You haven’t signed up. You have to sign up.

If you’re here looking for Our Life Daily, you’re in the right place. But this blog is now closed.

To find our new blog, The Bungalow Blog, you have to click here.

If you want to know why, click here.

If you want to sign up, click here.

Okay. You’ve been here long enough. Time to go over there.

Our Life Daily closes. The Bungalow Blog opens.

Due to technical difficulties, I chose to close down our old blog (our life daily) and start up a new blog (the bungalow blog.)

With any luck, I hope some of you will tiptoe over and quietly sign up. Or not. Noisy is good…screaming…gnashing of teeth.  All good. And while I’m distressed at having to set up another blog (again) I’m hoping to gradually migrate over some of our old posts. Or maybe not. Maybe this is a sign — now the boat’s sold — that we should start fresh.

After all, we’re in the midst of a home renovation and I can tell you…this is some kind of fun! We also head to Italy in April 2013 so what with the planning, learning Italian, practicing my pasta eating, and Bill making a list of “must try” wines, there is much to blog about.

Since our life daily was not so much with the daily, I hope to blog more but less at the bungalow blog. More posts; less words.

We’ll see how it goes.

I may or may not change my Twitter account. I’ll see if Twitter makes it easy…or hard.

PS — it would be a good idea to give you the address of the new blog…yes? *sigh*

Head on over to The Bungalow Blog and help keep us motivated!

Today is front door installation day

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Bye-bye rusty old door.

The temperature is 0. Zero. That’s 32F. It’s cloudy and the wind is gusting from the west slamming right into the side of the bungalow.

What more can we ask for as we start to tear out the doorframe around the front door? Snow, you say? Hey…it’s possible. Maybe we’ll get a little hail and if we’re really lucky, a freak tornado will arrive just as we’re hanging our brand new door. (Yes, we could have waited until spring. But this is way more fun.)

The door is energy efficient…except we choose to have a big pane of glass installed as an insert. The colour is wild enough to make you go…YOWSER! When I showed the paint chip to Mike at the building centre, he actually jumped back a foot.

Hey Mikey…I know you like it.

It’s now 1pm and while the sun is now shining, it’s shining on the back of the house, not the front. So, it’s still fucking freezing as we work on the door installation. I say “we.” It’s actually Bill and David A. who are doing the hard slogging. They seem to work well together…no cursing so far.

And then we found rot. We expected some in the sill along the bottom edge. However, it’s migrated up the left side into the frame of the house. But all is not lost! We have tons…literally…of scrap lumber from gutting the spare room (now office) so the saw is buzzing as they put in some new framing.

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The mice have packed their bags. If we don’t get this fixed, they’ll be moving in.

Will we get the door installed before dark? I don’t know. What do YOU think?

A totally brilliant holiday decoration idea

Found on Houzz. Of course.

A frozen holiday wreath.

Brilliant…and then it melts and you don’t need a place to store it. Which is perfect for us as we don’t have any. Storage that is.

Renovation disaster deftly averted

Remember a while back when I told you about the challenges of buying an affordable shower system for our new expanded bathroom? No? Okay…click here. Once you’ve read that post, come back here and continue reading.

Hello and welcome back to our wacky world of bungalow renovations! Nothing but good times here. Except for when the bad times come to bite us in the butt. We thought we were all set to move on to the shower tile installation step of our bathroom reno. You may have thought the same if you’ve been following along. Well, HELLO! You’d be wrong. As we were.

This story hinges on a wrong valve.

A month and a half ago, we finally decided on exactly what type of shower head system we wanted. It would be a combination of a rain shower head and a hand-held shower unit on a sliding bar. We got a quote from a plumbing supply store in Saint John but in the end, to save money (so we thought) we checked out what was on offer online. We found the perfect shower combination…the “Serin” series by American Standard. It had everything we wanted and less expensive. So, we ordered it and the matching water valve, too.

Two weeks later it arrived. It was beautiful. We went ahead and put up the cement board, which would be the base for our 4 x 16 inch tiles, and carefully measured and cut out the access holes for all the plumbing. Then, we had a our plumber down to install the water value. We had a slight panic moment when he said, “Are you sure this is the right valve?” But we were sure. After all, didn’t I ask…twice…while ordering, “Are you sure this is the right valve for this unit? One with a diverter?” I was told yes. So, we told the plumber to go ahead…we were sure.

