I've owned my new/old little west Redding house for three months. It feels like it's been years.
I've hit that place in the remodeling where I can finally see a glimmer of hope that the worst may be over. Let me pause to toss some salt over my left shoulder and knock on wood.
One of the most significant things to happen this week is I hired another handyman to do some major labor on the south side of the house where there are huge drainage issues.
If you missed the news, some jerk lied and told the Contractors State License Board that Corey was acting as a licensed contractor, which is is completely untrue. Don't get me started. Go ahead and read about it and I hope you're as outraged as I am that Corey was ordered off my job and threatened with fines, jail time and even a jury trial. For working hard.
This is what the side yard looked like after Corey, my former right-hand handyman, ripped out debris and overgrown plants so I could assess the situation.
I explained to my new handyman what happened to Corey, which is sort of like telling your new boyfriend that you have an STD. The new handyman didn't run screaming, but he did ask that I not use his name, or identifying photos in my columns, which is exactly what my shy flooring guy said. Smart guys.
I cannot wait until some smart legislator changes the CSLB law that limits unlicensed labors to the impossible-to-live-on $500. If they're looking for suggestions, I say just add a zero to that ceiling amount and everyone will be happy.
At any rate, my short-timer handyman used a jackhammer, shovel and wheelbarrow to remove mounds of dirt from the side yard.
Here's a picture of my bashful handyman near the weird slabs of concrete he unearthed. He used a jackhammer to break up the concrete and remove it.
Here's the after photo:
Meanwhile, Corey is getting back on his feet after suffering the CSLB's unfounded accusations, not to mention he lost his job working for me on various projects. Some of you have hired him, as a matter of fact. And that's the reason I love you today. Thank you!
Corey and I have spoken many times since the CSLB sting operation that "caught" and busted Corey for the "crime" of installing an $89 Home Depot little bathroom window. The truth is, while Corey can do "grunt work" better than nearly anyone I know, what he really loves is the opportunity to make willow furniture.
I have two hopes for possible outcomes. First, I hope that the current dopey CSLB law will change to reward - not punish - hard workers like Corey. Second, I hope that the demand for Corey's furniture grows so great that he can just create wonderful furniture, and will never have to do hard labor again.
There are two shows coming up in which Corey's work will be featured; one this month, and the other in December. I'll keep you posted. You know I'll be there as his right-hand helper and cheerleader.
Back to the house. It's coming along, and is a far cry from the way it looked during the demo stage.
This is how the kitchen looked after Joe Domke, Doni's son, flew from the Czech Republic to help his mama.
I'm doing as much work as I can, especially with the absence of Corey. I bought my own caulking gun, watched a bunch of YouTubes on how to use it, and am caulking every crack in sight. I have my little painting station outside where I'm painting shelves, doors, lights and furniture. I sealed and stained the wood floors in the back bedroom, which was a bigger job than I expected, because first I had to apply the sealer/stain, and then I had to wipe it off, which sound fine for something like a table, but it was a nightmare for a 200-square-foot floor. It took about five hours to finish the floors, and four days before it dried. It's still slightly tacky to the touch.
By the time I write my next new/old house update, you should see some real progress. And the container of my stuff should arrive by the 22nd.
Nobody's more excited about that than I am. I feel as if I'm waiting for a baby's arrival, and I'm giddy with anticipation. Or maybe that's fatigue. Either way, it's almost over.
In the meantime, because of the stupid CSLB $500 labor-and-materials rule, sadly, my new handyman will be moving on, and looking for new work. He's not comfortable with me putting his name out in public, but said I could give out his number to people I trust. Email me if you want more information at donig.anewscafe@gmail. I highly recommend this guy. He does incredible work.
The thing is, then I'll be without a handyman. Again. Please feel free to share the name and number of your favorite handyman/woman, because I'll need a new one, soon.
Until then, I'm back to caulking.