In the eye of the hurricane

Okay, so that’s a bit dramatic. But I was going to call this post “Brains for Shit”* so, whatever. “Whatever” is apt; I am whipped and tomorrow the moving van comes. The house is as good as it’s going to get before chaos ensues and there is a punch list from here to China but it will all be okay. Although, if the moving van got derailed in West Virginia it would be okay with me; it’s surprising how well you can do without all your “stuff” and I am liking the clean stark look of things this evening.(the cellophane is still on the table light shade, blue masking tape tags everywhere where things need touch up, no glass in the cabinets yet. Still, I love it.)

*Let me digress for a moment to Friday’s meltdown. Keep in mind that I haven’t had anyone to yell at for 7 weeks. And not to put too fine a point on it, I haven’t had anyone for 7 weeks. This has been a long haul. And it’s been one white haired woman amidst lots and lots of testosterone. So, Friday was the day the propane tank that fuels the gas range and backs up the electric heat was scheduled to come. Weeks ago, the builder had said he had a good non-visible place for it and with everything else going on, the details of that got put on the back burner. Friday he wasn’t at the house when this all happened. The drama came about because they had trenched and run the lines to the huge shrubbery patch a short way down the yard and they were ready to forklift the tank. And then, incidentally, I asked, “Does anyone know where the septic tank is located?” (This is a totally new remodel/house/project/concept in heating and plumbing for us.) Six guys went silent and then the site leader turned to me and demanded, “Well, where is it?” I said, “I don’t know. We just bought the place and we’ve never lived here. Shouldn’t you guys know?” Apparently that was the wrong question. The site leader and I simultaneously started dialing- kind of like a spaghetti western draw with cell phones- to see who could get hold of the contractor first. My contractor, who I normally adore and feel has done an incredibly good job,  said to me, “Well, there was no record of where it is when I looked at the county…” At which point I started getting sarcastic with comments like, “Still, people have been emptying their bowels around here for the past 60 years and it’s been going somewhere!” and “Huh! I wonder if it might be HERE in this strategically planted patch of shrubbery near the house and above the leach field?” Anyway, probing found it right there, where they had cleared more than I already wanted in the way of greenery. At that point they had a tank poised to be placed and got pretty bossy about ” well, hurry up and decide and if we have to move the line it’s going to cost you plenty…” and the rudeness escalated. I wanted more than two minutes to think about this view of a literal white elephant and I was also irked that we-no, they– barely avoided stacking 250 gallons of propane directly on top of heaven knows how many gallons of methane. It is not my responsibility to have brains for shit. End of the day, it’s in, it’s currently an eyesore (mostly for Rich, from the window in his purple office) but it’s where it can be adequately screened with evergreens and in a few months, with some paint and plantings it will disappear. It was just one of those things where everyone was up against the wall on the final day of construction before the van arrives. I felt angry and upset that it was me against all those eye-rolling guys. Onward.

Today, I cleaned again…and again. There’s mud everywhere, and the dirt from the road bond they spread on the vast circular drive on Friday sticks like velcro to everything. Then a big storm rolled in and I took a break to make a dozen jars of wineberry preserves and a dozen jars of blackberry. I know, I know- but ripe berries wait for no one and at the end of this summer I want the feeling of benefiting from my lush surrounds- something I’ve been missing for a number of years. Besides, I needed to shift my focus for a bit.(A sink fit for a chef- or berry mistress- with all the trimmings. The articulating faucet goes wherever I please and folds up out of the way, too.)

And then I tended to a few minor details that seem important. Making a place for the kitties to dine.(I’ve also been making sure they have a comfy screen porch with views of  bird feeders and houses, a carpeted climbing tree, wide sills for perching. With copperheads and coyotes, they are now officially indoor cats.)

Making a place for wrens to nest.(This tiny ceramic wren house with twig perch is high up under the eave of the screen porch and it is also in a clear line of sight from the giant bathtub in our bathroom. I’m smiling now, but angling out to hang it above a two story drop was a little dicey.)

Putting shelf liner in all the cabinets.(There’s a second prep sink, a place for Rich’s morning coffee ritual, enough counter space for the food processor. Light rails to hide cords still to come.)

