Being a responsible adult: Emergency Preparedness

With our first tropical storm of the season approaching tomorrow, I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never put together an emergency kit or binder at the Hall Hacienda.

It looks like we may have a busy storm season and it’s been more than a couple of years since we moved in, so I think it’s about time.

I’ll cover the emergency kit on another post, but for this one I’m going to talk about an emergency binder.

I’ve heard of people having important documents in a safe, but I’ve never put much thought into actually organizing it into a binder.  I love organization, you know me!

So I started it this week and plan to have it done by the end of the month.  I’ve heard that Avery makes a secure top sheet protector, so I may get those.  Also need pouches and a jump drive to scan all items on that are in the binder, keeping that in the binder as well.

I got a large binder and some dividers, which I labeled in the following categories…

  1. Proof of Identification
  2. Phone numbers and passwords
  3. Medical Records
  4. Accounts (Bank/Loans)
  5. Property Records
  6. Insurance Policies
  7. Pet Information
  8. Mom Information (since if we are likely to evacuate, she comes with us)

I’m slowly working on the contents, but here is what I plan to put in each section…

  1. Proof of Identification
    1. Photos of each of us, labeled (make sure I also have photos of us in glasses)
    2. Photos of us together, labeled
    3. Copies of drivers licenses
    4. Passports (in a pouch)
    5. Copies of school identification (Kevin’s school and ODU for me)
    6. Birth certificates
    7. Marriage license
    8. Social security cards
    9. Proof of Power of Attorney for my mom
    10. Diploma copies and transcripts
    11. Fingerprint card from police station (this is a good idea I read about on a blog).  Costs $10 in Virginia Beach.
  2. Phone numbers and passwords
    1. Our phone numbers
    2. Family phone numbers/addresses
    3. Close friends phone numbers/addresses
    4. Login and passwords for online accounts (this seems weird but people say it’s good to have)
    5. Phone numbers for emergency/utilities
    6. Phone numbers to all accounts we hold
  3. Medical records
    1. Copies of prescriptions and pharmacy contact info
    2. Immunization records (not sure if I can find these)
    3. Names and phone numbers of all doctors
    4. Quick fact sheet on each of us (Height, weight, eye color, hair color, meds, allergies, illness: in Kevin’s case)
  4. Accounts
    1. Checking/savings account information
    2. Student loans
    3. Mortgage info
    4. Any other loan information
    5. Retirement accounts
    6. Utilities
  5. Property records
    1. Photographs of both cards
    2. Car registrations and titles
    3. Photographs inside and outside the house
    4. An account of what is in each room of our house, including photos and value estimates
      1. Kevin’s drum stuff
  6. Insurance policies
    1. Cars
    2. House
    3. Health
  7. Pet information
    1. Photos of Nema and Athena (including a photo from Athena from behind so you can see her markings), labeled with quick read information that can also be used as flyers
    2. Medical records for both
    3. Nema’s insulin prescription
    4. Immunization records for both
    5. Rabies tags for both
    6. Microchip information for Athena
  8. Mom information
    1. Duplication of above items for Mom

I’ve also heard that people will put cash in small bills in their binder, as well as extra credit/debit cards, a map of the region/area, and extra copies of the photographs that are labeled for each person/group in case people get separated and you need flyers to hand out.  Having a small thing of tape, little scissors, a sharpie and pen are also good.

I plan to get a fire/water resistant box to store this in.  The interweb recommends that this be a portable safe, so you can pick it up and go.  That way too, other items of importance can be placed in the box along with the binder.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, but that’s it for now!



Surviving Bikram Yoga: Days 32-34 and the change of season

Last week was a bust for my plan to go 6 days in a row.  Pollen came out in full force early in the week and I was miserable on Wednesday and Thursday.  I hate this time of year!  Every year it’s different with my symptoms.  Some years it’s itchy, watery eyes.  Some years it’s the stuffy nose.  Last year, my ears itched like crazy.  This year is the year of the sinus headache. I learned my lesson on going to yoga with a headache a few weeks ago.  If it’s a general stress headache or a mild sinus headache, I’ll go to class.  But if I’m feeling like my head is in a vice, I won’t go.  So I didn’t go Wednesday or Thursday, which really bummed me because I wanted to see Stroud.

