Monday, January 30, 2023

Winter Cleaning Spree And Some Home Assessments

Good Day, My Friends,
How are you? I hope you are well.

I've been tackling some of deeper cleaning chores since Christmas. 
Instead of spring cleaning, I'm more of a winter cleaning person. 

I've taken it slow and tackled a few projects at a time. 
The cleaning binge usually starts when the Christmas decor is put away. 
Most of the decor is stored under the stairs. Theoretically, it does not need to be accessed until I decorate in November. I've already had to dig in there three times. I'm short but it is a Hobbit sized closest. I've banged my head once. In some perverse sense of humor, I think I'm going to keep count how often I'm under there just to affirm my belief that I crawl under there more than I think.   

There is an element of this that springs up naturally in taking down Christmas.  My craft closet gets stuffed with remnants of wrapping or tissue paper. Forlorned snippets of craft supplies get tucked in and remain until it annoys me. At that point the clean up begins. Kitchen drawers get mail that hasn't been properly sorted. Bill is the mail sorter and he does a fabulous job. I'm a stuffer if something accidentally gets left of the counter. There was an unfortunate situation with the water bill one year. Bill is opposed to late fees of any kind. 

As I move around the house, cleaning here and there, I take note of repairs and projects that need to get done. 

Instead of cleaning all the drawers out at once, I've tackled them one at a time. Each one only takes about five minutes so the chore doesn't become too onerous. 
While doing that, I noticed that the cabinet fronts needed a good clean. I will confess that I'm not the neatest cook in the mess hall and Bill is not the neatest coffee pouring barista at the coffee shop. 
That job took all morning. Even then, I noticed spots that I missed that afternoon. I was able to access the status of the paint. There were some touch ups that needed to be done. Since it is oil based, I stayed home one weekend to tackle that because Bill cannot stand the smell of oil based paint. 

Painting the cabinets in 2012 was one of the best decisions we have made. 
We still love them. I think about following the trends and painting them green but then reject that idea. White is timeless and classic and it affords me the chance to seasonally decorate. I thought about our five year journey to update this kitchen. We did it in pieces so that we could pay cash. We still love the counters and the back splash. The floor did not get redone then or when we had the wood floors installed in 2019. 
I thought we would get to it the next February but it took until the end of February 2020 to fight about and resolve the problem with the stairs. Thankfully, that was resolved before the world shut down a few weeks later. 

To recap a little. The stair nose did not match the flooring on several of the stairs. This was not acceptable. It took getting a manager out here to agree.  In the end, I'm quite sure that particular flooring store never wanted to see me again. I did not wish to see them either. 
The shut down and supply chain issues pushed the kitchen floor further and further down the list of "to do" projects. It looks okay in images but the top coating of vinyl has lost all its shine so it scuffs terribly. I tell Bill to refrain from wearing Crocs in the kitchen but "They are so comfortable!" This floor is almost 25 years old so it's understandable that the top shine is gone. It was one of the first generations of luxury vinyl plank. It has no faux grain and it was a glue down floor so it will be a nightmare remove. As we think about the future and where we want to live, we are mindful of updates.  We have three years until Bill can retire so many times our improvements are for us instead of for resale. 

Bill, sick of me complaining about the scuffs and firm in his belief that Crocs are shoes, took matters into his own hands and dragged me to Floor and Decor to pick out new tile for the kitchen. 
We brought home samples and I was supposed to see if our tile guy was still in business post 2020.  In the end, I decided I do not want tile. I hate tile and only allow it in the bathrooms. It's hard on the feet and I'm in the kitchen a lot. Grout is the devil to keep clean. For right now, I think we will live with the floors and allow them to be the next owner's problem. I notice them but I don't think others see the scuffs.
Additionally, three floors have to coordinate. It's too much! 

Instead, we turned our attention to the bathrooms. 
We have three showers that could use new tile. 
(We have two showers out in East Texas that could use tile as well, but that will have to wait until we decide where we are going to live.) I'm overwhelmed. None of the showers are leaking nor do they have problems. 

Our bathroom shower which was redone in 2013, has cracked tile. I was just sick about this. 

The shower tile cracked along the seam of the green board. This is on the second story and I'm sure the house has shifted a bit and when it did, the shower tile cracked. Chances are if we had gone with a smaller tile this would not have happened. 

It's not noticeable unless the sun hits it just at the right angle. 

It's not leaking in any way. I've never even siliconed it although I should. 
Other than that, I'd like new mirrors and light fixtures but that is about all for our bathroom.  
Other than the shower, this bathroom is in good shape. 
Bill's vanity does wobble which drives me nuts. A screw into a stud would solve this but we don't want to hit any pipes. His vanity could use a coat of paint but instead it got a touch up. 

The downstairs powder room got a refresh in 2019. It has two problems. 
I accidentally stepped on one of the floor tiles while it was still wet so that tile is a little crooked. 
It drives me insane but Bill says it isn't noticeable. 

The shower is the original tile. In 2015, I painted it with Rust-Oleum Tub and Tile kit. 
It's held up except for one tiny spot but I think I can touch that up.
It went from country blue to white. 

It was a huge improvement. 

What does this room need? 
Ideally, it would be nice to take out the bathtub and put in a walk in shower. 
That way, if one of us were to have some mobility issues, we wouldn't have to navigate the stairs.
There is a guest room on the first floor. We are in our early 60s so you never know when mobility might be an issue. 

The kid's bath got a minor update in 2020. The kids aren't here anymore so it's my make up room. 
We took down the big plate glass mirror and replaced it with mirrors from Hobby Lobby. 
It was 2020, there were supply chain issues so I spray painted the light fixtures instead of replacing them. 
They don't look great and I'd like to update those. 
The antique mirror is from one of my favorite antique shops in East Texas. 

Bill made the countertop in 2013. I use this bathroom to do my makeup and I'd like to update this to granite. 
The little black and white floor was my first tile job in about 1998. This little floor has stood the test of time. I don't hate it but the flooring in the vanity area is carpet. 
We do not like the carpet. Why they put carpet in a bathroom is beyond comprehension. I should have taken it out in 1998. 

The adjoining bedroom is the same carpet. I'm not loving the color or the texture. If I had it to do over again, I would have put wood in here too but hindsight is 20/20 or so they say.  

Replacing this was on the list for the spring of 2020. I don't think that an explanation of why it took this long is needed. Am I right? 

The tile guy is still in business and he will be here this week to get the bathroom floor on the schedule. 
I plan to talk to him about the shower downstairs and the cracked tile in our room. Bill says I should talk to him about the kitchen but I'm firm in my belief that I don't want tile.
 Unless there is another Luxury Vinyl plank option, the floor will stay "as is". 

This is the tile in the upstair's bath. This is the only picture I could find. It is gray 4 x4 tile. I would have painted this too but gray was back "in." I don't like gray and it doesn't work in this house. 

It's not great but it's not horrible if the shower curtain is closed. 

I am a one job at a time type of gal because I do not like upheaval. We will get him to quote us a price for the showers and then we will go from there. There comes a point where the cost doesn't outweigh the benefit for the sale of the house but I'm excited about the floor and vanity. 
I think it will be a little jewel box for me. 

The painters are here today patching and painting the ceiling upstairs from when the air conditioning guy put his foot through it.
 Repair men in the house is not my favorite but it has to be done. 

That's all for now. 


  1. Everything looks beautiful. I don't even want to think about bathroom remodels. Ours were outdated when we moved in, but we're living with them. Hope you get warmer down there later this week. It was brutal your direction.