...because everything is funny when it's happening to someone else!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bathroom Progress

Thought I'd add some photos of the progress in the hallway bathroom, so far.
Here's the bathroom before:

Blue toilet and sink, pink tile.  Well, except for where it was PAINTED WITH A BRUSH!

And now, the tub and tile have been refinished, using epoxy paint.  Here's a snap of the tub:

The shroud of plastic drop cloth is a good look, no?

And now, we have a non-pink ceiling and painted walls.  Some touch-ups will be required!

The hole where the old gas heater was. 

Well, that's about it for now.  More later!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Updates, I Has Them

While there hasn't been much blogging action lately, behind the scenes, things are FINALLY beginning to improve at the Taj.

The Very Nice Electrician has just about completed his part of the job.  He had to meet with me yesterday to go over ideas for an awkward bank of switches in the den that don't control anything.  Because the wall is cheap paneling, we were planning to paint it but that would mean having to put back the same number of switches (5) or else we'd have a big gaping hole where some of the old switches were.  We have decided to tear down the paneling and dry wall that little wall...which should work.

I spent most of this trip working on the hallway bathroom.  I am so desperate to get a toilet and a sink in the house.  I have to assume that will make working there slightly less--um, let's just say inconvenient!  The new vanity arrived and I picked it up on Friday.  I was able to set it up for a dry-fit finally tonight and...

it doesn't fit.


The spot where the sink goes is so tiny and awkward that we really had a challenge locating a sink to fit.  We hit the jackpot with the one we bought because it looked nice and had the funky shape to fit where we needed it to go.  And I think it would have worked, but for the old gas space heater in the wall next to the sink hookups.  It sticks out about an inch into the area needed by the sink base, so a true dry fit wasn't possible.  I have no choice but to see if The Gas Man, as he is locally known, can meet me at the Taj in the morning and take out the old heater and cap off the gas line to it.  If we are successful in removing the heater, I will be left with a hole in the wall that will require 25 tiles to cover.  Nothing is ever easy, is it?!

Oh, well.  If we ever do get it to fit, here's what the bathroom vanity will look like:

St. Paul "Valencia" model.  We got it at Home Depot.

I did get two coats of paint on the hallway bath ceiling and started cutting in the wall color.  I hope that tomorrow I can re-do one small patch area on the ceiling and finish the walls.  I'll have some ceiling paint left to touch up on the next trip, but it would be SO STINKIN' NICE to leave here--for once--feeling like things are getting better!

Well, it's late and I'm tired so it doesn't bear thinking about right now.  I'll do what I can tomorrow and then return to Gilligan's Island and my jobs.  Next weekend, Shawn, Tank and I will return and we will probably be able to do something significant to the house, so all will be well.

Goodnight and here's hoping your sinks all fit!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Acting Squirrelly

Holy crap, it's been one of those days weeks months years.

My adoption agency job has a tendency to be feast or famine with the amount of work and I am definitely FEASTING right now.  I don't have time to sit down lately, and that's on top of the other job and being Tank's ringmaster and zoo keeper full-time.

As if that wasn't enough, yesterday while Tank was watching a cartoon, he started some concerned-sounding grunts and pointed at the floor.  I was sitting on the sofa with the coffee table between us, so I stood up to see what he was pointing at.

Scooter the Schnottie had dragged in a dead squirrel and laid it on the area rug.  It was DISGUSTING...all holey and with bare, fur-less patches.  I had to go get the dustpan and the broom and I jabbed it with the broom handle (gag, gag) to get it onto the dustpan (gag, gag) and then hot-footed it out of my house, with the poor little thing flopping in a Very Dead Manner from side to side.  GAG.

As I bolted out the door with Angus the Late Squirrel, Shawn pulled into the drive and I ran up and shoved the dead squirrel in his face and said, "You shoulda gotten here 5 minutes ago!"  Then, I handed him the dustpan and went inside to wash my hands.  A lot.


And now my dog has Squirrel Breath.

Double yark.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Came, I Saw, I Taj-ed

We're all back at Gilligan's Island now, after spending the weekend in Mayberry.  We did some work at the Taj, but since yesterday was Tank's birthday, this trip was mostly about seeing family and celebrating the Big Boy turning THEE!

We had lots of fun with family on Saturday, when we had a small gathering for cake, ice cream and presents.  Shawn and I decorated Uncle Todd's Cabin with Spanish moss I brought from the yard of our church (with permission, I swear!!) and gators, frogs and turtles.  No snakes, though.  I know they live in the swamp, too, but Mama does not decorate with snakes.  I share Samuel L. Jackson's attitude about them.

Anyway, it was a great party and Farm Maven and I managed to create a passable gator out of yellow cake and chocolate frosting.  Farm Maven baked an oval cake, a large loaf pan cake and two small loaves and we hacked them to bits and pinned them together with frosting and toothpicks until we had a decent alligator. 

Tank got lots of great toys that he is still enthralled by...made the drive home very pleasant, except for the UNRELENTING NOISE of the Leapfrog Leapster that his daddy got him.  "K says kuh.  Kangaroo!"  "I says Imma throw that thing out the window in a minute!"

As for the Taj, we were thrilled to find that the Very Nice Electrician has done probably 90% of the work there.  Almost all the receptacles are redone, and nearly all the switches.  The new lights are installed downstairs, but we still need the new upstairs overhead lights run and a light in the living room, which currently has no overhead.  Very Nice Electrician has been swamped with work, so we had told him it was fine to fit us in as he could.  Looks like he has been doing that, and has done a great job.

