Thursday, March 31, 2011

much nicer...

Ahhh, today was much better!! :-)

My parents took me out for a burger and a beer on the river....

...and then onto another restaurant for dessert. The date was my using a raincheck from them for a birthday dinner, since I had been out of town that weekend.
It was fab :-)

After that a relaxing sit with my knitting at the dog park, and then later, my next door neighbor (who crochets) came over for a long overdue cup of tea and conversation. It was our first real visit together.

Nicer. Much!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

working vacation, apparently

Another (almost full) day spent dealing with NewHouse stuff either in the house or running around for the house.

Plus a phone call from the teacher/chaperone who is in D.C. with MyFavoriteKid: calling to ask permission to administer Tylenol because he is running a fever and had to rest on the tour bus during one of the events because he looked so crappy.

Skipped zen center practice tonight in lieu of dinner with TheMostImportantGuy so I could download meeting notes from the heating/air conditioning guy, the pool guy, the electrician, one of the contractors, the realtor who is helping with compliancy issues on the rear unit.


At least we did it over a full bottle of wine (because it just so turns out that Wednesday nights at the pasta place are 50% off wine nights).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

not even close

I thought today was going to feel like the first day of mini-vacation.

Not. Even. Close.

At 3:45 am MyFavoriteKid, who was on a red-eye flight to D.C. texts me to tell me that he landed safely at 6:45 am. His time. I can't get back to sleep, because now I'm tossing and turning about the new house.

I was to have two commitments today:
1) a 10am meeting with one of the four remaining contractors who is working on a proposal for remodeling the in-law unit. He wants to take a second look at the place, this time with his business partner who didn't make the first walk-through.
2) a 5pm meeting at the office of one of the other four contractors so he could pitch his proposal

Let me tell you that I swung by the new house this morning at 8am just to check on the place, and was going to take myself out to breakfast, and knit and read until my 10am meeting. I got stuck at the house from 8AM UNTIL 2:30PM, because there turned out to be an assload of people there doing various odd jobs, and they were all there at the same time, and they all had questions. The electrician wanted to go over some stuff about lights he is installing. The HandyGuy that is rebuilding the shed the pool equipment is housed in went over a few things with me. Another guy was there to haul away the hot tub that is beyond repair, and he had a couple of things to go over. The tree guy showed up prepping to do his work now that the weather is dry. The pool guy showed up to replace the broken filter system. Somewhere in there the contractor showed up at 10am, but his partner who missed the walk-through the first time still couldn't be there at 10am, so he wanted to come at 1pm.

And somewhere in there I just threw my hands in the air and ordered pizza for all of them.

I got home well after 3pm, but that was only after remembering that I had dropped the dogs off at the doggy daycare place and had to go back and get them (yes, I know doggy daycare can be a little silly, but on Tuesdays we are not home all day long and the dogs dont get walked, so I stuck to the routine. Anyhow I went back to get them. Got home. Found that I still needed to make a couple of calls to people about the house, and then had to turn right back around to make that 5pm meeting that was 45 minutes away.

After the meeting, TheMostImportantGuy and I grabbed a bite to eat so we could talk over the proposal, at which point TheMIG wondered if it's a mistake that we are focusing on the in-law unit first and not the main house more, which kinda blows my mind, because we've invested ohhhhhh, what 6 or 8 weeks trying to sort out who's going to renovate the in-law unit for us...? (and even though it's a very valid point and/or question, it's kind of making my mind melt).

And so I get home tonight after dinner (after stopping by the new house on the way home again just to make sure all the guys locked up and to pop on some lights), and I make it home just after 9pm.

With not a stitch knit, and not a page read.
And I'd really like to flop in bed and knit and watch a dvd that I've seen a million times so I can feel all sentimental and happy...but the dvd player in the bedroom is broken. :-D

Tomorrow I think all I have is a 10am with the heating and air guy. And I have to stop by the realtor's office to pick up a document I need to prove the rear unit does in fact exist so we can rent it. Even though we now may are considering to not remodel it.

**hysterical laughter**

I'm hoping to at least swing by the zen center tomorrow night. Practice not thinking.

Monday, March 28, 2011

say buh-bye

MyFavoriteKid headed out this afternoon for his 8th grade trip to Washington D.C.

We've been apart before, lots. He's even been on a week-long trip with school before. But it was at a camp one hour from home. This trip includes a trip by airplane, a lot more running around from place to place, the need for him to manage his own funds, and I shouldn't forget to mention that the kids are in their hotel rooms without chaperones (even though there is a supervising guard in the hallway).

