Balls to the [dry]wall

We passed all of the inspections so we were able to put up drywall. It makes a world of difference when you can actually see and walk through each room. Now we are able to visualize our rooms better. We’re running full speed ahead with the taping, mudding, painting, refinishing trim and getting doors back on. And everything else of course.

In the kitchen looking at our pantry/buffet corner

In the kitchen looking at our pantry/buffet corner

In the kitchen looking at the front hallway and front door

In the kitchen looking at the front hallway and front door

The one downside of having drywall up is the loss of so much natural light! I guess I won’t care or notice as much when we have our lighting turned on, but right now it’s kind of dark compared to what it used to look like and it kind of bummed me out, because we added so many windows. I want light er’where!

Standing in the living room looking into the dining room

Standing in the living room looking into the dining room

Standing in the dining room looking at the doorway to the kitchen

Standing in the dining room looking at the doorway to the kitchen

We are talking about applying wall texture and what to do about the bedrooms that are already painted. Remember we didn’t have to tear into the walls in the bedrooms, so we realistically don’t need to texture those. Ross asked me my opinion and honestly I don’t think as a home buyer I would notice. Everything is going to be staged anyway so it’s not like someone’s going to be staring at the wall texture.

Light cutouts in the kitchen ceiling

Light cutouts in the kitchen ceiling

I remember the words vapor barrier being thrown around at some point...but I honestly don't know what this is. Some kind of plastic for the wall. ;)

I remember the words vapor barrier being thrown around at some point…but I honestly don’t know what this is. Some kind of plastic for the wall. ūüėČ

Onto the mudding and taping…the part that everyone hates! Or so I’ve heard. Not about that mudding life.

Sharp as a tack

Sometimes (most of the time) George says stuff that doesn’t make sense or kind of makes sense ~ but it’s funny because of how he says it. For example, he says stuff like “next morning time” for tomorrow. We made toast this morning and George attempted to take¬†the knife out of my hand:

George: “Can I butter the toast? Can I, can I?”

Me: “You can help, but we have to be careful because knives are sharp.”

George: “I can help! I’m sharp too!”

There’s a lot to learn out there….

Sometimes I like to dig into subjects I feel dumb about to clear up some of the complexity. (Within reason…I have no desire to vet out¬†car engines or optometry, for example). Case in point somehow without my permission or intention¬†I’ve somehow soaked up some useless car battery knowledge …when I’m driving [safety first!] instead of texting I text Ross voice memos… I’m such a nerd!! But we never see each other so this is our only convo really…and I was kind of proud of myself:

Yeah so…my coworkers make fun of me for listening to the “radio” – like the dial up old school radio wave type of radio. I’m on board with Pandora and Spotify, sure, of course, but I like the randomness of the radio a little bit! Oh and I actually win contests a lot too….but consistently made fun of, I am…

So along the lines of random knowledge-acquiring I took a free online course about investing from Morningstar and it was really helpful. I’d advise everyone to take it…because it’s free and it’s so relevant to understanding businesses today! I discovered Morningstar when I was a student and it helped me in some of my accounting and business courses. I learned about balance sheets, annual reports and how businesses must publicize¬†their financial position (if they’re publicly traded). Morningstar is an awesome resource for learning about a public company’s financial health and you would be surprised at how much of a business’ information is publicly available.

You can’t always believe what you read on sites that cover “financial news,” but Morningstar has great reporting and for awhile I was granted free student access! News reporting has really changed and there is a lot less fact-finding, and unless you are reading board of directors reports or SEC filings, you are never going to read meaty financial news. That is why I love Morningstar – it’s a thorough platform for reporting on a business’ financial outlook, for stuff that won’t necessarily come up on Google.

Awhile ago I took this free retirement planning online course from Stanford. Honestly, I cannot say enough good things about free online financial education. One of the things I’ve learned¬†is annuities are NOT the answer to all retirement woes. The more I learn about insurance and “protection policies” the more I realize most of these products are built to generate sales, and are not necessarily backed up with anything substantial. It’s like some marketing person came up with the financial products we hear about today such as annuities or reverse mortgages. Quite honesty, in many cases, you are better off socking your money away in savings than you are buying a policy where you have to fight to receive benefits. How much energy will you have to fight a big insurer when you’re 80 years old and in desperate need of payout? At that point, if someone wants to conveniently lose your money in a pile of processing and demand excess substantiation and delay claim payments¬†you rightfully deserve…I’m sure there are countless ways to make it happen.

This comes from personal experience fighting a¬†very large¬†insurer who steadfastly refused to pay on a healthcare policy for which I was covered at 100 percent. I’m French and Norwegian so I’m a bit riotous and stubborn by blood, so I fought tooth and nail until the policy paid, but it left me with zero faith in policies or the organizations that create, manage and sell them. It took me two years, assistance from the Federal Employee Benefits Security Administration and advocacy from my employer to force them to pay. In this case as with anything¬†involving money, knowledge is power!

For even more retirement and financial education, UMN offers some free courses online as well! I legit cannot think of a reason people don’t check this stuff out.¬†It’s free and so beneficial.

Now this¬†rain and cold absolutely needs to go away. It is killing my summer buzz. I had that summer buzz going for two days…now it’s gone again. ūüôĀ

You’re my best friend

George: “Mommy, you’re my best friend.”

Me: “Oh, thank you George! That is so sweet.”

George: “Catherine is my best friend too. And Daddy is my other best friend. And Ashley.”

Me: “And Julius? Is he your best friend too?”

George: “No0000. Not Julius. He’s a stinkerpot.”

Refinishing driveway

Whenever Ross refinishes the driveway I feel like we have a new house. He used Rustoleum EpoxyShield to turn the asphalt black again and it looks tremendous. I think this is one of the most important parts of curb appeal, because the sun fades it every year, and it stands out so much against the grass.

Refinished driveway at our house

Refinished driveway at our house

In thinking about the driveway situation at the rental, we will have to do something on the front (streetside) driveway as well as a new driveway leading up to the garage (not to mention a garage floor where it is just dirt currently). The front concrete driveway is all cracked because it is right next to a huge tree and also has a big hill, so it will need to be replaced.

The front driveway is concrete but it's pretty old and is in really bad shape

The front driveway is concrete but it’s pretty old and is in really bad shape

The back driveway might end up being tar/asphalt, because we will need it to be pretty big, and there is just grass there currently. I like the look of the black asphalt when it is new…it stands out a lot and I think it will be obvious to buyers that the driveway and garage are new.

The current garage has no floor and the driveway is a tiny little patch of asphalt

I’m assuming the garage floor will be concrete, then we’ll have to plan out some sort of new walking path as the current one is janky. It’s kind of half buried and not easily walked on nor mowed around. I’m excited to plan out the backyard with the new driveway and walking path. I guess we’ll have to stop parking in the grass eventually!

***Oh and happy Mom’s Day and stuff!


Ross was telling George he needed to listen to Ashley, our regular sitter, and George said something we’ve never heard from his mouth before (pretty sure he got this from daycare)…cuz where else…?

Ross:”You need to listen to Ashley and do what she tells you to do.”

George:”Are you giving me attitude?”

Ross: ~stunned~ “Excuse me?”

George:”You need to take a time out.”

Bahahahahaha….too good.