Wednesday, August 04, 2004


When we moved into our house 16 years ago our neighbors took out lawn chairs, grabbed a cocktail and settled in for some entertainment.
You see, we are Do It Yourselfers.
I can’t tell you how many projects we have started which were WAY over our heads. It wasn’t unusual for us to have to call in reinforcements. Professional reinforcements.
I remember coming home from the store one afternoon to find my new wife standing in a pile of rubble of what used to be the plaster ceiling in our kitchen. This was of course the catalyst for a new kitchen. Sometime later that summer we decided we could no longer live with our cracked cement porch steps.
Both of these project required professional intervention.
I have since hidden the sledgehammer.

Older and wiser now, we take on only projects we are fairly certain we can finish. This weekends adventure was to remove and replace some tile in our small kitchen foyer. Seemed like an easy enough project for the same people who gutted and rebuilt their own bathroom last summer.

Being the well oiled project team that we are – we divide the project tasks between us for which we are best suited. For example, my patient wife was the one who chipped off each old tile.

I took on the removal of the sub floor. Since we couldn’t find all the screws buried in the old mortar, the floor had to come out by brute force. It was a long, arduous battle. The sub floor almost won.
This is where we learned the invaluable lesson – if you don’t have the right tool, use ALL the tools you have.

She took over the next day to lay the tile, my job during this time was to occasionally cut tiles and keep the dogs at bay.

It was during this part of the project that we learned our second lesson. Even though my wife of superior intelligence can do complex algebraic formulas in her head -- never let her estimate materials.
Which brings me to my other job responsibility – making trips to Home Depot to pick up more materials.

Last night we finished up the job with the tile grout. Again, this falls into the realm of my meticulously skilled wife. My job… copious compliments on her amazing grouting capabilities, supplying water, and keeping the dogs at bay. And just after midnight we had our finished product, and it looks damn sparky.

(sorry about the picture quality – did I mention it was after midnight)
So the room is done. Well... except for painting, and replacing the trim molding, spraying and reinstalling the heat registers, and possibly that door sash... but that's it.

We both have next week off from work. Project TBD.

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