Monday, September 16, 2013

There is Progress

I got home from the cabin around quarter to 5 last night (as planned) and came in to a house bustling with activity…  The bathroom had progressed from where it was, but as feared, there wasn’t yet a working toilet.  The holes in the floor had been dealt with – actually, the contractor had to re-do more of the floor than he had initially anticipated as there was rot on both sides of what was actually a supporting wall (eek!)
But the result is a floor that is totally even and one that, once the laminate flooring goes on, will look FABULOUS.
When last I typed, I was having anxiety thinking that I wouldn’t have a toilet or bath tub in which to bathe…  I didn’t have either until about 9:30 last night, but before they left for the day, the toilet was hooked up AND the bath tub was jury rigged so that I can at least have baths until the whole thing is completed. 
There is still a lot more work to be done – the vanity has been put together, but needs to be installed… the pony walls need to be covered with drywall (and then taped, mudded and sanded) the tub needs to be fully enclosed, the lights need to be amended and the whole thing needs to be painted. Yes, still a fairly large amount of work to be done.
Looking in the doorway
at where the washer
drier will be

New bathtub , pony wall
and where shelving will be

Hot water tank, another pony wall
and the toilet's new home...
Look at that great floor!!

My contractor does have a full time day job and unfortunately because of where he works, he ends up being required to take extra shifts because of people who call in sick. He’s had a full summer of construction work on top of a summer that has required in excess of 100 hours of overtime in the space of the last couple of months.  Today is a good example.  Had he not had to cover someone else’s shifts, he would more than likely have been here around 1 this afternoon.  It’s almost 4 and no sign yet.  Such is life, right?
Tonight’s stress surrounded the vanity.  You know – the vanity I spent about 3 hours assembling last night?  Yup – that one.  It is too big.
Vanity - too big.  It will be repurposed!
So I had to make a decision. Move it around the room? No. Change the layout and have them cut another door and then close in another doorway? No. Get a smaller vanity?
Yup – that’s what I ended up doing.  I chose one that is quite a bit smaller – but it came assembled in the box, with the top included. It also fit into the back of my car so I was able to also bring it home.
What I have decided to do (instead of disassembling the other vanity, boxing it back up and returning it along with the top I special ordered… is to return the top and keep the assembled vanity – and repurpose it.  So what I will do is set it up in the kitchen along the wall that backs onto my bedroom – I’ll get a small piece of fancy sided plywood (23”x49”) or maybe thick wood that could be glued together and made into a work top.  It will be perfect for storing the dog and cat paraphernalia and also all of my canning supplies. I could build in some overhead shelving for more storage as well.
Storage – all of this change to the house is all about making smarter space with more storage…
With love across the waters…

Last Full Day

Saturday, September 14:
Today is my last full day / overnight at the cabin.  It hasn’t been a true full day as I went home briefly this morning to take Missy home and yes, check out the progress on the renovation…

Today started at 4:28 AM for me – Missy decided at about midnight that she would rather come in and have cuddles and sleeps with me and Jasmine and that at 4:28 AM (I checked) she was awake and insisting that she needed to go outside.
Nope – not going to happen.  She has had a BALL down at the cabin this past week – spent most of her time outside (day and night) hunting.  She’s had a tubby little belly all week long and the snakes that normally live near the compost pile we have here have been absent.  I think she’s had a great time eating snakes, small birds and mice all week long!
Anyhow, not trusting that I would be able to convince her to come to me (I know some people have trained their feline companions to come when called, but I have had zero success with that concept!) if I left her here with me and Jasmine right to the last minutes on the beach, I decided to take her home this morning in advance of closing up the cabin tomorrow late in the afternoon.
So I found myself stumbling across at the barest of walkable low tides in the dark at about 6 this morning carrying a cat (meowing) in a crate and holding on (for dear life) to a dog’s leash and a flashlight that powers by squeezing its handle repeatedly. 
Yeah – not one of my finer plans.
I did make it all the way across without falling down (yay me!) and made good time back home to drop off the cat.
OK – yes, I admit it, I also wanted to see the progress on the renovations.
The curtains were all closed (a good sign that my contractor is paying attention to home security) when I pulled into the driveway.  There was a large pile of debris (the old bathtub, the old vanity, some drywall and some pieces of wood I have to assume were cut out of the wall when they created the “through way” from the bathroom into the laundry room spaces.
They were actually not as far along in the project as I had thought they might be.  OK – I admit it, I don’t know enough about these kinds of renovations to know how things will look as the days progress, but I thought that at this stage (with me expected home around 5PM tomorrow that the work would be mostly finished and that perhaps the only things left to be done at this point would be things like painting and maybe installation of floor and door mouldings.
What I saw made me worry that I may not have a bathroom when I get home tomorrow. The bathroom floor (which has to be fully removed and replaced) was still in place… this means that the plumbing and electrical that needs to be completed is not yet done. The old windows are still in place.
Granted, I didn’t expect the windows to be done since the guy who was placing the order for them let slip that those can take a couple of weeks to be made ready (and he was actually supposed to come measure them a few weeks ago, so I have a feeling that my contractor wasn’t too pleased by that oversight.
I’m a little concerned that I will not get the hoped for bath in my new tub tomorrow night… hell, I’m a little worried that I may not have a toilet to use when I get home!
I know that they will have been working flat out all day today – possibly long through the night, and will be doing more of the same tomorrow… but I’m still a little worried at what stage things will be at when I get home.
Wish me luck!
With love across the waters…

The Real Deal

Monday, September 9:

I’m down at the cabin – the weather this week is projected to be absolutely GORGEOUS and I am looking forward to a quiet week with Jasmine and Missy at the cabin. I’m here now and once the cabin was open, I checked in with the neighbours (who are down for a couple more days and then they head home) and had a big lunch, I promptly lay down and had a 2 hour nap.  God it was wonderful!

My plans for the week do include some family time - lunch with my folks on Wednesday and maybe a visit with my brother and nephew on Thursday – but for the most part I will spend my time puttering around down here – walking with Jasmine around the islands (the tide it high most of the week I’m down) and sitting around reading. 

And yes, napping.

And while I am here, my house is fully occupied by my contractor and his team – they are going to be working away at gutting the bathroom and laundry room and building a dream space for me.  I’ll still have work to do on it in the form of building some additional shelves, installing some bi-fold doors, constructing a really cool cleat and pulley system drying rack that will hang from the ceiling and a counter space - but in reality, those projects will be small ones that will be easy enough to accomplish on winter weekends.

I head home on Sunday whenever I can catch the cat, and will spend some of my Monday doing laundry in my new space. 

Sunday night, though, I will be having a long hot bath in my new tub!  Woo hoo!

With love across the waters,