Sunday, November 27, 2011

More farm life drama

My  husband has been having a hard time with all the log home renovations I've got going on:

So here I sit while some burly men are downstairs with a sledgehammer, attacking our guest room with a vengeance. Why?  In August the little woman and I decided we needed to be able to sit listlessly in the “cooler” months and view our vast land.  With images of hot beverages in our hands while relaxing in old-people style recliners we ordered two special windows for our homestead.  One would be off the kitchen area in the den.  The other in the guest room on the lower level (more on that later).

The den was/is planned to be our escape room.  In there, we will have matching lazy-boy recliners, no TV, no phone, just a reading light and two recliners (did I mention that already?).  We, the Mrs. and I, had a dream of sitting in these recliners (from now on I shall call these seats weight-bearing cushions of happiness WBCofH), our guard dogs on the carpet by our sides (the Mrs. interjects here "ha ha ha ha, guard dogs!  They weigh ten pounds put together!").  I would say they would be at our feet, but in these WBCofHs, our feet will not touch the floor.  With my eternal spouse by my side, but not like right next to me, I mean this is MY WBCofH – she has her own – right?  We will sit with our hot beverages, all the while gazing over the land that has soaked up so much of blood and almost all of our will to live during the summer and fall.  In front of our view will be the guest house (actually a currently un-used goat shed) and the orchard.  The orchard, well – one live, fruit-bearing tree; six dying, non-bearing fruit trees; three wild pear trees (we've been told, because there are not pears to be seen); and a census-confirmed three dozen woodchucks -- all sitting within our view.  Only one problem.  While completely ensconced in our own respective WBCofHs, we would have been staring at the lower trim of the existing window.   Needed to think of a solution.

So on a warm august Sunday I was working on the fence out back.  While regaining consciousness and waiting for the feeling to return to the lower portion of my body, I had some time to think.  And think I did, on the inside.  On the outside I was crying like newborn baby.  But still, that pesky thinking persisted.  How to solve the dreaded “we can’t see anything because the stupid window is small and high."  (Editor’s note: At our place, anything that does not agree or support our dream of a perfect home is classified as stupid.  To date, our homestead has the IQ of a microwaved avocado.)  Then, as I finally became able to wiggle my toes, it hit me – the internet!  It can solve anything.   

So, a little research and we find the perfect solution -- a bay window -- one as large as the huge viewports from futuristic starships.  A monster window.  We were ecstatic.  We looked at the check book.  We were depressed.  So maybe gigantic was not in the cards.  We toned down the concept.  But the dream persisted.

Around the same time we realized that we had originally purchased (ok, borrowed from Wells Fargo for the foreseeable future) a four bedroom house.  After making some changes, knocking out a wall here and there to bring back the original open splendor of this log home, putting up some doors that never shut properly after our recent earthquake, requiring more home improvements, endless home improvements, ceaseless soul-sapping home improvements -- we went from four bedrooms, down to one.  Yeah, hard to imagine, but there it is.  From four teeny tiny bedrooms to one qualifying bedroom.  Although clever on my part, should we ever want to refinance the house to, say, pay for limb reattachment surgery for me, or something similar, we would not be as successful.  Apparently Pennsylvania has this ridiculous law that for a room to “qualify” as a bedroom, it must have both a closet (and not just a designer sheet thrown over a coat rack, but a real wooden thing nailed to the floor) and, get this, a “method of egress” in an emergency.  I mean, in the event of an emergency, I would take the responsibility of getting out of the house first so I could direct the rescue efforts for those inside.  The “you stay here, I’ll go get help” method of safety and rescue perfected by the French over decades of practice would work for me.   But in the end, our new guest room in the basement lacked this essential "method of egress" and couldn't count as a bedroom. So we had to get a second window.

To complete the dream we interviewed a number of shady window sales people/companies.  For those who don’t have any experience in this realm, these bottom feeding, chromosome missing people are the new aluminum siding sales people of the new millennium.  Nevertheless (don’t you just love that word?  It’s like the shortened version of “I know I’m screwed, but I’ll give it a shot anyway…), we selected a company that was just a tad higher on the evolutionary scale than the others – just above a self-replicating virus.  So with pictures of sitting in a cozy room, the hell hounds sitting on our laps, we signed on the bottom line.  Our first clue that this may not be so easy was when, after my one and only love finished signing her name, the sales rep looked at us with a toothy grin and thunder clapped in the distance.  So with a promise of installation in about 8 weeks, a puff of smoke and flash of lightening, the sales rep disappeared while clutching the signed contract.  But I’m no dummy, I got his business card first.  The following is a transcript of the interaction I have had with the installation company (henceforth called Dante’s Windows, Inc.).

Week 1 – post signing – Me: “Are they in yet?” – Them: “Nope”
Week 2 – post signing – Me: “Are they in yet?” – Them: “Nope”
Week 3 – post signing – Me: “Are they in yet?” – Them: “Nope”
Week 4 – post signing – Me: “Are they in yet?” – Them: “Nope”
Week 5 – post signing – Me: “Are they in yet?” – Them: “Nope”
Week 6 – post signing – Me: “Are they in yet?” – Them: “We’ll call you back”
-          Crickets –
Week 7 - post signing – Me: “You didn’t call me back, are they in yet?” – Them: “We’ll call you back”
-          Tumbleweeds –
Week 8 - post signing – Me: “You didn’t call me back, are they in yet?” – Them: “Nope”
Week 9 – post signing – Wednesday 5:30 AM.  Them: “We’re heeeerrrreeee!” No notice, no phone calls.  Me: – “I’ll reschedule my day.”
Wife abandons me to head toward work, sees window-to-be-installed sitting in garage, notes it looks a bit smaller than she'd expected.  She returns, measures space, measures window.  Not even close to what we'd ordered.

Week 9 – post signing – Wednesday 7:30 AM. Them “Uh-oh!” Me – “Whimper”

And so it continues…

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