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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It was a stay at home day ... but VERY productive

Sorry we’re a little drifty this morning. We got a call from the lady at this Herrington Estates. They are running the business from the sale office of where we were looking at before. They have a new building project where they have the houses like the ones we were looking in Montgomery, but in Bolingbrook. There are a couple of advantages here in that Montgomery was too far west for Rich and the Patriot houses in Bolingbrook were more like townhouses. These new houses have the good location, but more traditional houses – so things match up like getting a three car garage – where before only the far away one had it.

I looked at all the models offered and this is the one that I like the most and which is at the most reasonable cost. It’s still more expensive then the Montgomery one, but there are advantages too – location, location. If I had this house the only difference I’d do is that I’d have the wall between bedroom 3 and the loft taken down, so there’d be just one open loft. If someone were to buy the house after us, they could just put it up again, but you can imagine what we’d be doing with the loft SEWING ROOM!!!

That would leave just one room for guests which is fine, AND there’s a new advantage in that the laundry is on the same floor as the bedroom. I LOVE that part. Otherwise it’s pretty much what we’d expect.

The first floor has one less room too then the house we had been looking for, but it still has enough rooms for there to be two extra’s on the first floor. I would turn the living room into my office and then the dining room would be Rich’s office. It took a long time to decide which goes where, but I figured he’d be better toward the kitchen and I’d be better off the living room. We would do the French door option so that I could be in the office and Rich in the family room and there’d be an open space between us. Rich’s room might be half office and half tackle room – that be up to him, but the advantage toward him and the kitchen is that he could be starting up a meal and going easily back and forth to his space.

The Kitchen, breakfast room and family are open like seem to be a requirement for me. I like that it has a walk-in pantry and a butler’s pantry … we could have my formal dishes there I would imagine. I also like the option of having optional cabinets in the kitchen. I don’t think there is enough space without them, plus the retail value is better. The front of the house pretty much looks like most traditional houses so there’s not much to that. We’d have to decide on an option of longer porch or a bay window in the LR/office. The place starts at $279,000 so I’m not sure HOW MUCH extras would cost because all the stuff you really want is specially added. That’s where they sneak the building cost up.

The model is the 2nd lowest price of 8 houses. I looked at all of them, but I’d have to say for our purposes, I really like this one the best. The Montgomery has one extra room upstairs and down and cost less, but then we’d still be battling Rich on location. I really don’t mind being closer. It’s 20 miles west of us and about a half hour extra travel from the regular expressway we take. It’s right next to another expressway that goes direct north and is just a few miles away so that it is more convenient to seeing the boys. I like that part too. It’s a real nice area.

Ok, I did as much with that as I could. I wrote Rich a note and I sent a note to the three sales ladies at Ryland. The places we are officially looking at from Ryland are the Magnolia in Montgomery and the Denali and Wild meadow both at Bolingbrook.

Hi Kim and Lisa,

It's been a while since we talked and I thought I'd like to give you an update.

This is the note we send out to Traci today ... we were watching the development of the Herrington project. Let me know if there is something to do for this pain in having to wait. Rich replaced one of his jobs so he is earning a higher income, but it's still not time. Keep us in your prayers. I haven't given up on having one day a Ryland home.


Dear Traci,

Thanks for sending us the information on Herrington Estates homes. I’m sending this note back for feedback to you. I looked carefully at them and I find the one I really like is the Wildmeadow. It is a few rooms less than the one I like in Montgomery … I really like the Magnolia coming in now at $228,000, but Rich thinks it’s too far from the cities. At the Patriot place we like the Denali $249,990.

Yours is coming in very high for us at $280,000. We are aware that these are just starting prices. Cost is a factor, but we have loved your homes and assistance over time.

I like the loft idea because I’m a quilter and I’d like a big open space for it. In the Denali, we would have to have the sewing in the basement and one of the other problems beside moisture with the fabrics is that with the Denali there is a two car garage. Rich has a boat so we are really looking for a three car garage. I like the detached homes because of the extra rooms in that we’d make the living and dining rooms into offices for Rich and myself where the Denali we’d have to share an office. There can’t be a better kitchen then the Denali. The Denali and Wildmeadow have laundry on the same floor as bedroom. That is important. If I were to move into the Wildmeadow, we would open the loft and BR #3 into the sewing area which would be phenomenal and save the 2nd BR for guest.

