Dream House

I am in the fortunate position of being able to afford to build myself a new house (well...perhaps myself and the bank). Having been to several 3rd world countries and knowing that there are lots of people in the world who don't even have housing, I felt a few pangs of guilt about this. I had a decision to make: rehab the old or build new. The cost to rehab my old house was going to be substantial. It was October of 2009. My husband had passed away in August from liver cancer. I was in the depths of grief and sorrow. I needed a project. I decided that if I had to plunk down a lot of money anyway, it was better to build new. I also decided that if I was going to build new, I was going to build green. My new house will be both beautiful and "green". I will share the journey and the adventure with you.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

More Progress and Almost Another Speeding Ticket

Lots of progress this week! I am so excited! I love it already! Colleen managed to come to Neenah this weekend. She had a slight lull between her exams at the Vet School @ UW Madison. She wanted to see the progress in the house building. I had gushed to her over the phone about how great it was. She couldn't stand it and came to visit. We hit the Winterland Parade of Homes in the Appleton/Neenah area. It reminded me of how many other decisions I need to make before this project is done; but I got some great ideas. By the time we were finished,  it was snowing hard, and we braved the snowstorm so that Colleen could see the house. In the picture, I am standing on the snow covered  second floor of the house. There is the opening for a large window behind me. It will be a window in the landing of the stairwell.
    After studying the house plans on paper for so long, its amazing to see it being built in 3D. I love the way it is turning out! So far, its not feeling too huge to me--despite the many remarks that I have heard after people have viewed my plans and tell me "Your house is so huge!". . I think it will have a cozy feeling to it, and it will be good for entertaining. I was really glad Colleen came home.. It was very nice to share the experience with someone who would call it home too. I had gone over to the house earlier in the week towards evening by myself. The first floor walls were partially up. I was equally excited then as well, but I had no one to share it with. Its an odd feeling for me at times when I ponder the fact that I am doing this huge project alone and I wistfully wish my husband was here to share it with.
     I am working extra hours for my employer  in order to help pay the expenses of the house. I worked a 12 hour shift at the Fast Care clinic which is in Appleton in Shopko. It was really busy and I was tired when I was driving home on Friday night. It was about 9 pm, and I suddenly saw those red and blue lights again in my rear view mirror! I inwardly groaned. I was thinking, "I blogged about it and now I am attracting it to myself!" I was driving down Cecil Ave. in Neenah. It was the same street I was talking about in the previous blog when my nieces called me a speed demon. When the policeman shined his flashlight in my face, I could see a surprised look of recognition in his face. He said "Oh, Hello!". I said, " Do I know you?" (With surprise in my voice. Except for social things, one doesn't exactly want to be recognized by the police). Then he asked, "Are you a twin?". "No", I replied, "I'm a triplet". It turned out that he knew my sister, Kathleen, one of my triplet sisters. She helped start a charter school in Neenah, and his children go there. We also established, in our short conversion, that he had seen me at the clinic in Neenah. This was going better than I expected. Two points in my favor! I still pleaded with heaven while he was in his car looking me up on his computer. (One of my husband's favorite sayings was "There are no atheists in the foxhole". I think that was originally said by General McArthur). Well, I was in my own foxhole, and once again grateful when the police officer came back to my car window and passed me a pink "verbal"warning ticket. I thanked him profusely. The other police officer from a couple of weeks ago had given me a true verbal warning, no pink ticket. This time I moved up to the pink slip. Obviously, I realize that I am moving closer to a real ticket if I am not careful. Any helpful hints from those of you who never get speeding tickets would be helpful. For the moment, however, I was saved once again!
    The speeding ticket event caused me to ponder: What is the meaning of it all? I learned this from my friend, Lauri Lumby, who sees metaphors for the overall Big Picture of Life in its small, everyday happenings. Check out her blog at http://yourspiritualtruth.com/. Did this have any metaphorical  meaning for my life? Why was I sudddenly getting speeding tickets again? Was I going too fast in my life? Well, in going to the parade of homes and talking with a couple of people, I came to the realization that maybe I was going too fast. The attempt to get the house completed in the next 8 weeks for the parade of homes at the end of April is very stressful for me. So I talked with Jamey about it. I asked if I could possibly opt for being in the fall parade of homes. I let him know my fears and concerns. "Its a house! We need to build it slowly, steadily and not rush it.I don't want all the contractors rushing to complete it by a certain deadline and then cut corners and make mistakes. I don't want to feel pressured to make decisions in a couple of days when maybe I will need a week or two, all because of a deadline." Jamey, who could have a second career as a psychologist in my book, was very understanding and echoed my feelings. He understands my point of view and sees some merit in it. So, he is going ponder it as well. He will reassess the progress in a couple of weeks and make a decision then as to whether he should withdraw it as an entry to the Parade of Homes in April. He's the builder, so I will leave it up to him. For the uninitiated, it seems like an enormous task to complete in such a short amount of time.
    2/28/11 update: Its official. Jamey talked with his wife Billie Jo. They agree that the pressure would be too much and get the best of them. Plus, they want me to be able to make decisions calmly. Colleen was in an uproar this morning over this and gave me a phone call. She wants a house! She doesn't want me to wait. Well, I asked Jamey an important question. "Can we use the toilet when the house is completed and we are waiting for the parade of homes?" He was confused by the question, but said "Uh, Yes." This was good news.  This means we can  hang out at the lake on Sunday afternoons in the summer! We can still have cook outs on the grill! We can live outside, just not inside. We can  put up a tent and look at the house with fondness!
Colleen in the future sunroom

Myself in the future Living Room

The front of the house

Side window in the office

The lakeside of the house

Part of the sunroom doorway

1 comment:

  1. This one made me laugh again! I love the foxhole quote as well...never heard that one but it's very true!