December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Kitchen Reno: Into Week Three and Still Not Done!

ARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!

Drywall patching is a word that starts with B and rhymes with WITCH.  It seems the painter/drywaller brought in by my contractor to mud and prime the drywall patches  thought his job was finished after 3 coats of mud, a sanding and priming.

Not.

Divets and dings in mud not caused by anything I did, areas that clearly to my untrained eye need more mudding and uneven sanding to smooth out transitions between the existing drywall and new patches, as well as unresolved "waves" in the mudding (not sure how else to describe them and they don't photograph so I can show you clearly what I'm seeing) --

The whole job should have been completed the Friday before Thanksgiving week.  All the guys took off for deer hunting up north, the opening of gun hunting season in Wisconsin.  Guess it was too much to think the job should have been finished right BEFOREthe crew took off for deer hunting.  But not in Wisconsin.  Maybe not anywhere, LOL.  It's like a sacred ritual or something.

ANYWAY.  The following Monday contractor guy appears to begin re-installing woodwork and also trouble-shoot the problematic transition between dining area flooring and the living room carpet, at about 3/4ths inch different heights.  He had to create his own transition threshold to fill the opening created between the two spaces by the removal of the wall because it's so wide and that was the fastest solution to solving the problem.  It works - sort of.

I showed contractor guy the relatively few issues with the drywall and he said he would call the painter/drywaller guy, who was supposed to call me to check on whether I was satisfied with the job (he did not call).  Contractor guy agreed more mudding and sanding needed to be done, possibly another 2 or 3 coats.  Another week of work, depending on how quickly the mud coats dry.

Contractor guy arrives the next day to install more woodwork and also the completed custom threshold.  Guess what -- the new woodwork doesn't marry correctly with the existing old woodwork because the old woodwork is thicker.  I have to laugh, I can't cry about it!  So.  contractor guy says no problem, I will replace the rest of this (a long stretch down the hallway wall to the bathroom door) with new woodwork so it all blends in.

He also told me that he had spoken with the painter/drywall guy and that he - contractor guy - would be finishing the mudding/sanding as needed to make sure the patches look as good as we can get them.

So - I had my Thanksgiving in a torn-apart house that is STILL not finished after more than 3 weeks to close up one simple doorway opening and open one simple doorway between two rooms.  Bloody Damn Hell.  I could have done it myself with my bare hands in this amount of time.  My hands, nails, and some spit.

My custom for many years has been to put up my Christmas tree and start Christmas decorations on Thanksgiving weekend.  Not this year.  Today - November 29th, contractor guy got tied up on another job and was not able to come to finish.  And frankly, I doubt he will be able to finish for at least 2 more days.  He has to still sand what I hope was a final coat of drywall mud he put on yesterday and also finish installing all of the new woodwork trim.  Prime the sanded drywall patched areas and stain the new woodwork.  Rutsa ruck.

I shopped online until I dropped to spend some of my frustration over the past few weeks.  More on that in post above this one.

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