So I said that I'd finish yesterday's blog in the morning... didn't happen. Sorry. Nothing at all happened today of great note. We all slept in - me, Po, and yes - Even Rich. We had errands to run... a Lowe's trip...unlimited pasta bowl... you know the drill by now :) At the unlimited pasta bowl our waiter was an endless font of creativity... he actually asked us if we wanted him to bring each of us TWO of the smaller SECOND serving pasta bowls at once (they give you a big serving first and smaller ones after... but Rich discovered you can ask for smaller ones first so you aren't too full to try another flavor). So - you get to try two flavors at once. Who'd have thunk! I predict great things for this young man.
We went to a big second hand furniture store to look for filing cabinets for my office (we want to make me a big desk using them as side supports). But the prices were like way too expensive for used furniture... I mean, you would have thought 'used' was a bonus feature... Someone needs to explain to the me the difference. 'Used BY' is more expensive: 'used by marilyn monroe". USED just means 'used by someone's aged maternal aunt who accidentally peed on it while watching the Price is Right'. So - our filing cabinet search continues. We've noticed this difference in Indiana a LOT. In NY, for instance on Craigslist (which, if you don't know, is a vast free-classified posting service online) in NY when people were selling stuff - they had to sell it CHEAP. Because people in NY don't have trucks... so you had to make it worth the while of the person who had to arrange to lug the crap you didn't want out of your apartment. And very often people are selling things because they HAVE to in NY... they have to move into a smaller apartment, and if they can't get rid of it by move-in day - it's going to have to be left on the street. Because otherwise THEY have to pay to get rid of it. And, I guess, because New Yorkers are so transient - there is way too much stuff online for sale for you to not price your junk competitively. Case in point, leather couches. We want a chocolate leather couch for the lobby.. and in NY they would go second hand for like 300 bucks MAX or no one would bite. Here used leather sofas are listed for like $1,000. It's kind of nutty. But people have more space here....they have garages... they can hang on to stuff until they get the price they want.
We also managed to grab a few minutes (since we were driving by) to stop into the fun pet store that's on the Home Depot route that always has wiener dog puppies. They had an ADORABLE dappled grey and brown little boy that we played with for a while. Rich, who never really gets sucked in by cuteness, was even suckered by this little guy. In the process of this Rich notices that the cute little puppy has these kind of funny crossed eyes... and he says "Oh wow - his eyes are really crossed - how funny" and I look, and they are (and it's really kind of endearing...and I said (knowing that you couldn't like show a dog at a dog show that wasn't a perfect example of the breed) I say, "I wonder if that means he's less expensive". And we happen to look up at the girl who has brought the dog out for us and is still standing right there. She looks like this:
Clearly, we should not be let out in public.
I didn't finish telling you about the grout... well I'm at the point now where I've pretty much given up trying to follow any instructions on any sort of powder-requiring-water mix product on the market. They all have these dumb comic book picture instructions on the back...with now wording - and they don't really help all that much at all. As you've heard me bemoan in the past - they only tell you how much water to use for the entire package - and we never need to USE that much at a time. So I've reached the point where I think I know enough to recognize the correct consistency, and I just eyeball it. I'm sure it will come back to haunt me... but it seems to be doing ok for the moment :)
So I mixed the grout to about the consistency of thick mud (the kind that grips to your shoes) and then went to town with the 'grout float' - that foam pad thing that you use to push the grout into the line spaces. This isn't that hard - you just have to remember to keep running the float over the tile diagonally, because otherwise the lip of the float will push out too much grout and you won't have even lines. I really want the floor to be sturdy (particularly since I'm now having jitters that the notched trowel we used for the floor didn't have big enough notches - so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there is enough mortar gripping the tile to the backer board :( ) so I was really working hard to push the grout deep into the gaps and really fill them up. So you end up sort of doing a zillion mini push ups - pressing both your hands into the floor and pressing over and as you slide the float repeatedly across the floor. It took like an hour to do I guess. Then you have to wait forty five minutes before you remove the excess. But - since that was the only actual WRITING on the instructions whatsoever - I figured they thought it was pretty important.
Cue jeopardy theme music.
Forty five minutes later I started scrubbing with the sponge. You have to do two things at this stage - remove all the excess grout - and smooth your grout lines the way you want them to appear when they have become solid - so if you want that little concave curve in the grout, that's when to run a wet finger along each line. We didn't need to worry about that because the grout lines are not that wide...but there was A LOT of scrubbing. I wanted Rich to help me - but we only had one sponge that we could find - and with no sponge, moral support was all he could offer. (I think he hid the sponge :) ) This was hard, hard work. I had nooooo idea it would be this difficult. I don't mean difficult, like, advanced... I just mean exhausting. You really have to scrub to get the already partially dried excess guck off of the face of the tile, and and then you have gently rub the sponge along the grout line to smooth them. Little circular motions are best... and you can't get too violent because then you'll be pressing into the grout lines and pull out some of what you actual want to remain. But it takes some real elbow grease... and after an hour on your hands and knees you feel like Cinderella had it pretty easy. I had to take a couple five minute breaks because my arms got so tired I just didn't have the gumption to be effective any more. But - finally - I got them all clear, and I was wiped out.
And - as you know - I was falling asleep mid-blog I was so tuckered out. But it looks really, really nice. I'm quite proud of myself for my first big tile job. And now we just have to seal it. But before that - we learned from one of our handy dandy DIY books - that we're supposed to spritz it with water twice over the next forty eight hours. You're supposed to keep dampening it to extend the drying time. Apparently the longer it takes to dry, the stronger it will cure and the longer it will last. Which - if you think about it makes sense... cuz if you makes something expand and contract too fast it will crack. So this slows down that process to something more gradual. So - late tomorrow we can seal the stuff up.
We were going to lay linoleum today - but we had too much stuff going on - and we were really both kind of wiped. We actually may reschedule linoleum in our to do list - because Janice arrives tomorrow to help me tile the shower, and Rich has determined that I am kind of messy when I do these projects. So he figures it's better to wait until after the last big Jo Jo project in the area before we lay down our nice new floor. There is a certain logic :) So tomorrow - he'll probably sheet rock the hallway which links the new wing to the old wing, and fix the baseboard thing that runs along that area. We also got the extra draw pulls that we needed (they bout a bunch at that Home Depot clearance - but we ended up buying additional cabinets - and LUCKILY this Home Depot had the same style. At Home Depot I also discovered a handled sponge thing that is especially for scrubbing excess grout on the surface of tile. I think it will make things a lot easier on my weary and out-of-shape arms. I bought two.
Legally Blonde - which they taped live on Broadway - has been scheduled for broadcast on Oct 13 on MTV. Watch it. If you have teenage daughters MAKE IT A FAMILY DATE. Yes, Cindy... I mean YOU. You won't regret it. It's adorable, and brilliant, and fun. That's an order. I will be catering a wedding at the time (Yes, there will be breaded pork at the wedding) and our TIVO had BETTER NOT screw anything up :)
No driving today :( And Cindy had to reschedule volleyball time for tomorrow.
The cast for the reading I'm doing in November in NY is starting to come together... it's a neat cast... when it's signed, sealed, and delivered, I'll let you know.
Anyway - this was a guilt blog because I told you I wouldn't ignore you today... So even though nothing happened, you still know I love ya baby.
xo jo jo