Bathroom renovation fun

If you know anything about the history of the Hall Hacienda, you know the story of the bathroom drama.  Don’t know that drama?  Here, let me fill you in.

When we bought the Hall Hacienda, the majority of the house had to be repainted.  Prior old lady owner loved peach.  Everything was peach.  Everything, except the foil covered bathroom.  Actually, it was a charming gold and silver leaf print wallpaper with ladies in bathtubs.

Not a year later, our pipes blow up under the house.  Unfortunately, we had already started taking the wallpaper down in said bathroom, but the errant pipe was actually in the master bathroom.  This led to the three year renovation of moving all of the plumbing to the attic and demo-ing the master bath into the studs.

Anyway, the first bathroom has sat for these three years in an awkward state of pre-renovation.  No medicine cabinet (just a wall with a hole) and the walls are primed with Kilz.  It is an understatement to say that this main bathroom has been a thorn in my side. 

After much harrassing of Mr. Hall and some thinly veiled threats, he agreed that we needed to take action on this bathroom.

I give you the “before” picture.  Note the peach sink cabinet and the gold “rock” lineoleum floor. (gag)

It really is as bad as it looks.  Then, if you look to the right of the PEACH door, you’ll see the bathtub.

Some other views for you.  It’s a little bathroom.

I can’t even talk about the toilet.

So, the fun begins with the sink removal.  This was nasty too.  It had been painted several times AND it was actually affixed into the wall.  Add that to the list to fix.

Then, the inevitable.  The floor.  It had to be pryed up.  Go on, Mr. Hall!

See that grey under the floor?  That’s the BACK of the floor and the glue attached to the cement slab underneath.  Guess who scraped at that for two hours? (raises hand)

So that’s how we spend Friday- no shopping here.  Here is what it looked like after the scraping and vacuum fest with the shop vac.

This was a major victory and it meant that the tile could go down on Sunday!  But first, Mr. Hall and I wen to the ODU/NSU playoff game.  It was a lot of fun and we tailgated with my bestie, Gretchen and her husband.  We deemed it “leftover” tailgating and noshed on Thanksgiving seconds.

Isn’t Mr. Hall cute?  I like this photo because he didn’t shave and looks a little scruffy.  Mr. Hall is ALWAYS shaved, this is like vacation Mr. Hall.

It was really sunny!  You can tell he was getting some and I was worried I’d have a farmers tan going by the end of the afternoon.

Back to business on Sunday!  Kevin’s dad came over and they tiled the bathroom.  It’s a great white and grey marble tile.  It’s so hard to find tiles that don’t have ANY beige in them.  Here’s the after tile job photo.  It looks a little different than the final product because the grout isn’t in there. We got a silver toned grout, so it will lighten it up.

While Kevin and his dad tiled, I got busy in the front yard.  We live on a cul-de-sac with a bunch of retirees and old people.  They have nothing to do but make their lawn perfect.  We are never home.  We are “that” house.  Sorry, neighbors.  I don’t mean for my leaves to blow everywhere.

Anyway, for FOUR HOURS I raked leaves.  FOUR!  You hear that, Cori?   I lunged, squatted, reached, pulled, and generally worked my butt off.  I even have a blister to prove it.

You can’t see it, but that is 27 bags.  Oh yeah, I worked off my gluttony from Thanksgiving!!!

So what’s next with the bathroom?  Well, Kevin’s going to grout this week.  The wallpaper arrives today.  His dad is going to move the toilet water valve.  My hope is that the bathroom gets DONE this weekend.

I’m excited to have it done.  I’m going with this art-deco inspired vibe.  I hope it’s not too over the top!

Here is a sneak peek of the wallpaper…

Deco: Gray Wallpaper

It’s not the best representation, since this looks more blue to me.  In real life, it’s a gunmetal grey with a slight sheen to the silver.   I’ve probably lost my mind.  But hey, it’s a small bathroom.  You can get away with things like that.

There you go.  The beginning of the bathroom renovation.  Stay tuned for updates!


More cat drama and a fish update

It’s been a crazy past few days in the Hall Hacienda!

First of all, we have more cat drama.  No, Athena didn’t run away again.  Thankfully.

Nope, it’s the other cat, Nema.  We found out on Friday that she is diabetic.  It’s weird how we found out.  She had been really limping around for about a week and I was starting to get worried that she was arthritic or really sick.  She is 15, after all.  An old lady!  So Kevin took her in and the vet said that muscular neuropathy is very common with diabetic cats.  So almost $400 later, we find out that she is diabetic and stock up on our supplies.  Poor Nema.  She has to get insulin shots twice a day. 

I cried the whole time it was my turn to give her the shot.  It was pitiful.

I spent the whole weekend learning about feline diabetes and am on the hunt for a low carb food for her to eat.  She seems to be walking a little better so I think the insulin is helping.  The jury is still out on whether or not we will test her blood glucose at home.  Type A me says we should and Kevin thinks we should wait.

In fish news, I am happy to update that we have a stocked tank!  Well, mostly stocked.  The PH level of the tank is still a little low, which is not good for my cardinal tetras.  We have to get that in check first. 

