Monday, January 30, 2012

Grouting begins--Hooray!

I feel better this morning than I have in a long, long time.
We started grouting last night. As soon as our first 3x3 patch as done, I knew everything was going to be OK.
We put in the last tile on Tuesday of last week.
We gave the honour to our son who helped a lot.
I spent five days staring at those three walls in horror and disappointment. They looked awful. The lines didn't match up, the tiles start out one width at the bottom and are quite another at the top. Tiles bulged and dipped. All three walls are wavy and crooked.
Not what I thought we would end up with after 10 weeks of work.
Now that two walls are grouted, the waviness and the crookedness are still there, but they don't accuse me quite so loudly anymore.
The top niche is grouted, the bottom isn't yet. Huge difference.
And they are shiny.
Next, we have to caulk where ever there is a change of plane, paint the ceiling over the tub and shower (or, at least cut it in before I caulk).
and finish this bit of wall with new baseboard and corner round.
Then, Daedalus says we can take a shower at home again.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tortoise like Progress

They worked hard at it all weekend.

The back wall has been finished for a while. Still need to fix a hole in the ceiling in the left hand corner, there.

Both kids fixed tile to the exterior wall. We're not exactly sure how we went crooked. That orange peaking from the top is kerdie. At least the horizontal lines match in the interior corner.

Unfortunately, we can't say the same for the plumbing wall. Daedalus figures the wall just wasn't flat enough. Don't know. Almost don't care. This project has just about beaten out of me every last ounce of perfectionism I may have ever had.
We may be ready to grout on Thursday. Or Friday. Or whenever.
I need to pick a colour to paint this south facing bathroom with bad lighting. I'd like to pick up on the colours in this tile over by the sink:
Any suggestions?
I'm liking the light green over by the seahorses head--but it may make a bath mat etc., hard to find.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bathroom Progress

All I have are photos from Friday onwards. The tower really is dead and unsalvageable: the hard drive itself just choked. No virus.
I have to admit I kind of gave up on the bathroom tiling project on Thursday--the day we started to lay the tile. The kerdie membrane itself is thick--and I had not figured it into my calculations for building the niche and tiling it. So, the niche is smaller than I'd anticipated resulting in a lot of careful cutting. The distance between the niches turned out to be slightly more than three tiles--like an 1/8th of an inch more.
I couldn't deal with it. Sad, but true. I just couldn't wrap my head around it at all. There was also one of those "displacement" fights where a huge ruckus blows up because tension is high, tempers are short and semi-innocent people get yelled at over minor unrelated issues.
That was Friday. I bowed out and began cleaning the house (and boy did it need it.) Daedalus stepped in and took over and dealt with all the finnicky cuts and made the decision about how to handle the 1/8th inch "gap."
This is where we were at when I bowed out Friday morning.

By Saturday morning, Daedalus had got this much done:

On Saturday, I sent him to do a bottle drive ith Emma for her Girl Guide trip to San Fransisco this summer. I did about five of them last winter with our son for his trip to Nefoundland. Badly timed, but it was his turn.
By Sunday night, he had made a tremdous amount of progress.

Monday, feeling under the weather, I lay on the couch and atched CSI while Daedalus went back into the bathroom. I'm not sure he even ate. By the time he came to bed, he'd completed the back wall and started on the non-plumbing end wall.

I took these pics this morning. Daedalus is back at work, now and I don't think we'll be finished for yet another week.
My son does his work on this computer--so it is doubtful I'll be able to post much for the next while. You can bet I will let you know when we're all done and ready to take showers and baths again.
That will be a happy day.
(PS. I have been double spacing between the paragraphs but noticed that they didn't space out once blogger published the post. My apologies if it happens again.)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Death of a Computer

I really think the tower is dead. It hasn't been officially diagnosed, but it made strange whirring, chirping and clicking noises until it just seized mid-chirp, stopped doing everything and made a sound like it had flatlined.
So, I am using the laptop we bought for the boy last September. It's keyboard is quite strange and the "w" is wonky. Apologies.
Other than all my personal pictures from 2011 (and 2012, so far) and Microsoft Word (which I purchased less than a year ago licenced for use with one machine) I'm really not worried about losing what was on there. Actually, I just realised, honestly? I'm trying not to think about it too much--that ay I can't remember all that I've lost. Fortunately, I transferred just about everything on that hard drive to an external hardrive at the end of 2010 so everything prior to that is OK.
But still.
After the beast flat-lined, I turned it off to work on the desk.
I removed old files for doing our taxes and made up new ones. Sorted, filed and tossed the rest, you know the drill. After a couple of hours (or so) here we are:
At least now there's a clear path for the power cord.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Awake

Assignment: (from The Gypsy Mama): For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.

The theme this week: Awake.



The ceremony is about to begin!

Jim Morrison and The Doors. William Blake. The Doors of Perception. It was all about seeing clearly. It was all about trying to get at the truth. Truth--though the Universe, as we saw it then was amoral. Not immoral--just, neutral. People made up morality People decided what was right and wrong. Questions of how we decided and who decided and all that were for the future. We were existential teenagers, born past the age of drugs and on the cusp of AIDs. We had the books, though. And music. We read, we talked. We looked, we felt. We did all we could to be alive, and awake.

But, truly, looking back now I see it was all through a glass, darkly. We hadn't the eyes to see or the ears to hear. Our quest was impossible--as it always is for the young and idealistic. The romantic.

