Saturday, February 7, 2009

Is that the finish line I see, or is it just another mirage?

Oh, we are so close to finishing this lengthy renovation. There are only a few things standing in the way of a fully fuctional four piece bathroom on our 2nd floor. But the long list of "little" things are taking forever and I feel like we'll never be done!

I made a huge mistake last week. I told RoboMike (a.k.a. the Tile Fairy) that I didn't need his help finishing up the tile and trim. I figured that he didn't need to drive 73km on his day off when I have a hammer of my own. So off we went to our local Home Hardware and picked out some trim. But in one day, all that I accomplished was some priming of trim, installing a lockset on the pocket door, and hanging the pocket door. I also did tons of analyzing/worrying about how the trim should be installed, referring to my latest library book. For somebody with experience, I'm sure this is a very easy job. My father tells me that my late Uncle Wally, a carpenter by trade, could trim a whole house in one day. I can't even do a tiny bathroom in one day. 

Anyway, I didn't fully regret my decision until the next day at my niece's birthday party when RoboMike continuously teased me about "firing" him. If I'd known that he has such a deep desire to escape life with my sister for a day in exchange for some thankless hard labour at my house, I wouldn't have stolen his dream. So now I felt bad for not getting the work done myself, and for taking this joy away from a man who doesn't like to relax.

But I digress. I decided to turn up the heat and get this job done myself. So for one week, I have been leaving work promptly at 5 p.m. and changing into my work clothes and getting right to it. I nailed the baseboard trim, put up the door jams for the pocket door, and filled the countersunk holes. The next night, I put the trim around the door and window. It is important to point out that I only have a cheap plastic mitre box with handsaw that somebody leant us 2 years ago, so that slowed me down a bit. I also used the mitre box with our cheap hacksaw to cut the metal tile trim for the sink backsplash. Dan came to admire my work at 9 p.m. after his French class, and I suggested that we tile the backsplash. He didn't really agree, but next thing I knew, he was mixing up the thinset with a stick and I was slapping the tiles up (and then franticly putting tile spacers in to keep them from sliding together). The area is only 27" x 10", so how long will that take, right? Well, as it turns out, it takes a bit more time than I thought, but much less thinset. (Oops. We've got about an extra 4 litres here just hardening in a bucket.) But, the bottom line is that the tiles are up and the trim is now painted, and we are ready to move onto the next task in this fun renovation.

If I squint hard, I can see the finish line on the horizon.  (Or, is that my tired eyes blurring the glass mosaic tile into a checkered flag?) When I drive down Toronto's Lakeshore boulevard, I always flashback to those last few kilometers of the first half marathon that I ran. I can remember the exact point on the road when I had that thought: "what the hell am I doing here". Every step after that became increasingly difficult. But as I turned away from the lake and ran towards the CN Tower, I could hear the people cheering at the finish line, and I just pretended that they were all cheering for me. And those last 500m were the best, because then I was done! I have only ran past that spot one other time, when I reapeated the half marathon the following year, and I had the exact same reaction. So, while I hope that this is my last bathroom renovation, I have a bad feeling that in a few months, I'll forget the pain that I'm feeling right now and get myself into this mess again. But hopefully only one more time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks good from this angle