“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” - Albert Einstein

Saturday, May 28, 2011

List Making & Getting Sidetracked Anyway

Brenda is a list maker. She likes the feeling of checking things off her list. And if she does a task not on her list she likes to add it to the list and then check it off. Today was our first full day of working on our house and so Brenda was working on her list last night when she stopped and asked if I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish for the day.

Now, I've had an on and off relationship with lists. Brenda has convinced me of their value in keeping my mind focused on the task to be completed. But my natural state is to flow through the day and take what comes. On most days I can blissfully ignore whatever list I've got and work on things that seem to be more interesting. But the fact that I have a list helps me answer Brenda when she asks what I plan to accomplish.

So when I said, “I'm keeping the list in my head,” I could see she wasn't too pleased. But when I explained that I only had one item on my list, she settled down and listened. My one item for today was to get water working in the house.

Not counting the water meter, we had leaking pipes in 4 places. One leak was in the pipes going to the shower in the master bath—and everything in the master bath is changing. Another leak was for the bar sink in the family room. We can live without that for quite a while. But we had two leaks in the pipes going to the upstairs bathroom. This bathroom we will have to use while the rest of the house is torn up. These pipes had to be fixed.

We're planning to tear out the ceiling in the master bedroom and bath, so I didn't have to make holes we could patch back in. I ripped down the biggest pieces I could. Two pipes had burst because of freezing. The bank must have winterized the house well after the first hard freeze. Once I found the pipes it was a simple job to patch them.

And Brenda ignored her list. She worked on the garage. The dirt and cobwebs bugged her so she vacuumed it out. As she looked at the condition of the walls she decided that they should get a new coat of paint. And now was the best time to do it—before we fill it with our stuff. We talked briefly of going to find our scrapple paints in storage. But we instead opted for a miss-tint gallon from Home Depot—mixed with a gallon of cheap Glidden. As we were leaving the manager asked us what color we decided to paint the garage. I held up the cans and said, “Whatever color we get when we mix these 2 gallons together.” He just shook his head and laughed. We are well known in the Home Depot paint department.

The garage looks good and the water works. We're happy, tired and sore. We're going to have to develop our rehab & construction muscles.

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