Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Still among the living.......??? ......perhaps

UGH.......felt sooo bad this morning that I had to call and cancel an appointment I had in STL this afternoon. I had been asked to clinic a high school band for 90 minutes this afternoon by a former student who now teaches band in STL. His band is preparing for their district/state performance in a concert setting and he wanted me to work with them.......to help put the final touches on their upcoming performance. BUT.....I could barely speak this morning and my face was puffy....and worse than that, all of my upper teeth were hurting form the pressure from my swollen sinuses!! I felt, and still do feel, really bad about this, but just didn't think I would have been of any assistance to him the way I was felt. They will be in a competition at Worlds of Fun later this spring, so I will go up to STL and work with the kids before they go over to Kansas City.

Stayed with my head in the hot water of the shower for a LONG time this morning when I finally did get out of bed. It did seem to get things flowing and by this afternoon I was feeling a bit better. Had to run out to the SuperCenter, no matter how I felt, and get a few over the counter meds. '

Then just rather laid around the house and out on the patio today. The weater was incredible.....74 degrees here this afternoon....WOW!!!!! And it is still February. .........global warming??? I really think soo!

Tonight we had a former student of the class of '90 come by to give me a price/bid on the bathroom vanity. I gave him a deposit and told him to get it done!!!! Must get a top for it......granite/solid surface/whatever looks good for the $$.

Then.....a full evening of great tv: American Idol.....AND.....The Amazing Race!!!!!!!!!! Love them both!!!! The girls on Idol.....well, I think they are the best overall group of girls they have had in all of the seasons of the show.

Sooooo, it is time for the meds.....and not the dark red kind.......but something to hopefully allow me to sleep ALL night. Feeling better than last night......however, it will be great to get back to 100% again......ASAP!!!! I have toooooo much to finish up on the things that I need to do for Stage 1 of the remodeling project. But.....today did turn out to be better than yesterday.....even if the morning was the craps!!!! And soooooo..

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Ohhhh, but to breathe again......

Well.....perhaps that is a bit of an expanded claim, but the aging sinus cavities are stuffed and clogged and inflamed and swollen.......and I am am feeling all of this......ugh!! And tonight....a bit of fever has settled upon me, soooooo......my little ramblin' blog is finished for tonight. Oh yes........my glass is half full....and not half empty, soooooooo

Life is .....well, Good......and I hope it is a wee bit better for all of you, also!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Is it the dust???

I have been a bit "under the weather" (WHERE did that phrase originate?).........I seem to have a roaring sinus infection which makes my face and head hurt like Hell (where did THAT phrase originate??). Soooo, I have not felt like writing much these past two evenings.......I have just been laying on the couch (the little part of it that is useable within our overstuffed den) and vegitating like a sick old man.

We HAD to do some shopping for carpet yesterday.....and my input into the decision making process was negligible.....perhaps "negative" would be a better choice of words (sure the 1st Lady would agree with that one!!). I was really "out of sorts" (another strange phrase) and so the day was filled with a bit of tension and verbal confrontations. I just didn't have it in me to find a way to compromise on carpet choices and colors......it is all the fault of the damn dust in the house that has caused my sinus cavaties to become so blocked and irritated which has made ME very irritable!!!!!!!!!!

Soooo, you ask: did we accomplish anything yesterday??? Well, only that one carpet gallery is going to get us a larger sample to look at. I cannot choose a carpet that will fill a huge room based on one tiny 2" x 3" inch sample........impossible!!!! That makes about as much sense as buying a house after only looking at the status of the front entry door!!! And I expressed these same opinions to the clerks in the various carptet stores......sure they must have known I wasn't in the best of moods or health???!!!!!!! HA!

I have decided I am toooooo damned picky when it comes to selecting various household items. Does it really make a difference???? Hell yes it does!!!! If I am going to pay big bucks for certain things then I want them to be and look the way I think they should be.......or the way the 1st Lady would like. Soooo, I guess I am just to much of a perfectionist when it comes to certain issues!!! TOO bad, store clerks!!

CRAP.....all of this negativity is making my internal infection of the sinuses shout and scream at me....as the infection attempts to swell even more and burst forth through my head and sagging triple chinned face. Soooo.....enough of my complaining and bitching here in cyberspace!!!!

More later.....

Life is Great......even when I feel like %#()% !!!!!


And soooo, I took some sinus medicine and passed out for about three hours. This type of meds ALWAYS puts me totally, 100%, under!! It completely knocks me out.....and then after coming out from under it I always feel better.....I can breathe and no clogging of the sinus areas. HOWEVER, it is no 3.5 hours after returning to the living world, and I am back to not being able to breathe and feeling like.....well, you know: shit!!

Soooo, as I prepare to put my sagging, sinus-clogged body to bed.....I will take another dose and sleep good for about 4 hours until I awake in the middle of the night.....wide awake!!! But......in the long haul it will clear things out in another day.....I HOPE!!!

Tomorrow.......the sanding of the drywalls begins!!!!!!!! And so......I plan to get my rear out of here for most of the day, after covering everything that I can with blankets, cloths, etc., etc. Especially our little lappies!!!!

Until tomorrow.........

Life is Great!!!!! and I hope it is for all of you, also!!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Just one of those....errrr,...days..

Yeah......that is the way I have felt today.......just sort of....well, just one of those days. Kind of a "what's wrong with me?" days, I think. Didn't have much of a schedule for the day, soooo I just kind of hung out. Did a few things around the house that could be done in this horrific mess.......got my remodeling file put together: bills, payments made, etc., etc., etc. Then headed to Farmington for a MUCH NEEDED haircut.......if I hadn't had a haircut today, I would have had to buy a neckbrace to keep my head up: those 69 hairs were getting sooooo long.

Then I did a bit of shopping for food to fix for Mike's dinner tomorrow afternoon/evening. Returned to F'town and then just hung out around the house. Took a small nap.....and then watched some tellie and read some of the newspapers online. Had a couple of cups of Fr. Roast coffee.....that always has a way of helping me to get going....hahaha.

Early this evening I caught up on some shirt ironing........had about 14 shirts that had been hanging in the laundry room just waiting for my attention.....so I did my domestic chores and ironed them. Not a very exciting Thursday evening, but got it all done prior to "American Idol" and the Winter Olympics. Had to tape "Survivor" tonight.......tooo many programs that I wanted to see!!

Soooo, the day is over....and tomorrow is fast approaching. As always.......

Life IS Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A hectic day......

