That’s how my house looks today:

The painters whom I hired to paint my first floor started today. So far, whatever they’ve done looks fantastic. Before I took all the things off the walls, I didn’t even realize how many holes are there!
Last week, I asked the handyman who did several things in my house before whether he could make my bathroom ceiling presentable and ready for painting. What he did is nothing less than a miracle. If I only knew this gentleman earlier, my house would look tons nicer! But at least now, I know whom to call when I have all these little things which need to be fixed.

The only problem I have today is that the painters asked whether it’s OK with me that they would leave all the covering till tomorrow. I said – yes, but I didn’t realize that everything in my kitchen is nicely packed :). In order to take out a plate or a cup, or a piece of dried fruit, or to put anything into the dishwasher- for all of that, I have to tear off the covering. I will need to put everything back tomorrow 🙂

Another bad thing is that it’s raining, and I could not go for a bike ride. I spent all they in the smaller office on the second floor, juggling my two computers and haveing one monitor instead of three :). And not being able to make coffee in the middle of the day 🙂

Move Updates

Here is a brief summary of where I am in my Big Move process.

For my new place. 

  • My loan is conditionally approved
  • The appraisal happened
  • Both current owners and I signed a resell form
  • I purchased condominium insurance for my new place
  • The closing is scheduled for April 28, although I am still trying to close earlier.

For my current place.

  • I thought that I packed the first floor last week, but I was wrong. There were still many dark corners. Now I am completely done with the dining room, the living room, and with my and Boris’s desks.
  • The painting is scheduled for Thursday, which I guess means that it will continue on Friday.
  • I still need to pack the stuff from the hallway before painting.
  • And probably to put away at least some of the things which are in the kitchen.
  • I asked the same person who fixed my under the sink cabinet whether he will fix the ceiling in the half-bathroom without completely redoing it, and he came and performed a miracle. The thing is that I know that the leakage there happened fifteen years ago, and I didn’t care back then to make it look nice. I knew there was no need to redo this ceiling, and the only thing I regret is that I didn’t get to know this guy earlier! My house could look tons nicer for a very moderate price. 
  • I packed all my Christmas cookies tins! I will be backing in the new place and sending cookies all over the world again!

Other things

  • While sorting the papers on my desk and in the file cabinet, I found a document which my loan officer asked for, and I could not find it!
  • Also, one medical record, which somehow didn’t make it into the electronic format, and my family doctor asked me about it for years.
  • My microwave stopped working! Just when I needed it most! Yea, it turned out it was still under the manufacturer’s warranty, and it was relatively fast to go through the LG system, but the parts won’t be delivered till Friday :(. Yes, I remember how to cook without a microwave :). 

On this bright note – back to packing!

Still Packing

Today, I took a half-day off for packing :). In the morning, we went through Boris’s things (on Facetime). Surprisingly, that was a really fun activity. I found some IKEA light bulbs which I could not find before, and hence could not replace the bulb in my desk lamp.

There were other finding as well. In the upstairs guest bedroom, I found a box of miscellaneous wine glasses, and I am going to take them with me:). I think it was something Vlad picked up on one of the garage sales. But they are nice glasses!

Now, only my desk is left to be packed, all the rest is in the boxes!

Eighteen Boxes

My co-worker who stopped by today to pick up some of my giveaways told me that he was amazed how much I have done already. I told him: A lot, but not enough!

Eighteen boxes, and I think I will need to pack a hundred. Yes, the first floor is the most difficult one, lots of glass, dishes, small fragile decorations, but still – I should pack faster.

Still do not know who will do my walls painting, but hope to figure things out by the end of the week.

House Repairs

It was supposed to be very cold in Palatine the week I was away (and it was!) So, I left all faucets dripping to prevent the pipes from freezing. Two weeks before that, I examined all the sinks in the house, and I thought that I fixed everything leaking.

That is, until Wednesday morning when my cleaning lady came and texted me: Hettie, you have water on the floor! Both upstairs sins are leaking. It was not the end of the world but still, very unpleasant news.

When I returned, I realized that not two, but all three of the sinks, had water under them. I shrugged and decided that I am not trying to fix things by myself anymore :).

It was Friday, and I didn’t start searching for plumbers till Monday morning. When I went to the NextDoor, I found that the plumbers I used a long time ago are still in business and have good reviews. Very soon, however, I remembered why I stopped using them. Even though they did good work, they often didn’t respond to the calls and didn’t call back. After they didn’t show up at the scheduled time, didn’t call, and didn’t respond to calls and voicemails for three hours, I decided to go with another contractor I found on the NextDoor, who responded right away.

They suggested replacing pretty much everything, and I didn’t argue because I didn’t replace pipes and faucets since I moved in (except for a couple of small repairs). It was a pricy job, but everything is finally in place now. Since there are high chances I will be moving later this year, I asked them to pick the simplest faucets, just to have them there. And I decided not to fix the cabinets.

Because I wasted time waiting for the first contractors, the new one didn’t come till late on Wednesday, and then, I had to postpone everything till the girls leave. That was the right decision because they had to turn the water off for 1.5 hours, and the total time the contractor spent in my house was about six hours. When he was finished, I asked him which was the most difficult, and he said – the one on the first floor, because everything is too close to the wall, and the place is small. Now I feel much better because if a professional had trouble with this one, no wonder it was difficult for me as well!

