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Sick Decision and Home Work

The day before our Alaska cruise ended, I finally caught a cold too. ACHOO! Not wanting to pass that on to all my other son’s kids and some more needed work on my rental house changed my plans. Rather than go stay with my oldest son and his family then fly home from Seattle as planned, I opted to drive back with Bernie to stay with my youngest son again. I was very disappointed and will plan a another trip as soon as I can to see them. At my youngest son’s house, I was sick in bed for several days. BLECCH!

Before I left for the cruise, I had bought a bunch of parts to fix up my house to rent it out. The buyers didn’t seem to be too interested in a fixer upper. That left a renter who is very interested in getting into the house. To rent it, I would still need to fix it up since it has sat empty for several years including winters. TIP: If you are a veteran, Home Depot gives a 10% discount! I used my VA card for ID at Home Depot. That was one expensive shopping trip still! I had a notebook with all the dimensions I needed written down. Interestingly, I found some of the needed parts cheaper at the little True Value store in Wallace, ID. Who would have thought a little -tore could beat a big box on anything? I guess we shouldn’t automatically write them off when doing projects.

My Little HouseInside house frontNew kitchen countertop

Clawfoot tub

So many decisions and I hate making all those decisions for something I wasn’t even going to live in myself. My real estate agent lived nearby and was happy to come help me shop for what was needed. If you need a truly good and caring real estate agent in the North Idaho-Eastern Washington area, call Dianne Kamphaus at 208-215-9695. She’s the best!

I started installing the floors myself before the cruise using wood click lock laminate. I finished them after the cruise when I could get out of bed. I watched a bunch of Youtube videos before I started and consulted my son who had just remodeled his house. He loaned me all the tools I needed many of which were my own tools I had left behind when I hit the road. LOL. It was a rocky start. While I was away, the electric company pulled out my electric and gas meters. They refused to put them back in until I moved the main mast (which has been there since 1942) from the side of the house to the front of the house citing snow concerns and current code. That cost me more time I didn’t have and a big bundle of money. I arranged with a very nice neighbor to borrow electricity from her with an extension cord but, unfortunately, she went out of town the day I needed to start working. That forced me to go rent a generator to get started. More money out. Happily she was home when I got back from the cruise and started work on the house again. I worked on the floor as long as the daylight held out. Thank goodness I bought knee pads! Being a an orderly sort, I opted to lay the floor in a pattern though normally you don’t do that. It wasn’t as hard as you might think since it didn’t need to be exact to fool the eyes and in such a small house (around 525 sq. ft.), there are many small areas to use the pieces left over. The hard part was making it flow from room to room and under door jambs without using breaks. I did the whole house with the laminate except for the bathroom. It took some back and forth and, of course, I started in the wrong place but I did it thanks to some additional help from YouTube. Measure, cut, angle, click, and lock. It came out beautiful! I went with a light pecan since the entire inside of the house is white at the moment.

Near the end, I had to extend my stay a few more days to finish. I was on a deadline, though, to get back to Texas and work so I didn’t lose my seniority in the company I work for. When you are a single gate guard rather than a couple, you need that seniority to get assignments. I brought in lights to continue working later. My son brought me some food. I didn’t have time to fix anything else but wanted to finish the floor to be sure it was done the way I wanted.  Since I didn’t know when I would finish, I couldn’t book a new plane ticket home. I just worked like a mad woman. The last day before I HAD to go home, I worked all day and late into the night to finish. Rather than go to bed, I packed up my suitcase, hopped in the van Bernie had loaned me, and headed for the airport in Spokane, WA (with her permission). I figured I could sleep on the plane. I parked in a lot outside the airport and texted Bernie the location so she could pick it up later. It would have been nice if I had remembered to toss the expensive remote key in the glove box too but I mailed that back to her as soon as I could. She had a spare.

In the airport, I found out how incredibly expensive it is to fly at the last minute. Holy cow! It cost twice as much to go one way last minute as my round-trip ticket had cost to get there! The counter lady suggested I hop online to book cheaper but when I tried that I found none of the flights available to me even though they did have open seats. I had to bite the bullet and pay up to get out of there. It was also the first time I got so thoroughly searched going through security. I felt like Bruce Willis in “The Fifth Element” with my hands in the circles and wanted to yell out “I am a meat popsicle!”. The expensive can of sunscreen that had flown up with me was confiscated. I give up. GET ME HOME! Once on the plane. I zonked out on the way to Phoenix and then San Antonio and home.

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