Construction: Days 23 - 25

We are cookin' with gas now, folks! On Monday, we didn't have much action, just the delivery of what seemed like an impossible amount of Sheetrock and a million rolls of insulation. Q was quite fascinated by the tiny forklift that unloaded it all into our garage. But on Tuesday? Drywallers!

They got the entire upstairs sheetrocked in one day! Holy moly, does it look different up there! I expected it to look a lot smaller once the walls were in, but I was wrong. It looks HUGE! The bedrooms turned out to be an okay size - big enough for my antique bedroom suite, anyway. The main living area has tons of space. Now if only we had some furniture to fill it!

As if the universe heard my plea, T came home from work with news of some free couches and chairs up for grabs. It is hideous, uncomfortable office furniture, but the operative word was 'free.' So we made an after-dinner dash to the DPS office and loaded up the truck. Ironically, we are pretty sure T's dad is going to love the chair. It is hard as a rock and as cozy as a church pew - just like his favorite chair at home!

We also got windows. It took the masons a couple of days to get the bricks removed/windows installed/bricks re-installed, but today they are all in. Amazing how a window turns a closet into a room! Actually, one of the rooms that got a window is a (giant) closet, but we had to all the window or it would have looked weird from the outside of the house.

I went shopping for carpet for the upstairs. T wanted something with low pile, like the much hated Berber carpet in the rest of the house. Conveniently, I had my eye on a cut and loop carpet with a design in it. My sister has a cool swirl pattern on hers, but the one I like has kind of a wavy grid design. It reminds me of alligator skin. A little funky, but no where near over the top. T liked the one I picked out, so we are on a roll! Yahoo!


Weekend Wordles: Valentine's Day Edition

Join the fun at The Asylum, aka Last Shreds Of Sanity, to participate in Shan's Week~End Wordles. She has Mr. Linky up and running. For instructions on how to participate, go here.

Happy Heart Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

It figures that the one weekend a month that T has to work would fall on Valentine's Day. Humph. Not that I had anything planned other than getting the kids hopped up on sugar!

Actually, I was going to give them their Heart Day loot after snacks, but discovered that they had emptied all the book shelves onto Q's bed (that's hundreds of books) and had pulled every. single. blanket out of the cupboard. I saw red. There was yelling.

What's the big deal, you ask? They have gotten into BIG trouble for these exact activities - as recently as yesterday! They got sent to their rooms once the clean up had been accomplished. They think it is punishment, but it is really just nap time.

Maybe they'll get their prizes after dinner?


Construction: Day 22

Huzzah! The plumbing is done and functional! Today the framing crew came and replaced all the sub-floor that had to be pulled up to do the plumbing and wiring. Now it is much less treacherous for people who fall down a lot, like me. And better? It doesn't feel quite so arctic in here now that there are no direct passages into un-insulated attic.

We are go for insulation (Yay!) and dry walling. Very exciting!

Construction: Days 16 - 21

Okay, it's been three weeks now. Eldon promised we would be done in three weeks. Eldon lied. In his defense, we kind of had to call the game for rain plumbing.

Construction came to a screeching halt while one lone plumber (and his very part-time assistant) re-plumbed my entire house. They were the only worker bees buzzing around the house all week. Since it was just the one (and a half) guy, the change over from the old to the new pipes took two days. Nothing says fun like two days with out water! By the end of the first day, he had gotten the kids' bathroom, the kitchen (including the garbage disposal!) and the potty in the master functioning. It's hard to brush your teeth when your bathroom has no water. Blah. He got everything working by afternoon the next day. That was one hard working plumber dude.

I guess there were a couple of electricians buzzing about, too. They installed ceiling fans on the back porch (ironically, on the day the high temp was 34 degrees), but have yet to put in the switches or reconnect the circuit that will make the lights work. They also re-arranged the massive knots of cable wiring that kept getting moved aside as work progressed. Finally, Eldon noticed that all these cords were running on top of the floor that was about to be sealed up. Good catch!

