Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Welcome to Chaos

So you think to dare to come in my door? OK, well, it's not so scary right now. I may be the only person who actually swept away the cobwebs around the front door before the trick-or-treaters came to call. Didn't want to scare the little ones with any realism, after all. The leaves are still there though. Not that they're the same leaves that were there a month ago. Those got swept away, but with no snow every breeze sends more into the black hole for leaves that is my entryway.

Once you get inside, you'll find every available surface is covered. Jackets, computer stuff, books, small blankets for people and/or dogs, magazines, beverage containers that haven't made it into the dishwasher since the last load.... Candy canes, having lost their perches since the tree got put away in its box, now adorn the arms holding my two wall-mount lamps over the futon. They disappear at a rate of about one a day. This tells me I'm the only one eating them. I'm trying to ration myself.

Those are just the upper surfaces. Look to the floor and there'll be shoes, rawhide chews that haven't yet gotten hidden by Fred where he thinks Koda can't find them, or ones that Koda has dragged out of Fred's hiding spots. Look closer and you'll find the dark green carpet is covered by light colored flecks, and perhaps a few wood splinters or even small chunks. (You removed your shoes when you came in why?) There are collections of X-mas wrapping that haven't made it into the recycling yet, but I could tell you we're not all that sloppy because the last present opening was just Sunday. I could tell you that but that wrapping pretty much got picked up at the time. What I see mostly goes back to the day, saved with the optimistic thought of "somebody" taking the time to refold the tissue for packing around next year's packages. "Somebody" hasn't. Yet.

The kitchen gets more interesting. The poinsettia is still thriving in the window, and the roaster pan just found its basement home again this morning. It had been keeping the poinsettia company. The table, once recently so very nicely cleaned off and scrubbed, is again cluttered with mail, tools, tax paperwork, boxes of apple butter in jars which finally used up the last of this fall's supply of apples when Paul showed Steve how to make apple butter. A few spots of glitter glue decorate the table from this weekend's project of decorating the flower girl's basket: I think they'll scrape off. Soon.

The counter by the stove is collecting boxes of ZipLoc bags in various sizes, waiting for me to find the next item to pack for the upcoming trip. I did 21 days of pills, each day's worth in its own snack bag. These are just the OTC ones. I'm waiting for next month to get the latest bottles of Rx pills to add into the lot, and then the whole bunch of them go into a gallon bag. Really, they fit into a quart bag now, but the little bags with the zippers that don't bend take up enough space that it won't quite close now, and adding stuff will just make it worse. There'll be a big bag of little bags of jerky, and one of dried fruits, and... and... and....

The kitchen sink is its usual: one semi-clean sink for using, and one filled with dirty dishes waiting for the next full load in the dishwasher. Really, it got run this morning, but the sink never stays empty. The wastebasket is mostly empty, but the recycle bag is splitting its seams. Lots of stuff has been running through recycling lately, and nobody but me seems to know how to squish cans and plastic milk cartons. Plus, we reuse the paper sack we collect the stuff in until it finally has no further use than to join the recyclables itself. Tomorrow, perhaps.

Once your eyes drop all the way to the floor - can you possibly have not noticed yet? - it really gets interesting. The linoleum is gone. Some of the plywood sub-floor is gone, leaving a lip where it still sits next to the appliances. It's harder to remove there, starting with the part where you disconnect the water or gas and actually move out the appliance so you can get at the floor. Then there's the part where you use a hammer and chisel and chop through the thin plywood so it's even with the front face of the bottom of the cabinets sitting on it. And of course when I say "you" I really mean Richard.

It's his job. I hired him after giving him three days to research the job and decide that he really could replace my flooring. In exchange for doing three rooms (just labor) he gets paid three month's child support. He needed some kind of off-season job, and this is it. He was going to hire out to shovel snow. It hit 52 today. That job idea just isn't working out for him.

The plywood which has been removed is sitting outside in the back yard waiting for warm weather demolition. The pieces which remain are covered spottily with what Richard thinks is glue from the linoleum. While they don't cling well to the plywood in spots, they seem to have no problem clinging to the carpet. The do, of course, cling so well in other spots that the only way to remove them is remove the whole sheet of plywood. I guess it's a good thing the job requires removal regardless.The linoleum has been cut into small pieces and fed out through the garbage system. So has the beginning of the carpet being removed. Padding too.

Oh, didn't I point it out? The hallway floor has been denuded. There is a pile under the table of wood strips with lots of little nails sticking out of them. (Why are we keeping these? Anybody?) The original idea was to hold carpet in place. It might have worked better had the carpet been stretched tighter in the first place. Or perhaps it should have been better, thicker carpet, able to adequately cover the strips so the bare foot putting pressure in a downward motion didn't acquire small puncture holes in the process. That happened mostly at the join between the living room and the kitchen linoleum. We learned to step over that area rather than on it. Eventually. There was a learning curve.

Anyway, strips of carpet in rolls or pad in rolls are also being fed out via the garbage can. Duct tape is great for helping them keep their shape enough that there is room for actual garbage in the can each week as well. And really, the guy at Home Depot suggested it. This was when I looked at their estimate for doing the job without including all the maybe extras like plywood under the linoleum or filling the hollow places, but did include their disposal of carpet and linoleum - and decided our own labor was better suited to my budget. And again, when I say "our own" I mean Richard.

So the chaos is just going to get worse around here for a while. Half my bedroom floor is filled with boxes of laminate. Things are starting to accumulate on top of them, like the laundered X-mas table linens awaiting folding and putting back in the closet till next year. It's the glue flaking off the plywood which is creating the spots on the carpet which nobody is bothering to worry about. They'll go away when the floor is cleared. Anybody who shows up is warned about the hazards of going barefoot, though I do it myself. Richard pretty well sweeps up after each bit of the job he does. No unwanted skin punctures yet. And empty boxes are collecting in the den so when it's time to empty a display cabinet or a bookshelf there's someplace to put the stuff for a bit.

It just needs to happen a bit faster. I can only stand so much chaos for so long.

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