28 December 2007

Vacation time is over!

We officially ended our Christmas vacation today. If yesterday was a do-nothing day, today had to be a do-something day. And what did we do? Why work on our bathroom, of course.

A refresher: Our bathroom is gutted. We need to fix it. Refresher ended.

As Dug was looking at the bathroom wall that the sink plumbing had to go through, he realized that the built-in spice rack shelf thing in our kitchen had to go. (See picture above.) The shelves were literally up against the bathroom wall, effectively closing off the between-stud area.

Unfortunately, our walls are lathe and plaster. Not too conducive to specific area removal. The lathe (little wooden boards running parallel to the floor and ceiling) are the "ribs" of the wall. The wet plaster is smeared all over it, making sure it gooshes through the gaps in the lathe so that when it dries, it's holding on tight. It's a sturdy wall and has a great texture, but that's where the pleasantries end. If you try to break off a piece of plaster, it breaks in highly irregular pieces. If you pull a piece of lathe free, it removes the support for the plaster and it can just fall off the wall. Any sort of trauma, even hammering nails, can cause the plaster to let go of the lathe and become unstable. So if we wanted to just remove this one piece of the wall, the violence of the act effectively destabilizes the entire wall. Huge cracks appear. It's not a pretty sight. So what could we do?

More demolition! I, for one, love demolition. It has always been a dream of mine to go to Pleasure Island with Pinnocchio and destroy stuff with all the bad boys. I think it would be worth it, even if I was turned into a donkey. Dug, on the other hand, hates demolition. It's messy and it is destructive. He prefers cleanliness and building. What is that they say? Opposites attract? In the words of Bethany, "Fo Sho!"

So to build the bathroom, we needed to tear some more stuff down. But with Dug around, it has to be in an orderly fashion. Which is probably best. If I was left to my own devices, we'd probably have the authorities knocking on our door, condemning the place. With Dug at the helm, not only would the entire process be systematic and organized, but at the end of the day, we wouldn't have much mess to clean up either. He's a clean-as-you-go kind of boy.

(He's right, you know. It is easier to clean as you go. You just do a little at a time. Where with me, the end is a huge disaster that takes forever to clean. So props to the big guy, I was able to make dinner about thirty minutes after we finished. But my way is soooo much more fun!)

The picture has those jagged edges because it is a blending of nine photos! I wanted to get the entire area but I couldn't get back far enough. Isn't Photoshop cool?! Notice how much more you can see compared to the "before" photograph.
So that's what we did today. Sounds a little counter-productive, but you've got to do what you've got to do. I think it's a bit of wisdom we can all take to heart: Sometimes to fix your bathroom, you've got to knock down 1/2 your kitchen wall.