Edged myself over the mattress side and rolled onto my evolving feet(seems a certain bone is beginning to evolve and protrude to the side) .....at about 7AM. A few minutes of putting myself together and counting to see if I still had 69 hairs on my head and then oh-so-carefully laid them in their places on the top of my head.....trying to keep the above lights from glaring so strongly on the bald spots which then temporarily blinded me. After that perfected procedure....I had a cup of STRONG Fr. Roast coffee steaming in my spotted hand (age spots). Ahhhhhh, the aroma of the robust coffee..........what a great way to get the day going the right way (I hope).

By 9:30 I was on my way north to Farmington. Picked up a couple of B-day cards at the Hallmark shop there, and then mailed one to Michael....his BD is this Thursday...tomorrow. After that, well......once again I went searching for suitable carpets...price and color being the determining factors. Think I may have located one....THAT will depend on the 1st Lady when she gets a chance to see it.

Then it was back to F'Town.....and by 12:30 the doorbell was ringing. It was one of the cabinetmakers.....and he was at TheHowserHouse for over two hours.....figuring and TALKING. Yep.....he loves to talk....about his craft, his life, and the materials and styles he builds. While he was here, the hardwood floor guy arrived and I had to work with him on the projects we want done.....and while he was here, the mud and tape guy for the new dry wall arrived and he needed some questions answered. WHEW........all three here at the same time and all needing my personal attention!!!

Then when all were gone....except the wall guy......and it was time for my student's to arrive for the next 2.5 hours for their lessons. No sooner were they all finished then it was time to prepare some food for dinner.....nothing fancy....just some baked potatoes and chicken breasts.

By the time I had finished my dark red medicine........the Olympics came on the tellie, BUT......more to be done. I got on the phone to make our flight reservations for Phoenix so we could use our two $335 vouchers before they expired next month. Soooo, we are going to fly out on the 16th of March...Thursday....and fly back on the 20th...Monday. Just a short long weekend trip..... We will be visiting our friends, John and Gayle whom I visited last winter for a week. I've been going out there for the past two years for some winter warmth and desert sun to thaw out my aging bone structure.

Sooooo, a busy day.....not much "down time" for this aging retired band director. Seems impossible that I have been retired only three months less than five years........guess the time really flies when I am having a blast!!!! And since I continue to enjoy my "rebirth"/retirement............

Life is GREAT.......and I hope it is for all of you, also!

Living room in "shrouds"....still much DUST

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New opening from living room to family rm

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Dry Wall mud and tape

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A place for the plasma

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LOOK at me!!!

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Meghan....the Little Drama Queen

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Dr. Jeni (Momma) and Ava

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Toothless Rachel!!

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The Three Little Granddaughters

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Return to the HowserDustBowl

Well, after arising this morning.....fixing my French Roast mug of coffee, and getting my feet cleaned of white dust particles I began to catch up with the "home work". DUST.....DUST......DUST.....and it continues to settle everywhere you can think of....and some places you wouldn't think of! HEHEEEE. A couple of hot mugs of coffee and I was beginning to wake up and realize that there were many things that needed my attention today.

After a morning of relative quiet......the guy who has taped the drywalled rooms couldn't be here today......so I the quiet dust bowl to myself. A thought entered my head last night as I was driving back down here.....and that thought continued to expand and become enhanced as I had the time this morning to allow my mind to think and create. How fun would it be to take an adult group to Europe......my former students and spouses, former educators, and family and friends????????? Now THAT sounds like a trip with LOTS of laughs and fun!!!!! If we could get enough participation, we could have our own chartered coach without having others on the tour that are strangers. WOW.........the idea is still rambling in my head and I am beginning to salivate just thinking about all of this. There is NOTHING like a tour of parts of Europe with a great group of people!!!!!

Soooo, that's where my thoughts have been today. This afternoon I had several errands to run around town.......and then I returned home. I got some more carpet samples from a fellow here in town who has a carpet/tile business........I am looking for a medium gray carpet.

Then I began fixing a great little salad with garlic shrimp for dinner. I thawed out some shrimp, removed the tails, and then cut up a myriad of veggies for the salad, to be added to the lettuce and baby spinach when time to serve. When the 1st Lady returned from school, I sauteed the shrimp in olive oil and fresh garlic, prepared the lettuce/spinach and then added the veggies and balsamic vinegar. I topped the salad with the hot garlic shrimp......sliced up some Tuscan boule (bread), and poured my dark red medicine....and dinner was served. Guess where???? Yep.......into the over stuffed den we went and finding a small cramped place to sit on the sofa, we literally plated our laps and enjoyed the meal. Our dining table is laden with decor items....in fact, we can barely see the table.....haha.

This evening I arranged for the hardwood floor installer to come by tomorrow afternoon, another cabinetmaker to stop by, and still another cabinetmaker for next Monday afternoon. Bids.....Bids.....Bids. And then........it was American Idol for two hours. WOW.....a few INCREDIBLE girls on this season's competition!!!!!!!!

Sooooo, as I watch my Tivo'd Olympics, I will finish this for this evening....and put my sagging hulk to bed before midnight!!! No matter how much DUST......

Life is GREAT......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!

Monday, February 20, 2006

I'm Baaaacccckkkkk!!!!!!! (Still alive, I am..I am)

President’s Weekend: FRESH AIR!!!

WOW……no dust, no insulation fibers, no drywall dust, no stacked furniture!!!! Yeah…..we headed Friday morning for Monroe City, MO…..the home of the 1st Lady’s mother. Much of Friday was devoted to looking for new furniture in various stores in STL. Still haven’t come to a compromise on color and style of sofas…..hmmmm, wonder if we ever will OR will I have lose all input and the 1st Lady will get her choice???!! I even seem to be losing on the choice of color of the paint AND the color of the new carpeting!! Hmmm…..

We picked up Rachel Friday evening after dinner at a new café for us. We found ourselves in the Chesterfield Valley shopping mall by late afternoon and so we didn’t eat at our original dining destination….Red Lobster….but instead, we went to a new place out there called “Mimi’s Café”. Supposedly a French place….but it seemed to be accenting the French Quarter in N.Orleans……many choices of food…perhaps tooooo many with no specific type of cuisine or signature items. I ordered a pasta dish with chicken, artichoke hearts, and sun dried tomatoes in an asiago cheese sauce. It seemed a bit on the dry side…..not dripping in sauce, in fact….there didn’t seem to be any sauce in the pasta bowl. The wine….. from open stock….was not fresh; the bread was nice and warm and very tasty; the salad was not good at all. Served with a balsamic vingerette dressing, it was just head lettuce and a few shreds of carrots. Sooo, not a place I would care to dine at again.