Fixing Everything Broken

After almost two months of unsuccessful attempts to repair my under the sink cabinet, I finally found a person who fixed it and asked for only $20 for this job (I paid $30). The only other person who responded and came to take a look priced it for $75 at a minimum (“if there will be less than one hour work,” otherwise – twice as much). That was a happy moment amidst an otherwise miserable couple of weeks – all my attempts to secure this falling down board looked horrible. Even when nobody except for me could see it – I saw!

There was one more thing I needed to repair – the leaking sink in the first-floor half-bathroom. I didn’t notice for a while that it was leaking. When I realized the problem, there was already a lot of damage. However, the moment I realized it was mid-December when I could not take in anything extra. So I put several layers of the blue shop towels under the leaking pipe and left it until “after the holidays.” 

After the holidays, we had our virus disaster, and we were also finishing the book. It might sound unimaginable that I didn’t have time to repair the leaking pipe or to call somebody to come and fix it, but I was in a situation when I could not get any extra thought into my brain. Those who have been in a crisis situation will hopefully understand. 

When I finally put “fix this leaking pipe” into my weekend schedule, it was already mid -January. First, I tried to tighten the upper ring, but then I realized that the washers were worn out, and it was impossible to tighten it. Then I thought that if I put additional leak-protective tape over it, it will work, but it didn’t. I had to replace the drain and the tailpiece. 

I went to the ACE hardware, and first, pick the wrong part :). I went back, and this time, I picked the right one. Now, if you think about why I spent hours trying to do it myself when I had no time for anything, I can’t give a logical explanation. It’s just something about plumbing that since the kids were kids and lived at home, I believe that I should be able to resolve most of the plumbing issues myself. And through all these years, I was able to do many repairs, replacing many parts of that system. 

After spending hours, I finally connected everything, except for the lift-up rod, which kept sliding down. For some reason, I could not tighten the screw, which would keep it secured to one extra part connecting it to the pivot rode (I have no idea why this extra part was necessary). However, that was not the only problem. When I turned the water on, I realized that it still leaks a little bit.

That became really embarrassing: I spent hours trying to do it myself, and now I would have to call a plumber anyway!

When this handyman whom I asked to fix my under the sink cabinet showed up, I asked him if he was indeed not-do-any-plumbing, as he said when advertising his services. He said that he does not do “new stuff,” but “show me what the problem is.” I said that I am really embarrassed to have this problem, but.. He looked and asked whether I put any plumbing putty before installing the drain and started to explain what the plumbing putty is. I knew that I forgot to put the putty first, but I hoped I could get away without it. I had some plumbing putty, a little bit dried out but still usable. He said that I need to unscrew the ring, lift the drain, and insert a small putty ring. It didn’t work the first time, but then I managed to lift it up and afterward, tightened the ring really-really tight. After all, I was able to do it myself. Almost :))

Everything Is Falling Apart Again!

This year can’t finish without more calamities!

On Christmas Eve morning, I felt like the hot water was cooler than it should be and that it took longer for it to get warm. However, since the weather was exceptionally cold, I attributed the water temperature to that fact. By evening, however, I’ve grown a suspicion that something is wrong with the water heater.

My water heater can keep the water warm for a long time, and I am not sure when it actually stopped heating. I thought that I would survive a Christmas Day (nobody would come out anyway), and I could call Allied Saturday morning.

On Saturday morning, the water was still warm enough for me to take a quick shower. Then, I called Allied. It was 6 AM, so I didn’t expect anybody to be in, but I wanted to leave a voice message. Following the prompts, I reach to the technician on call only to find out that they are not picking up, and their mailbox is full. When I call at 7-30 AM, the message was that the office is closed for the holidays. They suggested another company for emergency service.

I called and texted them, and there was no answer. I started to look on the internet for alternatives and quickly found one. I called them, and they said that they will come over within two hours.
By that time, the first company replied, saying that they are swamped with work and won’t come on Saturday, but they can come on Monday. I replied: no problem, somebody is coming.

Continue reading “Everything Is Falling Apart Again!”

How Many Things Can Go Wrong In One Day?!

It all happened on Saturday. For a start, I knocked off a cup full of coffee when reaching out for my Karl Fazer Advent calendar. I had to change my jeans and clean the kitchen floor.

Next, I reached out to the plant, which I temporarily moved from the stand to the top of the bookshelf. I move it every Christmas season, each time when I put up a Christmas tree, and move one of the plants stands away. And it was never a problem for the past twenty years. But this Saturday, the pot falls, and the wet soil is everywhere. Let me tell you, it’s not that easy to clean the wet soil from the floor and the walls!

Next, the garage door won’t close and was making all these weird noises. I decided to leave it open, and since Vlad was planning to come the next day, I called him and asked whether he will take a look (he installed this garage opener a while ago).

On my way from the garage to my house, I thought that I should text my neighbor because she will worry when she sees my garage door opened. But it turned out that they returned thirty seconds after I left the parking lot, and they saw my door opened and thought I forgot to close it and tried to close… after which, the door got stuck in the middle, so I could not get the car out!
And that was not it! Next, when I was baking my last batch of sugar cookies, I left the last portion in the oven, which was turned off, but still hot, and the cookies were completely burned. Ok, just ten, but still!

And the very last thing: I need to bake another portion of kolacki, and I accidentally set the oven temperature to 400F instead of 350F! They were not completely ruined, but still got some tan 🙂

Can you imagine that it all happened in one day?!