Life

The chaos of home renovations

The early days of renovation

It’s probably no small coincidence that my last blog post of over two weeks ago coincides with the progressing and now overwhelming chaotic state of my home which is undergoing (apparently) vast renovation. It started with pulling apart our master bath which left us unable to inhabit the master bedroom. We pulled up stakes and moved into the extremely unorganized guest room upstairs and have been there ever since. It’s a dodgy existence. The chaos has served as a slow moving infection that is seeping into all areas of life.

On day one I came home to find our vanity and toilet planted in the area directly in front of my dresser with only¬† a few drawers accessible that housed my underwear, pajamas, shorts and exercise clothes. The closet too. This is okay because I don’t need socks or scarves this time of year and was able to pull what I needed to survive in the guest room. We could get to the ironing area by climbing over the bed (now covered with coats, boots and random paraphernalia from our entry closet where the floor is being replaced) which for me has only happened once out of sheer necessity. I figured we’d be back in business in the master room by now but it sits starkly empty down to the studs with the contents sitting patiently in the garage ready to be called into duty.

Day two I came home to find the contents of my office in the dining and living rooms and it has been downhill ever since. Fortunately we will still have our kitchen another few weeks while we wait for cabinets to come in. I’m hopeful that the other areas will be put back together by then and I’ll be better mentally prepared for this transition. Maybe not.

So at the end of week one, on my Friday day off that was full of errands and to dos, the contractor sat me down to tell me his partner has not been showing up to work and basically took some of the money we paid out to start the job and did a runner. Yeah, that day pretty much sucked but I feel confident in the remaining guy who has brought in more help although it’s going much slower than anticipated.

What is the moral of the story? I don’t really know because it hasn’t played out in it’s entirety yet. We’re living in a confined space and even Liam’s room is chocked full of pieces of our house so that he really only has a narrow passage to get to his bed. Partly it’s been a freeing experience because I don’t have to worry about cleaning up (or yelling at Liam to clean his room). I merely have to keep up a bit of laundry, keep the dishes washed and make sure nothing important gets lost in the clutter. It will be helpful when it comes to putting our rooms back together because I’ll likely be able to throw or donate a lot of things I find we don’t need anymore.

Tomorrow is my first Friday off at home without a dozen things going on so I’m planning to take my laptop somewhere to write to escape the noise of the work. I will hang around to talk to the workers who I barely see and to find out how it’s going recovering the money he paid out to his former partner. I hope he has good news. I will also try to get an estimate on our master bath which will begin the return to normalcy in our chaotic home life. Stay tuned.

MC

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Musings

A crazy idea

I am forever trying to get my act together. You’d think by 50 I’d have things well under control, but instead I find myself still messing things up several times a week and this morning’s was a doozy.

Liam is playing basketball over the winter so he’s had to miss Sunday school for the past few weeks because his games have been on Sunday morning. I was very excited we didn’t have a game this weekend and while Jim ran him over to church, I got back in bed with a cup of tea and a book – sounds heavenly, right? I still had to shower before we went to collect him before mass and I kept telling myself just one more chapter.

Then Jim came in and announced there was a family activity during his class today where we were all supposed to make Valentine’s together. Jim had thrown on jeans and a sweatshirt and didn’t stay with him because he also needed to shower before mass. I was upset because I could picture him at a table all by himself in a corner sulking that we did’t love him as much as the other kids parents. I pictured him in many years hence describing to a therapist the various ways we had let him down through the childhood and I hightailed it to the shower and was ready in an astounding 15 minutes, makeup and all. I managed to get there with 20 minutes left in class but I could tell he was sad.

I’m sure I have an unread (or worse, an unread and deleted email) from the organizer because we always get reminders when something special is going on. I usually make time to read these because I am trying to be more organized but sometimes my email gets so overwhelming I just delete a bunch without reading – most of it is junk.

I really don’t know how to get it all together and that’s where my crazy idea comes in. Last week I had the idea to start a vlog about “getting it together”, but I’m not really sure there would be any interest in it. I myself love to follow several vlogs but they are run by extremely put together people. By all appearances they have perfect homes, cleaning routines, flawless makeup, healthy diets and excercise schedules and just all around good organizational skills. I was thinking of something more realistic for the rest of us who might not have it all together.

I did end up shooting a five minute video to introduce it last week, but I’m not sure how to even edit and publish such a thing. These people all have good camera presence and editing skills and I am just so raw. What do you think? Would you watch such a thing? It might be kind of like looking at a trainwreck!

I’ll have to think on it some more.

MC

Life

Organizing the family for the slopes

Today is turning into one of “those” days. When things keep going amiss. Typically we ski every Saturday once the snow starts coming but it’s been hit or miss this year with it either being too cold (below 0 plus windchill) or too warm (60 degrees and rain). This week is cold but if you dress right it should be OK.

One of our biggest challenges is getting out of the house “on time” by 7:30 because it’s a two hour drive to the mountain. In years past, we’ve skiied at a place within an hour’s drive so it was not a big deal if we didn’t get out of the house until after eight. But getting out of the house never happened without a meltdown (I won’t name names), missing gear (once I forgot to pack Liam’s snowpants – expensive mistake) and threats of calling the whole thing off (again, no names).

So this year I vowed to be different. Organization would be key. Making sure we had every bit of gear and then some. Extra gloves, warm socks and baclavas. Ski pants (dry), boots, poles and skiis. And then there’s the food which is a very big part of the whole enterprise (unless you want to spend a fortune in the lodge cafe which we prefer not to do). The must have things like paper plates, plastic ware, knife and ciutting board (for the fruit and cheese). Paper towels, crackers, chips, etc, etc.

In years past I’d throw random things in reusable shopping bags, but we really upped our game and got the Scout BJ carrier bag which fits everything quite nicely. It tends to be pretty heavy but we have most everything someone in the group needs.

I packed everything yesterday and since there wasn’t skiing last night, I didn’t have to contend with the extra step of drying out our clothes, gloves and other gear. That was a huge help. And yet, at 7:20 a.m. no one was near ready to go and we almost reverted back to our behavior of past years. Truthfully, I’m the biggest problem here because I have very little patience in the morning, especially since I did most of the orgazational work. Can you sympathize with me on that?

Eventually, i told myself to relax since it’s not like we were under mandate to leave the house at 7:30 and then all was good. We made it to the mountain just a few minutes after our friends and had a wonderful day on and off the slopes.

As a side note, I thought I’d try daily blogging in February to get back into a writing rhythm.

Hope your day was great!

Liam and I after a day of skiing

MC