First of all, thank you for all of the color suggestions and stories and cautions in the last post. I posted that all, “Yellow?” and what your feedback told me was that I needed to put down the crack pipe, as the odds of me selecting a suitable yellow were somewhere between slim and none. Alert (and pretty) commenter Elizabeth said something about full-spectrum paints and I immediately emailed her all “WHAT IS THIS PAINT YOU SPEAK OF?” and with her help I then fell into the deep, expensive rabbit hole of Ellen Kennon paints. Eventually I emerged, bleary-eyed, with a passel of samples on order. We’ll see how it works out.
[For the curious: At the moment I am enchanted by a color called Oasis, which is described on the site as: "... a darker version of Gustavian Grey (Ethereal Mists Color) which crosses that fine line between blue and green. Therefore, it is both healing and soothing, yet rejuvenating." We'll see if I like the sample as much as I liked it in the virtual room-painter thingie on the screen. Also the bathroom off my office is painted dark burgundy and now I'm all I GUESS I NEED TO PAINT THE BATHROOM, TOO and hello, they also make a paint called RAINBOW FOG, which: obviously. Is "full spectrum" just marketing hype? Probably. But I spend most of my life in this room and I want LIIIIIIIIGHT. Hello, my name is Sucker.]
Anyway. That’s the paint. But yesterday, there was cooking! And plumbing! And the intersection of the two, kind of.
So I think I mentioned that our showers were kind of leaking. Specifically, the knobs would kind of drip-drip-drip regardless of how hard you tried to turn them off. I was in denial about it for a long time because the kids’ shower was constantly dripping, and I figured they were just not turning the water off properly. In my defense, these same kids can claim not to notice a wet towel in the middle of the floor or an entire weeks worth of dirty socks caught at the foot of the bed where they’ve been shed in the middle of the night, so it was REASONABLE of me to assume this was user error. Er, user oblivion, maybe. Regardless, then our shower started leaking and theirs was leaking even worse and it became clear that Something Had To Be Done.
To add to the fun: Both showers had separate hot and cold handles, which is apparently very Old School. These fixtures were likely original to the house, if the fluted lucite knobs (fancy! like fondue!) were any indication. Clearly the thing to do was to convert to a single-handle mechanism (fewer opportunities for leakage, I guess?), but how do you do that in old crappy showers? I’ll tell you how—you buy an enormous chrome plate that covers the old holes. It’s like planting a deformed hubcab in the middle of your shower wall, and it’s just as attractive as it sounds. We picked out the least ugly of the not-terribly-expensive-yet-still-brand-name fixtures we could find at the Big Box Hardware Store, plus the big-ass chrome plates, and then we called some plumbers to come do their thing.
They were supposed to come at noon, which is why they were here at 2:30 on the dot. We had already emptied our master linen closet (because that’s where they had to cut through to access the pipes to that shower) and Otto removed some shelves in there, but then we also had to move some furniture upstairs where they would need to cut right through a wall kind of in the middle of everything. Hmph. It would be WORTH IT, though, to have everything fixed.
I was making soup and bread bowls for dinner last night, and I knew that they’d need to turn the water off, so I was trying to get all of my water-involving prep done before they came. The bread bowls were already rising when they arrived—and my doughy hands had been washed—so I felt confident that just making the soup in the absence of running water would be no problem whatsoever. Result: As two plumber crashed and banged and sawed and set off the smoke detector (Otto handled it; I really don’t what to know what happened), I lovingly composed that night’s dinner with no problems.
I chopped some onions, then went to wash my hands. Whoops.
I minced some garlic, then went to wash my hands. Oh.
I separated the broccoli florets, then went to wash my hands. Right.
I grated cheese, then went to wash my hands. SERIOUSLY, ME.
In short, apparently it took a couple of plumbers to make me realize that I wash my hands a lot when I cook. (Don’t worry! Dinner got made, and I’m sure I only used about half a rainforest’s worth of paper towels to quell my OCD while I did it.)
They weren’t done until nearly 6:00, at which point both children were SO HUNGRY and I was glad that dinner was already made, but then after dinner we had to reassemble the entire house, it felt like, because there was a giant hole in a wall upstairs (and even though they vacuumed with a shop vac, there seemed to be wall dust everywhere), and Otto had to reassemble our linen closet, and then we had to put back everything that had been IN the closet, but was now sitting on our bed, which was causing MAJOR ANGST for the dog, because the ZOMGTHEBIGBED was no longer accessible.
We mostly got things put back together and cleaned up, and I have to say that I greatly enjoyed my shower this morning under a shower head where all the little holes actually dispensed water and where I didn’t have to bench press a couple hundred pounds before I was able to turn the water all the way off. That all went a long way towards not feeling annoyed at the giant chrome plate sitting there in the middle of the wall, all “Oh, I’m not hiding anything, I don’t know what you mean.”
The wall-hole in the closet was replaced with a plastic access panel, and then covered up with folded towels (on the shelf), but the wall-hole upstairs is… unfortunate. The wall board actually chipped while they were removing it, so there’s still a small hole (aside from the nails and obvious cuts around this giant panel), plus the extracted section itself is MUCH LARGER because that shower is a shower/tub combo and they had to reach more pipes. Or something. So we still have to patch and spackle and then… paint.
Yep. Paint. For some reason Otto gave me kind of A Look when I asked him if the leftover paint from when we painted six years ago upon moving in would still be good. I cannot imagine why. But I CAN tell you that I apparently don’t love my children enough to buy them expensive full-spectrum paint to put in their hallway. So.
Wait, I just had a great idea! Maybe I can just get another one of those chrome shower plates! It’ll be… you know… industrial! Steampunk!