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New Floors: It’s a Snap! ( … Yeah, Right)

30 May 2006

I have been living, sleeping, and breathing (literally) home renovation for the past few weeks, and if you, dear reader, are getting tired of it, remember that I am that much more tired of it than you can ever be. No, really—I’ll win. You can skim my comments here, comment (if you’re kind), and then click on the next blog in your bookmarks. I am stuck living above the new, post-Buffy (yes, we are still making our way through the seasons on DVD) Hellmouth.

The cabinets are all installed. Except for the crown molding, of which they delivered too little and scratched half of what they did bring. No big deal, it’ll arrive soon. But they also didn’t deliver the toe-kicks. Also, really, no big deal. The counter man has come and measured, and made it sound so easy. This morning I got a call that a lot of what he offered to do to work around our less-than-flat walls is considered “custom work”, so that has upped the cost. (Stegbeetle, I hope you are reading and learning, preparing yourself for what is in store for you as your addition is put in!)

This weekend, we installed snap-in flooring. You’ll see pictures soon enough. But in a 100-year-old house, no wall is straight, no room is square, no floor is flat. What we naively thought would take us one full day of installation became two full days of work spread over three calendar days (they don’t call it Memorial Day weekend for nothing—I’ll be remembering this weekend for a long time to come). During that time we removed the toilet from the half-bath off the kitchen and discovered the 21st century Hellmouth. The sewer gases rising from that thing were just incredible. But with a little ingenuity, we were able to temporarily plug it with an overturned compost bucket and a cement block. (Take that, you creatures of demon-dom!)

The Consort’s skill with circular saw and jigsaw reaffirmed the rightness of my choice for lifelong partner. But the dust! Readers, the dust of those laminate pieces stink! As the official “piece-holder-for-the-sawing-Consort ”, I was often in direct line of dust spewage. After several pieces, I thought I had the smell pinned down. By the 44th piece, I was sure of the smell: scallops. “It’s been a while since you’re eaten scallops,” the Consort dissed. But no, really: imagine a sickly-sweet meat (either scallops or monkfish [ugh!]) cooked in a thin cream sauce that has no herbs or other savory addition. That’s what I inhaled throughout the weekend.

And let me tell you: What is the one thing I can’t live without. Can it be my children? Absolutely not. They can visit relatives, go to camp, I won’t miss’em. Air conditioning on a steamy 90-degree weekend? Heck no. Just give me a fan and a basement to suck the cool air out of, and I’ll be good to go. The Consort? Well, not if it isn’t a DIY weekend. What I have realized I must have, and cannot live without, is a kitchen sink. Life without one just sucks. If the plumber doesn’t come on Thursday, I think I’ll kill someone.

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