Ok Fine, I’ll Write a Thanksgiving Post. Happy?

I’m not going to list all the things for which I am thankful, they are far too numerous.  Actually, if I’m completely honest, (which I try not to be very often) the list of things for which I should be thankful is far longer than the list of things for which I am actually thankful (I’m working on it).  Instead I’m going to tell you about the thing, person really, that I am most thankful for right now.

If you’ve spent much time here at the Wonderland you know about my all consuming huge gigantic project we’ve been working on for the last 4 or 5 months.  We’ve been putting an addition on our kitchen.  (And when I say we’ve been putting an addition on our kitchen I mean we’ve been putting an addition on our kitchen.)  This has been a huge project involving things like hanging floor joists and framing and insulating and knocking out existing walls and wiring and hanging sheetrock and…

So anyway, here we are, we’ve done all this work and we’re more or less (more really) using our new kitchen but we’re still walking around on plywood sub-floor and we only just have the sheetrock hung but we’re looking at the black screw heads every 16 inches or so and well, we’ve run out of money.

Enter aunt Kay.

My mother’s sister sells home decoration type stuff. (Wow, that’s really badly phrased but I’m not sure what her title actually is.)  She’s not a decorator per se but she’s the gal you call when you want to replace your flooring or your counter tops or your window treatments or your closets or your whatever.

So I knew we were mostly out of money but my children are spilling their juice on the sub-floor and we’ve got to get it covered so I called aunt Kay.  And she came over and looked and she had some great ideas but she couldn’t give me a price right off the top of her head so she’d have to call me.  In the mean time I checked the checking account and I found out just how out of money we are.  It isn’t pretty folks.  So when aunt Kay calls and gives me a number I have to tell her that we can’t do it.

“Well, sure you can, we’ll just put it in and you can pay me whenever.”

“No, I don’t want you to have to pay for my floor.”

“It’s fine,” she says.

“No, I don’t think so.”

We went back and forth like this for a while but eventually she mentioned that she has a few other options that she’s looking at and she’ll get back to me.

Well, this could be a very long story but I don’t want to bore you so I’ll cut to the chase.  She’s found us a much less expensive option that we really quite like and she’s insisting on putting it in for us for Christmas.  (We’re still going to pay her back, eventually, for the floor but the install is a gift.)  And while she’s at it she’s sending her handyman over to mud and tape my walls, the prospect of which scared me far more than hanging the floor, because he owes her “so really it’s free” (her calculation not mine).  Oh and he’s going to wire the other interior wall that we want to build.  (Apparently he owes her a lot of money.)

Here’s the thing, I’m not good at accepting help (remember how I hung the rim joists myself?) and I’m remarkably bad at asking for help.  But I have been faced with an amazing family member (who reminds me of my mother) who says things like “I have been very blessed and I need you to let me help you out so that the Lord will continue to bless me.”  I mean really, how do you fight that?!

But honestly I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the woman who’s providing me with, almost literally, a roof over my and my children’s heads.  And for the opportunity to learn how to receive.

I’m thankful for my aunt Kay.

__________________________________________

PS If I can swing it I’m going to have some kind of button on my sidebar linking to her website so that all of you on the Wasatch front can have aunt Kay come out to your house too.  (I can’t promise you the family discount though.)

PPS In reading through this I’m afraid that this comes off as a really uncomplimentary backhanded compliment.  I really don’t mean it that way.  The woman is wonderful, and amazing, and did you read that quote about the Lord blessing her?  I did not make that up.  She saw a niece who needed her help and she’s insisting on giving it and I could not be more grateful.

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Boys Will Be Boys

And thank heaven for that.

Now you see it

Now you see it

Now you don't

Now you don't

I moved my pantry today.

There was a dead mouse under there.

Even thinking about it gives me the heebie jeebies.  As previously discussed, I hate mice.  But if there’s anything I hate more than live mice it’s dead mice.

Just seeing it freaked me right out.  As in right out of the kitchen.  And I couldn’t go back in.  And Sean wasn’t home and he wasn’t going to be home for about three hours.

I could not go back in the kitchen with that thing in there.

So I asked the Pea if he’d take care of it.

“Sure,” he shrugged, no big deal.  He grabbed the dust pan and cleaned that right up.

My Hero!

(As an aside, I don’t know if it was my mouse from the other day or not.  I never did do anything about it, I was going to but I didn’t get around to it.  I’ve had mice before and I always just put down poison (I know, I shouldn’t do that with little kids in the house but I can’t help but think that if my kids are eating stuff from behind the stove and under the sink, I have bigger problems) and after a day or two I stop seeing mice.  (And I’ve never smelled anything.)  So I have no idea if this was a mouse from an earlier infestation but basically, I’m just really glad I have a son who could get rid of it.)

Don’t Look Now

I was sitting at the kitchen table in my partially finished addition the other day blogging and wasting time working on the computer when I say some movement out of the corner of my eye.  Now, I regularly see movement out of the corner of my eyes when I’m ignoring my children, blogging working on the computer, but this was smaller movement than I was used to.  So instead of ignoring it I turned my head and saw …

A MOUSE!!!

I can not tell you how much I hate rodents.  I’ve discussed my indifference towards spiders here before, and the same goes for pretty much all bugs but mice.  Ughhhhh!! I’ve got creepy crawlies just thinking about them.

In fact I hate them so much I’m finding myself contemplating getting a cat.

You probably don’t know me in real life and even if you do you probably don’t know about my aversion to pets.  It’s not something I mention often, because whenever I do I find myself castigated as some kind of cold heartless uncaring wretch.  Well, yeah.  But it’s rude to say it out loud.

