Thursday, December 17, 2009

Around the House

Let me apologize in advance: boring list-post is on the way.

With JB here for the next three weeks, we are hoping to get several projects done that Mark and I would not otherwise be able to complete. JB's working very diligently, trading some of his labor for room and board (yes, BabyDaddy stays with us during the holidays. It works very well for us. Burgundy learns that people can love each other no matter what. We all win). Right now he's in the middle of three different projects, each in various stages of completion.

I understand why they're all simultaneously in process. It allows him to rotate his efforts among activities and avoid any downtime. I really appreciate that. So while the paint dries in the bathroom, he tapes the floor and walls around the baseboard to apply the second coat of paint there. While that paint dries, he takes the measurements for the replacement of the fascia outside the house and paints the test coat on the back. This way, we can decide which paint we want. And so on.

Even though I understand, I find it very stressful to have my whole house in so many varying degrees of upheaval. The girls can only shower and use the toilet in their bathroom. Furniture all around the house is pulled out from the walls while he works on the baseboards. Happily, the fascia hasn't had anything done to it yet, but I know it's coming. I think that for my own sanity, I'll have to insist that he not start the fascia or the bathtub (more on that in a minute) until the guest bathroom and the baseboards are finished. Those should be done today (knock on virtual wood).

Ironically, the big project we asked him to complete while he's here is replacing the bathtub in our master bathroom. We've known for the last year that it needed to go, but we've been too busy to do the necessary rearrangement to our lives to make it happen. Happily, with JB here, he has both the skills and the time to do the work, and we'd much rather give the money to him than to a stranger.

Unfortunately, he couldn't even get started on it until this weekend, so he has been working all these other projects in the meantime. Here's what he's doing:

Girls'/Guest Bath:
  • Paint the walls
  • Replace the hideous 1964 mirrored cabinet with gilt plastic edging with nice, simple mirrored cabinet with beveled edges
  • Replace the light fixture over said mirrored cabinet
  • Replace the baseboards (some were rotted from 35 years of water hitting them out of the shower)
Foyer, Hallway, and Living room:
  • Finish the baseboards currently in place (recess nails, caulking, spackle, and repainting)
  • Apply new baseboards where my ADD attacked and I didn't finish the job
  • Apply quarter-round throughout to hide the gap between the baseboards and the pergo
  • COMPLETE: Replaced the food disposal under the kitchen sink (that project's been waiting on me for about six months; SO happy to see it completed).
  • Tried to mow the lawn, but the mower crapped out, so . . .
  • Tried to fix the mower, but I distracted him
  • Sundry loads of dishes and laundry
I'm having him keep track of his hours, and he claims he'd normally get paid $8 for this kind of work. I would expect to pay some of the day laborers around here that much, but not someone of his skill and talent level. I suspect he's giving me a low figure because he knows I'm going to insist on paying him something reasonable.

So far, he's earned $132. We had agreed on $50 per week for room and board while he's here. For anyone wondering why we'd charge a guest room and board, well, it's not exactly like that. He isn't exactly a guest, and we're not exactly making any money (he'll eat $50/week in groceries easily). We have a ton of backstory that I won't go into here or anywhere else because it would be inappropriate; however, it's the right thing to do for our family (and I include JB as a member of our family).

He asked me not to give him cash but instead to keep a running total of his earnings and expenses. He doesn't want to just blow the money. I will honor that, but I'll have to give him some money here soon so he can go Christmas shopping.

That's about it for now. Have to get a move on with my day.

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