Thursday, December 1, 2016

Stanley Steemer, Voodoo and the Ginormous Tub

If anyone thinks I sit around on my tushy and eat bonbons all day, you are dead wrong.  I eat brownies.   Here is today, and it is only 11:30 AM

I get a call yesterday from Contractor Jay.  He says, casually, Oh, Stanley Steemer will be there tomorrow to clean the floors.

I thought they were Friday, but OK. I can handle nothing less but constant change now, so OK. That means I need to get everything off the floor I can or put it outside.  I work most of the afternoon, and when Frank comes home he busies himself with moving some other stuff.

I already had the dogs scheduled for their baths on Thursday.  So I get up at the crack of dawn at 5 AM and get everyone fed and pooped and into the car for their delivery to the vet at 7 am.  Frank leaves at 6:30 am heading out to Broussard, about 2 hours away.  Just minutes before I have to manhandle three idiots to the car by myself.

I come home to see that everything I moved yesterday, Frank had moved to another location.  In other words, he did little work, he just moved my placement of the stuff around.  That meant I had to move the eleven 5-gallon paint containers outside, the pile of trim outside, all the leftover cabinets either outside or into the dining room.  I had designated the dining room as the "safe" room which would not be Stanley Steemered.

I called Frank and yelled at him a bit telling him that I knew he would not go to Carrie's office and rearrange her stuff and tell her how to do her job.  Therefore, he was not going to come to my "office" and rearrange my stuff and tell me how to do my job.  If he wanted to do that, I would go to a nice Art Camp with Leeanna and Patty and Carol and Suzette and let him finish the house.   I decided to reward myself with a brownie.

Now that I felt better, I waited for Stanley Steemer to arrive.

They were unfolding their hoses and the crazy neighbor lady was pacing back and forth between her driveway and her two mailboxes.  (Yes, she has two mailboxes for some reason.) 

The two Stanley Steemer guys head out to the master bedroom to start work.

Contractor Jay arrives with two guys who are here to patch up the back of the fireplace.  I thought they were supposed to be here on Tuesday or Wednesday!  Much to the chagrin of the Stanley Steemer guys, they will be cutting sheetrock.  The Stanley Steemer guys are not happy.  Neither is the crazy lady who has begun to do some Voodoo gesturing towards my house.  I decide to reward myself with a brownie.

Then the quatro (4, count them 4) Painter Muchachos arrive.  I wasn't expecting them till Saturday.  They walk around the house and look at stuff.  They don't speak much English so I am not really sure what they are doing here, but I do get that they will be back on Miercoles.  I know that is Wednesday and not Saturday.  Aye carumba!

So far that makes NINE people in my house.

Ozzie, the neighborhood dog that someone left in their yard when they moved out parks himself on my porch to technically that makes TEN.

 Ozzie is eyeing the Stanley Steemer guys.  But everyone is staying their distance for now.  I reward myself with a  brownie.

Up drives the plumber with my new tub.  I had no idea they were coming today.  Add two more guys in here.  The neighbor has resumed her pacing and has added her Voodoo Dancing.  She is bending over and showing her oversized butt to the skinny, well muscled plumber guys.

Avante frame in clean room
Stanley Steemer is not happy with the plumbing development.  They fear competition for water resources.  I assure them they will not have a problem.  I know that Shaun has to figure out how to get the whopping tub inside first.  I check on plumber guys after a while and find them chipping out a layer o tile I had not planned on replacing.  Hmm. Yep, brownie.

If the tub will cover the space he is ripping tiles from like he says, then the toilet will not fit back into place.  Hmmm.

And it would be a shame to have a bathroom WITHOUT a toilet, right?  Hmmmmm.

The door bell rings.

The doorbell?  I have no doorbell.  That got taken off the wall months ago.  But something is ringing.

It is the landscaper I asked to give me an estimate on redoing the front yard.  He is number 13. Stanley Steemer guys are eyeing his mud dried shoes.

Tub hanging out of truck
We talk about the yard and my other neighbor arrives with a basket of wet clothes, number 14.  Her new washer and dryer arrived yesterday and the dryer has a 3 prong plug to 4 prong outlet.  Not very useful.  I offer her a brownie and we sit on patio and eat.

Plumber guys get the tub off the truck.  It is monstrous.  They attempt to manhandle it and end up calling another plumber guy, number 15, to help.  Stanley Steemer guys are getting more unhappy with each arrival.  Ozzie is circling the plumbing truck.  And the crazy lady is now singing gospel tunes and dancing around her front yard like she is in some grammar school play. 

