Grumpy about the construction project

In the eleven days since my last post, many amazing and spectacular things have happened in my life.  The most important is this: we are eleven days closer to the end of the school year. I just realized — as I stare at this rapidly diminishing glass of wine sitting before me (hiccup) — that I only have to make Jesse’s school lunch eleven more times. Since I’m likely to deliver carry-out twice in that time (I’m anticipating episodes of Extreme Laziness), that’s actually only nine more times.  I can’t even begin to find words to express my feelings, which lie somewhere on the boundary between relief and hysteria.

Meanwhile, for the past almost-four months we’ve been planning out a renovation project.  A big one. It’s taken several months to arrange it all, and I’ve been feeling weirdly superstitious about it — like I don’t want to mention it, except I have a big mouth, so I have, only with a coy hand. Which is lame, right?

Anyway, we’re at the tail end of the road, so I think at this point it’s less like a train pulling into the station and more like a rabbit hole into which we’ve already jumped. We’ve got the architectural drawings and bid in. We’ve got financing wrapping up as of today, and we’re 95% likely to close on the refi next week — unless something goes wrong, which hypothetically it could, because now I’m not being coy.

Hold on a minute. I have to take a break from typing because I’m having another anxiety attack about this situation. Just a sec.

* * * * * * *

Ugh. Hold on.

* * * * * * *

Okay, I think I’m back. I’ve got the gut pain under control, and I don’t think I need the brown bag anymore.

We’re knocking out an entire wall on one side of the house and pushing the house out by 8 feet. It’s going to be like a stretchy-dink job (the opposite of a shrinky-dink, get it?). There’s this little breezeway between our house proper and the separate garage. We’re going to fill it with house. In that two story expansion, we’re going to fit a mudroom, a new bathroom, and a workable kitchen (as opposed to the shit hole I currently cook in).

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Seriously, my kitchen sucks. I cook, a LOT, and I have about 2 linear feet of workable countertop, and a crappy sink, and my dishwasher’s been broken for about three years. Maybe longer, I’ve lost count.  And I hate the cheap tile on the floor. Something’s gotta change.

In anticipation of the Big Work, we’ve done some preliminary stuff, because we’re cheap. First we took out the wall-to-wall carpet. Look back a couple posts and you’ll see some photos of the room we were refinishing for starters. We got that done, and we’ve moved our beds and dressers into there. Then we pulled out the carpet in the rest of the upstairs area. Look at the difference it makes to take out shitty carpet.

Stairway before.

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Stairway after, and this isn’t even refinished yet.

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Yes, that’s some weird, almost-creepy head carved on the stair post. I have no explanation for it, except maybe it’s supposed to be some sort of ship’s gnome for good luck, because the house has a sort of ship theme to it. The carved head came with the house, it’s original from the 1940’s, and the kids aren’t afraid of it. They put hats and Christmas wreaths on it. Some plumbing or electric guy came in one day and said it was “occult.” I was like, dude, it’s just some head on a post, and he got all huffy and emphatic. “It’s OCCULT.” And then I was like, dude, get out of my house. Freak (the dude, not the head).

What in the world was I talking about? Oh. Carpet. Right, so we got the carpet out. Taking wall-to-wall out is hellish, or at least it was in our house. I think whoever installed it must have owned stock in a staple manufacturer. There were so many staples attaching the carpet to the stairs that the risers are practically shredded at their bases. Look at this staple gauntlet.

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Every time you get poked by one of these staples, blood flows like Niagara Falls. Also pain, much pain.

Then under the carpet is the true horror for sufferers of dust mite allergies. Carpet padding.

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This is the most disgusting stuff on the face of the earth, and it too is stapled in. Pulling it out is like, is like… pulling out a fluffy sheet of dust mites. I had to wear a crazy mask and crazy eyes to survive it without choking to death.

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Once all that shit was out, we had to pull out the millions and millions of staples left behind. Ugh.

Then we got  the dumpster.

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Twenty feet long. Four feet high. Looks to be about 8 feet wide.  You work out the cubic yardage. We need it for some demolition we’re going to do, but also to just get shit out of the house because the renovation is going to require a lot of space. We’ve given the house a colonic, and now the dumpster is half-full of the detritus of 10 to 20 years.

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More will go in before we’re done. It feels so good.

But this is all an aside, an emotional tactic my subconscious mind is using to distract me from the reality of what’s coming. Some time in the next week or two, large equipment is going to land in my driveway, and a wall of my house is going to be pulled off, and my kitchen will be gone for 3 months, and my life is going to be chaos.

Well… my life is already chaos. I guess it can’t get much worse. I’ll survive by telling you all about it.

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