Thursday, June 28, 2012

I didn't burn my boobs off!

Okay, that post title was definitely TMI but I really am giddy with relief. Not just about having narrowly avoided a ladypart scorching but having finished The Move! Woo Hoo!

We had overlapped the move dates so that there'd be a few weeks where we could be in both houses to give me time to get everything done. With Big T in the Middle East, it was up to Z., E. and Me to handle the packing, moving and cleaning. (Fortunately, I got to hire some muscle for the actual schlepping.)
The Move week was also crammed with camp preparations so it was a wild ride.

*A shout out to our friend, Cory, for volunteering muscle, time and his truck for the last of the boxes and hooha at the old house (also for moving Big T's car). Thanks Cory, we appreciate you!*

In the days before The Move, I really thought, like an idgit, that I'd get to spend the week The Boys were at camp painting the floors with an icy Diet Dr. Pepper at my side and the tunes blaring. What an idgit.
That week was spent finishing up at the old house and in the spare hour or so of free time, locating underpants and towels and setting up computers....blah.

So, getting the floors painted is my current project and I have about 2 weeks to git 'er done. Because that's when you'll be here, Ma! Along with a gaggle of cute nephews and one sweet niece (Hi Maddy!).

I've been patching holes in the slab in preparation for the paint. There are some big, honkin holes.

I'm using a Quikcrete product with acrylic fortifyer for most of these holes.

I did buy a trowel but these picnic supplies have been much handier. For starters, the "Quik" in Quikcrete ain't for nuthin'; you make up whatever amount you think you can use in 5 minutes. So, the disposable bowls are a real time saver. I use the plastic spoon for mixing up the little batches and the plastic knife is great for squooshing the concrete mix down into the crevices. The hammer and putty knife are for prying any loose bits out of the hole.

Handy, but I'd rather be eating potato salad...

First step is to clean out the big, messy hole (gee, that sounds dirty. Sorry Ma.) 
An old toothbrush and the shop-vac are necessary for this part, too.

Next, you gotta dampen the hole:

Ignore the water spill on the right. Oopsie!

Then you mix up some of the Quickcrete and smoosh it in the hole. I underestimated the amount of concrete I'd need, so I did this hole-patch in two layers. The first layer:

Awww, it looks like a star!

The next day I layed down the second layer:

I tried to feather the edges of the patch, so that's why it goes so far past the hole's edges. I used the toothbrush, dipped in water, for the feathering part. I also used the toothbrush to get a rougher, "broom finish" on the patch, after it had dried for a few minutes.
The paint I'm going to use on the floor suggests the "broom finish" or a sanded finish as a good grippy base for the paint to adhere.
Again, I'm sure none of this is The Right Way to do it, it's just the way I did it.

Other than a decorative stepping stone, made for Big T's parent's 50th Anniversary, I've never worked with concrete. So, I was a little freaked out about mixing it right so that it would set up and getting the "broom finish" and all that. I guess it's harder to mess up concrete than I thought because it set up like gangbusters and the finish looks pretty good, too. Pretty good for ME, of course. The pros would certainly be less than impressed with my patches but I'm painting over this, so I can be okay with not perfect.

In between the patching and hunting for underwear we've been learning the intricacies and complexities of the two bathroom showers.

I'm not sure what twisted, tortured soul installed the handles for the HOT and COLD faucets in this house but he or she is somewhere getting a big laugh.

There are two upstairs showers and neither one has Hot and Cold handles installed correctly. For the hall bath, the hot handle faces straight up and the cold handle faces straight down when they're off. There is a center knob that controls whether the water will come out of the main faucet or out of the shower head. This is a life saving (or in my case, a boob saving) mechanism in this bathroom. If you've incorrectly configured the handles, at least it's just your toes catching fire. Because, I forogt to mention, this house has an on-demand hot water heater and the hot water that surges from that sucker is positively searing.

Now, in the master bathroom it's not quite so simple. There are three big problems with the master shower and they all converged in an unholy trinity to almost burn my boobs off the first night we lived here.
The first problem is the size of the stall: teeny-tiny. I've seen bigger, roomier coffins. Also, the door doesn't latch tight, so every wayward elbow poke flings the door open.
Next problem is the water pressure. Like standing under Niagra Falls. Normally a good thing. Not so much a good thing here.
The last problem is that danged knob configuration. These knobs both point to the left when they're off, BUT the hot water knob does a total 360, with no "stop" position.
So, on my first night in my new house I reached in to the shower, turned on the hot water and cold water to get it ready and I was too tired from the move to remember how to get it back to "off". Which I didn't realize until I was all done and ready to get out and started fiddling with the knobs.
Bad idea.
I did remember to turn off the hot first, but I couldn't remember exactly where "off" was and all I could get the water to do was go from warm-ish to freezing. So then, stupidly, I started fiddling with the cold knob. BAD BAD IDEA.
Warm-ish to freezing is much better than warm-ish to SCORCHING. I sure tried to fix that problem while I was still IN the shower but the hot deluge sent me screaming out. I got the dang thing turned off and decided to punish it for the next week by only showering in the hall bath. Until last night.
This time I studied those handles and kept the hot turned as low as I could and...I didn't burn my boobs off! Whew.
I know you wanted this whole tale written down for you, Ma. And I was glad to do it.
I can't wait for you to try the showers out for yourself in a couple weeks but I'll be sure to give you a master class on correct knob configuration before you do!

The Move is done and the Showers have been studied. On to floor paint!

Smooches and Screamin',

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