A Look Back

I started this blog a little more than 4 months ago to document my journey from woman-child (like man-child?) to adult. It has also been a  good reminder of all the things I’ve actually finished because I tend to get bogged down by what still needs to be done. So I’m going to share with you a few gems from the last year and a half I’ve lived here. Let’s begin with my crowning glory: the master bath.  In the summer of 2011, I packed up my stuff and moved in with my man. We share the master bedroom and we get our own bathroom. For someone who has shared bathrooms with 5 other people per household, that’s bordering on a miracle. The kicker was that the bathroom had only one working feature – the sink. So that means no shower, and no toilet. They were both out of commission.  What’s the point then?  The bathroom also featured this wallpaper:

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I wasted no time in attempting to tackle that wallpaper to the ground and send it packing. Then I discovered that whoever put up the wallpaper chose not to prime the walls before. Each color on the wall is a different layer. The yellow is adhesive, the white is mud where the drywall comes together, the brown in the ripped paper front of the drywall and the blue is the Dif wallpaper spray staining the drywall.

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Once I realized this, I had to stop.  This was way above my paygrade. We had a painter come in to remove the wallpaper and fix up the walls and he did a great job. Then our landlord (aka my bf’s dad) hired a contractor to fix everything else.  We have a new shower stall, sink, toilet, vanity, medicine cabinet and tile. Literally everything in the bathroom is new.  This bathroom is lightyears ahead of what it used to be. He also repaired our kitchen ceiling that had been damaged by water from our master bath as well.

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shower stall
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We’ve since painted the walls a happy green (although I was going for a sageish green so I might repaint). Now that you’ve reveled in the glory that is the baster bathroom, I would like to share with you the results of hiring a crappy contractor. The man that rehabbed my bathroom did a WONDERFUL job.  The contractor that was hired before him was absolutely terrible. He rehabbed the shared bathroom upstairs.  The only think that was done well was the tile, which he hired someone else to do. About a week after he “finished” the bathroom, I came home to water dripping from my living room ceiling.  The ceiling looked as if it was going to cave at any second.  I poked a hole in the distended ceiling and let the water fall into a bucket. We thought it was a plumbing issue so we called a plumber.  He promptly cut a hole in our ceiling and told us nothing was wrong. SOMEONE didn’t caulk around the bathtub.  All 4 of our shower water was pooling under the tub and leaking into our neighbor’s house as well. So we were left with this:

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The same painter who fixed my bathroom walls came and patched the ceiling, leaving us with this:

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It looked so much better, but I was still disappointed that it had to happen at all. What would have cost us $5 to fix ended up costing us hundreds. All because of one man’s negligence. In the end, I’m glad we now have fully functional bathrooms and ceilings, but it was quite a journey.  We started with 2 of 3 toilets operational and basically no shower to 3 functional if not super visually appealing bathrooms.

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It’s Not Paranoia

For the past few days, my mind has been preoccupied with worry for the people in the northeast.  I have family and friends spread across the region so it has been pretty hard to concentrate.  I worry about lost power, enough clean water, food, and heat.  Are they prepared?

I found this list for a basic emergency preparedness kit and quickly realized I am missing some key items.  First and foremost, we do not have enough water stored in our home to support us all for 3 days. We always have a case of water bottles somewhere between full and empty.  Not enough for 5 people and a pupperoni. I already feel enough shame about the lack of preparedness of my household so I won’t go into detail on what we are lacking. I am inspired to bring us closer to being prepared. 

Why am I so worried about being prepared?  I don’t live in a region that can’t get a real hurricane (just the after effects), but we have gotten some pretty severe thunderstorms (no power), blizzards (no power, nowhere to go), and tornados (no power, fallen trees, shelter damage), and my house backs up to a river notorious for flooding.  There are countless scenarios in which we would need an emergency preparedness kit. 

Thinking about this lends me to want to know how to do more without the modern conveniences (despite my last post, haha) of our time. I have been dying to try canning and other traditional methods of preserving foods so I can survive if I am suddenly without power or locked down. I also think it would be amazingly helpful if I could identify edible plants in nature. I can’t even identify poison ivy!

I’m just generally uncomfortable with the level of unpreparedness in my house. How prepared are you? What would you take off or add to this list?