Happy Easter!

...to all of our Peeps.

Today, we woke up early and worked.

Then, off to Aunt Cherri and Uncle Jim's for much of this:

Thanks for the Warhol plate, Arn! How did you know that "I love Anne day" is my favorite holiday? Heh...there's Hamm on it.

Then back to work. No rest for the full!

I also talked to Grammie.

And there was a little of this:

Now, the ceiling in the living room looks FRICKIN' AMAZING!

Ceiling tiles are installed, caulked, and primed. Eggshell white paint to follow. Moulding is up, despite the fact that nothing in our house is level, and painted in high-gloss.

Now for some quotes on refinishing the hardwood floors.


Hunting Pegasus

Sunday mornings, Bren and I often treat ourselves to bagels at Einstein's, even though the wait is ridiculous, and we've never gotten our order right when going through the drive-thru (Bren's sausage, egg and cheese sandwich arrived on a cranberry bagel this morning).

After that, we went to Home Depot to check out and price various woods for our forthcoming built-in bookshelves in the living room, only to find that the bathroom sink and toilet series we've been eyeing were on CLEARANCE. What? I know I said we had to pay taxes first, but the likelihood of something we want being IN STOCK at Home Depot -- let alone being ON SALE is slim to none.

We bought the sink immediately, but the toilet was missing in action. But a clearance is a clearance, and we were determined to get these matching items while they were hot. And cheap. Thus began a 5-store trek across the Front Range. At store #4, we finally discovered that HD employees have the ability to check the availability of an item at other stores. Why this service has not been rendered to us in the past, I do not know. Off we went to the newest HD in town, at 470 and Quincy.

We finally found our elusive toilet in the highest back stock. A forklift hoisted the precious cargo to earth, and we joyfully shoved it into my Cavalier (I rode like a kid in a car seat all the way home).

I opened our prizes later that evening, only to find that BOTH the toilet bowl and tank were broken. Bren went promptly back to the store, and luckily our same salesperson was there, because he had stowed the remaining stock in an equally nonsensical place.

I forgot to mention that the brand of toilet/sink is PEGASUS, for whatever reason. The line is called "Structure," which is far less offensive than others. Who, for instance, wants to buy a toilet called "Memoirs?" Are they suggesting that someone who owns that toilet must have led an interesting life, or that that their most interesting moments will take place in the water closet?

Our hard-earned clearance sink and toilet:

Chevy thought it was the best toy we'd ever bought him.


Don't Tread on Me

After much toil and trouble, the bathroom floor is tiled! With the exception of some edge pieces Bren has to cut. See?

So glam. My fingers, however, are not. I have blisters and mortar dries skin worse than a Colorado Winter.

It makes the room look huge! A pedestal sink and a toilet (coming soon -- gotta pay taxes first), and some towel bars, etc. and we'll be soaking in no time.

Oh, and we have to tile the shower curb. Tomorrow, perhaps. The last of the green tiles we needed to finish the shelf and door jamb came in today, too.

A good day!


Business in the Front, Party in the Back

Front of house, I tiled the shower floor last night. Hex tiles are surprisingly finicky. You'd think the mesh backing would be helpful, but it's still super tricky. Looks good though, eh?

I'm prepped to do the rest of the floor (all 55 square feet of it -- Agh!) tomorrow night. Bren had to cut a hole for a new heat vent (our tub covers where the original one was) (he went through two saw blades) and install the toilet flange. Whatever that is.

Today in the back yard, an $8,000 extravaganza took place. I wish I had pictures of the process, but unexpected ventures like this one sort of necessitate us going to work on a Tuesday. Here's the end product:

Funny, it's not much worse than before. Except for the demolished fence. A back-hoe will do that.

Those white things are called the "cleanout." So you don't have to take out a toilet if any more subterranean mischance occurs. The concrete used to go to the edge of the house, right before the gate.

I did some checking online and found quotes as low as $3500 for main sewer line replacements. But they said "starting at $3,500...for up to 75 feet." Well, Rescue Rooter had to dig about 100 feet through our yard, and through concrete in two places. And they were available today. I guess that's why it cost so much. It took four guys about 9 hours. I highly doubt those guys are getting $200 an hour, though, even for working in sewage. If it's anything like Bren's position at Best Buy -- he sees about one tenth of what they charge for him to calibrate people's expensive TVs. He did one in a trailer home the other day, by the way.

Pardon me while I try to rationalize spending so much money on something I can't even see, rather than on, say, a KITCHEN. Or...FURNITURE.

Or burritos. We sure love a good burrito.


Revenge of the Stumps

Well, Mr. Rooter came back by to scope our pipes this morning. Long story short, the main line needs to be replaced. The bill? $8,000.

The good news? At least we didn't get around to tilling up the lawn and laying new sod last year. And we'll get a head start on it for Spring.


Are We Done Yet?

Ummm...no. In fact, we aren't even remotely close. Not even one room is done, and to be honest, Bren and I are pretty burnt and/or bummed out right now. BUT, my hope is that posting our progress (albeit slow) will rekindle the flame of ridiculous optimism that started this whole thing.

The bathroom is coming along, and it's going to look pretty spiffy. We picked green tiles for the shower to match the paint in the rest of the room. It's called "Misty Meadow."

Cool. We are awaiting an order of 3/4 in. rounded trim pieces to solve the problems of the shelf and door jambs. There were bullnose tiles available, but we sort of negated their usefulness when we decided to go with the diamond pattern.

While waiting for these various shipments of tile, Bren finished the last installment of cement on the shower floor:

Very nice. A dirty job, though. Sure wish we had a shower. See what I mean?

GROSS. This poor green thrift store couch has seen it all. Speaking of dirty boys taking breaks, here's the obligatory spread of cat pictures:

Yes, he climbed up there himself.

Hard at work.

Asleep on the job. What a slacker.

Back to work. Bren and the band played another retreat (or an abbreviated version of it, due to an unexpected snowstorm) and we were able to order the bathroom floor tiles - white hexes and some black ones to make a design. When they arrived, I laid everything out on the living room/dining room floor to plot it out:

It took me forever to figure it out, seeing as how math was involved. But I did, and it looked like this for about one second before Chevy discovered the sport of tile hockey.

We're on a roll, right? Right. Until I went to do laundry a couple of nights ago, and the water heater room flooded. And I needed to pee. I pretty much hated everything right then.

Remember my post about the stumps? And about pulling the 80-year old roots in our yard? Well, I guess in 80 years of growing, trees and weeds need some adventure every once in a while, and they decide to invade plumbing.

So, yeah. We give new meaning to the term "rootered." The plumber said it's not totally uncommon, but our case is uncommonly significant. He reamed out 100 feet of pipe, and hopefully that will do us for another 80 years.