House-y adventures, Part 1

The house renovation has begun. After nearly a year of discussion and meetings with the architect and standing out in the front yard looking at the house in a thinky way, we have started construction.

Like all good things, it started with a heavy dose of DEstruction, what with the dismantling of half the patio and a good chunk of the driveway. There was a backhoe involved. A hole was dug around the porch and along the perimeter of what will be the new entryway and stair hall. It looks way bigger as a big, muddy hole than it did on paper.

For all intents and purposes, we are stranded in the house. The builders made a little bridge that we can use when it’s time to take the dog out or when we feel like we have to go run errands, but it’s a pain in their ass for me to be running in and out all the time and it’s a pain in my ass because the dog is not a fan of going over the bridge and Jillian just wants to jump off of it and play in the mud.

Our backyard is wholly inaccessible, which sucks mighty donkey balls. I was hoping to use this 80-degree weekend to get a move on with the garden but I can’t even get NEAR the garden, much less trek back and forth from the truck to the backyard with a bunch of topsoil and sand (that I haven’t actually purchased yet, thank goodness). Perhaps I can still start the indoor seeds and maybe be a little late with the direct-sown plants. We’ll see. That involves planning and I don’t really like to do that with the garden.

With the indoor bit, I spent a good chunk of yesterday emptying my bookshelves in advance of moving them to the playroom. I have way too many books but I already got rid of a lot of them when we moved here, so what’s left is… what’s left. LOTS of books, and it made me wonder if I really need 4 different coffee-table books about U2 even though I don’t have a coffee table. The answer, of course, is yes.

I also realized that I have a lot of cookbooks and food magazines.

The kitchen is also in need of some packing up. We’re losing two walls in there, which means the baker’s rack and my desk are going away. I have no idea what’s going to happen to the things that live on these two surfaces. Despite the relative enormity of my kitchen, the storage in that room is TERRIBLE. The pantry cupboard is too deep, the TWO drawers are way too shallow, and the cabinets are… in need of reorganization. I have to find a place to stash my KitchenAid, my food processor, my steamer, napkins/placemats, extra dish towels, and the fruit rack. Where am I going to hang my bunches of bananas now? We’re throwing around the idea of installing a kitchen island, but as expected, Freddie and I are butting heads on that. He wants to have the guys build something permanent-ish and I want something that is going to cost me as close to nothing as possible so that when I finally get fed up and demolish the kitchen in a couple of years, I can build something better.

Speaking of the kitchen, remember how, on the night before I was too cook a 22-lb turkey my oven conked out? Well, that’s fixed and I’m thrilled. The day before yesterday, I loaded up the dishwasher, started it up, and went to see what Jillian was up to. Not three minutes later, I went back into the kitchen to see smoke pouring out of the top of the dishwasher. I said to myself: “Self! Smoke coming out of the dishwasher is generally not a good thing. Maybe something plastic fell down onto the heating coil, not unlike my Mets water bottle [RIP].” So I opened up the door and FLAMES shot out of the top of it.

“Well, that’s interesting,” I thought. You’d think that the water part of the dishwashing equation would cancel out fire, but you would be WRONG.

The appliance repair guy came out this morning to have a look at it and was all “yep. You’ve had a fire.” Erm, no shit, homey. Apparently parts need to be ordered and that will get us into next week before it’s fixed.

Everything in the kitchen has shit the bed at least once (the fridge twice and the oven three times). The microwave is the only appliance in there that hasn’t tried to commit suicide yet, but I’m expecting it to leave me a note and jump off the wall any day now.

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