Monday, March 30, 2020

The Sunday (on Monday) Post [42]

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly at the Caffeinated Reviewer! It's an opportunity to share news, post a recap for the previous week, showcase books, and highlight what's planned for the week ahead.


Everyone keeps talking about finding their new normal, but I'm struggling to find mine. Jacob is home now, so that helps, but trying to essentially homeschool our son while also taking care of the day-to-day tasks, is difficult. We can't go to Story Time at the library, playgrounds are a big no, and walking is quickly losing its appeal. As far as physical exercise goes, we bought them a trampoline last weekend, and they seem to enjoy jumping for the most part. Jacob and I have used it to, and it was quite the reminder that I'm not as young as I used to be! I can still do a front flip though, so there's that. ;)

I'm not sure how some parents are going to handle having to homeschool on top of everything else. I'm a teacher (when I'm not a stay-at-home mom), so this isn't completely new to me, but other parents are going to struggle with what's required of them. What if they're unable to print the papers the students are supposed to working on? They have to cut and paste, fill in blanks, etc., so it can't all be done online. Additionally, some students don't have access to computers or internet, so how are they going to even see the materials? Are we supposed to save these papers and turn them in? Turn them in when? When my son is supposed to start first grade next year? Is he going to start first grade? There are so many unanswered questions right now, and it's hard not to feel super stressed about it.

My son's school introduced three phases of learning over the last week. One was an emergency packet just to keep kids going while they were unsure if schools would reopen. Now we've entered phase two, which is two weeks of materials that need to be completed (and possibly stored somewhere) before "Spring Break". There will be no new materials that week, but phase three starts the following Monday, which includes classroom and video instructions from his teacher. How am I supposed to help and monitor his "school" day, if I'm also supposed to keep the girls away from the computer? The rules state that only the person the video is for should be seen, and that nothing inappropriate should be seen in the background. Do naked three-year-old twins count as inappropriate? Because the hotter it gets, the less inclined they are to wear clothes, plus we're potty training.

We tried to do online instructions with my son's piano teacher, but that was a huge flop. Mostly because of the reasons mentioned above, but there were just so many interruptions in a 30 minute time period. The guy came to read our meter, so I had to let him in the backyard. Then the dogs started barking, because they heard him outside. The girls woke up from their naps earlier than planned, and then they wanted to know what their brother was doing and "help".

In other news, we've ripped up all the new linoleum in the kitchen, dining, and utility rooms. If you've been following along with our recent move, you'll know that the floors were unfinished when we moved in. The "handy man" rushed through the process of installing new linoleum (that was weirdly soft and squishy for a kitchen -- vinyl, I think), and the flooring didn't go all the way to the walls in some places. It looked like crap, and I was always stressed about not being able to get all of the dirt that was collecting in those cracks. He also didn't glue all of it down, just the areas where it connected, so there were big bubbles everywhere.

I took pictures of all of this, and the lady we're renting from said she would look into it and potential solutions, but I never heard back from her. After awhile, I noticed that water was collecting between the old linoleum and the new (that's right, he didn't even remove the old first (or clean it for that matter) before installing the new). I was worried about mold and mildew, so I asked if I could life a corner to see what looked like underneath.

Yep. Moisture was trapped underneath the top layer, and this is two months after its installation. You can also see the jagged edges the "handy man" made with a freaking box cutter. After seeing these pictures, she said she would talk with him and brainstorm ideas. I told her Jacob was going to be home for the next two weeks, and that we wouldn't mind tearing it up and just using what was there (that was professionally installed and didn't need to be replaced to begin with). She said that would be fine, so Jacob tore it out, and I scrubbed until my arms ached to make sure the floor was clean after seeing the mold and mildew.

The landlord told me repeatedly that what was underneath was damaged and no longer pretty, because someone used the wrong product when cleaning it (something like that), and that their "handy man" wasn't concerned about messing up the flooring when he was painting (also poorly done, but beside the point). He also assured her the old linoleum was irreparable, when he's actually just lazy. 

THIS was underneath the new stuff. Sticky stains and paint splatters, and a ridiculous amount of dirt buildup. I mean, c'mon dude. How hard would it have been to sweep and mop the floor before installing new linoleum? This is also likely the reason we've had an ant issue in the dining room. To say I was frustrated would be an understatement. I sent the landlord all of this to show her what we were now working with, and again she said the darker areas were ruined beyond repair. Oh, yeah?

