How Did We Live Like That?

August 25, 2013

From Janelle:

Lewis was looking through some old photos for structural issues and lighting diagrams.  I gasped when I saw them.  How did we live like that for so long?  I knew that it was horrid but honestly, I’m surprised some of our friends didn’t have me checked into a mental hospital for hoarding or just plain Bad Taste Detox.

The photos made me cringe.  The carpet was disgusting, boxes were stacked everywhere, kitchen cabinets were dirty because the painter used matte paint instead of satin, the temperature on the stove was unreadable, holes for structural investigations peppered walls, the cat peed on furniture cushions so we tossed them and the body line from our Tagging Party was impossible to hide.  I guess that I just knew that it wouldn’t be like that forever but eeeewwww!  We’ve come a long way baby!

I guess drinking helped….

From Lewis:

Well the mental hospital is still an option but that mess was just the beginning. We are almost at the end and we are ok!

From Janelle:

Yes, I still love you!  It has been hard but things are still good.

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Good Friends, Good Food, Good Times

August 18, 2013

From Janelle:

Life is nothing without great friends and loved ones. Our “River Family” came together due to our passion for hot weather, fast boats, water skiing and unusual for the “river crowd”, an appreciation for the finer things in life. Jeff and Lisa accompanied us to The Hollywood Bowl on Friday and crashed on the Functional But Not Yet Completed HUDDLE Bed. The remaining River Family came to brunch on Saturday minus Mark and Val who were on lockdown due to babysitting commitments. Mark does not like to miss a party so we are anticipating a “one up” event soon!

EVERYONE was at the house on Friday. Every trade was represented; delivery, plumbing, carpentry, stone mason, cabinetry, metal working and stucco totaling 18 guys overall in the house and about 5 outside stuccoing. Electricians and painters were the only ones missing and painters were summoned but did not return Alberto’s call. It is funny how the trades operate, little bands of merry men traveling the highways from job to job like gypsies. I don’t know why but it cracks me up. Sometimes they’re scheduled and sometimes they just show up, two to three strong if they’re in the neighborhood to see if they can be of any use.

Lewis was cleared to go back to work next week so his supervising reign is coming to an end. It has been very helpful to have him home every day to answer any questions or deal with any situations that arise. There was so much going on at the house I decided to take some rare time off from the office and the pounding and drilling and hammering and sawing and yelling drove me nuts. Lewis is home with that every day and has never complained about the noise but then again, he is usually participating in all of those activities when he is at work. I often wonder why men yell at each other rather than speak but that is another topic for another day.

Friday accomplishments:
• Bar appliances were delivered and installed, minus the refrigerator as it wouldn’t fit past the entry way scaffolding; ugh!
• Interior doors were installed (finally!) so that our overnight guests had some privacy.
• Custom designed by Janelle stair railings were installed
• Base boards were installed.
• Drywaller patched various holes.
• Stone mason drilled hole in bar Sileston counter for Lewis’ kegerator spout. I was supposed to discuss some additional tile work with him but when I turned around he and his two assistants were gone.
• Cabinet was trimmed to squeeze in wine refrigerator. Curls of wood were everywhere.
• Cabinet installer Wayne was back to install more drawer pulls.
• Stucco guys smooth coated several walls. The entry way is to be completed and scaffolding removed on Wednesday but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Saturday’s activities:
• 11:00 Friends arrived for brunch
• 5:30 Friends left after brunch
• 5:30 Other friends in the neighborhood stopped by
• 6:00 My parents and niece Maddie came for dinner
• 12:00 Sleep

From Lewis:

Yes having friends is great. There were so many different activities going on Friday that it was hard to think that the house would be somewhat ready to entertain. Thanks to Alberto (Contractor Don’s right hand man) the house was presentable with the pink protective paper on the floor and card board and all the tools and trash gone. We were very pleasantly surprised to see how clean it was when we got home around 11:o8 after we were able to get the last pizza of the night on the way home from the Bowl. I am heading back to work this week and I’ve heard my return has been anticipated because it’s my turn in the cooking rotation at the station.

