Monday, September 29, 2008


How cute is this? I can't stand it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cue the Choir of Angels

My I present the newest addition to our family. This little guy had a tough life before he came home. Nobody knows how he lived before his new mom and dad adopted him, but judging by the state of the rest of the house, it's safe to say that he wasn't getting a proper diet of Soft Scrub and bleach tablets. 

We haven't used the toilet yet, but for right now, I am happy that it's there. Plus, there's no bathroom door, and no curtain on the window. Lest I give my husband or the neighborhood a show no one wants to see, well, I'll go elsewhere. Door should go up tomorrow. 

Did indeed head over to the Depot this morning. They've been doing a lot of advertising about their new low low prices, and while I can't vouch for the low cost of anything we bought, mainly because we never seem to need anything that's reasonably priced and instead are fully financing the Southport Rd. Home Depot on our own, things do appear to be on sale A LOT. Plus, there were like 50 employees everywhere we looked. At least 5 people asked us if we needed help. And that's 5 more people than asked me at Lowes last time I was there. Plus, the people who did end up helping us at Home Depot did not treat me like a runny-nosed child asking for a blowtorch--heaven forbid a woman ask for grout sealer... Maybe I should just stuff the grout lines full of cookies. Ugh. 

Anyway, we will indeed be patronizing the Depot, and have decided that, at least until Home Depot pisses us off (which it will... we're there far too often for 100% satisfaction), we're not going to Lowes anymore. I feel good about this decision. 

Picked out the paint color of my dreams today. I am SO pleased. This is Koala Bear. Lame name, I know, but I am surely loving it on the walls. I don't know why I didn't pick this out the first time, or the second. 

In other news, I had a great conversation with a dear old friend who lives in Australia, which totally made my night. We used Skype, and I am now a huge HUGE fan. Free video calling. Perfect. 

"It's more like an Egyptian mummy than anything ever seen on this continent"

Fascinating! Eric is watching the Sci-Fi channel, home to some of the best acting and cinematic achievement on television. Good lord, I can feel my brain cells dying by the second. The show is called The Fallen Ones and the description: "An archaeologist finds the remains of a giant warrior."

Do you ever worry about the future of our country?

I guess we're going to the Depot in a while, after Eric finishes his interminably long weekend morning routine, which includes several cups of coffee, bathroom, grooming, bathroom, and picking out which of the 19 pairs of cargo shorts he owns that he will wear. Meanwhile, I've been up since 7:30 because Pixie will not let me sleep past 7:30, have done the dishes, Swiffered, walked the pups, texted Ashie several times after learning about her raucous Friday night, and talked with my sister about how this house is sucking all the fun out of my life, among other things.

Don't get me wrong. I'm happy here. REALLY happy, because, after all, if I wasn't here I'd probably still be in Boston. And Boston made me REALLY unhappy (in general--there were some things that were pretty darn super about it). But perhaps it's a signature of those of us who choose to enter into a relationship with a house, where we give up a lot of the stuff that makes us fun to be around.

For instance, I cannot have a conversation about ANYTHING without it turning to the house. A co-worker comments on the color shirt I'm wearing--I immediately say something like, "Oh, thanks! We're thinking of a shade of this color for the foyer." A friend says, "You were sick last week. Feeling better?" I say, "Much better, thanks, but I think it's the drywall dust that's making my allergies act up, and we've got SO MUCH more drywalling to do. Do you know of a good mask?" Seriously, I used to be interesting. And I used to be smart--not to toot my own horn, but I looked back at some work I did in 2004-05 in grad school, and jeez louise, it was fantastic. So fantastic, in fact, that me in 2008 did not understand what me in 2005 was talking about.

So, anyway, we're off to the Depot. Maybe we'll buy a nail gun so we can put up the million pieces of trim that have been sitting in our dining room since May. Maybe we'll get the mushroom colored paint for the master bathroom that I've been dreaming of but can't match my dreams to reality. Maybe, but probably not, we'll clean up the debris and building materials on our front porch (in our defense, we utilize the house across the street as a litmus test--when she removes the dresser, 14 chairs, ceramic rabbits, and bowling pins from her front porch, we'll know it's time to bite the bullet and clean ours) .

We used to be normal. Really.

EDIT: Apparently, The Fallen Ones were "the offsprings (yes, offSPRINGS) of fallen aliens." Well, that explains everything.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


We're doing laundry!!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Pixie has eaten yet another of Eric's beloved Patriots coasters. This is number 4 of 5. She must be a Colts fan. 

