Shades of things to come

DH and I live in a 73 year old house we lovingly call The Money Pit.  We bought at the height of the boom (and overpaid to be honest but it was a bidding war) and we’ve probably put in another $40,000 or so in upgrades…new windows, new furnace, new air conditioner, new insulation, refinished the floors, repainted nearly every room and I don’t want to start talking about the outside and how much money I’ve spent on dirt, seeds and plants.  And there’s still a lot of work to be done.  Our basement needs more insulation, the driveway needs to be replaced and our gardens still look like they’ve been abandoned for several years and allowed to run riot.  Pretty much the only thing that we won’t have to deal with in the next few years is putting on  a new roof.  Of course now that I’ve said this I’ve totally jinxed it.

But work and money aside, I love our house.  It makes me happy and I love spending time in it.  I don’t particularly care about my job and once I leave the crazy behind, I very much enjoy coming home to Casa Cleverly and quite honestly I could probably entertain myself for many, many days within its walls.

This week though I have not enjoyed going home.  One of the final “big” projects we are doing this year is having insulation blown into our walls.  Our narrow cavity, double brick, lathe and plaster walls.   That were freshly painted 13 months ago. 

The insulation “guy” called us on Monday and told us he could “fit us in” on Tuesday.  Which meant that all furniture on an outside wall needed to be moved three feet away (preferably) and all pictures needed to be removed from those walls.  Also, the ENTIRE kitchen needed to be emptied (the cupboards hang on the outside walls) and we had to do all of this in about 12 hours.  It was a less than awesome experience.

I am a creature of habit and much like a cat, don’t like my routine changed up very much.  I proceeded to have hissy fits and meltdowns about the ever-decreasing number of hours we had to work with and how much work we’d have to do once it was all done.  Oh yeah, DH is flying to Europe at the end of this week too.  No stress.  Nope, none at all.  DH however, stepped up and was made of awesome.  He moved and unloaded and shifted and in general dealt with six of the seven rooms that needed to be cleared out. 

To be honest, it was like packing for a move.  Except there were no boxes and we weren’t going anywhere.  Once again I had no access to my clothes or shoes and had to go to work in yoga pants.  Good times.  Not really.  It was hot, my house was a mess, I couldn’t find anything, my cat was freaked out and I just wanted everything finished.  And the construction hadn’t even started.

Of course, given the nature of home renovations, there were problems.  There are always problems.  Wrong equipment was brought so everyone went home.  For the day.  My house is now covered entirely in plastic and I can’t get at ANYTHING which is a bit of a problem if I want to eat, cook, sit, go into any room other than my bedroom, watch tv or use the computer.  The next day we find out that due to our very narrow wall cavities (a very bad thing apparently), the job will take twice as long since they can’t blast the insulation in as quickly as they’d like as the increased pressure could very well blow out our walls.  Awesome! 

So the noisy truck  had to come back for the THIRD day, my cat is still stressed, we’re still eating dinner at  restaurants, I still have no access to anything, DH leaves for Europe in two days and I have mountains of laundry to do for that, there is dust ON TOP of the plastic, in the closets, on the fans, in the ducts, I have about 150 drilled in my walls which are leaking foam and cellulose dust and neither the air conditioning nor the ceiling fans can be turned on since there is dust everywhere which we can’t clean up until we are done filling and finishing the holes.  Of course it’s a million degrees outside.  And we sleep on the third floor. 

I’m seconds away from tears.  In fact, the whole thing has stressed me out to no end and really, now that it’s done, it’s only been two days of actual construction work.  A lot of prep work and a LOT of clean up but once again DH is stepping up and doing a lot of it.  I put the kitchen back together last night (and feel slightly more human as a result) but there is patching, sanding and painting of said 150 holes to do still.  And then the furniture has to be moved and the dust needs to be vaccuumed, swept, mopped and swiffered. 

I’m being a bit of a baby I know.  It’s for our own good that this was done.  Our house will be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter now and we’ve already noticed it’s a lot quieter due to the two inches of cellulose.  The dust is an inconvenience at most and I suspect that the holes that are hidden by large/tall pieces of furniture will not get painted.  And that’s ok.

What really kind of scares me is the thought of the major addition and kitchen renovation that we plan to do in five or so years.  By then it’s likely we’ll have a kid, probably another pet and way more crap to move.  The addition and new kitchen will be SERIOUS construction and I’m pretty sure will take more than three days,  involve lots of delays, problems and conflicts, not the least of which will be between DH and me.  If I am this bent out of shape with three days of minor work, I’m thinking I better somehow convince my doctor to put me on Xanax.  Either than or I’m going to have to leave the country for the duration of the reno.  So, who’s up for a nice long visit?

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