Ready… Set… WAIT! This is construction.

(I’m featuring one of my country sunset shots because it’s calming, not because it’s remotely relevant to this post, which prominently features 1.) bitching, 2.) questions about concrete and, 3.) abstractions about the meaning of life. There is one really cool thing I did with a saw buried somewhere in this mess though. Consider yourself forewarned.)

First of all I have to say this. Back in May when I moved into the garage, I tried to get high-speed internet installed in the house and route it out to our little abode, but the cable company wouldn’t do it because they are lazy were concerned lightning might hit the house and the low-voltage cable wire wouldn’t be properly grounded. Except nothing has been done to our electrical box yet, everything is perfectly grounded, and I’m pretty sure I’ve got a better chance of winning the lottery than of of the cable wire getting hit by lightning.

So for the last three months I’ve been using a “five-mississippi” wireless card – meaning, I click something on the internet and then…

one mississippi….

two mississippi….

three mississippi….

four mississippi….

five mississippi….

Oh look, there’s google. And I’m eighty.

It makes keeping this website up a challenge, and I get a lot less sleep because I have to spend hours waiting for my images to upload. This weeks it’s been about 20 times slower than usual which causes me rip my hair out in chunks more often than not. I think that may be a long an convoluted explanation for why this site goes dark for a couple of days sometimes. Because I’m preserving the sanctity of my hairline.

Crap internet is, however, another strong motivator for getting the house livable sooner rather than later, but you know how construction goes… when you’ve got no time for meeting subs or making decisions things move along at warp speed, and then when you want to get some damn concrete already so you can get your siding on before the deep freeze and have proper internet hooked up, everybody all of the sudden disappears.

I think I just saw a lonely tumbleweed blow past my unsided house.

The Good News

That’s not to say we’ve been sitting around here doing nothing. In fact, our days have been so full that it’s hard for me to keep track of things. But here’s a big thing that happened this week:


It deserves multiple explanation points for no other reason that because it means forward progress on the interior of the house. There was actually no question about passing or not passing the plumbing inspection, because our plumbers are awesome. I know I’m not usually effusive in my praise for professionals, but I can say all kinds of nice things about these guys.

  1. They’re totally willing to give me advice on how to DIY kitchen and bathroom stuff.
  2. They don’t mess things up, and in fact do an excellent job on all things plumbing related.
  3. They give us good advice on things other people may be messing up.

The plumbing has been the one thing in this house I haven’t had to worry about at all, so far, and boy am I grateful for that.

The Progress

MysteryMan has also been working hard with the help of friends to get the porches ready for pads…


That’s the beginning of the frame for the overhang. Followed by the nerve-wracking task of bracing the roof off of the foundation…


I am just going to tell you straight out that I do not get warm-fuzzies from this. At all. I asked the boys if there was some mathematical equation that ensured half of our house wasn’t going to collapse when the supports were taken out… apparently the jury is still out on that.

In the meantime, we have one small section of the house ready for siding…


We successfully attached the sill, soffits, and corner pieces. This included making the most difficult cut I’ve ever encountered.


The sills were cut at 15-degree angles, and the corners are made of a 2×4 on one side, and a 2×6 overlapping it on the other side. So in essence the bottom of the 2×6 that lands on the corner has to be cut at a 15-degree angle in two different ways…

Check it out.


If you look at this long enough, it will boggle your mind. MysteryMan didn’t believe I knew what I was doing right up until this moment…


I’m just a saw blade off on the short side, but it’s still pretty impressive considering I didn’t try this out on a practice piece and I had to go through serious mental gyrations to get there.

The Bad News

There’s supposed to be concrete setting on my very own back porch right this minute, but instead  there’s just a big empty frame where my hopes and dreams used to be.

Did you know you can’t pour concrete if it’s too windy?

And that means we get four more whole days to obsess about the color of the concrete going in. I have nightmares about this stuff. I think Nicole said it best in her comment…

This is really hard. I found those samples to be so overwhelming the only thing I’ve been able to do on my renovation this week is buy new work gloves… You have to decide soon so I can stop worrying about this.

A-men Nicole. And I’m radiating so much stress through this website that I’m now negatively affecting my readers. Hey, readers, not to get all sappy on you, but I really love you guys.

Seriously, I don’t say it enough because I’m too busy running around in insane circles with my hammer, but you give great advice, encouragement, inspiration, and you all make me laugh when I need it most. So thanks for that.

And none of that is the bad news, the bad news is that I defaulted and made MysteryMan decide on the concrete colors at what I thought was the last minute. He went with what I think is the equivalent of this (because I’d been saying all day, more gray, less brown)…

But then I came home after the concrete pour was delayed and saw this sample, and I really think it might be the one, even though it’s definitely more brown than gray.

The bad part is that this post will have to be published posthumously because MysteryMan will have strangled me to death long before you’re reading this.

Apparently he reached his limit yesterday when he tried to search for “gator integral concrete color” by typing it into google, and as usual he clicked on the first link that came up and then his jaw hit the table because google had delivered him back to this very website. He was all, I live with this crazy woman every day in a garage, and I can’t even get away from her ON THE GOOGLE?!

Okay, and I snickered a little when he told me that story. I probably deserve a good strangling.

Final decisions coming up soon so feel free to weigh in on:

  1. Whether or not the house is going to fall down when we remove the overhang supports
  2. Your opinion on concrete colors
  3. If you think MysteryMan is justified in slowly squeezing the life out of me

3 Responses

  1. I’m not exactly sure I followed you on your problems with cutting the feet of the corner pieces, but it sounds like you were having problems figuring out the exact angle. If that’s the case, what you need is a sliding bevel. There are a lot of them available. Here’s one I found on the Internet:

    It’s basically a cabinetmaker’s tool, but it can also be used for the kind of work you’re doing. In fact, some years back when I made the railings for the raised deck in our yard, I used this tool quite a bit. The posts had to be set an angle, as opposed to a straight 90 degrees, so every railing that butted to the posts had to be cut at a weird angle. And every one of them was different.

    With the sliding bevel, though, I just went to the piece, slid the tool back and forth until I had the angle exactly copied, set the wing nut and took it to the miter saw. I could now just set the blade to pick up the angle. It could have been 29 degrees, 37 degrees—didn’t matter. Whatever it was, the sliding bevel picked it up. The other thing I did, because I wanted that railing to FIT, was make practice cuts with scrap to make sure I had it right. About half of them were dead right the first time out, and the rest just needed a slight amount of trial-and-error adjustment.

  2. I only found you recently, but you have become one of the first blogs that I check. I seriously can’t believe you can do all this! I’m fascinated. And, to think you both work full time. My goodness, you get more done in a month than I do in years 🙂 You make me realize that I could figure out how to do some of this stuff. I rely on my husband WAY too much for the odd jobs around the house. I’m totally hooked & excited to see the journey, sucky internet & all! Loved the pic, too.

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I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.