Hoop jumping and more finishing up STUFF

August 30, 2017

My mortgage guy stopped by today and checked my paint job and recommended a couple of touch ups to the paint.  Over all he thought my job would probably work out okay with the VA Appraiser and the loan should get done after the re-appraisal.  The first coat Kill-Z is added to the bad spots and I’ll add another coat along with the touch ups for the appraiser who should show up around the first week in September.

FYI: if you are a veteran and want a cash out you will need a new appraisal.  If you are doing a straight re-fi for a lower payments, chances are you won’t need an appraisal.  Also the appraiser can not move stuff around, so it might be possible to “hide” some suspected problem areas with boards or things  laid against the sides of the house.

In a way everything is sort of working out as my “contractor” suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital over the weekend.  I got a call from him apologizing for not keeping in touch on the “potential” job.   I added a little extra cash to my loan just in case some thing goes wrong and needs some fixing.  I’m hoping not to use that money on the siding project and it will go straight into the “Emergency fund” for other projects/emergencies.

Carpets got cleaned, finally!  This was a tough job as the living room carpet was difficult.  The cleaning solution set on top of the deep pile carpet and never penetrated the fibers before the carpet cleaner pulled up the cleaning solution.  It took a little finagling but I got the soap solution on the carpet, and vacuumed up on the first try then the next day the carpet cleaner did a great job scrubbing the living room carpet.  Now on my low pile carpet the carpet cleaner did a pretty good job on the first try.  I’m glad I went to the extra effort on the carpet carpet cleaner as Mom was so peeved she wanted to chuck the machine into the trash after fighting with it on the first day.  FYI: Bissel carpet cleaner’s vacuum and spray pumps are connected and work in tandem. When pet hair gets up into the internal machine belts “slip” and can keep the machine from working.  It is a bit of a pain but always clean all hair from the beater brushes and around the spray nozzles.  Trust me it makes using a cheap carpet cleaner much easier to use the next time.

Did some shopping and have been adding to my hard liquor stock pile.  This will last a long time for me as I prefer beer for drinking but it is always  nice to have the option for a Margarita night.  I focused on whiskeys and vodka to begin with and now I want to stock up gin, rum and tequila mid-range of quality.  I figure get the booze for a “basic bar” at a reasonable price and then add in any Premium stuff as money allows.  Idaho has state liquor stores so there is no competition on price.  I don’t know what your priorities are for stocking up but hard liquor for any sort of barter should probably be bought is small quantities and for personal use in the bigger bottles.  Do not discount getting schnapps or flavored liquors as many people like a sweet flavor, especially women.  I’m not a big fan of sweet flavor alcohol but a bottle of Kahlua or peach/mint schnapps might make a good barter item.  If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody is happy!  You might also try out some cooking wines and sherries to cook with as they add lots of flavor to meals and marinades but are not so good to drink.  That will save your stockpile for barter.

I have bitched and moaned enough and have done a few things to make my life better for the future.  I need to add a few more 18 inch plywood boards and some additional Ideas but over all Mom and I are doing good though a bit stressed.  With a little luck we will clean up the garden and start on building the boardwalk.



Cognitive Bias strikes again

August 26, 2017

Ya’all stay safe safe during Hurricane “Harvey” hitting Texas.  I know most of you that have lived there know the difference when to ride it out and when to get out of the “impact area”.  That is why we have Bug Out Bags.  Every region has some sort of “possible events”  Mama nature will try to kill you in many ways.  All you can do is make a plan and try and anticipate mama nature.  Folks will need some help after the storm passes and while it sounds a bit mercenary those people will need cash to buy the things they need.  Please give to charities you have checked out.  I personally despise the Red Cross but give to the Salvation Army.  If you all know of a good local charity that will help the people in Texas please feel free to post them in the comments.


Short post but just trying to make people aware and make the work positive.

If it stupid and works, it ain’t stupid!

August 23, 2017

I’m not sure what is happening on the refi other than I’m in some sort of “Underwriters” purgatory at this time.  From what I understand the VA appraiser can not move or remove anything around the house,  so I might be able to attach my cedar fence boards to the bad siding and bypass the flaking paint thing short term.  It is stupid but I can reuse the boards for fencing or my Boardwalk idea around the raised bed garden area.  Okay I have to say the small garage door does look a lot better cleaned up and painted.

