It’s my birthday.
I celebrate the whole month. My family is spread hither and yon, and they are very busy. Inevitably one will pop up and say “Oh no I forgot your birthday, geez I am so sorry.” Not anymore! I have the full 31 days of March, you haven’t missed it, THERE’S STILL TIME! I was supposed to have been born in May, but hit Eject and arrived in March instead. I guess by my logic (which rarely jibes with the logic of others) I could celebrate my birthday right up to the end of May, but that would be greedy. My sister’s birthday is the day before (but three years after) mine, my Mom’s and Dad’s birthdays are end of the month, and there’s Saint Patrick’s in the middle… so many reasons to celebrate!
Also during March, I try to do every fun thing I can think of (within reason) and finish all the projects I have. I have tons of projects left to finish this year, so it’s going to take some doing and some real knuckling down to get them done. I don’t think it’s gonna happen, the pile is too big. Oh well, divide and conquer, set achievable goals, blahblahblah, other platitudes. I just have to make yet another list and set aside the stuff that goes later. I make tons of lists. Somebody said that lists are the sign of a disorganized mind. Maybe. Maybe lists are the sign of someone who doesn’t want to get all the way through her project and realize that thing X had to go in the middle to complete the circuit and now you have to disassemble the whole thing to get X in the spot. Maybe lists are the sign of a mind with a huge inventory. Maybe I shouldn’t worry about things said by people I don’t know.
I can set the gardening stuff aside for Earth Day (end of April) as it is still cold outside and trying to set up watering equipment in the snow is stupid.
I will do the cleaning first, then the construction, then finishing, and then the mechanicals. Cleaning gets all the superfluous shit out of the way; the garbage, dishes, laundry, donate-ables, tools, supplies, groceries, appliances, toys – all this will be put SOMEWHERE that is not in the middle of the floor, which is where I need to work. Cleaning also includes the ripping out of things that will hinder construction – old carpet, padding, tacky strips near the walls, and the throwing away of wrecked furniture.
Then comes construction, which I have to split into three parts: Bedroom and Hallway, Stairwell, Livingroom. There is a fourth part – Guestroom but that is on hold ’til we get the first three settled. That is later. Construction will include wall repair and painting, hardwood floor installation, and refinishing. I will fix all the dings, nicks, chunks, claw marks, and holes – then paint the walls, ceilings and floors with primer/sealer in each of the three project areas. Once dry, I will go back and paint each of the project areas with suitable colors. I thought about including Pook on color choices, I really did. He doesn’t like this part of doing (or really any part of doing) and has no usable short term memory. I don’t want to hear “I have no memory of agreeing to this” once I have colors on the wall..so I’ll probably just pick a paint and cope when he complains. Or I will have him come too and pick paint with me. Ugh. There is a painting snag in the Livingroom as we have a wall mounted Television. I require assistance getting it down to paint behind it, so, I will just plasticwrap the thing and paint around it until such time as assistance is available. I have small brushes and should be able to get in pretty close to the actual mount. Once paint is dry then I will knock the nails out of, cut the boards for, and nail down the hardwood flooring in the Bedroom and Hallway and the Stairwell. Bedroom and Hallway should be pretty straightforward, big rectangular room mostly rectangular hallway, I will extend the boards under the door to the guest room so I don’t have to worry about a threshold later. There are a couple of tricky cuts around the bathroom doorway and in the hall closet – but they’re not so bad- 45°. The bad part is the stairs. I am afraid of em. UGH. I just have to DO them and stop worrying about how, once I start it will work itself out or it won’t. I just have to believe it will. Once the wood is all nailed down, then I have to sand it – rough up the finish on it greatly so I can seal it. This already was someone’s hardwood floor and was reclaimed by Habitat for Humanity – which is why I have to knock the nails out of it. Every piece has three or four nails in it. Double ugh. I had already installed hardwood on the floor in the Livingroom, and roughed it up a little before sealing it with polyurethane – but I didn’t rough it enough – the sealant did not stick. Once I am done sanding the Bedroom and Hallway and Stairs, then I must also sand the floor completely down in the Livingroom. Throughout the paint and sealant process the cats must must must must MUST be contained somewhere – I think in the guest room for the duration of the painting and the staining and the sealing. As the cats will be otherwise contained – I will be able to leave the front and back doors and all the windows wide open for ventilation. I may use a chemical stripper on the Livingroom floor instead of a sander, as I don’t really want to take off that much wood, just the outer coatings. Let it dry, sand a bit to even it out, replace the boards that have gone a bit wonky (provided I have leftovers), restain the lot, and then seal the whole works, top to bottom. I have done this once, you can recoat it so long as you do it within 4 hours of the initial application. It takes about an hour for each coat to dry and once it’s dry you can put on the next coat. I want at least three. Then, leave it alone for 24 – 48 hours – you can walk socky footed on it but no shoes – no furniture – not a damn thing until it is cured up or you’ll peel it like an orange and have to redo the whole fucking thing. I’m not looking forward to Pook bitching about the chemical smell of the paint and stain and stripper and sealant. I’m not looking forward to him ‘accidentally on purpose’ letting the cats out over and over while I am painting/working and having to chase them around to get them back to safety. These things will happen. Also he does not assist in the actual work of any of these projects. He will feed me though, and bring me drinks.
