Friday, March 2, 2012

Progress & A Small Disaster

I made a lot of progress today.  One coat of varnish on the floors in the entryway, the front parlor, and the dining room.  Junky cellphone pics available on my Twitter feed.  I'll take better photos and post 'em here...as soon as I find my digital camera.  (Speaking of digital cameras and progress, I finally ordered a new one.  It has more megapixels and some other nifty features that I only pretend to understand, so in the future the photos here should be of better quality.)

More progress--at least, in theory if not in practice--on the bathrooms and the back door situation.  I showed Charlie the BH&G photo of the bathroom and he said amiably, "That doesn't look too hard to do.  I'll help ya."  I thank my lucky stars for Charlie, especially since White Trash Bob paled at the thought of helping me tear up my bathroom.  (In fairness, it may have been the whole two-bathrooms-into-one plan that made him blanch.)  When Charlie and I were talking about working on the bathroom I said, "The only thing I don't like about keeping both bathrooms is that now the back door will never line up with the sidewalk."  (Keeping both bathrooms and moving the back door to its original location would mean that the back door would open into the shower.  Not so good.)  Charlie laughed and said, "Well, it's just too bad that you don't know a concrete guy who could tear up your old broken sidewalk and pour you a new one that lines up with the back door."  Now would be a good time to mention that Charlie is, in fact, a concrete guy.  Huzzah.

And...a small disaster at the end of the day today.  I was finishing up the varnish on the dining room, standing in the kitchen/dining room doorway awkwardly propping the door open with my hip (it's one of those really heavy double swinging doors like June Cleaver had) while putting on the last bit of varnish.  I heard the distinctive click...creak that means the bedroom door where all the animals were corralled had popped open.  (The door isn't quite wide enough for the latch to fully catch the hole inside the strike plate, so the door pops open fairly easily.)  I yelled, "NOOOOO!" just as Louis Cat charged past me, ran into the dining room, and leaped down the cold air return just to the right of the open door.  By the time I let go of the door, prepared myself for the inevitability that I was going to have to step in the wet varnish, and slid over to the cold air return in my flip-flops, only the end of Louis Cat's tail was visible.  He was heading down the ductwork.  I said some very bad swears and grabbed his tail.  Louis let out an unearthly wail, made worse by it echoing through the metal ductwork, as I dragged him out.  When his head popped out of the duct, so did a giant softball-sized clod of dust.  It hung in the air for a moment above Louis before it burst and a billion little dust bunnies landed all over the newly-varnished floor.  It reminded me for all the world of one of those big Roman candles on the Fourth of July...only horribly ugly instead of sparkly and pretty.  That'll be fun to sand out tomorrow....

9 comments:

  1. If that had been my cat I could not have posted about it on here. There's laws on cruelty to animals and I would have broken a few I'm sure.

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  2. Well, at least Louis didn't get lost in the ductwork.

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  3. I agree with Milah on the cat! Just saying...


    Jean - MN

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  4. I have a door like the bedroom door. I got a bunch of suggestions for fixing it, but just realized it has fallen down to the invisibility level on my to do list. I think it was stuff like rehanging the door in some fashion, or shimming the strike plate, although that doesn't sound too sturdy a method.

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  5. LOL, I can picture it happening. Ugh!

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  6. I had a blonde long haired dog that got out of the house just as we finished sealing the asphalt driveway. She ran back and forth across the driveway as we tried to catch her.

    It took forever to get all of it out of her fur.

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  7. Good catch! Pity about the varnish, though. Please forgive me for laughing hysterically at the image of you lunging for the cat, hauling him up by his tail and then staring horrified at the slo-mo desecration of your varnish.

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  8. Karen Anne: I think the best method would be removing the strike plate and adding onto the entire frame. We did that with our leaky casement windows - grabbed appropriately sized thin strips of wood, added some glue and tacked them on with small brads. We didn't even bother to strip the paint beforehand, might fall on our heads at some point but we really really wanted to be warm and cozy this winter!

    Once you extended the frame you can re-install the strike plate and the door should latch again. Which reminds me of the fact I need to take my own bedroom door frame completely apart... it's a typical old Austrian/continental European door frame, which means it consists of about ten dozen different pieces of wood, some heavily detailed, others just plain heavy, with blind-nailed(!) hinges that hold no less than three of these pieces together.

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  9. Thanks, Ragnar! I love it when my commentors help each other out! :)

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