Maybe We Do Need Another Bathroom…

The caulking on the tub was gross when we moved in. There was a huge crack along the bottom of the cenenter panel on the tub surround, and it was splitting along one of the vertical seams, too. We knew we’d have to recaulk the tub and planned to do so in September.

And then I fractured my tailbone.

So it got put off.

But we knew we needed to fix it sooner than later because water was getting behind the surround.

Finally, last week I decided that it was time to caulk the tub since it was a long weekend.

We had friends over for dinner on Saturday, and I had a baby shower to attend on Sunday. So I started scraping the caulk off on Sunday, expecting to be able to caulk it Monday.

That…is not what happened.

The caulk was extremely difficult to remove. The tub surround is not level on any axis. And why did the previous owner make such a wide line of caulk…oh, because he was hiding a bunch of minor, hairline cracks. Oooh, and now that whole center panel is coming loose, and there appears to be mildew behind the surround (luckily, not much!).

Fabulous.

What should have been a rather short job turned into scraping the caulk, stop drilling the minor cracks, spraying an anti-mold agent behind the center panel, re-gluing the center panel into place, squeezing a tiny amount of adhesive into the stop drill holes, and finally, recaulking the tub.

And of course, every step needed drying time or curing time, so we were without a shower for nearly a week. (Thank goodness for friends who let us use their showers, and a working utility sink in the basement!)

While I was fixing it, Good Man teased me, calling me anti-Midas and Pandora. But when he tried to make the caulk look better, and made it a lot worse, he finally admitted that I was a good “handywoman.”

So the caulk job? It’s ugly. No doubt about it. I choose to put some of the blame on the tub surround. But that’s OK! It is watertight! (And yes, we’ll see how long this lasts…)

Aesthetics: 0. Function: 1.

I will put that in the win column right now.

I get annoyed by the unexpected problems that pop up with this house, but I do realize that they could be a lot, lot worse! And I feel like I’m getting pretty good at figuring out how to solve the problems, too, which is increasing my confidence.

It also increases my respect for people who work in the trades, while at the same time making me realize that my previous landlords were even lazier than I thought!

Jack Visits the Dentist

New Resting Spot

We took Jack to the vet for a dental cleaning last week, and the poor guy needed to have a tooth extracted. I felt really guilty for not knowing he was in pain. But realistically, we’ve had him less than four months, and the vet (who housed him when we adopted him) had him three months before that and didn’t realize his teeth were that bad.

I was really worried about taking him to get his teeth cleaned, because of his age (14 years) and his heart murmur. We got the blood work done, and we sprang for the IV, both of which were recommended due to his age. Getting those things done (and granting permission to take care of emergencies even if I couldn’t be reached) made me feel better. Of course, he did fine.

We were told to expect a tired, and somewhat cranky cat. But when we brought him home, he wasn’t drowsy at all! He was perky, and seemed like a younger cat.

Post-Op Jack

Jack was sent home with liquid meds. We needed to give him three syringes, twice a day for three days, and two more syringes for an additional two days.

Unfortunately, Jack is a smart cat. A very smart cat. He very quickly learned that a towel meant meds. He learned that the syringe meant meds. He learned that being picked up meant meds.

And most of the meds ended up on his chin and chest. Sigh.

The fear of being picked up was the worst, because I’d pick him up to hug him and he’d howl and flail his arms around. Ugh.

Once, he got so stressed after we gave him the meds that he fell asleep in his litter box! I called our vet, unsure if that was minor side effect drowsiness or major side effect confusion. I was assured that many cats do that when very stressed, and I was also informed that we could mix one of the meds in his food. That was a great help since it was the longer-term medicine.

Now that the ordeal of Oh My God, She Has a Syringe is over, Jack seems better.

Jack and Good Man

Steady March: This and That

Good Man and I have been getting some random things done around the house (and are in the middle of a massive—to us—tub issue, actually).

The kitchen hasn’t been painted yet. The previous owner was…lazy.

Lazy!

He didn’t remove this phone jack when he painted. We don’t need it, but if we remove it, you’ll see multiple paint colors.

