First of all. HOLY *&^%$#@!!!!
The noise! The mess! The dust! The smell!
The guys showed up two and a half hours late and I was already beside myself. This reno is on a short leash, organizationally speaking, and there is no room for people to mess with my plan. These guys show up and they drag in all of this absolutely huge noisy equipment and start hunting around for somewhere to plug it in.
“Hey lady? Where’s your stove?” Stove? Turns out that the huge noisy machine needs a special kind of plug. I’ve got a gas stove, so no luck there. Next try?
“Hey lady? Where’s your dryer?” Oh dear. I have a gas dryer. Next try? They lop the plug off the sander and hook this brobdingnagian beast of a thing directly (as in with bare wires) into the electric box in the basement, WITHOUT SHUTTING THE POWER OFF. Now, I am married to a man who talks blithely about how many volts he can take, but Joe would never, ever, ever put a screwdriver into the Main Electric Box without shutting off the power. Ever. I was agog, and completely beside myself. I stood near to the guy (wooden broom in my hand so that I could knock his seizing body from the box when the ten million volts of pure power coursed through him) and tried vainly to dissuade him from this action.
“Dude, isn’t that a little bit dangerous? Sticking that there screwdriver into the electric box without shutting it off? Isn’t that the main power? Isn’t that a lot of volts? I can turn it off. Why don’t I do that. I’ll get a flashlight for you and we’ll shut it off before you stick any more screwdrivers into it and then I won’t have to call 911 when you totally electrocute yourself right here where it’s going to be trouble to get your carcass up the stairs. Yes. Hold one. I’ll just get that flashlight. Oh my. Was that sparks? Just give me a minute. Look! Here’s my flashlight. Why don’t you take that screwdriver out… ”
I just kept babbling and he kept wiring and the thing was hooked up. I immediately turned my attention toward being concerned about the disconnection process, but was distracted by the noise. I was unprepared for the noise. The noise was like a bee the size of an elephant was in therapy for anger management in my bedroom. Periodically, the machine shuddering the whole house would shut off and random cursing would drift down along with clouds and clouds of dust. The dust… I cannot even speak of the dust.
Just when I had adjusted to the dust and the noise and the swearing, one of the three guys went sprinting down my stairs and out the front door with what seemed to be something on fire. When I responded (quickly and with a great deal of anxiety, to the smoke pouring through the dust) and enquired about the possibility of a fire, I was told not to worry, since the fire was “Just a small size one and only for a little while.” The three guys regarded me with an eye that indicated that they felt that I worry (about things like fires and electrocution) way, way too much. I would have had a lie down at that point, except of course, I have no bed.
At this point, this blog entry should have ended with little more than this. It should be that all I can say now is that they packed up and left me with what was left of my nerves, which they did…right after depositing two big garbage bags of sawdust squarely on the front garden.
I regarded those two bags with some sadness, since it’s a week until garbage day and those bags will sit there being an eyesore until then, but unbeknownst to me, the bags had more drama than that. Inside one of those bags was a small fire, left over from when the sander bag had been on fire earlier in the day.
I realized that the bag was full of smouldering sawdust when I came back from buying urathane and noticed that the smell of burning sawdust was stronger outside the front door than inside it. (That was saying something, since the smell in the house is a powerful thing.) I lifted the bag and the bottom fell out, and there was a heap of smoking, reeking sawdust. I poured some water on it and went inside, disaster averted. About an hour later, a neighbour knocked on the door to ask me if I meant to be burning a garbage bag full of sawdust in my garden? I doused it again. Considerably more pissed off this time, and (as you can well imagine) I had a great deal of trouble finding my mental happy place.
An hour later, Joe’s sister Kelly came by, coming into the house, discussing urathane for a while, helping me with a thing or two, then casually asking (I must have looked a little edgy) if I was aware that the bags on the garden were on fire? I went back out, and sure enough, there it was. Burning away…smoke issuing into the stupid cold night air. This time I was determined, as well as using language unbecoming a knitter. I broke open the bag, poured water on it, and then Rachel (who had turned up to bring me beer, she’s a woman who knows what you really need at the end of a long day of floor trauma) helped me shovel it from one bag to the other, looking for any bit that was on fire and pouring water on the lot of it. We stood out there, freezing and stomping and pouring (and noticing that once it’s 40 below even cold water from the tap steams outside) and I was not amused. I was furious…I was ranting inside my head (and perhaps a little outside my head) about incompetence and fires and houses that have newspaper stuffed in the walls and how that was a huge risk and how I Was. Not. Pleased and how this was a very difficult day and how there was nothing, not even the beer that could fix my attitude at this point ….when suddenly it hit me. I practically skipped into the house leaving Rachel standing in the cold, bewildered…
I grabbed my camera and ran back out beaming from ear to ear to grab this snap of Rachel H. She was freezing and really not at all amused (I am certain that in this picture she cannot feel her hands) that I was lengthening the time we would be in the elements, but I was completely gleeful. Didn’t she get it?
MY LAWN IS A SAWDUST FIRE.
You can’t make that up. It’s a blog gimmee….it’s freaking perfect. Who has a sawdust lawn fire? Seriously – how could you not blog it? It’s an entry all by itself. Man. Couldn’t be better. Practically writes itself. My joy is restored.
All said, the floor is much, much more beautiful than I thought it would be (totally worth the fire) and once it’s got 4 (FOUR) layers of urathane on it it should only be more so…but dudes. The house is trashed. There is dust in the bathroom. Dust in the living room. Dust on the dishes in the cupboards in the kitchen. Dust, dust…dust. You will be relieved to know that there is not dust on the Bohus, since I was possessed of a swift intelligence when I saw the first of the dust coming and sealed it in a protective Ziplock. It may be the only non-dusty thing in the house.
Considering my track record on dusting…this much dust is an unfortunate (and likely permanent) turn of events.
Today: Get ceiling paint. Paint the ceiling. Sand the first coat of urathane on the floor. Put a second coat on. Buy more beer.
May the force be with me, and if you’re walking by my house today, do me a favour and toss a shovel full of snow on those bags, will ya? You can’t be too careful. Sawdust is apparently very hard to put out.