Monday, February 27, 2023

Frustrated Incorporated Weekend Recap

Good Monday morning to you all!  I hope you are hungover with bliss in how awesome your weekend was because that's what normal people's weekends are, right?  Jam packed with awesome?  At least that's how we assume it is because ours are usually the opposite and the taint slide into the weekend was no exception.


I spent last week essentially busting my booty to attempt to get out what smoke smell I could.  From baking soda to vinegar to clear coating to wiping down everything, it was quite exhausting.  I subsisted on easy lunches like Cheerios and strawberries or cottage cheese and grapes because I had nothing more in me to make sure I had lunch.  I spent Thursday with the blow dryer and heat gun detaching around 65 cork squares I put up in vain in 2020 in attempts to deaden sound in cabinets.  Spoiler alert:  It didn't work.  What it did do is absorb a goodly amount of smoke.  That cabinet contained everything from cookbooks to tea bags in a now ruined bamboo tea box to canisters of flour, sugar, etc.  All had to be either thrown out or stuff like the sealed outer tea bags were put into a big sealable bag with baking soda boxes that seemed to be helping.  The only thing on that cabinet to not sustain smoke damage was my Grandma's cookbook which was directly above the fire.  I know what we think on that subject and anyone that doesn't believe someone was protecting that definitively would if you'd smelled that cupboard and everything in it.  My arms absolutely KILLED me Friday into Saturday on the bottom where I had to rest them on the edge of the bottom of the cabinet as I worked each cork square off.  The smoke smell is maybe 50% better but the reclaimed wood ceiling is holding the rest of it and it is hard to be in the kitchen.  After some research, dewaxed shellac is literally the only option we have so we were going to have to make a trip for that since that particular one is apparently hard to find.  Obviously.

Thursday was also the day the drywall dude came.  He seemed knowledgeable and we thought he understood how we wanted the green glue applied but it became apparent he didn't so we had to go through a big spiel about it.  He was going to see if his drywall distributor could get us the soundproof drywall which we know is much more expensive but we're desperate even if he claimed it does nothing.  Look pal, it does more than regular drywall according to most reviews and you add green glue to that and it should be MUCH quieter for us.  He did actual measurements and stuff; something the original guy a week or two ago did not do nor did he listen to anything we asked and that is the top rated drywaller in town.  He said he would get back to us with pricing that day or the next and then get the contract together if we want to go forward.  He actually either checked or went to his drywaller supplier and they were saying to use these one sound panels underneath.  A quick search showed those panels along with the 5/8" drywall were going to be too much for that area.  Not to mention he had the idea of building a furring strip wall which would be an inch deep and determined that would be too thick.  Well the panels his distributor was suggesting were only 1/4" less than that.  Plus they required screws to attach.  NOPE.  We do not need MORE points of vibration for that d-bag to have.  The Mr had to finally put his foot down on it and he dropped it.  He gave us kind of random pricing of things separate.  Basically $3500 for the labor and the materials were going to be about $1500 (which is actually less than we thought because he couldn't find the QuietRock 530 we wanted but we told him SoundBreak was fine too and that is $40 less per sheet of drywall.)  The way he was talking about the pricing was kind of weird in his texts and the Mr gave him the okay on Friday to send over a contract for us to look at but as of today we haven't gotten it yet.  I swear to God if this guy flakes on us, I'm going to lose my shizz.

Then came the loveliness of the microwave install.  The Mr checked the new microwave and it was the exact same size and used the exact same template.  The microwave was taken down for them, washers in place and bolts in the holes they needed to go in.  It literally could not be an easier job for these guys.  The install took 5 minutes and appeared to be good to go.  Then came Sunday.  The Mr checked in the cabinet.  Not only did they not use the large metal washers we provided (because it looks like swiss cheese up there from drilling for previous microwaves past) but the right side was not even screwed into the damn microwave!!


We paid Best Buy for installation and the subs didn't even install it right.  The screw was in cockeyed and not even holding it up.  So we had to take the frigging thing down for the most part, get a new metal washer for the right side because the effer was too lazy to drill a 1/4" back to line things up when he literally had nothing else he had to do or grunt about and reinstall the thing ourselves.  If you think we're paying for install when the Mr had to reinstall, you are new here.  So the Mr chatted with a condescending AI chat that I would not have put up with before having to call to see if the local store could help us.  Of course they weren't going to give us our money back but a gift card.  Oy.  Whatever.  I'm sure something else will blow up soon we can put it toward.  Unfortunately they don't carry hot water tanks there since every time it runs it sounds like an explosion waiting to happen.  Dealing with all of the crap meant by the time we were done eating brunch, we were bushed for the day which sucked because their was still much to do with zero motivation left from the soul crush that has become the daily grind around here.  

I decided to see if I could get the closet done as far as the soundproofing stuff.  I pulled the baseboards off and saw this loveliness against Chez Douche's wall: sound can get through that huge gap as well as the one hiding under the front piece.  πŸ˜’  I immediately put acoustic caulk back there then covered the plywood with the sound deadening mats like I did the bottom part.  I had some brain farts and mixed up a few pieces of trim but ask me if I care at this point.  It's a closet and not a walk in so I have zero interest in how polished it looks right now.  I still need to sand the back wall then paint over the patches from the insulation install but that wasn't happening yesterday given it was getting late at that point and we still had leg day to do with Joel Freeman.  I felt like a rag doll after that and had no interest in doing more than I needed to food wise (see a trend?) so I chucked some shrimp and crab ravioli in boiling water while I made an arugula salad with radishes and red cabbage then threw on a little alfredo sauce and called it done.