It wasn't ruined or damaged. It just needed some elbow grease (several hours of intense scrubbing), and someone that actually cared about having a clean floor. This linoleum is actually really nice, and I like the subtle checkered pattern (hard to see in this picture). The floor legit sparkled when I was finished with it. Edward Cullen would look pale in comparison. ;)

If you look closely, you can see the scrubbed clean area on top, and the dirty untouched section on the bottom. Ignore the baseboards, because they're a problem for another day. Apparently, he sawed off the bottoms around the door so he could just shove the new linoleum underneath. I have no words for half of the "improvements" that were made prior to our arrival. However, it was a great way to kill time one day while we're still stuck at home. I only had to use a putty scraper where he connected the newer pieces together (some of the glue wasn't even dry, and he applied it months ago). It was a lot of work (for free), but I'm much happier with how the flooring looks like. It feels better under our feet, I know it's clean and not collecting dirt or water, and it's pretty to look at. It's also easier to clean, if you can believe it.

As far as reading and blogging go, I'm failing. I thought I would have more time with everyone home and socially distancing themselves from the world, but keeping everyone entertained (physically and mentally stimulated) is a lot of work. There's very little "me" time, and I usually fall asleep the second I crack a book open. I've been trying to make more time for myself, and Jacob's been helping with that, but I also know he needs his own time, too. If you've found your new normal, know that I'm super jealous, because we're still trying to find ours.

Also, if you're hoarding toilet paper and soap, please stop. Be kind to others, and kind to yourself. :)

Previous week on the blog: 
What I'm currently reading:
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig ๐ŸŽง
The Honey-Don't List by Christina Lauren 
Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett
  • I'm really enjoying the audio version of House of Salt and Sorrows! It's spooky, which I wasn't expecting, and I'm really curious about the sisters and their "curse". 
  • The Honey-Don't List has been pretty great so far! I'm already super defensive of Carey and want to fight people on her behalf. Luckily, James seems up to the task. ;) 
  • Chasing Lucky started off as a buddy read with Karen (For What It's Worth), but Josie really annoys me, and I'm having trouble with her as a main character. It's sitting on my desk waiting to be read, but I'm not itching to pick it back up.
 What I plan on reading next:'t+ask+for+this&qid=1585600887&sr=8-2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=54718e3af53d8e5f3e23dbbe3154b452&language=en_US
Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox, #3) by Julie Kagawa
What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume
We Didn't Ask for This by Adi Alsaid

What I'm watching:

I'm still re-watching Yu Yu Hakusho, which has been enjoyable! LEGO Masters is an amazing show that we all look forward to each week, and Jacob and I still watch The Masked Singer every Wednesday. I've correctly guessed one person (Taco), and Jacob was right about Robot. Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, and slew of movies on Disney+. 

Challenge updates: 
We've also been doing a lot of Spring Cleaning while being stuck at home, and one of our larger projects has been our ever-expanding comic book collection. We simply don't have room for them all, and have needed to go through them for awhile now. We're only going to keep our absolute favorites. If you're looking for new reading material, I'm selling them on Mercari! I'm getting rid of single issues, as well as some sets. I haven't posted everything yet, but there are a few things already up and available. If you're a friend, message me or make an offer, and I'll give you the Friend Discount. ;)


  1. I don't even know what to say about that "fix" Ugh. So glad the stuff underneath was in good condition! Sounds like he might of just been taking the landlord for money and replacing things (badly) that didn't even need replacing. *shakes head* I don't even.
    I'm worried about homeschooling too! Ours starts next week and I'm already stressing about it. I just bought more printer ink expecting to be printing off a ton of stuff but actually getting my youngest to sit down and do the work? I don't know, we will see how that goes! I wish us all good luck!

    1. They should have hired a professional to do it, and not someone that makes cheap, quick fixes for "friends". I have a sinking suspicion he over-charges for materials and labor, just so he can make some extra money from them. They don't live in the area, and mostly take his word about repairs. I've been trying to subtly show them that he isn't doing the "great work" he says he is.

