A Culmination of Sorts

There are two things that have been happening simultaneously in my life, that appear to have just reached a culmination of sorts. Those two thing are 1.) I’m building a house. And 2.) I’m losing my mind.

Usually that’s a joke, like “ha. ha. I’m crazy for building a house.” Except all evidence points to the fact that this has stopped being a joke and started being a it’s-possible-I-need-to-take-a-little-break-in-a-room-with-padded-walls kind of thing.

Supporting evidence for the case that I need to be locked away for my own good.

Friday: I do this.

Sunday: MysteryMan volunteers to go to the grocery store, and when he gets there sends me a text saying he forgot his wallet. I volunteer to go to the store the second time and take my wallet, but find out when I reach the register that I neglected to put my license or credit card in said wallet. I have no cash. Awesome.

Monday: I attempt to fill my water glass with ice. I realize 15 seconds into this task that I’m actually holding my water glass up to the coffee maker. No ice comes out.

Tuesday: I take my sandwich out of it’s brown paper bag to eat lunch. I then attempt to file the brown paper bag in my filing cabinet instead of putting it in the recycle bin.


Here’s how Wednesday goes…  I’ve been trying to accomplish just one thing outside of work since last Friday. Ordering the siding and beams for the house. That’s it. And normally I can handle stuff like this– even when it requires faxing confirmations and wiring money and sending a sample of my DNA to Norway along with a copy of my soul— during my lunch breaks or after I leave work. Except there have been no lunch breaks since last Friday, and I’ve been leaving work after 7PM. Which is later than the lumber yard is open.

But Wednesday. Wednesday is going to be the day. I got everything lined up with the lumber yard after 5 phone calls and 7 misunderstandings and 23 different quotes. I am so ready. Except I need to pick out the stain for the 6×6 posts and cedar wrap that will make up our porch.

You know that the colors of this house have been giving me fits for about a year. From window ordering to shingle ordering to fascia colors… I’m about to paint the entire house flat black.

The only thought I have about the beams is that they should be somewhat in line with the color of the solid wood doors we paid a fortune for. The doors that are currently in “storage” and not installed in our house.

The doors whose packing slip I lost, and whose color and finish I cannot remember.

The doors we ordered from Pella. A company that does not put its solid wood door finish colors on the Internet. I can find plans for building a nuclear bomb on the internet, but samples of the colors Pella doors come in are locked down like a national secret.

So I drive to Lowe’s, where I bought the doors, and thank god for Johan who works in the doors & windows department there, and has been more than helpful on a number of occasions. Johan finds my order in the system and tells me my doors are Mahogany with a Rawhide finish. And I have a book with the picture. Yay!

Now all I have to do is take the picture to a Sherwin Williams and find a similar stain, and let the lumber yard know the color. And I shit you not I drove straight to the Benjamin Moore store and spent a good 4 minutes walking down the stain aisle trying to figure out where the Sherwin Williams stain chips were located. Um. Maybe a mile down the street in the Sherwin Williams store? You think?

It only really clicked when the salesman asked what he could help me with and I said, “Can you tell me where the Sher–shit.” Sher-shit? New paint line. Haven’t heard of it? Excuse me while I go bang my head against my car for a few minutes hours.

Ho-ly. Crap. It’s like I accidentally threw out my brain with the 1,456 wheelbarrow loads of rubble I hauled to the dumpster last weekend.

Here’s the best part of this story… I haven’t even gotten to the point where I find out we’ve really fucked up yet.

That part doesn’t come when I’m holding the stain chips up to the house and taking pictures. It doesn’t come when I “lose” my lens cap, and MysteryMan and I spend 7 minutes searching for it, only to reach back and find that I shoved it into the waistband of my skirt and forgot about it.

Oh no, that minute comes when I’m sitting at this very computer, getting ready to write my usual post-midnight-post. And I look at a picture of our porch overhang. The same overhang I helped MysteryMan design. And watched our framing crew build. And painted the fascia for. And look at every single day of my life. And something that has been niggling in the back of my brain finally comes out of my mouth in the form of a question:


How in the hell are we going to finish of the ceiling of the porch when the roof joists are 10″ wide, but the fascia is only 6″?




It was one of those moments where MysteryMan and I just looked at eachother and blinked 17 times before walking outside to look at the actual porch. The most articulate thing either of us could think of to say about that was… huh.

It seems like there are at least fifty or sixty different times in the last six months where one or the other of us should have voiced that question.

We know how it happened. It happened because we modified plans that were supposed to have that entire area closed in.


But that was the only thing I hated about this plan. Covered porches under gables looked too top-heavy. So we decided to just open those up and put in some heavy wood beams to make it look like a timberframe home. Let this be a lesson to all ye who think its a good idea to mess with what the architect gave you.

Not that it would have stopped me.

Well, we knew somewhere something was going to go slightly more wrong than we expected, and this is by no means the end of the world. It’s just… W. T. F? How did we not see this, at the very least, in the six weeks since the framing has been complete?

We’ve got plans for some sort of fake beam that will run the length of that gable and take care of any height-difference issues.

But hey, guess what? That means my lumber order needs to be revised YET AGAIN.

I’m going to go smash my face into a pillow and scream for awhile. Love building our own house. Can’t recommend it enough today.

EDIT: Spent some time in the pasture with the donkeys nibbling on my hair this afternoon and GOT THE SIDING ORDERED. So things are looking up. I’m spending all day tomorrow in the shop, and I just may take runtymom‘s advice and go for the tequila fix tonight.

10 Responses

  1. Time for the tequilla mind-eraser. (JD or your drink of choice) Have a few shots, sit on the picnic table out back and look at the sky, watch lightning bugs fly around and breathe deeply. It works wonders to help clear the mind and soul when in the midst of an over whelming project such as building a house.
    Just make sure you actually SCHEDULE time to do this with Mystery Man and do absolutely nothing else house related. Don’t even TALK about house related stuff. I shit you not it will feel SO great to just sit and do nothing for one evening. Next day, body and mind restored. I know it will be hard to do, but really one day or evening or entire night will not stop the project. Its just 24 hours… or more depending on how many shots you actually have.

  2. Oh man…I’ve been there. I’ve so been there. (And I might be there again soon.)

    Even though it may seem impossible, taking a day off or even just sleeping for 14 hours (my favorite) will really help. A new perspective can do wonders…so if there’s any way you can step away from everything (at least mentally) and reasses, it will be worth it.

    Hang in there!

  3. There’s a reason ‘insanity’ is part of my blog name — you have to be a little nuts to tackle a project of this scale. And if you’re not when you start, the project will take care of the rest 🙂

  4. I wandered over here from another blog… and can I say you’re my new fav. We’re in the middle of a gut reno, and this post is making me feel like I’m not the only one losing my mind, and I totally heart you for it! 🙂 Hang in there, and just in case you aren’t ready to vomit at the sound of it (like I am): “just think about how great it will be when it’s done!”


  5. Wow! I just wandered over from another blog, and I’m so glad I did… You are crazy…lol *but in a good way* I give you MAJOR(don’t like this word but gotta use it) kudos. I think your home is going to be amazing! whether you lose your mind, lens cap, or even a finger in the meantime…The sense of pride you must hold…has got to be astonishing! I can not wait to see more of your blog, and hopefully root you on along your way…

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