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11:00 a.m. - 2012-04-07
Forward ho!

As I type this there's a man on the roof directly above my head. It's the soffit guy, not a potential suicide. (And good luck if you wanted to jump to your death from my office roof anyhow; it's only about 8 feet off the ground.) This is day #2 for the soffit guys. Odds are they'll finish everything today and the gutter guys will come on Monday. Same company, different crew. Yesterday the porch guys were here too and by late afternoon I had a spiffy new wooden stoop. It's beautiful and sturdy. We can't paint until the lumber has cured for a couple weeks. The builder recommended we seal the wood before painting. Which makes sense, I'd not have thought of doing that, so thanks, porch guy. Eventually the new stoop will be white and grey. The old paintjob was white and green, but I'm slowly changing all the accents and trim over to grey or black. While we toured the outside of the house marveling at our shiny new soffits and stoop after the work crews left for the day Mick and I talked about seeing if we can swing having the window frames and shutters painted sometime soon. For sure the windows need replacing, but that's a hefty job and despite the energy savings it's one that will have to wait a few more years. In the meantime having the window frames scraped and painted would make a huge difference in spiffing up the place. Especially if we have the shutters done too. They're green right now, but I want them to be black. A glossy black to match the shiny front door and tie in the ironwork railings. Ultimately all the buildings (including the house) will sport the white/grey/black theme. Sounds boring, I know, but it actually makes a nice contrast with all the green in the yard. The house's roof is silvered tin and the white house with shiny black accents will be sharp looking. At least to my thinking. I do like colored houses, and sometimes think about how funny it would be to be the neighborhood wacky house. You know how every neighborhood has one house with an outré paintjob, one that makes you wonder what the hell the owners were thinking and if drugs were involved, but I think the big peace sign, the glow-in-the-dark articulated skeleton nailed to the big pine tree out front, Mick's gargoyle guarding the front garden, and the various junk art sculptures dotting the place are quite wacky enough. We don't need to paint the house seafoam green or Pepto-Bismol pink to weird the joint up.

We were quite stunned when after accepting their bids and putting down the deposits BOTH companies called back right away and asked if they could start work immediately. Estimates to work in 48 hours? Unheard of! They were candid and explained the mild snow-free winter had meant they'd worked through the whole winter this year so didn't have the usual backlog of spring jobs. I believe them, but also know everyone's hurting for money and customers with ready cash are something of a godsend. Not the biggest jobs on their dockets, but definitely some fast money for them. No bullshitting around with payment plans and financing. Come in. Get the job done. Go home with a check. Happy all around. My house has safe sturdy front stairs and clean water-tight soffits and the builders have some dough in their pockets.

In other news, I got a little goofy and dyed my hair a deep chestnut brown. It's never been this dark. I'm still getting used to it. Mick likes it but I think it looks like a wig. Why such a dark brown? Dunno really, except that my highlights were all grown out on the top and spotty looking across the back. Messy. I needed a color that would cover the straggle ends of the highlights but good. And what with the new hairdo and all the other changes around here it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Many, many changes. I mean check out the shirt. When have I ever worn a color like that?

That's a corner of my kitchen, btw, Wolf did the flower picture on the wall behind me. (3rd grade? 4th?) The door with the white curtain over my shoulder leads to the wee vestibule where the bathroom and office doors are. And the other room you can see a bit of is the dining room. The maroon curtained window looks into my office. A zillion years ago before the back porch was closed in to make the magical slum that is my humble workspace that window looked out into the backyard. Now it just lets me keep an eye on who's in the kitchen and whether the guys left the lights on in the dining room.

Looking at the pic again I can see you can just make out the scribbled marks on the doorframe where I measure and record Wolf's height. I've always done that with my kids and my sincerest regret about leaving the old house was leaving behind the strip of trim where Alex's growth from 2nd grade to manhood was marked. I thought seriously about prying it off the wall and taking it with me but was deep into a war with the (not yet) ex about all the ridiculous crap he was wanting to bring over to the new house and knew if I gave into weakness with a piece of trim that he'd insist on bringing that stupid cider press, the two other steel safes (besides the one I'd already agreed to) and at least another 30 dump truck loads of miscellaneous crappola which would NEVER get used and just lie around in messy piles for freaking ever. Such are the politics of a shitty marriage to an Aspie packrat with a fetish for the useless and bizarre.

You should see the hoard he has out back in and around the chicken coop. Holy mother of God. Among the saner things is a pile of more than 25 empty propane canisters. The kind you hook to gas barbeques. Why? Who knows? I have thought about calling one of those hoarder reality shows and having them stage an intervention but just want that asshole gone. Him and his mess both. Heh. Wouldn't I love to be a fly on the wall when he starts dragging all his stupid crap down to the city and tries cramming it into his wife's place in Brooklyn! I have a feeling that wifey #2 will simply beat the shit out of him with one of those propane canisters and leave him in a bleeding heap on the sidewalk. Her interest in my ex was simply in his ability to provide her with a green card and the occasional Friday night nookie. Putting up with him and his metric tons of useless garbage as an all the time thing was NOT part of the bargain.

However what the ex does is really none of my concern. I know damn well he won't manage to clean up after himself and will be vacating the premises with little more than the clothes he stands up in. Planning ahead and actually getting anything finished are beyond his feeble abilities. Not my prob. As of July 1st his piles of crap become my piles of crap and there's a whole lot of money to be made from the recycling guys. Even just measured in scrap-by-the-pound what he's got back there will finance Wolf's orthodontia and tuition at culinary school, and hell, probably new windows for the house too.

Never has the prospect of cleaning up yet another of the ex's messes ever seemed so pleasant.

Making huge progress here at Casa Sage, ~LA the Brown Haired Girl

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