Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday Day 49

What a week. The emotional stress of that wretched kitchen.

This weekend saw us cleaning the dark hole that is the garage. Why anyone would put crap in the garage and leave two perfectly good and somewhat expensive cars outside is simple a sign of the abundance that is America. Of course, leaving cars in the driveway is also now seen as an additional deterrent against crime.

We tackled with some grimness the boxes that were piled in the garage. Throwing away a good many. It reminded me of the disaster that was our tiny storage unit when we first moved here and didn't have a place for our extras (we lived in a very large mansion overseas) and by the time we got to those boxes, several boxes of paperback books were ruined.

So it is looking a little better in the garage because you can actually see the floor. But we've got a ways to go and the threat, aye, threat of the sheet rocking looms.

So we felt somewhat productive this weekend. Apparently the cement fellow came to measure the patio and the driveway. We will be getting an estimate on what it will cost to pour a new driveway and a patio. I'm not convinced we really need to do either. I'm rather fond of the idea of doing a simple sand foundation and putting big pieces of flat stone on top.

For someone who dislikes driving, I have spent an inordinate amount of time driving from one place to another with mapquest directions, and getting lost since I didn't reverse said directions, or simply setting off with some faith in verbal directions, only to get lost and remember why the f#$^ I don't like driving.

"Are you coming from west or east?"
"I dunno"
"Well are you coming from downtown?"
"I think so"
"ok, so turn north."
"Is that right or left?"

This past week saw me tackle the slate for the patio on some highway I've never heard of, in some part of town I've been to once in 7 years. I saw a vast assorted of rocks, and learned about granite. The company specialises in "exotic" granite. Apparently, it's all in the detail. Builders usually buy granite that lends itself to less waste. So if you're going to cut counter tops, you want to minimise waste and get granite that will look good and not be difficult to match at the seams. You might only need one slab for an entire kitchen.

"Exotic" granite isn't that generic and hence you might need two slabs just to get it to look flawless.

Today, I sped off to another show room to pick out tiles. There's a heck of a lot more than I realised and I find myself deeply nostalgic for the days of living in third world countries where you had a generous two choices.

Fortunately, my choices are very basic and simple. Show me what's in my budget and then show me what's in the lower range of that budget. Then show me a tile that is durable, doesn't wear more sparkle than a 2 year old, and lends itself to grout that won't show evidence of how messy we are. That's it.

After that, I went to a "sister" showroom, tell me do they ever have brother showrooms or maybe even the Mother of all showroos?, and proceeded to be intimidated by the stacks of enormous pieces of granite stacked throughout the warehouse in no discernible order. It was throughly distressing as there no evidence of order.

"Is it...alphabetical? I asked the young man hopefully as I put on the rather flimsy orange mesh vest. I assumed the vest was supposed to help a fork lift operator see me since it certainly wasn't going to help if a slab fell atop me.

"No," h said cheerfully, "it's just kinda all over the place. You just walk around and pick what you like."

"What about colours? Does it go from dark to light, or maybe from highest price to lowest?" I offered hopefully.

"Nah...."he shrugged. "Cathy will be here soon and she'll come find you."

And find me she did as I was contemplating walking out and going online. Surely I could get to ship me a slap of granite in the exact colour. With Amazon prime, I'd probably get free two day shipping too.

We took care of business in 5 minutes and though she said I was welcome to continue looking, I gratefully escaped with the samples she gave me and took off without a backward glance.

Because, as you know, I was still trying to figure out where the hell I was and how I was going to get back to where I needed to be.

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