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Don't Count Your Chickens ... Le Sigh

May 13th, 2016 at 06:44 pm

Well ... on the bright side. We got back from our honeymoon in Branson Wednesday night. Our time in Branson was wonderful. The condo we stayed in was beautiful - had a balcony we sat on looking out on the lake while eating a couple meals. We took in two shows - The Haygoods and Acrobats of Shanghai. Both were fantastic!

We also went to Silver Dollar City. That was okay .. We hadn't realized it would be quite so hilly, and DH was having trouble with that. He really tried to be a trooper. kind of felt like a waste of money for what we actually did there though.

Another waste of money was Inspiration Point tower. At least that was only $17 for the two of us. (Instead of $130 for Silver Dollar City.)

So ... Wednesday we are on our way to Springfield where we planned to stop at Fantastic Caverns on our way home. I send a text to Realtor asking about setting up our final walk through.

He calls me back. Bad news. During the freak tornado/huge rainstorm that hit the L town area on Monday, our house got water in the basement. The sellers weren't sure where it came from.

So ... we cancel our planned stops and race back to L town and to our house.

We talk to the sellers and see what they are doing to clean up the water (mostly just soaked carpet.) We decide that we don't know enough to make a decision, and ask to have a professional come out to give their opinion.

Thursday afternoon I get the phone call from Realtor telling me that the professional came out and looked (charged us $250) and discovered that the wall where they had cracks before (revealed during inspection, but not told to worry about too much, just to keep an eye on) was bowing. In fact, the person estimated 6 to 8 years before it collapsed.

Prior to the professionals opinion the sellers had agreed to give us a $2k cash credit towards cleaning up/fixing the issue. Realtor (after professional's visit) estimated $10k to fix wall issue, and around $15k to fix wall and regrade yard/remove part of deck above problem area.

DH and I looked at all our money and what priorities we have, and thought we would set $8k aside now, and then save the rest and have it fixed in March.

Realtor calls me this morning about 10:30 with the written report/estimates. Just to fix the wall - $14k+. To regrade yard/remove deck/remove tree stump - $9100.

Realtor goes to sellers with numbers and they want two more estimates before discussing how much they'd be willing to do.

So, the end result is closing is put of til June 13.

DH and I are back on Zillow looking to see if there's anything else. To say that the pickings are slim, very slim, is an understatement.

I'd already given my 30 day notice .. my apartment is mostly packed at this point. I contacted my property manager and she told me she needs to start showing June 1. I'll need to have the boxes stacked as much as possible and have the place kept clean for showings. Ugh!

Moving in with DH is NOT something I want to contemplate. To say that he is living in an unacceptable place is to put it mildly. Partly why I'm so anxious to get us into a place of our own. (it's a long story as to why he's put up with it)

I called and canceled movers, and the new account orders for gas and electric and Internet. What a royal mess.

Just talked to loan processor. He told me moving the closing to June 13 is just a pre-caution and that we could close sooner depending on when we get estimates and come up with a plan of action. (And of course based on what sellers are willing to do.)

This is SO frustrating.

Keyless Doorknobs? Leaving on Sunday :)

May 7th, 2016 at 04:57 am

The last few days I've been working on getting utilities set to switch over to the house. Today I called the water department and found out that the title insurance place had already put in an order for that to happen?

We are getting the basic Kinetic Internet/cable package. I'd prefer to go without the cable part, but DH really wants it, and since he's willing to go with the basic ... It'll only be maybe ten to fifteen dollars more a month than what I'm paying for just Internet right now.

I also got movers lined up for the 15th (which means I need to get my stuff packed PDQ!)

DH and I are in discussion mode about possibly replacing the locks on the doors with keyless entry locks. I think since we need to rekey the doors anyway, why not spend just a little bit more and have their convenience? (i.e. you can set a temporary code for someone you need to let in, but might not want to have continual access, like a guest or a housekeeper.)

DH wants us to have a deadbolt on the front door for added security. I need to look into a solution for that ..

Anyone use keyless door locks? What are your experiences?

We'll be heading to Branson on Sunday! We're planning on doing Silver Dollar City, one of the acrobat shows and then either the Haygood's or the Frankie Vallie show. We also may rent a boat - although the one we were thinking about is much bigger than DH had in mind (the one at the marinia by our hotel.) We may also take in a movie - possibly Captain America.

On our way home, we may be making a stop for DH's first chicken (as an adult at least - his family had lots of chickens as he grew up.) It's a bantam hen - he plans to keep it in the basement in an open cage til we get the chicken coop and privacy fence figured out. As long as I can't smell it ...

