Chatting Whilst Moving Wicker Furniture Up Stairs

“I’m probably maybe going to stain the porch floor again next summer.”

Zen-Den said this.

We were moving our wicker furniture into the screened-in porch, setting it up for warm weather.  This is the furniture that we’d put into the basement last fall when Riley, the neighbor dog introduced himself to us.

While I’m accustomed to the way lawyers speak, obfuscating to not commit themselves to anything specific, the above sentence was unique.

Even by husband lawyer-speak standards.

His lack of enthusiasm about what might need to be done made me laugh out loud.

 • • •

“Could you get anymore vague and non-committal?”

I said this, lamenting that he was being so indecisive.

To which, I kid you not, he stopped in place while we were carrying furniture up the stairs.  He needed to contemplate if there was a way of making even less of a verbal pledge about doing something.

At an unspecified later date.

Next year.

Leaving me standing there on the bottom step, holding up the back end of the wicker loveseat while wondering why I never learn that snarky comments get me into the most awkward situations.

Honestly… 🙄

{ Images via Sweet Clip Art }

New Windows & Doors In The Time Of Political Angst

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Photo of old leaky window with bad attitude leaning against garage on the way out of my life. Buh bye.

Why not add some more stress to election week, I said to myself.

Then, looking up from my date book, I said “yes” to the sales representative sitting across our kitchen table from me.

Therein I agreed to be here at the house this week so that we could have new windows and doors installed.

Windows on second floor, doors on first floor.

Naturally when I told Zen-Den, Esq, about when all this was going to happen, he mentioned that he’d be out of town on work this week.

On the other side of the country.  In southern California.

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Photo in which I cannot get the lighting right, but I promise it shows a new window. Gaze through the window upon the forest instead; it’s pretty out there.

Uh-huh.

This, however, did not stop me, intrepid homeowner and [nasty] woman with a purpose.

Nope, I went forward with the project, knowing as I do that winter is [global warming notwithstanding] around the corner.

And that I want leakless windows and airtight doors put on this house before it gets cold outside.

Thus I’ve been here this week, all by my ownsome, counterbalancing loud screechy construction noises [similar to those created by the cat in the video below] with political angst + existential outrage courtesy of the results of this presidential election.

Ain’t life a pip?

A 3-Question Pop Quiz On Guttering & Muttering

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Q1: What is wrong with this picture?

A. Not a thing… did I ever mention my favorite artist is Salvador Dali?

B. How clever! You’ve built a sliding board for Fuzzy the Squirrel.

C. It looks like some more of the gutter has fallen off the back of your house… AGAIN.

D. What’s wrong with this?! Every stinking thing. The end of the world is nigh.

# # #

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Q2: What caused this gutter to come undone?

A. I don’t understand the question… you know Dali painted some surreal works with absurd off-kilter angles just like this gutter.

B. A squirrel jumped up and down about a hundred thousand times on the gutter.

C. Ally Bean allowed herself to dream of buying a new laptop computer for herself, not because she needs one, but because she WANTS one.

D. What caused this to come undone?! Every stinking thing. The end of the world is nigh.

# # #

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Q3: What did Ally Bean mutter when she saw what had happened?

A. I imagine, like Salvador’s work, her words were a bizarre juxtaposition of pathos and profundity, of oddness and obviousness.  A mélange of commonplace utterances and curse words.

B. Where is that damned squirrel!

C. Holy Fricking Mole-y! I gotta call Z-D, who is, of course, out-of-town on business, to tell him I’M. NOT. HAPPY.

D. What did she say?! Every stinking thing. The end of the world is nigh.

# # #

Shopping For Tile: A Tale Of Snobbery & Comeuppance

In and of itself what happened when I went shopping at the fancy tile store, where we bought all of our tile for this house when we had it built years ago, was no big deal.

I’m not unfamiliar with snobby sales clerks in the big city.

But this particular indifferent, snobby sales clerk, who I shall call Gumdrop, was sixty years old, if a day, and she went out of her way to ignore me.  She said “hello” when I walked into the store, then before I could reply she went back to looking at her smart phone.

I did not exist.

# # #

I started walking around the lovely, well-organized, upscale tile store, hoping that when Gumdrop finished not helping me, she’d help me.

I dream.  What can I say?

Eventually, after I’d explored the drawers, shelves, and wall displays of tiles on my own, I went over to Gumdrop and forced her to listen to me.  I told her we were going to replace the tile around our fireplace in the family room, a room that is open into the kitchen.

Did she have some suggestions?

# # #

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# # #

Without a single word, and this is where it gets interesting, Gumdrop took me to one small display of khaki/tan ceramic tiles, and said “this.”

She didn’t ask about our color scheme, the size of the room, the scale of the fireplace.  She didn’t ask about our style preferences.

She just told me to buy what she was pointing at.

# # #

In what I can only describe as a delightful irony of ironies, the inexpensive ho-hum tile that Gumdrop pointed to is what we have on the floor in the laundry room.

