Friday, October 28, 2011

Only Two Weeks Left!

Ok.. I'm starting to get freaked out... We only have 2 more weeks (4 weekend days...) before the party! In those 4 days we need to get the floor installed (most likely will take up 2 full days), install the dishwasher, install the window casing, install the door casing (only on 2 doors... 2 already have it), install the lower filler panels on the cabinets, install the toe kick and install the base trim. And install the light fixtures!

AHHHHHHH... I don't know if we're going to make it!! And on top of all of that, during the week I have to not only get my work-work done, but I need to finish painting the walls and ceiling, paint the trim and beadboard, unpack, bake and cook for the party, and finish everything else on my "party to-do" list (cleaning for our overnight guests, vacuuming, clean up the old plywood from the backyard, etc.). Because have I mentioned that my house is basically just a big disaster area??? I know that as soon as the floor is done and I can move some stuff into the kitchen it'll be a little bit better... but... AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

We really need to get our butts in gear. We're already planning on going to bed really early tonight so we can wake up really early tomorrow morning and get working immediately! It's going to be a long long day! If we can get the floor done and the dishwasher hooked up by Sunday night, I'll be happy. That will leave all of the trim to the following weekend... which shouldn't be too too bad... the windows will probably take the longest, but I've already primed everything, so that's a start!

Then this upcoming week I can tackle a lot of the cleaning and stuff, and the following week (right before the party), I'll finish up painting all of the new trim.

We can do it... we can do it... I just need to keep repeating that to myself!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Other Weekend Progress...

There were some times where I couldn't help R with the plywood this past weekend, so I found other ways to be useful. I worked on the sidewalk a little...
There's that rock that got in my way... It's kinda hard to see because of all the sand and leaves, but I think I worked it in pretty well..

Once I literally hit an impasse (asphalt with electrical wires underneath... a job for R), I moved back indoors and tackled the downstairs bathroom.

The downstairs bathroom is something on my "Things to Get Done Before Party" list. In the past year, this room has become our dumping zone (when we run out of room in the Dining Room.. seriously.. it's bad). We rarely use it, so who cares that it's so full of crap that you can't walk in there! But we have some people coming to the party would would rather not walk all the way upstairs to use the bathroom, so it needed to be done. I spent a couple hours organizing everything in the room into piles, then realized that I had piled myself into the room and couldn't get out, so I had to re-pile everything. Most of the stuff went in the basement, a ton went in the garbage and some got packed up in a box to go in the attic. Now all that's left is the window casing for the kitchen and a couple boxes that will be unpacked when we finish the kitchen. Yay! R's comment was "What? There's a floor in there?" I mean seriously... our Christmas tree stand was in there. And still had some dead needles and branches in it. So embarrassing!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hello New Plywood

This weekend we got all of the new plywood down in the kitchen! It went down pretty well. We started by the cabinets and moved toward the built-in cabinet. We started with full pieces and then cut smaller pieces where needed. Most of the time R would cut the pieces while I was screwing in the previous piece. On some of the larger pieces we had races though, to see who would finish their piece first (gotta make it fun!) (PS I won).
So you know what this means. Next weekend we're going to start putting down the new floor! I am so so excited!! Monday night R printed off the instructions and read through them, preparing himself. I think I'm going to cry tears of happiness when it's all done!

This is also means that I need to get my butt in gear and get the room painted before Saturday though. I need at least one coat on the ceiling and two on the walls. I'm not a super messy painter, but I've been known to get a drop or two on the floor and I just can't "ruin" my new floor so soon after we install it, so it needs to get done before the floor goes down! Especially the ceiling...

Once there's paint on the walls and a real floor, it'll finally seem like we're almost there. And we are almost there. The party deadline is coming up very quickly... Only this weekend and one more! That's two weekends! We definitely aren't going to be 100% finished, but I think as long as we have the floor done, the dishwasher installed, the walls/ceiling painted, the light fixtures installed, the window and door casing up, base trim and beadboard trim up, we'll be good for the party. The fridge cabinet and crown molding (and fireplace trim) can wait until after the party.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Proud Owners of a New Dishwasher!

R called Sears Corporate last week to discuss the issues we had trying to buy our dishwasher. The woman he spoke with was appalled at everything that happened. She said she would contact the manager of the store, who would put us in touch with his best salesperson. The next day we had a call from Al.

