Saturday, February 28, 2009


I wasn't feeling well this week. So seven things I do to make myself feel better:

1. Drink tea. The new favorite is Twining's English Breakfast Tea with Splenda flavored French Vanilla.

2. Eat toast with a bit of butter and cinnamon sugar.

3. Take a shower. If I don't feel better, at least I feel clean.

4. Wear comfy sweatpants and sweatshirt. It's one step above wearing pajamas for the day.

5. Wallow on the sofa curled up with a down comforter and Ink.

6. Watch movies. This week I watched three: The Terminator, Up Close and Personal, The Devil Wears Prada

7. Take a nap or two.

What do you do when you're not feeling well?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Day 17

The painter arrived this morning to prime the walls and ceiling. Everything is so white. Everything except the tile.

The assistant production manager brought a couple of boxes of tile in and set them in the living room.

"Here are the tiles."

"But....they're not white."

"They're the ones I was told to get."

"Yes, but they aren't white."

The poor young man looked at me as if I was....

"It says on the box Snow White."

I held one tile up to the white wall in the living room. The room which hasn't been painted in 9 years. The tile made the wall look pristine."

"This tile white."

So The Little Princess sent the brave knight on a quest to find the brightest, whitest and within the alloted budget tile he could find in the entire realm.

There was no joy and the original boxes of not white tile were brought into the house. Deep sigh. Forlorn look.

The Little Princess turned to her ever faithful computer and searched for white tile. The whole idea of doing the bathroom in white was so it would be easy to match. It shouldn't be hard to find a white tile. A glossy, bright white, hospital white 4.25" x 4.25" tile. Who knew white came in so many shades? Bone, Bisque, Biscuit, Snow White, Ice White, Artic White, Eggshell, Alabaster, White Sand, Oyster, Cream, Sugar, Cotton, Linen, Lace, Vanilla, French Vanilla, Ivory, Candle Light. Deep sigh. Forlorn look.

During the Little Princess' search she found a tile company American Olean carried a 4.25" square tile in Ice White. She searched for a distributor and found one down the road a piece. She called to ask if they had a sample of the tile at the store. Yes, they did!

Because a meeting was cancelled, Himself came home early. Now Himself doesn't come in as many shades of color as The Little Princess. He categorizes colors like the Crayola 8s.

"The tile's here," said the Little Princess pointing to the boxes of tile.

"That's not white," said Himself.

The Little Princess nearly cried tears of relief.

"I'm not crazy!"

"Well, wouldn't go so far as to say that. But you're right. The tile isn't white. It needs more titanium added to it." Trust a chemist. Better living through chemistry.

I grabbed a tile and off we went to the tile store.

A saleswoman approached as we entered.

"May I help you?"

"Yes, I called earlier today about..."

"I have the tile right here."

She had a board with tiny tile chips in all different colors.

I compared the tile I had with me to the samples.

"I think you want the Ice White."

And so Ice White it will be.

The Little Princess is happy. Himself is happy because The Little Princess is happy. The contractor is happy because The Little Princess won't be sending him on another elusive quest for the White Goose.
As an aside, I bet the cabinet maker will be relieved he took one of the doors from the vanity as a sample so he can match the cabinets. We're painting the roses red. (-;

High School Years

I lifted another Facebook note from JB.

IN YOUR High School Years DID YOU...

1. Did you date someone from your school? I was not allowed to date during high school though I was allowed to go out in a group.

2. Did you marry someone from your high school? No

3. Did you car pool to school? No, I took a bus.

4. What kind of car did you have? Didn't have a car.

5. What kind of car do you have now? 2004 Ford Taurus Wagon

6. Its Friday night...out to dinner or home with family? home with family, playing on the computer and IMing

7. It is Friday night...where were you then? at home or at work

8. What kind of job did you have in high school? made artificial floral arrangements, worked in the lingerie department of Filene's, worked as a laboratory clerk/receptionist at the hospital

9. What kind of job do you do now? Mom, calligrapher, shuttle pilot, instructor...

10. Were you a party animal? Nope.

11. Were you considered a flirt? Nope

12. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?...No, no, and no

13. Were you a nerd? Nope. More like a wallflower

14. Did you get suspended or expelled?... And live to tell about it? No.

15. Can you sing the fight song? Yes

16. Who was/were your favorite high school teacher(s)? Mr. Murphy, Miss Leavitt

17. Where did you sit during lunch? In the cafeteria or in Senior year in the Senior Lounge or if it was nice outside in the courtyard

.18. What was your school's full name? Natick High School

19. When did you graduate? 1973

20. What was your school mascot? Sassamon. We were known as The Redmen though the name may be changing in these days of political correctness.

