Having only one bathroom for six people is a sanctifying experience. Especially when said bathroom begins to fall into disrepair, and the occupants have no idea where to start, and are scared to begin, because of the fact that there is only one bathroom, and they don’t know where to start.
Just an observation.
That said, we are growing. We are changing. We are letting go of fear, and learning to dig in and do things we didn’t think we could. We are learning to ask for help, watch YouTube videos, and get started. And we have lots of friends who are willing to work for food. It’s terrifying and awesome, but we ripped out our bathroom yesterday. Levi has a co-worker who jumped at the chance to come to our house and teach us how to do stuff and things. Her name is Dorenna (Doh-ree-nah), and she is full of awesome. Since Levi worked yesterday, it was just her and me, and we went at it with a will. I learned so much. I started out the day full of fear, but earned a lot of confidence by the time she left.
She’s amazing, and I am beyond grateful for her help and guidance in this. That said, here’s what we started with:
Mouse over images to see captions, and click on them to see the larger version. Pardon the quality – all I have currently is my phone. (Trying out the gallery feature on WordPress.)
At the end of Day 1, this is what we had:
Thankfully, that subfloor damage is not extensive. It’s all concentrated in that one corner. So, that’s our next task. We’ll be replacing that section, after adding extra support between the joists underneath. Thankfully, they’re spaced close enough together to make it a pretty simple fix, all things considered. (I sound like I know what I’m talking about, but this is all what Dorenna and Levi are telling me. I just do the grunt work after they tell me what to do.)
Also, speaking of toilets, because we totally were… I thought we had to replace our toilet. Turns out, the tank gasket/bolt/things just needed to be replaced. So yesterday, Dorenna taught me how to do that, with the help of our neighbor, Mike. We ran into a bolt that was just far too rusty, and we didn’t have the tool we needed to make it let go. Mike did. Super cool of him to come help. (Where was Levi? His schedule and Dorenna’s don’t always match up, so he was at work, while Dorenna and I tackled the demolition. No good reason for me to expect Levi to do it all when my hands are capable, too.)
Highlights for me:
- I learned that it’s not too hard to fix most things, if you are just willing to learn.
- Getting the bathtub out of my house. Her name was Bertha, and she had it in for us, but we won!
- I took out the tub drain. It was really hard, but I did it. Grunting helped.
- I am scared of power saws.
I am tired, sore, and happy with the work we did. I can’t believe what I was able to do with my hands yesterday (Saturday the 10th, by the way). This experience is going to be interesting, and probably even more sanctifying than we think it will, but I finally feel excited and ready instead of nervous and fearful. In the meantime, we will re-seat the toilet every night (thanks to a handy-dandy reusable ring, rather than the traditional wax). We are washing hair in the kitchen sink, and using a plastic wash basin to clean up as needed, and we have a friend or two willing to let us come over and take a shower if it takes longer than anticipated to get the tub in. We will see.
Yes. We will see.
Once this project is done, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to do anything.
What has been your biggest household project? What did you learn from it? Any tips?
Grace & Peace,