Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekend Report

Most of the weekend was spent messing with the bathroom. A couple of friends came over to help pull out the old vanity and sink top, and carry them to the garage. Then they decided to start pulling up the peel-and-stick floor, only to discover that it had been stuck on to luan that had been screwed into the floor and then painted grey. The paint made it almost impossible to find the screws. So that was quite an adventure to get up off the floor. So many floors in this house have been just plain weird.

Of course, this involved taking the toilet out AGAIN. We took it out last week to get the wallpaper remnants from behind it, and paint the wall blue.

ANYWAY, Annabeth and I spent Saturday night assembling the faucet and putting it on the sink. Then we set the sink top onto the new vanity.

Here's a plumbing tip -- have the smallest person in the family do the under-the-sink work. Here's an action shot of Annabeth installing the little doohickey that makes the drain stop go up and down:

Also, the sink doesn't have shut off valves (what's up with that?), so we had to keep turning off the water in the house. Rick wanted to install valves when we put it in the new sink, but, alas, Lowes doesn't stock the correct size for our pipes.

There was also much laying of backer board in preparation for tiling the floor.

In the meantime, Thalia went camping with her Girl Scout troop. It was an all-weekend campout, but I picked her up on Saturday so she could go to ballet.

This was her first ballet class at this place with this teacher. Wow, really big class, which is Beginning Ballet for Teens. The teacher seems really excellent -- they had a two-way mirror, so I sat out in the hallway and watched. Thalia's foot strength has diminished over the summer, but overall she "got" a lot of the stuff right away because so much of it's similar to Irish Dance.

Then a visit from my brother and sister-in-law, who had come to town to see the zoo, Botanical Garden, and Butterfly House. They stopped by to say howdy. They declined the offer to have supper together, saying they'd eaten so much in the last couple of days (Amighetti's, Joey B's, Charlie Gitto's, and some pancake place) (Oh, total digression -- when they said they were going to the zoo and the Botanical Garden I told them they should go out to eat on the Hill, and suggested Amighetti's for a sandwich, plus go somewhere for toasted ravioli. "Rick says if he only has 24 left to live he's going to have a sandwich from Amighetti's" -- bear in mind Rick is gluten-free and doesn't eat most of the stuff they put in the sandwich. So, we were talking about where all they'd been to eat, and Rick was saying that toasted ravioli is also on the 24-hour list, and the pancakes sounded pretty good so he'd consider adding them to the list also, and we started calling it the "Rick Death Tour of Restaurants".) So they went back to Forest Park to see the hot air balloons, and we continued doing bathroom rehab.

Sunday was church, followed by a meeting for the mission trip to the Dominican Republic that Thalia will be taking over Spring Break. They started meetings about this in August. Yesterday was about all the notarized paperwork, including things like what to do with her body if she drops dead in a foreign country -- yeah, you have to sign off on that. Things left to do: get a passport (someone advised us to simply wait until she was 16 to get the 10 year renewable version), find out her blood type which we can find no record of but it's not a big deal because we need to go to the doctor anyway for things like typhoid and malaria vaxes, get some sort of compressible packing system so she can haul along all of her own bedding, come up with about $1000 more to pay for airfare and lodging to add to the $500 we've already paid. Also, the kids who have been before were giving the scoop to the kids who are new to the experience -- the odd stuff like "take those powdered drink mix-ins, because the purified water starts tasting weird after a while", "really, you'll only want to wear sports bras", "the first year [XYZ] only took one pair of underwear for the entire week, so the 2nd year we threatened to all take underwear for him in our own luggage unless he packed more". In other words, those things adults don't think to put in the handouts.

Then home and back to church for choirs.

Hmm, when I write it out here it doesn't sound like so much. But really, it was exhausting, especially the bathroom stuff. And after messing with the pipes so much I'm so grateful every time I turn on a faucet and water comes out -- indoor plumbing is a wonderful thing.

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