We have a problem with financing at this point because Rich is paying a high alimony to his ex which tears up the debt/income ratio. I was hoping to write a book and bring in an extra income. I did publish the book, but we’re a far ways from making much of an income from it. We’ll continue to build our resources, but it might take a few more years. I would like to be kept on your list in case something miraculous was to happen, but realistically we don’t have enough to purchase a house yet. We are living in an apartment in Brookfield. Both of us work in the city.

Thanks for considering us as potential homeowners. It’s an absolute dream of ours.

I guess there is not much more to be done about it. I feel pretty depressed with it. I keep looking at houses and wondering how other people do it. Sometimes I feel like breaking.

Rich came home and was angry with me and cranky. He turned on his fishy shows and says he’s working. I don’t have any reason not to believe him, but there’s no words going on between us. I’ve got Enya on headphones. I feel really horrible, but then I know if I turned my attention to one of my interests right now … even in writing, I will feel better.

I think we’re having some extra problem too in knowing that both my sister and mother have their homes – CS is working on her second home. Same with Rich’s wife – she has a home too and none of these three women have to work. I don’t want to lessen their excitement for having their own places, but it doesn’t make things easier on us. We had too hard a time going to work today and had to call in sick.

I’m thinking that Dr. Marvin has to be back soon, because we’re feeling horrible.

Shoot, shoot. Where is this coming from we were feeling good just a short while ago. But, it seems there is a lot of pressure in the going to work part. We don’t want to go … we feel very angry at having to work. Even Linda has a house and isn’t working – though if anyone was to work, it would be her. In the meantime … we are again feeling miserable.

I think this started at Rich’s mother’s house again last night when we were there for dinner. She was bringing up that their friend Jeff had a house to sell and he was bringing the cost down to $85,000 and the place was along the river and it came with 6 acres. Even that was sounding like something … we told Rich we would be paying less then rent and I could quit my job. I’m still thinking disability. I’m afraid that that is some of the pressure at work. I’m not able to put myself into it like I should … there is one task that could get me fired, and sister called us on it in writing last week. If I go in I have to respond to it. I want to quit.

I’m having trouble making myself do work and I don’t feel I’m giving the center very much. PLUS, I want to stay at home. I can leave the house, I just don’t want to. It’s like the same as the older set of problems we were having. It’s just such a fight in our head. The worse it gets the harder time I’m having with reality – doing the things we’re supposed to do. My head is just screaming.

Rich said on the way home that he’s saving some money, but we’re thinking that’s just the money he’s got for taxes. He said that he’s got like $50,000 debt including his boat and that that has to be paid first … He said that it’s going to take five years, and then we could start looking for a house, but it probably wouldn’t be a $300,000 house. That would put him at 64 years about time for retirement. I told him that our life would be almost over waiting another 5 years … we’d be 55. I would still hate working and we’d be too old to just be starting on home ownership costs. Rich would be retired or close to it and wouldn’t be able to do the extra.

Part of this spinning the wheel is that I can’t make it any better on my own. So, I should be grateful that Rich is at least coming toward some kind of plan, but I don’t feel appreciative at all because it is that far from me. How did this happen that we weren’t going to be able to live in a house. And, why is it making me cry now … just to be thinking of it. This is the part where we are starting to feel pretty crazy. I just want to retreat. I don’t want to do anything, but write and sew. Surely there has to be some kind of way.

The sales of the book sooo far has been under a dozen books through the wholesalers. That notice is affecting our efforts toward marketing and business plans. The idea of finishing the business plan seems out the door. We can’t do much with it in that she wants us to start way back at the beginning in just going over to another model. That is where we were before we started. If we were working with her it would be extra encouragement, but it’s just a couple sentences worth, we don’t feel at this time like working on it. Just too grumpy.

If there was any chance of doing something we might try to put ourselves back into marketing. I know that Marie is right in having to get out there and do something with it. But, when they both said marketing is more important than the second book right now … it took the wind out of those sales. I feel like my world is falling apart. It’s like everything is impossible. I’m fighting the walls in my brain.

I’m just agonizing. How come I can’t figure this out? How come I can’t make it work? What are the wrong variables?

How did I get the idea in my brain that I shouldn’t be working, but still should be getting a home? Where are those thoughts coming from anyway. I mean I’m working in that I’m writing, but if I can’t be writing … must be doing all the marketing, well yes, I know I could write about marketing and that might be just what I’m going to need to do next, but still I’m just hating the thought that I have to go in and do tasks I’m not interested in. I’m interested in how my minds think. I want to know how I can make that enough. Why can’t I just think through my life?

