Canada Day Long Weekend

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday morning, after a breakfast of Giant Oven Pancake and fresh strawberries, I sat with my coffee contemplating the bathtub drain. It was disgusting when we bought the property, and it has not changed, still disgusting.

So I did a bit of reading on the internet, went into the bathroom and completely removed the pop up drain mechanism. Eew, gross! Then I got the tweezers and began to remove the disgusting hair clumps. Got all of that out, but the drain was still not draining properly. I poured in a bit of liquid plumber and waited. Still no luck. Then I researched unplugging bathtub drains, which alerted me to the possibility of using a plunger. Bingo! It worked, the drain now runs clear! All I have to now is purchase an inexpensive rubber stopper, and then we are in business for a bath!

But the shower is dripping when I turn on the tap. So I’ll have to fix that before trying to wash my hair or bath in the tub. Or I’ll have to create a plastic bag wall over the bare studs to protect the remaining drywall from moisture. A large shopping bag, cut down the sides and opened up, served the purpose. With the tub clean, the drain cleared, and drywall protected, I am able to bath in the tub!

The plastic bag wall protecting the drywall behind the bathtub plumbing. A temporary and satisfactory solution!
Bathtub shower wall

Thus ended my demolition pursuits for the weekend. Last weekend was a long weekend, Canada Day. Attila had Sunday off, which he always does thank goodness, and he did not have to work on Monday, a statutory holiday in Canada. That meant he had two consecutive days off work!

Attila’s Mom arrived safely at the country house on Friday night. She had a very long drive, it is over six hours in optimal conditions, and conditions were not optimal. She stayed the night and relaxed at our country house while Attila went to work on Saturday. When he arrived home they got themselves ready and headed for the little house in the city, in Mom’s car, Attila driving. They arrived safe and sound after dark.

I had been out visiting at Terra’s house, not knowing when to expect Attila and his Mom. They were home when I arrived, to my great relief.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday we spent puttering about, and I got to spend a lot of time chatting with Attila’s Mom. It was wonderful, I got to hear all about her experiences caring for Attila’s StepDad, as his dementia progressed. She has been through a harrowing time, but she is tough, and cared for him at home until he was rushed to hospital for the last time. She also caught me up on all of Attila’s family news, two weddings and some of the projects currently occupying Attila’s two brothers.

After lunch we all piled into the car and headed out to Terra and Lare’s place for a visit. It was fun. Luna and Janus and the Grandbabies were there, and my how they have grown! They played happily outdoors all the rest of the day. It was a beautiful day, sunny, warm and breezy. Such a wonderful time. Terra and Lares had the house and garden looking great, they put so much work into making it look nice!

At one point Attila, his Mom, and I sat on the front porch overlooking the lake, watching the water shimmer and a fishing boat slowly make its way up the shoreline. Later, as darkness lowered, we looked into the sky and enjoyed a beautiful display of fireworks, on three sides! We watched the beautiful bursts of light across the water, across the fields of grain and behind the barn at Terra’s. After that there was a campfire at the well-built fire pit that Lares had constructed for the occasion. We drove home that night tired and happy.

Monday, July 1, 2013

On Monday Attila, his Mom and I had a leisurely breakfast, and another long and happy chat. Then Attila and I reviewed the wiring in the bathroom, and sorted out the tools I would need to continue the bathroom project. All too soon it was time for Attila and his Mom to return to the country house! After they departed I missed them terribly, so there was nothing for it but to start working on the bathroom again, to distract myself.

After removing all the contents of the medicine cabinet and below the sink, I turned off the water, and was all set to remove the sink and taps. Or so I thought. After trying every tool in the box, I concluded that a pipe wrench was a necessity for the job. It was getting late so I decided to get ready for bed, testing a new bed for a second night.

On Saturday, when I was on my way back from the grocery store, I drove past a sign that said Estate Sale. I decided to see what was being sold, so I pulled over. It was the end of the event, and I didn’t see anything I really wanted, most of what was left were expensive antiques. But, as I was wandering around the house, one of the daughters of the former owner asked me if I wanted a single bed, for free. Intrigued I went into the spare bedroom to have a look. It was a new bed, and had not been slept in, according to the family it was meant as a guest bed. It was immaculate, so I decided to take it. Since it would not fit into my car, the gentleman helping with the sale agreed to transport it to my house for a fee of $15.00, which I thought a little steep considering we were travelling less than two kilometers. But since the bed was free, this would be the only cost involved, so I readily agreed.

As soon as the gentleman drove off in his pickup truck, I removed all the bedding from the bed, as it was fully decked out with new mattress cover, a full set of sheets and a comforter. I bundled all the linens, and my own dirty laundry into the car and spent an hour washing the lot at the laundromat. I brought it all home wet and hung it up to dry on the rope strung across the back porch.

On Sunday morning Attila and I brought the bed into the bedroom and got it setup, then I made it up with the clean linens washed the day before. I’ve slept on that bed for the last few nights and it is very comfortable. Free is good, very good.

Beds are tough to give away, impossible to sell. Bedbugs are in increasing problem. I took a chance on this bed, but the risk was low. I saw the bed in situ, and could judge for myself what the chances were, that it might be infected with bedbugs. There wasn’t a stain or a mark on the mattress or the box spring, it was like new.

