Life’s a Train Wreck

November 18, 2012

From Janelle:

After the last post some friends expressed worries about us.  If I had any concerns about the strength of my marriage I would not be doing this.  Lewis and I discussed it before we started and agreed the posts would never be hurtful and if either of us had any reservations about anything it would not be published.  Honestly, we just thought people would find our predicaments funny.

Part of being married or being in a relationship is disagreeing.  Once upon a time I thought that a perfect relationship was never disagreeing, never not being in sync, never being angry with each other, never not being, well, perfect!!  We are brain washed as little girls that a man will fulfill all of our fantasies and whisk us away to a castle in the sky.  It didn’t matter that I had a living example to base life on, the romance novels and chick flicks have a strong influence of their own.  My parents have been together almost 50 years and while their marriage is, like all, not perfect, they have found a balance. 

The remodel process hasn’t been all bad.  Contractor Don and his team have been great to work with, Lewis and I have been communicating a million times better than on the last project, the Dream Team of designers is amazing, (Dana Jones the Kitchen Consultant, Cynthia Pastor of Cynthia Pastor Designs, Susan Steele of Fibers and Floors).  The blog is about the negative aspects and the disputes because, well, it’s called Remodeling Purgatory.  Who wants to read about how fabulously things are going?  A train wreck is what people crane their necks to see, not cars smoothly humming along a track. 

The blog has forced us to discuss everything and really talk our differences through, to dissect and plod through each issue until it is fully resolved and not left to fester like flesh eating bacteria until it destroys a body part.  Guys want to just “get over it” but a conflict needs to be scrutinized and inspected and both parties need to be heard so that the issue can be put away and forgotten about.

We know we’re not the only ones going through this and at times it is painful but the humor outweighs the heartaches!

 From Lewis:

Of course you hear the horror stories of marriages falling apart because of a remodel.  And yes I can see how and why that happens but we are making it through, of course with the occasional raised voices and disagreements.  Most of the biggest disagreements come from trying to figure out when Janelle wants to discuss something and it always seems that my timing is off.  So far the train has not derailed.

What misconceptions do people have about you?

 

 

 

 

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United We Stand

November 10, 2012

From Janelle:

Our last post was heated and I could feel gasps shooting through the Internet like sparks flying off a welder’s torch.  This is a love story in a twisted kind of way, a true relationship story, a life story.  We all go to work or about our daily lives and put on our happy face, donning a smile as an accessory, meet others for drinks, dinner, nod, laugh, all is good.  The reality of life is that there are conflicts and how we deal with them is what matters. 

The installers reversed the windowpanes yesterday and each guy asked the same question, “Really, you want the textured side out not the smooth side?”  YES!!!!!!!!!!!!  I studied the panes when I got home tonight and it looks FABULOUS!  Yes, I noticed and YES I would have cringed every time I walked through the door if it had not been “corrected” and now diffused light light plays off textured glass rather than bouncing every which way into the night.

The chainmail in our armor has been repaired, the blood wiped away, a Band-Aid patched the wound without stitches and we are once again united, us against the world, a natural smile in place, no painted on accessories necessary.

From Lewis:

I think there is still a dent in my armor. Luckily my skin is thick.  Once again there is balance in the house.  Or as close as it can get for now.

            How thick is your skin?  What type of armor do you wear?


More than just Broken Glass

November 4, 2012

From Janelle:

It is not prudent to leave town while remodeling but long term plans to visit friends and family in the Pacific Northwest beckoned and we departed with strict instructions to the contractor not to do any work for the four business days we were gone.

Approaching the front door I asked “Why is there glass in the door when we left there were wood planks?  And WHY is it installed with the textured side on the inside rather than the outside???”

 Fuming I called the contractor and he explained that glass had been installed “correctly” and “logically”. A call to the glass company owner resulted in an additional explanation that the glass had been installed “correctly”.  She clarified that they “always install windows with the texture on the inside” and I patiently inquired if that was perhaps because the textured side is the pretty side and didn’t she think that when guests approach my front door they should see the beautiful pattern, not the plain flat shiny back surface???  “Oh, well, I see your point.” Ugh!  $250 is the fee to re-install the panels “correctly” and hopefully not one of the sixteen firmly siliconed panes will break. 