Eric is understandably upset since he feels 1) betrayed by the horrific games the Patriots have had so far, and 2) that somehow he could have affected said games outcomes if only he was there to watch them. So he said to me, "I want you to make sure that she doesn't get my last Pats coaster." And I said, "So put it up somewhere."

"I did."

"Well, Pixie didn't climb up on the mantel and get your coaster."

"It was under the candle, I think."

"Pixie didn't lift up the candle and remove your coaster, either."
Several weeks ago Eric came to me with a very serious look on his face. "Sweetie," he said, "I have a dilemma for you." One, Eric is 99% never serious. Two, he never uses words like dilemma. I was worried.

"So, the Patriots game is not going to be televised on any of our channels. You have two choices. Either we can get DirecTV season ticket, or I can fly back to Boston to go to the game. It's your choice." 
I trimmed out the master bath with primer tonight. Just trimmed. No actual painting. I hate HATE trimming, and I hate priming even more. Together, it is the perfect storm of Haley misery. Then I went to the upstairs bathroom and put primer over the gray smudges of paint I left on the ceiling up there. What I don't understand is how I broke a sweat doing this. I like to think it's because it's about 20 degrees hotter closer to the ceiling. What I really think is that I'm becoming very Hoosier-esque in my proportions. Must exercise. 

Meanwhile, Eric is eating ice cream with smushed up Oreos in it. And I'm considering some candy. 


Monday, September 22, 2008


I decided that tonight, and only tonight, I would do absolutely nothing house related. It has been nothing short of freaking MAGICAL. It would be even more magical if I had a toilet close to my bedroom, but that is my lot in life. 

I've been hanging out all night reading, eating lots of different things, and making howling noises to annoy the dogs. 

The night off is necessary. I'm crazy CRAZY tired tonight, and I'm feeling old and decrepit and like my body is turning on me. My hands are aching and cut up and my knees hurt and my ass hurts, and good lord, as I was stretching this morning at work (what? I sit at a desk all day--I get stiff), my shoulder fell out of its socket. Old yoga injury. And it took me 30 seconds to pop it back it, and all the while I'm growing more and more panicked that my fingers are starting to tingle and pain's shooting through my elbow. And then it popped back in and I'm fine, but it's sore as hell and I have no strength in my right arm. 

So, yeah. Awesome day. I'm going to bed. 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

RE: TWIWEH v. 2.0

I spent several hours grouting this afternoon, and I discovered that it's pretty much the only part of tiling that I like to do. There are nice neat seams to fill in and I can tell where I'm messing up--pretty much my idea of a good time these days. 

While I waited the two hours for the grout to harden entirely, so I could get down on all fours and polish it like a crazy woman, I used my new Swiffer Wet Jet. Now, I'm a big fan of the original Swiffer, and use it all the time. But I may have found my new favorite tool, after nippers and a grout float. The Wet Jet is freaking awesome. Our floors are super clean. I'm happy. 

Anyway, I did get down on all fours and polish. Here's what it looks like now. In three days, we'll vacuum and make sure every last bit of dust is up, and then we'll seal. And maybe then I can do laundry.


Earlier today, while Eric and his cousin were watching the game, I went on a quest for bathroom mirrors. Stopped at Home Goods, which I hated because I was just looking for one thing, though had I been just browsing, perhaps looking for a kitty cat sweatshirt or cornucopia or something to put on my front porch, I would have been in business. As it was, they had about 300 mirrors, none of which appealed to my aesthetics, which were: wood, rectangle, no engraved flowers, designs, words like "live, love, learn" or something like that. I found nothing. 

Then I stopped at Kohls, and was sorely disappointed. I was tempted to buy some candles, but figured that I should stick to my guns. 

At this point, I really had to go to the bathroom, so I decided to head back home, mirrorless. But as I was driving past Target, I decided just to hold it and went inside and found two mirrors for the half bath and the 3rd floor bath. Sweet. I also found some garbage bags and some band-aids, which would have come in really handy yesterday as I was dripping blood all over the tiles from tiny ceramic-caused cuts on my hands. No bandaids. I used toilet paper wrapped in painter's tape around my fingers. And I sort of congratulated myself on my ingenuity. I may or may not have infected fingers right now.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Re: The Worst Idea We Ever Had

We're half done with it. Just need to grout and seal tomorrow. 