Arrived in Monroe City around 11:30pm….and it was only 6 degrees when we arrived. The wind was howling and many snow flurries pasted themselves against our faces as we unloaded the car. Rachel had slept the entire trip and so needed assistance in getting to the house, and by the time I unloaded the car, I was about frozen!!! Not used to cold temps like this…….the coldest we have experienced all winter.

Much to our surprise, Jeremy had driven over from Evansville, IN and was already there. Soooo, it was good to have a weekend with him. An hour later, Dr. Jeni and daughters arrived, and so…….this old grandpa put on his coat and gloves and once again unloaded her car and the two sleeping granddaughters.

Saturday…….Most of the day was devoted to preparing dinner, eating as a family for a change…..and then I was off to Hannibal, Palmyra, and Quincy, IL. Spend the afternoon looking for furniture…..AGAIN!!! No luck……..found a couple of great sofas….but not the color the 1st Lady likes.

Sunday……a slow start to the day……the three granddaughters played and enjoyed all of us being together. Dinner was served….and then Dr. Jeni, along with Meghan, Ava, and Rachel left for the Moser Estate. I spent the afternoon doing some kitchen planning, and watching a new DVD which I ordered on RVing in Mexico. Can’t wait to head south of the border next winter!!!

The rest of the day was devoted to the Olympics………I always enjoy all of the events in the Winter games. Yes….I do enjoy the figure skating and the ice dancing!!! I love the way the skaters/dancers can interpret the music by the way they skate through their routines……much like a marching band interprets the music on the field!


WOW…..shopped till we dropped today. What were we looking for???? Carpeting, floor ceramic tiles, bedroom set, sofa for our tv/entertainment room……and other items from the new rooms.

After HOURS of going from one store to another……and with a quick mid-afternoon “lunch”, we finally found a sofa that we could compromise on!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT????!!! Perhaps it was just survival of the one who could keep shopping for a sofa?? Anyway…….I “gave in” to the style of the sofa and she “gave in” to the color of the sofa. She went for comfort and function over modern/contemporary aesthetics/style……and I got the color that I wanted: red! Now…..for the carpet and room color…..will I win???? Hmmmmm…..stay tuned for the news when it breaks. (I want a med-dark gray carpet with light gray walls and red accents/artwork for a modern sleek look……..time will tell!)

Sooo, we arrived home shortly after 8pm tonight. The guys doing the mudding and taping of the new drywall rooms must have put in some hours today…..it seems about done, however…..I AM seeing it by flashlight as the electricity is not yet on in the rooms.

I see that my blog has been “not read” by many, many readers…….my site meter has counted many of you who attempted to read my daily ramblings. Others have emailed to see if I am ill, dead, or have disappeared into cyberspace. Sorry to say…..I AM alive and back on my little lappie. I will try to get some pics posted tomorrow of the grandchildren who were with us this weekend……and of the remodeling progress.

TO THE VINAIs who are wintering in Thailand: I REALLY enjoyed your pictures that your emailed me of your trip to Cambodia and Ankor Wat!!!!!!!!!! I sooooo want to get over there to see it with my own eyes before the politics changes there or some other disaster strikes those wonderful, ancient temples!!!!!!! Be glad you were there this weekend as here in Missouri the weather was simply frigid!!!!!! Below zero and this was soooo difficult to take after our relative warm weather this winter.

Soooo, much to do this evening…..way behind with things here. As usual…….

Life IS Great…….and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

WOW.....a rather quiet day!!!! YEAH!!

What a nice change of pace on the homefront!!!! The guy who is to mud and sand will not be here until Monday, so I slept in for a bit longer than usually.....nice. I fixed my morning intake of Fr. Roast coffee and after a couple of hot steaming cups, I went out to the Hanner home to take a granite sample that the Mrs. had left in my truck yesterday after our trip to Marble Hill. Of course......more coffee was awaiting my arrival and so I visited for awhile.....and we continued the game of playing catch-up on each other's lives since they have been gone since last summer.

Leaving there, I went out to the cabinet maker that had given me such a high bid for the kitchen cabinets. I told him that his bid was out of my budget, but thanked him for his troubles. Then a quick trip back into town and a brief stop at the SuperCenter for some necessaries.

Then it was back home and a nice afternoon of napping, reading, and a bit of net surfing. The 1st Lady had to remain at school until almost 8pm tonight. She was the hostess of an Academic Team competition with several other high schools there competing. The late afternoon was interrupted by a series of tornado warnings for our area as the 70 degree weather began to change as a strong cold front headed our way. By tomorrow night it will be down into the teens with flurries of snow drifting down.

I had called another cabinet maker......a former band student.....and he came by to check out our kitchen plans. I gave him the info on how I wanted them to look.....style of the front of the doors.....color of stain, etc., etc. It was good to see him and to visit abit about his family, his children, and his life over the last few years. Soooo, hopefully he will get back to me soon.....and that he can fulfill my desires on our cabs without breaking my bank account!

Tonight, the weather has dropped down into the low 30's with a howling north wind rattling a couple of windows in the house. Brrrrrrrrr........ Winter has returned....UGH!

I may not be able to post for the next few days as we are heading to the 1st Lady's home.....a visit with her mother is needed since we have not been there since the Holidays. The cell phone service is spotty at best and don't think there are any other neighbors with Wifi close by. Perhaps things will have changed......???

I neglected to get any pics of the drywall in the new rooms......just simply forgot today. I'll get some in the morning and post them. We plan to head to STL to look at some furniture stores.........will we find what we want??? I doubt it.......the stars and planets are in the right configuration for any luck for us this week!

Sooooooo........as usual....

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Little Mr. Hanner with his chick!

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YOUNG Miss Hanner with her little chick!

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On the road......again!

We had to get up earlier this morning as our contractor planned to arrive no later than 7AM today. He had some items to complete before the drywall crew arrived at 7:45, so the day was off to an early start!!

The drywall crew began work shortly after they arrived here.......and they finished putting the drywall in place by this evening. There was dust drifting and covering everything.....and they haven't even begun the taping, mudding, and sanding. I really am beginning to think I should get a mask to filter out this crap that is in the air.

At mid-morning I picked up the Mrs. from the Hanner home as she had said she wanted to accompany me down to Marble Hill. I was going there to check out a granite company that makes counter tops.....as well as cemetary monuments. Thought I might get one of those while I was there, also. Might not make it thru all of this remodeling crap.....hahhaa!!

