May 24, 2015

Should I Scream? Or Cry?

I am so confused, I don't even know which one would make me feel better in the end. But before I go there, before I explore my feelings of frustration, let me start with a preface: I am acutely aware that our world is full of true issues & many grave concerns. As a community advocate, I fight for those who seek justice, for those who live in poverty & for those who suffer abuse, neglect, racism & bullying. In an instant, I realize that life can change & we as a family have certainly suffered great loss & pain. I do not in any sense wish to minimize any one's plight by my writing. My blog is a personal space to share daily life, in our little house in the big woods. The good, the bad & on occasion, the ugly. Know that at times, I do "spout" off & I'm sure some of my posts don't make sense in the grand scheme of real world problems. But for an instant, they are my concerns or as in today's post, my frustrations, & not meant to trivialize life in any way. I welcome comments & your thoughts as I continue this amazing life, with authentic gratitude & creative intention.

If you're still with me, here's my rant for today. We bought our little piece of heaven in 2000 with the idea of moving our growing family out to the country. It was a divorce sale & we to this day can still not believe the incredible price we paid for the land. Today, it is literally worth 650% more than we paid for it. Not a bad investment. We ended up not building on it right away, as we realized how busy our lives had gotten with dance classes, football practices, soccer games & school projects. Although it is just a few minutes away from our little hamlet, the driving would have been a deal breaker. So we went to plan B, which was to keep the land & work on it slowly, planting fir trees in amongst the poplars & old growth forest. Wildflowers & pussy willows. It was a good decision & we were still comfortable in this house, with short drives to all our busy activities.

Fast forward to the year 2012. Our dd's marriage had just ended & she came home, with baby in arms. We changed our home & our lives around & all of us have thrived with a tiny boy in the house. But we've run out of room! Two households in a home that is meant for one has meant a bit of crowding & tons or constant reorganization. Yes, we could have told our adult daughter to find her own home & she did look, as it wasn't her desire to continue to live in her childhood home as a single parent. We all get along really well but everyone needs their own space. For the sake of our marriage, at this time of life, we also need privacy & sacred spaces. So out came the house plan books. And suddenly, we found ourselves knee deep in blueprints, color swatches, paint chips & flooring choices. It's been a blast but a very long one & we're finally ready to admit, we're tired!! We found our amazing builder, a local small builder, who only does one to two custom homes a year. A real bonus. And we were the first home that began in 2014. He was just finishing up a home & was planning a show home but for the most part from June of 2014 when our hole was dug until the show home started this year, our home was his only. Things went quite fast but now we're at the end, & everything has slowed right down. And the frustration has reared it's ugly head. 

I want to scream to the roof. And cry sobs. I'm so tired ....

This delay is big. And it could have so easily been avoided. But here we are. On April 24th, we sent our builder our counter choices for the house. It was the final choices we needed to make & easy to do. Originally in our plan & budget, we had chosen granite. As we worked through the kitchen design, we added in some neat ideas. The budget started to stretch but we promised to reign ourselves in & then our builder guided as well. One way we could stay in a comfortable spot was to not include granite at this time. It made sense & of course, it's something we can add in later. So we took it out. We chose some quality laminate with a radiance finish that looked very much like granite but without the cost & upkeep. All was well, or so we thought. 

Visiting the house about a week & a half ago, we met the three lovely, very Irish gentlemen, with beautiful accents, who were installing all the cabinets. The lead installer pulled me aside to ask why, with such a beautiful house & a very unique kitchen were we putting in laminate. I explained that although we wanted granite or a stone of some type, we needed to stay in budget. He told me that he could actually get us granite for a "mere $1,000 more than the laminate you've chosen". Intrigued & knowing $1,000 wasn't going to sink us, I conferred with my dh, who of course, said "absolutely, if it's good quality". Our builder, upon learning of this conversation said "go for it; this guy is the best stone guy around & his stuff is amazing". The bonus was that the laminate wasn't done yet for the kitchen (everything else was) & the stone is in town, so we'd have our counters done in a week, instead of three. We made arrangements to go pick out "our slab". While there, the stone guy/lead installer really convinced us that the light color we had chosen wasn't a good choice & was adding in an extra element of color that was going to make it overwhelming. As we stood back & reflected on his suggestion, it made sense & we did agree. In the end, we chose a black granite & are so excited to see how this will look in this kitchen. Our builder was impressed & now all that had to happen was a simple form signed indicating the agreed change & a price clarification. That's when everything went south.

Are you still with me?

The price quoted came back much higher (though I will say much lower than what we originally had in our budget) & that didn't make me too happy. But I'm not a screamer, so I just pouted a bit while I reworked our budget. Turns out, our kitchen designer didn't estimate the laminate very accurately, so that was the reason for the higher cost. We accepted that & continued on with setting up a time to sign off on the counters. Yesterday, one hour before we were set to meet our builder at the house to do this, he sent us a text that the stone guy/lead installer had "forgotten" to add in the counter for the tea cupboard & now there is an additional charge. 


