Saturday, August 20, 2016

Another "2 WEEKS"!

It could possibly be even longer then that with the track record they have going right now!.

I wonder if all their jobs are this unorganized or the lack of knowledge on how to make it right?

Finally the owner of the company came out and he was able to adjust things better, and I will just have to live with the now smaller gap between the stove and counters.

It's better then the half inch gap that was there. I walked away when they couldn't decide how to fix the problem. "Every time I walk in here and see that gap, I am going to think of your company and not in a good way!" A half hour later, after much banging, they figured it out and got it as good as they could. I can't help but say, "I told you so!" Had you removed the counter and cabinets separately like they should have been, this wouldn't be an issue now. I was shocked to hear him ask how the cabinets had been removed. We had to explain to him how they did it. Then for him to say how impressed he was that they moved this huge bank of cabinets and granite as a whole, I couldn't help but add, "Had they done it right from the beginning we wouldn't be dealing with these issues we are, yet again." It also confused me because the foreman made comments a few times that he was in contact with him. Seems that wasn't the case.

The owner left saying the guys would be back that afternoon to finish the grouting. Of course the foreman calls a couple hours later that they had to order the grout and would be Friday before they will get back. Really? "We bought it at Home Depot, it was a standard color?" His response was that they have changed shades and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I finally said fine and ended the call. I will not be able to believe what he says from now on. And guess what? He never showed up Friday, nor did he call that he wasn't. No one has called about the flooring either.

I can tell the foreman really doesn't like dealing with me. His perception of my home being a trailer, set the stage a long time ago. His comment, "We do it like this all the time!" set an example of the type work he does. There is nothing trailer or manufactured about my home. It's permanently set and has no axles or wheels under it. There is not a single piece of fake wood or wall paper panels in the entire house.

I believe I have been very polite and VERY patient!  We told them from the get go this was a custom kitchen. Our insurance covers replacing what was here with the same, not builder grade stuff. Because it is a manufactured home that we remodeled, their system generates replacements based on manufacturers suggestion, not what was actually here. Whoever did their estimate messed up. A computer program can't see what I have. So now they are dragging their feet as they complain about billable hours and extra material cost. I am so very sorry their profit margin took a hit on this job.

Oh, to add more frustration on top of aggravation, we are still waiting for the flooring that hasn't even been ordered! I picked it out almost 2 weeks ago. As of yesterday, it still hasn't been ordered because it hasn't been paid for. I wonder, should I just go in and pay for the materials and this company can adjust my bill. It might save me money since the flooring I picked out was $2.69sq and the foreman told me it was $3.09sq, I tried to correct him but he wouldn't budge. The estimate from the insurance company has it at the $3.09 as well. As I see it I am under budget, not over as he claims. I think we need to visit the flooring company today. I can't wait to see how that goes!

Maybe, if we are lucky, it will just be another "2 Weeks"! We'll see.

Bumps are getting bumpier on "Our Journey Through LIFE!"

Friday, August 19, 2016

Tovrea Castle

Monday was my annual appointment in Phoenix.

Afterwards we had some time to do a little exploring.

I read an article from azcentral that there are 3 castles in the Phoenix area, I immediately plugged their information into my phone just waiting for the opportunity to arise.

The 3 castles are The Tovrea Castle, The Coperhaven Castle, and The Mystery Castle.

We had the time to at least find one of them this time.

Tovrea Castle was built by Alessio Carraro and his son starting in 1928 and finishing it in 1930. His vision was to develop the desert with a resort and a subdivision called Carraro Heights. Unfortunately trying something like this during the depression, financial stresses caused the sale of the hotel and a portion of the property in 1931 to E.A. Tovrea, who then died less then a year later. E.A. wife lived in the castle until her death in 1969.

We weren't able to take the tour as it is only open Fri/Sat/Sun, September through June, and closed July/August. Just our luck, right. It is highly recommended that you book a reservation well in advance as they will sell out and "walk-in" tours "might be" considered based on availability.

