My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Drowning in DIY October 17, 2015

I have been thinking of you non-stop, but that doesn’t translate into actual sit down time.  When you haven’t had time to check your email for 3 days, blogging doesn’t even have a chance.

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With our new, *paying*, non-crappy, non-psychotic (literally), actually leaving their house on occasion, fixing it when it needs it and allowing repairmen in, non-state-aid renters, we’ve sort of had money to start the renovation we began last year.

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Well, sort of.  We think we finally finished the last of the repairs the last renters caused.  After they stole the utility meter, copper piping, copper wiring, soaked the carpet in dog waste, left human waste in buckets on the deck, broke the fridge, caused a minor flood… the last repair (we hope) was to fix the re-wiring they did on the third floor.  The *entire* third floor.  And our current renters – total champs about it!  I could seriously hug these people!  The first two months of rent money went to “that house” still, but this month – all ours!

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Well, sort of.  Being a (new) dentist isn’t cheap, so after paying a lot of insurance(s) (yes there is more than one we have to pay) for the next six months (on top of student loans, taxes, business fee’s, advertising, on-going education, new/updated equipment, etc) it will be ours.

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Well, sort of.  We have to start Christmas shopping.

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I could go on, but I’ll spare you….

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I do know that I save *tons* of money doing majority of the repairs myself.  The new spigot I put in myself saved us about $350.  The new outlet outside, about the same.  The 9 outlets that were already wired, but just needed the actual outlets, another $500 (was the lowest quote).  Sometimes it’s totally worth having someone else do the job though!  The windows will be done by pro’s.  I’m not even remotely big enough to get a window in, especially when it comes to the 5′ x 12′ windows.  But I *can* hunt down the best price for them.  (Or, in the case of the big windows, a company that will just make them – very hard to find item.  Thank you Fleetwood!  The only company we found that could make the windows in that size, or at least call us back about them.  Either way, they get our business!)

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What I can do?  In the last three months I’ve:

  • Painted 1800 sqft, including the ceiling.  With four different colors.
  • Added one new spigot.
  • Added one new outdoor outlet.
  • Repaired the faulty outlet in the covered area that is about 12 ft up.  (No I have no idea why.  And yes we use it.)
  • Hooked up 9 new outlets in the garage.
  • Replaced 11 lights in the house.  With three remaining.  (Can’t quite decide on what I want?)
  • Rewired the kitchen light so it’s actually grounded.
  • Replaced 3 switches.  Switching from toggles to fancy/shmancy dimmer switches.
  • Discovered you can spray paint switches/outlets to get any color you like.  (Very carefully!!)
  • Kitchen ceiling tiles.
  • Removed a hanging kitchen cabinet.  (Looks so much better now!)
  • Repaired where we took down a wall.

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What I still have left to do feels a bit overwhelming though?

  • Trim.
  • Cabinet re-staining in the kitchen and bathrooms.  Also the bedroom doors.
  • Floors.
  • Kitchen and bath tiling.
  • Windows/Doors.
  • Shower plumbing.
  • Kitchen and bath sink replacement.
  • Painting the fireplace doors.
  • Possible ceiling fan in living room. (still deciding on that one?)
  • Pendant lights over the stove.

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It’s all about finances and how much I can fit into my daily schedule now.  On top of our usual schedule of schooling, tutors, youth group, volunteering and normal projects, we now have two permitted drivers that I have to teach to drive and I’ve got very little time left to do much else.

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However, I have designated Saturdays as my “No working on the house” day, and “Don’t bug me, I’m not even getting out of my pajamas” day.  Maybe if I stink enough, they won’t even come into my sewing/office room?  Did I mention I moved my office down to my sewing room?  This designation gives me a chance to breathe, and get here each week.  Along with some sewing time and a little time for my hands to recover – so many blisters!

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The most comical part in all this, is that the people at Lowe’s are actually starting to learn my name!  I have been there at least once a day for the last three months.  The place I used to love to just wander around and get idea’s, I’m starting to sort of dread.  Just send our paycheck to Lowe’s please.  They’ve been pretty awesome though.

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I know, first world problem!  But after the last 2 1/2 years of dealing with the insane renters and their, well… insanity, this is a huge blessing.  And thanks to an ever working dentist man and some actually decent renters, at the end of most days, my biggest worries (now) are what color the floor should be, if I’m going to shock myself again and if I’ll survive today’s drive with the boys.