I want to put challenges in front of it, but small ones that don’t depend on others or hold me responsible for others.

Does this mean that we don’t care? I’m not sure. It’s just too much for us. I don’t know what happened to get us to this point. Maybe envy and greed and the feeling that I want to be pampered, but I’m not going to get it. Rich has to work, and we have to work and I absolutely hate it. I’m thinking back to the problem back in the middle ages where it seemed like work just to make the bread to eat. I try to imagine one of them deciding not to work. I’d probably be the crazy village woman asking for free handouts and some dry hay to sleep on. I’m like who am I not to be concerned with having to do hard stuff. I DON’T WAN T TO DO HARD STUFF!

Hmm, we just got in something for the house. The sorter came in, but we don’t want to hear Rich’s grief on the subject. We still haven’t gotten over the part that it’s going to have trouble fitting in our closet. Maybe we could do what we should have done and throw out all the old clothes. But, then the logic is that we are on a diet and losing weight. Maybe the best thing to do is fold up clothes that don’t belong there. We are back to still wanting to help out with the laundry it’s a bad area.

We’re back. It’s about 8 P.M. at night. I just finished working here at our place. Rich is still out and I think we’re going to do the sewing pretty soon. We seemed to have had a lot of anger and we put that into organizing and cleaning.

We’ve been doing a lot of stuff and our body is sore. I’m eager for Rich to come in and see the changes. It might not be a big deal to him, but it has been to us.

We’ve done this before in that when we can’t get the place we want … we try to better the place we’ve got. You’ve been hearing all the buying we’ve been doing and that it replaced the book this round – in that we took the money that was supposed to be for the deposit.

Today was just crazy. We started out by thinking we don’t care if Rich didn’t like that we were changing the laundry system. That’s what had come in … the four bag canvas laundry sorter. It’s pretty cool … it’s a commercial object. It took us about 45-one hour to put it together. Rich was on the phone the majority of the time and we weren’t speaking real friendly to each other. What was going on in our mind was fine … we won’t talk to you either. He had come in cranky because we didn’t go to work. Didn’t seem to make much difference because we weren’t in a place that we could go in and most likely it will carry on through tomorrow. I need to get back to seeing Dr. Marvin. Today is the … well to tell you the truth, I don’t know which day it is. I remember there was a 17, but I can’t figure out which day it landed on and our mouse isn’t working very well so we’re having trouble getting around on the computer. I think it’s the matter of a battery. We had asked Rich and put it on his list, but he hadn’t gotten it yet. When I went back to the list later, it was gone, so maybe he’s thinking of picking things up on the way home. It is a very late night because he had a game too.

The point on the date was that we haven’t seen him since December 24th, so it’s like almost a month. It’s a very long time and we’ve got two more days to get through. I don’t know where we are on sick days, but our mind is going crazy on us and we’re having trouble with going to work thoughts. We did work at home today so that made us feel better.

So anyway we put together the sorter, and Rich pretty snidely asked us where we were going to put it. We told him in the closet and that we were going to go through the clothes hanging up and do some throwing. His comment was … you know you are going to be losing weight … basically then like crazy lady why are you throwing away clothes. We had had it with the closet system and we didn’t know what else to do, but clear space. The whole thing of dirty clothes has driven me crazy longer than I want to admit. There are like 2-3 baskets (it changes) and all the clothes are out past the baskets and covered by clothes hanging up and when Rich goes to wash clothes he throws piles all over and part of that ends up on the bed. It is a terrible system.

We put out an old sheet on the floor and we started taking everything out we hadn’t worn for a couple of years or was in bad repair. We cleared an entire side of a double closet. We had been complaining that we didn’t like our clothes separated which is something that Rich had done when he was trying to put order in the closet. And, we didn’t like that the holder on the end was broken and the closet was so messy, we couldn’t have the building people come in and fix it. Clothes were ending up on the floor getting mixed between clean and dirty. It was terrible. It took a lot of work, but eventually we were done. We had filled a tall three to four foot pile of clothes on the sheet. We were way past thinking that we could give them to someone. Some of the clothes were good enough, but everything is old.

