Friday, September 28, 2012

Putting Walls Up... Literally

If you haven't been following along via my FB posts & pics, here's the latest on our bathroom. Over the last few weeks, we've made a lot of progress. The up side is, we're saving a ton of money doing a lot of the work ourselves. The down side is, everything takes longer when you do it yourself (as well as when you find crappy repair work from the previous owners).

We decided the damaged decking didn't need replacing. I talked to my older bro (who used to be a general contractor in the area) and he said that if they're 75% or more "good", they don't need to be replaced. Since we were a little concerned that the subfloor wouldn't attach to the damaged wood, Ace decided to scoop out the damage, and fill it back in with some bonding/leveling compound. That, alone, took over a week, because each VERY THIN layer has to dry for six hours before another can be applied.

While he worked on that, we also got the subfloor trimmed out (nothing's attached, yet, though) and all the drywall cut & hung (that we can for now, anyway -- can't cover the "wet wall", or anywhere in the alcove yet). Once the ceiling was drywalled, the room stayed a lot cooler; making it easier for Ace to keep working (doesn't seem to bother me as much as it does him). Keep in mind, Ace and I are both working our real jobs while we're working on the bathroom. One of the days I worked last week, I stopped by Ferguson again. We're leaning toward a tub/shower hardware set we found there, but haven't committed yet. Ace's biggest issue with that is that nothing is made 100% of metal anymore. This set I found is about 50%.

Somewhere in all of this, the tub was delivered. And, by "delivered", I mean that Ace had to meet the semi they sent at HD up the street, which we had told them wouldn't fit when they called to confirm delivery, but they sent anyway. He couldn't fit the boxed tub in the back of our SUV, so he took it out of the box, and inspected for damage. All good, the semi driver helped him load it into the back of the 4Runner.

We got notice from the (non-food) dump up the road that they were reinstating their "free dump" policy for the area, up to 4 truckloads per year. However, for all of our bathroom debris (sitting on a large tarp in our backyard at this point), we'd have to rent a large truck ($19.95 from HD; I think you get it for four hours, but I could be wrong). So, we just sucked it up, and rented a large dumpster, which we had for five days. We also let our neighbors put some things in, because we knew we wouldn't fill it by ourselves (but the next size down was too small).

So, now we're at the stage where we need a plumber. We decided that the best route would be to have him fix the plumbing under the house for the toilet, then get the pipes/etc done for the new tub, as well as see if we need to move vanity plumbing, and do that if necessary. Can't get the plumber here until we decide on hardware. Time for Ace to make the final decision on that...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

WARNING -- Political Post

For the most part, I try to stay out of "discussions" regarding political issues... simply because, for the most part, these "discussions" generally turn into "rantings & name-calling". Quite a few of my friends, some long-term even, have forgotten their manners when it comes to posting their own political opinions/agendas - specifically on Facebook. When I *do* state my opinion, I have been personally attacked... and some people even believe I have certain beliefs/leanings that I don't actually have. Assume much?

All that said, here are just a few of my beliefs (not open for ranting, name-calling, or changing of my opinion):

1. I am Pro- Choice. Contrary to popular thought, this does NOT make me "Pro Abortion". I do not believe in abortion as a birth control method, but stuff happens in life, and sometimes, you just don't want a child because you, or someone else, effed up & made a mistake. To answer someone's question -- If my daughter got pregnant (whether it was by choice, by stupidity, or by force), it is HER decision ALONE to make, but I would fully support her if she chose to get an abortion.
2. I am Pro- state's rights. The Federal Government has their hands in far too many things where they don't belong. The Constitution specifically supports this, and we've gotten too far away from it.
3. I am Pro- medical marijuana legalization. It has been proven, time & again, that marijuana has true medicinal purposes... and not just for glaucoma. It assists with nausea (caused by MANY medical problems, as well as pregnancy, btw) and pain relief (migraines, Fibromyalgia, chronic back pain, and much more), just to name a few. IMO, it should be regulated & distributed under the same laws & requirements of other prescription meds.
4. I am Pro- marriage equality. I don't call it "gay rights" because the issue, to me, is one of being equal, not one of being gay or not. And, no, you can't call it "Civil Union"; that's retarded. That would mean everyone, like me, who didn't get married in a church, by a religious figure (priest, minister, etc) would have to have their Marriage Licenses revoked, and reissued as a "Civil Union License." That is a waste of government (and by that, I mean THE PEOPLE's) money. I don't give a rat's f*ck what your religious beliefs are... YOU don't have the RIGHT to tell EVERYONE how to live their lives. If you don't like it, then don't have one. Marriage, and all the rights & struggles that come with it, should be granted to everyone.
5. I am Pro- Health Rights (specifically, Women's... more specifically, Planned Parenthood; currently being threatened by some people in governmental position of power). Planned Parenthood's government subsidies saved my life, and granted me the ability to have a baby... when *I* wanted to. Again, just because your religious beliefs state that you are against something doesn't mean you get to take away MY right to choose what I need to do for my own health. BCP are expensive, and I think some people forget that not everyone who takes them are using them for birth control. FTR, I take them to control my ovarian cysts (Did you know those can burst & I could die, if I wasn't able to keep them under control with BCP?) While I don't think the federal government should be completely covering the costs of these, I *do* think anyone who needs to take them should have access to them for a reasonable cost. And, while I'm at it, why do the "forces that be" forget that MEN are part of this "sex thing" too? Government subsidies for condoms, BCP & other birth control methods, vasectomies, hysterectomies, etc should exist, on a sliding fee scale... and yes, I think abortion due to rape/incest/mother's life in jeopardy should be counted within this.
6. I am Pro- government assistance programs as they were intended originally -- TO ASSIST; short-term. The whole system needs an overhaul, but on the whole, I am against living off of the system instead of working hard (like SOME people I know). I think there needs to be a dollar amount cap, or a time frame cap (two years, at most!). I don't believe in people sitting on their butts, &/or working under the table, to avoid garnishments. I don't believe in people having more children to continue to stay on the system. And I will NEVER understand those gov't employees who find ways for those who don't really need the system to stay on the system.
This is not, by any means, a complete list, but that's all I can think of at this moment...