In the meanwhile, we got a couple more zebra danios to replace the aforementioned deceased ones.  Now we have three.  Sherlock has two new friends, Watson.0 and Moriarty.0

Then, we decided to get four guppies.  I know, guppies!  They are so much fun and apparently are impossible to kill, according to the fish store.   Here’s what they look like:


Aren’t they pretty?  We have named them too:

  • Turquoise is Curacao
  • Yello is Lemon
  • Tequila Sunrise is Cabo
  • Red Tuxedo is Mr. Daniels

They are a trip!  They like to chase each other up and down the sides of the tank.  It’s almost like they get hyper and start tearing around.  I was a little freaked out this morning when I checked on them because they were all laying on the bottom of the tank.  I guess they sleep!

PT update and a moment of silence for the fish…

I’ve been really busy for the past week!  Here’s the latest…

My gym time with Cori continues to be beneficial.  Props to Cori for not letting me hurt myself.  I have come to the conclusion that I really should NOT be allowed to exercise unsupervised right now.  My concept of pain and injury is still not that great- during and after exercise.

We have been having a great time during my sessions!  I feel like a major whiner sometimes.  She has a good sense of humor about it.  I heart Cori.  Not just because she reads my blog.  Because she is really, actually helping me.  I have been at this now for over a month and I haven’t hurt myself to the point of being laid up for three months.  This is unprecedented.  I have been in this cycle of injury/rest for the past two years, so this is really exciting for me.

Today, I hurt.  I’ve sort of come to expect this now.  There’s a line of pain and soreness that I ride.  It’s all good.

I wanted to share something exciting from last Thursday’s session.  We have discovered that part of my problem may be the circular motion of my knee since it’s really weak.  Cori suggested we try the Stairmaster.  I KNOW!  It’s 80s-tastic but I was willing to do anything.  I used to run on the Stairmaster back in the day.  I was one of THOSE people, hopping on, running for 30 minutes, and then hopping off like nothing happened.  What the heck!

Now, I’m sort of hopping on, panting for 5 minutes and then hoping my heart doesn’t explode.  This pleases Cori to no end because I’m a cardiovascular wimp now and I have to improve on that.  I’m down with it.

I’m also hoping this gives me an 80’s-tastic booty, since that’s what everyone wants when they torture themselves on this device.  Let’s take a look back in time for inspiration…



Okay, so maybe not with the high waisted jeans.  But you have to admit, the ankle bows are pretty hot.

Jordache jeans aside, my booty…or sass, as my husband calls it, CANNOT shrink as a result of this exercising and weight loss.  I hate it when women are all like, “oh my butt is so huge- I have to have no butt at all or I’m a complete failure in life”.  Whatever, people!  I like a little junk in my trunk.  I don’t want to look like a 10 year old.

Onto other news.

So we have only one fish left.  Irene, Moriarty and Watson all died last week.  Kevin and I took a sample of our water up to the fish store on Friday to be tested.  We are going along in our nitrogen cycle.  Too bad I did water changes.  I killed my fish, according to the fish guy.  I should have left the toxic water in the tank since they were used to it. 

Kevin has a new song for me.  Do you remember Flash Gordon’s theme song?  It’s that, but instead he sings, “Fish!  Killlller!”.  Hmph.

After promising my fish guru at the store that I would leave Sherlock’s water alone this week, we headed home to put some more water conditioner in the tank and make sure he lived through the weekend.  He seems to be quite jubilent about his new air bubbler that we purchased as well.  Hopefully, the water tests good this Friday and we can get some more fish.  I feel bad that he is alone now!

I can’t believe that next week is Thanksgiving.  I need to make sure I’m good about doing my at-home exercises that Cori gave me!

Kitty drama and fish tank update

This past week has been nothing short of crazy.  I don’t even know where to start.

The week before Halloween (Thursday night prior), Athena got out of the house.  This is a long, convoluted story, but basically the front door was left open and our little Houdini escaped into the dark.  I was all pumped up from a training session with Cori and got home to chaos.  We found her under the deck and then she bolted into the darkness of the neighborhood.  For the next five days, I was a complete lunatic.  She’s my cat and I was hysterical!  We were up at all hours of the night, walking the streets in the dark and calling her.  Unfortunately, it was also raining for three days of this fiasco, which resulted in me getting sick the next week.  Up at all hours+ raining+ cold=disease.

Anyway, there was a happy ending when on Halloween, Kevin’s dad found her by checking under one of our very small decks out back.  She shouldn’t have been able to get under there and I’m still not quite sure HOW she got under there or why he thought to check, but after almost three hours, Kevin and his dad extracted a very clean, but scared Athena.    That night, she was chillin’ like it never happened.

With my sense of purpose renewed and once I felt human enough to work on the tank this weekend, we set up the tank.  Here is a night shot, which is pretty cool.  I still think we need an air bubbler, but the jury is still out on this one.

We put in four fish this weekend to start the cycling process.  Two zebra danios and two leopard danios.  It’s good to start a cycle with hardy fish, but I think one of the leopards is struggling.  We shall see.  Anyway, they look like this…

We named them after Sherlock Holmes characters.  Two are Sherlock and Watson and the other two are Moriarty and Irene.

On Friday of this week, we are to go back to the fish store to have the water tested again.  If it’s good, we can add more fish.  I want to get a bottom dweller and some tetras.  More pics to come!

In the meanwhile, Ms. Thing has already discovered the tank.  It’s a little fuzzy ’cause I caught her in the act!