Sunday, July 31, 2011

WHY I LOVE DC: Street Parking & the 24 minute commute…

A lot of people who live in the city decide that owning a car is just not worth their time. These people must be patient, this makes them reliable on public transportation like the bus and the metro, things like bike share and zip car to get around. OH and cabbies, I despise cabbies (yup in general, they are actually really bad drivers). I am not patient; I have not ridden the metro in a long, long time. First off it’s expensive and the stations are hot during the summer. The metro also has a lot of draw backs, when I used to work in NW I would have to walk to the metro station which would take 10 to 15 minutes. I would then have to wait for the train which would take 5 to 10 minutes, I would ride three stops (10 minutes) and then I would have to walk to my office (10 minutes). On a good day that would be a 35 to 45 minute commute. The problem with that is that often times it wasn’t a good day. Maybe when I get there I’ve missed the train and after waiting 10 minutes the next one arrive and is FULL. Now I have to wait another 10 minutes. Then you get on the train and it’s slow, waiting from station to station because the timing is slightly off, add another 10 minutes. Factor in the fact that it’s body to body on the actual train, the guy next to you didn’t shower and you can smell his pits because it’s a 100 degrees out and both of you walked yourself to the point of sweating just to arrive at a non-a/c’d station which you waited in for 20 minutes and now you see why I don’t take the metro.

So on to what I like, driving, specifically to the new place I work, which is out of the city. My commute, which is a reverse commute, takes me….wait for it…. 24 minutes each way. If you live in a city you understand how rare this is. When I tell others in the DMV how long my commute is I can see them salivating. You’re lucky if your commute is anything under 45 minutes here. Under half an hour and you can see people envisioning what they would do with all that excess time if they could calmly drive to and from work, at a reasonable hour, in 24 minutes. I am not going to lie to you, it’s nice. I enjoy it. It’s not stop and go; I don’t have to leave my house at 4 am to do it. Life is good.

The other thing I LOVE about the city, which most people don’t, is street parking. There is this little game I play every time I come home as I come up the street called “Am I a Winner?”. About two blocks from my house I start envisioning if there will be a parking space near my home. Is it going to be on the same side of the street as my house? Maybe just maybe, if I’m lucky and I have a car load of groceries it will be right in front of my house. As I round the corner onto my street it’s the equivalent of doing jazz hands while screaming “TA DA” as I scope it out. If there is a spot, and if it’s the dream spot I literally think to myself “WINNER!” every single time I pull in. I’m a winner about 90% of the time. It’s the simple things you know.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Me and my Matrix...

New sleeper sofa in the back of my ride. Who needs a truck.
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Commitment & the dining room table…

Saturday is going to be an exciting day in our house because we finally go pick up this baby from the warehouse. That little lady is months in the making and is what we finally selected as our dining room table. Just a recap of the process and what we learned.

First it starts with measurements. Before you start looking at kitchen tables take measurements. Prior to measuring the actual dining room I was in love with this table.

I spent hours on the internet trying to find a cheaper version. Trying to decide if it would make more sense to have someone build us one or not. We then decided based on the cost we needed to find a cheaper alternative settling in on this table.

We go to the store to check it out and realize quickly it’s not what we want. So we spend a day going from store to store to find something.

Weeks pass and I decide if you get a really good table it will be worth the money (plus mom says she’ll kick in the majority of it) so we go back to the original “dream table” and plan to go see it at Pottery Barn. Now at this point we decide it might be wise to measure the actual space the table is going to go in. So a few days before we go look at the table we take the measurements.

And the day we plan to go to see the table we realize we’ve lost the measurements. So we end up remeasuring. We get to Pottery Barn and the table isn’t going to fit. Being the melodramatic person I am; I handle this with much maturity, I pout at the actual table at the Pottery Barn store and repeatedly say “but this is the table”. Finally after 15 minutes of this Jedd (who is super patient) finally says he’s leaving the store.

We decide to check out the surrounding stores and find this little gem. As soon as I see it I know it’s the one. We take the measurements and she fits.

So days later I send the link to my mom who is paying for the majority of it, but there is a few hundred dollars difference. We make a date to pick up the table a month later from the store. For 30 days I dream about the table and finally the day arrives. Mom and I go to the store to pick it up only to be told 1. You pick it up from a warehouse AFTER they ship it down from New Jersey and 2. The cost of the table is now several hundred dollars higher than it had been. I know this to be a fact because I sent the link to mom who verifies I am right.

All I can say is I should have committed to the table when I first saw it. Now many of you may be wondering what we plan on sitting on when we eat at this beauty and to that I say “one thing at a time”. Needless to say we like to make things hard on ourselves. No dining room set for us folks. No we have to get things piece by piece. So once I pick up the table and drop her safely at the house I will be on the quest to find the “perfect” dining room chairs.

Did I happen to mention that we officially are planned to move into the house Thursday? Thursday should be exciting, not only are we moving in, the cable people are coming to hook us up, the washer and dryer gets delivered and we are schedule to have our first ever house guest. We love crazy as you can tell.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Hour: The Americano…

When we first moved into the apartment in 2009 I wanted to get to know our upstairs neighbors (we live in a split level with one apartment on top of ours) so I decided to have them over for dinner. The most memorable thing at the meal had to be the cocktail I decided to make that night which introduced me to Campari. This was my first real attempt at making a cocktail and when I first put it together (in the largest wine glasses I had) I determined the recipe was wrong and decided to triple it, per each person. If you have never had Campari let me tell you 3 oz of it is A LOT to drink by yourself. As a result we’ve had Campari sitting around the house for awhile now. I decided to give it another try thinking that my mistake had to be with altering the recipe not with the Campari itself.
Um…. I don’t like Campari. There had to be a bad drink every now and then I suppose. Just in case you want an Americano I thought I should mention if you click on the name of the drink it takes you to the recipe I use. I do this in each happy hour post, just and FYI because someone asked.

Happy Friday!

Reason 1 Million: Why we haven’t moved yet…

When we first moved into the house Jedd saw the floors and said he just could not live with them. Just in case you don’t remember or I didn’t post it here are the floors as they looked two months ago:

Jedd’s rational for why the floors would keep him up at night were that the run in the wrong directions. They are “historically inaccurate” not only because of the direction they run but also because of the material. Plus they look fake. A bigger issue was that the floor just wasn’t level.

So fast forward a month and I finally give in since exposing the brick created a gap between the stairs leading the 3rd floor and removing the carpet also uncovered what a crappy condition the stairs were actually in.

So why haven’t we moved into the house. WELL we were going to move in this week, but then we decided to fix the floors which started Wednesday (a day later than scheduled) and is now expected to run 7 days rather than 3. I’m not surprised. The only thing I keep telling myself is that in 20 years I’ll look back on all this and laugh.

My only real complaint (besides all the NON-REAL complaints) is that I think we did this is the wrong order; we probably should not have painted the baseboards before we installed the floor. If I was planning on doing this again I would not do that.

Best thing to come out of all this is they removed the part of the fireplace that came so far out and are going to run the floor right up to it. And the appliances in the kitchen that sat too low and weren’t level with the counters will actually be raised.

You notice anything about the wood we selected? Five guesses….ok I’ll tell you, it’s unstained. Yup because we like to make decisions; because we’re so good at it we decided to have them stained afterwards. So we will be having the “what color should we stain the floors” saga all weekend. It’s sure to go as well as the “what color should we paint the living room saga”.

What are you doing this weekend?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to get rid of Bamboo…

Our backyard isn’t very big but it’s been a challenge. About a month after we got the house we started noticing bamboo growing in the back yard. Once I went down and checked it out I determined someone must have cut it down so it would be unnoticeable when potential buyers came and looked at the house. What I also determined was it was going to be a PAIN to get rid of. After reading online post after online post I determined that because bamboo is so persistent that if you truly wanted to get rid of it you had to be overzealous in your attempts to eradicate it. People described how they attempted to dig out several of the shoots and patted themselves on the back only to realize a month later that by not removing the dirt that contained roots they essentially planted them in other parts of their yard. People described how after three years of fighting the bamboo for several months they way they finally won was to dig out three feet of dirt and remove that with a bobcat, then saturate the ground with weed killer and till the remaining area.

Though we did refrain from renting a bob cat and contaminating the yard and water system with weed killer we did completely destroy the back yard.

It was a little fun, but now it looks completely unfinished. I kind of remember Jedd’s mom saying she’d love to come out and do yard work. Wait until she sees the blank canvas we’ve created for her.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


No idea why but the highest reviewed blog post of all time was THE FREINDSHIP TEST. The interesting thing about blogs is they allow you to see stats and Japanese people must really value friendship because most of the views today were from Japan. I thought this was interesting. If you’re from Japan and your viewing this post how in the world did you find my blog?

True Friendship – The Test…

So I haven’t written a detailed post about the interior paint saga, but I will later when I post some pics of how it all turned out. Let’s just say it’s been A LOT of DRAMA (are you surprised) and it basically came to a head on Sunday. I will say that out of EVERYTHING to come out of the house one positive is that it has really helped me identify who my friends are, the people who when things get rough and rugged are going to step in to try and help relieve some of the stress. It has actually surprised me a lot who when the dust has settled and the battles have been fought are standing in my corner ready to take on the next challenge. One of those people has been Meredith and Sunday was one of those days where when all was said and done I thought “damn girl you really got my back”.

So Sunday was the last and final day we had given the painter after numerous attempts to get in and repair some mistakes his crew had made. This was the last day of three weeks of what was supposed to be a four day job. According to him the mistakes would take minimal time to repair. So at 10 am the man texts me saying he is on my way to the house, so according to his estimate he would be gone by 2 pm, but we had given him until 6 pm to do a final walk through and inspection. So imagine my surprise when I get a text message from him saying “we need living room paint”. I’m a bit taken aback by this because not only had I supplied paint previously, I’d supplied so much that they had dripped it everywhere which was one of the reasons he had some cleanup work to do. I’d also inspected the amount of paint left the night before and he and I had agreed what was there was enough for the touch ups. I respond back to his text “you’ll need to pick it up” and he texts back “will need money”. Now this is ludicrous to me because 1. We’d already paid him 75% of the total price to do the job 2. I’d supplied paint, if he needed more paint to fix his workers mistakes and crappy painting I wasn’t going to pay for that. So I call him and inform him of this.

But something, something was eating at me. I was suddenly overcome with the need to go to the house and see what was going on because I felt it, SOMETHING WAS WRONG…. So I leave Springfield driving like a mad woman 30 minutes into town. As I’m driving I feel myself losing control of my temper and decide I need someone to mediate. Jedd is at golf so I call Meredith who I know has just spent a week out of town but I am hoping is back. This is how the call went:

Me “Where are you” (I sound bitchie)

Mere: “Home, I just got back from the beach” (now I know it’s a long drive, I think like 5 hours or something…

Me: “Good, I need you to grab two of your lawn chairs, a bag of magazine’s and I’ll be there shortly to pick you up so you can sit in the house with me and watch the painters, cause I don’t trust them”

Mere: “OK”

I won’t even describe the mediating she did once we got to the house or how because of her presence I didn’t kill someone when I walked in and realized the reason they needed paint was because they had repainted a wall the wrong color. No instead I’ll just show you evidence of what a true friend is:

Thanks Mere, should you ever need me just know I will be there.

I love her....

There is a baby boom going on in Capitol Hill. I look at those big old preganant ladies sweating it out in the 100 degree heat and think "I'll take a pass today, thanks". But then someone texts me pictures like these and I think "I want my own smiling little bundle of joy". I would also like to tell you the text that accompanied the picture, my best friend Tara emails me the pic and says proudly "my fattest baby yet!". I wish people were that impressed with my fat rolls.
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Someone needs to take the trash out….

This is not even a small representation of the stuff we’ve taken to the dump. I know our neighbors love us.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

H Street Politics…

So I’m not much for politics, especially racial politics but I did find the NY Times article on our neighborhood interesting. I actually had talked to Jedd’s mom about all the racial tension going around since H Street had started to be redeveloped. This article illustrates a lot of what I was talking about. Being bi-racial I think I have the ability to see things from a unique perspective so I’ll just comment on a few items that I find perplexing, but that I do feel the NY Times article got right.

“…the building of dog parks and bike and streetcar lanes as efforts by affluent whites to re-arrange spending priorities to suit themselves”. I’m not sure what this means. The article references affluent new comers as causing low-income residents concern. What I’m taking from the article is that affluent = white and low-income = black. The funny thing I find about this article is that having lived in the area since 2006 I think no one is talking about what is obvious to anyone in the neighborhood, for whatever reason H Street has been a kind of divide. Some towns/cities have train tracks we have H Street. The side I live on which typically has been referred to as Capitol Hill since I have lived here and has for the most part been primarily white. I don’t know why, I haven’t asked around, but it just seems that way. As for whether or not its “affluent” whites I would say no, I think it’s probably a bunch of normal white people. The kids next door to me all go to college, they drive crummy cars and there is like 6 of them living in a house. The house funny enough is owned by a black guy, I don’t know where he lives, but I’m thinking he’s the affluent one. The opposite side of the street does appear to have more black residents and I don’t notice any less now that H Street is booming.

The other issue I have with the sentence is that it makes it seem as if this area is the only one getting dog parks, bike lanes, etc. Northwest has had two dog parks for awhile. Every traffic circle in the city is an unofficial dog park if your dogs can go off leash. Dog parks aren’t new to the city nor are they evidence of H Street’s gentrification. As for the bike lanes, DC has had them for awhile, but recently there has been a big move to make the city more bike friendly. As a result those lanes have been increased everywhere, I find them annoying but then again I don’t bike. I also don’t think it’s a bunch of white people asking for increased bike lanes. I think it’s bikers.

The article also highlights a thing that I find very insulting as an educated black (yes I consider myself black) woman. I heard this time and time again during the recent race for a new Mayor and was baffled. So many black residence commented on how Fenty was doing so much in the city to make it more attractive for whites. What confuses me about this comment is that it tries to make it appear that blacks don’t want or benefit from the same things as whites. I like increased safety and a reason for the city to invest in cleaning up my neighborhood. Prior to the revitalization on H Street no one would be caught dead out there after mid-night. Now it’s a go to place. As a result I feel safer; the police constantly patrol the neighborhood. There are also more food options. Before the new restaurants opened things would be closed once it got dark, businesses pulled down their steel protective gates and called it a night early forcing me to take all my business to places like Northwest and Georgetown.

I also think no one likes increased property taxes, I should call my landlord, their white and ask them. All Jedd is currently talking about is how he thinks he should have the property reevaluated because he thinks the taxes are too high. Jedd’s white, he DOES NOT like high property taxes.

The thing I do notice is that for some reason as a city we are purposely segregating ourselves. There are nice restaurants and businesses on H Street and often I do think to myself I don’t understand where the black residents of DC are. I see you walking down H Street, where are you going? It can’t just be to the Popeye’s, Liquor Store and Hair Salon. As an H Street Resident I don’t really care what color you are, it’s not your city or your neighborhood if you don’t frequent the establishments be it dog parks, Sticky Rice or The Country Club. Time and time again I see these types of articles or news programs talking about how this is happening in our neighborhood and it is happening. I can’t argue that, but it saddens me I feel like saying “no one is asking us to go” but if we stay we are going to have to participate on the same level as everyone else in the neighborhood.

What’s your take on the NY Times article? Have you seen similar things going on in your neighborhood? What’s the solution?

Things I thought I NEEDED but Didn’t (Part 1)…

When we first talked about living together I thought it was absolutely necessary we get two full baths so that should we ever need to get ready at the same time we would have the option. The picture below is the shower in the bathroom downstairs that neither of us has ever used in the entire 2.5 years we’ve lived in the apartment. The only guest to ever use it was my dad and I have no idea why.

I should be embarrassed the laundry closet has so many dust bunnies in this picture, but I’m not. No it’s important for you to see this picture. I purchased that little hand held vacuum back in 2006 thinking it would be convenient to have to clean up spills or stuff in my car. I’ve used it once, when someone dropped some potting soil on the stairs in our apartment when we moved in…back in 2009. This was an excellent purchase.

I go through weird phases and one of the last ones I went on was water fasting. Yup it’s exactly what you’re thinking, consuming nothing but water for two days. Before I could do the water fasting I determined I needed to get a pitcher to filter the impurities out of the water after reading an article on water fasting. For this I purchased the water filtration pitcher on the left, turns out we already owned one (see example on the right) I found it last night when I was cleaning out the kitchen pantry. What makes all this worse is that the new fridge has that little thing where you can get water and ice out of the door, making both pitchers completely unnecessary?

In December of 2009 we decided to put up a Christmas tree since we’d never had one and we finally had enough space to put on up. I envisioned myself doing a lot of elaborate decorating so when I went to the store I got a lot of Christmas stuff. One of the things purchased is that wreath box which was “on sale” and a great purchase. The issue is that it’s now 2011 and I have never bought a wreath. Their expensive. I’m keeping the wreath box because if I don’t it would just be a waste of money. We have also never put up a tree since 2009. It’s a lot of work when you don’t have kids and the tree dies and you have to take the dry thing to the curb and the needles get all in your wool gloves.

Well off to put some things on Craigs List.

Monday, July 18, 2011

When Bad Things Happen to Good People…

We don’t currently have a lot of free time with the house and work, but the little free time we have we like to spend at home with the boys watching movies. Usually a great time is had by all, but sometimes a bad movie makes the cut. This always seems to happen when we try for the scary movie, I am a huge fan of scary movies but I don’t know what it is about the last batch made in the last say 10 to 15 years but they all have sucked. Saturday’s movie was no different:

After watching the movie and thinking back on it over the weekend I decided it required my own little PSA. Don’t watch this movie, the main character was annoying, hearing her whine throughout the whole movie grated on my nerves. This movie wasn’t so much scary as it was weird. I’m not sure why Rob Zombie thought he should remake these but I think the originals were better. I know the story was probably always unbelievable but I was so annoyed throughout the movie I just kept thinking to myself why wouldn’t this girl have moved out of this town if she was so worried he might come back for her. Also, and I hope I’m not ruining the movie for you, but what made Michael Myers take off one Halloween. If you watch the movie timeline he comes back to murder his sister 2 years after the original attack. I mean did he need to recoup from the first encounter and if so what type of medical help did he seek. They must not have been looking for him very hard, that’s a big dude I can’t believe he could show up at a hospital all wounded with gun shots and no one would say “Yup that’s Mike”. Also where has he been staying for the last 730 days and what has he been eating. He’s not shacking up with some chick because he’d need to get a job to foot that grocery bill because he’s a big boy. Also he might have wanted to go for the element of surprise, everyone’s looking for him to make his attack on Halloween, he’d be better off trying it on Valentine’s Day or something.

Anyway again, don’t watch this movie.

What’s the best scary movie you’ve ever seen and why?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy Hour: Cream Sherry Cobbler…

I know how this looks, but seriously I have not turned to drugs.

I’m still on the “only using things we have on hand” kick. Strangely enough I had all the ingredients on hand for this. Cream sherry, confectioner’s sugar and club soda.

I actually bought this sherry for a grown up Mac and cheese recipe awhile back and thought what drink can I make with this. Thank you Google because this smooth drink was just what I needed after the week I had. Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The details...

Any idea what this is for?
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Paint = Compromise….

Wait, spell that for me “C.O.M.P.R.O.M.I.S.E” um, not sure what that means but I’ll gladly Google it for you. You know when we get home from Benjamin Moore with the paint. That was me this weekend. Who knew choosing paint was going to be so emotionally taxing. Every step of the way I’m learning how many things we take for granted when we rent. The first thing that came up that I’d never thought about was how much time goes into purchasing a washer and dryer. I’ll do a post on that later, but let’s just say if your renting and it has a washer/dryer don’t take it for granted. The next thing that takes a lot of effort that you don’t see is the color of the walls. OM FREAKING G…. yeah that’s how I feel about paint color. I’ll debut the colors soon but let’s just say a lot of time went into choosing between these two colors:

Wait are you confused? Look closer:


Still confused? Well it appears that when you paint your house and you say “yeah paint the trim” in your mind your thinking “paint the trim white” but silly you what white do you mean? There’s “decorators white” or “bright white” or “snow white” or “pure white”. Thank God “ceiling white” is actually what you get for the ceiling. I will not even get into it with you about picking the actual paint color for the walls. Let’s just say at times it got ugly. I broke down and went to the car outside and cried. Why? Stress that’s why. My mom gave the best advice “you can always paint over it if you get the wrong color”.

How much do you know about the paint colors on your walls? What’s your favorite; give me the name and color number, please.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Your Need May Equal His Want…

At night I dream about the following:

I have become completely obsessed with these as a storage option after seeing one on the cover of Modern, Etc. magazine. I have no idea what the one on the cover cost since they didn’t tell you exactly where/who it was from. To me that says way more than my little salary can pay. So I researched the two options above and sent links to Jedd after feeling as if I found a “if I won the lottery” vs. a “if I use my bonus” option. Let’s just say he is not very knowledgeable about how you gauge a bargain. As I keep trying to explain to him one of these are HALF the cost of the other and I need it. He seems to think I want it and that the bargain is not determined by comparing an overpriced unaffordable option to something half the price of said option. Obviously he knows nothing about how shopping works. He also should look up “need” in the dictionary. Actually he reads this….Honey need is defined as:

1. A requirement, necessary duty, or obligation.

2. A lack of something wanted or deemed necessary

3. Urgent want, as of something requisite.

So see Sweets you NEED to let me get the trunk I NEED.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Hour: Bloody Maria…

During the summer we love to make up a big batch of gazpacho but every single time I think to myself “what am I going to do with the leftover tomato juice”. Tonight’s cocktail is the answer, the Bloody Maria from Nigella’s Kitchen:

The other thing that made me happy about this was that it uses tequila as the booze. Tequila is one of those alcohols that I always have on hand because during the summer we’ll whip up a batch of margarita’s while grilling. But after one or two summer weekends of margarita’s I’m past it and often I’ll look at the bottle and think “what else does one do with tequila”. Obviously tequila shots, but we try not to take shots just the two of us, seems lushious (side note, when I read the word lushious to Jedd he cracked up. I’m inventing new words now).

Jedd of course was a huge fan of this drink, but he drinks V8 by the glass (yuck!). I actually liked it too, I think the lime and acidity of the tomato juice cuts the tequila flavor so you don’t even taste it. Even better is really the recipe is for 4 servings, so I made a pitcher so I wouldn’t have to do the whole “honey if you want another one you’ll need to clean the shaker” thing.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sometimes People Buy Me Things….

So it’s 8 pm at night and I’ve been a bit stressed so I decided to do what any reasonable woman in my position would do…bake some muffins. Specifically blueberry cornmeal muffins by Nigella.

I have been on a quest to only cook and make things on hand so I can move as very little food related products once I do move…what is that you ask? When are we moving, um stop being a jerk. Obviously I don’t know, for me to know contractors would need to stick to timelines and cleaning exposed brick would need to stop being so excruciatingly mind numbing. So you see that’s how I got to cooking muffins at 8 pm.

When I’m stressed I do like to cook which is great because when I’m stressed I also like to eat. So I decide to just flip through my new Nigella cookbook that Jedd’s mom got me…have I mentioned how I adore Jedd’s mom? One reason I adore her is she buys me really good cookbooks. She seems to know my taste. Though she and I have never had this conversation Nigella Lawson is my ideal wife. I don’t know anything about her other than she likes to cook, which she does well, and she likes to eat. Years ago, prior to Rachael Ray (who I also love), she had this great show Nigella Bites, all before the Food Network blew up. One of the things they used to show her doing sometimes at the end of the episodes would be eating cold food straight from containers from by fridge light in what I can only imagine was the middle of the night. For some reason this makes her the absolute perfect person in my mind.