I get to take a pause from remodeling the next few weeks, so our finances can catch up with the projects list, but I by no means will be idle.  A requested memory blanket, Christmas gifts to be made, and *hopefully* (if I can pick out the right color finally), cabinets to be redone.  That’s free right?

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Pictures coming soon…..

 

This, that and the other. February 14, 2015

Filed under: Family,Home improvement,Pets,Sewing — blankenmom @ 9:58 pm
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Being here has been on my mind the past few weeks.  I’ve missed a few weeks again, but thank goodness not out of frustration.  I’ve been busy with this, that and the other.  None of which was really all that unpleasant for once.  After several weeks of nothing but fog, Spring has sprung early for us here, thank goodness!   Not so much for my friends out east.  So while I’m getting our house ready for spring and summer, “that house” is getting socked in by snow and cold.

 

While balancing both house projects and the hubby being gone for two weeks, I’ve also been giving myself some distractions.

 

 

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I made a very simple quilt frame for the quilt I’m working on, so I could sit more comfortably and next to the fire while it was still chilly.  Had I known earlier that our heat pump had stopped working, I probably wouldn’t have needed to snuggle with the fire quite so much.  But then I wouldn’t have spent some nice warm nights next to it working on my quilt… no one has to know I was watching James Bond.

 

 

 

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Granny passed the week before Thanksgiving and last weekend we began going through her things.  The grand kids have all taken several pieces of furniture so they won’t go outside the family.  Some of them have been in the family for quite a while.  We took several pieces home ourselves and will be taking more once things get situated.

 

This piece however isn’t so much a cherished heirloom as a “groovy” piece of technology!  Yes, it still worked, before we had the t.v. taken out.  (The boys wouldn’t let me do it myself.  Apparently they thought *I* would shock myself on the CRT.  Pfffftttt – so little faith.)  And this cabinet “may, or may not” become the home to either a large amount of goldfish, a lizard, some frogs or a small terrarium.  We’re still researching…. I’ll let you know how that turns out?

 

 

 

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Don’t be jealous!

 

 

We also confiscated her massive doily collection for a “project” (which I will share with you as I go along).  But first I had to explain to my boys what a doily was.

 

What a great few weeks we’ve had!  I could learn to enjoy peace and quiet, with a small side of mayhem.

 

 

 

 

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One of “those” wives. August 15, 2014

 

Here’s the dealio –

 

With my current project affording me extra thinking time, I started to remember when my dentist man was one of the lowest men on the totem pole in the military (we’re talking E-3 here).  I would meet these women in the higher ranks who were sort of loud, sort of  know-it-all’s, sort of obnoxious and sort of ran ram-shot over most of us younger gals… and civilians.  They sort of scared me.  I remember telling him that I never wanted to act like that.

 

 

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Nearly 20 years later and here I’ve discovered I’m “that woman”.   Well crap!

 

In the military world, I was in the middle somewhere.  Not a fresh newbie wife who knew nothing of what was about to happen to her and not the 20 years in veteran wife who had seen it all, either.  Nor was I so ingrained into the military lifestyle that civilian life scared or called to me.  I knew how to get certain things done easily and still had questions about others.  And when I was around other military wives, I fit in just fine that way.  Not too quiet, not too loud.  I knew “my place”  (don’t try to tell me mil wives don’t have a pecking order!).  Not to mention we’ve been in and out of the military, active duty and reserves and in different branches.  We’ve been around!

Now in the civilian world… all these attributes mean I’m loud, I’m abrupt.  I ask too many questions.  I know a little about a lot.  I’ve been to more places than most people I’m around and experienced things they may never know or understand.  I’m self-reliant and I get it done and now.  (As my poor dentist man recently learned the hard way.)  I may at times, even run ram shot over people to get things done.  “Waiting until your husband get’s home” may not have happened for months, so I’ve gotten used to packing, discipline, home maintenance, school, doc visits, paperwork and anything else the average civilian does with their spouse, done solely by me.  Not because my dentist man is lazy, but because that’s what we’re used to.  That’s what most military spouses are used to.  The last few years in particular!

 

So where is this all leading to?

 

Looking back at those loud, obnoxious, know-it-all women, I now understand them a little better.  I get that they’re loud because that’s how you get heard.  They seem obnoxious, because you sometimes have to be pushy to get things done and really don’t need your approval.  And maybe, just maybe the really did know-it-all… or at least a lot.

