Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Still dreamin'

OK, so here it is 3 weeks and counting, and still no kitchen countertops. We have kitchen accoutrements strewn far and wide while we try to do simple cooking tasks that don't require, say a whisk, or the top to the big pot, only because we haven't found them yet. All the carefully labeled boxes are so much random scribblings because their contents have been shuffled while we search for ever-elusive bits of cookware. Now I am resigned to our fate. Maybe next week.

Meanwhile, I have signed up for a local writer's workshop. What, you don't think I need one? Ah, shucks, ain't nothin' much. But seriously, I expect to be completely at sea, struggling to comprehend difficult concepts like character development, plot lines, and who knows what-all else. I plan to do much listening and no talking. If I think I can get through my extreme shyness with strangers, I may sign up for the new weekly group sessions, I'll just have to wait and see how this goes. I have a novel half written that I've piddled around with for at least 10 years, maybe I can actually set shoulder to the wheel and get it finished. No promises. And what I'll do with it afterwards, I haven't a clue.

A sweet Newfoundland puppy is in the immediate future; she's now 4 weeks old. We'll drive to Ohio, up near Cleveland, to pick her up near the end of Feb. Big changes in store for a bunch of very spoiled cats who have ruled the roost for a long time. I have a photo at 3 weeks:
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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Dreeeeam, dream dream dream

Did I say the kitchen the would be done this week? HO! and HO! Everything has been going along like clockwork. Cabinets packed up, the countertops and sink removed, cabinets disassembled, old flooring ripped out, new ceramic tile down, grouted, then sealed, cabinets replaced, leveled, stove re-connected. Next to come is the corian countertops. Fabricator notified, and tho we were ready for them yesterday (monday), they called to say they couldn't get out to do the "template" until Thursday. When I said, then when do the countertops themselves get put in? And the answer was, oh, 2 to 3 weeks!!! We hit the roof. We ordered the countertops and paid for them on November 3rd. The whole point was to have all the many people involved to be ready ready as each was called upon. Our contract says, date to commence, Jan 2, expected date of completion, Jan 15. Clearly this isn't going to happen. The manager of the really big Home store thru whom all of this is being done says, Oops. When we threatened going to the regional manager, they conceeded that perhaps we "had a failure to communicate". In compensation, they agreed to have a temporary sink installed (hopefully today) so we can at least use a kitchen that has running water, instead of washing pots in the bathroom tub.

And as if that weren't bad enough, late last night we suffered a major catastrophic Plumbing Failure, in that the Master downstairs bathroom, toilet, whirlpool tub and 4 foot shower all backed up with every bit of water sent down the drains in the two upstairs baths, which mostly ended up on the floor. I felt like I was trying to stem Noah's Flood with a squeeze mop. We had a bucket brigade going out side, and my whole goal was to keep it from reaching the carpeted bedroom. After two hours I got the last of it mopped up --not clean, mind you, but mopped up-- the plumber called to say he couldn't get here until this morning, and we ran out and bought a camping potty to use meanwhile. I was supposed to get a Mammogram and then a visit to the surgeon this morning, but no way was I going without taking a shower first! The plumber is here now and hopefully I'll be able to wash all the wretched towels and throw rugs used in the Great Flood currently residing in the Washer soon.

I'm too annoyed with the whole world right now, and I'm going to go shopping. As soon as I get a shower.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The New Year

I've been noticing that quite a few of the blogs I read regularly have not had any recent posts. Of course, neither has mine. Maybe I just lurk on a lot of slacker blogs (not Ginger, tho!), but more reasonably it's the holiday and new year ennui that leaves everyone saying,"Oh, the h*** with it".

I'm sitting in the living room with the MacBook while two hard-working guys lay ceramic tile in my kitchen. Having the entire kitchen pulled to pieces is way more disruptive than I had anticipated. We started demolition 5 days ago, and the house looks like Dorothy's house after she landed in Oz. There are narrow pathways to thread between cabinets, appliances, and boxes, and for cooking we have the microwave and the toaster. We nuked a casserole last night and then discovered we had packed all the serving spoons; all we have are plastic tableware. By the time it was served it was cold and had to be re-nuked. Tonight it's going to be a restaurant. The kitchen won't be useable until next week, probably Friday. I have a ton of stuff to throw out, I found stuff in the cupboards I didn't know we owned, like a presto hot dog cooker, and a belgian waffle maker, neither of which show any sign of ever being used. Goodwill will get whatever doesn't go in the trash, and maybe we'll be good for another 25 years here. Any future remodeling here will be done with a box of kitchen matches!

But other than this mess, I'm getting used to being retired. It is so cool to be able to work on a project without having to anticipate leaving it half finished until the weekend. I like being able to schedule appointments for the middle of the day instead of first thing or last thing a 5. I like running errands when I take my time instead of rushing in and out, and getting vexed if I forget something. But I never realized how far things have been let go, cleaning and organizing, yard work, and let's don't think about the attic, I'm sure I never sanctioned all the stuff up there, what is in all those boxes?

I've been able to work on the genealogy records, one of those jobs that you can't stop when you're working through, say, census records in a given area, not unless you plan on reviewing the same records more than once. So much more on-line sources, even actual images of the hand-written records. As a side note, never let anyone maunder on about the poor penmanship of the modern era, those census takers back in 1870 had atrocious handwriting! No wonder the transcribed records are unreliable. I never met my paternal grandfather, he and my grandmother were divorced back in 1922 when Dad was a baby. I discovered that he (my GF) was illegitimate, that the family name comes from his mother who was a servant at a neighbor's farm at the time he was conceived. And I discovered he lied about his age to get in the Army in WWI. And I found he is buried at Gettysburg National Cemetery. Interesting.

I once considered posting my genealogy files, but despite containing 1800+ relatives, it's still very much a work in progress. And probably will be, forever....I figure I'll use my knowledge to bore the socks off all the other little old ladies when I'm in my dotage. Meanwhile, I'll spare the rest of you!