Sunday, July 05, 2015

Going Dark

The Heat Continues.

It's just plain hot and that has been going now for about three weeks. Thank the Lord we have plenty of water to pour out on to the ground and roll around in.

We made a little bathroom progress today as we worked on preparing for the sub-floor and taking out the old door. I may have the door part finished by the end of the week. Well, not finished but blocked off and sealed shut.

My immediate problem right now is this computer here at home. It is infected with major crapoleena. I'm taking it in tomorrow to have it de-crapisized.

So, until further notice, we are going dar-

Monday, June 29, 2015

Heavy Delivery

The heat wave continues. The high temperature for today was 99 degrees.

Prior to my piano lesson tonight, my friend Mark stopped by with his little truck packed full of cast iron and porcelain. It was our new bath tub. We unloaded it into the garage. That MoFo is heavy. It will remain there until I am ready for it in the bathroom. I'm hoping that means the end of July. 

If it turns out to be there longer than that, then I shall begin a shame spiral.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Solstice 2015

I made a conscience effort prior to the start of the party to remember to pull out the camera and snap some pictures.
This was the best picture I got.

I also got a good shot of the food.
But that was about it. I basically forgot to take pictures.

For the few who showed up, there was great food and cold cold beer. I don't blame anyone who stayed away. It was HOT! And I'm sure that is why we had such a low turn out. The other alternative is that we are not that popular and I just don't see that.

I am not complaining. We had a party and people came. I don't think we had more than 30 people. That's more beer for me.

We went through almost all of my 5 gallons of homebrew, a lovely clone of Alaskan Amber. And everyone who showed up got to see the bathroom in transition.

The official, record breaking high temperature for the day was 102. It was about 89 when we went to bed at 1AM.

Susan and I are both glad it is over.

I used my time machine to go ahead a day and snatch tomorrow's headline, which I think is an appropriate legacy with which to remember this weekend.
The paper is reporting that the official temperature for today was 105, the hottest recorded at the airport since August 4th, 1961.
That is also the temperature I recorded on the deck, in the shade, just a little bit ago.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Preppin' for a Party

One nice thing about having a party is that the house gets all cleaned up and straightened. For a couple of days, you actually live in the place that you want the rest of the world to think you live in. 

We have been doing all the final touch ups on the yard and the house and Susan is in a fury of food prep.

I suspect a low turn out due to the heat. It is already over 100 degrees.

I think this is one of the prettiest sights on earth.
This is even prettier.
Happy Solstice (One Week Late) to all who are celebrating.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Here Come Da Heat

Susan is working a Spokane Shock game tonight and I am on duty to complete some jobs prior to tomorrows Solstice (one Week Late) party.

I've got to get some lights up, do some finishing touches on the yard and try to stay cool.

It looks like we are in for a heat wave weekend.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Rants and $$$

I have stuff to report but first, a rant about Coffee Hipster Doofusses. Or is it Doffussi? Whatever it is, it prevents me from getting a decent cup of coffee in the morning.

Let me start by saying I am no coffee purest. I load in the sugar. Coffee on it's own is not for me. I can get along without cream but I must have the sweet.

While I can defer the creamer, my preference is for a creamer of the chocolate variety, making a nice soothing mocha with which to start my day.

But can you find a flavored creamer that is just chocolate? The answer is "NO!"

They have vanilla (not bad), hazelnut (nope), Pimento with ginseng (NOOOOOOOOO!). All I want is a delicate chocolate tint to my coffee. But there is nothing even close...or it is sold out. That alone should tell these grocery people what to stock.

I've been forced to buy a little bottle of Nestles Quik and use that, AND IT'S NOT CUTTING IT!

See what I'm like when I don't get my coffee!

Two major purchases in as many days is moving us onto the cutting edge of the cutting edge.

I bought a Dremmel side cutting saw ($89.00). I need to get in close to the walls in the bathroom to clear the ledge where the sub floor will rest. Chiseling the old floor boards was not cutting it. (Pun intended) It appears that the old sub floor went down before the walls went up. That makes it very difficult to remove the flooring.

Anyway, I'm plugging away at the walls and hopefully will have some subflooring down on Sunday.

The other big purchase was a long overdue NEW LAWN MOWER. My old Craftsman Tecumseh had finally thrown in the lug wrench. It lasted for almost 18 years and that was after I bought it at a Pawn Shop. So it served me well and I felt a twinge of guilt as I turned it over the Country Homes Power for a $50.00 credit towards my new HONDA Double Bladed Power-Torque Mulching Lawn System (499.99 plus tax).

That's right! It's not just a mower. It's a Lawn System. I think that allows them to charge an extra $150.00 for it.

That five hundred bucks includes an extended warranty with annual servicing.

I mowed last night and it was quite fab. The mower has two features that really made it attractive. Number One: a really big opening to the grass catcher which makes dumping the grass much easier than my old mower. Number B: Susan paid for half of it.