I told the Mr the to do list is endless.  Like even once we get the drywall done (if that ever happens), we have to get the other side done, paint the walls and ceilings again and reattach every baseboard which means caulking and repainting.  Eventually do the stairs which we thought last year would be our early 2023 project until the universe chuckled, the bathroom floor needs replaced because since doing the hardwoods upstairs the gray LVP now looks like hillbillies live here.  The garage needs to be drywalled and green glued because if you think we hear the neighbor well inside, in the garage we hear every single word because there is clearly ZERO insulation in there.  So we're likely going to get mineral wool insulation and open up each cavity and shove that crap in there and see what it does before committing to doing out there what we're doing in here (attempting at this point).  The basement is in full disarray again and I want to throw it all out.  Is there ever a day as a homeowner where everything is in it's place, every project is done and you can sit down and breathe for like a week?

Somewhere in all of that insanity we binged White Lotus season two since we have HBOMax for another week or so.  My God that was awful.  I was expecting better than the first season which I wasn't overly impressed with to begin with but it was actually slower, more boring and made us want to rage for wasting 3 hours over the weekend.  I know we were late to the party but UGH.

Then we settled in for some Chateau to unwind and that about shot us in the butt for the night.

Anything fun on your end this weekend?  Would love to hear it!

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Friday, February 24, 2023

What I'm Reading This Week #8

Happy last Friday of February! 

("I will not say how is it the last Friday in February...I will not say how is it the last Friday in February...")


How is it the last Friday in February!?!?!

See this is what I think February's purpose is.  January seems like a year so they made February shorter to compensate but all it does is screw with your perception of time and then it just pulls the rest of the months down the time suck with it.  Am I nuts?  (Don't answer that.)

Thanks so much to everyone for the suggestions and virtual hugs on our fiery misfortunes this week.  We're slowly getting there one irritating task at a time.  The wood ceiling is going to be the real pisser on this one.  It's retaining all of the eau de smoke.  And for you skeptics out there, everything in the microwave cabinet was ruined or smoke damaged except my 4th generation cookbook from my grandma.  I don't care what you believe, there is zero logical explanation why everything else was a loss and that doesn't have the faintest smell of smoke when everything else beside it did.

Now let's get to:

Should You Hold Your Breath While Lifting Weights?  (I know I'm guilty if it gets toward the end of a set and I'm struggling.)

11 Metabolism Myths That Might Be Ruining Your Weight Loss  (Interesting stuff and #7 is kind of infuriating.)

New Study Highlights the Risk of Stopping Ozempic Treatment Once Started  (Our new doc mentioned if I ever was considering this to let her know and she could get me a prescription.  I'm not judging anyone who chooses this road for themselves but for me personally the fact that there is a shortage for people who medically need this for diabetes means I'm not going to contribute to the problem.  I know too many people with diabetes that shouldn't have to worry if their life saving medicine will be available.  If you're considering it, read this article paying attention to the line "In the study, patients regained "two-thirds of their prior weight loss" one year after withdrawal.")

4 Easy Ways to Improve Your Mental Health Without Therapy  (These are good things to try if you're not ready for or can't afford therapy right now.)

12 Surprising Egg Substitutes You’ll Swear Are the Real Thing  (Because those lil bastards are expensive right now!!)

Here's why you should make a habit of having more fun  (Belly laughing until you can't breathe is the best!)

Is chocolate good for your heart? Finally the FDA has an answer – kind of  (When will anyone have a real answer for anything?)

20 DIY Hacks to Burglar-Proof Your Home (The Mr just did #9 which we've been meaning to do for years.  You would not believe how tiny the original screws are compared to 3" ones.  A toddler could karate chop the front door in!)

How To Clean Books by Disinfecting and Freezing  (Well, I guess I have some freezing to do.  I can tell you something it can't do is get out smoke smell.)

Miss a post here this week? missed out-there were some doozies.  Catch up below!

Is it time to go somewhere or something?  Between me cutting up my fingers on the deadening putty foil, a microwave fire that has our house smelling like the worst popcorn fire you've smelled x100, having the bedroom in a shambles day in and day out and waiting for some kind of freaking solution on the drywall BS, I feel like I'm waving the white flag.  I need to get out of the damn house.  I feel like it's consuming me cell by cell.  If anyone remembers Lullaby by The Cure, I am Robert Smith and the house is the Spiderman: always...hungry.

Any plans for your sassy asses this weekend?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2023

It Was Lit

I'm writing this on my phone so only good things can come from two hours sleep (4 total over two days) squinting in the dark without a proofreader, right?