Plumber guys tell me they have to remove the sheetrock and some of the studs in the bedroom to get the gigantic tub into the guest bath.  OMG.  I might need two brownies for  this one.  And boy is Stanley Steemer getting steamed!  More sheetrock.  But first we discuss some other ways.  They end up removing the door and walking the enormous tub in upright. 

Meanwhile, Ozzie has gotten into the plumbing truck and eaten the plumber guy's lunch.  I might have to offer them my brownies.  Crazy lady is no where to be seen.  Maybe she went for sheet music.  Or a choir robe.

I guess I should count her as number 16, although technically she is barred from coming IN the house by the restraining order, she is certainly one of the characters.

Frank calls and wants to know how my day is going.  While I am counting down the number of people, number 17 arrives.  Terminex wants to do their annual inspection.

With a new audience, the crazy lady is now hailing the overhead sun.  She is waving her hands and swaying back and forth.  Maybe she is looking for Farrakhan's space ship.  The others are used to her by now, but the Terminex guy wants armed escorts on that side of the house.  I tell him he is on his own but will get combat pay.  And a brownie.

As Stanley Steemer finishes the men start leaving, so does the show next door.  She takes it on the road, I guess.

After lunch, it is only the Plumber guys and me.  Even Ozzie has moved off to greener pastures.  I tell them, no matter what happens today, they have to leave me with at least one working toilet.

I have to admit, the massive tub is beautiful.  Gleaming white, sloped sinuously down the back, I can certainly see myself up to my chin in bubbles with brownies and white wine sitting on one of those teak trays across the tub edge.  It is deep.  And colossal.

Even the plumber guy says he would like to soak in this gargantuan tub.  Hmmmmm. 

Maybe  I need to layoff the brownies a bit lest I not fit into the tub.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cotton Robin Sign Up

Anyone Game? or, Who Wants to be a Robineer?


If you want to develop your creative ability, your design skills and just plain have fun, consider joining me in the 2017 Cotton Robin.

Go to  Cotton Robin

From Julie:

The weather has changed to "sweater" so it must be time to start up a new round of robins... 

for basic rules, and send a comment or email Julie if you want to join in. The more, the merrier, right?

If you've participated in the past and want to invite a friend or two with some quilting skills, please do.  

Having said that, of course we're trying to avoid quality control issues!  It is expected that you can cut and stitch a straight line (if you're making something that requires straight lines!) and have familiarity with the various parts of making a quilt... 

See you soon!


- center block (8 to 10 inches) should be mailed to Julie to arrive by January 30, 2017; the blocks will be distributed by February 10.

- center-with-one-border should be mailed to the next quilter no later than March 20.

- center-with-two-borders should be mailed to the next quilter no later than May 8.

- finished quilts can be mailed to their owners whenever you wish, but no later than June 30. Please send Julie a photo of the finished quilt before mailing (via email, not to the blog) 

A Whole New Tuesday

In the Contractor Walk About yesterday, he brought the painters.  They talked about what needed to be done before thy could get in here and paint.  One was translating for the other in some Hispanic language I could get some of the gist, but they spoke too fast and the world moved on before I could adequately translate. 

The new thing is a cabinet over the fridge that is too deep for the a/c vent.  The cabinet overlaps the vent by about 1 inch.  So we need to move the vent.  OMG......

So Jay calls 4 people and can't get anyone.  I make one call and Charlie should be here in about 15 minutes.  Am I really that much better than a contractor?  Maybe I should be doing his job.

 (t i m e  goes by.....)

They got it done in about 45 minutes, moving the vent out about 3 1/4 inches.  Amazing.  One of the guys told me he just signed up for the Navy last week.  He wants to work on submarines.  He says a few years working in attics prepared him for that! My family was Navy and Marines, so I told him he had chosen a proud branch.

Jay also needs to compete the back of the fireplace (in the laundry room) and get the bricks in the front of the fireplace mortared back in place for the painters.

 And the painters want the floors cleaned so their tape will stick.  Frank will be esctactic since he goes in there and mops every night anyway.  He is obsessed with the mopping thing.  Not that he has ever mopped in his life before, however he is a dedicated vacuumer. 

Hence the fact we now have a new vacuum after much research and study.
The granite measring guy should be here in a few.  I had Frank bring the range top and the sink in to the kitchen.

As I said, I don't want Frank measuring these items.....

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Man Who Could Not Screw

single-cabinet-picture-300x375I'll bet the number of hits will go through the roof today!  LOL.

