Friday, July 25, 2008

Some recent small adventures in my little life

Hey there bloggers,
The first picture shows my dining room yesterday. The second shows the same room this morning. The third shows a sample of the tile that will replace the old wood floor. As you have by now surmised, we're travellin' down that old renovation highway again!

What you can't clearly see in the first photo is how badly damaged the wood floor was. As I related in a recent post, I decided after much thought to rip up the wood and go with tile as it wears better with leaky dogs. (Chili). Well, the tile guys were supposed to start on Monday morning. They called last evening and asked to remove the existing floors today. I was reluctant to have them come out today since it was my Annie Russell Theatre Guild 'Just for fun' summer luncheon day and I really wanted to go catch up on the news with my friends.

I told the man from the tile place I didn't really want them out this morning since I had a noon appointment. Man said, "But you don't have to be there while we rip out the old floors."

"Oh yes I do," I replied. "I have three dogs."

"Can't they be locked up in another part of the house?" he grumbled. "I don't care so much if my guys get bitten, but I don't want those dogs getting in my thinset!"

"They will be locked up," I said, wondering if he was joking. " And I care if they bite somebody. I care about them getting in the thinset, too. But, I've had things happen in the past. All it takes is somebody opening the wrong door and they get out. If I'm there I can take care of things. If I'm not, I can't."

I mean, we're not talking about lap dogs here, boys and girls. We're talking about a 70 pound half Rottweiler, a large crazy hound who doesn't trust strangers, and the demon Australian cattle Dog who bites just for the excitement it causes.

"Well, okay," he answered in a gruff tone of voice that hinted at what does that annoying woman have dogs for anyway? "I guess if you have to go by noon, they can come early and finish by then."

"Okay," I agreed, dubiously... but hoping for the best outcome. Should have gone like clockwork, right? Ha, in a perfect world in another dimension or parallel reality.

This is the way it went: two men who spoke 'un poquito' of English knocked at the door at 7:30 this morning just as I was crawling blearily out of bed. I secured the dogs behind the kitchen door and opened the front door for them. They sat out in their truck talking for twenty five minutes. Then they did maybe 15 to twenty minutes of floor demolition and returned to their truck for another twenty minute break. The pattern of work and pauses continued. They went to the truck, fetched the new tile, put the tile in the garage and...guess what...took another long break! By this time I was alternatively looking at my watch wondering if there was any possibility of escape for lunch or if the pattern of minimal work followed by maximum breaks would continue till supper. It was pushing ten already. Dogs and I had missed out on our morning walk. It was too hot by then, and after finding a sweating cola drink on my dining room table sans coaster, I didn't want to leave los hombres alone in my house.

I began to eye their demolition tools with interest. I could rip up the floor myself, I thought, and be done in plenty of time for the luncheon. I fired off a email to my designers in petty complaint, then emotionally satisfied, I went outside. "Es una problema?" I enquired, drawing out the word a little too long. The men assured me they were only taking a "little" break. But, after that they did come in and worked diligently to finish. Maybe I snorted like 'el toro' once or twice. I do have allergies. In any case, they were all cleaned up and gone by eleven.

So, I got ready and left the house exactly on time for my lunch. But, wait, the railroad crossing poles were down on the most direct route to the restaurant.( Oh, nooo, Mr. Bill! ) Determined and undaunted, since--darn it--I was showered, dressed up and actually wearing make up and jewelry--I took another longer route. One that I hoped would bypass the train. No luck. All the roads that led to the place I had to go were bisected by tracks and all the crossings were blocked. A passenger train was stopped and loading at the station in our little downtown. A giant freighter was parked on the adjacent set of tracks and stretched the entire length of Park Avenue into the next town. Seriously. It was stopped for over thirty minutes, too. I parked my car near Rollins College and decided to walk the three blocks or so to the restaurant that was on the other side of the tracks. Surely, there is someplace I can cross on foot, I thought. There wasn't and it was pushing ninety degrees out. Sweating by now in my good clothes, I watched some people crawl under and between train cars. I wasn't hungry enough to risk death. I returned to my car.

I'm not meant to go to this luncheon, I decided. I'm going home and eat with the dogs. So, I retraced my laborious route homeward. Just as I got to the intersection that lead directly to the street I needed in the first place--the one directly across from the entrance to my neighborhood-- I noticed in the distance that the crossing rails were up. The mega train had moved a little down the tracks and parked again. But, it was enough. By then, I was thirty minutes late. Okay, I decided, I'll just stop in for a few minutes to say hi and leave. So, I went back. And guess what? Everybody else was late too. If I'd been on time I'd have been sitting there by myself wondering why I'd been stood up. Probably would have left after fifteen minutes of waiting. As it was, all was well.

But, I don't think trains have any business stopping in a town where 95 % of the main roads are bisected by the tracks for thirty to forty five minutes at a time. Not for nohow. Fie on Amtrack! By the way, there was a train coming when I was on my way home too. But, thankfully it was a short one and moving fast.

On another subject, I hear that AOL and Yahoo may be bought by Microsoft. That can't be good.

But, it is Friday. I have nothing to do: I've paid all the monthly bills, sent off nine stock transfer letters and packets of required notarized and medallion stamped forms to the appropriate places, filed legal records, balanced seven bank accounts (all but two inherited from Mother), done the laundry, taken a load of stuff to storage, made bank deposits, grocery shopped, cleaned the house, and best of all: sent my finished book manuscript to my publisher. I could clean out the garage. Instead, I will lie down and read a book until Danny comes home and we go for our Friday night supper out. Usually we go out for Mexican food. If we do, I sure hope I don't run into los dos hombres from this morning. I think I can wait until Monday to see them again.

Adios, vaya con dios.

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