[Oh, do you think you know where this is going? I’ll bet you don’t.]
Josh and I went to the Kalahari Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells to celebrate our second anniversary. I would normally eschew something so touristy (I am a snob in several ways…), yet Josh wanted to go somewhere warm. I was happy to go, especially since he got a special deal through work.
After a while we sat in the hot tub. However, after a few rides, we were warm enough everywhere in the park.
We went back to the room around 4:30 and had a nap, then got ready for dinner. We went to the Cheese Factory for dinner on Diane’s suggestion (thanks, Diane!). If you’re a Facebook member, you can read my review.
After dinner we went back and walked around the game area. Not so fun–lots of cheap, shiny things to attract kids’ attention. It just seemed kinda lame. However, we stopped and took a sequence of four pictures in one of those machines–that was fun. I’m attempting to get the picture up here or on Facebook and am being stopped at every turn–don’t know why.
We went back to the room and played a really fun game of Settlers of Catan cardgame. The game lasted 3 or 4 hours. I just squeaked out a win before Josh was about to take over and win.
What changed our plans was a call before dinner from the “showing line” that someone wanted to see the house a second time at noon the next day! We wanted to spend more time in the waterpark, but that was not meant to be. : ( However, we had a good time while we were there, and will probably go back another time.
I wasn’t expecting a first date, but there it is. Josh was out of town; was I cheating on him? I was ironing clothes and getting cleaned up to look just right, taking great care with all appearances, there was even talk of mouthwash on Facebook. Being received positively was so important! What kind of first impression would I make? Would there be another meeting? Would the deal get closed?
I just got back from Preferred Title, where Josh completed the sale of his house. The new owner seems pretty great; she definitely appreciates the house, yard and neighborhood.
Two to go, meaning that we have to finish my house and sell it, and buy our house together. We looked at our first house the other night. We like it, yet it needs work.
I’d like to work a few hours today and take the afternoon off to work on the house.
I’ve been a ba-a-a-ad blogger lately. Eesh–June 16.
Lots has been going on. Josh and I have been working madly to get his house ready for sale. While it’s been going well overall, things are, uh, happening. It’s like the house knows what we’re doing, doesn’t want him to leave, and wants to get me out of the way. Seriously–it’s like a bad horror movie I saw once about a house that killed the family that lived there! With all the flooding a couple months ago we’ve spent a fair amount of time in the basement; we’ve installed two new sump pumps (impact drills are a BLAST!), and Josh, mostly, cleaned and painted the floors and walls.
JUST when we got done cleaning the floors I go upstairs to get ready for a shower. I use the toilet and flush it. I hear Josh yell downstairs. The capped-off drain has water coming out of it. What the… We thought maybe we broke the cap with the stuff we used to etch the basement. Josh paid a plumber to come in to put on a new $4 cap. 😉 However, he suggested the cap wasn’t the problem, as there shouldn’t be enough pressure to force the water out. He suggested the line needs roto-rooting.
During all this time in the basement, I was continually attacked by venting. Josh has a low basement ceiling and ducts that hang even lower. I have numerous scars on the top of my head now. I guess you could also consider that I’m just too stupid to learn to bend down enough.
Yesterday Josh put in the last piece of trim, completing the last wall upstairs. And not without a fight. The last piece needed to be cut at an angle, and of course the miter needed to be flatter than 45°, so we had to do lots of improvisation with the chop saw. My visual mind comes in quite handy for stuff like this, so it turned out pretty well–it just took an inordinately long time.
On my way out the back door at one point I caught my ankle on the corner of the storm door, and it put a nice little gash on my right ankle. Great–the house has already tasted my blood in the basement, and apparently wants more. Will I get out of there alive?
We met our Realtor, Connie, a few weeks ago. She’s great. We planned out all the stuff we want to leave in the house for staging, and what’s going–either into the garage, to my house, or St. Vinny’s. I did all kinds of cleaning this weekend while Josh worked on other projects.
And this brings us to the big change: Josh is moving in to my house tonight, along with his two cats, Feliz and Maggie. So I’m doing something I’ve never done before at age 41: living with a partner. And we have to do the whole protocol on combining feline families; his girls will have to stay in a bedroom for a full month.
I’ve been so looking forward to out living together, because I’m really tired of having to cross town to spend time together. And I realized last week that there’s some anxiety about that as well. I’ve been used to living alone (maybe with a roommate, but that’s not like a partner) for many years. What will this be like? Add the stress of combining cat households and it gets more significant. That didn’t go so incredibly well when Raja came to live here, and he and Butterscotch never were truly friendly–the formed a sort of detente.
So, after church we go back over to Josh’s house to do more cleaning and moving stuff. There’s more to write, but I’m starving for pancakes.
There are a number of basic truths that I’ve learned while working on my house. Here’s one.
I’ve learned that to be most successful, it’s best that one has experience in doing this type of work.
Next-best is having a level of intelligence to figure things out and think ahead.
I’ve learned time and time again that I’m often a moron about this stuff.
Next-next-best is to have high standards for the work.
Oh, this I have. And it’s a blessing and a curse. Quite often my standards surpass my ability to meet them, and I end up frustrated or re-working things ad nauseum and still not reaching the level of quality I want.
Next3-best is to be stubborn.
OK, now we’re getting somewhere. I have this in spades.
Let’s look at tonight. What’s on the agenda? Touch up the paint in the third bedroom and finish painting the door and install it. I’m touching up the paint, and I’m noticing that there a funny smudges of paint appearing on the floor. Huh? I cleaned those up last night. ? They’re so flat that almost look like– Oh. I stepped on paint on the drop cloth and I’m walking around the room. Take off shoes. Scrape up paint.
Now to the door. I’ve already gone through the whole thing of stripping the old paint, during which I gouged the door in a few places. To fix the gouges? Wood filler. Great! It’s dry, I sanded, here we go. I paint the door white… and it bleeds through. Second layer–bleeds through. Third layer–bleeds through (remember the deal about being stubborn?). Finally I checked with Josh, “Did you prime it?” Uh, no; I didn’t know I needed to. So last night I primed both sides. *sigh* ok.
Tonight. I paint the last coat with the color I want. Great. It’s covered. It’s done. Great. I install the new strike plate I bought. Doesn’t match the other hardware, but whatever–it looks good. At least it’s not painted over like it was (all the hardware: strike plates, hinges, etc. were all painted over! They looked like crap!). I’m replacing it all.
Next step: install the new door knob. OK, think now, Jay. Do this right so you don’t have to redo it. I have pretty good spatial skills, so this shouldn’t be a big deal. I imagine the door. I imagine standing at the door in the room. OK, this is right. I get out the door knob. Oh look, it comes with its own strike plate! *sigh* OK, well the other ones I bought can go to the Re-Store…
I’ve never installed a door knob before, although getting the old one off was a b****. It was the old kind with the cover plate, and I ended up using a straight-headed screwdriver, which took forever.
I read the instructions. Easy enough. Put in the thing, add the knobs (think, Jay: lock goes on the inside. Check!). Then put in the screws. What the– How do you easily screw in screws on a doorknob?! Answer: there is no easy way. I even tried Google searches. Nothing. I even bought one of those angled screwdriver things, and it was a pain. I was simultaneously stripping the screw head and scratching the knob with it.
I seem to notice repeatedly that it’s never the big things that slow me down. It’s always the little, piddliest s***** things that hang me up.
I finally ended up–you guess it–using a straight screwdriver and coming in at an angle. Whew. ok. Done. The screw is a bit stripped, but I’ll never have to take it off, so who cares (you’re smart enough to see where this is headed; smarter than me, obviously).
Next, the hinges. I bought these nice hinges that match the knobs. They have square corners instead of rounded ones, so I screw them in, then use a utility knife to mark the parts I have to carve out. I thought that was pretty smart, actually. I like doing these kinds of things empirically. It worked well. I need to fix some of the paint, but so be it. I installed both hinges on the door. Great.
Next, let’s install the door. I take it in to the room and– Wait. Why is the knob so high? Oh, cuz I’m a jackass is why–when I was visualizing the door I had it upside-down. That means I (!#$%*$#$%) installed the door knob with the lock out! (^%^#$%~#$!#$!) OK, deal with that in a second. First get empirical again: put the door on the jamb, and take a scraper and hammer it at the edges to mark where I need to trim.
Next is the knob, but I need another success first. A little one will do. I take off the shiny brass strike plate and put on the matching one. yeah. a success. far out.
Now take off the door knob (forever), switch it around and install it again (forever and a day). OK, time I’ll never get back in this lifetime, but the knob is right now.
Then take off the door and trim the wood. Put the door back on. Hm. The paint isn’t perfect. Maybe a light sanding, but NOT TONIGHT.
Apart from that, just the shelf and rod in the closet and closet doors. although the opening is 3-1/8″ larger than the standard door size. I’ll get frustrated with that tomorrow…
I’m funny sometimes. Josh and I were hosting a friend couple for dinner and games at my house Friday night. I had it in my schedule on three separate days to clean the house. Too tired the first, and didn’t feel like it the second. I ended up doing it Saturday–the day of.
Anyway, I made a great stew with seitan (I had vegehoovians in the house) and cleaned like a crazy man. A little window into my psyche: I cleaned all of the obvious stuff, and ended up doing things like thoroughly cleaning my nightstand, etc.
I put the stew on too late, so I had to throw it into the pressure cooker in two batches to get it done. It turned out perfectly–even I was impressed. A recipe of my own making. I also made cornbread from the Moosewood book. Yum. I just had time to cut my hair and shower after Josh arrived and putting the cornbread in the oven before our friends arrived.
Great dinner, wonderful games. We played Hoopla, which my sister Jane just gave us. Very fun! We also played, of course, Settlers of Catan, which Josh and I both like. After our friends left, I threw stuff in the dishwasher and set it to go. I love having a clean kitchen – it doesn’t happen as often as I’d like.
