Over a month has passed since I updated, many apologies. Busy has got to be the understatement of the century. Lots of things have happened and it might be a while before I get around to updating again, so here goes:-
Well, the first week of Oct was spent doing and finishing accounts before the 15th Oct deadline. With that achieved, we launched into painting again. Then that abruptly stopped, as en route to the site just as I arrived I got a call from Rupe, who was five mins behind me. "Lisa turn around, I've been in an accident!" "Are you and Abbie all right?" "Yes, get here though". Instinct told me don’t ask questions now just get there, as quickly as possible. The next five mins. seemed like an eternity. As I rounded the corner to come down to them, I saw a fire engine and two police cars. I thought, heck that was fast, and my heart sunk. I pulled up. A policeman walked towards me to prevent my stopping. Usually I'd have been intimidated, (let's face it they wear guns), but as he was challenging me, I literally brushed past him completely ignoring him as I had seen Abbie who just burst into tears and I guess he kind of figured I was the mother, and don’t mess with me.
Once I checked Abbie was in one piece, although terribly shaken, I found Rupe the other side of the car (yes, our newish one that we've had only two months) talking to the police. Well he got a big hug, I was so relieved. Then I went back to Abbie who was not exactly calm, bless her. I must say the police were great. It was not at all Rupe's fault. An old lady checking her mail in a communal box in her car, who lived the other side of this small road, did not look and pulled across the entire road as Rupe was going by her. She did not use her turn signal, and Rupe in order to avoid her had to drive off the road down a swale (doing less than 35 mph, as he had just turned up the road from a junction) bounced up the other side and the car bounced again sideways right and smacked the passenger door into an electrical pole. It caved into the car. Well, the dealership had the car three weeks, and have checked the undercarriage, alignment, etc. (sorry, ATC talk) and replaced the door, and we finally got it back last week. The police cited the old lady, who was dreadfully sorry bless her, and she admitted to everyone (quite a crowd grew) she was to blame, which helped us with claiming and fighting her insurance company. But needless to say, it all took over a week to sort out, then to get a rental car, then fight them for a bigger one, as a harp just doesn't fit into a Neon!!! Then threaten with going after them for loss of earnings if they did not concede. What a load of hassle! But bottom line is everyone is OK (although it really hit Rupe the next day) and metal can be fixed. Rupe still has no idea how he missed the old lady, but as she was in a saloon to our Expedition she would most likely have been killed had he hit her and as the police pointed out, if Rupe had been a motorcyclist he could have been killed which is why they had to write her up. Bottom line is we all make mistakes, we all don’t look carefully enough at times. Thank goodness my family are okay.
So after that drama we went back to painting, and chose tile. Fascia and soffits went up (for those non-O-B's, the white bit at the bottom of the roof line and the bit horizontal bit between the wall the roof sticking out. I chose non-vented, as we have used the poly foam in the roof. Plus, I prefer the look. The brackets went up (yours truly painted those too) and the inside columns turned up, minus caps and bases, so they will come this week. The stucco people who I thought I'd recommend in a heartbeat, who were really good to start with, dropped the ball big time post front door drama. I kicked up a fuss but they apologised. I told them we wanted to wait and I would call them in three weeks to get the brackets and columns in. We wanted to paint that area, paid them 90%, then on day 20, one day before I was due to call them, I did not answer the phone that morning due to being at the doctor with Lottie for a vaccine, then got a really rude message. Err hello, so I threw my toys out of my crib, got an apology, but it did leave a nasty taste in the mouth.
I have done everything I said I would do, when I said I would do it, and I have kept them informed all along. Anyway, they came out last week and I paid the final 10% to the boss who came out himself, before realising their foam company would not be returning that day with the missing caps and bases. No worries, Jon promised he'd be back to view the work that afternoon. I half paid him early in the day because I wanted him off our back and sort of knew he would not run by and guess what, I was proved right. I am sure it will get sorted, but equally, would I use these guys again? Apologies are only good if the service after them is exemplary. Well, I may get a bid from them but I probably would not use them again now and therefore I cannot presently recommend Stucco and Stone Solutions. Such a shame, as they started out really well and were great over the door saga, but it counts for nothing if good customers are not listened to. Our phone calls were not returned at one point for two weeks, and we are generally not treated well and with respect to the end.
I would also not touch their foam guys with a barge pole, but they already know that. I had to stop them this week from killing themselves they (yet again did not turn up with a long ladder, used ours at first, but it did not reach to the top the of the front of the tower. So Matie drives over the irrigation!!! I dash up as he reversed up the path to the front door. He was going to balance our ladder on top of his truck and then still would have had to stand on the highest rung of the our ladder. Of all the stupid, idiotic things! It’s a house. It’s not worth killing yourself over, for the sake of getting a ladder, which the foam boss had promised earlier that morning when I pointed out they needed a longer ladder again. So Matie not best pleased with me, (I'm beyond the point of caring) and disappeared and went and got a longer ladder. Duh!!! It just goes to prove - don't recommend anyone until the "fat lady sings"!
