Saturday, February 25, 2006

New floor and being one with the couch

It's been an interesting week here. Dan's sister Katie came out to visit last weekend, much to the great joy of both the boys who adore her. She brought with her a late birthday gift: a portable foozball table made from dark wood that folds up and looks quite attractive when not in use. Needless to say, the boys love it....and the adults are having a blast with it as well. Who says you have to grow up?

We also started in on the forlorn kitchen floor. The linoleum was in sad shape when we bought the house six years ago and those six years have been less than kind. I gleefully ripped up the old flooring, only to find several odd things like this cryptic message (it reads: "loose shot", though I mistook that "o" for an "i" for a moment full of hysterical laughter). You can also see the old flooring that never ever looked clean, no matter how much I scrubbed and cleaned it. Whoever put it in did a lousy job as well - the edge that met up against the carpet was completely uneven with open gaps down to the cement below. Yes, I know we should have gotten rid of it years ago. Funny how hard you work to fix up a house that you won't be living in soon, isn't it? We also found a rather large and scary looking repair in the cement - no wonder the flooring was uneven in that spot! I don't even want to know why they had to fill things in there. Some things are just better unknown, especially when it comes to home repair.

Ripping the floor out was pretty quick job, at least until we got to the stove. The floor went all the way underneath, but we have a gas stove and couldn't safely pull it all the way out to get to the back by the wall. Dan puzzled and figured as only an Engineer can do, and then it hit us both at the same time: we could pull it out as far as the gas line would allow, then I could get in back and cut the floor and tear out what I could from the back. Here's where being short, relatively small, and limber come in handy. Thank you, yoga classes! I had to do some truly amazing contortions to get myself back there and back out again, but we were finally free of the old floor. Here's how it looked in all it's...erm...glory:

After we got the boys to bed, Dan and I got down to putting in the new vinyl tile. I never in my entire life imagined I'd voluntarily put plastic tiles in my kitchen, but they look fantastic. More importantly, they feel wonderful to my bare feet as I walk around, a testament to the fact that they are a lot thicker than the original linoleum sheeting. The kitchen looks so much better, and all for less than $150 and a day's worth of work. Not bad at all.

Unfortunately, soon after the lovely floor was in place I got hit by a truck...or at least that's what it felt like. I have been one with my couch, using up cloth diaper after cloth diaper in lieu of tissue (the soft cotton is so much kinder on a raw nose, and they're easy to toss in the wash and use again) and drinking gallons of tea while popping echinacea, vitamin C, zinc, astragalus, oregon grape root, and raw garlic. I'm finally at the tail end of it all and can breathe almost normally again. Just in time to do more home repairs!