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Driveway Saga Resolution

August 22nd, 2018 No comments

I don’t think I ever wrote an update about the driveway. Apparently the inspector kept failing the apron preparation which was preventing the concrete company from completing the job. I went back and forth in email and on the phone with them, the village, and our property manager since no one was keeping residents in the loop regarding the delay. It was incredibly frustrating because everyone was blaming everyone else; meanwhile nothing was getting done and residents were stuck in the middle without a driveway or the ability to use their garage.

The work was finally approved, supposedly by a different inspector, and the concrete was poured on July 18th. The work began on June 11th so that’s 38 days later and 40 days before we could use our driveways because they kept the driveway blocked from being driven on for a few days after the fact to allow it to cure (and we actually waited a couple of days longer to ensure it was fully dried). That’s 6 weeks we all had to park on the street for something that should have taken no longer than 3 weeks according to their schedule.

What really gets me is had they ripped up the apron at the same time as the driveways it would have all been complete within a week! I still don’t understand why they chose to rip them up at different times particularly because they didn’t do that on any of the subsequent work they’ve done in the subdivision. I guess we were just “lucky”. Ugh, I’m just glad that’s behind us now.

Categories: House & Home, Neighborhood Tags:

Change of Scenery

August 15th, 2018 No comments

Joe and I are edging closer and closer to moving out of this godforsaken state. Between brother B feeling too ill to ever really get together, my parents and other brother acting like driving an hour to my place is like visiting Siberia, and Joe’s kids always being too busy to barely acknowledge texts, let alone get together in person, we’re (sadly) running out of reasons to stay here. Yes, we have some friends, but even they aren’t available as often as we’d prefer.

Plus we’d really like a house and it’s far too expensive here. We could afford it, but a) we like living below our means and b) we don’t really like the idea of paying this state any more money since it’s so corrupt. Also, a change is in order. It feels like time is passing by so quickly with the same old routine & scenery year after year.

The problem is deciding where to go. Right now the #1 city on our list is Fisher’s Indiana which was rated the #1 city to live in according to Money Magazine last year. The city is booming yet home prices (and more importantly, property taxes) are relatively low. We could get a beautiful larger-than-we-need new construction home for around $300k, or an older home, but still built within the past 10 years, for between $200k and $250k, and the annual taxes would only set us back between $2k-$3k instead of $12k here. We could still visit family a few times a year since it’s only a three hour drive from Chicago too. Plus we’d still experience all the seasons which, even though I abhor winter, I would miss spring and fall. While I’d consider living in Arizona part-time when we’re retired, I really don’t want to live in the desert full time. I need green grass and trees to be happy, plus I like cloudy and rainy days which you rarely see out there.

Categories: House & Home, Rants & Observations Tags:

Brother J Visits

July 9th, 2018 Comments off

I took last week off from work because they are renovating the office which includes redoing the floors and installing new cubicles with much shorter walls (which I’m seriously dreading). I didn’t want to spend all week displaced so I decided to use some of my accumulated time off to hang out at home. Since I only work Tue-Thu and Wednesday was a holiday, I only needed to use two vacation days.

Monday (7/2) I went out to lunch with my friend C and cleaned the house Tuesday (7/3) to prepare for my Brother J to visit for a few days.

Wednesday (7/4) morning Joe and I drove to my parents house to pick up J. We stopped at Savers on the way back and then came home to start grilling some ribs we purchased at Costco over the weekend, as well as burgers. Wookie was thrilled to see J and was comfortable enough to let him rub her belly. It was really cute. She also would run over and lick his face at random times throughout the week. He’s become a lot more comfortable around her (he’s always been a bit fearful of dogs in general) which is nice because we might be able to have him dog-sit for us occasionally as long as we’re willing to do a bunch of driving since he’s not comfortable driving on expressways and taking side streets from his house to ours would take over two hours.

Anyway, here’s what we basically did the rest of the week:

Wednesday night – Watched Maximum Overdrive. I stayed up until midnight with Wookie until the fireworks stopped and she calmed down. Joe had to get to sleep since he had work the next day.

Thursday (7/5) – Joe at work. Called around to check on driveway progress, of which there was none even though this project was due to be completed on June 28th. Played Wii games (Mad World & Simpsons). Took J to Half Price Books and Chick-fil-A for lunch. Played Jeopardy & Song Quiz games on Alexa. Had baked spaghetti for dinner. Watched Dead Snow (so, so bad) and then Blockers (which was much better, but we had seen it before).

Friday (7/6) – Went to Taco bell for breakfast. Saw Antman and The Wasp at theater. Awesome movie! The trailer didn’t do it a lick of justice. Took Wookie for a walk at Armstrong park. Watched Pacific Rim: Uprising.

Saturday (7/7) – Joe made Waffles for breakfast. J and I played Wii (Donkey Kong and Raving Rabids, then Let’s Tap). We all went to McDonald’s for a late lunch, and then visited Brother B for an hour and a half before we dropped Brother J back at home.

Sunday (7/8) – Joe and I went on a morning bike ride at Armstrong park. After coming home and showering we ran to Kohl’s where I paid $3 for a pair of shorts since they gave me $15 in Kohl’s Cash. Then we did a little grocery shopping before coming home to relax.

Today (7/9) I’ve just been cleaning and calling around trying to find out when the hell our driveway apron is going to be filled with concrete. The village informed me that the concrete company had inspections scheduled but they were cancelled since they haven’t paid the village a re-inspection fee. I called the association and demanded to speak to the property manager (who never gets back to us when we call) and of course she wasn’t available. I was at least given her voicemail and left one for her that I am hoping she returns. I think at this point they need to fire these idiots and get someone else to finish the work. What a nightmare.

My boss texted me this morning to let me know the renovation at work is behind schedule so I’ll be sitting in a conference room tomorrow, and possibly Thursday, until our new cubicles are set up.

I like things neat and orderly and I have neither of those things at home or work so I’m feeling very stressed. On top of that my new glasses are too heavy and despite multiple trips back to the clinic to have the nose pads and temples adjusted, they are still hurting my face. I am going there today to have them put on the new silicone nose pads I ordered from Amazon as a last ditch effort. If that doesn’t work I’m going to have to pick out a different pair of frames which sucks because I really grew to like the ones my optician had chosen for me. They look much nicer on me than my old glasses. Too bad they aren’t comfortable, ugh!

Categories: Family, Fun & Games, Health, House & Home, Work Tags:

Shoes & A Visit From E

June 25th, 2018 1 comment

Saturday (6/23) we decided to walk around Geneva since it was their annual Swedish Days festival. It was a beautiful day outside and it was fun looking at all the stuff for sale. We picked up these cute little garden animals for $1.39 and put them by our tree in the front.

We also got Wookie a new toy for only $1.50.

As we were walking out of a shop we ran into my good friend, C, with her husband and two of her daughter’s friends. It’s funny how we tend to run into her at fairs, festivals, or just out shopping, more than anyone else we know.

Before leaving we tried a new place called Atlas Chicken Shack and shared an order of fries and a chicken sandwich smothered with ranch dressing. We really liked the dill in the ranch dressing; it gave it a unique flavor.

On our way home we stopped at Old Time Pottery and found a plant stand for outside the front door like Joe had been wanting. It’s already come in handy for setting things down when opening the door (since we STILL can’t use our driveway … more on that in a bit) so I’m not sure I’d even want to put a plant there. Plus, we’re not so good at keeping plants alive. We planted some wildflowers in the planters this year and they just started flowering, but that’s only because they don’t require any care and the rain has been keeping them hydrated.

Joe also spotted that they had a metal baking pan with a plastic lid which I have been searching for to replace ours since the non-stick coating on the inside was coming off. It was on sale too so it was only $7.