If you follow me on Facebook, you already know we had a fire in our microwave Monday night.  We're not sure what caused it but I can tell you the aftermath of pure stench is unbearable.  It was only the food that caught fire but the amount of billowing toxic smoke has left us gagging.  Thank God we just replaced our fire extinguishers within the past few months because this one (affiliate link) got it out quickly.  Highly recommend everyone has one in your kitchen and it's cheap and small so it doesn't take up room or need directions to read to use when you're under pressure.  The smoke damage/replacement is not something insurance would cover though we do have an adjustor from the extended warranty place coming next week to look at it in the garage because that mofo was taken down quick.  We fully expect them to deny it because I worked in that industry and that's their job.   It's only 3 years old which is a bite in the ass.

I guess thankfully it happened on the end of Presidents day so we were able to get a sale price on a new one.  I was also able to see that behind the microwave were two one inch holes the reno dudes drilled for some reason so the witch neighbor has had two big sound gaps straight into the kitchen.  You can bet your sweet bippy I plugged those mofos with acoustic putty (affiliate link) we had from the outlet covers!!
I also saw a big gap between the microwave cabinet and the next one for a sound drum affect and had the Mr fill it with mineral wool insulation which we'll seal so nothing drops over time but these two things have already made a difference and that's with having no microwave there.  I need to add a thin layer behind the bracket too.

I spent yesterday washing curtains, slipcovers, the Mr wet vac'd the carpet on the stairs, etc.  I lost a few things.  I still had up our pine wreaths and garland in there and they got the biggest hit of smoke and were completely unsavable.  (New word alert). The smoke in those were choking and the garland was brand new this year. πŸ˜‘ The wreaths are too expensive for me to justify replacing even though I loved them.  I'll just have to keep my eyes open for something else that doesn't suck or say goodbye to the look I finally loved.  I was able to salvage one that didn't get smoke but if it always reminds me of this, who knows if I'll use it.

I wiped down the cabinets with every cleaner known to man.  I primered over the back microwave wall and used leftover varnish from a project to seal the internal edges of the cabinets with the most damage which seemed to be helping in that tiny area but as I hunt and peck, the progress I thought I made yesterday feels in vain.  I can't open windows today because it's going to be raining all day and even if I could, it got down to 60 yesterday which is new hardwood floor buckling territory.  πŸ™„ I have SO MUCH to do today including wiping down the sealed wood ceiling and hoping I don't have to reseal it.  Wiping down the top of the cabinets and fridge and floor and banisters and table and...

We've got two cans of ceiling paint on standby in case we have to do the unthinkable but given how the smoke was hugging the whole ceiling on the first floor in a matter of seconds, I already know that answer.  I just have to see what odor blocking concoction I'd need to apply first.  Not even going there right now.  I've got baking soda and vinegar in the worst cabinet that I hope did something overnight.  If not, I see Amazon has delivered the coffee grounds that will be residing all over after operation wipe down and hoping for something there.  This doesn't even include still needing to finish the closet.  Now the much needed time away I was hoping for this weekend is now going to be kicking around the house for hours waiting for a microwave delivery.

So if anyone has suggestions on how to get rid of what smells like the worst popcorn fire at your office x100, the Mr and I are all ears!

Wow.  That took 40 minutes to type.  😳

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Monday, February 20, 2023

Holey Crap Weekend Recap

Happy Monday!!  I hope your weekend was full of tomfoolery and shenanigans because that's what weekends are for, amiright?   Before we get started with our weekend shenanigans, in case anyone wants to see what $6K looks like:



I told y'all Friday about putting the extra hole in the bedroom wall for insulation.  Welp, that led to me knocking on the back wall of the closet (the other side of that wall faces the hallway but is attached to the dbag's wall on the one side) and when the hollowness of no insulation echoed back, I asked the Mr to get the multi-tool out again.

I jammed the mineral wool insulation in every crevice since I could clearly see the stud that attaches down to his place.  

The Mr put support wood behind the cut out and screwed them back in place with drywall screws.  Within an hour of me texting "hey, you gotta minute" to drywall being installed, he didn't even have a chance to flop sweat!  πŸ˜†  Then I grabbed the acoustic caulk to fill in the gaps because I wanted zero chance of additional sound leakage.  A few hours later, I checked on it and as usual, it had shrunk back (despite it saying it doesn't do that) so I added more to level the gaps and let it sit overnight.  

Some construction dude is stumbling upon this post and clutching his pearls toolbelt.  Breathe my dude, at least it's not your house.

By Sunday morning I had the second thicker coat of mud on it which meant this closet wall project was going to go into Monday meaning I wouldn't be able to paint until tomorrow.  It's fine, just irritating more than anything.  

That brings me to my other project.

So you know how closets have those two big "stair shelves" when the closet goes over a staircase?  Well, all I could think of now was how that was hollow too.  The problem is that would need a TON of insulation to fill that area in and while I was down, I know that suggestion would've made the Mr twitch.  When I noticed the carpet covering the stair shelves was not even attached, I purchased these mats that others have used not just for auto sound deadening but appliances and stuff with success.  My goal is vibration control and with him slamming his damn dryer door or microwave in the middle of the night like he's trying to slam into the next dimension, I needed to pull every available stop.  

We removed the baseboards on that side and I used the acoustic sealant to fill any potential gaps and gave it some time to set then I laid the pads down.  

I used the box I had to at least do the plywood part and some of the drywall.  The carpet got vacuumed and put back into place.  

