worked out that #2 arrived shortly after #1 dropped off the doors last Saturday. "Number 2" looked everything over, and gave me a quote to fix the side door (basically start over) and to install the front door. He thought it should take a day to do both doors. See! I do know what I’m talking about. ;-)

He worked on the doors Monday in 93F heat. I went home for lunch. Like with the "other" guy, I asked... How’s it going?” He assured me things were going good and he had a couple of questions before finishing the side door. So far, so good. As I looked around I saw a completely different site than with the "other" guy. A table saw up by the garage, a compound miter saw, a small shop vac to clean up as he worked, and other assorted necessary tools. I also saw my neighbors camped out on their front porch watching #2 work, LOL.

He built-out the door frame so that it was even with the wall and the trim lies flat over it. He noticed the doorbell wire needed replaced, so he asked if I wanted him to do that. Sure, why not? The gap between the threshold and floor was covered by a piece of trim. If you didn’t know better, you’d never know it wasn’t supposed to be that way. It matches the wood on the threshold perfectly!

Inside, New Side Door

When I arrived home from work, he was finishing up putting the storm door on the front. Then he needed to put the storm on the back and he'd be done.

After finishing the front, he came to me sweating profusely and breathing heavy. His face was so red and I thought he was going to fall over! I offered him some water and made sure he was OK. He apologized and told me he had to stop for the day. He couldn't take the heat anymore. I had no problem with that! I was actually worried he was going to keel over in my kitchen. As he cleaned up the work site, I watched to make sure he was OK. He showed me a few things he had questions over, and then....

He. Told. Me. The. News. (Insert Comedy of Errors here)

He said he had left to get lunch and get some stuff from the home improvement store. When he got back, he pulled up to the garage and got ready to eat his lunch. He didn't realize he hadn't put the truck in park.

He crunched the garage door!

He apologized profusely and told me he pushed it back the best he could but that it still "looks like crap". Unfortunately, all four panels are dented and he said he'd order a new door and have it replaced. He was so disgusted with himself, he said he didn't want to think about it because it won't change what he did. He tested the door at least a dozen times to make sure it opened and closed properly until he could have it replaced.

*sigh* It's a good thing I'm not a pessimistic person, otherwise I might not EVER hire another contractor to do work on my house, LOL.

Here's my front door totally installed with the old storm door reinstalled:

Inside, Front Door

I am now waiting for a phone call from #2 to give me status update on replacing the garage door, and set up a time to finish the side door.

Stop back for the next chapter in The Homestead Chronicles...

May 24, 2010

Part Two: The Confrontation

The contractor *did* call me back the next day (which would’ve been last Tuesday, the 18th)... at 9:30pm... and told me he had new doors for me. I know he was lying because he showed me a receipt from the home improvement store dated May 19th. But, I digress.

We made plans for him to deliver the doors Saturday morning. He arrived 30 minutes late. He had a bunch of oldddd scrap lumber in the back of his truck in addition to the trim pieces he took (without asking) from my house when he left on Monday, plus a small table saw and power mitre saw. He unloaded the saws and then unloaded the doors, setting them up against the house. He almost dropped the main door on the concrete! Later, my neighbor told me he saw the guy almost drop the door. The box to the storm door was all smashed up, and the main door looked like it had been sitting outside for months. This is why I asked him if he had a receipt.

I watched the contractor walk around for about 15 seconds before finally saying (which I thought I made it pretty clear on Monday) “You do know I don’t want you finishing this, don’t you?” He looked at me and said, “Uh, no.”

I thought to myself, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” He started to say things like, “I’ve got $450 invested in these doors, and the time...” I cut him off and told him it was NOT my fault this happened. He agreed and proceeded to DRAG the main door to the garage. Drag it! I asked if he wanted help, he didn’t answer and continued to drag. Finally, I just picked up the opposite end and helped him put it in the garage.

He took a notebook out of his truck and went into the garage and started writing. After 5 minutes, I went in and asked what he was doing. He was a writing a receipt for delivery of the doors. I told him I wasn’t about to sign anything without knowing if the storm door was OK (since it was covered in a cardboard box. I looked at the main door closely and saw indentations on the window trim and the brick moulding had been scraped against something. What, I have no idea. He was none too happy with me, but he wouldn’t leave! He just stood in the doorway of the garage staring off into the sky. He also told me he wanted the old doors so he could recoup some of his cost, which I said I was fine with. What am I going to do with two doors, one of which is majorly damaged?