      My son's school is doing things in phases, so a lot of worksheets so far, but also things that I had to buy things for... like play money for counting? We have some stuff around the house, because I used them in my previous classrooms, but not everything that's required. We had to but a printer and ink, since it's not like we can run down to the library to print things off like we normally do.

      Right?? I'm not sure he's going to pay attention to someone teaching him through the computer. He barely sits still long enough for video calls with his grandparents. We picked up the "emergency materials" they provided after the initial shutdown (which we're still working on), and now they've emailed us two more weeks worth of papers. Then there's a "Spring Break" that won't be much of a break, because I feel like it's going to take us that long just to catch up on everything. After that, the video instructions start, and that's supposed to last through June? Maybe? It's so surreal! I don't know how to live this life, haha. I wish us all luck as well! :)

  2. Hang in there! I feel for all the parents, who are now expected to be teachers. The one thing I am actually licensed to do, and I have no children at home to teach. I am happy you have your husband there to share the load, and I hope you guys start to find your groove. You're in VA now, right? I think I just saw something about the stay-at-home being extended until June. Good luck!

    1. I'm licensed to teach, but it's always different with your own kids, haha. Especially when we've been stuck together for weeks with very few outlets. ;) They might be driving me a little crazy. *insert maniacal laughter here* I'm so thankful Jacob is here to help, because I know I would be struggling without him around. We're able to give each other some space when needed, and that's been helping with our sanity. He'll go work out in the garage while I do a puzzle or something with the kids, or he'll take them on a walk while I read for a few minutes. We're trying to make it work!

      Yes, we're in Virginia, and they did extend the stay-at-home through June. </3 It's still MARCH, Sam! What are we going to do for THREE MORE MONTHS???

  3. Wow. Can I hire your "handy man", he's obviously quite good! Ergh.

    Yes the stress and unanswered questions are tough. None of us know what's going to happen. And to think that just a few weeks ago everything was "normal". I wonder what "normal" will be when this is over?

    I'm seeing that Julie Kagawa one around a lot.

    So true about the TP! We can hardly find any!!

    Crazy :)

    1. He's someone they've "known" for years, so they trust him with everything. They don't live in the area, so I'm supposed to run problems by him before contacting them. I just started a group message with the two, so everyone knows everything, and so I can highlight his incompetency when necessary. The well out back was leaking, so we had to shut it off. It appears he's "fixed it" many times. I wish they would just hire people that actually knew what they were doing. If they want him to do small stuff, okay, but dude should not be trying to fix things he knows nothing about. He installed lights in the kitchen apparently, and broke the dishwasher in the process. We didn't have a working dishwasher for two weeks, because he was sure he could fix it. She finally called actual repairmen to look at it, and the entire visit took 15 minutes. JUST DO THAT FROM THE START. Then there was the leaky sink that Jacob eventually fixed himself, because THE HANDY MAN MAKES ME STABBY. Do you want to know what he insinuated??? Every time he's been here, he's not-so-casually mentioned that previous tenants would have some sort of beverage and snack ready for him. I didn't even comment on those statements, because I wouldn't have had anything nice to say. It's like I'm slowly having to repair his repairs, and it's frustrating as hell. You can hire and have him, haha. ;)

      I miss normal. I know I complained about him having half instead of full days at school, but I would take that in a heartbeat right now. I know he misses interacting with people his own age, especially since I won't let him play with the kids in the neighborhood either. It's hard to explain social distancing and viruses to a 6-year-old. I have no idea what normal will be like months from now, but I bet everyone will have a secret stash of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and antibacterial soap.

      I think you'd REALLY like her Shadow of the Fox series! It has a comic book/anime vibe that I love.

    2. A beverage and snack??? WTF lol this guy sounds like a LOONY.

    3. He's the worst. He also STILL has a ton of HIS STUFF in the shed. He tried to tell lady we're renting from that it was all essential for the house and its maintenance. I was like, "Oh, really?" and took pictures of a busted umbrella, CAR EXHAUST, and myriad of other things that were junk and no related to this house. *fumes*

  4. Ugh, that is so annoying about the floor! Good on you for taking the initiative! I hope you get some sort of rent discount for doing all that. I don't even have kids and I think the distance learning stuff sounds like a nightmare! My sister and I love watching The Masked Singer - I don't think I've guessed any correctly!

