Yes, it’s been a month. A month without a kitchen, laundry room, powder room and mudroom. A month of “cooking” in the basement and washing dishes in the bathtub. You’ll find last week’s whiney comments about this self-inflicted renovation here. And what have I learned during this week of nonstop drywalling?
*Reality shows aren’t real
I’ve become disillusioned with a certain home reno show that I used to love—let’s call it Sister vs. Sister. In this show, siblings compete to see who can do the best job renovating a junky home. I used to enjoy the show—but then I watched a recent episode in which they renovated two kitchens (new wiring, plumbing, insulation, drywall, windows, cabinets, lighting, flooring…) in one week. One week! Excuse me? Either they had a crew of 80 people working 24/7, or they used time-lapse photography. Mud has to dry before you can sand it. Windows take weeks to arrive once you special order them. The wiring, alone, can take days. And installing trim, baseboard and crown molding? Don’t get me started. When I caught myself muttering and reaching for the wine bottle while they were showing off what they’d supposedly accomplished in seven days, I turned off the TV. I’ll catch up on decorating shows after I recover from the real-time reno that’s happening here.
*Fridges are jerks
In order to stop milk from turning into yogurt—and chicken from turning into a botulism fiesta—I needed a fridge during the reno. The good news: There was a fridge in my basement. The bad news: As soon as I needed it, it mutinied. The temperature control knob stopped working, the compressor started making weird noises, and puddles of water quickly spread out in all directions. While trying to drag the damned thing out of the basement, it attacked me, leaving rows of scabby welts on my arm. I look like I was run over by a Smart car.
*Flies are edible
As soon as I set up a makeshift kitchen in the basement, the two flies in my house sent out baby shower invites to their billion closest friends. My basement is now a mecca for all things drosophila. Last night, I lost my mind. I turned into a one-woman Swat Team and destroyed all of them. Well, almost all of them. Sadly, I didn’t realize that two—in a fit of vengeance—had plunged into my glass of wine. Flies aren’t as crunchy as they look.
I’ve heard rumors that mudding and sanding are next. I’m bracing myself for the dust storm. I’ll keep you posted.