A Remodeling Update: My Kingdom For Some Tile

Decorative tile, laying on the floor, that’ll be the accent in the shower and by the sinks.

Well, kids, not everything runs smoothly during a remodel.  You see, there’s been a kerfuffle here about the wall tile that goes in the shower stall.  Not the little decorative stuff*, but the large tiles that cover the walls.

The problem, quite simply, has been that the tile company sent the correct decorative and floor tiles over to the house– but filled our wall tile order incorrectly.  They sent packages of tile with the same name + code number, but these packages of tile weren’t from the same “dye lots” so they weren’t the exact same color.

Which they are supposed to be.

Example of the tile in question.

Thus began what turned out to be 3 weeks of discussions among unhappy me, lawyerly Zen-Den, our patient project manager, the perturbed remodeling company design staff, the conscientious tile installer– and the confused [sneaky?] tile company.

Much was said, politely— but with a great deal of emphasis on MAKE THIS RIGHT.

No pithy conclusion to this post.  I’m just happy to report that the correct wall tile finally arrived on Tuesday and that each package has the same batch number.

Even more exciting than getting the tile is knowing that the tile guy is now in the process of installing the tile on the walls in the shower– and that the walls coordinate beautifully with the shower floor.

As planned.

Tile on the floor of the shower stall, installed and looking lovely.

* I wrote this post yesterday mid-afternoon. As the tile guy left late yesterday afternoon he told me that the tile company had shorted us on the decorative tile that is to go on the wall behind the sinks.  This is not as big of a problem as the wall tile kerfuffle, but it’s a problem that will have to be solved nonetheless.  *le sigh*

Carelessness, Coupons, And Cake– OH MY!

It would seem that at some point in the recent past we stole our neighbor’s mail.  Well, we didn’t intentionally steal it as much as we accidentally acquired their mail.

My defense for this lapse is that we aren’t mail thieves, per se, as much as distracted, pre-elderly homeowners who assume any and all mail in our mailbox is, indeed, our mail.

But that assumption would be wrong. Oh yes, so wrong.

In fact, I wouldn’t have noticed this theft accidental acquirement if not for the good old coupons.  You know, the paper kind that come in the mail IF you’re a Kroger Plus Customer.

I’m talking about the ones that are specifically sent to you because you buy the same stuff over and over.

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Look at those shopping carts all lined up. So tidy.  {Photo via Pixabay by Michael Gaida}

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IT’S LIKE THIS, my gentle readers: the other day I went to get our mail from our mailbox and I see that our monthly Kroger Plus Customer coupon envelope is among the letters/junk mail in my hand.  I go inside the house, open the envelope, whereupon I feast my eyes on our very special and specific coupons.

[Some of which are for FREE money off your order if you spend a certain amount of money at the checkout.  This is normal.]

But it dawns on me that just a few days before Zen-Den had retrieved the mail from the mailbox, opened what he assumed was our Kroger Plus Customer envelope and left the coupons on the kitchen counter for me to file.

Which I hadn’t done yet.

Suddenly I start looking at these coupons on the counter, thinking how peculiar it is that we have coupons for Hubba Bubba bubble gum, and Annie’s Organic Cinnamon Rolls with Icing, and Simply Potatoes frozen potatoes. Items we don’t buy. Ever.

[I also notice that the FREE coupons are for things like Betty Crocker cake mix, not for FREE money.  That’s not our normal.]

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Look at Barney Kroger, founder of the Kroger supermarket chain. So dapper.  {photo source here via Library of Congress}

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SLOWLY IT DAWNS on me that the coupons we have sitting on our kitchen counter are someone else’s coupons.  And because the envelope that these coupons came in is long gone, there’s no way to return the coupons to them.

Meaning, of course, that we, the Beans, jointly and severally, are miscreants of the lowest order, stealing [acquiring?] grocery coupons from our neighbors, like we’re two addled-brained overwrought suburbanites without the sense to read the front of an envelope.

