No obligation Mondays

Despite the fact that I clean every day and vacuum every day, on Sunday morning we do a coordinated major cleaning. I dust, wash floors, and do the daily everyday cleaning all in one fell swoop and my husband does a deep vacuum cleaning – moves the furniture etc and that can take him an hour – our apartment is only 1116 square feet.

I used to get up super early on Monday morning to do laundry (I don’t have my own washer/dryer. We have two community laundry rooms on every floor) but now I have found that Sunday afternoons the laundry rooms are pretty much empty so since I am doing chores almost all day Sunday I figured that I might as well do laundry too and then be able to sleep later on Monday morning if I wanted to.

Which leaves Monday with no obligations, aside from the daily cooking, cleaning, bed fluffing.  No additional chores. I’ve been on this new schedule for about a month now and I’m still getting used to having a free day.

Anxiety levels have been high for the past week, what with the bath reno which seems to have not gone as smoothly as the kitchen reno 2 months ago. It was a very simple job that has had some minor screw-ups. Plus all the pissant amounts of money I have spent trying to adapt the new bathroom to our use, and they have mounted to a considerable amount of money as each adaption did or didn’t work out and another had to be found – so $12.99 here and $14.95 there piled up and piled up.

Why weren’t all these adaptations addressed by the reno company? Because they are out of the reno’s control. This is an old building and there is only so much they can do given the infrastructure. They can’t move the plumbing or the walls. I had a niche put in to hold soap, shampoo etc, instead of those corner shelf thingies that stick out into the shower space, unfortunately the niche could be no deeper than 2.5 inches – not deep enough for a conventional soap dish, which I had already bought. So adapt – I bought 2 different ‘stick on’ soap dishes. Then my body wash bottle didn’t fit either so I bought small flip top plastic bottles to transfer the body wash into – that’s fine except I only needed one and they only come in multi-packs and while not super expensive I would have preferred to buy just one. Who knows there is probably a store where I could have bought just one but I have no access to brick-and-mortar stores. The list goes on – bought things I thought I needed and/or would work and then they didn’t. Again, pissant amounts of money but…

And then – getting old is not for sissies – the kitchen and bathroom reno were in service to our diminishing physical abilities – most especially the bathroom. Both my husband and I have extreme balance issues and he has the added problem of hand tremors and numb hands and feet (yes, we know the diagnosis, no, there is no cure, yes, there is medication which helps only slightly, and yes, it is degenerative and will only get worse and worse, and no, it is NOT Parkinsons.)

Several incidences over the past months led us to rearranging the furniture in the main living area to better accommodate his needs. Quite frankly I think the living area now looks like crap but I am trying to make it work which meant more damn shopping for more adaptive doo-dads right down to an extension cord so I could move the lamp. Once again, old building, not enough electrical outlets.

So here I am whining and whinging over first world problems. Thankfully we have the wherewithal to afford these adaptations. Truly, truly I am thankful for that. We’ve worked hard to accumulate that wherewithal, no one gave it to us, but again thankful that we could work and accumulate it.

So – a quiet Monday, with me counting my blessings.

 

 

Some more thisa and thatta

The bathroom is done and our complete reliance on Chavo to do everything right and wonderful, as he did in out kitchen, came back to bite us in the ass. It seems he installed the shower doors incorrectly. My husband said he noticed yesterday that it didn’t look quite right but since we trust Chavo, he didn’t mention it. When I took a shower this morning – okey-dokey, yup, installed wrong. Called the company at 12:05, and here it is 4 hours later and still no call back regarding when they are going to come and fix these doors. They have until 4:30, at which time I will call again. Can you see the steam coming out of my ears?

On a more pleasant note – the granite company that was providing my countertop/sink hadn’t communicated with me as to the color of granite or when they would be measuring/installing. Given that this is a 4-5 day job on Wednesday at approximately 1pm I emailed the company reminding them I wanted a very small sink and that I had never received the promised photo. I got an almost instant reply, chose a sink and about an hour later the measuring people showed up. Oho! Chavo (the gentleman doing all the work) asked if the top would be ready the next day (Thursday) he was told that was impossible. Maybe Friday, they said, maybe Monday. I was so NOT a happy camper. And then another surprise – Thursday around 1pm the countertop/sink was delivered and left for Chavo to install. The granite was beautiful and, while not an exact match to what I have in my other bathroom, it was close enough, and quite frankly much nicer.

