WOW, really 10 years already?

WOW! 10 years sure goes by fast – sometimes. I began as 3 Sides of Crazy while we were going nuts remodeling an old Victorian house back east and were literally going nuts with the different things we kept finding in that old house. Then when things slowed down a bit, a friend and I also sponsored OUR Krazy Kitchen, a cooking site for a group of foodies.  From there I began Always Eat on the Good China as my personal recipe box and then converted 3 Sides of Crazy into Savory Kitchen Table.  Eventually I decided to roll them all into a single blog and self host away from blogger here at Chasing MY Life which seems to roll it all into one category now. I’m still working at the consolidation, getting rid of old superfluous articles, giveaways and recipes not worth making again.

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CHAT TIME ~ Life As It Happens ~ WEEKLY WRAP UP

It’s been a busy week, but odd with the holiday falling in the middle. I was impressed with what I accomplished, but am extremely disappointed in a few of the “professionals” I had to deal with in trying to transfer some medical records.

One of the things I have been working on while “locked” inside during this heat is to bring forward to this new blog anything worth hanging onto and the recipes worth repeating from all my old blogs.  I am also trying to eliminate the posts from all the old blogs at the same time.

A couple of the recipes worth making again are:

I also found a couple of handy tips worth repeating:

I also did a good deep clean on the floors while I could and my faithful sidekick fought me ALL the way, NOT, LOL.

We’re helping my uncle tomorrow (hubby outside and me inside) and then coming home to watch NASCAR, weather permitting as it has already rained out tonight’s race.  I have a nice dinner planned for when we get back as well as Sunday and am looking forward to some down time.

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CHAT TIME ~ Life as it Happens ~ WEEKLY WRAP UP

With all the work on the House From Hell, I got away from my Life as it Happens of just chatting once a week or so.  It’s time to start doing a weekly wrap-up again.

Things have finally slowed down a bit in my life, but as it happens, just in time to get crazy again. In 2011 I had my cancer surgery and began the long trek back to health and fitness.  All in all, I was already pretty healthy and fit – I mean I cook from scratch, perimeter shop without the junk food and eat extremely little fast food.  The oncologist had said that those 3 things probably helped save my life as the cancer had nothing to feed on in my body.

But, the length of surgery caused another problem.  Turns out I had a Hiatal hernia and the stomach acid seeped up and started eating away my esophagus. So, a year later I had to have another operation to remove the shredded esophagus and rebuild the valve.  Then 9 months later an allergic type reaction to a prescription they gave me for my Fibromyalgia started lowering my potassium levels and shutting down my heart and I collapsed, literally close to death.  Fortunately, hubby insisted they take me to the hospital despite the idiot ambulance driver who was convinced I’d been drinking (strongest thing I EVER drink is iced tea) and tried to get me to sign a waiver so he didn’t have to transport me. The hospital staff work quickly to revive my potassium to a safe level and life went on.  When I came to though out on the street I became violently ill.  A few weeks later I knew something was wrong and several weeks after that I had surgery to repair my stomach and esophagus, AGAIN.

Fast forward a few years later and guess what? Here we are again.  Turns out I appear to be a statistic, a part of those late night commercials for the class action suits against products that fail.  I don’t see the surgeon for a couple weeks, but have been doing research and it appears from the last article I read that the type of mesh used to repair my stomach failed 17 out of 24 times – not very good odds in my opinion.  I’m anxious to meet the new surgeon who has gotten rave reviews from patients and doctors alike, and see what he has to say about a more permanent fix.

I have begun amassing cooking magazines and simple projects like changing over the address book, password book, etc… for when I’m laid up.  Unfortunately, this type of surgery leaves you unable to do much more than walk (no lifting, no stretching, etc…) after for quite awhile and on a very strict liquid to soft foods diet for quite a long time too.  I figured I would use the time to read, develop some ideas for new recipes and work on updating the blog compilation. I might be able to do a few simple craft projects to.