I dunno. This trip just feels...."bigger".

This is also the first time that I've felt like the teachers in attendance were a couple of disorganized boobs, and it is making me nervous. But I have faith. Once they land in D.C., all is orchestrated by a touring company.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

current dance inspiration


I know I'm not saying much about my dance process by just showing a photograph, but I'm the wee very early stages of creating a dance piece, and all I know is that it has something to do with the bayou. The process thus far is solely improvisational movement, so I haven't gotten to the place yet where I can attach words to it yet....but I thought I'd at least share the images.

I'm going to be soooo happy when things shift enough in the new house that I'll be able to do creative work in it (did I mention that I will have a dance/meditation space as well as a craft room??). It's some months away, but it will be so worth the wait.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

snaps on saturday

Cruising the lighting section of the salvage shop for inspiration.

Didn't buy anything, but it sure was fun looking. Really reminded me that I view lighting as part of the decor and as an art form, not just a utilitarian way to get out of darkness.

Also went to the zen center this morning for the first Saturday in AGES, had breakfast meeting with the co-dance teacher about shaking things up in class and going new directions. Got to play with some fiber in a spinning class, and even sit and knit with a friend for awhile at the table at the yarn shop (you lurker, you).

Pretty nice day, all in all :-)

Tomorrow we meet for a "round two" with one of the contractors so they can pitch their proposal.

Friday, March 25, 2011

freebie friday

How about a feisty yarn attackin' skel-animal kitteh statue thingy.
It's about 3" tall. Wee and cute.

Toss your name into the hat if you are interested, and a random number generator will do the choosing for me next Thursday at 12-noon. I will post the winner next Friday.
If you want to leave a comment but not be entered, just say so ;-)

I have finally heard from everyone who had won in previous weeks, yet I have not hit the post office yet. I have had zero desire to trek into a post office in the sleet and hail and pouring down rain with a lap-full of packages as I sit in a wheelchair pushing myself and therefore not being able to hold an umbrella.

Lame ass gimped out excuse, but it's for real. It's been raining every single time I've had a moment to myself to do anything that resembles catching up.

But next week is kid free....did you hear that..???!!! Kid freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...
and it shall be done.
Sorry for the delays. Hang tight. ;-)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

got raft?

We are floating away here.
Lots of rain, lots of road closures.
That creek that has risen to the top of the bridge? It's normally bone dry.
My dad and I braved it all and went out for our regular Dad & Daughter errand running and grocery shopping day. We're a little cuckoo. We had a good time, but I'm still soggy.

I got home and had a nice hot bowl or corn chowder. Then I had a couple of hours to knit...something I haven't done in quite a long while.

I've wanted to knit this pattern ever since I saw it. I love it as it is pictured in the gray, but I already have a wide scarf/stole that I wear to death in that same color, so I decided to do it in a natural white.

I also think I chose the color because the desire to do this pattern and then shop for the yarn was right about the same time I was washing (and washing and washing) mom's aran vintage aran sweater.

I put the order in and it took 5-1/2 weeks for the yarn to arrive....gah!! I have been trying to knit on other things during that time, but I have just not been enthusiastic. I have also been busy (however, if I loved what I was knitting, that wouldn't stop me one bit). I've also been having problems with my arm again. Big scary pain problems.

My right arm was broken up so badly in the accident all those years ago that there's 3 metals plates and a pile o' screws in it. It's usually not a problem and doesn't interfere with knitting (in fact knitting was the approved physical therapy). Sometimes the damp and cold is a drag, but lately the pain has just been constant. The pain starts near my thumb, and it hurts to make a "pinching" motion, or to spread the hand wide open....and then it eventually travels up my arm all the way into the shoulder. It started in November and it's been a big fat drag. I worked closely with a physical therapist and had myself back to about 95%.....

...and then I washed those 27 feet of floor to ceiling windows at the new house, and I reactivated the original injury (which I'm not even sure what that was), and I'm back in physical therapy.

But thinking back to when it first started hurting in November, and I'm trying to figure out if my arm starting hurting first and that I subconsciously let my knitting come to a grinding hault....or if I slowly stopped knitting because I've been so busy, and my arm starting hurting because I was using it less (remembering that knitting was the physical therapy approved by the doctor in the first place, and it is what keeps my arms and hand moving).

Hard to say.

