Tales of the weekend…

I’ve been reading Jen Lancaster’s books and they make me laugh out loud.  This morning I was laughing so much on the bus that the woman next to me asked me what I was reading because she wanted to read it too.  I laugh the most when she does or says something so completely nuts and her husband just sort of shakes his head.  Because that’s a familiar scenario at my house. 

I’m sure this will come as a complete shock to you all…but I’m really chatty.  J is not a chatty person at all.  On Friday night, we got into the car at the train station and we drove to our house…about 5 minutes away.  I was telling him a story and I talked pretty much all the way home.  J pulled in the driveway, parked the car, looked at me and said “What?”  I was talking so much and so fast that he just completely tuned me out.  It’s funny now, but at the time I got annoyed, yelled at him for never listening to me and stormed into the house…muttering something about talking to the dogs and getting a better response.  I no longer recall what I was telling him, but I hope it was something important that he really needed to know and now he’ll always be in the dark. 

We spent a good part of our weekend installing the air compressor for our new central air system.  Remember all those holes I dug a little while back?  Well…this weekend we actually poured the concrete slab and managed to move the three hundred pound compressor from its location in the garage to its final destination on the side of the house.  This involved putting it on a hand truck, dragging/pushing it up our driveway, across the front of the house and down the neighbor’s driveway on the other side.  It sounds easy, but it wasn’t.  The thing almost fell sideways off the hand truck like three times.  Luckily, my superstrength managed to keep it steady. 

The whole exchange between J and I while we were doing this was so funny…for the neighbors, who were sitting on their back deck, laughing hysterically.  It went something like this…

S: Man is it’s hot.
J: …
S: It’s like Africa hot.
J: …
S: Tarzan couldn’t take this kind of hot.
J: That’s sort of the point of the AC, Ferris. 
S: Seriously…I don’t think I’ve ever been this hot.
J: (rolls eyes) Imagine if you were actually doing some work instead of just standing there.
S: (gives the finger)
J: Ok Mariah, come here and hold this end up. (Mariah is my diva name…as in Mariah Carey)
S: (walks carefully around the unit)
J: Come on Indiana Jones, I don’t have all day…
S: Huh?  What does Indiana Jones have to do with air conditioning?
J: You know…because you are walking all carefully…(rolls eyes again) forget it.  Just hold this.
S: (really quiet while holding)…(breaks into giggling fit) Oh, I get it…because he was walking over the bridge, but he had to walk on the letters spelling out Jehovah and then he stepped on the wrong one because there is no J is Hebrew…(now hysterical laughter)
J: (rolls eyes yet again) Ok, it’s time for you to get out of the sun. I’ve got it from here.
(I go inside and return a little later with my camera and hand it to J)
J: What is this for?
S: Take a picture of me with the AC.
J: Really?  You came out here for a photo-op? 
S: Yes, yes I did.
J: (shakes head and snaps picture)

Unfortunately, I looked both fat and dirty in the picture he took, so I won’t be showing you that.  I will however, show you the fruits of our labor…

Our concrete slab...we had to mix 10 bags of concrete to create this beauty.


The AC compressor in its permanent home.

Also, last week I mentioned my need for a house to be symmetrical and some of you were all…the hell?  What does that even mean?  OCD much?  Yes, totally OCD.  I don’t do the counting thing where I have to lock and unlock the door three times and I don’t obsessively wash my hands or anything.  But I have had a thing about symmetry since I was a kid.  Everything has to be lined up and even and the same.  J encourages this nuttiness when it comes to houses because he has this idea of what a house should look like.  We both like center hall colonials.  In order to show you what I mean by a symmetrical house…this is what my current house looks like…

Notice that the bushes aren't the same on both sides...this drives me crazy!

I like the even number and size of the windows in the front…even though I find it odd that the middle window upstairs in is my closet!  I think the design makes the house look bigger and sort of elegant…as opposed to the tiny disaster it actually is.  Although, we’ve made significant strides from when we moved it.  The first weekend we stayed there our circuit panel blew out and we had no electricity and no heat.  It was awesome.  Now we have new electrical, a new furnace and new central air.  Next week, we start laying the new patio in the backyard…

The pavers are all set and ready to go!

I used to watch HGTV and think how easy all those projects would be and how I really wanted a fixer-upper so I could re-tile a bathroom and lay a patio and learn how to wire a light fixture.  Now?  I just want to hire someone.  Because it’s not as much fun as it looks on TV. 

Stay tuned for more pictures of our progress. 

Oh…and I’m closing in on my 100th post.  I’m trying to figure out how I want to celebrate that.  I’ve got an idea brewing so come back on Friday for the details…


  1. I frequently tell my husband a really long story with a bunch of details and then I look at him and realize he has not been paying attention to any of it. I usually yell at him but then get over it. I’m terrible at home improvements. I can paint walls sort of but that is it.

  2. Isn’t she the best!? Which one are you on?
    I’m reading her most recent and it’s totally crackupworthy.

    And ummm your house is BEAUTIFUL! I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself when we have to take care of our own home improvements. I’m pretty much the opposite of what could be considered handy.

    • She’s hilarious. Allyson told me the other day that I remind her of Jen and I was totally flattered.

      Thank you – I love the outside too. It’s the inside that’s falling apart! And trust me…you will learn how to fix things when you find out how much people charge to do relatively simple things. We didn’t know how to do much either when we started. Instruction manuals and the internet are invaluable. Plus…J has these Time/Life home improvement books that are awesome.

  3. Yer concrete slab looks perfect. Nice job! Scott and I do a ton of improvements ourselves, too and by the end of the day, we either aren’t speaking or someone has left the building. It’s so stressful. That’s why, no matter how many times we keep hearing “how simple it is!” to install siding, we are NOT doing it. Period and end of story.

    I love that you have a diva name! I have to get one of those because the only thing I have is an Indian name. Hubs gave it to me a couple of years ago when we (my sis & her beau & Scotty & I) put an addition on the house.

    We started talking about how jobs shouldn’t have too many ‘chiefs’ and I was all–I’m happy to be a squaw and hubs saw Dances with Wolves too many times and thought I needed a name.

    So yeah you can call me Chris, or Squaw strips Alot.

    He’s a laugh a minute I tell ya.

  4. i am totally impressed that you did your own concrete slab. i am certain if we did that it would be a disaster, or at least my hand prints and signature would be in there celeb style.

    tell me you follow jen’s blog (www.jennsylvania.com). HILARIOUS! can you believe i haven’t read any of her books though? i know, super lame…especially seeing as i have been reading her blog for like 8 months now…

    • I so wanted to do that but J wouldn’t let me. Something out writing in the concrete throwing off the level of the compressor or some other such non-sense. He’s no fun.

      I don’t follow her blog, though I have read some posts in the past. I just started reading the books two weeks ago. I have to get over there and check out the blog.

  5. Ok, the most important thing I need to take from this post.

    I need my very own diva name. I love that. A lot.

    I hear ya on the symmetrical thing. You wouldn’t be able to move out here. So Cal doesn’t do the even steven thing on houses. You would feel all wierd seing mine.

  6. I am picking up my first Jen Lancaster book from the library tomorrow – I can’t wait!

    Nice house, and I am so with you on the bushes! Totally symmetrical is where its at. That and 90 degree angles!

  7. What a gorgeous house – why move?!

    Good job on the A/C. That sounds like it was a LOT of work!

  8. I’m so impressed with yours and J’s handy skills. I wish I was!

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