Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Money Pit

1986: Tom Hanks and Shelley Long star in a hilarious movie about buying a house that seems perfect on the outside but once they move in they discover it is falling apart. I love that movie, I own that movie..............I'm living that movie, seriously.

2006: we have just moved back to Indiana from Florida and are all four living in a tiny 2 bedroom condo. We spent 5 months looking at houses and trying to find the "perfect" house for us. On a cold and snowy day we find it! It is a beautiful 6 bedroom house on the golf course. A newly remodeled kitchen and two fireplaces, one in the family room and one in the KITCHEN! The fires were going in the fireplaces, the candles were burning, christmas music was playing, and the price was surprisingly cheap! (at least by Florida standards). The trap was set and we stepped right into it. Suckers that we are we bought that house the same day.

Shortly after moving in and redoing two of the bedrooms on the lower level for my 16 year old said bedrooms flooded. The new carpet was ruined the drywall was ruined the new trim was ruined....well, you get the picture. This fix required a building engineer, a drywaller and involved removing all the landscape on the front of the house and installing a drainage system on the outside. Thus requiring all new landscaping in the front of the house. The building engineer told us that this had obviously happened before and since we had the house inspected we contacted our Realtor about the issue. Long story and two real estate attorneys later we were told if we couldn't locate an invoice for a previous repair we couldn't prove the sellers knew about the problem.

Next, the shower in the lower level had a leak. We contacted the plumber who did the inspection (yep, had that inspected too). He tells us there is a crack in the drain pan and claims it wasn't there when he did the inspection. Yeah, right. So we need to replace the drain pan. The shower was old so we decided to just replace the shower unit also. We did the demo ourselves to save money and besides, I love to tear things apart! Halfway into the tear down we notice something that looks like wood rot.....no wait......maybe it's.....yep it is.......TERMITES. So, I called the inspector (yep, had that inspected too) and he comes out. Says the termites were hiding inside the wall and he had no way of knowing they were there. Points out the contract I signed that states they are not responsible for termites in areas they can't access. Several thousand dollars later the whole house is treated for termites. Well, at least that explains one thing........now we know why the woodpeckers are destroying the siding on the back and east side of the house. Heavy sigh.

I won't go into the details of how we lose water in the house when the water softener runs (also inspected), the flood in the kitchen when the plumbing under the sink gave way, seeped into the lower level and part of our brand new family room ceiling came crashing down on our brand new family room furniture and carpet (see previous plumbing inspection), etc..... Well, last week I decided I had enough. I was taking control of this house. This house was not going to beat me. I had a real Rocky Balboa moment there and got on the phone. I called the septic people to come and pump out the system, I called the water softner people to come fix the water softner (4th repair in 14 months and also inspected) and I called the plumber to come and fix the drains in the upstairs bathroom and the lower level NEW shower. I felt good, I felt in control and last night............the phones in the house went out.........again.

Sometimes you just can't win......

"Every path has its puddles"

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I accept that challenge

I am a blog addict. I read many blogs everyday and chat online about them with my cyber friends. Lately I've had enough. It seems to me that everyone posts about their perfect families and perfect houses and perfect lives and I'm here to say NOBODY's life is that perfect all the time. So, after complaining to my BFF Kim this morning she sent me this challenge:


I challenge you to write a blog about your life. For people to get to know Lisa. I challenge you to post twice a week and share a recipe one of those posts! Some of us need to read an uplifting blog about a "normal" person with a normal family and it's everyday challenges. No family is perfect. There............................

Well Kim, I accept that challenge.

So for a first post I'll list my accomplishments as I see them.

First of all I love to scrapbook but only for my own enjoyment. I don't submit layouts, I don't teach classess and I don't read "certain" message boards.

I feed my family dinner most every night but the meals, for the most part, would not be considered homemade. I am working on that and am learning to enjoy preparing a meal.

I have been married 22 years to my high school sweetheart and not all of them have been rosy. I am the mother of two teenage boys 16 and 14. My 14 year old is actually pretty close to perfect, okay so I'm biased, and my 16 year old makes me laugh but gives me my gray hairs!

I am born and raised in Indiana with a too brief layover in Tampa, Florida. I'm now back in Indiana where my entire family lives within miles of each other.

So here is my recipe. It's a simple one that I learned in the cooking classes that my husband and I are currently taking. Perfect for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Dip

1-5 oz. package vanilla instant pudding mix
1-15 oz. can solid packed pumpkin
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/8 t. ground allspice
8 oz. cool whip
Add milk to vanilla pudding according to package directions. Whip in brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg for 2 minutes, until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in whipped cream until combined. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Keep cold until serving time. Serve with cinnamon graham crackers, gingersnaps, sliced apples or other sliced fruits. Yield about 3 cups.


I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be. But most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see. - Douglas Pagels