Weekend Recap

Didn’t mean to leave you hanging with the water heater incident yesterday, but it was a doozy of a night.  I figured I’ll just throw all this life bs into one giant recap post, because frankly, I am too damn tired to split it up.

Water Heater
The good news is that the water heater did not blow up!  Unfortunately it was a pipe bursting in the wall that leads to the outside spicket, that we had turned on to fill the pool.  The placement of the pipe was directly behind the water water heat and hit an electrical line that caused a spark and thankfully nothing more.  The water has been cleaned up and was shut off to that area, now we await a estimates.

The Roof
Our insurance adjuster showed up this morning at 8am. Unexpected. Our appointment was for Friday afternoon. Our contractor was going to meet them out here. I swear this was done on purpose by the insurance company. The “third party” roof inspector showed up shortly thereafter. His main concern was using our bathroom. After about 20 minutes, they come back with pictures, and inform us our roof is in perfect condition. No signs of storm damage. No signs of any damage that is actually noted in our home inspection. Claim? DENIED. Also, did I mention it’s been storming a lot? So they “inspected” our roof when it was wet. A big no no. And sorry, but I’m not trusting a “third party” inspector that our insurance company hired. Especially when they show up unannounced to seemingly avoid us having our contractor here.

We can appeal it. We’re waiting for an official write up first. If they deny it again, then we’re stuck paying for the roofing damage where the bees were out of pocket. Our roofing contractor is also writing up a separate estimate for that area. It was a disappointing morning.

I also want to add that nearly every roof in our neighborhood has been replaced due to severe storm damage. Wind/hail/the works. How is it that our house was magically spared from these damages? Hmmm.

Allergies & Epi Pens + the Dentist
My youngest had his second round of allergy testing completed today. He’s nearly 2. Insurance didn’t cover our visit, because it would go towards his deductible. An affordable $14,100 deductible (not a typo.) I was quoted $1,368.00, but since he is still under 2, and considered an infant, they could offer a flat rate of $150. It ended up being $176.50, because I requested they test for cat.

His peanut allergy has worsened and as I expected, he’s severely allergic to cats as well. We received a new prescription for the junior Epi Pen’s. CVS told me $680. Our allergist had to resend the prescription to specifically state generic, so tomorrow I’ll go pick that up, no clue on cost yet. I am dreading daycare/school years, because I’ll have to have multiples of these! Peanut allergies are not joke! His whole body swelled during testing. 😦

My oldest went to the dentist for his six month check up.  No cavities!  Yay.  But they’ve requested to apply a sealant to his teeth.  Anyone familiar with this?  The quoted me $69 PER TOOTH.  Yikes!

Other Tidbits
It’s officially summer break! No more early school mornings or homework! We’ve been trying to open our pool for the last month, but the weather has not cooperated. Thunderstorms have been nonstop. Today was no different. While driving home from the doctors appointment, during a particular nasty rainfall, a branch fell and hit my windshield. Shattered.  I’m assuming $300-$400 to replace that.

While at the grocery store, an older lady asked me if I was my son’s grandmother. I nearly fell out. I’m not quite 35 yet. I can honestly say that is the first time I have ever felt offended! Ha. I mean Wal-Mart still ID’s me for Sharpies and spray paint!

Our road trip is coming up. I think I’m equally parts excited and dreading it. Things haven’t been going great lately. I’m hoping the trip is stress free. I’m still trying to figure out something to do on the way back to break up the drive, but I’m not familiar with the South TN/North GA area.

We received word that my cousin is getting married in the fall of 2018. It will take place out in Texas, which means booking flights, hotel, and rental cars. Basically $$$$$$$$$. Time to start saving for that!!

And that my reader friends is life in a nutshell.  All this bad juju is wearing me down.  Money being spent faster than we make it.  I’m still actively job hunting, but that will be hard with summer.   I really wish Amazon would open more training spots!

Posted in Family, Home, Travel | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Ha ha ha….

Happy Sunday!  Our water heater exploded.  AHHH!

Bad things don’t stop at three for us!  The list keeps growing…

Trying to keep sane here.

Posted in Home | Tagged | 4 Comments

A New Roof

I’m laughing while typing this, because it’s just one thing after another over here lately.  Only one out of nine roofing companies called us back, and this guy isn’t exactly top of the list.  He said “maybe I’ll have time Friday.  Call me and maybe I can fit you in.”  No thanks, I’m tired of wasting our time chasing people to do their jobs.