Unfortunately, I didn't think of the drywall fronts until the next day so I'll be doing that part today when they arrive and the plan is to get some thin bead board to cover the ugly logo that shows on the drywall part.  Of course there is outgassing which the manufacturer claims takes two days to not be a problem.  (Yeah right.  Given the headache I had right now, I won't hold my breath though when asked the question about smell on Amazon most people said there wasn't a smell (lie) or it dissipated quickly. )  When I've got the rest of it laid and the baseboards/beadboard on, I will caulk the hell out of any gaps to hopefully contain any potential smell.  I took the backing off of the sheets and laid it under the carpet since there's no pad to hopefully keep that from seeping through.  I'm sure I've probably just created some new problem for myself but for now I'm hopeful until there's reason not to be.  😏

We will have essentially insulated the entire closet as best we could until the drywall guys can get back to us.  One is coming this Thursday I think and we're hoping to hear from the other guy the Mr had more faith in soon so that he can do his estimate as well.  Ideally, I want this done in the next 30 days if possible so we can have time to paint everything and install baseboards and stuff.   I'm thinking of getting more of those mats and cutting them to go under the baseboards against the stair wall.  Obviously, I'll see how the smell thing evens out before doing that.  

I know this may sound like overkill to some people or "why don't you just move?" (like it's just so easy to do) but until you've been adrenalized out of the little REM sleep you might get or have to pop Benadryl for any chance of slumber, you'll do what you need to do.  More people live in attached living than free standing so this isn't just an isolated problem.   Once we find something that actually works (or seeing what didn't), I will probably put together official posts on the subject because I know by my own searches that it's hundreds of thousands of people suffering mental health decline because of a-hole neighbors.

It felt like the weekend swirled down the pooper and suddenly it was Sunday night.  Pffft.

What nonsense did you get into this weekend?

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Friday, February 17, 2023

What I'm Reading This Week #7

Finally Friday!  Whew.  What a week.  

Welp, uh that electrical panel thing turned out to be like 3x the amount we were expecting.  Our panel is almost 28 years old and codes have changed.   We don't currently have a whole house surge protector or AFCI which both is what would be installed if the house were built new today.  Thankfully we don't need a whole new panel to up the amps even if we want to put in an EV charger in the future.  ($2K by the way)  Then we were told that basically all of our switches and outlets need replaced because the way the condo place did them was for speed and not safety.  He said we could do that ourselves but they were fires waiting to happen.  I told ya...projects are choosing us this year.  So they did the panel stuff and installed the outlet behind the bedroom TV.

The Mr stuffed the hole full of insulation and I taped and mudded it.  God I hate that.  You look on YouTube and they're all like "it's easy!"  Maybe for you sirs but I seem to suck at this gene.  Thank God the Mr thinks I'm decent at it.  The thing I didn't like is that the insulation didn't reach behind the TV so what did I do?

The Mr screwed the drywall back onto support wood in the wall and I've got a piece that broke off setting in acoustic caulk and mesh taped that will be my project for the next day or so depending on how many coats it takes.  (Usually three so I'll hopefully be done by Sunday and ready to slap some flat ceiling paint up Monday.  All I know is I NEED to get clothes back in there even if it's just to take them out again every day because the night before last it sounded like the neighbor was slamming IN the closet since it's basically empty now.

Speaking of drywall, that brings us to the cost of drywalling over 430 sq ft of party wall on one side.  Luckily, the Mr and I measured those areas ahead of time so we knew how many sheets of drywall would be needed so that we would know if the person was trying to shuck and jive us.  By eye alone he said 15 sheets which is what I estimated as well.  It was a 5 minute appointment and I did slide in that we knew from pricing it out to DIY that we were in $3K for materials because I wanted him to know WE knew how much that stuff costs.   I won't lie, I felt like he didn't get all of the info but he was just the estimator so then it was a nailbiter waiting around for the estimate because after getting a sucker punch on the electrical, we were PRAYING for some relief on the drywall.  Then came the estimate.  $6100.  That was right in line with what we were thinking after pricing out all of the stuff but the estimate did not specifically mention soundproof drywall or sealant and we had questions so the Mr contacted them and no- it did not include soundproof drywall or sealant and they acted like we never mentioned the other walls that make up the hallway.  This is the same sh*t company we called about the ceilings last year that said "well, you're chasing us.  We're really busy."  I didn't like them then and certainly don't like them now.  He called two other places and while I don't have much confidence, one sounds better than the other but both are making calls so we'll see what they come back with.  Back to square friggin' one.

Now let's come back to:

5 Easy Things to Do Every Morning for Better Gut Health (I need all the help I can get.  I take these probiotics but since there's so much more evidence weight loss/wellness is related to the gut health, I'm down for anything.)

6 Shoulder Impingement Exercises You Can Do To Get Rid of the (Literal) Pain in Your Neck  (I know someone who should do these! 😊 Except that Turkish Get Up because that exercise is just rude.)

A Gua Sha Technique For Easing Jaw Tension In A Minute Or Less  (OMG, grabbing my little tool asap.  My jaw has been in a constant state of clench for years.)

I Tried Lymphatic Drainage Boots & Here's What Happened  (These are similar to the 'leg squishies' I talked about taking on our driving trips but mine are much less expensive.  I do the circulation mode then whole mode on maximum and the legs feel SOOO much better!)

