November 18, 2018

Story of My Life

When it comes to spending money on "needs", why does it all seem to happen at one time?!

We've been without a ceiling light/fan in the living room ever since we scraped off the popcorn ceiling a few months ago. I wanted to wait until after the walls were painted and we decided for sure what colors we were going to use for our makeover.

Finally, I bought a ceiling fan/light last week at Menards when they were doing an 11% rebate on everything in the store. I brought it home and installed it (I LOVE putting things together and installing things like that--it's literally entertainment for me). After I was done, I turned the power breaker back on, and then pressed the remote button--and the light didn't work.

I was completely dumbfounded. I'd followed the instructions right to the letter, and I couldn't imagine what I did wrong! I ended up undoing everything and then starting from scratch to make sure I didn't miss anything. Flipped on the light again--and nothing!

I called my brother, Brian, who is really good with electrical work, and he came over the next morning. He tested the wires with a fancy thing-a-ma-bob and discovered that the remote transmitter for the fan was bad, so it wasn't my fault. But still, I wasted about six hours of my life working on that!

Meanwhile, Noah got locked out of his computer. Every time he would put in his password, it wasn't accepted. We discovered that it was because caps lock was permanently on, and it just wouldn't type lower case letters. The closest Apple store is in Toledo, which happens to be where Menards is.

On the day that I bought the ceiling fan from Menards, I bought the rest of the stuff that we need for our kitchen, and the total came to $700!! I know it will be worth it when it's done, but good grief.

When I brought Noah's computer to the Apple store, they messed around with it and discovered that it needed a whole new shell, which would take 5-7 business days and cost $240. Ugh.

So anyway, yesterday I got notification that Noah's computer was ready to be picked up. And it just so happened that yesterday morning, Jerry's phone wouldn't charge (he has an iPhone 6). AND, Noah somehow got locked out of his phone when someone at school got his password! 😩

So then I had to go to Menards to return the fan, pick up Noah's computer from Apple, and get help with Jerry's and Noah's phones. (This is my life.)

When I went to the Apple store, they checked out Jerry's phone and discovered that the little charging electrodes things were crushed... and that his phone was basically garbage. He needed a replacement.

I thought they'd just clean it out or something and it'd be fine! But nope, he needed a new phone. A new iPhone 6 was $300, which is crazy. Jerry's been wanting to upgrade his phone for a long time, but we've been waiting until we finish this house stuff and have some extra money.

Long story short, I ended up getting him an iPhone XR. I knew he'd be thrilled, but I felt sick about spending so much money ($850). After all was said and done yesterday, between buying a different fan, a kitchen sink, getting Noah's computer, and Jerry's new phone, we were out $1500! That took up almost ALL of the money we were saving for the flooring in the house. So, now we are going to have to wait to do the flooring until after we save up the money--probably not until January, now.

(Needless to say, Jerry was THRILLED to get the new phone.)

So, the secret project I mentioned before that we are going to attempt to DIY is going to be happening this week, and I'm super nervous about it. But if we can pull it off, I will be SO excited!

We are making our own laminate countertops.

I looked at other options, but once I realized that it's really not that expensive to make your own laminate countertops, I thought it would be fun and rewarding to do it ourselves. We ordered the laminate sheets, which arrived yesterday. And we bought the 3/4 inch particle board (which will be two boards thick for each countertop).

Sawing skillz

I've researched this a TON and I feel like we can do it. Today, I cut the boards to the sizes we need for our countertops (we need five in total). We are making a BIG change to the kitchen island, too--we are doubling the length of it, but half of it will be just countertop with stool seating. I've had the vision in my head for a while, and I'm pretty sure we can do it!

By the way, it was 30 degrees and snowing, and our garage isn't heated... it was COLD out there!

This whole thing reminds me... Jerry had an awesome idea for an HGTV show. If we'd had a cameraman following all of the shit we've done on our house, it would make for very entertaining television! Especially when we were putting in the new interior doors. Jerry and I banter quite a bit and we belly laugh at our mistakes (when we don't get mad about who did it wrong). I'm sure the DIY countertops will be no different ;)  HGTV should have a show where they film people who are DIY'ing it, and have an expert watching behind the scenes and just dying.

So, the rest of this month will be working with what we have... we cannot possibly afford to spend any more money! I refuse to go back into debt after getting it all paid off in July, so even if it takes us a year to finish this house project, I will have patience.

Oh! And here's a funny story:

I got a different fan from Menards, and brought it home yesterday. I spent a couple of hours following the directions perfectly, and just hoping that the transmitter was good (you can't really test it until it's put together, unless you have the little gadget my brother has).

I checked every wire, every screw, every little stupid part. And I felt great to get it done! Then I flipped the breaker switch on, and said a silent prayer. And like Clark W. Griswold, I held the remote to the fan/light in my hand and I made a d-d-d-d-d-d-d drumroll in anticipation of turning on the light.

I squeezed my eyes shut. Sang out "JOY TO THE WORLD....." and pressed the button.


I pressed it again and again, and like Clark W. Griswold, I shook the remote and kicked the theoretical Santa with his reindeer and threw a tantrum. WHY WHY WHY?!

I went over it in my head. I knew I did everything right!

And then it occurred to me that I hadn't checked the batteries in the remote control. I opened it up and saw that I had to insert the battery. I did that, and closed up the remote. I went through the motions again, with the drumroll and squeezing my eyes shut.


The "poor me" wine turned into "celebratory" wine at that moment ;)

I took this pic to send to my brother, to show that I really do know what I'm doing, and when I mentioned the battery in the remote, he replied, "Ha! I was going to ask you about that with the last one, but I didn't want to sound insulting!"

Hahaha, I assure you, it was NOT the battery issue with the last one.

So, now we have a working light and ceiling fan in the living room that no longer has a popcorn ceiling! My life is just getting better and better ;)


  1. Good for my soul to hear about frustrating issues - and know I'm not alone. Ugh....those days you look up into the heavens and yell, "really?". It's so easy to think those things only happen to us - and that can bring you down pretty quick. That Menards sucks me in every time with those 11% rebates. And don't get me started about Apple product fun. And I also love projects and have my own saws and drills and such. But they never go exactly right - it often seems to get on that last nerve you had left for the day. Double the time and energy initially you thought it would be done, and you're about right.
    I'd totally watch a show that shows REAL people and their diy projects.

  2. A new Iphone AND no debt, thats really good. You should be really happy with your money management. You haven't mentioned your wrist/hand so I hope thats still improving. DIY looks good too!

  3. I would so watch your HGTV show, haha!

  4. SO proud of you guys for taking on this project AND staying debt free. The finished project will be SO much nicer when you know you don't have a looming credit card balance/payment hanging over your head. WAY TO GO! Just think if you had tried to manage this project with the debt!

  5. Oh my gosh I'm laughing at the ceiling fan section! Hehehe!

  6. Too late probably, but we just got new IPhone XS's at the Apple store and we didn't have to buy them...we leased them and it is a great program through the Apple a year you can get a new phone for no additional charge. you just have a monthly lease payment which is like $39.

  7. They had a show like that on DIY I think....restoration realities . We loved watching it. So funny! I'd watch your show!

  8. DIY had a show like rhat... restoration realities. So finny

  9. Haha I replaced the tail light assembly in my van all on my own and took a selfie with it on and sent it to my brother! Sounds like we have the same kind of relationship lol

  10. DIY had a show like that....Restoration Realities...hysterical. you'd be great on it!

  11. I love you. That is all.


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