Wednesday, February 3, 2010

And Then There Were Two

I did it. I pushed through the muck and mystery that is the contracting world. I narrowed it down and two are left standing.

In retrospect, I look fondly on those first meetings with the contractors. This is a special time between prospective builder and prospective new home owner. The prospective new home owner is expected to stand stupidly while the builder walks around the home site, scratches his belly periodically, points at a tree and pronounces that it will have to be downed, holds both arms straight out to scientifically determine the slope of the site, looks at the sky and asks 'which way is east,' spends approximately 5 minutes badmouthing other contractors and the entire architecture industry, walks to the bed of the truck, draws a picture, gives you a number, promises you the world, and then drives away honking and waving. It's a beautiful display and one that I imagine has occurred throughout history and cross culturally. It's a hopeful time. It's all crap. The last person I met with cut to the chase after 10 minutes into the Traditional First Meeting Dance (as explained above), just after my fifth or sixth question interrupted his well-rehearsed production. He said, "Jenna. Um. You know a little too much - I guess you just want me to give you numbers, huh?" I smiled sweetly and nodded. Yes. Yes I did.

I haven't heard from him since.

I will refrain from another diatribe. I promise. The important point here is that we are seriously considering working with two different companies. Actually, in this case, "different" means "completely and totally opposite." So we're considering the excellent virtues and weaknesses that both offer. More importantly, we're back in touch with the bank to learn about the viability of this project in order to avoid any major surprises (I expect many) and basically to understand exactly when we can break ground. June 2010? June 2011? June 20..? Anticipation is the daily vibe around here, at least on my part, and has overshadowed much physical progress at the land. Well, that and El Nino. If you ever doubted this weather phenomenon just take a look outside your window. No matter where you are in America I'll bet you a martini that it's raining. Right? Am I right? Ok then. You owe me a drink.

Speaking of El Nino, I'm smack dab in the middle of the winter doldrums. I know this by the lack of enthusiasm to do anything after a day of work besides having a cocktail and watching an old movie, the new season of Lost...etc. We're not huge TV watchers around here and it's a sign of the times if you catch us in front of the tube for more than an hour on a weekday evening.

However, I just took a peak at our guest bedroom and it's brimming with house projects I promised Jer I would complete at the time of purchase, over the course of a year.... There's the old stove I need to restore to its original glory. The sink(s) and tub(s) I intend to reglaze with a DIY kit from Home Depot. Not to mention 2 huge pieces of furniture that need sanding, scraping, and painting. Also, I have my eye on a gorgeous vintage oven hood (I promise you, these contraptions can sometimes be described as "gorgeous") on craigslist - and it too would require some work. So it's time for a conversation with self. A sort of mental smackdown and shakeup. Get to work sanding!! Those sinks won't clean themselves you lazy arse! But my martini looks so inviting. And it's too wet for paint application. Maybe next week.

Until then, we'll keep you posted about such riveting details as the outcome of soil samples and septic system 'perc' tests. I realize you probably miss our stories about the really "interesting" stuff such as the donkeys, the cows, the hay bale purchase we're planning. For now - we're rained out, saturated, and up to our knees in mud. Winter will pass soon and in its passing will come seed planting, the set-up of our first pasture for the animals, and probaby many more negative accounts of our pre-building experiences. White-knuckle-edge-of-your-seat type of updates. Be ready.

And now I leave you with a few photos to promote peace, love, and happiness. Or at least remind us that warmer, drier times are ahead:

BBQ a la Dee-you-Wayne

Livestock bonding.

A sunset to remind us that the sun will be visible again. Eventually.

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