We need to get the plumber to return our calls and then we'll be making some real progress!

While we were there this weekend, we did work some in the yard and I stripped the wallpaper of the hallway bath walls and began patching the plaster cracks in there.  Bit by bit, it's becoming more the house it has the potential to be.

Or maybe I'm just delirious from all the Gator Cake.

Til next time...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Of Mice and Mold

Howdy there.  How was your holiday weekend?  Lovely, I hope.  As for me and mine, we just kept up the crazy pace at the Taj, but we did get a lot done.  Now I just need a holiday from my holiday!
Today, we finished the demo on the master bath.  Well, we left what remains of the floor, but other than that, we took everything down.  There ended up being more mold than we'd thought, but now that we have a new roof, we should be good to go.  The damaged bits are going bye-bye and everything got a nice bleach bath in the meantime, cuz Mama don't "do" mold!

We also had to hack the old shower into bits and haul it out in pieces.  Underneath the shower "seat" we found a 2-foot-high pile of....leaves.  Dry, old leaves and twigs.  No sign of any critters having made that a nest, but it was definitely a strange discovery.  I'd rather find a stash of gold coins or an unknown Rembrandt, but no, I get leaves.


Grandmother (Shawn's mom) was Tank-sitting today, but he was not feeling it, so we ended up with a Very Helpful Boy on our hands.  I'm embarrassed to say, the kid handles a hammer better than I do.  I gave him one to bang on the floor with and he was a natural.  Darn those child labor laws!

After working, we cleaned up enough to be passable and went over to my sister the Farm Maven's for another WONDERFUL home-cooked meal.  Last night it was salmon croquettes (for Shawn) and homemade mac-n-cheese (for me), with home grown and home canned green beans and sauteed squash and onions.  Tonight we had roast beef with veggies, plus biscuits and gravy and vanilla ice cream with home made fudge sauce for dessert.  I am still so full I could die, but what a way to go! 

I admire the Farm Maven's culinary abilities, but I do not share them.  I'd probably like to cook if someone else cleaned up and went to the store for me.  Since that's not going to happen, though, I am not much of a chef.  I'm going to have to do better, though, because we really should be eating healthier than we are.  Just thinking about it makes me tired, though.  I TOTALLY understand how TV dinners came into existence.

Anyway, we did get a good bit accomplished this trip.  We're looking to leave Mayberry tomorrow after lunch, but we'll be back next weekend to celebrate Tank's 3rd birthday with family.  Hard to believe my little dude will be three!  Or, as he says it, "thee." 

Well, without further ado-be-doo, I'm attaching a few photos of the Taj in its current state.

Here is the master bath BEFORE:

Weird shower seat
Right-hand vanity with view of washer and dryer

And here it is NOW:

Where the right-hand vanity was

Where the washer and dryer were.

And, just because you've been so nice and asked so politely, here's a pic of the leaves under the shower:
You're welcome.

Well, you have a great rest of your weekend and I will be back here soon!

Friday, September 2, 2011

You Better Knock-Knock-Knock on Wood

(but not too hard, because the wood is probably water damaged or full of termites)

That sound you hear is me, beating my head against the wall.

It's been a long day at the Taj, my friends.  And by "long day," of course, I mean, "holycrapwhathaveIdonethisisthedumbestideaEVER."

For starters, we arrived last night to a Taj without electricity.  Ever the hopeless romantic, I assumed that meant that the Really Nice Electrician had killed the power to get started.  So, I wandered around with a weak flashlight and saw....nothing.

No electrical work.

We had intended to drag some junk down to the street for trash pickup this morning, but we didn't have enough light to do it and things were too dangerous with Tank running around anyway...there are nails, sharp broken boards and who knows what else, just waiting to kill us all.

This morning we learned that the City of Mayberry had cut off the power for non-payment.  Despite the fact that we signed up for automatic bill pay through Wells Fargo.  Apparently, their slogan of "Together, We'll Go Far" doesn't extend as far as Mayberry.  So, we had to go to the city utility office and pay $25 to get the power back on.  I'd like to mention that Shawn was having a duck fit the WHOLE time...so, THAT was fun.  Thank the Lord I just happened to have my checkbook with me.  I don't use checks at all anymore, but the City of Mayberry only takes cash and checks...no credit.  So, I dutifully wrote out the check for twenty-five-stinkin'-dollars while Shawn developed an ulcer.

Later, we got busy tearing out the @(#*%^ shower that tried to kill me on the last trip.  Behind the fiberglass shower we found a TON of mold.  Hooray.  Because we love mold and were SO hoping we'd find some.  The walls were already coming down to the studs, but I am still not happy with the mold situation.  We'll have to do everything cautiously, with the special masks and LOTS of bleach.

After those fiascos, we decided to do a dry-fit of the fabulous new-to-us pedestal sink, only to learn that it DOES NOT FIT.  The door opens into the bathroom and there isn't enough clearance.  The door won't open because the edge of the BEAUTFUL sink is in the way.  I could have cried. 

This was one of those days when nothing goes right.  We did get a good bit done late in the day, but it was a series of frustrations first.

Oh, well.  The Really Nice Electrician is coming next week, we hope, and from that point on, maybe the Taj will begin to get BETTER instead of just WORSE.

So far, it's a bust, but tomorrow is another day and I am sure things will look brighter.
Hope your day went better...