Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Picker is Broken.

It's now been one year and one month since the fire, but hey...who's counting?

We're in the final push now. It's become a sort of mission. We're going to move back into our house if it kills us! We're going to move back in if we have to hang all the trim with the help of our neighbors and cousins! We're going to move back in if we have to pick up the paint brushes and paint oursel...



We are NOT painting this house ourselves! A girl has to draw the line somewhere!

The painter had better be slappin' some paint on tomorrow or this girl is going to track him down and have a come to Jesus meetin'.

No. No. I don't care if he had someone else's house to paint. No. I don't want to hear it. I want him to paint MY house. NOW.

I want to go HOME!



I really can't complain too much. (Well, I could, actually, but I'm just too tired so I won't.) There has been quite a lot of rapid change in the house.

I cannot yet show you before and after photos so how about from this to this  photos?

Yup. Let's do it.

The fireplace went from this...
to this...
Ugh.  The soot stained facing and corroded insert has been removed.)
to THIS!
It's not finished yet, but wow! What an improvement! Apparently those rounded corners are proving to be a hassle as the tile we picked for the installation cannot be made round. We're aiming for flagstone now. I'll let you know how that works out. (Sigh.)

The floors went from this...
Lovely plywood.
to this...
Even more lovely, Hardie Backer.
to THIS!
Oh so much better!
Ta-da! And then we had to do this...
Grout color? Grout comes in colors?
Pick the grout color. For crying out loud! I've picked the tiles. How much more do they want from me? And why is it all of the colors we like were 'out of stock' and '10-day special order'? Of course they were.

Check out the master bath shower:
I'm lovin' it!
And the tub room:
Very nice. 
We had to pick grout for this tile too. Pick. Pick. Pick. Pick furniture. Pick tile. Pick linoleum. Pick a doorbell. Pick rock. Pick a door style. Pick a siding color. Pick paint. Pick cabinets. Pick a counter top laminate. Pick drawer pulls. Pick a sink. Pick a light fixture. Pick 19 more. Pick the outlet covers. Pick a faucet. Pick dishes. Pick towels. Pick a shower door style. My picker is just about broken. 

Tonight, I walked by a mirror in a department store and suddenly this sick feeling came over me. It was sort of a panicky-angry-whiny-stomach-in-a-knot emotion that I wanted to run from. It was the realization that we forgot to buy vanity mirrors and lights. 

That is a problem. A problem I have less than one week to resolve. 

More pickin'.

The end is near-er-er than before. Very, very soon the 'Welcome Home' post will be here!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Lights Are On, But Nobody Is Home

We're so close. So, so close.

And yet...we're not at the finish line.

This, was the week we were going to be moving. I took the week off work. We are not moving. 

I could list all of the reasons we are not ready to move in yet, but's just too exhausting. So, instead I shall show you all of the great things that are happening.

Jai checking out the new/old house.

We took the dogs to visit the house. That's a good thing? Yes. Yes it is. I was really not sure if the dogs would feel the same way we would about returning home. We arrived home last year to find our house burning. We went to a hotel that night, understanding on a basic level that we would repair our home and live in it once again. The dogs on the other hand, were in the house while it was burning. What they likely remember of that house is being trapped in a burning inferno, choking on smoke, smoke alarms blaring in their ears, and strangers in big suits carrying them out in a daze. As far as they know, the house ceased to exist that night. 

Jai was thrilled to see the house again. He pulled me into every room and sniffed every single corner and when he was satisfied that every room was committed to memory once again he flopped down on the family room floor as if he'd never left. And he left a nice puddle on the sidewalk to let all the neighborhood dogs know this was still his territory. I was incredibly happy to know he was not scared to go back home.

Another great thing? 

DOORS! We have doors! 

And trim too! 

Just some paint and tile and I can park a sofa right there in front of those windows!

Ah. But do you see paint? No. No you don't. 

There is rock though! Woohoo!

Okay. So they're a little dusty. That's okay. They're going to be beautiful on my fireplace. Long before I have time to post again this ugly red brick...

...will be covered with beautiful river rock.

I am going to love that new fireplace. But in all honesty, I'd take the ugly red brick back in a heartbeat. A house fire is a rough way to remodel. I do not recommend it. 

Tomorrow, the tile will arrive and the plumbing fixtures will arrive. I will be packing. The paint will not arrive yet. 

I cannot control the arrival of materials or the folks who will install them. That is killing me. So, this week I'm going to take control of the one thing I can control. I am going to pack. 

When the paint is up and the tile is down I will have the house packed up and ready to move. My house is waiting for me. I know this because the porch light is on again, welcoming us home. 

(Just ignore the house wrap and lack of siding. Siding, apparently, is not required prior to the big move. If I can ignore it, so can you.)  

Monday, October 8, 2012

Whoa...The Weekend is Over?

The weekend went by like a whirlwind. First, there was the Friday night football game. I put on my purple Chuck Taylor's and dumped all of my game-going gear in my purple varsity-lettered Retro-Metro bag and ran like crazy to make the pre-game show.

The biggest girl and her Color Guard besties performed like rockstars in the pre-game show and I was all "Go Girls!"

And then my littlest girls cheered their hearts out as junior cheerleaders for the whole 1st quarter and I was all "Awww!"

And then the football players ran the ball and I sat on the bleachers and it was 40 degrees and I was all "Blast! It's Too Flippin' Cold For Football!"

And then, as half-time finally rolled around (because somehow in football world 9 minutes can take, like 25 minutes) it was time to run and pick the middle child up at the middle school dance so I totally missed the half-time performance and I was all "Dammit!"

But, that's okay because I had, you know...two more freeze-yo-rump-off opportunities to watch that show over the weekend.

We followed some of the band to Winsteads and enjoyed hot chocolate and fries and the kids dipped their fries INTO their hot chocolate and I was all "Why Do I Eat With You People?!"

And then I was in bed all warm and cozy and all of sudden "RING RING RING RING RING RING!!!!" because it was already Saturday and I was all "Filth and Filth and Foul."

The Big Guy dropped Tuna off at the band bus loading site because he is way better with mornings than I am and he doesn't need makeup to leave the house that early. I raced like crazy to get to the first performance of the day and when I pulled into the stadium just in time to follow our band in I was all "I AM the Bomb!"

I ran from the performance to my volunteer post as a gate bouncer and when I actually had to bounce a grown man who tried to bully his way past me I was all "Don't Mess With the Tired Fat Woman Because I Will Take You Down!"

Still angry at that asshat (thank you so much fellow co-worker for embedding that term into my brain) for his audacity, I scarfed down something from Sonic and raced to meet up with the rest of the family so we could get Tuna dropped off at the second band bus loading site for the day and follow them across town for a competition. I was all "Whose Idea Was This Schedule Anyway?!"

By the time my rump was officially acclimated to the cold bleachers and my snot was frozen the announcer began calling out the winners of  the competition and our high school Color Guard took their first award and the band cleaned up with several awards and was announced the 2012 Grand Champion of the marching festival and I was all "YEAH!" and  as the band marched off the field singing "Hey, Hey Baby...I Wanna Kno o o o o w if I Can Be Your Girl" I was in absolute perfect awe of my wonderful, crazy, busy, life.

And then, a few hours later, at an all-night restaurant with some really happy, giggling Color Guard girls I was all "Whose Idea Was Dinner Anyway?" and "Can We Sleep NOW?"

The weekend was so insane that I hardly had time to think about the house and that was a really nice break.

The run-on sentence crazy whirlwind weekend is over now and life is once again punctuated in short staccato bursts.

"Don't forget to pay the rent for the refrigerator."

"The electrician didn't run the lead wire for the A/C unit."

"Did the painter confirm?"

"They're sanding the overspray."

"Insurance meeting on Wednesday."

Ah...back to rebuilding.