My Terrible, Miserable, Rotten No-Good Week (With a Happy Outcome)

Monday, February 27, 2012

I don't  think I complaint a lot.  Ok, those of you who know me can stop laughing.  But really, I don't think I complain more than the average person at least.  And I certainly know that I don't have much to complain about. Having watched my sister get a Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis for her three year old, and seeing of much, much worse happening to friends and others, I honestly know that I have no right to genuinely complain.  So, I write this sort of tongue in cheek, knowing that my terrible week last week pales in comparison to those of so, so many, and hope you take my complaints with a grain of salt.

So I've been wanting to get my orange floors redone for ages. Like 7 years. But it is a LOT of money to do it right (I learned this the hard way -- more on that later), and it was hard to justify doing it when our floors were in pretty good shape. But finally this year we decided to do it (or, more accurately, my husband didn't freak out when I said I wanted to do it, so I went ahead and booked it). We had to be out of the house for several days, so I scheduled it for February school vacation week so we could go visit my sister while it was being done.

I initially hired a guy who is very prominent on the South Shore of MA, whose name comes up first in every search engine, and who was personally recommended by a friend.  I told him what I wanted, showed him pictures, and couldn't have been more clear.  He told me he could accomplish it with stain and two coats of poly. WRONG.  I'm not out to badmouth the guy, he has kids to feed after all, but he was horrible. He basically walked off the job. But like I said, I am not interested in hurting him, so I won't reveal his name here. But, if you are near me and want to hire someone, I DO recommend the guy who saved me...more on him later, and I will tell you his name!

This is what I had (orange!) :

 And a close up:

This is what I wanted (uniform, deep dark color):

And this is what I very clearly stated I did NOT want:


It's not that I hate the floors above, but they just weren't what I wanted. I feel that if you are going to pay thousands of dollars for something that is going to be there, in my case at least, forever, you should get what you want.  And I didn't want a lot of grain showing. I wanted a more uniform, deep, dark color, like the photo two above.

So, when it came time to look at and approve the stain color with the first contractor, I was devastated. I don't have a photo of what it looked like - I was too upset.  When I expressed that, the guy walked off the job.

To make a long story short, I ended up hiring someone who was able to fit me in only because he had a job where the closing on a new house fell through, opening up his schedule for a few days. I think it was fate. 

My new contractor's name is Jay at JJ Hardwood Floors.  He is in the Boston area, and it turns out that he is one of the few in my area that can actually DYE the floors to get them the way I wanted them.  It involves a coat of dye, a coat of stain, and three coats of poly.  Jay was unbelievable (nice, professional, truly looking to help me and not take advantage of my situation, where I was out of the house, had no furniture, and had only a few days to finish the project without causing a major headache.  (Jay is not a sponsor, and he gave me nothing to write this post -- I am recommending him and making a big deal about his company because I am truly thrilled with the work and the way I was treated by Jay and his guys).

So, before I show you the outcome, let me tell you what else happened (besides having to switch contractors mid-way through a job) to make my week so rotten, no-good, and terrible.  After I hired Jay and had approved the color, I took my kids and left for NJ to visit my sister.   My husband had to stay home because he as busy at work, so I arranged for him to sleep at a friend's house for three nights.  On my way to NJ, which is about a 5 hour drive, I stopped half way to get gas, and discovered I had left my wallet at home.  No license, no cash, no credit cards.  So, my poor husband had to leave work to drive 2.5 hours to CT to rescue me.  He was a saint - I honestly can't say I would have been as good natured about it.  Anyway, we ended up being delayed a few hours and hit NY rush hour traffic, so our little 5 hour trip took 11 hours.

When we got there, I called my husband to see if he got back safely, and he had.  BUT, he was feeling sick, and decided he didn't want to bring a virus into our friends' house, so he rented a hotel outside of Boston for the night.  On the way into the hotel lot, he ran over something in the road and popped his front two tires. Bam!  $600 down the drain (hotel, tires, and labor).

And THEN, out of the complete blue, I got an email from a new reader telling me how much she hates my blog header. Um, ok. Thanks so much for the completely unsolicited criticism.  Totally made my day.  Here is a good reason to say nothing at all when all you have to say is negative -- you have no idea what kind of day or week the recipient is having, and your comment might, just might, put them completely over the edge! I am proud to say that I responded kindly, but obviously it has stuck with me - the sheer rudeness is sort of appalling, even if she meant well. (Just saw that she stopped following me on GFC today... oh well. I probably shouldn't have said anything, but it really was the last straw and it's still bugging me).

Anyway, we did have a nice time with my sister, and started on our way home Friday.   Halfway through the trip, my sister called to say I had left one suitcase, my daughter's, in her living room. Perfect. Just perfect.  Usually, it wouldn't be a big deal, but it contained "Monk Monk", her oh-so-special and much needed stuffed monkey that Santa brought her, but doesn't remember where he bought.  So my poor sister had to mail it overnight mail (needless to say, it didn't arrive overnight as promised, but instead, came Monday).

The kids and I hadn't seen my husband for days (expect for the brief exchange of cash and hugs on Rt 95 in CT on Wednesday), so we were anxious to meet him at my parents on the Cape for our last night before we could go home.  Of course, he was on a plane ride home from a short business trip that day, and was delayed 5 hours, so we didn't see him until he got in in the middle of the night, after missing the nice dinner and evening my parents did for us.

Finally Saturday arrived, and we could go HOME! To our new floors!!  We drove the 45 minutes home, eager to see the floors but kind of dreading having to move all of the furniture back in.  When we got there, though, just to top off an absolutely vile week, we were locked out. I had given the contractors my only key, and told them to lock the door. Dumb.  So, then we had to wait an hour and a half (and spend another $100) to get into the house.

But once we got in, this is what we saw:

 I totally have my work cut out for me.....painting, painting, and more painting.....

So the week ended up great!!  It will be two weeks before we can put rugs down. I most certainly will update you when that is done and everything else is back in its place!

One last shot:



For those who have asked, the stain is Jacobean by Minwax. But the other coat, the alkaline dye, is kind of a custom mix. The contractor has to mix the color on site, so you kind of get what you get -- of course you can lighten or darken at the time, but once it's done, I don't think there is really a way to tell you what the formula was. At least I don't know it. BUT, I believe they mixed it to match the stain.  Also, one other note for those of you that have commented that you want to do your floors like this.  I showed you photos of the parts I love. But in the direct sunlight, the floors are A LOT lighter and A LOT more grain shoes. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE them, but I want you to know if you are relying on this post that there ARE other views that I didn't show you.  Email me if you need more photos or info!

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Pastels: Pink, Purple, and Tangerine for Spring

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I love tangerine as the new color, but I'm really surprised at myself for liking all of the pastel rooms that are being seen lately.  I would have said no pastels for me, ever, but I actually like quite a few of these.  I know everyone has seen the popular orange rooms by now, but I wanted to include a few of my favorites because to me they seem to go along with the other spring colors:


Thanks for reading!!

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