Weekend Warriors. Why oh, why oh, did they go back to Ohio?

So Rich's 'rents - Bob and Janice returned home yesterday after a marathon weekend of helping us out. Janice learned about the personal hell that is wallpaper stripping and Bob did more manual labor on his days off than I think most people do in a lifetime. He seems to like it. Lucky, lucky, lucky us. Word is that he's upset that after this coming weekend their schedules won't allow them to return for another month. If he's a glutton for punishment, call us gourmet chefs! BOB THE BUILDER - removing a light that, frankly, was rigged less securely than a chandelier at the Phantom's place.

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Janice also manages to bring whole home-cooked meals with her from Ohio. I'd like to think it's out of maternal love - but I also think she doesn't want to have to eat anything prepared in the scariest stovetop on earth (residing in our living room). Either way - hot, tasty food is gobbled with glee.

The weekend was spent primarily getting the storefront ready. Although Rich and I are chomping at the bit for a bathroom and kitchen, there is only so much that can be done before electrical and plumbing people do their thing... so, since the storefront will hopefully help PAY for 'their thing'... we tackled it. The storefront is primarily in need of a lot of TLC - it seems like any time something needed done in there over the past hundred years it's been a surface fix. Paint has never been stripped... linoleum never removed - just covered over. And I think when we're done it's gonna be really nice. Rich and Bob closed off one of the rooms so that, in a few months, it can be opened up from the foyer and turned into our handicapped bathroom. They patched a lot of sheet rock - which leads to...

My first anti-product placement. Joel is NOT a fan of the fibreglass drywall tape... it's a pain in the keester to joint compound over... it takes like four coats because it's so thick and the mesh keeps showing through every time you skim. This household is switching over to drywall tape, for the forseeable future. So, Bob Villa, call me names if you must... but I didn't like that stuff one bit.

We took out a door frame and are rounding the sides - attaching quarter round and blending it to the wall with a sheetrock plug... It's gonna look really nice - I'll put up pics when it's done. We bought carpet for the main room in store and then linoleum for the bathroom. Oh, and new lighting fixtures. The air conditioner that was in there was dead and routed in a weird way so Rich started shopping out an alternative. They also took out a DOUBLE...yes, DOUBLE - radiator from the storefront. Easy peasey so I'm told. Progress kids... the learning curve over here would make Darwin's day. And since he's been dead quite a while, I'm sure he could use a pick me up.

My big discovery of the day was that spreading joint compound is EXACTLY the same skill as icing a cake with a smooth surface. "AWESOME" you say... "Joel - you make cakes all the time". "Yes!" I reply, "and I SUCK at smoothing the icing"... but I'm getting the hang of it... AND, boys and girls, when you're done you can smooth the stuff with sandpaper to fix it. This, to my knowledge, does not work so well with cakes. But don't put it past me to try.

The morning before Bob and Janice, Super-Parents, returned to their mild-manored Ohio weekday alter-egos, we did get our first crack at DEMO! I have to report with great sadness that the Jesus room is no more :( The mural gave up it's life so that we might have a kitchen and a bathroom. The wall had to be taken out and moved forward a foot so that we can fit the tub in.

BC and AD...

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Now, see, I'm learning new things every day cuz I would have just taken a hammer and gone WHAP. But no. You're supposed to start from an edge and pry up the sheetrock - because the 'whap approach' could hit plumbing or electrical. Which, I am told, is not good. So we did it the right way. It's amazing how long it takes to tear something down. I always thought the destruction part would be faster than the putting up part - and maybe it is - but this still is a heck of a job. The three of us spent about two solid hours to get it to the state you see in that picture. Part of the problem was the doorways all have these solid metal quarter-round frames on each side, all the way around. And they are nailed into the frame AND they have this three inch wire mesh the concrete sheetrock was joined to. So it's really tough to get them out. After lots of dust and lots of sweat though, we made serious headway - and looked like those scary people in white makeup from Apocolypto.

MEL GIVES BOB, JOEL AND RICH TIPS ON DEMOLISHING DRYWALL.

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So after that - the Najuch's drove away and left us to our own devices. Here goes nothin'.