Friday, July 28, 2006

Once again, I am exhausted. We only worked half a day today, but I am beat. I didn't really work that hard, truth is, I was just out too late last night. I went dancing at the local pub, and didn't get home till midnight. There was a woman there from Columbia, and she was hitting on me. I must say, I was soaking up all the attention. I have been spending so much time grieving the loss of my last relationship that I haven't been receptive to anyone's attention. I might be able to get use to this again........

Tomorrow is the Pride Parade. I have intentionally stayed home tonight so I can recharge my batteries. I need the energy to be a social butterfly all day, and then go out dancing in the evening. I am looking forward to seeing people that I haven't seen in a long time. Who knows, maybe some interesting girls will cross my path.

Will keep you posted......

Sunday, July 23, 2006

This weekend was too hot to do anything but sweat. The air was hot and humid, and us softies from southern California have little tolerance for this kind of weather. I basically crashed, burned, and skidded to a stop. My only other activity besides shopping included poodle diving with Kodiak, my standard poodle.

When I moved into this house, every single one of my poodles took their turn at falling in the pool. Kodi was the first. One day I looked outside, and there he was in the deep end, hanging on for dear life. I have no idea how long he had been hanging there, but I ran to his aid. I couldn't tell you how many times I have grabbed him by the neck, and pull him out since then. His dear friend Keisha use to butt check him into the pool all the time. She weighed 20 pounds less than Kodi so it must have been all in the timing that she could knock him in.

To avoid an unexpected sight of floating poodles (or would that be sunken poodles?), I taught them all to swim towards the steps to get out. This has worked against me a way. I can't keep anyone in the pool very long. Their only goal seems to be to swim to the steps to get out, then wait to be carried back in.

So now I have a standard poodle who loves to swim, but is afraid to get into the water. I use to get out of the pool, pick him up (all 65 pounds), and carry him into the pool. I grew tired of that after several seasons, and just started pulling him in. It is really hard to yank a 65 pound mass who doesn't want to move, so yesterday, I decided that we would try poodle diving to get him over his fear.

He would stand at the edge of the pool, I would grab him by the collar, put my other hand under his belly, and toss him in. At first I was really gentle with him, and tried to make sure he didn't go under water, but after a while I would toss him farther and farther out. Eventually, he started going under the water, but would pop up and start swimming (not bad for a water dog). He would climb out, shake off and prepare to do it again. Needless to say, he had a blast. I am hoping that someday he will jump into the pool on his own......

Friday, July 21, 2006

This week I learned how to bend rebar with a tool called a Hicky. I bent all the 1/2" rebar to 90 degree angles for the corners. Each bar is 10 feet, and you put this tool in the center. The tool has 3 hooks on it that hold the rebar in place, and a long handle. Then you put your foot right next to the tool to help stabilize it, and pull. I am not quite tall enough, or heavy enough to do this without ending up on the concrete, but it is a soft landing.

I explained to my worker that he, and his friend were costing more to build the footings than it would have been to hire my old contractor who was cheating me. I was proud of how I handled it. I didn't yell, scream or belittle him. I just told him how I perceived the last two weeks, and why I was so bitchy. I told him that his friend was not welcome back, but that he could come back on Tuesday. Then I said, "I'm done bitching, so what needs to be done." We spent the rest of the day building forms and tying rebar.

I took today off. I haven't had a day off in almost 2 months. I went shopping for shorts. Did you know that you can't buy shorts in July in Southern California? Have you ever heard of such a thing? Pride is next weekend, and this girl is not prepared! I went to 2 malls, and finally found one pair of shorts, but they don't fit very well. I'm not complaining (too much), but they are a size 4, and too fricken big. I have always been able to fit into a size 4, but since it became popular to be petite, the sizing has increased dramatically. I took them home, washed them in hot water, and now they are drying on the hottest setting. Wish me luck bloggers, I have to look good next weekend!

Shopping is exhausting, but good for the soul......

