March 20, 2018: Bathroom Construction Day Two

Tuesday.  Paul was up hours before any of us.  Dominica got up probably around eight thirty or nine.  I managed to sleep in till nine thirty, which obviously I really needed some sleep, that was at least eleven hours for me!  I, of course, had Liesl snuggles which make it much easier to sleep for a long time as she does not allow you to move, at all.

It is cool and crisp outside today, but the sun is bright and gorgeous.  So we have a few windows open around the house.  Nice, fresh air here.

Before we got up, Paul went out to Mozart’s Bakery in Little Korea and picked up breakfast for us.  And he made the morning pot of coffee!

Paul and Dominica ran out and picked up the tiles for the bathroom today, along with other supplies.  We are really ready to get this going, now!  We are so excited about the new tiles, they look so cool.  We can’t wait to get them on the walls and see how they look.

While taking down the dry wall in the back, Paul discovered some insect nests inside of the walls.  We have no idea what they are, maybe ants, possibly some weird kind of wasps, but it is really creepy. It’s only nests and appears to not have had anything living in it for a long time, but it is still gross.

The big project today in the bathroom is getting the awful blue “denim” wallpaper down so that we can repaint the entire bathroom in something modern.

For lunch, Paul and Dominica ran out to Burger King and picked up fish sandwiches.

This afternoon, I finally got completely caught up on all of SGL for 2018!  I still have a tonne of 2017 to do, but getting this year up to date and keeping it up to date is going to make my life a whole lot easier.  Now I get to work my way back through 2017.  I’ve got a good half of the year to work through, I would guess.

I’ve made great progress on 2017 already, too.

The girls played some odd game today where they painted up a box that they were pretending was a box to put puppies in when they were up for adoption.  And the girls were pretending to be those puppies.

Pretend Puppy Adoption Box

This evening, Jeremy was hard at work setting up his Fedora 27 development environment now that he is moved into his new apartment up in Farmington.

We finally got the last of taking down of the old wall paper in the back bathroom at a quarter after six.  My hands really hurt after that.  But we are ready for the next step.

Dominica and Paul went out to Walmart to get some groceries and to pick up ready to bake pizzas that we could bake at home for dinner.

We appear to have stopped getting mail here at the house.  This is very odd.  Normally we would get mail every day, the bulk of it is just trash, of course, but it is a continuous stream of trash.  But now, our last mail came on Friday.  On Saturday our mailbox was one hundred percent letters for our neighbour, who already moved out, and nothing for us.  Extremely odd that we got a full mailbox of their mail, and none of our own.  Then yesterday and today, we’ve gotten nothing at all.  Very fishy that our neighbour’s mailbox is full and overflowing so mail cannot be delivered, that our last day of mail was for them, and now we’ve gone four days without a single letter when we’ve not had a day with zero mail in as long as I can remember.  Too much of a coincidence, I think.

At the end of work for today, our bathroom was pretty much demolished.  All of the wall paper was finally down.

Bathroom Day Two

The girls had so much energy today.  They did a really good job of playing together all day.  But by seven this evening, they were just maniacs.

While the pizza was cooking, around eight this evening, I managed to get SGL back dated all the way through December.  I’m now working on November’s updates to make sure that nothing was missed.

We watched one episode of Coupling, we had watched the first one last night.  Then Paul took a shower while Dominica and I watched an episode of  a British gardening show, and by around ten everyone was ready for bed.  It has been a really long day of a lot of work and we are all exhausted and ready to call it a day and be done with it.  There is a lot of work to be done tomorrow, of course, and we are anxious to get the bathroom underway.

Tomorrow the toilet comes out, no fun there.  Our goal is to have the shower completed and the toilet replaced before Paul leaves on Friday.  Then the rest of the bathroom will be tackled when he returns about half a week later.

Luciana was ready for bed when we turned in and didn’t even want us to read out book tonight.  So it was straight off to bed.  Which is not bad as we are all really tired and definitely ready for sleep anyway.

