Sunday, March 30, 2008
I have a chemical burn on my arm from tile mortar, a blister behind my right knee from the knee pads, and mortar stuck in my cuticles. We aren't done yet. I still have two full tiles and quite a bit of partials to go.
I'm not feeling a bit chipper. And my Italian Soda was flat.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
That was of course nearly three weeks ago now. In the meantime we have had to stare at a badly done patch all down the length of the kitchen, a concrete patch that was raised above the rest of the floor by at least 1/4", which might as well be a foot when you are laying tile over it. More than one person suggested we just break open the patch all the way down the floor and redo it. Concrete is cheap and patching the piping mess really wasn't that big of a job. We even still had his dad's sledge hammer.
Saturday, we finally decided that's what we would do. I got out the sledge and started the job. Joshua and I got about three feet in when it was time for me to quit and get ready to go photograph a wedding. I handed the concrete breaking reigns over to Steve.
Steve begin breaking up the concrete and all went well for another foot. Then all of the sudden the concrete began to slide downward as he broke it up. It cracked and fell down. Down is not good when there is supposed to be dirt there.
There was no dirt. There was instead a big, big hole under the north end of my kitchen. The main slab was still solid and holding just fine, but we now had a 1' by 3' gap in the kitchen floor with a 7' deep by 4' wide hole under it. Don't ask me how the previous owners managed to lay a concrete patch over thin air. It baffles us to this day. There are no signs of support materials in the hole. No frayed burlap, no wire mesh, no cardboard, no wood, nothing. The last thing we expected when we broke open that concrete patch was there would be nothing supporting it from underneath. It's just simple logic.
Steve called me in to see the hole 30 minutes before I had to leave. He sat there on his knees, completely stunned. He had no clue how to fix this.
I did not cry when I had to downgrade my kitchen vision to cheaper cabinets. I did not cry when I saw how quickly we were running out of money. I did not cry when the cabinet guys mis-measured my cabinets. (although I may yell at them if I don't hear something from them soon.) That big hole in my floor brought me to tears.
Luckily, I ran over to a neighbor's after the wedding to borrow a sewing machine (another long, but more boring story.) Her husband happens to do construction work for a living. When I told her about our lovely hole in the floor, she suggested to her husband that he might want to go help Steve fix the floor. The neighbor had the perfect solution. He pounded in concrete stakes and put a support piece right beneath the slab. The guys screwed concrete mesh into the hole to help support it. It only took two cubic feet of concrete to fill the mess.
I have to say that was the worst moment in our remodeling venture. I'm sure it could have always been worse, but I'm glad I didn't have to see that.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Rilla: Turn on the back light, Dad. I need to show Sarah something.
Rilla: Please turn on the light.
and the light goes on in the back of the van.
Rilla: Sarah, what color is my tongue?
"It can wait" is not a phrase my children understand.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
I like them so much that when the plumber needed to break into the floor to get us hot water to the bathroom and kitchen, (you should have seen Steve's face when He found that out. oooh boy.) I volunteered to swing it. I did a dang good job, too. See that nice big hole in my floor? I didn't care. I wanted a shower, dang it.
Steve says I look cuter swinging a sledge hammer than I do running a power saw. (Only he said sexier, but my mom reads this blog, so I edited that line for you. I'm nice like that.)
This is the view from the wall in the living room. That is the far end of my house. My house finally looks it's size. It feels big and open and even though it's a mess right now, I already love it.
This is my house as of this evening. Not a lot more visible progress. We did get the mess cleaned up and the drywall is up on the beam wall with it's first coat of mud. Steve was knocking my mudding job this evening. He might get to do the rest. Dude. Don't knock my work if you don't want to work alone.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
1st of all. ha. Yes I am spending the whole week on the house. Either working or trying not to fall over from exhaustion. Remodeling is hard work.
2nd of all. I listened to him anyway. Isn't she cute? I sewed that dress in a few hours. Rilla's looks just like it only her lining is yellow. If you can't see it from the picture, it's cotton eyelet with a broadcloth lining in pink.
Sarah's dress is also empire waist and eyelet. Her lining is a light teal blue. I'll be sewing that next week while I watch the workmen install my new kitchen (!!)