I sat here staring at the same old wall, came back to life just when I got your call…*

*Lyrics from, well, if you don’t know, I don’t even know if I can talk to you anymore… who ARE you anyway?! Ok, it’s from Peaches & Herb’s hit from 1980, Reunited. I could have gone with this lyric as my title, too: “And you’re exactly what I’m dreaming of all through the day…” Pretty much, save for the love making references, all the lyrics are applicable to this post.

Wow, so let me just first say that I’m tired. I mean, completely tired. Knackered, pooped, walloped, crashed, buried, done, cooked. Like, worrying about falling asleep while driving home tired. Not remembering conversations, not knowing what day it is, let alone what time it is, forgetting to eat, going through the motions of life tired. Getting this condo up and running for my mom has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Like, ever. But so worth it, in the end (she did give birth to me and raise me, after all). And it wouldn’t have been possible without a little help from my friends. And by friends I mean trusty contractors Dave and Jonas of Innovative Construction Solutions (whom I consider actual friends, too, in case you are wondering).

Due to many things beyond my control the flooring install ended up getting pushed back later than any of us would have wanted. I’d like to blame Brad (who, for the record, moved mountains to get his part done, and who is still amazing, worth the wait and an absolute pleasure to work with), but it’s really my fault for not being a hard-ass with the schedule. When one vital sub pushes back other vital subs, you end up getting your schedule all off track. Despite my shortcoming in the scheduling department (I’m learning here, people) the guys were able to make time for me during perhaps the worst week possible for them. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines (we’ve all got them, and they’re killing us). And I can’t thank them enough. They managed to make a miracle happen and get the floors and stair repairs done in two days. Just don’t ask them to repeat that timeline. I don’t know if it’s possible. They worked at warp speed.

The floors went down pretty smoothly, despite having the wrong nosing for the top of the stairs (mistake from supplier), not having a reducer for the transition between the hallway and the main bathroom (my mistake), not really having anywhere to work (appliances piled up everywhere), and having to work with the most splintery product around (lovely strand carbonized bamboo from Lumber Liquidators). Even I ended up with about 10 splinters and that was from barely handling the stuff – the guys’ hands were riddled with long, deep, painful splinters. But of course they didn’t complain. They claim they’re used to pain. So, even though the floors were installed quickly, the work on the other side of things – the filling of the nail holes and caulking of the reinstalled baseboards; the touch-up painting of the walls post warp-speed install and stair repair; the painting and patching of the new stair pieces; the toilet, sink, washer, dryer, fridge and stove install (that Jeff had to do) – took time, back strength and hours and hours of energy that I already didn’t have. It was daunting, overwhelming and truly intense. I have even more respect for the people who do the hard work that it takes to build and finish a home. Don’t kid yourself – it’s fucking hard.

So, now that the floors are in, the baseboards are patched, the caulking is done, and most of the painting is complete (still some touch-ups to be done), my mom was able to move in. She still doesn’t have a door on her downstairs bathroom, and there’s a hole behind her new stove that needs to be filled in until we can afford to do the kitchen over completely, and she needs curtains, some lighting fixtures, some knobs and a new bathroom faucet (among other things that I’m surely forgetting). But I can sleep now, knowing that she has water, heat, a bed and shower, toilets and a dishwasher, a washer and dryer, lights, entertainment, a huge heap of boxes and bags to go through, and a loving family to help fill in the gaps that I was unable to fill.

I can sleep. Which I will. After I take up drinking in the morning. But just for a few days. Until next time, pictures! Enjoy! xoxo