Wednesday, August 16, 2017

New Carpet and Old Pipes

We scraped the ceilings, painted the walls, and put new carpet in our fixer upper of a house.  We have lots of work left to do (the tub doesn't run water, we have no washer or dryer, several rooms don't have light fixtures, only one bathroom has a working sink...) but that keeps us busy and out of trouble, right?  (sigh)

But at least the framework of walls, ceiling, and floor were complete.  And then David and Eddie noticed a squishy splishy spot in the middle of their room.  In the carpet.  The brand spanking new carpet.

After pulling up the new now-nasty carpet, ripping out the now-mildewing carpet pad, and removing some soggy wallboard, we found the problem.  An old pipe behind the wall had broken.  It was the pipe from the kitchen sink and dishwasher, so every time dirty water went down the drain, the pipe leaked.  (Bad words)

See how those two pipes don't line up anymore?  Not so much that they dump water all over the floor, because then we have noticed it faster and been able to fix it.  No, the dumb thing had to just drip for a long, long time.  Bah.

Fortunately, Ben and Chris were moving back to college just after then, so we could move David and Eddie out of the mold and mildew room.  For now, the oldy moldy nastiness has been cleaned out, but the wall is still open, the floor still needs a new pad, and the carpet still needs to be cleaned.

Couldn't the pipes have broken BEFORE we put the new carpet in??  I wonder what other treasures this old house has in store for us. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Dirty Dishes

Oh, I have a lot to say about last week's DesignMom feature!  I still can't believe that they really wanted to feature my house - my family.  I'm pinching myself.

I had so much fun with the photo shoot.  A friend came over and helped me scoot chairs and plump pillows and remove clutter and laugh.  Mostly, it's laughing that what is normally an every-day scene can be dolled up into a fancy-pants fashion photo.  It was so satisfying to see the inherent wonderfulness in my life - the beauty that I'm usually too busy to acknowledge.

A night or two later, I was headed to bed, trying my best to ignore the whisperings of the dirty dishes on the counter.  I really shouldn't leave them until morning, I know.  Not just because of flies and the health department, but mostly because my sweet husband does breakfast and a messy kitchen makes him crazy.  I appreciate that he takes the morning shift and I don't want him to have angst that early!

I was so tired, though!  I walked back to the bedroom with the image of the stack of soup bowls and piles of dirty spoons still flitting around in my head.  I'm grateful for those dishes.  It's a testimony that my family was well-fed tonight.  Before I could climb into bed, I just had to grab my camera and head back to the kitchen.  It only took a moment or two to grab the shot (and then I went to bed anyway).

The next day, I was looking through the raw files, getting ready to crop and edit the pictures to the format DesignMom wanted.  There, with all the pretty pictures was the shot of the dirty dishes, awkwardly hanging around the cheerleaders like a seventh grader with braces.  Oh yeah, that was me.

I don't know why I included that late-night picture.  I was sure they wouldn't use it in the article.  It wasn't prepped, it wasn't pretty, no natural light...who wants to see my dirty dinner dishes?

It's part of our life, and they included the picture in the home feature.  I gasped when I saw it, then bubbled up with giggles.  Really??

I guess we don't need to look that hard to find beauty in our lives.  Dirty dishes and all.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

DesignMom Feature!

I can hardly believe my good luck today!  Our home has been featured on DesignMom - a publication I've long read and admired.  I've been alternately excited, humbled, and terrified.

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Bike Rack

I grew up on a bike.  I loved flying down the street, my timid feet planted firmly on the brake, so I wasn't really flying but going as darn fast as I dared.  My brother gave me a hard time about how slowly my "fast as I dared" was, but I won't go there today.

When my first boys were 2,4, and 6, Jay and I decided to spend Grandma Jeanne's Christmas money on little bikes for them.  Alec's bike was little.  Ben's bike was tiny, and the bicycle for Chris was downright tiny.  We had a large RV garage, so they pedaled their little hearts out, round and round the garage.  They arranged stacked boxes to make racetracks and spent hours in there.  Seeing their fun, of course Jay and I had to purchase bicycles for ourselves.  From then on, we rode bikes to school.  Alec and Ben parked their bikes carefully in the big bike rack, and Chris and I would head back home, stopping at the post office on the way.  It was an itty-bitty small town and we pedaled all over it.

A few months later, we moved to the Seattle area.  We found many bike trails snaking alongside the river and through town.  We packed up our dinner, loaded it into the bike trailer with Baby David, and rode off into the sunset.  What fun we had!

Not long after Eddie was born, a neighbor gave us their bike rack.  Huge and made of solid steel, it held all our bike upright and tangle free.  This is where the bicycles belong.  Not falling over each other, not on top of the sprinklers, not stashed into the bushes, not languishing on the front lawn.  What a wonderful organizational tool!

And do the children actually use it?  Ha.