Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

Any event that gets excited about how early it can start is not one that gets me excited. My family spent the day driving around the Ft. Myers and Sanibel Island area today. In our one and only stint at shopping, we made a stop at The Shell Factory, which aside from shells, sells a bunch of other randomness. I nearly took some pictures but you kind of have to see it to believe it. Suffice it to say, if you're in southern Florida and need medieval coins, fossils, fudge, taxidermied safari animals, seashell toilet seats, or just some place to goggle at for an hour or two, The Shell Factory is your place.

For me, the vacation has been good but slow. I managed to see two sets of friends and their SOs located a bit up the coast, drive over the Sunshine bridge south of Tampa, practice some Cued Speech, celebrate Thanksgiving and two birthdays, and get a sinus infection.

I'm not sure if it was the airplane or the air in Florida starting my nose tickling, but staying with my cat-owning friend put me over the edge and I woke up with a sinus infection tuesday. After finding an urgent care place that would see an out of state visitor (where other patients wondered about the sanity of a Californian vacationing in Florida), I got some antibiotics courtsy of Publix. Thank you Publix! I'm feeling better, but not good yet. Then my mom asked if I blow my nose like that every day. Well, only when I have a sinus infection, so no. I'm still not sure why she asked me that.

Also, everything I take except the tylenol, sudafed and antibiotics kicks me into an extreme case of restless leg syndrome. So my usual jet-lag cure of Lunesta puts me to sleep for 30 minutes then wakes me up with the RLS. The chlortrimeton does the same. As a result, I haven't slept much on this vacation. I don't fall asleep until about midnight pacific time even if I'm tired at midnight atlantic time. Makes me glad I'm flying out at night tomorrow because I'm not sure I'd make it in the morning.

It hasn't been all rough, though. We had a potluck Thanksgiving at the condo/yacht club's club house. One neighbor made a "Florida turkey" decoration where she drew the turkey body and made the tailfeathers out of palm fronds. The weather here is nicer than where I live. It's about 85 and just humid enough to hold the heat in. My aunt's place is on the water, where we just had drinks and snacks with the neighbors out on the dock. My brother and the neighbor between them caught 3 sailcatfish and a ladyfish. The ladyfish (a "she-fish" per my bro) became bait and the sailcats went back in the water, but it kept them occupied. My skin is liking the moderate humidity, of all things. Pretty good.

To condense, the "happiness items" in today's post:
  • Seeing friends and family
  • Shell Factory outing
  • Drinks on the dock
  • Happy skin
Here's hoping everyone out there is surviving the harvest celebrations and time with family. This is one of my favorite holidays. How is yours going? Ready to escape the family by shopping or seeing movies? Or is everyone still getting along?  What are you thankful for?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bathcave Revision

My dad, assuming he goes online before Thanksgiving, will be pleased to note that I got the drawers back in the relocated organizer.

bath vanity reno

The bathcave, while still windowless, has made great strides. The vanity/ laundry/ closet area used to feel like a closed-in hallway that I did not generally spend time in. Remeasured with the stuff out, it's about 11'x6' which is 9% of my square footage and I didn't much use most of it. By taking out one side of the closet, the header, and moving the organizer parts to either side of the room, there's now a great space when walking in. You can see above that it doesn't looked cramped anymore.

When entering the bathroom previously, this is the view - with curtains closed to keep the clutter from total obviousness. Also, the laundry sticks into the room several inches. It's masked slightly because the oddball closet wall sticks out so far on that end.
bath vanity before, wall with curtain

Opening the curtains and walking in further, you can see the nice organizer. Well, the components are nice, but they allowed a roughly 9" gap through which to access the 3 foot deep corner storage on one side and 11 on the other . They'd put in garment hanging racks so the things being stored could actually fit through that gap, but it wasn't workable for a daily use situation. Essentially, I had the organizer and very little else.
bath vanity organizer before

There's so little in that space now that this picture doesn't quite do justice to the space, but notice that there are no cluttered shelves on first view. And yes, I did paint that far wall white. Even I can't handle *that* much orange sherbet.
bath vanity after, far wall is white with white baseboard.

More details after the jump!  Click below.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Bathcave

One of my recent excuses for not updating the blog is that whenever I could be working on the blog, I think about how I could be making progress on the bathroom and go do that. I was stalled for a while while working some long hours, but am back in the swing of things.

This weekend, I purchased baseboards, including one for the kitchen. The bathroom took a bit of a backseat to the fridge project. I had to pull the fridge completely out to get the adjacent baseboard out and while I was there, did the annual filter change on the icemaker line. I was pleased to note that there was only a little bit of dust and a lonely craisin under the fridge after a year of lost food possibilities. After about 18 tiny adjustments with the new sliding compound miter saw (due to trying to shove the baseboard partly under the cabinet but needing room to angle it in), I finally got it in.

I'm attaching the pre-primed baseboards with construction adhesive, which is going ok, but has enough width to it that I need to fill in a gap at the top. I figured white caulk would do the trick. At the home depot, the person at the paint counter, who would help me find such things, was probably the most butch lady I've seen in my little red-state-socal town. After a momentary pause during which I decided there was no way in the world I could ask her for caulk, I settled on "caulking" instead. Two seconds later, I had waterproof white caulk. ing. An hour later and the kitchen was reassembled.

The baseboard on the big wall was tricky to do without nails - I hadn't prepped enough support pieces so there's a screw in one corner, but it went alright, and now I can measure my shelves that will go between that and the sink. (I couldn't stop the baseboard at the cabinet or the lowest drawer wouldn't open.)

Taking down the closet wall and the built-in vanity left a row of missing tile. I managed to cobble together enough partial pieces to cover all the bits that show easily, and filled in the rest with a similar tile. The fill tile isn't a total match, but I figure anyone who finds it under the cabinet is going to be replacing the rest of the tile anyway. It took a while to figure out which tiles would go where and whether they'd even fit under the legs of the back cabinet. They did fit - by the hair of my chinny chin chin, but I got them in. Tonight was the night to actually stick them down, and it went twice as well as I'd hoped for. It was very satisfying to see the puzzle I'd had to solve actually work out in reality. Tomorrow will be grout day and I'll try to start posting pictures.

Due to having an appointment at 6 and doing an utterly wacky dance class t 7:30, I got the tiles in but posting pictures is outside my abilities for the evening. I could show you how to dance like a whacked out marionette that can do a little "house" style jig, however.