January 26, 2012

If it were MY house...

After pulling the baseboards to upgrade the wiring, in preparation for insulating the house, my Dad had me wallboard the spaces between where the walls ended and the floor. The object was to keep the insulation in the walls, to keep it from being blown into the house. His handyman asked why he was doing this, saying it was a waste of time. My Dad looked at the handyman like a deer in the headlights. Was the handyman questioning his judgement? Was there a better way to keep the insulation from filling the house instead of just the walls? Suddenly, the handyman relented. "I get it! You're doing what I would do if it was MY house!"

I'm not sure the handyman did get it, but it did turn out to be necessary, the boarding up of walls behind the baseboards. We still got a small amount of insulation in each room, but I'm certain there would have been much more had we not spent this time and effort.

I started the day yesterday prepared to sand and mud the dining room. I'd also brought my heat gun to remove the last of the adhesive from the kitchen walls, from where my Dad had glued paneling some 30+ years ago. I rearranged the dining room for sanding, then decided I'd really rather start with the adhesive. Then I decided I really didn't want to sand after all.
The heat gun process removed paint as well as adhesive, which may have influenced what happened next.
This is the largest of my mother's kitchen cupboards. All of her cupboards are lined with at least one layer of contact paper. This particular one has two layers, though I didn't know that when I started. There have been multiple discussions with Energizer Bunny and Mr. Math about how to handle the cupboard renovations. The most recent ended with the plan to simply sand the cupboard doors, prime, then paint. My mother is going from an antiqued orange to a high gloss white.
I sanded the little counter in front of the cabinet, in part as a test of the sanding process and in part because there were huge chips and gouges only sanding could fix. There are still gouges, but they are much better now. This process reinforced my concerns about sanding the insides of the cupboards. The belt sander cannot reach the edges. I was concerned about the layers and layers of paint, and about the residue from the contact paper.
I decided to heat strip the insides of the cabinets. Not the inner walls, which need a great deal of repair work. Just the shelves. I am CERTAIN Mr. Math will roll his eyes when he finds out. I could hear Energizer Bunny saying "There are 3 ways you can do a project. Inexpensively, quickly, or well. You can only have 2 of the 3." I opted for inexpensive and well. This is how I would do the project if it were MY house. How could I do my parent's house any differently?
As an aside, my Dad would have loved to learn the top shelf has been replaced. It's a different type of wood, and was missing at least 2 layers of paint the other shelves had (including a primer layer). My Dad was convinced the house has been through a fire at some point, and enjoyed finding evidence of its history. This would have prompted an entire afternoon of discussion.

I started the day late, caught up again with Bridezilla. I'm walking away from these shows. They are horribly addictive, even though there really is no redeeming quality in them. They actually are starting to piss me off.

In addition to this revelation, I got 4 miles in before finally showing up at my Mom's 3 hours later than normal. I've definitely shaved about 30 seconds off my average cruising speed. My calves were slightly less uncomfortable, but I'm still a little worried about my long run this weekend. I think the running every day is starting to catch up with me, and I have to be careful I don't allow my ambition to override my bodies capabilities. Maybe 4 miles today and tomorrow is not the best idea. Maybe I should incorporate more 1 and 2 mile rest days into the week. At the same time I'm thinking these things, I'm considering a 3 or 4 mile run after working at my Mom's today. While I am an intelligent woman, I've never claimed to be entirely rational.

Superman informed me last night he will be wearing tails, spats, and most likely a top hat and cane at our wedding. Probably white. I will be wearing 3/4 length gloves, which means we will probably be married in the fall or winter. Imagine me, silver-haired and 80-something, in this:
in white, and without the cigarette

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