Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Latest

As I write this, 9 trades are working on the house:
  • The tile guy came back for the 30th time cuz he didn't finish the job on any of the other 29 occasions.
  • Three kitchen people came back to functionalize the cabinets that look great but don't work (do not even get me started on this because I'm seeing red, no pun intended).
  • There are 4 painters trying to get through the painting and finishing.
  • There's the fireplace guy, who's fixing the final glass and showing me the ropes.
Fortunately, there are movable boxes everywhere (and not set-up furniture) because they're using pretty well all of the floor space to fix and finish.

But there's much yet to be accomplished in this phase of the reno. (Note: There's all kinds of additional stuff that needs to begin in the next few weeks - things that were not contemplated as part of the original build, rather, new requirements given that parts of the house destabilized as a result of the new build. When I speak of this phase, I'm referring to the stuff that was supposed to be done before we moved in...)

Since our hardscaper didn't meet the timelines he assured us that he could (the backyard was supposed to be complete by Sunday - instead, he's weeks away from finishing another job and didn't bother to show or clarify until I managed to reach him), I look out my windows at mounds of garbage that should have been long-binned, amidst dirt and encircling wildlife (cats and raccoons abound under these circumstances). I may, in fact, have the pleasure of renting my own bin and cleaning up my own construction site f I don't source a solution somehow- note to reader: that's not my idea of time well-spent i (esp. since I paid people to do this 3 times over). Ever tried to find a hardscaper in July??

Alas, while I'd love to shut my black out blinds and just ignore it all, they're not on the windows because the blinds peeps didn't cut them optimally the first time so they had to refine them and, apparently, this takes longer than making them in the first place.

The lighting also continues to need refinement. I will say, last night some shit was seriously put into perspective when the electrician incorrectly positioned his ladder, while aiming to reach a misplaced pod, and almost killed himself. No joke. It's utterly MIRACULOUS that the worst of it is needing to refinish a part of the floor that was damaged. He managed to jump off the ladder just as it grabbed at his freakin' crotch?! and somehow it didn't crash through a piece of glass / wreck the upstairs railing / destroy walls etc. But really, who the fuck cares about a floor that can be fixed. I am so glad that guy had good reflexes - though his placement of the ladder, in a two-story section over a stairway, was utterly stupid. It's strange when near-disaster becomes good-fortune. PS: The floor held up spectacularly, all things considered. It's scuffed but there's only the tiniest dent. Oak is truly superior wood.

The evenings are the challenging time. That's when I have to look around at everything that's not adequate, though it should be. That's when I can't find any of the things still in boxes, so that I can live in my house like, well, I actually live here. That's when I see the peeps and the feral animals staring into my backyard. That's when I have to shore myself up for whatever bullshit is going to come the next day - and the dozen people who will arrive starting at 8 am (if we're lucky). It's a mind-fuck to, on the one hand, loathe the activity (because it's SO disruptive and I'm so angry about the trades being here largely to fix things they did inadequately in the first place) - but also to be so grateful for it because it's the only way the affronting problems can be resolved.

I'm so out of my comfort zone. My house is generally my best reprieve from over-stimulation - except for now, when it's the sole source of all that stimulation. Tahiti is looking pretty good right now, just sayin'.

No question, this house is not photo-worthy on any level. I know that this end-stage is a moment in time, if one that feels interminable - that it's always darkest before the dawn and all that shit - especially when you have to live amongst it while it all unfolds. Mercifully, we have internet again, after 4 days without (which is a serious issue when you work from home, as Scott does). This means I can, once again, mood alter with the only thing that vaguely undercuts the sickening anxiety - Grand Designs. Somehow, watching the more complex, expensive, visionary and miserable projects of other unsuspecting home renovators really takes the edge off. I mean, those people have it BAD. I'm also availing myself of terrific weather and patios with good cocktails.

I realize my narrative needs to change. It needs to change because I don't want to be the bitter lady who spent 4 years of her life (once all is said and done) realizing something beautiful, only to begrudge the process to the extent that joy can not be found. I used to be friendly and optimistic. Right now I'm brittle and mistrustful. A smudge ceremony is in the near future. As necessary, so will be an appointment with a therapist.

Forgive me for my angriness - I don't do things half-assed, including feeling the feelings. I promise that, as soon as I have the slightest amount of bandwidth, my goal will be to reveal the many beauties of this home - and to appreciate them with the requisite gratitude. I just need a bit of time.


  1. Hoo boy! But you are making progress. I just signed off on a carpet repair for the latest rental to turn over. We did not get our money's worth but as I told DH, we are paying to extend the life of the carpet another few years (it's a 14 yr old berber) so we cannot complain. Looking forward to the big reveal and a sunnier outlook. Cocktails on the patio certainly help.
    Theresa in Tucson

  2. Honestly, considering what you've been through and are still going through, this reads as surprisingly sanguine. You've got some very legitimate beefs and anger is justified. But you're already processing it and it's pretty clear that there's a new narrative just in the offing. You will survive! You will celebrate! Meanwhile, do take care of yourself xo

  3. I think you have every right to feel the feelings, and, look at this way, if you don't feel them now they will haunt you for months and maybe years. So, rage away. Fight the fight. You are winning.

  4. You are a champ! And you deserve to be pissed. And you also deserve some Grand Designs and a glass or three of wine. I'm off for the summer, so let me know if you need me to come over and help out/take you out somewhere to vent/whatever!

  5. I agree with Gillian, you deserve to be pissed. I have never understood how the trades involved in home renos and buildings ever get another customer. If I ran my business that way, I would be out of business. In the meanwhile enjoy your cocktails. Barb

  6. I think you have earned all those feelings and they are justified. Feel them, let them run their course. Rage and Fight and victory will be all the sweeter.