Not Dead Yet

Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. My absence, I promise will be an aberration, rather than something commonplace. Here's the deal. On Tuesday nothing particularly thrilling happened to report - and much as I don't want to get lazy with my blogging - I also don't just want to write stuff that isn't interesting which will make all you marvellous people get bored and stop reading. So I made an executive decision and thought I'd combine Tuesday with Wednesday. On Wednesday we travelled to Ohio to return Bob's truck. Rich had brought Bob's truck back from Ohio with a load o' stuff because it has a bigger bed and there are these plywood rigged sides which they call the 'Beverly Hillbilly Sides' that they strap on to Bob's truck that allow them to carry like three times as much without it spilling over. So Rich brought Bob's truck on the trip home, and then we were going back on Wednesday to swap the trucks back. Well - we arrived on Wednesday night, sat down to dinner and there was a power outage all through Marblehead. So - as willing as I was to blog by candelight, I wasn't able to hook Po up to a hamster wheel/generator and power my laptop.

So - again... sorry. Not that I have anything particulalry thrilling in terms of progress to share with you - but I'll do my best to provide a modicum of whimsy - it's the least I owe you for the abandoment issues I'm sure your all dealing with now in therapy thanks to me.

Po is now an expert traveller. Even though we were in the truck and she had no back seat at all in which to ramble, she spent the entire trip on my lap. During the last hour I we got her a Purina busy bone (which she gave four Michilin Stars) so that she would hang out doas a reward, and cuz my legs were falling asleep.

So, to fill you in on what you've missed... or rather a part of it... Tuesday was largely spent making the BIG window purchase. Rich decided we just couldn't wait any longer for another estimate - because the windows have to be installed BEFORE the kitchen or the bathroom work can get underway. And frankly, I'd like to take a proper bath before I die. In fact when we arrived in Ohio I asked Janice if she would mind if I lived in her upstairs facilities. I'd be very quiet and just sleep in the bathtub admiring it's beauty.

Anyway - so it's a massive purchase because we're buying windows for the whole run of the apartment (which is a 'railroad' layout for you city-folk) - which also happens to be the whole front of the theatre. A few stray hornets also seemed to be finding their way into the living room and because a) Rich is allergic and b) I'm a scardey cat; it's time to take care of the issue. So we went to Loews and put in the order. Even with the help of the handy-dandy coupon, it's still almost 3 grand, which is one of our heftiest single purchases to date. But - it includes installation. We were going to try and do that ourselves, but Bob said that the building is so old that the REMOVAL of the old windows is going to be a bitch and a half. Frankly, it seems the window-dude agrees, because the installation cost was a chunk more than we anticipated. But the windows will be lovely - seven double hung, and one casement (to provide access to the balcony/signage). They should be here in two and a half weeks. God willing. Until then, we can rip out the kitchen floors, and stud the walls - so that by the time they are installed we can go with electric and the plumbing full speed ahead. So - we should have a kitchen... by the time I'm dead :)

OY VEY - my poor wee old laptop has crashed three times during this post. It's on it's last legs, I fear. But I've persevered my dear little readers, and I've commandeered Rich's laptop in the public's interest.

The other thing that filled our day was the visit to see the illusive new front doors which Rich and I had begun to fear were either fictional or sold on the black market. We journeyed with Natalie to see where they were being housed by the guy staining them... (or the 'Stain Master' as we shall call him) - apparently staining doors is some sort of fine art and they have to be kept upright or they warp and kept in a climate controlled area or they warp. Whatever.

So they were being kept in what, I am told, is called a pull-barn. It's sort of a fancy shed. Natalie had been given the combination and we went in. Although there was no one there - there WAS airconditioning on, AND music playing. So - apparently the doors need a careful environment AND country western.

So we had been told that one of the five doors had been stained for our perusal/approval and the others were still naked, as it were. When we walked in you could have put a gun to our head, we couldn't tell which one had been stained. They all seemed totally identical. Rich and I rarely agree on wood - but we BOTH agreed that if this was, indeed, the stain, then it was too light. The doors are very large - solid birch - with a big glass panel in the middle. Around the oval glass window is a frame of pvc moulding. With the stain so light (I will post pictures upon our return to Indiana), it kind of looks like the molding is a mistake rather than an offset trim color. So Rich and I both agreed that it needs to be darker. Natalie felt we should go for a consult to speak to the decorator who had personally custom mixed the stain - so we went and met Rose. Who was very nice. But it turns out that the stain had to be at least 90 percent clear (in fact the empty bucket of stain in the barn SAID clear) - and even though she offered to custom mix us another color - I sort of said I would feel better using something premixed. Because, frankly, if something goes wrong with the doors, and Rose has to move to Alaska, it's a lot easier to match Minwax Stain number 32, "American Walnut", than something just as nice that Rose cooked up with a dash of this and a teaspoon of that. Rose DID have some ASESOME deco patterned carpet though, which we hope may end up in the auditorium. It wasn't that expensive, less than 2 bucks a foot, and it's a really nice bold Deco pattern in earthy, un-gross tones. Ungross is an official interior decorator term, BTW. So - while we were spending our life away on windows at Lowes, Rich and I picked up a panel of birch ply, and handful of stain sample packets to play with. So - we'll pick a stain and then tell the Stain Master how to proceed. Rose was worried that if one had already been stained that it wouldn't match the others when the new stain was applied... trust me... it ain't gonna be a problem.

The other thing we've been up to is real estate hunting. We've been looking for modestly apartment builidings and large homes within walking distance to the theatre where we can house the core company of actors when the time comes. We had found an apartment complex we wanted to put an offer on - but they won't budge from their asking price - and we can't make the figures work. The pack leader is concerned about me posting too much before anything goes officially ahead - but - he's crunched some serious numbers and we think that we may have somewhere that has potential. How, you may ask, are we suddenly finding ourself as real-estate moguls? Well - the deal is this. The sooner we purchase the housing for the actors - the sooner we make the purchase, the sooner we can put paying tenants in it (or students from the university) and have the place paying for ITSELF. Once we have to put actors in it on a regular basis... then it won't be generating an income for us... so actually the sooner we make the purchase, the less it actually costs us. Also, considering that the real estate market is, as they say on C-Span, in the shitter, it's the best possible time. So - as this new adventure develops - which, you can bet will involve lots more goo, drywall, and joint compound - I'll letcha know.

So - for t'night kiddies. xo Jo Jo.