March 19, 2018: Guest Bathroom Word Begins

Monday. I was up at four and decided to just get to work in the office by around four thirty.  I got in a good hour alone before Paul got up around five thirty, pretty late for him.  The drive and hanging out with us must have worn him out quite a bit.

I made a pot of coffee and Paul and I pretty much had that polished off by seven.  So we made another and it was pretty well hit before Dominica got up at eight.

By a quarter after eight, demolition of the girls’ bathroom was well underway.  The worst of the tile was down in minutes and while there is definitely water damage, it wasn’t anything we didn’t already know about, and the great news is that there is no mold behind the wall and we are now three days ahead of where we expected to be!

The bathroom demolition went on all morning.  Dominica and Paul made a run for demolition supplies.  And then around eleven went out to find a tile liquidator to see what they could find in terms of tiles for the new bathroom. They found a tile that was okay and really cheap.  But they brought it home and I wasn’t thrilled.  Not at all modern, nor our style.  I think that we will be unhappy with it.

At three thirty, Dominica and Paul went to Home Depot to check out other tile options and to see about paint samples.  Dominica found a new tile for the bathroom that we both thought looked really amazing.  This time she through to bring her phone with her so that she could show me pictures of tile while she was looking.

So after today’s shopping, we have tile in hand that we love.  And we have found a vanity and sink that we are really excited about.  Not as cheap as we had been hoping, but decently cheap and it will allow us to have a bathroom that we really love.  It’s one of the most important rooms in the house, the girls’ and the guest bathroom.  It’s used heavy and seen constantly by guests.  We want to make it something that we really like.  And it is our first room, ever, that we are redoing in the house!  This is the start of really making the house “ours”.  Even though, of course, we’ve had it since before Luciana was born.

Luciana did some of her reading with me today.  She’s reading a book called Stick and Stone.

Around five, Liesl came into my office and we did her programming class today.  More working on Python via CodeAcademy.  It has been quite a while since we last did her programming class and we need to get back into the groove.  I set her up with the Asus Chromebook at the little table sitting next to my office table.

The girls looked at paint samples for their bedroom today, too.  And they have landed on Tahitian Breeze as the colour that they are most interested in.  We will likely be painting their bedroom next weekend, I think, while Paul is back in Missouri for a few days.  That is going to brighten up that room so much.  The dingy old dark brown in there makes it so dark and small.  Not good for little kids who want to play, at all.  And it makes it feel really old.

This evening, after work and after the bathroom construction had wound down, Paul and I went into Little Korea to go shoot pool and billiards for a few hours.  This was my first time in Little Korea for real, since we have returned to Texas and boy has it grown up.  Right around the corner from us and there are hundreds of awesome new businesses in there now.  Restaurants, grocery stores, cafes, bakeries, medical, you name it.  It’s a whole city, right there, very dense and full of interesting stuff.  I could pretty easily walk there.

We had a good time, but we were tired. So by nine thirty we were on our way back to the house to go to bed.  I started my day at four thirty this morning, so no wonder I am tired.  Dominica was nearly ready for bed when we got back.  And Luciana was thinking about going to bed, too.  Liesl was set up in the living room playing Grim Legends 2: The Dark Swan which she had been playing all evening.

At the end of house reconstruction day one, we are really excited.  We have a vision for what we want to do with the house, pretty much all of it, and it is not going to be nearly as expensive as we had been thinking that it was going to be all of this time.  Still more expensive than we can afford, but that’s a different matter.  With Paul here to help with the handy work, things are totally different.

March 18, 2018: Paul Moves In

Sunday. We got up at eight and got right into cleaning the house.  So much still left to do.  Paul was supposed to have left Cuba, Missouri around five this morning which would put him in Carrollton around two this afternoon.  A lot to do between now and then.

Dominica was up first and doing some cleaning.  My first task, once I was awake, was to run to Walmart and buy a replacement vacuum cleaner.  I was taking our old one apart last night to see if I would be able to fix it and the short answer was, “no way”.  The spinning brush unit was seized up, and the belt was broken.  It’s a cheap Black and Decker and there is no way for us to get parts for it.  And for as cheap as it was, getting parts for it would not make any sense, anyway.

