Rain, Materials, and Bdays

I just checked the hour by hour forecast, courtesy of weather.com - providing hour by hour forecasts to psychotic planners like myself. And by 3pm the chance of thunderstorms, wind, and rain jumps up to 80%....

Not good for exterior work.

But despite all that, Mike (hopefully) ordered nearly all of the rest of the materials from Morse today. The remainder of the decking, the stuff for the roof, etc. All that will be left to buy is roofing and trim... and of course siding and all that jazz.

TJ our master carpenter was really eager to get the roof on and all that this weekend - but with Saturday a rain-out and Sunday Mike's Bday - I doubt that's happening.

Sunday we're having a little Impromptu-BQ for Mike. Nothing big. Some friends offered to come over and bring some food and drinks - and who was I to argue?! I've been too tapped out to plan anything.

But if by some bizarre chance the winds shift direction or something like that... which has been happening quite a bit lately... we'll be ready to continue on.

Memorial Madness

Whatta weekend. My brain is 100% mush at this point. I've barely been able to function - let alone think intelligently about anything.

As you know, Mike ordered materials last Friday. They were delivered first thing Saturday morning and the guys arrived shortly after to begin framing the porch.

And I was even pleased at the bill for all that PT - it was less than I had estimated. Always a great way to start the day. Plus the weather was gorgeous - perfect in fact.

It was just incredible to see it all take shape. It quickly became apparent that this porch was going to be awesome. It would be tall, wide - commanding I'd say. It's going to totally change the dynamic of the house.

The guys made fast work of the framing and were finished by the end of saturday.

Here's the view from the side - just look at how big this one portion will be. Still no steps though....

Speaking of which, I've got to give props to this little blue Rubbermaid step stool, which has been our main means of entry into the house since the house lift of 2005. After all is said and done, I'm going to email Rubbermaid and congratulate them on manufacturing such a rugged plastic step stool. This thing has withstood time, weather, and hundreds of ups and downs. It's been buried in snow, drenched in rain, stomped on, fell on, blasted with the rays of the sun.... and still it survives. It doesn't even have one crack in the plastic! And to think, this step stool actually came with the house.... so who knows its actual age and what it had to endure before Mike and I subjected it to the elements.

After the porch steps are finished, it will finally be able to retire to the normal step stool life - giving me the occassional lift to be able to reach the top shelf in a cabinet.

Watch it break when I go to step on it tonight....

Anyway, back to the madness. I woke up on Sunday morning and kinda trudged about the house, cleaning this and that and whatnot. Then Mike got up and immediately said, "What are you doing? Get ready! We have to leave!"

I think I actually replied, "Huh?" And then he explained that the guys were coming back to work and we needed to go to the Home Depot to get decking. Oh! I had no clue work would be continuing on Sunday.

What's more, Mike didn't think they'd get so far in one day - he hadn't ordered the decking from Morse on Friday! And although I wasn't mad, per say, I immediately knew that going to the DeepHo would be utter hell. Not only that, I knew I was about to waste a whole boatload of money - it made me nauseous. I couldn't stand that thought. I was about to purchase stuff at full price that I could have gotten from Morse at a discount. A lot of stuff. I could have given my left arm for a damn coupon I was so frustrated.

But it couldn't wait. The guys were coming. We had to do it.

The Home Depot on Memorial Day weekend. Hell. 100% hell. First off, there's two million idiotic do-it-yourselfers (even though I'm one of them, I still can't deal with the crazy other idiots) and then there's about 3 million employees floating around, not being helpful.

So we go over to the decking section. We need 36 16' and 19 14' long pieces. That's a crazy amount, so we brought two carts.

Well! First off, there's a forklift parked right in front of the 16' pieces. Next to that, there's two carts filled with trash. We moved the two carts of trash - but of course we couldn't move the forklift. Mike starts picking pieces. It's a long process.

Then, all of a sudden I turn around and our second cart is gone! Somebody walked by and just took it! I kicked myself for not putting something on it. So I had to go and find another cart.... all the way out in the parking lot of course.

