oh, the pretty

After a false start on Friday, our favorite plumber-guy turned up yesterday morning to turn this:

sink-before [click to embiggen]

into this:

sink-after [click to embiggen]

He also reminded me why we hired him: there was extensive under-sink shuffling necessary to make the whole thing work (the left bowl is two inches deeper than the old sink, and the disposal would no longer fit on that side).

And! We didn’t have to replace the countertop, as he was able to get the old sink up without damaging the ugly laminate. Score: +1 for less cost/less effort, -1 for continuing hideousness. Ah, well.

So we’re one step closer to a prettier house. Which is good.

spin the Wheel of Mutants

I discovered today that the house next door is a rental. There are few ways in which this will end well.

Note to my friends who are renting: PLZ BREAK YOUR LEASE AND RENT THIS HOUSE. I will love you forever. No, really. Comment or email me if you want the details.

In other news, my birthday party was a fabulous success. Note to self: more cocktail weenies next time. Also? Sharp cheddar smells & tastes fabulous but melts badly. And no one likes black bean dip.

The rest of the weekend was spent cleaning up (three dishwasher loads, egad) and catching up on old eps of Battlestar Galactica ahead of Friday’s season 4.5 premiere. I am simultaneously happy and sad. In semi-related* nerdiness, I require one of these.

And now I’m off to find pictures for the 98,795,654 picture frames I got for my birthday.

* In that the show was also on SciFi. And I’m a nerd. That makes it related. Shut up.

more house happinesses

I should probably clarify: the sink & faucet to be replaced are in the kitchen, not the upstairs bathroom. That was a seriously badly-written sentence.

And while putting soapstone on a wee vanity might be within our means, 45 square feet of soapstone in the kitchen? About 10 times more than we want to spend.

Happily, we discovered last night that the stock laminate pieces at Lowe’s are (a) cheap, (2) the right size for our kitchen, and (d) reasonably non-hideous (kind of a dark brown/blackish mottled pattern with a beige-y accent color that’ll tie in to the tile floor), all for the low, low price of Less Than What We Spent on the Sink and Faucet Combined. So we’ve got that going for us.

Also, since we’re getting rid of the white countertops, I can either paint the cabinets white, or stain them cherry, thereby eliminating the revolting brown, YAY. The hardware is pretty icky, too, so swapping that out will be a good thing.

(The temptation to complete the redo with a new range is quite strong*, but I am resisting.)

So it looks like we’ll be updating the kitchen for the cost of some inexpensive countertops, a couple drawer handles & a weekend spent ripping out & replacing the lot. SWEET.

In other news, the house next door has been dark and silent for a week. We don’t know what to make of that, but today Loki spotted People With Clipboards roaming all over the house, so maybe, maybe the extras from Deliverance have moved out, and we’ll get some lovely new neighbors, and my love for our new ‘hood will be complete.

*Strong as a small pony. That’s quite strong, that is.

cascade effect

There’s apparently an axiom of home improvement, saying, basically, you can’t just replace one thing, ever. And they are correct.

Friday afternoon, I was cleaning brushes after painting the upstairs bathroom* and I noticed there was moisture under the sink. I didn’t see a drip, but the faucet’s been drippy & sucky since we moved in, and the underside of the cast-iron sink was all rusty at the connections.

OK, whatever, I hate the sink & the faucet, so changing them out’s a happiness. We stopped by Home Depot, got a black sink (oh, yeah) and a brushed nickel faucet (so pretty) and I was supremely happy.

Until this morning, when I called the awesome plumber guy who installed our dishwasher & disposal, and he told me that cast-iron sinks can do nasty things to laminate counter tops, especially when you try to remove them.

That sound you heard? My head, hitting the desk. ‘Cause what was, this morning, a couple hundred bucks for new gear, and probably another couple hundred for plumber-guy to install them, has turned into gods know how much to possibly replace the counter tops as well.

And I really, really hate our hideous, ancient, white counter tops. The temptation to replace them with something prettier is strong.

But see? See how we can’t just replace the sink and faucet? See how our house appears to be turning into a 3-year-old child, constantly demanding new toys?

Sigh. Even though I hate demanding 3-year-olds, I just can’t hate our house.

I just hope it doesn’t insist upon those soapstone countertops I love so much. Laminate’s ok for now, right, house?

Right?

*It’s a lovely dark green-grey, nearly black (shut up), and it makes me very happy.

vaguely sinister robotics

So I finally set up our Roomba last night, let him charge for 16 hours as per the instructions, and scheduled him to take a cruise around the house this afternoon. The following is a text conversation I had with Loki about our new robotic slave helper:

Me: Our little robotic friend says “Hi!” and also “Egad, your floors are filthy. This might take a while.”
Loki: I didn’t know that robots were so judgmental. Tell him to get back to work or we’ll strap a cat bed on top of him.
Me: Yeah, I’m not fucking with him. He just ATE A METAL CHAIN.

So yeah, totally staying upstairs until he’s done.

Also, he needs a name. Something non-condescending, I’m thinking. Suggestions?

was blind, but now I see

Joyous discovery last night while cleaning off the kitchen table: my old contacts, YAY! Today, I can see my monitors, my corneas are slowly stopping hurting, and as an added bonus, it turns out my vision insurance card wasn’t in my wallet after all, so I can find another doctor and get some proper lenses. Insert Dance of Happiness here.

In other news, I’ve officially blown NaBloPoMo. I spent Saturday & Sunday painting and cleaning and prepping for Thanksgiving, and yesterday evening cleaning some more, and have been so cranky from the contacts & the concomitant headache that I couldn’t face a moment at the computer. Also, I was wrecked. I always forget how much work painting is; I just can’t resist it!

(Needless to say, my attempt to take pictures and play my bass every day have also fallen by the wayside. Boo.)

And my mom’s coming in tonight, a day early for her Thanksgiving weekend chez Loki et Suriel. Very, very cool. Posts will probably be thin on the ground, still, but I’m occasionally Twittering.

narrowing it down

Born in the old House of Awful and nurtured to maturity with shards of olive-oil covered glass, cat-yack and one dropped wine bottle too many, my loathing of tile floors has finally been boiled down to its essence.

See, I thought it was the tiles themselves: cold, inhospitable, a bitch to keep cat-hair-free and the clear winner in a fight between the floor and anything dropped from waist height. But no, really, that’s not what I hate.

I hate the grout.

I’ve spent several hours recently with the FloorMate’s grout attachment, and while it’s pretty good, it’s no match for the grout in the new place, which was grey and occasionally black with unknown filth. I’ve killed the bristles and bent the handle. And the handle’s way too short and resulted in an even more Quasimodo-esque hunch than I normally sport.

New plan: kneepads and a scrub brush, and someone trailing behind me with the wet-vac. Or, better yet, flat scrubbies I can strap to my feet and skate across the floor. No way that could end badly.