The One About Demolition & Dust, Home Improvements Have Begun

“Patience is what you have when there are witnesses.”

I don’t know who said it first but I like that saying.  Seems like the subtext of my week, both in real life and blog land*.

After months of waiting for our home improvement projects to begin, they began.  And I’ve been here at home for it, having a noisy, chaotic, dusty week of people and stuff everywhere.

BUT I’VE BEEN A PARAGON OF PATIENCE

The fact is I’m giddy to finally be underway so I’m attempting to overlook the inconveniences that I knew would be part of this experience. This isn’t my first remodeling rodeo, kids.

Below are a few photos that show some of what has happened thus far. Further updates on these projects and my blood pressure as they develop.

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Out with the OLD, in with the NEW.  To protect them from damage the carpeted stairs have been covered. It’s difficult to walk on them now, but I’m not complaining.

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I’m happy to see the end of the OLD tub, toilet, and tile. It was builder grade and ugly, but we lived with it for 22 years.

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The OLD cabinet, countertop, and sink are gone, but the plumbing stays in the same place. Nice touch with the paper towel, eh?

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This is our guest bedroom as it looks today filled with lovely, beautiful, NEW pieces of bathroom.

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Shiny copper pipes in place with NEW bathtub installed immediately below. I’ve yet to see the fabulosity of the tub because it’s protected with plywood right now.

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This is where there will be something NEW, a shelf niche in the shower. My interior design-y heart is thrilled with this upgrade.

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Thanks to everyone who has checked in with me this week to make sure I’m hanging in there. I appreciate your moral support.

Happy Weekend, everyone. May it be all that you want it to be, which in my case is calm and quiet– and not stuck at home.

I’m sure you understand.

* The blog land saga is that my WP media account was hacked for the second time in half a year.  One of my unpublished photo was stolen, then used as the image on a blog post that referred back to my previous post, the one with all the interesting links.

Why? Because to someone somewhere in this world that seemed like the thing to do. To what end? I couldn’t say but it has been the icing on the cake of a difficult week.

The Happiness Engineers, btw, tell me WP takes no responsibility for any photos/images you have in your media account.  WP protects your words, but your images are your own problem.

Just dandy, huh?

In Which I Grumble While Waiting For Home Improvements To Begin, For Real

INTRODUCTION

As I’m sure you, my little paint chips, can imagine I’m tired of waiting for our home improvement projects, planned last fall, to begin.  In fact, last week was A SERIES OF DISAPPOINTMENTS, not earth-shattering large ones, just a never-ending parade of things. not. going. right.

I felt exhausted and defeated.

However, in spite of all that isn’t happening, I will tell you the skinny about what is SUPPOSED TO BE GOING ON at Chez Bean sometime soon. There is, of course, no precise answer about when ‘soon’ will be so it’s still a puzzle.

THINGS TO TELL YOU

🔜  Supposedly in mid-May the renovations will begin on our two bathrooms.  This, of course, is contingent on THE INFERNAL SUPPLY CHAIN that has limited my style choices and slowed down delivery of the tile, faucets, cabinets, sinks, toilets, a tub, et cetera, et cetera, we need to get going.

🔜  We’re still waiting to hear back from the concrete company that we contracted with last fall to make OUR NEW SIDEWALK in March.  Alas & alack we have no new sidewalk because said company seems to have disappeared.

🔜  Meanwhile the new oven and cooktop are somewhere on this planet, perhaps roaming the high seas aboard a ship, like pirates drinking rum and sporting eyepatches.  In other words, no update about the whereabouts of OUR KITCHEN APPLIANCES so no timeline about when they might be installed and we could once again bake in an oven with an accurate thermometer.

🔜  Earlier this winter I mentioned scratching noises in the attic and guess what?  WE HAVE MICE living and breeding up there.  Thus we have contracted with a professional extermination company to murder them.  Then that company will remove their carcasses + the fusty dirty attic insulation, patch holes in the house, clean the attic area with boric acid, and finally install new insulation in the attic.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

What are you WAITING for? Literal &/or figurative answers are acceptable.

Does waiting make you tired, worrying about what might go wrong, leading you to DESPAIR? Or does waiting energize you, anticipating the best, leading you to HOPE?

Thinking about the verb “to wait” which of these three idioms is your favorite? Do you prefer: TWIDDLE ONE’S THUMBS or HOLD ONE’S HORSES or COOL ONE’S HEELS?

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About being lost and the kindness of strangers:

“My dad, who is 82 years old, purposefully goes to a store and stands there looking lost until some nice person offers to help him, and then he asks them for what he needs and basically has a personal shopper for free. I’m just saying that you’re onto something.”

~ Colleen Martin

“Once a friend of mine and I drove to Myrtle Beach on the way back we got lost, of course. We stopped and asked for directions and were told to turn left at the Burger King. We drove up and down that street for God knows how long unable to find the Burger King. Stopped and asked again…turns out the Burger King is now a KFC.”

~ Gigi

“Just last week someone pulled over as we were walking the kids to school to ask for directions (we live in a small university town) and it made me feel so happy to have the answer to their questions. There is something so satisfying about strangers helping out…”

~ Elizabeth

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Nothing Sketchy: And Then Our Mailbox Made A Run For It

I enjoy a bit of absurdity.

It was late Friday afternoon.  Zen-Den was working from home in a guest bedroom his upstairs office that overlooks the front yard and street.

He was on a conference call, listening, bored presumably, and staring out the window at the street.

