Tag: home improvement

Such a wonderful dish, Mr. Neill. What’s your secret?

In the foreground is a pot that one of my kids decorated, probably back in kindergarten.  It holds no significance to me.  But it’s not broken, and it seems heartless to throw it away.  So I put it on the ledge.  When it gets knocked over by a basketball and smashed to bits, I’ll gladly sweep the fragments into the trash bin.

In the middle is some sort of weed/herb that grows unchecked beyond my usual bi-monthly mowing.  It tastes like a combination of oregano, mint, and basil.

In the background is a window that is enjoying its last week on earth.  Structurally, this corner of the house needs (my) help, and as much as I hate to lose any natural light, I’d also hate to see my house collapse.

A triumphant return to an awkward scene

Geez I’m tired.  I shut the water off yesterday morning.  (One must flush wisely in these situations.)  14 hours later water once again flowed through the fully re-routed pipes of my house.  Let it be known that I am indeed a plumbing phenom.  After one month of toil, and $1000 worth of copper, I am finally done with this pipe raising business.

Working 14 hours left me no time to do my main job, which is to be a dad.  With Mom at band practice, the kids were left to their own devices.  This morning I let them sleep-in, since they had gone to bed at an unspeakable hour.  I don’t know what kind of nerds I’m raising, but nothing makes them more angry then being allowed to sleep-in and miss an hour of school.  Kids these days!

Last Friday I returned to the site of this awkward scene where a band called Old Man Markley rocked the United States of America.  Maybe it’s just an Old Man thing, but I do not speak in hyperbole when I say it was one of the top 10 shows I’ve ever seen.  No YouTube videos seem to capture the raw mayhem of their act, but if you focus on the washboard playing in this video, you will get the idea.

Tonight I play my first-ever game of pick-up basketball.  Indeed these are the salad days of my physical resurgence.


I finished Asia’s new room in the attic!  What hip cowboy/cowgirl wouldn’t want a sweet room like this?


Ah yes, nothing spices up a blog like a picture of a construction site.  This happens to be our attic, which I am in the process of turning into a NEW bedroom for Asia.  I guess the old room wasn’t good enough.  If you have a background in construction, then shield your eyes.  There are some unorthodox things going on, I know.  Such is life when you “build-as-you-go”.  I’ve worked on this blasted project for all of four days during the last month.  Sinus infections, barfing kids, backaches and whatnot have fueled work stoppages.

Fun without the cat.

How to have fun while mudder is away:

1.  Move all the dining room/kitchen stuff into the living room.

2.  Throw a sparkling grape juice/tea party.

3.  Play basketball!

Monday I sand the floor.  Tuesday and Wednesday I poly the floor.  That should smell awesome.

Next week I will be better than you!

What is the blue giant doing?  And why is he wearing socks with sandals?  He’s cutting granite, and he was too lazy to put on shoes.  What’s wrong with a little sock/sandal action within my own house?  Nothing!

At 3:20 pm it occurred to me that my kids were waiting to be picked up from school, leaving no time to change footwear or shower away my layer of granite dust.  One reason I enjoy living in West View is that sock/sandal action is a step up from the community’s sartorial mean.  After picking up the nerds, I rushed Zach off to his eye appointment at the mall (not in West View), once again allowing no time to change footwear.  People at the mall were not impressed with my sandals.

You can judge my sock/sandal indiscretion all you want, but next week my freshly opened granite space will contain a Viking cooktop.  Viking!  What does a Viking cooktop mean?  In suburban sprawl or downtown condo terms, it means I’m better than you.  So there!

A man must eat.

Mrs. Neill quit cooking.  “I’m uninspired”, she said.  “I hate this kitchen.  We need a new kitchen.”  Never mind that people generally ooooo and ahhh when they see our kitchen, a man’s gotta eat.

So…for the last 2 weeks I’ve been (re)moving walls, flooring, pipes, gas, and electricity.  Meanwhile I am living in filth and eating less than ever.  That woman will have her kitchen if it kills me.  Yesterday I worked like 8 hours!  EIGHT!  That’s the longest I’ve worked since 1994, and dang am I tired.  How DO you people work those kind of hours?