Warning – this post has a lot of words and no pretty pictures – it is my real life – so if you wish to skip this one, I will see you on the next post.
I will admit that I am a bit crazy (The Husband would say more than just a bit). I have my things, and one of my things is that is I have a thing against natural gas. It is hard to explain, and people don’t get it, but I just don’t like it (maybe it has something to do with the movie that the house exploded after someone lit a match and the stove top had been left on???) It wasn’t a problem in our first house, as we did not have anything that used natural gas. However, in our new house we do – two of the items were a gas stove top and a gas fireplace. When we purchased the house, we knew the kitchen would have to be completely renovated so during the renovation, I had the gas line removed and opted for an electric stove. (Yes, you cooks out there are probably gasping as gas is supposedly better to cook with – but I don’t cook, and I have this thing against gas, so it was gone). Then there was the gas fireplace – I hated it, and I would never let The Husband turn it on. He tried to trick me a couple of times by turning it on when I was in the back working, but I have this thing for gas, and I knew as soon as he turned it on, and came running in the den and made him turn it off (are you sensing the crazy?) So, when The Husband told me he wanted to get rid of the gas logs and have a wood stove installed, I was all for it. We went to the store this summer and picked out a beautiful unit that I was very excited about. However, before they let you buy it, you have to have a chimney guy come out and inspect your chimney to make sure it will work. So we have the chimney guy come out and also ask him to look at a leak that had gradually gotten worse as we had the summer that the rain never stopped. So the chimney guy says the stove we picked would work, but that we had a couple issues besides the leak we needed to address. He informed us the mantel (which we never liked) was too big to meet code, and that there was soot backup behind the damper. So the first thing we did was remove the mantel, and behind it we discovered the leak was worse than we thought. The wood support that was next to the brick was covered with mold. However, the good part was that behind the mantle the brick was not painted and this let us see when the brick was wet – so we would be able to easily tell when the leak was fixed. So we had the leak fixed, or so we thought – it took “fixing” the leak 7 (SEVEN!) times before the actual problem was discovered. And of course, after the summer of rain every day, each time we had the leak fixed, it wouldn’t rain for weeks for us to see if the latest fix really fixed it. So we lived like this for almost four months:
(The leak caused the orange stuff on the brick, called efflorescence. The unpainted brick to the left is dark because it is wet.)
So on my busiest week at work, when I was working late, The Husband thought he would clean behind the damper. I get home from work and hear the vacuum running (if he is vacuuming without me kindly asking him to do so for hours, then something is up). I walk in, and he states that soot is everywhere. And by everywhere HE means all over the carpet – but have no fear, he has vacuumed! When I ask him if he moved items to vacuum, he assures me he has. When I point out that the carpet is black behind the speakers, he responds “I didn’t move those.” Does he think that if it is all over the carpet, it must be all over everything? No, this thought never crossed his mind. When he decided to clean the damper, he took no precautions and obviously did not think it out. He left everything where it was, and went to work. With one swipe of a damp paper towel on EVERYTHING in the room, the paper towel turned black. When I went to remove the items from the walls, he told me to STOP, as you would see where they were. SERIOUSLY – I can’t clean the dirty items because then you would see where dirt was still remaining – like I am not going to clean the walls too?!?!? I am sure you think I am over exaggerating, and I only wish the mess showed up better in pictures, but I did get this picture.
Yes, the entire walls had to be cleaned. We had to bring in the big outdoor ladder so I could clean the upper walls. It took a minimum of three passes at cleaning (the first you could only get a few swipes and have to clean the sponge, and it left weird rust color marks, so the second pass you had to get the remaining black and scrub the rust, and then the third to get anything left.) So I cleaned well past my bedtime, and I was very grumpy, as I am sure you can imagine. Trying to get me to see the positive, he tells me “well the house will be clean, now” – urgh!!! Well thanks to my sweet sister, Happy, I do now have a clean house. She felt sorry for me and came over the next day while I was at work and continued to clean the mess!
Now don’t get me wrong, The Husband is a great husband, and he is good at many things. (A couple of my favorite – If you recall at the beginning of this post, I told you that I don’t cook – The Husband prepares our dinners every night. He is also a morning person (me, not so much) so on Saturdays, he will wake me up with a venti Starbucks in hand.) This is just a perfect example of why The Husband and I do not work well together on projects. His process is to just go in and get it done. While I must research, plan, analyze, figure out what materials are needed, and then think about it some more; and if any measuring or cutting is involved, then there will be a full plan drawn out. So you see our styles are completely different. He gets very impatient with my process; and I get very frustrated that he does not do it the “right” way. So for the sake of our marriage, we have found that it best that we don’t always work on projects together.