We went in tonight to see Al. As we turned the corner to the appliances section, there's our dear friend Laurie, plus 2 other salesmen. One of them is slightly apart from the other two, and I see that luckily, this is Al. I mention that he called us and we were here to buy our dishwasher. We walked toward the computers. Suddenly, guess who comes running around the corner toward us (but on the other side of the register) and stands right across from us, and starts telling another salesman that we were "those" people. So professional Laurie. So professional.

Luckily for us, Al was really nice. We walked over to double check that we had the correct dishwasher model number.. then back to the register, where we were happy to see that Laurie had left. Al entered in the model number, our $25 discount from Steve, plus another 5% discount. He then told me that Sears offered free shipping for any appliance over $499 (gee thanks Laurie). We could have it delivered on Monday. Umm.. yes please! He then asked for our phone number, and all of our correct information showed up. When he asked for an email address, I gladly gave it to him. Then it was rewards card time. He knew how to use it (scan it), and even better, asked me if I wanted to use my points. I said that I wasn't exactly sure what the card was, so he explained that you get points every time you use it, and those points translate into money off. So we were able to get an additional $7.86 off our order. May not seem like much, but I was definitely a lot happier than last time!

In the end, we brought the $799.99 dishwasher down to $546.24. Discount of $253.75. Not bad... not bad. Plus, did I mention the free shipping?? We also bought the installation kit (Al knew exactly what was in it... so we bought it). He also rang it up separately and we got another $5.39 by using our points from the dishwasher!

When we were all done, he apologized for our bad experience (and Steve came over and apologized too) and asked me who we dealt with last time. I whispered "Laurie" and he was like "ohh.... yea... sorry about that". Like it wasn't the first time he'd heard that.. Ugh.

We got in the car 15 minutes after we got out of the car. NICE!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Goodbye Old Floor

Today was a little bit of a mis-match of work, at least for me. R was in the kitchen removing the last pieces of old plywood while I sanded the walls (still! It's never-ending!). However, I didn't last very long. I have asthma and the dust from sanding from the dust being kicked up from the plywood and the saw R was using were starting to really bother me. I went outside to get some fresh air and ended up working on my sidewalk some more.

Yes. I'm still not done. I had a good rhythm going when I first started, but then the kitchen schedule took over and I wasn't able to dedicate an entire weekend to the sidewalk anymore. My dad came a couple weeks ago to help me dig out the area between the lean-to and garage, but then it rained one weekend, then it was a rare humid October day... you get the picture.

This afternoon I was able to get around the corner and past the rock that was giving us a problem (this whole area was filled with buried rocks and buried broken dishes and cups... however, this rock, it turned out, was supporting some of the random rocks that are helping to hold up our lean-to. We're planning on tearing down the lean-to, putting in an actual foundation and rebuilding it next summer). At first I was thinking I'd just go around it for now and next year when we took apart the lean-to, I'd put in the missing bricks. But now I really like how it looks and am considering doing it in a couple other places as well :)

Then I ran out of bricks. Oh well.. until next weekend...

While I was doing all of this, R made good progress in the kitchen. You'll remember that we did half of the plywood last Sunday, and this weekend we did the cabinet side of the kitchen. It was not as easy as the other side (hence it taking almost 2 days). The sub-floor on this side of the kitchen wasn't the old, original flooring.. maybe it had too much water damage or something, but it looks like it was removed around the 50's (helping to solidify our idea that that was when the last major work was done on the house) and "new" 6" boards were put in its place.
Another issue he was having was under the cabinets. He couldn't get the saw in all the way, so we still have old plywood for about 3" under the toe-kick.. and we also left it under the dishwasher (technically it's new there because we had to replace it last fall) and under the stove. Also, because we ran out of time and weren't able to get the new plywood down, our stove was left out in the middle of the kitchen... which means tonight was the first night of a week of take-out (tonight it was pizza. We tried a new place... it wasn't that good).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

This Weekend, Last Year

It's hard to believe that we've been in the house long enough to say that..

