Friday, March 20, 2009

Fire, fire

Hi all,

I hope everyone had a good week.
My week has been very tough.
Let me tell you why...
I moved into my house about 5 years ago. Before we bought the house the previous owners built out the garage to make a mother-in-law suite. So this house had a carport, not ideal but not a deal breaker either.
We did about 7 months of renovations before we moved in and a week before the move in we got to meet Charlie. That is Hurricane Charlie.
Charlie knocked down my neighbors HUGE oak tree (and when I say huge, I mean huge) and it smashed in the car port. It was not that big of a deal because it could have been a lot worse.
So for the last 4 years or so we wanted to do something with this area of the house.
I did not want to go into debt to do it but I wanted a garage.
About 2 and half years ago I had an architect friend draw me up some plans for the garage. I think I paid him $500.
Then I started to price out what it was going to cost to build the garage. This was an attached two car garage...nothing major. I got three quotes and they all were about $45,000.
I was so discouraged. I would never get a garage because I sure as hell am not going to pay that kind of money for four walls, a roof, and a garage door.
But one thing that was a problem was that we were having draining problems in that area of our house. If it rained, literally, there would be 3 inches of standing water in the area of the carport.
This had to be changed.
So I paid to have the old driveway torn up and the carport area. This prepared the area for the garage. At the same time I went ahead and had them put footers and the foundation while they were making me a new driveway.
So for the last year and a half we have the slab and a new driveway (ready to go at a moments notice).
I have this friend/patient who is into me for some dental work. So we decided that he would build me my garage and I would pay for the materials only.
He looked at the plans and said no problem. He ordered the trusses and all the wood.
He started this Tuesday.
It took until about 9:30am until he called me with the first problem.
He said the $1500 trusses that we ordered are wrong.
Then he tells me the reason they are wrong is because the drawings are wrong.
So he was blaming the architect. Yeah the guy who I haven't talked to since I paid him the $500, over two years ago.
What am I going to call him up and blame him?
The builder guys says usually if the drawings are a guess, they would say something like "verify in the field" or something like that. So because of the fact they didn't say this he went a head and ordered the trusses sight unseen.
So I think they are both to blame.
But you knew who gets screwed? Yeah, you guessed it. ME.
It is going to cost $650 for new trusses. Because the truss guy felt bad for me he made the second set at cost.
Just the cost of doing business with friends.
But I told my friend the contractor, from now on I am holding you responsible. No more blaming other people. Check everything twice because it is you I am coming after.
So that was my Tuesday. Having to walk around with my phone in my pocket and know that I was losing money as I worked.
I got home and drank a beer. I almost never do this but this was the perfect day.

My Wednesday...well this is where it gets a little funny.
Let me preface this next part by saying, I am not any good in the kitchen.
I use to be average but since my wife does everything in the kitchen I have become completely useless in the kitchen.
So when she has to leave for a dinner or something and the kids and I have to fend for ourselves. It is not pretty.
So after a couple of nights when she was gone and the kitchen looks like a complete disaster and I am pissed because I couldn't handle it, she has taken over.
So now when she leaves she has everything laid out for me with specific instructions.
So Wednesday comes around and she has to be out. She has prepared every one's favorite...tacos.
The meat has been cooked and seasoned. All I have to do is get the condiments out and heat up the taco shells.
We get home from soccer practice and we are going to do this take a shower and get ready for dinner thing together.
I start preparing the kitchen and my two oldest take showers.
I then put the taco shells in the toaster oven and have the lettuce, cheese, salsa and sour cream out.
The two oldest come out of that end of the house and are going to set the table and get drinks out while I take my youngest to take a shower.
By the way, did you see the mistake in the above part of this story.
Well me neither.
But did you know that you are not suppose to put taco shells in the toaster.
So when Noah and I are all lathered up in the shower Luke comes in and says, "Fire".
I said, "What?!!"
He said, "The toaster is on fire!"
Well in situations like this the first thing you have to do is take an assessment. In a second or too you have to decide, Is he lying and just messing with me, is this a small thing or large thing, then you have to decipher if the situation is urgent or not. Then you have to assess if you don't handle the problem what will the repercussions be.
So within a second I assessed, not lying, big problem, it is an urgent situation and if I don't do something right away the consequences would be dire.

Okay I have to act fast. But you see there is a problem... I AM NAKED (and full of soap).
I run out of the shower and then run to the kitchen butt naked (holding the important parts).
I get to the kitchen and sure enough the toaster it on fire, well the tacos in the toaster are on fire.
The toaster is bellowing with smoke. I open the toaster and that just allows oxygen in and the fire blows out of there. So I shut it and just have to let it burn.
I open the windows and sure enough there is a nice breeze INTO the house.
So after a minute or two the tacos are pretty much charred by still on fire. I take a couple of cups of water and dowse them.
Then I take the trey out of the toaster and put it in the sink and oh yeah I am still naked.
I then go and open every window in the house and then back to the shower.
Noah is still in the shower, wondering what was going on.
I told him the whole thing, blow by blow.
I know that he took it all in because he went to school the next day and told all the teachers the story (and he didn't leave the naked part out). Teachers my wife didn't know were coming up to her and telling her that Noah had them all captivated.
So I finished our showers and came out, all dressed this time, and my daughter is sitting there traumatized.
Keep in mind she just saw her dad running threw the house and putting out a fire in the buff.
Her therapist is going to laugh someday at this.
Meanwhile I don't think she is going to eat tacos for a very long time.

The house smelled like, well, burnt taco shells. I lit every candle we had. I then started baking cookies (the cut and bake kind) trying to neutralizing the smell.
So as of last night the smell was still hanging around, but it is getting much better.
So I can tell you I have had some great laughs at my own expense.
I had my staff rolling.
Then last night at my mom's for dinner I almost had to pick her up off the ground.
I hope I put a smile on your face.

Isn't life grand? I swear I don't make this stuff up.
Have a great weekend,

1 comment:

Debby Sutton said...

LOL!!! That a awesome!!

JG - you have cracked me up. And sadly, you'll need a second mortgage for the therapy bills. Love N's recounting. Can hear it now. Love it!!


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