I got back just in time to see a bunch of employees just hanging out in our section. One employee guy said to us, "Sucks that the forklift is there." And he did nothing to move it - or find someone to move it. Then he asked us how many pieces of decking we needed. We told him 36 16' and 19 14'. He told us they didn't carry 14'. Great. At this point we had only picked about 20 of the 36 16' pieces. And then the guy walked away, on to be of no help to somebody else I suppose.

Finally we had our 36. And we had no clue what to do about the 14' ones, so we just decided to purchase these and come back later when we had figured out what to do. Then when we got back to the truck, it was time to load 'em up.

Despite the fact we have a full size dually dodge diesel pickup truck - 36 16' PT decking is a lot to handle. As we stacked them, they kept wanting to slide off the tailgate where we had them hanging off. So we had to keep strapping them down every time we had a large bunch that I couldn't hold back all by myself anymore. Terrible. Absolutely terrible.

So to recap - we overpaid, we had a bitch of a time picking, they didn't have the 14' length, the place was crowded, the employees were totally unhelpful, we had to load our own stuff.... utter hell.

But when we got back home - finally - the guys got right to work.

Our neighbors even came over to help - we had too many people and not enough work at one point! Imagine that. And with so much bending over going on - TJ just had to pose for some silly crack pics.
OMG - we could have died laughing at this one.

By the end of the day - when we ran out of decking - we were nearly to the front door. Everyone was pretty hot and tired anyway, so we decided to quit for the day. We enjoyed the rest of the evening sitting on the deck with some drinks. Mike and Paul christened our half done porch by lighting off a few firecrackers. And then a couple of our neighbors lit some off.

All in all - a productive weekend. Next weekend - more progress is planned. More materials are needed of course. I'm not sure how much we're ordering this time. And I think we still have to go to the DeepHo for the rest of the decking - or else it won't match what we already have. Urg! Just the thought of having to pick 19 more pieces just kills me... and if HD doesn't carry 14' - we have to buy 16. And that's a cost to waste ratio that does not make me feel warm 'n fuzzy inside.

And yes, it is preferable to go straight 14' instead of breaking it up into smaller pieces and patterning it. (This is for the shorter section by the french doors.)

Plunging In, PT First

Tomorrow's the big dive. Mike's going to order up our first round of materials from Morse Lumber. Notice I did not mention a certain big box store.... and that's key here. Who wants to spend hours and hours hand picking 2x10's from a mountain of cruddy 2x10's? Who wants to load them all in and out of the truck? Who wants to pay up the wazoo?

Not us.

When large quantities of materials are on the line, and I have the cash to cover it, I would much rather order from Morse Lumber, who will deliver it to my driveway same or next day absolutely free and I've always been highly satisfied with the quality of their product. Plus we have an account there, courtesy of our neighbor Matt. (He and his dad run the business, you know.)

The only reason we don't go there for all our small stuff is that I normally don't have the cash to cover it.... and I don't have a normal credit card. Just a DeepHo card. And the Home Depot is a little bit closer to our house. Which is all ridiculous logic... I wouldn't even call it logic, actually.

Anyway, back to the subject on hand. With materials ordered, you just know we'll be working all memorial day weekend. I can't wait - weather's going to be great - I might even buy paint and start on the garage, just for the fun of it. And maybe I'll see if I can dig up some shutters on craigslist....

Weather or Not?

Locals may have noticed that my Friday's weather prediction turned out to be 100% wrong. ("The forecast calls for a 60% chance of poopiness with mostly gross skies and temperatures low in the depths of the sweater drawer.") It was actually sunny, hot, and beautiful out for the majority of the weekend.

In fact, Sunday I sat out for nearly 3 hours in my lawn chair where the porch will soon be, soaking in the rays. (Proving at long last that yes, I do in fact know how to relax.)