We put up the tile on the back wall. No issues there. Then life got in the way and we got diverted (see what I did there?) with other things…like drywalling the bedroom and putting in five new windows. Cold work but they look fab.

Fast forward to a week ago last Friday. We decided it was time to finish up the tiling in the shower so we could tear out the old shower and get the drywall up. We want our plaster guy to do the entryway, bedroom and bathroom all at the same time so we can move on to painting. I collected all the parts for the shower and took the trim kit (the chrome cover that fits over the value and has the on/off/temperature and diverter all-in-one) into the shower to mark out and measure for the tiles.

This is the culprit...I feel like grinding it to a pulp.

This is the culprit…I feel like grinding it to a pulp.

Something was seriously wrong. The trim kit was too big and no where was there room for the diverter. In a flash, we grabbed a flashlight and scurried around to the closet in the bedroom (the back wall is the wall where all the shower pipes are located). I must be psychic. I had told Bill NOT to drywall the closet until we had the shower up and running…to make sure there were no leaks. We peered around the stud and sure enough…wrong value. Only three water outlets, not four, which you need if you’re using a diverter.

What to do? Do we leave the value and return the hand-held shower unit and just go with the overhead? That wasn’t what we wanted. That was not the original plan. So, Bill go on the phone with the supplier and long story a bit shorter, they agreed to take back the value (even after being installed) but they wouldn’t refund the money…only give us 15 per cent off a future purchase to a maximum of $100 (which covers the cost of the value plus a bit of labour cost of our plumber. I’m amazed Bill got them to agree to this…I wouldn’t have said yes.) Then, Bill decided to check out the Serin series on the American Standard website…just to see if they recommended a particular valve. That when he was an “Alert” notice banner scroll across the page.

“This Serin product has been discontinued.”

Not all, just the one we had purchased. That got us wondering and we decided it must be a problem with the diverter, which was different from typical diverters. It had a spring system, not a switch that you turn. We tried to call American Standard but it was a Saturday and no luck. It was then we decided to just return the whole lot, go back to the plumbing supplier and order what we were originally going to order, damn the cost.

Last Monday, we hauled ass back to Saint John, returned the American Standard shower, got a refund and booted it down to see Nichole at the plumbing store. She brought up the original quote, we took a look and changed out the hand-held shower to one slightly smaller and told her to place the order. That’s when Bill said, “Can you double check to make sure it’s the correct value?”

And it…wasn’t. Yes, people. You read right. Still with the wrong value. Even if we’d gone ahead back in October and ordered the shower unit from Nicole in the first place, we’d still be in the same spot. Wrong fucking valve. And this was a professional plumbing supply store. All they do is plumbing and fixtures. And still wrong.

After much checking of catalogues and online, Nicole found the correct value. To the tune of another $200. And a two week delivery wait time. This takes us to around December 7th. Pearl Harbor Day. Very appropriate as I feel like blowing something up.

So here we are today, December 3, finally putting up more tile in the shower. I won’t go into the whole story of how we decided to add two shelves to the shower and the nightmare of measuring the mosaic tiles. Suffice it to say they look good and are almost straight and once the grout goes in, it will look fab.

We’ll do one wall and half of the last wall…up to where the new value will be installed. Just in case something is STILL wrong, we’ll wait until we’re sure, then finish the tiling. Which should be sometime the middle of next week.

Unless we run out of wall tile…which could happen as both of us must have a Republican gene in us somewhere ’cause we can’t do the math or measure  for shit.

I remember when we first started working on the bathroom…I said to Bill, “I’m not shaving my legs until the new tub is intsalled.” Ha-ha-ha. I was kind of serious. It was a bit of fun…just to see if I/we could stand it. Well, it’s not fun anymore and I’m off to buy some razors and a can of shave cream.

Pictures to come…when it’s done. Unless something else goes wrong and then I’ll post a picture of me waving as I board a plane for somewhere hot.

I am both stylish and warm. And I have new bras.

One year ago today, Bill and I were in the Bahamas, sitting on the boat in 80 degree sunshine sucking back G & Ts. Aaaa…

Okay. I slapped myself back to reality…40 degrees, no sun and drinking hot Irish tea to stay warm. It’s still only autumn here with official winter more than a month off and I shudder to think what kind of mood I’ll be in come February. But with bungalow renovations expected to last well in to the new year, we’ll be working up a sweat but still drinking tea. G & Ts are definite summer-time only beverages.

We put in a hard slog yesterday and finished putting up vapor barrier in the bedroom. Then, we tackled the drywalling of the ceiling. Looks fab but today we took the day off to give our backs a break.