21. If you could go back and do it again,what would you do? Not worry so much about getting those A's

22. Did you have fun at Prom? Yes, it was the first date I was allowed to go on.

23. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with? We just recently connected via Internet

24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? Haven't gone since the 20th. Might go to the 50th to see who's still alive.

25. Do you still talk to people from school? Yes

26. School Colors? Red and Blue

27. What celebrities came from your high school? Doug Flutie (football), Susan Wornick (local news reporter)
Wanna play? Let me know.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day 16

Another quiet day. I did receive next week's schedule from the contractor.

1. He found the wall tile and has it. Whew!

2. The decorative tile hasn't arrived. It will take two weeks to come in though I was under the impression that this week was the second week.

3. The cabinets will be here on Monday.

4. The rope tile trim to go around the mural and the window should be here tomorrow.

5. The painter will arrive tomorrow morning to prime the walls so they will cure over the weekend.

There's a question of whether to start tiling leaving "holes" for the decorative tiles or just to start with the bottom course(s). I think it would be best to wait until the decorative tiles arrive, just in case they aren't the same size as the field tile. Then planning and spacing can be done.

Also, the electrician moved the thermostat box because it was going to be behind the cabinets. The hole is still there and needs to be patched.

Another productive push and shove.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 15

All quiet today which was an okay thing as I haven't been feeling well. So I went back to bed this morning. Then wallowed there watching The Devil Wears Prada I got up around noon thirty, luxuriated in my new clean shower and got dressed for the day in comfy sweatpants and sweatshirt.

The hold up for the project is the wall tile. My bad as I've been waffling about what to pick. The contractor saw the coordinating field tile to the decorative tiles. Said they had an unusual wave pattern to the tile. Sounded very pretty. Then came the reality of the price. $10.50 per square foot. An arm, a leg, my first born plus her first born. And the debate about want and can afford and have.

Things are made clear in the light of day. The bathroom is on the south side of the house and gets sunlight a good portion of the day. Today, I saw the glossy, bright, white porcelain toilet against the deep blue of the floor. It was striking in its simplicity.

So I sent a note to the contractor to go back to the original idea of bright white glossy 4 x 4" tiles. No matter how pretty the other tiles. we just cannot justify the expense. After all, this bathroom is in a dollhouse and not the Taj Mahal.

Even though the white of the decorative tiles will not match the white of the field tiles, I think they will provide needed contrast. The blue shells, etc will be the pop of color as well as tie into the floor and I think the whole will point to the mermaid mural. In the end, I may end up with my art nouveau idea. Functional and beautiful at the same time.

There were other emails back and forth to the designer and the contractor. We would like a shower door. Not a necessity but a nicety. The only drawback is space, barely 12" from the toilet to the shower. Not enough room for a swing out or pivot door. The designer found a folding, trackless shower door. I liked the idea of trackless as the tracks are a pain in the ( ! ) to clean. The door is made of Lexan, a material used in race car windshields. Light yet durable. Available in two colors. Amber which I do not want and clear. It was hard to tell from the picture whether the clear was clear or frosted. I want a frosted type glass as this will give some measure of privacy. With only one bathroom in the house, someone else is bound to need to use the bathroom while someone is in the shower. Fact of life.

I called the manufacturer to find out if the material is clear or not. The gentleman I spoke with said it's ridged like corrugated cardboard. This to provide a track for the water to drip down and also to provide the illusion of privacy. Another email to the designer and I was writing her, she sent one to me. She is obtaining a sample of the "glass". She liked the "reeded" glass as she called it. And since the space is small, and no one in our area makes a bifold door this will most likely be the best option.

So a productive and quiet day.