But I have to admit, I was still feeling pretty down for the majority of the weekend. You all know that I've been concerned about funds... and I got yet another unexpected bill in the mail on Saturday for $300 something that just made things even worse. Plus, Mike was out of fuel - diesel fuel... another $100 to keep his truck going. And we continued to spend bookoo bucks for more building materials - right on that DeepHo card, which has now crested the $1,000 mark.

I know I shouldn't complain - I can still eat and drive and make house progress, all while paying my bills. It's just a tight squeeze is all. And tight squeezes make me nervous. It helps to blog it out. I know there are so many people out there in worse situations. So don't think I'm not thankful! Please. I am. I'm just nervous is all.

We began work on the house just after the mail came on Saturday. I was trying my best to keep my chin up and focus on the project at hand. Our goal was to install the ledger - the big PT boards that go across the front of the house and help hold up the decking.

We had purchased all the boards and 40 big ass bolts complete with washers and some 1" PVC that we would install behind the bolts to space the boards away from the wall. (That way, water can pass through without getting between the board and the house and rotting the plywood.)

Although we had Tyvek'd the entire front of the house, we were advised to put up an additional, waterproof barrier (Ice & Water) at the bottom of the exterior plywood. Turns out, you don't put on the siding before the porch - so this bottom part of the house remains exposed, sans siding. The ice & water will protect it from the elements. So we lifted up the Tyvek, stuck on the ice & water, then pulled down the Tyvek and re-stapled.

Then we began attaching the boards. It was tough work, even though we had an impact gun to help drive in the bolts - it took the better part of the day to get everything up.

Next step - framing and decking. I'm not sure if we'll be able to start that this weekend or not. I hope so. If not... we'll be stuck in limbo, since I can't spend money on anything else.

Sunday - after my relaxing sun afternoon, Mike put up the window trim in the kitchen for me. It turned out awesome, and I couldn't stop staring at it for the rest of the night. Such a nice end to the weekend.

Give or take a few thousand monkeys, a few thousand typewriters...

The theory states - if you put a few thousand monkeys in a room with a few thousand typewriters and give them unlimited time - they'd eventually write the works of Shakespeare - purely by chance.

The same theory should apply to home renovation by non-professionals. Give or take a few thousand projects, you'll eventually do something right - purely by chance.

Every time we talk to one of our carpenter friends, it's "Well, you're not really supposed to do it that way." or "You're really supposed to use this..." or "It would have been easier if you had..." I guess we haven't hit that magical random project that turns out beautifully perfect by pure random chance.

It was the same story last night. Mike had some questions, and called up a friend of ours, who immediately had changes for us to make to the work we did last weekend. Small changes, mind you. We're usually not too far adrift on the sea of can't-turn-back-now. He also had some advice for this upcoming weekend, as we want to continue to press forward and get as much accomplished as we can - without starting to frame out the porch. (That is not a job for un-professionals, especially when inspections are on the line.)

So he's going to come by tomorrow morning to provide some much needed guidance. I'm not quite sure what's happening yet - something to do with some 2x10 or something that goes... somewhere. I paying about 2% attention to Mike as he was trying to tell me. I was so out of it last night.

2% Attention - great band name. As apposed to Skim Attention and Whole Attention. First album: "Crying Over Spillt Attention"

And I guess we can finish that window trim in the kitchen... and put up the exterior trim on that one mudroom window. And if it doesn't rain I could always start repainting the exterior window trim.

I have to admit, I'm not very enthusiastic about the approaching tomorrow. The forecast calls for a 60% chance of poopiness with mostly gross skies and temperatures low in the depths of the sweater drawer. That, coupled with the fact that bills and a trip to BJ's have stripped us of our stimulus money... it's got me feeling like I should just crawl in bed with a bowl of cookie dough and watch cartoons for 48hrs straight.

Mike would stab me if he saw me doing that. I'd have to lock myself in.

I'd like to start tiling in the mudroom - my dadoo has already agreed to help. (He also did our kitchen tile - which I get more compliments on then anything else.) But I feel like I shouldn't spend anything not exterior-related, since I have that big 'ol list to fulfill.