Ugly Phone Jack

We have been dumping our lunches, my purse, etc all around the kitchen. So we picked up a rack and covered the phone jack. Now the kitchen is cleaner and the jack is covered until we can paint it.

Landing Strip

The kitchen has wired under-cabinet lighting. One of the bulbs burnt out, but it didn’t bother us until a second bulb burnt out. And that’s when I discovered that every other bulb was out.

Huh.

I don’t know how we hadn’t noticed that.

I figured the previous owner was just saving money, since the bulbs are a bit pricey. So I went to Ace, picked up new bulbs, and installed them.

One of the lights (there are seven bulbs over four lights total) doesn’t close/seat properly, so you can’t use the on/off switch. Annoying.

But that was minor compared to the single socket that did this to the halogen bulb.

That Can’t Be Good

We decided to leave that socket empty!

Moving from the kitchen, we put a gripper rack at the top of the basement stairs. It’s such a simple thing, but it is so nice to have a place to store our mops and brooms that is out of the way.

Easy to Reach

Photos

Finally, something is popping up around the yard. We just aren’t sure what yet. Crocuses and daffodils? Wild onions?

Something’s Growing

Any Idea?

Surprise!

Baby Blanket

One of my friends is pregnant, so I made this baby blanket for her. It turned out so, so pretty!

She’s having a boy, and the nursery is sort of a jungle theme, so I went with this dinosaur fabric. Dinosaurs, jungle, that works. For the flannel backing, I used pale brown, green, dark brown, and blue.

Cutting it was hard. At one point, the chenille cutter slipped and I took out a crescent shaped piece of the blanket along the edge.

Panic!

I ended up zig-zagging over the cut, and then went and bought a wider bias tape. I was planning on using brown bias tape, but I had to go with black because they didn’t have wide, brown bias tape. In the end, I’m happy with how the black bias tape frames the quilt.

This is how it looked before I washed it.

Pre-Washing

Dinosaur Detail

I made the blanket a little over a yard wide. I figured this was a good size for tummy time and that baby cage people use when they’re traveling. Yes, that “baby cage.”

Pre-Washed Size

I preshrank everything, but when I washed the blanket, the hand of it changed. It was really thick, but after being cut it turned softer and looser (which isn’t a surprise).

The strange thing, to me, is that the fabric started rippling. I wonder if I sewed it with a bit of tension? I am not sure. But that’s OK. It sort of reminds me of water.

Rippling Blanket

I don’t know what the random green worm is in the middle of the blanket. You can also see where the flannel doubled over on itself.

Green Worm

Doubled Fabric

I actually had the mother over for dinner Saturday night, and I finished this after she left. The baby shower was today, so I cut it very close! Luckily, the blanket was a hit!

This blanket was very time-consuming to make, but I’m glad I learned this technique. It made such a pretty project!

Steady March: Korean Cabinet

The Steady March of Home Improvement continues in our dining room.

Our house is a typical Cape Cod, with two bedrooms on the first floor. One was converted to a dining room. The chandelier and chair rail are very dining room-esque. The closet? Not so much.

I wanted to get a China hutch or something similar to put into the closet. I browsed around online shops and we looked at IKEA. Traditional China hutches were too expensive, too large, and too…traditional. IKEA had some options, but they were too expensive and too…IKEA. (IKEA lovers, relax, IKEA will appear soon enough.)

So I turned to Craigslist, where I found this cabinet. It was advertised as Korean, and looks similar to things I saw in Korea… but there is certainly no maker’s mark on it, so I take the label with a grain of salt.

Cabinet

Space

The cabinet has solid shelves on the top half, and slatted shelves on the bottom half, but long drawers dividing them. It’s six feet two, and about two feet wide and deep.

I took all the drawers and lower doors out, cleaned it up, and put Old English Scratch Cover on it. Good Man and I also replaced the tassel on the brass pin. No, I don’t know why the green strands are longer.

Old Tassel

New Tassel

Lotus Blossoms?

I put our wedding geese on it, and might put my wedding shoes on the very top. I am strongly considering putting the whole set of Korean dishes in it. Right now, it’s empty.

I really like how it looks in the dining room and am glad we didn’t go with anything from IKEA!

Korean Cabinet, Without Flash

Korean Cabinet, With Flash