The drive into work today was beautiful, what with all the trees turning colors, along with the brush and wildflowers. The sumac along the highways is absolutely breathtaking with its deep red colors. This coming weekend is the Fall Foliage Festival and, according to the early reports, it's supposed to be sunny and about 68 degrees. The drive down in the sun, with the foliage nearly at its peak, promises to be gorgeous.
Our first contract job started over the weekend. It's my foster-sister and her husband, who gave us a laundry list of things that need to be done in their 1800's vintage farm house. They recently gutted their kitchen and completely re-did it, from the floor supports all the way to the ceiling. And, when I say they gutted it, I mean they gutted it -- you could see DIRT where the floor used to be.
I cleaned and reinstalled two hard-wired smoke detectors, and installed two dimmer switches. Lisa replaced a handle on the garage door and then we both set in to doing some of the larger items. There are old-fashioned grates in the floor (from a very old and now non-existent heating system) and you could look right through and see the earth floor in the basement. Needless to say, there's cold air that comes up through there during the winter, so those needed to be covered.
We went down into the basement and looked at the flooring underneath to see where the support beams/joists were, and to evaluate just how we were going to attack this job. Amazing -- the floor is comprised of rough hewn trees. You can see the chop marks where they created the flat side to put up against the floor supports. Elswhere there are steel beams that assist the rough hewn trees in supporting the house.
Anyway, we had to cut larger holes so that we could enlarge them enough to secure new boards into the opening and attach them to the support beams. Even the wood floor is old, and made of real tongue-and-groove wood that ranges in thickness from 3/4" to 1" (we suspect that was intended to level the floor better). We got two of the four openings completed. They sure look funny with new wood inserted into the old, but apparently the plan is to carpet the floor when the work is all done anyway.
While it doesn't sound to us like we got much done, we know we did because we worked all day (actually, from about 10:00 until 5:00). We won't go back next weekend because we have recreational things planned for ourselves, but we'll go back the following weekend and every Saturday after that, for the most part, until we work through the list. We gave them an "estimate" of roughly $730 before taxes for the whole job. Some of the items on the list include removal of a tree, installation of gutters on the garage, removing old flooring and leveling a floor so that new flooring can be installed, installation of door casings and floor mouldings throughout, installation of doors and repair of windows with either broken/cracked glass or frames that don't work. There's a lot of work to be done and her husband just doesn't have time to do everything because he's a dairy farmer and, two years ago, his father died so he now has his father's farming to oversee as well.
She tells me that their neighbor is already starting on their own list.
We've decided that we're only going to work on Saturdays, for the time being. We need at least one down day each week so that we're not worked to death and feeling like we never have five minutes to sit and catch our breath. Football season is the perfect time to do it, and football gives us the perfect excuse.
Speaking of football...
I got all the early games correct in my picks for the pool, and only got one wrong for the late(r) game. I also got the Sunday night game wrong -- who would have thought that Seattle would have allowed Chicago to run all over them that way?
I was about mid-way down the list as far as overall score, but this good week I had this week has brought me into a three-way tie for first place overall...a position shared with Lisa and another player.
We expected the Cincinnati/New England game to be more competitive than it turned out to be, but that was the only real disappointment of the day, as far as expectations. The San Diego/Baltimore game was one that kept the heart racing, as well as the Washington/Jacksonville game. Two fiercely competitive games that had all the drama.
Speaking of drama, did you see what happened in the game between Dallas and Tennessee? Dallas had just scored another touchdown and their center, Andre Gurode somehow lost his helmet. Albert Haynesworth, a tackle for Tennessee STOMPED on Gurode's face with his steel spiked cleats, causing Gurode to require more than 35 stitches in his face. Haynesworth drew a penalty but was not ejected from the game until he took off his helmet and threw it on the ground in protest over the first penalty -- it was at that point that he was ejected.
As Chris Collinsworth and his fellow commentators said, there needs to be criminal charges filed for Haynesworth's actions yesterday.
And apparently Jeff Fisher thinks so, too. He vowed to Bill Parcells that, if the league didn't punish Haynesworth to HIS satisfaction (Fisher's), the team would take their own action against him as well. Jeff Fisher is a class-act -- NO coach should accept that sort of behavior from their players, regardless of who they are.
I think criminal charges should be filed since, if he'd done that anywhere else besides a football field, he'd have been arrested.
Joe got a phone call on Saturday morning (while he was at work at the garden center) from the new restaurant down the road that opened a month or so ago. He had put in an application there to tend bar (he's gone to bartender's school) and they were calling him asking him if he'd come in Saturday night. He agreed, called to let me know he'd not be home when we got home, and off he went.
They just shook his hand, showed him the bar, pointed out the cash register, and that was it. Joe said that the servers had been making their own drinks up to that point and, apparently, Saturday night was the bar's "grand opening." He said the cash register was a touch-screen type that he couldn't figure out how to use, and none of the servers knew where any of the drink-making supplies were. He was pretty disgusted with the whole setup, but agreed to work again next weekend. He figures it can't get worse, only better as he learns more. I tend to agree.
He made just under $100 total for the night, and really liked that part of it, too. Apparently the hourly pay is $4.25/hour and he gets to keep all the tips. He's been looking for something outside of the garden center, as he's afraid that schlepping 200 lb. trees for a living will make him old before his time. I tend to agree with that, too.
I'm falling behind on the little guy's afghan. Not by a lot, but enough to stress me a bit. I'm only two rows behind right now but, add that to the four I should get done tonight, and that adds a bit of anxiety. No, normally six rows aren't all that much, but these rows are just under 300 stitches per row. It takes me about 25 minutes to complete a row, which means I'd have to knit for nearly 3 hours straight to get caught up. I can do that, I think, as long as Idgie doesn't climb up on my lap, look at me with those beautiful little adoring eyes, and stretch out with her little paws on my arm, daring me not to pet and stroke her. Yes, this is why I'm behind...
I've been forgetting my meds a lot lately -- both the morning meds (Prozac) and the night-time ones (Neurontin). Probably explains the headaches I've had lately. I can't figure out why, all of a sudden, I'm forgetting them. I have a routine both in the morning and at night and I just seem to be skipping over that step. Freudian?
I've decided to shut down my Marriage Equality blog -- trying to maintain so many web sites (four blogs, a web store, and a web page) just adds to the manic feelings. And, since things have slowed down so much on our case, I just decided to incorporate that stuff into my daily blog.