Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Triumph over the tile!

Breaking up the edge tiles was the trick to getting the tile off the wall. As soon as I started breaking them up with the claw end of the hammer, the wall didn't look so challenging anymore. It was drywall on top of drywall. As you can see in the pictures, it looks like there was some form of tile on the original wall under the top layer of drywall. I also found some very interesting wallpaper leftovers. The navy blue curls are fuzzy and feel like velvet. I can't believe someone in the 60s choose that awful wallpaper to the walls. I wish I could have seen the previous tile. I wonder what color they were. My guess is teal. Anyway, it's a good thing I'm taking down the drywall. The original wall looks moldy where the old tiles used to be. I'm really hoping it's just discolored glue.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I refuse to let the bathroom win

I got up early on Saturday to get a head start on cleaning or demo, which ever I decided to do first. I decided to go to Lowes and Target instead. I had a few items to still pick up at Lowes and when I couldn’t find everything I needed I headed to Target. I couldn’t find a small roll of duct tape to save my life at Lowes. All they had was huge $8 rolls. I knew I would only need a small amount so I saved that for Target. I was also surprised to find a very small selection of extremely expensive reciprocating saws at Lowes. I know Target has power tools, so I have 2 more things on my Target it list.

I knew the linen cabinet in the bathroom was going to be tricky to get out, but I didn’t expect what I found. I believe the cabinet was glued on the wall. There are no nails or screws or anything I could see attaching it to the walls. So I decided to try the take a hammer to it with all my strength trick. That didn’t work at all. My hammer bounced back and vibrated the wall. With no luck there, I got out the reciprocating saw and started sawing the sucker off the wall. Since I’ve never used that type of saw before, I tested out how powerful the saw was by cutting off the middle support on the bottom section of the front. It sawed through it like butter. I then cut off the heat vent that comes up through the bottom of the cabinet. Since that created a ton of sawdust, I decided to get the vacuum out and clean up. I got bored with the saw and thought it was time to see how easy it would be to get 50 year old drywall off the wall. It was pretty easy with the claw part of the hammer. I worked on the section next to the cabinet above the tile. I was dying to find out why the tile wouldn’t come off the wall. As I got closer to the tile I noticed a piece of wood that was at the top ledge of the tile. I was hoping it was just the size of the stud. I stuck my hand down the gap to see how long it was. That board is at least as deep as my hand. I know my hand is pretty small, but come on. I think that is a little over kill. It’s not like they put granite on the wall and needed the support.

Before I did anything to it
Hole I put in the wall
Board that is at the top edge of the wall tile
No demo or cleaning got done at all. I had Church from 10:00 – 1:00, then went to lunch with some church members, and after that went to test one of the streams my Church’s team are responsible for. I only had about 2.5 hours at home after that until I needed to be back at Church for the Church Council meeting at 7pm. Then I needed to go to the grocery store. I only had time to wash a load a laundry. I lost that day.

After work I decided to do some much needed cleaning/rearranging/sorting of the office and 3rd bedroom. I made some good progress and even found some stuff I had lost. I finally washed and put up the Christmas dishes I bought last Christmas. Found my extra pillows and a few little kid books for Morgan to look at while they’re here. It took a lot longer than I thought and didn’t finish before it was time for bed. Both closets were a little disorganized and I had to straighten them out before I could add more to the piles.

After work tonight I am headed over to the NASA fitness center to get a membership and maybe walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes or so. After my chat with Chad last night, I need to then go get a few more things from Lowes and then continue with the demo. I hope to unlock more of the mystery of the over-the-top, crazy tile support system on the wall.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Goodies

I went out on Saturday morning to get the major items for the bathroom remodel. I spent a little more than what I had figured from my price finding trip to Lowes 2 weeks ago. I ended up buying a more expensive bath fan and shower head/tub faucet set. I also decided to get some silicone tile grout to repair the cracks in the master bath floor and tub surround. I think I made some good purchases. I usually lean towards the most expense items whenever I have a choice. This time my picks were not the most expensive or top of the line items.

