grumpy about the construction project (random thoughts)

The electrician and plumber have been busy. Things are happening that I don’t understand. Like this:


Isn’t that beautiful plumbing? What is that copper doing? I don’t know. That’s why I’m paying someone else to do it.

Electrical wires and boxes are popping up all over the house. PVC pipes too. All over the place. At the end of each day Anthony and I go around sweeping up all the wood chips and peering curiously at new mechanical things.

Also the carpentry guys are still busy at it on the exterior. The roof is on. The siding is almost all on. Doors are going in.

But I still don’t have a kitchen. Or running water anywhere except in the basement. Someday soon, they keep promising me, someday soon. I assume someday also includes gutters and brick. I’m optimistic.


I have tool belt envy.

IMG_0217 IMG_0216 IMG_0215

As I took these photos, the guys remarked sagely on who has the best belt. I guess it’s a thing.

Erick Kurber the Karpenter Kaptain has a huge trailer he tows behind a huge truck every day, to bring all sorts of tools and stuff to the site. I have truck envy and trailer envy and tool envy, as well as tool belt envy, but I didn’t take a good collection of photos to show you all the jealousy-inpsiring implements showing up at my house. But here are a few highlights.

What IS it? I don’t rightly know… But I want one. Even the steel-framed sawhorses look fine fine fine.


What is that little orange thing peeking from below the wood shelf in the totally cool and awesome trailer? Mobile table saw? Tiny planer? No idea. Want one.


Erick did something inside the trailer that I consider to be very Martha Stewart: PVC pipes hung from the roof to hold things.  Awesome. Want.


As I was stalking Erick’s trailer to take these photos, I noticed the print on the trailer doors.


How can you not LOVE a contractor who quotes Aristotle on his truck?? ARISTOTLE, I tell you.

So much makes sense now. Just the other day, I heard Erick intoning as he stood on the roof. “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them!””

I thought at first he was giving Dan a lecture. He continued. “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.”

Huh. Maybe this was a pep talk because the guys were getting nervous on the roof? That surprised me, because I had already noted that Talon has established his own gravitational field which allows him to stand at unexpected angles.


Still Erick continued. “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

I couldn’t stand it anymore. I ran out to the front lawn in my bare feet and yelled up at him. “Hey Erick, What the F&*%$?? Enough already! Can you cut it with the pompous lecture??”

Erick looked down at me, his nail gun held firm and high. “There is no great genius without a mixture of madness, Carla.”

* * * * * * *

We live in Wisconsin. Conversations like that don’t happen in Wisconsin, do they?

No. They don’t. I made that shit up. (Well, Aristotle made up the stuff inside the quotation marks.)

Here’s the other line on Erick’s trailer door.


Get it? Erick Kurber? Kurber Construction? Get it?

That’s more like it, and it’s even better than Aristotle. As an American immigrant to Wisconsin, I believe I can safely say that this logo line reflects something unique and wonderful in a Wisconsin-grown personality. It’s dry, understated, sensible, witty, and a little goofy in an English sort of way.

I think I like it here in Wisconsin.

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