At least it is summer and since I’m relegated to the indoors during this weather anyway, it’s a good time to get well.

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LIFE – IT IS WHAT IT IS!

As I was scrolling through facebook this morning I ran across this post from 7 years ago. I found it speaking to me as it still describes life so well. I’m also pleased to say that even though there have been MANY (cancer, 5 surgeries and The House from HELL just to name a few of the BIG ones) curve balls thrown at me since then, I have de-cluttered my life really well, for the most part. So I offer you a rerun of that post below.

 
“Life has this funny way of testing us and sneaking in trials and tribulations that  weren’t in our original game plan never quite fit into “OUR” plans.  That is how it’s been for me the past many months.
 

As many of you know I have spent the last 7 1/2 months helping out various  family members around the country.  First it was my elderly in-laws  (MIL just turned 90) who begged us to come help them sell everything including the house and move them closer to family (we all know how that went – FIL is still trying to assign sentimental prices to everything in sight) and now it is my aunt & uncle.  My aunt has end stage Parkinsons disease, such a sad disease.  My aunt is extremely artistic and a beautiful painter – or at least she was.  The Dyskinesia from the Parkinsons disease has robbed her of that ability. My uncle recently saw the Oprah episode on hoarders and has decided that my aunt is one.  Trust me, she isn’t.  I once worked for a real estate company as a stager for homes and they would send me in to work on homes that were similar to those on the Oprah show – those were horrible.  So ask yourself, what is my (your) happy medium on the stuff I’ve (you’ve) accumulated?  My theory?  If you have a place for each item and it’s in its place, you’re NOT a pack rat or a hoarder.  I do offer you the definitions below.

This is one of my favorite paintings of hers. She did have a LARGE collection of art supplies and empty tins for storing those items in, but in her defense men do think in simpler terms and this is just a meeting of the minds discussion.  And in his defense they should be getting rid of most of this as she is now in a assisted living home and will not be able to use these items again.  Donating them to the church or a school while they are still usable would be best, but can’t be forced.  I pray that I will have more grace regarding these type of decisions if I reach that point and give up things more willingly, but none of us can ever be in one another’s shoes and truly know what we would do.
 
  • Also called trade rat. a large, bushy-tailed rodent, Neotoma cinerea, of North America, noted for carrying off small articles to store in its nest.
  • A person who collects, saves, or hoards useless small items or an old prospector or guide.

HOARD 

  • a supply or accumulation that is hidden or carefully guarded for preservation, future use, etc…
  • to accumulate money, food, or the like, in a hidden or carefully guarded place for preservation, future use, etc…
Long story short (I know too late), I have decided it is time to take back MY life.  So, over the next couple of months I will be making some changes.  Some big, some small, but ALL necessary to be myself and get a handle on MY life.”
 
My aunt passed 4 years ago and in the end they found she did not have Parkinson’s disease, but did have Lewy Body disease.  Unfortunately the only way to tell for sure is through an autopsy. The treatments are similar and in the end would not have changed much.  She was offered the DBS (deep brain stimulating) surgery early on and refused it (surgery scared her to death – especially brain surgery). As her disease progressed she wanted the surgery, but had waited just too long and it was no longer a viable option.

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RANTS, RAVES, & THE PURSUIT of a KINDER WAY of LIFE

This is a re-post of a post from almost exactly 6 years ago.  Ironically, it is even more true today!

Life is busy these days, real busy, but there are a few things I still notice.  We are all overworked, over stimulated and over tired!  I seem to notice less and less quality in everything around me whether it’s sitting down to dinner as a family or the quality of the products that sit on my kitchen counter.
 
My brother and I had a conversation not too long ago about the pursuit of the iconic TV 50’s way of life – you know, slower and kinder.  Now you need to know that my brother and I, at times, are as far apart on the political spectrum as 2 siblings can be.  We’re close, but there are many a subject that we have an agreement to agree to disagree on and move on to another topic.  He pointed out that the 50’s that many seem to want to return to is nothing but a TV iconic way of life.  I beg to disagree though.  Now I wasn’t alive in the 50’s, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that life in general was kinder, slower and calmer and MUCH less stressful.  This is one of those spots that I would go off on a rant about.  You see, I believe that stress is a catalyst of much of what ails us today, specifically cancer.  But, that is a story for another post.
 
