Monday, November 24, 2008

Better late than never, I suppose

Anyway, as I promised you in September, here are some remodeling pictures and stories.

Story the First: when we got this place, the previous owner's daughter very proudly told us that they had been planning to remodel it but had never really gotten around to it, so they would leave the remodeling supplies they had bought behind. These supplies, according to the woman, were a new front door, some laminate for the hallway (three boxes worth, about 55 square feet), quite a few mini blinds still in boxes, and a toilet. The toilet was still in its boxes when we saw the trailer, and the woman pointed to them and said, “Here's a new toilet. We were planning on redoing the bathroom in a pink theme, so we got a new toilet.” From that I extrapolated that the boxes contained a pink toilet. We moved on.

Now it's after we've bought the trailer and we're clearing the garbage out, aka gutting it. No one has looked in the toilet boxes yet, but one had been moved into the living room to use as a little table. I realized we hadn't opened it yet, so I peeked inside and saw...the basin to a pedestal sink.

I called my husband over and said, “Please look in this box. Am I correct in thinking that this is a sink basin, not a very shallow toilet?” He looked and agreed that it was, indeed a sink and not a toilet. It was white, too—bonus!

I went to look at the other box, thinking maybe they got one wrong box and the other one is part of a toilet. A pink toilet, too. I wouldn't be surprised. But no, I opened the box and saw the pedestal to a pedestal sink.

A pedestal! A new pedestal sink. Woohoo! Best part of the deal so far if you ask me. Now, granted, these people aren't big on measuring things (you'll know how I know in the next story) so I'm not totally sure it will fit in the bathroom. The vanity has to come out anyway, though, so at least we don't have to buy a sink. (Probably not--my dad is strongly against the pedestal sink, and we've had a few fights about the pedestal sink. Mostly because I insist that the plumbing for the sink go under the floor or inside the wall, not across like you would be able to get away with if you had a vanity.) I will point out that getting a pedestal sink to replace a double vanity in a trailer that's less than 1000 square feet was probably not the smartest choice, but whatever. We'll put the pedestal sink in and put a tall cupboard next to it for storage. There was one at Home Depot that had cupboards on the top and drawers on the bottom that would be pretty nice, I think. I'd even stain it instead of painting it.

Story the Second: Remember the new front door I mentioned up above? This is it:

Now, first things first: I love a French door as much as the next person. However, this trailer is located in Nebraska. NEBRASKA! Anyone who lives in Nebraska—or anywhere in the Midwest or any other state that gets cold winters—please raise your hand if you think a French door is a good idea for an entry door. Not to mention how easy it would be if someone were ever to break in.

The second thing about the door...I don't know if you've noticed, but it's a storm door. It's not an exterior door at all. There is a handle with a lock on it, but it's certainly not a lock I would ever consider acceptable for keeping things out of my house. Plus there's no key, so the lock would have to be replaced anyway.

On to the third point. The point that makes the first two points moot. I shall tell this part in my typical long-winded fashion. As I was moving this stupid stupid door around inside, I kept thinking, “This door is really big. Really, really big. But surely they measured before they went and purchased a storm-door-that-is-supposed-to-be-an-entry-door. Surely.” Hahaha! Oh, you fool! Measuring is for suckers, all the cool people eyeball it.

Here is a picture of the existing front door. (It's textured almost-paper-thin sheets of metal sandwiching a slab of styrofoam, so it's probably not keeping much cold air out, either, but still.)

I have helpfully added the measurements for you. This door—the existing door—is 32 inches across and 76 inches tall. Now for the storm door...wait for it...

That's right. 36 inches by 80 inches. Really? Really? It's a metal door and this is a trailer, I'm not really sure if they just thought it looked like it fit or if there was some plan to make it fit. It could not have been a very good plan, I don't think.

Story the Third: I was going to separate this out into another blog entry, but I'm typing this in Open Office Writer (screw Word, I don't have that kind of money) at midnight, so it would really be pointless to separate it, wouldn't it? I'd just post both entries at the same time anyway.

This is the Best Story of All. This is the Story of How I Fell Through the Floor. Gather round, children.

