16 June 2010

WARNING! Proceed At Your Own Risk

I think there should be some kind of warning out there to protect the innocent if they should decide to remodel their home.  It should say, WARNING!  Proceed At Your Own Risk.  I'm thinking it could be flashed on television screens throughout the world during Prime Time.  Maybe there should also be a handbook, say in the toilet paper isle at the grocery store; just so nobody misses it.  In addition,  perhaps there could be a blog on the internet detailing the inherent dangers of remodeling.  It should include chapters like this:

1.    How The City Building and Permit Department Can Put Your Life On Hold (For As Long As They Want).
2.    Architects vs Designers and the Hazards Of Both
3.    Why Contractors Get In Pissing Fights On A Regular Basis With Architects and or Designers
4.    Why Contractors Get In Pissing Fights With Each Other (See other entire book on the conundrum which is Testosterone.)
5.    The Emotional, Spiritual and Overall Effects of Construction on the Family
6.    How to Drastically Change Your Life In Nine Easy Months
7.    How To Keep Your Marriage Intact During A Remodel (Part 1)
8.    How To Keep Your Marriage Intact During A Remodel (Part 2)
9.    The Effects On The Well Being Of Animals Uprooted During Construction
10.  The General, Overall, Flakey-ness Of People In The Workforce
11.  How The Bad Economy and Needing A Job,  Does Not Seem To Affect the Overall Competence of People In the Construction World
12.  Why Construction Is A Great Job For People Who Only Want To Work Four Hours Per Day
13.  208 Reasons Why Your Construction Project Will Take Two Times Longer and Cost Three Times As Much As You Had Anticipated
14.  Why There Are So Many Shades Of White, Blue, and Green
15.  What Do You Do When You Have To Make So Many Decisions That Your Mind Goes Dead
16.   Is There Life After A Remodel
17.   How To Pick Up The Pieces And Still Count Your Blessings

This is a photo of our little cottage before we started in, with the jack hammers and axes, and busted all the glass out, ripped doors off and day by day caused general mayhem.  

This was just last July!  So peaceful... ~sigh~

Peaceful and serene and QUIET.  Well, except for the noise a house full of teenagers make.  Put in perspective you'd be surprised how much better acid rock sounds than the conversation and four letter words used by a construction crew!  

The little deck in our backyard went from the scene pictured here, of family enjoying the dappled sunlight filtering through the trees, to summer nights having friends over for bonfires and to make s'mores around the fire pit.  There were lots of surfboards and wet beach towels strewn about and if you looked really hard you might find me tucked up in a corner reading a good book.

Now it looks like this.

Inside the cottage, pre destruction, we celebrated birthday's and lived our laid-back beachy life style.  Well, as much as you can lay back when you have all these yahoo's around.

Then suddenly we could see plumb through our house.

We tore out and added on.  We destroyed and rebuilt.  I started a blog for Pete's sake because I needed a creative outlet when they put all my pens and paints and canvas in storage somewhere.


Slowly, ever so slowly, they started to rebuild.  

Dirt was hauled out and new footings were poured. 

New staircases were designed and built where there were none before.  I'd love to show you all that there stuff but, I'm too exhausted from all this construction to even link back.  So if you really, really, really wanna see any of that, like if you have a lot of spare time or you're really bored one day, you can hop on over to my archives when you have a free hour or so.  I know, I know.  Nobody could ever, possibly be that bored.

One day amongst all the chaos I discovered this little Geranium clinging to life by the side of the house and I thought,  by golly, if that little flower can survive this construction — so can I damn it!  I took it as a sign.  But if you know me you'll know that I look for a sign in everything.  I'm Irish.  And Catholic to boot.  I just can't help myself. 

The innards of the house started to be put into place.  Wiring, plumbing, ducting and the such.  I didn't understand it, I was confused and bewildered.  I thought I was just days away from picking out a new sofa.  

Let me tell you friends, innards take a long, long, long, long, time.  Apparently, they are a very important part of the building process.  But for me it was just kind of boring and maybe even a little embarrassing.  Anybody remember when Katie Couric let them show her colonoscopy on television?  Seriously, all her innards and bits right there on national TV.  Embarrassing and even a little bit boring, just like when they put the innards in my little cottage.

