I spent most of yesterday working on the house. We’ve started dividing the world into critical-path and non-critical activities. Critical-path is “anything that is actively keeping us from moving into the place.” Non-critical is everything else. We then proceed to laugh at ourselves because we can’t seem to bring ourselves to do anything on the critical path. Really, all we need is to paint. That’s it. Even that is an affectation. We could easily move in and then paint one room at a time. However, that would lead to color-kitty … which isn’t the best.

Every surface in the house is covered in what might be called, without undue hyperbole, “the filth of a century.” There is this fine black soil in the window wells and on the walls. I don’t think it’s anything too creepy – just a mix of industrial pollution and general grime that has been allowed to accumulate over about 20 years. I’ve learned to clean the tops of things first (including the house itself, by the way) because when I clean anything – everything below that thing gets re-covered in this … soot?

The process of the cat dying of cancer has been stressful for both of us. Add to that redmeds usually stressful job and you’ve got a recipe for … bathroom demolition? We had been getting quotes and estimates to re-glaze the tile and tub … and otherwise do a quick once-over to make the bathroom acceptable for bathing. Instead, she decided to go ballistic on the tile and seems quite happy about it.

  • Under the pink tile, there was cement-board.
  • Under the cement board, there was painted plaster.
  • Under the plaster, there was wallpaper.
  • Under the wallpaper, there was drywall.
  • Under the drywall, studs

So now we’re down to studs and, in the spirit of “it’s an opportunity,” are asking “hey, so since we’re here now, let’s go ahead and consider re-locating the tub or something. I have to admit that I agree with her – it’s cathartic. However, I have to note that this is much more damage than the woodpecker was able to do.

Below is a picture of where I spent my time yesterday. This chandelier is metal, and has been allowed to tarnish for, oh, say, perhaps 80 years. The bottom part is all shiny now. You take the metal polish and put it on a toothbrush. Then you scrub, and then scrub some more with a cloth. Then you repeat. Eventually, you move on to another square inch of surface.

The crystal dangly-bits were soaking in windex at this point.

And yes, dammit, it feels good to scratch the obsessive-compulsive itch.

We will not speak of the incident with the pressure washer except to say that:

(a) The outside of the house is cleaner than it was
(b) So am I.

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