It looks like fate has had some pity on us in the end, and there have been a few minor miracles keeping my glass half full these last few weeks.
Aside from all the progress that we've been making, especially considering the fact that we can only work a few days a week on the house, we've had a couple of financial breaks. The electrical rewire ended up costing well under what we'd expected, as in, several thousand dollars less. Then the CH/A guys called to discuss repairing the cracks in the ceilings that they caused. I realized that they just wanted us to pay, so they offered to knock $200 off the bill if we'd let it go. After drywalling the entire kitchen for about that much, I think it's safe to say that we were well overcompensated for that little annoyance.
We also discovered a really great equipment rental tip-- this is probably something you all already know, but I was pleased to discover that renting things on Saturday morning at our local place gets us a one-day special-- they're closed on Sundays, so they don't charge for that day. 2 for 1!!! I have already reserved the edger and square buffer to be picked up Friday afternoon. I requested online that we have the edger from Friday to Monday; but when they called to confirm, they told me it wouldn't be "due back" until Wednesday since they're closed for Christmas and Christmas Eve. I'm not sure whether we'll be charged for those days or not, and he didn't say one way or the other. I have my fingers and toes crossed that they treat the holidays like Sundays. Either way, it needs to get done this weekend, so now we can take our time.
When we're finished with the floors, I'll be sure to post a breakdown of the cost. We had a floor refinisher give us an estimate-- to do the whole house, except laundry and bathroom (so around 1100-1200 ft2), was going to cost ~$3800. Whatever happens, we just hope we come in under the cost of a professional.
Another little bit of pleasure comes courtesy of my mother and PorchSwings.com. My mother is giving us a porch swing for Christmas and this is the one we've picked out:
The porch swing at my mother's house was built in about the 1880s by her grandfather or great grandfather-- I lose track!-- it's a little creaky, but in excellent condition even when you don't take into account the fact that it gets daily use all year long. Sigh. If I can't have that one, this one will have to do!
And finally, my sister and I leave for England on December 31 to scatter our father's ashes. My dad built houses and renovated most of the major historic homes in town at one point or other, and so it's really a shame that he's not been around to help us with this, since he passed away in February. But we'll get to end the holiday season with him in his and my favorite city in the world.
It truly is a Festivus miracle!