Worse thing that can happen is I don’t replace the siding and windows this September and will have to break up the jobs over a longer time period.  So while I am pissed off at the VA appraiser and the VA in general.  I won’t let it stop me improving stuff around the house.

I ordered a new lawnmower blade  and I’m thinking of adding a de-thatching blade to the mower in the future.  I have not used a de-thatching blade on a mower so I’m not sure how well those “blades” work.  Has anyone used a de-thatching blade on a mower and what did you think of the results?

I want to move my firewood to the new firewood racks and add a Saw buck to cut fire wood more safely.  I left a message to my fire wood guy for another cord or 2 for this winter.  I’m a bit late again on getting the cleaning the wood stove and the woodpile built up in September but it is not not my fault this time.  This year all of my wood will be up on wood racks and I have a cord or 2 of wood that is very dry for my wood stove. Burning green/wet  wood sucks.


VA is holding up my refi over paint chips

August 21, 2017

My siding sucks, I’ll agree to that statement.  Sort of why I want a refi loan to replace my siding and my windows.  The VA appraiser stated my paint is peeling off the bad siding and I must replace it or cover it up before I get the refi to replace my siding. I a’m in a catch 22 again via the VA.  I don’t need a $130 thousand appraisal as $105 thousand is enough to cover the siding and new windows.

I painted my shop door and while it looks better it still is a crappy door to my shop.  My sander is literally shredding the crappy siding and my shopvac picks up the paint chips this all seems damn stupid!

I’m literally paying the VA for the US Army kicking me out of the Army.  I’m just peeved and this crap happens to all vets but I’m pissed off about the PTBs making shit so hard.

It is a simple refi of a loan for home improvement and yet again I have to jump through hoops.

My house colors

August 19, 2017

I got to sit down with the contractor and look at a program that puts the siding  on my house digitally.  This is not a perfect representation but it is close to how the house will look when the project is finished.

house colors

My loan has been “conditionally approve”!  I just need to sign a few government required paperwork saying I haven’t been foreclosed on and I’m not trying to “Launder Money” via a refi.  I don’t think a criminal or a terrorist would answer such questions truthfully but I guess these things are all about “Playing the game”.  Sort of reminds me of the old Soviet joke, “We pretend to work and the government pretends to pay us.”  If everything is good I will get the loan by the end of August and start the siding/window replacement work in September.

Got some shopping done today.  Added two more pressure treated 2×4’s and four more 6′ foot cedar fencing boards for the garden “board walk” project.  That should be enough materials to complete about half of the job I have in mind.  Eventually I want the boardwalk to be a walkway around all the raised beds that the wagons and wheel barrow can maneuver easily, plus block the weeds and stop my dogs digging around the beds.

I bought another of the Commercial Electric 8.5 inch LED portable task light for $20.00 at Home Depot.  I love these little lights because the have rechargeable batteries and with the USB charging port they can be recharged via battery banks or even a small Solar panel setup for charging electronics.  Two features I really love is the lights have magnetic attachments so they hold great on a fridge or metal door.  So the lights are very easy to stick on surfaces around the house were you need light.  The second feature I like is the lights have 3 setting from high (reading or work light) to low that works as a slightly more powerful nite light.  The magnetic mounting brackets have worked great when mounted to wood cabinets and I’m now testing how well they stick on drywall.

I finally found where where the mice died and it was in my pet’s 72 hour bag.  Oh my gosh the stench was vile! I saved my water bottles and some rope but the backpack was tossed as I could not contain my gag reflex long enough to clean it.  My BOB seems to be okay though it is now sitting outside until I can go though and check out the contents.  Score one for the Army’s use of CORDERA material for backpacks!  I’m going to place my bag in a hard side container or plastic bin to insure the mice and critters can’t get at the contents or simply die in my backpacks.   I know some have had plastic containers attacked by mice and it is not a perfect solution. Through out my little mice infestation problem all of my plastic totes had no mice inside.  Bags and cardboard boxes got infested.  Live and learn if you are lucky and especially learn from my mistakes and the stuff that works out right.

So to wrap it all up or TL:DR

  • The house is getting a new exterior and new windows installed.
  • Building the cedar boardwalk around the garden
  • Mice are not cute and are vile vermin that must be eradicated in your home.
  • Now I know why our ancestors used metal and glass to deny all vermin access to food and water.


