Saturday, 27 August 2011

Project Pretty Face

Despite what seem like long days of back-breaking work, my lengthy to-do list seems only to grow longer. The house has some, err, how should I put it - character. Yes, character, which includes a small electrical job that is now stretching into a third week (not consecutive days, thank the gods), a grotesque fake brick facade in the living room and a bathroom roughly the size of the trunk of my car. Did I mention the dynamite boxes that served as cabinets in the kitchen? 

So, given the many things to do before the snow flies I've come up with the only reasonable strategy I can think of - I've given up all hope. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and I have a hammock! Hence, I've abandoned the interior renovations and commenced with Project Pretty Face. So far, in addition to the hammock, PPF includes staining the deck and planting flowers. Phase II will start today with bird feeders. I like birds.

In truth, I haven't completely turned my back the inside of the house, I've simply left it for the most part in the hands of my main contractor. He is also known as my dad, and he works for coffee and cashews, so it's a win-win for everyone.

In fact, Dad and I have probably spent more time together in the last few weeks than we have ... maybe ever?! Growing up, he worked long hours and often out of town, and there was no Oprah or Dr. Phil to espouse the important of quality father-daughter time so his weekends off didn't involve any bonding shopping or fishing trips. I left home a month after high school graduation for a student exchange in Europe and returned sporadically through the travelling/university/working years for visits and Christmas, but Dad has never been as talented in the telephone arts as my mother, so I can't really say we kept in particularly close contact over the years.

A typical telephone conversation with my dad involves a 20 to 30-second conversation about the weather, possibly 20-30 seconds on the "G-D rain," the "G-D snow," or the "G-D heat" and ends shortly thereafter with: "Well, I better letcha go, then."

It turns out, dad and I work pretty well together. We don't need to talk a lot, just hammer away, cut, paint, trim and, in my case, fetch. I now know what a Phillips-head screwdriver is and the difference between metric and "normal" tools.

In any event, the contractor has the day off today, I think. He could also show up any time now with a Tim Horton's coffee in hand, ready to get to work. Until then, the birds are waiting for me. Take care.

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