Anyway.....it was quite a place with probably over a 100 huge slabs of different kinds of granite from all over the world!!! Seems that their business has exploded in the past few years and they are "carving" countertops for all over the state........and we were very impressed with their workmanship, the quality of the granite slabs, and the finished products. They gave us quite a tour.......a very educational trip!!!! I felt like I was one of those people on HGTV programs who shop for granite slabs!!! As soon as we finalize plans for the kitchen cabinets then I will begin to think more seriously about the tops.

Returned to F'town, swept the floor, dusted and dusted and dusted and then uncovered the grand piano for my lessons this evening. The evening flew by......watched a boring episode of American Idol and then continued some research on the net for some items.

Tomorrow.......back to Farmington again for some things. Another cabinet maker will be here to work on another bid the the kitchen for us. Soooo, the work continues......the dust still flies......and our house is still in disarray...totally!!!! The end is NOT in sight......but perhaps I am adjusting to existing in just a few overfilled rooms!!?? Hmmmmm....... And so....

Life is Great.....and I hope it is for all of you, also!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Am I actually paying for all of these workers???

OMG.....at one time there were 9 different workers here sawing, digging, hammering, wiring, running a backhoe, delivering pvc pipe, bringing in carpet samples, etc., etc. All I could see were $$$$$$$ coming and going out the door and the driveway.....whew!!! It was a busy and very hectic day in TheHowserHouse with all of this bee hive of activity.....and I found myself seeking isolation in the den with the door closed. I took a 2 mile walk out to the lake and back in my usual 28 minutes.......it had been a few weeks since I had been able to do this, sooo I was out of breath when I reached front door.

The day slipped by quicky, but not quietly.....it WAS very loud: in the house, in the driveway, in the back yard where the backhoe was digging a trench for the plumbing for the new bathroom, the phones ringing, the building supply and lumber company making deliveries, the carpet guy going over samples with me amidst the dust and hammering,........and what will tomorrow bring??????????

When the 1st Lady arrived home we decided to run get a sandwich.....it was tooooo dusty to try to eat at home. I called the Hanner's to see if they would like to join us, but before I could issue an invitation we were invited over to eat with them.....to celebrate Valentine Day. Sooooo, I grabbed a bottle of my dark red medicine and off we went.....AHHHHH, fresh air and quiet!!! And what a great and tasty dinner was laid out on the table in their Great Room.....and it IS great as it measures over 1000 square feet under the cathedral ceiling. Steak and pork loin were the entrees which were preceded by a delicious salad with fresh strawberries ad nuts topping the greens, marinated asparagus and artichoke hearts with feta cheese and cherry tomatoes, baked potatoes, and hot bread. Yummmmmm.....what a wonderful unexpected dinner!! Dessert was a cheesecake and some deliciously decadent chocolate cake of some type with more strawberries and whipped cream.....served with steaming cups of hazelnut coffee. Did I need all of that food.......hell no, but I didn't turn it away either.....hahaha!!!

Back home later in the evening I received a bid from a cabinet maker......and it was WAY toooooo high for the kitchen cabinets!!!!!!! Over our budget by $5000.....UGH!!! So, I'm meeting with another cabinet maker Thursday evening to go over our plans for the kitchen. Tomorrow I am visiting a granite countertop designer.....and will then have to go to STL to the granite "store" where we can pick out the slab we would like.......IF the prices are right. And that.....we shall see!!

Sooooo, with a full tummy ....STILL........I feel very certain that......

Life is GREAT......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!

Check out the pics!

Opening for plasma tv

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1st load of drywall

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Waiting for the drywall

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Plasma in a box.....waiting for its home

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Outside throwaways

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Salad being served

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Is this the right age??

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Valentine Dinner at the Hanner House

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Monday, February 13, 2006

TWO days: And the progress continues...albeit slowly

I suddenly realized it is Monday evening and I didn't post last night. WHY???? I am beginning to feel like I am on one of those sleek luges and am gathering speed hurtling through the descending run........to what outcome, I know not!! WOW.....I sure didn't have the foggiest that this house project would entail soooo much mental decisiveness that needed to be accomplished in such short notice......each day. But.....I AM on this luge and I will see it to the finish line at the bottom of the run.

Yesterday the 1st Lady and I went up to visit Mike until early afternoon. The entire visit was virtually consumed with our reporting of the project and the progress being made. When we returned home, we stopped at Lowe's in Farmington and I picked up 100' of speaker wire for the surround sound system.....which has not yet been purchased, never mind even being selected! BUT...the wire will be in place when the drywall begins to go up tomorrow or Wednesday and it will be much easier to install the system down the road.

By early evening the few brain cells that still exist were rapidly turning to mush, so I just glued my eyes to the tellie and didn't think about anything of importance to me or the world. Hmmmm.....how could the world manage without my input???? I'm certain everyone was waiting for some words of wisdom to be thrust out into cyberspace last night so they would feel better today....hahaha!

Today.....After a brief stop at the bank and the post office, I was headed into the city (STL) to pick up our new plasma tv......which we purchased when we were there on Saturday. First I went to a new contemporary furniture store that I read about online....and I was not disappointed! It is a fabulous store with wonderful modern furniture and decor items with prices that are not as high as other stores I have visited with the new modern styles. It was exciting to have found this store.......whoo hoo!!

Then had a great, delicious, wonderful bowl of soup at Panera Bread/St Louis Bread Co. I HIGHLY recommend the new "Roasted Garlic Tomato Basil" soup that they are now serving!!! WOW....one of their best soups ever!!!!!!!! Today I had them serve it in their sourdough bread bowl.......yummmm!!!

Picked up the new tv and had the people in the pick-up section securely tie the huge box into the back of my truck so it wouldn't bounce around. Got it home and then our contractor helped carry it into the house. I am going to keep it in the box until we get the room ready to hang it in the wall cavity that is being constructed.

Looks like the drywalling may not begin tomorrow........one of the crew was ill today so not everything was completed that needs to be done. Not a problem........there is always another day!!

Soooo, as I write this highly intellectual and wonderfully informative little daily essay that will soon be sent out into cyberspace, I am watching tonight's episode of "24". Such an exciting tellie show.......really do enjoy it!! And......during commercials it is back to the Winter Olympics which is always enjoyable. Italy.....well, what can I say.....there is no place like it.........the people, the culture, the arts, the history, and THE FOOD!!!! WOW........been there 12 times and that is NOT nearly enough..........get me there quickly, please!

Sooooo, after two busy days........

Life is GREAT......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

WHEW....another hectic day!