Maybe we'll try again, or just look for the others next time up. We just never know where Our Journey Through LIFE will take us next, but we sure do enjoy the journey and love being surprised by were we end up sometimes.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Next Up - Autumn!

With no reconstruction happening today, 
I was able to get a few things accomplished by noon!

Outside watering doesn't take long these days 
since most of my flowers fried when it hit 115+ degrees.

With the cabinets in place and no workers, 
it gave me the perfect opportunity to clean out the draws.
Before the family arrived I had cleaned out a few cabinets already with the
intention to continue with the draws after they had left.

Well, we all know what happened that caused a snag in that, don't we!

Now was the perfect time to finally go through and throw out 
or place aside for donation items not needed anymore. 
Like baby spoons and forks since all the "Grand's" are now in school!
The youngest reminds me often he's a BIG boy now!
I can't believe the last three "Grand's" started Kindergarten this year, 
while the oldest "Grand" started High School. 
Three others started Jr. High, and are on the crest of being 13.

These years are going by faster and faster!

How do I slow them down?

I can't!

It's just how it works. 

With school starting means that Autumn is also just round the corner.

With all my dishes spread out on the table, 
it inspired me to search for some creative tablescape ideas for Autumn.

I have been following a blog for many years that has always been my "go to" place.

Of course she sets the perfect table, but on Thursdays, 
she does a link up that has oh so many more table ideas to explore. 
A girl can get lost in cyber dreams from all those 
wonderful tables with all those beautiful dishes. 

I just LOVE dishes!

It was time to end my day dreaming search break 
before I got to far off of other goals for today, that also includes Autumn.

While at Home Depot I had picked up some more seeds. 
I knew I needed to get the pumpkins started by the end of July to have pumpkins by Halloween.

I just wasn't planning on a flood though.

 I started some seeds just before the family arrived, but the birds that make my yard sing, also steal seeds!I have already started my second set of seeds, this time in small containers and will transfer them into the garden when they are bigger and when it's not so hot outside to make sure they don't die on me. Right now I have them in my window sill till they germinate. If all goes well, I should have a good assortment of pumpkins, white and orange, to small and large, even some bumpy ones. Each child at the Boo Bash will hopefully get to take home a pumpkin. 
They can paint it or carve it if they choose too as well.

I've had pumpkins for prizes before. I've used them for ring toss games and of course for the photo shoot area. Now is a good of time as any to try to grow some again creating the "GRAND" Pumpkin Patch. Two years ago I got about a dozen but because I had planted them to early, the pumpkins didn't make it to Halloween. I learned I could have brought them into the house
where it was cooler and they would have.

A mistake I will not make again. 

Let's hope the seeds germinating create the pumpkin patch I hope it does.
Each morning I get another patch of the garden ready for them.

With that under control, I began making my list.

The Boo Bash is just around the corner.

Less then 80 days to be exact!

As fast as time has been moving, it will be here before we know it. 

Time to check out which games need updated or repaired.
What supplies need replenished.
Pull out the ones that need repainted.
And most important, a plan, a layout of how it should come together.

Since vacation has been delayed, yes, you read that correctly. 
I will have some time to fill, making the perfect distraction.

When a commercial job lands in your lap, not one - but two,
you understand and make the best of it.


I'm disappointed! Who wouldn't be.

We've been trying to get away all summer. One day was not enough!

I'm really trying, I really am!

But sometimes it just overwhelms me. 

I'm praying very hard, that I continue to trust through this next bump in the road! 
The summer has had a few of them.

After all, bumps have always been a part of Our Journey Through LIFE!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Decisions, Decisions?

When I got home from my doctors appointment, this is what I came home too!

Now the hold up is with the flooring. The sooner I choose a flooring, the sooner it will be completed.

