I think it's agreed. We all like Mike.
<-- That's him.
* * *
I think I'm flipping out.
I have men in my life calling me difficult. (And that's the NICE word.)
My kids ignore me.
Women avoid me.
And if by chance, all of the above get together, they all have a good (nervous) laugh at my expense.
They don't understand me and they don't like me very much.
I am annoyed, and this is my official vent. (Nod. Get a writer angry, and you just may end up the subject of a writer's whim.)
Perhaps you're wondering what I'm ranting about? I'm talking about house rennovations. Do you realize that statistics show that fifty percent of couples who rennovate a home get divorced before the rennovations are completed?
That's looking very good to me about now.
Forget about the house. I want my life rennovated.
* * *
Now yes, I like Mike.
I like Mike very much.
But he is, afterall a man, and a carpenter at that. I ask you all, has any one of you been stupid enough to whisper the word "paint" around a carpenter? I advise you not to do this. Wait until the sawdust settles. Painting is a quiet task, and is best done
when carpenters are asleep. Then there's not a damn thing they can do about it.
and yes, menfolk, I like wood. (In fact, I think wood looks good on a man.REAL good--wicked smile--But that's another rant.)
I adore the grain, and would prefer to stain then cover with color--if it's not overdone and dark. In small spaces, it tends to be cavelike.
Hmm. Maybe that's the idea. I can just hang from the rafters by my feet in the daytime and flye the friendly skies at night.
Now where did all of this start?
Well I thought it was a simple request.
In this tiny house, that suited ONE person quite comfortably, the washing machine was located next to the kitchen sink. I, being a woman, (I am a woman despite what the hormone levels suggest), looked at that space and thought, "Now that would be a fine place for my lovely new top of the line Maytag dishwasher."
I looked at the washer, and looked out of the window to a covered patio, which already housed the dryer.
Call me difficult, but?
It occurred to me, that since the water line was right there, couldn't we just move the washer to the other side of the wall? I mean, it wouldn't be side by side, (like on tv or in those lovely Maytag ads) but at least it would be closer, right? And besides? We needed the space.
NO PROBLEM Karen! That's a great idea!
And oh, btw? Since we are tearing out the cabinets anyway, could we put the refrigerator back where it belongs? (Y'see? The cabinets were built in the sixties to house the frig--a sixties midgetfridge--so the newer model was just put against the wall in front of the space, rendering the former proper space "dead".
I hesitated to ask. That meant we would have to raise the existing cabinetry ("pressboard" too, serenity types disgustedly, but okay, okay, I know some tricks of the trade to make it look like good wood)
NO PROBLEM Karen! That's easy!
oh. And while we're at it? Could we extend the cabinets out under the window to provide a workspace and house the unsightly garbage can?
It beats the hell out of building drawers Mike smiled.
and the Island wasn't even my idea.
That was Mike's.
I just wanted a service window with a counter so I wouldn't have to "slop my pigs" daily on the very nice dining room set which occupies the space in front of the kitchen.
But Mike wanted to give me an island, and I protested--that looks like a support wall.
It sure does.
(they told me what)
We'll leave the side walls up, and put in a header.
"Fine," I said. Thinking that when the roof caves in, I'll get the actual kitchen of my dreams.
So the wall came down. Most of it, anyway.
Then there was the stove.
Not only was it olive green, it was electric. Not only was it electric, it shocked the hell out of me every time I tried to cook. "Fine with me," I told the husband. "I'm sick of cooking anyway."
So he got me a new stove.
And yes, it had to be gas.
(If any of you cook, then you understand why it has to gas.)
And of course I had to have a new oven. Do ya'll know how hard it is find a gas built-in, in stainless.
I settled for black.
We'll just have to paint the refrigerator to match. (I didn't have the nerve to ask for a new fridge considering that we own three and had already given one away.)
I'll do it myself, nevermind.
We decided to run piping from the gas water heater through the ceiling--down the wall to the stove.
So...shrug, we tore out the ceiling. (Just where the piping would go.)
Yanno? I was thinking. There's really not enough cabinet space in this kitchen anyway, but if we're going to go galley style, we're going to need a pantry. A REAL pantry.