And I have to keep spending religiously on the exterior if I intend to have it all completed by the end of summer. I can't be cheap because every weekend is precious.

Stay tuned - I don't know what's going to happen next.

Do you HAVE to remind me?

A couple months ago I switched home insurances - from the stupid MA Fair Plan to something more economical. And of course, this meant a home inspection. I always dread these things because, of course, this renovation is still in progress and many things are not finished. Many little things that people like home inspectors like to eat you up over.

When I've had these inspections before, I've been very quiet and let the inspector roam around by themselves. This last time, however, I had a woman who was very talkative and had questions about this or that. But I felt good about the whole thing because she was nice and very complimenting of our upstairs and kitchen. I knew the exterior would be an issue. And she asked about the wood stove in the garage - and I knew that would be our downfall for sure.

But the months went by. No phone calls. The switch went through and we got our new insurance plan in place. I thought, maybe it was ok because they knew we were renovating.

Then yesterday I get a phone call. A phone call with a list of grievances that must be addressed, fixed, removed, etc.

The siding must be replaced.
The chimney must be properly sealed.
The roof must be replaced.
Gutters must be installed.
Railings must be installed on all stairways and exterior entryways.
The wood stove must be removed from the garage.
Debris must be cleaned from the yard.

And honestly, none of this is really all that surprising - except for the debris part. Mike always has junk all over the place by the garage - and the garage is a freakin disaster area all the time and I can't stand it. BUT, I don't see why that would be an issue. I've seen all these places on TV that are absolute disaster areas - and I've been to houses with so much junk in the yard that they were actually condemned.

All we have in front of the garage is the little trash hut, ramps, the grill, some bits of scrap metal, misc parts, and I think there's a snow shovel.

Whatever - it's a good excuse to make Mike clean.

As for the rest, the only thing that worries me is getting it all done this summer. As you know, the farmer's porch and front siding are in the works. However, I hadn't planned on refinishing the rest of the house's exterior.

We did talk to a guy about doing the roof this summer - so that's only a problem of monetary fundage. Gutters are no big woop-de-do, although I hadn't planned on it. That's just another expense, plus time. The wood stove we can take out of the garage any time. And indeed, we do plan to put it in the basement this winter... but then that comes with building another chimney in addition to our current "unsealed" chimney.

And I don't even know what they mean by "unsealed." We built that chimney ourselves with concrete and terra cotta - a kind of, build-your-own-chimney-kit that we purchased from a local masonry place. All it needs in the surround, a decorative facade, and the cap. So... ok. Yet another cost.

The insurance company will be back out to inspect again in mid-September. And obviously, we have to show major progress or else they'll cancel us. More summer fun! Yay! I don't even want to count how many weekends we have to get all this done. It's like a reality show or something... I just wish I would win a million bucks if I did complete everything.

On a lighter note

After this morning's rant-post, I now have to return you to our regularly scheduled programming. When we last left our heroes, they had a long weekend to-do list....

And do it we did! Boy did we do it.

First thing in the AM, we replaced the old leaky dryer vent with the new one.



Next, I got up in the attic to see what was up with the track light wiring - was it wired or what? Well, it was wired. So the problem was in the connection of the track light wire to the recessed light box. Turns out, Mike had to squeeze in there and reconnect. But that got it working beautifully!

By then it was early afternoon and Mike's friend JP was over to help us with the french door caulk and pan. So they made a little lunch, then took out the door, caulked all around, installed a drip pan thing at the bottom, and re-installed the door.

Here's the bottom of the inside of the door where you can see the metal drip pan folded up on top of the doorway. Now we're all ready for tile! (Although not this weekend.)

JP left shortly after the door was in, which left us to our next task - the kitchen window! And to think, I don't even think that was on Friday's to-do list! Mike just offered to do it after a giant wasp got into the kitchen the other day.

