Tuesday, January 20, 2015

update #3

I can finally breathe at work for a bit. And by "a bit" I probably should mean about 5 minutes. But I'll spend a few more here. I wish I had the day off and could just do whatever outside. It's so beautiful. I would die up north. A week and a half of dreary days in the 40s leaves me just this side of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Obviously the weather makes me distracted and rambly. Back to business.

If you've been playing along on FB you saw that I got a new car. It's a 2015 Highlander. I love it. It's a greenish grey color that doesn't show up well in photos, and it's way fancier than I am. I think we got a good deal but even better than that, we got something big crossed off the list. I had one glorious solo ride in it. Without carseats even. But then back to reality...which, of course, I wouldn't trade for anything.

We're still at the hotel, and things are still going well. Our transition to the grandparents' house starts next week. We check out of the hotel on the 30th. Still no idea what we're doing come March. There are quite a few things to consider.

We picked a contractor and I am pleased with them so far. They seem proactive, which is good. Right now they're trying to settle on the budget with the insurance company so wish us luck with that. I've started a wish list and am thinking about what changes I'd like to make. It helps me to focus on that part instead of things like being homeless for months or that the chairs I really liked in the living room are no longer made (and I swear nothing like them can be found).

Our inventory folks were great. They were so much faster than we would have been if we had to do it alone. Now we await their list and see what the insurance folks say. Again. So I guess the next step is to start piling things into a dumpster. Hopefully by the time that's done we can get going with piling the interior of the house into a dumpster.

So my tip of the week. If you find a contractor you actually like and would use (or use again), keep their number. Then if some disaster befalls you, bring them in to create the estimate alongside your insurance adjuster. That apparently shaves a lot of time off the front end. I didn't even realize you could do that. We wouldn't have been able to, of course, but it's worked out fine since we can't exactly drop everything and deal solely with the house. So far the pace seems ok. I'm about to get a little antsy, though. Patience.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

update #2

I remain exhausted but still wanted to let y'all know how things are going. It feels like there has been a lot of progress in the last week.

My car was removed from the "garage" yesterday. Yea! Hopefully I'll have a check for that by next week. We've done a bit more research and more test driving and I think we are narrowed down to two. Let me tell you, you haven't lived until you've car shopped with toddlers/preschoolers. Oh, did I mention that I had about 6 payments left on my old car? Isn't that the way it always goes?

I love our hotel. People are so nice and it doesn't feel weird staying here. Maybe it's because I've stayed in so many hotels over the last several years for work. It's really quiet, and I'm able to work fairly well here. It's obviously much smaller but that hasn't been a problem yet. And I have to say that I do enjoy that someone else cleans and cooks (at least several meals). Someone who isn't me. So I'm not sure what we'll do starting in March. We'll see what the options are.

We've interviewed several contractors and I think we've narrowed it down to two. We'll probably decide over the weekend. It does seem like everyone is thinking that it will be about 6 months to finish. And it will basically be a new house inside. And obviously a new garage.

Yesterday morning folks came to get our larger furniture that we'll have professionally cleaned. And last weekend we had so many people come to help pack things up to move to storage. And by that I mean sift through the good and the bad, clean everything, pack into boxes, load the truck. We even had some extra nice folks come with us to storage to unpack. I tell ya, people are nice. So we made tons of progress then. Hubby and I took off on Tuesday to get a little more done. Maybe one more good workday and we'll have all the salvageables out.

On Tuesday, a guy comes to help me inventory all the total loss items. It really isn't that bad. Well, except for the garage. My tip of the day is to take pictures of what's everywhere in your house AND garage. I have house pictures (I take them every year on the anniversary of our move-in date) but none of the garage. Sigh.

Everyone is still doing fine. The kids like the hotel. They say we could stay here a long time. They really are well behaved. Buns will remind us every time that we need to be quiet in the halls. And of course they love the elevator. I don't think I've wanted to stab people since the last update so that's good. One thing that is interesting to me to observe is that I'm annoyed when people ask how the fire started. I'm not sure why. It's a perfectly natural question that I would totally have done myself before this. I think even though it's not intended, I feel like there's an accusation there or something. I don't know. I'm defensive I guess. And perhaps I don't want to look back. I'm trying to focus on progress instead.

We're really back at work and that is making me a little insane. This is honestly the busiest time of the project and if I can just make it through this month I think I'll be ok. But I could use a sabbatical. There's so much to do. All. The. Time. Speaking of, I guess I better get back to it. Thanks again for all your help, concern, gifts, etc. It really is nice to have you in our lives.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

2014 reads

Super light reading year. I don't know what I did with my time...

1. Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises
2. The Secrets of Happy Families
3. The Fault in Our Stars
4. Heartbroke Bay

One was Hemingway at least.

And I'm retiring the following as I think they're all in storage post-fire:
1. And Baby Makes Three
2. The Happiest Toddler on the Block
3. Daring Greatly

Maybe 2015 will be more exciting. I do miss curling up with a good book.