Kitchen (and living room and bathroom) reno, day 13

Earlier today, I was tired and depressed. Tired from having to live outside of my own home, worn down by the complete breakdown in schedule and regularity, and worry that things aren’t exactly going according to … well, not so much plan as “expectation”. And I’ll freely admit that my expectation is (was, and remains) out-of-whack.

Budget’s the big thing. I know it’s gone WAY past what I expected (see above note), but I also understand and respect that we’ve pushed it that way for a hundred reasons — none of which I disagree with, or don’t look forward to. Just that it’s more weight than I wish to carry. But, in the grand scheme of things, it’s something I know I’ll move past before too long.

The other issue is schedule. Now, for the record, I’m in no way suggesting that this reno is moving slowly. Given that it hasn’t even been two weeks yet, this reno’s clocked at a rate that seems almost unimaginable (especially when envisioned from the perspective of doing it myself). Walls removed, floors pulled, wiring ran, plumbing … plumbed, patches made, surfaces smoothed, structure reinforced, and so on and so on and so on. It’s almost inhumanely fast.

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Kitchen reno, day 9

This is one of those days when I really had to sit back, after a beer, and really think hard about how much this entire process must mirror my day-to-day work life, only that I’m the client, and I’m making the requests that normally drive the person on the other end nuts.

Or rather, I would, except that I know damned well that there’s a fair share of communications failure on the other end, and it’s not from a lack of us trying to keep things straight and even. (That said, having talked with some of the guys doing the work, this is normal within the renovation/contracting biz. Go figure.)

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Reversal on floors…

Okay, okay, okay! We get the point.

Thanks to my father’s ghost (as communicated by my lovely sister), and some “concerned” friends, we’re doing the living room floor, too.

(And I’m sure I’ll thank y’all later after the sticker shock goes away.)

Kitchen renovation, day 8

The most visible wall of the kitchen

Just over a week ago, our kitchen officially went out of commission. Today, it looks oh-so close to being functional once again. Considering the short period of time, and some of the challenges that have come up, I’m rather amazed at the progress (and pleased with the results thus far).

At the same time, I’m starting to get worried. I can see what remains. I know how things tend to get rushed towards the ends of projects, and how corners get cut. I know how things can go from “good” to “okay” to “terrible” in a shockingly short period of time.

I’m hoping I’m way, way wrong.

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Renovations, Day 6

History of our kitchen floor

It’s not even been a week, and the changes at the house are so dramatic as to be unrecognisable at the moment. Given, that’s largely due to the things that have been torn out. But that alone would not produce drama — for that, we’d also have to have a few misunderstandings, bouts of miscommunication, and a few problems.

But above all else, we have progress. Dramatic progress.

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The kitchen reno moves along

The (now missing) wall next to the entrance

Well, since I last wrote, much has happened in the house. In our previous installment, the floors were starting to come up. Since then, a lot as happened, and we’ve had the prerequisite miscommunications, strange discoveries, and mild panic attacks (from us, the client — our contractor is likely annoyed as hell with us at this point).

But if there’s one thing I can say, we have progress. Lots of it.

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On 10 years of missing my dad

Dear Dad,

It’s been 10 years since you passed. Actually, a little over ten years. The anniversary was on the 7th, and I’d be lying if I said I’d thought about you that day. I honestly don’t remember if I did, but I’d like to think that if I had, I’d have marked the occassion with a little more attention than this.

That’s not to say I don’t think of you. There’s never a week that passes by, and usually far more frequent, that I think of you, the things you taught me, and I reflect on the struggles you had as a father, as a provider, as a mentor, and as a man. As a boy, I couldn’t help but look up to you and wonder what it was that made you tick, and how much of you would affect me as a grown-up.

Well, I’m that grown-up now. I’m about the age you were when I started wondering what I would be like. And I wonder: would you approve? What would you think of me as a father? As a provider? As a mentor to my kids? As a man?

It’s these moments when I wonder that I feel a profound sadness, because I’ll never know. I’ll never get the chance to ask you. I never really got a chance to say “thanks”. No, I ain’t perfect — far from it. But I’ve found people who accept me for who I am, and my family seems to love me despite my flaws. But maybe that’s good enough?

I hope you don’t mind if I’ve started making you sound a little more legendary with my kids. They’ll never know the real you, so I figure there’s no reason they shouldn’t hear about “Granddad”. I’m sure you wouldn’t mind the embellishment at all. Allen — Alex’s dad — could never fill the hole that I always feel present, but he certainly makes up for the lack of a second grandfather in their lives.

I just wanted you to know that you’re still in my mind, and in my heart.

The floors start to disappear

Funny thing. Yesterday, when we’d thought the renovations were due to start on Tuesday (that’d be tomorrow), we weren’t exactly in a pressing need to finish getting certain appliances and a massive table out of the kitchen. Instead, we did what we could before passing out, exhausted, in bed. (Which, of course, didn’t last all night, as Choo Choo woke up crying because she wasn’t in her crib and was completely in the dark.)

It’s funny, because at just after 13:00 today, I got a series of text messages from Alex saying the floor was coming out of the kitchen. The same floor that wasn’t supposed to be coming out until tomorrow. This, of course, soon turned into bits of frustration, as I was already struggling with my project at work, and suddenly my home was under attack.

It’s very safe to say that I’ve had better/easier days.

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Kitchen goes bye-bye

Well, if you read the note about Choo Choo’s birthday, then you know that we did a little bit of the reno work today. The single most major part of our reno work upstairs is the kitchen, and it’s basically getting stripped right down to the floor — the subfloor, that is. So that means everything needs to come out, and that’s an opportunity to try and make back a few bucks on our rather large reno bill.

Thankfully, Alex — the Queen of Kijiji — found a buyer for our cabinets, who was quite happy to take them off our hands. We didn’t get a lot for them, but when all’s said and done, we’re up on their disposal, rather than being further in the hole. Not that they’ve eliminated the total cost of the reno…

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Happy 2nd birthday, Choo Choo!

Happy 2nd birthday, my dear Choo Choo!

It’s almost impossible to believe you been with us only two years, you shining little light. Two short — and somehow, impossibly long — years ago, you found yourself suddenly freezing, weighed, and then set upon by a dozen doctors and nurses who were all convinced you were not exactly in the best of health. To see you running around today, inhaling chocolate cupcakes like they were air … well, if anything, I’d suspect those doctors would feel proud you’ve turned out so well.

Goodness knows I am, kiddo.

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