There was a gust of wind and just like that our extra large [15″x11.7″x24.8″] black metal [11.5 lbs] mailbox  [identical to this one] went flying off its post– and started scampering down the street.

Like a sneaky pet dog out on an adventure.

Never slowing down, never looking back.

Z-D, still listening to his conference call saw what had happened, found me downstairs, pointed outside, and mouthed the words “mailbox escaped.”

I looked out the window and understood.  I immediately went running out the front door to chase our mailbox, WITH OUR MAIL IN IT, down the street.

On a cold late autumn day.

Without a coat or gloves on.

The little miscreant, pushed by more gusts of wind, slide downhill in the gutter along the side of the street until it was in front of our next-door neighbor’s house where the runaway fell on its side, popping up its little red flag in surrender.

Nice touch, eh?

I was charmed in spite of the situation.

I picked him up, double-checked that our mail was still inside [it was], then started walking home with said sneaky mailbox cuddled in my arms, like you might when you capture a wiggly dog.

However unlike a warm small furry dog, a metal mailbox is cold, cold, cold to carry.  I wasn’t dressed for the elements let alone a search and rescue mission that involved carrying a large mailbox home.

Mailboxes have sharp edges.

Trust me on this.

Anyhoo, laughing at acknowledging the absurdity of this situation, I got the little fellow home, put him in the garage, and walked down the driveway to see what had happened that prompted our mailbox to make a run for it.

Come to find out, the wood on the post that forms the horizontal platform on which the mailbox sits had rotted underneath the mailbox.  The mailbox had been attached with screws to the rotting wood, but the gust of wind was powerful enough to rip them out of place, and sent our mailbox flying.

This was a first for me/us, but one that graciously provided us with the gift of a Saturday project.

Yep, we had to replace the rotting wood on the post then re-attach the mailbox, no worse for the wear btw, to the new sturdy wood plank.

So we did.

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The foregoing story reminds me of my favorite TikTok. It stars a dog named Bean. Do dah, do dah!

Adding Value To Chez Bean: Every Tom, Nate, & Marty

Just jawing here. Another day, another post about plans gone sideways.

As you probably know adding value to your home is a slow deliberate process that takes planning, chutzpah, dinero, and faith.  In my experience to make anything happen, one must have the patience of Job, sometimes more than his.

When it comes to this house my motto is IMPROVE DON’T MOVE.  We love Chez Bean and after a pandemic-related 20 month delay in our home improvement schedule, we’re back to fixing her up*.

Or at least starting to do so, supply chain be damned.

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Last week we had TOM, the landscaper, extend a stacked stone retaining wall so that next spring we’ll be able to plant some bushes or perennials in our new, dare I say classy, planting bed that frames the front yard.

Look for photos next spring, nothing interesting to see yet.

We’ve talked with NATE about a new concrete sidewalk that’ll lead to our front stoop.  Our current sidewalk is 20+ years old.  It’s cracked and crumbling, with many an unwanted, albeit cute, chipmunk living underneath portions of it.

The question now is: do we replace it with what is there, standard brushed concrete, or for a price do we upgrade to stamped concrete?

Opinions or observations vis-à-vis concrete, anyone? 

And then, because we’re finally ready to have our shabby dated powder room and guest bathroom remodeled, we talked with MARTY our previous remodeler** who done us proud.

We hope to bring the bathrooms into this century, thereby making them more usable, with modern amenities like toilets that flush consistently and drains that like to drain.

And wouldn’t that be nice?

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Anyway that’s what’s up here. Anything new, home-related or otherwise, with you, my little chickadees? Chirp away in the comments below.  

* Fun fact: 2020 was to be the year we completed our home improvement projects, projects that started with remodeling the kitchen in 2009.  We’d hoped to begin traveling in 2021, comfortable in the knowledge that our home, our nest, was up-to-date and ready to nurture us upon our return home. BUT THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN, DID IT?

** Happy fact: Completed inside home improvement projects include the aforementioned kitchen + the primary bathroom + the laundry room + the upgraded fireplace surround. LIKE CHRISTMAS, WE’RE GETTING THERE.

Notes + Photos From The Backyard: No Bad Stuff, Only The Good Stuff

SITTING OUTSIDE ON OUR DECK late in the afternoon I heard the neighbor girl + her friends playing on the neighbor’s deck.  The girls were all around age 5 and they were chanting:

“No bad stuff… No Bad Stuff… NO. BAD. STUFF.”

They were loud. They were serious. They were coloring.

I started laughing to myself because they reminded me of a boss I worked for years ago.  This boss, a woman, would breeze into my office and say: “tell me the good stuff, only the good stuff.”

Let’s say she was singleminded in her pursuit of demanding creating a positive workplace.  For her idealism I admired her.  HOWEVER one does have to occasionally face reality and deal with complex, not-so-happy issues which, it’ll come as no surprise to you, this boss had difficulty doing.

Can you imagine? 🙄

THE FOREGOING IS MY STREAM-OF-CONSCIOUSNESS way of getting to what I think you, my little pudding cups, might find of interest.

Last April I decided to take a monthly photo late in the month of the same scene.  It shows part of our backyard [+ a little of the neighbor’s backyard].  I’ve no story to go with the photos, no particular reason why I started taking the photos.

I just did.

And now, as an homage to the determined little girls and my positivity-crazed former boss, I’ll end this post with four months of photos of our backyard in which you can see that things change, but remain the same.

From my point of view there’s no bad stuff in these photos, only good stuff.  I say this  because nature does what nature does. N’est-ce pas?  And it’s up to us to take note, then do our best to adapt to what is.

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

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