Sunday, December 22, 2013

Five Years and Counting...

Five years ago today I started this crazy blog thing. 384 posts later, I still enjoy writing, although I confess my frequency has diminished. Followers have come and gone, but I'm thrilled that I have developed such wonderful lasting friendships through the blog. That has been the most fabulous result of blogging. The camaraderie is at times hilarious and at other times heart warming. I've never had so many people that actually come looking for me (online) if they haven't heard from me in awhile. It actually prevents me from becoming a total recluse!

So thank you one and all... NanoDance who got me started, Indigo Roth who's been with me the longest, nonamedufus and the delightful Maryse, Jayne Martin with her size 4 ass, the hostess with the mostess Linda Medrano, Deckside Cheryl, zombie loving QuirkyQuirkster, mea culpa Meleah, Nicky the mistress of Cheese and her cohort Mike, running Reffie, caffeine-powered-dinky-dynamo Eolist Petite, the evil genius Max Tunguska, fake-Barbie-toting Katharine, Beetle Babs, Nanny Goat Margaret, bacon-filled Junk Drawer Kathy, insanity inducers Ziva and MikeWJ, Alastair and the lovely G, Unfinished Brian, Magpie Tess Kincaid. poet Brian Miller, my fellow Huff-Post 50 pal Joanna Jenkins, Blissed-Out Nancy, Surly Michelle, wannabe stripper Chrissy, Sister Phillipia, and my oldest school chum but newest blogging pal Dan Kincade. Because no woman can become a cat lady when she has friends!

Here's a look back at how it all started...

December 22, 2008

In taking a step back to review my life as the New Year approaches, I find that I have become a crazy cat lady... without the cats.  How does this happen?  Let me enlighten you...


1.  Stop doing your dishes.... there's really no reason to do dishes until you have nothing left to eat off of.  Then you can simply polish up a fork with a your shirt tail.

2.  Always drop things on the floor when you enter your home.  Why use up extra energy to locate where the things actually belong?  Being a cat lady is all about conserving energy. Besides, that way you'll always know where everything is... in the pile just inside the door.

3.  Don't make your bed... you're just getting back into it the next night anyway.

4.  Don't bathe too often... it allows the natural oils on your skin to maintain that youthful glow.

5.  Never, ever vacuum... all the pet hair on the floor and furniture actually adds to the insulation value of your home.

6.  Don't go outside unless it's really necessary.  (For instance, like if the house catches fire.)  This keeps the warm air inside during the winter months, saving on utilities. 

7.   Don't answer the phone.  It's usually just someone who either wants to complain about something or who wants your money for some obscure reason.  Be sure you have special ring tones for individual friends you MIGHT want to talk to.  Limit yourself to three ring tones... saves on having too many people who actually know who you are.  A special ring tone for family members is especially important.  They may want to try to save you from being a crazy cat lady, so it's best to avoid them.

8.  Watch LOTS of TV.  The more senseless the program the better.  Talk shows are particularly useful for building your self esteem.  (They demonstrate how many people are crazier than you are.)  Remember, no matter how many other bills go unpaid... always keep the cable bill paid up... there are so many more possibilities for trash TV on cable than there are on regular TV.  (Although, I would also suggest paying the electric bill so you have the juice for running the TV.)

9.  Talk to yourself frequently... remember, you are your own best friend. 

10.  Always remember... there's absolutely no reason to actually have cats... simple black construction paper silhouettes in the windows will do just fine.  Much better to have a dog who will bark at strangers who try to come to the door to extricate you from your abode.  Plus, the dog is always glad to see you... cats could care less.

So there you have it... even if you maintain the facade of being a normal person in public, you too can become a crazy cat lady at home.  No one ever has to know... which makes you an even crazier cat lady than the usual one.  

Best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

In which I get the "V.I.P." treatment...

If you know me at all, you know that I have a propensity for ending up in the hospital.  It's become almost a yearly thing with me.  2013-hand surgery, 2012-gallbladder removal, 2011-broken leg, 2010-ER visit after sliding down the attic stairs and clunking my head on the wall.  (Yes, I admit, I'm kind of a walking disaster!)  As the year draws to a close, I started thinking to myself, "Wouldn't it be great if I could get through 2014 without any medical disasters?" That would be so cool!

And then I went in for my yearly mammogram.  No big deal... no history of breast cancer in my family. I got smooshed and came home.  The Tuesday before Thanksgiving I got a call from the radiologist that they wanted me to come in for another mammogram.  The first one wasn't clear enough.

They smooshed me again and I still wasn't too concerned... until they thoughtfully ushered me into the "V.I.P. Lounge" and asked if I wanted any juice or water or anything while I waited for the films to come back.  As I sat there drinking the complimentary bottle of water, I started thinking to myself, "When they take you to the "V.I.P Lounge" and offer you something to drink, it's probably not a good thing."

It wasn't.  An ultrasound, biopsy and MRI later it was confirmed... I have breast cancer.  

But before you go and get all worried about me, I want you to know I'll be fine. Because of the type of cancer and due to early detection, I'm getting off easy with a partial mastectomy followed by six weeks of radiation.

Yeah, I'll kick cancer's butt... no problem!  Because I'm a she-woman!   I think I'll skip the pink tattoo, though.  Pink is just not my color!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Surviving the Apocalypse

She had survived the zombie apocalypse.  This year it was particularly gruesome.  The zombies had teamed up with other demons in their reign of terror.  Her advance preparations had been key to her survival.  Teaming up with friends, they fended off the merciless creatures who came at them from all directions.

For days the zombies and their minions had been working themselves into a frenzy, awaiting the moment when they ventured out into the world in search of victims.  They got them every time.  Time and time again, the fools left themselves open to the predations of the horde.

But even worse than the apocalypse was the aftermath.

The screams... the cries... the whines...

The horror!

Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of teachers more than the prospect of the sugar-induced meltdown on the day following Halloween.

Wish me luck... I'll need it.

* * * * * * * * *

For more Halloween Humor, visit the gang at

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Time Marches On: A Magpie Tale

He sits on the bench, waiting for the inevitable.

There is no longer joy in his world.  That has long since disappeared from his life.  The things that used to give simple pleasures are also gone.  Waiting for something... anything... to happen has left him immobilized.  

As he contemplates his life, he believes his dreams of "someday..." are not going to happen.  He has become frozen in time, waiting to see how much time is left... and accomplishing nothing. 

If only he would just look up, raise his head to see what might be in front of him, he could forget the past and start anew.  He could make it happen.  If only he would just look up.

It doesn't take much more than a friendly voice to drown out the echoes of the past and the ticking of the clocks.  Hope remains for those who seek it.  There is still time.

* * * * * * *

Tess over at Willow Manor has been providing inspiration for bloggers with her photo prompts on a site called Magpie Tales.  Stop over to check out who else was inspired this week.

Monday, September 30, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 30: Happily Ever After

It's here!  It's here!  We've finally made it to Day 30 of 30 Days of Photographs IV.  It's been a long month, but not without its rewards:


And then there's this:

I now have a complete bathroom!  There are still a few things left to do, but it's now fully functional. It's been a long time coming, but it's been worth it.  Seeing as how the last bathroom lasted me 27 years, this one should last me until I'm dead.  And you know what that means?

Yeah... I'm living happily ever after!

At least until next summer... when we start working on the kitchen.

* * * * * * *

Stop over at the Inferno and give a big thanks to Mike & Ziva for sponsoring this extravaganza.  (I'm sending each of them a case of toilet paper as a thank you gift.)  While you're there, check out who else is living happily ever after. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 27, 28, or 29?: Circle

Well, I'm circling the drain here, as we slide into the last few days of this 30 Days of Photographs challenge.  And it's not a pretty drain, either.

(Hey, you asked for a circle and you got it.)
Somehow I lost my way the past couple of days.  I tried making a compass with the rubber chickens to help me find my way back to Bob, but I couldn't find my stick-on letters, so I couldn't tell which was was NSEW.

(The latest in compass roses.)

Not only that, ever since the "Two Birds, One Stone" prompt, the other chicken is in love with the plumbing.  She thinks it's her new lover and keeps humping it.  The squawking is totally making me lose my concentration.

(Yes, I've resorted to chicken porn.)
See what this challenge has done to me?  It's made me go places I vowed I'd never go.  Damn you Mike and Ziva.  

But the real reason I went AWOL from Bob?  There's only one day left before I have to live happily ever after... and a whole lot of work still to be done on the bathroom.

* * * * * * * * *

Now that I've shown you the true meaning of #teamlame, roll on over to the Inferno to see who else is circling the drain today.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 26: Rising

Coming to the end of the 30 Days of Photographs IV/Bob challenge, I feel a sense of promise.  A sense that one day, things will be as they were and all will be right with the world.

It's like the phoenix rising from the ashes of bathroom destruction.

Thank god we got Fake Barbie out of there in time!

Now go over and sort through the ashes of the Inferno to see who else is rising today.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 25: Poison

After 25 days of this 30 Days of Photographs IV challenge, we're tired, beaten down, demoralized. What's worse, "Bob" has now come to be known as "30 Days of Bathroom on Blog".  It's enough to make anyone want to drink poison.

Probably just as well that this bottle of "elixir" found buried in our living room wall was already pretty well emptied. We came across it while doing some repairs when we moved in 27 years ago. From the looks of it, it was potent enough to take out all of us.

If you have any strength left, head on over to the Inferno to see who else is trying to poison themselves today.  That's right... hurry... before you do something you might regret...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 24: Carnival

Oh, we are SO ready for a carnival at our house!  It's time to kick back, have a few beers and par-tay! We're throwing confetti and blowing horns!  Setting off fireworks!  Screaming from the rooftop! Yeah, it was a total carnival here last night.  In honor of Tolstoy, we even had Russian beer. And I bet you can guess why, too....

We still have a ways to go on the bathroom project, but at least we no longer have to run to the basement every time we have to pee.   Life is good.  Really good.  Party on!

Now go check out the party at Ziva's house to see who else is at the 30 Days of Photographs IV Carnival.

Monday, September 23, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 23: Tolstoy

This bathroom renovation is taking longer than it took Tolstoy to write War and Peace.  Once this bad boy's finally installed, I'm ready to settle in for a nice, long read.

Good thing I splurged and got the "Comfort Height" Kohler Memoirs toilet.  Although, I think I should be able to finish reading the book in less time than it took to get all the unbroken parts of the toilet.

Now get out the fur coat and the caviar.  It's time to mosey on over toward Russia to Finland and check in with Ziva to see who else is channelling Tolstoy today.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 22: Frustration

I'll keep this simple today, since by now you already know the back story on this one.

Multiply this times 4 and you can see just how frustrating it is to try to get a new toilet.

Now, go over to the Inferno to see just how frustrated everyone else is by these prompts Ziva and Mike thought up for 30 Days of Photographs IV.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME Day 21: Anatomy

Today's prompt for the 30 Days of Photographs IV challenge is "anatomy."  I could give you "an anatomy of a bathroom renovation", but let's face it... you're sick and tired of hearing about my bathroom.

However, I felt it incumbent upon me to excite and titillate you with a photo of anatomy well suited for a bathroom. In fact, maybe I'll sneak these photos in behind the access panel for the shower plumbing so that future generations who decide to remodel get a thrill when they open up the wall. Because every bathroom needs some nudie cuties.

Here's where we'll stash them...

So, are you ready?  Are you sure?  Then here goes...

This one's for Mike
And to allow equal time for the women...

This one's for Fake Barbie
Thanks to my friend, Susan David, for letting me photograph her Barbie Collection in all its glory!

Now stop salivating and head on over to the Inferno to see who else is providing some gross anatomy for this prompt.

Friday, September 20, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME Day 20: Transparent

After yesterday's scary electrical post, I figured I'd switch to something a bit more tame.  Today's 30 Days of Photography IV prompt is "transparent".

