By: Revanche

On the home(buying) front: getting the work done

August 28, 2017

Interrupting this regularly scheduled post to say a few words about Hurricane Harvey. This weekend has been physically critically bad for me and it’s even worse for the people in Houston who were hit by the storm. If you want to help, please consider giving to some of the organizations below that I’ve found while reading the updates on the storm and rescue efforts. I know the Red Cross is an easy choice and if that’s what you can do, great. But local and smaller orgs also do important work and don’t have the same funding opportunities so I’m highlighting those.

Texas Diaper Fund. I’m hearing that disaster relief agencies don’t provide diapers. Babies always need diapers and can you imagine the added stress of losing your home and needing to find basics like diapers and formula? Using cut up materials like shower curtains after Hugo gave the poor babies horrible skin infections – let’s make sure they get the supplies they need.

Portlight focuses on disaster relief for disabled people. It’s hard enough being rescued or helped when you’re able bodied. Even worse when you’ve lost your mobility aids or badly needed medication or other critical to survival aids. I know that one day without my pain meds would be excruciating and I’m not even among the worst off.

Team Rubicon is a team of veterans who help on the ground and have a special fund for those affected by Harvey.

Humanity First is a disaster relief NGO that’s partnering with Muslim Youth USA to help in Houston.

And of course animals are always displaced by these natural disasters so thank goodness we have people helping here as well:

SPCA of TexasHouston Humane Society, Austin Pets Alive!, San Antonio Humane Society

Notes – the best thing to do if you’re not local is give money so that the people on site can easily get the supplies they know are needed. Donations of actual things being shipped in creates more work for the volunteers who have to figure out what to do with them.

***** Back to our regularly scheduled post *****

[Part 8] I can’t even tell you how tired I am.

I could try, but words haven’t been invented for the exhaustion created by taking on a massive home renovation, selling the home you’re living in, working full time, while raising a toddler and tending to our senior dog, as a chronic pain and fatigue person.

If such a word exists, it’s probably in Japanese or German. With JB’s language skills burgeoning, who knows, maybe we’ll discover that word soon!

I’ve spent several days literally shaking, like my glucose levels just can’t perk up, gritting my teeth to get through the day, and hoping that it’s just stress and fatigue that’s affecting me. They definitely are affecting me, I’m just hoping that’s the only cause of this marrow-deep, three tons of pressure crushing my bones feeling.

The work itself

Our biggest drain is all the decisions we have had to make every single day. For example:

  • where to place every electrical receptable,
  • where to place every single light fixture,
  • picking every light fixture,
  • figuring out what our style is we stand amidst the dust and the bare walls,
  • buying all the cabinetry, hoping the colors match what we’ll have to pick later for our walls, tiles, wood, or carpeting that we can barely conceive of right now,
  • picking said wall paints, tile styles and colors, wood, and carpeting,
  • deciding what appliances we’ll take or leave in the old place, so that we buy the right things for the new place.

Each decision by itself isn’t a big deal but it’s a relentless march of several decisions a day. Day after day, it’s been decision after decision, big and seemingly small.

Even the smallest decisions can have huge impacts, like when we decided to place our receptacle on that part of the bath wall. What we didn’t realize was that it would impact the height of the side splash, which affects the placement of the mirror, and so the mirror had to be smaller.

Or like the walls in one room aren’t straight because this is an old house but we didn’t realize it until we had already purchased our flooring and so the wider floorboards look terrible. It’s going to be fine in the end but each hiccup takes away precious brain processing space.

The money

We’ve burned through all our cash savings now and have blown through the personal loan fund from a very dear friend. We’re incredibly lucky to have this resource, and incredibly grateful, and you bet your buttons that my checkbook is ready to repay them as soon as we have the funds back.

My stash is keeping me sane, but it’s still frustrating to spin our wheels financially. We can’t do anything but keep trying to get the work done here, the work done at work, and not spend beyond reason. We are spending, though. We’re spending on the house, we’re spending on selling the old place, we’re spending to keep ourselves fed day to day.

We’re not buying any more than is strictly necessary for a functional house. It’s going to be prettier than I was looking for, but these were all careful selections of things that were needed to consider the place finished. We couldn’t very well run around on a house with no floor!

Seeking serenity

I’ve been working hard at maintaining my Zen. Really really hard. Lots of deep breathing, lots of biting back grouchy words when I’m about to lose my temper.

I’ve inherited two legendary tempers, it’s taken decades of practice reining it in. If it should get loose, watch OUT. Thus, legendary control, my friends.  Fraying a bit around the edges, but still holding on.

