Closet where there wasn’t one

We have added a closet to the “master” bedroom.  It is a bedroom for us.  For others it might be a living room/den.  However, I believe that since it has a closet, it can be marketed as a bedroom, thus bringing the total bedrooms for this house from 2 to 4+.


There was no closet in the room, in fact, where the closet is now was this:



Clearly, I didn’t take this photo soon enough.  There used to be a desk and book shelves in the corner to the left of the fireplace.   That window has now been removed.


Our closet was this:



Shelves and rods in the corner of the room between the window and door.  It worked just fine.  There was plenty of space.


Now, the closet is this!!


2 levels of rods with shelving above each.


On Wayne’s side, he has 18 cubbies… that might not have been a wise decision on my part since he may just fill it with crap…. :-/ DSCF8023


The rod goes around the corner on my end to allow for long hanging (dresses).  I have a small shelf for shoes below.



Tucked in beside the plethora of cubbies is a belt holder thingy… it slides out.  And I have installed some motion detection low level lighting so the over head room light doesn’t have to be turned on when Wayne needs to get dressed and leave early.



Definitely improved closet area.   Now to finish moving the clothes back in from the garage and basement.


New Bathroom!!

While there are other things completed on the addition/construction, I am just going to focus on the bathroom today.


First, remember that it started out as a hallway with a small closet:


Then it got torn apart and plumbing had to be added:



The unused back door was turned into a window,  a shower was added, and a wall for a pocket door.



This is only partly what we originally envisioned.  Initially, we thought we could get a shower, sink and toilet all within the 5 ft by 6 ft space.   However, the more we thought about it, that seemed really, really, small.   We didn’t want to just make it a powder bath because the point was to have a shower for our master bedroom on this level so we did not have to share with the kids and/or my mother.

OK… so then the plan changed …  we would have a 36 inch square shower and toilet within the space and put a sink on the outside of the official “bathroom.”   That seemed to be a good plan.


Because of the level of the floor in relation to the sewer, we ended up having to have a grinder crock – a self contained unit that sits below in the basement and all the water/waste goes into it (gets ground up, if need be) and then pumped up into the sewer line.


When my original contractor and builder walked off the job in  December, our plans came to a halt… but maybe that was a good thing!   The new builder, along with the plumber, questioned why we were doing a 36″ shower and would only have about a 20 inch space to squeeze into it.  Why didn’t we do a full width shower?  5 ft wide by 36 in.  Huh?   Hadn’t thought of that.   The only problem… it would mean I would lose my clothes chute… but… a huge shower???  Worth it.


So… now we have to find a shower surround that size… (and return the one we had already purchased)…  guess what!?  They don’t make shower surrounds that size that would have easily gone into that space and worked for us.  The problem being all the white brick and how we would work with it/around it.

So… the builder suggested we use tile and grout.  Huh!  Why not.  It actually ended up being not that much more expensive in the long run.



The floor got repaired in order to receive the toilet.



But what about the sink.   The sink is going to be visible from the bedroom and the living room.   I don’t want it to just look like a regular old bathroom sink.   What could I do to make it look more like a piece of furniture?   I’ve seen sinks in dressers on HGTV.   Hmmm… not really my thing.    What could I find to put a sink it?   What about a desk?   Just any old desk?  What about a roll top desk?  Then I could hide the sink if I wanted to.  But they are expensive… where can I find one that I can put a hole in and a sink on?   I start scouring Craigslist and the Habitat Restore.  I finally found one, a decent size, and solid enough and at a price I was willing to pay.  We have always wanted a roll top desk but never really had the space for one as a desk.  Why not use it as a sink?

I coated the desk with a marine sealer to make the surface more water safe.

We measured and re-measured and made sure that the wall for the pocket door was in just the right place.


Remember when I did a survey on what sink bowl to get?  I settled on the clear glass rectangle one with a waterfall faucet.