If you were to watch say the Donna Reed Show, Father Knows Best, Happy Days or Leave it to Beaver, you would see homemakers vacuuming in high heels and pearls or maybe cleaning the refrigerator.  Husbands would be in ties and coats or at least a sport shirt and loafers.  Now while I don’t think things need to return to that formal, I do expect guys to pull up their pants.  I don’t want to see their butts.  In my era, the only butt to see was in a pair of tight jeans – where you had to use your imagination and fantasize. WOW that made me sound old, but I’m not really, just tired of seeing ugly underwear hanging out of over sized pants that are falling off some guy’s butt.  Many women aren’t much better though.  No one wants to see rolls of fat hanging out of a midriff top and low cut jeans – both of which are things for teen girls, not overweight 20, 30, 40, 50 somethings or even overweight teens.  Get the picture here – fat is not something to show off, but something to lose and hide while you’re doing it!
 
Another thing you saw more of in the past was Common Courtesy.  I find this ironic since we seem to need it more now, but it appears to be non-existent many times.  Whether it’s driving on the freeway or driving basket at the supermarket, common courtesy seems to always be in the backseat.  When I was a kid, I was taught to ‘drive’ my basket at the supermarket the same way you would a car on a 2 lane road – stay to the right, park off the pavement and use your signals.  More and more I notice at the supermarket that people leave their baskets in the middle of the aisle while they are roaming up and down looking at various things.  While I commend the label reading, how hard is it to park your cart off to the side and out of the way?  Interestingly enough, if there is no one around and I go to move the basket aside so I can pass, someone always magically appears and is miffed that “their” basket is being moved.  Well excuse me! The sense of entitlement and the self righteous (and unearned I might add) indignation is way too over the top.
On this same subject we all know that pedestrians have the right of way.  But don’t they also have a responsibility to NOT just walk willy nilly and blindly out into traffic?  What happened to looking both ways before entering a street?
Okay, I will get off my soap box now and return you to your regularly scheduled blog hopping.

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HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 17 of 2017

I hope you all had a GREAT weekend. Ours was quiet. I’m stuck in the house for the most part again.

Having a compromised immunity SUCKS.  Thank you SLE. It especially sucks when you’re working with a house like this and constantly exposed to something lurking.  Despite my constant effort to wash the dirt and grime away I keep ending up with bacterial infections from what I am coming in contact with. Fortunately this time I got into the doctor the next day after I noticed a problem . She took one look and said I had what she thought was cellulitis. She referred me a great specialist the same day who says we caught it in time to avoid the hospital and eye surgery.

The ophthalmologist also told me that cellulitis can be from a mosquito or spider bite. It usually affects the skin of the lower legs, but mine is in the muscle of my lower eyelid which makes even blinking painful. While it isn’t contagious, it can spread withing your own body quickly making it a potentially serious bacterial infection that can become life threatening by spreading to the lymph nodes or bloodstream when left untreated, Boy am I glad I didn’t ignore the pain and went to the doctor right away.  I can’t be out in the sun because of the medications so, it will be a quiet week indoors for me again.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

It’s supposed to warm up quite a bit this week, high 80’s+ and even a low 90’s, but at least there is no rain in the forecast for the next 5 days!

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

Black Cherry yogurt and coffee.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE

I’m pretty happy.  Doing the laundry and deep cleans on Saturdays are making for HAPPY Mondays!

WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

We’re going to work on some finishing touches around here this week:

  • Caulk and seal new molding on door frames
  • Seal windows

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR

Not much on TV at this time of year, just a few straggler shows that are about to wrap up for the season and some cooking shows backing up on the DVR so I’ll catch up on those this week. We did find a new show on Netflix that we are liking and we watched Adam Sandler’s Sandy Wexler this past weekend. It was okay.

