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Showing posts from May, 2012

The Big Dig

OK, sorry Boston.......but the Big Dig there took too long and cost too much money.
Our Big Dig may start tomorrow, Wednesday, May 30....a day that will be etched in my mind.  Will it be similar to man's stepping on the moon or the Titanic sinking?
A car is sometimes like a house.  In the olden days, when you bought a car you got four wheels, the vehicle and seats.  Radio was extra.  So was A/C.  And cruise.  And a bunch of other stuff that is now pretty standard on a car.
Houses work the same way.  Once you enter the whirlpool of construction you find the hidden costs.  Over the allowance.  Not included.  Not planned for.
So you add a nickel here and a dime there and a quarter here and pretty soon the budget starts to look like the national debt!
And when a "standard" item is provided, it is not always what you want in your house.
So decisions get made.
Granite counters or food for the next six months?
In floor heating in a bathroom or gas for the lawnmower?
And so it goes.
I do…

So much for Made in America!!

Progress is measured in time.  And dollars.We have a culvert, the septic permit came through, the building permit is next and then.....voila, a huge hole in the ground.  And in the pocket. We picked out appliances this week.  And carpeting.  And tiles.  And siding colors.  And a bunch of other stuff.   Maybe it's age.....maybe it's me.  I get real involved in conversation and after about 5 minutes I am gone!  My mind is all over the place.  I'm not listening, not interested, and looking for an escape.  Maybe I have been that way all my life...but I notice it now.  I can't talk for more than two minutes on the phone before I have a ultra strong desire to hang up.  Talking with Mike at ALM Cabinets about cabinets, counter tops, sinks....my eyes just glazed over and I started to nod and murmur "uh huh."  For the love of money, I have no idea what he was saying! Emily calls and after about two minutes, I am done.  Gone.  In a different place. That said, we bought app…

I said culvert, not Culvers!

I can get pretty excited over a pile of gravel and some steel.
We have a culvert.
Now for you city folk, a culvert is like a big straw that goes under your driveway in the ditch area.  Without it, you can't get into your yard.  Without it, water can't flow freely down hill, like my rationality does after two glasses of wine.  Flow downhill freely, that is.
We have been to a flooring guy, cabinet guy, and today we went to the fireplace people and the tile and carpet folks.  And appliance shop.  I tell you, there are a lot of decisions.
There is also a lot of expense.
I can hear the dollar signs multiplying as we pick out material and await an estimate to see where it falls in the area of allowances for the house.  I know costs will be over, it's now a question of:  How MUCH?
One of the problems with watching a show like House Hunters is you see something and think:  I want that.  Then you find out the cost.
I sort of zone out during these discussions....like a student losing focus…

A floor by any name is just a floor

Visited the floor guy today....quite an experience.  I was able to tell him what we did not want more than what we wanted as a floor in the new house.
For economy reasons, cardboard was my first choice.  But someone said that was not good enough for her.  Ditto the paint the underlay brown idea.  Because of allergy concerns, we also ruled out sod.  Figured I would not have to cut it much since it was inside.
I know more about flooring now than I did a year ago.  I learned the flooring I really, really, really liked won't work for us.  It is a hand-scraped reclaimed white oak with a dark brown stain.  But when we actually saw and felt a sample, we realized it was not for us.  There are ripples, by design, in the wood and I am afraid it won't be smooth enough for us old farts.
Pre-finished flooring was an option, but the beveled edges and less than natural look on some of the samples wasn't what we were looking for.
Once we found a red oak we liked, then we had to talk about pat…

It's the mind that goes first

Maybe building a house isn't such a good idea.  I mean, we need a house.  We want one that will be accessible in the future.
But maybe what I need is a house that doesn't take much thought.
Realized that after talking to Todd at the park district today.  Todd.  Now I've been in three plays with the guy, been to Abraham's with him after rehearsal, talked to him endless hours.  Todd.  Even as I said it, I knew something wasn't right.  But Curt was very understanding and did not correct me.
So here is what I'm thinking:  a house with a brain.  Because mine is obviously oozing out like the custard in an  Ollie's  cone on a 90 degree day.
This house would have a central computer that ran everything.  Why? you may ask.
So I don't leave the laundry in the drier after the buzzer sounds and let my clothes get all wrinkly.
So I don't leave lights on in the garage or basement after checking for burglars.
So I don't have to lay awake wondering if that sound was a…