Did you know that most auto insurance companies won't insure pizza delivery drivers? If they get into an accident while on the clock, the insurance will just not pay out anything, and then will drop the previously insured!

I found this out while working with S to find a home insurance quote. DH wasn't too happy with me insisting that he check to see if his employer carried the right kind of insurance to at least cover liability. But he did it anyway - even check with his insurance company ... (I waited with bated breath, hoping not to hear that he'd been dropped as soon as they heard "pizza delivery driver.")

The good news was ... his particular company does not have an exclusion. The bad news is ... most other companies do. He had them do a home insurance quote, and it came in higher than Geico's. So ... no can do with having all of our stuff on one policy. His insurance guy wants to see the home insurance quote I got - he couldn't figure out how we got it so low. ($713/yr.)

I'm just relieved to know that he's covered (only has liability.) I am thinking about looking into an umbrella policy, or see how it'd work to put stuff into a living trust - if that would protect our assets in case he got into an accident where someone got hurt (and he was at fault.)

Pizza delivery is one of the top dangerous jobs - right up there with construction workers, etc. DH is a very careful and defensive driver. But he also is on the road TONS of time ...

Finally Figured it Out :) Wedding Expenses Recount

April 28th, 2016 at 02:51 am

I'd successfully shared an album from iCloud before, but I tried that tonight, and it kept my full name! Ugh! So I made an album in Amazon drive, and was even able to upload videos!

You'll never guess what the pictures and videos are all about will you? Big Grin

Some of the photos are repeats, most aren't. One video is of my brother singing, and the other video is of us playing the Shoe Game (part of it at least.)

Here's the link: https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share/Z3Bin621nWftrSroJzpgFo9ncFLs9CVXDgC9L9QnbeU

*The first picture is my favorite one I think. Smile

I'm still in recovery mode. Had two days of being at work as a married woman. Smile Been trying to get used to writing my new initials in the receipt book. My email address got an alias now, and that confused a few people. So, I had to share the good news. Smile

Mr FT and I opened a joint account on Monday evening. A funny story - we drove there in two cars because he was going to have to leave for work right away. When we got there, we did a quick smooch before heading in. Coming out of the credit union was an old man.

He shouted at us to keep the PDA's out of the public view. Mr FT told him that we'd just gotten married on Sunday and couldn't help it.

The old man shouted back, "Happy New Year!" ???? Smile LOL

I got my engagement ring and wedding ring resized and soldered ? together. They also shined them up really nice. Smile It was so strange to have the engagement ring off my finger, even if only for less than 24 hours. It's funny how fast you get used to something.
_---It cost $128 to resize and solder. (almost as much as the wedding band itself cost ...)

I haven't added up ALL the costs, but I think we came close to breaking even. We had $2500 gifted to us before the wedding, and received slightly more than $1k in cash/checks + some more in gift cards.

Dress+Alterations - ~$700
Tux rental - $220
Venue rental + use of two rooms - $524
Food for reception - $220
Drink for reception - $35
Food for rehearsal dinner - $50
Drink for rehearsal dinner - $20
Decorations, plates, etc - $56
Hair (trial, +mom and I wedding day) -140
Makeup (trial, mom and I wedding day) - 170
Invitations/Thank You Cards/Postage - $35
Bouquet / boutonniere - $68
Marriage License - $30
Pre-Marital Counseling - $35
Photographer - $250 (so far - owe another $250 when we receive photos)
Printing Photos - $31 so far (Groupon deals, plus two photos from Walgreen's to include in group thank you card to bus company)

If you include a full $500 for the photographer, it comes out to about $2800. I expect to spend probably another $100 - $150 for printing photos. Probably add in another $100 or so for expenses I forgot to include (haven't kept the best track ...) and we're still under what we were gifted.

That leaves some for the honeymoon. Big Grin

Ok, now this may end my wedding talk. For awhile. Big Grin

Married :) Some first pictures

April 25th, 2016 at 04:14 pm

What a busy weekend this was!

As usual in weddings, we had a bit of the drama ..

After one night at the b&b, the CA group, minus my brother, decided to stay somewhere else. Their excuse was that the stairs were too much for my grandma. That may have been a valid reason, but I tend to think there was more to it than that.

I learned of this just as I was walking into church. Then while in church, as I was loading up the Bible on my phone, I got a text from my mom. It was telling me that she'd been told that she might not like it there and might want to go somewhere else.

Needless to say, once I was alone that afternoon, Mr FT had to talk me carefully away from the edge.

Mom ended up deciding to stay at the b&b.

