Thursday, May 23, 2013

It smells like 2 x 4s around here

Day 2 was not as productive and positive as day 1 on our bathroom project. This was the day when things got complicated. In every home improvement project there is one (or more) of those days. The electrician arrived to replace the circuit box with a more modern, safer box. As he started to pull the old one out he heard angry buzzing and a couple of bees flew out of the wall. Uh oh. Bees were not in his job description. A bee guy was called and he came and dispatched the nest. It was small. They were not honey bees. Meanwhile the plumber came to move plumbing and start installing the shower. Seems the shower I ordered to fit the space left by the removal of the tub is not deep enough to meet code requirements. The electrician and contractor huddled and came up with a plan. The dealer I ordered the shower from had a deeper one in stock that would work and cheerfully swapped it for the too shallow one. Then it seemed the lights we planned on might not work out, but wait, maybe they will. Yes, indeed, they will work after all.

There was a time in my life these would have seemed to me like signs that we had embarked on a completely foolish, unworkable project, but I have now been through enough of them to know that this is how it goes when you start working on an old, funky, probably at least half amateur-built old house. You encounter the problems, and with the help of your expert team you come up with a solution. Hmmm. There might be a metaphor there for quilts, marriage, life...?  I told Ray that one of the advantages of being so darned old is that we have learned that nearly all problems have solutions.

Midday I left the house to go do my last Art Literacy gig for the year at Sofia's school. When I left there were bees buzzing in the walls and Ray was on the phone with George Morlan Plumbing the "water heater king" (—if you live in Portland I know you just sang that in your head). When I got home an hour and a half later, the bees were toast and the right shower enclosure was propped up on the studio porch. I spent the afternoon in the studio quilting on the big quilt. It, too, has had its challenges, but I like how it is coming along now.


  1. THE BEES!!! I feel your pain. We had carpenter bees-not at all like cute little furry honey bees. We spent thousands getting rid of those pesky things. Finally, a contractor told us to just replace the wooden fascia boards under the roof and Presto! Bye Bye to the bees. He told us those things will eat their way right into the attic and consume the wood thus doing major structural damage.
    It looks like your project is coming along and I know how good it feels to see that.

  2. Anonymous5:52 AM

    With age comes wisdom. You're not nearly as old as I, but isn't it nice to be at the point where you can work through problems without so much angst? Your bathroom wil be lovely, I'm sure, and perhaps even better than you had planned. Let's hope so!

  3. Can hardly wait to see the quilt completed. I am really taken with this series.

    Your bathroom will be wonderful.