As is my habit when I am pleased, I wrote an effusive ‘thank you’ email to the owner of the granite company. I typed ‘thank you’ a ridiculous number of times. An hour or so later I received a reply from her, and I quote: “Hi Grace! It’s my pleasure! Thank you very much. You just made my day! Thank you!!”   It seems she tends to the effusive as well and my point is – Yes, when things go well remember to say ‘Thank You” it just might make someone’s day. 

Here’s is a helpful hint for those of you with furry pets and upholstered furniture – a https://www.bissell.com/bissell-pet-hair-eraser-corded-handheld-vacuum-33a1b. They do have a cordless model but in all honesty I think corded appliances work better. As soon as I got it out of the box I ran it over my sofa and bingo! – it worked like a charm!  You can get this item at a variety of stores for $29.99. I don’t know what you are using to de-fur your furniture  but if it isn’t working for you, give this item a whirl. 

And lastly – 

This morning I read a book review of The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa in The Washington Post.  The review ended with this question “If you could take a road trip to be reunited with just a few people from your past, whom would you visit?”

Isn’t that an interesting question, and I pose it to you – who would you visit?

 

Not having my best day

I was asleep last night by 10:30pm but up and awake at 11:45pm because – my husband snoring. So I got up and watched “Younger” and crocheted away on a new sofa blankie for Miss Frankie. My husband got up around 4am and I got back to sleep around 4:30am and then awake at 7am so I could shower and dress before Chavo got here.

So I’m a little tired and irritable. (And some of you are thinking, “What does tired have to do with you being irritable, aren’t you always irritable?”)

I’ve been anxiety-ridden and testy all week. This 4-5 day bathroom renovation has been more aggravating than the 3-week kitchen renovation. I suppose because it started out badly with the complete lack of communication from the reno company. That lack of communication continues through today, and I expect tomorrow and who knows perhaps through to next Monday.

The shower will be finished today, and Chavo will build the frame for the countertop and sink, hang the shelf and the mirror and then…we wait for the countertop people to come with the countertop and sink and then we wait for someone to come to install the faucet. I have no time-line for the countertop/faucet install because – who the hell knows why. Because no one knows? Because no one cares? Because even if someone knows they can’t be bothered telling me?

I’m glad that I requested Chavo to do the bathroom, he is the gentleman who did the kitchen and I know his work is exemplary. If I had known that Chavo did side-work on his own I would have by-passed going through the company and hired Chavo directly to do the bathroom.

I had communication problems with this company with the kitchen and it did hold up the reno for a couple of days but this should have been a much simpler job and should have been done, completely, today, but noooo.

Management sucks but the work their skilled employees do is terrific – or at least the work Chavo does is terrific.

The shower is very, very plain and I have a tiny regret about not adding some little ‘designer’ touch but I’m sure that would have added another $1000 to the bill and you know, it’s a shower, who sees it besides me? There was a problem with the niche that holds the shampoo/soap and stuff. Because of the way the building was built the niche would only be 2.5 inches deep – not really deep enough for a soap dish but I’ve worked around that. Old buildings have their own special little quirks that in this modern day and age can cause a few problems, eh, it is what it is. Adapt, adapt, adapt.

I know I said that I was going to mail out my Christmas cards in batches, geographically, but yesterday I decided to hell with that and I put everything in the mail, which because there was no mail service yesterday, won’t get picked up until today. So if you know you are on my Christmas card list, know that you will receive your cards by early next week. I hope you like them. I’ve wanted to do a card like this for some time and I’m happy that I finally could this year.

Maybe when the bathroom is finally done and I can get this place cleaned I will drag out my Christmas decorations – which consist of my Charlie Brown tree and my jingle bell wreath. I have a Christmas music box, maybe I’ll put that out too and that will be that. I do really love the Charlie Brown tree…

UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE!
Somehow the granite/countertop company got my sink/countertop done and delivered today. The bathroom will be finished today! YES!

 

 

thisa and thatta

I realized yesterday that my tolerance for reading is 30 pages. That is as far as I can go in one sitting regardless of how much I like the book – 30 pages.

Last night I noticed how interesting the trees looked as the sun was setting, the light being just so. This morning I decided to mess with the photos – some I added shadows, some I added clarity, some I added vibrance – so here are a bunch of photos that have been thoroughly ‘messed’ with…

Demolition Day

I was up at o’dark-thirty so I could shower and dress before the reno company got here to start work on the bathroom. When they were here doing the kitchen, the first day they got here around 9am and I assumed, incorrectly it seemed, that they would be here the same time today. I really like this company and Chavo does fabulous work but there is a major problem with management and their lack of communication. This is a condo building and we have a service elevator which happens to be the only way to get to the underground garage from inside the building. So when people reserve the elevator for any reason tenants are somewhat inconvenienced since they then have to go outside, walk around the building, to access the garage from outside. Boo-hoo, you say, well, we have a lot of elderly tenants and we have some disabled tenants, so not being able to access the garage via the elevator IS a real inconvenience. What has this to do with anything?

