Saturday, May 18, 2013


Murphy woke me at ten after five.  Walk dogs, walk me, breakfast. Laundry, housework.

At nine, Sophie went for her pedicure.  She has a crazy little toenail on her oddly shaped front paw; it doesn't touch the ground, so it curves around and could grow into the pad if I don't take her for regular pedis.  No, she will not let me trim it. I've tried every type of clipper, file and rotary tool - she will have none of it.  She will put up with the torture from that relative stranger at the groomer, and for ten bucks, I have no problem with letting them do it.  She wants to stand on a grooming table and be fussed over by a pro.  Mom doing it at home just isn't the same.

Then to Costco - back home with fresh produce, put it away.  Out again to Target. After Target, it was Home Depot.

I met a very nice, very personable kitchen designer, we chatted, she gave me ideas, and I grabbed her card. I'm going to send her some measurements and photos, so we can start thinking about what to do with this place.  She's working with someone else in this neighborhood, so she totally gets the "It's all angles and there are no square walls!" issue.  I think I'd like to work with her.  I liked how she could ballpark the cabinet tear-out and installation costs, because she's already doing one here.

After wandering Home Depot, I crossed the intersection to Lowe's.

Okay, this isn't meant to be a slam on Lowe's. I am sure that every store is a little different, and in our little corner of the big box home improvement store war, our HD just happens to be wildly better.  But, yeah.  The difference was incredible.  When I asked a guy in the HD flooring department about suitable tile for my balconies, he was wildly helpful - he knew what was suitable for outdoor use, he knew which ones had the texture I wanted so it would not be slippery in the rain. 

When today I asked his counterpart in the other store, he was...not able to do much besides show me things that had rougher surfaces.  There is more to outdoor installations than that, and he just didn't get it. 

On to the indoor flooring. Similar issue; the guy showed me stuff, but I had no sense that he cared at all what I chose. He also was twitchy and impatient, and I got the feeling I was annoying him.  This is particularly weird because I'm NOT a dithery, ask a few thousand questions and then go, "I can't decide!" nitwit.  I have a specific issue - I want to find the appropriate flooring for a condo with very high ceilings (so hard surfaces would be echo-y and noisy) and where small dogs reside.  Mostly very very clean small dogs, but sometimes Mommy gets stuck at work for longer than she'd planned, and Executive Decisions must be made.  The L guy didn't appear the teeniest bit engaged in my simple questions about which flooring options (other than tile, duh, but tile, noisy) could hold up to the occasional small dog pee. 

I know, I just KNOW, that my flooring guy at the HD store would find this an amusing challenge and have a lot more information for me to be able to make my decision.

Caring. Pride in what they do. That's the difference at this particular intersection.  I'm not saying that Home Depot is better everywhere, but here, between these two particular stores, yeah, the difference is dramatic. 

I'm exhausted, and going to bed now. 


Linda said...

In my little neck of the woods it's the opposite. I can't find an employee in HD to save my life let alone one how even knows where stuff is. But L employees great you at the door point you in the right direction and are extremely helpful. All comes down to pride in your work like you said. We did have good luck with HD in another state when we were building. They had an excellant cabinet design staff. Really knew their stuff. Enjoy the process! It's great getting just what you want:)

Stephanie said...

Take a look at epoxy grout. It works better than sanded grout around the tile. It's more expensive both in material cost and labor but better for pets. I have 2 large dogs and 2 cats and that's what my installer suggested.