But I'm going to knit on this for a bit and see what happens :-)
It sure is making me happy and distracting me from the winter doldrums.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

my brain is melted

I interviewed the 2nd flooring company today, the first painter, met with the pool repair guy, and had a second interview with one of the four general contractors bidding on the remodel of the in-law unit.

Somewhere in all of that I dealt with the most teenage-y-est of teenagers, and got caught in a downpour of rain so cold it was almost hail.

I'm getting in warm pj's and crawling in bed.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

one of those wierd "stars aligning" things...

A few weeks ago I lost my ATM card, called the bank to replace it, and when they sent the new one, they assigned me a new PIN number (which of course I could change by going into the branch).

The 4 digit pin number they assigned just so happened to be the last 4 digits of the phone number that belonged to the boyfriend I had when I was 17 until I was 22 (he lived with his parents during the first few years of our relationship, so it was really his parent's home phone number). Now, if you would have asked me if I remembered that phone number, there is no way I could have produced it from memory, but the second I had to enter it on a keypad, it all came back to me why it was such a familiar 4 digit series.

I haven't had time to make it into the branch to change the PIN number (and yes, I know the N in PIN stands for Number, but whatever), but I've been using the card for about 2 weeks now at the gas station, the grocery store, etc....and so for two weeks, every time I enter that PIN number, I have thought of, not him, but his parents.

Today I walked into the convalescent hospital to visit James, and guess who I run into. MrAndMrsOldPhoneNumberThatIsMyNewPINnumber. MrsPIN has been suffering from dementia the last few years, but she's in the convalescent place for 3 weeks getting some physical therapy because she is having trouble walking. MrPIN hasn't changed one bit. I swear to you, he looks exactly the same as he did 25 years ago. Exactly.

It gets even funnier. There is this lady at the convalescent hospital that I usually pop in and say hi to as I'm leaving each week. I happen to know that she used to drive a bus for the local bus company and that's she's in her late 60's/early 70's. I have a very long story to tell you about how I have come to know that, because this woman can only say two words: "no" and "I know" (she is one of the people I am dying to try writing about but am at a loss of words to do so, and that's partly because she is at a loss for words, so where does one start).

I happen to know he is in his late 60's/early 70's, and I also happen to know that he was the dispatcher at the same bus company.

And I now also know that MrsShortOnWords has seen MrPIN coming and going twice a day to see MrsPIN, and the she practically fell over because she recognized him immediately because he looks exactly the same. But I also know that he did not recognize her, and that she thinks that's just fine because she always thought he was an asshole. hahahaha
And yes, I got all that just by asking her yes and no questions, because she will answer them by saying "no" or "I know", which is her version of "yes".

Awesome, eh?

I wish I was going back next Tuesday to get another installment of this strange little tangled web that we weave, but I am taking next week off. Next week MyFavoriteKid is on spring break, and he is going to Washington D.C. on a tour with a group from school. I have canceled everything that I can possibly cancel, and I am super excited.

I am sure it well get booked up with house stuff, but I am gonna do my damndest (is that I word?? how does one spell that?!) to keep the week open and get some time for myself.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Ya' know, I spent weeks, months actually, at the end of 2010 thinking about what I wanted to accomplish here on the blog (and in the rest of my life, actually) this year.

I think I was very realistic when I set my goals. For the blog, I had ideas for how I would experiment with writing about the convalescent hospital work I do, and for how I could set up my writing time to allow for better editing. I set goals for spinning once a month, and I set goals for eating cleaner and healthier.

I'll say it again: I put a lot of forethought into setting my goals, and I set them very realistically. While they were by no means New Year's resolutions, I did decide to wait for the holiday crazy season to pass before implementing them.

And then December 31st we saw the house.
And then by Jan 3rd or 4th we had an offer going in.
And by mid-January it was accepted.
And by mid-February we were closing escrow.
And now here it is mid-March I am knee deep in only the preliminaries of neccessary instruction.

I think I need to reassess my goals. Let the pondering begin.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

it's not wash day, it's wash week

It's almost 11pm and I am dealing with laundry.

I usually say I am, "climbing Mt.Laundry," but I just grabbed the next load queued up to hit the machines, and it's not a mountain of laundry I am dealing with this's A LAKE.

Well, okay....maybe it's more like a small pond.
Let me explain.

