Things you hear when Jane Austen Fans Do Home Remodeling

“I am in no mood to give consideration to drills that get their cords trapped under the fridge.”

“Shelves in a cabinet, who would have thought?”

“It’s okay to put the chipped board here.  The cabinet goes on top of it.  Lady Catherine will NEVER know.”

“I hate this varnish.  I send no compliments to its mother, it deserves no such respect.  I am most seriously displeased.”

Yeah, we’re still installing and refinishing cabinets. Should be done tomorrow.  Aka: the Tilening, this time it brings a wet saw.  Eh.

75 thoughts on “Things you hear when Jane Austen Fans Do Home Remodeling

  1. “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a general contractor will never show up when he’s expected. No matter how many times the homeowner has talked to him or how carefully the schedule has been arranged, something will always happen to upset things.”

  2. Wet saws rock! Consider the alternative. Dry sawblade in a cut-off saw. Dust for -miles-.

    Or you might not even get a saw, just one of those sucky score-and-break things. NIGHTMARE!!!

    However, you have my condolences on the tile setting. I’m still a bit sore from doing the marble in the bathroom this spring. The wet saw was the only thing that kept me alive that time.

    1. When we remodeled my childhood home, we bought a 7 inch tile saw, because it was the same price to buy it as to rent it for two days.

      Of course, it’s not one of those fancy ones with a sled for the tile and a movable water nozzle (or whatever.)

      You’d probably have to rent one of those for at least a week to equal the cost of buying it.

      1. The big ones are handy for brick and pavers in addition to tile, but they are a royal pain to store. We get restaurant-grade green 3M scrubbie sheets and I’ll saw them in half for the kitchen. Diamond saws are nice.

      2. You don’t rent it to use it. You rent it so they will take it away when you are done with it.

        1. You know, I understand the individual words, but the overall concept does not compute.

          “Take the tool away? But I just learned to use this one! And what if I need it again in 10 years? I’ll never find the same model.”


      1. Which triggered an Elf not-amused.

        Also, she seems to like my hair, but only at about 2AM. No, I have not yet swatted her.

            1. I have (slightly) more hair than Mr. Kalishek, however cats and kittens seem to ignore it. What they think needs grooming is my eybrows. Do you know that a cat tongue on your eyebrows at 3:30 in the morning will wake you in a time measured in the low milliseconds? And then they sit innocently on your pillow and purr and trill and knead your (hair free) forehead. And of course idiot that I am I pet them…

              1. Don’t know about kitty licks of eyebrows, but it wasn’t 3 am when Pierre fell on my face, though I was working the overnight shift so it felt like it to me. I’m surprised it was such a minor scratch.

        1. In nigh all the houses I’ve been working in, all the kittehs are fascinated by my beard, and most of them try and give it a chew whenever it comes in reach. Not the most pleasant feeling either.

          I’ve also resisted temptation thus far.

          1. This may either amuse or horrify you….
            My uncle is the sort of Irish that looks like they’ve got a full wool vest on when they’re nekkid.

            He and my aunt were asleep, on the living-room floor, during Thanksgiving….

            Cat decided that he was a rug who needed pouncing.

            Woke up the whole house with his— ugh, battle cry, cat didn’t come out for a week.

            1. Heh. Some things, long after the fact (or not so long at all…) can become amusing, which were definitely not at the time.

              When the ex fiance and I were together (mumblety years ago), we used to sleep facing each other. Older cat’s favorite nap spot was the hollow between our necks, curled up in a little kitty-ball. As far as I know, he slept the night through just like that. Can’t recall him ever waking me with the three a.m. spazzies.

              Dumpster cat (literally rescued as a kitten from a dumpster moments before the compactor got him), not so much. Older cat put up with his shenanigans with dignity, for the most part, but he did NOT like his naps being disturbed. To the point of zero to furry buzzsaw attack in no time flat.

              One night D.C. plotted the perfect ambush, landing directly on older cat before jumping away… to hide behind the fiance at the time. Leaving all claws facing me. Asleep. Helpless target.

              Fiance thought this was absolutely hilarious. Older cat and I, not so much (at the time. He hid under the dresser for *hours*). Of course *now* it’s funny… But at the time I was a bit grumpy, let’s say. Older cat wasn’t the only one who did not like his naptime disturbed. *chuckle*

              1. Before my wife Em became Mrs snelson134, she came down for a visit from New York. Since we weren’t married, she took the front guest bedroom. Now, Fuzzy, my gravatar, would normally come in and get me out of bed in the master bedroom when she needed to go out. Not this time.