I’m currently reading Ava Miles Dare River 5 book series. I’m on the second book, Chocolate Garden.

CRAFTS/PROJECTS

I’m working to finish a quilt for my niece Jill and her first baby, Luca.  I used a Noah’s Ark theme for one side and spring showers for the back.

KITCHEN WISHES

LOL nothing for now, but dreaming about my next kitchen.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
FRUIT & COFFEE
SCRAMBLED EGGS
FRUIT SMOOTHIE
FRUIT & COFFEE
SCRAMBLED EGGS
BACON & EGGS
PANCAKES or WAFFLES
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
C.O.R.N.
MEAT ROLL-UPS
SALAD
MEAT & CHEESE
C.O.R.N.
C.O.R.N.
DINNER
BLUE APRON TAWANESE CHICKEN & RICE
BLUE APRON SEARED COD IN CREME FRAICHE SAUCE
BLUE APRON SILCILIAN STEAK & FREGOLA SALAD
C.O.R.N.
C.O.R.N.
DESSERT

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

Health tips for Kids – Precautions are better than treatment

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

INSPIRATION

Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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D – A to Z Challenge – Dreams

D is for Dreams.  We all have them – sleeping, awake, aspirations… My current dream is starting to take shape on a Vision Board. We would really like to find and old church, train station, fire station or school to rehab into an open floor plan and make a forever home.  Anyone know of anything in any of these states?

noun: dream; plural noun: dream
dream – noun: dream; plural noun: dreams

1   *a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep.
*a state of mind in which someone is or seems to be unaware of their immediate surroundings.
synonyms: daydream, reverie, trance, daze, stupor, haze

verb: dream; 3rd person present: dreams; past tense: dreamed; past participle: dreamed; past tense: dreamt; past participle: dreamt; gerund or present participle: dreaming

1   *experience dreams during sleep.
synonyms: daydream, be in a trance, be lost in thought, be preoccupied, be abstracted, stare into space, muse, be in la-la land, have a dream, have a nightmare, fantasize about, daydream about; wish for, hope for, long for, yearn for, hanker after, set one’s heart on, aspire to, aim for, set one’s sights on, waste one’s time in a lazy, unproductive way.
2    *contemplate the possibility of doing something or that something might be the case.
synonyms: think, consider, contemplate, conceive

Just a little chat and update on MY life plus a review of my first Blue Apron recipe

THANK YOU Carrie!  My first Blue Apron box came today.  Such pretty vegetables and all the fixings for  the next 3 days. They also included wonderful recipe directions that were really easy to follow. I couldn’t wait to make dinner.  I let hubby choose the recipe and he chose the Chicken Under a “Brick” for our first meal. I have to say I was thoroughly impressed! Definitely a meal we’ll have again.

We also thought it might be a good idea to do a “Vision Board” for our search of the next house project. We would really like to find and old church, train station, fire station or school to rehab into an open floor plan and make a forever home.  Anyone know of anything in any of these states?

 

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY WEEK 14 of 2017

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  Mine was a whirlwind of road trip travel, surprises, a milestone birthday and memorials coupled with trying to stay out of the tornado warnings and weather.  It was a wonderful weekend of family, friends, love, loss, tears and laughter.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

It is beautiful and supposed to be quite warm and then cool off by the end of the week.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

I really have to get to the grocery store today so it’s black cherry yogurt and coffee because that is all that is in the house LOL.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE

Everything is in good standing.  The dog sitter was here all weekend and kept it quite neat.

WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

  • Laundry
  • Ebay
  • Studio sorting

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR

LOL I have NO idea! We’ll try to play catch-up on the DVR and go from there.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

My first Blue Apron order will be here Wednesday and I’m looking forward to trying some new recipes. A HUGE thank you to Carrie!