    1. She said we could pull the flooring up, but the expense and labor would be ours. She also said we could put new flooring down, or sticky tiles (???), but we just left what was there. It's really nice linoleum that was professionally installed; it just needed to be cleaned. Someone told her that the flooring was "beyond repair" so she approved a replacement. Thankfully, he didn't do it correctly (crazy, right?), and we were able to remove it with relative ease. What's underneath is SO MUCH BETTER. It was professionally installed, so there are no cracks or gaps. It's also a harder-feeling linoleum, which feels better on our feet. They really need to hire professionals to do repairs, and not just leave everything to one guy that doesn't really know what he's doing. He's also a nightmare in general, and I hate having him at the house.

      The Masked Singer is such a fun show to watch! It's always interesting to see who the judges guess, and what their facial expressions look like when they're wrong. :)

  5. Yep, the old floor looks so much better and you've done a great job on cleaning it up! I hope you sent the "after" pictures to the landlady? She's getting ripped off by the handyman.

    I haven't found my working from home/hoomeschool/me balance at all yet. Last week went okay but the weekend was difficult and this week - so far - has been a bit of a shambles. We'll work it out eventually, I'm sure!

    1. I've sent her pictures of everything! I want her to know she's being ripped off by this guy without actually saying it so directly. They're "friends" and have known each other for years, so I don't want to step on anyone's toes. However, I do think he's using them to make some extra money, which is really frustrating. They're an older couple--retired military--and don't live in the area. They trust him to make decisions in their absence, and he's super shady about everything.

      Balance? What balance? We're taking it one day at a time, and just hoping for the best. ;)

  6. What a frustrating experience with the landlady! I've had my fair share of renting struggles, so I definitely feel your pain. I once woke up to a giant rat on my stove. Turned out there was literally a hole in the wall behind the stove! No wonder the outside creatures were invading lol.

    I think part of the new normal is accepting that not everything will be perfect and that's okay! We are all learning to cope with our individual situations and that's really all we can do. Keep looking for those little moments to get some relief from everything, whether thats a good nights sleep, a few minutes with a book, or even just enjoying the time with the kids. It sounds like you are doing a great job and have a good support system with your husband!

    1. Ohmygod! If I had woken up to A GIANT RAT ON MY STOVE, I would have lost my mind. It's good you were able to find a hole, but how did it get there in the first place?? Did the previous tenants try to tunnel out, or was this an animal-made hole? If that's the case, wouldn't the scratching and chewing have given it away??

      Nothing is perfect right now, but I do love that I'm getting to spend time with my family. <3 My husband has been really great, and we alternate time with the kids to give each other a break. I just feel bad about keeping them cooped up, you know? There's only so much you can do. I hope you're well and finding ways to stay sane! ;)

  7. Too bad they didn't hire a professional because that's really ridiculous.

    I don't envy parents with all the schooling at home issues. My 12 year old niece has been on spring break (at home, obvs) but it supposed to start online classes today. My sister is *not* prepared to home school so I am not optimistic. My nephew's college graduation was scheduled for May 1 but has been cancelled. I feel so bad for him. He's worked so hard. I mean, he'll still have his degree, but no ceremony/recognition. And no party. of course.

    I'm so glad you're enjoying Honey-Don't! Carey really was likable and was treated so unfairly. It didn't really work for me overall but it did have its moments. :)

    1. Right??? You should hire people that actually know what they're doing! Someone who had training or went to school to do what they do. If not, you're going to have more problems than solutions. What if he doesn't do the wiring correctly and the house catches on fire? If they need him to paint, or fix a broken door, I get it. However, they are letting him do stuff that he shouldn't even go near. He was also bragging about getting a steal on the blinds, so I have no doubts about him ripping off the owners.

      I wasn't prepared to homeschool either, and am dreading how this is going to work. We're still trying to get through all of the assignments they've sent since the closures, and wow. There's so much to do! We're also not getting paid to do it, haha. ;) Bummer about your nephews graduation! I'm sure he's disappointed. Virtual party? Raise your glass via video chat?

      The Honey-Don't List was good but not great. I like certain aspects, but not others. It just wasn't the Romance read I was expecting. </3

  8. Wow.. your landlady sounds like she needs to get a new job!! What a stupid thing. I'm glad you got your floor as good as you did in the end.

