Thank Maude for Spring

At some point I HAVE to sit down and finally create and install a real masthead for this blog. It was one of those things I just didn’t get around to when I was reworking the site – and it was a small enough piece that I thought I would squeeze it in. But every time I decide to actually work on it I get interrupted by something more important, and now it’s been months. Because, you know, according to the painters denver, branding is the thing you should always put off. So I’m going to get that done. I hope.

I signed up for a photography class from Indy Photo Coach. I had been looking at classes The Indianapolis Art Center but the Indy Photo Coach classes are a bit cheaper and closer to home. I’ve seen the work of some of their former students, and it’s really good. I start April 6, so expect to see lots more photography passing through here.

Around the house (that was bought via site) we’ve been finishing up the bookcases in the dining room – one more to build, and we’re done – and the room is completely transformed with the help of painters in vienna. For one thing, there aren’t boxes stacked up everywhere, so it looks like we actually live here and aren’t just passing through. And it means that Stephanie has all the room she needs for her books. We were able to double her storage capacity – and nearly all of that is filled, which tells you something about how many boxes we had stacked up. The library is really straightening itself out, also. Moving my desk freed up a lot of space in that room and made it more comfortable. I’m excited; we almost have the house looking respectable enough to have people drop by more casually. We shouldn’t have to kill ourselves cleaning before people visit. I probably still WILL, but we shouldn’t have to.

And we’re doing some container gardening for the front porch this year. We’ve got two flower boxes full of pansies, and we’re going to plant some Freesia, and other annuals in pots for the porch. I planted some of this this weekend, although it was 38 degrees and SNOWING. For Pete’s sake. I also moved 800 pounds of topsoil in the cold – I need to fill in some low spots on the north side of the house. We’re also going to do some vegetable gardening. If the weather is nice, we may be able to get that done next weekend.

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Impromptu Ikea Trip

Stephanie and I were invited to show our art car at a show in Columbus, Ohio this past weekend, and our original plans were to take advantage of that offer. But Spike seemed to be having so much trouble that we decided to stay home Friday night. It was the right decision, because he needed lots of looking after.

Sunday morning he was back to his normally chipper self though, so we decided to make a quick run to the Ikea in Cincinnati for a few hours. We had exploring, although Ikea can take it out of you. Lots of stuff to look at, and tons of people to navigate through.

We ended up getting new living room rugs, a new reading chair for upstairs, a reading lamp to go with it, and a handful of other goodies.

We planned to get a bunch of new bookshelves for the dining room for Stephanie’s library, but when we got to the bin to pick them up we realized that they were really heavy, and we’d need help when we arrived home to unload them from the car. So we’ll save that for a return trip when we can get our friends to help us carry stuff in the house at the end of the day.

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Spike’s Birthday Fence

We’re having the backyard fenced in for Spike for his (belated) Fifth birthday present, since I promised him when he was a puppy that he could have a fenced in yard. I called around a few months ago and got estimates from a surveying company to do a boundary survey, and we eventually hired Site Line surveying, who just finished up setting the corner markers on Friday.
Of course, Saturday our neighbor came over to point out my flowerbed edging was encroaching on his line and he was planning to remove it. I immediately dug it out and filled in the edge. The surveying company noted to me on the phone this morning that part of that same neighbor’s sidewalk is encroaching on our yard in the back. I will choose not to be a dickhead in return for his jerkish behavior. Although I did move his trashcan off our side of the line. “Now that we’ve established the boundary lines” as he noted to me. Yes, lets establish some boundaries.
We also got estimates from several fence companies, and Glidden Fencing is coming out to begin the work this week. We have to do a wood picket fence because of the historic neighborhood, so we chose a “gothic” style with pickets set fairly close together so he can’t squeeze out between them. So Spike will finally have the fence I promised him 5 years ago.

