Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The background info...

I was going to wait and do one big blog about this, but I decided to do several smaller, suspense building posts instead. 
We have a plumbing issue and it's not a simple one.  The upstairs bathroom had a leak in the sewage line.  It wouldn't be a huge deal if the pipe was not running THROUGH OUR FIREPLACE!  Evidently, when the house was built, the plumbers did not want to do through an important structural beam, so they turned the plumbing and sent it down the cavity of the fireplace.  The leak we had caused water to seep out of the bricks inside AND outside.  The plumbers decided it would be much easier to reroute the plumbing AROUND the fireplace like it should have been done originally.  This means tearing up the ceiling and wall in the fireplace room. 
Of course it couldn't be that simple.  Since the pipes must now extend a little further before dropping down the wall, the other end of the plumbing must be raised to allow for enough of a slope for things to properly flow downward.  This meant tearing into the bathroom wall upstairs. 
Of course that would also be too simple.  The bathroom walls just happen to be tiled.  The tile (white with ugly gold speckles) wraps completely around the bathroom including the tub surround.  Once you start ripping out tile, there's really no place to stop, and of course you cannot find matching tile to patch the original hole because it's from the 60s.  Solution?  Bathroom remodel!!! 
You should know that I am 100% NOT a tile person.  I think it looks great in other people's homes, but I for one hate cleaning it and hate having little grooves everywhere for stuff to collect in.  So we were already planning on remodeling the bathroom (and the other 2 bathrooms that also have the same tile surround) someday, so we decided this was the best time.  After all, our home insurance is covering a great deal of the repairs, so we are mostly just paying for the upgrades.
While we're at it, we also decided to get a large doorway put in our wall that connects the 2 living rooms so that it is more open.  This means rearranging furniture and buying 2 new chairs to sit in the fireplace room.  The couch from that room is now in the office and Josh has a much more comfortable space to work in.  We had been thinking about doing this for a while also, but we had not planned on all this happening so soon.  We figured we might as well take advantage of already having the construction guys at our house.  So our first-time homebuyer credit has been reallocated to take care of all this fun stuff instead of other plans we had.  Oh well.  It will all worth it in the end and I know we'll be much happier. 
For now, our home is a disaster zone.  Demolition began a couple of weeks ago and hopefully all the upgrades will be complete by the end of this week. 
Stay tuned for before, during, and after pics!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Study buddies

Sometimes Josh likes to take the big cushion from our papasan chair and lay on the floor to work.  If the cushion is left unattended, Titus will gladly make himself at home and claim it as his own pillow.  Last night both happened.  There was just enough room for Titus to lay down and be Josh's study buddy.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rolling along

Several weekends ago while Josh was at work I took Titus to Red Bud Park in Abilene.  Josh and I used to go to this park back when we were dating, and I wanted to see if things had changed much.  They have this great prairie dog area that is surrounded by a short wall and benches so you can sit and watch their activities.  Titus loves prairie dogs (and anything that moves) so I thought we should see if they were still there. 
When I got to the park, it was much bigger than I remembered.  I couldn't see the prairie dog area at first, so I just parked the car and Titus and I played ball for a while.  I'm not sure if my memory is really bad or if this is really new, but the park now has a nice paved walking trail around it that I don't remember being there before.  Titus and I walked around the path until we found the prairie dogs.  He thought they were fun for a while and then got bored, so we continued our walk.  We were running short on time so we took the shortcut back to the car. 
I've been trying to come up with more exercise options for me and Titus to do until it gets warm enough to swim at the local lakes.  It's hard for me to walk fast enough to really wear Titus out (and I get bored walking).  He loves when we go for bike rides and he gets to run alongside us, but it's hard for me to lift and reach high enough to load my bike on our car to take to town.  In WA we would go for bike rides everyday because we lived in this quiet little dirt road town that had lots of country roads to enjoy.  Now we live off of a 70 mph highway with no shoulder on the side.  If we hustle, we can safely make it to a county road, but it is still pretty busy unless we ride on Saturday mornings.  We still play ball or frisbee everyday at home, but we need something more interesting for the weekends.
Ok- back to the park and the new walking trail.  An idea hit me- maybe I should try rollerblading with Titus.  When I was growing up, rollerskating was the big thing.  The best birthday parties were the ones at the skating rink, and I would often get my parents to back the cars out of the garage so I could skate at home.  In high school, rollerblades became the big thing.  My parents bought me a pair, but I soon became busy with work and rarely used them.  I took them to college with me and only used them a couple of times.  Since then, they have been in the back of the closet.  Well, I whipped them out a few weeks ago and began to practice at home.  We have a nice little circle to skate on consisting of our driveway, front porch, and a sidewalk that connects the two.  Titus didn't know what to think so he just chased me around in circles trying to get in my way.  I didn't do too bad considering I haven't skated in about 10 years.  I didn't fall or run over Titus!  I certainly wasn't graceful or fast though either.  After practicing again last Saturday morning, I decided I could probably go public.
Titus and I took Josh to work and then headed off to the park.  I think it went pretty well!  Titus and I both got a lot of exercise.  I found muscles that haven't been used in ages and didn't fall once!  I even broke a sweat which is rare for me!  I decided that I'm glad TX is so flat because I didn't have to work too hard going up hills and I also didn't get going too fast going down hills.  You see, I'm not used to using the brakes yet.  I grew up braking with toe brakes not heel brakes.  I always feel like I'm going to fall backward if I try to stop on rollerblades.  I usually just run off into the grass to stop if I need to.  Well, TX is so flat that I can stop if I just stop moving my legs.  Unless of course I'm holding Titus on the leash.  I discovered that Titus would probably make a great sled dog.  Anytime I got tired or slowed down to pass people, Titus would just pull me along and keep going.  It was great and people got a good laugh at us! 
So even though video games are the new "cool" way to exercise, I'm going to go back to the 90s for a while and keep skating.  Maybe I'll be brave enough to skate around ACU's walking trail soon, but for now we'll stick to the south side of town where nobody knows us!