The painters we hired three months ago showed up today, nice and early. Little Joe (who wasn't little) and Brad said they'd be here at least ten hours, or til the job was done. The brush work team would come later. They apologized ahead of time for all the flowers they'd likely trample. I'd already let the two dogs out, and tended after their business, and isn't that just fun, to walk behind the dogs waiting for fresh, steamy 'results'. My rushed beauty regimen had consisted of deodorant, a comb and some moisturizer so I looked quite lovely.
When the painters arrived I noticed our next door neighbors had a red service truck parked on the lawn, between our houses. The tree man was there to remove a huge tree, damaged in last week's storm. Before Little Joe and Brad could even get started, tree man fired up the chain saw. Nothing lets you know you're smack dab in the middle of suburbia like the loud, low wail of a chain saw.
This is what our home looked like this morning. Like most aging actresses, she looks better when she's not in HD, but rather seen from a bit of a distance. Not bad for forty and no botox.
Little Joe obviously has no fear of heights. I especially love the casual look of porch furniture scattered across the lawn. When Little Joe told me they'd go down to the creek to pee, I just nodded my head.
Just behind that tree on the right is Tree Man's red truck. He spent the entire day up in that tree. With the chain saw running. Loud and low.
Mid-morning my daughter and her toddler, Landon showed up for lunch and an afternoon of visiting during his naptime. DH came home for lunch to check out how the work was going. He took that opportunity to chat with tree man, arranging for him to come trim our overgrown trees out front later this week. So we have yet another day of service people with chain saws here at our house. Such fun!
Late morning the painters moved to the back of the house. The skinny one, Brad knocked on the door. "Do you have something to pick up the dog crap?" "Excuse me?" "The dog crap, I need something to pick it up. It's all over the place, right where I have to put ladders and I don't want to be steppin' in it."
I very nicely told him I'd just 'tended the yard' that morning, so there couldn't be much out there, then I went and grabbed the pooper scooper equipment for the second time that day. Four piles. Hardly 'all over the place'. He thanked me and went back to work.
The chain saw continued to buzz. Tree limbs fell. Ladders knocked against the back of the house, outside the nursery where Landon cried because of the relentless noise, as the men walked across the roof. Leslie tended to Landon, we made a pot of coffee and settled in for a visit in spite of it all.
I got called outside about
twenty seven million six times to tell me something else on our house was falling apart and needed immediate attention. Questions like, "why is that gutter so oxidized?" What female on the planet earth knows the answer to a question like that? Finally I told Little Joe, who I know was just trying to be oh so helpful that we'd already shelled out a wad of money to fix up the house to sell it, and 'it was what it was' and to just P.L.E.A.S.E. P.A.I.N.T. I.T. He didn't knock on the door anymore after that. It may have been my eyes bugging out, or maybe he's married and seen that look before.
The chain saw continued to wail, loud and low. The ladders bumped against the windows, and they continued to walk all over the roof, especially right over the nursery where Landon was
Finally Leslie gathered her toddler and headed back home to what must have seemed sheer bliss, sans chain saws and painters. DH came home from his work day and the painters were still here. As was the chain saw, moaning loud and low.
At about 7 PM they let us know it was quitting time, they couldn't get it all done in one day after all, and would be back bright and early tomorrow to spend another half a day here finishing up. And by the way, did we know we have two bats hanging just inside a vent on the second floor? (Where the mortar has come off the brick,which was crappy thing #5 wrong with the house.) And if we would just buy some specific goo they would be happy to shimmy back up there tomorrow and caulk it up, possibly trapping the bats inside our attic to die and rot? We took approximately five seconds to agree that was a grand plan and we'd go out tonight and buy the goo and have it ready for them. Who minds the smell of rotting bat? I personally prefer it to a live bat anywhere in our house, and honestly I just don't have time right now to put a bat house up in the backyard, while my friends I've invited over for a twilight bat party stand on the driveway watching to see if they've safely exited the premises, which is what the internet suggested I do. The world is just going to have to get by with two less live bats.
This is what the house looks like tonight - a bit like a big brick package ready to ship!
There would be no cooking tonight. Rather, we'd be running out to grab goo to trap bats. I headed outside to check the gates, and let the dogs out one more time. I noticed a faucet dripping, tried to turn it off and managed to spray myself with the water shooting out the top of the hose. Out the corner of my eye I saw one of the dogs running out the gate, across the driveway, so I started screeching (over the loud and low chain saw). I saw my neighbor trying to grab the dog, who would likely run out in the street to his death and for a split second I was trying to decide if that was a good or bad thing. I yelled 'grab fur!', tore across the yard, through the open gate, to the dog and my neighbor. We chatted about the house paint, the wailing chain saw (in the background still), then I proceeded to pull the dog inside the house, shoved him in the kennel. We climbed in the car and left, the wailing chain saw still at it in the background.
About a mile up the road DH looked over at me, paused a minute and asked, "do you smell something?" I'm sure he was actually thinking, 'man alive that lunch didn't agree with her!'. I said, 'well, actually, yes. It smells like dog crap in here, doesn't it.' Some days you just know there IS indeed going to be dog crap on your shoe, because the entire day has gone that way. I turned over my one shoe, and sure enough such horrible yuck stuck to the bottom, so I pulled it off. I lifted the other one. 'She shoots! She scores!' 100% - dog crap smushed into the grids of both shoes. DH looked at me, and calmly said, 'if this was a first date I can't say that there would be a second.' I told him, 'what? I look so great and smell good to match.' We rolled down the windows as I rode with two dog crappy shoes turned bottom side up on my lap, to the hardware store.
At Home Depot I promptly looked for a puddle (there are always puddles in PA), walked over and spied a good, sturdy stick. Standing in the parking lot barefoot, looking oh so classy, I took each shoe, plopped them down in the puddle to wash them off a bit, then whacked the daylights out of them on the curb, over and over with a few episodes of scraping at them with the stick. As I was whapping my shoe on the curb, standing there barefoot, with my hair and makeup all attractive, I spied a young teenager looking at me, out the window of her mother's car. The disgust on her face was priceless. Only one thing on a shoe would cause you to stand in the parking lot of Home Depot and swish it in a mud puddle, scraping it with a stick. I just kept whacking my shoes til they were wearable, plopped them back on my feet, and walked away like a little china doll, scraping them across the parking lot to rid myself of any last traces of poo.
So it was a crappy day, literally, several times actually. The house looks semi-awful, I look awful and smell questionable, but you know, some days are just like that. I'm praying tomorrow goes a bit more smoothly, but planning to watch where I step. After all, we're trapping and killing bats, hopefully, the dogs will be given breakfast bright and early, and the tree guy isn't done either, so he'll likely be back for the entire day too. It's likely to be just another crappy day in paradise.
posted at 10:18 PM