BEFORE WE WERE SOOOO RUDELY INTERRUPTED BY INTERNET GREMLINS... Ok - before team Najuch arrived I had stained and painted the bathroom door. So Janice and I installed that next. By installed, I don't mean INSTALLED really - although that sounds far more impressive (pack leader did that) - I mean that we hoisted it back up on it's hinges. And I think, to Rich's total shock (since he keeps pointing out that it came out nicely every so often in amazement), it came out quite nice. As I said earlier - on the bathroom side, it's white:
And then Janice started to clean. And clean. And clean. There was a whole lot of dust and tools and junk everywhere - and if we were ever going to be able to use those two rooms they were going to need some major spick and spanning before the end of the day. So she started scrubbing her bubbles off, while I caulked from here to Nantucket. This involved redefining the Thin Blue Line because I had to use up three rolls of painters tape almost masking the darn thing off. But it ended up with a nice clean finish... and then I touched it up with semi gloss white. And really, considering this is one long continuous edge... it goes on FOREVER...
Next I had to caulk the vanity...which was a challenge on a number of fronts. We had to install shoe molding (or something that I call shoe molding that is actually wider than shoe molding...but I don't know what the heck it really is) to fill the half inch gap between the wall and the vanity itself. We realized when it went on that it needed a 'bridge' as it were. At first it looked kinda icky - but I realized that's cuz the pre-primed molding isn't as glossy white as the glossy white of the vanity. It's kind of glossy eggshell. So after a little semi gloss trim white and some caulk - the vanity looked dandy. There was also a tricky matter of the gap between the countertop and the wall - and even though it was only about 1/4 of an inch - it did not look all that great just floating between the walls. Sooo after much debate (molding wouldn't curve the way the countertop backsplash curved... and white caulk would look just icky) we went with the grey sanded 'silver shadow' caulk that we picked up to bridge the gap between the tile and the wall paint - and it's the same color as the wall paint so it actually created a really nice fill between the countertop edge and the wall. At first I filled it in too much and had a line of caulk running ON the countertop - and Rich came in and made a face like he'd been gargling sour gummies and pickle juice. So then I tried wiping it all away - and the caulk just remained right below the counter top surface. Which looked VERY acceptable. See - team work will out.
It was around this time that we realized our first head-knocking 'i should have had a V8" moment in quite a while. Except it wasn't quite as cute as those commercials and involved a lot more swear words. See the drawers to the vanity had not been slid in place yet because we didn't want them to get ruined or knocked or banged up during all the painting, tiling, etc. that we've been doing. So - the vanity was installed quite a while ago (as you may recall) and the toilet was installed as well before we tied. Then we tiled. So - vanity - check, tile - check, toilet - check. Drawers. Not check. See Janice went to slide the drawers into their runners and realized that one thing had not been taken into consideration. Once the toilet was installed, there wasn't enough distance to get the drawers into position to slide them into the vanity on the one side. I mean no way. We tried, and tried, and tried, and tried. And then Rich tried. And then Bob tried (and looked at us like we were all dumb asses for making this mistake). Po would have tried if she had opposable thumbs. They were not fitting. I at this point started to whimper. After all the effort to put the toilet in, there was no way Rich was gonna take it back out again. So Bob suggested that Janice try and pry off the face of one of the drawers to see if we could slide them in with that extra distance and then glue the face back on. Janice, in her undying desperation to see our bathroom match our hopes and dreams...got a little over zealous.
Despite her very best efforts, she did not get the Bob seal of approval on this particular venture. Which led to some playful banter. And by banter I mean death threats. Anyway - so this particular drawer may be the first true casualty of the Huntington Renovation... The plan right now is to glue the murdered drawer on as a facing only and then try and see what we can do with the other two. Who knows. The worst part of it all really was considering how hard Rich has worked on everything that he had to deal with something just so minute and dumb that is now causing such a problem. I mean the poor guy has practically built pyramids and for us to run into this RIGHT on the cusp of the bathroom being totally done. Sucked. The only good thing - there was no possible way that this was my fault. Which prevented me having to move to Omaha and entering the witness protection program. :) It's so much better when he makes a mistake...it makes me feel like even Pack Leaders are human too.
So after this lovely debacle - Janice and I decided (after an intimate memorial service for the drawer) to tackle one of our biggest challenges to date as team Tweedle.
Now to you average run-of-the mill COMPETENT people, a towel rack is no big shakes. But for US it was like preparing to climb Mount Everest. Wearing a bathing suit and crocs. So we were supposed to put two of these up. And there was nowhere with good stud placement for us to put them. See when we BUILT the wall Janice clevely remembered to write "TOWELRACK" in big letter in between one of the studs where we were supposed to put a support. NOT cleverly WE managed to stare at that every day and still drywall the thing without DOING that. So we decided to place them in the "most likely to not cause total devastation" location to the left of the shower. Which connected to Rich's office where the studs are bare. So we could technically get some supports to screw into placed wherever they were needed. And then we would screw through the cement backer board and drywall (depending on the location) into the support. Dandy. We opened up the package and the instructions said "Installation time 15 minutes." So Janice and I LAUGHED at that for fifteen minutes to start with - and then we began.
See, and NOW you're expecting some big hysterical story about how Janice and I screwed up everything and the walls fell down and the tile cracked and now the bathroom is ruined. Well up your nose with a rubber hose, ok, because it DIDN'T. We actually rocked the house. AND we maneuvered our way around the gigantic steel I beam that runs through Rich's office EXACTLY where we needed to screw things in too. So there. We drilled little holes in the wall and then Janice found them on the other side of the wall - then we cut two by four to slip in between the studs, covered it with liquid nails and screwed through the wall...grabbing the two by four...squeezing the liquid nails against the wall as it tightened. We were Tweedle Dee-licious. And it only took us about an hour to get both of them up...which for us is like Guiness Book of World Records noteworthy.