Seriously, for such a small project, this sure took a hella long time. We messed around getting the floor perfectly level, which was a plus. Then we took all afternoon getting the tile laid out appropriately, and where necessary, cutting said tile. 

THEN we put it down. And, of course, within 10 minutes, our measurements were off or we changed something, and all the cut tile was immediately useless. Because these were such little pieces, we could use the nippers. This was great, because we didn't have to rent a saw. But my hands are like claws and are ripped to shreds. I was NOT master of my domain today. At least in the world of tile.

The good news is that we started getting the hang of it about a half hour before we finished, so I think the next tiling project, which will likely be the shower and walls of this bathroom, will go better. But we are waiting for at least a week before we start on it. I am too damn tired. 

Decided after we finished and got cleaned up (seriously, I've never been that dirty in my entire life) that it was Miller Time. Actually, it was Smirnoff Wild Grape malt beverage time for me, and orange vodka and tonic time for Eric. We very rarely drink, but tonight, it's 9:30, we're half in the can and it feels pretty good. 

We have to wait 24 hours for the thinset to cure, so we'll start grouting tomorrow about 4:00 or so. This is great, because I won't feel obligated to spend my entire Sunday messing with the floor. So I think I'm going to go bargain hunting and buy some mirrors. Yes, after the incident last weekend where I broke the mirror we were using in the master bath, we have exactly ONE mirror in the 3.5 bathrooms in this house. And it's not even a good one. 

The good news here is that I've become far less concerned with how I look before I go out. Case in point, last night, when I went to Lowes and Home Depot in dirty running pants and a paint-stained t-shirt. It helps that I don't have to walk past restaurants full of aviator-sunglasses-and-$250-jeans-wearing-Eurotrash to get places here, like I did in Boston. Scuzi... Bleh. If you ever go to Boston, go to the corner of Fairfield and Newbury and just watch. It's ridiculous. 

Anyway, I'm going to go have some special private time with my drink. Have a great night. 

Leaves. Everywhere.

Here's what I raked up from just our front yard this morning:


Want to know the funny thing? We're the only yard with any leaves on our street. And WE DON'T HAVE ANY TREES on our property. 

Friday, September 19, 2008

Are You Intimidated?

I sure am. I can only hope that a thug with intentions of burgling our house feels the same. 

I'm sure many communities are going through the same thing. Indy has had an uptick in crime, particularly in some of the less-transitioned portions of our neighborhood. I haven't heard of anybody on our street getting hit, but there have been a couple break-ins, particularly in garages, just a couple blocks south and west of us. 

Well, the good news is that we don't have a garage. So we've got that going for us. Actually, we don't have very much of value either, other than a couple laptops and a small television. Regardless, we bit the bullet and found a reputable company that could give us wireless security and monitoring. So, we're guarded. 

But I sure hate that sign. Definitely does not contribute to the whole "look" we're cultivating here. Of course, neither do the sawhorses and empty bags of concrete we've had sitting on the front porch for a month... We're really bordering on trash right now. 

In bathroom news, the cement is 100% down. Now I can only hope that it works well enough as a leveler that we can tile. 

I searched all over creation for this stuff. Stopped at Lowes--was once again treated poorly by an idiot who tried to convince me to pay $30 for a bucket with 20 pounds of the leveler in it (and I needed 50 pounds...). I said, "No, don't you have the powder, because it's about $30 for 50 pounds and it's what we've already used." He said, "No, this stuff is better." Ummm, no it's not. Not only would I pay more for half the product, it requires primer, and I'm not going to voluntarily sign myself up for 1) painting a floor, and 2) waiting till tomorrow morning to pour the cement. We're TILING tomorrow. And that's all there is to it. 

Anyway, I told the guy I wasn't interested in the bucket stuff, and he said, "Well, I bet Menards or Home Depot has that." And I said, "Great. I'll go there. Where's the closest Menards and Home Depot?" Gauche, I know. But seriously, he brought it up. And he said, "I wouldn't know--I don't go there." And then he smirked at me. And I said, "You've been extremely helpful. Thanks." Once again, LOWES IS STUPID. I hope he felt my sarcasm cut to the core of his being. 

Because I only know where the Home Depots are on the south side and the north side, and there may actually not be one in the center of town, which was where I was, I went north. It was a long drive. But I did get a Swiffer Wet-Jet that I CAN'T WAIT to use. I'm picking up enough dog hair to make sweaters with the regular Swiffer. A wet one will be even more awesome. That's right, you heard me. Everybody's getting a Yogi sweater for Christmas. 