Anyway, let me just put my pet hating in these terms.  I don’t like pets.  I hate pets.  I hate pets in a I really kind of like the idea of punting your yappy little dog kind of way.  Get it?  So does that tell you something about how I feel about mice.  I thought about getting a cat because I hate mice that much.  But then I thought about the prospect of cat hair and having to change a litter box everyday (EVERYDAY?! I don’t clean my toilet everyday, what make the dang cat so special?) and well, having a cat and I rethought it.

Oh and on the topics of pets someone’s little ratdog (A miniature doberman I believe) first scared the crap out of me while I was trying to unlock my door getting home from a night shift.  It was standing right by me but under my bag so I couldn’t see it but then it sort of whined and sniffed or something and honestly, for a minute I was sure it was just an enormous rat.  And then when I finally did get the door open it squeezed right past me into my house.  Which it could do because it’s the size and shape(ish) of a large rat.  So the Princess who happened to be in the kitchen, grabbed it before it could make it to the stairs that it was headed for, and took it outside and came back in and it squeezed past her into the house, because I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it but it was the size and shape(ish) of a large rat.  So this time the Pea grabbed it and took it outside and headed for the door to come back in but the ratdog beat him to to the door and we were honestly there, discussing through the screen how to outsmart the ratdog so that my son could come back into the house when the Pea said he knew who owned it and he could just take it home.  It was 7:45 on a Saturday morning and Inormally would not let my children go to anyone’s house that early on a weekend, or even on a weekday, but if you don’t keep your ratdog in your house buddy, you deserve it.

So what about the mouse?  Well, the first line of defense is the sheetrock that is now lining all pertinent walls and I’m honestly just hoping that we’ve trapped the sucker in there and he’ll starve to death.  If I see any evidence that that hasn’t worked I skip right over any so called humane “no kill” traps and go with poison.  Why not?  It’s not like I’m worried about my other pets.

——

PS Yes, I’m aware that I’m going to get some serious PETA hate mail for this post. Hehehe.

PPS No, I don’t have any other pets.  Well, except for the rabbit but he (she?) does not come in the house.  EVER!

Lessons Learned

I learned today that I can only hold my end of a piece of 4×8 sheetrock over my head for about five minutes at the end of which time I’m crying because my arms hurt so badly and my strength gives out and I drop my arms because I literally CANNOT hold them up any longer.

Fortunately, five minutes is also about as long as it takes Sean to tack the sheetrock in enough places that I can let go.

Oh and also that you should have at least three people when you sheetrock a ceiling.

Harshing My Own Buzz

Before

Before

After

After

I’ve been looking forward to the wall demo for a long time.  I thought it would be a great chance to work out all my angst.

It turns out, despite some evidence to the contrary, that I’m not very angry.

Or maybe I just should have done it yesterday rather than today after conference.

____________________________________________________________

PS I did take a picture today after I had cleared off the table but I didn’t have a before picture with a clean table so I thought there was better symmetry with this one.  It’s not that I’m neglecting house work in favor of construction.

More Hypotheticals

If you leave this board

(Yes, those are nails.)

laying on the floor like this

then your husband might step on the board and the nail might go into his foot far enough that he has to reach down and pull the board (and the nail) off (out) of his foot.

And he might have to go to the ER where, thankfully he works so they know him and they don’t make him wait for ten years, and get one of the doctors there to clean it out and give him a Tetanus shot so he doesn’t get lock-jaw.

And you might feel really bad and really guilty.

If, however, your husband leaves this board

laying on the floor like this and he steps on it.  You’ll still feel really bad.

But you’ll avoid the guilt.

Trust Me Ma’am, I’m a Professional

Neither Sean nor I framed the addition.  We had a friend do it for us.  His wife actually arranged the whole thing for me.  We were chatting one day in the nursery (No, we weren’t skipping our meetings we were… Oh forget it, we were skipping our meetings.) and she was asking about the work we were doing on our house and I told her about it and that the next thing I had to do was frame.  And I was nervous about that.  I don’t know how to frame and these are the WALLS we’re talking about here.  (I’m not going to mention that I didn’t know how to hang floor joists but I did that anyway.)  So Carla, my friend, said that she was going to send her husband Todd, who works construction for a living, over to frame for us.  I demurred but she insisted.  So over he came.

It’s amazing how fast that guy can put up walls.  He did have to come over a few different times but each “session” was only about an hour and he only came over three of four times.  It would have taken me the whole month working the whole time.  And it was amazing of him to do it for us for free (thanks again Todd).

Anyway, Sean and I were looking at the framing the other day and trying to figure out what he had done.  we had some existing posts that were (and still are) holding up the roof.  The wall was built in between those posts.  But instead of dividing the space up equally the studs he put in were off center.  Nor were they 16″ on center (14″ apart) as is standard.  It was so weird (and apparently we had too much time on our hands) that I got out the tape measure.  One stud was 21″ from the post the other was 18.  What on earth was he doing?

In addition to not understanding it, I was sure that when the inspector from the city came he was going to make us add studs, something I didn’t want to have to do, because the ones we had would be too far apart.

Well, the inspector came.  He said not a word about the studs.  Maybe he just didn’t notice but… I doubt it.

You see, as I was putting up some exterior insulation today I realized why Todd put those studs where he did and I take back everything I said about him, the man’s a freaking genius!  The studs are where they are so that we wouldn’t have to cut the plywood or the exterior insulation or later, the sheetrock!  It’s awesome.

The thing is that it’s not that I couldn’t have done that myself.  I certainly could.  But I never would have thought to do it.

And that my friends is why you hire a professional.

Does that mean that we’re going to be hiring out the rest of the work?

Do I look like I’m made of money?  No way.  I put the floor on myself just today.  And the exterior insulation as I mentioned.

But I am hiring out the wiring and at least some of the ceiling.  And maybe I’ll stop questioning things that look strange.

Probably not.

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