On top of all this activity, we are two days away from our annual Solstice Party. We are a week late because Susan had to work last Saturday at a giant event. So we put it off until this Saturday. We've been slowly cleaning and preparing for a couple of weeks now so we have not experienced the level of stress that normally oozes from Susan and runs downhill to me.

A bunch of food is already prepared, the homebrew is in the keg, and the grounds are acceptably ready. Not great, just acceptable.

And of course, we will be one bathroom short.

Here's a digital version of this years invitation. Sorry I can't make it any larger. If you double click on it, it comes up pretty clear.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Plumbing Accomplished.

I was told the Plumbers would arrive between 8:30 and 9:00. At 9:35, I called and was told they are on their way.

I got them set up and left them to do their work when they arrived at 9:50. Rick said he expected to be finished by 3.

I drove up at 5:30 and there were two Plumbers trucks in the driveway. "This doesn't bode well.", I thought to myself.

I went back to see what was going on and there were three guys working away. It had not gone as well as Rick expected.

The drain for the toilet went surprisingly easy, I guess. Above is a picture of the old drain line and the new one.

The problem they ran into concerned the joists on the southern third of the floor...the newest section of the floor. The half inch plywood that had been the floor was supported by a ridge shelf all the way around the floor area and two 2x6's. A 2x6 does not meet code for a floor and it's even less supportive when one drills a 4 inch hole through the board.

So Rick bought some 2x8's to sister to the 2x6's. That seemed to do the job, but of course, added a lot of time to the job.

They finally got out of there a little before eight.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Count Down to Plumbers

The Plumbers will be here on Wednesday so the bathroom must be ready for them.

I believe I achieved bathroom preparedness today.

I'm trying to figure out the provenance of what went on in this space. I know that the wall we took down was originally an outside wall. At some point, an addition was added that extended the bottom of the stairwell and made the kitchen larger.

But there are three different sub floors in the space. The north third of the floor is the expected sub floor of rough cut planks laid down with a little space in between them.

The southern third is 3/4 inch plywood over 2x6 joists that are not placed according to code.

The weird part is the middle third. It is tongue and groove planking painted green that was probably a very small narrow porch floor at some point.

I don't think I'm ever going to know what has gone on in this space.
I can only talk about what is going to occur in this space. That story will continue on Wednesday.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mo Deestrukshun

A little more progress has been made in the bathroom.

For starters, we spent $2,900 for a new bath tub, faucet and drain. Since that's most of our budget, we're finished.

Here's what it looks like right now.
My job for tonight was to try and get as much of the ceiling down as possible. The Plumbers will need access in order to connect venting.

I did pretty well. The last vestige of burgundy wall and ceiling is gone forever.

This weekend will be removing the flooring. More access for the Plumbers. They have a difficult enough task in front of them as it is.

Susan has been upstairs cleaning in preparation for the upcoming Solstice party, this year being held one week late. We have gotten a good jump on the cleaning. And when I say "we", I mean her.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

A Grand Post

This is my One Thousandth Post. Nobody Cares. Let's talk about something important.

I have not reported on the bathroom progress because there has been none.

We have run into a problem concerning plumbing. However, after much consulting with a variety of Plumbing Persons, we are now ready to proceed. The cost to move some plumbing around is going to be $1,500.00.

The cost for the new bath tub is about $2,400.00. Add another $250 for the faucet and we are up to just over four grand. We haven't even talked about tile, the in floor heat, and all the assorted finishing items. My hope was to keep this to $5,000 but clearly, we will be breaking 6K in no time.

The Plumbers are scheduled for the 17th. Before they get here, I have to pull up all the sub flooring and a couple of steps on the old stairs.

I'll chronicle it all as it occurs.

Monday, May 25, 2015

It's Not A Holiday Without Hollendaise

I slept in until 8:30. Susan got up about 9. We had late night at the fire pit. Perhaps I covered it in the previous post.

We made a fabulous breakfast of Eggs Benedict since we still had Hollendaise Sauce left over from last night. A great start to a great day.

Since we have been sooooo awesome over the last two days with respect to the bathroom project, we are using today to work in the yard. Specifically, we have to get our front yard flower beds into better shape.

When we built the retaining walls for the garden beds a few years ago, we used dirt from a local landscaping company (Whitkoph) to fill them up. We used what they called Garden Blend. From that name, I concluded that this was the ideal dirt to use in a garden.

I was wrong! They could have told me that it would be prudent to add some sort of mulch or compost or peet moss to make the garden blend less like concrete, which is what it turned out to be...but they didn't!
So now, we are adding peet moss. I am up to $70.00 worth of peet moss and I think that will be enough. I have a little roto-tiller and I have already completed work on the western expanse of front yard garden. Now I have to do the eastern expanse.