My laundry hamper sits in the corner of my bedroom. It's a tiny wicker thing, but washday usually occurs before it gets too out of hand. Unfortunately, with all the dealings with the new house, I'd let it go way beyond overflowing. Because the basket sits in the corner, the pile was able to grow up the wall like a tower. But then I had this day last week where I had to make the tower disappear real quick-like. I was having the carpets in the bedrooms steam cleaned (you can thank the chihuahua with potty training issues for that one), and I had to get everything off the floor so they could clean the carpets.

I picked up the tower of laundry and tossed the entire thing into my "garden bathtub", and it's managed to stay there all week long. Heck, it proved so damn convenient there, I just kept tossing the new laundry in there, too. So by this weekend, you walk into my bathroom and you are visiting Lake Laundry.

aye aye aye

Thanks for all of the notes about Flash. MyFavoritedKid has really appreciated them, too. Yes, MyFK did get to have a moment with the gecko before he died. MyFK took time for that before he went off to school Friday morning, as we both knew that the trip to the vet might bring bad news.

We have created a little temporary burial solution for the gecko for now, and very soon we will move him to somewhere on the grounds of the new house (we need to wait for the weather to's been raining and hailing like crazy here for days). We will end up having a little pet cemetery actually, because we still have our cat Tramp's ashes in a box, and TheMostImportantGuy has the remains of his cat buried in a large potted plant that he will be moving to the new house, too.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

snaps on saturday

The new house is in a town with a suffering economy and reputation and a high unemployment rate. This year it made the Top 10 list of "America's Most Dying Cities" due to the rate people are leaving.
It also has a thriving core of locals that are committed to riding out the storm and improving the situation. There are local blogs and neighborhood societies and the town has its very own little radio station. Many groups are working hard to promote the arts and create local activities, and many of them are theatrical and musical.

Tonight TheMostImportantGuy and I "played locals" (I say played, because even though we now own a house there, we aint even living in it yet), and we went to a bi-monthly comedy show that happens in a local eatery's banquet room.

Once the lights went down and the comics hit the stage, it was actually just as if I'd hauled my ass all the way into the city....except better. The show was only 10 minutes from home, the parking was easy, and the drinks and food were cheaper and tastier. And the comics were hilarious.

Look at a list of who's already performed at these things, you can see that most of the comics have appeared on television or have opened for national it's not an amateur night.

We are soooooo going to make this a regular thing :-)

Friday, March 18, 2011

it's 12:14am so this counts as friday's post, right?

Gang, I looooove the Freebie Friday thing, but I'm going to allow myself to skip it this week. I am sorry.

I just got home from dance class an hour or so ago to the news that the gecko ("Flash") died while I was gone.

The gecko had not been eating well for awhile, but that's not all that unusual for him. But today his eyes looked black and he had blood dripping from his mouth. I rushed him to the pet hospital. The doctor found an old piece of shedded skin stuck to the roof of his mouth. He pulled it out, and brought the gecko in back to have his eyes flushed to be given an injection of antibiotics.

When I brought the gecko home after the appointment, I noticed that he had a big sloppy stool in the box he had traveled in. When I lifted him out of the box to return to his tank, he shook his head quite violently, enough to splash blood on my clothing and onto the carpet. He also had blood coming from his bowel region. A couple of hours later, MyFavoriteKid returned home, and we noticed that Flash had this huge swollen bump on the left side of his head (the same side that the dried skin in his mouth been removed from), and that eye was completely swollen shut. He was gone within an hour.

I am upset, and MyFK is miserable. It was his pet. When MyFK was 6 years old, he decided he wanted a gecko. I brought him to the reptile shop and made him speak with people that worked there about what it would entail and how to care for one. He made a list of all the things he would have to buy in order to have a gecko. He saved up all his allowance, birthday money and holiday gift money, and after I long time of saving, he paid for every single thing himself.

MyFK is now almost 14, so Flash has been with us a long time.
We are very very sad.

Fun and freebies will return next week.
Hug someone you love today. xoxo

Thursday, March 17, 2011

stuff + math = life ..?

Clearly I have not learned the required life lesson, because once again, I find myself saying the same thing:

I have all of these little problems, each of them manageable....but when you put them all together, it's unmanageable.

I cannot for the life of me figure out when I stopped being able to add things up and get a total. It's really just basic math.

