Perhaps a Snail? Snail Gunk?

The physical work done Saturday was enough to wipe me out for most of the weekend. We spent about 2 hours weeding the side yard which resulted in enough weed-ery to fill the entire Green roll-away (which is A LOT - would hold 3 full mowings of the lawn, at least). Oddly enough, we didn't find anything dead. So, I am somewhat perplexed as to what Nikki reeked of last week. We did see her crunching and eating a snail yesterday, so perhaps she rolled around in snail stuff. The snail population in the formerly weed-ridden area is insane. Snail city. I think hubby also scooped up a load of snail eggs that were laid in a little bunch near the side of the house. There's another strip of over-grown planting beds in the back with an unreasonable number of snails. That is the next are we have to clear out and spray "round-up". Yard maintenance is definitely a bitch.

I have to say, though, after completing the weeding, it actually felt good not to be looking at blatant unkempt-ness. And it turns out, sunscreen is actually quite useful. Too bad I didn't figure that out until AFTER I burned my shoulders out there. They are still a little tender, but generally ok. Luckily, I tend to tan pretty easily, so burns are generally mild. I also burned a small strip at the small of my back which looks ridiculous - it's just one horizontal strip (the space between the bottom of my shirt and the top of my shorts). The rest is white. Like a "hoochie tan", or maybe a "plumber's crack tan".

Kind of a non sequitur, but after all the hemming and hawing over what to do with the kitchen, I have finally decided that I should get some estimates and stop putting it off. I have come up with a modified, smaller-scale project that involves bumping out a wall - adding around 40 square feet as opposed to adding 130 square feet. There is significant cost reduction here because (1) less framing, roofing, foundation, etc, (2) appliances stay put (aside from the fridge moving back 3 feet), (3) no major plumbing work other than moving the ice/water refrigerator line.

Basically, once the wall and water-ice line is moved back, the rest can be piece-mealed. We can do most of the demo work (other than the counter top - it's Corian/solid-surface, one big-ass seamless counter top, so I'm not sure how one demos that without professional help), cabinet and tile counter top installation. The most we will need help with is installing the sink and re-attaching it to the plumbing. We might need help with the overhead lighting - getting rid of the header where the 80-'s style fluorescent light is installed. Even that, I think we can do ourselves. It's just a matter of re-drywalling and running electrical wire to new recessed lighting.

The biggest question is - how much does it cost to bump out the wall and extend the water-line (and also fix the pressure of the water line - it totally sucks right now - that's why we filter with Brita since getting a glass of water of the dispenser takes over one minute). To me, that shouldn't cost alot, but then again, I'm a programmer, not a general contractor, so what do I know. More than the average lay-women, perhaps, but still, not all that much. I emailed an contractor I know (not well, but know him and he doesn't appear to be sketchola) from a yoga class I used to frequent. I hope he replies soon because I am really ITCHING to get this kitchen show on the road!


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