Grandma’s Rocking Chair

Must have been 15 years ago, I was visiting down at J and B’s and WB said did I want Grandma Tingle’s chair. Sure, I said, sort of noncommittal because he never gave me anything, but it seemed as if in some family way he wanted to pass it along to me. So I took it–though I can’t remember how I got it up to SB–and then a month or so later he called and said he wanted it back, and I said, sure. I guess he missed it, but then later he said he didn’t want it back, and so it has sat in our condo living room for 15 years, I guess.

During the remodel, I took it out in the garage and applied several coats of wax. No way to get the stains and such out, short of a complete refinishing, but the waxed shined it up a bit and the wood was getting dry. It kept sopping up that wax.

Looks OK.

grandma's chair

I don’t think it qualifies as an antique or anything like that. I don’t know how old it is, though I expect it is probably as old as I am.

I wish a remembered Grandma more fondly. But I think she was pretty much done with having little kids around (and she didn’t like Joan either) by the time I was running through her corn rows. That’s about all I remember, her yelling at me for running through her corn rows though I still don’t know why that was such a big deal or why as a kid I felt some sort of compulsion to run through them.

Just a Year Ago?

Must have been a really long year because I have a hard time believing just a year ago we California Tingles gathered to clean up the storage area that contained Joan and Bill’s last earthly possessions. According to my blog we did that about July 24, 2008, and just around that time, a few days later, Brother Steve was driving across the USA to his new house in Clinton, SC.

So he’s been there a year now and it’s hard to know when the four of us Brothers will be together again for a group pic.

Here we are last July, in the storage area, in Escondido, CA.


Remodel 9: Gender Issues

I suppose you can’t have a remodel without some kind of disaster. Carol and I return from somewhere–Home Depot, I would bet–and are told that in our absence the upstairs toilet overflowed. Who knows the culprit. That day maybe seven guys are working in the place. Thankfully, our contractor is on hand; he immediately cleans up the mess, rips up the recently installed carpet, pulls the pad, and drills holes in the kitchen roof, much to the displeasure of the painter guys who have just painted the roof, to make sure all the water drains.

What a drag! Larry, the plumber, who is a taciturn fellow, tells us the toilet is pretty much dead.. Sure, he could fix it, but with the cost of the parts and his time, we might as well buy a new one.

The worker guys engage in a debate over whether we should get a toilet with an elongated bowl or one more circular. The debate seems to involve some gender issues–the elongated bowl being apparently more masculine and the more circular one better suited to women. Beats me.

Back to Home Depot. I decide to pay no attention to the elongated versus circular issue. We want one that will most exactly fit the footprint of the old one so we will not have big problems when they come to tack down the carpet again.

We get a "WellWorth." by Kohler, said by Kohler, to be award winning for its bold design.

Beats me. A toilet is a toilet is a toilet.

I think "WellWorth" is a pretty good name for a toilet.

The thing flushes really well; I guess they have done more hydrological engineering or something, because this thing does it job with very little water.



Attic Guys

I wake up at 6 AM hearing banging up over my head. I think something might be coming through the roof. But I forgot–it’s the guys. The attic guys. They were supposed to be up there last Friday; instead I figure they are here this Friday.

Over the last year the entire complex was replumbed with some plastic pipe from Germany. They ran the pipe through the attic because all the pipes in the slab had started to leak. Then strange things started happening. Some people reported they had to run the hot water five minutes or more before they could get hot water to come out. Then even more strangely, people reported they couldn’t get cold water to come out of the cold. The water was warm. One person reported the water in her toilet bowl was hot and that her bathroom felt like a jungle.

So the attic guys are back banging around right now over my head. I hear them mumbling.

To take care of the hot water coming out of the cold water spout, they are insulating all the pipes. Again, they say. But who knows if they ever did it all. Turns out when summer comes the attic gets really really hot and plastic pipe allows the water to warm up.

Seems like somebody might have thought of this possibility.

The attic guys have to start work at 6 AM because by noon it gets so hot they have to lay off. They look like miners. Their heads wrapped in bandanas which as well as helping with dripping sweat help to stabilize the miner’s lamp sticking out of the middle of their foreheads. It’s dark in the attic.

They are trying to take care of the hot water problem by resetting the system since, apparently, the whole thing is in some way computerized. God help us.

Remodel 8: Window Treatments

I appreciate Cousin Lucy having congratulated us on our perseverance re: the remodel. The process was arduous. That is an understatement. And I should not say "was" because the process is not over. Just today the "window treatments" were concluded.

 Note the wierd treatment.  Yes, the treatment "gathers" both at the top and at the bottom.  So you can close them up from the floor or down from the top.  Closing them down from the top requires however that you first gather them up from the floor.  I don’t think I will ever figure these things out
Here is the treatment the other way around.  With the right side gathered down and the left side gathered in the middle.  And yes an observant person may have noted in the previous pic what appears to be a jacuzzi.  We bought it last year and I don’t think I have mentioned it because owning a jacuzzi is a violation of my self-concept.  Right now it isn’t working. So I feel free to mention it.

Here, just for kicks the treatment is gathered in the middle.  These are black out treatments and when you close them, the place gets really dark.  This would not be necessary in other parts of the world, but for legal reasons too complicated to go into here the condo complex is way over lit.

Remodel 7: Nearing the end

Five weeks! And yesterday finally the carpenter/contractor left for good.  Though I am sure he will be back for something or other.

Below, our monstrous 50 inch plasma by Panasonic.  We were told that if we watched this TV eight hours a day that it would last for 22 years.  My damn TV is going to outlive me.  Though maybe, upon retirement, I will do nothing but watch TV and so kill off my TV before I drop dead.

The 50 inch again, giving however a slightly better sense of its vast dimensions.

To the left in the image above you can see Louise hanging on the wall.  Below a more direct representation of Louise.
We bought Louise in a shop in Greenville, SC spring of 08.  She is made of recycled materials.
Here our carpenter/contractor helps us adjust Birth Day Girl.  We bought her at a craft’s fair in the Georgia Dome on our very first trip back to SC in 1993.  I apologized to our contractor for requiring of him a task not befitting his professional status.  He said he had done worse.
In the above, one perhaps did not notice that Birthday Girl’s head–what with all she has on her mind–was beginning to bend at the neck.  Our carpenter fixed the problem with a piece of metal down her spine.  Above she looks straight ahead.
Look, ma, no knobs.
We got a new stove or maybe it’s called a "range."  The old stove was there when we moved in in 1993.  The oven was beyond cleaning.  The broiler half worked.  If you forgot and didn’t put whatever you were cooking under the element that worked…well…your stuff would come out half cooled.  Also occasionally the elements on the top would slip out of their sockets and I would stand there waiting for the butter to melt and couldn’t figure out why that wasn’t happening.
This stove or range scares me to death.  I am afraid I will scratch the ceramic top or go off and forget a pan on the heat and melt it right into the ceramic top.
We also got a new washer and dryer.  Both "electrolux" like the range.  This is supposed to be a quality product made in Denmark and utilizing no Chinese parts.  We heard from the electrician of a woman who had an electrolux dryer that lasted for 42 years. We weren’t going to buy these appliances until the contractor heard the noise coming from our dryer and said he was concerned it might catch on fire.
Clearly the dryer will outlast me.

Remodel 6: Progress of the Accent Wall

Maybe three years ago we had a slab leak that flooded our living room and destroyed the carpet.  With the insurance money we got a new carpet and repainted the living area to include an "accent wall."  I had never heard of such a thing and wasn’t entirely in favor of it.  But overtime the idea has grown on me.

Below the old accent wall with the old fake fireplace:


Old accent wall, now demolished, dry wall ready for new paint.

Further prep for paint.


Paint on accent wall.

Accent wall with granite trim,

Pretty cool. We have yet to fire up the fake fire place.  We need to read the instructions.