While that’s curing, I will take the opportunity to strip and refinish my lower kitchen cupboards. They’ve gotten dingy and dull, and it’s not washing off, so time to redo. Also, the pressboard counters have swollen in some places on the edges, and I don’t have the dinero to upgrade at this time (oooh granite?), so I will use my multitool, raze bits off, and even them out again. Then I will use sealant to ensure no more swelling happens. Ugly but effective, and no one will know its there except me. Strip, stain, seal, an hour to dry, and we’re done.
Additionally, I have an old victrola cupboard in the Diningroom that needs some love. I don’t want to actually refinish it, but the veneer has buckled on top and flaked in front. I won’t replace the veneer itself – just remove the buckled parts and stain dark the underlayment- then seal the hell out of it with polyurethane and let it dry. Our kitchen table and chairs are en masse migrating to the basement; we have a new big Diningroom table and a bunch of wheelie chairs to go ’round it. I like the set up for our gaming friends, but the chairs are covered with rough fabric that is so good for the office and so terrible around cat hair. I will fashion slipcovers for the wheelie chairs, washable, wipeable, waterproof, and non-fur-gathering, with elastic around the edges for easy pop on/off for replacement.
Then I shall build a new couch for my Livingroom, it will be three trunks which will be useable for storage with cushions atop fashioned from crib mattresses and padding. The arms will be blocky and have pull out drawers for storing the remotes and game console controllers and have space for phone chargers and extra batteries. The inner arms and back will have pillows but not the outsides or the tops – that will all be wood painted black, as will the trunk boxes. The pillows and cushions will be covered with heavy black vinyl, sewn in panels so they’ll be easily replaceable if they crack or get wrecked by cats. It will be industrial and indestructible and comfortable. It will store board games and blankets and whatnots. This I dig. I have the plans all drawn up – I have the crib mattresses procured – I have the pillows – I just need to buy the wood and build it – but I need space. I need to get all the other shit out of my garage and installed in the house so I can build it – and if I start at the beginning it will all get done right.
Finally the mechanicals – these I have to hire people for. I need some electrical work, and some plumbing, and some AC repair done. I’m going to try to trace back the electrical one more time – there is a bad outlet and light switch I have to change out – if that works then I don’t need an electrician for this, but for other things I do. The AC repair – is after Earth Day because SNOW. I might (MIGHT) just have to swap out a capacitor – if that works then I don’t need an AC repairman. The plumbing I have outright given up on. I need a plumber – and I need one badly. The upstairs guest bathtub drain has come away from the bottom of the tub – is completely unusable as it dumps water through my kitchen ceiling. I CANT fix it. I tried and failed. And cried. I am not strong enough. I am going to take off the utility panel in the back of the closet to see if I cant take out the pipe instead of trying to break loose the drain, but it’s doubtful. My other tub has a crack in the sidewall. I have it sealed over – but I need to have it fixed-fixed, its only useable as a shower for now. I hate showers. I can’t fix this either, I don’t have the industrial stuff needed to do it. My backyard garden water spigot has a leak that screams out through the handle – it is a “freezeless” faucet – I don’t know how to fix it. Though I am afraid to try, I will take it apart and look at it and see if there is something obvious. Then there are myriad other things to repair – Replace all the screens with ones the cats haven’t ripped, fallen cupboard shelves, replace the stairwell light with a hanging fixture I can reach so I can change out the bulb, replace the bathroom fans with more powerful ones and with lights that work, replace all the smoke detectors, the safety beams on the garage door opener, the left light on the garage – oh that needs an electrician again. Paint all the wooden trim outside and the front door. Install a waterline, drain, and an electrical outlet to the kitchen closet so I can run the Cat Genie in there (needs electrician, plumber, building permit, probably not going to happen). Move the cable and television to the center wall in the Livingroom. Replace all the vertical blinds with curtains. Install motion sensitive switches: (Kitchen, Garage, Basement, Bedroom, Computer room, Guestroom, Diningroom, Hallways…)
I am never going to get this all done before the end of March… unless I extend my project time ’til the end of May. If I do – I will get to do some fun things too. Maybe it’s not so greedy.