A ring towel rack on the front where the handle for the drawer was.  The drawer is no longer.  The back middle panel is moved up to hide the pipes.  The left side cabinet locks, the lower right drawer locks, the roll top locks…. not something we will utilize but when we are dead and the kids sell the house, someone else might use it for a bar sink (or something) and be able to lock up alcohol.

The sink is in place. The water splashes as it goes into the bowl because it hits right on the drain.  I added some river rocks to reduce the splashing.  If anyone remembers, my second choice for a sink was one that looked like a rock.  So, I guess I got the best of both this way!!

Electricity has been added on the right side.  I still need to find a mirror for over it.


You can see the pocket door in that photo as well.  I need to clean it up a bit more, but it was a door that was found in the garage when we bought this house.


Trim around the pocket door still needs to be completed as well.


The toilet is in place now!   I will get an over the toilet shelf for some storage.


The tile is pretty amazing.  It goes almost all the way around the bathroom.


The shower is awesome!


It is 5 ft long and 3 ft wide.  The shower rod is up high!  We have been creative and got some supports that come down from the ceiling for it.   That eliminated the need to drill into the tile to secure it.  I will get the shower curtain up tomorrow.

There are a few spots that need a bit of grout filled in for aesthetics.  Also, there needs to be some caulking around the front of the shower pan.


My bathroom is fully functional, even though there are a few things that need finished.

No longer a hallway that just collected crap in it… now it is a bathroom you can crap in!



2 years ago, we ripped the badly stained grey carpet off the stairs.  Our goal for that summer (2016) was to get them completed with a runner like the lower set of stairs.


This is the lower level stairs… I can’t find a fully finished photo and they are too dusty right now to take one.  But the runner is trimmed at the bottom and there are mice silhouettes on the bottom 2 stairs…

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BUT… back in 2016, life took a turn that no one expected and we never got that project completed.  Instead, I became a primary care giver of my mother.


So… we lived with the wooden stairs for 2 years.   Literally, TWO YEARS!


With the advent of the addition and new carpet in the 2 bedrooms, it was finally time to finish the project.   My builder put a coat (or 2) of paint on the stairs/landing while I was in Savannah.  I put another coat on when I got home.


Now they are “blinding” white.   But still wooden and my runner that I bought TWO YEARS ago, is still in the garage.


I have some left over padding from the carpet installation… I should be good to go… right?  BUT… the stair rods… um… they are no longer carried at Lowes or Home Depot.  I do find them at Menards, but not the same color as the other ones… I’ve moved on from that… and bought what they had.   If I tried to get/order others, they were over $15 for ONE rod…. I bought the packed of 4 for $10.  Works for me.



The runner at the top still needs taped down and tucked under the transition piece into Liz’s room/sitting room.  I’m not totally happy with the way the rods lay… but again… I’m over it.  It is done, it looks decent.  It is off my list!!


Now, to find the mice to add to this staircase as well.  🙂


Objective #1 Reached

We have reach the primary objective of the construction/addition!  We are not completed yet… actually have quite a bit yet to do but…  my mother is now living in my house.

Carpet went in on Tuesday…

padding goes in first, of course…


Yes, this padding is different, is is slightly thicker and made of recycled materials.  Figured that since this is the first floor and no insulation under it, a “better” padding was worth it.


Carpet is down in my room.  I will have to get an upclose photo sometime, it has some flecks of brown and red and really looks great with the fireplace and the tile.



Upstairs in those 2 room is a “greige” color carpet to go with the greige paint.   In one room, with the white walls, the carpet looks beige.  In the other room with the greige walls, the carpet looks more grey.


And there you have it a “little old lady” room as the kids noted.  Yes, yes it is.  She likes it.  She approved of the location of the furniture.   I will not comment on how many people it took to move that armoire nor how many bruises or pulled muscles or (possibly) swear words were involved.  But it is here, and she is happy!DSCF7596

There is still some things I need to get transferred across town, but it will wait till after I get back from Savannah with the Scouts.


