Monday, December 17, 2012

Catching Up

Before we moved into our new house, we had the tub in the downstairs bathroom resurfaced.  A bit expensive at around $300, but much cheaper than having the tub torn out and a new one installed.

We also had Sears out to give us a quote on redoing the downstairs bath...new cabinets, including a medicine cabinet which it didn't have, new sink and faucet, new toilet (old one was badly stained and I hadn't been able to get rid of the stains, plus it was an old fashioned high-flow toilet), and new flooring.  Our jaw dropped when we were quoted over $5,000 for just one bathroom!

We ended up going to Lowe's and buying all the stuff we needed and then hiring a contractor recommended to us by our realtor...we got both bathrooms done for less than Sears quoted us for one!  (The upstairs bath is a half bath and had much the same problems as the one downstairs:  old toilet which was badly stained and very low counter tops...on me they came to about where my hips and leg bone meet!)

All of the new appliances we'd bought were delivered and installed.  That is, except for the stove since it turned out that the old yellow stove, which was original to the house, was hard wired into the house.  We had never heard of such a thing, but had to hire an electrician who came out and installed a plug for the stove.  We also hired a plumber to install both the dishwasher and sink we'd bought.  The sink is a large single-bowl sink which I really like!  Oh, and we got rid of the plastic (yes, plastic) kitchen faucet and replaced it with a nice high crook-neck faucet that pulls out and sprays.   We will probably, at some time in the future, replace the kitchen cabinets since they're the cheap fiberboard cabinets.  We were planning on doing that this coming spring when we return to Spokane, but considering the amount of money we spent fixing the truck (more on that later), we may postpone that little bit of remodeling.

We also replaced the back door to the garage.  I don't know if it was the original door, or if a previous owner had replaced it, but it was an interior hollow core door!  We replaced it with an exterior steel door.  We bought the door at Lowe's and were going to have them install it, but they wanted $400!  We installed it ourselves for the price of the door and miscellaneous supplies.

Only one wall of the garage had sheetrock (the common wall between the house and garage)...the rest of the walls only had insulation, but no sheetrock.  So we bought sheetrock for the rest of the walls and put it up...it sure looks a lot brighter in there now!  Earl also installed a couple of electrical outlets over the area where he'd used the old bathroom cabinets to make a workbench.  We painted the old garage door, too.  It will probably be replaced at some point, but it's far down the list of things we want to do and it looks much better once it was painted.

On Monday, July 23, the movers we'd hired came and moved all the furniture out of the old house and moved it into the new one (we'd already moved all the "little" stuff...clothes, dishes, food, etc.).  It only took them a couple of hours to complete, so didn't cost all that much...and we had some heavy pieces that Earl and I would not have been able to move by ourselves.

The next day we went back and cleaned the mobile home in preparation for the new owner.

That Friday was the homeowner's annual meeting which is a potluck, so we were able to meet all of our new neighbors.  On Saturday, we had a going away party at our old neighborhood.

We both had our annual wellness exams at our respective doctors as well as eye exams.  We both had shingles and whooping cough vaccines (the whooping cough vaccine for adults come as a combo vaccine -- tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis). 

One thing we learned:  Don't have the shingles vaccine given to you at the doctor's office!  Instead, go to a pharmacy to have it done.  I had called the medicare insurance company to find out if they covered shingles and they did...with a $90+ copay.  My doctor's office didn't give shingles vaccine because it requires careful refrigeration and has a limited shelf life which they were not equipped to handle.  So I went to Safeway, paid the $90+ copay, had the shot, and they took care of submitting the paperwork to my medicare insurance company (shingles shots cost $265, so they're not cheap).  Earl, on the other hand, had his shingles vaccine at his doctor's office.  Big mistake!  It has to be submitted under Medicare Part D, which for some unfathomable reason, a doctor's office is not able to do (my doctor's office said the same thing).  So we are waiting for the reimbursement forms from Earl's Medicare insurance company so we can get the amount over and above the copay back!  Fair warning for those of you who are on Medicare and need the shingles vaccine.  At least contact your doctor's office (if they're set up to give the shingles vaccine) to see if they are able to submit it under Medicare Part D.  Of not, go to a pharmacy!

Russ, Dani, and Cameron came to visit us the first weekend of September.  We had a good time visiting and had dinner at Tomato Street (an Italian restaurant not too far from us with great food...we had our 37th wedding anniversary there, too, later in the month) and at Canaan Buffet, a Chinese, Thai, and Mongolian food as well as a sushi bar. 

In preparation for leaving to head south for the winter, we replaced the old analog TV in the fifth wheel bedroom with the 19" one we'd been using in the mobile home's bedroom (we bought a larger one for the office in the new house).  We bought a hanger that has a movable arm at Best Buy, attached it to one wall of the cubicle where the TV goes, and installed the TV on the arm.  Now I have a nice HD TV to watch while Earl is downstairs watching sports!

While we were out at the RV installing the TV, I noticed that the toilet didn't have any water in it and wouldn't hold water when I did fill it with water.  So on Wednesday, October 4, we took the RV to R&R RV Service Center in Airway Heights to have them replace the seals.  We also had them take out the washer and dryer since the washer had given up the ghost the previous winter, was not repairable, and cost too much to replace (a new one would have been $1,000+).  Additionally, the front jacks were really hard to put back up so we had them clean them, which consisted of them completely disassembling them, cleaning them, and putting them back together.

We got a call about the toilet...they didn't have the parts to replace all the seals.  They could be ordered and there was an 80% they'd be there by the next day...but the next day we had reservations at Alderwood RV Resort north of our house...and would cost almost as much as a new toilet.  So we had them install a new toilet.  I'm glad we did...the new toilet is taller, making it easier on old knees, and doesn't have the rim that the other toilet had which was very difficult to clean under.

On Thursday, after paying for the repairs on the fifth wheel (a small arm and leg), we took the rig up to Alderwood RV Resort for 3 nights while we loaded everything into it.

We left Spokane on Sunday, October 28, spending the night at Wildhorse Casino RV Park near Pendleton.  The next day we arrived to visit my mother, parking the fifth wheel at Celebration Park a few miles south of where she lives ($5 per day, 3-day limit...we ended up staying four days because of truck trouble...see the next installment for that sad story).

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