This is kinda crazy... when I was in Grade 2 my Dad herniated himself hauling a cast iron bathtub into the bathroom with a rope (and a lot of grit.) To quote a Corb Lund song, Dad used "a lot of his back and a little of his brain!" I totally remember this day; it was scary and exciting. He got that tub in the room and it is still in the house, a gorgeous clawfoot tub. So, my Mom just sent me this picture. Me in my Cabbage Patch Kids t-shirt with my Dad. Fast forward a few decades and here is my daughter, age 8 with her Dad during our bathroom renovation.
Other than the beautiful new window, we have put the new flooring in. The vanity is in place and waiting to be plumbed in, but that is waiting for new sheets of drywall. And ALL of that is waiting for Chad to finish a course that he's taking. So I think we're officially on hold until the new year. That means I have all kinds of time to strip wallpaper, pull staples out of wood floors and try to even out these crazy lathe and plaster walls.
Back to the bathroom floors, though.
We did try to salvage the original flooring, a very rustic 2 inch wide wood that is throughout the second floor. But it was impossible. We tried really hard, but in the end there was just too large of gaps between the wood, which would have been a cesspool of dried pee within a month, I am sure. So we had to lay a new subfloor and we picked up some really nice looking luxury vinyl tile (on sale!). It goes together like lego and can stand up to high humidity areas like a bathroom. So, without further ado, here is the new floor - and my well-tressed assistant. :)
So, as far as I can tell there are rules about blogging, especially for home reno blogging, and they mostly include things like:
- you should actually finish some stuff
- when you finish that stuff you should do a complete-room blog post including before and miracle afters
- all photos should look like an Ansel Adams calendar page, preferably including some super trendy gold accent pieces that you "just happened to find at the thrift store and casually left there."
Well buckle up for NONE of that:
Here is Chad modeling his best outfit and the old window we found in the wall. We decided we should indeed have a window in our shower (Neighbourhood: you are welcome!) and so here's how yesterday afternoon we didn't get the bathroom floor, toilet or vanity installed.
A panda walks into the bar and says, "Bartender, can I have ............................................ a beer?"
The bartender says, "Sure, but why the big pause?"
The panda holds up his two hands and says, "Well that's just the way I am!"
Why the big PAWS in my blog, you may be wondering, dear internet friends and throngs of adoring fans?
Well... I've been gone so long because .... life happened! Much of it not glamorous. !
The move last fall, trying to cute-up this massive house and then driving kids to eighty-five hockey events per month really took its toll, and I just kept getting more and more ill.
I was admitted to the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon (including time served in a holding-cell type arrangement just off the emergency department - see below) and then followed up with some IV antibiotics at home. My wonderful Mom came and looked after the kids, cooked and cleaned and generally worked her buns off to keep the wheels from falling off here. How lucky I am to have my Mom.
I am better than I was pre-hospital stay, but still not quite "all better." So... the home renovation projects have been slower than we all hoped. But there is some stuff happening around here.
1. My lovely daughter's bed got built. Here she is wearing her new soccer jersey and operating the power drill like a boss.
This is a hybrid of two different Ana White projects. It is far from perfect, and is still not painted ("Just plain wood. No paint," said she; who I think knew it would speed things up a LOT. :)
2. We removed some unsavory carpet from the stairs - happy face!
There was more carpet underneath - sad, sad face.
We ripped out layer one (excavation to be continued at a later date) and did the following:
- fired it out the front door
- shut the front door, left out the back for a one-week Christmas visit
Sometimes being THIS classy is exhausting. p.s. To the neighbourhood: sorry.
3. We bought a new bathtub! Full bathroom post to follow, complete with before and afters, as per the laws of blogging.
4. Chad found and removed a massive wasps nest from beneath the floorboards in our LIVING ROOM, while trying to feed wires through for our TV. No wasps or people were injured ... the nest is gone and we think we've closed off their access from outside. So, sleep tight, don't let the big scary wasp family bite!!
