Monthly Archives: September 2010

You were born with ten fingers and you’re gonna use them all…

Day 53 started before I got up. Well, okay, any given day always does, yes, but today production was afoot while I stayed in bed. Dave was experiencing more car trouble, and had a carpool ride that dropped him off in the wee small hours of the morning.  As Dave was feeling back to normal (woo-hoo!), he got started by painting another coat onto the trim in the master bath.  As my cold was on its way out (double woo-hoo!), I was able to help Dave sand some of the balusters on the staircase, and began painting the ones on the upstairs landing (nothing like sweating out a cold!). Even though Dave (obviously) did the bulk of the work today, I loved feeling useful again (I hate being sick), and loved seeing progress in the house. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: there is nothing like a fresh coat of white paint.

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One by one, one by one, it comes to us all…

Week 11 began, but we didn’t. Sickness took hold of us, and held us in our beds whether we wanted to be there or not (we didn’t). So, day 51 (Monday) happened, but nothing happened. Unless you count sleeping. At least it was raining, and therefore didn’t seem so horrible to have work stopped. So, now we’re onto day 52 (Tuesday), and it’s slow going. We’re all still sickly, and trying to do what we can to be a bit productive, but not so much that we extend the sickness beyond its natural conclusion. So, ugh. That’s what’s up.

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For what it’s worth, it was worth all the while…

Days 49 (Thursday) and 50 (Friday) completed week 10. They also completed our time with Eric (who leaves for his new life in Arizona on Sunday). That makes ten weeks of dedication and skilled craftsmanship; 50 days of bleeding, sweating, smiling, laughing, hammering, sawing, measuring, crouching, sanding, caulking, painting, cleaning, and growing a beard (he didn’t really have one when we first met him). So, in tribute to Eric, and all of his hard work, I asked him what song he’d like to title his farewell post. He said, Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” in honor of his grandfather who died this summer (they sang it at his funeral). We’ve had a lot of life lived all around us this summer. It’s been pretty amazing, and pretty overwhelming at times. I hope it was worth all their while.

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Take a break, you must be tired from the strain…

Day 47 (Tuesday) happened completely without us. I mean, we had a Tuesday, but not at the work-camp/homefront. Jeff and I had to make a trip to NYC to beautify a bride-to-be (Jeff’s sister) while the Team kept at it with the baseboard trim. They also mocked up the piece that will sit atop the cabinets – I believe we’re calling it the head casing? – though it’s really so much more like a piece of cabinetry. After much discussion and planning, we came to a decision! We have a plan for the cabinets, one that I think it will make them appear more built-in, more custom, more classic, almost original-esque. Very happy indeed.

Day 48, however, began with a bang. Literally. Dave’s car had a (non-injury causing, non-dangerous) tire blowout on his way here. And while Dave was sorting out what turned out to be only a nuisance (thankfully he and the car were unscathed), we met with our glass shower door representative, Tom of Oasis Shower Doors. Once Tom took a look at Caleb and J.J.’s amazing work, he insisted upon helping us out with the prices so that we could use the higher end glass. (Thanks, Tom!) We’re paying a bit more than we hoped, but we’re getting exactly what we hoped for, so everything worked out in the end. Exciting!

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Please, please, please, don’t you know that I need you?…

Week 10, day 46, and we’re off and running. Well, maybe more like walking. You’re really not supposed to run with sharp objects in your hands anyway. Not safe at all. But, the Team arrived to a less fume-ridden house, the floors having cured well enough since the last coat to be walked on lightly with socks, and tomorrow with shoes (though that’s really only so the dog can walk out of the house on her own, instead of being hoisted by Jeff). We’ll probably all still do the sock thing for a few more days. I will, anyhow.

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Like painted kites, those days and nights, they went flyin’ by…

Week 9, days 41 through 45, came and went while we dawdled along on vacation. I can’t say that Jeff dawdled along, he worked most of it, while Bec and I alternated between napping, cooking (well, she didn’t cook, of course) and going for walks. Though the weather was so chilly that the walks and outdoorsy times I had hoped for were sort of curtailed (I didn’t pack correctly, while rushing around trying to FIND things on our way out, and after we learned the hard way that our dryer at home was not working), I did manage to see the sea, the sunset, and had a walk in the sand.

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May the sound of my voice be your guide, bring you closer to me…

Day 40. Forty. Forty days, plus weekends. Eight full weeks of living in a home littered with sawdust, hammers, drop cloths, and nails (among other things). Forty days of having crews of people in and out, toiling, sweating, laughing, bleeding, aching, exhilarating, working on our home. It’s really become their home, in a way. I mean, it’s their job, their workplace, their 9-5 (really more like 8-6, but you know what I mean). And it’s our home, too. What a conflict, what a dance. Soon, though, and slowly, the identity and the ownership of the space will return to us, and we will return to it with open arms.

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OhmygodwhathaveIdone? (Do it again) AllIwantedwasalittlefun (Do it again)…

Day 39, and I’m still reeling from the quantity of things that got done today. First, a roster of people working at the house today: Dave, Eric, Frank, Brad, Matt, Josh, Caleb and J.J. (I’m out of breath just listing them!) Second, a list of things they worked on: sinks, faucets, toilets, refrigerator, dishwasher, wall ovens, cooktop, trim paint, door jambs, shower tile, door removal, stair sanding, floor sanding, clean-up and reorganization. (Phew!) The project just went from plodding along to full-throttle in the span of a day.

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It takes two to make a thing go ri-ight…

Day 38, and man, am I tired! The house was a hustlin’ and a bustlin’ today, with various Teams staying here as late as 7pm. We had Team Carpentry working the cabinet install (wall oven unit and fridge/pantry area), Team Tile working the shower, floors and thresholds (they worked like fiends today!), and Team Brad working some more electrical install (beginnings of wall ovens and an errant outlet that needed to be done before I covered it with a pile of boxes). So much was happening, and while I had to sneak out to run a few errands, I definitely sensed that change was afoot.

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Basic space, open air; 
don’t look away, when there’s nothing there…*

Day 37 was kind of like a dud firework – you’re all excited for it to go off, and then, and then… it fizzles. Which, in this case, isn’t really a bad thing, it’s just the way things went. We had our countertop installers come by (Team Stone) to make some templates and confirm the details of the space, and had a wonderful surprise early visit from the plumbers (hooray!). However, our Team Carpentry was a man down (illness), and Team Tile got tied up with other business elsewhere (you mean to tell me I’m NOT your only client? Well, I never!), which made progress grind to a crawl. Planning, organizing, and design decisions were made, but not much physical happened.

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