I need a break from my break

The government shutdown is over and I’m expected to be responsible by showing up to work again. I went to work on Thursday but the contract staff hadn’t been invited to return yet, so it was very quiet. Needless to say, it was a fairly productive day. After being out of work for two and a half weeks, though, I felt a bit sheepish taking Friday off. However, I’d scheduled this weekend off long before the shutdown. We used the long weekend (caused by UEA conferences here in the state) to visit Mont and Elaine in Bicknell. We did the usual playing as well as chores Mont and Elaine don’t get to as well these days. We usually visit the ranch twice a year but Jen told me during this visit that twice isn’t sufficient. Looks like we may be visiting Wayne County more frequently next year.

A few visits ago to the ranch I decided I wanted some Wayne County sandstone adorning our property. Mont and I went out scouting for rock and I found some great candidates. I’ll use these to make a few steps coming off our front porch and the rest as pavers in part of our backyard.

I found these rocks and will bring them home next visit I make to the ranch

I found these rocks and will bring them home next visit I make to the ranch

Like usual, the best pictures don't include me in them

Like usual, the best pictures don’t include me in them

Mont tried valiantly to teach Lauren how to make music out of a leaf. All in vain.

Mont tried valiantly to teach Lauren how to make music out of a leaf. All in vain.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I stayed busy during the shutdown. That dang basement bathroom has been a thorn in my side since last February when I started and ended the demolition of the room (before video shown in this post). I completely gutted it at that point and slowly worked on re-building the room. I insulated pipes, walls, and ceilings, made some plumbing fixes, replaced the window, added a vent / light kit, hung sheetrock, and then basically took the summer off. The biggest hurdle for me was looking at re-building the shower, which was previously a fiberglass surround. We wanted a tile shower, but that meant I had to stretch myself in regards to my skills and comfort level. (Hence the 6 month delay in this project.)

I watched enough videos on YouTube and This Old House to get some sense of confidence and then attacked the job. Rough plumbing in basement cement floors is always a bit daunting for me but I think it went pretty well. I also put in the shower valve using pex and crimpers — a first for me. Basically, I did all the rough plumbing, which is something we paid a plumber $800 to do in our last house. Was 6 months worth $800?

Regardless, the tile is now in. We finished grouting before leaving for the ranch. At this point, all tasks left seems rather simple (finish plumbing, vanity, mirror, light fixtures, toilet, paint, and texturing the ceiling (yes, I should have already done that but I was anxious for the tile).

I had to re-build the drain and then install a shower pan with this waterproofing membrane (Shluter-Kerdi)

I had to re-build the drain and then install a shower pan with this waterproofing membrane (Schluter-Kerdi)

This is where the shower valve pops out of the wall. I installed that fella as well.

This is where the shower valve pops out of the wall. I installed that fella as well.

This is the tile floor: 8x24" Chesapeake Bone tile

This is the tile floor: 8×24″ Chesapeake Bone tile

This is the shower, including a small cubby for stuff. Tile: 12x24" Prince and Duchess Milk porcelain.

This is the shower, including a small cubby for stuff. Tile: 12×24″ Prince and Duchess Milk porcelain.

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