Shower Conundrum aka First World Problems

Open tile showerRenovation of the brothel bathroom has ground to a halt. 95% complete*, and I can’t decide how to keep the room from flooding.


Fortunately, because I have another functioning shower in my house, I’ve been able to procrastinate this decision. However, the time has come to begin demolition on the yellow monstrosity (Trust me on this: lemon yellow tile, sink, toilet and wallpaper. It’s a beaut). For some reason, neither I nor the SO find the idea of surviving on sponge baths appealing, so I have to find a way to contain the water bound to spew forth from the shower head and splashing across our stinky, nude bodies.


Sure, a tension rod and shower curtain would solve the problem temporarily, but I’m a notoriously cheap bitch and I’m loathe to spend money unnecessarily. Why fix the problem twice?


If you refer to the ‘before’ photos, you’ll recall a big-ass wall with metallic, furry wallpaper and a 24″ door to cwrightbath3the left. A door that opened into the wall. A door that couldn’t open the other way without slamming into the vanity.

You might guess that I’m not fond of the idea of a door.


The shower is 56″ long, so I surmised I could install a frameless glass panel at the end of the shower near the head, leaving the left side of the shower open for entry or egress.

Research, of course, clouded the issue with options:

– 1/4″ 3/8″ thickness

– regular or low iron glass

– U-channel or U-clip installation

– water repellent coating or not.


I get to shopping, and I quickly realize I can have some of what I want, but not all of what I want, or if I do find all of what I want, it’s far more expensive than I want to spend, or think I should have to. 


glass shower shield When I renovated the kitchen, I wanted glass shelves in the cabinets with glass doors.Otherwise, the light originating from the top of the cabinet would stop at the first wooden (well, pressboard) shelf. I called three local glass companies, got three different estimates and three different times of delivery. Based on those results, I called the company that made my shelves. After many questions and selections, I’m still looking at forking over $1000.

For a sheet of glass, people.

A coated sheet of glass, but still.


So I start my search anew (which is a giant PITA when you’re ‘this close’ to making a decision and you Fleurco Monacohave to backtrack a hundred steps). And I ran into this (above left): A glass panel with door thingy that swings both ways.

Alas, it is 1/4″ and without water repellent coating.


But then I find this (right): a very similar contraption but 3/8″ glass and able to be coated (<- it’s interesting that everything I’ve read says the water repellent coating is imperative, yet every merchant sells it as an ‘option’). The hinges are only one way, but far less noticeable than the pivot

But – I’m looking at a thousand dollars again.



My motivation, patience and problem-solving skills are tapped out. If anyone knows something I don’t, please whisper it into my virtual ear. Until then, I’ll keep staring at my gorgeous but unused shower, and lament my lack of glass blowing skills.







*Depending on how one measures completeness. In terms of tasks still unfinished, or in monetary cost of things still to do. But I digress.


Bordello Bathroom No More!

See the Before photos here.

And the After…..

No more weirdly purple sink and toilet!


A slightly blurry depiction of the 56″ shower.


And NO MORE CARPET on the floor!





Bordello Bathroom Renovation, part I (Before)

When one buys a one-owner house built in 1968 at an estate sale, one expects a certain amount of vintage or uh, retro, decorating. That does not mean, however, that one has to live with one with said atrocities.

This is the bathroom off my  master bedroom:

This photo doesn’t adequately display the purple/pink/mauve hue of the toilet and sink.  It is, in reality, much darker and more inexplicable than shown here. It, and in fact, ALL of my bathrooms (dirty robin egg blue, and yellow, respectively), are perfect examples why toilets should never be anything but white or off-white.

Note the god-awful swag lighting (which becomes an obstacle during renovation due to the location of the light box), the completely plastic vanity and counter, and medicine cablnet whose door smacks the light fixture every time it swings open.

The shower (notice the door on the left there) was otherwise known as the cave. It runs the full width of the room, but the only light source is what manages to come through the frosted glass 24″ door. Not adequate.


Close-up on the wallpaper:

pettable metallic wallpaper

Not only it is metallic, it is PET-ABLE. Seriously, the wallpaper is three-dimensional and faux velvet. I’m not sure what the benefit of this is, other than to have something to rest your face against between bouts of vomiting. which I suppose could provide some comfort. Between the colors and the pattern, It clashes with any sort of reasonable design scheme. It is just – not good.