The occasional craving is now being entertained. We bought the fancy cheese and it’s a minor miracle we still have some Brie in the fridge. PiC was shocked to come home and find half a wedge left.

It feels like this slog is endless and that’s what’s kept me going. As long as it felt like I had time to get it all done, the stress was about keeping a lid on my impatience to be done. Once we hit the halfway point, though, it meant that the pressure was really on to see it through to the end.

I’m amazing at getting through things, but I’m not great at being finished with them. In this case, it’s because being finished with the reno means a whole new world looms in front of us: moving, leaving our home, making a new home, and CHANGE.

I hate change. My oh my do I hate change. Isn’t that rich, coming from someone who works on change every day?

:: Do you love or hate change?

Before: Background, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7

Next on our Home Buying Adventure: Part 9, Part 10, Part 11

14 Responses to “On the home(buying) front: getting the work done”

  1. Karen says:

    If need help researching the next couple of days, I’m stuck (not trapped) at home til the storm passes. I got plenty of time 🙂

    The cabinets will match, I gave faith. There is more leeway than it seems.

    I’m pretty OK with change. Actually I probably love change. Short attention span.

    Ha I lost my temper at work (you could just tell I was not happy. No yelling or anything). One EE still gives me shit. Probably bc I miraculously have not lost it otherwise.

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks for the offer! 🙂

      Part of the problem is that there are TWO of us having to make these decisions and agree.

      I don’t think we shouldn’t ever lose our temper, just that it shouldn’t control us like my rage would like to 😀

      • Karen says:

        Yes, I’m so used to being the only opinion, but sometimes, a 2nd opinion is welcome. 🙂 but consensus can be hard to obtain!

  2. For large-scale disasters, I always send money. For smaller-scale disasters affecting families, where there is a publicized clearinghouse location for tangible donations, I always always always send diapers, usually in a couple of sizes. And wipes. Everyone can use wipes. They’re good for everything.

  3. Good luck!

    I like good change but dislike bad change. I don’t know how I feel about middling change… probably dislike more than like, but not that much.
    nicoleandmaggie recently posted…Help me with DC2’s lunch!My Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks! I think I like good change after the fact, but I don’t like making the change to our routine, good or not. And then I get to appreciating the benefits after the fact.

  4. Wow. Try to remember to take breaks when you need them and do your best to focus on one thing at a time. Good luck <3

    I loathe change. But you've posed a very timely question, because I'm in the process of biting the bullet and making a HUGE change right now. It took some really tough days to finally push me to the realization that the status quo is NOT going to work for us. We've got to make new plans – there is simply no other choice.
    Harmony@CreatingMyKaleidoscope recently posted…Monday Medley: Birthday Party, Zoo Trip, and Back To WorkMy Profile

  5. Linda says:

    I think I’m like nicoleandmaggie: good changes are nice, bad changes are uncomfortable (to say the least).

    The remodeling stuff must be nerve-wracking at this point. I only went through one major room remodel in my last house (the kitchen) and I was so glad I hired a kitchen designer to help me through. She knew all sorts of little things that I never would have thought of, because that was her area of expertise. I still got tripped up on one small thing, though. I hadn’t thought to ask if it made a difference which side the disposal would be located in a double bowl sink when I was choosing the style I wanted. I would have made a different choice if I’d known. In this house there was a large, farmhouse style sink installed and didn’t think I’d like it, but I love it. Having the type of kitchen sink that works best for you is important!

    Anyway, I hope by winter you’re all settled in, cozy, and happy in the new place. You deserve some relax time, and all the fancy cheese you want.
    Linda recently posted…Dreams of my youthMy Profile

  6. SP says:

    I hate making so many decisions. It reminds me of all of the dumb decisions we had to make for wedding planning, except multiply by 1 million and you also have to live with your decisions longer than one day! So stressful, but it will all be worth it in the end.

    I like change when I am driving it, but I think not at the scale that you are talking about here. I would love to move from one place into a better / bigger / custom place – but I wouldn’t like the long process it takes to get there!

    I hate change that I have no control over.
    SP recently posted…July UpdatesMy Profile

  7. Hey, take care of yourself and let the hubby take over of some stuff. Everything will be a lot worse if you’re down for the count. Maybe delay the home renovation a bit. Not everything has to be done this year, right?
    Joe @ Retire by 40 recently posted…Is Your Risk Tolerance Too High?My Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Oh he’s got his hands more than full too, I just don’t document his whining here because it’s not mine to share 🙂

      We do have to get all this stuff done now, it’s a code thing, but we’ll get through it.

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