This is the Way Uh Huh Uh Huh

So day number 0 has arrived. We're not ready yet. Not that I've heard from bob... but I don't expect to. I'll have to call him on Monday morning and say, "We're reaaddy!" because hopefully - no definately - we need to have everything done by Mon.

That leaves a lot for this weekend. I mean, a real lot.

Finish clearing out the mudroom with the skid steer
Take down the chimney and clean that up
Move the trash hut
Disconnect plumbing
Empty and remove oil tank and water heater from basement
Pack up cats and other necesseties
Bring said stuff to Brewster
Do any dishes or cleaning that will require water
Setup time lapse and test

(Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you guys I got a time lapse VCR and a survelliance cam coming to record this whole thing! Isn't that freakin' smurf?)

Wooo - I'm tired just from making that list. I hope we survive. We might need some help....

Sweet Cuppin' Cakes

Mike wasn't feeling well last night, so nothing got done. I was a little p'terbd... weird word, isn't it? But I can't slave drive the man! He's worked so hard on that mudroom floor already. Plus, we get home so late, I feel bad about running the skid steere or tractor to move the rubble out of the house and back into the yard... damn work schedules.

We almost need to both take a day off to get stuff done... but both of us are jammed at work. Speaking of which... back to transcribing television spots for tomorrow's sales meeting.

T-minus 2 days

Captains Log - Monday

Just another manic muffin... er, Monday. Feels like Friday never really turned into Saturday and Sunday. There was no weekend, just one loooonnng night. I tell you.

Work continued in the mud room. Mike hammered away. Our friend Tom made it over on Saturday to help hammer and to provide some much needed muscle. He and Mike brought load after load of cement pieces out of the house and piled them next to the garage. Meanwhile I cleaned out our new home away from home slide in camper.

Sunday we made a run to the dump and then spent the afternoon rearranging vehicles in the driveway. Sounds very easy, but not so when you have a slide in camper, boat, truck that doesn't run, two car garage with only one door and a '69 camaro on one side and 3 motorcycles and an ATV on the other.

We put the truck that doesn't run in the garage, then moved the slide in camper where the truck had previously been. We stuffed all the bikes around the truck in the garage, then toed the boat to Mike's grandparents' house so it wouldn't get in the way during the house lifting.

Now, all that may not sound like a lot, but it's like those word puzzles where you're the peasant and you have 2 sacks of grain and a sheep that you need to get across the river and there's a wolf involved so you have to do it without the wolf eating the sheep or the sheep eating the grain in a certain number of boat trips - it's confusing and takes a million years to figure out. That was my weekend.

I'm nervous about getting everything accomplished. I want Bob to start ASAP and I know that a whole lot more needs to happen before he can.

We have to

finish the mudroom floor
take down the back chimney
put up the hay bales/silt wall
make all necessary disconnections to plumbing
get water shut off
remove oil tank from basement
remove hot water heater from basement
move out

Will it all get done in time for the end of this week? Time will tell.

What's that Number again?

T-minus SIX and counting down.

Foundation guy called me back yesterday and told me not to worry, he'd take care of everything. For some reason, I'm not worried. I'm confident that once that house is up, Bob will do whatever it takes to get the foundation poured ASAP so he can put it down and get on with his life.

I'm sure he's sick of me calling him by now anyway.


Seven days to go... you guys know I don't count today as a day right? Ok, just makin' sure. Last night Mike really started venting some house lifting/conservation comission frustration on the mudroom floor. We got about half of the plywood up by cutting into it in small peices with a sawzall and jigsaw and then prying them up.

Then, we started in on the cement floor underneath. Mike took several whacks with a sledgehammer to see how easily it would break. Turns out - very easily! The concrete is thin and crumbles like Crumb Cake... mmm, Entennmen's Ultimate Crumb Cake. So crumbalicious. Anyway, my job was to put all the concrete peices into the wheelbarrow. We had sledged out about a 4X4 foot section when my friend Kylene and her beau stopped by - so that was a welcome break.

They suggested renting an air hammer from home depot instead of a jackhammer like we were originally thinking. I guess they're super cheap to rent and do a great job on thincrete like this. We may look into it for tonight.

Meanwhile Mike hired his muscly friends Tom and JP to work for us on the weekend - we provide beer and pizza, they provide some lifting. Then we'll really get this floor out of the mudroom AND the concrete front step - which is going to be a thick one, I tell you.

