Monday, June 12, 2006

Progress report 1

This weekend was fairly productive, even though it was interrupted by two different parties - my cousin's daughter's eighth-grade graduation party on Saturday, and our parish priest's combination 50th Anniversary of Ordination and Retirement Mass and Dinner yesterday.

Saturday was full of projects at the new house. Project 1 was to remove the broken storm window from the outside of the kitchen window. Tools required: ladder (still in package), leather gloves, goggles, long sleeves and sweat pants, bucket, and a hammer/hatchet combination for the dirty work. It took me a while to get the ladder situated properly, and it took me a longer while to realize that by putting the cardboard from the ladder's packaging on the ground I would avoid having to deal with glass shards in the grapevine walkway for the next few years. The window glass had conveniently fractured into long, dagger-like pieces that were pretty easy to remove from the storm window frame, but about halfway through I realized that the glass was the only thing holding the window frame together. So in the end, rather than taking a broken window to the glass shop for repair, I handed the woman at the counter four strips of metal and asked if they could make a storm window out of them. I also made arrangements to make arrangements to get the glass in the garage window replaced. They'll be calling me sometime this week.

While I was working at the house the phone rang. I picked it up and was presented with a long recorded message from my phone company congratulating me on having activated my phone service with them and providing me with numerous helpful phone numbers to call to verify this and set up that and protect myself against the other. Unfortunately, as I am still going through the moving-in process I didn't have a pen near the phone, so I missed 90% of the information. I'll have to call them back.

On my way back from the glass repair shop I stopped at home to get some moving straps that I had forgotten to take with me. As I got out of the car my cousin Dena and friend Darren pulled up in Dena's SUV on their way to help me. I took advantage of the presence of the truck by loading it up with all sorts of stuff-to-be-moved that was sitting in my garage - much of it having been there for over ten years. Once we had a full load we headed back to the house, and unloaded the stuff - almost all for the kitchen, which is the first room in the new house that I am getting in working order, but also including three different mail sorters I have picked up over the years, which was good since I had just gotten my very first piece of mail and it was actually something important.

When we were done unloading we got to work relocating furniture from "my" side of the house (which needs to be rewired and repainted) to the "storage" side of the house (which stinks of cigarette smoke and two dogs and several humans.) We also moved the heirloom items out of various rooms and into a staging area for pickup, originally the front hall, but later the front porch. While waiting for a cousin and her husband to come and pick up the items, we began the arduous task of unloading the rocker box from my car.

After that was done my friends had to skedaddle, so I spent a little bit of time mowing the lawn with my old-fashioned reel mower (it took about 15-20 minutes to do the lawn, in a quiet and meditative fashion long-forgotten by those who use gas-powered mowers.) Then I closed things up and headed home to finish mowing our lawn with my electric lawnmower before heading off to a graduation party.

Yesterday I was a little more constrained. Our priest's Mass was at 3:00, so I had to wrap things up no later than 2:00. I decided to spend the day "garage mining." I knew my kitchen table (purchased 12 years or so ago) was in there somewhere, I just had no idea where it was or what the box looked like. I also knew that there were lots and lots of other pre-purchases in there - glassware and an iron skillet set and all sorts of kitchen stuff - that I needed to get at. So I chose a likely-looking seam and began tunneling my way in. Unfortunately, I cleared nearly the entire left side of the garage without finding the table, although I did find another truckload of stuff for the house. I had to take another approach.

I opened the garage door and went in from the front. I found the table almost immediately, in a large, flat, beaten-up box flush against the outside wall of the garage, blocked in by buckets full of ancient blacktop repair stuff (I really need to fix some holes in our driveway - but later, after the must-do's are done), rock salt, and an old headboard from a bed. With much effort I got the table free and accessible, but by this point it was nearly time to get ready for Mass. I rearranged my findings in a manner that would allow us to once again walk through the garage, gathered my outfit for the Mass and dinner, and headed in for a shower. My weekend of work was over.


Ashley said...

Sounds like you're making progress!

Sorry I missed your IM. Sometimes I think I'm only leaving my computer for a minute and then I wonder off and fall asleep without turning on my away message.

Lauren said...

Next time you try to work with the ladder, tie a rope to yourself and tie the other end to your car... it's much easier to replace windows while flying at uncontrollable heights.

D.B. Echo said...

Thanks, Ashley!

Lauren, your comment rang all sorts of bells, but I couldn't remember I looked it up! I did a quick Google search on "rope", "ladder", and because of my dim memory of this being an old and often-repeated tale, "snopes":