Sunday (6/24) we ran to Kohls so I could return a pair of grey Addidas running shoes I had purchased a few weeks back. I’m bummed because I really liked the style but once I started walking around in them (in the house, to keep them clean until I was sure I’d be keeping them), I found they were uncomfortable. I replaced them with a grey pair of New Balance shoes that cost slightly less ($56 after 20% off coupon) so I’m keeping my fingers crossed they will fit better. I wanted a sneaker that wasn’t white yet light in color to go with certain outfits that don’t quite look right with my black shoes.

We also stopped by Costco and I ended up getting a black pair of Reeboks since they were only $20. I’m not positive I’m going to like them but I figured they were worth trying for the price (and their generous return policy).

Joe’s son decided to pay us a visit Sunday afternoon which was nice. He’s been so busy with school and two jobs that we rarely see him. We went out to lunch and then to the mall since he likes the FYE there. He ended up getting 6 Funko POP! vinyl characters (he collects certain ones) and a CD. I’m so glad he’s making his own money now, LOL! But seriously, he was very sweet offering to buy us the Stefon POP character that we got all excited spotting.

I took a picture of it for my Instagram but I don’t want to actually own it. If anything, I want to have less useless possessions, not more.

Back at the house we played The Logo Game and watched some YouTube videos before E took off around 8 pm.

Today I went to Savers to look for clothes because I’ve recently donated all the stuff I don’t wear and replaced it with stuff I love, like leggings and cozy shirts. I scored three items, one of which I think I might be able to wear with leggings to work since it’s long enough to cover my butt. I wish it was easier to find tunics because I don’t feel comfortable wearing shorter shirts with tight-fitting pants.

Despite being told on Saturday by someone who works for the company who is replacing our driveways and patios that they would be filling the driveway aprons with concrete today, they didn’t do it. All they filled was the remaining patios and rip up some driveways on the remaining building. We are both extremely aggravated by this since the last time they did ANY work on our building was a week and a half ago. They have been trying to do too many drives/patios at once and were nowhere to be found for a few days last week. There’s just no reason this should’t be done by now. I called to complain last Thursday but they don’t care.

Meanwhile all these people are unable to use their driveways/garages for WEEKS and it’s getting old. And because they ripped up even more while the two buildings they were in process of working on are still not done there are even less available parking spots on the street. It’s supposed to storm tomorrow so chances are nothing will be done then either. So best case scenario at this point is they will fill the aprons on Wednesday and since you have to wait four full days before driving on them we won’t be able to use our driveway until Monday which is past the last day they claimed this would all be done (June 29th). That last building won’t have to wait as long since once they are done with our two building they only have one left to work on, although at this rate I feel like they purposely drag things out that should have taken a week or less. I’m just beyond annoyed at this point.

New Driveway & Patio

June 15th, 2018 Comments off

They finally got around to our block to replace our asphalt driveway with concrete and replace the patios with new concrete this week. This whole project started in the neighborhood last year but they couldn’t finish in time.

Joe and I were both anxious about not being able to use our garage/driveway for 2-3 weeks so we were pretty pleased when they poured the new driveway and patio yesterday. It takes only a day to dry enough to walk on, but four days to drive on. The problem? They haven’t ripped out the apron portion of the drives yet so that will likely happen next week which means it will be at least two weeks of not being able to use the driveway. I hate having my poor new car out in the elements!

Also, we propped up one of our security cameras in the window upstairs to watch the guys fill the new driveway. They ran out of concrete 3/4 of the way through and it took over two hours before they finished ours so we have a line in our drive that the neighbors’ drives don’t, plus the line isn’t even straight. I’m so angry and disappointed with how it came out compared to the surrounding drives and there’s nothing I can do about it since the association is the one who commissioned the work.

When we took Wookie for a walk last night we looked closer at other driveways that were already complete and some looked great whereas some were crooked like ours, so apparently these guys are not very consistent with their work. Plus it looks like our new patio sinks a bit in the middle. I hope water doesn’t collect there when it rains. No one takes any pride in their work anymore…

Categories: House & Home, Neighborhood Tags: