So i took a month off….at first because i was flat out busy and then it just got to be a habit. What do you say when you get what you want and it still doesn’t taste right? I elected to say nothing. Someone asked if i was ‘all moved in’ …what do you say to that when half of everything you own was still outside covered in tarps….and the i got the…’are you loving it?’ to which i didn’t respond at all. ..see it gets hard… i have exactly what i wanted, a small house all my own…but to complain about the string of crap that just isn’t ‘right’ yet just makes me sound like an whiny bitch. I neither love it nor hate it. . . but I am warming to it.
After some mis-steps, the ‘magic porch’ is finally taking shape…the original contractor, took the deposit, put in a back door which stepped out into mid air like a Warner Bros Cartoon and then quit the job. It took a number of threats and embarrassing phone calls to his materials vendors as well as the state attny general (when are people going to learn NOT to fuck with me?) but I got the deposit back, cept for the costs of the door. I even got him to take back the 2000 dollars worth of ugly custom ordered windows. Then there was a week of trotting 6 or 7 more contractors in to look at the problem, none of which would do it before Spring of 2015. Finally I got in a guy recommended by the folks who fixed the basement…he’s working out very well…yet it is a constant struggle, because EVERY Contractor and i mean EVERY FUCKING ONE of them, insisted I don’t want what i am actually asking them to build. Where I wanted a traditional screen porch, nearly all insist that what I actually want ia an addition that would be heated and insulated and drywalled and so forth and so on… i’m thinking of getting a t-shirt that says ‘just build what i told you, damnit!’ So far the only mission creep, i have had to pay for is the extra 10 inches of insulation in the floor.
The basement was a less dramatic story…it was FAR FAR wetter than advertised..the was a constant 2″ pond under the stairs, and more moisture than the dehumidifier could handle. I didn’t dare store ANYTHING down there until after the big dig. The $5000 big dig, was well worth the expense, after the floor was jackhammered and the drains went in, the walls were wrapped with plastic. I still have to add some insulation to the ceiling and some of the nooks and crannies, but as long as the dehumidifier is working, it is acceptably moist.
I dropped, a few hundred on some used cabinets, a spectacular steel workbench and a counter top, it will make an excellent workshop. But so far everything is still in boxes….i think i need to have a baseboard added to the kitchen which would be right above the workbench..and i will probably have to disassemble it all to get at that spot. I try not to look at the bank account, every day something else needs to be bought and paid for, and for every $300 worth of brand new insulation I try to compensate with used clothing or food from the dollar store. I am used to being poor, i am just not used to HAVING to buy something Right Damn Now.
The Attic doesn’t look all that much different..i’m still sleeping in the living room, on that goddamn futon..i wouldn’t be so pissed if i had bought it used, but i bought it new…who DOES THAT!?! but now i have piled feather bed and cushions on it, so my back doesn’t ache as much. What i HAVE done in the bedroom is add all the Corning Products – the foam AIR CHANNELS cost $17 a Package of 10…i think i had to buy 4 or 5…and that’s JUST for the big room, now i am stuffing insulation $600 under the strapping…it’s a lot like trying to pad out a herd of christmas santas. I can’t seem to work up there more than 2 or 3 hours at a time before i get sick of what i am doing and take a 28 hour break.
So it’s taking me weeks alone to do what a contractor would have done in a couple of days with a helper. I am JUST not one of those people who take pride in saying ‘I did this all by myself!’ fuck that. I’d rather just have it DONE by someone else so i can move on with my life. Though my clothes and my brand new bed are still in boxes, I guess i am just not in that much of a hurry to get it done. I STILL have to fix the floor and some how get it paneled before i can make a bedroom out of the attic that they pretended was ‘sleep ready’ when they sold the house.
Working up there in an enclosed space, i have a lot of conversations with myself… mostly along the lines of ‘you got what you wanted, now shut the fuck up’ - I knew the house would have problems…and i am certain a bigger house or cheaper house would have had more and more expensive ones. So i get pissed at the problem, and the cost, then i get pissed at myself for being pissed about it. I got what i wanted and its still not enough…well it’s certainly not something i want to write about every day…”dear diary today I got sick and tired of my new life and had a good cry,” tomorrow is another day. I have hung a LOT of hopes on that damn porch…all my books, most of my business, nearly all my clothes and half the cats are all still in boxes. I keep telling myself that once the porch is enclosed, once i have the extra 190 square feet, i can finally GET STARTED. I can clear out the living room, which i swear to got has a tiny walkway between cages on one side, boxes of books on the other and the single bed futon. i think i have twisted my ankle permanently, crab walking back and forth. Once the cages are gone away, i can move the boxes into the porch, wash the floor, throw down some adhesive vinyl flooring and set up the book cases….once the boxes are GONE gone, (really i won’t feel at home until my books are on shelves) the porch will have some basic furniture and cat perches….these wicker couches i picked up yesterday for cheap money… i just threw a coat of $1 a gallon marked down Cabot Stain on them. The porch will be 12×16 with a ceiling that starts at 8 feet and goes up onto the roof a little bit, making it the largest room in the house. I do expect to be using it A LOT, if only to open and sort boxes. Truly one day, I may run insulation into the walls and ceiling but not before this winter. I just won’t have the money for it.
You know every September for the last few years, orders start coming in like clockwork after the dead zone of the summer time? well this year…not so much. orders trickle in, leaving me to think that winter will be worse than normal. Things are so bad that i keep thinking i need to get a job outside of the house..then i run down all the jobs i have had and all the possible ones i could get hired to do, and then i stop thinking about it..why would i do that to those people? they hire me on good faith to do whatever it is we are both excited about, and then realize that I am a very large personality taking up space in their very small office. I need to find ways to work in the house alone, and not inflict myself on people i might actually LIKE. I started burrowing through the parts of the business that isn’t in boxes. I know once the books are shelved I will find a number of them to sell, and I started experimenting with sending the Inkredible erasers TO Amazon to let them fulfill the orders, I figure if folks can save on the shipping I may actually sell more of them. I have such a list of projects to work on that could bring in a trickle of money, but instead I have to fuss around here, just to get shit done before the REAL weather sets in.