The home’s prior resident was an elderly widower (obviously he wasn’t always either of those things, but it was his identity before his death). He had moved his bedroom into the first floor office and exclusively used the bathroom off the kitchen. Consequently, the second floor facilities hadn’t been utilized for an undetermined amount of time. So it wasn’t a complete surprise when the shower began to leak. That, in addition to the above indicated aesthetic deficiencies, gave me the perfect excuse to start demolition.


My first order of business:

bordello bathroom demolitino


One word: Sawzall.


To be continued…..



Pre-Op Planning or Nesting on a Limited Budget

In some ways, this is almost a sequel to my April 23 post. Because I have major hospital visitation looming, and I know I won’t be at 100% for a few weeks, I’m engaged in some serious nesting behavior.

I bought an ipod classic. I have a shuffle, compliments of Ms. Kimmie, but three days in The Cleveland Clinic plus however many days with limited mobility means I’m gonna need a helluva lot more than the shuffle can provide. (Ah – so many sexually explicit jokes abound, but I’ll control myself). I bought it on a credit card, which I NEVER do. I have been credit card free for years, but I have one to make large business purchases, which I always pay off immediately, if not sooner. However, considering the circumstances, I felt a wee bit justified in giving a small amount of money to the credit card devil. All my free time in front of the tv is also spent transferring ALL of my CDs into itunes and the ‘pod, and even going so far as to hunt down cover art cuz I love watching the graphics float by…

I bought a new dishwasher. The old one, burnt orange and brown circa 1968, croaked over a year ago. What’s taken so long to find a replacement wasn’t necessarily the money (although that’s ALWAYS an issue), it was the my complete confusion over what made one dishwasher better than another. Truth be told, I still don’t flippin’ know; I just took the lovely lady at Home Depot’s word for it.

It’s sleek; it’s black (oh crap, here come the sex innuendos again); and it’s QUIET. After the first ‘test’ wash, my SO peered through the cracked door and exclaimed, “Come here! You have to come look at this! Look at our glasses! Look out sparkly they are!”

And I’m buying shower fixtures in the next day or two. I simply HAVE to get the big hole in my bathroom taken care of before I’m flat on my back, out of my head with morphine (whoa… does that spot on the carpet look like George Carlin or what?). I can’t say the shower will operational with tile and all those nicieties, but if I get the dang fixtures, the plumbing can be hooked up and the wall can be in. I can (perhaps, if I’m way more motivated than I am right now) get the rest of the walls prepped and primed.

So I’m a busy girl. Hence the reason for my absense here..


The Case for A New Kitchen

tappan fabulous 400 stove

A year ago I began my relationship with the Tappan Fabulous 400, born in 1968. A stainless steel monstrosity with a double oven and four electric coil burners that actually folded away inside the beast for a more aesthetically pleasing appearance, I was at first intimidated and then awed by its overwhelming construction.

The first bump in our affection happened almost immediately; a lack of passion. The larger oven simply refused to function. After consulting a few experts, I located a new heating element (cuz it’s not like you can find one for this particular stove at Home Depot) and performed some minor surgery on my appliance. Unfortunately, the transplanted organ was rejected.

I persevered; after all, the Tappan still had one healthy organ/oven – how much food do I really need to prepare at a time anyway?

Our relationship skipped along happily for many months, but then the Tappan began acting suspiciously. The large burner began responding only sporadically, and while I was willing to overlook this rebuff of my affection, I admit to a certain amount of jealousy when Kimmie was able to coax it out of its hibernation.

Then two weeks ago, my Tappan threw what can only be described as a temper tantrum. It popped, it sparked – it blew a damn breaker! This time, a complete amputation of the offending burner was required (Not to mention carefully placed electrical tape over any remaining dangling wires), but it’s possible to survive with only three limbs, right?

A week ago it happened again – an unexpected outburst of electrical activity. I yelped my distress and poured salve on its wounds, but to no avail. Three days later, two more burners stayed stone cold. I had to face it, my poor Tappan was deteriorating before my eyes and no amount of life support could undo the damage.

Last night, the final burner took its last shaky breath while mac and cheese sat congealing. Sure, the stove can breathe on its own (in the form of the small oven) but its brain, in essence, is gone. All I can do is give it the death and tribute it deserves for its many years of faithful and devoted companionship.

It was a loving partner and I’m sure it will understand my need to upgrade.

*Donations can be made to the Island of Misfit Toys, North Pole. Thank you