Her sitting room has a TV and will have some of her knick knacks in that corner.   The teenager already declared it the rainy day game place.  🙂


The cats have already claimed the loveseat!  This morning I saw a whole lot of hair on that brown coverlet.


Does my mother understand?  Not fully.   She told me she didn’t like the shower and was glad it wasn’t in her house.  There is no other good option, so we will carry on and do our best.


I still have opportunities for you to help if you want to (not that anyone has offered very often)… but that will mainly be sorting and clearly 50 years of memories from her home and deciding what can move here and what cannot.


I am still not back into my room, but that will have to wait at least 2 weeks… gotta get stuff packed for the GS trip.


Where were we…

… I don’t remember where I left off on house updates…


I’ll share what we have done the last few days.

Remember this mess??  Yeah… me too.   A dear, dear friend came and helped me package it all up and move it to a temporary storage unit so that we could get things done.


Which became this…


It now looks like this.


Disgusting, dog pee carpet is waiting for trash pick up.   It was really, really disgusting!  The floor has been treated with Thompson’s Water Seal to prevent any odor from coming through and potential pee happening on the new carpet.

The walls have a fresh coat of white paint.   All of the windows have freshly washed curtains as well.


Closet is empty and floor is treated.   I forgot to take a photo of the bathroom  – which is clean and empty and has a new toilet and shower stool and shower curtain.  I can’t take a photo right now, you will see why in a minute…. read on…


Remember Liz’s room looked like this…


But then this happened because stuff from the other room was being stacked in here?


Then it became this!!  This floor got a coat of Thompson’s Water Seal as well.


Then began the process of covering the dark blue… First a coat of grey primer.

Not bad…


Then the final coat of Greige – yep.. grey + beige = Greige!  I’ll try to get a better photo with natural light tomorrow.   Touch up on the trim and it is ready to go.


This photo makes it look more grey…  It really is a pretty nice color.  And the blue is nicely covered.  We had some good memories as we reminisced about when it was painted blue by Abi and her friends before we moved in.DSCF7591


Then… because there will be carpet in the bedrooms, but only a runner in the hallway, we painted the portion by the doors so we don’t get paint on the new carpet later when we finally get to the runner.


**This is the reason I can’t go in and get a photo of the bathroom.  **


Remember how this was the staging area for work?



Now everything has been cleared away from the raised floor and the walls have a fresh coat (or 2) of paint on them.DSCF7594


Tomorrow will be an exciting but exhausting day!  Carpet comes AND we move my mother here.    There is a part of me that is sad to move my mother out of her home, but ever so grateful that we have been able to make it happen so that we can take care of her easier.


What did you do with your Saturday?

What did you do with your Saturday?


We made progress on some of the mess… sort of…


Actually some of this progress happened earlier in the week, but… you get the idea.


The tile got fixed around the toilet pipe.   Looks pretty good!!  🙂


And some backer is on the walls in the shower to receive the tile!DSCF7522

Remember the master before (empty of stuff)?


Now it is ready to paint most of it and think about new carpet.


Yesterday, the bedroom was a mess of stuff that had to be boxed and/or sorted.

Today, most of it has been boxed up (to be sorted later), put away, or thrown away (2 trash bags).  We also got a 4 foot section of the carpet pulled up and removed to the trash!

Unfortunately, Liz’s room took the hit… the boxes are now stacked in there to be dealt with later.

The extra wide hall (4 foot)… which was deliberate because we planned to line the hall with bookcases… now has bookcases in it!  Sadly… we have already almost filled 3 and have more books to go… We (and by “we” I mean mostly Lydia) have an obsession/fascination with Harry Potter.  Significant shelves are dedicated to that paraphernalia.  Don’t worry, we have more bookcases to go under the windows and down the rest of the hallway!

The bedroom closets have some shelving in them.  More to be added later.  Strangely, Esther has more clothes than Lydia and Liz combined (Liz’s clothes aren’t here yet, but Lydia left her part of the closet).