I wanted a huge sill on this one - for misc junk 'n plants 'n stuff. So we picked out a 10" shelf-like sill as you can see here. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to finish, as we were headed out to the first BBQ of the season down in Yarmouth.

But Sunday. Woa Sunday. We started the morning by working on the window again - but soon realized it was taking way too long - and we had to pull the siding off our house and make it to the dump by 3pm! Crazy time schedule, eh?

We switched gears and started tearing off the old blue siding - only going up 4' because we didn't have enough plywood or time or money to do more then that at that moment.

Here you can see that under the old siding is even older shingles. Can you imagine? So even when we got the siding down, we then had to pull off the shingles.

You can see Mike starting here on the shingles. And for once we thought to put down a tarp first to contain the mess! Finally - I think we're learning! (Takes us a while, ya know?) This way, we were able to just drag the tarp to the truck and dump it.

Under the shingles - barnboard. The stuff that's probably circa 1910.

And, unfortunately, we also found some rot under all that shingles/siding. Look here at the bottom right of this pic and you can see a large beam is crumbling. We replaced many of these during the house lifting process, but the problem with this one - it was covered up on the outside, and looked perfectly solid from the inside. Just goes to show you - you never can really tell what's rotting....

Luckily, this beam was the only one that really needed replacing along the entire front of the house. Great news, actually. So we finished loading up for the dump - dumped the demo - and then stopped at the DeepHo for a PT beam and some 3/4 ply.

When we got home, Mike used the large wooden T we made for leveling the house to jack it up just under the rotted beam. (After the house was put down on its new foundation, it was not level. Our carpenter had to lift the house in portions using the T and jacks and then add wood to the sill to even it out.)

Then Mike cut out the old beam using the sawzall, adding a couple smaller jacks to the sill as it was cleared of the old beam. Then he cut and inserted the new beam and lowered the house back on it. Phew. I always get so nervous when it comes to jobs like this. If that corner of the house were to fall because of a jack failure or anything weird like that.... I don't even want to imagine the repercussions.

At this point, you've noticed the pics have stopped. Of course, Sunday was also mother's day. And unfortunately, Mike couldn't leave while the house was still jacked - so I had to head over to the folks home all by my lonesome.

By the time I got back that evening, Mike had the entire front of the house plywooded. I was just in time to help clean up and get the Tyvek on. At this point it was just getting dark. Mike was so exhausted. But we did it. We got nearly everything done that I'd listed out.

I can't wait to see what this weekend will bring...

No More News!

I've had it. Up to my neck had it.... and now, unfortunately I've dragged some good friends into the fire too.

Because of my houseblog, I've been contacted a couple of times by news media - always regarding our demolition party. (I guess it's some sort of new fad sweeping the nation.) And I suppose I should have learned my lesson after the Wall Street Journal nearly blew it all out of proportion...

It's retarded. If you've never been interviewed for anything before - take it from me and avoid at all costs. I was on the phone with the WSJ for nearly 2 hours getting asked everything from "why I bought my house" to "what did you serve for lunch" And then, despite the fact that you just told this person half of your life story, she edits you down to maybe two quotes - two of the worst, most misleading quotes - the kind where you ask yourself, "Why did I say that?"

Why? Because you were freakin tired of talking and thinking after 2 hours on the phone.

With the WSJ, they were obsessed with the fact that somebody accidentally knocked the thermostat off the wall and turned it up to about 90. No big deal - we just realized it was getting really hot and Mike turned off the furnace all together. The reporter asked me question after question about this event - probably trying to get me to say something that she could use to indicate that we were all drunk and dangerous and disorderly. She even went so far as to interview Mike about it as well - but at this point, I could tell what she was doing and asked her not to include that part of the story in the article.

After that affair, I should have learned my lesson. And I did. WSJ later contacted me because WHDH in Boston had contacted them regarding doing a local version of the story. I elected not to do the WHDH story, and did not email the reporter.

