Patty and Mike (Briggs) and Sparky (Ann) joined us for an overnight—afternoon at pondside, dinner on the water (all you can eat salmon and roast), with drinks, back to a little sit by the pond at night—dinner cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene, and breakfast at pondside this morning…we had a very lovely time, the weather was perfect, and the impending company got us to actually put the gardens (front and back) into apple-pie order, and also finally! to get the detritus of the construction projects sorted into order and put away—(wild cheering here!)
Our new resolve is to undertake each new project and clean it up and put it away before taking on another, and we have finally figured how the bathroom project got us so deep in piles of bits and pieces—most projects, eg, installing the new back door, require a certain set of tools (drill, screwdrivers, shims, carpenter’s level, door, hardware and molding, paint and spackling, sandpaper, plus generate a certain amount of crud: powdered wallboard, scraps of wood, spare shims, old screws, and scraps of sandpaper, used paint trays, etc—and you put in the door, put away the tools, throw away the waste, paint, toss the scrap, and you’re done.
Not so the bathroom. Finding a soft spot in the floor required floor repair, a soft spot in the wall meant pulling tile, new wallboard, patching holes, in flooring, leveling new flooring, replacing floor tiles, plumbing to fix the leaks, removal of a wall in Jane’s closet, new plumbing for tub drain, shower, faucets; new countertop, removal of sink, new plumbing, wall plaster, paint, new sofit, wiring, new sockets, new lights, hole in ceiling, work in attic, installing exhaust fan, creating wiring, changing receptacle boxes, new faceplates for the boxes, including creating one where there was none with that combo of switch types, tiling, murals, curtain hanging, window repair…I mean, it was all layered, so you couldn’t just finish a job and put the stuff away. It was do part of this job so you can do job 2, then do part of another job so you can get this far, but you haven’t even gotten to the grouting and the curtains and all… So it was a never-ending, deepening pile of tools (buy a new bit to replace the one that went missing somewhere at the bottom of the pile) and discover that the whole commode has to be taken apart, and you need a special wrench to get the drain out of the tub…and install the new one. Not mentioning pipe wrench, pliers—well, you get the picture. We hired done not so much the job we COULDN’T do, but the guys with the EQUIPMENT we didn’t want to buy, like a watercooled tile cutter…for those monster thick 12″ tiles. Not to mention the mural.
Anyway, say that one end of my kitchen counter was piled with boxes of assorted bits, drivers, sandpaper, you name it, and the mudroom had stacks of other stuff, and the dining table had stuff on it from the garden…
So Jane started cleaning in advance of my birthday, and I joined the cleanup, and we worked our tails off, right down to filling the birdfeeders, coiling the hose in the front garden in neat stacks, Jane got the moon gate repaired and up again, got the garden chairs reassembled from their takedown for reworking, and the paths groomed and the clippings added to the mulch pile and the gate leveled, and created a proper guest room out of the OTHER scene of chaos in the house, the basement…all this in a couple of frenzied weeks.
We were ready for that cruise. We really were. And ready for some party and good times, which we had, out watching the stars by the pond, and feeding the fishes at dawn, with the little sparrows, my rowdy crew that I love even if they are sparrows, having their baths in the waterfall, and finding out that the feeders are full again—I have a strict ethic about birdfeeders: if you’re going to do them, you prepare to do them through the hard season, so you don’t get them to depend on that food and then take it away during the big storm. So the feeders, idle for the last whole year, are now active again, and thus will be available no matter what winter throws at us.
I have a clean kitchen, well, once we mop up after the waffles this morning—and all’s well with the world.