Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Today is ThrowBack Thursday and I have invited a guest blogger to entertain you. SWMBO. That's She Who Must Be Obeyed, for newcomers to Oddball Observations. Also known as Judy Taylor, my wife and a talented writer. Take us back, Judy.

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Former hubby and I were building a house with the aid and comfort of my contractor father. It was on land given to us by my parents. Land that had been in the family for over a hundred years. My grandparents lived in a house in the woods behind us. My parents lived in front of us on the State Road.

Although there were discussions (arguments) now and then, nothing came close to the Sunday morning when it was time to start laying the hardwood flooring in the 16- by 30-foot living room.

I was determined to have my flooring laid on a 45 degree angle, having seen this in a design magazine some time in the past. The two men, my father and my hubby, insisted, "It cannot be done. We already have the material and there would be too much waste cutting all those 45 degree angles every time we reach the other side of the room."

I said, "No waste. The piece you cut over there will fit perfectly over here."

"That won't work."

"Yes it will and that is what I want."







It was a warm spring morning and my mother was outside her house tending to her garden. She heard the clamour and walked down through the woods to see what it was all about.

"What is going on? I can hear all of you from our house."

"I want my flooring laid in a 45 degree angle and they won't do it!"

I was crying by this time.

My mother looked at her stubborn husband and her stubborn son-in-law and said, "This is her house. Do what she wants!"

She turned around and left both men speechless. They put down most of that floor that day. When it was finished my dad, who had fought hard against the idea, began bringing building clients to look at "his" prize project.

Then. We had gone to a marble quarry in southern Indiana to buy window sills for the house. While there we decided the rough marble would be great for our retaining wall. And it would be great for the fireplace in the living room. So we ordered tons of random slabs of marble delivered to our site.

The day came to build the fireplace facing. Hubby was struggling with pieces of marble, trying to set them all alike. Like bricks. I appeared on the scene and said, "THESE PIECES ARE NOT BRICKS! THEY NEED TO BE RANDOM!"

He said, "If you don't like what I'm doing . . then do it yourself."

And I did.

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(Catalyst again: I was prompted to ask Judy to write this piece because I had heard the story and because of a blog posting by Val the Victorian the other day. If you haven't read it, read it here.)


Stephen Hayes said...

Proof again that sometimes if you want something done right you have to do it yourself. Of course I've had some creative ideas that turned out to be disasters.

joeh said...

I now completely understand the SWMBO moniker.

Tom Cochrun said...

Oh how I wish you had a picture. What a great post! You should allow SWMBO to ghost write for you more often.

lowandslow said...

As a 40+ year custom home builder, I completely understand that it is the WIFE who calls the shots on HER house. :) Great story, Judy.

Judy said...

That was fun to read, I'm still laughing. My husband learned long ago that the only thing he gets to say about redecorating are 'what, where and when'.

Anonymous said...

SWMBO is a hysterical moniker.

The Bug said...

When they were newly married my dad didn't quite my mom's sense of humor. He asked her what color she wanted him to paint the kitchen & she said white with purple polka dots. He was all ready to go get the paint before she admitted that she was joking :)