Goals for the remaining weekend and all next week.

  1.  Get the walls washed in Esther’s old room and painted white
  2.  Get the carpet pulled and the floor water sealed
  3.  Get my room & closet painted
  4.  Call the tile guy to fix the broken tiles in my room
  5.  Fiddle around with the 1/4 round and get it fixed to the trim in my room… I think Gorilla glue might be the answer
  6.  If time allows, paint the door/wall in the bathroom
  7.  Finish all 3 closets

Mental Load

This week, I read someone else’s blog that really struck home with me.


The main take away I have from it is:


“The mental load means always having to remember.  The mental load is almost completely borne by women. It’s permanent and exhausting work. And it’s invisible……  What our partners are really saying, when they ask us to tell them what needs to be done, is that they refuse to take on their share of the mental load.”

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Here is the link to the full article.


Of course, this isn’t true in 100% of relationships/marriages.  However, I do agree that my mental load is so overwhelming that I probably can’t even remember it all to regurgitate it here, but I’ll give it a go.


(in no particular order of importance or urgency)

  • constantly thinking about and dealing with my mother’s meds & diabetes & diet
  • remembering my mother’s schedule and appointments
  • remembering my children’s schedule and appointments- all of them, even though they aren’t all living at home – mentally, I keep track of them all… for example:  Is this a late night for Abi or an early morning?  Will I have to stay late and put mom to bed?  What about the dog?, What does Liz need for her hiking trip?  I need to make the strawberry roll ups for her try. , When is Lydia going to be home?  Is she working?  Is she with friends?  What can she do to help with the addition?,  Does Esther have after school activities today?  What time do I need to pick her up?  Can she find a ride?  Why isn’t she practicing her horn?  Did she contact the French teacher about her grade?…. and on and on….
  • what food will I prepare for each meal
  • do we even have food in the house to prepare
  • what is my schedule?  who is picking up who and what time
  • what do I need to prepare for scouts next week – there is a whole lot of detail in that one:   shirts (find them), labels, bottles, games, vests, food list, final details for Savannah, who still needs to turn in a health from, who hasn’t blogged, what reservations need paid, who do I need to call and check on the reservation, is all the money deposited, I will need to contact the bank to tell them about the vacation, games for the road, supplies from here, packing …. and on and on…
  • household details like:  I really should wash the dirty clothes,  I need to paint my room, I need to wash and paint my mother’s room, mail that box that I promised a month ago, clear a path through the house….
  • which leads me to all the details of the construction:  paint – do I have enough?, what color am I doing in Liz’s old room?, we need to get the walls washed, we need to get them painted, we need to get the carpet pulled, the subfloor coated with water seal, the stairs need painted, the carpet runner put on them, the trim painted, the boxes moved, the floors mopped, the window screens replaced, the closets set up, which stone for the fireplace, … and on and on…
  • then there is the fun stuff that I have going on too… the yarn crafts:  next part of the Citrus Explosion Afghan, what am I doing for a border on the temperature afghan, I need to finish the ends on the dino afghan, who else wanted what?, who is getting which afghan?….  and more…
  • and what about the animals… is there food, does the dog need out, should I do something about Jupiter’s eye, where is Dinah, don’t forget to feed the outside cats…
  • not to mention the things I cannot find because of the construction:  where is my swimsuits, those GS t-shirts, the aloe, the labels…


There is so much more going on that I can’t even remember it all now… like writing this blog has been part of the mental load for a couple days…


A friend of mine told me a few days ago that her brain was “mush.”  I told her that brain mush was my specialty.  She told me:  “You function quite well!”   HAHAHAHAHAHA    I don’t really… or I do only because my brain, for some reason, keeps these things swirling and I am able to do them/take care of them at just the right time.    I really feel like I am not keeping on top of anything, but I guess I must be… or at least enough that everyone is still alive and fed and getting where they need to go…. however, don’t talk to me about when was the last time I washed my dirty clothes.