Monday, May 26, 2008

Well it's not like it's Picnic Weather

I didn't intend to spend any more time on the Extreme Chaos Project this Memorial Day weekend; there's really no sense of urgency other than my own desire to have a bathroom worthy of using.

But after Martin beheaded the Kohler pedestal sink, I figured, what the hell?

To be clear, we Meant to behead the sink. Just perhaps not this soon, as I don't really have time right now to indulge in lengthy tile-a-thons.

And what do we call this bathroom without the sink? It was clear it was a half bath without the shower. Is it still a half bath without the sink?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Tiling Resumes.....

As I mentioned Many Moons ago, I was not going to resume tiling until I had sucessfully managed to create a Baked Good in the privacy of my own kitchen. And I'm pleased to report success with Gluten Free Pantry's Yankee Corn Bread mix, made by Blatantly Disregarding the directions, and instead mixing it with 1/4 cup beet sugar, 1 tbsp honey, 6 tbsp spectrum organic shortening, 7/8 cup rice milk, and Ener-G egg replacer for one egg. I even managed to create something like honey butter using spectrum organic vegetable shortening, imitation butter flavor, a little salt, and of course honey.

Yummy. Stomach full, tiling may continue.

When last we left the Extreme Chaos Project, I had managed to work my way out of the tub enclosure and resume Hygiene Activities (Insert Thanks Here).

In the process, I left highly visible, unsightly walls, as seen below.

After a little quality time with my tile saw and thinset, view the progress:

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Watching Grass Grow

My Sewer Pit of Despair has taken on an appropriate shade of green, thanks not to me and my Black Thumb of Gardening Death, but to my 9-year old neighbor who took charge of the watering while I slaved away in Los Angeles for a week.

And look what I found lurking in a sea of weeds in my backyard! Did you have ANY idea that asparagus just sprouts from the ground like this? I didn't!

I think I'll eat it.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Suffering from the Delusion that I have Gardening Skills

"You need to do something about your dandelions!" My 90 year old neighbor shouted from her doorway, outfitted as she usually is in her bathrobe to protect her from the elements while taking her smoke break. You think?

Well in all fairness (to me), this isn't actually a picture of the lawn, which is quite impressive if she can see at the age of 90, but my vegetable garden, which she can't see at any age without venturing onto my property.

And if we define "vegetables" loosely, as in "things you can put in a salad", you might say my garden is doing rather well.

It's about to take a turn for the worse.

I am planting herbs & vegetables.

I've got seeds, seeds, seeds. Sweet Basil, Dark Opal Purple Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Fennel, Tricolor Garden Beans (yellow,green AND purple), purple carrots, carrot-colored carrots, beets, swiss chard, russian red kale, broccoli, and gourmet greens. I have plants - artichokes, onions, leeks, yellow squash, eggplant, grape and cherry tomatoes. I don't even like tomatoes.

At the end of a rather backbreaking weekend of labor (my own), I have made progress.

I will also be renewing my acquaintance with Mr Chiropractor first thing Monday morning.

Stopping for Potty Breaks

The other reason for the deplorable dearth of blog entries in April is that we here at Ballardia took another Field Trip. This time to the Costa del Sol. And no, I'm not going to outline the fabulous Moorish architecture, bore you with our vacation photos, or review the cities Granada, Sevilla, Cordoba, Cadiz, Ronda, and Gibraltar for your future reference or petty jealousy.

No. Instead, I'm going to highlight the Quality of the Rest Stops.

I am, after all, in the middle of a bathroom project.

I must give the South of Spain great marks for its "aseos", which we determined pretty early on by the funny looks we got that one does not say "banos" there. Not sure why.

We've done a lot of European travel. Enough to know that you should always carry the purse pack of Kleenex for more than just sinus problems. Enouth to realize that developing strong thigh muscles is an important pre-trip preparation. It's pretty common to see toilets with no seat.

Occasionally, one might even get stuck with the dreaded squat toilet. Before you ask, this picture was NOT taken from the Men's room.

But the south of Spain.....public restrooms almost all had toilet seats AND toilet paper, and while we encountered a few where the hand dryers didn't work or the soap wasn't present, the overall quality was on par with domestic travel. Three cheers for peeing in Spain.

Now.....let's talk about the UK.

Great Britain is irrationally fond of the two-handed faucet - you know, the one where the Brits put the stopper in the sink, and run both faucets until they get a bowl of water in the appropriate temperature. This is also the one which gives American visitors burned left hands as a vacation souvenir.

This little gem is from Heathrow. There is no stopper, and this is the Airport, where unknown people have Spit and perhaps Peed in that sink so we really don't want the stopper solution anyway. So rather than post the warning sign, perhaps they could dial down the temperature on the hot?