Preamble:  I grew up with a dad who could build anything.  I worked along side him  all my childhood.  And then I married Frank.   He didn't know that screwdrivers came in different types or a pliers could have a long nose. 

I have a pot rack for which Logan created a special cabinet. I had watched the handyman install the last one and realized it would be easier to install without the counter top already on.  So I  suggested Frank and I install it yesterday morning.  Oh, boy.

It comes with a short but concise video demonstration each step.  First thing it says is to measure the opening of the cabinet.  Well, even though you could plainly see the man measure the "opening", Frank disagreed with what the opening was.  Consequently, he measured what he determined to be the center and it was clearly NOT the center.  I didn't even have to measure it to see it wasn't the center.

Then we had to find the center of the rear cabinet wall.  Of course, he had a different idea of what the rear wall of the cabinet was.

The next issue was when the guy said to measure 2 1/4 inches down from the center mark on the rear cabinet wall.  You make the marks cross and that is where the bottom of the rear support gets leveled to.  Frank had made so many marks you couldn't tell which one was which.  And each mark was darker than the last because he would not just make a single line mark, he would go over it 5 or 8 times.  When the first try at the installation of the rack was sloped downward toward the back by about an inch, I looked at the marks he had been making.  It was a mess.

For some reason he couldn't get the drill to hold the bit.  He couldn't get the countersink bit to drill into the wood, The screws were either too long or too short.

 And worse yet, he couldn't hold the drill straight and the screws kept coming out the side of the wood.

We ended up with a conglomeration of a left over shelf from another cabinet, a piece of press board that had been cut out from another cabinet, 3 clamps and 25 feet of extension cord in an 18 inch cabinet.

He says, can you live with this?

I said, I am going to lunch.  You can either come with me or you can stay here and fix this mess.  If I stay here, you will die.


In the afternoon, I had another meltdown.  Between Frank's obsessions with things and workers he cannot control, trying to coordinate the intricate dance that is the house and my stomach and breathing issues I am having a hard time dealing with things.  He actually sits up at night and thinks of ways the work crew are doing things wrong and what they should do differently.  Then in the morning he gives me a list to talk to them about.  That is, when they actually show up.

The stress is getting to me physically.  And that compromises the ability to think about things.

Frank's solution yesterday was "go to Paula's and make something."

OMG!  Really?  If I go to Paula's I will move in there.

With the nights getting into the low 40s or upper 30s, I am so thankful for the sleeping bag at night.  We do have a tiny space heater that Carrie had under her desk at work.  But he only wants it to be used when someone is sitting there watching it.  So at night when I get up to make the 2 am Pee Run, I come back and sit for 15 minutes in front of the heater, then turn it off and get back into the sleeping bag.

I will wake up several times and just check to make sure the dogs are covered, because unlike the Swissys who would be reveling in the cold, these bassets are not cold weather dogs.  Except for Chloe who believes she is just a shorter Swissy!

So next week.

1.  granite guy comes on Tuesday to measure.  I need to have the sink and he gas range top available for him to measure for holes.  I don't  want frank measuring it. 

2. tile guys come to start the master bath shower.

3.  plumber comes to install the 6 foot tub.

4.  Sheetrock guys come to finish the back of the fireplace.

5.  painters come to begin work so they can ultimately paint something.

6.  cultured marble people come to measure for the guest bath surround.

7.  window guy comes to install the windows.

8.  extra trim and closet doors get delivered.

9.  guys come to hang the two back doors in den and bedroom.

10.  dishwasher and double oven get delivered and installed on Tuesday.

I hope to be really really really really busy.........and Frank will be at work.......if he makes it through today.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving --- The Cabinets Are Nearly Complete

This is where we were today for Thanksgiving dinner.  From left to right are Andrew, Dee, Greg, Me Carrie and Frank.

We had a great meal at the Renaissance Hotel with Carrie and Andrew and our friends Dee and
Greg.  The food was amazing, the turkey and prime rib were perfect.  Mirliton stuffing, cornbread stuffing, mustard greens marshmallow topped sweet potatoes and an amazing honey mustard dressing.  A whole table of cheeses and fruit competed with the TWO tables of desserts........OK........I had all that and pumpkin cheesecake, pecan pie, some sort of deep deep chocolate cake with fudge ganache  and some sort of fruit compote and a vanilla custard.

And wine.........

