Thursday, September 29, 2011

How It's Going: Gofers and Marital Bliss

The rainfall on Sunday and Monday totaled nearly three and a half inches and then finally, the sun came out late on Tuesday.  The thirsty ground soaked it right up, too, there are no puddles standing around.  Even though we needed the rain, it was a good feeling to see the sun again. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday evening we were able to get back to work on the Stone House.  We didn't do any actual construction though; mostly Carl was trying to get the spacing of the windows perfected and then decisions were made on the pillar placements, too.   

On Tuesday night, Carl cut the sills for the windows out of the limestone we'd had stockpiled here for years from either the landfill or people we knew who had removed the stone from their homes during remodeling projects.
 They aren't mortared in yet, but I think they'll work great.  Carl was on the fence about them; didn't think the style was the same and had some worries about the color, but I think even he's convinced they're OK now.

The stone pillars will be in the spaces between the sills.  I'm a big one for needing visual aids so I am constantly picking up the window frames and trying to picture the stone pillars between the windows.  After the sills were cut on Tuesday night, I thought we were on a roll, but the roll came to a crawl and then a stop after Carl decided he had more deciding to do yet again.  And yup, I plunked myself down at the white table again, too, and went back to making those annoying scritchy noises, taking off more of the flaking paint while I waited for orders.

Here on Wednesday after work, Carl is once again measuring and rechecking and measuring some more.  I go-fered his stuff again, "Oh, I forgot my pencil," and "Oh, I left my ruler in the garage," and "We'll need some string to use as a guide," and "Hand me the level," and well, you get the picture.  Carl is the Boss and I am a Gofer.  I don't mind gofering, I've been doing it my entire married life. Someone has to be the Boss and if that's what it takes to get the job done, I'm the   Though sometimes I wish he could lighten up a little, especially when it comes to my ability to select the 'correct' rock from the vast array of pallets available.  I just don't have 'the eye' for the right rock, at least according to my boss.  This has been an ongoing problem for me/us for years. 

"We need one that's about two and a half inches thick," he'll say and I'll dutifully march over to the nearby pallets and dig around awhile, and finally select a rock, carry it over and stick in on the wall to try it out for size.  This stone of ours is lumpy, so there's rarely a nice, straight rock fresh off the pallet that will miraculously fit.  Almost every stone in the building had to be dressed to size.  The idea is to pick a rock that doesn't need too much work to fit the allotted space, in other words, don't try to make a ten pound sausage fit in a five pound skin.  And for some reason, Carl and I clash endlessly over my inability to 'Find the Right Rock'.  

I think the rocks I pick out look fine, but he will invariably find fault with almost every one I bring.  I'm not sure if I'm just dense or he's just too picky or a combination of the two, but I can tell you this.......I am looking forward to this job being over!  Tempers flare, well, ok, Confession Time, mostly my temper flares because I get really really tired of hearing, "No, no, that rock's not right.  Can't you see how it's 
A. Too Small
B. Too Big
C. Too Lumpy
D. Not Lumpy Enough??

"Now go back and see if you can find one that is two and a half inches thick, ok?"  (I hate the patronizing, he's talking to a two-year-old tone.....grrrrrrrrr.) 
And I'll march back to the pallets and poke around some more and find another one (and yes, I have a ruler with me so I can measure correctly) and then like as not, the same scenario will play out again, can't I see the rock is 1/4" too A, B, C or D above yet again?? 

Things that make steam come out of this Gofer's ears.
And a Menopausal Gofer at that.  

A Menopausal Gofer Armed With a Rock Hammer.  

But, no, there will be no Assault and Hammery going on, I'm an Adult, I can Do This.  Deep cleansing breaths everyone, IN and I put on my Big Girl Gofer pants and head back to the piles to look for the *%#)@ Perfect Rock yet again.  

And yet again, Fail.  

Two more times.

The Boss sees what is now my fifth rock and is let down again.  "Now, can't you see what's wrong with this rock?"

No, all I can see is Red.  

And I yell.  


And then Louder.  That's right, you heard it here.  I'm not a Saint.  I  have a temper.

