Friday, September 30

bathroom remodel: day 12

We did a little work tonight--Brian did some electrical stuff (there's plenty of that left) and I washed the walls in preparation for a weekend of painting. Lowe's finally got our tub surround and ceiling planks in so now I'm really motivated to get some work done. I'd say we're way behind schedule at this point, but as long as the bathroom is competely done by Thanksgiving(because we're having Thanksgiving dinner here), I'll be happy. Of course, the earlier it is done, the happier I will be.

Wednesday, September 28

bathroom remodel: day 11

Today is hardly worth writing about, but we did get a few things done. I guess if we just do a few things each day, eventually this project will be done. But, I'm not totally convinced of that at this point. Brian got home from work too late to work on anything substantial, so instead, he replaced some of the drywall around the tub. I managed to apply the grout sealer this afternoon.

Exciting day, huh?

Tuesday, September 27

bathroom remodel: day 10

Brian wired up one of our new light switches this evening while I stood around looking pretty. I don't know nuthin' about that 'lectrical stuff. I did some odds and ends the past two days, but nothing substantial. I really need to start on the texture painting, but I figure if I put it off long enough, I'll die and then I won't have to do it.

Sunday, September 25

robot hive/exodus

This is the new album from Clutch. If you haven't bought it yet, do so NOW! Brian acquired this cd about a month ago and I've been listening to it nonstop ever since. The music is pretty cool, but the best thing about this band is the lyrics (but there are a number of wicked licks on there as well). There are so many archaic references in them that it's hard to keep up. Luckily for us, Clutch provides urls for many of the items found in the lyrics so that you can find out just what they are. I knew we had a winner when Jake started singing along on our way home from Home Depot this afternoon. I guess I'm going to have to check out some of their back catalog now.

bathroom remodel: day 9

As promised, not much was accomplished today. I did some caulking and put another coat of primer in the toilet area. Brian intended on doing some electrical work after the Steeler game, but since it wasn't over till kind of late, it didn't happen. Of course had we known what the outcome of the game was going to be, we could've gotten all kinds of work done today.

Saturday, September 24

bathroom remodel: day 8

Yesterday, while I was wetting the curing grout, I noticed that there were not one, not two, but three baseboard tiles that had hairline cracks in them. I don't know how I missed that when I was installing them. But, those tiles had to come out. That ended up being the day's "unplanned activity". I thought their removal was going to be a royal pain in the ass, but it wasn't too bad. The only problem is that I don't have any more grout, so a trip to Home Depot is in order for tomorrow.

Now onto today's regularly scheduled items: I primed part of the wall (the toilet area). Brian made a new access panel for the plumbing area, which enabled me to get Jacob's room back in order. Brian also did some electrical work. Well, it was more like electrical planning. We ran one line, but didn't hook anything up to it. After opening the switchplate cover that is currently in the bathroom, he took one look at it and decided to call in the big guns--his dad. So, Ed stopped by this evening and told Brian what needs to be done. Basically, what is currently there is crap. But, that's ok because we were going to redo it anyway.

Tomorrow's going to be a wash. After church and brunch, Brian has band practice. After that, the Steeler game is on (and this one is definitely going to be one to watch). With any luck, we'll get an hour of work in. I guess that's better than nothing.

Friday, September 23

tickle me pink

The Joey show on NBC had yet another Whitesnake reference last night (I believe this is the 3rd one). This one was more subtle than the others--the one guy on the show was wearing a Whitesnake t-shirt. And, it happened to be one of the same shirts I used to own. Of all the running jokes to have, I'm really enjoying this one. I wonder if David Coverdale is paying them for all of this press? If not, he should be.

Wednesday, September 21

bathroom remodel: day 7

Today was grouting day. To add insult to injury, I started to grout and found a loose tile. And then another. And then another. All in all there were six loose tiles. Luckily we had some liquid nails for tile on hand and I was able to reset the tiles. However, now I'm wondering how many more are going to pop up and just why this happened? I mean, this is the 5th room we've tiled in our house and we've never had this problem before. All I can figure is that I spread the mortar too far and it started to dry before I laid the tile. I can only hope this is the case because then all of the tiles won't be affected. All of the tiles that are going to be under the vanity were in perfect shape, of course.