Good Friends

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Funky Door Handle for Sale

August 11, 2013

From Janelle:

I tried but I just couldn’t live with it.  The designer presented the funky front door pull with a few others and I selected it but after the hole drilling fiasco I just couldn’t live with the crooked thing.  Metalworker Extraordinaire Tom fabricated a new one utilizing the same holes and we all agreed that the squiggle just didn’t go with our hard edged style.  Yes, Laura, I realize that it mirrors our squiggly bedposts but remember, the bedroom furniture is from the 90’s and it will be gone; someday.

The floors should be finished Tuesday.  We are anxiously awaiting the removal of plastic coverings but the bare areas that we have seen are gorgeous.  The agonizing hours spent choosing wood seems to have paid off and so far I’m really happy with the color and grain.

Appliances were scheduled for delivery last week but the scaffolding remains in the entry way and the opening is too small.  The stucco guys are to return on Monday but so far they have been the least reliable of all the trades.

The Andy Warhol TV/guestroom and bathroom doors will be hung on Monday.  FINALLY!!  They could have been installed without the floors but waiting allows for hanging at just the perfect height.  Our guests will actually have some privacy.  We are pushing to get the HUDDLE bed/couch frame back from the chrome shop by Tuesday so it is ready for my niece on Wednesday.  Other friends will be arriving on Friday so right now it is a toss up on which guest will be the first to christen the HUDDLE bed.  The blow up mattress covered in construction dust because it was never put away properly may get one more spin.

From Lewis:

FINALLY!!!  I can say it “I TOLD YOU SO” I reluctantly went with the door handle but I did not like it. I’m glad Janelle was the one that goofed up that installation. And I had to watch it happen. Luckily Tom to the rescue.  Looks like things will look very different around here next week.

Front door with handle

Goodbye Squiggles


I Know I’m Weird, You Don’t Have to Tell Me

August 4, 2013

From Janelle:

The construction guys tell me I’m weird but really, they don’t need to, I know. I don’t like normal; normal is boring. I managed to squeeze away a few hours from work so that I could meet with the floor installers and banish the undesirable pieces to unnoticed corners and supervise the cabinet pull hole drilling. We all know how it went the last time I supervised hole drilling but in case you don’t remember, the front door handle is crooked, very crooked. The holes were drilled where I asked them to be so I have no one to blame but myself which is why I needed to be here. I was informed in no uncertain terms that I did not need to peer over the installers shoulder by both Contractor Don and Installer Wayne but I insisted and Wayne reluctantly agreed to meet back at the house after my meeting.

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We went over which size handles went where and he carefully measured and gave his Professional Opinion and together we agreed on the exact placement for the handles on each size of cabinet or drawer. I have learned over time that the minute you aren’t paying attention something will happen so I hung out in the kitchen, much to his annoyance. I stepped away for a bit and he drilled holes for the large handles rather than the smaller ones on a medium sized cabinet; ugh! We joked that he didn’t realize that I wanted the smaller ones because he had pulled off my carefully labeled pieces of tape marked with the size and location when I had my back turned. It worked out fine as either the smaller or larger size fit the door and the small ones are backordered anyway. At some point he commented that “These are not normal” and I laughed, “Yes, I know, look around here. Nothing is normal because normal is BORING!”

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The turning point in our relationship was when I pulled out the boob knobs for the Andy Warhol cabinet. Funny how that gets guys every time. Paul at Liz’s Antique Hardware where I purchased them never remembers me until I mention them when I call to check on our backorder. Wayne was enthralled that I would want not only a set of boobs on the cabinetry but lips, a hand and a butt. I know I’m weird but ordinary just doesn’t do it for me. Our house will be unusual and FUN and that’s just how I like it.  Why take yourself too seriously?

Boob Knobs

As Wayne wrapped up he commented that he thought I was nuts at first but that it was right that I was present for the installation and that he really liked all the handles, especially, of course, the boobs.

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From Lewis:
Yup! She’s nuts and weird. I thought she was going to select every piece of wood going on the floor, hand it to the installers and do it all day. As for me and Wayne. It was good that she was there because if the mistake was made by us it could have been catastrophic. But since Janelle was supervising and I was outside no explanation was necessary. Once again I’m glad I was just a spectator when Janelle chose the position of the door handle. Gave my opinion and walked away without a scar.

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