The second reason I ended up making these cornmeal blueberry muffins was because another woman I absolutely adore, my own mother, gifted me with a huge container of blueberries. Interesting little fact I have a weird aversion to eating some breakfast foods in the morning. I love cereal, but only at night, the later the better. Muffins, sure after 5 pm please, but at 8 am, no no that would be super disgusting. Scones, pastries, etc. all after noon.

I plan on freezing the rest which is why I am trying cornmeal. I’ve frozen regular blueberry muffins before and once frozen and defrosted they just did not reheat well. In the meantime I turned our muffins into this dessert

Do you like breakfast for dinner? When do you think is the absolute best time to eat cereal?

Oh another random tidbit, I also always mix cereals, I never eat just honey bunches of oats; it would be honey bunches of oats mixed with honey combs. Oh and I always eat it out of a plastic Tupperware bowl, I think this is the only way to eat cereal, Jedd thinks it’s weird.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Everyone Needs a Good Cry...

So I haven't posted for a bit and A LOT has happened in the last two weeks. I promise I will start posting some project specific posts tomorrow with pics but today I thought I'd touch on the emotional aspect of house remodeling. The reason I hadn't posted anything about it was because I thought I needed to give it a few days so that what I posted didn't come off so emotionally raw that those closest to me became concerned. After all folks it's just a house, no one is dying and thought I may act like it's the end of the world, seriously life will go on.

So go back three weeks ago when our contractor started work on the house and we started exposing brick on two walls and you'd be right when the high stressed nightmare began. Ha! So let's talk about the REALITY of exposing brick that no one really addressed in the DIY posts I found online, the REALITY is it's slow, mind numbing back breaking work. To remove drywall and 100 year old plaster on two walls with nothing but a hammer & chisel AND get it completely cleaned up and presentable is going to take some time. If your doing it on weekends and a few hours after work, it's going to take a LONG time. How long, well longer than three weeks. Cause right now we are officially at the 3 week mark and we still have to clean the walls and repair where the mortar or brick is damaged or missing. AS IF that is not demotivating enough exposing brick also leaves a fine plaster dust on each and every surface of the home you just purchased creating what I have started fondly refering to as “a shit show” every time you enter the house. That's right after getting off of work you get to chisel for 3 hours and look around at an unlivable mess thinking “this is what I just committed to 30 years of indebtness for”?

Now as if that wasn't enough stress we also have a contractor who was hired to do work that he estimated would take 5 days. Well it's now 15 days later and all that work is still not done. We basically had to replace him for the remainder of the work, but now are patiently waiting for him to finish the few jobs remaining that he's been paid a deposit for. So that takes us to Tuesday when I realize the contractor in question hadn't shown up to complete the work that was now at least three days behind schedule. When I call him he basically tells me he's pooled his men to a job that has a full days work, until I give him more work, because it makes the most sense for him. Um, well considering the work you have left is NEVER going to be a full day are you telling me your now not coming back?????

I won't get into the specifics but let's just say he did get fired, he won't get the thousands of dollars I owe him until he comes back and finishes the remainder of the work....period. So it doesn't seem like the end of the world now, but let me tell you on Tuesday when it happened BOY did it ever seem like the end of the world. I consider myself a hard, strong person, but let me say I did break. I did find myself sitting in the bathroom of the house thinking “what the hell have we done” and I did call my godmother and insist that she come. Isn't it funny the people you turn to in your time of need and how intuitively you just know who has your back and who will say exactly what you need to hear at exactly the right moment. When Jackie got the call you know what her response was “I knew this call was coming, I can be on a plane on the 8th and I'll take the Amtrak down”. I don't know what it is about knowing you have back up, but the next day having that in mind, rather than being defeated I brushed myself off, called around, found a new contractor and now the house is back to moving along. Saturday morning we got out all the garbage from brick work, cleaned up a lot of dust and things are back on track. I walked in today and thought this house isn't so bad and there really isn't all that much to do. Absolutely NO crying today!