The good news is that we're running out of potential disasters for the project. The other good news is that the satisfaction I get from a finished tile floor, I may get to experience again and again if any other tiles decide to pop up.

last day of vacation

I can't believe I have to go back to work tomorrow. And tomorrow isn't even a telecommuting day! I should've scheduled my vacation better. Yesterday really beat the crap out of me--every last muscle on my body is sore today. Knowing that I'm not going to be in the mood to do any work after grouting the bathroom this evening, I did a bunch of stuff this morning and afternoon--ironed clothes, cleaned the floors, cleaned the kitchen, and various other boring things.

After Jake went to school, I laid on the couch for nearly two hours. And I'm still tired. After he got home, we took the pups outside for some exercise and we picked the rest of the tomatoes and removed the plants from the garden. I also picked a few peppers (my peppers are still growing like mad) and some brussels sprouts. My carrots are still in there, too, but they got a late start. So, I'll leave them in for a few more weeks and then I'll harvest them. Before you know it, it'll be time to plant garlic again.

Anyway, I think I'm going to have to go to bed early tonight if there's any chance that I'm going to wake up for work tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 20

information highway

Apparently the search engine gods have been working overtime recently. Here's how some people have found my blog in the past few days:

MSN searches:
#1 for how to put fascia on
#2 for only a face a mother could love
#4 for the superficial lizzy
#5 for motorcycle safety courses york pa
#5 for go nude aerobics
#24 for whats eating gilbert grape
#37 for lumber rack

Alta Vista search:
#3 for winchester va adult movies

Why this interests me so much, I'm not sure. But it's kind of funny how search engines index things, that's for sure.

bathroom remodel: day 6

Today was ceramic tile day. It came out awesome. We did gray and white in a checkerboard pattern. The tiles were 6"x6" in size. I'm really happy with the job. There was one snag, of course. We bought a box of the ceramic baseboard trim. I started taking the pieces out of the box and they came out in pieces. Uh oh. We ended up just three short. All told, there were six broken pieces that will be going back to Lowe's sometime soon--that stuff's too expensive to chalk up to a loss. There were three other broken pieces that we were able to get parts from. That's a lot of broken stuff. Plus the one box of ceramic tile we ordered was obviously dropped on its side at some point and the ends of half of the tiles were broken off. But at least we were able to use these at the "cut" pieces. And we have a half box of each color left over so there was enough to cover any losses.

Brian took his bike to Lowe's and is trying to buy the pieces we need plus a few extra to have on hand. I sure hope they have them in stock. I hate it when a job is so close to being done, but you can't complete it.

Tomorrow will be an easy day. Brian goes back to work. I'm off for one more day, but I can't work in the bathroom tomorrow because the tile needs to set for 24 hours before it gets any traffic. Tomorrow evening we'll be able to grout. Then, at least the floor will be done. So, I guess during the day I'll get caught up on my other work that I've been ignoring for the past week. A nap would be nice, too.

Monday, September 19

hade remodel: tide 5

Brian managed t' finish up th' plumbin' today. 't seems t' be workin', but we`re goin' t' keep our one good eye on 't fer a wee days t' make sure thar be nay leaks before we close up th' plumbin' access area.

I continued t' work on th' walls. Thar be still much patchin' t' do, but things be finally startin' t' look better in thar.

'tis hard t' believe we`ve been workin' on th' hade fer five days already. I think 'tis on accoun' o' th' plumbin' tookst so long t' do--th' three days 't encompassed seem like one. We`re nay too far off track, tho. I`d say we`re only about a tide behind me virtual schedule at this point. I be kind o' lookin' fore t' Thursday, tho, as we`re takin' th' night off. I`d say se'en days straight be long enough t' work--we deserve a break.

Translation provided by Pirate Speak.

Sunday, September 18

bathroom remodel: day 4

One phrase describes today and that is "plumbing disaster". Of course the way plumbing projects usually go around here, I'm probably being redundant with my phrasing. Actually things went pretty well up to a point--all of Brian's soldered joints worked, so that was definitely a plus. When he turned on the water, one joint was leaking and it was a threaded one. The problem is that something was soldered to the piece connected to the thread, so it could not be tightened.