Multiple laundry detergents banned after being linked to carcinogens  (See if any of yours are on the list including the most popular detergent out there and yes, even free and clear ones!)

What to Do About Mold Growing In Your Food Storage Container Lids  (You can bet your butt I checked all of mine after reading this!!)

How to Make Your Showers Feel Extra Relaxing and Luxurious  (I think we could all use a little pampering even if you don't have time for a full on bath.  This is my favorite non stinky post shower lotion to lock in the moisture on my crepey self.)

How to Gracefully Turn Down an Invite to an Event You Can't Afford  (The costs that people expect their wedding guests to pay these days are ridiculous.  You don't want me there, you want my gift and I'm good with sending it in my place.  Introversion for the win.)

How 'check washing' can clean out your bank account if you're not alert | Better Business Bureau  (Seriously, why do people suck??  I immediately bought these pens to slap in the checkbook for those rare occasions I need to write one out but for real- I shouldn't have to do that.)

Why Can't Some People See Magic Eye Pictures?  (Stop shaming me.  πŸ˜†  The Mr can, of course.)

Miss a post here this week?  Catch up below!

I'm sure there will be some house released BS we'll be dealing with this weekend.  If nothing else, washing every stitch of clothing in the closet since they now contain drywall dust and insulation fibers.  The biggest thing I want to make sure of is to keep the house clean.  It's so rare it is.  I know our track record isn't good but if we have more dudes dropping by to drop financial bombs on us, we can at least not have to scurry like rats to be 'company ready.'

Anything planned for the weekend or any drama you'd like to share from your week?

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Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Hump Day Chit Chat: Shady AF

This week's chat is courtesy of one of the transients our SWAT neighbor had living with him at the time.  One of our Amazon packages was delivered next door unbeknownst to us and was MIA for two days.  We never answer our door.  If we're not expecting you, I don't even acknowledge it.  Since we got our doorbell cam, the Mr has taken to virtually answering the door which no...I do not want people to know we're in here.  Even when he answered it in VT to a shady dude he said he assumed we weren't home and the Mr was like "no, I'm just not coming down."  I guess if you answer it at all people think you're elsewhere.  Go figure.  πŸ™„

So the dude was returning the package after sitting on it for two days and felt the need to want to hand it directly to us.  The Mr told him over the camera to leave it on the porch and he'd get it when we came home for lunch.  (He was upstairs.)  I was irritated the guy wasn't just leaving the damn thing.  

Aaaaand ACTION!  πŸŽ¬

I learn a lot of things from Criminal Minds. πŸ˜†

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Monday, February 13, 2023

Manic Weekend Recap

This was a weekend.  Friday we dropped off my car since the dealer said the brake calipers were rusted.  Since we don't trust them as far as we can throw them, we took it to our new angels in overalls mom and pop auto garage we found last year.  They looked it over and said "um, no.  Brakes are fine.  Your tires however have dry rot and the tread wear does not match the miles on the car."  Nope.  We moved those over from the Mr's car to mine when he traded it in 18 months later.  They were EXPENSIVE all weather tires and we switched my regular tires over so the dealer would be getting those.  We didn't even think that those tires are now 6 years old.  We gave the go ahead to change them for the lowest acceptable tires since we'll be selling it next year.  (Only 20K original miles and 10 years old.)  We know the dealer would ding us on the tires if we kept them.  We only ended up spending about $150 more than we were planning on so I guess that's not bad.  Plus I was really impressed they caught the tread difference too.  They've sent us to the dealer before on things covered under extended warranties where they could've easily just taken our money.  It's nice to have a place you trust.  Afterward, we walked for our workout downtown.

Saturday we cleaned up a little here and there but the Mr was antsy and wanted to give me my Valentine's gifts of fuzzy socks since some of mine are biting the dust, some of our favorite Hawaiian candy and some maple cotton candy from Vermont that was really good.  I gave him his Curly Wurlies that he loves from his youth, one gift is being delivered tomorrow and another is floating around our mail system.  😐  Then it was time for afternoon tea.

As you know, afternoon tea is my jam so I love putting together all of the little sammies and I tried a new scone recipe that turned out really good.  We got some bundtinis from Nothing Bundt and some lava cake kisses which are little bits of heaven only available around Valentines Day.  I got sassy with the zucchini finger sandwiches and used a little heart shaped cookie cutter.

It was nice to take that time to just enjoy some bossa nova channel and chill for that hour or so.  We were on IG with Marc Maron and decided to get HBOMax for a month to watch his new special since it was based on the early part of the pandemic when we would watch him almost daily.  It was kind of crazy to know who he was talking about neighbor wise, go through reliving Lynne's death and knowing about his dad's dementia.  I wouldn't say it was uplifting because a show called "From Bleak to Dark" doesn't promise sunshine and rainbows but still a good watch for us.  

