Posts Tagged ‘Building’

BANG! BANG! BANG! Hello anybody home?

And a fine cold March morning to you. Today we are replacing the old, dilapidated wooden fence that encircles our backyard. At 8:30 am on the dot, they started tearing down the fence. It’s supposed to take just one day. This is one of those times I wish I had a noise cancelling set of headphones; I guess I could make like a younger person and head off to a coffee shop to write, or I could try the Bride’s house down the street.

But, this is Spring Break week, so the Grands are home. Between my babies and the bulldog over there, and the BANGING over here, I doubt any cogent thoughts will appear on this page. I guess Pandemonium must be happening at every house with young children this week. After all, there are always Star Wars contraptions to build with Legos. My Ps and Qs (peace and quiet) will have to wait!

After scanning the usual papers on screen with my coffee, it seems like there’s nothing new to report: Mr T is blaming Pence for January 6, isn’t it incredible we are still talking about the twice impeached ex-prez? Regional banks are rebounding, and Russia is still fighting a war it cannot win. The new George Lucas museum is going up ever so slowly in LA. Speaking of LaLa Land, did you see the Oscars? One bit of good news – for the first time in years, Bob and I managed to see the winning movie, “Everything Everywhere All At Once!”

EEAAO is not for everyone; I’ve heard mixed reviews from friends. For me, it is a movie about LOVE and the ties that bind us all in this dimension. I’d choose to do laundry and taxes with Bob again. Michelle Yeoh was nothing short of excellent at the job of mothering. After the last couple of years, I’m sure many of us have been rethinking our parenting skills, and trying to time travel.

That night, as I was getting into bed, I asked Bob if he thought I’d be a different person if my father hadn’t died and my mother never took that car ride to Wilkes Barre July 4, 1949. I imagined growing up in Scranton, PA surrounded by cousins and grandparents, a place where our ancestors are all buried. I would have become a good Catholic girl. I would have grown up with my sister Kay and my brothers. We would have read comic books in the front of my father’s drug store. But I don’t like to dwell in the past.

Bob is busy building a dog gate for the Bride’s front porch. Then the next project for us, after the new cedar fence, will be refinishing the old floors in this new/old house. The contractor had to plane red oak to match our 1920’s floors to patch up the old hearth spots. And in order to do that, I will have to empty my Snug?! Since I use a file by pile approach, this my friends will not be an easy task.

There’s a break in all the action outside. I’ve done a walk-about to see what flowers, herbs and shrubs survived this past winter. All our front foundation hedges are brown unfortunately. The whole row of lavender I meticulously planted last spring is dead. Rosemary didn’t survive either. One tiny ornamental grass did pop up, and the lilacs are starting to bud. And the Grands have arrived to watch the fence go up!

I gave them an assignment with my phone. The Pumpkin will be the Artistic Director, and the Bug will be Head Camerawoman. I asked for pictures from the metaverse of our yard, anything artistic about fence building? I think we can find art everywhere if you’re willing to look. And you won’t need a pair of googly eyes either. We’ve never lived behind a fence before, but I’ve come to treasure our privacy in the backyard.

Read Full Post »

It’s been three weeks. The new laundry room door just went up, the vents and smoke detectors are going up as I type, and the painters are touching up all over the place. It will be good to get our house back, but to be honest Ms Bean will miss the constant company. Granted she barks initially, but then she warms up and keeps track of everyone. My little, lazy, adorable mutt transforms into a real watchdog! She wakes every morning with a sense of purpose; sitting in front of the front hall windows and listening for the sound of trucks.

Poor baby, the contractors will be done today, just in time for the Fourth of July Fireworks. Anyone with a pup knows the sounds of summer can drive them to distraction – to hiding in bath tubs and even sometimes running away given half the chance. Great Grandma Ada told me about this article, which I had to read on my phone since I couldn’t find my computer.

By some estimates, at least 40 percent of dogs experience noise anxiety, which is most pronounced in the summer. Animal shelters report that their busiest day for taking in runaway dogs is July 5. Veterinarians tell of dogs who took refuge in hiding places so tight that they got stuck, who gnawed on door handles, who crashed through windows or raced into traffic — all desperate efforts to escape inexplicable collisions of noise and flashing light.                                          http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/06/28/why-thunder-and-fireworks-make-dogs-anxious/?_r=0

It was a rainy, stormy day when the Bride and Groom graduated from medical school. We had a few people staying in our newly built house, and the last one out must not have latched the door. Because when we returned several hours later, the kitchen door was wide open and Buddha Bear came strolling around the corner with an accusatory look in his eyes. As if he was saying, “Where have you guys been?”