When will it slow down???? Today we were up and on the road to the city by 9 this morning and was in the south part of the city at one of the newer shopping mall areas by 10:15. From that point on until 3pm it was non-stop going from one electronics store to another one doing comparisons. AND discussions with those -in- the-know about plasma tvs. I had originally gone into STL to purchase a Panasonic, BUT......in talking with the knowledgeable sales people....and I did question each salesman/woman intensely before I listened very closely to them........we decided to broaden our horizons and began looking at Samsung and Hitachi tvs. And then it was back and forth between stores to compare and to continue to see which deal would be the best ....cost wise.

Sooo, for almost 4 hours we debated, discussed, cussed, observed, compared, argued, discussed, cussed, and etc., etc., etc. As we had to be back home at 4:30, we finally decided and purchased the 42" Samsung plasma. We did buy the extended warranty which we normally never do, but felt this was something we should do! So, adding on the mechanism to hang it on the wall....and then the best cables we could get.....it was a good deal! We discussed going ahead with the surround sound system but decided to wait a bit and just install the speaker wires in the walls on Monday.

Then....arriving home we dashed around as we had the 1st Lady's sorority Valentine social tonight. We had to pick up the BBQ ribs and soooo after a quick cleanup, we got the ribs and went to the event at one of the member's homes. During the cocktail hour, I was talking with one of the couples,..our good friends... and after discussing trips to Asia and where we had each visited, we discovered that they had visited a friend of his sister's in Singapore. Well......as we talked more, I found out that that friend in Singapore was my hs classmate whom I had just been emailing this week concerning a reunion of our class this year!!!! What an odd coincidence...that after 18 years here in F'Town we found out about a mutual friend that we shared!!!!

It was a great gathering of about 32 people......and I may be a bit affected tomorrow. Think I may have enjoyed the dark red medicine tooooo much and may have overdosed myself!!!! Tomorrow morning will tell, won't it????

Sooooo, after a hectic day, a great evening, toooo much vino, and an odd discovery of friendships.......

Life is GREAT!!! And I hope it is for all of you, also!!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Isn't it time for a vacation?????

WOW....up early this morning. The crew arrived at 7:30AM and I had to be at a local eatery at 8 to arrange for 10 full slabs of BBQ ribs for the 1st Lady's sorority Valentine Party tomorrow evening. It is a party for members and spouses, so at least I will get to eat some.

Then back to TheHowserHouse to meet with the contractor and explain to him what the 1st Lady and I made decisions on last night: mirror placement, overhead light changed, where the in-the-wall plasma tv will be placed for our best viewing, how we want the floor from the living room extended into the tv room before making the steps down into the room, a slight change in the vanity top placement, and a discussion as to where the speakers of the surround sound system will be place in regards to the new sectional couch. Not tooooo much.....was it?

Then down to the city center to have lunch with the HS Choral Director(a former student of mine) and my former band asst. who became the head band director when I retired. He since then has taken a position with one of the local churches. He, too, was a former student of mine. Soooo, it was a good lunch, a great time reviewing our years working together for, and with, the great students we had when we all three taught together.

Then the afternoon flew by as I attempted to find a decent flight schedule for the first weekend in March. We may not be so lucky.....and not be able to leave, but I sure as hell hate to lose those vouchers which are worth $650 on Northwest Airlines.

Then when the 1st Lady returned home from school.....it was off to Farmington. We had to purchase a necessary item....the toilet for the bathroom. Then we looked at carpet, ceramic tiles, and other things for the house. Back to TheHowserHouse by 9pm and then finished out watching the Olympics. Tomorrow it is off to the city again.......surprise, surprise!! Tomorrow night is the BBQ Valentine's dinner......and soon it will be Monday before we have had time to catch our breath.

And as I always say......and I always mean it......

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Somewhat smoother day.......

Up and ready for the crew to arrive at 7:30 this morning. After a discussion with the contractor, all problems which had been the point of contention yesterday evening with the 1st Lady were resolved in a few short minutes!! All of her worry, and me being in the so-called doo-doo-house was for nothing!!!! AHHHH, such is the institution of marriage......conflicts and controversy that really don't mean anything in the long run......right???

A quick run out into the national forest area where the cabinet maker lives and has his business.......thank God for 4WD or I would not have made the trip without going into the ditch(es). Really snowpacked in the shadows of the thick and tall pine trees out there. Anyway.....he and I discussed and drew out the vanity table for 48" rather than the original 36"....and he is going to have a bid/cost for this weekend. We also talked and discussed the mirror with a medicine cab behind it. It will be framed in the same thick molding with beveled glass.....made in a vertical rectangle. I am going to order the very contemporary lights to go over the mirror in the morning.....again in brushed nickel finish like the faucets and shower hardware. Next......the ceramic tile for the floor must be decided upon..........more controversy??? hahhaa....probably!!

Then went to the High School and had lunch with the 1st Lady to discuss my trip to the cab. builder's shop. Not tooo bad for the school lunch: chicken and noodles with homemade rolls! Talked with another faculty member who had used the same custom cab. maker.....and was extremely happy with the results.

Then to the SuperCenter for a BD card for the 1st Lady's mother; then to the post office to mail it, and then back home. Again......some more consultations with the contractor concerning light receptacles....how many, where, etc., etc. Then we discussed the extend living room floor which will be built into the television room and then take the step down into the room......a rather nifty idea which we had seen elsewhere. Then we discussed the built-in plasma and where to place it in the wall......and where to have the shelving inserts for the many "boxes" for video equipment. All of these will be recessed into the wall close to the recessed television.....so it will be a completely flat wall.

I need to pick up some good speaker wire tomorrow so it can be place behind the drywall for the surround system. Also....checked out spots for the telephone outlets in the room.

Tonight after the 1st Lady returned home from a school Academic Team competition, we took chairs into the television room and decided just where we wanted the plasma to be placed in the wall. Tomorrow I need to run to Farmington to order the custom made glass shower doors....and check out ceramic tile. Also need to quickly go down to a very small town south of here where there is an excellent granite worker who can make our counter top/bar. We also need to begin to think about lighting for the kitchen.......that time will be here quicker than we think.

Carpeting is also an issue for the television room and bedroom/walk-in closet. Have to begin to get ideas so we can make that decision.......always something!!!!!

Sooooo, with all of this in mind.....with all that was accomplished today........

Life is Great........and I hope it is for all of you, also!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Continuous chaos.....can I make it through this?

