I enjoy problem-solving… until the problems come too thick and fast. Yesterday our internet was down for twenty-four hours (we get wireless from a neighboring apartment) and to have no means of getting my paperwork done, on top of other pressing concerns — to have wasted the day when I have so many deadlines — almost made me break down in tears. Finally at 8 PM I decided to hell with not barging in and went next door and in under a minute had wired a temporary solution.

It appears there is another mistake with the garage foundation. The crew came out from the concrete company Wednesday, working glumly in the rain to lay reinforcing wire and rebar, and it looks as if the holes they dug for the central piers are not deep enough. Yesterday I called Will at the concrete company to ask him and instead reached the company owner. He informed me, in return, that the gravel floor of the mudroom was an inch low according to the laser and that he had no intention of “eating that concrete.” I pointed out mildly that I was “eating” lots of mistakes made by his company — boom! He blew up and raged at me. I was shaking when I put the phone down.

I always say how much I love working with men — and I do. If I made a list of all the mentors who’ve taught me practical skills, they’re all men. Dad, Tommy, John, Dean, Gary, Mike, Larry G., Allen. Even Len by email. But I realized something yesterday when I was almost shivering. These are all quiet, calm men. My father lost his temper in my sight twice in his lifetime, and DH is from the same mold. Men who rant and scream are outside my experience. Thank God.

Today I’m cooking a waffle breakfast for twelve and then catching up on all the work I was unable to do yesterday. Tomorrow I will be in coveralls again, shoveling to fix the mudroom floor — and, evidently, the pier footings. I am driving again Sunday, and with this third trip will have saved enough to hire Allen for one more day. (The excavator I’ll finagle out of the budget somehow.)

Yes, the fun and the immediate big results with Allen have won out over the invisible, long-term improvements of lime. He and I won’t have a mutual free day until June 7, and who knows if the weather will cooperate? But it will be something cheerful to look forward to.

Allen (very calmly) taking down the laser transit in April

Allen (very calmly) taking down the laser transit in April


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