1 arm injury (plus 1 for the pain, and 1 more for my emotional fear around losing the use my dominant hand)
1 teenager (plus 1 for the worst report card he's ever received, plus 1 for the time it is taking me to meet with teachers)
1 for sadness I have over losing on of "my seniors" at the convalescent hospital this week
1 gecko who had to go the emergency vet today because he is bleeding out of his mouth
1 chihuahua who is testing me a like a toddler with her potty training
1 (well, I'm sure it's more like 17) for the new house issues
1 (which should also should count as way more than 1) for icky-doody communication issues with TheMostImportantGuy

I'm sure that one of the reasons why I fail to add them all together is because I am also failing to mention them to people, including myself sometimes (have you seen me writing about all of these?? I haven't). So there must be an element of denial mixed in here. There's probably even a few more things I am not listing.

Taken individually, they all seem like things I can work on, and they do not feel overwhelming, they just feel like things that need to dealt with (and I even feel confident that I am capable and qualified to deal with them). Put them all together and I feel like an incompetent fool that has no idea what she is doing....and I'm not sure how I manage to leap to that.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

why fake it

I'm in a pretty upset state at the moment. I want to go lie down and cry for a bit, and maybe see if I can do an instant download onto the Kindle of "Contractors for Dummies" or something. But I don't feel like I can do any of those things, because I need to post first (ahhh the joys of Blogging 365).

We interviewed the third contractor tonight, and by an interesting turn of events, a fourth one slid in right behind him.

What's got me so upset is that TheMostImportantGuy and I are really processing all the information really differently. He seems very logical and methodical about comparing. I, on the other hand, true girl that I am, am having pretty strong feelings about each of these contractors. We are totally not hearing each other or understanding each other, because right now TheMIG and I aren't even speaking the same damn language. No matter what I say right now, it's wrong....and I'll bet he feels something similar...but it's really just because the head and the heart don't speak the same language, is all.

My feeble attempt at this is for us to sit together and make up a pros and cons list for each contractor we've met so far, so we can see it in front of us more clearly. Except that TheMIG made a very linear excel spreadsheet with check boxes, and I am writing out full sentences about what I like or don't like each of the people we have interviewed.

And so here I sit, not wanting to be blogging at all, because I'd rather be trying to sort this out somehow with TheMIG who is here for the night, the only night this week.

I was going to find some random thing from the internet to stick here tonight and not say a word about any of this, but hey.
Why fake it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

stupid tired

I am not just tired, I am stupid tired.

Way tired, as in I am sooooo tired, that I just wrote an email to TheMostImportantGuy giving (not so positive) feedback about one of the contractors that we are interviewing, but I sent it TO the contractor instead of TheMIG.

Yay, me!


Monday, March 14, 2011

vintage me

I have lots of deer stories in my life.
Looks like me & deer go way back ;-)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

lamps and scary things

Thanks for the tips about painting the walls, and I am loving the suggestions about the lamps. I took some close-ups of them today for y'all.

I don't think these are all that old, and even if they are, I do not believe they would be old enough to be original to the house. There ARE some reallllly cool overhead light fixtures in the hallways and entryways that I think are original to the house, and they have really nice etched glass and neato brass fixtures. I love them. I'll take some pictures of those next time I have decent light over there.

But these? These are weird. And kind of ugly. But apparently not ugly enough, because I still feel compelled to do something with them. There are four of them, and one of them is in a bedroom for some reason. I had this vision that if I cleaned them up and hung them all together in a row that they might look cool. Set them up marching down the length of a diningroom table or something. Or over a bar maybe.

And then sometimes I feel like I just want to take them all apart and string up the crystal bits in some unusual way. Art project!!

I probably wont be doing anything with them right away, to be honest. Not because I don't want to, because I can't! I haven't picked out what they will be replaced with yet, and if I take them down, we'll be in the dark!

I think it's hilarious that PickyKnitter thought we painted already. Bwahahaha!
I keep tellin' y'all that I have only been showing you the photos that don't scare me away from my own house. Seriously. Let me prove it to you:

Someday to be our bedroom. Make note the hole in the wall under in the closet where some sort of "plumbing work" was done at one time. There are other holes in this room, including dry rot in the ceiling from a leak from the tub upstairs from this room (that the last owner tried to fix by placing a wee little cat food dish in the crawlspace to catch the water). Also note that the walls in our house are plaster, not drywall. There's another one of them UglyButCantTossIt lamps in there. Oh, and before you scroll down, do note the lovely stained floors that need to be refinished.

Not enough? How about this one:

This is one of the two upstairs bedrooms. Need I point out the modern "artwork"?? (actually, that artist graced us in both of the upstairs bedrooms, now that I think of it).