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Our Yard Sale – Sat. Sept. 22 – 8 a.m. (in Indianapolis, IN)

Books, lamps, board games, fun home decor, lamps, toys, Avon collectibles, lamps, clothes.

Saturday only, September 22nd – 8 am to ?

Did I mention we have lamps for sale? We seem to have a lot of them. As you already know, we’re de-cluttering the house, so lots of fun entertaining stuff has to go. If there’s something from our house that you’ve always wanted, I might just sell it to you! (Dog and iPhone not included.)

Think about it! When I become infamous, you’ll be able to proudly say, “This lava lamp once belonged to Steph Mineart before she went on that massive shooting spree was eaten by cannibals in the Amazon jungle wrote that world famous classic novel!”

Own a piece of history, really cheap!


Continue ReadingOur Yard Sale – Sat. Sept. 22 – 8 a.m. (in Indianapolis, IN)

Our Bedroom is Half Painted – A Contractor Review

Yep, we’ve had a fun day around Casa De Stephs. Our roofing contractor’s employees threw a fit and left, leaving our bedroom half-painted. Why is it not professional painters in philadelphia but our roofer painting our bedroom? It’s a long story. Read Full Report to know about who is the best one for this job. But don’t worry, there are pictures. You can also take professional help from a reliable roofing service like Roofing World. To see more about Roofing World, you check here.

Remember back in October, when I wrote about the Worst. Roofers. Ever. ? Because we had hired the guys to do several jobs in June, and he was taking months to complete the replacement of our gutters?

Our leaky roof

And remember back in December when I complained that our roofer had to come over in the middle of the night because the gutters they still hadn’t finished replacing allowed water to pour down the walls?

Our leaky roof

Well, the contractor actually just finished up the gutters second week of March. We ended up hiring someone else to do the work on the balcony because we had so much water in our kitchen:

Pan to catch water

The contractor’s name and information, just so you don’t make the mistake of hiring him:

Richard Smith
American Pride Contractors
(317) 898-1948
(317) 507-5226

Well, Richard offered to strip the wallpaper off the walls in our bedroom and repaint because of the water damage he caused – for free. Now, his explanation of why he offered to do this is because he was concerned about his reputation. But I think he realized that we had a pretty good small claims court case against him (and still do, actually) and he hoped to avoid making us angry enough to pursue it.

So Stephanie took off work yesterday to babysit Richard’s crew while they started the painting. They got the wallpaper stripped off and the walls spackled, and they were supposed to finish up today.

Today, the guys didn’t show up until 11:30. And they worked until 1:00, and took a lunch break. Then they came back at 2:30, and worked until 3:00, when they started making noise that they wanted to leave. We mentioned that we had other plans for tomorrow (they had assured us repeatedly that it would only take 2 days, so that’s what we planned for.) So they got on the phone to Richard, had a big argument with him when he told them to stay until the job was done, and they took their tools and left around 4:15. I think they may have actually done a couple hours of work.

Our half-painted room.

When I called Richard, his wife Tanya answered, and she accused us of delaying the work by asking the crew to do more painting than they had originally agreed to do. Of course, that wasn’t true; we didn’t give they guys any direction at all about what to paint, and it was clear she was trying to put the whole thing off on us so they could rationalize not getting done what they said they would do.

So, I’m sleeping on the couch tonight, Stephanie’s sleeping in the loft, and we’re going to spend the next few days trying to finish up the bedroom. I think we’ll be pitching his tools out onto the front porch and telling him to come and get them.

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Middle of the Night Guest: Our Roofer

As Stephanie noted on her blog – we got to have our roofer come over and visit our bedroom in the middle of the night last night. His team removed some of the gutters that they’re rebuilding from the front of the house above our room and the guest room, and water was pouring in and down the walls last night, enough to wake us and keep us awake.