                I hear a blood-curdling screech from the front bedroom at about 3 am, because Fuzzy has gone in there, jumped onto the bed, and stuck her long (and purple; Chow mix) tongue in Em’s ear……..

    1. Heh. Little more painful than a cat who suffers no toy save human flesh.

      Did you seriously name her The Destroyer? Because I wouldn’t blame you. I’ve done that sort of thing myself.

      1. I had a tom that liked to wake me with a claw to the nose, and who managed to pierce the water bed. (Hey, it was 1977…)

        1. I had one who would put a paw on your face, then if you didn’t wake and feed him, would extend the claws.
          He did scratch me once, but it was because he fell off the self while sleeping, and the shelf was above the head of my bed.

    2. Way back in the day when my (then) best friend and I fancied ourselves a “band”, one evening at a party at said BF house, the boyfriend of one of our friends (whom was rather stuck on himself, and few people liked) decided he wanted to pet “Goofball”. I shall refer to him here as jerk-face.

      Goofball was one of those cats that required a severe warning. Anytime we would see ANYONE try to pet Goofball, we quickly let them know that Goofball went from “pet me”, to “slobber on you”, to “Bite you HARD, F#@K-YOU-I-HATE-YOU-HOW-DARE-YOU-TOUCH-ME!” in about a third of a blink. And he would drive it in HARD, once lacerating someone bad enough to have blood LITERALLY squirting out (said victim calmly applied pressure and said “That was my fault… I was screwing with him”.

      However, jerk-face got, and ignored all the warnings… re-warnings… begs to leave Goofball alone, saying that he “Knew Cats” because he once worked at an animal hospital. We could tell Goofball was winding up. Still, warnings ignored. Then, like a flash, “RAWR” and Goofball got him good. I was just about to cheer on our erstwhile combatant, because jerk-face deserved what he got and more, when jerk-face balled up his fist and started beating poor Goofball.

      He was summarily ejected from the party, with dire threats if he ever returned. (I carried 24/7 back then, and my friend was begging to borrow my gun. It was tempting… but no, not the correct response.)

      Instead we wrote a scathing song called “Cat Puncher” which, while it didn’t “go anywhere” (we weren’t really all that serious as musicians) became a favorite among our friends.

      1. It sounds like Goofball at least gave some warning. I’ve hung around cats ranging from feral to semi feral (“barn cats”) to people’s well socialized house pets for over 50 years. But there was one even I couldn’t figure out. His name (rather appropriately) was Murdoch, yes as in the A Team. He would go from purring loving Kitty to crazed demon in the blink of an eye. There was NO apparent feedback even to an old cat hand like myself. Only time a cat has ever managed to bite me and draw blood, even in handling injured semi feral cats hit by cars. I had been warned so it was my own hubris that got me bit.

      2. Good grief. I’ve been known to flick a cat’s ear, or do the “pin them down” thing, but not anybody else’s cat, and definitely not after ignoring the “I AM GOING TO BITE YOU” warnings.

  3. I am fortunate to have the occasional service of the Neighborhood Handy Guy – who does carpentry, tile, drywall, plumbing, minor electrical … (not officially licensed, but he lives in the neighborhood, and has plenty of local references) and we joke about “Roman Time.” That is – when Roman says he will be there first thing in the morning, it could be any time between ‘first thing in the morning’ and maybe noon. “Sometime today” means any time until about five or six PM…
    He did an awesome job on our small bathroom. In the spring, he will do the master bathroom. Pray for me.

    1. *grin* Waaaay back in the late 1980s, I heard that “Inshallah” meant “Mañana,” but without the sense of urgency.

    2. We have $LOCAL_TOWN time; anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 weeks, depending on the practitioner. OTOH, we’re far enough from the city that contractors based there won’t show before 8 or 9AM. Gets kind of interesting when the days get shorter.

    3. The laid back time frame does seem to be a thing with certain cultures, and certain kinds of work.   

      From a friend who worked for a number of years on Grand Cayman I learned to call that Caymanian time, a kind of more-or-less-whenever-target.  Thus noon could be after the sun had risen and before the sun set.   

      This notion of time came in useful when setting a time for dinner, because it seems that some things, whenever you start the process of preparing them, they are not done until they are done.

      It wasn’t so pleasant when we waited at home all day on Saturday for the gutter crew to show up.  They showed up after five, when we had given up.  They did finish before sunset, and the gutters look wonderful. Yeah!

      I will pray for you.  We still have the garage doors, the back deck and two window door units to go, could you pray for us well?

      1. I will do that … as we have the kitchen reno, new flooring laid throughout, and the exterior painted, all on Roman Time over the next three or four years.
        But the garage door, and new windows – those will be bid out to other parties…

  4. DadRed was attacked by “Katya” the kitten last month. The cut eventually healed. DadRed was starting the lawn mower four days ago and was attacked by the corner of the brick wall. The cut might heal in a month.

    Katya was brought home on a four day trial by Sib, who then left town for several days. Happily for all concerned, Red 2.0 loved pulling a thing-on-a-string for Katya, who loved chasing it, thus wearing both of them out.

  5. Renovations, man. The library was renovated a few years back. The worst part was when tar started dripping from the ceiling. Luckily it missed the books.

  6. Here, its been the Scaffolding.
    No Austen, quotes, just some cursing, self cursing (lost a tape measure . . . in my work apron) and stupid questions from the guy who owns the house next door (really, I had to just go get some stuff I really didn’t need right then because it was that or hit him with a hammer).
    Got the front portion of the east half of the roof finished and am now putting up my homemade scaffolding on the west side of the house, and the whole 50 foot is getting it. 15 or so feet to go and platforming will occur.
    Hope to be able to batten and underlayment it next weekend.
    Of course, it’s forecast to rain
    a lot

    Oh, in case anyone missed it, The Whiteboard is back online.
    a mild 9 day website outage?

      1. Their web service had ENORMOUS problems. Including malware infection and having to order and replace a hardware part.

      1. Clickety on Wayne’s link, go back to the start and they were literally pictures drawn on a whiteboard . . . we’ll see you in a few days once you get through them all (~_^)

    1. We are having renovations done on the outside of the house. In the process we were hit by a week of afternoon thunderstorms followed by the protracted effects of Hurricane Florence. You have my complete informed sympathy.

        1. True. A leaky roof is a sad thing when the rains come. 😦 Fortunately for us the rood is one of the few things on the outside of our home that needs no attention at the moment. Mainly because we discovered it had to be done during a very wet spring several years ago.

          Overall I prefer the wash, wax and fully detail the car method of bringing the rain, it is not so painful.

          1. detailing my truck would likely strip the flaking paint off the fenders.
            Still chances of rain this weekend, but hey, the temps are supposed to drop into the 40’s for highs and our first freeze in town Friday!

    2. Awesome. I love that comic!
      I caught up on the archives, but took a few years off. I should go back and read it thru again.

      1. I was pointed to TWB not long after I realized web comics were a thing.
        TWB, Irregular Web Comic, and Vexxarr are the oldest webcomics I read. A few I used to read are dead, others just got stupid and I walked away. and others that have been at it I just never got into. IWC is in a “puppy hiatus” but claims he will be ready for some new ones come the new year and the reruns have additional commenting, and Vexxarr is trying to catch up, and is at least back to the same year we’re in (comic dated 06/20/2018).
        I do still open User Friendly every day but he is just rotating old strips (and the page is getting buggy again. One needs to do some workarounds to actually see it is updating)

          1. he keeps them rotating through, but lately the site has bugs that hide the updating. As he is not paying it much mind, it takes a goodly bit of time before he does anything about the issues
            I think this is the 3rd time the site has done something odd. The last time it was only a few weeks and he or someone fixed it. This time it has been going on for over a month.

  7. The Baby started cooing – rather, her mother heard her cooing. I then proceeded to overstay my personally set visiting hours, because MUST RECORD COO. For posterity, of course. Jaenelle is quite predisposed to cramming herself into one end of her hospital bassinet – either the top or the bottom. One midwife reported that she watched little one month old (and some odd days/weeks) daughter very firmly plant her feet in order to shove herself towards the upper end of the bassinet. Her brief period in a proper room all by herself has also made the little miss quite particular about her neighbors’ noise levels. Unfortunately for her, her nearest neighbor has quite the set of lungs.

    1. Awwwww, babycoos. The best.

      My mother-in-law informed me that when they put my husband under the lights for jaundice, he tried to get away from them by scrunching himself up into one corner of the bassinet.

      I gather he stopped once the light treatment was over… but we did notice our daughter seemed to do it at home quite independently of the lighting conditions!

      1. They do get around their bassinets, don’t they? The nurses have had to corral Jaenelle in place a few times with rolled blankets, because she has kicked off tucked in muslin wraps on top of being swaddled into bubrito mode, or otherwise squidged herself onto her side, or caterpillared to a corner (then gotten a foot out and stuck it on the rim of the bassinet). She hasn’t been able to with the thicker blankets though… for now.

        I’m wondering how I’m supposed to stop her from all that, once I get her home!

        I gather the babies don’t like the light; and will try to escape if they’re not inclined to lie there quietly with the eyecovers on and sleep. Or so I gather from the midwives’ background chatter or having to mind their assigned babies more frequently than usual during light treatment.

    2. Sweet. (Well, everything but the loud neighbor.)

      We started with a cradle, which The Daughter seemed to like, but outgrew pretty quickly.  So we moved to a crib, which seemed awfully large compared to her.  Wherever we had left her in the crib we would find The Daughter scrunched into one corner. 

      Imp Cat would usually be found scrunched opposite catty corner from her.  He seemed to think it was his job to watch over her.  He would even patiently pad along side her letting her keep a hand on his back to steady herself when she was first began walking.  (He was a very large cat, frequently mistaken for a pure bread Maine Coon.)  Certain relative were not told, particularly the one who suggested we get rid of the cats before we brought The Daughter home.

      1. pure bread Maine Coon

        How does that compare with a pure breed Maine Coon?

        Does it taste better? [Very Big Evil Grin While Flying Away Very Very Fast]

        1. Dang, dang, double dang dang. Sigh!

          Imp was as marvelous and sweet a cat as I have ever known, but he certainly far to furry to ever consider eating him.

      2. We had a similar experience with my elder daughter (now in her 20’s). We had a large orange neutered tom named Spike. Initially he thought she was a very bad idea, but over time he warmed to her and would be found sleeping next to her in the crib. Reaching your hand in there without first talking to Spike was likely to find you facing 15lbs of puffed up cat ready to fight to the death for his kitten. Even as she grew older he would sleep in her bed or across the door to her room standing guard, and not properly talking to the guard could get ugly 🙂

      3. Daughter doesn’t like being swaddled all the time. I have photos of her, settled and asleep once she has managed to work free at least one limb. From what I gather, the swaddling is to help with the babies’ need to be scrunched into corners (by mimicking the being folded up in the womb) but I’m not sure how she likes it now that she’s officially well over term in gestational age.

        Vincent used to sleep with our cat Val sleeping right along with him. I rather miss that cat. Can’t have cats now (Rhys is allergic to their dander) and I’m not sure I would want one now, given that the local cats seem to not have the instinct of dig and bury their droppings…

  8. Hi Sara, this is Ritzell. I am in need of your help about our film. Please email me back at I was looking for a way to contact you privately but I was not able to find it.

  9. Made me miss the cut-off saw I would wield as metallurgical tech back in the late ‘80s; usually it was well wielded, except that one time when I should have stopped and thought what I was about to do. I cut right through the surface of interest—-should have dropped back to the band saw. I earned the ultimate non-compliment: “We could just let the guys in the plant do it.” Ouch.

  10. Lady Catherine will NEVER know.

    Oh if it is in her purview Lady Catherine will find out somehow. She is the living embodiment of a pre-Home Owners Association HOA nightmare.

    As I first read Pride and Prejudice I was relieved when Elizabeth refused to marry Mr. Collins. When Elizabeth goes to visit the Collin’s I found myself overjoyed that she had avoided living under the close supervision of Lady Catherine. Elizabeth does not have the temperament of Charlotte, and could never have found a way to be happy in the situation.

    Still, Elizabeth ending up related to Lady Catherine was probably a good deal less painful than it was for Darcy to become related to Wickham.

    1. “Still, Elizabeth ending up related to Lady Catherine was probably a good deal less painful than it was for Darcy to become related to Wickham.”

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