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sorry for not posting very much the last few weeks. I sit down at the end of a day around 7pm, and nothing much works anymore. The brain is asleep, the arms are heavy, and my typing skills become nonexistent.

I almost fired my worker and his buddy today. My worker told me that his buddy was a really good concrete footing professional that really knew his shit. Unfortunately, that is not the case. He needs a lot of direction, and waits till he is given a task before he does anything. So, I lost my temper again today, and told my worker that I didn't think his buddy was worth his wages, and that I could get a go-for in here at a much cheaper rate.

My worker wanted to help his friend who is down on his luck, and needed a job, so he brought him over. I don't mind helping someone out, but if they can hardly wait till beer-thirty at the end of the day, I get a little irritated. I have decided to keep him for the rest of the week till all the forms are set, and then he has to go back home. I feel like I am getting one guy for the price of two, and we are not getting the job done any faster.

That brings me to my biggest character defect. I am trying to be patient, but I keep loosing my temper. I have not been even a "fair" example of sober living the last few days. When you hire individuals, and not companies, you never get the best and brightest. I know that, and I can hear my mind telling me that, but I still get impatient with these guys. It is all based on expectations. I expect a certain amount of work done each day. When I see how little has progressed at the end of the week, I get impatient. And, I am not any good at hiding my feelings. It is simply torturous to stay calm, and try to get the most out of these guys.

For example, I don't have a roof covering my house. We took it off last month. I have been trying to get it put back together, but it keeps getting delayed by other tasks. Saturday, at 5:30 in the morning, it unexpectedly started raining. All I could do was get up and go sit in the living room and watch the rain saturate what is left of my house (luckily, I only blew one circuit).

On Sunday, I got up on the roof and started assembling the boards, and nailing them on. On Monday, the guys were functioning at their usual speed, and I had to get really agitated to get them up on the roof. They installed about 80% of the boards, and called it beer-thirty. Today, I had to go up there and finish the entire east side of the roof. At least in the east side, I have something to nail plastic to when it starts to rain. The west is still a big open hole.

Today, I feel a little overwhelmed with all the work that needs to be done in such a short period of time. I am trying to focus on 'one thing at a time', in "one day at a time" and make it through the week. I think I am just exhausted, and need a few hours of sleep before tackling the project again.

I feel like I am just rambling, but thanks for reading..........

Friday, July 14, 2006

I am so exhausted. No matter how much I do, there seems to be very little progress with rebuilding this house. Yesterday, we installed the trusses on the roof, and today we discovered that they are about a foot too high to match the rest of the roof. The truss manufacturing guy came out and tried to convince me that I needed to buy more trusses. When that argument fizzled, he tried to blame the person that produced the drawings for the renovations (that was me) for annotating the wrong pitch. When he finally realized that a pitch was not designated, and he was the one that made the assumption for existing roof pitch, he gave in and reluctantly offered to remake the trusses. They will arrive on Monday.

The trusses....

The guy that is helping me rebuild is big, and strong and most the time, dumb as dirt. I am grateful that he is big and strong, but I wish he would think about things a bit more. He drove me crazy today. Yesterday, we had the footing trenches dug to the proper depth of 18". He got obsessed with the bottom corners of the trenches and insisted that in order to pass inspection, they had to be more square. He just bought a new drill bit to fit in this massive drill and I think he wanted to use that more than adjust the bottom of the trench. In a short time he dug up more dirt, and made the sides perpendicular to the concrete slab.

All the while he is adjusting the shape, he is walking up and down the trench and compacting everything he has loosened. I cleaned up the mess he made, and remeasured the depth. I lost 2" with his brilliant idea, and now my trench was only 16" deep. I bitched about loosing the 2", and he got his trusty drill and redug the entire trench again. This time he helped shovel the rocky clay out.

Now, the trench is too big - 14" x 20", and he tries to get in there to straighten out his bottom corners. We got into another pissing match about the corners, so he decided to go have lunch. I don't think it really matters if your corners are not perfect if the trench is growing in size - somewhere in that 2" radius you will be able to fit a perfect 90 degree angle.