So, for the long, long, long, long, time it took the contractors to put it back together, I blogged about other things.  Like my beautiful, (if I do say so myself) kids, and my adorable grandkids, and surf and sand and the beach life down here in our little town.  I told you all about the antics of my puppies and my fat orange cat.  (May he rest in peace.) For all we've gained we've also suffered loss.  Pets,  family members and precious friends have passed, and all our lives have changed in so many ways.  Life keeps on going though and we are the stronger for it.  

One of my favorite quotes is from Eleanor Roosevelt who said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." That paradigm, and my faith in God, are what gets me through the tough times, helps me to look forward to the great times and count all my blessings in between!  

Don't you just love this carpet?  I'm thinking about it for my family room.  I'm sorry, was I talking about innards or God or blessings or something? I get off track easily these days.  Remodeling will do that to you.  You now see why chapters 7 and 8 above are so important.  My mind keeps racing about thinking of stripped throw rugs and dreaming about what I can do to reinvent my old furniture into new furniture to fit my little cottage.  I stalk blogs and live vicariously as they dress tables with sea shells and glass floaters.  My tummy gets tingly when I see overstuffed white sofas and dreamy shades of blues and greens on the walls.  Hubby gets excited over innards hence, innards have to come first.  First things first.  Patience is a virtue damn — it.  Have I really said damn — it twice in this post already?  I'm sorry.  Have I already said I'm sorry too?  I'm sorry.

When they started doing the drywall it was kinda cool.  Look at those fun stilts this guy got to wear when he was drywalling.  "Could you get down off those so I can just try them on for size," I said.  "Nope," he said.  "Your husband told me not to let you play on the stilts."  So, from then on I wasn't that crazy about drywalling either.

Then guys who install siding came and they did their thing.  The guys who hang shingle came and did there thing too.  There were lots of guys doing lots of things and I'm sure I didn't get pictures of them all. From the look of the job site at the end of every day, I don't think you'd want to see those pictures anyhow.

Oops, sorry.  Sometimes you just have to take the good with the bad.  I sure have.

There, is that better?  Will you forgive me now?  This blog aint called Cottage By The Sea for nothing you know.

Then they started installing cabinets and cupboards and drawers.  Even a window seat or two.  Don't you just love my little windows.  I had them installed on either side of where the cooktop will sit.  They open outward and let a soft breeze that smells like sea salt in.  Absolutely loverly.

Now the painters have come.  They painted everything white.

Even stuff that wasn't supposed to be painted white.  It made me cry.  It made hubby throw up.  At least we were on the same page concerning that one.

Have I ever told you what an awesome city San Diego is?  We have this place called Balboa Park and...
Well, that's a post for another time.  I'm trying to update you on cottage progress here.  One thing at a time Tia. 

One thing at a time.  

As the sun sets on another day here at the beach, my little cottage gets closer and closer to being finished.  Of course a cottage is always a work in progress, is it not?  The beauty in that is that, I have found that I love sharing it with you, my friends, old and new.  So in the next couple of weeks I'll be back with updates.  I'll take you with me every step of the way kicking and screaming if I have to.

I'm flying off to Idaho to celebrate my Moms 80th birthday now.  I'll be back on Monday and right back on this ol Apple, writing and posting pictures of my kids again probably, since I'm pretty sure there's not a chance in hell that the contractors will show up at all when we're out of town all the awesome progress I know will happen whilst I'm away!

I'm gonna have my attitude whipped into shape by then too.  I Pinky swear.

Love you more than all the white on white, and the white that's supposed to be wood, in the cottage right now.



P.S.  I hereby profusely apologize for using the word innards so many times in one post.  


deborah said...

Have a nice time visiting your Mom, you are due a break!
All of the rules do apply, no matter where you are, no matter what is being remodeled. Construction people are also prone to go to lunch and not return...for several days. Innards do go on forever and forever, and then they come back and do some more. Just a warning...

bermudabluez said...