Last year on this weekend (the 16th and 17th), my cousin got married on Saturday, so we wanted to find a project that would only take roughly one day. The upstairs bathroom.
At the time, we were not willing to use the toilet in there, so in the morning, we'd wake up, go downstairs to use the toilet, come back upstairs to take a shower, then go back downstairs to brush teeth, brush hair, etc. Kinda a pain in the butt. Plus the upstairs bathroom was carpeted (seriously.. who thought this would ever be a good idea??) and soaking wet all the time, even when it wasn't being used, which meant that it smelled horrible in here and the mold was not good for my asthma, even though I'd take the quickest showers on record. The sinks and counter had become my paint station and this was where I would store everything and wash out my brushes and rollers while painting upstairs. So it was pretty gross. Plus the previous owners left a bunch of stuff in here.

We started by removing the carpeting and putting down some inexpensive vinyl tiles (on top of a new 1/4" subfloor). We then painted the walls, trim and ceiling (wallpaper was stripped a month ago) first with a coat or two of Kilz to hide any stains and enclose the mold and then with a coat or two of white on the trim and cabinets and green on the walls (leftover from our guest bathroom in our apartment). New knobs, faucets and a toilet finished out the project.

Since then I've also refurbished the mirror, added temporary curtains, rugs, and organized everything in the cabinets/drawers and decorated a little. It's not a beautiful bathroom that belongs in a magazine, nor is it a bathroom we plan on keeping forever. In a couple years we want to add on to the house, and the upstairs will get rearranged slightly.. laundry will move to where the Twilight Room is and this bathroom and the laundry space will become the new bathroom (the addition will have a master bedroom and bathroom). As a result, we didn't want to spend a lot of money on this.. we just needed something functional and not smelly :)

Because I was able to re-use a lot (paint, curtains, rugs)... we ended up only spending $250 on the total room makeover.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's Here! It's Here!!!!! OMG!!!

THE FLOOR IS IN OUR HOUSE!!! Like, actually, physically here!! In it's boxes, in the Dining Room!!! That's a huge huge step for us!!! We have everything we need to install it, the pads, the glue... we just need to finish up the new plywood first!! YAAAAYYY!!!! We picked it up after R got home from work tonight at the flooring company's warehouse (that way we'd get it a week sooner). Best trip ever!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dishwasher Nightmare (This is a long one!)

I've had a dishwasher for my entire life, with the exception of the 2 months after we got married when I lived in R's apartment. And for the past year. We've held off on buying a dishwasher until we got the floor ordered. We picked out a dishwasher a year ago when we picked out our other appliances. My mom offered to buy us the dishwasher (for a couple reasons... one, she knew how much I really wanted one, and two, it was my "payment" for designing and doing construction administration for her kitchen/family room renovation/addition). This is the one we chose:

It's a Kenmore 24" Built-in Dishwasher with a Stainless-Steel Tub (Model #1329). My two requirements were stainless steel and concealed controls. The handle on this model matches the handles on my stove and microwave, so that was a big factor in my decision.

A month or two ago we got a coupon in the mail (probably because we have a Sears rewards card). 25% off Kenmore appliances and 10% off all other appliances. The week where we would be ready to order it (according to the schedule) coincided with the Sears Columbus Day sale. Unfortunately for us, the coupon states that it's 25% off the original price, not the sale price. That's fine. Original price is $799.99. Sale price is $719.99. Coupon price is $599.99. Here's where the nightmare begins..

As soon as R got home from work, I jumped in the car and we drove to the closest Sears. We parked right next to the door to the appliance department. We walked immediately to the dishwashers. I showed R the two I had been comparing and asked which one was his favorite. He took a minute (no more) to look at the two.. pointed to the one that was my favorite and I said "Good. Let's buy it!". Almost immediately, a sales associate (Laurie) walks over.

Laurie: Can I help you? Here to take advantage of the last day of our Columbus Day sale?
S: Yes. Actually, we'd like to buy this dishwasher... and we have this coupon.
Laurie: Oh! Great! I don't have to sell you on one! Makes my job easier!
S: :) Yup! I did my research! ::hands Laurie the coupon::
Laurie: ::examines coupon intently:: Ok... let's see here... where did you get this? 25% off? Ok... that's off the original price... ok.... ::walks over to dishwasher R is standing in front of and takes a notepad out of her pocket. She starts to write down the dishwasher's information, but is having a very hard time, so I helped her by holding the tag up so she can read and write at the same time (I'm just so helpful). When she's done she walks off, supposedly to her register::
S (to R): Hold on. I just want to look at it a little bit.. we were a little rushed. 