Walmart was quick and easy.  The Bissel that we wanted to get was on sale for $48.  Picked that up and grabbed a dozen doughnuts (sorry, Do-Nuts, oh Texas) from Shipley’s around the corner on Josey and got back to the house.

Liesl was a very good helper today and swept much of the house.  She loves to sweep.

Liesl Sweeping the Living Room

Last night we had taken the fagots that we had gotten from Francesca that she had been using to decorate their old home for sale and we put them into the old built in plant pots that separate the living room from the dining room (the girls’ homeschool room) and they seem to work decently well, for now.  You can see them in the picture of Liesl sweeping.

I assembled the vacuum and got the entire house vacuumed.  The new vacuum is great and had to be emptied no less than a dozen times while making my way around the house.  A bit excessive, but the house is so much nicer now.  I vacuumed so much that in just what I did this morning I had to disassemble the vacuum, remove the brushes and spend a good twenty minutes cutting them free of hair and stuff.  It was crazy.

In doing the cleaning around the house, Dominica managed to come up with three additional bags of clothes for donation that we took out to the Quest to store there.  I met the owners of the house next door this morning as well.  It’s apparently empty again, but it is being shown to potential renters actively, already.  They had no idea that we owned this house and were actively living here again.

Today was a gorgeous day. Bright sun and nice weather outside.  We had the windows open for most of the morning, but by around one it was so warm that I was just sweating like crazy and we had to switch over to air conditioning.

We finally got to a point that we felt that the house was “good enough” around three, which is good then that Paul went the wrong way and drove through Oklahoma City, and then hit traffic there.  So he was hours late and got to us around four this afternoon.

We hung out for only about an hour before we all went to Los Lupes, our awesome local Mexican restaurant for some dinner.  Dominica and I both got some really awesome fish tacos, they do them grilled with avocados, so they are pretty healthy, too.  Liesl got popcorn shrimp and ate nearly everyone’s rice in addition to her shrimp.  Luciana got a shrimp and calamari appetizer plate and liked it us, but could not finish all of it; we got to bring some home for her for tomorrow.  Paul did steak fajitas and said that they were great.

We were all quite full when we finished our dinner.  The girls both asked if we could come back and eat here.  They have been here before, but it has been long enough ago that they do not remember it.

Tomorrow work begins on the girls’ bathroom.  First the walls need to come down and we need to find out what is hiding behind the walls.  We fear that there is going to be mold and really have no idea how there couldn’t be, given the amount of water that we know that was leaking in the shower over the past several years.  Our hope is just that it is not black mold and not “that bad.”  The walls, tile, floor, sink, everything is coming out except for the toilet, which is “good enough” and the tub.  I really want to remove the tub and go to an all tile standing shower area that is more modern, but Dominica and the girls say that they want to keep the tub and, at least, that is cheaper and easier, so it will stay.  But the tub in our master bath is definitely coming out when we redo that bathroom, I hate having a tub in there.  This is our first serious work on the house here in Texas, other than putting in the office, but that was “new” construction (back around 2011) and not modifying what is already there.

After dinner we just visited and caught up in the living room.  Paul’s sciatica is really bad after his long drive so spent much of the evening trying to control that.  The girls were playing in our bedroom, watching shows, and would occasionally come running through the living room.

Got everyone to bed around eleven.  Paul has the girls’ room.  The girls officially have my back office, but just sleep with us anyway.  So that is easy.  They barely notice that Paul is even here.

Paul is staying this week and leaving sometime around Friday.  He is heading back to Missouri to get his house onto the market and get another load of his stuff.  Then he will be back in a few days.

So our spring cleaning is done.  And Paul is moved in.  And tomorrow begins the complete overhaul of our secondary bathroom.  Exciting stuff.