You should publish that manual! Have a great visit with your Mom and hopefully relax in there somewhere too!! I'd love to come and visit your city one day!! It really, really looks beautiful...especially when you mentioned that salty sea air coming in through the kitchen window...

And by the way...where did you live during this whole process????

I hope they can umm....remove some of the white paint that wasn't supposed to be painted white!!

GREAT post, my friend!!

NanaDiana said...

LOL-Tia! As I said before, I have LIVED YOUR LIFE-minus the ocean breezes, of course! Don't you love when you say PAINT the woodwork and they think that means PAINT ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO BE WOOD? At least they didn't paint the FLOORS........did they?

Soon, soon it will all be over. You will be nestled in your cottage (whose name shall probably be forevermore called This Damn Construction Job) and you will forget ALL the trials and travails of the work that went into the place. I promise you that soon it will all fade away, just like labor and delivery. At that point, you can relax and wake up every morning and go Thank You Lord-I am blessed...just like you did after giving birth...(just think of it as birthin' a house). And that is what I know!

Anonymous said...

That was a great post. You are a talented writer and I love reading your blogs, it give me a better perspective on our current "shenanagins".(sp?) Anyhow, I'm sure when you made the Testoserone comment you weren't talking about me.
I love you more than all the testoserone on all the construction site around the US.


Style Sisters said...

Wow I love reading your blog! They way you write just sucked me right in! I used to live in Orange County and my dad lived in San Diego area so it was fun to see your beach photos. I would love to have a beach house!! I am sure the remodeling is driving you insane but you have a beach house!! Fabulous! and now you are writing about all the follies of remodeling, kids, and life and we get to step inside your life for a minute and live it with you. :) Keep writing I want to hear what happens next in this whole process. I love seeing your girls surf pictures!
Thanks for commenting on my blogfrog about my new business start up and hey I got lots of napkin rings that would work for your big family. I love big families...my brother (who recently passed away) and his wife have 8 kids. 7 boys and 1 girl...it is always fun to be with all of them.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Looking great Tia.
But what is that which shouldn't have been painted white? Ceiling?

I have to go have lunch, my innards are barking at me.

shani z said...

wowzers! it really is taking shape so quickly these past few weeks! i can't wait to come and see some more progress!!
love ya- tell g-ma natalie happy birthday.

Carrie Cooper said...

Carrie @ comfortedbyGod.blogspot.com

Hi! I stumbled upon your blog and love your remodel pics! Your family has a beautiful home. We live in a relatively new house, so although we dont need a total makeover, Id like to do my master bath over. We also have a 1/2 bath that Id like to enlarge. Thats for sometime in the far future. Nothing urgent at this point.

Keep up the good work!

Tina said...

Hi Tia - WOW! I have missed so much while I have been out of blogland! I have been catching up on your wonderful posts - oh how my girls would LOVE to be able to surf like your daughters:) What fun and how fabulous a Mum are you, driving them to the beach!! As for your gorgeous home, I can't believe how much has been done, but at the same time I am sorry that things have not gone smoothly:( Hope you enjoy your weekend away celebrating your Mum's birthday and fingers crossed for you that things go more smoothly on your return! May I just say how much I enjoy reading your posts, the eay you write is truly captivating and quite often gives me a giggle:) Hugs my friend ~ Tina xx

Heaven's Walk said...

LOL! Tia, you should write a BOOK about your shenanigans - not just a blog! You are a hoot, my friend! I was laughing all the way through your post, and smiled when I got to your hubby's sweet comment. Awwww..... :)

Anyway, keep your chin up and your innards in (what?). LOL! Everything's looking just fantastic! Looking forward to more great stories from you, girl!

xoxo laurie@heavenswalk

Helene said...

I hereby nominate you to write that book about remodeling!!! I'd buy it, seriously, I would. I desperately need to read the chapter on how to keep your marriage intact. We've put our remodel plans on hold because we couldn't agree on anything...our bathroom STILL isn't done!!!

Your cottage is coming along beautifully....I'm seething with envy!!!! Love all the white!!! I've given up on having anything white for the next few years!