We compare the two dishwashers, making sure this is the one we want. Once we're satisfied we've made the correct decision, we go to find Laurie. We find her standing next to a register with a tiny calculator smaller than my Blackberry.

Laurie: This calculator is so small.. I wish we had a larger calculator! I need to find another calculator. ::scurries off::

S and R give each other questionable looks... ok.... so we just look around a bit, at the pretty induction cooktop, at the washing machines..

Laurie: I can't believe we don't have a larger calculator! You don't have a calculator do you?!?!
S: Uhh... no.... I have a cell phone, but it's no bigger than your calculator...
Laurie: Yes!! Perfect!! Ok... type in $799.99 and tell me what 25% is.
S: ::uuhh... what?:: Ok... uh, it's $199.9975, so $200.
Laurie: ::writing this down on her piece of paper:: $799.99 minus $199.99 is.. hmm... let's see... carry the 1.. minus $719.99... ok, I need to take off $119.99.

At this point, I look over at R, who is just standing there with a confused look on his face. And it was well-deserved. I mean, we've both worked retail. When you have a coupon, these new-fangled things (computers) will do all of this automatically for you when you scan in the coupon. It's dummy proof.

Laurie: ::now typing things into the register, which is an operating system and program straight out of 1983:: Let's see.... dishwasher model 1329... price over-ride to $600.00... hmm.. well, this is weird. Why don't any of the price over-ride options apply (options such as, damaged floor model, price match to another store, price match to error in ad, customer satisfaction).. this is weird!! ::just starts randomly hitting keys::

She now gets on the phone intercom system calling someone over to help her because she isn't sure which price over-ride to use (uhh.. none of them?!?). Someone comes over after a couple minutes, undo's everything she has done, scans the coupon and it magically works!

Laurie: Alright. Here we go. It will be here for you to pick up on the 17th. Now, I need your information. Phone number first? 
S: 860....
Laurie: Ok. ::hits the wrong key and erases it:: Oops. I need that again.
S: 860...
Laurie: Ok. Here's your information. ::computer shows someone else's name and address::
R: No, that's not us. We recently moved, so this is probably whoever had the phone number before us. It's not even the correct village (yes, our state is weird and there are villages within each town).
Laurie: ::with a huge look of confusion on her face:: Oh. Well. Um. What's your first name?
R: R...
Laurie: ::types:: Ok, middle initial I guess.
R: E.
Laurie: ::scrunches up her face in disgust:: WHAT?! E?!? Uh.. alright, whatever.

Ok, R's middle name is Edward. It's not an uncommon name. It's not like he said his middle initial was Z, or X, or 2!

Laurie: Alright, last name?

And you get the point.. all the way down to our zip code.

Laurie: ::staring at screen:: Well, I guess you aren't going to give me your email address are you?
S: ::starting to get annoyed by now:: No, I'm not.

I would have, but now she was giving me attitude so now I'm getting angry..

Laurie: Alright... let's see. This is a very sensitive machine. Very sensitive, small electronic parts in it. IT WILL BREAK. You need to buy this warranty program. It's going to break so you need it.
S and R simultaneously: No thank you. 

We have a lot of handymen in the family... we can fix it if it breaks.

Laurie: Well. It's very sensitive. You're already saving money with the coupon so it's not like it will cost you a lot of money. And you need it. It's going to break!

So basically, Laurie, what you're saying is that we're about to buy a piece of crap that will break even before we take it out of the box? Yay.

R: No thank you. We don't need or want it.
Laurie: Alright.. you're making a mistake. I'm adding in the installation kit as well, for $20.
S: What's in the installation kit? I think I already have it.
R: Is it the power cord?

We had to buy the power cord for our range separately. Stupid.

Laurie: No, it's the installation kit. It has tubes and stuff.
S: But what's in it? I want to know if it's what I already have.
Laurie: ::confused look::
S: Ok... well, is it something I can return if it is what I already have at home?
Laurie: ::confused look:: Well, it has tubes and stuff.....


S: Fine.. I'll just return it if I have it.

Just to get her to shut up and move on! Meanwhile.... another sales associate has approached a man, who didn't know what he wanted to buy, has sold him a dishwasher, done all of the computer information, set up FREE delivery for tomorrow (and I don't get it for another week, AND I have to pick it up myself), got it all paid for and set up, and he is gone and out of the store... and we aren't even close to done!

I go in my purse, grab my credit card and Sears rewards card... trying to speed things up!

Laurie: ::half under her breath:: We have .... program.... card....  ::faces the complete opposite direction as us:: sign up.... no... ::faces the computer again:: ok then. ::starts hitting buttons like crazy::
S: Umm.. do you mean the Sears rewards card? Is that what you're talking about? I have one right here. ::I've had it in my hands for the past 5 minutes::
Laurie: ::there's that confused look again:: Oh. You have one? Well... it's too late now. I can't do it. I hit no.
S: Well, I was standing here holding it and you never asked me if I had one.
Laurie: Well, give me your phone number again.
S: 860...

There's that other person's info again.

Laurie: And that's you?
R: No. That's not us. ::seriously?!? She just took our information, twice!:: That's the other guy.
Laurie: Well, that's the information that comes up with the phone number...????
S: Well, we moved. We got the card before we had this phone number... we didn't have a phone at the time.
Laurie: Oh, well.... hmm... ::takes the card:: Let's see then. ::starts hitting random buttons:: I don't think I can use it now. It's too late. I'd have to re-start all over again. You will just have to sign up for a new card.
S: Uhh.. I'm not getting a second rewards card. That's stupid, plus I have a lot of points on this card. We bought our stove on this card.
Laurie: Well, they can transfer the points between the two cards.
R: We're not getting another rewards card. That's stupid. Use this one. 
Laurie: Can I have the card? ::stares at it really hard:: Ok. How are you going to be paying? Maybe I need to enter that in first.
S: ::doubting it, but appeases her:: Credit.
Laurie: Ok... let's see.

Here's the best part (or at least one of them... Is anyone still reading?). SHE SWIPES THE TINY KEYCHAIN REWARDS CARD LIKE IT'S A CREDIT CARD! And then doesn't understand why it says this is not a valid form of payment!!!!!!! This is about when I start looking around for the hidden cameras and the host of Candid Camera.

Obviously this doesn't work...

Laurie: Well, it isn't working. You will either have to sign up for another card or just not use it. Or sign up for a Sears credit card.
R: No. We will get our points (we're not even sure what the points get us... at this point we just want them!) on this card. Call a manager to fix it.
Laurie: ::sigh:: Fine. ::reluctantly gets on phone intercom again::

Enter Steve.

Steve: What's the problem?
Laurie: They want to use their rewards card, but it won't let me use it.
Steve: ::pushes a couple buttons, scans rewards card:: Ok, here you go. Anything else?
S: No. Thank you very much!
Laurie: Ok, so you're paying by credit?
S: Yes. ::hands her the card::
Laurie: ::swipes card:: It's not working.

Which is odd, because I checked the balance before we left and we had more than enough money on there. To speed things up...

R: ::hands her a different card:: Here, try this one.

Now I'm sad because the first card was our rewards card and the points from this purchase would have gotten me another Lowe's gift card :( But I didn't say anything.. I just wanted to go home! We'd been in the store for over about 45 minutes now.

Laurie: Ok. ::swipes, and it goes through. Receipt prints. She puts it on the counter next to her and leans down, staring at it. I look too:: Ok.. let's see here.. dishwasher... sale price... see! There's your rewards card number... hmm....

5 minutes later

Laurie: Oh. I put in "installer pick up" instead of "customer pick up". ::runs away, saying:: I need to make a copy of this.
R and S: uuhh.. where did she just go? We need our receipt!

10 minutes later, Laurie comes back.

Laurie: Ok, we need to void this because I put the wrong pick up option.
R: ::starts to interrupt to say, that's ok.. we'll just figure it out when we pick it up..::

Over comes another sales associate (maybe assistant manager?), running.

Enter Shelley.

Shelley: No! Laurie! Don't hit void!! Because it's the same day you don't do void. You can go back and edit it (wow, modern technology!) and it erases it, so it's like it never happens. ::turns to us:: This way it won't tie up your credit card. If you void it, it still gets submitted to them and they hold the money for 7-10 days. This way it'll be like it never happened and we can just re-do it.
S: ::relieved:: Thank you Shelley!!! 
Shelley: Ok, Laurie, watch. See you do this, this, then this here... Then put the old receipt in here and it'll print void all over it. Now, we just re-ring the order again.
S: ::sigh. To R,:: Hey, I'm going to run over to the food court. We've been here for an hour and we haven't eaten, so I'll go get food while she's re-ringing it and then we'll be ready to go as soon as she's done.
R: Ok.