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
FRUIT & COFFEE
SCRAMBLED EGGS
FRUIT SMOOTHIE
FRUIT & COFFEE
SCRAMBLED EGGS
QUICHE LORRAINE leftovers
BACON & EGGS
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
SOUP
MEAT ROLL-UPS
SALAD
MEAT & CHEESE
C.O.R.N.
??
DINNER
CAJUN POT ROAST AND MASHED POTATOES
BLUE APRON CHICKEN UNDER A BRICK
BLUE APRON FONTINA STUFFED PORK CHOPS
BLUE APRON SPINACH AND FRESH MOZZARELLA PIZZA
WILTED SPINACH SALAD with GRILLED CHICKEN
POT ROAST HASH & EGGS
DESSERT

ON MY MIND

It’s been a long week and I’m still recovering, but just have to say, LIFE IS TOO SHORT to not enjoy your family and friends.  Don’t put off seeing your family and friends.  Don’t put off telling them how much they mean to you.  Tell them how much you love them ALWAYS!

THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

Hubby and I are making very specific lists to begin researching where we will make home for our next project.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

I haven’t gone through all the pictures, but this was one of the most interesting. It was a high rise on the San Antonio River Walk that creates this awesome optical illusion to make it look completely flat.

And this was one of my favorites I borrowed it from my IG account. It’s from the afternoon of the memorial and “surprise appearance”.  Love you LOLA, Happy milestone BIRTHDAY! RIP Ray, we love you!

#2ofmyFavoritePeople toasting to #1oftheBestMenEver #LifeAsItHappens

A post shared by 3 Sides of Crazy (@threesidesofcrazy) on

 

INSPIRATION

Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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GARBAGE TRUCK RULE

EVERY time this story makes its way into my inbox, I smile.  I smile because it is SOOOOOOOO true.

GARBAGE TRUCK RULE

One day, I hopped into a taxi and took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly, a black car, jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed the brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, “Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!” This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, ‘The Law of the Garbage Truck’

He explained, “Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they’ll dump it on you. NEVER take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on with the routine life.” Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so…… ‘Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t.’

Life is 10% what you make and 90% how you take!

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 4 of 2017

As many of you know I have been working to get my new website, Chasing MY Life, up and running.  Well, it’s up and it’s running.  It still needs some tweaking, but all in good time. I will mirror post for awhile and eventually just use Savory Kitchen Table as my personal recipe box. Tell me what you think about the new site.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

We have had a torrential week of rain with major flooding in the area.  Fortunately we have not been flooded here in the house, only the garage, but we did end up with 2 fairly severe leaks that make me think of the old house in It’s A Wonderful Life when they first moved in.  All I can say is thank god for beach towels and buckets!  Hubby is waiting for things to dry out a bit so we can assess the damage and do the repairs.  Once the rain moved through we ended up with severe winds that required emptying the backyard of anything not nailed down, but on the up side it’s helping to dry things off up on the roof.

Today though is GORGEOUS! We are supposed to be sunny all week.  Unfortunately this close to the coast I NEVER bank on anything.  The torrential rain we had last week occurred while we were only under a 20% chance of rain and those days started out gorgeous too.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

Ensure clear and coffee.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE

It looks pretty good.  I had a very productive week stuck inside last week’s rain.  I was able to go through the baking cabinet and the linen closet and took another 5 bags to the women’s shelter.

WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

I’ve been down with laryngitis and a cold or something last week also so will take it fairly easy this week.  With NO immunity because of the SLE hubby thinks I picked up a bug from all the digging in the filthy dirt (the local cats as well as my cousin’s cats had been using that area as a BIG cat box) it last week. I wore gloves, but evidently that wasn’t enough.