He got out a reciprocating saw and I watched as he cut the spike he used to nail the door frame to the house. One spike! Dad thinks he couldn’t get the door plumb enough so he used the spike to try and pound in place. I told him I had another contractor coming to finish the job, so he wanted to cut the nail so as the “other guy doesn’t make scrap lumber out of the doors.” I said, “He wouldn’t do that.” He said, “Well, I don’t know that.” I thought it was ironic he’d say something like that after what he did to MY doors.

Part One: I'm So Excited...

... and I just can't hide it.

Oh. Wait. That was a week ago. Before. The. Incident.

What happened? Before I tell about *the incident*, I have to rewind the movie.

The first winter I lived at The Homestead was brutal. Ya'll remember it (and subsequent years), right? Right. The doors on my house are vintage solid wood and while they are beautiful, they also let in a LOT of cold air during the winter. I tried weather stripping, but then the doors don't close right. The door that's used regularly won't lock during cold months, and due to the knobs/locks also being vintage they're not replaceable. Well, they probably are *if* I want to pay boo-coo bucks to do it. The aluminum storm door doesn't do much to keep out the cold air and rattles terribly when the wind blows.

I finally made the decision last week to buy new doors. Here's where my excitement came from... New Doors! I figured it was a win-win for me -- energy efficient doors, 30% tax credit, the doors were on sale, AND the store credit card was offering 6 months no interest. After much contemplation and two trips to the home improvement store, I decided on these:

A friend recommended a contractor after seeing his work done on a co-worker's garage. Before I bought the doors he came, gave me a quote, and said to call him when I had the doors. We decided he could put them in last Monday.

He arrived around 9am and at 2pm when I went home for lunch, he only had the side door roughed in and for some reason decided to put the knobs on the door. I've done and seen enough home improvement projects to know that it takes approximately 4-5 hours to tear out and install a new door start-to-finish. And that's if it's being done by someone who doesn't do it for a living. It should take a contractor a lot less time. With that in mind, it should've been a one day job for both sets of doors. And yes, the contractor does this for a living. Sad, eh?

During the 10-15 minute time span I was home, I asked him how it was going. All he said was “Well, it’s not going as smoothly as I’d hoped.”

When I got home from work at 5:15pm, he STILL wasn’t finished with the side door. It was still only roughed in with a 2-3” gap (opening) at the top of the door –and- he was working on putting the storm door on! You don’t do that until the main door is done. I did a double take when I walked by to let Celeste out... he put the hinge on the wrong side of the door! After I said something, he tells me he can cover the holes where he’d screwed the handle on (cuz it would’ve had to been moved to the opposite side when the hinge was switched). I wasn’t sure how I’d like it, but I was open to what he could come up with as a solution to his mistake.

Click on photo to see enlarged view

I also inquired as to what he was going to do about the 1" gap between the threshold and my flooring. The bottom of the door barely cleared the throw rug; he certainly didn't leave room for a piece of trim to cover the gap. He said he'd "have to figure something out".

Left Side

Right Side

As I stood looking around the door frame on the inside, he proceeded to tell me that he was going to cut out the drywall so that the trim would fit into the hollowed out area. My head was screaming, "the hell you will!". I told him "No, that area needs to be built-out so the trim lies flat over the wall." I'm not sure if he thought I wouldn't know better or what. He said something along the lines of "Oh, OK. I'll have to figure something out."

About an hour later, he started cleaning up for the day. He’d been working on that same door for 8 hours by this point and it still wasn’t finished. Right before he left, he said to me, “I had a problem with the door.” He then showed me and told me that “the wind caught the door” and smashed the trim around the leaded glass window... on both sides of the door.

All that came out of my mouth was, “Oh my God!” I felt sick to my stomach. I also started having major panic and anxiety, literally my chest hurt and felt like someone was squeezing my heart. Not good.

