We have been so busy that I have forgotten to write!
My last post was last year! In early October. Since then, we made two trips back to San Antonio and a trip to Jonesboro (or two). Thanksgiving, Christmas, boarding cats, insurance, finding a medical doctor for both of us and oh, of course, getting this house done.
Specifically, the framing was completed and wrapped, and the second floor was completed. I learned to do laundry in my RV, and hang it out to dry, and just really enjoyed the fall weather. Everyone said it was a dry summer, so the colors weren’t as pretty as they usually are, so I am hopeful for next year.
I was missing my Jeep Cherokee, so we planned a trip to SA to pick that up in the late part of September. We also swung by our favorite architectural salvage yard to pick out a front door. When we rebuilt our Warriors Creek house, we found some beautiful things there to include into the new build and to add some immediate character. We actually purchased those front doors at a different SA salvage yard, but that one has closed in the 15 years that have passed by. While we didn’t find a door that was as antique as we both wanted, we did find a 40-year-old door salvaged from a subdivision in CA. Solid wood Spruce with a simple leaded glass window. The price was good at $250, but it was on a 50% off sale. Even better! I also saw a few brackets that I thought I could incorporate into doorways since I will not have arches. While in SA, we closed up all the storage there and moved our things to a storage unit in Jonesboro.
Next, came November and Thanksgiving. We were lucky to have been invited to our neighbors for that day. In addition to sharing a meal, they also shared their extended family. Their son and daughter, mother (in-law) and father (in-law) depending on who you talk to. We are truly richer for knowing them. They may be a bit more conservative than us, but we are closer in our beliefs than outward appearances tell us. They have taken our country-fied education very seriously and have included us in most (if not all) of their rural activities… They take such good care of us city-fied folk.
December came and work on the house slowed to a crawl. There were days of frantic activity, but the roofers (subcontractors) were constrained by a few days of cold weather (shingles would break if it were too cold) and sheer laziness. (I do not speak out of turn, what else would you call it when every time you look out, the roofers are not nailing and working, but sitting and smoking?) We picked out our cabinetry, all the materials for our bathrooms and my quartz countertop.
We went to SA for the Christmas holiday and left Missouri for about 7 days. It was a good trip, and we got to reconnect with a lot of our friends. We also picked up the front door we purchased. If we missed you in December, I will probably be heading down for my mother’s birthday in April. (She will be 80!) While the normal crew told us that “no, except for Christmas day, we really don’t take any time off”, I really couldn’t see much work done when we returned on the 28th.
We did figure out a way for Bryan’s prescriptions to be filled (without breaking the bank) and received a letter from the Bexar County elections commission verifying our new address. I sent that puppy back in a heartbeat because voting is HIGH on our priority list!
The New Year
January was one filled with frustration. Between securing a new doctor for the both of us and medical appointments work on the house crawled on in an unsteady fashion. Our propane tank was delivered and filled. This was a 4 figure commitment. The drywall was delivered but it sat for about 2 weeks, with the workers showing up if and when they liked. These sheet rockers were a different subcontract group. I think our contractor had some colorful language for them on many occasions, and he said he actually fired them once. On January 3, the sheetrock was delivered and finally, on Jan 28, the painters came. One month was entirely too long for warm interior work. In addition, the foam insulation was started on Jan 11 but the ceilings could not be insulated until the sheetrock was installed. So, by the third week in January, we were heating the interior, all of which was not insulated, so the rockers could do their work when they showed up, and the heat just escaped out the uninsulated ceilings and roof. We had used 60% of the propane we just bought (along with the electric space heaters). So, by Jan 31, we had to top off our propane, the level had dropped another 10%. Our combined “utility” bill (all propane expenses and electricity) for Jan was 4 figures!!!
The house is nearly tight, but “we still need to keep the interior warm and dry”, as they haven’t installed our front door yet. They did finally install a deadbolt in the door they enter by because we asked them to do so immediately. We got tired of looking out and seeing that door had swung open in the middle of the night or when they weren’t here. So, imagine our chagrin when by Thursday, no one showed up to do major work on the house. No one on Friday either. We picked out our light fixtures on Tuesday, and those could have been installed. We picked out the majority of the flooring in January, that could have been ordered and acclimating to the house… Whyyyyy?
Apparently, they took on two insurance jobs right around this area, 2 house fires within the past month. Now, many know of our history. We know and understand the emotions and the processes involved in living through a house fire. And I truly feel for these people. But I would love it if our contractor would finish our job before he takes on another. Really. Our patience is running out.
It took 10 months for our fire clean up and rebuild to be complete. A hard project, having to organize a build AROUND existing structures. We are now at month 7 in this new build. And we are exhausted. And before you ask, we neglected to insist on an end date. Before we signed the contract, the contractor gave up a soft 4-month time frame for finish out: weather permitting. I think we should have insisted.
And oh, I contracted a case of winter Poision Ivy….
Yes, this post is a bit, er, negative. And for that, I apologize. This is the unvarnished truth of it. And without the bad, the good would be not good. Was there good? Yes! We are THRILLED with our lighting choices, our floor choices, the paint colors and that texture is so unique and fantastic! Our daughter (back in SA) is terrific and our cats, Bryan and I are all healthy although I’ve gained too much weight!
In addition to the photos on this post, here is a visual timeline in photos: