Mar 3 2011

I’m scared… [day 281]

…of toilets.  Yes, it’s true.  I cannot bring myself to fix one of these when it breaks.  This fear stems from my childhood.

When I was about 8, we lived in a house that had 1.5 bathrooms.  My mom, being the neat freak that she was, only allowed us to use one of the bathrooms.  The other bathroom got used so rarely that the toilet water evaporated and there was always a ring around where the water had been.  You could count the rings, similar to telling the age of a tree, but there rings being measured in days, not years.  The main toilet was having problems, so my parents showed me how to fix it, just in case it happened when they weren’t home.  My, how times have changed!  Home alone.

If the toilet kept running, I was to jiggle the handle.  If that didn’t work, I was to remove the top and jiggle the little white thing.  Seemed simple enough.  Even at that age, my dad had to hide his tools because I would build stuff out of anything I could get my hands on.  So, of course, I came home from school one day, used the bathroom and the toilet kept running water.  I jiggled the handle, waited, knowing good and well that I would eventually have to remove the lid.  Yes, lid time.  I took it off, jiggled the white thing, and in seconds I had a 3 foot geiser going.

I panicked.  There were no instructions for this disaster!!!  All I could think about is how my mom was going to kill me for making a huge mess.  I quickly placed my finger over the spot where the water was coming out.  Then I thought, “Where is all this water going that I’m holding back??”  Look, I was 8 years old people.  A new panic set in at that point.  I let go, ran to the phone and called my friend next door.  She ran over to my house and found me back at the toilet, holding back the water that was probably flooding someone’s house in China.  After two young kids deliberating over something they knew nothing about, my friend ran outside to find some help.  She came back in less than five minutes with some guy she found on the street.  Again, this was a different day and age.  The man came in, turned off the water and quickly left the house.  I lived in a middle class, suburban area and I still wonder, to this day, where that man came from.   Continue reading

Dec 29 2010

a year in pictures [day 216]

Honestly, some of these might be more than a year old, but they’re all the same, year after year… lots of stuff.  Most of these were taken in abandoned places, houses, farms, buildings, vehicles, you name it.  No matter where I go with my camera, I always find lots of stuff to shoot.  There’s something about each place that intrigues me, saddens me, excites me and disappoints me.  Take a look.

Oct 9 2010

crazy idea or inexpensive and fun? [day 136]

Back on day 103, my friend across the street called asking for some ideas about painting her kids bathroom.  I’m sure Diane is thinking… *note to self*, don’t ask Jody a decorating question unless you want to remodel your entire house.

The bathroom turned out great! Here’s the story… in photos.  :)

Idea. “Light bulb” as Gru would say in Despicable Me.  Of course you can paint your bathroom, and here’s 50 other ideas you can do in there.  Kids bathroom, shared by a sister and brother, needs to be good for both, not girly and not manly.

Color. Color pallet?  One wants black and white, the other wants red and gray.  No problem!

Work. Dave is one of those get-it-done-now people.  He got started right away.  This idea started with texturing and painting the walls and turned into an entire remodel of the room.  Demolition Dave has it under control.  he had the whole room torn out in less than an hour.   Continue reading

Sep 6 2010

why I don't get invited to the neighbors house too often… [day 103]

So my friend Diane calls yesterday and says, “I thought about painting the kids bathroom with black and white stripes.  I painted over wallpaper, what do you think?”  What I think is that’s a great opportunity to brainstorm great ideas and use someone else’s house as a blank canvas!  LOL

After brainstorming, her husband, Dave, starts ripping everything out of the bathroom.  This was my first time to see someone act like I do with a home project.  It was a little bit scary.  It was like looking in a mirror, but wait, yeah… we pulled that out of the bathroom too!

During the remodeling chaos, after Dave got over the fact that he really hates me (in a nice way, of course) for starting all of this, we had some good conversations about the challenge.  Tool sharing is something we all do on our street already.  I had some leftover joint compound and floor stain for them.  He offered to help me with my screen dilemma.  I offered to take the builders grade light bar off their hands to make a dining room chandelier.  Then we decided the kids might like to do a crazy floor like my bathroom floor.  Group art project!

By sharing stuff, we’re all saving money and we have less junk sitting around.  Here’s a couple of photos, the first is their bathroom floor after the ‘rip-out’, and the others are of my bathroom floor, the inspiration for the kids bathroom floor.  (magazine cutouts and decorative paper)  No, it’s not good for resale, but all you have to do is slap some tile over it, and bingo!  Instant resale value.