The company I got the floor from the first time said the flooring I had, had been discontinued. The sample I saw over the weekend was from the same collection the reconstruction foreman thought matched the most. However, once at the house it seemed dark and had more gray through it then I liked. The longer I kept it down, and if I had no other options, I was willing to consider it.

After my appointment I planned to swing by another flooring company to see what they had. I had the laborers cut me a piece of the old floor to help me compare. Silly me, I left it at home, along with my wallet. My daughter was so sweet and brought my wallet to the doctors office for me, but at that time I still hadn't thought about the flooring until I was driving away from his office. I decided I would still go, at the least I would get a pretty good idea of what was available. Besides, I felt I knew what I was looking for.

What do you think? Can you see the new sample laying on top of my old flooring?

The sample on the left is the one I found today. The sample on the right was the one the foreman brought me. The sample on the right has a 13in slate tile, while the one on the left has a 10in slate tile. I'm kind of liking the bigger squares?

The sample on the left is the one I found today. My old flooring sample is on the right.

Pretty close, right!

How awesome is that!

Let's just say it was a "God Moment!"

I'm so glad I went ahead and stopped!

So for the next 24 hours I get to decide which one I want:

  1. Go with the new flooring with the gray and bigger tiles? Bold choice?
  2. Stay with the flooring I already had? Safe choice?

If you could please help I would surely appreciate it. Just leave a suggestion in the comments.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Third Time's A Charm?

After the first two experiences I must admit, I had my doubts! 

Where was my FAITH?

And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.

I doubted their ability. I doubted what they were saying. 

Having had my fair share of being schmoozed before, my guard tends to go up before a pray can be said. Before I could even write a note to say a pray, I was overcome with seeing it answered before I even asked.

I am so very blessed that these laborers kept coming back to fix what they didn't get right the first time, or even the second time. They could have refused to come back, or the company could have sent other guys out, or maybe they didn't have other guys to send out. What ever, or however you want to believe it, these guys, they were the answer to my prayers. They wanted to do it right and I am so happy they stuck with it (and me) to achieve the end result. 

Against all recommendations, they believed they could get the cabinets back into place without taking off the granite or separating the cabinets. I silently prayed to believe in them too!  

Look what they did! 

I am beyond happy, I'm ecstatic! 

I am also very, very relieved that the part of this job, and the one that worried me the most, is over. I really, really didn't want to have to take apart the entire kitchen, to replace all the granite if this side broke. Really, like I would be the one doing the actual work! It's just that sometimes, when you take something apart, there's a good chance it might not go back together the same way. 

They told me it would go back together and would be like new! Why couldn't I believe in them? Why did the kitchen go back together the way it did when other professionals said it couldn't, shouldn't, and would possibly crack or break the granite?

WHY? I believe it has a lot to do with my continued daily prays on not just that, but with my issues over this trust stuff, are being heard also. Something I have been working hard on, and something I will continue to work on. 

The dictionary defines trust as “a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something”

Most of my prayers don't always go unanswered. Sometimes they are prayed on for many different periods of times before answers are presented. Some may not be answered the way I had hoped they would be answered, but answered all the same. Prayers have no time limit or expiration date. They are answered when they are, and when that happens, I am not shy to say, "That was a God moment!"

As my kitchen continues to look more like a kitchen again, I will keep my eye out for more answered prayers along Our Journey Through LIFE!

Still "2 weeks" on the flooring!


Saturday, August 6, 2016

And So It Begins!

I'm really not a rookie when it comes to home repairs, or remolding, but this reconstruction or restoration from a flood seems to be something completely different!

I am not one to hoover over the workers as they work, but I will inspect their work when they are done. That being the case last evening after they had cleaned up and left. Yes, I said they cleaned up! Every dust of saw dust, piece of wood, to even dusting the cabinets and counters within the kitchen. Every morning they have put up a plastic barrier to contain the dust, and every evening they take it down as well.

