Thursday, February 9, 2012

A new visitor

Since the Solstice about a week ago we’ve had a new visitor around our house - a little, floofy stray cat that is just as affectionate as she is poofy.
One night all four of us, Garry, myself, AJ and our friend Raine were sitting outside and this little kitty decided that we looked like a bunch of suckers the ideal people to give her attention, food and possibly somewhere warm to sleep. The poor thing had worms so we gave her some de-wormer we had on hand.
AJ has really taken a liking to her and is planning on adopting her after he can take her to the vet to get vaccinations and make sure she’s healthy to bring inside. Hopefully, by that point, she’ll be so grateful that she will get along with my two boy kitties, Cloud and Cid, and it will be a happy, kitty-full household (otherwise, back outside she goes).
We’ve been a little pre-occupied with the holidays, however it didn’t go as planned. Not that everything does, but just more so than usual. The gift I sent my brother was destroyed (it was a framed print of a digital drawing I did) even though it was wrapped in 2 inches of bubble wrap with FRAGILE scrawled across the box. On top of that, the gifts my parents made for Garry and I (which they worked very hard on) were lost. We finally got two boxes (one was candy and little treats and the other was Garry’s gift) but the gift my father made for me (which this is the first time he’s EVER done this, so it’s a big deal) has yet to arrive. It’s not that I want “stuff” or that I’m greedy – I just know my parents worked really hard on these gifts and they are special. It’s not like they went to the store and bought some gadget or doo-dad that can be easily replaced.
Garry loved the violin I painted for him. He bought a bunch of stone and when spring-time comes, he’s planning on building the firepit for me in the backyard. Yay!
Overall, this year was really calm, quiet and actually uneventful – just the way I like it.
It’s also been calm, quiet and uneventful at work as well.
On the renovation front – all of our grant paperwork is in and the contracts have been accepted. Unfortunately, with adding the furnace and water heater into the mix we ended up running out of funds before we even got around to hearing from the general contractors. It didn’t bother us too much since we were having a really hard time finding someone to install a furnace (for what we wanted) for less than $7,000. That same $7,000 included installing a new furnace, water heater, upgrade the plumbing, installing the dishwasher and running heating to the attic.
We still wanted to meet with the general contractors – just to get an idea of what it would cost to get the work done we were planning on doing. Eventually we should get a few bids back – I hope.
One guy called us at 8:30 a.m. on the 26th. Naturally, we were still asleep, but once Garry was conscious enough to call the guy back he agreed to let him come over at 2 that afternoon. Now - the house was a disaster. We hadn’t cleaned in a WHILE because I’m going through this “I want to be lazy every day” thing and. well, that’s why.
So we cleaned the kitchen and bathroom really well, vacuumed and straightened up to not be completely embarassed when the guy came.
This was the first time that I had the chance to meet with any of the contractors and I really hope that they were all different than this guy. He really didn’t listen  to what I had to say (probably because I am a girl) and when we were discussing a possible bathroom renovation that involved plumbing he said he could do it, but not to tell anyone about the plumbing since he wasn’t licensed.
Um. What?
I mean, it’s one thing for Garry and I to try and do plumbing (we’re obviously not licensed), but if I’m going to actually pay someone to do it, I want them to be licensed. I said that wouldn’t be necessary and that we’d call someone who was certified to do the work, or have the folks working on the rest of the plumbing to do it.
I don’t know, maybe it’s me being PMSy, overly paranoid, or whatever, but it didn’t sit well with me that a professional would say “well I can do it, but don’t tell anyone.”
Like I said – hopefully someone else will get back to us.
But, the worst-case scenario is that we have to do all of that work ourselves and honestly, it really isn’t that bad. We have a friend that does insulation that I’m sure I could bribe with food and beer to come and make sure we’re doing it properly. Hanging drywall isn’t that big of a deal either. The attic we could do ourselves and it would turn out pretty nice.
The bathroom is another story. Basically, we’re knocking out part of a wall and rebuilding it so the little alcove in the bathroom is a little wider. The  biggest pain in the ass part of it is that the wall is the one between the bathroom and AJ’s room. We’re also planning on moving the vanity to the other side. Oh wait, I meant we’re building a new vanity (because it will be an odd-size, of course) and finding inexpensive vessel sinks. I was lucky enough to find some on the web and a great tutorial to build the vanity. All told we will spend less than $600 for everything. That includes the mirrors, hardware, countertop… everything.
But, for now, I’m preoccupied with the kitchen countertop still…