After we got done, we combined everything in just one double closet. We put the current stuff we are wearing together, put the pajamas – too many in back grouped the pants and skirts, and separated the shirts between – athletic colored collared shirts from stretchy good shirts and shirts that were buttoned. We have a terrible wardrobe, but at least we were seeing the things that were possible to be worn. It was a good exercise AND in the process of getting all the clothes up and throwing a couple big bags of stuff we didn’t need we did something amazing. We FOUND our big quilted blanket that we’d gotten with my father’s inheritance. I was just soooo ecstatic … words cannot relay.

It took a while to figure out, but in the end the blanket got taken out of the plastic it was in and we took it to the quilting studio – much more now than just a sewing room and we placed it over the three big cushions on the back of the couch.

Amazingly it is the same color. Maybe we were trying for something when we’d purchased it. It was about the same time. I just LOVE it! Here we’ll take a picture. Ok … maybe add it later. We forgot how bad the mouse was again.

Oh one more thing … when we cleaned the bedroom closets we had the extra couple baskets. One went under another in the bathroom and the two in the bedroom now have either my shoes or Rich’s shoes which gets them off the bedroom floor. That was another little major though not thought of until later.

After we were done with the old clothes, we tied the opposite corners of the sheet – we had kept the clothes centered and piled in the middle. Then very slowly we dragged it out to the kitchen. For a while it was on the cooking side, but eventually it got dragged out to the staging area of our dining room. There was 3-4 other big bags of stuff. We figured with the clothes that Rich could drop/roll it down the stairs and then drag it over by the garbage. The laundry got rolled over to the now empty closet. We moved a couple of boxes and there was that point before we forgot to mention where we sorted out the clothes … There’s a bag for lady who does laundry (Rich’s business shirts), then there’s a bag for whites, and one for Rich’s dark clothes and one for our hang up clothes. The towels get thrown on top of any of the piles that are short. They collect themselves in a basket under the wicker shelves in the bathroom.

It’s a pretty good system all in all. I think that Rich is going to like having the clothes already sorted out and it’s easy to see when clothes need to be washed. He still might like to pull clothes out from the dryer in a basket, but in that case we can just combine shoes in one basket and use the spare for transporting clothes up from the first floor. I think it’s workable.

We finished cleaning up the room before moving on. We had been taking breaks when needed to rest or regroup. We were happy with the progress, but we had to decide what to do with the upper shelves of the closet. We got rid of some clutter, but it’s still very disorganized. We need to refold and reorganize that stuff.

There’s some stuff that needs redirection, but the majority up there is sheets and blankets and so we’re figuring that should come over to my side of the closet and then the stuff on top of our shelves – which is all Rich’s stuff from back when that closet was his should go over to the neutral side of the closet.

We decided because of all the up and down that we should work on the top part of the closet project with Rich. He can reach without a chair and we can work in tandem. The other closet in the quilting studio – upper shelve is going to have Rich’s fishing gear which is for the moment also hiding out in that staging area of the dining room. Most of the stuff is Rich’s … well maybe some mine too, but the big deal is to get the pictures out of there. Rich said that we’re going to move the pictures to the front closet and he said he’d reorganize that so it fits better. I don’t know how long it is going to take Rich to help out, but we’re shooting for the weekend.

There’s a whole lot of garbage back in the back part of the dining room. So if getting the top of the closets cleaned out is one project, the second project is getting the front hall closet reorganized and then the third project is getting all the garbage down. To be fair we really did a lion’s share of the work today. Just there’s more up ahead. I’m so excited to think that we’ll have the entire house fairly organized after the closets are finished.

While on one of our breaks fairly early in the game, we got a second buzz from downstairs, and we were SOOO happy! We had gotten in the canvas cubbies for the quilting studio – our side of the one double closet. The other double closet up front is Rich’s – where he puts his clothes. We were very happy with the cubbies from the very start. It only took a few moments to put them together … we only had to move a few things in our sewing closet. We had done such a good job with the bedroom closets, we just had to move our kitty carrier to the middle of the closet space along with the table extender. We found also that our one smaller suitcase that has smaller containers in it – well it fit inside the real big suitcase and then we wheeled that to the bedroom closet and it fit to the back corner and still left room for the shoe baskets. WooHOO!!!

What that did was clear out the bottom of the sewing closet and I hadn’t seen that coming at all so it was like a very high standing blessing. What we figured out was that we could take our rolling bins we had planned to put under the table and separate under …

Whoops break here. We are to the next morning. I think we’d typed to mid-sentence because Rich came home. We’ll continue again from a new day, k?

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