To make up for it, I decided to do a double class on Friday.  This is when you go two times in one day.  Crazy, it sounds, yes.  (that sounded like Yoda)

But it’s actually not that bad when you do it first thing and last thing.  I can’t believe I did this, but I actually got up for a 5:30am class.  I was up at the studio right around 5:10am and ready to go.  I was pleased to see that there were a few die hard people there with me and we had a great practice with Aimee.  I had the day off, so I went home, made a green juice for breakfast and worked on grading papers.  I had a carrot/beet juice for lunch to make sure I was really hydrated and headed out for a 5pm class.  When I got to the studio, Aimee said, “didn’t I see you this morning?”  Becka was there too and she was excited that I was giving a double a try.  12 hours between classes isn’t much different than me doing a 7pm class and then doing an 8 am class the next morning. I commented that I felt really good and hoped not to fall out after the first water break.

To my surprise, I did really well! I only sat down for one set of a posture because my hip felt like it was spasming.  I am finding that in some postures, I tend to dump my weight into the back of my leg instead of focusing on the front of my foot.  Aimee has been cuing that a lot in class lately, which makes sense.

After class, I fist pumped my way out of the studio and headed home.  Kevin and I met up with some friends for Mexican, and I drank a lot of water instead of a margarita and had some fresh guacamole for dinner.  I enjoyed the chips without any guilt and picked a little at Kevin’s fajitas.  I knew I had another class at 8am the next morning.

Saturday morning, I headed into the studio for another class with Aimee.  I was surprised when Becka set up her mat right in front of me.  I’ve practiced with everyone in the room except Stroud and Becka, so it was a treat to see her practice.  It was a good class with a lot of good energy.  The room was really full with new people, including a guy behind me who insisted on wearing a baseball hat the whole time.  It was really weird. I just wanted to tell him to take it off because he’d be a lot more comfortable.  Only two people tried to run out of the room this time, so the newbies did really well compared to past weeks. I think sometimes having a really full room makes people work harder.

Yesterday I woke up with full intentions on going to class but Kevin and I had a TON of work to do in the garage.  It was one of those days where we were out running errands first thing (Dollar Tree for newspapers, Costco, then Sams Club, then grocery store).  Costco has my coconut water and my green apples, Sams has our other fruits and  veggies, and then the grocery store has my kale and Kevin’s almond milk.  We got it all done, despite the crazy church traffic by lunch and set up the crock pot for our weekly lunch.  Then, we got to the garage and worked at it until nightfall.  Thank goodness the days are getting longer because we really needed the extra time.  While Kevin was moving things around, I started working on the winter clothes packing and unpacking of summer clothes.

Changing clothes around is one of my least favorite time of the year.  It’s a total fiasco.  In addition, I run laundry for about a week straight because I can’t unpack a Rubbermaid and just hang things up.  I have to wash everything, even though I know it’s clean.  It’s just a weird thing I do.

For the summer clothes, my Type A personality comes out in full effect.  I arrange Kevin’s casual shirts (he keeps those in our room and then uses the front bedroom to hang his work shirts and pants year round) by color.  Yes, by color.  It’s a little extreme, but so is his shorts collection and I find he does better when I rainbow his shirts in the summer.  He continues to have 500% more clothing than I do.

Then, I go after the swimsuit drawer.  I like to have everything neatly folded and ready to go.  I double check all of my suits to make sure there isn’t any frayed edges anywhere and put all of my bikinis in ziplock bags so I don’t get strings everywhere.  As I do every year, I hold them up, think about  how I’d love to wear one someday, and put them in the drawer.  I own three bikinis and have never worn them once.  Maybe this year will be my year.