We had a lot of rest and fun over the Christmas holidays. (Read: very little plumbing)
We skated, tobogganed, skiied, played lots of cards and visited with family and friends. So nice to rest up and play. We had lovely weather and lots of snow. It was so nice to get outside after some -45 weather earlier in the month. Also, the wonders of pharmaceutical drugs combined with some heavy napping seem to be battling the lung infection nicely and I feel almost human again.
We did get a couple things done from our very looooong list of house wishes.
1. The downstairs bathroom sink is plumbed in. It is not pretty, but it is operational. And, we are still married! I am a little leery of plumbing jobs. Maybe it goes back to all those times that my Mom made us flee the family home while my Dad crawled around under the sink (or tub or whatever) with the Authentic Plumbers Arse and cursing a blue streak. He was a very creative cusser to being with, but put a soldering iron and copper pipe in front of him and the obsenities were glorious. Seriously - cloud of blue smoke above the house and Mom crying, covering our ears and telling us to run. No guff.
Anyway... the Chad and I managed to get the sink plumbed in. We are going for function over style here, obviously, unless "Trainspotting" is a new bathroom trend that I am not aware of. The idea is to have this bathroom working so we can get at the upstairs bathroom with an overall end game of ramping up the showering / personal hygiene levels.
I can't believe we've been here for more than a month. Seems like just yesterday we were unpacking the very full shipping container... (note the facial expression! There is a guy walking buy on the street when I'm geeking out taking pictures, and I think Chad is trying to say with his eyes: "I tolerate her.")
We knew we were going to have work to do. The 'whipped cream' ceilings, the wallpaper, the carpets etc etc. But we weren't expecting for major plumbing jobs. What are we - new??
Here, in answer to the question, "How are you settling in?" is a short photo essay.
Nothing says love like duct tape in the shower!!!
Stay tuned for the bathroom saga. And no, I didn't find a super cute dresser at a thrift store for $4 and transform it into a gorgeous vintage-chic-chalk-paint miracle. *&^!
I went to Home Depot and paid cash for all new vanities. We are on a time crunch here. The pink bathtub and growing mould factory is so gross that we have to force the kids (and to be honest, myself too) to shower. We are the great unwashed... Chad hasn't shaved in six weeks and I just wear a toque permanently. You can call me Relic.
In our defence, we have had three hockey tournaments, unpacking and carpet removal happening around here. And I just finally broke down and went to the doctor yesterday to find out I have bronchial pneumonia. So, the improvements aren't speeding along as hoped, but we are all fed and clothed for now! Bring on the antibiotics, hot tea, more naps and a little plumbing fairy. :)
We get how lucky we are to have this home.
We bought it from an elderly lady who has lived here for almost 50 years. She and her husband raised a large family in this house, and in the end it was just her.
Sometimes it feels like these days of driving kids to hockey and swimming pools, hosting sleepovers and helping with homework will last forever. But I know it goes in the blink of an eye. So... before I continue with the home reno horror stories, it's good to remind myself it is good to value this home and the lives lived here before us.
We moved from a cute wartime house in a largish city to a 1912 Eatons home in a tiny city. I am so excited to be in a town again with the noon-hour siren, post office for mail and the school so close I can hear the bell from my front lawn.
And, all three kids get their own bedroom, we have a basement and an attic, lovely wood moulding around the windows, hot water heat and lots more to be excited about. So much space after being in a 900 square foot house for many years.
We also have 50 year old carpets with dirt paths worn in, toilets that won't flush, a lot of dirt, one dead mouse which I had to *peel* off a bathroom shelf, a shit ton of wallpaper, cracked paint and the small detail of the bathtub coming through the kitchen ceiling. I'd say it's overwhelming, but that word is too hard for me to type right now.
Today the goal is to unpack at least three boxes and still have plenty of time to ball up in the foetal position and rock back and forth.