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This is a day that I don't want to feel cold and alone.

  It's kind of odd to me how after being at the con, I was really pretty okay with being alone. There was this sense of accomplishment that I think is something that made me feel worth more, and that whole self-worth thing is kind of intimately tied in with the feelings of loneliness and so on.
I suppose it shouldn't be odd, but I never really made the connection.

  I've hit a kind of stride now, I think. Kind of hard to tell, but I'm kind of rarin' to go on the front porch cement work. I stopped by Home Depot last night, and they actually had pallets of concrete block that came with the full-header blocks so I can do the tight corners. I was tempted-- they also have 12-inch thick block as well as the standard 8-inch-- but the 8-inch is just fine for what I need. I'm already overbuilding. And they deliver and offload the block. I'd still need to move it around to the front of the house, but that can be done a few blocks at a time (I have a cart).

  I'm doing dry stacking with a fiber-cement overlay, then filling the voids with rebar and concrete. It's a lot like pouring a solid concrte wall as far as strength, but instead of trying to set up forms, the block itself becomes the form, and also an integral part of the wall. The dry-stacking is just to make it easier for one person to do. And it ends up looking like stucco rather than a block wall.

  Because I am one person. I don't have the luxury of a partner to do all of this with.

  I do have friends that are willing to help, but my schedule is primarily working evenings after work and weekends when the weather is decent. Small bits and pieces. Hard to schedule. But with just me, I can remain pretty flexible, and not have to worry about date night, or activities that were scheduled without my knowledge, or not paying enough attention to her because I'm always working on the stupid house.

  The downside is that I don't get to share thr responsibilities with anyone else, and after I've been moving concrete all day, I still have to cook, clean, feed the pets, walk the dog, and the general stuff of life. It's exhausting.

  Maybe I should consider getting a housekeeper. Not like I can really afford one. And realistically, I need to get my life to a manageable point, not look for ways around it. But the idea is a nice one.

  And I probably shouldn't date until after the bathroom looks like something other than an art deco acid trip that was taken over by Nyarlathotep. Hot babes seem to like non-disgusting bathrooms. That of course assumes that I would be bringing dates to my house and letting them use the bathroom instead of just burying them in the basement like usual.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 7th, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC)
And I probably shouldn't date until after the bathroom looks like something other than an art deco acid trip that was taken over by Nyarlathotep.

Bad decor is excusable, especially if you didn't do it on purpose, or the house came with it. As long as its clean, it's okay. I'm squicked by whiskers in the sink, mildew in the tub and the like. Hell, I lived in a house with a bathroom of pink fixtures and plastic tile that looked like Irish Spring soap. Talk about gwoss.
Jul. 7th, 2005 07:37 pm (UTC)
Well, the *clean* is kind of the evil minion part. There is currently no ceiling fan, so mildew tends to form quickly, and the ceiling is peeling off in small stages. The walls look like alligator skin. The plaster is cracked in a few places, there are leaks and permanent discolorations, and the previous owner installed wood waincotting to hide the holes in the plaster. And wood in a bathroom that tends to be damp in the summer is just a really bad idea. Cedar would have been fine, but they used pine. It's just a really bad thing.

I've kind of been holding off planning a remodel until I can find a soaking tub that is 36" wide and 72" long and deep enough for me to relax in.

It's also complicated by the upstairs "bathroom" having been plumbed by the previous owner. I need to run new hot and cold supply lines up to that bathroom so I can make the bathtub work (how anybody could screw that up is beyond me), and add a shower head so I will actually be able to take a shower while the downstairs bathroom is torn apart. In order to do that, I have to tear out part of the downstairs bathroom wet wall.

It's a good wintertime project.
Jul. 7th, 2005 06:58 pm (UTC)
Right after I got divorced, I got a housekeeper. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Work, kids, and a dog were just over-whelming and knowing the house needed to cleaned was just another burden on my mind.

I couldn't really afford it either, but there was nothing like coming home and finding all of the clutter organized and the kitchen and bathrooms scrubbed. It just made life easier while I was trying to get my life back on track.
Jul. 7th, 2005 08:01 pm (UTC)
I can't afford it right now. Besides, a housekeeper would take one look at the Big Broken Box™ and run screaming.
Jul. 7th, 2005 07:02 pm (UTC)
some ideas I have:

1. I have a cleaning lady that is $25 an hour..if you are interested let me know

2. You are not alone with the working on the house alone thing, my basement went much faster with Romeo, even though he only worked 25% of the total hours, but it was still helpful! and I didn't feel so alone. Sometimes he just picked up food, that was a HUGE help!

3. I am totally interested in joining a "house working" group. I need to do the patio and tile my tub surround and put in a heater/fan in the bathroom.

4. Are you around this weekend for bricks? are they good for a patio? do they have the little holes in the middle for cement to fill? or are they solid? (solid would be better I should think.....)

5. Clean bathrooms is the most important to me, not good looking. wallpaper goo hanging off the walls? gross :)

Jul. 7th, 2005 07:56 pm (UTC)
I really can't afford a cleaning lady. It's a nice thought, but at this point it's not a reality.

I should be around this weekend. Give me a call first to make sure, sixonetwo twozeroone twofournineseven on my cell.

The bricks are solid, but they are still mostly encased in mortar. That may be easily dissolvable with some muriatic acid (available at Menards/HomeDepot) but I haven't tried it yet. They are old, and a lot of them are damaged.
As to whether they are good for a patio... they aren't pavers, they have the square edges of brick, but they are a consistent height. If you can get them apart, they could look really cool in an antique sort of way. The external face is textured, which would suck to walk on with bare feet. However, the mortared surfaces are flat, and probably the best bet for a patio surface.

I do have a cut-off saw with masonry blades that might be just the thing for cutting off the mortar-- I hadn't even thought of that. It's still a labor-intensive process.

I'll try and post a picture tonight to give you a better idea.
Jul. 7th, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC)
The wallpaper thing-- the previous owner actually painted over the existing wallpaper. And he used an oil-based enamel, which doesn't let water in except at the sides, so it peels, but only in little pieces.

I really want to find him and smack him on the head for some of the completely asinine things that he did.
Jul. 7th, 2005 07:53 pm (UTC)
I can empathize. I always have to choose between working on outside or inside projects. My cats don't lift a damn finger paw to help around the house either.
Jul. 7th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)
Timing of the porch is kind of critical, since the permit expires in early October. Everything else is not so critical at this point, but that may change.
Jul. 7th, 2005 08:01 pm (UTC)
Neil's words of wisdom
"A Man Needs A Maid"

My life is changing
in so many ways
I don't know who
to trust anymore
There's a shadow running
thru my days
Like a beggar going
from door to door.

I was thinking that
maybe I'd get a maid
Find a place nearby
for her to stay.
Just someone
to keep my house clean,
Fix my meals and go away.

A maid. A man needs a maid.
A maid.

It's hard to make that change
When life and love
turns strange.
And old.

To give a love,
you gotta live a love.
To live a love,
you gotta be "part of"
When will I see you again?

A while ago somewhere
I don't know when
I was watching
a movie with a friend.
I fell in love with the actress.
She was playing a part
that I could understand.

A maid. A man needs a maid.
A maid.

When will I see you again?
Jul. 7th, 2005 09:03 pm (UTC)
Speaking of previous owners freakishness...
If you haven't already seen it, you need to take a look at eldogo's bathroom.

Don't use it for inspiration. Please.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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