Thursday, October 29, 2009

Medicine Cabinets?

Like many 80's tract houses, we have these bo-ring medicine cabinets implanted into the wall, on the side by the sink. So, not directly in front of you as you wash your hands, but on the side with yet another mirror, which to me seems odd.

Sorry for the flash - I didn't have the time to figure out how to take the picture without potentially blinding anyone who looks at it.

It provides some storage (not a huge amount) and it doesn't necessarily look bad, but it just seems weird to me that there is yet another mirror that is not really usable unless you contort your body to the side and if you stay in that position too long you end up with a charlie horse.

This bathroom, and the rest of them really, are going to get an overhaul at some point in the next 6 months or so, starting with the downstairs. I'm going to rip out the ginourmous mirror and replace with a smaller framed one, switch out the countertop for something tiled (that doesn't extend over the toilet), and get new cabinet doors with recessed hinges. I'll keep the cabinet frame, sink, and faucet, to reduce costs.

The other thing coming out is the horrendous 80's fluorescent light box.

Hello, Demo-With-a-Reciprocating-Saw! That has got to go - we have these light boxes in all three bathrooms. The Jack-and-Jill one upstairs has a light bulb (really, it's a tube) that is on its last legs and when you turn it on it's all psychedelic flashy. I should have a warning sign for any epileptics who might use that bathroom to exercise caution. Maybe not turn on the light when washing their hands. Seriously, these fluorescent light box fixtures suck and it's even worse that they are built-in with 2x4's and drywall. Makes replacing them that much more involved.

Anyway, what I'm wondering now is what should I do with the medicin cabinet? Leave it? Drywall over it and just have a wall with no medicine cabinet? Some kind of recessed storage? And is building out and trimming up recessed storage really worth the effort for the amount of storage it buys? I can't go any deeper into the wall there - the other side is the hallway into the garage...

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Have Been Known to Be a Ham...

Sooooo. I have the house to myself this evening and I went a little silly with the sound recorder on my laptop (since I would likely catch a lot of slack from the Husband for making a bunch of noise and also for recording myself). Girly Stuff mentioned something about not knowing if I sounded like Michael Stipe playing some obscure song (I can't remember what she wrote in her comment a while back), and I decided to subject you fine folks to my vocal prowess. Ha! Well, actually, it's an attempt at playing guitar and singing. Now, in all seriousness, I have only been playing guitar for about 2 months so cut me some slack on that part.

I had to put a random picture of something in order to create a video file since Blogger does not allow upload of sound files and after much research, I decided this here work-around would do fine.

Anyway, it's Angel From Montgomery, the Susan Tedeschi version. It's fairly easy to play though when you combine singing and then being aware of the fact that you are recording it and you would rather not screw up, it adds a bit more difficulty. At least for me.

Enjoy. Or stab your eardrums out with number 2 pencils.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What's Shakin' Bacon

Well, really, I have become boring. At least that's how it feels with this blog - I have nothing interesting to tell you good folks of the internets. But rather than leave you to listen to crickets here, I'm going to post about what mundane activities I have partaken in since the Great Craigslist Toilet Acquisition.

In answer to Girly Stuff, I haven't used a black toilet, but I actually saw one for sale on Craigslist and I was like "Now why would you ever get totally black bathroom pieces?" I don't like the idea of "hiding dirt" on a toilet. Picking darker flooring or darker fabrics for chairs to hide dirt is one thing, but a toilet needs to be a light shade so we know when to clean it, damn it. There. My two cents on dark toilets. I grew up with an avocado green one which was bad enough - luckily, one fine day it broke and my father replaced it with a bisque-colored one but kept the green seat!! Seriously, I'm all for reusing but there is no way I would have reused the avocado green toilet seat with a new bisque toilet.

One of the toilets has been installed as of yesterday - and, as always, it didn't not go 100% smoothly. The upstairs toilet used an old valve where the line to the tank was fused to the actual valve. And with our very hard water, when the Husband attempted to remove it, it broke from the corrosion. So that extended the install another 2 days (researching problem, buying the new valve, shutting off the water to the house, replacing, etc, etc). It works well and looks more spiffy than the other new one downstairs, though the seat is chair height which some people (you tall folks) like but when I sit on it, my feet dangle. Such is the life of the vertically challenged. I can't even catch a break on the john. Iffin' we have little ones, they'll need a stool to use the potty. I'm already making their life difficult.

In the kitchen, I have been dutifully installing the toe kicks on the cabinets. It really is a fiddly process - I have only one little bit left to finish, so, hopefully this weekend, the toekicks will be done and all that will remain is baseboards and then I can say the kitchen is completely done! More than one year in the making.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In which I Talk Yet More About The Potty

I know, you are like: "Enough already, woman, we are done hearing about the bathroom" or if you are a New Yorker if may sound more like "bat-room". Also, it involves Craigslist and you know I haven't talked much about Craigslist here on this here blog. Right.

Seeing as my house is 22 years old, things in it tend to go tits up right around now (plumbing, dishwasher, master closet railings, etc). Note to anyone looking at 80s houses - expect stuff to stop working on somewhat of a frequent basis. The latest is the guest bathroom upstairs. The in-laws were here and used said bathroom on a daily basis. Around day 2, the toilet sprung a leak where the tank and the bowl connect. I was reassured that it only leaked when flushed as if this was no big deal. So as long as we don't plan to use the toilet, it's fine. Considering we seem to have an overnight guest at least once a month, it didn't seem like a viable route to just not flush it. Rather than fix an old-ass toilet that likely uses more than 3 gallons per flush, we figured might as well replace her with a water-efficient model. They run about $100 for a 1.28 gpf model, so, not a huge deal.