Sorry it is taking me so long to get to my biggest gripe. While I was digging out the remaining clay, he was sweeping the debris on the concrete. He started sweeping the stuff right back into the trench. I told him to sweep in any direction so long as the dirt and clay doesn't get back into the trench. He got really pissy, and told me that he was sweeping the dirt back in so I could pick it up again. Can you believe that? Hey, you missed the wheelbarrow, so I will help you and put the dirt back in the trench so you can shovel it out again.

So, I spent the entire day digging trenches that didn't need to be dug, and hauling about 15 wheel barrels full of wet clay and river rock in full sun. The temperature was 90 degrees in the shade........ I am sooooooo tired.

This is what the trench looked like yesterday......

What manual labor can do for you.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

This is my beautiful Cricket. She was a charming poodley girl who was always hunting in the backyard. We lost her on Monday, and she will be dearly missed.

I lost both Cricket and her mother, Willow in less than three weeks. I am not ready to deal with the emptiness and sorrow that is in my heart. In time, I will grieve, but right now it is too overwhelming.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I am pretty tired this evening. I spent this weekend digging trenches so my house and garage footings can be formed this coming week. I was swinging a pick and shovel in full 90 degree sun on Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes I wonder where my sanity has gone. I don't think a normal person would do this.

My previous Ex, (not NVF) called me this morning crying. She had to take one of our poodles into the emergency hospital. Apparently, Cricket is going into liver failure, and jaundiced overnight. Cricket is a little doll. Her only fault is that she loves to be heard, and is very adamant about it. Her time is limited here on earth, and it saddens me to see her go.

My world is getting pretty empty. They always say, "When one door closes, another one opens". I wonder if people just say that phrase to make you feel better, or if it is really true. Has there been any type of study done on common phrases, and their validity? I don't really believe in this phrase, but I will keep track of how many doors open during the remainder of this year, compared to how many have closed.

It doesn't sound like it, but I did have a good weekend........

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Today was a milestone - I got my building permits! The city issued this 5-4, petite lesbian building permits to rebuild her house. I am so jazzed. I did this without the aid of an architect, or structural engineer, or contractor. They all tried to convince me that I needed them.

Now, I should probably tie this into living sober since that is what this blog is suppose to be about..... I believe that if I would attempt such a daunting task while using, I would never get past the point of thinking about rebuilding. I would spend my days analyzing how to rebuild, spend my nights talking about it, and wake up the next day to do it all over again.

Sobriety has given me the opportunity to live life to the fullest, the motivation do what needs to be done, and the ability to find some time to still have fun. For that, I am grateful.

Today was a good day. Life is good.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I spent the last 2 weeks working on my house and avoiding my latest loss. I lost all the data for my drawings to obtain building permits the same day I lost my Willow. I spent a week where I did nothing but recreate those drawings. I am grateful the inspector likes me.... cause he overlooked a great deal. I don't have building permits yet, but should get them next week (the planner doesn't like me much).

This last week, we worked on demolition. I have a guy helping me that was difficult to get use to, but eventually grew on me. He is big and strong, has a girlfriend, and knows construction. What more could a lesbian want. He can only help me for the next few weeks so posting might be sparse cause we have a lot of work to do. I am hoping that we can build 4 new walls, repair the roof, and build a new roof before he goes back to Nevada. The garage will have to wait.....

Today, I tore off the old roof. My roofer wanted to charge me $1600 to remove the shingles and paper. I thought it was too much money for something that I could do myself. I really have a hard time shelling out money for something that is simple. I got it almost all done in about six hours. I still have to remove the nails on the back side and then remove the paper. I figure 2 more hours.

So, one girl, eight hours, saved $1600. I would say that is a good day. That extra money could take me and my next girlfriend to Hawaii. That is a wonderful thought.
The roof.

This is the back of the house where the roof was damaged.
This is the front of my house. We just removed the damaged wall.