The floor, people.  THAT’S THE TYPE OF TILE SHE ASSUMED WAS APPROPRIATE FOR ME TO HAVE AROUND THE FIREPLACE IN MY HOME.

I mentioned that I was familiar with the tile she was pointing at because I walk on it every day.  Then I asked her to show me something else.

She did this while grumbling that I could easily pull out any of the tile displays from the wall.  And I agreed that I could, but I wasn’t going to.  That was her job.

So do it, Gumdrop.

# # #

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# # #

I believe it is at this point that it began to dawn on Gumdrop, who works on commission, that she might have screwed the pooch with me.  Suddenly she was inquiring about the details of our project, but I was no longer interested in dealing with her.

So, mentioning that money was no object but obviously there was nothing in this store for me, I politely left the store, discouraged that I’d bothered to drive to a fancy tile store in the middle of an industrial district on a snowy afternoon, to be snubbed.

Humph.

# # #

But ultimately the joke is on Gumdrop and the fancy tile store because my small little fireplace project was just the beginning.  Yep, we’re going to be redoing our 14′ x 12′ master bathroom sometime in the next few years and there’ll be lots of tile involved.

Oodles of it, which up until this incident I would have purchased at the fancy tile store.  But now?  Not going to happen.

Big mistake, Gumdrop.  Big mistake.

Let The Naming Of Our New Dishwasher Commence

A few months ago I shared the story of how it came to be that our dishwasher, Monique, no longer worked. I’m still sad about the turn of events.

CLICK HERE TO READ ALL ABOUT IT.

At that time I asked you for suggestions for a name for our new dishwasher when we got one. You outdid yourselves with ideas, gentle readers.

YOU ARE CLEVER, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.  

On Wednesday our new dishwasher arrived and was installed, meaning that the time has come for us to settle on a name for our stainless steel Bosch baby. Again I turn to you for help.

PLEASE TAKE THE POLL BELOW. THANK YOU.

Breakfast In The Afternoon On The Way To Being Charitable

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While I’ve no doubt my readers know what a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin looks like, I present this image for future Historians who 200 years hence will need a visual to understand this post. Historians, you may thank me in the footnotes of your doctoral theses.

I had my first afternoon Egg McMuffin last week.

It was late Thursday afternoon, and Z-D & I were on our way to Habitat for Humanity to drop off our old, but still usable, outdoor light fixtures that have been in my way in the garage for months.

[We replaced them last autumn with new black ones that use LED bulbs, with clear beveled glass– and the value of our home doubled. Really. The improvement is amazing.]

I was feeling peckish as we drove along, and in a moment of inspiration I directed Zen-Den to stop at the next McDonald’s so that I could feast on the one item I like at McDonald’s.

[Also I wanted a cup of black coffee.  They have good coffee, which I needed to wash down my formerly unavailable after 10:30 a.m. sandwich delight.]

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Hello again future Historians. This logo, which we saw all over the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, was easy to recognize as we followed the signs on the streets through a working part of town. Once at the store a friendly employee helped us unload our donations to the store.  

So he did.

And I got an Egg McMuffin, which might have been the best one I’ve ever eaten.  A bit of an exaggeration, but it was good.

Especially at the “wrong” time of day.

Eaten in rush hour traffic while someone else chauffeured me around the city on our way to doing good.

Talk about your win-win situation.  😉

At The Home Show: Chatting With A Carpenter, Learning Too Much

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# # #

AS SOME OF YOU KNOW, I’m the sort of person who people love to talk with.  Well, talk to– more accurately.

I’m a good listener and do love a good story.  I admit that.

Since I was a teenager, strangers, in particular, have told me their stories.  I don’t ask, they just tell me.

Sometimes to their own detriment.

# # #

THUS IT CAME AS NO SURPRISE that when Zen-Den and I were at the Home Show this past weekend, Chatty Charlie the Carpenter deviated from his sales pitch to tell me a story about his nemesis, Danny Long-Greek-Last-Name, who is also a carpenter.

In a nutshell, Chatty Charlie feels that Danny Long-Greek-Last-Name has risen above his station in life. Is a snob now. Who charges too much for his work.

Which Chatty Charlie admits is excellent.

# # #

IN FACT, CHATTY CHARLIE TOLD ME that Danny Long-Greek-Last-Name is the man who finished our house years ago.  I’d forgotten the carpenter’s name, but recognized it instantly when I heard it.

Meaning that Danny Long-Greek-Last-Name crafted our beautiful fireplace mantel and surround.

Which I love.

And am looking to have a second level added onto, so that the whole fireplace/mantle/surround area reaches almost up to the apex of the cathedral ceiling.

# # #

NOW LET’S THINK ABOUT THIS conversation, shall we?

Chatty Charlie the Carpenter, who I’m meeting for the first time, in his need to be understood, has inadvertently told me who might do a better job than he could with my small carpentry project– which Chatty Charlie claims he wants to do.

And with that glimpse into how my life unfolds [and how a small business can fail], allow me to end this post with my summation of this conversation: he cut off his nose to spite his face.