At long last I finished insulating the garage Monday afternoon. As a project it’d been 90 percent done for some time. This issue was brought to a head by the response of my selection drywall vendor who when asked when he could start said, “How’s tomorrow?” Well, tomorrow was just great.

Except that it wasn’t really. With a soccer game in Portland on Monday night it meant I had less than 2 hours to finish insulating and get space cleared for them to drop off the rock. In my absence, Erin very helpfully organized things in to boxes and piles so that when I returned around 10:30 PM, we could lift things into the attic. It took about half an hour, but we had the garage mostly cleared for their 7 AM arrival the next morning. (The drywall guy doing the work asked how early he could start, and I said whatever he liked—how was 7 AM? He thought that sounded like a terrific idea. My bad.)

The process of finding a drywall contractor was a lengthy one. Just getting three bids—ranging from $1400 to $1600—proved difficult. The majority of drywall contractors in the Salem yellow pages simply did not return my calls either a reflection on their poor business skills or on how I’ve somehow become persona non grata in the Salem-area drywall community. I’m guessing the former. Anyway, Salem Drywall did call me back, had almost immediate availability, and was the low bid.

The substantial good news is that our garage is now sheet rocked. The space is so much brighter than it had been—the blank drywall reflecting much more light than the bare studs with insulation—that it’s like someone turned on another few lights. Many of you may recall that I was pretty hopped up after Bernard installed the fluorescent lights in the garage back in March. I’m hopped up again. With the sheet rock hung, the garage looks big, inviting, and bright. In fact, it seems a shame to store cars there. I’d much rather move in a sofa and a TV and make it a second family room.

Since that’s unlikely to pass muster—not “mustard” as I’ve heard some people say in the last few months…in fact, to digress for a moment, to “pass muster” means to pass a military inspection. To “pass mustard” means to hand somebody a condiment. Come on, people! It is your native language, right? OK, anyway, since turning the garage into a huge second family room is unlikely to pass muster, I’m planning to put a work bench out there with a bunch of cabinets. I’m stringing a long ethernet cable down to my office, so I can have full-speed Internet without relying on the sometimes fickle wireless network. I’m thinking a couple speakers hanging in the corners and a nice dock/receiver for the iPod and it should be a good place to work. Plus I’ll be able to find all my tools for a change…a big change.

Mudding and taping today and tomorrow. Painting this weekend with cabinets going up next week. Then I can start hauling down all the stuff from the attic, and we’ll turn our remodeling attention to the family room downstairs. For now, I’m going to spend some time being ecstatic about the garage.