Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rounding 2nd

Monday I was pretty much AWOL from the construction zone. My car has been flashing me for months. Let the gas tank drop to half and the “check engine” light comes on, or if the light is out and you fill the tank the light would come on. No rhyme nor reason but it needed an oil change so I ducked out of the house early. I left the car at the dealer and they dropped me off at the mall. First stop at a kiosk for coffee and I was ready to browse. A leisurely stroll and a few errands and then the call came. The temperature gauge was going out in the car and it was just a coincidence the light went on and off with gas gauge changes. This meant another three hours at the mall and I was already done and ready to go. How many times can you walk up and down the mall before security begins to think you are plotting, stalking, or up to no good? 11:30 AM and I was tired and bored. I stopped at the food court to get something cold to drink and sit down for a little while to kill time. I can’t sit still and not do anything. I should have signed up for mall walking because I definitely got my exercise today.

Michael called about 2:00 PM after he had gotten off the phone talking to Larry and wanted to check in with me. He was my saving grace because he came to the mall, picked me up and we went to the Fountain Bistro for tea and hot chocolate. With Michael working full time and going to school full time at University of Washington, we don’t have a lot of time to see each other, although we do have long phone calls from grocery stores, coffee houses, and during his walks between classes.

Michael dropped me at the car dealer and he went back to work and I drove to Fred’s to do the grocery shopping. With no space to store anything in the house and losing space every time I turn around, I can shop with one of those small carts and get everything I need (not what we want, but need) for almost a week.

Bill is gone for the day and Deuce was barking at me like he had never seen me when I got home, but then he treats everyone except Larry like complete strangers no matter who they are including me. Larry put the groceries away and fixed his chicken salad with makings I brought home and I crashed on the sofa. I remember the days when I could shop all day and not feel the slightest bit tired. I think it wears me out that I hate most of the styles, or the wild colors, or that everything is cut to fit a thirteen year old even in the Misses department.

While I was gone there were more layers of mud applied and then sanded down. Seems a bit redundant to put mud on and then take it off. I understand making it smooth and hiding the tape joints, but you’d think someone would think of a new system to speed this process up.

Tuesday morning Bill and Bob are both on the job. Bill trying to stay one step ahead of Bob who is applying a primer coat to all ceiling and walls that are going to be textured on Wednesday. The walls and ceiling are all one soft creamy white that should make the new cabinets pop and give us that crisp clean transitional style we are trying to achieve.

Bill removed the old countertop in our bathroom and the tiles that were glued on to the sheetrock. I scooted off to the store to pick out a new top that I hope Larry will like and porcelain tile that Bill will cut and use to make a new backsplash while Larry left for his Kiwanis meeting The idea in my head was a light creamy beige Formica countertop (I would love granite but will not put anything expensive on top of an old 1973 cabinet and since we are way over budget on this growing remodel, an updated cabinet will have to wait a few years). Good thing our motto is “flexibility” because I first picked out seven tiles that I like and then took them back to the countertop area in Lowes. The countertop and tiles all had the same general look and feel and just blended too much together and began to feel busy and boring. In stock Lowes only carries five colors and special orders take at least two weeks or more so I had to pick something off the shelf. Finally I pulled out the dark grey/black with a small almost unnoticeable fleck of beige in it and began holding the same tiles I had selected up against it. No, no, no, no, four down, three left. Subtle was what I going for and hoping Larry would like this darker countertop. One more tile is in the reject pile and then it was two. Finally I decided that the lightest tile would give the most contrast and work well with the new white sink, that replaces the horrible blue sink we have been living with since we moved in.

The trouble with a bad economy is that the big box stores cut back on hiring or hours for personnel. Customer service is hard to get without running all over the store, up and down the aisles, or having someone paged. This also holds true when trying to check out when you cannot use the self checkout line and have to wait for one checker to help everyone. Still not quit out the door because I need someone to load the countertop and tile into my car. Now there are two of us waiting for help--fifteen minutes later, and four pages, someone arrives and starts to help the gentlemen waiting for help without asking who was first. Lucky for me he was a gentleman and told the store guy I was waiting first.

Larry was home waiting for me while taking care of phone calls, and again Deuce the dog was barking wildly to announce a stranger was in the driveway (me). Bill unloaded my car and stored everything in the garage until tomorrow. Bill measured the sink again to double check the mounting information for the faucet. For some reason, on Monday the plumber thought we had a wall mount sink and that was going to require returning the sink and getting a replacement. However, it turns out that the instructions in the box cover several styles and he didn’t actually look at the sink to see that we had the correct one in the box. Because the countertop only comes in a stock twenty-five inch depth for kitchen cabinets, Bill will cut off the sides and back to make it fit our cabinet.

Bill is also going to cut and install the slate tile around the fireplace and that will be one more item off the checklist.

The guys called it a day shortly after I returned home and I tried to clean the dust from sanding off the tables, chairs, sofa, electronics, etc. I realized the air purifier that Larry’s brother and sister-in-law gave us was clogged with dust so Larry took it apart and we cleaned it with the expectation that it will probably only be a few days until it is clogged again.

Bob will put another coat of primer on the new places Bill had to mud again today and then they will mask the rooms off for the texture guys who arrive tomorrow afternoon.

Larry and I will meet up Wednesday, after my art demo at Stampadoodle and his lunch with Curt, to pick up the flooring for the kitchen, living room, and entry, and order the Congoleum planks for the bathrooms. We will try to decide on carpet for the staircase and upstairs landing.

The plan for Thursday and Friday is to paint the kitchen, living room, entry foyer, stairway, and downstairs bathroom, then prep the floors for cabinets. Then the flooring goes down on Friday or Monday and if all goes well the cabinets will finally be installed next week.

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