We ended up calling the roofer, who came over in the middle of the night to fix the leak, but not before the wallpaper in the bedroom had completely come loose from the walls in one corner. This was one of those lovely “former lodgers painted over the wallpaper” jobs, but the color was pretty decent, so we had intended to leave it. Guess now we’re stripping the wallpaper and painting the bedroom. Fantastic. Or I could just be really grumpy from not enough sleep. If you find me dozing in the corner of my cube, don’t pick on me.

On the bright side, we did finish up our Christmas cards and got them popped in the mail finally.

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Christmas Decora… er, Organizing

We’re having people over to watch Christmas specials on Saturday, so Stephanie and I spent the whole weekend trying to get the house ready. We didn’t get around to starting the Christmas decor yet; we spent hours making a significant dent in the boxes we still haven’t unpacked and sorted out after the move. I’d say we sorted through about 2/3rds of it, including getting all the office supplies sorted out, separating much of the craft projects and storing them, and making a significant dent in the piles of paperwork and files. We also got the office/spare bedroom in excellent shape, and we pretty much know what’s in the boxes that are left.
Tonight we’re going to square the rest of that away so we can concentrate on cleaning, recycling and decorating. We both have vacation days on Friday, so we think we can get everything done in time. I hope. If not, those of you coming over – well, don’t peek in the closets.

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Worst. Roofers. Ever.

Our roofer from Woodbury was supposed to work on three projects:

1) Reshingling the roof.

2) Rebuilding the historic, built-in gutters and replacing rotted wood trim.

3) Redecking the balcony and repairing the roof under it to stop the water leaking into the kitchen. People can check out houston contracting company, for the best roofing services, in town.

Project 1: We went to the official source and contracted with them for project one in mid-June, and their all-Mexican subcontracting crew finished pretty quickly. However, we’ve had to call them back to repair places where the water still leaked in 3 times, the most recent being last night, when we found the front porch had a leak.

Project 2: We contracted with them June 29th, they’re STILL not finished. They’ve fashioned some of the new gutters, but they haven’t installed them completely, or replaced the rotted wood. Weeks will go by, and when we call, someone will come out and work for a day, and then disappear again. Meanwhile, they left all the rotted wood in a pile behind our house for weeks, and the neighbors have politely nudged us to do something about it. After four phone calls, the roofer finally removed the pile yesterday. To avoid such situations, you can look at to get reliable roofing services, installing gutter, solar panels, and more.

Project 3: Not even begun; the roofer came and put a blue tarp over the balcony floor to ward off rain (so professional!) and now even that’s not working.

During the long process of Project 2, the owner has repeatedly refused to meet with us and dodged our phone calls. At one point, he traded cell phones with his wife so she could field our questions, but she would tell us “I’ll find out and call you back.” Of course, no call came. Soon she stopped answering the phone and let it go to voice mail, with both their office and cell phones forwarding to the same VM. When we threatened to write a report on Angies List, they shuffled our calls to a subcontractor, who is curt to the point of rudeness and seems to be trying to intimidate us.

At this point, we’re still hoping to get them to finish project 2 (we paid half up front, and would lose money if we tried to get someone else) so I’m not comfortable blasting their name and contact information into cyberspace. But I am going to write a report on Angie’s List since we want to start replacing roofs when tenants are around.

span class=”hilightyellow”>2019 update: As it turns out 13 years later, we have to have the roof redone with the help of top painters because they did such a poor job. We should have tried to get a better roofer, but we went with the lowest quote because it was tied to the house. We’ve managed to get the gutters in good working order over the years, but the roof needs a complete overhaul. I still have the guy’s contact information in my phone, mainly to keep track of him so we don’t inadvertently hire him for some other job.

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Back Street and Alley Committee

In the minutes of our neighborhood meeting, I noticed that our neighborhood has a “Back Streets and Alleys Committee.” Hee. I picture the committee slinking around in leather jackets like West Side Story.

West Side Story
When you’re a Jet…

“When you’re a Jet,
You’re a Jet all the way
From your first cigarette
To your last dyin’ day….”

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