Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hit and miss,,,,,,,,


I missed posting again last week.  Sorry folks but I am afraid that is how it will be probably most of the summer.

I have taken on a major task this year and the work is just now beginning!  As many of you know I finally got my 12 yr old work comp case settled.  After a lot of "house hunting" I decided to stay here at Win's and we came to an agreement.  As I am to inherit the house anyway I will be making major improvements and staying here.  The mortgage will get paid off and my name added to the deed. 

I am having a new roof put on, new windows, gutters with covers, the house rewired and the kitchen and bath updated just to name a few things.  The guy comes tomorrow to measure the windows to get an exact fit.  They already measured the roof and are just waiting for me to tell them when to start.  Before I turn them loose on the work I have some prep work to do first.  I want to rip out the old fence and have several trees either cut completely down or trimmed back.  That will get a lot of stuff out of the way for them to work and make the property look much nicer in the end.  I also have to pack up everything hanging on the walls for protection while they are working.

Then I will be tearing up carpet while they are working on the roof.  I have a ton of "extra stuff" in the house that it is time to dispose of.  It is not really used and is just taking up space and cluttering things up.  After they are done with roof, gutters, windows and new doors I will have the electrician come in and rewire the house.  While he is doing that, I will be installing a storage shed, fence and gate.  And hopefully a small above ground pool if finances allow.

Once the outside is completed and the wiring is done I plan on gutting the kitchen and totally re-doing it.  I can't wait!!  I already have it planned out, just need to take exact measurements and buy the new cabinets, counters and ceramic floor tile.  It will be beautiful!!  More importantly it will be practical and designed for a person, (me) who loves to cook and bake.  :-)

Then I will move on to the bathroom.  It will not be completed this year.  First I have to rip up the old flooring and let it dry out.  The hardwood underneath has gotten a lot of moisture on it trapped between it and the tiles on top.  It needs to be aired out and dried before I start the remodel in there, which is fine.  After all the other work, I am sure I will need a break before I start it.  But when I do remodel the bathroom my goal is to make it handicapped accessible.  I am thinking about my old age.  I already have bad back problems which make it difficult for me to step into the shower over the side of the tub so it will be a walk in shower with no tub.

In fact all the work I am doing is designed to make it easier on me when I get old and cannot do a lot of things any more.  Everything I am purchasing for the home repairs will have life time guarantees so they will never have to be done again.  Yes, it costs a bit more but will be well worth it in the long run.  Double hung, double thermal pane windows will not only cut down heating and cooling costs but will be easier to clean with both top and bottom windows tilting in for cleaning.  The roof I picked out is energy star rated and guaranteed for life. The windows are also energy star rated and guaranteed for life.   I am going to shoot foam insulation in the basement walls to also help in energy savings.  Even the basement windows will be replaced.  As my ceramic shop is in the basement I want to make it as comfortable as possible in there. 

I expect to cut my utility bills by at least $50 a month if not more.  That will of course help in my old age too, when income is a lot less it will be easier to keep my utilities paid.

Anyway, my postings will be hit and miss probably for the summer but I will try to get on here and post, "before, during and after" pictures of the work being done.  I think this is the best investment I could make with my money.  It will secure me a good place to live for the rest of my life with no mortgage or home improvement loans to worry about having to pay off.  Living debt free is being very frugal, LOL.

I have often talked about the bible telling us to be "good stewards" of what God provides to us, and everything we have is provided by God.  It took me a while to realize this option would be the best stewardship of the money God is providing to me by this settlement but I am now confident I have made the right decisions.

Until next time,,,,,,,,,Blessings!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Going with the flow,,,,,,,,


Sorry I missed posting last week, I have been having a crazy time here, LOL.

My dad, as I am sure many parents, had a lot of favorite sayings, one being, "go with the flow", or "roll with the punches".  He was right, if we do not learn to "go with the flow" of life's constant changes we will soon drive ourselves crazy.  We can become extremely stressed over little things that really should not matter.  I am guilty of that myself at times.  So, I am trying to get back on track and just go with the flow.  :-)

Over the last few weeks I have spent a lot of time looking for a house to buy, both online and going out with Realtors.  Looking for a house should be fun.  But it became very stressful for me.  You see I am finally getting my work comp settlement after a nearly 12 year battle.  It is no big fortune by any means and I feel I only have one shot at making the right decisions.

Finding a house that would both fit my business needs and my lifestyle has been extremely difficult.  I need a good, usable basement for the ceramic business.  I'd like a decent size house but not one so big I can't take care of it or the utility bills would be so huge to heat and cool it I would be strapped financially.  I looked at both "ready to move in" and those "needing TLC".  I looked at my high end of the budget as well as at the low end and every where in between.  And I don't want one so small I feel cramped and don't have room for my things.

