• About Farm School

    "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
    James Adams, from his essay "To 'Be' or to 'Do': A Note on American Education", 1929

    We're a Canadian family of five, farming and home schooling. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 17/Grade 12, 15/Grade 10, and 13/Grade 9.

    Contact me at becky.farmschool@gmail.com

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    Jean Hagen as "Lina Lamont" in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
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Bathroom break

We started remodeling our main bathroom (there’s one in the basement, thank goodness) last Sunday. Five people and hard water have been hard on the little room for the past 13 and a half years.

The original plan, as of last Sunday, was to replace the aging plastic tub surround

with ceramic tile and to replace the hideous pink linoleum
I have hated since it was new 14 years ago,

Tom bought the house and started fixing it up before we met, and let’s just say I married the frugal type who wasn’t about to say, upon noticing the way my face fell upon first seeing the hideous pink stuff, “Oh darling, if it’s really not to your taste, I’ll just rip it out and you can pick whatever else you like and I’ll install it immediately.” Instead, he suggested I could pick out something else as soon as the pink stuff wore out. When in fact, the tub surround gave out before the linoleum (and all I can say is, thank goodness for the former).

Tom started work last Sunday just before bedtime so of course the boys had to jump in and help; note the pajama bottoms on one member of the Junior Wrecking Crew,

As of Monday morning, however, when Tom had a chance to take a look at the tub to determine that the bottom was quite rusted out, the original plan — and the tub — went out the window. Well, the front door. We spent all afternoon on Family Day at the little city, which has two big box stores (Totem and Home Depot, for which I won’t apologize) with goodies we can’t find elsewhere. Once we settled on a good, inexpensive tub, Tom decided that we should replace the toilet as well. So upon returning home, out went the old toilet. And in went the new subfloor, with lots of elbow grease from the Junior Set,

who have each had their own hammers for years, and who also know to wear hearing protection,

Here’s a shot of the new tub, new ConcreteBoard ready to receive ceramic tiles, and new linoleum (which I am told is really “vinyl cushioned flooring”, and as long as it’s a nice neutral color, I’m willing to call it anything),

Close-up of attractive new neutral vinyl cushioned flooring (dinged up register cover will be getting a lick of paint shortly),

Today’s big project was the installation of Tom’s and the kids’ ceramic surprise, an homage to my parents’ West Indian home, where we were lucky enough to spend seven months five years ago,

I guess this would be considered bathroom schooling, as the kids learn masonry techniques at their father’s knee,

I specifically requested a couple of corner shelves, which are lovely,

A couple of shots of the day’s work, short of grouting, which happens tomorrow (the dark tiles in the center of the second photo are actually a royal blue, the same tiles from the “water” element of the mosaic, though they look black here),

Painting is also on the schedule for tomorrow. The pale peach on the walls (which admittedly clashed with the pink linoleum, but not a problem if one was determined to determinedly ignore pink linoleum) will be replaced by a very, very pale yellow. And then the new toilet can go in, and there will be celebrating throughout the land. And probably a few more pictures.

And here was the view from the front door at the beginning of Wednesday evening’s excitement, with a bit of help from the barbecue (against which I steadied myself) and iPhoto’s editing program, which let me sharpen things up considerably,

Once the moon turned its thrilling red, it was just too dark for my little camera.

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7 Responses

  1. LOVELY! The floors are much improved. The ceramic tile in the tub: wonderful. Thomas gasped and said he wanted it! (He was looking over my shoulder.)

    I really wish we had put in the corner shelves when we re-did our bathroom. That’s a very nice addition.

  2. I put those up for you, Frankie, since you’d asked : ). I wanted one more coconut on the tree but Tom said it was getting too difficult. But I stood my ground on those corner shelves (though for the downstairs shower we did recently get the metal expanding kind of shelves, which is very very nice and incredibly handy).

    I had forgotten how much I hated the floors and I just grin when I walk in there now, even without the toilet!

  3. I love the workman in his jammies! And I love the palm tree.

  4. What a lovely lovely experience that was for me, watching someone else replace their bathroom! (Richard still hasn’t recovered)

    When we bought our place last year the bathroom was SO gross I insisted on a new tub, but when my dad and R discovered it was sunk into the walls (and thus way too hard to replace) I relented, and insisted on a new toilet, sink and taps of MY CHOOSING instead. Then, after I’d sort of splurged on really posh taps (I’m a little like your husband, I guess, money leaves me really slowly), they discovered that the bathtub was totally rusted and needed to be removed, which meant that the walls needed also to be removed. Several walls, 3 new fixtures, 9 hours of tiling (by yours truly), and a new window later, I have a bathroom I adore. But it sure sucked while we were doing it.

    Nice bathroom, Becky! A perfect place to read gardening magazines…

  5. I was going to warn you (from experience) not to walk on the cushioned flooring in 4 inch spiked heels as they will poke a serious hole in the floor.

    True, that was in 1979 and I haven’t really done much spiked-heel wearing in the passing years (have you?)but cleats or spurs might do similar damage.

    I love the bathroom-your children really are just amazing.

  6. Looks great and the kids are soaking up a lot, too!

    What were people thinking when the mixed those colors? Your reno has given me hope. Our house is about 30 years old, and the former owners renovated a bit a few years before we bought it in 1998, but the tiles are a very dull yellow, as in stained urinal grout yellow, and the peeling wallpaper is blue-silver. With a border, of course. The fixtures are a similar yellow to the tiles. What were they thinking? We had to have our well pump and hoses replaced this summer and the bill was so high we threw in a new bathroom toilet that clogs a little less often. Ah, the joys of old plumbing and tight budgets!

  7. Thanks, Kris!

    Sheila, it helps that my husband is a professional, and has had three very willing helpers! The job was done in about 10 days, with limited mess, and 100 percent improvement.

    JSM, not to worry. I don’t think I’ve ever worn (or considered wearing) 4″ heels! And as I wrote to you, spurs have to stay outside…

    Chris, that pink flooring was from only 14 years ago. I can only say that my husband was rather style-challenged at the time, and also that choices were considerably more limited than they are now. It’s amazing what you can find now locally, in terms of stylishness and affordability.

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