I put it out on social media that we were looking for a roofing contractor and a few recommendations from friends came in.  One guy came out the same day, another the next.  We’ve narrowed it down to these two contractors.  Waiting on estimates.

Meanwhile, we contacted our homeowners insurance company to get the process rolling.  Thankfully our deductible is “only” a flat $1,000.00 – not bad for a roof, assuming they’ll cover every thing.  You see it’s not just a shingles problem…

One of the contractors is familiar with our neighborhood.  His company replaced about 15 homes roofs in 2008/2009 after major hurricanes came through, causing millions in damages locally.  We didn’t live here then.  Well the homeowners at that time never did anything to repair the roof, just filed a claim, and pocketed the cash.  They sold the home in 2012.  Those owners didn’t do anything to the roof either.  We bought the home at the end of 2015 and yet again, our home inspection report doesn’t mention these problems, only a few “nail pops”.

Ends up we need all new plywood, membrane, boots, flashing, and shingles.  Literally a whole new roof.  Both contractors discovered lots of water damage as well.

We’re waiting to hear back from an adjuster to schedule an appointment for them to come out.  One of the contractors offered to be here when they come out, to verify they see all the damages.  I appreciate that.  I know insurance companies will try their damnedest to pay the absolute bare minimum.

Now we just sit back and wait.  All the while we have the exposed area with a few bees still left.  The bee keeper won’t be returning (just wait for that post, grrr!) and now it’s up to us to get a ladder and handle the remaining honeycomb and spray ammonia and seal it properly.

Always something with this house!  Just gotta laugh…

Posted in Home, Real Estate | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Expensive Furniture? Nah!

I love my dining room set. Absolutely love it. It’s a mid century, 1960’s Lane dining room table, chairs, and hutch. It’s beautiful.  I scored it off of Craigslist for $200 total about 10 years ago.  It desperately needs to be refinished, but I didn’t plan on doing that until the kids were older.  It has served us well as a family. The set actually goes for closer to $3,000 in vintage shops!

lanedining

Not my exact set, but close.  It’s a beauty!

Unfortunately, this dining set is not conducive to entertaining. A few months ago we began hosting game nights on the weekends. Our friends come together at our home to play various games, and enjoy some snacks, and chit chat. It’s a fun, and cheap, way to entertain and enjoy company.

This has taken a toll on my dining room set. A few weeks ago our guests managed to break three of my chairs in one night. THREE!!! I can’t fault my guests entirely, it is an old set after all. But I must admit, I was a bit perturbed by the way they handled it…

“It’s old and rickety, whatever.”
“Time for something better!”
“Now you can get something good and new!”

Thanks…?!  Care to chip in for this “good and new” set you assume I’m going to run out and buy? Ha! (Am I the only one that’s notice a lack of respect for other people’s belongings over the last decade or so? Zero accountability?  Or they find it cute when their kids destroy stuff?)  Also, the table only comfortably sits six people, even with the extension leaf.  We often have ten or more.  Even family get togethers require extra seating, leaving us all squished at the table.  I knew we had to get something larger, eventually.

I didn’t have a set budget in mind.  If we went with new, we’re looking at $1500+.  I wasn’t willing to drop that kind of money.  But the used dining furniture market is all over the place.  $100-$5000 – for similar sets.  Whatever the seller wanted.  It was crazy.

I scoured Craigslist, Ebay (local), and the FB Marketplace on and off for a couple of months.  Seems the newest trend is “farmhouse”.  As you can see by my love of vintage and 60’s, farmhouse is not my style.  Yet the tables were clean cut and large, which I liked.  I wanted a table that could seat 8-10 comfortably, so around 7 feet long.

After multiple failed inquiries to sellers, we finally hit the jackpot.  I have to credit the seller for poor keywords and description.  Without his terrible ad, I would have never been able to score this deal.  “brown tabel 8 chair” – Yep.  That was the title AND description.  Misspelled, no information.  LOL!  I took a chance and texted the number for details.

  • Table – Restoration Hardware, 2 years old, 8 feet long by 45 inches wide.  HUGE!
  • Chairs – 4 cherry wood from Pottery Barn, 4 parsons from Pier 1 with Pottery Barn slipcovers!!
  • Asking price?  $275.

Holy crap.  Do you know how expensive that stuff is???  The guy went into detail about how he’s getting divorced and just moved into a new apartment and the set was too large.