You'll see in the pics the foam columns on the exterior went up some time ago, and they have been back to tidy up their work since and we now have to paint them to help protect them. Plus, they have not been looked after and chucked on the ground and scrapped by the foam company, you should not have to paint foam columns unless you want a different colour. Plus, adhesive foam was smeared over our freshly painted walls, and I have had to repaint and still have to paint those areas again. Exasperating, isn't it?!!!
The balcony rails and exterior window rails turned up primed, but not painted, so we also have to do that ($60 a ln. ft). We have finished the exterior Apricot Light, but have to do the exterior window trim and doors. The interior is 80% there, and we hope to finish up tomorrow. The sprayer is now working (err, !!!!) fine. It turned out Rupe did not read the instructions, and I left it to him as I stupidly got some in my eye at the outset, which put me right off it. Apparently there is a filter in the handle, which we did not know was there. I called a friendly neighbour (and ex o-b) as I could not understand why our new sprayer was so useless, and he instantly pointed out the problem. Bless him, he even pushed Rupe around on one of the two scaffolds he lent us (they have been invaluable) while he was spraying and also lent us powerful construction lamps as we lose the light in the late afternoon. He has been a mine of information and if we hit a problem, such as an issue around our glass block window, he has given us really bright ideas to get around them. Frankly, he has put all the GC's we have met along the way (who I add, in the main think they know everything) to shame. So to Kris a big, big thank you, what a Superstar. Susan, thanks for allowing us to borrow him on what is now many occasions as he drives past our house, trying to get home : ) Plus David, thanks for you tips. We are really looking forward to being neighbours.
Lottie also started her new preschool in Oct. See Photos. Pac Van was collected 23rd Oct, and we moved inside the house with the office. We have had a lot of rain in the past month, but the temps have dipped now, making it more comfortable to paint and yes, we did it all ourselves to date with a few days of help from Mum and Dad who got back from their trip to Savannah at the beginning of Nov.
A good friend got some tickets to go to the new IKEA (which is due to open on the 14th Nov) yesterday in a "friends and family" preview. I got all our kitchen hardware there, "Lansa" usually $9 per handle for something similar elsewhere and I got them for $3.50, quite a saving as we need 76 of them! Plus it's so nice to see reasonably priced sinks. I definitely wish it had opened before we ordered our kitchen. They actually have sinks with drainboards, (sorry, a European thing!!!) and nicknacks, which we so take for granted in the UK, but are just not over in the US. Ohh, Miri the gravalax is worth a buy, with the dill sauce (they call it mustard, but it's the same thing) plus when are you coming over?
Some quick hellos to some others who I understand are following this:
Becky and Uncle Monkey, sorry not to be at your second big day in the UK, so wish we could have made it.
Derek and Velda, hope you had a great time in Vietnam.
Margaret (Ooma) looking forward to seeing you in Feb., see - I did finally get around to updating.
Julie, if you are still following this, you truly are nuts. : ) But you did marry Rob!!! Looking forward to seeing you guys next summer, we really enjoyed seeing this year.
George and Margaret, lovely to see you, hope the flight was good back home, see you in Feb, give Abbie's love to Ollie the Collie.
Basia and Alan, congrats on the birth of Sara Elizabeth on the 27th Oct, the pics were gorgeous, we are so chuffed for you three. Tommy, we know you'll be a great big bruv.
Louise, your beagle pup looks fab, thanks for the photos, both the girls have grown so much and are beautiful.
Clare, I think about you often and hope everything is going well.
Amy, never enough time but I hope the house is sorted or getting sorted, much love to everyone.
Pam and Keith, so thoroughly enjoyed your visit. It was so great to see you both, hope you enjoyed Portugal.
Nan, if you ever switch on the computer, know we love you, miss you and hope you are feeling a lot better very soon.
HJ howled with laughter with Henry playing the violin, good on him, especially at only two. Rupe wants to know if this years Christmas pressies should be earplugs??? We love Hermione's machine messages, sorry we are never home presently.
Neil and Chris, God love you, thanks for the emails Chris I do get them just zero time at the mo. Neil, hope the film is doing well.
John and Barbara, I hear you are following this. Very touched, hope you are both well.
Lynn, looking forward to getting back to our Panera Bread mornings : )
Congrats on the move, Debbie and Fran.
Congrats on the move, Vince and Penny. Many thanks for the card, stay in touch. We loved meeting you at the wedding and you’re family now. Make sure those pub pumps are working for when we next come back, and good luck with the renovating you brave, brave, souls.
Finally, all those not mentioned, it's purely that I am getting tired, and we love you all. We have to move on the 28th of Nov., and yes the house is not going to be ready. Hopefully in 2-3 weeks after the kitchen cabinets arrive, and they are not arriving until sometime in the week beginning 3rd Dec. (Happy Birthday, Becky!!!) So we will be in a hotel or something until then, so even more difficult to update. Please no one expect Crimbo cards until at least one month after Christmas at this rate. As move-in date could be (Oh, my goodness) 24th Dec!!! Doing everything I can to bring it forward. Trim (interior doors, skirting board, etc.) starts Wed 14th Nov. Tiling starts 19th Nov., then wait on the kitchen. But move as well!!! Must book that POD!! My mind is working overtime to keep up. Oops, should have done the sales tax tonight. Not enough hours in the day. Hope you like the pics.