Carl doesn't yell.  Goodness, no.  He's so calm and matter-of-fact.  "I just don't understand what you don't understand about me needing the Right Rock.  You can't see how what you've brought me just doesn't work?"  And then he proceeds to put his level on the wall and demonstrate the error of my ways and how Vitally Important it is that this Random Rubble Structure have Impeccably Even Courses of Stone, because if it doesn't, well, then, People Will Snicker. 

Snicker!?  Good Heavens, that stopped me in my tracks.  Why, we Cannot Have People Snickering at the Stone Thingie!  What was I thinking??  What would happen if we had a Visitor come with a laser transit and measure the courses and find out we were One Eighth of an Inch Off?  Can you imagine the Snickerage?  Why, their guffaws might reverberate in the Stone Thingie and cause the mortar to crumble and then what would we have?  

I know I'm in danger of being demoted to Head Goofer instead of Gofer, but at this point, I really don't care.

I took a walk around the yard until I calmed down enough and then came back with a Proposal.  I will bring him as many stones I think might fit the hole in question and he can pick the Right One.  Then, I'll gladly cart the Offensive, Stupid, Oversized/Undersized Stones back to the pallets.  No questions asked, no yelling, nothing but Calm, Composed, Rock Hauling.  I figure if I can't be trusted to find the Right Rock, well, then I'll bring the selection to the Boss and let him take his pick. 

But, nope, that's not gonna cut it, either.  "Why can't you just bring the Right Rock in the first place?  You shouldn't have to haul a whole bunch of rocks back and forth."

We interrupt this Blog Post with some Breaking News:

Outagamie County, WI: 
A woman was found wandering on Highway 54
  in a state of delirium at 3:00 AM Thursday morning.  A passing motorist swerved after nearly striking her in the roadway.  When officials arrived, the subject was standing in the ditch muttering to herself, 'The Right Rock, I can't find the Right don't understand, the Right Rock is there, I just can't find it.  Can you help me find the Right Rock?"  
When asked her name, the woman would only respond with one word, 'Gopher'.  She appeared to be suffering a psychotic break and was transported to a nearby Mental Health Facility. 

Citizens with any knowledge of this Jane Doe's identity are asked to call the Sheriff's office Tip Line.  All calls will be kept confidential.  

With any luck, I'll be out for Fertilizer Friday.


Sue said...

Oh Karen-how funny. And not. I think Carl should be glad I'm not bringing the right rock---because Carl would have a headache-LOL!!

Oh, you'll get through this and be so glad he is a PICK--it's going to look wonderful. And that which doesn't kill us, makes us stronger......
Sorry. Couldn't resisit!

Darla said...

Oh our husbands can be so much fun can't they?

FlowerLady said...

What a hoot! It is a great thing you have such a wonderful sense of humor.

This stone house is going to be wonderful when it is finished.


Randy Emmitt said...


Oh my your patience is awesome. Meg would be having a fit at my asking her to get a single rock. Carl is so lucky to have you, he does need to relax a little though.

Granny Lyn's Garden said...

You really crack me Up! My husband would have given up on me after the second try and looked for himself. lol

Peonies & Magnolias said...

I love your stories, sure make my work day start off with a smile. Your progress is looking great and can't wait till it is finished. Have a good weekend.


Junebug said...

Oh, I'm not snickering, you have me down right laughing this morning. You have patience girl! This gopher would have walked off with a "Do it yourself". Maybe that's why I've been single twenty years, ha-ha! Hugs today dear gopher!!!!

Lana from Farm Life Lessons said...

You two are an awesome inspiration. And, I think I'm developing more of a rock fetish the older I get. I'd love to have a truckload of boulders delivered to our property. I'll keep dreaming!

El Gaucho said...

At least you didn't pick up the rock, bash him in the noggin with it, and then yell "is it the right rock NOW!!!", which might have been kind of funny. Criminal, but funny.

Lona said...

LOL! Oh Lord we gotta get a net. LOL! I know you are due for a rest anyway. Anywhere. LOL!

Beth said...

