Friday, February 24, 2006

Best cartoon strip ever

If you are not familiar with Get Fuzzy, I highly recommend that you start reading it, especially if you have a cat or a dog. They're spit-coffee-on-your-keyboard funny sometimes.

It took a while for us to warm up to it. We started out with one book that we found in the bargain bin at Borders. It had a cat and dog on the cover, and looked like it might be somewhat humorous, so what the heck? It was less than five bucks. Well, 10 pages into it and we were hooked! It's a very clever cartoon. Sometimes I'm not sure I get it. But I still laugh. Oh, yes, I laugh.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The great unknown: our septic system

This may fall under the category of TMI! TMI!!, but it's house-related so I feel I must blog about it. Our downstairs toilet is now not flushing properly. This means we are forced to use the upstairs toilet (see the most recent prior post to see the glorious experience that must be). We used an enzyme build-up remover in it, and this has seemingly helped. But she's still not sending the water down with as much gusto as she used to. Yesterday V and I bought a closet auger and tried unsuccessfully to send that sucker down into the trap in case there's a clog. One extremely frustrating half-hour later, after having no success whatsoever with the auger, we began to despair that our toilet may just be on strike.

My fear is that it is somehow septic-system related rather than toilet/plumbing related. We don't even know quite where our septic tank is. I guess that's one negative offshoot to buying a house that's been uninhabited for so long. People are like "well, I think it might be over there" as they jerk a thumb in a far-too-general direction. We might have to shell out to have someone look for it, which I assume they can do with radar/sonar. If Ballard could find the Titanic amidst a target area of hundreds of thousands of acres of water, they can find our little septic tank located somewhere on four acres, right? I hope so.

Having grown up on a farm, I know a little bit about septic systems. I know there are certain things you just don't do--you don't use chemical cleaners because they can destroy the bacteria that you need to break down that waste. You watch what you flush, even to the brand of toilet paper. Some wad up and don't break down quite so easily as others. I have no idea what size septic tank we have, but I do know that they should be pumped out occasionally. How occasionally? I don't know that much!

If there's anyone out there with septic knowledge that's just overflowing (pun intended), please feel free to pass it along! In the meantime, we'll be using the scary bathroom.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

How to make over the smallest bathroom ever

DH and I going to do something to the downstairs bathroom. Don't ask me what we're going to do, but we've got to do something!! The paint is peeling/flaking off like crazy from all the moisture, we've got no storage save a medicine cabinet, and it's a little small. OK, it's really small. It's about 4 feet wide and about 7 feet deep. And this is our large, full bath! In the one upstairs, you can't even close the door unless you do it AS you're sitting down onto the toilet. But I digress. Back to the "big" bathroom.

The reason I'm posting is that what we're planning to do is definitely not perfect, but we just need something to get us by until we're really ready to make some changes in terms of possibly an addition. Here's the existing situation:

  • entire bathroom--including shower--is paint (no tile, no water repellent surface of any kind)
  • as I mentioned, there is no storage other than the medicine cabinet
  • right now we've managed to squeeze a tiny bookshelf in to hold towels, etc., and there's one of those over-the-toilet etageres (we don't particularly like it) holding other essentials
  • we have nice original fixtures in here--a small but wonderful cast iron tub with shower (the only one in the house), a pedestal sink that's--again--tiny but really nice in its own way, and spigots and such that are simple but filled with character. This stuff all stays no matter what.

being as how it's an old bathroom it's not vented. There is a small window that we try to crack in order to let some of the moisture out. We understand that this is what's killing the paint, but we may or may not be able to properly vent due to the configuration and location of the room. This is an unknown.

The tricky part is that we can't afford to add on right now or bump out, so we're forced to figure out something within the confines of the size and configuration we've got right now. One thing we'll do is scrape and paint. Since it's just temporary (hopefully) I think we're going to go ahead and just put paint in the shower again. If we go with paint we can at least choose a color where it doesn't show as much and/or repaint as necessary.

Here's a picture from when we first toured the house. It is not nearly as roomy as this picture makes it look (she types, dripping with sarcasm) now that we've got the bookshelf and etagere in there. What a project this will be!

Oh, and just for fun, here's a picture of the small bath. I crack up just typing that. It goes way beyond small, but I'm not sure there's a word in existence to describe it.

Monday, February 06, 2006

One of these days we're actually going to start working

V and I are planners to our cores. We never start a project without analyzing, analyzing, and analyzing some more. We pore over every detail, work out every possible case scenario, and then pore over other details that came up in the various scenarios. It's enough to try the patience of a saint, I'm sure, which is why it's good that we're both this way!

Anyway, I think we're inching our way forward to the point where we'll be ready to actually BEGIN WORK! Woohoo! Never again will our evenings be filled with lounging in front of the TV. Never again will we have a dust-free (or at least dust-minimal) house. Never again will we be able to simply walk through a room without skidding on dropcloths, tripping over Tyvek suits, or looking at all the work yet to be done. I'm tired just thinking about it. :)