Look who's here! It's Lee Rowan to talk about relaunching domestically (and the associated hair-pulling to which anyone who's remodeled can attest!) Lee, you have the floor... what's left of it! ;-)
Where is Mike Holmes When You Really Need Him?
Since this is for Jessica's blog relaunch, I thought I'd do a laundry room relaunch. Got a good theme, stick with it, right?
Trouble is, the teardown started June 4 (actually, the clear-out started in May but the workers came in in June. And as soon as the whole basement was totally torn up, the so-called workers started coming in for an hour or two every day, and then vanishing. It Was Not Pretty.
We finally just gave up and dumped Mr I Can't Schedule My Time and forged on alone, mucking with ceiling tiles and trim (my wife) and teeny-tiny glass tiles (me).
It is, as I write, August 7. And we only JUST NOW – as in, the lovely washer-repair man is leaving the house – got far enough along to be able to throw a load of clothes into the machine and wash them.
We're still not done by a long shot – we haven't primed or painted the walls, the shower isn't even completely grouted, and we're still trying to decide where to put the canned staples that we used to keep in the pantry under the stairs. But … we have a working laundry again.
I kept trying to write this the past few days and it kept coming out as a prolonged whine, and who wants to read that? But last night, my wife and I got the floor covering glued down (to the last drop of adhesive in the bucket) and this morning a wonderful young man with a load of plumbing tools showed up. It was encouraging when I told him I'd be letting in a big friendly dog and he said "Great!" and then, when Watson rushed in to say hello, the first words were, "What a gorgeous dog!" The man is either a keen judge of dogs or has learned how to butter up a customer…
Cassie, who is generally afraid of young men, hung back and frowned suspiciously, with the occasional bark to let him know she was watching him. Even after he told her his first dog had the same name and was one of her parent breeds, she still wasn't going to let him pat her.
He then (unlike the surly buggers who did the earlier work and have departed because they refused to give us an itemized account and then billed us for something they didn't do) proceeded to hook up our laundry tub, shower hardware, toilet, and sink in a little over an hour. And then he unstuck the upstairs toilet which had become surly only this morning, explained why the bathroom sink has never drained properly, and figured out where the ominous drip was coming from that keeps messing up a part of the basement ceiling. And of course we've made an appointment for him to come back and set those to rights … later.
We have found a plumber at last. Praise Neptune and Calypso and all the water sprites and naiads!
Eventually Cassie, fed up with all the attention Watson was getting, finally came close enough to accept a pat and a treat. Matt the Plumber has the right stuff – Cassie has only let one other man pat her on the first date, and he was 87. And she never did like Mr. I Can't Schedule or the weirdo plumber he brought along.
Watson wanted to go with Matt, and I suspect with any encouragement he would've taken him.
Then we tried to shift the laundry stuff back into the room and things got interesting… again. Mr. I Can't Schedule had helpfully shifted the washing machine out of the room, and in the process knocked its cover askew. I'll tell you, a washing machine looks really sinister with its knickers off. Big metal frame and that suspicious-looking tub… and the experts of the Internet will tell you it's simple to put the thing back together, but it isn't – it's one of those cases where you have 4 hands and have to hold 5 things in alignment. After wrestling with it for an hour, we were about ready to burst into tears. We've got friends coming over tomorrow to house-sit while we go off to the memorial service for my wife's brother, who died last month, and we really wanted to at least launder all the blankets.
Everybody we called could come put the frame on next week. One company said they could do it tomorrow. And then finally, penultimate listing in the yellow pages – yeah, they could do it between 4 and 5.
And there he was at 4:30, another delightful gentleman who had a couple of big dogs at home and got Watson's seal of approval, wrangled the cover back on the thing, hooked it up, and ran a short cycle to make sure all was well.
So now I'm off to feed the dogs and cats while my wife sorts out .. oh, about a month's worth of laundry. And then we'll WASH it.
And, by the way, my Royal Navy series, out of print since Cheyenne Publishing closed its doors, is also relaunching – with Dreamspinner Press. Ransom's new edition is due out September 1 – look for it in Dreamspinner's "Coming Soon" section – and the other books will follow at discreet intervals.
Look for a very nice bargain with Winds of Change and Eye of the Storm – they will be in a single volume and priced accordingly!
Text & photos copyright Lee Rowan, August 2014
Book covers copyright Dreamspinner Press