Hilarious! I think it's time for a break, perhaps a little trip out of town so you cannot work in the garden/on the stonehouse for a day or two. Most of us gardeners are looking toward a time of a bit less garden work, but you are still at it hot and heavy! Karen, you are the hardest worker! You amaze me.

Karen said...

Sue, I try very hard to restrain the urge, believe me, and maybe Carl should heed the warning, what doesn't kill him hopefully isn't his wife. :')

Darla, yes, they can be a whole Lot of Fun.

FlowerLady, Without the humor, I'd be still out there on the road, wandering around in circles, lol. I hope you're right about this project...and I hope it does get done someday.

Randy, thank you, but I don't think Carl feels especially lucky to have me...I think he's leaning more toward sending me to the Funny Farm. I'm halfway there anyway.

Granny Lyn, believe me, I told him he could just go and look for himself too, and you know what? He picked out a more stupid rock than I did, but hey, it was 'right' because he found it. (Not that I'm bitter, or anything, lol!)

Sandy, thank you for the vote of confidence. I need all the encouragement I can get. It's hard to be a Gopher.

June, this Gopher thanks you! And being single is looking pretty darn good right about now. Especially last night, ha! I talked to my friend Ann and she said the exact same thing, "I'm glad I'm not married some times." She's worked with the Boss, too, so she knows I'm not making this stuff up!

Lana, we're far from being inspiring. I think we could have our own reality show, though. If it worked for Ozzy Osbourne, it could work for us. We're burned out rockers, too.

El Gaucho, Yes, like the cellphone commercial..."Can you hear me now?? Can you hear me now?! Is it the RIGHT ROCK NOW??????!!!!! Criminal,perhaps, but a glorious thought.

Lona, The NET!!! I forgot all about the nets and the little white men in their little white coats. I wonder if they have Room Service at the Farm?

Beth, yes, you're right, it is time for a break that is not psychotic in nature. We'll get through this, I just know we will. And then I will hang up my rock hammer on the living room wall, lol.

Toni - Signature Gardens said...

Absolutely no way, no how, my husband and I could ever work on a project like this together -- ever! Sad but true. Our roles would be reversed, however, and I would be the picky one, and he would tell me how the cow ate corn, and that would be the end of it. No more rock house. How far do you have to walk to find THE RIGHT ROCK? Sounds like you might get your 15 miles a day in by walking back and forth trying to find the right rock...again! Sorry to bring up another sore subject, but maybe it will help you find purpose in all of those trips back and forth. Say, just curious, what are those curly metal thingamajigs by the doorway?

Alison said...

From now on, Carl needs to get his own dang rocks, otherwise he might find himself getting his own dang supper and doing his own dang laundry. He will be the one out wandering the streets, asking strangers to help him find his wife.

Missy said...

What a hoot! You have more patience than I do. He would have been looking for a new gopher after the third or fourth wrong rock I'm sure.

Sandy said...

Karen, your much too funny for your own good! Mr N is the loud one and I just let him rant... haha
Hold on honey, I hope you find the Right Rock!

Karen said...

Hi Toni! I think it would be fun to have you and Carl work together. I wonder how it would go? The resulting project would probably be astounding. I can tell by the pictures of your garden, you are very much the perfectionist and a very talented person. I don't have to walk too far for the stones, just a coupla feet, so it doesn't add that many miles to the ol' pedometer. And the curly things are rebar rods which will be covered up with stone. The silver rod is conduit for the power we want to run to the building when it's done.

Alison, LOL, thank you for the support!! Carl, get your own rocks!

Missy, I don't have much patience, that's the problem. The Gopher position is open, if anyone is interested?

Sandy, I like that, "Oh, Carl, we're all waiting for the Right Rock."

Sueb said...

Perhaps you would like to join me I’ve been promised on several occasions I to be sent to “The Priory “ to get my marble re-bagged I think between us we could cause mayhem!

“The Priory “How can I put it politely the nut house!


myomyohi said...

LOL, LOVED IT! and oh how I can relate....

Stone Art's Blog said...

Looks like a nice little project you got going on there, look forward to seeing how it turns out.

Rosemary said...

Snickeraging all the way from Canada........ Carl is very lucky I would have brained him!