The medicine cabinet I choose has a top molding that matches the sink and vanity profile. It is also half recessed in the wall and half sticking off the wall, so it is extra deep.

The bath fan is the decorative item. I had originally picked out the traditional fan with a light, but I decided to go the fancy route. It looks just like a regular light with a hidden fan.

I needed to get a longer towel rack than the existing 18” rack I have right now. I decided to get two 24” racks in addition to the 18” rack. I got luck that Lowes still carries the style and brand I bought when I first moved into my house. I also bought the matching robe hook. I used to have a hook that stuck to the back of the door, but it fell off and won’t stick back on. Now it’s time for the screw in kind.

Here is the shower head/tub faucet set. I didn’t get to get the one I really wanted that matched the one in the master bath because the only box was opened at the store and it looked like pieces were missing. This one is a little fancier than what I need, but I’ll live.

I added the task of installing a light above the kitchen sink. Since the kitchen sink wall will be exposed when I take the bathroom wall off, I’m hoping it won’t be too much work to install this light and a light switch. Chad, I hope you’re not mad. :)

I brought home some color palettes to see which color might work best in the bathroom and be something that could go with almost any d├ęcor. I’m still thinking about the pale lavender and now I’ve added the lightest green. Cream is out because I think it’s too boring. Color suggestions are always appreciated.

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's been awhile!

Ok. I know it has been a really long time since I've posted anything to my blog. I am going to post my bathroom remodel project. Here's a picture of my bathroom as it looks today.

I have until Tuesday, November 24th to remove the toilet, sink, light fixture, medicine cabinet, built-in linen closet, the floor, and drywall from the walls and ceiling. It looks like a big task. I really want to try to remove everything as clean as possible, but I have a feeling and been told that is impossible.

This weekend I'm going to go to Lowes and buy the new medicine cabinet, shower head/tub faucet set, bath fan, more towel racks, and a robe hook. I will go look at new tile for the floor and tub surround, but I don't think I'm going to buy them yet. I'm going to save buying drywall and drywall supplies until Beth & Chad get here so that Chad can tell me exactly what to buy.

I have a feeling that when we are all finished, the hall bath will be nicer than the master bath. I guess I will then have to do something to the master bath to make that a little fancier.

I will be posting pictures of the progress when ever I have something to show. Monday morning I should have pictures of all the stuff I bought.

I am stuck on the paint color. When I first moved into the house, I had picked out a light lavender color to match the flowers in the shower curtain, but I don't know if that would be a good color for when I put my house for sale. I would probably have to repaint that room. I want the tile to be a light gray; so lavender would look real nice with it. I guess I will have to go get some more paint samples.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I am so far behind on my blog entries, so I’m going to list everything I’ve done since the middle of March.

Trip to Stennis Space Center, Mississippi
About a month ago I was given the choice to have my annual performance review either through video conference or in person at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. I didn’t hesitate at the chance to get out of the office for a couple days. On Sunday, March 22nd I flew out of Huntsville, AL to New Orleans, LA. The supervisor over the Education Specialists and my Supervisor was and still is traveling to each NASA center to see the Specialists in action and to meet with the education Directors, Center Project Leads, the Project Assistants, and anyone else the Project Assistant at that center thought would be a good person to meet with. The trip to Marshall is not until the middle of May and my performance review had to be done by April 10th, so that is why I had the option to travel to Stennis or do it over video conference.

Once in New Orleans, LA, I met up with my supervisor (he flew in from Penn State Univ) at the airport to wait for the Specialist’s Supervisor to come pick us up and head for Slidell, LA to our hotel. I actually take care of all the admin stuff for Steve (Education Specialist) at Stennis along with everything at Marshall. I had never been to Stennis Space Center before and it eerily looked just like Marshall (my center). After Steve took us around the Center showing us all the places he frequents, he took us to his office and we parked our stuff, toured the museum, and got some lunch. After lunch I had a 3 hour performance review. That may sound bad, but it was really good. My Supervisor is new as of November and doesn’t know much about what the Project Assistants do, so we all have been telling him about what we do from our perspective. I came out of the review with the highest marks. It felt really good! Tuesday morning I was headed back home to Huntsville.

Wednesday was my only day in the office for the week. All I did was catching up on entering expense reports in to the system and getting ready to be off for Thursday and Friday.

Sinus Surgery #2
Thursday, I had some outpatient sinus surgery again. This time it was minor and very quick. I have some scar tissue on the right side of my sinuses that was making me get frequent sinus infections again. This surgery was hopefully going to take care of that, becuase I’m tired of having sinus trouble. I didn’t have any pain with the surgery even though I had lots of sinus pressure that made me off balance. I was given some pain medication to help with the pressure, but it made me very hungry, shaky and disconnected. I went back to work on Monday and had to take my medication so that I could take my mind off the sinus pressure. That was very interesting to deal with since I wasn’t suppose to drive while on the medication. It took about 45 minutes to take effect, so I would take it just before I walked out the door. I would have about 15-20 minutes at work before it would start making me drowsy. I had to make sure I brought my lunch so I could take another pill before lunch. That way the medication would be out of my system enough for me to drive home at 4:30. By Thursday, April 1st, my nose had healed enough for me to start blowing it. One side effect of being able to blow my nose is that I started getting motion sick very easily if I got over heated. I would get it without even being in a moving vehicle.

The Great Moonbuggy Race
The week after my surgery I had 3 days to get everything in order for me to be gone for 2 weeks because the Great Moonbuggy Race was Thursday – Saturday. This year I was asked to help with registration as well as be in charge of the 2-way radios. The Moonbuggy Race is an engineering design challenge NASA created for high school and college students to create a buggy that could stand up to the harsh elements and terrain on the moon just like the original one. Once they have their buggies made they race against the other school to get the best time on the obstacle course that weaves around the different attractions outside at the US Space and Rocket Center. Usually the weather is bad on either Friday or Saturday and part or all of that day is cancelled. This year Thursday afternoon was bad and Friday and Saturday was nice so both days of the race went as planned.

Woman’s Leadership Conference, Penn State University
Sunday, April 5 started a 2 week trip. The first 4 days of the first week I was at Penn State University for a Woman’s Leadership Conference and a Professional Development day at the office, and from there I went to Minnesota to visit the family for Easter.

The Woman’s Leadership Conference was really good for the first conference I’ve ever officially attended. My Supervisor decided to bring all the Project Assistants to Penn State for the Conference. The conference was actually only one day, but was repeated the next day so you could take sessions on the second day you didn’t get to on the first. Out of the 7 sessions I took, only one was really boring and fought to stay awake.

The third day at Penn State was a professional development session on how to communicate with difficult people in the morning and a few hours of just talking with our Supervisor in the afternoon. That probably doesn’t sound like a fun day, but it was actually a nice day and very productive.

Easter/Vacation in Minnesota & Wisconsin
When I left from Penn State I was on my way to Minnesota for some relaxation and family time. I got to see my Grandma who is temporarily in a rehab nursing home preparing for some foot surgery. I got to see all of my extended family at Easter – drama and all. Spent Easter weekend at my Sister’s and took care of my niece Morgan the Monday after. I always joy my time in Minnesota.

As usual, I don’t get as much time to spend with my friends as I’d like, but they all have lives and I’m the one on vacation. I always have lots of fun when we get together even though the time flies too fast.

My favorite part of my vacation in Minnesota was all the time I got to spend with Morgan and see how she has grown. I can’t believe that at 18 months she is running around, talking about everything, repeating everything you say, and putting together 3 word sentences. She is full of energy and is nonstop chatter. She pronounces most of the words she says clearly except for my favorite word she says “gibbage”, which is garbage. I’m very happy that she can pronounce my name correctly. Most toddlers pronounce my name as “Tatie”, but she says it like “Kay-Tee”.

The last big activity I went to while in MN was a piano recital for my step nieces Margaret and Mary Emma. It brought back many memories of my own piano recitals and actually has sort of given me a bug to start playing again. I have one problem with this bug, I don’t have my piano – my sister does.