Sunday, 26 January 2014

Enough of that, already!

I can finally say it's done!! Well, almost. Just a coat of paint to be put on the baseboards and door frame but the bedroom project is pretty much complete.

I am happy with the result. The room is small, and my options were limited, but I quite like the "walk-in closet with a bed" feel that it now has. ;-)

I had help from Maart on numerous stages, but he didn't try to take over at any time. He let me call the shots but stepped in if I asked for help or had questions. He's done lots of renos in his little apartment block, including building complete suites (but does not do the plumbing or electrical as he's not qualified), so his knowledge (and sometimes muscle) was invaluable when I wasn't sure about something. He's a sweetheart!

But for the most part, I did it myself. I took my time, because of work getting in the way, Christmas and a horrible head cold, and just getting too sore and achy from all the physical work. (I'm getting old, you know...)

So today, I am still sore and achy but very pleased that it's all done! Except for that paint... but that is a minor issue and one that I will remedy later in the week. So here is a pictorial of the project.

You would think a small room wouldn't be such a horrid dark colour...

The original closet was ripped out and closed off. It was the size of a bread box.

Once the carpet was yanked out, the vile tile floor was exposed. And since it might contain asbestos, given the age of the house, it was left as is.

Other than being levelled out as best possible. There were a few wrinkles that had to be pared down, though.

That pukey green was replaced with a nice pale "goat cheese" good quality latex and the trim changed to pure white semigloss.

I think I mentioned this before, but the ceiling was removed of its texture and the cheap white ceiling fan replaced with this rather stylish number.

The underlay is new stuff that is folded accordion-style in a box and fits together with dovetail edges. Foam on the back for sound insulation and cushioning, and plasticized foil on top for moisture resistance and a nice thermal break. Lila seemed to like it.

Then started the laying of the laminate. While I would have loved to put real wood in, I can't afford it. So I bought some nice 12mm thick laminate. Installation was a snap!
I spent two nights sleeping on the couch while doing this, so my back was quite happy when it was done. Plus I no longer had to put up with Lila headbutting my nose at 3 a.m. looking for attention. She has no idea how rude that is... *sigh*

Of course, to do the flooring installation properly, I invested in a nice compound miter saw. Makes short work of baseboards and door trim too!

Lila: "Does this floor make me look fat?"
Nice new scroll work grille for the cold air return vent.

Lila inspecting the installation of the heat vent grille.

Daylight view of the floor.
"Sacramento Pine"

The two towers of wire basket drawers are from Ikea. There is a clothes rail up top and a pants rack lower down for all my uniforms. The other part is a Rubbermaid closet organizer.

Because the walls are not plumb, I used white paintable caulking to hide the gaps. Once it has properly cured, I will paint the baseboards with semigloss white latex paint, and if required, touch up with the wall colour as well. I put in 5" baseboards. Seemed to fit the house better than narrower ones.

And here is the finished room. Lila has been in and out, rather excited about the whole thing. Pips delegated inspection duties to her this project.

Next on the list is to pull down the ceiling in the basement. I want to get a quote on having the whole house rewired and a new and larger electrical panel put in. A number of the outlets in the house are not grounded. I have an electrician (the son of the MoS) who charges a nominal hourly rate (last time he did some work it was $35/hr). But I want to see what's what so we can get an accurate idea of the current situation. Once that is done (pulling the ceiling down, that is), the former bedroom closet will be changed into a kitchen pantry. And the storage space will be a welcome addition to another small space in my small house.

Monday, 13 January 2014

The Twelfth

It's an odd word, isn't it? Twelfth? The "lfth" is rather awkward falling off the tongue... I think it rather trips up and flounders a bit.

But the 12th of January is a day of mixed emotions for me.

A dear friend with whom I work celebrates her birthday on that day, as does my lovely Auntie Peggy.

Peggy turned 81 this year, and she threw herself a bit of a party. Why not? No point in surprises, and because the whole extended family tends to just carry on and forget these occasions, she phoned everyone up, saying she was making a big pot of vegetarian chili, with a pot of meat stewed up that could be added in for those so inclined to be carnivorous, and had a birthday cake ready to go as well.

So it became a family gathering with people coming and going, Happy Birthday being sung numerous times as it was also around the time of my cousin Sandie's 64th birthday, and my stepcousin Joyce's 48th. So the large (store bought) slab cake was festooned with numbers and names and little Jude got to blow all the candles out, assisting the birthday girls as each took their turn. He's 3 and a half. That half is important, you know, especially when you are three.

But it is also, this twelfth day of January, the anniversary of my mother's death. She passed away in 2003, just 2 1/2 months after my paternal grandmother (who was 95 and sharp as a tack to the end). My mum was a smoker and an alcoholic. She loved her scotch and her Camels. So her end was a long drawn out affair with addiction and emphysema... a very nasty way to go, judging from the length of time I watched her huff and puff, lose weight and become increasingly anxious. Being hypoxic and always slightly tippled isn't such a good mix.

So I was very happy to spend the afternoon and part of the evening visiting with family, rather than wandering around the house with Mum on my mind. Although I was glad her suffering was ended when she died, I still miss her very much. But I guess that is pretty much the case for anyone you love who has been afflicted with a debilitating illness.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

My wish for you...

Warmest wishes for the best to all of you from me. May your lives be the best they can be, richest in love and health, comfortable in home and wealth, warm and cozy and all you would like them to be.

Happy New Year, everyone!