Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 - A Year in Review

Christmas Eve 2012
The year is almost over and I can't say I'm going to be overly upset to see it end.  It's not been the best of years for our family - in fact, it's been one of the worst I can remember.  It started out fairly quiet and serene but less than 5 months into the year it seemed we must of pissed off the Gods above who in turn showered us with mis fortune & for lack of a better word, plague.
Last year this time my neighbor's (from hell) were selling their home & I had a few offers from people to sell mine - I thought it was funny then.  I  never liked living here but we bought it almost 20 years ago because it was close to my parents & we only had one child. I planned to live here for no longer than 5 years and then upgrade.  Two more children followed and just like that we had out grown the house.  Less than 4 years later my parents sold their home of 25 years and moved out of the city.  It was about the same time my husband informed me he liked living here and had no intentions of selling.  I was trapped. We decided to make the best of it and renovations began.  I took a full time job and we worked hard to make this house a home.  Almost everything was upgraded and we planned on an addition to give use more living space. Unfortunately the addition took a back seat when hubby became ill and as the kids grew up this house began to feel more and more like a sardine can for me.  For 5 years we didn't (couldn't) do anything more to the house until son number 1 - now an adult - decided to renovate the basement. It needed new drywall and he wanted to add a shower to his bathroom.  He had been saving for a few years and so the reno's began yet again.
The first problem came when we noticed some knob and tube wiring in one area of the ceiling. How did we miss that? We would need to hire an electrician for that. Might as well move the electrical box then and upgrade the circuits. 
Second problem: My insurance company calls out of the blue and says they want to come over to do an inspection.  "Why?", I ask. We've never put in a claim.  Some new routine thing they were doing. I have a bad feeling about this but ok.  The inspector shows up, camera in hand and begins snapping pictures. WTH?  Again, routine. We get to the basement and he takes out this thingy and points it to the ceiling. He asks if I am aware we have knob and tube wiring.  Yes, I'm aware.  What are our plans? Are we going to fix it?  Duh!  Anyone with a half a brain can see we are in the middle of reno's - of course we're going to fix it. When?  A week?  Month?  Before next year?  I'm not sure but yes, definitely before next year. Ok next question - why don't I have a handrail on my basement stairs. Well (you moron) my stairs are only 28 inches wide and both sides have walls with ledges to lean on. Why would I need a handrail?  The roof is next - I inform him we just fixed the roof .  Smoke/carbon monoxide detectors?  I have them on every floor and in each bedroom which is more than I need legally.  Furnace? New.  Kitchen and upstairs bathroom?  New. House alarm? Installed. After another 30 minutes of questions and alot of snapping he leaves.  Relieved I get back to cleaning.
A week later I get a call from my insurance.  Seems I have a lot of upgrades in my home - my insurance rates are going to increase.  Unless of course I don't fix the knob & tube wiring and put a handrail on one side of my basement stairs - in which case my insurance policy will be cancelled.  I have 6 months.  Oh and I need to fix my roof and upgrade my smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.  I flip out - the roof and detectors are new and I have receipts to prove it.
And so we are now almost at the end of our 6 months grace period and still under reno's.  Since the time the insurance has been out we managed to have our car breakdown, get into a car accident, & have an attempted B&E where my son was beaten and stabbed to highlight a few.  Yup - I should have sold this house.
On the up side - I have great new neighbours...