He took the section of pipe out and then tried to resolder it, but there was water in the lines that we could not get out (for those of you not versed in plumbing, this is a losing proposition). So, we decided to take a different approach and went to the dreaded WalMart to try to find some new parts. They had no copper fittings whatsoever, but I did see a canister of MAPP gas. Brian always uses propane. I read about MAPP gas the last time he had problems soldering something. I tried to find some at Lowe's, but couldn't, so we just stuck with the propane. As it turns out, MAPP gas totally kicks ass. I should add that for three hours, Brian tried to resolder the pipes with propane. After we got the MAPP gas, it took five minutes to resolder the same pipe. That is some good stuff.

Anyway, we turned the water back on again and there was a small leak around the other threaded pipe (do you see a theme here?). To top things off, only hot water is coming through the spigot at the moment. We're hoping it has something to do with the bread we stuffed in the pipe while trying to resolder. With any luck, it will dissolve overnight and everything will be in working order in the morning. The leak seems to have stopped as well, though things like that make me nervous. We'll see how that's working in the morning, too.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Saturday, September 17

bathroom remodel: day 3

Get used to it. I suspect you'll be reading these posts until the end of October.

Today wasn't as productive as I'd hoped. Of course, I'm always way too hopeful about getting stuff done. Plus, we slept in this morning, so we got a later start than we should have. But, we were both beat from the previous two days' work so neither of us set an alarm last night.

I worked on the walls for a bit--patching the plaster and some of the holes. My work is not done yet--we have to put in some new drywall around the tub and where the medicine cabinet used to be. Not quite sure when that's going to happen. And I know we're going to have to cut some holes into the wall for the electrical aspects of the project--those wires have to get through some how. To top things off, I'm going to have to texture paint the room before I paint it. There's no other way for me to get the walls looking presentable since they used to have tile on them and are all bumpy from the adhesive. I had good success with this when we remodeled our kitchen five years ago, but I do not like to texture paint. It makes an incredible mess. Every time I do it, I swear it's the last time. My only consolation is that the bathroom is very small.

Brian spent the day getting the new bathroom fixtures ready to install (no small task). This involved much soldering of pipes, and elbows, and sleeves. (oh my!) I was hoping he'd get them installed today, but we ran out of time. Cutting off the water supply is not something that you want to do at 6pm. So, this is the first thing on tomorrow's agenda.

Friday, September 16

bathroom remodel: day 2

Today went so-so. Brian had an appointment to go to in the late morning, so we didn't really get started until late afternoon. And by started, I mean we mostly pondered how to accomplish certain tasks that need to be done. We also managed to finish up the tub stuff that wasn't completed yesterday.

After supper, we started on the "real" work of the day--installing the concrete backer board for the ceramic tile. We both felt that we needed to accomplish something today and this was just the thing because now we can install the tile whenever we want. This is good because after the tile is installed, we can hook up the new toilet. Having to go up or down a floor in order to use the restroom is not very convenient (especially in the middle of the night and when a five year old boy is involved). So, the sooner the better.

Thursday, September 15

bathroom remodel: day 1

Today started the remodel of our main bathroom. Brian and I are off work for about the next week so we can work on this project. Being the only bathroom in the house with bathing facilities, this required that we accomplish a few things today--namely installing the new tub.

We started working at 9am this morning. Jake, surprisingly, was a big help this morning (don't worry--he was a total pain in the ass the rest of the day so he made up for it). I guess anything that involves destruction, he's into. He helped us remove the (pink) ceramic tile from the walls. He almost did one wall himself! Just before Jake had to leave for school, Brian started to work on the removal of our cast iron tub. The way you remove a cast iron tub is with a sledge hammer, by the way. This took about an hour. We got the truck all loaded up and Brian was off to the dump and to the lumber store to pick up some maple for the vanity he was supposed to have done by now.

While he was gone, I did some clean-up work. When Brian returned, he noticed that we forgot to remove the cabinet above the toilet. Luckily, everything below "eye level" was taken care of. I guess the cabinet will be removed of tomorrow. Good thing we have a shed to store our "garbage" in.

Next, we started on the tub installation. Of course, nothing ever goes how you want. We had to remove some of the plaster from the tub area in order to squeeze the tub in. No big deal because the tub surround is going to cover that area so it won't take much effort to fix. It did take much effort to install, though. After that came the drain plumbing. You'd think this would be easy, but it's not. We got the plumbing to work well enough so that we could all bathe this evening, but it still needs some work tomorrow.

If nothing else, all traces of pink have finally been removed from my house. We'll call it a winner.