Order has always been a vital part of my life.......order is necessary for me to function at my best level. And......now it seems that there is very little order in all of this. Soooo, how does that relate to me??? Not well......but "success come in can's..failure comes in can'ts" and I can manage all of this chaotic crap. (I think)

I was planning to leave at 7:30 this morning to go back to Farmington to pick up some fixtures for the shower, BUT......4-5 inches of that white stuff plopped down on us here....unexpectedly. It came fast, it was very heavy and wet, and moving very far became a nightmare. I DID take the truck and get off of the hill and by the time I reached the highway, I knew I should stop and put the truck into 4 wheel drive......but the problem was there was no where to pull off, I couldn't see more than 30 feet in front of me, and the highway was only open on one lane of the two. Soooo, I pushed on, very slowly, tightening my seat belt a bit. At about 20 miles per hour I slid on......and one time a semi decided to take MY life in his hands and passed me......sucking the tail end of the truck over towards him....and I thought I would slide right into the side of him. I slid around a bit and then got control of the truck......thought I was going to have change my pants. There were 17 cars off the road in the 16 miles......and think it was 4, maybe 5 upside down vehicles in the median and the ditch!!

Finally got to Farmington where I could find a parking area and put it into 4WD. THAT helped. Picked up my fixtures and started back. By that time the highwas was clear in one lane....couldn't believe it. It had about stopped snowing and so I had no problem getting back to F'town. The street up the hill to TheHowserHouse was pretty bad still, but I had no problem.

From then on it was internet research time: the building supply place that my contractor uses and two others that I called did NOT have the faucets for the vanity that matched the shower fixtures......I KNEW they were available but now they couldn't seem to order them for me. Soooooo, I finally found a set at an online place in NY and ordered them.

The rest of the day I was immersed in researching the plasma tv that I am probably going to purchase. Found a really great site that is not biased with their reviews and reports of plasma tvs.....and so it rather reinforced my decision that I must make .....soon. Time is just going to fast....not enough time to feel good about what I am doing with all of these choices.

The stress is affecting both the 1st Lady and I.....THANK GOD we are not any older than we are.....I sure wouldn't want to build an entire house!!! Part of the problem is obviously the mess we are attempting to live in.....can't ever find anything we need, can't get throught the house without trying to find a decent pathway, and constantly having to work at the dust problem. My nose is now constantly irritated and dripping.....it certainly isn't a head cold....I haven't had one of those things for over THREE years. Oh well.......

Oh yeah......even through all of this "continuous chaos" and lack of order........as always,

Life is Great(this is a new adventure!)......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!

Hmmmm....how much longer???

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Covering the new plumbing lines

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Did I measure this correctly???

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Installing the can lights

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

TWO in a row...what happened to my retirement????

Oh yeah......it has been two extremely busy and frustrating days while running around attempting to FIND the items we MUST find for the house project....mainly the bathroom items. The 1st Lady had been "thinking" all night long and by a bit before 6AM she turned on the overhead lights and told me she had been "thinking" and I needed to get up. Soooo, slowly I pulled my sagging hulk of a former good-looking guy(SURE I was) out of the bed and joined her in the only other room where we can move around without stumbling and falling over furniture and other decor items that are piled everywhere. And...which room was that??? Well...it was the "necessary room". Sooooo, I listend to her thoughts, her rationale for those thoughts.....all about the size of the new vanity-to-be......and then finally crawled into the shower and did my best to pull the wondering brain cells together to construct a thought or two of my own. That one or two thoughts were not tooooo positive at that point in time! HAHAH

After the morning ritual of cleansing my body(??? is it that or a walking pile of loose skin?) I got the Fr. Roast coffee brewed and began to feel somewhat like an old human being again. Sooo, we climbed through the lumber, shuffled through the sawdust and insulation shreds and made our way to the bathroom-to-be where we measured out the two sizes of the vanity-to-be and our discussion continued by flashlight as we gazed into the jack hammered trough at 6:20AM!!!! I told her it was HER decision since she was the one who owned all of the bottles, curling irons, blow dryers, thousands of different kinds of lipsticks, and tons of facial lotions which are guaranteed to keep her young looking. She decided under the wavering light of the little flashlight that it would be the 48 inch size......and then I shuffled once again through the sawdust and insulation shreds, climbed over the stack of lumber, crept through the plastic hanging over the opening in the wall and returned to civilization AND my second cup of Fr. Roast!! It was only 6:35AM!!!!!!!!! DAMN!!!!!

By 7:30 the crew had arrived and I reported to my highly regarded and respected contractor the answers to the questions he had written on the OLD drywall. I just KNEW I was back in school again as a student and standing at the chalkboard....indigestion setting in because I didn't KNOW all the answers.....and tried to explain I just had to have more time to get the necessary items and make the needed decisions. He did not send me out but seemed kindly and patient as I explained I had to drive to Cape Girardeau today to find the bathroom faucets, shower handles, shower nozzle, and check on a cheaper price for the custom made glass shower doors. He accepted my childish excuses without a note from my mother!!! WHEW!!!!!

Sooo, I hopped into the big blue F350 and headed southeast for the Cape.....over an ungodly road, one of the worst in Missouri. Of course, being only two lanes....I soon had slow down for the last 23 miles as I got behind a Mo Dept of Transportation truck spraying....yes, SPRAYING......liquid salt on the highway just in case that there might be a few snow flurries as predicted. Sooooo, my blue truck soon turned to a terrible salty white....and I could just hear the rust growing on my little spots of knicked paint. I then went into high gear as I began hitting all of the building supply facilities, specialty lighting shops, tv/audio shops.....until it was after 2pm. I had told .....well, ASSURED is a better word....the 1st Lady that I would be back by 3pm so we could go up to Farmington to look at some other bathroom fixtures. I did purchase a light for the ceiling of the bedroom, but not certain I will keep it. Just thought I would have it in case nothing else is found.

As soon as I returned to TheHowserHouse on the hill and she arrived home from school, we left for Farmington. I did check on the progress.....and.....they managed to get the new shower unit into the house!!!!!!!!!! WOW......and the window they removed had been replaced temporarily. In Farmington we spent a few hasty hours looking at granite vanity tops, sinks, talking with sales people, and then by 7pm, grabbed a sandwich (is there really any other kind of food??? Been sooooo long.....) and headed home.

Soooo, did some research online to attempt to find the faucets, etc someplace that is cheaper, but not sure it can be done. Beside some of these items MUST be picked up in the morning and immediately returned for installation.

Soooo, it is now time to bring this day to a close.......and pray that the 1st Lady doesn't "think" all night again!!! Soooo,......as always.....

Life is Great (even at 6:25AM in the piles of sawdust).....and I hope it is for all of you, also!!

Monday, February 06, 2006

WOW.....this was a very busy day!!!

