Therapeutic Weekends

What’s on the iPod: Innocence by The Airborne Toxic Event

“Thanks for making me go, Mom.”

Music to my ears, for I drove daughter to work on Friday as she sobbed, apologized, and sobbed some more all the way. Just like the kid on the first day of kindergarten, she was fine when she went through the door, too. Amen.

Sometimes a shift in gears, and in focus, is exactly what’s needed. Daughter and I both had that as she spent the weekend with her boyfriend and I spent the weekend cleaning. Our Australian guests are about to arrive, and I was putting the final polish on their room, plus checking off a rather large to-do list.

Also, I played the part of gopher as husband and stepson started putting drywall on the garage ceiling. I had to go for the drywall lifter – they told him it would fit in any car. Sure. If your car is a truck. I had to protect my leather seats with a dropcloth, put the roof down, and drive home slowly. But this surprises me none.

See, our house should be renamed the Snowball Effect House, for everything we do tends to feed into at least three more projects. The garage doors are coming this week. However, he wanted to get the ceiling finished so the installers would be installing on a hard surface rather than just the joists and insulation. And it saves us from taking the door hangers down later to do the job, then mucking up a good installation.

This all started when he inherited his dad’s Jaguar. When they delivered it from Phoenix, we drove it exactly one block (it was nearly out of gas) and put it in the garage. He was going over it to see if there was anything cracked or broken. There was. a subframe rod was dangling — someone somewhere hooked a tow chain to it and ripped it right out of place. The engine is a V12 that weighs a ton itself, and that subframe was helping keep it off the highway and in the car. So he was going to fix it.

We tore it apart and he labeled every piece, took photos, and put everything on his Excel spreadsheet. Then he realized we needed more power to the garage. That meant running a 220 line to accommodate the AC/heater and the air compressor (which we’re going to sell — anyone need a never-used 750 hp air compressor?). While doing so, we also insulated the place. Why heat it if you’re not airtight? The drywall on the walls went up, but the ceiling has been put off for a while.

Then the garage doors got to the point of no return. Naturally, we started talking about it in June, but waited until company was coming and then moved on it. No matter. It’s getting done and company doesn’t need to care about it at all, nor do we need to be here when they install.

So now we’re up to finishing what needs to be done so he can get the car back together. And I think we’re at the tail end of this snowball effect. Maybe. I just noticed that when they built the house, they left a huge gap in the garage attic where the house and roof meet. All sorts of cold air and critters can (and do) get into the house there. One more thing.

Then again, I mentioned the bags of lawn fertilizers, seeds, etc. still sitting in the garage. He said, “We can put that down. But we have to mow first. After we fix the mower.”

It’s starting to snow again.

But the diversion was good. She was off relaxing and I was here releasing some pent-up energy. She went off to work on her own today and I’m about to delve into a ton of work myself (once this headache subsides). I’ve a ton of projects due tomorrow, so the phone is going off and the emails will be answered twice today. Then I have one more project to restart after a long delay, and then company on Wednesday. I’ll be glad for the short break.

How was your weekend?

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  • Cathy Miller August 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Happy to hear an upswing for your daughter, Lori. A house offers endless therapeutic opportunities, doesn't it?

    We went out and purchased my 89-year-old mother's 2nd computer. She had been using my laptop (hooked up to a monitor) and it is dying – oy, another expense in my future.

    I decided instead of hooking it up and the wireless router and potentially zapping my business computer, I'm going to take this chance to see about getting a separate line for my computer. I have been using the wireless connection only and it's up and down, and generally extremely aggravating.

    So, I have a service ticket into my ISP. Ever notice how you get these bright ideas on weekends? Let the fun begin.

    Have a good week, Lori, and everyone.

  • Kimberly Ben August 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Glad your daughter is doing better, Lori. šŸ™‚

    I spent the weekend doing house stuff too – this weekend project was the yard. We spent hours tackling the lawn, weeding flower beds and re-potting plants. My legs haven't been this sore in a long time.

  • Gabriella F. August 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    I'm glad to hear your daughter is better, too. What a difference a few days make.