Which clearly we are… but does not necessarily mean that we’re above using an accidentally acquired coupon to get a free box of cake mix.

Because, you know, CAKE!

Share Your World | Growing On A Vine

Once a week Cee asks the questions on her blog, and I answer them here on my blog.  You can join in the Share Your World Challenge by clicking here.

 What is your favorite cheese?

Swiss.  Cute holes, lovely color, mild taste.

 Are you left or right handed [sic]?

Right-handed, unless I’m using a computer mouse, then I’m left-handed.

 Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body? How frequently do you do either?

I prefer exercising my mind, but reluctantly admit that exercising my body can, on occasion, be ok, too.  I exercise my mind and body often enough to not decline into complete decrepitude, but not often enough to be an inspiration to anyone.  I get by, you know.

 Complete this sentence: Hot days are …

… a reason to remember that things can work out for the best.  Once upon a time I thought that I wanted to live in southern Florida and was sad that we didn’t end up there.  But now I’m happy that we stayed in the midwest because I only have to put up with humid 90ºF+ days, that I now find to be annoying, for a few months each year.

 Optional Bonus Question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Last week’s gratitude award goes to the Dr. Who franchise for picking a woman, Jodie Whittaker, to be the 13th Doctor.  IT’S ABOUT TIME.  We all need to see more female protagonists on the screen [and in real life, too].  I never enjoyed Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, the plot lines were too dark and twisted for me, so I stopped watching the show.  But now, with a new female Doctor, I’m interested again.

This week’s looking forward to something goes to baking a cake.  The details of which I’ll tell you about on my next post.

 

A Remodeling Update: 7 Holes In The Ceiling + A Few Details About Each Room

We’re in the middle of the remodel now.  It has been four weeks since we began.  

In that time 7 holes have been cut in ceilings to either accommodate new lights and fans that will be placed overhead– or to double-check second floor water pipes from below in the kitchen.  

What I’ve learned about myself during these past weeks is that I find holes in the ceiling a bit unnerving.  Walls torn out don’t concern me so much, but those… holes… up… there… bother… me.

Go figure.

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 The LAUNDRY ROOM has new cabinets in it and the water pipes + dryer duct have been re-routed to accommodate the new washer and dryer– which are to be delivered here later this week.

Last Friday I picked the tile for the backsplash and the wall color with the interior designer, so all that’s left for me to do is to go to the granite store on the day that they cut the counter to decide what part of the slab will be our counter.

 The MASTER BATHROOM wiring and plumbing have been reconfigured, the dry wall crew has been here and gone– meaning that we’re all about tile now.  We decided on the tile weeks ago and are currently sitting back, watching some of the tile come together, while the rest of it seems to be lost somewhere. Somehow.

 The FAMILY ROOM is changing from tile around the fireplace to granite– and there’s to be a new mantle.  None of this is anywhere to be seen yet, but the crew has prepped the wall and floor for what is to come. Hence, we wait.

I have no idea what color the walls will be in there, other than to say “good-bye purple.”  The granite, once installed, will show us how it looks with our furniture so that we’ll have a better idea about wall color, but ultimately I’m leaving that decision up to the interior designer.

 The KITCHEN tweaks are seemingly a forgotten part of this remodel.  I have delegated the whole microwave kerfuffle to Zen-Den because I don’t care what the solution to the problem is… as long as I get a microwave.

As for the other little details in the kitchen they are: 1) a new door and handle on the trash bin cabinet;  and 2) re-doing the juncture where the counter meets the tile.  I’m on top of these details because I want them done before all of this remodeling is over.  Which is to say sometime this month, “God willing and the creek don’t rise.” 

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Talking Daylilies Here: No More Happy Returns

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Good-bye cervine freeloaders.  Hasta la vista deer buffet.

Yep, after 17 years of growing and tending a patch of Happy Returns Daylilies out front of our house under the lamppost, I had the landscaper remove them all and re-design the area.

The irony is, and there seems to be irony with anything I do, that when we built this house I was adamant about wanting Happy Returns Daylilies, which are a lovely shade of lemon-y yellow.  I paid extra to not have Stella D’Oro Daylilies, which are more golden-yellow, and common around here.

They’re in all the gardens in this subdivision.

Nope, planning ahead, as is my way, I wanted lemon-y yellow colored daylilies because they would look better with our particular brick–and because doing things, just a little differently than everyone else, comes naturally to me.

However, turns out that Happy Returns Daylilies are a favorite nosh of ye olde deer.  Also turns out that these pretty plants need lots of almost daily maintenance during the summer to keep them looking fresh and lovely.

So, with just a tinge of regret, but not much, I decided to embrace Admiral Grace Hopper’s famous quote and let go of my favorite Happy Returns Daylilies [and a patch of Russian Sage + Bergamot– and a few lost Daisies] to make space for a simpler, more modern, design out front of our house under the lamppost.

One that looks infinitely better than that which I thought that I knew that I wanted… years ago… before I became a wiser, and lazier, gardener.

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Here’s the new look: Boxwood [hedge], Fineline Buckthorn [small ornamental tree], Barberry [small bushes] + Liriope [used as ornamental grass].

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 }

The Tale Of Getting Our Held Mail Upon Return From Vacay

I DID NOT START THIS.  I want to be clear on this point.

I inherited this feud from some women who used to live on this street when all the houses were new, and the street wasn’t finished yet.  Women who moved to the midwest from big sophisticated cities.

Women who had never dealt with a small town misogynistic resentful male postal clerk who grumbled loudly about doing his job, poorly.

For reasons never fully explained to me they hated him, and being who they were, they launched a letter-writing + email-sending campaign to get him fired.  They found the names of everyone in the U.S. Postal Service who might be influential enough to get this resentful male postal clerk axed from his job– and set about trying to make it so.

Their campaign, organized and relentless as it was, did not work.

THEN they moved away leaving me the only woman on this street who knows what they did– and still suffers for it because he remembers which part of our street was out to get him.

The block I live on.

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SO KNOWING WHAT I KNOW, I went over to our local post office branch to get our mail that had been held while we were on vacation.

As usual he was the only clerk working behind the counter and I had to stand in a long line.  No big deal.  Totally expected.

What I did not expect, however, was our resentful male postal clerk getting into a prolonged shouting match with a male customer who was trying to decide which box to use to send something somewhere.

Our resentful male postal clerk had strong opinions on what this customer guy should be doing– and the customer guy was. not. buying. it. at. all.

I found this tense conversation fascinating because this is my first experience with our resentful male postal clerk turning vicious on a man.

He’s branched out.  [pun intended]

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EVENTUALLY I GET TO THE COUNTER.  With a sense of foreboding I hand my driver’s license to our resentful male postal clerk, and I wait for the inevitable hateful glare.

The snarl.

The shout.

“Greenwood Street, huh?”

But this time, my gentle readers, I was ready.  I put on what might be my best dramatic performance ever, playing the part of a contrite suburbanite.  When he squinted his eyes and glared at me, I slouched, I looked down at the floor, and I hung my head in shame for living on the street that I do.

Oddly, this performance seemed to light a fire under his heretofore slow-moving butt and he went into the back of the post office branch to retrieve my mail.  Lickety-split-like.  Without whining.

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BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE.  As if this story could get more exciting and amazing, when our resentful male postal clerk returned from the back with our mail, that included 31 catalogues + many letters, he had it in an official U.S. Post Office rectangular white plastic toter that he handed to me.

This is unprecedented.

Never before has this resentful male postal clerk NOT dumped all of our mail on the counter for me to grasp, as best I can, in my arms.  He has previously enjoyed making me look like a klutz as I scramble to not drop anything while skedaddling out of his post office branch.

But this time, he was, for him, in his own way, almost kind to me.

And I gotta tell ‘ya, I find this a bit disturbing.  It’s just not normal– like he’s playing some new game with me that I have yet to figure out.