Wednesday Weigh-In

I know I said I was on hold until after the bathroom was finished, but this morning I couldn't help myself and I got on the scale. Quelle surprise! I'm the same weight I was the last time I weighed myself at the beginning of the month. I maintained. I maintained while eating Hostess cupcakes while on our overnight vacation!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Day 14

Another busy day for the carpenter and his helper.

The sidewalls of the shower were installed and braced.

The floor was grouted with a dark blue grout called Starry Night.

The opening to the attic access was widened and the door installed.

The braces for the shower wall were removed. The carpenter had me mark where I wanted the corner shelves installed.

After the carpenter finished sweeping up, he put the shower curtain up for me. We have a beautiful working shower! The shower seat and the grab bars still need to be added, but we can now use the shower.

But the joy of joys, the toilet was put back! Running to Prissy's or Target or spending the night at a motel just can't compare with having one's own pot to pee in.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Day 13

Carpenter and helper arrived bright and early and got right to work. Today's project was to lay the tile floor, put up the shower walls, and cut the attic access for the Televator, the retractable ladder. Plastic was put up to keep the dust to a minimum.

When the guys went outside to cut tile, I snuck a quick pic of what was going on. First course of tile measured and laid out. When I asked why a full tile wasn't used along the wall, the carpenter, doubling as the tile man, said it was so a full tile would be seen from the threshold to the other end of the bathroom. Makes sense.

He also had the back shower wall braced. Looks like something out of Mission Impossible.

Opening for the Televator

Tile floor finished. I can hardly wait to see the floor cleaned up and grouted.
Since we wouldn't be able to walk on the tile and the toilet is reclining in the sunroom, The Little Princess made reservations and packed everyone up and moved to the EconoLodge for the night. No way was she going to brave the cold, dark, night to use the necessary outside. No, thank you. So for one night, we are on vacation. The little fridge is stocked with tonic (soda), we ordered subs, and from Target we bought goodies: chips, Cheez-Its and Hostess chocolate cupcakes with the white squiggle.


Snagged this from Frauee's FB page. Love having instant blogging topics that I don't really have to think about. Danke, Frauee!

1.Who was your FIRST prom date? Paul took me to the senior prom. It was my first date alone with a boy as I wasn't allowed to date singly before then though I was allowed out if a group was going.

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love? No

3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink? A sip of wine from the time I was 10 at a wedding. Oh, and a healthy slug of anisette on a dare from The Brother. I was around 10. First mixed drink was a screwdriver bought for me by the tour guide I had a crush on when I was on a trip to Germany during senior year of high school.

4. What was your FIRST job? Making artificial floral arrangements. I was 16 and a neighbor had a small business.

5. What was your FIRST car? 1979 Ford Mustang in Metallic Jade. It was the first year the Mustang was redesigned from the Mustang II and the name reverted to Mustang. As The Young One likes to tell me, I was cool. With the emphasis on was

6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today? I don't text.

7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning? the Eldest. Wondering if the predicted bad weather would prevent us from getting her back to her college tonight.

8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher? Sister Marie Patrice, aka "The Beak", St. Patrick's School

9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane? April vacation 1973 on a school trip to Germany

10. Who was your FIRST best friend and are you still friends with them? Himself. Yes, and I married him too.

11. What was your FIRST sport played? Sand lot baseball. In my teens and 20s, tennis.

12. Where was your FIRST sleep over? at my cousin's

13. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today? Himself

14. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time? The Brother's

15. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning? Peed

16. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to? Harry Chapin

17. FIRST tattoo, piercing? Had my ears pierced when I was 12

18. FIRST foreign country you went to? Canada.

19. What was your FIRST run in with the law? Car accident at 24

20 When was your FIRST detention? Spent nearly every day of 7th and 8th grade after school. If one of us did something wrong during the day, the whole class was punished. With 48 of us in the class, someone was bound to screw up.

