Drywall dust in my hair, sugar in my belly


Friends, the demolition of our house (prior to the reconstruction of it by a crew of talented contractors) is nearing completion. To which I say, thank feck. I look forward to the civilized and relatively clean project of painting the walls, when the walls which require painting have finally been constructed.

The demo hasn’t been totally unenjoyable, but it has been entirely exhausting. I strangely sort of liked the repetitive and neck-straining task of prying drywall nails out of the ceilings and walls. Breaking up drywall? Not so much. Going to the city dump to dispose of filthy old insulation and random sharp and dirty pieces of house debris made me despair of humanity’s survival; I can’t believe the shocking amount of crap that we 1) buy, then 2) throw away. I very quickly got tired of being covered in dust, of having a large and unsightly dent in my forehead from the safety goggles, and from not being able to keep any dishes at the house because there’s nowhere dust-free to store them and any towels with which to wash and dry them!

This is what we’ve been eating: hummus and rice crackers, apples, pears, bananas, various energy bars, cookies, cakes, soy milk, coffee, sammiches. I still like fruit but the rest of it is quickly becoming gag-worthy. We ate a lot of take-out last week too, which was demoralizing. Take-out one night in a row is fun and silly and generally involves sitting around, happily, in one’s pj’s and laughing over something fun and silly on the tv; eating take-out four nights in a row feels like exile from good food, hope for the future, and any possibility of not dying of a heart attack at age 43. But soon, soon, my kitchen and I will be reunited and it will feel so good.

Today, the electrician came in. This is good; this is a near precursor to interior wall-building. Also, he was funny and made fun of and bossed my husband around, even though he was approximately one half my husband’s height. He had missing teeth, drank cold Tim Hortons coffee, and was positively addicted to installing fire alarms in as many places as possible–all of which made me adore him a little. Okay, maybe a lot.

But is hasn’t all been shits and giggles. Oh no. There used to be a deck upstairs near the giant and lovely tree in the backyard; it’s gone; it was too heavy for the ceiling in the kitchen. There used to be a kitchen ceiling; it too is gone because, it turns out, sections of that ceiling were being supported only by a nail or two. We have kitchen cabinets, but they’re all in the basement awaiting the emergency repair of the collapsing kitchen ceiling. Luckily, my husband is a smarty-pants and budgeted for a major disaster. I hereby proclaim that there will be no more disasters allowed during this particular renovation project.

I’ve been reading a lot; the commute between apartment and house is long. And clearly, I’m finding some time to blog. But in this dusty crucible, the only thing I can apparently talk about, write about, think about, and dream about (damn you, brain!) is that conversation killer home renovation. I do hope that when I re-emerge as something infinitely more well-rounded in terms of interest, you’ll still be here.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. heidenkind says:

    You’re making me very glad I’m not renovating a house. πŸ™‚

    1. Colleen says:

      As you should be. πŸ™‚

  2. Stefanie says:

    Wow, you are doing some major work there! I was miserable the week we had hardwood floors installed last year but that is nothing compared to your home renovation fun. We just had a new sliding patio door put in but that is a comparatively small project and it only took the install guy 5 hours to complete. Hopefully the reconstructing goes quickly and you have your kitchen back soon! Will there be photos when it is all done?

    1. Colleen says:

      I will definitely post photos when it’s all over…sometime in August I imagine.

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