Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's Not Going To Happen To Me...Remodel Denial

I'm beginning to see this project in a different light. Remember before you had kids? Remember how you thought it looked so easy? Remember how you wondered why it was so tough for these whiny, new parents?

And then, you had a baby. And then, you knew.

I heard the same rumors about remodels. How tough it was. How much fighting and stress there is. How the logistics are so difficult. How so many people just give up and buy a new house.

I'm starting to get the picture.

My house is literally upside down. I spent all yesterday packing boxes of "crap." There is no way to sweetly sidestep that, I'm packing what clearly is crap. I have no more patience for sifting through all of it and trying to make sense out of it.

When you take ALL of the stuff (or crap) out of your closets and have to look at it in daylight, it is quite an experience. Not that all of it is that atrocious, but you realize just how much stuff your closets hold.

Just like babies, remodels have a whole new reality when you are holding it in the palm of your hand. It looks easy from the outside, but come in my front door (mind the bright yellow caution tape) and take a look around. It ain't so pretty right now.

Hopefully this is all worth it. I'm convinced that the babies are worth it, but this remodel thing? Maybe we should have just bought the new house?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Summer, We Are On Our Way, Except, I Forget...

The chaos around here strangles the gentler, slower life until it is gasping for air. There is a pregnant PODS container in my driveway, boxes piled around me and unpaid bills stacked willy nilly. I have 1212 unread emails in my inbox and most of those I've saved as "new" because they represent some type of action item.

Instead of ramping into a fury of craziness, I've struck a calm, zen place. That is one of the best things about my ADHD, I just forget.

I forget that the guitar teacher is coming at 6:30, so all of the banging that I heard wasn't the construction, it was knocking at what is left of the front door.

I forget that Ruth has piano on Wednesdays. I kept staring at the clock, dialing her cell, and wondering where the heck she is.

I forget that I'm supposed to call the doctor for a follow up call on one of my exams. I re-remember every few days, but never actually remember to do it.

I forget to actually buy dinner food at the grocery store. We can snack and throw an amazing appetizer party, but dinner food? Forget it.

I'm the absent minded mommy. My brain has shut down from overload. Maybe this is Post Traumatic Remodeling Syndrome. PTRS?

Yep, I'm PeTeRsed out. No wonder they say that ignorance is bliss.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ripping Down the Walls

Well, you haven't heard from me in a while--we are fully into the reno. Walls are being ripped out, windows removed, and now, there are two very nice pieces of plywood in my kitchen and front doorway.

My parents spent two weeks with me boxing up two rooms of the house and boxing and moving out anything that needed to be shipped north or out of the house in general. It certainly was non-stop action.

Now my house is partly empty, partly turned upside down and just down right more chaotic than usual. We have one more room of furniture and stuff to pack up. Then we will be officially living in 4 rooms of our house. Nice.

Each morning I drink coffee and start packing. Each night I fall into bed.

There are things in the recesses of the attic, that were hard to part with. One in particular was a project John had done for school. It was a little village, mounted on poster paper. He built the village that was featured in the book. Each house was made of popsicle sticks. The roofs lifted off, and inside each house was a character.

I had to crack that baby in half and throw it in the recycling. It almost killed me, but who needs a 2 foot by 3 foot village made out of popsicle sticks?

I kinda do.

I might need it to live in soon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Construction: Demolition and Deb, When The Going Gets Tough, This Girl Goes To Napa

Well, it all started today. My own personal crew of demolitionists began hacking away at our foundation and garage wall. Digging and banging continued all day and all afternoon.

I dubiously was inside the house trying to put the furniture from one half of my house all into the other half. This is not going to be as easy as I thought.

Meanwhile, in a moving office somewhere, another Deb was emailing me and about shipping furniture to our cottage. I have various items earmarked for the journey, mixed in with my regular stuff, mixed in with the stuff I'm trying to "stuff" into the non-demolished rooms of the house.

All along, my life as usual life keeps chugging along at the end of the school year rate. Papers and bills are piling up on my desk, food is rotting in my refrigerator and the social obligations of the weekend loom ahead.

Outside the house, my super excellent contractor is fixing this and that, helping me along with the process, and valiantly trying NOT TO FREAK ME OUT.

What does a girl do that has half her house in shambles, a little bit of it packed, and a lot of it waiting for some direction? She goes to Napa with her girlfriends. On a Wednesday.

Yup. Off to Napa. Will deal with this all later.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Starting Construction, Again...

We are starting our third project. It is a remodel of the house that we actually live in, that almost overlaps with two other projects. One completed, one finishing up, and this one beginning.

Our belongings have been in a state of constant shuffle for over two years. I am pretty good with chaos, but now it seems like a sad fact of life that papers will always be everywhere, bins will always be half packed, I will always need more boxes and tape, and I can never find the mate to my husband's shoes.

We tackled the garage last week. Well, I tackled the garage with the help of my very excellent friend, our steadfast and patient contractor and his co worker. Not as many things as I was hoping went to donations and the dump. There is still enough stuff for at least three good garage sales.

Questions like, "Deb, where do you want the skulls?" and instructions like, "Be careful with the tombstone" scattered into the wind as we tried to organize years of, well, basically JUNK. We made progress, but it was only the first step in a sequence of total packing up.

Today, we are working on the attic. Luckily, my parents are here to help me haul stuff out of a sloped crawl space. However, as we work on these areas, the rest of my house is showing signs of spontaneous combustion.

You never realize how much your regular life demands of your constant attention until you focus on something else for a while. Well, the crew arrives today to start their part of the beginning, I'm here working on my part...and I'll keep you posted.

Monday, May 2, 2011

How Much Halloween Is Too Much?

We are just about to start a remodel. Perhaps the best thing about this entire project is that I am going to have to finally go through all of our JUNK and sort it out.

You know the 3 usual categories, right? JUNK, DONATE and KEEP. Yes, I know these categories, too, but I'm having a hard time with the most important ones: JUNK and DONATE.

As I spent hours this morning dragging bins out of the garage, I had to ask myself, "Just how many Halloween decorations does one family need?"

I have bins of skulls, jack o lanterns, costumes, candles, well, you name it, I probably have it in there somewhere. As I stacked the bins as high as I could, to eye level at least, I found none of the Halloween decor migrating toward JUNK or DONATE.

Maybe I will star in a special episode of Halloween Hoarders? I can't bring myself to give one little iota of my Halloween JUNK away.