Then came Sunday.  The Mr woke with a pretty bad headache so we got that taken care of and started getting to work on cleaning the house and attempting soundproofing of our electrical outlets with acoustical putty pads that came in Friday.  Technically, they should be wrapped around the back of the junction box before your electric is installed but we did see a video on YouTube where some dude put it on the back of his wall outlet covers and had a significant reduction in noise from his neighbors.  Well, I don't know about that but I do know there were a TON of gaps that we filled in with putty scraps.  I spent hours pushing that crap on there and cutting out the holes in attempts to seal off the cretins on either side away.  Of course they have decided to be extra quiet today so we haven't really gotten to put them to the true test.  While I know they can't hurt, I'd swear the witch neighbor's microwave was less jarring but she could've decided to close it like a human for once over slamming like it won't close any other way.  We'll be able to tell more this week.  OH yeah.  Where the old coaxial cable was run on our side, the SWAT neighbor's wall mounted TV now rumbles on the other side behind our TV. The wall box where the cables come out was completely void of insulation or a junction box.  So the Mr ran to the big orange machine and got mineral sound dampening insulation to jam in there and then an uber puttied blank face plate with it oozing over the sides for a better seal because ain't nobody gonna see that.  My fingernails were being pulled away from the beds doing that all day so strength was absolutely out.  We've got the house mostly cleaned, though I do need to do the bedroom a bit before we can settle into Chateau and pass out.  The only sleep I've gotten has been Benadryl induced and I'm praying the drywall dude today is going to tell us those days will be over soon because I hate the way I feel the next day.  

So please say a few prayers for us.  Between the electrician and the drywall guy, it's going to be a busy day and I'm praying a day of hope and potentially answered prayers.  I need some friggin' peace, yo.  I'll likely update Thursday because I'm taking tomorrow off to enjoy mah boo.  

How was your weekend?  Anything new, fun, exciting going on?

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Friday, February 10, 2023

What I'm Reading This Week #6

Friday is finally upon us!  It has been a long, emotional, grueling week.  After day four of no sleep for me, Tuesday the Mr called to get the electrician out to see about redoing the panel and he also called the drywall company who does have experience in soundproofing.  They are both coming out Monday.  So that has meant a mad dash of you know, finally taking down the Christmas stuff before Valentines Day and we'll be spending this weekend cleaning all of the spots they'll need to be in in order to do their jobs/give an appropriate estimate.  I'm a little terrified because I'm very worried about the stringer going upstairs being the main transmitter of sound after we spend whatever to put drywall over the existing on that wall.  And you can bet we're going to be watching some of it because I know we're not going to be able to afford doing the dog neighbors wall but hers is a straight shot on the wall.  I have no true idea what he's going to tell us price wise but as I said the other day, moving is not an option and our mental health is just completely swirling.  I'm holding onto weight because I'm getting literally ZERO sleep.  That is not an exaggeration.  I have crippling insomnia just waiting for him to slam all night long.  Two white noise machines and a pillow over my head do nothing.  Wearing earplugs rip my ears up but they're going to have to be the temporary solution until we can add mass between us.  I try to keep telling myself if we ever do get to move after winning a scratch off like My Lottery Dream Home then soundproofing will be a selling point.  (Of course, you actually have to play to win but still.)

Anyhoo, let's move into:

Best and Worst Fish for Your Health  (Well Mr, I guess we can kiss the orange roughy goodbye.  I know you're sad. 😏 )

6 Triceps Extension Variations to Strengthen Your Arms, No Matter Your Fitness Level or Abilities  (If you want shapely biceps, apparently the key is to round out the triceps too so I need to get on these!)

All About Muscle Knots, Including Causes, Treatment, and Prevention  (I've got some good ones right now and by 'good' I mean royal PITA's!)

Intense exercise encourages coronary artery calcification  (Well um this is kind of terrifying.  I guess no HIIT for me on a consistent basis!)

7 Big Marriage Issues Therapists Are Seeing Right Now  (Yep, we're suffering from a few of these too.)

Six Ways Self-Defeating Humor Takes a Terrible Toll  (I grew up with this, mimicked what I saw and heard and as a result, I am literally the worst bully I could ever ask for.)

5 Ways to Refresh Your Space Without Buying Anything New  (Some good ideas to mix it up and make stuff feel new to you.)

Why You Should Consider Blurring Out Your House On Google Maps (Yep.  The world is nuts enough- no need to give strangers your home on a silver platter.)

The Dark Secret Behind Grocery Store Rotisserie Chicken  (I don't get these but I know many people do and now I never will.  Eww.)

Miss some posts here this week?  Click below to catch up!

We dropped off my car this morning for potentially rusted brakes.  When it rains, it pours.  πŸ˜•   It's Valentine's weekend if anyone still celebrates that.  I always go through phases and I'm kind of riding the line this year.  I make it clear NEVER get me flowers for Vday because that just stresses me out between the price and them giving you their crappiest flowers quality wise.  No thanks.  I'll probably throw together a little afternoon tea or something in between us cleaning for the contractors.  Please wish us all the luck.  I am not okay.

Any plans for the weekend?  Do you celebrate Valentines Day?

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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Hump Day Chit Chat

Okay so here's a new feature that we're gonna test out.  I may be the only one who likes seeing chats between married couples but when I see round ups of them on a site, they'll always get my click.  I like seeing other couples are as weird, funny, frustrated, etc as we are on things.  We work from home together but on different floors so we use chat to bother each other when we should be working.  Some of the things that we've said in chat have made me giggle or are relatable rants that I thought you guys might enjoy.  Maybe it's lame.  Maybe I'm the only one who enjoys this kind of stuff but eh...something different. πŸ˜‹ 

I will set up the context in the proceeding paragraph and share an actual chat between the Mr and I.  The chat content will be unedited except if we are removing someone's name, I'll black it out.  There's likely cursing but there's cursing here so that should be nothing new.  It's basically just a little peek into how the Mr and I communicate with each other.  I know you guys see his comments but you don't really see us interact so this is just a snippet that made me chuckle a little and I hope it does for you too.  If you can relate or just want to give a quick emoji response if you like it and want to see more, feel free to comment.  So, let's crack open this inaugural Hump Day Chit Chat.


Tax season is upon us and I got an email from our tax preparer saying she was only doing in person prep service and not the way we've done it so she doesn't have to switch between two systems.  Honestly, I was not super jacked about her anyway since she was 1) in another state and 2) was a quick choice two years ago when our usual lady quit and was looking to replace her this year anyway.  We are not tax aficionados so any little questions I would ask last year I felt like she thought it was stuff I should know which irritated me.  I do not know these things hence why I'm paying you, woman!

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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

The Home Projects Are Picking Us This Year

I had plans for this year and already the universe points and laughs.   We still have carpet on the stairs that looks horrible so we were going to retread them and replace the horrible dated balusters which look relatively easy to do.  (I know.... famous last words!)  Then some smaller decorative projects to finish up the master bedroom.  We didn't want anything remotely as disrupting as what we went through last year and those seemed like reasonable projects to shoot for.  

I did not plan on 2 1/2 months since being "done" with the biggest parts of the master bedroom being choked out with noxious fumes on the daily.  There's no better way to start your day than with dry eyes, congestion, a burning throat and hacking up a lung trying to get the 'low voc' water based stain out of every pore of your body.  Then not knowing if it was the found-out-too-late info of potentially cancer causing outgassing fumes from the vinyl mural was the culprit or the wood I spent so much time distressing, staining and waxing.  I sealed the mural with two coats of clear furniture wax, let it cure for 2 weeks (and let my shoulder recover from the privilege) before applying 2 more coats and knowing I'll have to reseal it with two coats every or every other year.  I told you guys before that I used a sample of no voc varnish to find on an extra board that it did block the stain smell so I found a matte version of a similar varnish so it wouldn't look like a 70's nightmare.  While I was not jacked about having to seal the wood wall/shelf on a project I was relieved to be done with, it had to be done or the wood was going to get ripped out.  Can you effing imagine after all we'd been through having to rip it out??  (Though I will say, if you are in attached living- don't do it.  I swear that wood is now just an amplifier for the witch's drawers closing on her nightstand and down in her kitchen reverbing up through the studs.  We did not have the ability to put thicker drywall on so yeah, I have to live with that one.)

Speaking of a-hole neighbors, we have no choice but to re-drywall our entire party walls.  The quality of life here has swirled and it's even worse now that these dicks are working from home right along with us.  I know we're not quiet as mice but I've lived in attached living my whole life except for two years (which was heavenly) so I was trained to be courteous to neighbors.  No one else has gotten that memo.  The guy next door who has two renters now since his wife left him (also a slammer) after he held her hostage and threatened 6 police officers with a gun slams morning, noon and night.  And I mean as late as 1am and as early as 4am.  If you think we're talking to a man who isn't afraid to point a gun at 6 cops and got away with it is high on our priority list, you would be mistaken.  He slams the microwave, every cupboard door, the washer and dryer and mounted a TV to the wall.  This all is attached to every space of our living area.  I have nightly anxiety attacks starting at 7pm knowing I've got an hour if I'm lucky until he starts blasting his talk shows or now, his new addition of music.  Sometimes, we get the honor of him slamming the sliding closet door like he's ending an argument or sounds like he just randomly throws a bowling ball at the wall and makes me jump out of my skin.  Yep, we've looked at moving and you've seen the markets out there.  We haven't had a mortgage in 8 years.  Would you be anxious to get one that was 3-4x the amount you paid when you had one for a house that will need reno's and meant you would basically never have another vacation again?   (We haven't found a single one we liked in 15 years and I look weekly.)  So we know we can't really afford to go anywhere with this BS of the housing market even with $150K down.  We found a dealer who can get the Sound Break drywall and we'll get a quote for installation of both one and two layers.  I know we can't control the stomping around because of the joists but if we could get even a 50% improvement on the amount of noise coming through our walls, it would dial down my 24/7 anxiety.  Even going upstairs doesn't help because we hear him slamming in his kitchen which is directly connected to the stairs.  It is hell on Earth but I read about people who live in free standing houses next to people with non stop barking dogs, loud music, her-dee-der hee hawin', mowing the lawn at 7am on a weekend just as much.  This does not bode well for someone incredibly sensitive to sound.  It has to be installed going both upstairs and down and we know that isn't something we could DIY for his side.  We'll have to see how that goes and if it works well, then we'll have to work on her side and her untrained barking dog.  It literally sounds like they're in our house now.  My temporary solution is a loud white noise maker and I think I'm training her that when the dog is out of control, that comes on and she doesn't like it so she'll actually "parent" at times to keep things quieter some days.

