Bathroom Homestretch

A Different Perspective

Normally I’m writing this blog perched at my desk with my view of that one stubborn backyard oak and the occasional visit from one of our friendly neighborhood birds of prey.* (The oak, by the way, has now given up the last of its dead, brown leaves and, in their wake, is throwing off gobs of catkins and curtains of yellow pollen. Welcome, Spring!)

This week, rather than enjoying that view, I’m sitting down at So-G, our local coffee roaster/hangout, sponging off their WiFi. That’s because this morning, while I had quickly popped down the hill with Tim to set my dad upright from where he’d fallen on my parents’ thickly carpeted bedroom floor (he was fine, and this is getting to be alarmingly routine), I got a group text from one of our neighbors asking if anyone else’s power was out. Of course we weren’t home and couldn’t say, but minutes later, we attempted to open the garage doors with the remote as we returned. When we were met with steadfastly closed doors, it was clear we were in the same boat.

*This week’s birds of prey sightings, as some of you may have seen on my Facebook and Instagram posts, included a particularly perseverant Barred Owl (who ended up with a baby bird for dinner) and a majestic, and very determined-looking Red-Tailed Hawk, who was clearly on a lunch hunt. Bummed I didn’t get any photos of that one.

Luckily, the coffee had been made 90 minutes before the outage, via the “program” function on the coffee machine, so I’m sitting at So-G, ironically not even drinking coffee, but enjoying one of their awesome, full-fat Greek yogurt, granola & strawberry parfaits – just exactly as if I’d made it myself at home. Not the worst way to be suffering a power outage.

But, Progress! Relatively Speaking.

We made a lot of progress on the finish work this week, even if the bathroom door isn’t here yet. Sheetrocking, trim, painting, (even the front door!!) and electrical – all done.** There’s finally a switch again governing the ceiling light in the hallway so it isn’t on 24/7 because I’m too lazy every night before bed to unscrew the wire nut keeping it connected.

Even those pesky switchplate covers are now in place, which nearly always proves to be a short, but patience-challenging job (those infernal, tiny screws need to line up nearly perfectly in those infernal, tiny holes, and, as sure as I’m sitting here breathing, each screw gets dropped no fewer than 3 times, rolls across the floor and disappears – sometimes just for a few seconds, other times completely, seemingly sucked into a space-time wormhole, never to be found. I’m sure in some far reach of the universe, some poor alien guy keeps getting hit in the head by tiny screws falling out of the sky. I doubt, however, he’s cursing as loudly about it as Tim is here).  

**Except for the filling of the nail holes on one piece of trim that I’m about to describe; and the final coat of paint on that piece of trim; and the final touch-up of the paint all around the bathroom door opening, which was a bit compromised by the painting of the trim; and a new round of touch up on the wall paint around the upper part of the door opening, thanks to that same new piece of trim; and a re-sweat of one of the plumbing joints behind the shower valve that stubbornly persists in dripping . . . See why this whole house project has taken 9 years??

The Latest

Yesterday Tim worked on installing the hanging hardware for the barn-style sliding door. He began that process on Friday, but the lack of a stud where we needed one behind the wall precipitated the hanging of a nailer (this is the new piece of trim I alluded to above). That meant extra work: ripping one down from the extra trim stock we have, sanding, it, priming it, hanging it, filling the nail holes, sanding again, and painting it – not a huge time commitment, but enough to make an excellent excuse to call a moratorium on all work for the week by early Friday afternoon.

Of course there’s always an unforeseen complication, and it’s never discovered in the early part of installation, so when he got back to it yesterday and had made it all the way to the stage of testing the slide action of the “dummy” door (one of the cheapos we used upstairs temporarily a couple of years ago before the real doors arrived so we could get our Certificate of Occupancy), we found a couple of issues that required the whole thing, including the nailer, to come down again. And now we have no power, so. . . dump run!

No, Really, the Real Latest

Power came back on around 10:00 a.m. Issues with nailer and hardware were fully resolved, and the temporary, dummy door is in place, warming up for the real door, whenever it arrives.

With that effort under the bridge, and a perfect, breezy, pollen-filled spring day in full bloom, we dedicated the rest of the day to . . . yardwork. Everything looks trimmed and tidy: even the driveway, front walk, and front porch are clean and free of oak catkins, which have been piling up like lumpy golden-brown snowdrifts for the past several days. So, I think I’m going to venture outside now to listen to the evening birdsong and enjoy my catkin-free driveway view, because by tomorrow morning, like all the rest of the work around here, they’ll be back.