Yet, I cannot imagine what life would have been like without the quest. Quieter, perhaps. Less disappointing? Who knows. It was what it was and we are left with our memories and our love among the ruins. We won't re-build. We'll find something new.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Small Snag

Literally, 3/16th of an inch or one half a centimeter.

That's the thickness of the tile.

Daedalus has been wondering how we were going to deal with the pipes--you know, the spout faucets (shower and tub) and the tap faucets. (How come we don't have a word for the two very different kinds of faucets? Would one word each be too much to ask a language with more that 170,000 words (or so)?

Our problem was with the tap faucet cartridge thingy bits.

The question was: How were we going to get the handle bits back on the threaded bits once the tile was on the wall?

You can see we were already in trouble without the tile:

We consulted the library book we'd borrowed. We looked at the pictures, really.

Then we shuffled off to Home Depot.

Buddy there said, "Just pull the pipes forward."

So, we took a look. The access panel is in our coat closet.

We determined that someone--someone who lived here before --maybe the someone who installed wall board grooved on the bottom edge so the tub flange could be inserted up and into it, maybe the someone who installed a tub surround which turned icky yellow and fell apart--maybe, maybe not-- but someone had placed 2x4's in front of the pipes. Yes, In front.

So, we had to hack out more of the wall in order to chip and chisel away at the 2x4's.

One half day later, we were done.

The taps are now barely where they need to be.

That grey stuff is a sealant which turns to rubber to help waterproof things around the faucet thingys.

The adventures continue....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Progress Report

There's been some progress in the basement and the bathroom!

First, I had to put all this:

and some of this:

under here:

(Yes, that's our stairs. It does worry me a bit that it seems to be sort of cobbled together.)

It just took time. By the end of the afternoon, I had it done:

I have needed to get this donation station packed up into bags and boxes for drop-off since the beginning of November.

I did it Friday--but it didn't actually get out of the house until Sunday--so I didn't want to show you it was done until it was, well, done.

As for the bathroom--the tub and shower surround is all orange now.

We have to put up another corner piece and line the niches as well as put up a few more pieces around the plumbing (and glue the bottom of the Kerdie to the tub flange) and then we will be ready to tile.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Our Haircuts

Whoo hoo.

My daughter and I both got our hair cut at a fancy schmancy salon today.

I love it! All the stylist did was put some sort of gel through my hair and then twirled it around her finger for the curl. Talk about easy! Emma loves hers, too. The stylist used a hair straightener on hers.

Here's my before:

The difference is nearly unbelievable.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Quick Declutter

I've been procrastinating getting down to the basement--and that means nothing else is getting done. That's not hard to understand, is it?

The basement is supposed to be "what I'm doing" this month--it's supposed to be my focus. Ergo, I have license to ignore everything else. Except that the license seems not to have been renewed for 2012. The blinders are off and my skin is beginning to crawl..

In the darkness of 7:45am this morning, this cabinet was particularly repugnant.

PS: Cold wax? Doesn't work.

So, I decided to tackle it right after lunch. (I was out all morning. Yes, I wore my make-up! oooh. aaah.)

And here we are:

I think we have every type of floss known to mankind.

It's inspired me to actually go down to the basement and do something. I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow.

Linking to the ever-inspiring Nony at A Slob Comes Clean and the exceptional William Morris Project at Pancakes and French Fries. They made me do it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Goals for January, specifically

First, here the list of things to do in January: January get organized checklist from Aby of Simplify 101.

I've been working on this list, off and on, for a few days. I started with the goal of "not taking on too much." After all, the bath tub tiling project will consume quite a bit of time as it is. (My husband is taking the week of January 8th to the 15th off, so IT WILL BE DONE!)

But now that I see it in its entirety, it's just exhausting.
And although, I suppose, one doesn't NEED to set goals (see the guest post at Zen Habits, today) I find that for me I am much more productive if I put it all down in black and white. If I don't, I just drift. As a sahm, there is no one and pretty much nothing to ensure I even get out of bed in the morning--let alone do much of anything once I am out. So, without further preamble, here's the list of things I want done before the 31st.

Project Life: (Scrapbooking)

Keep notes on what happens every day

Take a picture everyday, preferably of someone doing something.

I figure that if I can keep this up for a month, I can committ to buying the bits and pieces I need to actually put together an album. It's all sold out, now, anyway.

Project Housekeeping:

Keep up with the daily tasks and report to the Blog when motivation flags.

Update and personalize the Motivated Mom's Cleaning checklist to the end of March.

Project Basement De-Clutter:

Get Christmas stuff put away under the stairs, Catalogue it properly.

Take out and deal with the other stuff under the stairs.

Spend 15 minutes a day down there, working on it (except for the days I'm working in the bathroom).

Project Style:

Get hair cut

Buy foundation

Wear make up every time I leave the house.

Project Debt-Reduction:

Sign up for Financial Peace University

Keep grocery trips to once a week.

Project Self-Improvement:

Work out twice every three days.

Record what I eat, every day.

Finish Photoshop course from Jessica Sprague

Finish reading Great Expectations.

Find and join a bookclub.

Project Home school

Plan work until the end of March.

Project Winter House List:

Kitchen-- Make curtain panel for sink window.

Living Room -- Buy a plant or two and keep it alive.

Downstairs Bathroom -- Paint wooden ceiling planks white.
-- Put up Kerdie and install Tile.

I'll keep you posted!

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