Admiring the view from my kitchen windows.(Lots of bird feeders. The feeding station is actually taller than it appears; it’s set into the side of a steep slope. It has a cement footing and aluminum dryer vent sleeve to foil or maybe challenge squirrels. I doubt it could stand up to the black bear sow and three cubs currently roaming Sugar Hollow.)

Counting my blessings.

(Better bird photos to come. This was just a zoom through the window.)

The movers come tomorrow, unload into Tuesday. Rich and the kitties arrive on Friday. I’ll be around…

19 responses to “In the eye of the hurricane

  1. Yowza–that’s some house you got there. But then you knew that.
    Isn’t redoing just a bunch of fun.
    Although I must say the prospect of siting a gas tank on TOP of another “gas” tank just beats all.

  2. Your home is absolutely beautiful! Those floors! Those tiles! Cabinets! Oh my.

  3. Well, I am trying not to be jealous. My kitchen is of the 1970’s variety and not a good one at that. That faucet is making me envious (along with the cabinets, subway tile, space, floors, etc.) and all that lush greenery in your vistas! No wonder you haven’t had time to keep up with the word games! I fear that once the cats and Rich get there, and you don’t have propane tanks to worry about, you’ll get involved somewhere in town (or with the gardens) and never have time for us again!

  4. It looks like heaven on earth,; I love its light and open ambiance! Those guys with the propane tank (and the contractor) would have gotten the sharp edge of my tongue also. That’s THEIR job, not mine!!

  5. Wow. What a wonderfully beautiful kitchen to live in!! Gorgeous!!!

  6. Listen. I hope you don’t feel bad about being angry/upset with the eye-rolling band of dudes. I absolutely adore the mental image of you standing your ground and getting pissy with them. And I admire you so much for bossing this huge job all on your own for seven weeks. This is so NOT my skill set. I can’t wait to see more pictures. It’s GORGEOUS, honey. You done good.

  7. Yes, Vicki, it IS beautiful… and that VIEW!! How have you devised to refill those feeders? Wow, that deck is high…. any railing in the works? It is gorgeous. Good luck on the moving van… but I don’t know whether we should pray it arrives… or doesn’t. Safe traveling for those precious kitties and hubby.

  8. Those tiles, those cabinets, those colors, that deck! Oh, so what if you had to go to pergatory to get to heaven? LOVE IT all. Hang on baby, Friday’s coming with some testoserone of your own to love.

  9. I ditto everyone’s comments!!! You go girl! Love the floors and view too. Thank you so much for sharing and hang in there with the movers doing their thing..

  10. I hate those sorts of builders and contractors – they’d never be so cheeky to man would they?
    and careful you don’t have too many wines when out on that deck or you could be flying!!!

  11. You’ve created a beautiful space there, Vicki. Pretty soon it’s going to feel like you’ve always lived there. Ah, home.

  12. I see God smiling down on all that went on at your house, Vicki, and patting you on the back saying, “Good job well done.” I don’t know how you did it but you did and it is glowing with beautiful handiwork of those hard working guys and the clean up you did after them. It is beautiful! I especially love the kitty corner and the bird feeders.

    I hope you post pics of after everything is moved in too and the shower wall! I want to see the tiles in there.

    I hope you can sit back and relax now for awhile.


  13. It’s beautiful Vicki, the house and the surrounding countryside. And I love your faucet. It’s very cool. How did you ever find that?

  14. We are irritating when we do that eye rolling thing … it’s true.

    The place looks spectacular.

  15. Oh my sweet jeebus. When can I move in? 😉 You done good, woman. You are creating such an amazing and lovely home.

  16. You created a home that allows you to live outside while you are inside. How utterly fabulous! It’s pretty danged obvious you put your heart and soul into your new home so a melt-down, in-your-face confrontation with walking testosterone isn’t so surprising.

    The end result? Breath-taking. I like the current spare look myself but you know we’re pretty minimalist here at Casa del Beast. *back pats for a job well done*

  17. Simple spigots look less like eels,
    But, phallic faucets feature fine feels.

    Sleek, elegant, understated, refined, sexy, hip – your new home becomes you!

  18. It’s Friday! ;0)

  19. Copperheads? I’d become an indoor dude too. That’s why I like Michigan. The snakes are rare and the steaks well done. C’mon, you miss Ann Arbor. Admit it.
    That is pretty country though. Keep sending pictures. That’ll do for me.

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