Meanwhile meanwhile - I called the Foundation place again today. Told them I needed an estimate for their part of the job. I want to make sure everything is OK and Official. ie - I want signed contracts. I don't need to lift this house up and then find out that the foundation will be something crazy unaffordable like 40,000 or some other rediculous number. Hopefully, this place will actually get back to me today... what a novel idea that would be.

Business Days

It strikes me that I don't really have T-minus 5 days now, because those 10 days probably refer to business days. So I wanted to correct myself. T-minus 8 days. No matter there's plenty to do. Tonight, Mike and I are going to take the carpet out of the mud room and start taking up the plywood subfloor. This will lead us straight to the concrete one we have to jackhammer.

Yaya! Making progress on the homefront.

Population Tires

Ever been to Strong Badia? No? Go to www.homestarrunner.com and check out the Strong Bad emails. Anyway, our population of tires was at a whopping 40. We inherited them all when we bought the house, and until recently, due to high dump costs, were unable to get rid of them.

But on Friday, inspired by the bitchiness of our neighbor's daughter, I contacted the local "We Get Rid of It" company (www.wegetridofit.com) and scheduled them to come on Saturday afternoon.

So Saturday morning, Mike and I got up super early and drove straight out back with the Dodge. We threw in tire after tire until the truck was full, then drove up, stacked the tires in the driveway, and drove back for another go. When all the tires were stacked, we pulled out all the junk metal and other trash back there we could find.

The We Get Rid of It people came on time and took all of them for the low low price of $300. This saved us over $100 at the dump's $10 or more per tire price tag. Then on Sunday we took the rest of the metal trash to the dump for $9. Not too shabby for another couple hundred pounds of junk. Plus, while waiting for We Get Rid of It on Saturday, we got a burn permit and took care of 90% of the brush we had piled up from last year. Thank god.

I tried to rake a little. The leaves are still everywhere and it looks like crud-o. Now if we could just grow some grass... the backyard still looks like a sandpit from when the septic was done 2 years ago. Poo. Hopefully soon.

Sunday night we began cleaning out some of the furniture from the mudroom. We rearranged the guest room so it would all look nice in there. Now it's just the washer/drier and carpet in the mudroom. Oh, and the locker. All that will have to be moved this week too so that cement floor can come out.

Move out is next weekend - we're so excited. Disconnections will be made and cement will be jackhammered. T-minus 6 days until lift off.

Old Ladie

I was so nervous going to the Comission meeting last night. Mike and I dressed up a tad bit to look like upstanding young citizens and arrived 20 minutes early in case it was a "first come, first served" type situation. Turns out, we were last on the Determination of Applicability list, but still, that only meant we would be there until 7:30 when Notices of Intent started.

It was good to observe some other people plead their cases - all were approved with minor stipulations. That made me feel good. The comission was fair, nice, and reasonable. They moved efficiently from case to case. Then it was our turn.

We got up and I described the project - house lifting, fieldstone foundation is in disrepair, yada yada yada. They listened. The conservation lady, Heidi, gave her site report and agreed that the job was reasonable, only requesting we set up haybales and a silt wall. Reasonable requests that we expected. We agreed to that.

Then, this crochety older pudgy woman got up and said she had some concerns that the fill would be dumped out back and adversely effect her mother's backyard and water well. She said we cut brush in her mother's yard and continued to cut even after they told us not to - to the point where they had to pay a surveyer (which cost oh so much money) to re-mark the property. She complained about the tires and other trash in our yard.

I felt dizzy. I was going to faint. I sat down. I saw all our hard work, money, and time swirling away. I felt like crying.

When we first bought the house, Mike had accidentally trimmed in their backyard, having been mis-informed about where the property line was. He had apologized at that time - he told this to the comission members. We again apologized to the woman at the meeting and asked her why she had not come to us sooner with this concern. I offered to pay her for the surveyer. She had nothing to say to that - no apology of her own for being such a bitch.

We then explained that dirt that would not be used as fill would be taken away. A condition that we had not planned on, but that we were willing to meet considering how pissed off this lady was.