Here is where Craigslist comes in. I really had no expectation of finding a toilet on Craigslist, I mean, seriously, even if it was water conserving, the idea of buying someone else's USED toilet crossed my boundaries of frugality. Though, when you buy a house that isn't new, you are technically buying the seller's used toilets. Just a thought. Anyway, back to Craigslist. For shits and giggles, I searched "toilet" in the "materials" section and up popped a posting about new 1.28 gpf toilets for $50. New-in-box, complete toilets. It's like the Craigslist Magic Fairies decided I needed a good deal on poopers. Turns out, this woman was stuck with boxes and boxes (at one point 226 of them) of new toilets in her front-yard that had essentially been abandoned. Her story was that as a favor she agreed to store them (I guess it was someone she knew or some company of someone she knew, I didn't quite understand the situation entirely) since the job wasn't ready to install them yet. It sounded like it may have been a retrofit scenario when the state was giving away high efficiency toilets to certain building owners/administrators (like multi-family apartment buildings) so the old hogs could be swapped out, thus saving the owners water-bill money and also helping out our drought situation. 226 toilets in her front yard. That must have been a sight. Anyway, after she tried to contact the owners of the toilets for several months without response, she sent a final letter informing them she is considering it abandoned property and started selling them. Because how long can you live with that many boxes of toilets hanging out in your front yard.

So, for the price of one new toilet at the home improvement store, I got two. I figured, grab 'em now and just replace the master bath toilet as well. She was down to about 8 boxes when I got them so I guess I timed it pretty well. Still haven't found a weedwacker, though. I like how Girly Stuff referenced her husband as her weedwacker. Mine is too, except, we have a big slope in our yard - not sure how far back it goes but it's at least 20 feet high at the top. It's full of dead overgrown (2+ feet high) weeds from winter rains. It's damn near impossible to manually pull them up so he needs to use a power garden tool. Our old one decided to stop turning on about half-way through the job of clearing out the whole slope. I guess it had enough wacking.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Zero Point Zero

We are in search of a gas-powered weed wacker over here in the chacha household and thus, have been trolling Craigslist. And I am seriously appalled at what people are giving away FREE. Granted, it's their stuff, they can do what they wish with it, but I could not imagine just giving this stuff away.

Like this stove.

How awesome is this vintage stove. This is worth some money. But I just don't have the time to try to get it - I mean, it'll get snapped up fast, I am sure, and with a day job, I don't have the ability to just take off and get it. One could snap this up, fix it up, and then resell it (because it certainly wouldn't fit in my house). Nevermind I don't have a truck to pick it up (I need a beater truck with a rack for those pesky long baseboards. But that's for another year, I think).

And these?

They look like the version I had in my old model house in the boonies (built in '99) so they aren't that old. Ten years tops. Double ovens, new, are minimum $1000. Plus, these are KitchenAid - a good brand, so new, the price is closer to $2500. I would think these ovens, if they are working, should run at least $300.

I also saw all kinds of wooden furniture, a great wooden pedestal table (dining room size), just free. What I would do with a pick up truck. Seriously, I maybe have to get a 4 cylinder pick up for my next vehicle. The automakers need to get on making a fuel efficient pickup.

Anyway, enough of my "I wish I had a truck to collect more junk." My point is, if you are looking for something, it wouldn't hurt to check the "Free" section of Craigslist because it just may be don't have to pay for what you need. I mean, jeez, if you just looking for furniture to fix up and resell or furniture for your house, seriously, check the free section. You just might find some lazy or uninformed folks giving away valuable stuff.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Productive Weekend

About 90 minutes after I posted that I didn't think I was going to get the flooring done this weekend because it hadn't come in, Home Depot called and said "your flooring is in." I was both happy and disappointed at the same time. Happy because it in on time, not happy because that meant I'd be working my hiney off on the weekend installing flooring.

The job was done in one day - from 9am to 5pm. Basically one work day. The stuff is easy to install. However, easy doesn't mean I wasn't sore the next day. Or today. For whatever reason, installing the flooring resulted in a very sore right inner thigh. I have no idea why. All I know is my right quadricep muscle and right inner thigh/hamstring is achy and whiney. It almost stopped me from sealing more tile and installing a section of toe kick in the kitchen yesterday. Yes, I am a diy work-a-holic - you are probably thinking I should have taken Sunday off but look who we're talking about. I can't NOT be doing something productive for a whole day. It's just not going to happen. I am probably going to be one of those old ladies that works until she's like 80. Anyway, installing the toe kicks on the cabinets is fiddly and annoying requiring fourteen million tweaks on the length of each piece. It took two hours to do 1/4th of the kitchen. And the IKEA kitchen dude? Did not calculate enough toe kick. I remember going "Is that going to be enough toe kick?" and he's like, "Yeah, and I'm including an extra one for filler and stuff." Yeah. Turns out I need two more 7 foot lengths. That's how off he was. Moral of the story is figure it out yourself. That is almost always the case when doing IKEA kitchen stuff.

Without further ado, pictures of the flooring.






The Husband is not second-guessing the color - that our dining room table is blending in with the wood because it is dark. Yes, it is dark - that is the trend now. There weren't any light colored floating floor options at Home Depot (that weren't crappy quality) and he didn't want to do bamboo again. I figure I will cross the bridge of "decor and accessorizing" when I am done with all the molding and such. There is still so much work do to but at least we have flooring in every room!