20 July 2016
Everything has been going quite well but the toilet broke and I left a message for the plumber to please fix it before Thursday when I'd be back- thus giving 4 days for the repair. I was so excited as I drove to the farm Thursday because Rick was coming Friday and he hadn't seen the progress for 6 weeks- so much had been done. But when I arrived on Thursday, the toilet wasn't fixed and that same sense of despair flattened me out, not to mention that the temperature was to be in the 90's for the whole weekend.
With so many things planned, including some fun time, I hated to call Rick to say he shouldn't come because I had a broken toilet. But when I did, he said he'd go to Lowe's, get the new wax ring and other parts and come fix the toilet. If he couldn't fix it, he'd leave and so would I.
Thursday, I worked at finishing the laundry room, which now that I've thrown out the dirty and highly questionable washing machine, has become the utility room. From the kitchen, I added a closet going into the utility room to recess the refrigerator. I framed the wall last week and this week started to apply the tongue-and-groove pine boards to close the two rroms from each other.
Once the boards were secured (notice I ran out of boards for the corner :-( ) , I primed and painted them, put together a 6' tall shelving unit and added other practical organizational items.
I've been going to garage sales to buy things for the farm that don't need to be new. I was lucky to get this back-of-the-door shoe holder for $2 (brand new in the package which said $14.95!) which I immediately thought would be great for all the cleaning supplies I have been using to erase the years of grime and neglect. It worked out better than I thought, with room for light bulbs, extension cords, some painting supplies, flower cutting shears and garden gloves. It's the most sophisticated and accessible "junk drawer" I've ever had!
Over 20 years, Rick and I have worked together on 6 whole house renovations- 3 for ourselves and 3 to flip. We both like the work and both have individual strengths to bring to the project. We've spent so many hours at it, we've learned to dance around the stressful spots, give credit to each other when a compliment is due and have an ease of chatter as we go through the steps of improvement.
He arrived on Friday with the bag of fix-its from Lowe's and started on the toilet. After 4 hours, the toilet was fixed and runs better than ever. It was a much better solution than buying a composting toilet which I was seriously considering!
You may remember, I had a hole in the bedroom ceiling.
The contractor who was coming 2 weeks ago never showed up and didn't return my calls. He was charging me $450 to sheetrock 2 ceilings. I had seen a picture of a ceiling from underlayment (which is a 1/4" plywood but with one finished side) which looked pretty good- so I thought I'd try it. The underlayment is light weight, is paintable and could be installed with Liquid Nail glue and finish nails.
We had to first figure out where and how the studs ran in the attic and use a chalk line to make sure we were nailing into the beams. We based our grid on where the existing beams were so the pattern isn't made up of same sized pieces, but overall the look is pleasing- especially with the hole in the ceiling now camouflaged. The next step is to put batten strips over the seams and paint the whole ceiling white.
Of course the ceiling fan had to be taken down, and put back up. While it was down, I spray painted the components white and it looks like a new fan. The 80's brass and faux wood, good-bye!
The paneled room is now painted white, with white trim and a design accent to be completed next week.
We moved the trundle bed to the "new" bedroom and for the first time, I didn't have to think about bats coming down from the attic while I slept.
The bedroom had been opened to what was originally the second bedroom. I have designs to make it into a walk-in closet room. Just because it's a small house, we don't have to feel like we're in a small space. The next day, Rick put together 2 4' wardrobes.
These wardrobes were purchased from Home Depot - fantastic storage and economical- and have 3 shelves and a bar for hanging clothes. Eventually the melamine doors will be replaced with pine doors and wrought iron pulls, fitting better with the farm theme. The space between the wardrobes will have a window seat and cushion. I have always wanted a window seat!
At the conclusion of the weekend, we saw that the raspberries have bugs, the exterminator attacked the carpenter ants and the fox still roams freely- making me wary of him every time I go outside. I'm sure my fox fears will diminish after I see my first bear! But the major change is how I've come to see my project. It's a broken down house, with a hundred more fixes to go, but when I share it with one I love, it's home and it's the best place in the world to be.