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Ah, home “improvement”

I awoke this morning to a panoply of rubble. Ladders, drop cloths, tubs of tools, scrap lumber obliterating what’s left of the lawn, fragments of corrugated acrylic roofing, paint cans, buckets of paintbrushes in water, tubes of caulk, boxes of nails and screws, tarps, you name it.

They call this home “improvement”? Sigh.

The interior of the house is as bad as the exterior. Objects pulled from the walls and shelves (so they wouldn’t pull themselves off walls and shelves when the Monk attacked nearby walls with his reciprocal saw, a tool I’ve come to both hate and respect). Hand tools scattered from living room to kitchen. A maze of paint cans next to the kitchen door. Raw lumber around the newly framed kitchen window.

I like to keep a clean house and work space, but the last few days have been one headlong rush of project work. Fetch. Carry. Nail. Paint. Glue. Saw. For one interesting hour I served as a human clamp for a tricky cutting job. When evening comes I have just about enough oomph to wash the dishes or lay out a few items for the next day’s work. Maybe neaten up a stack of rubble. That’s it.

But all is well. The Wandering Monk wrapped up his share of the summer projects yesterday and will be back today to finish cleanup. He’ll haul away most of the scrap wood and the remainder of his tools.

A portion of the gear will remain in the yard because now it’s my job to finish caulking and painting. Then I install gutters, do one last cleanup/checkup cruise around the exterior … and Ye Olde Wreck is officially transformed into Mo Saoirse — My Freedom. That should happen around mid-September, as I’m not capable of working at the pace of the last three days and will climb ladders and glue gutters only a few hours a day for the next couple weeks.

There was one small task that’s out of my reach and the Monk didn’t have time to do, but it’s minor and nobody but I will even notice it’s not complete. And of course there’s years of interior finishing ahead. Still, except for that one task and such things as landscaping and underground drainage, the exterior will be DONE. And the interior, though “raw” in places and still over-filled with tools and building supplies, is entirely livable.

This is due to the Monk and YOU. I can’t even guess how far along things would wouldn’t be otherwise. Yeah, there’s been some pretty hearty participation from me. Five years and four months of hearty participation, in fact. I. Am. Beat. I think I’ll dedicate late September to the hard work of resting a while.


  1. larryarnold
    larryarnold August 31, 2018 7:57 am

    “When you have nothing to do, do it well.”
    my Dad

  2. Comrade X
    Comrade X August 31, 2018 10:22 am

    “When you have nothing to do, do it well.”


  3. Joel
    Joel August 31, 2018 11:47 am

    Yay! Objective nearly achieved!

  4. khperkins
    khperkins August 31, 2018 12:47 pm


  5. James
    James August 31, 2018 1:03 pm

    I hope you’ll publish before-and-after pics from all sides. Of course, if you don’t already have the “befores,” I guess that wouldn’t be possible.

    Be advised that there’s an old guy in northeast Indiana taking his hat off and bowing deeply toward the west-northwest. Since the sun is out and I’m five-sixths bald, you might already know that, by the glare reflected from my scalp.

  6. Claire
    Claire August 31, 2018 3:03 pm

    Thank you all. And James, there will be before and after pictures for sure.

    Unfortunately the glare from your scalp hasn’t made it all the way to the Pacific Northwest. Damn. We could use some more sunshine. Oh well, a gray day like today is good for working outside.

  7. Claire
    Claire September 3, 2018 5:36 am

    Nope. Saoirse Ronan fibs ever so slightly to her American audiences.

    Saoirse is pronounced SEER-sha, not SUR-sha.

    I suspect the actress mispronounces it for us simply because “SUR-sha rhymes with inertia” is easy to remember.

    There is a view that she pronounces her own name “wrong” because of where she’s from. Maybe.

    But the word, which means freedom, is definitely SEER-sha.

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