Demolition Derby. Aug 16, 07

Today was all about rubble. We spent the day whacking out the last of the walls and portions of former walls that had to go to make way for the new kitchen and bath. The tiny little air conditioner in our living room is like three rooms away from that area - so it got pretty darn hot. Rich and I were fairly soaked after a couple of hours of bashing away with the crowbar and mallet. Those mallets are really heavy - just lifting the thing over your head on a ladder over and over makes your arms tired. Can you tell I need to get back to the gym? Although we carried junk up and down the stairs to the foyer so many times today I think in the morning I'll have felt like I did a marathon loop tape of Buns of Steel. So after loading six big trash cans with yanked 2x4 and crumbled concrete dry-wall and wire mesh and other crap we got those downstairs and started in on cleanup. I am not making this up... it took like an hour and half just to sweep and vaccuum the place.... there was so much dust and gravel and stuff. I've got to say - once again - God Bless the man who invented the Shop Vac. I never really understood what the point of those things was until we moved here - but let me tell you - if you ever need to do big clean up jobs - they are INCREDIBLE. It's kind of like having a tornado in a tube... if it fits in the tube, it'll probably suck it down. Does that sound rude? i didn't mean it to.

Anyway - after that we had our Olive Garden spaghetti leftovers. Can you tell we are loving the Olive Garden? Let me explain why. No kitchen... and the Olive Garden has unlimited soup/salad and breadsticks. So we go... Rich eats enough salad for your average Jersey Cow's daily greenery intake... and I suck down a couple bowls of Pasta Fagioli. So by the time we get our entrees we can hardly touch them and we get them to go. So - we end up with two meals - AND one of them comes home to be microwaved. Which - with no kitchen - is pretty darn great. Anyway - tangent. Sorry.

After our meatball happiness it was time to yank up the old floor. The whole raised area of the old tiny toilet area (2x6 platform so the plumbing could be set underneath) got removed (carefully so we didn't damage the pipes)... and then we had to get up the linoleum. I was AMAZED how easy this was... It was so old that most of the glue was totally gone or had separated... so we were able to just kind of accordian pleat the the stuff across the floor. We'd fold up about two feet of it in a length. Hop up and down to make a sharp crease and then ripped it along the seam into a big strip. So that all came up in like ten minutes - and I thought it was gonna take hours. There WAS a fine film of paper where the glue was still holding on - that had separated from the main body of linoleum so Rich - ingenious little critter that he is - used a SNOW SHOVEL to scrape it off the floor.

THE OLD THEATER ADAGE: NO BUSINESS LIKE SNOW BUSINESS. rich-snow-shovel.jpg

After getting the linoleum up it was clean up and vacuum time again. How fun. BUT while doing that Rich discovered four half dollars from years between 1938 and 41... so clearly they were lost there when the building was renovated in 41...which must have been the linoleum went down in this room. Rich is going to clean them up. They are worth four bucks now... we we can buy a couple of sheets of drywall with our lost treasure. But the thing is... think about how much two dollars (four fifty cent pieces) would be worth then... Rich looked it up - and the person who's pocket from which they fell lost the equivalent of twenty bucks. That's a lot for a laborer in 1940. It made me a little sad. :( I hope our linoleum didn't cause some guy to have trouble making ends meet for a week.

So THEN we had to lug all of our efforts downstairs and get all of it into the truck so Rich could drive it to the dump in the morning. The six trash cans... the five gallon buckets of rubble... the linoleum. Down the stairs... into the truck. Look how much CRAP we demolished out of that area in ONE DAY.

CHEVY: LIKE A ROCK. OR RATHER... FULL OF ROCKS. debris-truck.jpg

So - our last task of the day was to make a start on the sub-floor. Tool master Rich measured the gaps in the floor where there were missing floorboards or uneven areas and cut plywood fills to make sure the new floor would have a relatively even surface to rest on. Then we started carrying the 4x8 sheets of ply UP the stairs. I do NOT recommend doing this at the END of work day. Arms tired. Grouchy. Whiny. ARghgh. Anyway - we got four sheets of the stuff up... and made a good start on laying it down. Apparently each piece of the the ply has to get like fifty screws in it (i'm not kidding) so that it will be secure and not buckle, or squeek or creak or shift. Now, I was told in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that the screws have to be sunk below the surface of the ply - cuz if they stick out at all they will rip through the linoleum when you walk on it. There will be pop quiz on this stuff later, kids. So we just secured it today (yes, folks - I got to screw things) and then tomorrow when Bob and Janice arrive (hurrah!) Janice and I will have the fun job of putting in eight million screws while the men-folk do more hefty, technical, wiring-basmenty type things. So I get screwed. Or rather the floor does. :)

Here's the sub floor already - it's amazing how it already starts to make the room look a little more finished.

SEMI-SUBBED subfloor.jpg

So that's all for tonight. At nine tonight I had a phone lesson with one of my students in NY who wants to continue classes over the phone. Bless him... another couple sheets of drywall paid for. :) Then we were barely able to chew our leftover pizza we were so tired... and two thirds of the household is already tucked in for the night. Sounds smart to me.

Sweet Dreams... Jo Jo.