So, we'll see. I'll keep you posted on what will henceforth be known as Bathroom Tile: THE WORST IDEA WE'VE EVER HAD. 

It's time for puppy snuggles and bedtime. I am worn physically and emotionally. 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

One Unrepentant Little Dog...

And her name is Pixie.

This is what I found when I got home from work yesterday.

Does that face look sorry to you?? I didn't think so either. That was the latest issue of Workbench Magazine (because we don't read normal things like Newsweek and The Economist anymore...). It had an article in there about painting over rust. She has a handy knack for eating only the articles and coupons I plan on reading/using.

Anyway, I "finished" my office. I say that semi- jokingly because I still have to do another coat of paint on the trim, and thus, should not have put the furniture back in place. But I can't stand the mess anymore. I LOVE the blue that I ended up putting on the walls--this is Sherwin Williams Bunglehouse Blue. It's pretty dramatic, I know, but it's a small room. Feeling now like I want to paint everything Bunglehouse Blue. Discovered the other day that the joy I derive from painting increases the darker color I use. Perhaps it is the relative ease of coverage? Being able to see streaks instead of discovering them once you put all your materials away? Solid evidence that you're making progress?? I don't know about any of that, but I do know it's damn satisfying to paint a wall navy blue.

What is not satisfying is the fact that it's been two weeks since I've done laundry, and at this point, I am no closer to having a completed guest bath/laundry room. Maybe we'll be done so I can do laundry on Sunday night. Or maybe I will suck it up and go to the laundromat. I used to like going to the laundromat when I lived in Syracuse. Pretty much because it was 2 hours spent someplace warm where I could study in peace and walk down to the Bruegger's Bagels for breakfast, because I was there anyway. Sigh. Those were the days--before I had to work and renovate a house...

Anyway, here's our latest progress on the bathroom. We'll run up to Lowe's tomorrow and get another bag of self-leveling cement. Once that cures by Saturday morning, I think we'll be able to get the tiles down. And then grout. And then sealing it up... Yeah, we're not doing laundry this weekend.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


You thought I was joking about spilling candle wax all over the carpet the other day, didn't you? Oh no, I wasn't. It was one in a series of unfortunate spills, trips, drops, shatters, etc. Eric, Mr. Doom and Gloom, said that it was ruined. I said, of course it's not. But secretly, on the inside, I was fretting and thought that there was probably a 90% chance that would I spent hours on my hands and knees picking at the wax, and ultimately still end up with a rug with wax on it.

BUT! Did you know that there's a trick to getting wax out of carpet?
-Put an old towel down over the wax.
-Put your iron on steam
-Run iron over towel

Seriously, the wax comes right up on the towel. It's amazing and fantastic, and I can't wait till Eric gets home so I can prance around and show him the waxless carpet.

What makes this even more amazing is that I dropped the iron the other day, too, and a good hunk of it fell off. I was worried that it might not work, or worse, that it might electrocute me. Being very brave/stupid, I plugged it in anyway, and all is well. Luck is on my side.

Another trick?
-When your dog is extra smelly, and you don't have time/money for a bath/groom, spray him or her with Febreeze.

I sprayed both of mine this evening, and while I'm sure there's some rule against it somewhere, they are MUCH more pleasant to cuddle.


Power is back on.

Last night, I went to Target to pick up a battery-powered lantern, and I ran into another weary looking Hoosier in the camping section. "Your power's out too?" I asked. She said, "Yes. And I heard it's going to be till Saturday till it comes back."

At this point, I believe I gasped, and then maybe threw up. Because GOOD LORD, I live in a modern city for a reason. If I wanted to be without power, well, I'd live somewhere else. Anyway, I kept my fingers crossed that maybe the power would be on when I got home, making my purchase of a lantern unnecessary, but desireable, given my fear of a bird flu epidemic, zombie invasion, etc. etc. (quite honestly, if I gave in to all my irrational fears, my home would be covered in plastic and duct tape and I would wear a gas mask every day. Seriously.)

Power wasn't on when I returned, so we lit some candles and put a new Irish music cd that a co-worker burned for me on Eric's computer, and sat there in the semi-dark, listening to fiddles and watching Pixie and Yogi play. It was actually kind of an idyllic night.