  • Paperwork
  • EBAY
  • Phone Calls
  • Make appointments
  • Sort China Cabinets
  • ERRANDS

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR

  • BIG BANG THEORY
  • WHEN CALLS THE HEART
  • PURE GENIUS
  • NCIS
  • BLUE BLOODS
  • THIS IS US
  • GRIMM
  • THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE
  • GOLIATH
  • BULL
  • SCORPION
  • SUPERGIRL
  • CHICAGO MED, PD, FIRE
  • HEARTLAND
  • HEART OF DIXIE
  • STRANGER THINGS
  • Z-NATION
  • DESIGNATED SURVIVOR
  • MADAM SECRETARY
  • ONCE UPON A TIME
  • CHESAPEAKE SHORES
  • ICE PILOTS
  • ETC……. I’m sure I forgot a few…

READING

CRAFTS & PROJECTS

Probably nothing this week, but hopefully soon.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

BREAKFAST

YOGURT & FRUIT

SCRAMBLED EGGS & CHEESE

FRUIT SMOOTHIE

YOGURT & FRUIT

MAPLE OATMEAL & RAISINS

PANCAKES

BACON & EGGS

LUNCH

FRUIT & CHEESE

SOUP & CRACKERS

SANDWICH

OUT

MEAT & CHEESE

LEFTOVERS

SANDWICHES

DINNER

GARLIC WINE CHICKEN

PEPPERONI MAC & CHEESE

C.O.R.N.

CHICKEN with MAGGI CREAM SAUCE

SLOPPY JOES

CHICKEN FRIED CHICKEN

WHITE CHICKEN LASAGNA

DESSERT

SUCCESSFUL RECIPES and their links FROM LAST WEEK

  • 5 CHEESE GOURMET MAC & CHEESE
  • PARMESAN ROASTED CARROTS (recipe to come this week)

  • GARLIC CREAM CHICKEN (recipe to come this week)

  • SHEET PAN SWEDISH MEATBALLS (recipe to come this week)

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPSHOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

Between storms hubby kept plugging away on the fencing.  He was able to get the new downspout area done which I for some reason did not yet get a picture of as well as this section near the utilities.  Eventually there will be a short privacy fence keeping all these utility pieces out of sight.

INSPIRATION

Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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BEFORE AND AFTER UPDATE ~ AKA WHAT DID WE GET OURSELVES INTO?????

Our original thought as we walked through the door (after braving the jungle of a backyard) 431 days ago was WTF did we get ourselves into here.  We were weary and tired, the dogs and cat were miserable after 6 days on the road.  We honestly considered turning around and going straight back to Oregon for about 10 minutes, but that made us even more tired when we thought about it. ALSO, we had moving trucks from where we had things stored in two different states already on the way and had already spent a fortune to get here.  PLUS this was to help family so we stayed to see it through and have been working REALLY hard ever since.  I know grams is no longer turning in her grave at what her house became and is resting peacefully seeing it restored.

Coming here was supposed to accomplish three things.  The first being a place for us to settle and re-group our life after the Cancer, multiple surgeries, years of care giving for multiple people and have time to deal with the VA claim from hell.  Well, that has YET to happen as we have spent every waking hour just making this place livable. The second was to be near family – the same family that now that we’re here can’t seem to take time to spend together unless there’s an emergency. The third was to help out my aunt and uncle after my cousin’s death.  My uncle had his hands FULL since my aunt’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis.  We were glad we could be here to help him especially after the fall that shattered her knee, the surgery for that along with the hospitalization and skilled nursing for the infection that ultimately took her life.  We did NOT expect him to decide two weeks later he was getting re-married and moving 5 states away.

You know how people say you’ll never use algebra after you get out of school? Well, I’m here to prove them wrong.  I loved word problems and algebraic equations and find I really do use them all the time.  This house is a perfect example.

X (minimum cash outlay) + Y (reasonable sweat labor done at a reasonable pace) + Z (fair price) = (PLACE TO SETTLE at a reasonable cost while helping family)

Seems like a simple equation right? That was before when my uncle said all the fixtures, appliances and flooring were good.  He did say the garage and backyard needed some cleanup as well as the house needing cleaned up and painted. He did NOT say that the garage leaked like a sieve and would also need major work.