Something that didn't affect me directly - Mr FT's sister's boyfriend's youngest son who was dying of cancer - they decided to take him off life support Saturday night. So, the boyfriend obviously didn't come to the rehearsal or wedding.

Then there were the things that slipped through the cracks in my planning and / or in remembering what to bring. Such as ... knowing where the college cafeteria was located before taking a group there for lunch ... Or ... remembering to tell my uncle about the Shoe Game *before* the reception AND bringing a suggested list of questions ... Then of course the Unity ceremony ... I kind of over complicated it. By the ceremony, it worked out fine, but I think it got people confused.

Saturday night - the dinner started 30 minutes late because people showed up late. We only had 11 people, and there were 5 on time...

Because of the small number, we used several big long tables instead of separate round tables. I think that worked out very well to help facilitate conversation.

The rehearsal itself was a bit chaotic, and due to Mr FT being very tired by the time we'd ran through it a 3rd time ... we didn't go over the reception at all. Which is partly why the Shoe Game was a surprise to my uncle. And luckily, when it came time for the cake cutting, Mr FT just followed my lead.

After the rehearsal, Mr FT and all but those staying at the b&b left. My mom, my brother, and my Ohio aunt and uncle stayed up teaching the Ohio aunt how to play Rook. After awhile, they went to bed. My mom, brother and I stayed up talking. Then later went to a grocery store for water and snacks.

I got to my room around 12:30 a.m. Managed to get maybe two hours of sleep.

Sunday morning it was raining and thundering til nearly 7 a.m. I was really worried the Model A car wouldn't come.

We ate a lovely breakfast provided by the b&b for guests. Then my brother went on some errands for me, and I got ready for the hair and makeup ladies.

I think my mom enjoyed having her hair and makeup done. (Her first time being airbrushed!) The ladies commented that it was nice how relaxed the morning was - prompted probably by my telling my mom that whatever made her happy, made me happy as far as hair/jewelry, etc. Plus my brother came up several times with different things for me.

I got a little panicky once the hair and makeup were done .. because it was now 5 minutes into the time we were supposed to be doing our first look, and I wasn't even dressed!

My mom helped me get dressed (made me take off my fitbit!) My brother had to help do the top hook though ... it was a *wee* bit tighter than I had remembered.

Around this time I was told that the Model A had arrived and it was really cool! Smile

Mr FT and I had our first look - he was amazing! Smile

We took lots of pictures with the Model A car. So many, that we started to *really* get behind in our schedule.

Finally we went inside and started taking the family photos. About 12:10 non-family guests started arriving ... Also, Mr FTs back was really hurting. So I had him sit down and then we took pictures of just me with various family members. I cut out probably 1/4 of the photos I'd been thinking about ... Then Mr FT took photos with his family (only his sister and nephew were there.)

It was 12:20 now! My brother and I headed upstairs. Then my brother told me to wait there, and he'd be right back. When he came back he had something in his hand. He'd taken some of dad's ashes and some dirt from the b&b garden and mixed it together - so dad was with us in a way. I nearly lost it right there. So very sweet of him.

Right at 12:30 Edelweiss started and we headed down the stairs to meet my groom. Smile

Overall, the ceremony went very well. The only small glitch was that T, Mr FTs nephew started the We've Only Just Begun song too late .. I signaled him to x-nay it.

We had lots of comments about my brother's singing - he did a knock out fantastic job of God Bless This Broken Road.

Did you know that there isn't anywhere for the bride and groom to sign on the marriage certificates on the actual day? I guess I hadn't looked at them closely enough ..

After the signing was done, Mr FT and I were left alone for a little bit to breathe. While we were waiting to be called for the reception, I heard my phone beep. It was a text from the lady who was going to video the ceremony - she'd been in a car wreck and totaled her car! I hadn't even realized she hadn't come! I had to reassure multiple times that I wasn't upset - just glad she was ok!

Finally we were called down for the reception. We made our grand re-entrance, had some toasts (Mr FTs sister and nephew both spoke - which I was really glad for!) and then a little more drama.

My aunt came by our table and asked if we'd like her to get plates for us. We both told her thanks, but we'd like to get it ourselves. Not ten seconds after saying that, my mom shows up with two plates of food. Oops.

We both ate a few bites, but then I realized that time was getting away from us, and we needed to "mingle." Mr FT was a trooper (at least at the time) as we made the rounds.

About the time we were on the next to last person, my brother asked me if we were ready to cut the cake. So we moved over to the food room and did the cake cutting.

This was about the time I realized that I hadn't told my uncle about the Shoe Game - which we were to play while my Aunt cut the cake... Luckily he was able to catch on pretty quickly, and even got audience participation (no inappropriate questions thankfully!) Everyone seemed pretty impressed that we both were pretty in sync with our answers. Smile

Next everyone got their cake / dessert and moved into the foyer for the slideshow. (this was another piece of drama - the projector guy realized that the picture would NOT show up on the wall, so he ran back to the church and got a screen) The slideshow/video last just under 12 minutes. I *think* people enjoyed it.

After that we headed to the carport for a group photo. Just as we were finishing, the first few drops of rain could be felt.

Mr FT and I at this point were supposed to go upstairs and change. Never happened - too many people wanted to talk to us! Smile

At one point we were ushered out of the carport (where we were talking with his nephew) and then ushered back ... where we found my car decorated and filled with balloons! All the doing of my brother Smile he'd had it completely cleaned out and detailed too. (badly needed!)

I had planned on doing the cleanup myself with Mr FTs help, but my family pretty much took care of everything while we were doing more mingling.

By about 4:15 we scooted upstairs and changed. I came back downstairs to see if there was anything left to do. Not much at all.

Mr FT came down about 15 minutes later (he'd laid down to rest his back.) We started working on hauling stuff out to the cars. I got waylaid a few more times into conversations - Mr FT was starting to get really frustrated (he'd had NO sleep)

Finally we said our final goodbyes and made it to my place about 5 p.m. Where after putting away the perishables (Oh my, the leftovers ....) we fell onto my bed utterly and completely exhausted for the next 5 hours.

During this time I did get the first opportunity to use the phrase "check with my husband first" Smile (in regards to an appointment with the will & trust guy for the conference - a free thing!)

Today I need to take back the tux, and will be having lunch with my mom here soon. We might also open up our joint checking this afternoon (if Mr FT gets up early enough.)

So now after having survived all that, here is your reward ... Smile (These were taken by family)

My mom and her brother in law - just thought this was a really cool picture.

G - the car owner, and N - our fabulous innkeeper!

Where we stood in front of for the ceremony.

My lovely 94 yo grandma.

My uncle and officiant who is leaving for Egypt in one day!

My family

Mr FTs family

Surprises and Fun :)

April 23rd, 2016 at 01:28 pm

On this, my last full day of being a single lady, I wish all my fellow SA'ers a beautiful day! Big Grin

The last few days have been crazy busy and full.

Thursday when I got out to my car after work, I had a voicemail from the owner of the Bed and Breakfast. In a slightly stressed voice I was told that the Ohioians had made their arrival TWO DAYS EARLY without reservations. Their phone wasn't working here, so they'd asked her to contact me to let me know.

As I heard this, I was on my way to the other side of town for my pedicure appointment. After which I needed to do some more shopping at Walmart, and then had plans with Mr FT after he got off work.

I called back and talked to my Aunt D. Both her and Uncle D were happy to just chill for the evening. I invited them both to come with us the next day to see the house and go out to eat.

At the pedicure, I found out why the manicure was so abysmal. Apparently at the beauty school they are not allowed to do anything such as clipping nails or cuticles. Anything that could *possibly* draw blood.

So ... the pedicure also was not great. Although it sure took a dandy long time. (And it started peeling last night ...)

Friday morning I met C, at the church where she gave me the decorations and the teacup mugs. She also sweetly offered a prayer for me. Smile

Then I did some more shopping. At one point while I was on the phone with Mr FT, a huge chip came off one of my fingernails. That was it for me - I had to get a real manicure!

So, that's what I did once I got done with the shopping. SO much difference!

Although I was pretty darn tired at this point, I needed to put together everything in a somewhat organized fashion to take to the B&B.

Took me the better part of two hours (including a mis-guided adventure into attempting to make a $3 Unity Candle - resulting in cutting my thumb ...)

Finally, with all non-food items loaded into my car, I headed over to the B&B. Just before I got there, I got a call from my brother telling me that they'd JUST gotten their rental car and were leaving O.

What? I'd expected them to have been in L by this point. Breathe, Laura, breathe.

I go into the B&B and talk to my aunt and uncle from OH. My aunt helps me carry in the tux and dress and hang them in their room. Then she shows me the rag quilt she made for us! (In less than a month!)

I carry in the rest of the stuff and put it in N's office. Then ... I look at the tables the rental company had brought and have a moment of panic.

The tables which stated they could seat 4 - 6 people, looked barely big enough to seat 4 people.

N calmly suggests that I call the rental company and ask if they could switch them for bigger tables. Which is what I did, and what they did. (for a half-delivery fee, plus extra costs of tables - about $30 total.)

Around this time, the CA group came in. Big Grin Big Grin I really hope I didn't hurt my Ohio Aunt/Uncle's feelings by the way I greeted my brother.