We went to bed around 8:30. I planned on driving to work in my pajamas and just showering and getting ready here at the office gym. But that became unnecessary as the power came on at 4:40 this morning! Wonderful. I love electricity.

Monday, September 15, 2008

In the Dark

Yes, literally in the dark. I showered (cold... COLD...) by flashlight this morning, put makeup on (poorly) by flashlight, dressed by flashlight. This really really stinks. I suppose I can be grateful for two things: that it's not 95 degrees outside, and that we have city water that is not affected by electricity.

Yesterday, the remnants of Hurricane Ike came through Indy, and it got pretty wild. No rain to speak of, but windy. I was up on a ladder trimming out my office (decided I hate the green, more on that later), and heard a couple zaps, then saw a white light, and then the power went out. It's localized at my neighbor's house--there' s a line down in his yard. Of course, I don't even think he knows about it because he's never home. But I called to report the outage several times yesterday, so I'm hoping that IPL gets its collective butt in gear and gets it fixed.

Have also discovered one more thing that spooks our big fraidy cat, Yogi. Just add it to the list:
  • Motorcycles
  • Sirens
  • Car doors slamming
In other news, before the lights went out, we did get a little bit done. Eric finished putting the backer board on the bathroom floor, and then we poured the self-leveling cement. It was supposed to cover 50 sq feet, but covered more like 30. So, back to Lowes... Sigh. We're not terribly closer than we were last week to my dream of a toilet on the second floor.

I painted the bathroom. I used the blue paint we put up in the bedroom on the main wall, and then did the rest in a tan color that matches the shades we put up in there. And I HATE IT. The color is far too close to the original baby poop brown that I was so crazy about covering up. Plus, there is nothing even remotely dramatic or even attractive about this color combination. What was I thinking??? I guess I do want to keep that blue wall up, but at this point, I'm totally open for suggestions. We kind of want to match the slate floor, I suppose, even though I hate that too and have big plans for ripping it up just as soon as possible. The good news is that the slate floor has pretty much every color imaginable. Except, you know, pretty ones.

And, as I mentioned before, I decided that I didn't like the green that I put up in my office (which was left over from the downstairs bathroom). So, when I was at the Sherwin Williams store the other day, I picked out Bunglehouse Blue. And even though I've only gotten the trimming out done, I think I'm really going to like it. Actually, I'd better like it. Because I've already spent too much time on a room that nobody even goes in (me included).

Eric spent a good deal of yesterday criticizing me. In some instances, it was called for, like when I dropped a mirror on the bathroom floor, shattering it into a thousand pieces (and no electricity to run a vacuum to pick up said pieces) and when I accidentally spilled hot candle wax on the living room rug.

*Seriously, this has got to be a hormonal thing, because about 20 days out of the month, I'm totally on my game. And the other 10 days, I'm a freaking SPAZ.

But in other instances, it just highlights to me how differently our brains work. In case you're just joining us, or have no first hand knowledge of me and the Big E, he is an architect and is thus totally anal-retentive, detail oriented, perfection-inclined. I am the opposite of that, and I also want/have to be the boss of everything. Lethal combination--it's like bleach and ammonia.

I view the first coat of paint as just that--the first coat. Thus, I give no shits as to how it looks or how even the coat is, given that I am just going to cover it up with another coat. Eric, however, goes nuts when he sees things like this. And says things like, "You're a terrible painter." And then I say things like, "Yes, I may be a terrible painter, but if I wasn't painting, you'd still be looking at baby poop brown walls because it takes you 3 weeks to do a 3 hour job." And so on and so forth... Anyway, we talked about this last night before we went to sleep, and basically determined that we're perfect for each other. Because even though we drive each other crazy on pretty much all home-improvement related topics, together, it's like we make one regular-person brain.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pray for me...

This is what Eric is doing right now:

This used to be our bathroom subfloor. 

I'm nervous. 

Friday, September 12, 2008

Holy crap

This was in my house!

Pixie, who enjoys chasing unsavory creatures like cicadas and moths (which I hate even more than cicadas, if that's possible), chased this in the house. I freaked, and Eric came running into the kitchen, thinking something was very wrong. I was cowering in the corner, uttering little shrieks, unsure as to what I was going to do if it landed on me. 

Then it left the kitchen, and I envisioned a sleepless night--because there's no way I'm sleeping when that might be in my bed. 

