Friday, January 18, 2008

What I did over my Christmas Vacation...

Anyone else remember those annoying essays you had to write in elementary school, about what you did over summer/winter vacation? Now that I'm older, I actually have interesting stuff to write about for such an essay.

First, we redid the kitchen floor the Sunday before Christmas. My mother visited for Christmas, driving up from VA, and one of her pet peeves with my father is his promises to do something and then... not doing it. When they bought the house 30 years ago, he promised her a new kitchen. So far, the floor is the closest he's gotten to delivering on that promise and it happened a year after she moved out.

My dad bought himself a Scooba, because he hates to clean the kitchen floor. Saturday night, we put Scooba to work and he did an awesome job cleaning a kitchen floor that had not been cleaned in a year. Vacuumed yes, but mopped? Nope, no way in hell. Scooba did such a great job that my father decided Scooba should have a new floor. (My mother, she did not find that funny because she does a better job than Scooba and she never got a new floor.)

We'd invited my best friend and her mother over for Christmas Dinner that night, and to exchange gifts between them and Mom, as she had to drive back on Christmas day. They were due to show up around 6:30 or so.

First, we ended up in Lowes around 8:30am, to purchase industrial floor tile, paste, wall coving, etc. Then we had to rip up the old flooring:

You can see why we all hated that floor. Ugly, ugly color, and it had worn completely through to the subfloor in a couple of spots. It came up pretty easily, and often in one piece. Then we placed screws along the seams of the plywood that was the underfloor, to make the floor surface more level. (I say "more level" cause that floor is not going to be level unless they completely redo EVERYTHING.)

In this picture, you can see the entirety of the kitchen, and why my mother wanted a new one. On the left side, you see the built in oven. On the right side, towards the bottom, you see the fridge. Doorways into and out of the kitchen are next to each of those, and then two blank walls finish the "box" of a kitchen. Because of the doors, you can only place the table in the far corner from which I took that picture. I think it would be easier to have two people in my current hallway of a kitchen than it is to have two people cooking in the kitchen at home. In other words, it sucks. Also, that's all the storage space available in that kitchen, and the only counter space is above the dishwasher. And no, I don't know why the dishwasher is missing its front panel.

My dad placed the first few tiles, and I ended up doing the rest as he cut the edge tiles to fit. My sister took over my camera and took a couple of action shots. The title is industrial tile, and you'll find it in grocery stores, schools, hospitals, etc. That particular color actually goes fairly well with the rest of the house, if not the kitchen. But then, we need a new kitchen, so whatever.

The final project, with new plastic wall coving, new title

Here you can see the other two walls of the kitchen and HOW USELESS OF A DESIGN it is. Also, the microwave cart that we bought around the time we first got a microwave. I think we used to store the doors underneath the cart. Here, I was standing in the one doorway. The fridge is on my right. At the end of the wall that the table is against is the other doorway, perpendicular to the oven.

Tina and her mother showed up around 6:30, as promised. However.. no one had started dinner yet, because we were still working on the floor. In the end, we didn't tile under the fridge that day, but went around with wet paper towels and mineral spirits, trying to clean up the glue that oozed up between tiles as we walked on the floor and then got tracked everywhere. Tina ended up throwing out those socks and my mother had to spend some quality time with the mineral spirits and her shoes.

(On Christmas Day, after my mother left, my dad and I tiled behind the fridge. Tina and her mother came over for dinner AGAIN, that day. And again, they found us on our hands and knees in the kitchen, covered in sticky stuff.)

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