The electricians also installed some can lights in my kitchen. (Clearly the electricians were around more than I thought!) The cans were supposed to be part of the kitchen re-model some time in the future, but the electric guys said that we needed to do it now while the floor upstairs was open. Sigh. So they got that done, too.

Z and Q are having a birthday party in two weeks. Are we taking bets on whether it is done or not?


Anger Management

Sometimes, when you are angry with someone, it helps to sit down,
take a moment to cool off, and think about the problem.

Think this would work with Z?


A Date! I Had a Date!

T was offered some cheap tickets to the minor league hockey game on Friday. Hockey? I loooove hockey! (I went to high school in North Dakota where, unlike Texas, football was a side note and hockey was the main event. We had no Spring Break, but we got off for hockey tournaments.) We invited D-man and Bun. D-man is from up north, so he's a hockey fan, too. Bun was in it for the concessions.

We met one of T's co-workers and his family at the game. We had great seats close to the ice and the goal. Bun put away more crap food that I would have thought possible for her little self. I was no slouch myself with nachos and ice cream. Heartburn city!

Our team won in overtime. Whew! We had a great time. The kids loved the babysitter I found on Sitter City. Z has been asking me all week if we were going to go to another hockey game so the babysitter could come back. I think we will do it again, sooner rather than later, I hope!


It turns out that Holly has more in common with the plant for which she was named than we thought. Which is not to say prickly and semi-poisonous. Have you ever tried to remove a holly bush? Impossible! You can't kill the stuff. Our Holly Berry (aka: Holly Bear) is every bit as resilient.

On Friday, when we brought her home from the vet after she got sewn/stapled up, the only evidence that she was in any way injured was the white bandage on her ankle and the smell of animal hospital that clung to her fur. She jumped for joy when she got home and ran and wrestled with Blackie. Her night in the kennel made her forget she was house broken, but she remembered soon enough. Thank goodness for SpotBot!

By Monday evening, her bandages were looking pretty sad. It also appeared that the area under the bandage was swelling up and was possibly hot to the touch. So the next morning I carted her in the to vet. Again. By now, everyone recognizes us. Or at least Holly. She always gets the heroes welcome from the vet and all the techs.

When the bandages came off, it was clear that the area under the stitches was swollen. Dr. W. poked at it some and declared it to be a pocket of 'serum' (a combination of blood and lymph. Not pus, so no infection.) He had me come over and look at the stitches as he gave the pocket squeeze.

Now Dr. W is a teaser. He was aiming that pocket right at one of his techs. When the darn thing blew, I jumped back about a foot. It sent out two solid streams of dog juice. One hit the intended target. The tech got it right in the neck. But how's this for kharmic justice? The other stream? Hit Dr. W. In. The. Mouth. He was spitting and sputtering and actually had one of the techs wipe his tongue with a paper towel (his hands were occupied). He had to go rinse his mouth out before he could finish up.

He decided to let Holly come home without a bandage. She licks it a lot, but isn't chewing on the stitches or anything. He didn't charge us for the office visit again. How cool is that? A nice perk for a dog that seems to visit the vet on a weekly basis!

Construction: Day 11-15

First off, nothing bad has happened! I have had several inquiries as to whether my lack of posting equated Very Bad Things construction-wise. Nope! Just lazy. And tired. Blah, blah, blah.

So, last Friday we had the usual crew of framers finishing up the details of the main living areas. They got all of the walls framed and started on the next bedroom and the closet in T's weight room. The closet is HUGE. The bedroom is tiny. I guess it is about the size of bedrooms in new construction, but it is still pretty small. It will make a good guest room/sewing room/library/place to stuff things when company is coming.

On Saturday, they framed in the wall that will make T's weight room its own room and tore out the wall between the stairs and what used to be the attic. The put in an eyebrow arch over the new entrance to the living areas. I. Love. It! They also decked the closet and the bedroom, which turns out to have been a little overly ambitious, but more on that later. They also got the majority of the siding on the gable.

