Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The long awaited flooring update post

Well, if you have been following our flooring adventures  you may recall that our slab wasn't sealed in our condo completely... and it was an issue we had to involve our HOA with.
It took a lot of back and forth with the HOA, and folks coming and going, but eventually the HOA paid for the remainder of our floors to be removed at their expense, and for red guard to be applied directly to the slab throughout the entire unit to act as a moisture barrier.

Basically everything but the kitchen and bathroom wasn't sealed. (When they removed the tile in our living room, they found more moisture underneath it, so both bedrooms and the living room were affected). 



ADDING RED GUARD (which is actually red)

This is where the HOA left the job. In addition to paying to seal our concrete, they installed more drains around the outside of our unit to prevent water from pooling during heavy rains as another stop gap type of fix.

What they didn't cover, was our new floors. The geologist team recommended only professionals install the flooring and only tile be installed in the unit, not carpet, so we had to pay for new floors ourselves. The delay in the whole process came because I'm on the board of directors for our complex, so they had to take several meetings to form a committee to discuss our unit in proper channels without me on the calls, and had to have enough other HOA board members present to make decisions. Eventually the HOA legal team decided that sealing the concrete constituted bare walls, which is the HOA responsibility, so we were not reimbursed for our tile replacement or our hotel displacement for the week it all took place.

Our homeowners insurance would not cover the flooring because it was only damaged by the HOA ripping it up to fix the issue with the foundation, which can't be covered under our Condo homeowners policy. So a homeowner expense.

In the end, we paid for new floors from Home Depot. I love our new tile, but it was a second battle to even get our tile materials due to Covid. The store we purchase from promised they would transfer materials from another store that had ample stock, but then they stopped certain types of store to store transfers due to covid and we got stuck in the middle... after 6 or 7 weeks of calling home depot, going in person for updates, and flat out begging to get my materials, it took me crying in the store 3 days before my removal started in front of a slew of people, telling them I'd drive up to the store and get it myself in their home depot rental truck if they would just release the tile to me since I paid for it, for someone to make it happen. (Even then they said I would have to purchase new tile, and have the old tile eventually refunded to me, requiring more upfront costs....) And at the end of the day that idea only died when they realized we would need two trucks to handle the weight of the tile and there was only one of me, all five feet girl determined).

So in tears, someone called the store and told them to load it and deliver it and by a miracle of God, my tile arrived as they were ripping it out, because I had to use TWO different crews.,.. the HOA crew that did the removal and sealing, and then the home depot install team. 

But in the end, my tile got installed... 

And then we had some issues with leveling the concrete so the tile would lay flat in the master bedroom (so we paid more to have that area leveled.). 

The crew ran out of materials and forced my husband to leave work and go and buy more materials for leveling to keep the job on time. When I questioned this, the install crew said the company would not let them pick up the mortar bags directly from home depot... which led to more apologies from Home Depot because this was counter to their business practices because they had my card on file for anything that might go wrong like needing another bag of 4 bags of mortar.  Unfortunately in the leveling process, we got a bump... all the tiles lines up nicely, no tile to tile shifts, but a little too much leveling material in one spot and our bed rocked really loudly... 

The only solution was to rip out almost the whole room and redo it, but we didn't have enough tile to do that and I worried that might mess up the red guard seal, so they refunded us part of the leveling charges and helped us add some felt tabs to the bed to keep it from rocking.  

It was a miracle our floors got done... but they are pretty and I love them. We still need to do built in cabinets in the living room and base boards (we re-did our closets in the master already), but those are going to wait a bit because we bought hubs a car last year... (Yup, escort finally died).

But for now, we love having floors and this place feels more finished each year. 

Tile Flooring install and materials: $7,323.36

Hotel Stay: $769.02
New Toilet: $206.80 (cause you don't install an old one when you have to pay someone to do it)
New Hot/Cold Valves: $327.31 (Ya, we tried to undo the appliances and the valves were bad.... so we replaced those as well). 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Covid 19 in our little bubble

Well, just as the world shut down in February, so did my blog apparently, again. But alas, I owe a long overdue update to any of you still around on how we have been managing Covid-19. 

Hubs never stopped working. They modified operations at his place of employment and after a brief couple of weeks of rotating three man teams in the building, they switched to a Will Call system and kept things running. Since then, they have let the contractors into the building, but the wear masks, and only the staff can pull things for customers. Surprisingly, his store is set to have the BIGGEST profit year since the great recession. (apparently confining people to their homes makes them yearn for home improvement).  

Little Dude's school shut down. Yup, they shut down like all the other schools and since it was pre-school, there wasn't a ton of "homework" to do remotely, so we lucked out seriously. Little dude started kindergarten remotely from a daycare center and has sense gotten to go back to campus for 1/2 days, with 1/2 his classmates. He's horribly loud on zoom, so in person instruction was a HUGE blessing to get back to. Thankfully, I was recalled to work and didn't have to "zoom" from home.