But she showed up at my house anyway. And that was no surprise - I mean, if you look at my blog and google my name and all that, you can pretty much find my address. I don't make it easy, mind you, but it's not impossible.

And most of you all know what happened from there. I repeatedly said no. Then she got down on her hands and knees in my living room and begged me, especially after I had shown her my video footage from the party.

This was the most damming thing for me. She wanted to use my footage. And the thought of that kind of tickled me, so I said yes. That was my A1 mistake. A few days later she contacted me again and asked if a phone interview would be agreeable. I said yes, as a favor to her. I should have known better.

But I thought I covered all angles - I repeatedly said in the interview that no one was drunk - no one was even drinking until we were done, and even then it was really just because people were thirsty. Yes it said "get drunk and disorderly" on the invitation - but that was just for fun. I told her straight out, "I don't think I was even drinking at my own party - I was in charge of everyone - it was like a job site." And then I said, "The most important thing is to know your own friends, this kind of party isn't for everyone. It's not really about getting drunk as much as getting stuff done and then having a good time. And if your friends are all about getting wasted - maybe you shouldn't invite them." Or something like that - that was the way the whole interview went.

I talked about all our safety gear that we used and that we had a carpenter on hand to provide guidance. We even posted Ground Rules right in the front room of the house. And we had food and drinks out in the garage, out of the way. I wasn't about to put anyone in danger for god's sake!! And yes, demolition parties aren't for everyone and I wasn't offended that some people didn't want to come. No problem - not your thing, no big deal!

It's so easy to edit something into something it's not. And I of all people should be well aware of that. But I expect my colleagues to have some sort of ethics. In advertising, sometimes I'm forced to do something unethical because the client asks for it. But we always advise them not to. In news, you're not being forced to do anything. And to edit an interview and video to "match" your story is just downright sleeze. Your job is to report - not to edit something to fit into "your story"

And that right there ladies and gentlemen is the problem with news. And the thing is, I knew that. I knew that and I went ahead with everything anyway because I had stars in my eyes about my footage being on the air... which is just ridiculous, because my commercials are on the air all the time.

So once again, I've been slapped in the face, and so have several good friends who were awesome enough to come to my house and work for some food and beers tearing down my walls. It's an insult to them and all the hard work they did to help make my house what it is today. It wasn't fair of me to jeopardize them like that and I wish today that I could take it all back.

But I've learned my lesson this time. No more news. No thanks. No way. Not even if you beg and plead.

How's Everything Since the Stimulus?!

I can't say that the stimulus saved my life... just my week. And it possibly saved this weekend too - since I'll be able to get my hands on some materials.

But first let me rewind back to last weekend. This has been such a crazy week that I've barely had time to breath out, let alone blog anything! Saturday we were even so busy that we didn't manage to start the footings until 4 or 5 in the afternoon! At at that point we were so wiped - it was really hard work.

We had to get it done, though. We had rented the cement mixer for the weekend only.

So we got out the hose and the cement and started just mixing away. The actual pouring into the sonotubes turned out to be a little difficult too. Mostly because we've had so much rain that the sonotubes were moist and the cardboard layers kept peeling off of the edges. Not so much to compromise the structural integrity of the tube - just enough to be a pain in the butt while pouring in cement.

Mike tilted the mixer as I kneeled down by the hole with a piece of plywood that I used to direct the pouring cement into the hole. The system worked relatively well. And, it turned out we had nearly the exact correct amount of cement. We only had two bags left over. Very cool. I love a day that I don't have to run back to the DeepHo for some stupid thing.

After each tube was full, we put a bracket into the cement at the exact tube center. These will later hold the posts of the porch. We had a problem with the footing nearest to the house. Somehow, it had gotten off center! I don't know whether we were just off on our calculations initially, or whether all the rain settled the soil in some weird way - the world may never know. But on that one we had to offset the bracket so that it would line up with the other footings. I was pretty nervous about that, but Mike assured me that we'd be able to make it work.

