The Call of the Wild

It’s spring in New England – at least astronomically, if not always corroborated by meteorological evidence. The warmer days bring us out into the yard to re-do everything we did 5 times in the fall: namely, leaf cleanup. Again. In our yard, this is a large, labor-intensive, time-consuming task, because we have no fewer than 100 oak trees on and around the property, many of which desperately clutch their brown, crispy leaves through most, if not the entire winter, dropping them, stealthily, a few at a time, leaving us by late March or early April wondering how they find their way so efficiently back into our once pristine, leaf-free landscape.

This provides us (i.e. Tim) with no shortage of distracting side-projects to waylay the elephant-in-the-hallway effort going on in the bathroom. Gratefully, nothing disastrous has yet befallen us, despite the nightmarish specter that once loomed (as of 1 – 2 weeks ago) over the proper pitching of the shower floor, or the painstaking additional tile layout efforts I conceived by insisting that I wanted a black border around the entire floor perimeter. I have taken heat that most ceramics couldn’t withstand over that choice, even though I told him that if it was really going to be so impossible (as his early protests would have had me believe), he could just skip it and lay the “field” tile right up to the walls. He hasn’t yet declared defeat at the border, though, so I think this may yet work out as I’d envisioned.

Last week was mostly dedicated to shower drain installation, floor-pitching, and stressing out over floor pitching (which, if it’s done properly, will ensure that the water from the shower will flow down into the drain; if done incorrectly, the water will just stand, or worse, flow out and across the rest of the bathroom floor – not the desired outcome). Lo and behold, when we hauled the hose through the front door and dining room and into the bathroom on Saturday morning for our first pitch test, it performed pretty much as it was supposed to, inching us ever-closer to the dreaded, hideous task of tile layout, which is turning out, thus far, to not be quite so hideous. (FYI: I just knocked on wood).

Yesterday and part of this morning were expended putting the final layer of waterproof membrane on the floor and 2” up the walls, followed by the near-ceremonial setting up of the tile saw and its accompanying water table today. When I returned from an appointment mid-afternoon, 1/3 of the field tiles for the floor were laid out in their future homes and I started getting excited.

Regardless of the fact that this week is only supposed to get warmer with each successive day, the call of the wild (a.k.a, the yard) won out over the call of the floor this afternoon, so I’m in the familiar position of reining in my galloping excitement once again as I listen to the melodious strains of the leaf blower. At least the yard will look nice when I get back from my networking dinner later tonight.

Stupid Oak Tree
The Stupid Oak Tree in my Backyard, leaves still intact, 3/26/19

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