Thursday, February 22, 2007

Today is another milestone in the rebuilding saga. My house is finally waterproof. The stucco guys finished the lathing part of the project today. They kept me hopping since Monday cutting wood, nailing lath into concrete, and I even put up the waterproof paper. I am once again exhausted, but tonight it is a good "exhausted". I will be ready for the next rainstorm this evening.

The toughest part of this job was these guys like to sit around at the end of the day and drink beer. The owner would disappear an hour before quitting time, put together a cooler of beer, and come back to chit chat. I never told them that I am in recovery. I don't think that would make this experience go smoothly, so I have been tolerating drinking at my house. The part that really drives me nuts is that they throw their beer cans all over the place. I keep pointing out where the recycle bin is, but they don't retain that info by the time they finish a beer. Tomorrow, I will go and pick them up, along with all the cigarette butts lying around.

All in all, I think I chose the right contractor to do the stucco job. Even with all their whining they did a lot of extra work, and they did a phenomenal job. So far it looks great. I didn't take pictures before sun set, but I will take some tomorrow and post them.

Now, it's time to go dancing..........

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I am so stressed. I have been trying to get my house covered with stucco for several weeks now, and it just doesn't seem to be working smoothly. The contractor that I decided to use was the most expensive, but he convinced me that he would do the best job so I decided to use him. Last Friday I left a message for him saying I finished all the installations and repairs that he required. The following Monday afternoon he still hadn't returned my call.

Late Monday, I called his cell and talked with him. He started interrogating me as to when the interior walls would be finished, if I did all the alterations that he required, and that he wasn't willing to wait forever to put on the color coat or get paid. I reminded him that the inspector was ok with proceeding, and that he required payment in three installations after each portion of the job was complete. He said he would stop by on Wednesday to do another walk through.

Monday afternoon I called another contractor and asked if he was still interested in the job. My conversation with contractor l didn't leave me feeling confident that my house would have stucco any time soon. Contractor ll lowered his price by $1025 and was willing to start on Wednesday. I was content - my house was finally getting protected from the rain.

Early Tuesday morning, before working hours I called contractor l and left a message canceling the Wednesday meeting. I told him I selected another contractor, and thanked him for all the time he spent with me to get my house ready for stucco. Later that day, contractor ll had his workers drop off materials, and I signed the contract.

Tuesday afternoon I get a call from another contractor. I have been trying to find this guy for months. My inspector told me about him, I knew what street he lived on, that he drove a gray truck, and I stopped at a job site to find him. The concrete contractor down the street even stopped by his house to tell him about me. Never heard from him until Tuesday afternoon.

We talked for quite some time about how I couldn't find him. Then he asked me how much contractor ll was charging, and he told me that I was getting taken. I convinced him to stop cooking his dinner and come over to walked the site and tell me what he would do it for. He said he would do it for $2000 less than contractor ll.

Now, I had to call contractor ll and tell him that I decided to go with another contractor. I left 2 messages on his answering machine explaining the situation. He called me that evening, and he was pissed. I finally managed to calm him down, and offered to buy his supplies that he delivered that day. He called me back with a price of $515.56. I said I would talk to the new contractor and see if he would use the materials. The new contractor said that was about $200 too much for supplies, and that I should not pay that much.

So, I called contractor ll back and said that my new contractor didn't want the materials. I apologized over and over for the mess I made, and he beat me up verbally throughout the conversation. All the time I am thinking, "You overcharged me for the job, and then you try to overcharge me for supplies, and I have to take a beating for this?" He finally hung up on me.

So..... I made several bad decisions this week, and had to fix them. I did my best to be honest, and generous with these contractors. I didn't get nasty with these guys even though I knew they were taking advantage of me. I was able to use the tools that the program has taught me to fix this mess, and I am so grateful to have them to fall back on.

The new contractor will start next Monday. I hope I made the right decision...........

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I haven't posted in a while...... Working on the house has been exhausting me, and I've been spending too much time in my head. And, as we all know that can be a problematic for a recovering alcoholic - thinking quite frequently gets me off the beaten path and into the nearest quagmire.

There is a woman that I dance with at the local club. Lately, I have decided to put some distance between us because I was getting to wound up in unhealthy drama. I have written about her before. She drinks, but doesn't use drugs and has gone through treatment in the past for drugs. To date, she doesn't realize that alcohol is just another drug, and she believes that she doesn't have a problem with it.

When I first met her she would have one glass of wine, and then drink water the rest of the night. Now, her drinking has progressed to several drinks a night, and she recently started dating a woman that smokes pot. Unfortunately, she hasn't completely ended the last relationship she was in, and I think she is still seeing that woman too.

She knows that I am clean and sober. One of the reasons we couldn't date is because I need someone who is willing to not drink or use around me. Over the last several months I have watched her alcohol consumption increase and it bothers me. To me, it appears that she is positioning herself step by step closer to using drugs. I feel totally helpless.

There is no way she will accept any program information from me. She has made that very clear - my sobriety, and my program are for me to keep to my self. So, what would any program person do? I called another friend of hers that is in the program. I explained how I noticed the changes, and how I was worried that she was sliding down a slippery slope. This friend is going to figure out a way to 12 step her without giving up her sources. Now, all I can do is sit back and hope she has reached a bottom, and is willing to make changes.