I guess we all want the perfect house, don't we?

I watch HGTV often and especially "Holmes on Homes" and "Holmes Inspections".  I am grateful I have.  I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination but the shows certainly have taught me a lot of things to watch out for.  And I am grateful for that education.

Finally last week I made a decision.  This was not my first choice but it is probably the best choice financially speaking.  I am going to stay where I am at, which is staying with an ex-husband and friend.  I am going to pay off the mortgage and my name will be added to the deed.  Then I will make repairs and upgrades to the house and invest money into getting my business up and running in earnest.

The ceramic business is already here in the basement and aside from organizing and rearranging things it will be easier to get things going with it.  Glad I don't have to move 2000+ plaster molds.  Whew, what a job that would have been!!  I plan on putting a new roof on the house which is much needed, new double hung windows and have the house electric rewired.  I'll also do some other upgrading and decorating in the house.

I am to inherit the house anyway after Win passes so rather than have two houses to deal with I have decided to invest in my future with this one.  Besides, we already know the pros and cons of this house, we have lived in it 26 years.

Truthfully, I had no idea how much repairs and upgrades would cost.  A bit of sticker shock when getting estimates on roofs, windows and wiring but this will be a good investment that will last my lifetime.  You can bet I am paying attention and making sure the jobs get done right.

Very soon I will have to hit the floor running to get the prep work done in the house.  There is a lot to go through, some will be disposed of in one fashion or another and organizing.  I am going to take everything down from the walls and pack it up until the work is completed.  Carpet will be torn up and some replaced.  I am hoping to have enough to totally renovate the kitchen and bath as well.  (Time will tell on that as the roof, windows and wiring have to come first.)  In short there is a lot of work to do before I can even start on the ceramic business but I hope to have it completed before the summer is over so I can take advantage of holiday sales.

So, going with the flow for me right now is staying here and making the best of it.  House hunting was just not working for me.  I could not find a house that was better laid out than this one.  Going with the flow also means letting go and letting God take control.  I believe God has been leading me to stay here and work this deal out with Win.  Win can use the help as his health is getting worse and I will be here to do that.  Plus, I could not possibly handle the responsibility of two houses while one was being sold.  So this truly is the best solution, financially.  Thank you God for always getting me back on the right track!!  And I know that even if it is not the decision I would make for myself, Your decisions always turn out to be the best!!

Until next time,,,,,,,,,,Blessings!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Life moves fast,,,,,,,,


Sometimes life seems to just move so fast it is hard to keep up.  My life is no different lately.  Me who enjoys a slower passed life seems to be running full boar and not getting much accomplished.  I am afraid it is only going to get worse over the next few months.

I am going to have to put my business on hold as I am currently looking for a house to buy and plan to be moving in a month or two.  In fact I made an offer on one house already but there was another offer on the table and they offered more than me so I did not get that one.  I believe with all my heart God will lead me to the one that is right for me, so I am not panicking, LOL.

I have my eye on another one.  It will need some cosmetic work.  Painting inside and a little sprucing up on the outside.  It has a nice deck on the back which will be enjoyable to use for cookouts.  It has a 2 car garage that will make a splendid ceramic shop with a little bit of prep work.  And the price is right.  So we shall see.

But then again, I might just chuck it all and go live in some retirement village some where, LOL.  Just kidding, I am too young to retire!!

I am still doing some spring cleaning in between trying to figure out how to pack and move the ceramic shop.  That will be a huge undertaking as I have over 2000 molds and a lot of equipment.  Once moved though I will be able to get the business up and running in earnest.  I am looking forward to that so much!!  It will be so nice to finally get my life back on track after all these years, and no one to hold me back any more.

My church life keeps me busy too, but I really enjoy it.  Saturday we had a cook out at one of the state parks nearby.  It was a lot of fun in spite of the weather.  A couple of the guys from the church made fried chicken and everyone brought a covered dish.  We had some games and just truly enjoyed fellowshipping with one another.  We will be expanding our food pantry to provide food for a nearby town and that will keep us busy too.  But it is so wonderful to be able to bless those in need with food each month.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength and He will never leave you nor forsake you!  I wake up every morning and put all my trust in Him each and every day.  Sometimes that is not easy because our human nature wants us to be able to do it ourselves but the truth is, we can do nothing nor have nothing without Him.  He holds it all in the palm of His hand.  Thank you Jesus for always being there for me!!

Until next time,,,,,,,Blessings!!