Sunday, June 20, 2010

Home Renovations with Mom....... and the dog.

My birthday will be here soon and I never ask for anything as I need nothing!  However this year I would like someone to give me a small animal, or anything that can swing a 2x4.  Please tie it to my belt.  When my mouth opens and says; "Wow!  What a lovely day to replace....... "  Whip out that 2x4 and just give me a good whack upside the head!

Hmmmmm, Saturday, feeling fried from the work week and the thermometer is well on it's way to 90 degrees with 90% humidity (and it's not raining) and my inside voice says..... Hey, what about that bathroom leak around the tub?
Abby is home, up early, 10:30 a.m. and making a stellar breakfast for champions;  toast.

Good Morning, I chirp!  Not letting on the plans for the day.

I run upstairs; comb my hair, brush my teeth and put a clean tee shirt on.  Abby meets me on the stairs and steps back; "Whoa, Mom where you going?"
Home Depot I announce.
She bursts into laughter and says;  "Whoa Mom, dream big!"
Hey, Princess put your rhinestone flip flops on cause you're going with me!
But MOM, I have a noon coffee date with Dan to go over lesson plans.
Well then we better hurry!  I'll be waiting in the truck!

Out the door and in the truck I debrief her.  Running from the parking lot and pushing our lumber cart I see the oldest Home Depot customer ...... ever!  I wonder if it will be me in 30 years;  hobbled and bent from years of working on your knees or over your head.  Using your head to hold up 4' x 8' piece of plywood while you fumble for your air hammer and 100 feet of compressor hose rapped around your neck.  Cramming your body into a crawl space meant for a mouse when you have the frame of NFL linebacker. With his neck fixed to one side, in a flannel shirt, original Levi's, untied work shoes, bent and shuffling along the edge of the parking lot, clutching his return of 6 screws.

Abby yells; MOM STOP, you cannot run over this guy.  As we pass he glances over;  I say Hi and offer him a ride!  We race past and he mumbles something while working his way to the entrance.
We crash the door, wave the Home Depot Greeter away and find exactly the shower doors I need and the invisible caulk.
Problem #1:  The tub doors I need are in the ethers of Home Depot!  Go to Depot defcon 2 with super sonic listening and I hear a guy talking in Home Depot tongues, one aisle over.  I bee line over.  Waiting patiently while he talks the talk on rain bucket shower heads and faucets to a young glassy eyed couple on their very first trip to the Depot.  Asking him if he is in charge of tub doors?  He is large with red hair and chubby tummy wearing his orange apron, plastered with pins and Depot awards.  He flashes a toothy grin and announces;  Ma'am I am the store manager.
I flash my pearly whites back and say;  Great! can you get a shower door down from the netherlands of the top shelf?
Well, No I can't but here comes Joe!  Great!
I grab Joe as two other couples grab for him I whisk him away to my aisle.
Abby is standing guard at the last B28 door on the rack!   ABBY I HAVE JOE!
"GET IT" I command Joe.  I leave Abby with Joe and the lumber cart while I run to the garden dept.    to buy a sprinkler and hose connector.  I run back and find her wandering and dragging the lumber cart (which only wants to go in circles once you have a full load) with the Home Depot glazed and confused stare.

Problem #2:  Not enough employees work on Saturday mornings!
Sorry it took me so long!  I forgot I had a tape measure clipped to my belt and I was stopped by too many old men asking;  "Hey, Do You Work Here?"  I directed them to aisle 6, aisle 9 and somewhere in the back of the store.  Let's get out of here!  We made it in half an hour!!  A record and promptly ran over the little old man still working his way to the entrance in the parking lot!  Sorry...... I just know I am going to end up like this guy!

We wrestle the glass doors up the staircase to the second floor bedroom.  Visions of showering by late afternoon dance in my head.

Off to dismantle the bathroom.........

By 1:00 p.m. I was on my way.  I had hung these door several ago and due to a problem reading directions printed in Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic and finally English I cut the side bars wrong and had been holding them together with Liquid Nails and Duct Tape.  Let's just suffice to say....... it leaked. It was a tiny little leak and there were so many other things wrong with the house this seemed like a small matter.  After a few years of telling myself;  Oh don't worry because right now you don't have a kitchen floor and who needs running water?   Well now I know my kitchen floor probably disintegrated from a tiny little drip.  And then there was the 
infestation of carpenter ants I battled three years ago and thought I won.  The buggers did more damage than I thought possible and now wonder why the tub isn't in the dining room.  Thought I had a couple loose tiles.  I pulled up one tile and just kept going........ 