Before retiring I sent a message off to Terra, asking to borrow a pipe wrench and a drill for driving screws into the two additional studs I need to install. She said she would visit on the morrow, and bring the tools with her.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

This morning I called Attila and his Mom at 5:30 a.m. I wanted to catch them before they left the house, Attila to work, his Mom on her long drive home. We had a cheery hello and goodbye.

After a leisurely cup of coffee, and breakfast, I started on my list of tasks. First on my list was adjusting the new gate. The arm that catches on the latch was shifting, making it impossible to latch the gate shut. Attila showed me on Sunday what needed adjusting, so I took my wrench, loosened the metal clasp holding the arm, adjusted it and tightened it up. That should do it. Time will tell though, it may loosen again, but now I know what to do about it, if it does.

I am waiting on tools, and possibly assistance, to get the bathroom sink, taps and vanity out of the bathroom. What I could accomplish with the tools on hand was the removal of the light fixture. Again, Attila had gone over the process with me, and we had reviewed the electrical panel so that I would be sure about which breaker to turn off before beginning the project.

The light fixture is out! The medicine cabinet is out!
Bathroom medicine cabinet light removal

I had one little surprise. After turning off the power to the bathroom I found, with the line tester, that there is one electrical line that is still live. I labelled it with masking tape, to make sure anyone helping me knows that is a live electrical wire.

Removing a light fixture is a very easy job! I was pleased to get that done. I used Marettes to cap off the electrical wires that were sticking out of the wall when I was finished. I don’t intend on turning the breaker back on though, not during this visit.

The medicine cabinet took a little bit of muscle to remove from the wall, but I got it out without incident or injury.

When I get the sink, taps and vanity out, I will be able to remove the last little bit of tile board, and drywall.

Next on my list is removing the goop that was used as a sealant around the tub. A yucky job but it will be oh so satisfying when it is done.

The goal this trip is to have everything stripped out of the bathroom so that Attila can do any rewiring that needs doing, and install a bathroom fan. After that we start putting in insulation, vapour barrier, duroc and drywall. It will be some time before this bathroom project comes together, but I feel great about giving it a kick start by gutting the bathroom.

Terra dropped by with the Vaders, a family friend, and Isaac, her brother-in-law. She brought tools!

The three of them helped me remove the last of the tile board. First Terra disconnected the hot and cold water lines from the taps, then disconnected the drain, and then lifted the sink, taps and all, off the vanity and placed them out on the back porch for later disposal. Isaac stepped in to remove the vanity, which was attached to the wall, which he carried out to the back porch. Vaders helped remove the tile board, which was really tricky around the electrical boxes, the water supply lines and the drain. Then they were off and running to get a tire fixed. On her way here, Terra had a flat tire! It was replaced on the spot with the spare, she needed take the flat tire in for repair. I was glad of the company, and of the help!

I was ready to tackle the last of the drywall. It too was a bit tricky to remove around the electrical boxes and the plumbing. The nice thing about drywall, is that you can bash it with a hammer and it breaks apart. That is the technique I used to clear the drywall away from the electrical boxes and the plumbing.

Then the clean up! And voila!

Every last bit of tile board and drywall have been removed! Bit of wonky wiring, the light fixture was affixed to the drywall, now it is hanging by a wire. The power is off and will stay that way until further notice.
DSCF2419 bathroom gutted vanity out

I have decided to leave the floor in for now, it is easy to clean, and there will be more clean up needed before this project is done. It is late afternoon now, almost 5:00 p.m., so I think I will slow right down and only work on removing the adhesives that were used to seal the tile board around the tub. That is a terrible mess!

I ran into this on Facebook.

Fun to watch! When Terra was in Grade 7 or 8, her best friend was visiting and they were making weird noises in the basement, and laughing hysterically. I came down the stairs to two girls bouncing off one another, each wearing couch cushions tied all around their bodies. They were having a “ball”, and it was very entertaining from my perspective!

Worldly Distractions


Condition: Haze
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 6 km
Temperature: 16.5°C
Dewpoint: 14.4°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: NNE 19 km/h


“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
Soren Kierkegaard
1813 – 1855

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This is an amazing story of your bathroom demo “adventure”–is this the first time you’ve done work like this? The way you describe it, the logical way you go about it, it seems as though you’re a pro. If you weren’t when you started, you surely are now. Is this what you do for a living? I ask, because this is exactly what my roommate does for a living. She comes home hot, dirty, dusty, paint-splattered–and tired. It is very satisfying work, though, and I know she enjoys seeing the results of her labors (very different from mental work).

It seems to me that you got a really good deal on the free bed, even with the $15 delivery fee–and new mattress cover, a full set of sheets and a comforter as well? A real bargain! I wonder why they were getting rid of it, brand new like that.

I enjoyed your decriptions of visits with Attila’s mom and your friends and relaxing and enjoying Canada Day. Almost like being there–a vicarious holiday. Thanks!


So, let met get this right… you are rehabbing a complete bathroom all on your own?

Wow. You are my hero.


I am very much enjoying your renovation efforts. You go about it in such a thoughtful and systematic way. We are in the middle of a basement renovation and I find myself inordinately interested in the details of other people’s DIY adventures! Your photos are a great help in visualizing the actual project. More posts please!

Joan Lansberry

Your renovation efforts amaze me, too. Julia and I were lucky to put together a metal linen closet, and it took us three hours for that.


Sandra, only too happy to oblige with more posts!


Joan, putting together is harder than tearing apart, I think. It will take a lot longer to put this bathroom back together, than it has taken me to pull it apart.