Friday, July 17, 2009

Consequences, or One Thing Leads to Another

Everyone knows when you make a choice, you have to experience the consequences that come with that choice. But often we don't look far enough ahead to realize what all those little decisions and their consequences will entail.

In the summer, kids from Utah schools come to California to sell things - last year we bought Clark Pest Control. This year it was home alarm systems. We thought that would be a pretty good investment so that we wouldn't have to have a house sitter every time we left home for a couple of days. So we had it installed. Cost: $100 and small monthly fee for security services. That was the first decision in the series which led to the following consequences:

2. As he was installing it, the fellow drilled into a wire and rendered one whole side of our house powerless. So they called an electrician to come and restore power. (The alarm company paid for it.)

3. When the electrician came, he shook his head at our 35 year old breaker box and wiring. He did restore our power and said he'd be glad to replace the breaker box. We'd already considered that would be a good thing to do (at Christmas, I can't have the Christmas lights, the microwave, the oven, and the kitchen lights on at the same time or I blow the fuse!)

4. So we agreed. He came and replaced the breaker box (and gave us a couple of new outlets in the front and back and redid the wiring in the garage that was not up to code.) Cost: $3500 but he gave us a $500 discount because my husband is a veteran.

5. But the new breaker box was smaller than the old one so we had about 8 inches all around that had to be re-stuccoed. We called a member in our ward who is an out of work contractor to fill in the hole and apply new stucco. Cost: $250.

6. Since he was out of work and we had been talking about scraping the popcorn from our ceilings and getting a bit of an updated look to our 35 year old home, we asked him to do it while he was waiting for word on his new job. Silly, naive me. I thought he just took care of it. I thought when he had it all scraped off he would apply the new finish and be done. Little did I know when I agreed to this that I would have to paint all the ceilings!!! (I don't let my husband paint - I don't know if he is just naturally careless with paint splatters or if he did it on purpose so I wouldn't let him paint - another story!!) Cost: $150 per square foot- plus paint, brushes, rollers, drop cloths, etc which came to $225 (and it will be more as I've only painted four rooms and the hall and will need more for our big bedroom and the remaining two rooms!!)

7. This should probably be back up the line somewhere, but before he can mask the room and hang all his plastic to protect the walls, windows, etc, I have to remove all the furnishing, paintings, wall hangings, etc from the room. Cost: sweat and tears and aching muscles!

8. Then when he is finished and takes down his draped plastic which is COVERED with the plaster that he sprays on the ceiling, I get to vacuum up all the mess that he left (though he is careful to minimize it) and then put up my own drapes to keep my ceiling splatters from messing up my forest green wall in the living room, my royal blue wall in the front bedroom, the adobe and royal blue that matches the Armenia carpet in the dining room, all my beautiful wood cabinets, etc. You get the picture. Then I paint. Cost: Splattered glasses, paint in my hair and face, exhaustion and aching muscles!!!

9. When I have finished the ceiling and the cutting in around the walls and cleaned up my paint mess, I have to clean absolutely everything before replacing it. Chandeliers, lights, ceiling fans, bric-a-brac, books, books cases, and on and on. Cost: hours and hours of time.

The moral to the story: when you make a decision, be sure to look far enough down the road to be certain you want to suffer the far-reaching consequences. The bright spot in all this: I may shed a pound or two - and my house will be spotless from top to bottom! Now back to my painting!


Gale Sears said...

Dear Lynn,
So funny. I will be well warned from your words of wisdom. Oh, here are two words of wisdom for you... Ben Gay.

Valerie said...

Oh, Lynn, what a story. It sounds like a National Lampoon movie. How in the world when you make little decision having to do with home security can you even begin to imagine you'll end up cleaning up old plaster, painting like crazy, and of course moving furniture and furnishings. Sheesh. It makes me want to play turtle and pull in my head.

But come to think of it, this is a great analogy for how we must have felt coming to earth--not even dreaming of all the adventures that our decision could lead to.

It makes me glad that I sold my house to someone else who was brave enough to take on the popcorn ceiling!

Cheri J. Crane said...

It's called, Murphy's Law, Lynn. Loved the post.