If we purchased these items new:

  • Parsons Chairs @ $99.95/ea x 4 = $399.80
  • Pottery Barn Wood Chairs @ $299.00/ea x 4 = $1196.00
  • Pottery Barn Slipcovers @ $179.00/ea x 4 = $716.00
  • Restorations Hardware Table @ $1895.00
  • Total = $4206.80

Ummm….that would NEVER happen lol.  The catch, of course, is that we had to drive about three hours round trip, through rush hour traffic, load, and unload ourselves.  I nearly killed myself trying to move that table.  It is a solid piece – no extensions – and weighs at least 300lbs.  But we did it.  And we got it all for $250 cash.

These are solid pieces.  The table is a little more rustic than I’d like, but the size is amazing.  I’ll get use to the table.  The chairs on the other hand, we hate.  The Parsons chairs are flaking quite badly (faux leather?) even with the covers on them, and I keep having to vacuum and scrap flakes off the kids feet.  The long term plan is to resell and replace with chairs we like and that fit our style more.  I want something lighter or with color.  No rush to do this though.

I’m thrilled with this find.  Always search for misspelled words people.  There may be a bargain hiding nearby!  Haha.  🙂

I’m not ready to sell my vintage set.  I love it so much.  😦  For now it’s in the storage room.  Maybe we’ll use it in rec space or pass it on to the boys one day.

Posted in Family, Home, Savings | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Bye Bye Bees! I hope.

Bee removal week is here.  It has not been as easy as we were told it would be.  Nor as cheap as expected.   And now we can’t get roofing companies to return our calls to come fix our roof, and we’re due for storms this weekend.  Wonderful!

And by the way, these pictures do not do it justice.  The hive was enormous.  It appears to be 4-5 years old!!!  We have lived here just over a year.  Makes you wonder if the previous owners purposely failed to disclose.  No proof though.  I had to take the pictures from about 200 feet away with my iPhone, terrible quality…

There are still some bees leftover, but apparently that’s normal.  It should take 3-5 days for the rest of them to disperse.  Then we can repair the area.  No clue on the cost of that.

Hopefully roofing folks call us tomorrow – we called nine companies on Monday….!  Why is it so difficult to find people who want to do their jobs?  We’re trying to hire and pay you.  Frustrating.

Once every thing is complete I’ll post about the expenses of it.  Right now I just want the rest of the bee’s to go away already!!  They are mean.  We can’t even use our front door now.  DH was attacked and stung several times already.

Posted in Family, Home | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Buying in Bulk – School Snack Savings

I’m not a fan of buying allthethings in bulk, but I do have a few items I buy monthly/bi-monthly at the local warehouse club.  I’m talking about places like Sam’s, BJ’s, Costco, etc.  When my father passed away a couple of years ago, my mother added me to her membership for free.  I knew we wouldn’t shop there regularly, but a monthly trip for specific items has definitely saved us money in the long run.

Toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, wipes, and school snacks are our main bulk purchases.  We can use the store coupons with manufacturer coupons for extra savings, which is awesome for the Huggies diapers and wipes.  The toilet paper and paper towels, we just buy the store brand; cheapest and decent quality.

Then there are the school snacks.  My school-age kid needs snacks for lunch and a healthy snack for snack time.  Other than fruits and veggies, we’ve gone with Veggie Straws and Goldfish crackers.

The warehouse club sells both of those items in bulk – either one giant box full, or multipacks.  Most people jump for the multipack options for lunches, but I found it wasn’t cost effective.  For example:

  • Goldfish 58oz Box – $8.99
  • Goldfish 30ct Multipacks – $10.99  ($0.37 per bag)
  • Veggie Straws 20oz Bag – $4.99
  • Veggie Straws 30ct Multipack – $11.99 ($0.40 per bag)

Significant price differences in my opinion.  I bought the cheapest bulk packages of each snack item and picked up a box of snack bags at Wal-Mart: $2.62 for 200 bags.  When I get home I dump them into a bowl and start bagging.  The box of Goldfish includes three large bags inside the box.

IMG_6829

I use a measuring cup (1/2c.) and start filling bags, then place them in the snack box in our pantry.  The kids have free access to these items – healthy snacks – so I keep it filled.  It’s also handy for grab-and-go moments when I need to throw snacks in the diaper bag before leaving the house.

IMG_6830

The bag of Veggie Straws and box of Goldfish can last us up to two months.  I am able to create 18 snack bags per Goldfish bag – so 54 snack bags per box – which is $0.17 per bag.  The Veggie Straws made 28 bags, making it $0.18 per bag.  Add in $0.02 for the cost of the snack bags, and I’m still saving.