So I go to the food court, which is right next to Sears. I went to one of the first places, got the food immediately and was back, in less than 5 minutes.

As I turned the corner toward the appliance department, I saw Laurie and Shelley talking next to the TVs. Now, I've worked in retail for a long time. I know what a discussion about a problem customer looks like. And that is EXACTLY what I was looking at right now. I kept walking, turning by the washers, and I see R. Standing with his arms crossed and a very angry look on his face.

S: Ut oh. What happened? I saw Laurie and Shelley over there and they did not look happy with us.
R: Well, let's see. Where to start. Laurie just basically called me an idiot and said that this was all my fault and then stormed off!

So... while I was gone obtaining delicious food, Laurie and Shelley started to re-ring the order. Laurie seemed to have the hang of it, so Shelley left. It all went fine. Until Laurie got to the part with the rewards card again. She asked R for the card. Which I had put in my purse when we finished the first transaction and taken with me when I went to the food court. R said that, and Laurie asked for our phone number again. R gave it to her, but said that it wouldn't be under there because we didn't have that number at the time, unless it updated itself when we made the first transaction. Of course, it didn't come up. R was about to give her my cell phone number, which is what is most likely on there, when Laurie just flipped on him. She started going on and on about how this is all R's fault that we have to re-do this and how dare his wife run off to the food court with the card. If we had just gotten a new rewards card and not completely screwed up the first order, she wouldn't have to be re-doing it right now. R said, I have another number it's most likely under.. let's try that. But she had had enough with our insane requests, shoved the coupon and old receipt into R's hand and stormed off. As she walked off, R said that he wanted to speak with the manager.

A couple minutes after I got back and R had finished the story, Laurie walks back over with Shelley. Steve follows right behind them.

Steve: What's the problem?
R: Well, she has been giving us attitude for a little while now, for no reason, and now she's blaming me for her mistake. I came in here knowing exactly what I wanted and we've now been in here for over an hour because she doesn't know how to work the register.
Steve: Ok, let's get this settled. ::turns to the register and starts entering in our dishwasher information::
Laurie: ::leans in to Steve and says very quietly:: We talked about that. They want it.
S: Excuse me? Was that the warranty? Yes, we did talk about it and we told you multiple times we did NOT want it.
Steve: ::looks at us, then Laurie:: Ok..  ..... ::types stuff in:: Do you have your rewards card? Thank you.
S: Is there anything you can do, take off, for all of our trouble? We've been in here for over an hour?
Steve: I was planning on giving you $25 off.
S: Oh, thank you. (Wow... $25... oohhh! Lucky us! The tax was more than $25.)
Steve: Ok, Laurie. I think you're all set now.
Laurie: ::says something with attitude, horrible about us.. unfortunately I can't remember what she said::
R: Ok, we're not dealing with her anymore. We've taken enough of this attitude. Please have someone else ring us out.

So Shelley goes to the register and Laurie goes stomping off. R hands Shelley the credit card.

Shelley: Hmm.. it says it was declined.
R: Yea, because the other order just went through probably.

Note: We never use our credit cards. We don't have very high limits on them for this reason. Running a $600 credit through twice would go over our limit.. that's how low it is.

Shelley: Oh. Well, it shouldn't have though. It wasn't voided. It should be like it never happened. ::grabs the phone and calls the credit card company:: Hi, I'm Shelley, I'm a retailer and I'm trying to swipe a customer's card and it isn't working. We had to void the transaction and re-do it, but it should have been like it never happened. ::pause:: No, I don't want to sign up for a credit card. I'm a retailer, trying to use a customer's card to pay for their order. What? No. I don't want a card. I can't understand you. ::hangs up and calls back and goes through spiel again, hands phone to R, who talks to them:: Ok, it looks like it did go through. Do you have another card we could try?

S: Well, I guess we can try this one again. There's no reason why it shouldn't have gone through the first time.
Shelley: ::swipes:: Nope. Same thing. ::picks up the phone and calls Bank of America:: They say that they won't permit the purchase to go through.

Now I'm mad and confused because there is no reason the BoA card shouldn't go through...

