Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Difference Between Men and Women and Other Annoyances

Let's just call this the week that wasn't.  We started out last weekend looking forward the the various plans we had and this upcoming week.

Mr. Helen had planned a week of vacation around what he thought were going to be his furlough days and then, just like that the furlough was over!  He decided to use a couple more vacation days and take the time off anyway.

Then, coincidentally, we got the call from the contractor that they wanted to come and do the work we'd hired them in June to do.  Hurray - couldn't have been better timing.

I could turn this into a long story but I'll just cut it short and say that Mr. Helen ended up tearing the meniscus in his right knee while running on Saturday, which promptly put an end to not only our weekend plans, but also to his plans of golfing and fishing once the contractors were gone.

On Monday the contractors arrive to start their work, expecting to work about a day and a half.  We were having the kitchen windows redone, both entry and storm doors done and a window on the side of our garage done.

Sounds simple enough, but our house is 93 years old.  Which means when you start working on a remodel of any sort, you open up a can of worms.  For example, the kitchen windows couldn't simply be replaced - we had to buy new construction windows.  So pretty much the old windows were disassembled and cut out of the side of the house and the new windows were set in.  Except they didn't fit the opening the same way, which required all sorts of extra maneuvering and trim work.  I so appreciate the attention to detail that the contractors gave to them because they do look fabulous.  On the other hand, we have some painting to do that we didn't think we were going to have to do.

As it turned out, every single project, except the garage window has been a big old pain in the neck.  And guess what?  They worked two full days, had to go to another job yesterday, but are back today to work on the front door which they believe is going to take the whole day.  Ay yi yi.

While I am eternally grateful that I haven't had to stay home and listen to the incessant pounding and sawing and noise, I am one who does not feel settled when their "nest" is unsettled.  So every single day I come home to discombobulation that is literally making me a little batty.  And the dust/dirt/sawdust.  I suddenly have a new appreciation for all my friends who have been through remodels and complained about the dust.  Now I understand.  I can't seem to get a grip on it and can't really clean the way I want because they aren't finished yet.

We had made plans to go to a happy hour with some friends tonight (plans made pre-meniscus/contractors).  One of the local restaurants does a happy hour with a fresh seafood raw bar, along with some fancy flat breads.  I had been looking forward to it but now I just feel stressed and like I want to be home cleaning up the fricking fracking mess I know I'm going to find, again, tonight.  I think it comes from a childhood of being taught that you do your chores before you have your fun.  It's like I can't relax when things are like this.

Oh, that difference between men and women?  Well, my beloved Mr. Helen decided to invite everyone to meet at our house prior to happy hour.  He did that yesterday - knowing that the house is dirty and in an uproar.  I think he actually wants his buddies to see the construction - "Yeah, man, I hired these guys and did this remodel..."  It's gotta be a man thing.  Because as a woman, the last thing I want is 6 people at my house the way it is right now.  I don't care if it is only for 15 minutes.  Sigh.

You know what I'd really like?  A do-over where Mr. Helen doesn't tear his meniscus and things just go back to normal!  Maybe I'll wake up in the morning and this will all just have been a weird dream...


  1. Hi Helen - sorry about the Mr.'s knee problems. We remodeled our kitchen from floor to ceiling in 2005. Everything was supposed to go as scheduled. The flooring was measured wrong and they didn't figure it out until installation day. So it had to be reordered which set all the other jobs back, counters, countertops, cabinets, appliances, etc. We washed dishes in the bathtub for six weeks. I don't want to repeat that anytime soon.

  2. Oh I so feel your much as I know that having the work done is a good thing and will result in a better home, there is just something so invasive about it. We're having our bricks repointed and the gritty dust from grinding out the mortar is everywhere...and Tim is all "it's okay, we'll just clean it up" and I'm all "OMG my home is being invaded." LOL

  3. I have an older house too (around 100 years) - and most of our windows don't even OPEN at all. I am terrified of the upcoming process of replacing them.

  4. Rats. My step-son tore his meniscus in high school during football practice and ended up having surgery to repair it. :(

    And when Tony has his family over he doesn't understand the extra work it is for me - like making sure the baseboards are clean, the windows, vacuum, dusting, etc. He's like "they don't care!" but I do! Men. :D

    1. Mr. Helen is going to have surgery too :(

  5. There is no dust like construction dust...ugh. I feel your pain on that one! Just own the mess tonight - hell, Mr. Helen is, why not you? I suspect you are right on him wanting to show off the work in progress. Men are so funny.

    Sorry to hear about his knee. Poor guy!

  6. Welcome back Helen. It is nice to get caught up on the past few months. I hope your construction is perfection once it is complete. :)

  7. Owch! Sorry 'bout Mr. H's knee. And construction? Such a pain "during" so nice "after"! Take care!

  8. Sorry about Mr. Helen's knee, hope it heals soon.

    I totally get you on that dust thing. R. is painting outside but he has to sandpaper the wood and that means doors and windows open and dust coming in. But I've learned to look over it and clean it after he's done. The windows are dirty now too but I clean them when he's finished. Don't like doing things more than once :)

    But in the end it's worth it because it always looks better once it's done.

  9. Ugh on the meniscal tear and surgery! You make sure to keep him to doctor's orders on activity (not that you listened, but make *him* listen).

    This is why I like to do work myself on our house - no contractors! When we had 17 windows replaced in our house a couple years ago, I could barely stand working with strangers coming in and out. Of course, I love the windows and our better heating bill.

    At least this weekend looks like fabulous weather, right? That's do over enough, I suppose :D