March 17, 2018: Big Texas House Cleaning

Saturday. I woke up just before five in the morning and instantly had that “mind racing” problem that told me that if I stayed in bed for any length of time whatsoever that I would be having terrible insomnia and would not get back to sleep.  Even with a snuggly Liesl sleeping with us it was not going to get me back to sleep.  So I just got up and went over to my office and got to work.  No reason not to.  I was awake and felt fine.  Wasn’t even anxious, my mind was just ready to go and did not want to be kept in bed.  So my day started much earlier than I would have expected it to.

I ended up going back to bed closer to eight in the morning and sleeping for another three hours.  So I got a full night’s sleep, just broken up into two sections, which was a bit abnormal for me.

Today was pretty much an all day cleaning day around the house.  So much to do.  Paul gets here tomorrow in the early afternoon, and the house is an epic disaster.  I also did a lot of work on learning Ruby on Rails, which I have used before but not for several versions and I am working on updating my skills on it.  Dominica just cleaned and cleaned, as she’s been doing for a couple of days.

We are both feeling a bit better today.  I still have a cough, it’s been almost a month now with it, but it is very slight and I can feel that it is nothing like it was even two days ago.  Dominica is still weak, but barely coughing and mostly just tired.

I managed to get SGL caught up completely for all of March and the majority of February today, which is astonishing.  There is still much to be done, but it is great progress.  We are finally, we thinking, edging towards having a more stable lifestyle now that several big things in our lives have been worked out.  So that will make it easier to be keeping up with SGL.

Dominica and I have been watching a few British garden shows recently, including today, and have been kicking around some ideas with our house here in Carrollton.  One big change is that we are pretty sure that we are going to scale back dramatically with our plans for altering the house here.  We will not put an additional roof on the house, as much as we’d like the extra interior space, but are just going to try going for something like an Italian style small garden in the atrium instead. Something with really strong drainage to help to deal with the flooding problem, and maybe a partial plastic deck so that we can easily sit outside.  We have to take out the tree that is out there no matter what.  And putting in a pergola might be just the thing to create softened, dappled sunlight out there to cool the atrium (and the house) and make it a space that we can use a lot more.  It needs to be a serious garden, an oasis in the middle of the house.  I imagine Liesl discovering it to be an awesome reading nook as she gets older.

We are thinking about removing the back driveway and putting a deck over the top of it so that the back yard becomes massively more open and useful.  Our back yard is not large, at all.  It’s quite small and so there is only so much that we can usefully do with it.  But watching these British gardening shows, they often have even less yard than we do and are able to do so much interesting with it.  We should be able to do something nice.  The hardest thing to do that I really want is to have an “office pod” in the back yard.  That is neither cheap, nor easy, nor is it easy to fit into the space.  Much to figure out.  But the bigger it is, the nicer it is, the more it would be useful.  I really want to get my office moved out of the house, though, and into the yard on the far side so that we have more space in the house for home things, and so that I can have a really great, dedicated office space where I can totally get away and seal off and, hopefully, that can double as an additional guest bedroom, a little oasis space, etc.  Liesl has already announced that when she is a teenager that she wants her own room, so we have to be prepared for that sooner rather than later.  That will only leave the current “summer office”, the one that we built, as a guest room once that happens.

We have more immediate house plans, though.  Hopefully work on the girls’ bathroom will begin soon.  It needs to be torn down to the studs and rebuilt with insulation, new dry wall, completely new tile, new bath fixtures, new sink, etc.  Absolutely everything needs to be done fresh in there.  Which is all very doable, we think, but it is a lot of work that we do not know how to do ourselves.  Always a challenge.  But Dominica is interested in learning how to do tile and there is a lot of potential tile work to be done around the house.  That might work out really well.

Got the family ready for bed at about eleven.  Loads and loads of additional cleaning to be done first thing in the morning tomorrow.  We are going to be exceptionally busy trying to get things ready for Paul to move in.

I wrapped up pretty much all of my stuff just minutes before midnight.  I was feeling a bit tired myself, but am making a real effort to make SGL a priority to get updated at night before turning in.  The writing is always so much better when I do it on the same day that things are happening.  Last year was just such a disaster in so many ways, I could not find the time nor the energy to get SGL kept up with.  This year, that is all different.  The money is mostly figured out, we know what we are doing for work now (which is nothing), the house has been sold and is no longer killing us, we know that we are going to be in the Carrollton house quite a bit, etc.