He also managed to lock himself in our guest bathroom during a storm. I returned home and called his name so many times my throat was hoarse. Buddha wasn’t a barker. Before I started to panic and jump in my car thinking he must be able to walk through walls, I noticed the bathroom door was shut. He was so big, when he tried getting into the tub he must have accidentally shut the door and he was just waiting patiently for me to free him!

Ms Bean wasn’t anxious in thunderstorms before she watched Buddha’s behavior. Now, she becomes a twitchy, shaking mess stuck permanently to my knee. We stroll into the laundry room and I pull out a dryer sheet, the kind without any perfume. She looks at me longingly and submits to my hand stroking her whole body, head to tail, with the little piece of paper as her body relaxes. Long ago I read that a rubdown with a Bounce sheet would reduce the static electricity on her fur; and now I’m a believer.

I’m not a pill person, but of course in the NYTimes article above there is a new medicine for dog anxiety during storms and fireworks. I’d rather just go into a windowless room with my dryer sheet and comfort Ms Bean. After all, she’s been through alot these past three weeks. She already has to take a pill in order to ride in a car, so I don’t want a loopy puppy in the house all summer. Vets say it’s best to desensitize your dog to noise.

But carpenters hammering the basement ceiling under the floor of our living room was pretty strange, and not soon to be repeated. All the building noises are almost done, so relax Ms Bean for a little while. Your world is safe and secure. Time to get back to lying on the deck and watching for deer and vermin!

Hope y’all have a safe and Happy Fourth and a strees-free summer time with your fur babies! Here is Ms Bean in the Zen shade garden.IMG_4763

Read Full Post »

Nesting season is in full swing. The Newlyweds just moved to a bigger house with more than one bathroom. She is preparing the nursery – notice the fancy modern crib they found at a yard sale
– and reveling in their new master bathroom with two sinks. It took me nearly 30 years to get a bathroom with two sinks! But like our current President when he and Michelle were first married, our young couple is busy paying off student loans and so for now, they are renting…and saving for a downpayment on a home some day. Note: yes, we payed for college but she insisted on paying her way through medical school.

Now what about Mitt’s nesting habits? Today’s NYTime’s “Home” section is all about his plans to expand the Romney’s 12 million dollar homestead in La Jolla, California http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/07/garden/mitt-romney-the-candidate-next-door.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all And it is only one of six homes in his real estate portfolio – this one near San Diego, two in the Boston area, a ski lodge in Utah and two lakeside residences in New Hampshire. Why did the Times do a back page feature on the Romney’s current building plans? Some of his Modern Family-like neighbors are annoyed with the influx of driveway-blocking trucks and secret service; there are “…six gay households within a three-block radius of his house.” And none of them would sign anything Mitt’s architect wanted them to sign about the plans to build another level thereby blocking their view of the ocean! No? And some neighbors are complaining that Mitt doesn’t like people smoking pot (or weed or whatever marijuana is called today) on the beach! Imagine? http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/06/neighbors-report-romney-is-a-total-narc.html

So what if he needs a car elevator? Doesn’t everybody want a car elevator in their dream home, isn’t that the first thing on your list? An elevator, at first blush, seemed like a great idea to us. We actually hired an architect after finding our mountain view. We thought he could help us plan our “not so big” house, and it turns out that when you hire an architect, you start building at a certain level. He was encouraging us to include at least the footprint and structure for an elevator shaft in our house, since we may one day be unable to walk up a flight of stairs. Well, that’s true. This is called an “aging-in-place” design. And the more you talk with an architect, the more everything seems quite reasonable, even elevators. But in the end, it turns out that if what you really want is to downsize, to take Sarah Susanka’s ideas and apply them http://www.notsobighouse.com/ to build as our builder said “A Chevy, not a Cadillac,” then you probably should not hire an architect. Sadly, we had to fire him and I found our home’s design online.

In March, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly asked Mitt what he thinks about how the Dems are trying to spin his rich guy image. His reply, “Guess what? I made a lot of money.” Well guess what Mitt? We all know you made a killing in the unregulated, financially wild western Gordon Gekko high times of private equity. We know you were never considered for McCain’s ticket in 2008 cause you owned 14 homes; look how you’ve pared down! Americans don’t begrudge you your hard-earned wealth, your business acumen. Or your private prep schools and Harvard Law degree, the privileged upbringing, your Daddy’s leadership of American Motors Corp; your Dad who was a three-time governor of Michigan and himself a presidential candidate in the 1960s. But don’t visit West Philly and pretend you care about public schools. Don’t send out pictures of yourself doing laundry like the rest of us. Don’t tell us you are a self-made man. And please, don’t piss off your neighbors by building ocean-view blocking car elevators…don’t throw it in our collective face.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: