Remodel 3: Countertops

We are 12 days now out of our little condo.  Lord knows when we will get back in.

But the counter tops were set with no problems, yesterday…let’s see, that would be Monday.

Below: the old tile previously on the counter top.  These tiles were described to us by a person who does tile as "distressed." Probably a polite way of saying "really crappy."

The new granite counter top below.
Not yet distressed.


Continue reading Remodel 3: Countertops

Remodel 2

The most immediate cause for the remodel was this last winter. We were cold. Not East Cold, but California cold. Bad enough. These places weren’t built for any sort of weather.

One might ask, why didn’t you turn up the heat. Well, basically, we don’t have any; just a little gas fireplace made mostly for decorative purposes.

And then in the ceiling an electrical grid of some kind, put in back in the day when the supply of electricity (1973) was supposed to be infinite according to the nuclear industry.

We never could get that grid to work; or let’s say the only way to get it to work was to turn it on full blast. Then the heat, radiating down from the ceiling was intolerable; one felt like a cupcake baking in an oven.

So that left us with the decorative gas fireplace and multiple layers of shirts and sweaters.

After that winter, we knew we had to replace the windows. They are single paned and framed with aluminum. If you put your hand on one, you could feel the cold.

Old Window: not the aluminum trim and the clever use of socks to control the blinds.


New Window going in.

So we got Milgard windows (the only kind approved by the condo association for retrofitting). We got super-duper ones, dual panes, and with a tint that cuts down on the sort of sun light that fades things. They are so energy efficient that we will qualify for a 1500 dollar tax rebate from the federal government.

 New Window almost in place.

They are in now. They look pretty cool. We have a number of neighbors ask, where did you get those? Turns out we were not the only ones who felt the cold this last winter.

Also we are getting the decorative heater replaced with a heater that heats. It has a fan and can you believe a remote control thermostat. So we can sit on our asses on the sofa and turn the heater up and down. Or off.

New Window: Outside View


Back In South Carolina

On this date, June 20, Carol and I have been for the last three years (2006, 2007, 2008) back in South Carolina. Each occasion marked a kind of transition–the burial of a father, then a mother, and then a family reunion. They weren’t of course all the same kind of transition. Had we been back there this year at our regular time, we might have experienced the big windstorm that hit Laurens County and knocked down trees right and left near Addie and Ed, and Janet and Bobbo, and also near Emily. They got hit pretty hard and I think the juice was out for three days.

The bi costal Tingle clan has been hit by fire in the west, winds in the east. What’s next?

This year, while we are in CA and not SC, Carol and I are going through a different kind of transition.

We are remodeling our condo. We have lived in it since 1993 and none nothing by way of upgrade, except what was forced upon us by a slab leak that destroyed the living room rug and provided the pretext, as well as some insurance money, towards getting a new carpet and some new paint.

This time we are going whole hog. The whole place will get a new coat of paint and the kitchen is being redone.


We have had to move out completely. Everything is stacked in the garage or piled on the back deck under plastic tarp.

I doubt we would have decided to do all we have decided to do had neighbors not said we could camp out on their condo while they take a two week vacation.

So that’s where we are now. Camped out in another condo. I can’t find anything and the cat is going nuts.


I miss South Carolina and all the folks back there.