March 22, 2018: Clearing Out the Bathroom

Thursday. Today is Paul’s last day here until next week, he is driving back up to Missouri in the morning.

Early today it was discovered that we have a tiling issue in the bathroom and the floor tiles all have to come out now.  This isn’t as bad as it sounds, because we really wanted to put in new floor tiles, but were only going to keep the old ones because they were “not that bad” and it would save money.  But this means that we can get floor tiles that we love instead of just making due with what was there.  Honestly, I think it forced a better decision on us.  So Dominica and Paul went out tile shopping and found some awesome, low cost, slate style floor tiles that are going to look great.

To take out the existing tiles, though, it turned out that we needed a jack hammer. So they got to run out and rent one of those today.  Boy this is a big project.

The toilet came out today.  And then the vanity.  The bathroom is now totally empty.  No floor, no walls, no sink, no toilet, no nothing.  Now we get to start building it back from ground zero.

I’m pretty exhausted from having to lift everything.  I’m moving all the tiles, wall boards, bags of broken tiles, vanity, toilet, etc. out.  The toilet was especially tough to manage, that was much heavier than I had imagined and I had to carry it, wet, all the way from the very back of the house, out the front, and out to the street, by myself.

This afternoon I took the kids to the playground and they played for a few hours.  There were loads of kids out there today, maybe the busiest that I have ever been there for.  They had a great time playing with the kids.  Liesl is like a playground babysitter and watches over younger kids all of the time.  The weather was perfect for it.

This evening, Paul got the garage door fixed.  Then after dinner we went in the garage and carried out the old oven, which was quite a long way to go taking it from the back garage all of the way around to the front yard.  I’m super tired of carrying things, now.

The garage has so much more space now, though.  This is great.  We can finally get to actually cleaning it out.  There is all kinds of crap in there that isn’t ours but we have not been able to really get to to determine what it is.  Now we can clean out the empty boxes, move things around, organize, clean, and figure out the state of things.

I’m pretty excited to have access to the garage again.  Between the door between the house and the garage working again, the garage door itself working again, and having that giant oven out of the way, it’s a whole new space!  Now, of course, I have no excuse and need to get working on it.

March 21, 2018: Need a Plumber

Wednesday.  Paul was up early this morning and working on the bathroom before we were even out of bed. I got up around eight.  He had already polished off a pot of coffee before I was up.

Loads of work in the bathroom today.  Lots and lots of sanding and getting the very last of everything ready so that construction can begin.

Dominica and Paul had to make a couple more runs to the hardware and supply stores today.  So much is needed for such a tiny room.  We have new LED light fixtures now.  And we have all of the tiles, and the lights.  We have not decided on a shower head yet.

We discovered that our plumbing is old and horrible and that there is no way that we can use what is there.  So we are looking for a plumber now that can fix the shower for us.  Not a big job, but it is ancient sweat-joined plumbing that we can’t do.

So that is going to stall the project a little.  Now to find a plumber.

Everyone was exhausted this evening, so we just stayed in again.  It’s too much to do anything after construction all day long.

Dominica and Paul picked up pizza from Walmart while out shopping this afternoon and we baked that for dinner.  Dominica and I barely got any, Liesl and Luciana devoured it.  They ate nearly an entire large cheese pizza on their own, three pieces each!

While eating our dinner, we watched an episode of Coupling.  The days just fly by while doing all of this work.  It seems like we just ate dinner and went to bed.

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.