Then, I start up the laundry.  I’m home today because this garage/yard adventure yesterday has left me looking like a boxer today with swollen eyes and puffy cheeks.  I don’t know what I got into.  It’s a little bit of a blessing in disguise because I’m going to be out traveling for the majority of next week so I need the time to work on laundry today.

There are piles everywhere in the house of clothes to be washed.  All of the winter clothes are packed away, Rubbermaids are labeled, and they are in the garage.  So I start working on the piles.  There’s the huge piles of t-shirts.  My shorts are already washed and in the drawer.  Kevin has a pile of shorts to try on since he shrunk out of all of his jeans this winter.  I have a pile of dresses.  A pile of work clothes for me.  Piles of swimsuit coverups and tanks.  A pile of spring/summer weight pajamas.

It’s neverending.  Makes me wonder if other people do this too and we all suffer in silence?

Bathroom progress update! Lighting and wallpaper

Over the weekend, I did something I thought I’d never do.  I bought a light fixture off of the internet without seeing it in person.


I’ll explain.

Mr. Hall and I have been mulling over the lighting choices for this bathroom for months now.  Every time we go to Home Depot or Lowe’s, there’s a trip to the lighting aisle.  There are a lot of lights that are nice, but just didn’t have the deco vibe I was looking for.  And for cheap.

Seriously, people, bathroom lighting can become ridiculously expensive quickly.  Especially when you’ve got a large light to replace.

Here is our old light.  Old lady style.

What makes this light horrible, besides the exposed bulbs, which I can imagine in a showgirl’s dressing room, is the fact that the light is the SAME light that was installed when the house was built 40 years ago.

It had to go, especially because we were going to wallpaper in a day.

As you may recall, the bathroom is supposed to have this deco-inspired vibe.  I have the white and grey marble floor and the deco geometric wallpaper in the silver/pewter pattern.  I couldn’t go and get a light that looked out of place. 

We hunted everywhere.  There were a lot of “contemporary” light fixtures at Home Depot and Lowes, but they just didn’t seem right for the new space.

I got desperate.  I started looking online and googled deco bathroom light fixtures.  I love the internet.  So many cool light fixtures out there, but ridiculously expensive when you try for deco style.

Then, I found  It was like the angels were singing just for me.

Besides getting my wallpaper for $20 a roll instead of $80, this may be the best purchase to date on this space.

I found a $375 fixture for $125.  And they were having a 15% off sale.  And there was no sales tax because it was out of state.  And free shipping. 

I paid $112 for it.  Never saw it in person.  Just this photo.

I love the pewter, which is a deeper silver than a chrome or brushed nickel you’d find at Lowes or Home Depot.  I’ve been obsessively tracking UPS since Friday.  It’s supposed to arrive today!

Onto other bathroom news, the wallpaper was a mess of a job.  Not physically messy, but mentally messy.  I selected a new type of paper that allows you to put it up by just pasting the wall so the paper didn’t have to be wet.  It made it so much easier.  The bad part was the pattern on the paper.  It had to match up JUST right.  Here are some shots of the paper application process.

When we put up the first roll, I have to admit I had a small moment of terror with the pattern.  I love it though.  It’s so different.  Very out of the normal for me.

We started over on the entrance wall and moved around the bathtub to the right because of the light fixture.  I didn’t want to take that thing down until the last minute.  Unfortunately, in many houses the wall corners aren’t quite even and ours is no exception.  The pattern started to move down on the wall.  We had to go back and move to the left.  Light came down and we worked by a small utility light, which was clamped on the door frame.  The picture below shows a larger shot of the paper, but it’s an odd lighting situation.

Here’s a sneak peak of the new space.  Still need to hook up the toilet, sink, and lighting.  It’s a little dark since the utility light is just one bulb, but you get the idea.

Kevin is going to get the toilet today.  You know you’re a grownup when you get excited about plumbing.