After coffee....it was a bit of consulting and discussing with the contractor. Then an informational stop at a local seller of BBQ ribs to get some quotes for the 1st Lady's sorority dinner party. Another quick stop for coffee at Dave and Sue Hanner's and a brief summary of their time in Florida on their insurance adjusting career. A quick stop at the high school to consult with the 1st Lady during her lunch break......picked up David and off we went to Farmington to various building supply places. As usual it took longer than I wanted to spend, but so be it.

During the morning our shower was delivered and is sitting in the driveway right now. Guess what!!! It can't go through the front door...too wide for the doorway......, and we finally decided that we would have to remove the large stationary window in the patio room to get it inside the house. Soooo, that task is to be done tomorrow......

After returning from Farmington in the middle of the afternoon, more measuring was done and now a decision needs to be made whether to have a 30" vanity or a 48" vanity. Well......the cabinet maker who was here Sat. morning is designing a 36" vanity, soooooo all of that will have to be changed if a 48" is selected!!!! Woe is me!!!

Several items need to be picked up tonight, so when the 1st Lady came in from school, we did some measuring and looking at the wall-less bathroom and headed back to Farmington. Went to Lowe's and we were there for a couple of hours.....and, of course, didn't find JUST what we wanted or needed, but did some substituting and after a quick hamburger stop, we were home by 9:30pm....UGH.

Much discussion and cussion were on the agenda after returning home........can't seem to agree or find a compromise on a couple of room issues......UGH!! What happened to my retirement???????????????? Tomorrow it is off to Cape Girardeau to check out a few other items on prices.....1/4" frameless glass shower doors that I WANT on a brushed nickel track are giving me fits with the price....and I keep checking different sources to find a lower price. This damned shower is costing me a fortune......or should I say the entire bathroom is costing me more than I wanted to pay.......my high price taste is giving me indigestion with the $$ signs!!!!!!!! Why am I so %*&#(# picky??????????????????

Alas....tomorrow is another day......and I hope it will be somewhat smoother than today, although.......

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!
Success comes in Can's.....Failure comes in Can'ts!! (need to remember that tomorrow!!)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Another disappearing day....???

Hmmm......I know this has happened before.......a day that dawned bright and cold...and then before I could enjoy the bright sunshine, the day had slipped away. I hate it when this event happens to me.......I feel cheated out of part of my Life......the part that is slipping by sooooo damn quickly.

We were up at 6:30 this morning; had a quick cup of steaming French Roast coffee(not nearly enough), and then we head north to spend the morning and early afternoon with Mike.....and Becky. Had a very talkative visit.....we never stopped talking....sometimes all of us at once. And then, all toooo soon, we had to leave and head back down here.

The 1st Lady fixed me an omelette later this afternoon.....it was really quite good and tasty. Mushrooms, onion, basil, and tomatoes inside and on top of it......yuummmmy!!! We discussed some of the revisions in our plans for the remodeling....read the STL Post.....and then she found herself immersed in some grading of tests/papers from her classes.

I watched a bit of tellie......not being a huge pro football fan, I checked out the happenings from time to time, but didn't get all up and excited over the game in Detroit. As I said above....the day disappeared and here it is almost 10pm...........another day in my Life....gone!

Sooooo, before the night disappears, too.......as always....

Life is Great.....and I hope it is for all of you, also.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

A relaxing day....YEAH!!

A cold morning, but the sun was spreading the warmth once it finally got over the trees and smiled upon TheHowserHouse. The 1st Lady was up and out of the house by 6:45AM this morning to take her Academic Team to a competiton.....she returned around 4pm.

Me??? I had a very laid back morning, having my freshly ground French Roast coffee while I read the newspapers online. TheHowserHouse was very, very quiet this morning with the construction crew having the weekend to themselves.....which allowed me to have the morning to MYself.

I did have an appointment at 11AM with a local cabinet maker. He arrived at the front door right on the minute.....imagine that! I had this young man in class way, way back in 88-89 which is when he graduated. He joined his father in his cabinet making business and has been very successful with it. We discussed possible kitchen arrangements and what I wanted in cabinets.....style, stains, pulls, inside lighting, some glass doors, under cabinet lighting, new pantry, etc., etc. He measure everything carefully and then said he would be ready with some ideas and designs by the end of the week.

Then I asked him about making me a vanity!! I had pictures and websites pictures to show him....and he indicated he could do it without toooo long of a time lag. Soooo.....now comes the BIG issue: Prices!!!!! Guess we will begin to get an idea by the end of the week. At least.......he was very helpful in giving me the cabinet fronts that I want.......which was not the feeling I received from Lowe's which only has stock cabinets available.

I napped during the afternoon.....no jack hammer or other noisy construction noises happening today!! I then began to research online some custom made sectional sofas, fabrics available, shipping costs, etc., etc. Just an idea......but one never knows until they check it all out!

The evening was relaxing with our eyes on the tv or the lappie screen(s). We were each working on our on lappies......LOVE IT.....not having to share the computer!! It is the ONLY way to have it.

Sooooo......not much happening.....GREAT!!! And so, as always....

Life is GREAT.....and I hope it is for all of you, also!

Friday, February 03, 2006

WHEW.....City choices are no better than the boonies....

After running up to STL this morning.....and spending the entire day there going from one kitchen/bath business to another......I realized that the choices for cabinets/vanities are not much different in the city than they are down here in the boonies!!! The MAIN difference is that when there is something a bit different.....the cost is HUGELY different. Anything unique/different/contemporary/modern....well, the cost is prohibitive!!! WHY are the more modern things sooooooooooooo much more costly?????????? I guess because not many people use them....so the demand is not that great.....so perhaps there aren't that many constructed???? The less there are....the more the cost??!! AND......my problem is that I reeeaaaalllllyyyyy love the modern/comtemporary style(s). Guess at my age I am ready for a big change in style of living....tired of traditional, over-stuffed, overly decorated, overly formal, etc., etc. furnishings!!!!!!!!

I love the sleek lines, the clean lines, the glass and metal and dark espresso wood stains. I love the minimalist style.......less is more!! But...I do not love the high costs!!! Soooooo, where do I compromise with all of this??? The 1st Lady also really likes the new styles, but she IS the bookkeeper for TheHowserHouse and so she has control over the purchasing habits of this aging man. My question is difficult to answer......"compromise"???? I haven't figured it out yet......YET!!

I have a cabinet maker coming to the house in the morning to measure the kitchen and I plan to show him the style, wood colors, etc., etc. that I would LIKE to have. Not certain how "modern" he actually is.......but I do know that many people in this area have had him construct their cabinetry. Soooo,...guess I'll know by noon tomorrow.

Today's progress with the remodeling: More electrical wiring was completed, one wall was completely removed and they managed to not have to put up a header, which would have required a soffitt(sp??) running throught the new bathroom. I had left my cell phone number with the contractor and he never called me today while I was in the city sooooo, "no news is good news"!!!!

While in STL I did spend some time at a couple of electronic stores talking in depth with the most "knowledgeable" sales people I could locate ......concering plasma tv's........and then comparing, visually, the difference between the 42" and the 50" models. Pretty certain I want a Panasonic.......no matter which stores I visited, that brand seems to be the most highly recommended.....and a lot of trade mags seem to agree. I also spent some time discussing....AND learning.....about surround sound sytems. And I DID learn that they, too, are rather costly. Guess I will have to decide soon......I may just go ahead and wire the walls with what is needed....then later install the speakers,etc., etc.

Oh my........indigestion sets in thinking about all of the $$$$$$$$$ signs this project is costing!!!!!!!!!!! Keep wondering: should I save this for ill health and infirmity in a few years......or should I spend it and enjoy Life while I can????? Spend it and take a chance about the later years.......or save it for the eventual medical costs of dying???????? DAMN....that's rather morbid, isn't it????? You know.....I have always....ALWAYS.....lived for the day......"enjoy each day to the fullest because you/we never know what will happen tomorrow". And...for the most part, I have done JUST THAT!!

Oh don't get me wrong.......I have ALWAYS been a planner.......planning out my days, my weeks, and even into the next year........keeping my sights set for the future, BUT taking each day as comes along and living it to the fullest. Yep.......all of the above is me: this aging, sagging hulk of a former band director.....hahaha!!! (and a wee bit deaf from standing in front of a high school band for 30 years!!!).

Sooooo, will all of this rambling and philosophical sputtering, I will close.....and, as always,

LIFE IS GREAT!!!......and I certainly hope it is for all of you, also!!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Earthquake epicenter at TheHowserHouse

Oh yeah......our stick/brick HowserHouse was shaking like it was at the epicenter of a BIG earthquake today as the jack hammer began busting up the concrete floor where the bathroom plumbing will have to be submerged into the ground under the foundation. And......everything shook......and shook .....and shook. Not only was everything in the house shaking with all that "rockin and rollin" going on, but the noise decibels were off the scale!!!! Sooooo, even with the door to the den closed and the tv on....I decided it was time to evacuate and head for more peaceful surroundings.....the local Madison County Coffee Company located in the city center of Fredericktown.

I had pulled my sagging body out of bed at 6:45AM....showered and got the Fr. Roast coffee ground and into the coffee maker. Before long our contractor arrived and, as it was raining, he decided to go dump the trailer of yesterday's demolition trash. It wasn't long before the rest of the crew arrived and began preparing for the jack hammer. And the rest of the morning went as described above......

I had an appt at the local Ford dealer at 1pm to get some rubber molding around the window replaced and to also have the truck inspected so I could get my license plates renewed (a month late...hmmm). By the time I returned to our home on the hill the earthquake was over with no damage to our belongings and no injuries from the shaking.

It wasn't long before the 1st Lady arrived home from school and off we went to Farmington to check out vanities, sinks, lights, glass shower doors, faucets, etc., etc. Could we find exactly what we would like to have......well.....what the hell do you think??? Of course NOT!!! At least nothing that the two of us could agree on.....or even compromise with. Hmmmmm......time is going by and no decisions have been made.......the clock and the calendar are moving onward at a faster and faster pace. What to do.....what to do!!!!

Dinner was at Applebee's....hmmmm, is that the correct spelling??? Doesn't look just right.....oh well...I can claim an age related spelling disability........can't I????

Heading to STL tomorrow......got to go SOMEWHERE that has choices for the items we need!!!!!! Sorry....all of you small towns around this area.........there HAS to be something different out there that I can choose from.

Soooo, the evening is quickly evolving into the bewitching hour, so I had better hide my head as I take cover in my bed. Even with all of these decisions to be made........

Life IS Great.....and I hope for all of you, also!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


OMG......this is THEEEEEE worst that I have experienced in our house......DUST!!!!!!!!! ALL of the insulation for the tv room came out and down today.....onto the floor....and the resulting dust managed to circulate throughout the entire house during the day. The hardwood floors turned ash gray with dust/silt....and so did all of the flat services in each and every room, even though I DID close the doors. I began to have watery eyes, stuffy nose, etc., etc.......and I was needed here to answer questions so that the crew could continue on their task without having to find me to answer questions as to how I would like something to be handled.

Needless to say.......our house is NOT dust free this evening!!!! I didn't even attempt to do anything about it as I'm certain there will be more tomorrow. All of the openings between the "save" part of the house and the part being remodeled were covered in plastic sheeting.....BUT.....sealed tight it wasn't! And.....we had the heating/cooling people here to put in more duct work in the attic that will reach into the new bath and closet. The electrical guy was here and began the task of rewiring and changing the location of the wiring that had been in the bedroom.....a large junction box. Soooo, no electricity for several hours this afternoon....and it will be the same tomorrow as he hopes to finish that task.

I ordered a 5' walk-in shower this morning and it will be here on Friday. NOW.....to continue the task of searching for a vanity/sink. I am not satisfied with what I am finding in the area.....they are all the SAME....no style, nothing modern.......just average looking squares/rectangles of wood and a sink. UGH!! Been looking for a long time......and nothing.....WELL, nothing that I can pay for without taking out a special loan!

Anyone out there in cyberspace who has a surround sound system that they realllllly like???? AND...that you didn't have to rob a bank to purchase it?? I need to get one so that the wiring will be behind the drywall when it goes up.......SOON. I would love to have a BOSE, however I don't own a pistol to take to the bank with me! Thoughts????

Hmmmm.....does it seem to you like I am totally focused on this project???? I am beginning to feel like it is consuming ALL of me, and my time. And we haven't yet started on the kitchen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM going to run out of time to get all of these decisions made. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not certain.....not at all.....that our marriage could survive building a completely new house!!!!!! It is tough enough right now with just 1/2 of the house involved in this remodeling project(s).

Well.....it is about time for me to shed this layer of gray silt that enveloped this sagging hulk of me today....and I feel certain that it will be necessary to call for the plumber tonight as it will all probably plug up the shower drain.....might even turn to cement!!!! And an extra call to the plumber in the middle of the night is not part of the remodeling contract!!!! DAMN.....perhaps I shouldn't take a shower???

I will attempt to get some more pics tomorrow to show all of you out there in cyberspace. I need to do some more researching on some things right now, so I will bring this daily report to a finish....and, even though I am gray as a ghost,.......

Life is GREAT(and gray).......and I hope it is for you, also(GREAT that is)!