 

I think I’m starting to like this part of me.  I get it done.  I get it done quickly.  I have endurance and flexibility for the insane, crazy and throw-up-your-hands changes in life.  I know what I want, because I’ve experienced it.  I know what I really don’t like, because I’ve experienced it.  I also know that I do need my man for support, but I don’t need him right here with me all the time.  A weekend trip (or his two-week tour this month) can sometimes be a welcome break to remember how much I love him.  I can deal with the big boys – once you take on the military to get things done, state officials and inept renters start to feel like small potatoes.

 

While I’m still “finding my place” here –  instead of shying away from this crazy woman, I think instead, I’m going to let her out a little more often.  Enjoy her a little more, and if the people around me find it a bit too much, they’re probably boring anyways.

 

 

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I want to be the type of wife who would do THIS while her dentist man is gone!

 

 

 

Birth control named Shadow June 14, 2014

Filed under: Boys,Family,Made by me,Pets — blankenmom @ 12:16 am
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wall hanging

One of the things I’ve been up to this week.

 

It’s been about four weeks now that we’ve had the puppy.

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It’s been a very loooong four weeks.

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At one point the third-born asked, “Is this what it’s like to have a baby?”.  Which made me pause… yes, yes it is very much like having a baby.  A baby that chews on you with Parana like teeth and goes to the bathroom in random corners of my house, but still very much yes.  The biggest difference being that you can, if you need to, leave the puppy in her “cage” without CPS becoming involved.  I however, hesitated to say this as he was lamenting at having yet another shift at watching her while I needed to head out the door and I’m still hoping for grandbabies in the future – the distant future!

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As I drove away it occurred to me; schools should start handing out 8 week old pugs to teenagers.  Boys and girls.  To be given to the disabled at the end of the puppy stage.  When they’re fully potty trained, done teething and relatively listening to commands.  After all, that is what happens at 18 when they move out, right?  At least we hope?

Early morning wake up calls, late night potty breaks.  Meals usually including some sort of medication that the puppy absolutely refuses to take.  Messes in random places, shoes missing, and doing nothing without knowing exactly where that little devil is!

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Am I making you want a puppy?  Yeah, it’s working about that well for the boys wanting kids about now too.  But in due time, I think they’ll come to realize as the puppy grows, that it was all worth the work… the scratches, bite marks, funny smell in the corner, the lack of sleep and not being able to do what they want for the time being.  But just like kids, all you really remember are the good things when it’s all said and done, after all – they are the good things!

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puppy

Ahhh… a sleeping puppy.  Quick – go take a shower, clean the kitchen and make dinner!

 

Up to all good! March 21, 2014

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Has it really been so long?

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It’s been a whirlwind of activity around here.

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From signing up to volunteer at church and at the local pregnancy center to woodworking and making felted baby rattles.  Throw in a sick dog, boys activities – including the big one and I’ve hardly had time to sit still.

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The whole time I could hear a good friend in my ear asking if I’ve started my sewing room yet?  I’m workin’ on it, I’m workin’ on it!

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I’m so glad for her voice!

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This is what I have so far.  One wall partially completed with 3 more walls to go.  And yes, the chair looks really low.  I made the desks standing height so I’m not sitting as much.  I’ll be purchasing a “standing chair” in the near future.  I’ll also be organizing VERY soon.

Just for future reference if you’re thinking of doing something similar….. measure the length of your pedal cord.  They’re about 2 inches too short and I’ll have to make a small “stool” for them.

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Paint color suggestions?

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In between sawing, I have been sewing.  I’ve made two shirts and a pair of pants.  My favorite being this completely simplistic, but totally awesome, sparkly shirt.  I’m in love with it!

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*sparkle, sparkle, sparkle*

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I managed to get only one of our new light fixtures up outside.  Mostly because…. it’s good to know how many light fixtures you actually have on the outside of your house!  We found an excellent deal at Costco and bought three, only to realize we have seven lights!  I ordered the remaining lights elsewhere, at far less of a deal.  Now if the high winds could just die down I could actually put the rest up?  In the mean time – I’m enjoying the new view!

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And lastly, a Pinterest find.  Felted baby rattles.  Something good to do while you’re watching your favorite show.  I love the results – I’ll definitely be making more for future cutie-patooties!

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*rattle – rattle*

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So I now have a clean garage.  A second-born signed up for classes next year at a tech school.  3 boys in 4-H.  A first-born with a job at the naval base and a dentist man who is happy that it’s been very quiet.

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