I reserved the service elevator for 2 hours this morning – 9am to 11am so the contractor could bring in tools and supplies. I told them weeks ago that I was doing that and was the time correct. They responded that the timing was fine. Today they showed up at 10am – which meant that for an hour, while people were still leaving for work, the elevator to the garage was unavailable when it COULD HAVE been free to use.  Plus of course, I was expecting them at 9am. When I was finally able to get in touch with management, one guy tells me “My bad, I should have let you know what time we were coming” Ya think? Then I get another call from some other dude who tells me “We never give clients an exact time the first day. We tell them it will usually be between 9:30 and 11am” I keep telling him, first, no one told me jack and second, the first time they were here they arrived at 9am and I just naturally assumed, NOT having been told anything different, that they would be here at 9am again. Dude, kept saying the same shit over and over, and I kept repeating my same shit over and over. So pissed off, you have no idea.

But, the same fellow who did my kitchen is doing my bathroom so I know, going forward, that everything will be perfect!

Now, for the gross part – my current bathroom. The idiots who ‘renovated’ this place prior to it being put up for sale, PAINTED THE BATHTUB. This is a 55 year old bathtub. The first time I used it, I put down a bathmat and when I picked up the mat the paint came with it. Oh yeah, the bathtub/shower is in a tiny separate room with the commode – and the only way you can use the commode it to close the door. The commode is staying, and the tub and surround is coming out and they will be installing a shower with sliding doors. How Chavo is working in that tiny space is beyond me and the whole apartment is shaking right now even as I type. (The thingy on the side of the tub is a screw-on handle I needed to get in and out of the tub – the only safety hold I had. The new shower will have grab bars!)

Now you might be wondering where is the sink and the vanity? Ah, that is in a little alcove in front of the bathtub room – When we bought the place it had a pedestal sink – and you know how ugly and useless those are. I had that vanity installed 5 years ago, and besides being small it blocks access to the shower water shut-off valves. The alcove is 29.75 inches wide. I am having a granite top installed that will go from wall-to-wall, a shelf over the sink, a single-hole faucet, and under the sink will be open. I’ve bought a rolling cart with drawers that will fit under the sink. (To the right of the alcove is a closet, to the left is the bathtub room.)

I don’t know what it was with architects 55 years ago – the apartments in this building have large rooms, small kitchens and miniscule bathrooms. The bathrooms are ridiculous. The shower in the hall bath is smaller than a coffin. I compared the size of coffins to the size of the hall bath shower, and THE SHOWER IS SMALLER. I’ll be using the coffin-shower all week and I’m not thrilled but it is a small price to pay for the super nice shower (with grab bars) that I will have in 5 days.

I didn’t go fancy with the shower – it’s just basic white tiles, a niche to hold shampoo and soap. Decent shower head that can be used as a handheld or stationary, the sliding doors are a bit fancy because my husband liked the fancy one, hey, it was just $250 more than the standard sliding doors, so what the hell, the man should have what he wants, he’s paying for it! And 3 grab bars, so it will be safe. We are old, we are wobbly, safe is important.

 

 

 

Cat Bookends

Someone once noted that when you have two cats they will often mirror each other when napping.

In other news – I got my Christmas cards back from the printer and in my humble opinion they are awesome. I think the photo could have used a bit more tweaking, but still, really nice. The inside of the card came out super too. I am well pleased and I hope the folks who receive a card will enjoy it.

Monday starts the bathroom renovation, it should take about a week, which means for 5 days I will have to shower in the coffin that is the shower in the other bathroom – not looking forward to that. All the little doodads that I need for the new bathroom will be dribbling in over the next few days – new bath rug, shower mat, over the door towel rack because there is only one towel rack in that bathroom and no place to put another and since the two of us will now be using that bathroom – well, needed somewhere to put another towel. The sink/vanity set-up will be interesting to watch come together. I’ll have to remember to take before and after photos. Like everything else I do it will be  bit odd.

I had a second interview yesterday with the young woman doing a project for her social work degree. I’m still not sure what she was looking for and I don’t know if she got it. I’d love to know where I fit in.

As to the kitty bookends, Frankie flipped herself around and we got a ditto on the cat nap.