Before you go telling me that all we need is a firm resolve, elbow grease, and lots of paint, how about I show you what is going on in the garage (which the in-law unit we intend to rent sits on top of):

Click to embiggen and/or zoom around if you can, kids....because that is old knob & tube wiring which has been rigged many times over with a whooooole bunch of jenky "fixes". There was even a fuse box on the property that had pennies shoved into it instead of fuses.

On my face right now: *big fat crazy insane grin*

So you see? We have a loooong way to go. And I'll keep showing you the lovely photos, and then a few doody ones in between. Interspersing them may be the only way I keep from going insane.

My strategy for the next year? I intend to go through lots of wine and chocolate.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

snaps on saturday

From the "sun room" through the dining room and the "used to be a diningroom, but what the hell is it now" room, livingroom beyond in the distance.

1) How many layers of primer and paint will it take me to cover up those red/brown walls, and...
2) I cannot stand that crystal chandelier (and there are at least 4 of them in various places around the house), but I wonder how I could re-purpose the, or just the crystals.

I'll take a close-up of one soon. Maybe you guys will have some ideas.

Friday, March 11, 2011

back on track with freebie friday!

I need to give a quick shout out from yesterday's post/comments:

Ginaaaaa!! I can't figure out how to contact you! Can you please shoot me an email? I really really want to check in with you about your suggested contractor. Thanks!!



Ok. Back to business!
I lost a day last week and forgot to do the fun Freebie thing, but this week it's back! First, let me do some housekeeping for February's giveaways. There were three (I skipped Feb 4th because it was my birthday).

Feb 11th the giveaway was some fiber. It was won by "Karen (no link) who promised to learn to spin by St.Patrick's Day". I still haven't heard from you Karen, or if you did email me, it got stuck in the spam filter. St.Patrick's Day is dangerously close, but I will still send it to you! Email me! If I don't hear from you by the end of the goody pile, I'll put it back in raffle-rotation.

Feb 18th it was a reusable plastic glass , won by TheYarnStashIsAttacking who did email me, and it did get caught in the spam filter, and I am soooo sorry! I just sent you a reply, and I will pop this in the mail Monday morning. Sorry for the delay!!

Feb 25th the giveaway was the Kitty And Yarn T-shirt, and since I missed last week, today's the day to draw and announce the winner! TheRandomNumberGenerator chose "not supergirl"! Shoot me an email, girrrrl!! I even hereby solemnly swear to check my spam filter!

March 4th was the day that evaporated. And so now here we are, it's March 11th, and here's the giveaway:

It's technically a project bag, but hey, if you aren't crafty, I'm sure you'd find a way to use this bag. It has a divider and a clear plastic pocket on the inside...

....and a little elastic cinched pocket on the outside.

It was made by a favorite Etsy shop of mine, Chicken Boots.

If you would like to be entered into the drawing, just leave a comment. No need to waste your energy begging or blowing smoke up my bumm, because it's a random number generator that chooses (although sometimes that generator is MyFavoriteKid...but it's still random LOL). If you just want to say hi (or something else) you can still comment, just tell me not to put your name in the hat.

I draw next Thursday, and post the winner on Friday! Good luck!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

it's not like comparing apples and oranges, it's like passionfruit and pickles

So, we're back in the interview process looking for a new general contractor. We thought we had one we liked, but we saw some really odd behaviors just prior to going into contract with him, so we backed. away. slowly. I feel confident in our decision to do that for sure, but the only bummer is that it put us right back to square one: looking for someone.

What we're doing right now is interviewing 3 different "design-build" companies. These types of builders can do the floor plan, bid from that, get the permit processes running, and then build the damn thing. Before, we were looking at dividing those tasks up as separate processes, and the just seemed to us like the a big cluster-frack. I am a huge fan of feeling "integrated" as many of you know LOL.

We met with the first company last Saturday. The design-guy half of the company came out to the house (his long time business and life-partner is the construction-guy). We all got excited and started talking details right as he walked in the door, but stopped and he said, "Wait. Let's sit down for a minute and let me get to know you a bit and hear more about your project." Music to my ears. Cool. The meeting went great. We like him and what we've seen of his firm's work quite a bit, but we're pretty sure that their bid is going to be on the high end of the scale. The other thing that is of a concern, is that TheMostImportantGuy spoke with the DesignGuy yesterday and said, "You know, we were talking and wondering about maybe laying things out a bit differently. We think it might make for less structural work and a huge cost savings," and which point DesignGuy says, "You know, were were talking about that very same thing back here at the office and were wondering the same thing ourselves, and wondering why you wanted to do it the way you wanted to do it." This left TheMIG feeling like he was staring at this huge red flag, that this company may just be soooo into making people happy and building what you ask them to build, that they may not offer all the information about how to do things differently and more cost-effectively. I see the flag, too but I am hoping that they just didn't get it out of their own mouths before we did, is all. I'm thinking these guys need a second interview with us, and that we bring along our red-flag detector.