Now I was mad, because the additional fee wasn't the only issue. The timeline had also changed to a move in date of at least three weeks from now. We were supposed to have possession on May 20th. This is clearly not going to happen. We won't go back to the laminate because everything that was suggested to us does make sense & we do like it. So now we're stuck with a bit of higher bill (still in budget but shhhhhh, don't tell them that!) & a changed possession date. 

Today, I sent a note to the stone guy/lead installer asking for a meeting as I now have an idea to make it all work & so we're all happy. Anxiously waiting for him to answer back so we can get this going. Now we're not moving until June but if we have to wait, I'm hopeful we'll at least get not only the counter we would like, within budget & with an added feature, if he'll go for it. If not, we'll be at a standstill even longer. The house sage continues. Thanks so much for listening & letting me rant without guilt. I know this will, in the end, work out. Just need to get to that sweet spot.

And how was your week with Mercury in Retrograde?
Did you have any obstacles in your way?

Does anyone ....

.... have a Faceboook page linked to your blog? I'd love to link up if you do. I've started a Facebook page as part of the Authentic Bloggers site but now need to find some lovely bloggers to "like". If you have a page, feel free to send me a link. Here's my page: I'd love you to join me on the journey of connecting blog writers to each other in a fun way, with easy access. Hope to see some likes soon!

May 20, 2015

The blog is now on Facebook!

If you'd like to access my blog by Facebook, I have now created a page. It's basic, nothing fancy just yet but another medium to share life in "Our Little House in the Big Woods". Feel free to "friend" me & join in on the journey .... 

May 19, 2015

Mercury in Retrograde.

I'm very intuitive & there are many factors that can affect my day. Years ago, I figured out how easily something as natural as a full moon can throw me for a loop. Now that I have a family & work with little ones, I've come to recognize that this is not a phenomena that is personal to me but to many. So it's no surprise to learn that a full moon is not the only planet/earth/astrological experience out there. There is also something called "Mercury in Retrograde" that actually makes perfect sense to me when I now look back at previous encounters with this time frame three times a year. Unfortunately, it's my least favorite & I'll personally take a full moon any day over a three week streak of confusion, anxiety, miscommunication, bewilderment & negativity. Today, I was quite over come a couple of times with a teariness that I couldn't quite explain. And finally, taking a look at the calendar & checking a chart, it made perfect sense that I was being affected by something greater than a momentary rough day. Now I can work with it but truthfully, I hate that it's such a long time period to muddle through. As we are about to move & have to sign off on all our purchase orders, it's a bit unnerving to do some research on Mercury in Retrograde & discover that one of the big strong suggestions is to NOT sign any documentation or contracts. 


Maybe we could push our move to happen after June 11th., when Mercury in Retrograde formally ends for the spring. We'll see how far we can take it. In the mean time, I'm going to be doing a lot of deep breathing. And a ton of pre-planning to avoid any conflicts. 

Are you affected by a full moon?
Or the experience of Mercury in Retrograde?

P.S. No pictures! I'm still trying to figure out how to save my images to use in my posts. Sorry about that. We'll return to our regular programming soon, once I figure out the "Air".

May 18, 2015

I'm back ....

.... did you miss me? I missed all my blog buddies & feel quite behind in reading all the details of your wonderful lives. My work laptop, which I've been using the last little while instead of a desktop, suddenly decided to not work well. I'm worried it might have a virus with it's strange behavior. I had to stop using it until our IT lady can take a peek at it. So no blogging for this mama. I could check & respond to emails with my phone but anything else was too difficult, so I became unplugged this week. But today, we went shopping & picked up a very lovely & very light Mac Air. Light, fast & so easy to use! I'm in love. Tomorrow I take my work laptop back to our centre & have T do a thorough clean of it & then leave it there each night, instead of lugging it home. And at home, this lovely beast will be waiting for my nimble fingers to create art & words for my faithful readers. Once I learn all the details of how this Mac works, I can start adding pictures in & write a few catch up posts. We had a great long weekend, honoring Victoria Day today & having some down time after months of working towards building our new home. Lots to share in the adventures of our life for the last week. Happy to be back & can't wait to get settled in to blogging again. More long posts very soon.

How was your beautiful weekend?

May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day.

If you are a mama, I hope your day was
filled with family, love, memories & gifts.

If you are a bereaved mama, I hope your
day was filled with support & understanding.

If you are not yet a mama, I hope your 
day was filled with honoring your mama.

If you cannot be a mama, I hope your
day was filled with dreams & wonder. 

However you observed this day, I hope
it was joyful, healing & memorable.

Was there something special about today for you?

Hoping, Hoping, Hoping ....

.... that this beautiful cabinet that we
refinished will fit in the main floor 
half bath. It's a very tight fit.

But we're hoping, hoping, hoping
our talented builder will figure out
how to make it all work. I have one
more coat of paint to put on for the
doors & then I can drive those out
to the house so he can put them on.

Fingers crossed it fits ....

10 More Days ....

.... until our new house is truly ours!

There could be small delays but our
contract says May 20th, so we're
aiming for that day as our official
day of possession. We're almost home.