And when we have a day off, what do we do? Grab our passports and head over to Calais to wander the aisles at Wal-Mart. And pick up some new bras, which finally arrived at C&E Feeds, our US postal drop-off station of choice. What a total relief. I placed an order with “Bare Necessities” a totally brilliant online store of feminine accouterments and dainty delectables. Expected delivery? Five to ten days. Except when the US Postal Service decides, on what seems the spur of the moment, to only allow deliveries to drop-off stations if you have your very own personal mailbox number. PMB for short. This new “make work” project went into effect November 1 with no grace period.

I placed my order October 30.

I can imagine all the packages sitting in post offices across the nation that will never make it to their owners because they weren’t stamped with their own PMB. I think it’s a ploy for postal employees to score free goods before the holidays. “No bonus this year, people! But you get the pick of what ends up in the back room because the public don’t know what the fuck we did and by the time they figure it out…mwahahaha! It’ll be too damn late.”

So, we got registered for our own PMB and out of curiosity, I asked if there was a package waiting for me. Well, knock me over with a crowbar…somehow my bras had made it through the gauntlet and arrived unscathed. It was a small box and didn’t smell of candies or chocolate so maybe that’s why it arrived. Or it could be it’s because no one was my size. But when I opened the box, there they were…all pristine in their original wrapping. Score one for me!

Then, we headed off to the Wal-Mart. And it’s always “the” Wal-mart. Don’t ask me why. It’s a regional thing. Everyone around here says “the” Wal-Mart. The one time I mentioned Wal-Mart without the “the” no one knew what I was talking about.

Bill scored some new work pants, in denim. And a new shirt, in denim. New underwear. Not in denim and he ended up putting them back. Probably because they weren’t denim. A couple of DVDs ended up in the cart along with a pair of snowflake sweater pull-on bootie-style slippers with little pom-poms. I’m wearing them now and I feel like an Icelandic snowshoer. My feet are the only part of my anatomy I’d allow snowflake sweater anything to touch. Not a big fan of the snowflake pattern…in sweaters, scarves, you name it.

Reminds me of the cold.

Maybe I should have bought a pair made of Hawaiian print and then I’d be hot. Because everyone knows wearing footwear in pineapple print and covered in scantily clad slightly distorted dark-haired women with “Aloha” tattooed across their butts makes everyone look hot. Oh, yeah.

We got back home only to find out that if we’d stayed a couple more hours, we could have joined in the official St. Stephen Christmas tree-lighting ceremony and scored free chocolate from Ganong. Well, that’s me all over. Always late to the party. But oh so stylish in my new snowflake bootie slippers.

I think I’m officially middle-aged.

These are not mine. Mine are grey & white. I don’t do black & red. That’s just tacky.

A case of the grouts

Not much to report since my last post. Except we now have one wall in the shower tiled. Ta-da!

And the grout lines are straight. Believe me. I checked. Twice.

We’re on a time-out while we wait for some white glass mosaic tiles to arrive. You’d think we would have ordered them when we picked out the subway tiles but that would have been too easy. And then there’s the whole grout issue. The colour I wanted had to be special ordered because no one around here uses anything but beige, gray, or sand. I was going to buy some acrylic paint to add to the mix of white grout but changed my mind when I couldn’t get the colour of mosaic tile I wanted. It meant changing the wall colour, which meant changing the flooring, which meant it would drive me insane…kind of a ripple effect. And I wasn’t going to go there so I settled for white grout.

White grout. I think I may be ill. Normally, I’m all over anything white. But, I’ll get over it. We’re going to use a shower curtain until we decide if we want a glass shower door. I can pull the curtain and if I close my eyes while showering, it will be like the white grout doesn’t even exist.

Are humans the only animal who can rationalize like this? Whatever.

Oh…the other thing we got done is we installed a new slider window in the entryway. So now we’re ready to put up drywall. Except around the door. We ordered a new front door forever ago and it’s still not here. It will probably arrive the day of the first serious winter storm and then just lay in our living room until spring. It will go well with our soaker tub that’s currently next to the television.

Which is next to the bed. Did I mention we moved out all the furniture from the bedroom so we could put up new drywall and install new windows? I think I have but it bears repeating because thing’s are tight in here. Like a mosquito’s-ass-over-a-rain-barrel tight. The new windows will probably arrive with the new front door.