We discovered it sitting on a plastic bag in the butler's pantry. Eric, my big strong husband, smashed it into a hundred pieces with a broom. 

Crisis averted. 

Also, this little fella was hanging out right below our mailbox all afternoon. Mantises are probably my favorite insect, mainly because of Zorak.

 Having never encountered one in real life, though, I kept my distance and used the zoom. We also have a gigantic spider who lives in our window frame (outside). One got inside yesterday. Because they're beneficial insects, I tried to brush it outside, whilst attempting not to touch it or anger it. It went the wrong way, and Eric stepped on him. RIP spider. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


It's been a couple days. We've been too tired to do anything, so there's not much to blog about.

Tonight, though, I felt the first little inklings of fall seeping into my skin, as I walked the pups and smelled some leaves burning and felt a little chill in the air. And I love it. Fall reminds me of when I was in high school, playing (poorly) on the golf team. We'd finish up with our 9 holes, in the dark, invariably, and then go into the clubhouse and eat sloppy joes or chili or some other wonderful fall-ish food. Sigh... Youth.

Anyway, I lingered outside, and the pups totally enjoyed that. We also played some frisbee in the back. Pixie is getting better with catching the frisbee in the air. She's done it 3 times, probably out of more than 100 throws. We'll have to work on that.

I'm just waiting for Eric to get home. Dinner's ready and I'm really hungry, but feel like I should wait. I hate waiting.

In the meantime, I sanded and painted the backdoor. Looks good. I used a glossy white. It was a dull white, with a huge crack in it. I filled that up with a crack filler, and while it's not totally smooth, it's looking better.

And as I was painting, I kept thinking about the same thing that's been on my mind for the last 2 weeks. Sarah Palin. Seriously. Are we REALLY thinking this woman is remotely qualified to be Vice President? Under a 72 year old President??? Can a woman who is anti-choice but pro-death penalty, abstinence-teaching with a pregnant daughter, book banning, small town mayor really be the best that the GOP could come up with? Do we really want a hockey-mom representing our country to the rest of the world? As a woman, and you know that the only reason she was chosen was because she was a woman, I am insulted. Instead of being a giant step forward, we'd be taking a huge step back. I'm terrified. This is worse than 2004. And so much more at stake...

I hate to alienate any of my blog readership, but I just have to say this. Vote with your head this year. We can talk so much about how we want the President to be a guy we can sit and have a beer with, and how Sarah Palin is an attractive, ambitious woman. But what we really need is a leader who will focus on the things that MATTER--not the things that happen in someone's personal bedroom, and not the things that happen to someone's body.

Ugh. Plea done. Back to houseblogging...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Perfect Day....

And I spent it inside.

I've had it in my head that I was going to paint the master bedroom on Saturday since LAST Saturday, so despite the fact that it's about 72 and sunny and I have innumerable outside tasks that could have been completed comfortably, I painted the bedroom. It looks awesome, actually. Before now, I never really believed the claims that Sherwin Williams and other more expensive paint was REALLY better than the stuff you get at the Depot. I'm a believer now, for sure. I put two coats up and there is not a single streak or flaw in it. Except where there's a flaw in the plaster, and there are many, but that is what you get with ancient plaster walls.


Yogi helping.

Pixie helping

Finished product. I'll put up another picture once I get the tape pulled, furniture replaced, curtains up, etc. etc. etc.

So, Eric is at the Reds game with his cousin and will be gone all night. I'm debating whether to get stuff done around here, or to go grocery shopping. Neither are terribly attractive options to me right now, as the stuff I need to get done around here deals with trim (and after last weekend, I am not cool with trim) and I hate the grocery store. But perhaps I will go to the Super Target to get the groceries. I like Target. Oooooh, that's a good idea!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Contractor is GONE


Seriously, never thought we were going to get rid of this guy. This being our first real venture into home improvement and all the joys/pains/frustrations that come with it, we were thrilled to be hooked up with a friend of our realtor (who is a super cool, VERY professional guy). We figured, if the realtor liked him, we'd like him. And initially, we did. He came in way under bid, was semi-attentive, really liked Eric (didn't listen to a word I said, but recognized that I held the checkbook, and thus, deserved respect and corresponding lack of face-to-face time that would make me realize he's an idiot), and we felt okay leaving the house with him while we were still making our transition from Boston.