Tomorrow will be another new adventure.  I am sure that I will have much to report.

March 16, 2018: Friday Before Guest

Friday. The sun is out again today and it is just a beautiful day.  We still have all of the windows open.  We had them open all night.  It was so warm we considered air conditioning during the night.

Liesl spent the day mostly watching YouTubers on the living room television.

Dominica did a lot more cleaning around the house today.  It is starting to look much better.  But there is so much to do.  With everyone being sick for so long, the mess has really piled up.

I worked in the office all day.  Dominica has found a new British gardening show that she really likes and from time to time throughout the day would have me pop over to take a look at it with her to get some ideas for our back yard.

This evening we did a little more family gaming with Cruise Director, the hidden object game.  We didn’t get to play even an hour, though, as Luciana decided that she was tired and was ready for me to put her to “bed” on the couch at the foot of the bed in our room.

March 15, 2018: Big ML Day

Thursday.  Not really any flu improvement today.  But no worse.

The sun is out and it is a gorgeous day.  So nice that we were able to just open all of the windows and have fresh air, all day.  Dominica got up, showered, and went on a run to the grocery store first thing this morning.  The house has been pretty empty of food since we got back from traveling.

I spent the day in the office working.  It is so nice out, we are loving the fresh air and bright sun with the windows open.  Supposed to be nearly eight here today!

Found out today that Paul is moving down to Dallas on Sunday.  So we expect to see him on Sunday evening.  He’ll be moving in and looking for a job here in town.  So we have a roommate again.

Dominica and Paul spent much of the day scheming on the phone about ideas for retiling the girls’ bathroom.  Dominica also tried to do some cleaning today and got a bit done.  The house is still a mess from all of the stuff that we brought down from the storage unit in New York.  We were so sick when we arrived back here that it all got put by the front door, more or less, and left.

We got the second dresser put into the girls’ room, in the closet.  So Liesl and Luciana each have their own dressers now, and room for their clothes.

I was super busy all day working on MangoLassi which we believe hit its busiest day ever, at least as far as viewership goes.  One hundred and sixty four thousand full thread reads for the day!  All organic traffic, no spikes or special events driving traffic to the site for the day.

For dinner this evening, Dominica made backed cod, salt potatoes, and asparagus.  We watched a little Allo, Allo second season while we ate dinner.  That show amazes me because it feels like a BBC show that would have only run for one season, maybe six to eight episodes, been a funny joke and that would have been it.  But they actually made nine seasons of it and even though it always feels like a show from when I was a little kid, it was still running new until I was a junior in high school!  The show lasted twice as long as the war on which it was based.

I was working this evening and Luciana requested some family game time.  At first I was going to say that I was too busy for that, but then thought better of it and we all played Cruise Director together for an hour or two.

We got to bed at a good time, in bed by eleven.  I was tired and really looking forward to getting some sleep.  But my sciatica played up something terrible and I was not able to get to sleep until two in the morning after soaking in a hot bath and taking some Ibuprofen.

March 14, 2018: On the Road to Improvement

Wednesday.  Starting to feel a little better today.  Still super sick, and maybe I’m just adjusting to sick as the new normal, but it feels like I am much more functional today.

Dominica must be a little better as well, as she attempted some cooking and cleaning today, with large bouts of resting in between, of course.

The kids are both happy and perky today.  They were running around and playing all day, quite a good change.  They managed to kick this flu very quickly.  Dominica and I definitely got the worst of it.

I ended up working a lot today, working until three in the morning.  I was just too tired to keep going at that point.

I did get an article written today, and I managed to get YouTube videos uploaded for my channel enough to keep it busy into next week.

The weather is nice, we opened the window again tonight.  Luciana continues to sleep in her own room, she really enjoys having her own room.  Liesl has been sleeping in our bed.