So, Mother Nature. It would be really nice if you’d schedule a mild winter or at the very least when the door and windows arrive, you keep things on the warmer side of “seasonal.”

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Claustrophobic Renovators

This house comes with extra studs

It’s been 22 days since my last blog post. It’s been 19 days since the walls came down in the entryway and main bath. Since then, we’ve put up new studs in the bathroom wall to take the weight of our new hanging-off-the-bathroom-wall vanity from Ikea. Built the surround for the shower and removed the old flush and sink. All that’s left are studs and the shower. Guests and trips to Halifax sucked up the rest of the time and we are behind schedule. Big surprize.

We have everything we need to finish up the bathroom. But we can’t. We need some electrical work done before we start putting up the drywall. Rick, our electrician just showed up this morning and started working on installing all the light switches and outlets. I can’t tell you how much it bugs me that we have to have outlets every 5 feet. So I’m having Rick install the outlets lower than normal so they are not the first thing you see when you enter a room.

And just when we were giving up hope, the new shower head and shower bar arrived yesterday and our plumber, Adam, will be here Monday to finish the rough-in for all the plumbing. After that, we can start to slap up the drywall and cement board in the bathroom and get the shower tiles installed. We need to get the new shower working before we can rip out the old. It’s going to be a busy and messy few weeks.

What else…we ordered a new front door, a new entry way window and picked out the flooring for the bathroom. We also have the shower tiles but not the grout. Apparently, people in New Brunswick only like beige, white or grey grout. I want blue. Waterfall blue to be exact. In order for us to get it we have to cough up $30 because it’s a “special order” then we have to hack up another $20 for delivery. With tax that’s over $60 for grout to cover the area of a 36′ x 42′ shower. That’s just insane.

I googled tinting grout and we can buy a $17 tub of pre-mixed pure white and tint it with a $3 tube of acrylic paint. Guess which option we’re going with?

The big news is we’ve changed focus and are now going to work on our bedroom instead of the kitchen and living area. It’s getting cold and the thought of installing two new six feet by six feet windows along with a garden door to a back deck not yet built was not giving us a warm, fuzzy feeling. Plus, working on the  kitchen means we could be looking at a minimum of two weeks without a working kitchen and I don’t fancy cooking and washing dishes while the snow falls all around me. So, since we can close the bedroom door, we’ve moved the bed into the living room, carted the extra furniture over to Scooter to be stored while we work. We now share the living room with all the plumbing fixtures, shower stuff and a soaker bathtub. It’s like we’re living in a studio apartment. But we’re in the same room as the wood stove so I’m not complaining.

Once we get the bathroom, entry and bedroom done, we’ll take our time over the winter to take down the old pine walls and ceiling and put in new insulation and then drywall. We’ll put in the new windows next summer along with the kitchen. We didn’t get as much done this summer as we had hoped but that’s life when you’re living through a renovation.

Oh…I almost forgot! A blogger friend took my measurements…well, not MY measurement. I gave her all the numbers and a general layout of the bungalow and she drafted up a “before” and “after” with her fancy new CAD program. It’s not exact (my fault) but it will give you a general idea of what we started with and what we hope to end up with. Not a lot of changes but they will make a big difference in how we live. Did I tell you she lives in England? How’s that for a long distance design duo. Thanks Ilga!

I’ll post some more pictures over the next few days. All before shots. The afters are going to take a while.

Buy our friend’s boat

We’ve known Randy and Sue for quite a few years now. We only get to see each other a couple of times a year, if that. But when we do get together, we have a grand time and I want me some more of that so…

Please won’t someone buy their boat? After six years of sailing the Caribbean, Randy and Sue have decided to put “Nancy Dawson” up for sale. She’s a beautiful classic good old wooden boat in great shape and she’s currently located in northern Florida. They stopped in Wednesday (on their way down to Florida to take a couple of weeks to spruce up and varnish the boat) stayed the night and helped us polish off a few bottles of wine. Like I said, we need to do this more often and that won’t happen until they find a loving new owner for “Nancy Dawson.”

If you or someone you know is interested in purchasing a classic Cheoy Lee Clipper 42, click on this link and then make an offer. We’ll all thank you for it and may even buy you a bottle of wine. *grin*

 

Happy Birthday, Billy!

To Bill, who will be celebrating his day of birth today by building the walls in our new shower.

Without you, I’d start to smell after three days.

Happy Birthday, babe! I love you…always.

i carry your heart
by e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


And because he gets me. Absolutely.

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