Friday, July 16, 2004

I'm prob'ly gonna die...

Oh, my, God!

I almost forgot to take a 'before' shot.Here I've been tearing out big chunks of rotted floor with a hammerHere I've cut the hole square between joists with a handsaw and powered jigsaw.I built a frame of 2x4's to screw to the joists and here I'm testing to see if it fits snug.It did, so I attached the crosspiece and wedged it back in.Here I've begun putting in the screws from the frame to the joists and the cat decides to check out my work.Cat still helping, I'm taking a break.The nearly-finished product!

When I moved home over a year ago now, I was presented with the front three rooms in my parents' house:  a bedroom, an extraneous "Living area" and an extra bathroom.  The house has a living room/dining room combo, a kitchen, bathroom, back hall, laundry room and two bedrooms besides.  They rent.  The town has 10,000 people at a generous estimate.  The folks think they're getting robbed for rent, and I bet you pay more in car insurance.  Small towns. 
Anyway, about me dying.  When I first moved in, my mom explained that the toilet in 'my' bathroom was non-functional because of the amusing tendancy old houses have of shifting and letting the toilet leak, which rots the wood floor under the toilet, which allows the toilet to lean alarmingly when you sit it, which allows it to leak more, which will most likely end in the non-amusing tableau of you, drunk off your ass, sitting under your house with a toilet in your lap.  Didn't happen to me, but could have if I hadn't been so vigilant.  (In this case vigilance consists of piling millions of lightweight but bulky items on the toilet in an effort to conceal it from my drunk worked.)  Anyway, mom kept putting it in upbeat terms, letting me know that the two of us could easily replace the 3 foot square of wood flooring in question and have the toilet reseated and make it functional again.  And I'm a reasonable girl, I've built things before, so I thought, what the hell?  We could do it. 
But we didn't.  And we didn't and didn't and didn't.  It started to have the feel of one of those fairy tale quests, something you've always meant to do, but haven't.  Then I got a babysitting job for tomorrow, and I haven't drank or smoked or (here's the really important part) slept for about a week, and I'm wanting to go to Austin with my babysitting money, and mom kept saying, "Maybe we'll do it this weekend."  So I did it today.  That's right, I replaced floor.  It took me all damn day (since I apparently don't sleep anymore, I got up at 9am because I was bored.)--about 12 hours, minus however long it took me to go to the library and the hardware store and the grocery store (I got beer, because, dammit, people who replace floors get beer) and the lumber yard and the hardware store and the lumber yard.  I took multiple breaks to keep from plunging the cordless screwdriver into my pumping heart, and I took an hour break to read a few chapters of Eats, Shoots and Leaves (I'm still laughing--read this book, you'll love it) and eat dinner, and I'm done.  Okay, tomorrow sometime I have to snug up the boards and screw them to the floor joists (shut up), but I tore an enormous hole in the floor of my house at approximately 10am today and it is now completely covered up.  I rock.  Pictures are eminent, as soon as I stop weeping...I pulled every muscle I own.  Apparently there is a difference between "working" and "not working" and now I know what it is.

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