24 October 2014

My Wife the Renovator

Welcome back. Last month, I got my first ever black eye; actually it was purplish. In a coincidence that can only be described as astounding, our son Noah, who lives 900 miles to the east of us, got his first black eye a few hours after I did--the same eye, no less.  

Botox? Anti-Wrinkle cream?
No. Father and son black
eyes after some healing.
Noah got his fetching more ice for his wife, who was busy fulfilling an ice-bucket challenge. He slammed into the freezer door of his refrigerator or vice versa.

Me? I smacked my head against the bathroom wall when I leaned over the bathtub to turn on the water for a shower. My wall encounter had nothing, well, almost nothing to do with my spotting trees painted on the bathroom doorway wall. My wife Vicki had warned me about those.

Apartment Renovations

Vicki began renovating our Wisconsin apartment long before we moved from Virginia (Time to Renovate). Given the age and condition of the converted-barn structure, most of her work has been mandatory and much more substantive than painting trees on a wall.

I’ve no idea where she got the idea for the trees if it’s not her own. I won’t photograph the wall in the event she borrowed the design. Plus, it might be a work in progress; there’s room for more branches and there are other bathroom walls.

Fortunately, the trees are on the wall, not in pots on the bathroom floor, not that our shared bathroom is small. The half bath off the bedroom she converted to my office, that’s small. Early in the summer, she made it bigger by reversing the door to open outward rather than inward. 

Half-bath renovations--floor
 tile and door opens out,
 which required cutting
 away heating register cover
I accomplished a similar feat in a rare display of handiwork approximately 40 years ago, but that involved a standard door with no encumbrances. The half bath’s door is narrow yet weighs more than I do. To make it swing outward far enough to justify the project, she had to first discover that the cover over the heating register along the bottom of the walls could be cut back, something that neither I nor her cousin the contractor realized. 

Vicki learned the ins and outs of the heating register’s cover when she tiled the half-bath’s floor, replacing worn linoleum glued in place in the late 1940s. Laying new tile was a snap for her, compared to removing the linoleum. Luckily, she had gained experience in that task downstairs.

Downstairs Renovations

Removing the patchy linoleum from our downstairs entryway took research and trial and error. I can’t remember what finally worked best, but once that concrete floor was clean, she painted it. Having started, she painted everything--entryway walls, ceiling and stairwell up to our apartment, different colors of course.

Days before the bathroom trees grew, she also painted the downstairs bedroom she had converted to an office for herself. That could have been easier if she hadn’t already mounted barn boards or some old wood to the walls for both shelves and, I guess, decoration.

Wrap Up

Renovations continue amidst Vicki’s required and volunteer activities. There’s another half bath downstairs that’s in pretty rough shape. She did go so far as to remove the toilet and cover the drain.

For some work, she’ll no doubt call professionals as she did for the new roof. A ceiling pipe in the laundry–furnace area I described last year (Plumbing and Me) is wrapped in asbestos. And there’s always the possibility of unifying the eclectic electrical systems (Empowered!).

I occasionally hear a plan before seeing the result. Unless asked, I try not to comment, though she knows all my tells. Last week, she said something about stripes on the downstairs entryway walls. My euphoria must surely have been palpable. Anyway, it could be trees. Thanks for stopping by.

1 comment:

  1. Photos, we simply must have photos of the renovation projects! Vicki, the Instigator; Warren, the Supporter.