21. What was the FIRST state you lived in? Massachusetts and still here

22. Who was the FIRST person to break your heart? The Idiot

23. Who was your FIRST roommate? Never had one.

24. Where did you go on your FIRST limo ride? To a funeral

25. Who will be the FIRST to re post this? I have no idea.

If you do decide to play, let me know. Enable the nosy. (-;

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sneak A Peek

The theme for one of the ATC exchanges in March is Sneak A Peek. While brainstorming with The YoungOne, we came up with this idea. The hardest part was finding suitable material to make the curtain and to engineer the movement. The curtain was made from the plastic packaging for the case of bottled water. How green is that? Ziller Glossy Black, Crow Quill

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Seven and then some. Frauee tagged me on Facebook so I thought I'd answer over here because I need things to blog about.

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Ma found my name in a book she was reading. My middle name is from an old flame of my dad's. Ma was not pleased when he brought home the baptismal certificate.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Saturday last. I almost cried in the tile store. There turned out to be a problem with the tile I fell in love with. The color was the perfect shade of cobalt blue. Looked like marble but was ceramic tile. We were told the dye lot that they had was blue green with the emphasis on green and not blue.







9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? What ah you?





15. RED OR PINK? Never pink.


17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Darrell. Monday was his birthday.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO COMPLETE THIS LIST? Yes. Nothing like enabling the nosy.

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? I'm wearing black sweat pants and my cobalt blue fugly clogs with the sherpa lining



23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I like the smell of coffee, but loathe the taste.


25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Of course, or I wouldn't have played.


27. HAIR COLOR? Salty Brown

28. EYE COLOR? Chocolate brown


30. FAVORITE FOOD? Chocolate





35. HUGS OR KISSES? I like both, except the ones filled with caramel



39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? The Paradise War, Song of Albion - Book 1 by Stephen Lawhead.



42. FAVORITE SOUND(S) my kids laughing, jets breaking the sound barrier and the sound of the ocean



45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Doesn't everyone?

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? In a hospital


48. HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR SPOUSE/SIGNIFICANT OTHER? We grew up next door to each other.
If you want to play, let me know so I can go read your anwers.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Day 12

Another Shove. Schedule for next week. The carpenter will arrive on Monday to install the shower walls and cut the hole in the ceiling for the attic access. Tuedsay, the electrician will wire the mat for the under floor heat and will move the thermostat. Cabinets will arrive. Mural will be laid out and measured. Still waiting to hear when the wall tile will arrive.

Even with the minor delays, things are still on schedule. Wasn't bad having no work crew here. It was a school vacation week so it was nice to have a day or two to sleep in and unlimited access to a toilet without having to buy something. Himself wasn't feeling well so he stayed home two days from school. He got to watch tv and nap without sawing or pounding going on. Though truthfully, Himself could sleep through anything.

The shower is ugly but it is functional. Nouveau construction. The walls are clean and thoroughly cured. The scroll ceiling is gorgeous.

Day 11

The assistant production manager arrived on Thursday with the floor tile. The perfect shade of blue marbled ceramic tile. He commented on the color as being "very blue". Made me laugh. It is so me. So very me.

He not only delivered the tile, but coordinated the arrival of the truck delivering the shower walls. He and the driver double checked the numbers on the bill of lading against the numbers on the large carton against the numbers I had from the Swanstone site. They all matched. The driver approved my selection. "You've got great taste there, young lady." LOL He said "young lady" like John Wayne. Yup, great taste. Easy as sin, but expensive as hell.

I sent a push via email to the contractor. I'm sure he'll shove back. Waiting to hear if the carpenter will arrive sometime on Friday to install the shower walls.

So boxes and boxes of blue tile have taken up residence in the living room. The bathroom is the size of a postage stamp. The tiles are huge 13" x 13". Seems like an awful lot of tile for such a small space. Yeah, wastage, overage. Too bad we just had the kitchen floor done 5 or 6 years ago. Blue is so me.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day 8,9,10

Many years ago, when I was a computer programmer in a former life, I worked for a data management company programming form letters. Junk mail. Mostly for fraternity/sorority college gift giving.

We had a short meeting every morning called Shove. Shove was basically confession. You told the manager what was in your queue that you were working on, what you were having problems with, if you weren't given the proper tape to use, or if you had no work.

The manager went to a weekly meeting called Push. Confession. The manager was Pushed and we were Shoved.

The beginning of this week reminded me of Push and Shove.