About this time the men-folk were ready to haul the old water heater (which had heated the water for the Evil Bathroom of Death) out of my office (new laundry room (waaah)) and down to the street. First they had to drain the thing - which meant Rich's favorite personal activity, syphoning crap through a hose. This time it turned out to be not quite as nasty... and it started gurgling down the stairs without a hitch.
As they prepared the thing for it's exodus (by maneuvering it onto a dolly) Janice discovered an interesting discovery behind it.
A whole bunch of those sunlight simulation flourescent lights that you use to grow things. And there was also this big frame with plastic over it. Kept in an unfinished concrete room that no one ever went into. Janice thinks someone might have been...um... treating glaucoma.
So after CSI Huntington finished it's deliberation, the fellers began the 'heavy hauling' section of the day. The water heater was ka-thunked down the stairs on the dolly without too much drama...
But then came the bear. The time had come to remove the goofy kitchenette thing that had been our only pathetic excuse for a kitchen. This catastrophe of design is a bizarre hotplate, sink, cabinet abortion which didn't work, took up space and made the living room look like something out of a Depression Era Hooker-with a heart of gold B-movie. So we were thrilled to see it ripped out of the wall. However, it weighed wayyyy more than we anticipated. I mean this thing was way, way heavier than the washer and dryer. Combined. So once again this involved Super Bob doing his impression of Atlas and getting below the 12 ton object d'jour and Rich clutching on to the dolly handle with dear life as they lowered it down a stair at a time. My job was to stay at the bottom of the stairs and hold the door. I think bob has be do this, because he knows that if the heavy object DOES fall and kill him...at least the chances are that he'll get to take m me with him :)
And Janice and I managed to tackle the toilet paper rack as well. Now - you are going to find this truly unbelievable...but the toilet paper rack was a source of great debate and concern amongst the Tweedles. See this was a case where there was only ONE wall where this could go. And we DEFINITELY DEFINITELY forgot to plan for this puppy. So learn from our mistakes kids. Before you wall up your bathroom - MAKE SURE you put 2x4 supports for your towel racks and your toilet paper holder). Anyway - so the wall where it had to live was drywall on one side and tile on the other. So there was no way we were gonna be able to sneak any extra support in anywhere. Cuz if it's one thing Janice and I ain't screwing with....it's that darn tile. So - it had to go on a stud. And there was only one appropriate stud on the wall which is kind of farther behind where you would normally want your toilet paper reaching to occur. So - Janice and I spent about fifteen minutes trying to figure out the most ergonomic HEIGHT for this toilet paper rack if it was going to go in this position. And, yes, this involved the two of us sitting on the toilet seat (lid down, of course...we're tweedles not philistines) and enacting OVER AND OVER AND OVER the toilet paper reaching action. It was like an ad for an oblique ab lounger. And it turns out that the height when the paper is right at your side (rather than in front to your side) is easier when it's heigher than you would imagine putting it. Because the diagonal distance increases your reaching length - so you aren't having to squeeze against yourself to reach your arm round. This was very scientific. However... we felt we needed pack leader approval. About the time we asked Rich to sit down and experiment with toilet paper location he thought we had totally lost it. So we went with our instinct.
And, when Jean Anne came to visit and inspect the progress, she said "why is the toilet paper rack so high"...you bet: we made her test-pilot the T.P.
I can say... having now used the toilet paper several times 'in the course of duty' as it were... it turned out dandy. And we didn't break any tile drilling - which is way more important.
At this point Bob had to go back to Ohio to work with people who actual know what they are doing. But, before he took off, the bathroom was pronounced officially ready for business. Minus drawer. Oh, oh... wait..Rich had to install the window blind. Because, since the bathroom faces right out onto Jefferson Street...we want to put on a show... but not THAT kind of a show.
Actually we still had to wait for B.A. Young to come and install the baseboard heat (which would need molding around it) and to install the two ceiling fixtures... but in terms of usage - it was ready to go. And, amazingly, it didn't take too much begging for Rich to allow me to record the historic event:
And, I must say, it's deeeelightful. It's amazing how much more civilized you feel when you can start the day by getting clean somewhere where you can actually get clean. When you were feeling paint come off in large peeling chunks between your toes in the other shower... it just didn't help the whole 'feeling fresh' thing. I've even had a bath. A real live bath. Now we just have to address the finishing touches in there... mirrors and our pictures and stuff. The mirrors are a challenge - because there is a window right in front of the vanity - but we have shaving mirrors to attach to the walls, and a nice big mirror to hang on the wall to the side...so we'll be able to shave without slashing ourselves to bits.
After Bob left, you might think we went into full "cat's away" mode...but NO. Rich was very keen to get the washer and dryer installed so we ploughed right into demolishing the walls that had housed the alcove for that goofy kitchenette. They were only barely framed in there...and the just drywall panels... so it came out in no time at all.
And then Rich, with the aid of his handy assortment of crowbars, managed to pry up the flooring platform (and, amazingly, ONLY one layer of linoleum).
And, when that alcove was out, we were AMAZED at how much bigger the room was. So, all my original boo-hoo-ness about my office being overcome by the washer and dryer was really not necessary. It really seeemed to add another 25 percent of square footage to the room - which was awesome.
And that, my friends, marked the end of the weekend. Lots more catch up to do... I'm on it. xo jojo.