Okay, enough of the caps and librarian crap. We knew when we bought the trailer that some of the floors would need to be replaced, even though there were supposedly no active leaks (HA! And HA! Again!). I am amazed that anyone managed to put a bed in the master bedroom, considering that the floor was completely rotten and was fixed with a sheet of 1/4” plywood and gigantic railroad spike-type nails driven through it (but not actually holding it in place, they were apparently just there to increase the odds of someone getting tetanus or something).

We knew that the master bedroom, bathroom and boys' room needed at least some subfloor repair. We did figure out that the kitchen also needed some repairs, presumably where the refrigerator used to be. We did not, however, realize how bad it was.

I was standing in the kitchen, having just triumphed over some crappy cupboards. I was now taking out carpeting—the original 1975 carpeting, I think; none of the cabinets had bottoms, but they all had lovely blue floral carpeting in the bottom of them, which is gross beyond words—that had been glued down with that black tar-type glue. I was basically just having to cut it at the wall with a utility knife because it wasn't ripping up. I think they installed the carpet and then put the walls in, because the carpet was under the wall.

I was trying to avoid the exact spongy spot because I was worried about exactly what happened next. I fell through the floor. Not just a little, but left leg up to the hip. I think I'm lucky that the insulation under that part of the kitchen had been taken out, because Lord knows what would have been in that.

There's the hole. That's the bare ground you see down there. I'm going to look on the positive side, though. Now it's going to be easy for us to put insulation in there, and no one will have to crawl through the nasty dirt under the trailer. Makes it easier for me to do stuff on my own, because Brandon is not really much of a DIYer unless he wants to be, and that's not very often.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stranger Things Have Happened

I have somehow lost six pounds. I hope they stay lost.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fun at Home

A little bit of news since I last posted. First, I had my first ever trip to the emergency room. We were over at the trailer cleaning up and I stepped on a nail. Ho-ly monkeys did that hurt. A little info about our deck to set the scene: on one side there is a gaping hole. This gaping hole is there so that people may walk down the stairs on that side, but because no one has maintained this place in years, the stairs rotted off. The previous owners started pulling them off but basically left a giant pile of wood to rot in the yard.

So Brandon was loading the last of the trash from inside (yay!) into the back of the truck and I decided I would hop down into the yard and toss the pieces of wood up onto the deck so he could put them in the truck, too. I sat down on the deck and scooted off, and as soon as I did a piece of wood with a good inch and a half or so of nail went through the sole of my shoe and into my foot. (Sidenote: I am a big fan of House and CSI. As a result, whenever I think about the nail going into my foot I get a mental image of that inside-the-body imagery they use, and I see the nail going into my foot from the inside, plus I hear a “puncture wound” noise. It's hard to describe, but I bet if you've seen any of those shows you can imagine it, too.) I screamed and pulled it out and took off my shoe and sock. Hoo boy was my foot bleeding. I staunched the blood with my sock (mmm, sanitary) and waited for Brandon to find me. I say I screamed, but it wasn't bloodcurdling. It was pretty breathless, actually.

It stopped bleeding within a few minutes, but it was easily the worst pain I've ever experienced outside of childbirth. In fact, as I was sitting there I had to do some deep breathing and remind myself that it hurt a lot less than giving birth. After that I debated on going to the emergency room. When I pulled the board off I had tossed it back to the ground, so we couldn't be sure which one it was, but none of the ones we could see that it could have been had rust on the nails. I went inside and looked up tetanus on WebMD. The quote that did it for me was something along the lines of “tetanus can very often be fatal even if expertly treated.” I was decided after that.

We were in and out in about an hour. By the time the doctor saw us—about an hour and a half after it happened—the wound was nearly invisible. Deep but not wide. That was Sunday, and my foot is pretty much back to normal. The doctor said it would bruise and be painful to walk on, but it never bruised. It was pretty painful to walk on for the first day, uncomfortable the second, and only bad Wednesday if I stepped down on it a certain day. Hopefully all the things that can kill me from the trailer are gone now. I can't image what else it would be. Tree branch falling on my head? Electrocution? I suppose I could fall through the floor again and, I don't know, knock myself out on a beam and die of a subdural hemotoma. Let's hope not, shall we?