The trouble started when we walked in the door in mid-July, after driving for 10 hours straight. This was when we found the drywall and plaster all over the floor, saw the ceiling had been sponged exactly the opposite of what we had requested, that the window was a piece of plywood, and innumerable other things. We only asked him for two things: that he provide us with the programmable thermostats he made a big deal about getting for us cheap, and that he replace the window that one of the doofus workers broke.

Yesterday, i get a call about 1:30. He's on his way over to get the window (which he'd replaced with the original broken glass). Was I home? Of course not. Because I have a JOB. He acts all disappointed that I wasn't there and that he'd have to waste a couple hours. I'm thinking, "you've wasted 7 weeks on this job... a couple hours won't matter." Anyway, I say, because you have to get the glass to the shop by 5:00, I'll come home by 4:15. So I left work an hour early (didn't matter because I went in before 7:30 anyway... But that's not the point). So, when does he show up? 5:30. By this point, I'm livid. But because I'm not into getting into fights with people, and instead prefer to be chilly and aloof with them, I give him short answers, lock the door behind him, etc. etc.

The thermostats are also incredibly obviously non-programmable, and in fact, say "non-programmable" on the package. I told him this, and he argued with me, until I showed him the box.

He shows up today, and it takes about 5 minutes for him to finish the job, at which point we settle up. We've been holding on to a rather large check for him for quite a while, until he finished the job.

So, my plan was to cut the money we'd already given him for the thermostats (which he did not itemize on the invoice) and to deduct an hour of my pay for the hour he made me miss yesterday. The first was totally fine, the second, ummmm, not so much. He got really pissy about it and I demurred. Of course I did. I'm such a wimp. But I'm feeling all feisty and thinking of cool snappy remarks that I could have made... Dammit. I'm so Costanza right now.

In other news, it's my birthday. I turn the big 3-0. It's strange. I'm only 18, right?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Rust Removal??

So, one of the best features of our living room is the original fireplace inset, which has raised fleur-de-lis on it. I think it's iron.

It's also covered with rust. Part of me doesn't mind, as it looks old and isn't hurting anybody. But the other part of me likes shiny things. I'm wondering if there's something anybody could suggest for removing the rust, but maintaining the awesomeness of the pattern. I've read about sanders and wire brushes, but I'm worried that might damage it.

Please don't mind the insulation grossness hanging down from the flue. We're sort of afraid to pull it out.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day, Indeed

Wow. I'm actually looking forward to going back to work tomorrow so I can rest. We put in a good 8 hours of hard labor today, and I'm feeling it right now. The good news is that I'm now totally ambidextrous with the nippers, which is nice. The bad news is that I have developed blisters on both hands. Seriously, I blister when someone looks at me the wrong way. I wore a pair of unfortunate shoes to the ribfest yesterday, and I've now got blisters on both heels, and both little toes. NOT cool. This is why I prefer flipflops. But then again, flipflops are why my real shoes don't fit me very well anymore...

But I digress.
We are 99% finished with the nail/trim project. I got all the stained trim de-nailed and re-lustered, with the exception of the 16 foot piece
that goes along the north wall of the dining room (which is too big to move out of the room). The white trim is just de-nailed. I have to sand it, prime it, and then hit it with the glossy enamel (which I may just do after it's on the walls, because I'll have to touch up the nail holes anyway).

Anyway, it was a crazy long day. Headed up to Home Depot in Noblesville this morning, and was home with the tile by 11:00. See right: Eric's
feet and Pixie's head for scale. I am very very excited about getting it put in, not only because it will give us a working toilet within 50 feet of our bedroom, but because I think it will look very good.

Eric finished up the paint in the living room, washed the baseboards, and dusted. He also finished the front gate this morning, which I will paint tomorrow night. We're about 10 minutes away from having screens... I picked up some screen-making kits the other day, but forgot the actual screen itself. Yeah, that's what happens when you go to Home Depot tired.

Disgusting and Wonderful

This deviates a bit from the home-improvement theme, but if you count not having dog fur everywhere as home improvement, it fits the bill.


BEST pet-related money we've ever spent. I've never seen anything like it. I very very gently raked it across Yogi's back, which is the least hairy part of him, and came away with handfuls HANDFULS of fur.

I spent maybe 20 minutes in the backyard Furminating the Yog-man, and I came up with
this (see right). In effort to not make our neighbors hate us, I stuffed all the hair I could gather into this plastic bag. And I would wager that at least 20% of the fur got away.

Amazing. Gross, but amazing.