    Homescholing sounds very hard to me. I can't imagine having to do that. I started work again this week.. I'm a nurse and luckily because of that there is this emergency day care where I can take our girl while I work. It's at her regular day care, so she knows the people and she seemed to have had fun despite these strange times.

    Stay safe and happy reading.

    1. It's not really her job, haha. This is a house they own that they rent out. They're also a military family, and they had to move but didn't want to sell the house. The "handy man" is someone they were friends with before, and he offered to take care of their house while they were living elsewhere. It's super messed up, and why I can't simply tell them he sucks. I am happy with the original flooring, but wish he'd been less careless with his painting. Needless work for me, because he couldn't be bothered to put something underneath him while he painted.

      It's so great they still offer daycares for people working in hospitals and such. I'm also happy to hear your daughter gets to be around familiar faces! I'm sure that makes things a little easier for her.

  9. Dear Gawd that flooring fix was ridiculous. Do you think it may have been a tax write-off for the landlord, and money for basically doing nothing for her fix-it friend? Hiring a cleaning company would have been way cheaper than than putting in new flooring. Weird. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    That's too funny about inappropriate things in the background. ๐Ÿ˜…

    Here in our school district they had tablets for students who didn't have computers or tablets of their own, but then I wondered if they didn't have tablets at home then they would have no reason to have WiFi. ๐Ÿ’ป

    Here's to your sanity! I'll be thinking about you. I hope your week has been less chaotic than you thought it would be. ๐ŸŒž

    1. I don't think it had anything to do with a tax write off, and everything to do with her trusting someone she shouldn't to handle her affairs. He was here and could clearly state the condition of the floor (she based the update off a previous tenants complaints), but chose to take her money and find a cheap fix (that he botched anyways). His shoddy work was just wasted, which means he got paid while she lost money. I'm not sure how she doesn't see this. It would have been way easier and cheaper to just hire professionals.

      I really am worried about my girls streaking through the background while he tries to get through a lesson. :)

      A lot of families are having to purchase internet packages and tablets for their kids so they can do the work and not fall behind. Our school is offering Chromebooks to the high school kids, but I don't think there's an option for elementary-aged students.

      Chaos is my new normal, haha! ;)

  10. Your floor looks awesome now, but that's so crazy they didn't do it right AT ALL before you moved in. I'm sorry your landlady isn't much help either. Sheesh. I think most people in the world don't really have a "normal" anymore, so you're not the only one. I can't imagine trying to help teach one kid with twins running around too. As for the videos that are going to start, that's kind of messed up only the student can be in the frame. They realize these are young kids, and that parents have OTHER kids too? I feel like that rule is going to broken a lot. hah I'm sorry it's such a stressful time!! I wish I could do more -so if you need any remote help, let me know!


    1. Thank you! It was an entire day's work, but totally worth it in the end. Now I'm not worried about dirt I can't reach, or water collecting underneath the top layer. I can just sweep and mop like normal!

      I honestly have no idea how I'm supposed to help him with his online lessons and also keep the girls from acting like heathens. ;) It'll be interesting, that's for sure! I have a feeling they're going to need to make concessions about their rules for this to work.

  11. Such lazy workmanship on that lino wasn't it! One good clean and it looks really great! I guess it also passed a bit of time and waiting for the landlady to do something was not going to be an option! I don't go out much so isolation hasn't really affected me that much. I like being at home unless I need to go to apppointments or do shopping. But for others it has been so hard to stay home and put to one side an active and normal life. Being in isolation with kids must be really challenging as younger guys don't get why they can't go out or see granny!

    1. Yeah, he was really lazy. He also kept smoking around the house even after I asked him not to. He was just tossing them into the yard, and I have kids and dogs. They don't need to be around that, or inhale his second-hand smoke. We've decided to just start doing things ourselves and not asking that they fix something (unless it requires a professional, but still hire someone on our own).

      I like being at home, too. My kids do not, haha. They miss Story Time at the library, and playing with the other kids in the neighborhood. We're a military family, so no grannies nearby! ;)

  12. WOW! What a difference you made in the flooring. Ugh... I'm sorry you had to deal with that though!

    1. At least it only took a day of hard work to make it something likable! I was worried we'd need to spend money to have something new installed. Yay for the small things! :)


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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless