This just in: Scientists have finally succeeded in isolating the Jerk Gene. Unfortunately, a cure for this ubiquitous condition has yet to be discovered. In a recent interview, genetics expert Dr. Diane Sektion confirmed that the condition is not gender specific.

For years I’ve thought I was the Cleverest because I made a sentence out of March Fourth — March forth. But it seems I’ve been outdone:

May the fourth be with you.


The poppies were so grateful I didn’t put them outside that they bloomed for me. If you can’t read the thermometer, it’s below 40. Just so you know.

Almost ready for human habitation

There was quite a big break in here as I took a vacation in Mexico with my friends. Prior to leaving, though, I finished up a few crucial items. The kitchen floor needed help and ripping up the current flooring isn’t an option. So, we’re off on a painting spree again.

Kitchen floor with old vinyl. Now that I’ve stripped wallpaper, painted the walls and replaced the sink, I’m finished with all the projects that would do damage to the floor. (I hope.)
I hired this cat to model the new floor. I couldn’t afford one of those snazzy girls they put in car commercials. The cat came cheap.


Of course the kitchen furniture and appliances needed to relocate to the living room for a couple of days. The best part of living in remodeling is what a pleasure it is to put everything back in place.

I also painted the bathroom floor and the foyer. In fact, I backed out the door, paint roller in hand to leave on my trip.

Foyer floor gets a new face. Not sure if I’ll leave the walls red. I like the color, but it’s kind of beat up and I don’t have the means to touch it up.
I finished up the paint on the cabinet that had been languishing in the garage and put the microwave on it to free up space on the counter.
The dining corner. Am I Blue.

The dining corner was really dark, as there’s no overhead light. So I found these $2 wall-mount laps to mount above the table. Since there’s a (rare) outlet in that corner I could just plug them in. I also found a cool print of a sailboat scene that stays with the blue/nautical theme throughout the house. Susie’s Periodic Table of Vegetables, of course remains there — a clever poster of veggies A to Z. A couple of pure cotton tablecloths make good covers (Two: one on the table, one in the wash) for the oak table.

Although the bedroom floor isn’t finished, you can get an idea how the painted wood floor will look fresher.

I took a piece of pegboard — used to hang tools next to the workbench in the basement — gave it a coat of paint (yipes. is there anything in my world that isn’t painted??) and hung it next to the stove. Still used for tools, but a different kind. The light is mounted on a box made from one of the drawers from the kitchen counter. The light needed to have an integrated switch because there is no wiring for a wall switch. I found two of them. This one’s mate is above the bathroom vanity — although that one now has a wall switch (GFI to meet code).


And the luck continues

The angst I felt at disconnecting the kitchen sink was duplicated today when I plunged headlong into the bathroom sink. This time I was going to

The bathroom sans sink.

be prepared so I went to the hardware store before tearing into the plumbing. Since I bought the kitchen sink product — that magic supply line/shut-off valve that worked so ingeniously — I returned to the same store to buy the gadget for the bathroom. Alas, they only had ones that were very very long and since the bathroom is very very small, long wasn’t going to cut it. So I tried a different hardware store where I’m happy to say, Al from Ace Spooner has competition in Mike from DoItBest. Always good to have a Hardware Guy in every town.

Some things are just scary.

Mike knew exactly what I wanted to do, but sent me home for pictures before he sold me the assembly. I had considered taking pictures before my hardware foray, but the teensy space under the bath vanity wasn’t conducive. So, I went home to get the pics Mike requested, and while here I ripped out the cardboard vanity to get a better look at the guts of the thing. Yipe. It was far from pretty. I did get some good pics though of the scary looking pipes protruding from the wall (won’t bore you with those) and Mike was delighted when I returned with them. He sold me all the proper parts and I came home and installed them. (I did ask Mike if he was willing to spend his lunch hour solving my plumbing problems, but he declined.)

Then I repeated the trot-to-the-basement-turn-on-the-water-DASH-up-the-stairs routine and once again there was nary a drop of moisture in the bathroom. Irish Luck, I tell ya. So now I just need to install the new sink, but first I need to prime, paint, patch and remove the 1.5 foot of wallpaper border (loons). Meanwhile, brushing teeth in the kitchen isn’t so bad.

Yes, the bathroom was green. And while green is among my favorite colors, it wasn’t working in this 5’x5′ space. So prime and paint.
So, here’s the updated bathroom with a new clean blind, open shelving, fixture and paint job.
The vinyl floor got itself a coat of paint, too.

There was badder news on the bedroom floor project. I started to wash the floor in preparation for a coat of Zinsser and the substance that’s on there acts really weird. It’s kind of fuzzy and some of it warps up onto little pills like you get on cheap sweaters. So THAT’S not going to work. But somewhere in the inner recesses of my befuddled mind a tiny voice reminded me that Zinsser had a different product that could go over almost any icky surface. ( Let’s paint the moon! but first we’ll prime it.) So, I ordered a gallon of Zinsser Gardz from Amazon and we’ll see if that doesn’t mop up that project. I’m so clever!

Apparently you could prime the Mojave desert with this stuff and paint will stick.


Of mystery lumber and a large dose of Irish luck

I knew I would need a bottom shelf for the workbench and I could tell that there had once been such an animal. But it wasn’t anywhere on the premises. My intention was to build a shelf that would not only stabilize the structure, but add storage. I found these mysterious beautiful boards in the garage that looked like they belonged to a really, really long table. Like seven feet long. (I’m trying to imagine a seven-foot table in this house.) Of course, I didn’t care what they looked like, since I would paint the shelf white.

Until I saw this. I guess I need a closeup, but the bottom shelf here is a piece of dark wood (mahogany?) that fits perfectly between the legs of the table and sits on the cross pieces. While it’s a bit worn, (character) it’s beautifully rounded on the front edge. And straight as a string (wait. it will warp now that it’s living indoors!) So, I just stuck it there and put some pots and bowls on it.

I was kind of ready to see some of the decor that’s been living in my mind these past couple of weeks. I can’t install the upper shelving until the paint dries 🙁 so I decorated the lucky-found shelf.

This episode: Doing dishes or Cup in the sink

The the bottom of the top. This is the underside of the kitchen counter. Note the 1×3 bravely trying to straighten the terrible bend in those beautiful boards. You know how you see carpenters put in one screw and think to yourself “What the hell is he doing? That will never work.” but then the screw sucks those two boards right together with nary a crack of daylight between ’em. Well, I’m not a carpenter. Those screws didn’t even consider sucking up that warped board. This also gives a view of the little toggles that held the table together. They fit into grooves in the “apron” of the table. They are attached with really old flat head screws which tells me the thing was built awhile ago.

Sometimes you just have to admit defeat. Personally, I prefer to lay claim to a new style. So the new fashion in kitchen counters is The Cup. Apparently that’s the term for when a board warps sending the edges skyward while the middle stays earthbound. I called it a dish in the board until I read a few woodworking forums. Regardless of terms there’s a bend in the counter. It’s a big bend and there’s no hiding it. So, methinks, I’ll just put the clips on the sink and pull that baby straight. Nope. For now the sink will remain cupped.

Paper towel and electrical tape to protect my scraped knuckle. Note to self: put band aids in the toolbox.
Adventures in Plumbing.
Plumbing is like puzzles. You take all the parts from the package and make sure they fit together. And don’t leak.
In my humble opinion, getting water IN is a hundred times easier than getting it OUT. Course it goes without saying that fresh, clean incoming water is much more pleasant than the stuff you’ve already used for. . . whatever.

See the towel? It’s gone now. Meaning that there’s no leak.

Watch this!

Bravely running water in the sink. Hip. Hip. Hooray for running water. Double hooray for the fact that it leaves the house without getting the floor wet.