But guess what we have to do BEFORE we can get to that?  Upgrade our electrical panel.  Yep.  We've never felt super confident in the wiring here when it was brand new in early 1996.  If you ran the vacuum, you'd get that little flicker of the lights throughout the whole house when you turned it on.  It's only gotten worse as time passes.  It got noticeably bad when we had the kitchen reno done.  They moved the hole for the chandelier which had been done before but we also had them install LED recessed lights in the cave of a living room.  (We were too poor at 21 and 23 to pay $45 for the rough in and it's the biggest mistake we ever made not begging for $1 from each family member and friend and that we'd pay them back with wedding money.  That $45 cost us over $1000 24 years later!)  All of the lights on the first floor will flicker every now and then especially in the kitchen.  We couldn't even do the Edison lights I originally had because it would flicker so much it was like a damn disco in there!  It never happened right away, so I just thought they were crappy bulbs.  But then when I noticed the following year that the recessed lights would do it when they were set on the middle of the dimmer intermittently, I started looking crap up.  The final nail in the coffin was the electric fireplace in the bedroom.  When you turn that on, if the air purifier was on in there, the purifier output would drop to about 50%.  It's insanity.  Welp, that has to be done first because if they need to poke around in the drywall, it isn't going to be after we've just paid thousands to add a layer or two onto the existing.

This isn't even addressing the hot water tank that desperately needs replaced and sounds like someone playing marbles with metal ball bearings when it's heating up or if the dishwasher or washer is running.  πŸ˜‘  That one is going to have to get pushed out as far as we can go with it.  We're hoping it's just more of a nuisance thing right now because it's not more than 10 years old.  

So who knows if the stairs will even get touched this year or next since we'll be in the market for a new car and all of the rules have been thrown out the window on a 30 year process we're used to.  We can't do the stairs until the drywall is done because I'm not having them get ruined after putting all of the time and expense into it.   I haven't slept for a solid hour due to the slamming and anxiety of anticipating the slamming in four days now.  I was supposed to do taxes but I honestly don't trust my brain to carry out that task.  I have tried all of the things and nothing works.  I am exhausted and barfy just thinking about all of that.  Until it can all be tackled, we're basically hostages in our own home.


Any home projects picking you this year?

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Monday, February 6, 2023

End of an Era Weekend Recap

Welcome to the new week, y'all!  I hope you all had a lovely weekend.  I have to say, last week really drop kicked us, especially the Mr.  His work was being a flaming bag of rump holes and it went all the way until Friday afternoon.  We decided a trip to his hometown was in order as a reward for making it through hell week.  We chatted the whole way up under the ripply clouds so it made the few hours drive go quicker.

He always loves to get some of the donuts he and his dad loved when he was a kid and get some extras to freeze to have when he wants a weekend treat.  As we pulled up to the shopping center, the sign was gone and so was the donut shop.  

I was so sad for him; it was the end of an era.  This was a direct connection to his dad and while he always knew it could be gone one day and this was the one time we didn't call ahead for them to save us some.  Sigh, you never know when the last time will be the last time.  There was another branch in the next town but when we tried them before they weren't as good so we drove over to see if they were even close.  While they were out of his favorites, they did have a similar one to try and they will do over having nothing.  We hit all of the usual spots while we were there.  Unfortunately it was a little blustery so we couldn't get out much.  We visited his dad at the cemetery who was giving lots of signs all week to help him get through.  Then we headed home chilled the rest of the night.

Sunday the Mr did a grocery pick up and we took our coffee upstairs and watched SNL and Sunday Morning like the old folks we are.  My head was swirling with all of the things I needed to get done and finally we got up and I made lunch of grilled cheese and soup.  I got our insurance all paid after I made sure they didn't jack up our rates beyond an expected amount.  I thought maybe I'd get to taking this down:

That's right, it's still up.  A personal record for us.  If it also looks a little different it's because I took the red bulbs off and put on clear snowflakes in hopes it'd bring us some snow.  It has not.  Winter here has SUCKED.  But we had other stuff taking precedence.  The Mr pulled the baseboards off the wall and we got to using the acoustic sealant on the major gaps underneath in small hopes it would deaden some sound.  I will elaborate more on why in tomorrow's post.  Yep, a Tuesday post coming at ya and that'll happen on and off so make sure you check back if you're not following on Facebook for notifications.  I'll also link to all posts for the week at the bottom of the Friday links post in case you missed any and want to catch up.

I made our Einkorn banana muffins for the week's snacks since finding out we were eating heavy metal chocolate on the daily.  I swear man, you try to do something that every friggin' article out there says is good for you and you can actually enjoy but nope- we're going to kill you with 192% of the recommended amount of lead on the daily.  Jackasses.  We're trying to formulate a plan of some sort on the health front.  I have been completely unmotivated to plan out meals the day before like I used to and I'm getting tired of eating the same thing.  I was looking at some home dΓ©cor chick who lost 55 lbs last year just making some tweaks.  She said doing strength training 4x a week is what really put her over weight loss wise.  We're thinking maybe we're just going to have to jump on it.  We've never worked up to that much, always 3x week at most but it might be time.   We started things off with a new to us leg day from Kaleigh Cohen with a bonus of having not one but TWO pups in the video.  So while we're noodley today, it was worth it to watch some lazy pups.

How was your weekend? 

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