    And I'm laughing about your snowball effect. I also seem to always have home projects that need doing. New windows, new furnace, refinish wood floors. Next up: new carpeting in the bedrooms. And our building is replacing our three-story back deck. It all adds up funds-wise!

    Speaking of funds, had to buy a new laptop this weekend. Also just went to buy new Microsoft Office. Ouch! Whatever. I can't dwell on it. They're business expenses, and they must be expended.

    That means this week is weird. My laptop doesn't yet have all my programs installed, so it'll be a few days of ad hoc work. Thank goodness I already got much of the work done for a project that's due Friday. (Especially since this is the project two months ago that I totally blew the deadline on!)

    Viva la weird week!

  • Paula August 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I, too, am glad your daughter's doing better. Thanks in no small part to her great support system/mom that convinced her to do back to work Friday.

    Snowball? Try avalanche. Another major appliance broke last week. The dryer. So I had damp laundry hanging throughout both bathrooms all weekend. (With my allergies I can't hang stuff outside – not only would I have a respiratory reaction, but my skin would go crazy, too.) That means my only appliances not to require service or replacement this summer are the microwave and my 12-year old washing machine….the washing machine is my oldest appliance.

    My DSL and phone have been fighting nearly a week even after I replaced the DSL filters as directed. But I don't have time this week to jump their hoops – you know: wait 10 minutes to get a live person then spend 30 minutes explaining you've already done all the things they're telling you to do, wait another 5 minutes on hold while they confer with someone else only to drop you call when trying to transfer you to another department. Rinse and repeat. So that has to wait until next week. For now I'll keep living as if I still had dial up.

    With ~13 guests coming next weekend, so I have a ton of cleaning, yardwork, gift wrapping and cooking to do on top of a full workweek and Tuesday's dryer repair. (The weed trees growing in from the abandoned yard next door will have to wait, too. That's a two-day project of its own.)

    Did I mention that all of the window trim still doesn't have a first coat? I've gotten everything I can reach, and that's best I can do on my own. (I'm hoping some of the guests will volunteer to come back and help finish it off by fall since they help each other with big projects all the time.)

    I keep reminding myself that the best I can do is the best I can do, but I also know some people think my best isn't good enough. To them I'll say: There's the paint. Here's a paint brush. If it's so simple you can do it.

  • Wade Finnegan August 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    So happy to hear your daughter is feeling better. šŸ™‚ The weekend was busy. My son had hockey tryouts and then I attended the Motley Crue and Kiss concert last night. You never too old to rock! Now I'm at hockey camp with my son. A little tired, but life is good. I hope your projects come together and enjoy your visitors, Lori.

  • Anne Wayman August 20, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    So glad your daughter is better! Also darn glad I'm single now. evil grin

  • Lori August 20, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Good luck with that computer connection, Cathy! It amazes me just how much we have to learn on the fly just to buy something technical. Makes my head hurt!

    That's a good kind of sore, Kim. šŸ™‚ I love gardening aches — it means progress was made!

    Gabriella, I hope you're sitting down. Microsoft just launched Office 2013 beta. Let's hope they give it to you for a song, because it has two things that make me want to buy it — default save to the cloud, and PDF editing. You can get the beta version free for now.

    Paula, we're into replacing now, too. The appliances were new with the house. The house? Not so new anymore. Oy.

    Motley Crue and Kiss? Wade, you badass you! šŸ™‚ And there I was listening to Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle under the stars. Still, pretty damn sweet. Good luck at hockey tryouts!

    Anne, it's good until you need to fix something, then oh my lord! LOL

  • Paula August 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Lori – if you need tips on which brands to avoid, I'm more than happy to help. Oh, didn't I mention the AC, oven, fridge and dryer (two different brand names) were all made by the same company?

  • Gabriella F. August 24, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Microsoft Office 13 Beta with a cloud? I'm in! However, a nice tech dude was able to reinstall my Office 2007 (I kept running into error messages I didn't understand), so I returned 2010. Yay, $229 back in my pocket!