The minute they left I walked out to the kitchen to see what they had accomplished for the day. As I walked on the area of flooring they replaced, I had a feeling something just wasn't right. It felt weak and it didn't line up with the existing underlayment. Plus there were big, I mean like 1/4 in gaps, at the seams and one corner was broken. Plus he used 4 different pieces like he was doing a puzzle of some kind.

I addressed my concerns with hubby when he got home and he confirmed my suspicions. If the floor doesn't go down perfect, the cabinets won't fit right, creating a domino effect that could possibly crack the granite. He just couldn't believe they thought this was acceptable! First thing the next morning he was on the phone to them.

One can wonder when you receive comments like, "That's how we do it all the time!" Self leveler will fix the problem!" Well, just because that is how you have been doing it doesn't make it right. And that self leveler they planned to use, said right on the package not to be used on particle board. "That's a manufactures suggestions because they don't want to be liable, we use it all the time!" he said. He will need to figure something else out because that is not going down on our underlayment.

After a call to hubbies contractor brother, we made the right call! We will relay the product information to the foreman on Monday.

Now back to how the rest of the morning went. After the foreman had made a few calls they began removing everything that had been done the day before. Imagine our concerns when it was pulled up. The laborer hadn't even used the proper thickness of underlayment and used over a half inch of shims on the joist trying to bring it up to the right height. We just shook our heads! The foreman apologized for the below standard work and immediately had them replace it ALL with the proper underlayment.

We are so HAPPY with what we came home to last evening!

Today we looked at flooring and paint. Picked out the new dishwasher and bought new air vents for the kitchen, bar area, and dining room.

5 days later, they still said "2 WEEKS!"

Our Journey Through LIFE while under reconstruction!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

It's Been Kind of "CRAZY" Around Here!

In fact, the month of July has been the CRAZIEST!

I might add that it was "Wonderfully" CRAZY most the time! The first half was just as CRAZY as the second half of the month. There might have been some CRAZY hot during the month, but when my heart is overflowing with the love of the family, it just chills my soul!

I'm just as CRAZY in love with the family we had visiting the last 2 weeks of the month as much as the family we had visiting the beginning of the month. Half of them were here for 2 weeks and the other half for a week!

I've been entertained beyond my wildest dreams!

Though it had been a year since we last got to hug on them, when they got here, it's was like we had just seen them. Love has no boundaries or distance or time. It's just a forever thing.

Try as we might, schedules just didn't work out for all ten "Grand's" to be here at the same time. Boy would that have been CRAZY! A CRAZY I wouldn't mind experiencing though. I am just so happy we had the time we did and look forward to the next time. (Which is constantly being planned out, just need dates to fill in the blanks!) For now I soak up every moment available.

Their days were full of visiting with family and as many of their friends as possible, along with many barbecues, lots of swimming, and oh so much more.

I miss them already!

As if this CRAZY love wasn't enough, my dishwasher decided to become a CRAZY waterfall two weeks ago, constantly dumping tons of water before my son could get the water turned off. No, there was not a mouse! Just an old dishwasher that decided this week, with a full house of company, was a good time to join the appliance heaven. It took 5 days just to dry out the mess it made.

Plus, I guess it had been leaking for a while prior to the waterfall, creating some black mold which had to be removed properly. Thank God for giving me the thoughts to take pictures. It showed how dry the floor was just a few months ago. This was definitely a dishwasher malfunction that the insurance adjuster said happened over the last month to 6 weeks, with the waterfall event being the final breaking point.

So my kitchen looked like this for a few days while they did the first stage.

In fact, is looks like that again today as they begin reconstruction. While signing papers yesterday to approve the work, a few movies went through my head as I heard the words
"2 Weeks!"

Like in Total Recall!

I sure hope it doesn't become the 2 weeks like in The Money Pit

Did you think that was all the CRAZINESS going on around here.