Every time I eat a meal of "regular" food, I still fight stomach issues.  While I was fixing the dog's food tonight, I had to run into the house.  I left Frank with the task of taking the two bowls outside for the boys.  For some reason he hit his head on the door and dropped one of the bowls (with liquid) all over the camper table seats.  Cushions.  So we spent the night trying to clean that up.  Dog food went everywhere, dogs went everywhere.  Luckily we had no unfortunate scuffles over tiny food pieces.

that man hits his head on everything.  If it is within 10 feet of him, he hits his head on it.  All his customers and co-workers know that as well, and they give him pretty graphic hard hats.........

The one cabinet, the double oven one, got twisted in shipment.  The roof part came loose and crashed to the middle section which busted through the side.  Ourso had no problem ordering another one, but Frank decided we could fix it.

He and I worked on it for about three hours and felt it was good to go.  I will admit, it the cabinet guys had done this I would not have accepted it, but I was just wanting it installed.

If it didn't go in, I would have had to cancel the Tuesday delivery of the double oven AND the dishwasher since they cannot separate the two for some reason.  I really wanted that dishwasher, so I sacrificed perfection for fixed.

I have to admit however, the cabinet is stronger that it ever would have been!  The installer saw it, he chuckled and said we could use it for a jungle gym!

And you won't see any of the thousands of screws we put in since it gets butted against the pantry on one side and the over the fridge cabinet on the other.  Near perfection!

In the process I gorilla glued my Fitbit to my arm........yep......not coming off for a few days.  Which is quite a deal when I want to take a shower.......just sayin'

I think the cabinet guys were finished with what they can do right now.  On Tuesday the granite guy will come to measure for countertops.

Once the countertops go in, the cabinet guys can come back and finish the installation of the 5 pieces that sit on the granite counters.

Next week is another week.........hopefully the shower will get started, the oven and dishwasher will get installed and the granite guy will measure.  

Thankful For The Refrigerator

the fridge was delivered early.  They told me it would come between 4 and 8 pm so I spent most of the day out doing stuff I couldn't do when Frank is gone.  I can't leave the dogs in their crates for long periods so I get little running around done unless he is home with them.

As we came home from lunch, there was the delivery people sitting in front of the house.  Bringing me a dishwasher......

Once we got that straightened out, and put back on the truck, I got the fridge installed and running.

I couldn't sleep so I came into the house and sat in the kitchen,  I had to clear off the folding table that used to be my computer desk but now is used for construction junk.

Remember when I spoke of the walls.  The kitchen has that sort of feel to it as well.  It is the center,  the brain, the heart if you will.  I spent my time in the kitchen when I was not sewing or quilting.  The kitchen fed my family, struggled through homework and brought my friends together.

My kitchen is not a showplace, it is a collection of the things I like and what I do.  I am not light and modern;  for sure I am dark and brooding.

The kitchen used to be warm and dark.  My cabinets were wide and open.  These new ones are thinner and deep, which feels wrong.  Even though they are not, they look cheap to me.

Sitting here in the wee hours of this morning, I come to the conclusion that I much preferred my old kitchen to this new light one.  Light is just not my thing.  It will be pretty and functional, but it will not be what I like, what I wanted.  It feels unfinished, raw; waiting for someone's colors to be laid stroked upon it.

I know in time I can paint the walls, put my art back up.  But my art and my things are not this modern, timeless look that is what this is now.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Cabinet Oddities

They started cabinets today........but not without their own problems......

These are the cabinets in their most raw state.  There is a crown moulding that goes on the top of each cabinet bank that ties them to the ceiling, but there will be a 3/4 inch space for some reason. 

Kitchen.  That window is where the sink will go. 

And this one is the sink on around to the gas range top and range hood.  You are looking through to where my long arm will eventually sit!

Here are a few more cabinets added to the picture above it.  We are calling that "the island".

I chose an Absolute Black counter top.  It will be gorgeous, yes, it will be gorgeous.

And this is "the peninsula".  Must be a nautical theme here, I guess.

I was having a problem with the proportions and we ended up

deciding to take out one of the those cabinets and just do away with it.  It just wasn't fitting.  There is another cabinet piece that goes beyond into the space.  I will show that tomorrow.

What you see covered up in the background is my long arm table in front of that window.

This is the peninsula from the kitchen.

And again from the den/living room.  It will have an Absolute Black counter top as well.  And eventually a couple of bar stools.

Here are the master bath cabinets.  They are honey maple.  There will eventually be a white marble counter top that will hold the oddity that this piece is.  I still haven't figured out why she ordered this appliance garage piece for my bathroom! Hmmmmm.

So far this is the only cabinet casualty.  It is the cabinet that will hold the double oven.  Which poses some problems because I was having the oven delivered next week.

Big Problem, that.

More photos and installs tomorrow.