We got everyone situated in their rooms, and then I realized what time it was, and had to somewhat gently/urgently get everybody to move on it!

We had an appointment at the house with the seller at 4:30. We left the B&B at 4:18 ... Thankfully Mr FT arrived on time and could explain that we were running late.

We arrived at the house at 4:40. Everybody fell in love with the house. Smile

Then we all went out to eat at Village Inn. It was SO funny - so much chatter before the food came. Then when the food came, there was nary a sound for a good 15 minutes. Everybody was ravenous I think. Smile

(My grandma generously treated for everyone!)

After dinner we went back to the B&B. Although, on the way back, I saw my brother turn off the wrong way. I wondered what in the world?

Later I found out that grandma had noticed the Dairy Queen. And when grandma wants her ice cream, she GETS her ice cream. Big Grin LOL! So did everybody else (me included - they brought back a blizzard for me .. I didn't have the heart to tell them that I couldn't really eat it since I'd be around people the next day ...) Mr FT ate most of it for me when I got back to my apartment (where he'd gone while I waited for the CA group to come back.)

Now I'm just doing a bit of relaxing before heading to pick up my OH Aunt/Uncle and my brother to go to Sabbath School. My grandma/Aunt/Uncle from CA will join us later.

Everybody, please think good thoughts about the weather tomorrow? It's calling for possible thunderstorms ... If it waits til after one, that would be just fine with me. Otherwise, we may not be able to do any outside pictures! Or pictures with the Model A!! Frown

You Get What You Pay For ..

April 20th, 2016 at 01:54 am

So a few weeks ago I bought a Groupon for 3 mani/pedi's from the local beauty school. 3 of them for about 35% of the price at a regular place.

Today I had my first 1/2 of the mani/pedi - the manicure. The girl was very nice and friendly and really tried hard. But ... part of the reason I was going for someone else to do my nails, was to have my cuticles taken care of .. and other than pushing them back, she did nothing with them.

It was a very basic manicure, one that I could have pretty easily replicated on my own. (I don't do my cuticles, have had one too many oops doing them myself.) Still, it did turn out looking nice, just not quite what I was expecting.

After I was done, I headed to Walmart. I bought 6 bottles of Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice for toasting, a variety of teas for the reception, a combination photo album/signature book *$9!* for the guest book, some fake flowers to put in the teapot we were given for our sweetheart table centerpiece, and some other miscellaneous items. Spent nearly $100!

I didn't realize that cutting fake flower stems was so difficult ... I'd bought one of those styrofoam disc things to put them into, and to put into the teapot. The flat round ball was too big ... so I had to cut it down.

Then I tried cutting the stem of the longest flower with a pair of scissors. Nope. Wasn't happening. Finally got it "cut" with a knife.

I'd planned on cutting ALL of them down so they'd be more even with the top of the teapot. But after my first attempt, decided to try without cutting. They look okay, but I'm hoping to figure out what I need to use to cut them!

Wire cutters?

I don't think I'm going to manage to get my apartment very clean before Friday. I had been thinking of having the CA contingent eat lunch here on Saturday ...but, yeah, no. Maybe I'll let them come in long enough to meet Kari. Otherwise, we can eat the the cafeteria on the local SDA college campus. My grandma would really like that. Smile (That's what we do when I visit her in CA.)

Only two more days of work! (Well, the paying kind of work at least.)

I paid off the cake today, and the table/linen delivery people also.

*Note to self - have a $5 bill to give to cake people on Sunday (the lady charged me $5 less than she was supposed to, so I told her I'd give them $5 on Sunday.)

Most of what expenses are left now will be paying the bed and breakfast fees (she's not charging anything until all is said and done - will probably be the $245 fee, plus two room rentals since one couple isn't coming that we'd planned on.) The makeup fee. (Hair is already paid in full.) The other half of the photography fee (but he doesn't want that until he gives us the photos.) Then probably 3 meals out with varying groups of people - two times with the CA contingency, and once with the TX/OH group.

I do still need to get the salad fixings for Saturday night, pay for the pizza, buy the ice cream and rootbeer ... and ?? That may be it.

I think I've decided to not do programs. Is that bad? I'd kind of put together one, but every time I'm out somewhere I might get paper for it, I keep forgetting it. Maybe Thursday when I get the salad stuff, if I see some for a good deal that I like ..

I haven't been keeping perfect track of all wedding related expenses, but I think we are on track to come in under $3500, even with the eating out group expenses (which I hadn't put in my budget plan at first.) That isn't including the honeymoon. Smile Although that I don't think should come in much more than $1k, if that.