We found ways to help others. I can't sew very well -- but I can cut a mean fabric square.  In fact, I cut 962 panels for a sewing group to turned them into masks for first responders and members of the community before I went back to work... and we organized food drives, drove meals on wheels, and took care of the community.

We also got creative in our small space. We managed to go "camping" in the living room for hubs birthday, and find creative ways to eat and work that were "fun." 


My center shut down, but opened quickly. The first few weeks being at home and not knowing what was going on was really difficult. Luckily for me, we got creative with necessary work for a few weeks, and the Governor deemed Tennis as a safe activity. Despite closing down March 17 and dealing with a mess in April with part time hours and work justifications, we re-opened our tennis center on May 8, and I was back in the office full time keeping 1 center open by cleaning, disinfecting, and running a Skelton crew where we did it all and got creative to make it work. It was rough closing and then opening the next day and if it weren't for the YMCA daycare centers, I don't know how we would have made it through. I stayed at that location until last month, when we reopened my center for limited services. We are currently taking it a week at a time, addressing demand, and eventually preparing to return more operating hours as we are able.

We Survived home improvement... Yup, a whole flooring post is in the works recapping what happened, as we are still waiting on final decisions with our HOA on who pays for what. 

Emotionally, 2020 has been rough --but not without hope. Along the way, I felt the love of my heavenly father, reassuring us we would be okay. From double rainbows on a rough day, to finding over 20 four leaf clovers in a grass patch by our front door, when I needed those reassuring moments, they came... and I'll be forever grateful for them. 

When our Bishop called to see if we were laid off, could make our mortgage payment, or needed assistance, we got to tell him we would be alright because we did the things we were asked to do when times were more certain. At first he didn't believe us, but by the second check-in call, he realized we would whether this storm. We know we are extremely fortunate to have been able to be as prepared as we were for the unknown.

Society Changed. We waited in line with masks on to enter grocery stores, and banks with lines wrapping around the buildings.... We got close to running out of toilet paper before we found more and hub's boss ordered in bulk for the business, offering rolls to employees if they got in a bind.... We did our best to stay apart from the rest of the world -- including birthdays. Before car drive-bys, lawn signs, and door drops were a "thing" -- we celebrated with the power of three in our home, making the most of what we could.  

Our priorities changed.  Nothing like a pandemic to teach you about what matters most right? Well, weren't immune to that. 

I made some BIG health changes.... I realized I needed to get serious and reached out to a health coach to get to the bottom of why I couldn't loose weight. 5 months later, and I've lost 38 lbs on my five foot self, so I'm about 5 lbs shy of my pre-pregnancy weight without access to a gym... and the best thing is,  I can MOVE again. My migraines are gone... I don't need naps, and I have balanced energy. The downside and upside is that I have had to replace every single piece of clothing in my closet as a result... and if you have every had to buy clothes without access to a dressing room since they are all closed due to a pandemic, it can be pretty darn stressful... especially when you need to do it every 6 weeks after you loose another 10 lbs.... So I'm getting really good at eyeballing sizes, lol.

We also measure time differently. Weekends don't feel long enough, and time off is valued since its more difficult to manage and I know more about what I enjoy working on and what feels more like a chore.

 We spend more time outside as a family, but I also have made a point to carve out time for individual self care, which was practically non-existent before. I've learned to say no more often too. 

We didn't go to church for 8 months... and now, we only go every other week as they split the congregation in half. Masks are mandatory, there is no singing, just instrumental music, we do a shorter service, and ushers seat everyone 6 feet apart in both directions, blocking off pews and rows to ensure social distancing. Heck, we even park every other car in the lot, use one entrance and a separate exit, and they clean the building afterward each group is through with the service.

Towards the end of summer, our immediate family began to gather together for outside stuff because the separation was just too hard and they were ready (we were the riskier ones in the bunch, having to work outside the home with little dude at a daycare). My Sister and Brother in law are working from home, caring for their kids, my mom lives alone and helps them with their kids a couple days a week, but they said it was time, so this has been our concession. Still, we keep it to a minimum. 

Halloween will be an at home event this year. Costumes and a candy scavenger hunt while we do movies and some crafts. We carved pumpkins for the first time too early, but they lasted 2 days or so and looked cool. Thanksgiving will be a trio event as my sister will be hosting more family on her husband's side, and we are staying home. Christmas will be immediate family only at my mom's house (sister, bro in law, her two kids, my mom and us most likely -- and we won't stay all day either).     

California is on Fire. Yup, as I write this half our church boundaries have been ordered to evacuate, and little dudes school and daycare are closed due to the ash in the air. There are road closures too close for comfort by our home, and so we did something we didn't think we would in 2020 after everything else the year gave us ... we pulled important documents and packed go-bags with the basics. It made me really evaluate what I could live without if a fire were to run through and take away everything. Thankfully we remain in our home for the time being, with sleeping bags and a duffle of clothes by the door if we have to go... but fire season in 50 mph winds is no joke. 

We have 65 days left for 2020. I'm not sure what else we can endure, but we will meet it when it shows up because we are resilient... 2020 is the year you put on your pants despite the "zoom attire" and get in the trenches and come out better then before.