Light reflects off the non-textured glass

Light reflects off the non-textured glass

Ready to rumble I told Lewis that we would send the bill to the contractor since it was against our explicit instructions that work not be done while we were away and finally Lewis fessed up, “Well, I think that maybe I MIGHT have told him it was ok to come into the house and install the windows”.  Smooth move ex-lax.

From Lewis:

Confession!!!

Yes, Janelle did not want anyone in the house and demanded it.  Due to a mix-up at the glass store the wrong size was ordered and they busted their asses to try and get it ready to install ASAP because we were leaving town and wanted the house to be secure.  For temporary security plywood was installed in the door openings.  As we were getting ready to leave I had a conversation with contractor Don and we discussed that it would be better to install next week but if there was a scheduling problem and it needed to be done I said go ahead but don’t tell Janelle.  Better to ask forgiveness than reason with a stubborn woman!  I figured how could installing glass go wrong unless it breaks.  Well we returned home and I thought the door looked great.  Janelle is pissed because someone was in the house although we have given the contractor that we trust a key and alarm code.

Now to prove a point and that she is in charge she got the decorator to agree it is wrong and is now demanding it be changed!!!  “I cannot live with it!” First of all you have to see that it looks good on both sides.  A couple buddies of mine were over and totally loved the door but did not notice the windows were in backwards.  I’m guessing that the installers did a professional job and sealed those in to last forever unless broken. Soooo to take them out risks the possible scratching of the door which scratches easily and breaking all the tempered glass trying to remove them from the seal but I guess it doesn’t matter!! I’m staying out of it and hope it works out.

From Janelle:

NOW he wants to stay out of it????????????????????             

1.            I do trust our contractor.  Our outside project contractor a couple years ago insisted that we allow him to re-pour the concrete stairs in the front entry and against my better judgment I acquiesced to his and Lewis’ pressure to do it while we were out of town.  Every time I walk through the doorway I cringe at the wrinkled and lumpy concrete. 

Lumpy concrete

Lumpy concrete

2.            “The guys” (ie contractor, contractor’s lead man and Lewis) have run this project with little input from me.  We dug to China to replace a main sewer line in the kitchen, headers were installed to the perfect height, electrical wires and plumbing lines were run.  That is their department and I knew they had it under control. 

3.            When we began this venture  I had a conversation with “The guys”.   Since I am not home during the day and Lewis is, “the guys” and I agreed that I would have final sign off on anything in the design arena and that if something was done that I didn’t want or didn’t like or didn’t ask for when I got home if I didn’t like it we would rip it out.  We would then discuss who would pay for it.  It would depend on the situation and thus, we all have a vested interest in good communication.

4.            Nothing good could come of work done while we were away.  Why risk duplicating the crimped concrete disaster?  

5.            The glass was supposed to be installed the day before we left.  It wasn’t.  So?  The installation could wait until we returned.

6.            No one asked me, the Homeowner with the Dream how I wanted the windowpanes installed.  His buddies think it looks good?  My designer and every woman I’ve spoken with agree; the textured side should be seen from the outside!

7.            My husband and I are supposed to be a team, us against the world, an impenetrable fortress against all outsiders and evil.  Our armor has been pierced and blood has been drawn.  Replacing broken glass will not fix that.

            How do you resolve conflicts with your partner?

Textured glass mutes and absorbs light reflections

Textured glass mutes and absorbs light reflections


November 3, 2012

Love the eloquence of the prose of this article and that the author and her husband view house porn together.

the rhythm method

If the bookmarks on our family tablet are any guide, we are consumed by home real estate. The top two sites are realestate.com.au and domain.com.au, and my husband visits them everyday – often several times a day – just as one might check the weather or the news. It’s odd; we’re not in the market for a home. We have every intention of staying in our current home while the kids are in school.

My husband, it would seem, is addicted to house porn.

There is no greater temptation than other people’s domestic spaces. Online and in print, homes have shrugged their mowing overalls and their aprons, and instead prowl around wearing nothing but a pair of Jimmy Choos. In house porn, there are no shoe baskets boiling over at the backdoor, no hooks creaking with school bags and weather gear, no rubbish to take out. The stone island bench…

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