Shelley: Do you have any other cards?
R: No. We don't have a lot of cards. Only those two.
Shelley: Well, you can sign up for a Sears card.
R: No. We're not getting another credit card. These two are two more than we'd like to have (we had to get them because we had no credit according to our credit score.. so we needed them in order to buy our house.. it's stupid how it works).
Shelley: Well, what would you like to do?
R: You tell me my options. I came in here to buy a dishwasher and you guys messed it up. It's not my fault the card is messed up now.

My phone vibrates. I have a new email. From Bank of America saying there has been suspicious activity on my credit card and now all of our BoA accounts are frozen. Great.

Shelley: Well, your options are to either pay with another card...
R: We can't. Even our debit card is frozen now thanks to you guys...
Shelley: ...or, sign up for a Sears card, or layaway. Layaway would be good because you pay like $25 now and you could pay the rest when you pick it up if you want.
S: But are there fees or an interest amount associated with the layaway?
Shelley: Well, yea, $35 or somethi...
S: No thank you. I'm not paying an extra $35 because of something you messed up.
R: So what should we do? We'd walk out right now if not for this coupon ($200 is a lot of money!)... we came in here to get a dishwasher that we had already picked out. We just want to buy it. You tell me what needs to happen for us to get our dishwasher. Can it be ordered now and we'll pay for it when we pick it up, once our accounts aren't frozen anymore?
Shelley: No, it can't be ordered and sent to the store until a payment has been made.
R: And you can't make an exception for this situation?
Shelley: No, I'm sorry.
R: So what are we suppose to do? This coupon expires today!
Shelley: I can write you a note saying that you are allowed to use the coupon for the next week, so you'll just have to come back another day.

Then she hand writes a note on a piece of printer paper for us.... it totally felt like one of those situations where when we go back with this paper now they'll be like Whhhaaa?? This isn't valid!

But, our food was freezing cold by now, it was after 8:30 and we just wanted to go home! So we took the paper and left. As we were walking out, R saw Laurie sulking by the dishwashers and she glared at him. No apology  Just a glare.

R plans on calling Sears corporate tomorrow morning to discuss this with them and see if they will be willing to give us some more money off because of all of this. I'm so angry.. I would totally go buy at a different store but my stupid designer brain just has to have stuff that matches. GRRRRRR

I wasn't kidding when I said this was long, was I? :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Removing Plywood

This is what our kitchen floor has looked like for the past year or so. I started off removing the vinyl flooring, but it was extremely time consuming, and the other half of the kitchen has an additional layer of older vinyl or linoleum, with what appears to be an asbestos adhesive. Not something I wanted to mess with.
We made an executive decision last weekend to take up the old plywood. It would end up costing us some more money, because we'd be buying brand new plywood, but the amount of time it would save alone makes it completely worth it. Plus we got a thinner plywood, so the top of the new finished floor will be level with the hearth and Dining Room floor.
We made it our goal to get at least half of the kitchen done today. It was mostly R tearing up the plywood (which was nailed every 2"!), but I would start each piece off, removing any screws and taking up the first couple nails. By the end of the day, we reached our goal and got all of the plywood out on the fireplace side of the kitchen. And we went and bought all the new plywood. We didn't find too many strange things, except that the floor we've been walking on in our hall is actually the kitchen's sub-floor, the plywood went underneath the "wall" separating the kitchen and hall (it's basically just a piece of drywall screwed into some wood paneling... no structural support at all.. about 1 1/2" thick), and that the floor wasn't in as bad shape as we originally thought. It's still not good enough for us to use as a finished floor, but it's not as unsafe as we thought. We've been walking on it for almost a week now and it's supporting us just fine!
The threshold between the kitchen and hall.. we've decided to run the new floor into the hall, to get rid of the awkward, thin threshold. The new thresholds will be between the hall and bathroom and hall and living room, and will be normal width and less of a tripping hazard.
The only area (so far, fingers crossed) that was in bad condition, though not bad enough that it needed to be replaced, was in front of the window, where the 700 lb. radiator sat for 60 years. There's a little water damage and some broken wood.
(If you look carefully, you can also see that I did a little paint test on one wall.. we both hated the color at first, but a couple days later it had grown on us and we like it now :) )

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Done with Drywall

All of the kitchen is finally drywalled! We kept holding back because we couldn't agree on what to do with the beams next to the big windows. Well, we finally decided to drywall them, and the compromise was that years down the road when we put on an addition (which will include making the kitchen bigger), we'll redo the beams with detailed wood, like they were years ago. And, we got to use our free drywall, and free is always good :)

While the joint compound was drying, Madison decided that she just had to help smooth it out. What a good little helper. And then it was off to her bath #2 for the day...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Weekend of Craziness #1

As you know, we have a Kitchen deadline. I made a schedule. It's taped to the cabinets in the Kitchen, to taunt us.

This weekend was Weekend #1. And it was pretty crazy. On the schedule for this weekend was "Finish the drywall in the Kitchen (under the windows and on the beams), patch/sand the drywall, install the window casing, paint the Living Room and finish the beadboard backsplash".

I was pretty angry last week because we went on a vacation/business trip (which is why we didn't get any work done last weekend) to Minnesota and when we got back I had a TON of work to catch up on. Which meant that I didn't have time to finish the paint removal in the Living Room. (Not angry about the trip, which was amazing... angry that I didn't get to finish everything in time..) So before the weekend started we were already behind (I was going to have my SILs paint all the Living Room trim and woodwork).

But, we still managed to get a lot done. Not everything on the schedule, but still a lot.
By the end of the weekend, we managed to get the drywall up on one vertical beam (only one left to go!), and under the windows. The fireplace got two more coats of paint, plus the cabinet door got painted. The casing of the door opening between the Hall/Living Room and Kitchen got painted. The casing of the Dining Room opening got painted. 80% of the walls got patched, sanded and primed. The disconnected electrical outlet from under the windows got removed. The door to the stairs got scraped and taken down. The chicks got updated nesting boxes (they destroyed the ones I put in a couple weeks ago.. the new ones are screwed into the shelf.. they're Gladys-proof!). And the lawn got cut (it looked like we had a lawn service.. two lawn mowers going at once!).
Pretty successful weekend, even though we didn't finish everything on the schedule. We did do some stuff that was on there on other days though, so I think it evens out. I don't mind that the Living Room didn't get done. That was my fault, because of Minnesota and work. Couldn't be avoided. And the Living Room technically isn't part of the Big Schedule of October 2011. So who cares. It can be done in November.

We could have definitely gotten more done if we had been home last weekend to do some of this. We had 2 (3 on Saturday) extra helpers, but most of the time we didn't have any work for them because we had to wait for other stuff to happen first. Like, if we could have done the drywall and sanding, and/or the window trim last weekend, they could have helped me paint it all this weekend.
I have to say though... on Saturday we were all amazed by the Hall/Living Room opening casing.. it being white now (as opposed to half stained, half plain wood like it has been) made a huge difference! But that was nothing compared to white, primed walls by Sunday afternoon! It finally looks like we're almost there!

And on top of all that, we managed to go to two fairs, watch TV, have a nice big breakfast and wash and put away all the dishes from the whole weekend. We're pretty awesome :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Floor Issues

Things wouldn't be right in our world if everything went smoothly and according to plan. I should have known not to get to excited about the fact that we had finally ordered our floor.

Three days after we ordered and paid for the floor, I got a call from the salesman (when I saw his number on the caller ID I got excited, thinking, stupidly, that maybe the floor came in early!).. Turns out the floor we ordered (and loved) is an older type of floating floor. The type you need to glue. I told him that I'd talk to R and see what we wanted to do. After a lot of emails, phone calls, and research, we cancelled the order. Turns out that this type of installation takes a lot longer, is extremely messy and has a lot of room for error. Not something we want to attempt. So we're back to square one.

Last Thursday we went to the showroom to look at some new samples. I think we took home about 30 samples. They all looked horrible, except for one. It's another hickory floor, but it doesn't have the distressed, vintage look that the first one did. But it doesn't need to be glued. And it does match the Dining Room floor. R isn't completely sold on it and I'm wondering if I just like it because I want a floor. We need to make a decision soon though because we need to get it ordered and installed soon because half of the finish work left to do in the Kitchen can't happen until the floor is in.

R's sister had a good idea this weekend. What if we paid someone to install the floor, rather than do it ourselves. While this is exactly what we didn't want to do (for many reasons), it would let us get the floor we actually love, and not have to settle for another one just because it's easier and cleaner. So we're still in discussion mode on this one... it'll be more money and we won't be able to say "we did that!". What do you think? Would it be worth it? Or should we just order the other hickory floor?