Bathroom renovation fun

If you know anything about the history of the Hall Hacienda, you know the story of the bathroom drama.  Don’t know that drama?  Here, let me fill you in.

When we bought the Hall Hacienda, the majority of the house had to be repainted.  Prior old lady owner loved peach.  Everything was peach.  Everything, except the foil covered bathroom.  Actually, it was a charming gold and silver leaf print wallpaper with ladies in bathtubs.

Not a year later, our pipes blow up under the house.  Unfortunately, we had already started taking the wallpaper down in said bathroom, but the errant pipe was actually in the master bathroom.  This led to the three year renovation of moving all of the plumbing to the attic and demo-ing the master bath into the studs.

Anyway, the first bathroom has sat for these three years in an awkward state of pre-renovation.  No medicine cabinet (just a wall with a hole) and the walls are primed with Kilz.  It is an understatement to say that this main bathroom has been a thorn in my side. 

After much harrassing of Mr. Hall and some thinly veiled threats, he agreed that we needed to take action on this bathroom.

I give you the “before” picture.  Note the peach sink cabinet and the gold “rock” lineoleum floor. (gag)

It really is as bad as it looks.  Then, if you look to the right of the PEACH door, you’ll see the bathtub.

Some other views for you.  It’s a little bathroom.

I can’t even talk about the toilet.

So, the fun begins with the sink removal.  This was nasty too.  It had been painted several times AND it was actually affixed into the wall.  Add that to the list to fix.

Then, the inevitable.  The floor.  It had to be pryed up.  Go on, Mr. Hall!

See that grey under the floor?  That’s the BACK of the floor and the glue attached to the cement slab underneath.  Guess who scraped at that for two hours? (raises hand)

So that’s how we spend Friday- no shopping here.  Here is what it looked like after the scraping and vacuum fest with the shop vac.

This was a major victory and it meant that the tile could go down on Sunday!  But first, Mr. Hall and I wen to the ODU/NSU playoff game.  It was a lot of fun and we tailgated with my bestie, Gretchen and her husband.  We deemed it “leftover” tailgating and noshed on Thanksgiving seconds.

Isn’t Mr. Hall cute?  I like this photo because he didn’t shave and looks a little scruffy.  Mr. Hall is ALWAYS shaved, this is like vacation Mr. Hall.

It was really sunny!  You can tell he was getting some and I was worried I’d have a farmers tan going by the end of the afternoon.

Back to business on Sunday!  Kevin’s dad came over and they tiled the bathroom.  It’s a great white and grey marble tile.  It’s so hard to find tiles that don’t have ANY beige in them.  Here’s the after tile job photo.  It looks a little different than the final product because the grout isn’t in there. We got a silver toned grout, so it will lighten it up.

While Kevin and his dad tiled, I got busy in the front yard.  We live on a cul-de-sac with a bunch of retirees and old people.  They have nothing to do but make their lawn perfect.  We are never home.  We are “that” house.  Sorry, neighbors.  I don’t mean for my leaves to blow everywhere.

Anyway, for FOUR HOURS I raked leaves.  FOUR!  You hear that, Cori?   I lunged, squatted, reached, pulled, and generally worked my butt off.  I even have a blister to prove it.

You can’t see it, but that is 27 bags.  Oh yeah, I worked off my gluttony from Thanksgiving!!!

So what’s next with the bathroom?  Well, Kevin’s going to grout this week.  The wallpaper arrives today.  His dad is going to move the toilet water valve.  My hope is that the bathroom gets DONE this weekend.

I’m excited to have it done.  I’m going with this art-deco inspired vibe.  I hope it’s not too over the top!

Here is a sneak peek of the wallpaper…

Deco: Gray Wallpaper

It’s not the best representation, since this looks more blue to me.  In real life, it’s a gunmetal grey with a slight sheen to the silver.   I’ve probably lost my mind.  But hey, it’s a small bathroom.  You can get away with things like that.

There you go.  The beginning of the bathroom renovation.  Stay tuned for updates!