Josh and I both slept poorly last night. He left a bit after 7 am to get home to work on a cabinet with his brother, and I slept in, then went to church. People were surprised to see me there without Josh–I think it was the second time I’d gone there alone. Nice service and sermon on the bent reed and dim wick.
I came home, shoveled, and finished the kitchen. Lunch and a nap. Worked on the third bedroom–replacing the light switches with new white ones, and removing the casings from the doorway and closet.
Dinner and now futzing on the computer. With our first anniversary coming up, I went back and read the first couple weeks of Josh’s and my email correspondence (anyone who knows me won’t be surprised to know I save all email correspondence). So interesting to read. Even though a year isn’t a very long time, a lot has developed between Josh and me in that time. It’s nice to see where we started.
Off to do more work on the bedroom.
I’m very excited to announce that I completed installation of the last piece of hardwood flooring last night. The project has taken almost a year, mainly due to my just not getting to it.
The last two rows took about as long as any 10 other rows to install. It’s always so futzy having to drill manually and nail with a hammer, instead of using the flooring nailer. The last piece of the penultimate row was particularly frustrating: The nails were bending, and I simply couldn’t get the right angle at it to drive them home. I ended up having to split the piece with a hammer and chisel and do it again. Then on the final row my drill bit broke, and I almost set the house on fire after taking off my sweatshirt and accidentally dropped the sleeve on the halogen lamp I was using. I caught it after it started smoking.
While the flooring isn’t perfect, I’m quite pleased. There are some gaps here and there, although they’ll mostly close up during the warmer months.
Now on to a new adventure: painting and replacing the ugly trim I removed!
Boy, Saturday is a blur to me now… I got some stuff done around the house and on my desk. Paul came up and we went out with Adam and Rachel to Sa Bai Thong for dinner. It was a lot of fun, as I was expecting. Rachel and her little sister (as in Big Brothers, Big Sisters) picked out a glass pendant with a cat’s face etched in the back, which Rachel gave to me while we were waiting for a table. How sweet!
After dinner we went to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Very funny. Just the shift that I needed. Paul and I then watch the abysmal Saturday Night Live, then he took off and I went to bed. Another night sleeping without the boy. Good rest.
Sunday I caught up on a bunch of correspondence, including notes from people about Butterscotch. I also spent some time talking with my friend Kathy, who is putting her 18 year old cat, KC, down on Wednesday. We’ve made an even better connection of late. I got caught up with my personal accounting, and cleaned my desk off to a certain extent. All immediate stuff is caught up. Feels good.
Then it was time for Butterscotch to see Cynthia. She was thrilled that he’s even better today. She shared with me that she was expecting Friday that it was going to be time to put him down. However, he’s very bright, eating, drinking, sociable. His face is a bit of a mess with the ulcers, but she said they’d clear up in two weeks. She gave me a supplement made from olive leaf that has antimicrobial properties to be mixed in his food. I stayed for dinner and had a nice visit with Paul & Cynthia.
I returned home and realized that all the meds and supplements are getting a bit complicated. I need to have them very well organized for next week when I’ll be out of town. Dale has already agreed to do half the shifts (he needs stuff in the morning and evening), and Cynthia suggest I hire a vet tech to handle the other half. I sat down at the computer and prepared a checklist system in Excel so that each item could be checked off, and initials put down for the shift. Perhaps a bit of overkill, but with multiple people, I want everyone understanding what’s going on while I’m gone. In the morning he gets three pills, plus three supplements in his food and 2 homeopathics in his water. At night he gets two pills and one supplement in food. Plus washing his eyes both shifts and putting in eye goop to protect his eyes from corneal ulcers. It looks like a lot on paper, but it goes pretty quickly.
I mixed up his food and some water for his nightly supplements. He’s not eating a whole lot because we’re reducing the Dex, plus cats get motivated to eat by smelling the food. He can barely breathe through his nose, so he can’t smell. I got out the big plastic syringe that Cynthia gave me, and put the food in it. Off to the bathroom we went. I simply put the end in the side of his mouth and squeeze some food in. Most goes in him, some goes on the front of him and some goes on the counter. At one point a little piece of tuna got stuck in the end. I pushed and pushed, and finally it let go—you get the picture: it sprayed all over me and the bathroom. Nice tuna shirt…
New night regimen, per Cynthia. Food, water and litter all go in the bedroom, and the door is closed. She explained to me that cats are nocturnal, and they have to check the territory at night. Too tiring. He slept all night with me instead. At one point he was curled in a ball next to me, and my arm was curled around his back. Very nice.
This morning meds went pretty well, and he ate some of his magic food. Not enough, though, so I’m going to have to do the syringe again before my shower (which is the best time for it…)
While anything can still happen with him, he’s definitely turned a corner, and I’m incredibly grateful. We now simply do the treatment and hope the rally continues. If his body can’t sustain anything and he goes back down, there will be no more heroic measures. However, I have lots of hope at this point.