Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mid week, half way

Snow! Again? It is the middle of March and some places in the county have several inches of snow on the ground. Luckily we have flakes that are not sticking, but the forecast is for rain the rest of the week. I would really like a nice sunny, fifty degree Saturday ride with friends. I would settle for forty degrees and all my thermals and heated gear if the sun would come out.

Does anyone remember The Andy Griffin Show and a character named Gomer Pyle? One of Gomer’s favorite sayings was, “surprise, surprise, surprise!” And surprised was exactly what Larry and I were today when Bob was painting and the sheetrock in a corner wall sort of gave way as he ran the paint roller over the area. I, of course, was out running errands at the time—unsuccessfully-- when I called home to get more information from Bill on what to do when Larry broke the news to me. I needed to buy a small piece of half inch two feet by two feet sheetrock to patch this area before I came home. Okay I wanted to know what happened that we now had a new hole in the wall.

When the sheetrock gave way, Bill and Bob pulled the damaged section out to find basically the sheetrock paper with no sheetrock attached and a dead bald-faced hornets nest decaying in the wall. The hornets had eaten the sheetrock and the slight pressure of the roller was all it took to press in. The good news is they found no live hornets, at least that they can see but the nest goes up the wall and they will need to pull it out before patching the area. (Larry thinks it would make good insulation and we should just leave it in.)

The patch shouldn’t take long and Bill and Bob will texture it with a can of spray because the texture guys come Thursday and will be gone before this is taped, mudded, sanded, mudded, sanded, primed, and ready for texture.

Wow. I thought finding out the plumbing was almost eroding away behind sheetrock, toilets that were never properly attached to a floor that was never properly prepared for them, plumbing that was never glued together or strapped to the floor joist under the house was pretty shocking but bald-faced hornets are black and white and usually build nest in trees or shrubs but will crawl into roof overhangs, attics, under porches, and wall voids. The nests are paper like material and football shaped but can be as large as three feet in diameter. They are aggressive and will attack if you invade their space and will sting over and over again.

Two years ago I was trimming the rhododendrons off the front porch when Larry drove in the driveway and I stopped to talk to him. When I showed him my progress he sort of stepped back and pointed to the one limb left to trim off, and there hanging underneath, tucked to the inside of the bush was a hornet nest the size of a basketball. If Larry had not come home when he did, I would have cut the limb and had to run for my life. God was watching over me that day. I had a hornet sting several years ago and had a mild reaction with itching and three of my fingers swelling up. Upon further inspection of the yard Larry found another nest even larger on another rhododendron about ten feet away and then several more in the backyard. We hired a pest exterminator who wore a full protection suit while spraying and then removed all the nests from the property bagged in plastic and tied off.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful compared to that unexpected surprise. We picked up the flooring and Larry’s truck was riding low and heavy on the way home. Thirty-two boxes of laminate and we still need to return to pick up the trim pieces and see the carpet sample that is coming in on a special deal. Bruce said it is close to what we have picked out but at a better price so we will wait to place the order for carpet until Friday when we have seen both pieces and decide what we like better.

Bill bought a new saw blade and proceeded to deconstruct the kitchen counter I bought yesterday to make it fit the bathroom vanity. He did a great job on the counter and cut the porcelain tiles we bought yesterday to make a backsplash. I bought six, eighteen by eighteen tiles knowing this was more than enough tile and would probably return any unused tiles. That was the plan. The tile kept chipping and in the end Bill used all six tiles to get enough pieces to make an eight inch high backsplash surrounding the counter. Bill even managed to shape the tiles to fit the Ogee beveled edge of the countertop. Grouting tomorrow and one more thing will be checked off our growing to do list.

The guest bath downstairs is painted and the ceiling and walls in the kitchen and entryway that need to be textured are primed. Bill and Bob will be sealing off the rest of the house to protect everything from the spray texture.

The plan for Thursday after the crew leaves is to head to IKEA in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada to buy the drapery rods and have dinner out. It is a shorter distance to the IKEA in Canada than it is to the store south of Seattle. Date night!

Tony the plumber is half way done with the work under the house and will return on Friday. My reason for staying away from the house today was no water--no toilets. So I will have to leave again Friday and wander aimlessly around Bellingham, stalling until I have the okay to return home.

Our home looks like hoarders live here. First it was the dining room crammed with furniture and boxes. Next came my studio with more boxes and a temporary makeshift coffee station complete with enough paper cups, plates, napkins, and plastic utensils to hopefully last us eight weeks while we were remodeling the kitchen.

Both guest bedrooms are piled high with everything that has been removed from linen and coat closets along with all the art work that hung on the walls downstairs. Our bedroom has vanity cabinet drawers stacked alongside clothes hampers, and tools. The only room that sort of has a semblance of normalcy is the study and it is covered daily in a new sheet of dust. I am running out of dust cloths and have become a little fanatical about anything that doesn’t need to be in this room, going out…out of the room…garbage, sporting goods room, garage, somewhere, but not the last room in the house that doesn’t look like we need an intervention from stuff.

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