The only minor complication is the weather. I woke up to thunder about 4AM and when I went to the bathroom, I saw a cascade of rain raining rain down upon the place where I reign. Well, where Susan reigns and allows me to help.
Anyway, the rain barrels are again full and the ground is mushy. The grass didn't need any additional water but it looks like more rain is coming today so they need to be drained. I solved the problem by letting the barrels empty onto the yard.

I called it a complication but that is not really the word. It would be nice if the weather was a sunny and warm as the last two days when we were working indoors. And yet, a cool day in the yard without getting rained on is okay as well.

Timing is not our...uh...ya'know...um...thing.

I am going forth to the yard now and will report back as rest breaks require my presence and participation.

4:50PM: We have not only completed our gardening chores, but we have already been to and returned from the Hub.

Everything went well with the roto-tilling and the planting.

There really is not much more to add than these pictures.




Sunday, May 24, 2015

Completing the Gut

Wow! What a day!!

It started off in the morning when we woke up. Then we dressed ourselves in raiment's of gold and worshiped at the alter of our former synigoggery. Really! Our church used to be a Jewish Temple.

After we were cleansed of our sins, we went forth unto the world to sin s'more. WE missspelllled words and spoke unkindly to squirrels and ate of pig meat in the form of bacon and chicken in the form of eggs and stimulants in the form of coffee. With Bailey's Irish Cream.

So we were really hitting our stride.
Then we got to work. Today's goal was to finish the gut. That required getting the east side wall down to the studs and removing the linoleum down to the sub floor.
It took us less than a hour to get this point shown above. 
Next was the floor. We had no idea if this was going to go well or not.

It went well. I broke out my worm drive saw and cut the floor into sections and then we just pried the sections up. It was a breeze.

We decided we are going to replace the entire sub floor as we had some issues with former mold and possibly rotting wood surfaces.

It all went remarkably well and even with our late start, we were done by four and on our way to the Hub.

From there, we called Mark, whom we had invited to dinner. He joined us at the Hub as we finished of a pitcher or three. Don't worry, they were small pitchers.
After a fabulous dinner of Barbecued Filet Mignon and grilled Asparagus with Hollendaise Sauce, we lit up the first pit fire of the summer. 

It was at that point in the evening, as the stinky pee started to trickle, that we decided you cannot have a holiday without hollendaise.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Galore of Pictures

Be prepared for Pictures Galore today .
The project of the Memorial Day weekend was to get busy on the bathroom remodel. And that's what we did.

Here are pictures from the four corners of the newly enlarged space.
Southeast Corner
Southwest Corner
Northwest Corner

The Other Corner
The goal today was to remove the tub, toilet and sink and get the north wall down to the studs.

Removing the stuff was not too bad of an ordeal although I had to make three trips to the General StoreTM to complete capping off water lines and a sewer.
I had a little difficulty with the toilet and the bathtub. The water lines for the tub are so close to the wall it was difficult to remove the crusty old valves.
I couldn't even turn the valve on the toilet so I just removed the whole thing. It was a tight space and tough to get started. Since the toilet is moving anyway, I would have had to remove that valve eventually.

Then it was time to get to work on the plaster and lath that was partly hidden by draw wall.



Finally, our long national nightmare of this pink and burgundy bathroom is over.

We have one wall remaining to get to studs and then we will be moving on to pulling up the linoleum.

An interesting difficulty crossed our path. Now that we are down to one bathroom, the toilet upstairs has developed a problem. For no other reason than it is now our only toilet, the water turn off valve attached to the float in the tank stopped working. The toilet just runs. So now we have to turn off the water from the valve in the wall after we flush.

Echo Betsy is messing with me.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

We Ache therefore, We Are Productive

We got a late start at our endeavors today but started them we did and even finished them, we did. Sounding like Yoda, I am.

I really wanted to start tearing into the bathroom some more but we decided that the front garden, and the condition of our Arbor Vitae's was more pressing. Besides, I was able to do a little work in the bathroom yesterday. Plus, I got the lawn mowed...a much needed chore since we had been gone for over a week.

So I broke out the many hand tools of gardening destruction and a few power tools as well.

Susan worked on the walled garden at the front of the house while I concentrated on cleaning out under the shrubbery. I'm guessing we haven't done it in five years. I base that on my feeble memory and the amount of fibrous detritus that my leaf blower hurdled skyward.

We were out there for about four hours and did a pretty good job. The front gardens are ready for some roto-tilling where I will be adding a great deal of peet moss to the ground dirt in order to try and change its consistency from something resembling cement.

I should add that it rained yesterday which means it was the second opportunity I had to see how the new rain barrels worked. From the storm we had on Wednesday, we filled both barrels, 80 gallons total. Same story for the rain storm we had yesterday. Both barrels were right up to the top. I currently have them attached to soaker hoses that are watering the shrubs.

It's pretty amazing to me that we got 80 gallons out of those storms. That's FREE WATER! I really should try filtering it and sterilizing it and using it for my Kool-Aid.

The day is now coming to a close and we are sore, which means we did something today. I can sleep on that!