FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2006

Chief cook and bottle washer

Dawn went on a ‘spending spree’ this week, buying a table at auction for $110, a porch light on sale for $50, and a dishwasher for $2,800.

In her defense, I was the one that wanted a commercial dishwasher. And I’m not talking about a fancy “pro line” model from a high-end home store; this is a workhorse from a restaurant supply place. The kind with the gray racks that busboys carry. It cleans a load in 2 minutes, instead of an hour and forty-five minutes for the “pro lines.” The way I see it, if I use it every day for the next ten years, it only costs 70 cents/day more, and I will save 37 weeks of my life. (Of course, that assumes I would spend an hour and forty-five minutes each day standing idly by the dishwasher.)

I spent some money, too: $1,500 to painters to spruce up the LA house, and $1,500 to gardeners to overhaul the yard. Dawn always took care of the outside, but since she’s been gone for a year, it was looking pretty sad. Now it’s prettier than ever, and with the new paint and clean house, I’m wondering why I’m moving.

Then Dawn calls to tell me how much the granite countertop costs, and I remember why I’m moving: We need to sell this house.

Dawn found her own gardener, since she’s tired of the ‘mudpit’ look. She was trying to find someone who did hydroseeding — shooting seed, fertilizer, and glue out of a water hose — but the folks that do that were all booked until June, and we really want some grass for our grand opening. She finally found someone who can just reseed the yard in two weeks. This puts us in a bind, though: we have to hope for rain because of the grass, and hope it doesn’t rain because of the exterior painter. I guess we can hope it only rains at night.

On a completely different note, when I was in Pennsylvania two weeks ago, we found some old Cream of Wheat posters at an antique mall. Normally I would not get excited about Cream of Wheat, but it happened that many years ago, our neighbor in LA had taken a similar Cream of Wheat poster and put it in a beautiful custom wood frame. When we moved in, he “loaned” this to us, with the understanding that we had to return it if we ever sold the house. So on top of everything else, we were going to lose this wonderful piece of artwork.

Instead, we bought two Cream of Wheat posters, and my neighbor is framing them right now! (He even told us we could keep the original.) Even cooler, they’re all “bed and breakfast” related — one says “Breakfast’s ready, little missy”, another says “Cream of Wheat Inne,” and the third says “The order of the day,” with a little girl sitting in bed talking on an old-styled phone. I already know where these are going to go, on the stairwell in the kitchen.

Look at me: we just spent our life’s savings on the house, and I’m excited about some $10 posters. It must be the paint fumes…