We had a meeting Monday morning with the contractor. I had a list of things:

We found some decorative tiles at one place. We found the floor tiles at another. There was a two day lead time for the floor tiles. We didn't pick out a marble threshold. The thermostat will be blocked by the cabinets and needs to be moved down. The correct shower wall kit needs to be re-ordered and the other returned.

I ticked items off my list. The contractor wrote on his.

Later that night, the contractor sent an email. The floor tile was ordered and should arrive by Wed. The decorative tiles and white field tile will take two weeks to come in. The threshold was picked out by the owner at the place where the floor tiles were ordered. White Carrera marble with grey veining. The electrician will move the thermostat when he installs the under floor heat mat.

Since the work revolved around having the tile and shower panels, we had some free time. No work crew on Tuesday so I took my mother grocery shopping. No work crew on Wednesday, The Young One and I enjoyed sleeping in on this vacation week. I baked Pillsbury Cinnamon Buns.

Another day, another round of updates.

The floor tile was picked up and brought to the office. The assistant production manager would deliver the tile on Thurs. The shower walls would be delivered on Thurs. too. If at all possible, the carpenter would arrive on Friday to install the shower walls. The cabinets are built, being sprayed and will be delivered on Tues.

As the contractor stated, "we're off to the races." How refreshing this time around to be kept in the loop and updated. No flimsy excuses.

While moving piles in the studio in what is euphemistically called cleaning, I came across this little piece. I did this a long time ago in class. It might have been Lambie's second calligraphy class. So a very long time ago. We were playing with rubber stamps and matt board scraps and Lambie had this Greek statue rubber stamp that was quite popular in the class. I stuck it up on the wall outside the bathroom. Seemed rather fitting.

Kreative Blogger Award

Sweet Poppie at The Creative Spirit has nominated me for the Kreative Blogger Award. Thank you so much! This is the second "award" I've received this month. My head is so big I'll have to wear two cowboy hats! LOL

The Rules are Simple:

1. Copy the award to your site.
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award
3. Nominate other bloggers.
4. Link to those on your blog.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominated.

I nominate:

Erica at On the Write Path
Alesia at Alesia Minutia and Alesia Zorn Calligraphy
Bev, the Blog Master at Alphabeas Calligraphy Guild

I enjoy following your blogs. Yours too, Poppie. As you give me lots of creative inspiration and a good excuse to procrastinate (-;

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In

First, if you haven't already done so, you should drop by On The Write Path to congratulate Erica on her weight loss progress. Applause, applause, Erica.

Do you remember the Avis car rental ads? Their "We try harder" slogan? That's not me. I'm number 3, I'm not trying at all.

I think the weight drop is on hold until after the bathroom is done.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What's Your Word?

Found this quiz on Poppie's page. Since I needed a topic for today, I lifted borrowed the idea. Not sure if this is me. I don't usually see myself as fearless. Maybe it's my inner me. The way I would like to be. Want to play along? Let me know what your word is.

Your Word is "Fearless"

You see life as your one chance to experience everything, and you just go for it!

You believe the biggest risk is being afraid and missing out on something amazing.

Sometimes your fearlessness means you're daring. You enjoy risky activities.

And sometimes your fearlessness means you're courageous. You're brave enough to do the right thing, even when it's scary.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Worth The Wait

Alesia sponsored a contest for National Handwriting Day (24. January). And I won a prize! LOL Alesia was kind enough to award a prize to all who left a blog comment for that day.

Today, the prize arrived. A wicked, cool, pen. And not just any ol' pen, but it lights up and it has Al's name and business URL , Alesia Zorn Calligraphy

Al, it was so worth the wait! I love the color and the weight and balance are just right. Writes nicely too. Danke.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Seven things that have happened this week during the bathroom remodel.

1. I feel funny about eating or drinking while the crew is here. I have issues about eating in front of strangers and it's not polite to eat in front of others . Besides eating and drinking leads to another problem.

2. I can hold water for six hours. If I time it right, I can make a trip to Target or to Barnes and Noble before I have to pick The Young One Up at school. No way would I even entertain the idea of using the portopotty outside.

3. The carpenter is a better housekeeper than I am. He's been the last to leave so his last task is to clean up. I miss him on days he's not here.

