07 March 2008

when the sound of flowing water is not so soothing...

yesterday cherrye commented that she is not living in the house that is being built for her...wise move i say!

& sognatrice wanted to know if i have any words of wisdom for living among your remodeling...

oh yes i do.

move in with cherrye until it is over!

i could write a novel about this remodeling which was begun in the spring of 2005. the purpose of this tidy little project was to have a more secure home (think miami-dade hurricane standards) and to have space in the living room for more than 3 people & 1 dog at a time. just 2 years prior we had found our dream location, but we knew the size of the home would best be expanded. 6 of us plus 2 dogs & all the summer company we have come to love was not really happening in the original abode.

we have endured a hurricane ripping off 1/3 of the roof the week of ground-breaking...

(notice the ominous early ophelia clouds behind the house)

(Little Man practicing his on-camera meteorological skills...within a few hours our dock behind him was underwater & the place he was standing became part of the bay!)

an entire year of homeschooling all. four. children. with a house full of construction testosterone as background noise (use your imagination here!), wrong sizes/wrong colors/wrong placements/wrong installation of nearly every product imaginable, layers of construction dust deeper than the snows in vermont (maybe)
(old part of home...meet new part! they are getting along so well these days! notice the sheets of plastic in the immediate foreground...that was all the home fashion rage in early '06, don'tcha know!)

contractors showing up never/when they felt like it/4 hours late/4 days late/& even occasionally 4 months late.
(this is me, captured embarrassingly on camera by D. yes, i really was going crazy at that moment...& many, many others!)

***insert sanity mocha frappacino here...i am most likely responsible for any increase in starbucks stocks in the years 2005 & 2006! (for any coffee snobs reading this who aren't lucky enough to live in coastal NC...the choice is do it yourself in your own cucina or starbucks. no quaint little local caffe's back in the days of deep construction & many days, no cucina at casa piacere either)***

why has this project been taking so long...3 years from the start as of now? well that would also have something to do with my sanity. one year into the project, the contractors began to replace the existing floors in our now dining room, main hallway & 3 bedrooms. 2 weeks after the floor was laid, it began to buckle. eventually it had more waves in it than the atlantic ocean during a hurricane. we could not even open the bedroom doors. not kidding. after nearly 6 months of fighting with the contractor, the floor was ripped up & a new one installed properly. did i mention this was the week before Christmas '06?
when that last contractor walked out the door (after retrieving his left-behind hammer, right L??!?!!?), i closed it tight, locked it & told D. that my next stop was a mental institution if another construction dude walked through that door for at least a year. i did not care that we had many dangling threads. i had running water, indoor toilets, central heat, a stove, a frig...good enough for me! (consider that in the first two years of our married life, D. & i had a wood/coal stove as our sole source of heat...it doesn't take much to make me happy!) & so i took the entire year of '07 off...no hammering. no sawing. no sound of off-key men-singing. heaven!
what happened??? i got brave. i got tired of looking at the pile of tile waiting to be put down in the bathroom (yes, it sat in the bathroom for a year). i got tired of the purty pink counter top that was falling away from the wall.i got tired of worrying if one of our unsuspecting guests might fall through the floor when all he wanted to do was use the toilet!& most of all, i was tired of strips of wallpaper randomly peeling away from the wall-usually when company walked through the door. why would the wallpaper bother me so? well, not one person in this house could keep his or her hands off the stuff when it started to peel. until the paper was removed in its entirety today, my bathroom walls looked like captain hook had papered them! ARGGHHH!
oh. did i mention the art?? well, apparently there is a certain artist living amongst us who cannot, under any circumstances, tolerate a plain white wall. no sir! did i mention that said artist thought that a very large eye, one that would be picked up by the mirror for a--you guessed it-- mirror image! was her decor of choice for the old master bath. (thank God it was not the company bath!) just imagine stepping out of the shower in all your nekkid glory with a large pair of eyes staring you down.my poor mother-in-law had to endure this agony on a recent visit! bless her heart!
so here i am, once again coordinating contractors like a professional drill sergeant...enduring hours without water for plumbing work, enduring all the children invading, i mean using, our private master bath domain, enduring a moment of powerful gushing water noise followed by lots of "oh my goshes" only to find the plumber has flooded the bathroom, enduring the wetness of every. single. towel. in the house in the name of clean-up...all in the name of a finished (finally!) project. & right now, i am doing it with a sledge hammer & a smile!

(i put the sledge hammer & crow bar down long enough to pick up the camera & get an official men-at-work shot! with my help, D. & boyworld can strip a bathroom bare in 1.5 hours flat!)


Anonymous said...

I like the photo with you scratching at the window haha

the mother of this lot said...

You must be a saint to still have a sense of humour after all that!

And just think, it will all be worth it in the end! (Hopefully)!

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

I don't hear you. I don't hear you. I don't hear you....

Shan said...

Oh living through renovations stinks, but the end is so worth it. Glad you're keeping your sense of humour.

Leslie said...

I am so laughing. I have been there -- with the former administration. It is not fun.

Anonymous said...

Wow, wow, wow! And in the middle of all this you keep up a blog and you plan a trip to Italy :-)

It will be perfect in the end, don't you think :-)

Karen Cole said...

I feel your pain and frustration.

My kitchen came down in a day. I figured it would go up in one as well.....HA!

I think the eyes should stay.

Wicked H said...

Saint QDB!! It's official, I can never whine abiout anything after reading that. Do you give lessons on patience? If so, I'd like to sign up now.

I am afriad to ask when this project may be close to being complete?

Annie Jeffries said...

Holy God, you have endured the trials of Job. I would not want this but I love the humor that this adventure is sending your way (like that really cool bathroom art). LOL

Anonymous said...

So sorry bello. Thats all I can say! except wait, I have to admit like Maryann, that photo of you scratching is pretty funny.


qualcosa di bello said...

maryann...yes, that is a personal fave of my children too ;-)

motl...oh i don't know about that...if you heard me issuing orders, you might reconsider! (& the end...a meditation point for sure!)

sognatrice...yes, you do!!!

shan...it's about all i have left some days!

leslie...not it isn't...at least not until some time has passed.

britt-arhnild...that trip is my sanity right now!

karen...i like your timetable...would you like to share that with our contractors?! sadly the eyes are gone already, but they were cool!

wicked...no, don't even go there. my only lesson (if you want to call it that)...plan travel at the end of the project so you may get away from it all. this inside work will be done, come hades or high water (please, no high water!), by the time we depart for italy 4/11. some outside work...not for awhile!

annie...no, no...no Job trials. i'll take construction dilemmas anyday over his issues!

constance...sympathy accepted!! look for more crazy behavior over the next week ;-)