Let's contrast this with company number two. Who is really not a company, he's a GUY, but he has a whole bunch of subcontractors that work with him on every job he does it sound like. We meet him out front, and we very quickly determined that he was quite familiar with our house. Why?? Because he also had an offer on it when it was for sale, but we got it. He was bummed on some level, as he had fully imagined himself living there and how he would use the property. He barreled into the house and told us that, "Surely we wanted to get rid of the two bedrooms upstairs and make it a giant master suite," to which I pointed out that I'm disabled and not a fan of stairs so the upstairs would be TheMIG's realm, and our bedroom and my craftroom (yes--craftroom! squee!) would be downstairs. Then he told us that the diningroom should be an office (not), and that "this is where he would have put a pool table." I could give you about 20 more examples of him telling us how he saw things should be, and never once did he stop to ask how we would use the space. He also made 3 outright racial slurs about what type of people we should or should not rent to, so offensive to me that I cannot even bear to type them here. Does his being a racist show in his quality of work? Probably not. Will it haunt me that his energy (and the fact he really thinks our house should be HIS house?) will be forever buried in the grout of our kitchen tile? Yes. Totally. Did he offer up a ton of good ideas (along with the bad ones?). Yes. Was he very well priced, but of decent quality? Yes. Would I let him remodel the in-law unit for renting? Maybe. Because I could see from his non-portfolio (we had to ASK for photos of finished work to be sent to us) that he builds the same. exact. kitchen. over and over and over. Remodel an in-law unit he has down to a science. Would I let him near my house?? Fuck no.

We are meeting with a third contractor next week. Please...please...(who exactly am I praying to, the gods of construction??) let the pendulum in our experience swing. I want us to find someone in the middle.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

brace face

I got nothin' nice to say today at all. I am sick to death of construction and contractors and everything I'd have to say would be tainted by my monthly hormones anyhow.

But! Good news comes from MyFavoriteKid.

No more braces!!!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

typical tuesday

Typical Tuesday. Super crazy super busy. It's always the most hectic day of the week for me. Added to regular crazy routine was a stop in the morning at the new house to turn off the porch lights and to hang one of the curtain-panels-in-progress....and then I had to stop back by there again after the convalescent hospitals to meet with the handyman to go over a few things.

The highlight of my day though?? The thing that brought me the biggest smile??

Running outside in the cold air at 7:20pm with MyFavoriteKid and watching both the Space Shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station flying overhead.

Nice moment :-)

Monday, March 07, 2011

i think i am finally "over myself"

I wasn't blogging yet when I had the 1st Anniversary of the car accident, but I was blogging for the 2nd, the 3rd, the 4th, and the 5th Anniversaries. Last year, when it was the 6th Anniversary, I thought about it beforehand, but forgot about it on the day itself, and even posted about it a day late.

And this year?? I didn't even think about the anniversary at all leading up to it, and hey!! Look at this!! 4 days late...and with no anxiety, no trippin' down memory lane, no tears, no pining, no nothing.

Ladies and Gentleman, I do believe there has been a shift.
Isn't there something about 7 year cycles??

Sunday, March 06, 2011


I cannot believe this is Sunday evening! Can you??

I definitely remember working hard fixing up the new house last weekend, and I know I did more of the same thing this weekend, but the two weekends are sort of running together like one!
What a blur!!
I don't even really remember much about the weekdays in between!

Well, ...except I have this faint recollection of doing even more stuff for the new house during the week, too (plus something to do with convalescent hospitals and teaching at the senior center and oh, yes....piles of laundry and dirty dishes are now floating by in my mind).


Today it was raining, and I'd really would have preferred to have been curled up on the couch with a movie and my knitting. Instead, I've been working on the curtains for what we are calling "the sunroom". Someday it will be the room where I practice dance, and it will also be our meditation space.

One wall of the room is entirely glass.
Twenty-two feet of glass.