Hubby has been CRAZY busy for a summer. I am by no means complaining. With my health being funky, and him being busy, getting away and out of the heat hasn't really been an option other then that last day trip we took over to San Diego. Having had an employee out with a broken ankle for 2 weeks had been the CRAZIEST part. The temporary help provided didn't drive and was claustrophobic, making crawling under a house for an install out of the question. Being flexible was important, plus having understanding customers really helped. Through all the challenges, I believe this July was a record for us compared to other years. Win, Win, right! CRAZY how those things work out.

As if the CRAZY monsoon weather we have been experiencing wasn't enough either, now I am once again experiencing some more CRAZY, because we finally found some time to get away for a WEEK and the reconstruction just so happens to land right in the middle of it. There will need to be some compromising because we ARE going to get that brief vacation in before season starts, one way or another!

Just another CRAZY time on Our Journey Through LIFE!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


This year I tagged 61 items and submitted 88 photos.  I am very pleased with the amount I got this year. I had so much fun!

I am by no means a professional photographer. I don't focus on the settings at all. I use auto focus 99% of the time. I just enjoy playing with my camera which is a Canon Power Shot 5X50HS. I love it! It captures so many of our precious memories. I have shot through windows, while going 75 miles per hour, through a cyclone fence, even from an airplane window! I take hundreds, if not thousand, of pictures sometimes, and if I am really lucky, I get a few dozen awesome photos. Okay, maybe more now that I have become comfortable with what I can do with it. I am thinking, and sometimes I can think on something for a long time, but I would like to take a photo class. I have also seen photo seminars that sound really interesting. Not the online type, but location ones where you walk around a specific place taking pictures with a professional sharing tips. They had one in Tucson a few years back. I will have to research this again now that my health is plateauing to where a journey like this just might be possible.




#Splash (We did a lot of splashing this month)






#Sailboat #Sunflare




Looking forward to doing it again next year!

Great way to capture Our Journey Through LIFE!

[x] apple pie a la mode
[x] backyard
[x] balloons
[x] baseball field
[x] beach ball
[x] berries
[x] binoculars
[ ] bubblegum bubble
[x] buddies *
[x] camper *****
[x] campfire
[x] candy apple
[x] canoe
[ ] cartwheel
[ ] circus tent
[ ] clothespins
[x] cloud watching *
[ ] coconut
[ ] craft fair
[x] croquet
[x] daisy

[ ] diving board
[ ] earthworm
[ ] face paint
[x] firetruck
[x] fireworks **
[ ] fishing pole
[ ] flamingo
[ ] flippers 
[ ] flower chain
[x] food truck
[ ] fresh herbs
[ ] frisbee
[ ] gardener
[x] giraffe
[x] globe lights **
[x] golden hour *
[ ] grilled
[x] headband
[x] high five
[x] hiking trail
[x] home grown
[x] horse
[ ] hotdog vendor
[ ] ice cream shop
[x] inner tube
[ ] kettle corn
[x] kite flying ***
[ ] ladybug
[ ] lakeside
[x] lawnchair
[ ] lemonade stand
[x] lighthouse **
[ ] log cabin
[ ] margarita
[x] marshmallow
[x] melon
[ ] melt
[ ] merry-go-round
[ ] mini-golf
[ ] monkey bars
[x] national flag *
[x] outdoor dining
[x] palm tree
[x] party
[ ] peaches

[x] petal
[ ] picnic basket
[x] pier
[ ] pineapple
[x] pinwheel
[x] raindrop
[ ] red rover
[ ] roasted
[x] rollercoaster
[x] sailboat *
[x] sandals
[x] skateboard
[x] slip-n-slide
[x] soaked
[x] splash *******
[x] stars
[x] straw hat
[x] summer breeze
[ ] sundae
[x] sunflare 
[x] swim 
[ ] swing
[x] tank top 
[ ] teal
[x] toes
[x] tractor
[ ] trampoline
[x] tropical print
[x] underwater *
[ ] waffle cone
[x] waterfall
[x] water balloon
[x] wheelbarrow


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