By three o'clock I was drenched in sweat, carried every tool I owned into the bathroom and had a dog standing over me panting,  whadda ya doin' now?  Find a ball?   Why oh why can't he have thumbs and hand me a screwdriver?  

By 6 p.m. I was calling Butch and telling him to shower at him Mom's or be prepared to get hosed down in the driveway.  He never got the message and rolled in the house around 8 p.m.  He had two days of chaos and not eaten but I threw him in the truck and ran back to the Depot to look for tub surrounds.  
Poor guy was flat lined and we came home empty handed.  What to do?  I was about out of gas for the day.  Told him I would clean the place up and hand him a bucket to wash up with.  He had other ideas 
and ran to our other favorite store, Walmart.  Grabbed a fine plastic shower curtain and rod and tossed it up.  We all showered and hit the sheets by midnight.  

Getting up this morning I was hoping the tub brownies would have been busy all night but Nope, still a mess.  Make coffee, and jump back in.  

The kit was two doors and about 100 pieces and parts all vacuum sealed in plastic onto cardboard.  Who sits in a little room and thinks this is a good idea?  GRRRRRRR!!!!   
And because we live in this very old Victorian lady, nothing is straight or in alignment.  Of course tweaking had to be done.  I had a miter box and my rusty trusty hacksaw.  Measure twice, cut once and we will be showering by noon.  

Putting the sidebars, made of lightweight aluminum, in my miter box I begin to saw........ and saw and saw.  I kick into hyper saw and realize I am getting nowhere, fast.  What is up with this saw?  I grab the saw and run downstairs, the dog fast on my heels, to my coffee sipping husband sitting on the patio reading the paper in his bare feet.  Hey, did you use this?  I ask waving it over my head.  
Um, yeah but I just used the tips.  
For what?
Well I lost the key to the carbon die cast Master Lock on the dock box and I sawed it off.  But I only used the tip of the saw on the front and the back, I'm pretty sure I didn't use the middle.  

Ran in the house grabbed my wallet and back to the Depot to find a hacksaw.  Do you know how many hacksaw designs are out there?  My favorite, made in Sweden and a mere $39.00.  Nix that choice and go for the $14.99 made in the USA.  Cuts like butt-a!  Wow, what a difference!  

Get the side rails up and realize the jig set up at the factory leaves a big gap at the bottom.  Hey I have a new hacksaw and pretty sure I can take a smidge off the bottom.  But then Butch chimes in, a grinder would be much better.  So off to the studio we go carrying all the pieces with us.  Move the grinder to the table, find an extension cord and we commence grinding.  Lightly touching the aluminum side bar to the grinder is morphs into an "S" bend and crumbles.  Cursing profusely I shut the grinder off and hear my dear smiling husband say, No problem!  I can bend it back with a pair of pliers.  NO!  It will look like crap!  I dig in my Grandpa's ancient tool box and score a ball peen hammer!  Off to the vise and a woman's gentle touch and good as new.  Back to the miter box and hack saw!  45 minutes later the sidebars are up and tight! 

Slowly we progressed throughout the day.  By 3 p.m. we were caulked and can I just say I suck at caulk!  I googled this, watched YouTube videos and felt pretty confident I could caulk.  By the time I was done I had caulk in my hair, all over my hands, I consoled the dog who looked worried by scratching his ears inadvertently caulking his ears to his head, while sitting in the tub caulking the lower seam I sealed my legs together....... and then I tried to get up.  You squeeze the little lever and stuff squirts out the end. Run a bead, run your finger down the bead and how hard can it be?  To stop the ooze coming out the end my head said stop squeezing but it keeps squirting out the end.  I finally figured out I need to release the pressure on the back end and it would slowly ease up.  What a mess!  By the time I worked my way around the tub I was getting pretty good with a tube a caulk!   Look at that bead! 



Tomorrow we attempt to fix the floor! 

1 comment:

  1. So, after reading this adventure I take it that hooking the garden hose over the back fence for showering sounds better and better. I saw and article years ago that showed how someone took and old claw-foot tub and put it in their backyard as a soaking pool for summer. while that looked great and I've always been tintilated with the notion (and I do know where I can lay my hands on a claw-foot tub...) I just know it would turn into all the nightmares connected with your shower adventure. Thanks for scaring me off on that one!