One last thing: I am not specifically Pro-Obama at this point (leaning more towards another candidate, actually -- and I don't believe it's "throwing my vote away" either; I vote my conscience. Always have, always will), but I *am* ANTI-Romney; he's a complete idiot, but more importantly, he believes quite the opposite on a lot of what I believe in.

Friday, September 21, 2012

BTS & Tag

Last night was a parent meeting for TAG students. The meeting was very informative, and I'm hoping that this will just expand Princess' opportunities to push herself further, or delve deeper, into certain subject matter. They will also have opportunities for substitute projects, if they choose to pre-test, and pass with 85% or more, where & when available.

Her grade school teachers always saw her as exceptional, and helped keep her interest by giving her the next grade level work to do. As a 6th grader, she and a few others had "independent" study to work ahead in math, and now as a 7th grader, she's in Advanced Pre-Algebra (obviously getting her math skills from me).

It was also Back To School night, and that was a lot more interesting... We basically had 7 minutes in each classroom (long enough for the teacher to tell you a little about the class, what they expect, how things run, etc), then 4m in between to get to each one. There is music at the 3m mark (a warning; kind of like the lights flashing during intermission at a play), then a "ding" at the 4m mark (you'd better be in your seat!).

Princess was highly entertaining; she's a fast walker, and apparently is quite popular already (no doubt assisted by her role as a Youth Cheerleader). About half her classes are upstairs, and the other half are downstairs, so (including PE every day this term, and cheer three times a week) she gets a fair amount of exercise each day -- yay.

Her teachers all seem pretty cool -- math teacher has a cool arm tattoo, language arts teacher has such a love for Edgar Allan Poe that she leaves her regular lights off and has her whole room decorated like it's Halloween all year 'round, her cooking teacher teaches them about different cultures through cooking, her advisory teacher has a nice calm demeanor, etc -- that I could only find one thing I didn't like. Her advisory teacher used the word "Supposably" (which, if you didn't know, is not a word... the proper word is "Supposedly").

Ace & I really look forward to seeing how well she progresses this year.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Not My Job

So, back in mid-July, I sent (as I'm required by court-order to do) an email to Princess' bio, letting him know that I signed her up for cheerleading. I included the league's website, so he could look up her schedule, etc, for himself. Fast forward to September 1st. "Dana- this page does not have a schedule of when M******* will be cheering or where. I'm sure she has a schedule so please send me that information. It would be great to see her cheer again, thanks for letting me know she was at ***** HS. - M***"

First of all, we all know Wildebeest writes these emails. I'd be surprised if MG was aware of even HALF of what she sends to me using his name. Second, she's never cheered before, so what's with the "see her cheer again" bullsh*t? Third, I didn't let him know she was at the HS for the Jamboree because IT WAS ON THE EFFING WEBSITE; is this Wildebeest's way of letting me know he was there (creepy stalker -- since if he was there, he never came over to say anything to her)? As usual, since I didn't NEED to respond, I ignored the email.

On Sept 9th, I sent a modified first day of school pic. I got this in return: "Thank you, she looks beautiful and so grown up. I am still waiting for her cheer info from you-M***" Which, again, I ignored.

Today, I sent a copy of one of the bills for her sports physical (the office visit; gotta ask Ace where the after-insurance one is). "His" response? "Dana, I have asked you once before for info on when M******* is cheering, I have no idea from the schedule on [city deleted] youth cheer without knowing what age group/ color she is cheering for. I am entitled to this info, so please provide it. Thanks - M***" For the third time, I am ignoring this.

The information "he" wants is on the website. I don't know why "he" can't figure it out; everyone else did. It's not rocket science... It's not my job to (figuratively) hold "his" hand and walk "him" through it. Besides, Princess doesn't want them around, anyway; not at games, not at practices, not at school events, not anywhere near her...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Just Like That... It's GONE!

The bathroom, I mean. Yes, literally. Over this past weekend, we completely demolished the rest of the bathroom. Toilet - removed, vanity - out, shower surround - gone, tub - POOF, subfloor & linoleum - history! Found some water damage, and proof of some shoddy repair work, which we'll fix/correct as we go.

We also changed plans a little. We decided that a new tub would be nice, especially since when we removed the old one, we discovered some rust issues (classic porcelain on metal style)... and not much more than refinishing the old one. Anyway, Princess decided she wanted to help, so we gave her a mask, some safety goggles, & a pair of work gloves... and set her to work. She did great!

For two days, we've lived without an inside toilet (thank you, Honey Bucket!) or shower (thank you, multiple friends who've offered use of their facilities)... We suspect we'll be without for at least a month. Here's a photo of our bathroom, almost fully gutted (notice there are still the damaged T&G planking; we're replacing those):