Calgon, Take Me Away…

Literally.  So, you know how on Friday I said it was time to do something about my pathetic bathroom?  Well, guess what?  I started it.  My arms are still protesting.  Sunday night, they hurt so bad that I ended up doped up on Ibuprofen and sleeping on the couch.  Pain.  Oh, the pain.  Just sayin’.

The bathroom is getting a mini makeover.  You know, there are lots of kinds of makeovers.  Full ones that include losing 50 lbs, a whole new wardrobe, haircut, color, highlights, and even accessories like purses and jewelry.  I call these kinds of makeovers, “The Rodeo Drive” of makeovers.  Well, that’s not happening to my bathroom.   My bathroom is getting the Pic-n-Save makeover.  You get a new outfit, maybe a haircut, and a new shade of lipstick or something.  Yeah… the “lick and a promise” makeover– that’s what we’re doing.  Why?  Because this is the year of the dental work, not the year of the bathroom.  In about two years, we’ll go for a more “Rodeo Drive” style– well, maybe more like Macy’s.  We’re not Gucci people.

However, QUITE A BIT has been accomplished.  In the past four days Kevin and I have…

  • Scrubbed the shower.  This took about five hours.  No.  Joke.
  • Caulked the shower.  Can we just say that this was a feat?
  • Waxed the shower.  *whimpers*

Then it got interesting…  we…

  • Scraped and brushed the walls above the shower.  (this made a nice mess in my nice clean shower too.  Just sayin’.)
  • Added new mud to the places that crumbled in the scraping (gaping holes).
  • Mudded the HOLES in the drywall near the floor (where water has eaten it away over the past 22 years.  Yeah, some idiot thought it was a good idea to use regular drywall next to a shower/tub combo)
  • Primered the walls.
  • Primered the vanity.

Believe it or not… I’m not even CLOSE to done.  I still have to…

  • Paint the vanity
  • Paint the whole room
  • Install the splash guards
  • Install the upper seal
  • Install the rack
  • Scrub the sink
  • Wax the sink
  • Install a new faucet
  • Hang the new shower curtains

And I’m sure there’s more.  More.

*whimpers whilst curled in fetal position*

See that arc of white at the top of the tub surround? It's not really there. No idea why it looks like that in the photo.


Here’s a bit of our progress… it looks pathetic because we’ve replaced nothing.  We’ve just used an obscene amount of elbow grease and “concealer” in the form of primer.

Why did I take a picture of this again? Dunno. Oh, well. There it is.


Why is this so amazing? It used to be a light gray with streaks of rust that I thought we couldn't get rid of... I DID IT


The world's worst mud job. Why didn't I do it right? Because I had no idea where the tools were. So, we'll "sand it right. Most of that area was a hole. NOT ANYMORE


Oh, is this where I should remind you that we have one bathroom and eleven people– eight of whom are females, all but one over the age of 13


Spring Is Here…

Can you hear it?  The birds are chirping.  I wonder.  Are they talking about what to have for dinner, or are they quibbling over the placement of string and dried grasses for their nest?  Can’t you hear the wife?  “It’s too high!  You know that I can’t see it way up there.  Put it a little lower… it’s not straight… over that way… there you go.”  Mr. Bird, on the other hand, just wants it done so he can go worming.  He’s done about all he wants to do.  He’s just… well, done.

The breezes are wafting through the rooms of my home.  All the windows are open, and the curtains flutter as the fresh air blows in from who knows where.  The sun is shining.  How I love the brightness of desert sun in my house!  Each room is so bright and cheerful on a sunny day.  Thankfully, we have a lot of those sunny days.  When I chose to do an all white kitchen, including the wall paint, I had no idea how much I’d love it.  After all, when we moved into this house we had a white floor, white walls, white cabinets… and I hated it.  Then again, maybe I blamed the white cabinets and walls for the ugliness created by the pink tile and the gold-flecked yellow counter tops!  As it is, I look into my kitchen, see the white cabinets, the white walls, my white appliances, and then the splashes of black metal and it makes me smile.  I love my kitchen.

Of course, days like this have their downsides.  I always feel like I can accomplish anything on days like today.  I see the prints on walls and I ache to get up and scrub them.  I see chipped paint and want to do a quick touch up.  I glance around my living room and suddenly I’m eager to make new shades, reupholster the couch, and order new pictures for the walls.

And, if that wasn’t enough, I can’t wake up.  Maybe it’s the balmy breezes… they feel a little like blown-out Santa Ana’s…  perhaps they are.    Maybe it’s the warmer weather or just my own personal quirkiness coming into play.  I’m tired.  Very, very tired.  I do think, however, that I have just enough oomph to go change the sheets on my bed.  Can you imagine crawling into fresh sheets at the end of a perfect day like today?

No, my sheets aren’t nearly as elegant looking as those, but it made me smile.  Maybe I’ll be back with a picture of my sheets on my bed…  or maybe not.

Double Standard~

I work hard all day.  Almost from the time I get up until the end of the day, I’m busy dealing with problems, grumpy people, and sometimes doing really back breaking hard labor.  No matter how much I remind myself that I have my dream-job, there are days where it’s repetitive, monotonous, and I just want out.  The last thing I want to do at the end of a long day is pick up my spouse’s slack.   If both roles in marriage are so valuable and important, then why is it that my contribution of non-stop, hard work, day in and day out, every single solitary week not enough?

Oh yeah, I wrote that for my husband.  He’s never said it to me (and if he knows what’s good for him, he won’t), but the fact is, it’s true.  I don’t work as hard or as diligently as he does.  I never have for any kind of consistent basis.  I do fear I never will.  I want to though.  I don’t want to continue feeling as if I’m the one of us that is always needing to be bailed out of my job.  Lots of these thoughts have gone through my mind over the past years and today, I’m writing them down for my benefit.  I’m also sharing them in case I’m not the only woman who deals with this.

When my husband gets up at four in the morning, he has a few minutes to shower, get dressed, and then he wraps his socks around his jeans (to protect them from the bicycle chain), pulls on his jacket, straps down his helmet, climbs on his bike, and rides off into the freezing morning darkness.  He gets in a van, rides thirty minutes to work, and is there for ten hours.  He’s a “salaried” worker in that he doesn’t get a lunch, a break, anything.  He’s there to work and work all day.  If he doesn’t know what he’s doing, that’s no excuse.  He’s paid to know and to do it.  Twenty-nine years after being on the same job, there is no excuse for not getting the job done, done well, done consistently, and on time.  He’d better not expect someone to pick up his slack.  After all, it’s his job.

Well, my job is to keep the home.  Two thousand years ago, God inspired one of my favorite apostles to write, “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” (Titus 2: 3-5)

Those words are really powerful words.  That phrase “workers at home” has a Greek definition that means literally “house despots”.  We’re to take command of our homes!  In this day of hearing words like “dominion, vision, and jurisdiction” bandied about like buzz words, I hate saying this, but what that verse seems to say is, “Take dominion over your home,” or in today’s vernacular, “Own the job.”

Do we?  Do we get up in the morning and literally work all day?  I don’t.  I know I don’t.  Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I do.  Really.  There are days where I wake up, get dressed, throw food in the general direction of my face and hope it lands in my mouth as I do fifty other things at once.  Before I know it, the kids are in bed, I’m collapsed in my chair, and I don’t even know what I did all day because it looks, by the chaos around me, like I did nothing.  The truth is, I can probably count on one hand, how many of those happen in a six month period.

When I had all small children, I did work hard.  Even doing nothing, I was working hard.  I’d wake up and be working before I got out of bed– becuase I was pregnant.  I’d sit in a chair and hold a child that fell out of her bed and bumped her chin.  I’d change a diaper or two or help a newly training one to the pot.  It was a constant help little kids and try to help keep the house from falling down around my ears because I didn’t know what I was doing, because there was a lot of work by the time I did know what I was doing, or because the old adage is true.  A woman’s work is never done.  Back then, I had zero qualms about asking, or even expecting, my husband to help switch out the laundry or wash some dishes.

As for today, however, I don’t understand why I think I have the luxury of sitting around and doing what I want to do instead of what needs to be done.  I wonder what is wrong with me that I think I can get up, spend most of the day writing, crafting, visiting with my friends, ignoring things I don’t want to do, and then when my husband arrives, expect him to pick p the slack that I have no business allowing.

Now see, the problem comes in that I still don’t have the strenght I once had.  Part of that is because I don’t force myself to work, and part of it is because I just don’t have it.  So, in my all-or-nothing personality, I either want to over extend myself, or I want to just let him do it all.  The man is gone eleven hours a day.  Is it too much to expect that he can come home and not have to do my job?  It’s not like I have four kids under six anymore.

Wives, particularly younger wives, learn from my mistakes.  Don’t wait five, ten, or twenty years to step up and own your job.  If you’ve done all you can do in a day and something is left undone for which you need help, then that’s fine!  If it’s a rare occasion, that’s fine too.  But, if your husband is working all day so you can play, and then he comes home to do the job you didn’t bother to attempt becuase you were too selfish or lazy…  ugh.  How despicable .

One thing I’m not going to try to do.  I’m not going to try to reverse this in a day.  I’ve learned the very hard way that it is sure failure for me.  I am, however, going to reverse some part of this today.