(this was taken the day we made our offer on the place, so it's an old shot. the pool is now more blue and full of water...but please do try to ignore that defunct jacuzzi...because it's still....defunct)

Actually, it's 22 feet not including that last sliding glass door on the right that really enters into the dining room. Really, what I am covering is more like 27 feet of window.

For this wall of glass we went to IKEA and chose some tab curtains in a white cotton. But we also chose a track system for hanging them that is not designed to work with tab curtains. We knew it was a mismatch, but we really loved the fabric and we also really needed this particular mounting system for the space.

Of course I, being the crafty one, well I just knew that I could alter the curtains (ha! fool!). Which I am doing now. All 22+ feet of fabric. First I washed all of the panels (woohoo--fun times), because the package says to plan for 4% shrinkage. Being white cotton, you can be sure they'll be laundered again, so I thought I'd nip this shrinkage thing in the bud

Next step, which I am doing now, is to use a seam ripper to remove the tabs on the tab curtains. I know. Smart. By tab curtains, remove the tabs. Sheesh.
Anyhow, as I remove the tabs, the curtains can be hung with the clips we bought. I am also pinning the curtains to prepare for hemming. So lots of pinning. With the box of 250 glass head straight pins.
That I have dumped onto the floor.

*sigh again*

Well, I am happy to report that there is progress in the new house, at least. We did a lot of window cleaning, cobweb vacuuming, baseboard wiping, and adding a couple of personal touches this weekend. I'm pleasantly surprised to find that just by removing the layers of dirt I am feeling like perhaps things are not quite as bad as they seem.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

snaps on saturday

I cannot believe that I forgot about doing a Freebie-Friday yesterday! Doh! I was a bit confused about where I was in space and time because MyFavoriteKid had the day off school. Totally threw me off. I'm not sure if I'm making it up tomorrow or just holding out until next Friday (I need to sleep on that)....

but today is a Snap on Saturday.

Cleaning and fixing and puttering about the new digs.
Industrial sized messes need industrial strength cleaning tools.

Friday, March 04, 2011

another fine example of why i'm not feeling rested lately

Last night I had this dream about a squirrel. He was sitting on his hind legs. He had something tiny, round, and dark blue, in his hot little "hands", and it was squeaking and wriggling about. It was a hummingbird, and the squirrel was attempting to eat it. Several other hummingbirds were swooping at the squirrel and jabbing their beaks at him, trying to get him to loosen his grip on the bird he was attempting to turn into his evening snack.

I haven't looked up these symbols up in a dream dictionary, but I know what the analysis would be if coming from a Native American traditions (when you dream about animals, they believe the animal is a messenger, a totem).

A squirrel usually represents stashing or hoarding (think preparing for winter), and hummingbirds are the symbol for joy.

So my hoarder was killing my joy.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

wee little corner

The only usable spot in the new house right now....

...a little meditation spot.

Too bad we haven't had time to use it yet LOL.

This week was actually the 8-day meditation retreat at the zen center. We did it last year, and had planned to do it this year, too....but now we do "construction meditation" instead ;-)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

s'all i got, cuz is all i do

Inlay detail in the hardwood floors of the new (old) house.
With a layer of muddy footprints and construction dust, of course.
Sorry I have nothing more than that right now.
Help. My brain. It's melting.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

the wonderful world of contractors

I can already tell this going to be some sort of goofy rant with no solid details. I've sat here staring at the screen for a good long while because I cannot even find a starting point in the storytelling, I am so jangled.

IN SUM: Contractors are driving me NUTS.

TheMostImportantGuy has been dealing with more of them than I have, which makes me want to put on a drawl and say, "Bless his heart." In a poor attempt to paraphrase him, I think TheMIG would say something like:

I've never had to work so hard to give a group of people my money, and yet they all complain that their industry sucks right now and that there is no work due to the economy.

As for me, they make me feel like this:

They make no sense to me. Their flow of doing things, their way of handling business. It makes no sense to me at all some of the behaviors I have seen in the last couple of weeks.

I feel like there is some secret society they are all in, like maybe the RoyalOrderOfContractors or something, and it's like we are being hazed or something. It's almost like they are jerking us around and giggling about it....and all we are trying to do with most of them at this phase is just get A BID or even a RETURN PHONE CALL, for crying out loud.

What I wish is that I had the magic lamp and that I could rub it and have the ContractorGenie and/or the ContructionWorkerFaerie just sort of magically appear and explain to us just what we are missing here, or what we need to be doing to get along with this strange breed of human.