4. The bathroom was prepped and ready to have the walls closed up. Yup, neat, clean except for piles of sawdust, chunks of wallboard and busted tile that were in the stud bays. I know it's a guy thing not to be concerned after all, the studs will be covered with wallboard. Nobody would know, see or care. Except me. It bothered me to know what was going to be behind the walls. I spent a happy hour with my shop vac, Patterson, vaccing up the debris. Can we say anal, boys and girls? I found a pile of razor blades that must have come from the original owner's old medicine cabinet.

5. I got to eavesdrop on conversations giving an insight into the romantic male mind.

"You doing anything special tomorrow?"


"You're not going to give her breakfast in bed or anything like that?"


6. The plasterer had been working hard on the hall wall. He left to go out to his truck and I took a peek to see what he had done. Had to fight the urge not to write my name in the wet plaster. All that beautiful white space just begging to be filled with graffiti.

7. I was sitting at the computer in the dining room and decided to go get a second cup of tea. (I still had 4 hours before I had to worry about that second cup). As I went into the kitchen, there were a pair of pants on the floor! Pants that didn't belong to me or to Himself. Seems plastering is a filthy business so the plasterer brought a change of work clothes.
What was your week like?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Day 7

Today the toilet was once again disconnected and removed and walls went up. Real walls. I thought wallboard would just be banged up and called good. After all, the bathroom walls will be tiled. I was wrong, after the wallboard was put up and the joints taped, plaster was applied. Not only plaster walls, but the plasterer matched the scrolled ceiling in the hall. Isn't it beautiful?

The assistant production manager stopped by an hour after the plasterer left to put the bathroom back together so we wouldn't be stranded. The toilet was reinstalled and he put plastic up so we could use the shower. He even hung the shower curtain up for me.

There are couple of design issues to resolve. The thermostat box for the radiant heat will be behind the cabinets so it needs to be moved down a few inches. A shame they will have to cut a hole in the beautiful wall. The hole where the box is can be patched and will be covered by the cabinets.

The shower wall panels sent were not the complete shower wall kit so will need to be returned and the correct kit re-ordered.
Floor, wall tile,decorative tiles, and grout colors need to be picked out and ordered.

The bathroom looks like a real room and has lost that rustic, outhouse charm.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day 6

We had a meeting with the carpenter and the cabinet maker to determine the final sizes for the custom cabinets over the sink and the tall cabinet unit which will house brooms and linens. Because I'm dense when it comes to numbers, the carpenter patiently used blue tape to show where all the cabinets would live so I had a visual. The cabinet maker left with one of the vanity doors so he can closely match the finish.

Then we were framed! The carpenter and a helper spent the day framing the bathroom for walls, cabinet and the shower. New insulation was put in the bays under the window. The vent for the dryer was installed.

The building inspector and the electrical inspector came and signed off on the rough work. And we got the green light to continue. Whew!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Day 3, 4, 5

Monday, the electrician and the contractor arrived. We had a brief walkthrough of the project. Talked about the placement of light switches, underfloor heating thermostat, washer/dryer outlets, and fixtures. The electrician got busy with drilling and running upstairs and down tugging and fishing wire through the walls.

As an aside, when the men are working, I haven't heard anyone yell "Horses' patoot!" and then make a trip to the hardware store as Himself sometimes does when involved with a home improvement project.

While the electrician was working, the plumber and the plumbing inspector arrived. The plumber's work got a two thumbs way up for compliance to the code. The plumber signed off on the permit. We breathed a sigh of relief.

The electrician finished part one. His work is waiting for the electricial inspector who will be arriving sometime today.

Wednesday Weigh-In

Still the same up weight I was last week and I didn't even have that many Tim Tams as the cookies are ridiculously expensive and only have 10 in the package.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


This week, we began the second remodel of the bathroom. This seven is just some thoughts and stuff that happened during the week.

1. Wednesday morning, the crew arrived at 7:15 am. Why can't construction people begin their work day at a decent hour like bankers?

2. Georgiana D. inspired this next thought. The dilema of the call to nature. When the toilet is removed from the bathroom and is sitting in pieces on the sun room floor, where do you go? The first day, I ran across the street to use my neighbor's bathroom. Then I had to spend time for a quick chat and a cup of tea and the process started all over again.

