Sunday, October 31, 2010

Life in the Remodeling Trenches

I am giving thanks today for rigid-foam insulation board--why? you might ask...

Well, it will allow the toilet nearest my bedroom to remain above 50 degrees this evening. Many of you have gone a long time since you've used a privy...let me tell you there's a lot of positive things going on with indoor, heated plumbing.

Here's an actual conversation with Handyman, from earlier this summer:

"Well, now that I've ripped out the oil tank by the front door AND the sidewalk; and we've enjoyed that gravel sidewalk all winter, I need about $500 for materials to re-do the sidewalk in the bluestone that we picked out.

Me: Okay, I think I can come up with that...

Him: (Gazing over my head at the front of the house.) Well, before I put in the new sidewalk, I should tear off the roof because I could back the dump trailer right up to the front door and you wouldn't want to do that with a new sidewalk...

Me: (Mouth falling open--for once, speechless)

Him: (continuing on)...and if we're going to tear off the roof, WHILE WE'RE AT IT*, we should put in those dormers that we have been saying we would be silly not to do that at the same time...

* The most expensive four words in remodeling

Me: (Mouth still open) gaaaaa...I guess so.

So, the dudes who tear off roofs for a living, came and only one of them fell off, outside #1's bedroom window, breaking the deck, but not his arm. And then the contractor came and added two wonderful dormers, one in the master bath and one over the front door. Now we can see out to the driveway from the landing at the top of the stairs. How it should've been all along, I think.

Handyman, being the can-do guy that he is, decided to go against one of his earliest statements upon moving here: "That roof is too steep for me. I'll pay someone to put a new roof on it."

And so with the money we saved from the roof, we went to a building materials auction and bought kitchen cabinets, for my birthday! Handyman and I met at an auction, so it is always enjoyable to return to our roots.

We spent all day in a giant, filthy warehouse, but got a terrific bargain for our efforts. Everyone around us agreed! 28 brand new kitchen cabinets, no particle board, some with beveled glass in the doors, for $2100!! Woo hoo!

And just to keep the entertainment level at peak, we brought them all home in a horse trailer! The Clampitts get a kitchen!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

As the worm turns...

And man, has it ever turned! We are a changed family. We decided back in the spring to put #2 into school this year, since she was ready for 6th grade. We wanted her to have the chance to get started with band and sports and things that #1 really missed out on, when we stuck her into 8th grade, mid-year. (Not the best timing, we realized, but it was what it was.)

Well, #3 wasn't too interested in staying home alone, so we visited a teeny-weeny private Christian school that was absolutely darling, but didn't have a teeny-weeny tuition; and we visited our local public school. #3 said, "Mommy, it looks like the Children's Museum!" And it does.

So as summer was waning, both girls were signed up for public school, and I started looking in earnest for a part-time job. And I got one, at a local high school cafeteria.

So I spend my days making cold sandwiches, viewing the juvenile public up-close and personal and throwing away hundreds of pounds of food each and every day. (More on that later.) I've joined a team of ladies who work hard and strive each day for efficiency and overall pleasant-ness. It's really enjoyable.

The best thing about it? Each day, I complete something. Not like at home, where nothing is EVER done. I can totally see how women would come to rely on the separateness of going to work and shutting the door on home for awhile.

Oh, the other best thing is that the pay is very good and I am home every afternoon, evening, weekend and holiday AND summer! The tools of my trade: a hairnet and some plastic gloves...yee ha!