Posted by: Brenda Kula | May 10, 2008

Bring In The Clowns


It is time to bring in the clowns. Or the Renoir. If you’re reading this and not writing it, that is. I had all this typed in, and the dogs needed to go out. I figure, I don’t need to hit "save draft," as I will be back in less than five. You got it. I lost the whole thing. I won’t make that mistake again.

I am making a lot of mistakes lately. I hire people who can’t seem to get the work done. I must be a sad judge of character. Yesterday, the carpenter decides not to show up to continue putting down the floors in the hall and bedroom. He hasn’t gotten around to the leak in the bathroom, other than to slap some white stuff on a piece of tile. Meanwhile, gnats are busy buzzing through my house, and I have mold. I had grown impatient and already taken a screwdriver and hammer and taken off the baseboards in the two adjoining rooms to investigate further. Yep, more black stuff. At least now it is in the open.

I had to get someone else to drive my Meals On Wheels route, as now I had to get a plumber to come out. Seems something called a union must be replaced. The cold water has apparently been leaking there for some time. The drywall, which the builder 27 years ago didn’t put water barrier on or with or behind or some such thing, is finito. The tiles on the tub surround will now begin to fall off. So my husband must work even more hours (or else share a bathroom with me for a long time) to pay for a new wall, new paint and new tile. In a bathroom that has bare walls and floors already.

Late in the afternoon, my incommunicado carpenter has his assistant phone me from his cell phone, which has been unavailable to me thus far today, to tell me they’ve encountered some sort of emergency. And they cannot come today as promised. How kind of them. It is 3:30 p.m. Who would have thought? His "boss" has gone to get supplies of some sort and could not be the one to call. Sorry. They will be here first thing this morning. Which of course they aren’t.

I’ve grown chummy with said carpenter’s wife, as she’s asked me for a job reference and likes to drop by. So this will not fly with me today. I figure they were holed up in a bar. I know his penchant for a drink. But I thought that was perhaps better than the other two who worked here recently. One of which is still in jail awaiting trial.

Okay, it gets even better. Then the cable guy arrives. It seems the TV from the garden room, which I put in the bedroom to replace the one I gave to the carpenter and his wife, isn’t working. The cable guy discerns that "a creature" up in my attic has chewed through the cables. Terminix has not been able to capture this particular culprit yet. And I’m not even going up there.

I will drag out carpet, pull up carpet nails, trim tree limbs, fix what I can. But no, not that dreaded attic with some sort of "creatures" running around in it.

My husband has taken a well-deserved break and has driven the ninety miles to Dallas to relax for the weekend. I thought I would be at one with silence with my self-made table water fountain burbling in the background. And I would have floors to walk on in at least the bedroom and hallway. But so far that isn’t happening.

And just to give you the latest update: Bonnie the white cat apparently grew a little too curious at 6 a.m. this morning about the Renoir (no, not a real one of course) I had placed against the wall on the other side of my bathroom to hide the dark hole where the plumber carved it to fix the leak. I hear a loud crash and the dogs get hysterical, thinking their little ten pound Yorkie bodies can hinder an intruder. Now I have had the good sense to put the Renoir back up against the hole in the wall. And I have positioned a very heavy toolbox up against that. On the cement floor. A Renoir (though fake) on a cement floor against a hole in the wall. Isn’t that a gem of a thought?

And finally, now that it is 10 a.m., I reach the carpenter. Seems his wife didn’t think she’d have enough coffee this morning and sent him out to buy some more. He’s just running a little late. And then he’ll have to pick up the assistant who doesn’t know how to do anything yet and sort of stands around waiting to go fetch things. I know it isn’t really that late yet. But it sure seems like it when you’re awakened promptly to the loud crash of your Renoir hitting the cement floor.

Oh, and I must add this. They just arrived. As they backed into the driveway, I was loading my old garage sale dresser (bought nine years ago and decoupaged) onto a dolly. I had taken my hammer and fixed it. I had planned on giving it, of course, to the carpenter and his wife. As the assistant gets out of the truck and runs to help me, I say, "No, I’ve got it."

"Decided to keep it?" he asks me.

"Yes," I say. "Since I had to pay a plumber $320 to fix the leak and now will have to take the whole wall down. Yes."

I am met with men-in-awkward-stance silence. I haul it in, scratching the newly painted woodwork and door in the process. I take it to the bedroom on the dolly and set it down. I am now, of course, on the computer, incommunicado, behind closed doors in my garden room. Silent.

And everyone who knows me, knows that when I get silent, Mama isn’t happy. And when Mama isn’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.



  1. Oh you poor poor dear. You’ve been going through so much. I hope it is better around there now. However, you do have a way of writing about it that makes me chuckle…I’m sorry. I know you are frustrated. It’s just the way you talk about it.

  2. Oh, honey, I know that place, yes– when Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. I do hope you have not been praying for patience, ’cause this is one tough lesson! Black mold! Good grief! I pray that all gets back to rights and harmony soon. And I agree with Rachel– while I do not wish all this chaos on you, you sure do write superbly and I am glued to see what next.

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