On Monday, they finished siding the gable and framed out the closets and doors for the new room and closet. We also solved the conundrum of how to get AC to both T's weight room and the new bedroom given the lack of ceiling height in the bedroom (it has a pitched ceiling). I am tickled that I came up with the solution: they framed in what looks like a window seat, but is actually a false wall to contain ducts and wiring. It looks AWESOME!

Yesterday my house looked like an anthill. Tuesday was the day for the AC guys, electricians, roofers and plumbers to arrive in addition to the usual crew of framers. The AC guys got the air handler in the crawl space and ran all the ducts to the new areas. The electricians put in can lights, wired outlets and moved switches around. I was also informed that to get wiring to the kitchen for the garbage disposal, they would have to remove two pieces of the newly laid sub-floor. Great. The framers removed a lot of sub-floor and made my cool rounded steps up into the living area. I love them!

The plumbers.... Oh, the plumbers. We got trouble! Right here in Wester! And that starts with T, and that rhymes with P, and that stands for Plumbing! The plumbers opened up the walls behind the master bath and the laundry room so they could tie in for the new upstairs bath. What did they find? Totally corroded pipes about to disintegrate in the walls. There was visible corrosion on all of the copper and pin holes seeping water every where they opened up the walls.

So. We have to re-plumb the house. Which means that all other construction ground to a halt while the plumbers pulled up sections of sub-floor to run new space-age plumbing throughout the house. The good news? We no longer have any plumbing coming up through our foundation. The bad news? The money. OMG! The money.

David the contractor looked at me and said, "And all you wanted was a little room in your attic!" Our house has turned into the Money Pit! T is sweating bullets. I swear, he about had a panic attack when he heard about the pipes. When he came home to the swarming house, he had a little shit-fit tantrum mental breakdown moment and ran away from home. He didn't' come back until I gave him the all clear after the workers left. Good times.

Today it rained. All. day. Obviously no roofers. Mostly we had plumbers. They had to pull up great big portions of the floor in T's weight room to re-plumb the kids' bathroom. They flooded the laundry room - and didn't tell me about it. Or clean it up. I found out about it when I went to feed the dogs and squished across the rag rug. Really? Couldn't you have told me about that? Or gotten the things off the floor? Really? Grrr. On the up side, they did get all of the plumbing in place for my garbage disposal. I'm so tickled about that I could make out with the guy. (Okay, no I couldn't. He smells like an ashtray and has, well, plumber's butt.)

The heroes of the day? The electricians. They came in around 2:00 and fixed a couple of things upstairs. (Yes, we would like the light switch to turn off the light. Thanks.) Then, they fixed a bunch of things downstairs that have been making me nuts since we moved in. For instance, they moved the light switch for the main kitchen light from behind the refrigerator (literally) to its logical place next to the door. They wired and installed switches for the garbage disposal and the over-sink light. Here is where the angels sang: They installed the new light fixture over the sink. It works and everything! It is the first visibly finished thing of the remodel. Yay!

T left about lunch time to go to a training out of town. He requested that we have everything wrapped up and the people gone by the time he gets back. Tomorrow. Weenie. Remodeling ain't for sissies!


Out of nowhere at bed time tonight:
Z: Mommy, when will Mimi get better?
R: (gulp) Well, honey, she's not going to get better.
Z: But why?
R: Well, Alzheimer's Disease, the disease she has that makes her memory sick, doesn't have a cure.
Z: Did she hurt herself? Did she get it when she fell and hit her head on the nightstand?
R: Nobody knows why people get it. Mimi got it pretty young.
Z: Did she get it when she was a little girl?
R: No, she was already a grandma when she started showing signs. Most people are old when they get it.
Z: Will I get it?
R: By the time you are old enough to get it, there will be a treatment to cure it.
Z: And we'll give it to Mimi?
R: Erm, Mimi will be gone by then.
Z: Gone where?
R: Well, honey, people are born, live good lives, get old and they die.
Z: Die? You mean go be with God?
R: Yes, honey.
Z: Oh. Okay.... Can I ask more questions about Alhyber tomorrow?
Could someone just rip out my heart? But who knows? Maybe my little precocious future doctor will be the one to find a cure. I hope so.