Sunday, September 11


I have found pepper nirvana and it is called ground chipotle pepper. It makes everything taste good. Especially bean dips. This evening, Brian and I consumed a recipe of hummus containing some of the aforementioned ingredient. Any time Brian eats a half a recipe of bean dip, you know it's a good recipe.

On another note, I tried drying some cayenne pepers in my microwave today. Previously, I have dried them in my oven with good results, but I didn't want to turn on the oven for just a couple of peppers. After reading this story a while ago, I should've known better than to try another method. My results were much the same. However, I was only doing a test run of two peppers, yet it nearly killed us. I put them in the microwave for 20 seconds. About half way through, one of them popped. I thought that maybe I should put a slit in them so that the popping would not occur. I opened the microwave half way though the cooking time and pepper gas wafted through the house. We were able to dissipate the gas by opening some windows and turning on some fans. I ended up stringing up the peppers and hanging them in the kitchen to dry. So far, so good.

dog run 2005 pictures

Brian put together a little Dog Run photo gallery on his site. Check it out.

Saturday, September 10

dog run 2005

Brian and I participated in the annual Dog Run event today. It was a lot of fun. I wasn't sure how I would like it as my knees and hips always get sore while riding on the back of Brian's bike for any length of time (I suspect I will have to replace some of those joints at some point in the future), but there were stops set up every 25 miles so things worked out pretty well--just when I started to get uncomfortable, we'd get to stop and stretch our legs. We rode with John and his friend Viola and Jeff. John was the only veteran of the Dog Run in the group. When he did it last year, he waited until all of the bikers left. We did this again today and I think it's the way to go. Especially since the "stops" on the run are bars and many people were drinking, it's not a bad idea to stay behind the crowds. You would not believe the amount of bikes lining up Graham Avenue before the event unless you saw it yourself. I can't even imagine what Sturgis must be like.

The end of the run practically goes past our house, so we stopped in to feed the dogs and swap vehicles. There's a big party at Windber Rec after the run. Since Brian planned on drinking there, we took the truck so I could be the designated driver. When we got there, we couldn't believe how many people were there. We weren't able to find Jeff, but about a half hour before we had to leave, we managed to hook up with John and Viola again. Jake was at Brian's parent's today, so we had to go and pick him up at a decent hour. It was a pretty good day and I'm looking forward to the Dog Run next year as well. We're planning on trying out some other runs during the year if our schedule permits.

harry potter and the half-blood prince

I just finished reading this book yesterday and I have to say, much like the other books in the series, I really enjoyed it. I thought it started off kind of slow, but by the time I got near the end, I couldn't put it down. The thing with this series is that the first book was so magical with all of the inventive stuff going on--Quidditch, Hogwarts, all of the cool creatures, etc.--that you don't even care about the story as much as you're revelling in all of the details. But, this is old hat by the time you've read the sixth book so now we're relying on how good the story is. And, this one was good. I, like millions of others, am now axiously awaiting the next book.

Wednesday, September 7

not sharp

Look--I found a blog more boring than mine. It's The dullest blog in the world. Yet, it gets way more hits than I do. Maybe there's something to be said for being the best at something. Even if that something is dullness.

Tuesday, September 6

handsome devil

Here is a picture of Jake in his tux. I think we're going to have our hands full in about 10 years...

Monday, September 5

the tuxeudo disaster that wasn't

Suffice it to say, you don't want to hear the boring tuxeudo story. Though, this weekend has caused me to rename my medication to "Lawbrax" ("Law" being the generic term for any of Brian's relatives). We'll just chalk that experience up to the fact that weddings make everyone crazy and leave it at that.

That said, Jacob was in Brian's cousin's wedding yesterday. He did a great job, thankfully. He was the ring bearer. The wedding was nice and so was the reception. It was held at a place called the Willow Room in Belle Vernon. The food was really good and the wine was excellent. I like it when you go to a wedding and they actually have something good to drink. That happens surprisingly infrequently.

Unfortunately, I was the designated driver, so I only had one glass of wine. But, after not eating for eight hours, it did the trick. And, we were there late enough that the effects wore off before I had to drive us home (of course). I have become the official wedding designated driver because normally there's nothing worth drinking at these affairs. Yesterday was a definite exception.

Brian and his mother took a bunch of photos of Jake, so I'll be posting at least one of them once they are made available to me. Keep watching...