Prior to this *incident*, I had told him that I’d like to use the side door on the garage if possible. He had the “nerve” to say something about putting it on the garage, implying that he wanted to do it. I told him that “At some point I’d be putting it on the garage.” and left it at that. There was nooooo way I was going to let him put the door on.

He told me he’d go to the store and see if he could get replacement trim. If not, he’d buy a new door. I waited about an hour (I figured he’d be gone from the store by then) and went to talk to someone at the store. They assured me a trim kit could be bought and it wouldn’t affect anything on the door. I felt a little better.

After I got home, I started thinking “I wonder if the door is level” so I got out a 24” level and the door itself was level. When I stepped on the threshold, it gave way. I thought, “What the...?!?” Thresholds are aluminum. He hadn’t put any support under the threshold!

By this time, it was about 8pm. I called my Dad (he’s done lots of carpentry work as has my uncle) and asked him to come into town to look at it, to make sure I wasn’t being paranoid.

Meantime, I continued to check for levelness. When I was up on a chair (hey, I'm short!) checking to see if the top of the door was level, I noticed the door was convex dented at the corner of the window! It’s a frickin steel door!

Inside Door, Upper Right

In addition to being sick to my stomach and disgusted, I was also livid. I wanted to cry. :( When my Dad came, he looked at it and found the opposite corner of the door's window was dented concave,

Inside Door, Lower Left

and that the door jamb was out of level by 1/8” in a 2ft span, and said it meant it was 3/8” off at the bottom, which is what he thought it felt like when he checked it with hands. Dad asked "What the h-ll did he do to this door? The moulding corners are split apart."

Brick Moulding at Top of Door

Outside Threshold, Lower Left

Dad confirmed all the things I thought were wrong and said I wasn’t being paranoid. He told me that the guy owes me two new doors. Actually what he said is the guy owes me "two f-ing new doors", LOL.

At 9:30pm, I called the “contractor” and told him he could either buy me two new doors or give me the money to buy new ones... that I had just bought the doors a few days earlier. I also told him I didn’t want him to do anymore work. Wherever he was at, it was really noisy. Sounded like a bar. He said he wanted me happy and he’d figure something out and call me back the next day.

How can someone in right conscience install a broken door? Not only that, he could’ve said something to me at lunch time and he didn’t! He waited until just before he was about to leave to tell me. I was really excited about getting new doors... my first outsourced home improvement project... and he ruined it for me. :(

Here's what I think happened: I think he lost control of the door. It fell out and down onto the railing, which caused the door to twist (Yes, the door frame is twisted and no longer "square") and bend the steel. Also, the railing must've hit the glass which forced the trim and window back toward the house, busting the window trim on each side. How it didn't break the glass, i don't know!

Stay tuned for the next chapter in The Homestead Chronicles....

Totally Stitchy Update

One of my recent finishes has made way to its new home so I can now show a photo of it. I made this bookmark for Mel as part of a belated birthday package. I used colors Mel had said were her favorites.

Design: Marque page AmitiƩ
Designer: Liselotte
Fabric: 28ct linen
Fibers: DMC
Time: 3 Hours
Date: 5/2/10

Here's another update on ABC Lessons.

Soooo close to being finished!

May 20, 2010

You Just Don't See This Every Day

Must've been McNaughty

Looks like UPS wins

Oh, c'mon. I only want to touch one!

Let's start with Spelling!

I bet it was the Fed Ex driver

Made by the school that teaches Arithetic?

Sometimes a name change is the best idea

Take me to the cleaners, baby!

Major dilemma in California

How do you get there from here??

Everything you need
for your 'shotgun' wedding!?

It's a good deal, but...
oh, the college costs!

McLogic gone wrong?

Pork the one you love??

Still Dead, Huh??? Go Figure!

MY Behind! What?!?

'Mass suicides...
Cows going over the edge...
tonight on Channel 3 News'

Good Job!!
(Well, make that "former job.")

Load 'em up with burritos, Mom!

I'm confused!

How am I going to write to you

Makes sense, doesn't it?!

Must be Wyoming.
Beautiful, lush lawns of dirt...

Make up your mind!!!

How about "Don't drink and make signs"?

And last but not least....

It must have been the FedEx driver.