In commemoration of the recent American thanksgiving holiday, and due to the fact that nobody has been in my house working for the past 2 days, I have decided to write my own personal thanksgiving prayer with regards to the upheaval in our lives over the past month. It is extraordinarily simple to rail against all of the mess and crap that has affected us, (read: me!) but it has been harder to find the bright side, the positive spin, the uplifting. So in a feeble attempt at positivity (very difficult for a pragmatic pessimist) I hereby present that for which I am feeling grateful. (Any resemblance to a Bar Mitzvah speech is absolutely intentional!)
1. I am thankful that we have a two car garage. The husband has been fabulous about parking his fairly new Lexus in the driveway since the chaos started, so that the contractors can use it as their personal dumping ground. (Remember-winter has come early to these parts and the husband has had to scrape ice and snow off of the car on more than one occasion!) At any given time over the past four weeks, the garage has housed old cabinets, insulation, hoses, plumbing tube, shutters, old windows and doors, drywall, large power tools that could easily remove an appendage without being switched on, and hopefully tomorrow five large and brand-spanking new appliances. All that is missing is a large pit bull and I could open my own junk yard. Without the double garage, we may have had to give up the bedroom or basement for the storage and that would have left us literally on the streets!
2. I am thankful that the teenage son has inherited his father's easy-going nature. It is hard enough living with one type A personality (that would be me) let alone try to juggle two or more. Teenage son has a lovely "go with the flow" sort of attitude that allows him to move from one life event to another with relative ease. He has freely accepted our new alternate lifestyle (this is NOT sexual you pervs!) with all of the self-centredness of a teenager. As long as it doesn't touch him he is fine. As long as he is warm, fed and we don't store shit in his room, he is happy. The weekly excursions with Mom for sushi doesn't hurt his attitude either. Now if Older Son were at home-we might have had to deal with Global Thermonuclear War!
3. I am thankful (at this moment in time only, husband!) that I don't have a dog. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am dog crazy. For the better part of my life, I have shared my living space with canine friends, but since my big goofy Lab died 2 1/2 years ago, we have been a dog-free household. I have missed him every day and many things in the house still remind me of his presence. (Believe it or not, we still find bits of hair around. He inspired my obsessive love of vacuum cleaners!) When we did previous renovations to the house, the poor animal didn't know what hit him. All of these people in the house and not one of them there to play with him. He would constantly be underfoot and his hair would find its way into the paint and drywall compounds. Eventually, we just had to succumb to the realities of the situation and lock him up. The poor guy! This renovation would have sent him to a doggie shrink! It is definitely easier to renovate without a four-legged friend around, but just wait until we are finished!! (I am thinking--chocolate!)
4. I am thankful that the husband likes to be involved in the decision making and the design process. There are many of you XYer's that would have no interest whatsoever in what colour the cabinets are or if the hardware is matte finish or high gloss. The husband has been involved with this project from it's earliest incarnation and he has shown great attention to detail. Ok, so he can't tell the difference between lime green and olive green, but he does understand functionality. Where the appliances are being placed and does the room have flow have all been given his seal of approval. He has dealt with the contractors on a regular basis and has even struck up a real friendship with Indoor Reliable. (I think that they may go for pizza when this is all over!) His lack of culinary skills, notwithstanding, he truly understands the importance of this room in our home and has been a true partner in the project. Now, if I could only get him to show as much attention to his clothes, we would be all set.
5. I am thankful that I have an ear for languages. I can speak parts of four different languages-not necessarily well-but I can pick up a phrase or two here and there. I never thought that I would have to study Mandarin, but here I am four weeks into the project and I think that I have learned how to say "Next week!" and "Tomorrow, maybe".
6. I am thankful that my cleaning lady has a sense of humour. I mean, really! How many people would have continued to show up week after week to clean half a house? She has shown great restraint by being one of the only people not to call me nuts throughout this process and for that I am grateful.
7. I am thankful that we replaced the furnace and air filters this past summer. It wasn't something that we had planned to do, but we were without option. In retrospect, it has been a godsend to have the newer super-duper air filter, because without it, I may have had to have been hospitalized from dust inhalation.
8. I am thankful for my laptop computer, (particularly the internet) satellite television and my ipod. I have truly needed the distraction that all of these has provided. (The writer's strike has made TV a bit more challenging in that I hate reality programs with a true passion, but I have discovered The Learning Channel and Animal Planet along with an unhealthy obsession with the Food Network!) Claustrophobia and the shut-in syndrome are much easier to endure when the link to the outside world is so intensely easy. Thank you God for the gift of technology!! In addition, the response to this blog has been nothing short of astonishing. I am grateful to all of the readers (those I know and those I don't) for allowing me to vent my frustrations on a daily basis. I am not sure who is wackier-me for writing this shit-or you all for reading it!
9. Finally, I am thankful for having the opportunity to even be in the position to undertake a project like this. I know that my kvetching has been a bit over the top, but you all must know that it is all in fun. I truly understand how blessed I am. Now if we could just clean the damn house, all would be right with the world!!
The appliances have been confirmed for tomorrow!! Yippee! The cabinets and the countertop are arriving with Reliable and Overall on Shabbas morning and the whole kit and kaboodle is supposed to go in over the weekend. We still have half a deck. Hunky has disappeared again. He is looking less hunky to me! Pictures will follow when there is something new to show.