me, Mavis

I knit. I garden. I co-manage an eclectic shop. I sometimes work in real estate. I sometimes swing a hammer. I always volunteer in my community. I live in an old house with my nice family of one husband and three beastly cats. I have great friends. These are the things that matter to me, Mavis.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Trying' to Make a Buck

The nice bricklayer, Greg, arrived just at sunrise this morning to repair our old chimney in preparation for the liner. Now I come from a family of bricklayers, and know all the stereotypes about bricklayers being alcoholic, lazy s-o-b's that you can only count on to come to work on pay day and then you don't see them again 'til the booze runs out. As a matter of fact, I can add my personal concurrence to that stereotype with several family examples. Nevertheless, this fellow is bright, well-mannered, well-organized, and seemingly hard working. He performed the whole job -- setting scaffolding, tear down, and re-building -- all by his lonesome without a helper. My Darling Husband (who is a great talker, by the way) learned that the regular helper was only a summer guy and has gone back to school. Another helper was working out okay until he kept coming to Greg's house in the evening and asking to borrow money. So, in order to protect his family, Greg agreed to pay him in cash daily. That didn't work either (maybe this guy had a little crack habit ??), so he was told to hit the bricks -- so to speak. The pay wasn't chicken-feed, kids -- at $100 per day, I think it would get someone's attention. And it did.

You see, pal Jamie has been barkin' for a while that he doesn't want to sit at a damn desk and cater to a bunch of disrespectful jerks all day. He has the entrepreneurial spirit, and is hell-bent on finding a way to be his own boss and -- surprising to me -- has the solid consent of his new bride to ditch the job and do whatever he wants to do so long as they continue to pay the bills. As a matter of fact, he has recently been spending his little free time splitting wood from a tree that came down on his parents' property. The idea is to sell cords for firewood. And, as an aside, all that Paul Bunyan chopping has made Boyfriend quite buff. But anyway, we immediately thought of our nice Jamie to work as a $100 per day helper with nice bricklayer Greg. Will the connection work?

So, while nice bricklayer Greg worked our chimney, and nice pal Jamie toiled at his stinkin' desk job, I joined Darling Husband on the Schavis kitchen job in Smart Northridge. This was our first day for both to wear the new official, "SCHAVIS Construction" t-shirts. We looked quite cool I am sure, but I don't think it helped the work to any degree. We are preparing for the breakfast area bump-out, which will mean breaking through an exterior wall, sistering-in floor joists, and reconfiguring the exterior wall to accept a swinging door. The first part of the project -- reworked kitchen, half bath, and bump-out laundry room (into the garage), turned out extremely nice, although there were a number of unanticipated issues along the way.

Part of the afternoon was spent at the Hellish Home Depot where we had to dig through piles of lumber of every dimension EXCEPT the one that was supposed to be in that bin. We never did find any 12 foot, 2x10's, so we headed over to the equally Hellish Lowe's where they had loads of 12 foot, 2x10's, but 95% of them were fit for nothing better than the fireplace. We perservered and came out with the quota figured by Estimator Extraordinaire, Darling Husband. Tomorrow, we shall break out the walls, Baby.


  • At 3:28 AM, Anonymous bob said…

    Boy, that is one fine looking chimney. Hopefully the brick guy is as good at having smoke blown up the pipe as he is at laying it.

    Your blog is great. Hope more folks get out there to read it.


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We May Need a New Hen House
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a Chrysalis of a Different Color
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I'd Rather Knit Than Hang with the Governor
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