As for the tires, we explained, we inherited them with the house. They were expensive to get rid of and so that was why we hadn't done so already. The comission was surprised, Heidi remembered the tires from when they did the septic. The previous owner was supposed to have disposed of them. We were surprised at that, but we promised that since they were a concern to this stupid woman, we would dispose of them. We also said that one of our neighbors had tires too. The comission asked about how many -

At that moment, our neighbor Sal stepped forward. He and our other neighbor Dana had been sitting in the back of the room the entire time to support us. I felt ready to cry again, this time for joy and thankfulness. Sal introduced himself and explained that previous owners had built a retaining wall out of tires to hold the hill. If his tires were removed, his yard would go with it. He confirmed everything we said. I could have died, I was so happy for his support, and for Dana's.

The old ladie just sat there with her arms crossed in opposition. She was still angry, I could sense it. But what more could she say? The cutting of brush was in no way related to this job, plus it happened a year ago, plus it was way more than 200' from the wetlands and did in no way fall under the comission's duristiction.

The comission granted us permission to work. We had to put in the haybales and silt fense, get rid of the tires, and remove leftover fill once the job was completed. I was releaved, but at the same time hurt, angry, and offended by this woman who spoke so fervrently about our character and who tried so desperately to hurt us in this case.

I also felt silly for nearly passing out on what, I'm sure, the comission saw as a routine matter. It's just that we've waited so long - gone through so much, spent so much money and worked so hard and lived without conviniences just so we could afford this basement - to improve the house we have loved and worked so hard for. That woman had no idea what passion was. Only hate for such a small matter.

I rushed out of there, feeling the tears hot in my eyes. I felt silly for crying. But all this was going through my head at once, I was overwhelmed. I had wanted to give this woman a check right there and then for her surveyer fee, but at that moment I could not face her. I didn't want to appear weak and silly.

Outside Dana and Sal met us to express their congradulations, promising that we'd have a little party as soon as everything was finished. We thanked them. I felt even stupider for crying in front of them, but at least they knew how long we'd waited and how bad we wanted this.

I'm glad the hearing is over. I'm scared this woman will try to appeal - but then again, what grounds does she have to stand on? Right now I have to focus on the work at hand. Getting the concrete floor out of the mudroom, tearing down the chimney, making the disconnections, disposing of the tires. And tomorrow I'm taking Mike to the Anderson's house, where we will gladly and sweetly write them a check and kiss their feet to try and get them off our backs.

Mike tried to tell me that not everyone is going to like me, no matter what I do. Well, I'm too nice not to try. I don't like when people don't like me. I feel like there's something wrong with me and I need to apologize for my own faults. I know that's silly. But I'll worry if I don't try.

The Comission Meeting

Tonight is the dreaded Conservation Comission meeting. 7pm. Town Hall. Be there or... you can't do your housework. I'm nervous. The conservation babes at town hall didn't give me any information regarding what to expect at this thing.

I don't even know if I'm supposed to bring anything - paperwork, maps, diagrams, diaramas, brownies, mini skirts... What exactly are they going to do? Will they just stamp our shiz and give us the AOK? Will they want to ask us some questions? What will our answers be?

I've waited too long to screw this up.

It's My BDay!

Honestly, it is. And I tell you, things are looking bright. Mike and I had just finished filling out/handing in all the Conservation Comission paperwork, sending the certified mail to all the abutters, and, of course, the lovely filing fee - when we recieved a building permit in the mail.

It was one of those confusing life's moments. Mike comes in with the envelope and says:

"It looks like a letter that you were trying to send out, but it got opened..."

I'm looking at it. It's addressed to me at my address... but it's in my handwriting. I'm highly confused. I stare at it for a good minute or so, trying to figure out what I sent, not putting two and two together.

Then I looked at the return address - town of bourne - and realize, it's a self addressed envelope. I can't remember addressing it, but here it is, in my hands. I flip it open and pull out the permit.

At that moment, all I can say is Holy &*%$! Oh my god, I can't believe it. Holy *#$%. Over and over again as I look at the permit.

It must be a mistake, I tell Mike. Some idiot made some major *&*$ administrative mistake and sent us a permit! Mike just kept repeating things like "Allright!" and "Finally."

So we posted it in view of the road and I left a message from my housemover.... who hasn't called me back yet... SOB ding-dong. Our comission meeting is on the 16th, so I think no work will start until after then.

And hopefully hopefully, this thing will be up in the air by March end. Better be. That's all I have to say.

And what I am doing for my birthday? I'd like not to cook... and I'd like a shoe cube from Closetmaid. I don't think that's too much to ask.