We finished the footings around nightfall and just crapped out. Sunday morning was even more hectic and the weather was terrible! But we managed to make it to the blessing of the bikes anyway, and then enjoyed lunch with some friends over at The All American... soaked mind you. By the time we made it home from that we totally just wanted to poop out. And we did!

That was our last weekend.

And if you were thinking we'd start building the porch this weekend - well, you'd be absolutely... WRONG. Nope - we still have some other stuff to catch up on first - plus, the weather's going to be terrible. Again. But no worries, cause we've got so much stuff to get a jump on.

Number A - We've got a scrap metal run to make on Saturday morning - and then, hopefully, a dump run.

Number B - We need to install that new dryer vent, especially with all this rain heading our way.

Number C - (Cause I like numbering my letters.) We have to nail up the exterior window trim we cut and painted like a million years ago.

Number D - We have to pull back the siding on the front of the house, fix any rot, and install plywood in prep for the new siding.

Number E - If I get any time to myself, I need to scrape and repaint some peeling areas of the current window trim.

Number F - We need to get up into the attic and figure out where the mudroom track light wire goes so we can get that fixed and/or hooked up.

Number G - We NEED need need need need to reinstall the french doors. Yes, we just got the glass fixed and all that - but the thing is, we need to caulk the whole thing and install some flashing at the bottom. That's been missing from the start and if nothing else but this gets done this weekend - I will be a happy happy camper because I've been complaining about this since the beginning.

So I think that's plenty enough to keep us busy this weekend, if the rain holds off.

Woo w/a-side-a Hoo

I usually don't post on Saturdays - being my day to get stuff done - but I have some momentous news courtesy of Uncle Sam....

So I went to check my bank account online to see how much non-money I had and which checks had gone through. But on the home page where they showed my balance - it was too high! I thought to myself, is there some transfer that happened? Did I accidentally put my check into checking instead of savings?

I clicked on checking. You're not going to believe it - it was our freakin economic stimulus money! It had been directly deposited just like our tax refund. $1200. I nearly died. And immediately my head is swimming with the possibilities, but I have to remember not to blow it - this is porch money. Materials money. Pay-off-that-DeepHo-card money. Buy lean cuisines for lunch money.

Just yesterday I was gearing up for a belt-tightening week. And now the belt is coming off entirely! I guess that's the power of techno music/positive attitude.

It's Nearly Summer - Do you Know Where Your Progress Is?

Ah spring. Yesterday was May 1st and that means it's high time for some major warm weather progress action! YEAH! Get pumped. Download some techno. Strap your ipod to your arm and start groovin like there's no one around to see ya!

That's what I did yesterday. Well - I downloaded some techno and pumped it up in the car and drove like there was no one around to see me anyway. Then I went to the GROCERY STORE! Yeah, hardcore... right there.

Too bad cash flow has trickled down to zilch due to massive spring bills and rising fuel costs. Still, we attempt to press on and I attempt to motivate myself and keep that 'ol depression at bay.

Tonight Mike's picking up a cement mixer, which we're renting for the weekend for just $50. (That's usually the price of just one day's rental, but Mike's got some connections....) Tomorrow morning he'll be working for a friend of his for some extra cash and we'll start cementing in the afternoon.

After that, I suppose it's time to start ripping siding off the house. That means I'll have to purchase plywood. I'd rather not keep racking up my homedepot card bill - but I need to save cash to pay for labor.

God, it seems just like yesterday I had nearly $10,000 in my savings. A freakin record. Now I owe myself at least $1300 and I'll probably end up transferring more money out of savings so I can buy Lean Cuisines for lunch next week.

Ok - this is the kind of talk that made me download new music. I just can't get down and stressed about this crap. What have I been saving for if not for this porch?! Gotta just start groovin here at my computer - get me back and pumped up.

Somebody give me a Corona - stat!

Once the siding has been ripped back a little, we can start building the actual porch of it. At which point, we need to call in The Professional. I'll have him call Morse Lumber using our acct. # for whatever materials we need - they're great and they deliver.