3. On Thursday morning, the port-o-potty was delivered and placed right smack in the middle of the driveway. Right in the front. Of course, this is not a place where the Little Princess would go. Can't imagine any of the crew would use the facility either considering it was 11 degrees above zero with a 35 mph wind. That would chap yer cheeks. Apparently, having a facility on a building site is required by OSHA. The guys were running on Dunkin'

4. On the first day, I had to move my car to the neighbor's driveway so the dumpster could be delivered. The driveway was covered with a sheet of ice under innocent fluffy snow. I couldn't get any further than a snowbank where I was firmly stuck. While Prissy yelled helpful instructions for me while I spoke in tongues and waved back at her, I called AAA. The towtruck driver winched me out to the street. Too early to pick The Young One up from school, I went to Target. They have a pristine ladies' room. I bought some paper towels too.

5. Wed night/Thurs. morning, we did not have a shower. No big deal for Himself because he could shower at the fitness center at the college. In the movie Witness Kelly McGillis as an Amish widow made taking a sponge bath from a basin look sexy. I decided I don't want to be Amish.

6. No heat in the bathroom reminded me of the cold-water flat in the city where my aunt and grandmother lived when I was a kid. The bathroom was on an outside landing. My grandma speaking in her broken English called the bathroom the buckhowsah (back house). I used to whimper when I had to go when we visited. Contemplating the meaning of life this morning, I found myself whimpering again. It won't stay like this. It won't stay like this.

7. Floor tile in a cobalt blue and white pattern called octagon and dot (4" octagon with a 1" dot) has proven difficult to find. We bought the tile at Lowe's only a year and a half ago. No one carries it. As I pulled into the driveway after picking the Young One up at school, I thought when I said I wanted a cobalt blue and white bathroom, this [see picture above] is not what I had in mind.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Day Two

Bright and early the crew arrived to begin work. We had another walk through with the contractor and the designer. We talked about the custom cabinets, placement of light fixtures and they answered questions about the work that had been done.

Floor tile has become an issue as the pattern I wanted doesn't seem to be around any more. I wanted an art noveau style bathroom. The mermaid tile reminds me of the work of Alphonse Mucha. Seems cobalt blue is not in vogue. Neither is white. Art nouveau is art passé. Me thinks I was born too late. The designer will be making a trip to a tile place to see what she can come up with.

In two days, the bathroom has been gutted to the studs. Good news was nothing horrible like vermin and termites going on behind the walls. The house, around 49 years old, has cedar walls. A very expensive material for houses even back then. The basement leaks like a sieve. but the house itself is well built.

The tile was torn out and new underlayment put down. Plumbing connections for the washer, shower, sink and toilet were put in and connected to the out flow in the basement. The shower even has the water lines in the proper place. The idiot son of a contractor had reversed the hot and cold for some unknown reason. The outflow to the septic had to be changed over as we had a leak there, too. Now everything is clean, white PVC which the plumber told me was much better than copper. It won't corrode as quickly.

Not too happy about the trap that had to be installed and has to hang below our drop ceiling. The trap falls in the middle of the only window. There was no other place to put it and it's required by the building code. We'll just have to come up with a way to decorate it. The room is only used by the family and where my studio is located so company won't see it.

The plasterer stopped by to see the job. He will plaster the new ceiling in the bathroom as a crawl space access is being relocated out in the hallway. The ceilings in the house are scrolled. The plasterer told me he can match the hallway ceiling. Seems he apprenticed with an old timer and learned how to do the scrolls and sand textured ceilings. Very cool.

The Carpenter had been able to save the shower base during the demolition because it hadn't benn installed properly. I suppose thank God for small favors. He set the base in mud (concrete) so it won't move or crack. Before leaving for the day he reconnected the toilet, and he even built a temporary shower! I thought they would just staple some plastic sheeting to the frame, but the carpenter put up some thin white, laminate sheets! The contractor is conscious that this is our only bathroom and he's making sure we're not left stranded for more than one day or have to move into a motel. Good guys!