If we just take that bedroom door and reframe it to the hallway, and close that other door that goes NOWHERE, and use these nice bifold doors that we acquired from a salvage yard, then? We'd have a pantry.
"Now that's an EXCELLENT idea!"
And it needs a light of course.
NO PROBLEM. Mike said he'd even put sensor lights that would pop on automatically when I opened the door.
DAMN I like Mike.
And I'm sure the kids will scrape that contact paper off of those high accent windows. That would really let some light in here.
"I'll do it!" Zach yelled. And he did. (It was quite a job too.) He's the only one who didn't act like he was being crucified too.
* * *
Now, to move the washing machine--I noticed that the slab that had been added on before the addition of the canopy, was wisely sloped to allow the rain to run off away from the foundation.
Yanno? I said, "If you put a washer on that, it's going to stop every time it hits a spin cycle--the legs won't adjust to accomodate that much of an angle."
They agreed and understood.
"I'll just build a deck there," Mike offered helpfully. "And while I'm at it, I'll build it to house the outdoor fridge and the freezer chest too."
Um...shouldn't we take measurements?
Naw...I can just eye it up.
The service deck came out lovely.
Perfectly level. And yanno? It would have accomodated the washer, frig, & freezer, but I wasn't counting on re-using the old kitchen sink outdoors. (Well, it's a cool idea--a great space to clean fish.)
But it had to go next to the washer for easier access to the water line.
This time I said, NO PROBLEM.
The chest freezer can go on the slab--it wasn't in danger of falling on anyone, as the refrigerator had been.
Yes, the deck was beautiful.
Thank you Mike.
Now, G? Where's that white marine paint, I'll just slap a coat on and then we can put the appliances on there--
Nope--the deck didn't break--but?
lightning bolts came from the eyes of the men.
"Paint? Girly White PAINT???"
I had blasphemied.
"It has to at least be sealed," I protested."This is Lousisana, for chrissakes--we're in danger of losing our termite control contract NOW because we need a load of dirt to shore up the slab."
Their eyes narrowed in amazing synchronicity.
Oh bother! The witch was making sense. (again)
But just a clear water seal.
Um, actually, I was thinking that grayish blue stuff.
C'mon guys. It will hide the dirt (we have dogs & teenagers) AND it will match the blue exterior of the house.
But you should have seen the gloom.
"Now where's that white marine paint?"
"I want to paint this lattice that we're using to replace the privacy fence that the termites ate."
Their mouths were hanging open.
"So it will look pretty. That way? It will match the exterior of the house--blue & white--get it guys?"
But you won't see it! It's going to be covered in vines.
(We've intended to grow squash there)
"It won't ALWAYS be covered in vines."
And besides, Mike protested, it's gonna match. It'll match the wood.
"Well Mike, it would indeed match all the unpainted wood in your yard, but not in mine."
I heard him think.
We both smiled at each other sweetly.
I shrugged and said, "It's no biggie."
"But is that a full gallon, G?"
"I want to make sure we have enough."
"I want to paint the bricks in front of the house."
I was working Mike's nerves.
You're going to paint brick?
He shook his head and looked like he might cry.
"Since his Dad put up blue vinyl siding with white trim, the stone bricks look out of place."
I lit a cigarette and exhaled at him.
"My roses are going to look great against the white."
I explained to G that I was going to plant a white Rose bush, in memory of my father, whose casket was covered in white roses, and right next to it, I intended to plant a red rose bush, in memory of his father, who, as a Master Mason, had been covered in Red Rose Petals as part of the Masonic Burial Rite.
"Well you are going to get out there and paint bricks behind the thorns every year..."
It's a deal.
Oh...and I want to replace the red rocks that are in the garden too."
With white pebbles.
I wasn't asking YOU to do it, just pick some up when you go to Home Depot for the waterseal. Thompson's too. Not some cheap offbrand.
* * *
I sat at the table, sketching out shelving placements we'd need for books, videos, dvd's and vinyls.
They looked at each other fearfully and went inside.
* * *
"Is she ever happy?" I heard Mike ask my husband.
"All she needs is a good--"
"Anybody know where I can get one?" I interrrupted.
"I know, let's hire a crew from Home Depot for that."
I smiled sweetly.
* * *
Call me a bitch and I'll live up to the name...