Got some shop clean up done

August 17, 2017

I was a bit peeved when Mom got some more pallets but it has helped getting stuff stored above the waterline if the shop gets flooded like it it did last winter.  I see how I can use the rest of the pallets as well as the broken down shelving from the basement demo to make the shop better for storage.  It has been difficult to redo the storage as neither Mom nor I anticipated two plus years of her storing stuff in the shop nor the shop getting flooded  this last spring.   Honestly, the cleanup we got done today and adding in more pallets we actually have more space to work with/in.  Of course I’ll need to set up a few more shelves and stuff to complete the project.

I got a couple of electric snow blowers this year and with the addition of the ice melting torch, we should be better prepared for this winter. I added a small 6 pound splitting  maul along with my ax for my fire wood cutting tools.   I need to build a cutting sawhorse for my chain saw for the larger chunks of wood.

Great news Mom’s knee is up to 45 degrees of movement in just two weeks working with the new physical therapist!   Between the new shoe inserts and the therapist, Mom is moving around much better than I have seen her walk in over two years.  Mom has finished up all the requirements of her Master Gardeners class.

I’ve hit my “time shift” thing again as I do, once or twice a year.  I tend to be a night owl and staying up till 3-5 am  playing on the PC is not a big deal but is not optimal, if I want to get stuff done during the day.  I’m trying to reset my body clock.

The eclipse “madness” has begun here in SW Idaho and SE Oregon.  I’m just going to set up a couple of lawn chairs a half block away with a semi clear skyline ( minimal trees) a thermos of coffee and just enjoy.   There is literally bumper to bumper traffic into Pineville Oregon today 17 August 2017.  I got my safety glasses and if I’m correct, we should see about 1 min. 45 seconds-2 minutes of totality locally.   The eclipse is a cool thing to see but getting crazy over it, is kind of silly.  I’m a bit peeved the local gas pumps are jacking up prices to “Profit” from all the people wanting to see the eclipse, but I don’t blame them either.  From my stand point it is just annoying not an “End of the World” rant.

Last but not least my kitchen fridge went wonky and the freezer did not keep things frozen.  This is an old fridge and I moved it around after I removed all freezer food it started working again! I’m going to switch fridges this weekend with my small new fridge that is in the shop. I have no idea why the fridge started working again so this fridge will become the new “beer fridge” in the shop.  Since we cleaned up the shop this should job should be simple if not easy.





August 10, 2017

Gosh the smoke from fires has been kicking my ass.  Fires are common in the west but having the valley fill with smoke for this long is unusual.  So I have been indoors and feeling less than spry about the situation.  I have added new filters to all the Holmes air filter systems in the house and that has helped a lot on making me breathe and feel better in the last few days.

I have been moving forward on the house window and siding project.  Would you believe the contractor and the Mortgage finance guys both left the original companies I contacted and now I’m having to redo some of the paperwork to get things done?   I’m moving ahead and with a little bit of luck, I should get the loan finished up this month and get the siding/window work started in September.

I am “solar powered” and get to be a very grumpy gus when confined to indoors for whatever reason. I have been getting a few (prepping) additions done on a small scale.  Mostly just rotating food and adding some items that sort of low.  When I cleaned the basement and added shelves I saw a few weak areas that needed to be address.  Nothing big as the 55 gallon drums are a good to go and my water supply is solid.  I just need to build up some of the everyday items I let get a bit low or out of date.

My new snow blower arrived today!  This weekend I’ll put it together and see if it functions.  I suspect another “hard winter” will happen so I’m trying to get ahead of the game with the small electric snowblower as I can’t shovel snow before I got disabled.  I’ll be adding a lot of salt for the front sidewalks and sand for the backyard along with a massive propane torch to melt the ice build up.

Some great news on Mom’s ankle and heel problems.  The physical therapists are working on her knee as well as the foot problem and her knee is gaining a lot more range of motion.  Mom’s knee has gone from about 10 degree bend to over 40 degree bend in just a week!  Plus she does not hurt so bad overnight.

Life has been a bit rough here at Casa de Chaos but things are looking good for the future.   Hell if it was easy everyone would play the game!