But I had coupons!  $1.50 off Veggie Straws and $2.00 off Goldfish.  Final total comes to $0.15 Goldfish and $0.14 Veggie Straw snack bags.  Total OOP $10.48 for nearly two months worth of school snacks (anytime snacks really.)  Not bad!

We just bought a chest freezer, and plan to bulk purchase meats soon.  Most likely using Zaycon, not a warehouse club.  Hopefully this helps with our crappy fridge causing frozen meats to rot too soon!  The chest freezer was only $100!  More on that later.

Anyone else buy in bulk?  Anything else I should look out for?  I’m trying to tame our food spending, especially with summer quickly approaching.  Kids will be home full time and lots of friends and family coming and going (and eating!)

Posted in Family, Food, Savings, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Woes of Homeownership

Oh I’m so mad.  I typed up this entire post and it disappeared, only saving a blank page.  Thanks a lot WordPress.  Certainly didn’t help my mood tonight!

This week is not off to a good start!  We have the worst luck.  We always have, and I feel like we always will.  It’s as if we really pissed someone off in a past life or something.  It never ends!  Every time we start to get ahead, shit happens, and we get knocked back down.  Exhausting!

The Roof

A few weeks ago a roofing contractor was driving past our home and noticed damage. He was in the neighborhood to give another homeowner a quote on their roof. We’ve had some bad weather over the last month, including hail, and it’s done a number on our roof. We kept his card and figured we’d look into it later. Then the bee’s happened.

Since we’ll be needing roof repair anyway, we decided to go ahead and get an estimate. They came out to do an estimate, but cut it short due to a swarm of honey bee’s. The guy said he’d be back after the bee’s were removed to complete the quote.  He implied we’ll be needing our entire roof replaced.

Our insurance deductible is a flat $1,000, which is awesome.  I’m so glad I switched insurance carriers, our previous deductible was $2,500 + a percentage with State Farm – OUCH!  Not sure what the actual costs will be yet, but at least homeowner’s insurance will cover the roof. They will not however cover any damage or repairs related to the damn bee’s. Speaking of the bee’s…

The Bee’s

IMG_6956

Tree in our front yard!

We have a honey bee infestation. In our roof. A gigantic honey bee hive – IN OUR ROOF! They are swarming all over our house. In fact the hive has outgrown it’s current roof location, and a batch of bee’s have taken up place in a tree out front. After spending hours trying to find someone to extract the bee’s, we managed to find a guy willing to do it next week. While it’s not illegal to kill the honey bee’s, most places refuse to do so. Which is fine, I know they’re relatively harmless, and important for the earth, so I’m a supporter of extraction – a QUICK extraction.

This will cost $125 to extract, $150 to rent a lift, and $$$$??? to repair the roof afterwards, because he doesn’t do that. Imagine walking out your from door, anytime between dawn and dusk, and into a swarm of bee’s. All day, every day. Add in having a special needs child with severe allergies, and you’ve got a potential dangerous situation on your hands.

When DH pulled down the attic stairs to go replace the air filter, hundreds of dead bee’s fell from above. We have spray foam insulation in the attic, but these bee’s are managing to get inside. Oh, and speaking of the air filter…

The AC

Last weekend we had a power outage throughout town. It was about an hour long blackout, but eventually all things came back on with no issues. Or so we though. My MIL lives in our basement apartment, and noticed a buzzing coming from the electrical panel. She had an electrician out last night who replaced a breaker and said the problem was our upstairs AC unit. He advised us to leave it off until we get it looked at.

Of course this happens at 6:30pm on a Tuesday night when it’s 85 degrees out and humid as hell. We would roast in this house without AC! DH managed to get ahold of the guy we used to replace our last AC unit (last year, only 6 months after living here – $5k!) The guy arrived within 45 minutes!

Just like our last unit he found the lines running from the house to the unit were too small and not up to code. We had to get this redone with our last unit replacement. I’d like to know why this isn’t an indicated issue in our home inspection report!! Anyway, ends up we needed a new capacitor.

$450 later, the AC was back up and running. The guy said he wouldn’t bother having the lines redone until we replace the entire unit. It would be cheaper to do it all together than individually.

There is no question that $450 is better than $5k+ to replace the entire unit and lines, but it’s still a painful expense. This is what an emergency fund is for though and I’m thankful we had the means to pay for it in cash versus credit.

Fingers crossed nothing else pops up this week!

Posted in Budgeting, Home, Real Estate | Tagged , , | 6 Comments