So now factor in the ALL the things he DIDN’T tell us about “correctly” – like ALL fixtures, appliances, flooring, windows and doors, electrical and plumbing needing to be replaced, city and county code infractions, major drywall repair, bug and rodent infestation, as well as the fact that my cousin was a pack rat/hoarder who didn’t clean and that it would take 2 1/2 months of 12+ hour days, 7 days a week JUST to clear out ALL her trash and potential donations, not to mention the $900 or so of beer and soda to keep the trash guys happy so they would take everything each trash day (which is twice a week fortunately) and that she was a chain smoker that left everything covered in a layer of tar and nicotine. So now the equation looks something like:

5X+ (maximum cash outlay) + 20Y+ (maximum sweat labor done at a breakneck pace just to make it livable) + 5Z+ (no longer a fair or reasonable price because uncle wants same amount he did originally = (PLACE TO FLIP because it has become a money pit) AND (leaving us completely upside down in time and financial means, but at least we helped family whether they appreciate it or not)

So on to the before and after pictures. Hubby is upset that the before pictures don’t truly show how HORRIBLY DISGUSTING this place really was. I just hope the after pictures show how truly GREAT it is now – it really is turn key now!

MASTER BEDROOM & BATHROOM BEFORE

There was “STUFF” everywhere!  The walls where all stained from who knows what and the carpeting was full of melted wax and cigarette burns even in the closet.  I have to say that my cousin was evidently suffering from some form of mental illness because this is NOT how she was raised!

The picture above is what I got out of the bedroom carpet on the first pass of available floor with my Rainbow Water Vacuum. Disgusting does not begin to describe how it looked or felt.  Below was just one of the cracks to be repaired that was caused by the foundation issues.

The master bathroom didn’t look too bad until you looked close or opened a door and saw all the mold in the wood. So, it ended up getting gutted too. It took me 2 weeks, but I did get the tile clean in the shower, but we still need to find someone to professionally refinish the tile.


MASTER BEDROOM & BATHROOM NOW 

Finally a new window and completed bedroom. We used wainscotting floor to ceiling for the new bathroom walls.

SPARE BEDROOM BEFORE

The spare bedroom was stacked to the ceiling with junk!  It also housed much of her “business” food products.  What was the city thinking when they gave her a food license to operate out of this house? Not to mention it is completely against the H.O.A. rules and regulations for this neighborhood. In the photo below the bottom left hand corner was mouse droppings. YUCK!!

SPARE BEDROOM NOW

KITCHEN/DINING/LAUNDRY AREA BEFORE
THERE WAS “STUFF” EVERYWHERE.  NOT ONE CABINET WAS CLEAN OR ORGANIZED .
THE CABINET HANDLES THAT WHERE THERE WERE GREASE AND DUST COATED. THE CABINET DOORS WERE HANGING BY A THREAD.

THE REFRIGERATOR WAS FULL OF SPOILED AND SPILLED FOOD, MILDEW AND MOLD – A SERIOUS SCIENCE PROJECT IN THE MAKING AND ONE THAT THIS IMMUNITY CHALLENGED GIRL WAS HAVING NO PART OF.  THE SEAL ON THE REFRIGERATOR DID NOT WORK AND HAD BEEN LEAKING OUT FOR SOME TIME. THE FREEZER WAS ANOTHER ISSUE TRYING TO GET THINGS OUT SINCE THEY HAD FROZEN INTO ONE BIG GLOB BECAUSE OF THE LEAKING SEAL.
This is the pantry floor as clean as it would get!  We scraped off all the linoleum and sanitized the foundation before re-flooring.
BEHIND THESE DOORS (which are off their hinges and just propped there) IS THE LAUNDRY AREA AND ONE OF THE SCARIEST LOOKING AREAS.  THERE WAS A RATS NEST UNDER THE COLLAPSING, NOT TO CODE WATER HEATER base.  THE DRYER WAS NOT VENTED TO THE OUTSIDE AND HAD NOT BEEN FOR SOME TIME AS THE LINT WAS EVERYWHERE AND THE WASHER LEAKED LIKE A SIEVE!