It's very quiet here today. No banging. No sawing. No music. No singing. The plumber sings along to the songs on the radio. The other guys were ragging on him. Telling him he should be the next American Idol. Plumbing work is on hold until the plumbing inspector arrives late Monday afternoon. Our town is small so the inspectors do the work part time, after their own full time jobs.
The electrician will arrive Monday to start his work rewiring for the light fixtures, washer and dryer and fan/light in the shower. I'm not sure if he will be installing the electric radiant floor heating mat yet.

The bathroom is quite ugly, but taking shape. It's also clean for all the rough work going on. The fellas clean up after themselves. The work area is left cleaner than when they first came in. I'll miss the carpenter today because he's the last to leave, he got the task of sweeping up the hallway, kitchen, and living room areas where they walk through.
I guess Monday I'll be baking a batch of Lambie's cinnamon buns. The fellas sure deserve a treat.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Photo Tag

Erica tagged me for this game. The rule is you have to go to the fifth photo folder on your computer and then pick the fifth picture you find. After you post the picture, you tag five friends to do the same.

The fifth folder is the Chip folder. The fifth pic is Mr. Morton from the episode Return of the Phantom Doesn't Chip have beautiful blue eyes?
Sadly, I don't have five friends to tag. If you want to play consider yourself tagged. Let me know because as a Facebook Flair I received says: Enable the nosy.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Square One

After waiting a year, we finally decided to move forward with the bathroom remodel. A trip to the home show and we found The Good Guys. We met and discussed the plans. They seemed to understand our vision for a Euro-style, wipe down, quick clean bathroom. As you know, bathroom cleaning is not a Little Princess job but every so often the Little Princess has to go slumming. Herself would like the cleaning process to be as quick and easy as possible. The ideal would be to install a self-cleaning sprinkler system with a drain in the floor. Press a button, hose the room down and ta-da, all clean.

So if you in the cheap seats remember, this is the bathroom before the first remodel. 50's yellow tile and we added the pale blue accents for that UCLA look. Go Bruins!

Then we went through the remodel and this is how the bathroom looked when the son of a contractor "finished". I like to call this picture The Disaster. A very quaint and cozy slum look.

Today, the Good Guys arrived bright and early. Man, why can't they keep banker's hours and start at a decent time of the day! We had a quick walk through to discuss the project. Wonder of wonders a building permit was taped to the bow window in the living room for all to see! And the demolition began. Ink was not happy with all the noise and the company. He spent most of the day huddled under the sofa. There was a lot of banging, sawing, music from a radio, singing, and the tangy scent of solder. My only complaint with The Good Guys is they enjoy their work way too much. They seem to get along very well and make a good team.

I was frazzled most of the day. Waffled between nervous and excited. I had to move my car to Prissy's driveway. Her driveway was one sheet of slick as glass ice deceptively hidden under fluffy white snow. I had to call AAA to winch me out of her driveway.

We knew there was a possibility that the shower walls couldn't be saved. The carpenter made a vailant effort, but the walls came down in pieces. Not to worry, we'd just order a new wall kit. He did save the shower base.

Then there was the call that the Swanstone Artic Granite I wanted was not available. Stuck in the snow, what I had I can't get. I started feeling as if this project was doomed with a capital DOOMED. God must have really liked the UCLA colors and didn't want the slick Euro white bath with the mermaid mural over the sink. Deep sigh. Forlorn look.
One bright spot. The mural will be shipped from California tomorrow. It should arrive next week.

We were given other options, fiberglass walls, a tiled shower. Fiberglass dulls quickly over time and is difficult to keep shiny clean. Tile, though beautiful, has all the grout and crannies where mold likes to grow. Nope, Herself was not going to be happy unless she had the no grout lines, no mold can grow, wipe down, Swanstone in Artic White.

I surfed the Swanstone site and found Artic White has not been discontinued. And a list of suppliers who carry the product. Happy dance.

The bathroom was gutted and taken down to the studs. The carpenter roughed and the plumber roughed. The Good Guys are aware that the dollhouse only has this one bathroom. They are making a great effort not to leave us stranded without facilities. The tub base will be installed tomorow and temporary walls put up. The shower will be plumbed. A portolet will be delivered tomorrow, but that is for The Good Guys. A portolet is definitely not a Little Princess place to go especially when the outside temp is 11 degrees. Thank you, no. The plumber kindly reinstalled the toilet at the end of the day.

And so ends day one.