This 10 pound bag of sugar was spilled ALL over a pantry shelf and was one of the biggest sources for the ants, cockroaches and mice.

KITCHEN/DINING/LAUNDRY NOW
STUDIO BEFORE
STUDIO NOW
ATRIUM BEFORE
ATRIUM NOW

 

FOYER BEFORE

The door would no longer open due to the foundation issues and she used this 24 square feet (8×3) as a “CAT BOX” area.  I hate to admit that this was the MOST disgusting of ALL the house and required several bottles of hydrogen peroxide etcher after we removed the toxic 2 layers of tiles.

FOYER AFTER

New floor, new door and new paint are done and looking good. I LOVE how much light the new door lets in.

LIVING ROOM BEFORE

These are cracks, tears and stains in the atrium/living room carpeting.

It took weeks/months to get the living room to this organized point LOL.  Notice the crack near the vent?  It went all the way to the floor and was 3 inches wide.  It is also why we waited over 3 months for the highly recommended dry wall guy that turned out to be a HUGE joke. The picture below is the living room after we finally got it emptied and ready to start painting.

This is one of 3 sections of the living room carpet that had melted candle wax all over it.  She had just arranged the furniture over it.

 

LIVING ROOM NOW
We made built in cabinets in the living room to hold things like the DVD player, WiiU, movies and games, etc…

I could not get Whiskey to move so she’s in the picture! There are still many Christmas things sitting around as I get them pack up to put away, but all in all it’s looking good.

SPARE BATH  BEFORE

There was a funky built in area above the tub for linens that needed to be removed and the walls had to be re-done after the 2 layers of wall paper were removed and the wall board was peeling away. 

SPARE BATH NOW
GARAGE  BEFORE

This was after hubby spent 4 weeks cleaning and and making a path for donation and trash.

GARAGE NOW

Hubby has done wonders at creating a neat and organized garage!

It took months to get to this freezer and then weeks to get into it.  The key wouldn’t work!  Turns out the seal had failed and there was a HUGE layer of ice sealing it shut.  It then took hubby days to chip away ALL the ice and bag the food that was there. 

We are SO thankful for our trash guys.  For a case of beer and soda twice a week they took ALL we gave them.  Way more than they were supposed to or should have.  We thank them for going ABOVE and BEYOND!

ATTIC
From this point in the attic you can turn 3 directions, but they all look about the same.  We got as much stuff out of the attic as the house it seemed. It is now ALMOST empty except for some insulation that needs bagged and the storage boxes I added just around the opening for when we move.
I tried to salvage these globes covered in nicotine and dirt, but in the end it was a lost cause.
JUST A TYPICAL TRASH DAY.  It looked like this, sometimes double this EVERY! trash day (2 times a week) for 9 months!
The wiring had to be all re-done as gramps and possibly Beth’s boyfriend, Tom had done some really scary Mickey Mouse jobs that left us thankful the place hadn’t been burnt to the ground.  We found an awesome Electrician and while Tommy was expensive, he is a Master Electrician and left us with a safe feeling allowing us to sleep at night.

This was the path hubby created through to the back gate. We are anxious to get this area done next month.  Right now it is empty, but very uneven so we will begin with 100 bags of leveling sand and see where it goes from there.

Did I ever mention that the neighbor next door in a 2 story tried to buy this place because he loved the floor plan, but my uncle wouldn’t sell until the foundation work was done? In ALL honestly this house would still be sitting here in the same condition we found it if we hadn’t come long when we did.  Unfortunately for us it appears my uncle does NOT appreciate any of this. He still wants more money than it was worth and said if he’d realized it’s condition, he would have just dumped it.  If that is the case I have to wonder why he didn’t sell to the next door neighbor to begin with and honestly if he’s going to “DUMP” it why not do so to the people who spent the money for the parts and labor AND did the back breaking work for over a year?

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