Most people like privacy when they are in the bathroom, so the word "transparent" doesn't really fit into the remodeling plan.  However, at the moment, the most important detail for maintaining privacy is beyond transparent... it's totally missing!

In order to put up the drywall we had to remove the door to the bathroom. The bathroom door is temporarily in the hallway outside the bathroom.

So now we have no toilet, no sink and no door in our bathroom.  The shower curtain is the only thing providing any privacy.  And it's semi-transparent as well.

But the good news... the floor is finished and we have walls again!  It's getting there...

* * * * * * * * *

Time to wander on over to the Inferno to see who else is offering up some transparency today.  No need to close the door on your way out.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME Day 19: Never

Welcome to Bob's #TEAMLAME Day 19.  Today's prompt is "Never."  The obvious choice for this prompt would be to photograph the Ziva's Inferno blog page announcing the 30 Days of Photographs IV challenge and write NEVER! in block letters on top of it.

But, I don't want you to think that I didn't go to great lengths to address this prompt.  During the course of the Great Bathroom Remodeling Adventure of 2013, we came across two things that you should NEVER see:  


What is this, you ask?

Electrical wires.

Buried in the wall.

Just hanging there.

With no coverings.

Live electrical wires.

That can kill you.

Or burn down your house.

NEVER do this.  And hope you NEVER find them in your house.  Because if you do... it probably means there are more of them hidden somewhere else in the secret recesses of your house.  Just waiting for the right time to wreak havoc.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid!

Now go check out that live wire, Ziva, to see who else is playing around with Bob today.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 18: Always

Time for another exciting episode of Boom Boom's Bathroom Tutorial!

Lighting Tip #1:

Always, I mean always install a light with an exhaust fan in a bathroom.  This is imperative for removing noxious odors and excess steam.  Our previous ceiling sported tiny mold spots from improper ventilation that had to be washed off with bleach every so often.  NOT a fun activity. Cleaning mold off your ceiling is even more tedious than trying to come up with a photo for the Bob prompt "Always."

Lighting Tip #2:

Always, I mean always put in separate switches for the light and the fan.  You don't want to listen to that noise every time you turn on the light.  Better yet... put in a swell timer (buttons in center of switch plate) so you can leave the fan running when you leave the bathroom and not have to come back later to turn it off.  Depending on how steamy the bathroom is, (or how noxious the fumes,) you can select 10, 20, 30 or 60 minutes.

Finally, leave the fan on while you go check out how noxious the fumes are over at the Inferno and while you're there, check out who else is participating in this 30 Days of Photographs IV challenge.  (Also known as Bob.)  I feel pretty confident there won't be another entry as lame as this one today.  Thus, I remain the captain and queen of #teamlame!

Boom Boom Out!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 17: My Junk...

Today's prompt for "Bob's Photo Extravaganza" is "My Junk..."  Surely Mike and Ziva aren't hoping for another round of Anthony Weiner's junk?  Well, even if they are, they're not going to get it here. (Even if my bathroom might be the appropriate venue for such a thing.)  When I talk about junk... it's literal junk.

If you walked into my living room right now, you'd be appalled at how much junk is filling up the place.  My mother would be rolling over in her grave if she could see it.  (That is, she would be if she wasn't currently in ashes in a box up on the shelf in my dad's apartment.)

See what I mean:

However, this isn't just a hoarder's paradise... it's my "staging area" for the bathroom renovation. Yeah... that's what it is... a "staging area".  In fact, my entire house is a "staging area"... for my life.

Is it any wonder how I ended up on #teamlame?

Now, schlep some of this junk on over to the Inferno to see who else is playing the Bob game today.

Monday, September 16, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 16: Biblical

What kind of heathens are Ziva and Mike that they didn't have "biblical", (our next prompt in the 30 Days of Photographs IV,) fall on a Sunday.  I'm half tempted to skip over this prompt just to protest this heinous oversight.  (I certainly wouldn't skip over it just because I hadn't a clue what to do for it.)

However, because I'm on #teamlame and as such am allowed to post any lame photo I want... here's my son, Vlad, engaging in our remodeling project of biblical proportions.  I think Moses had an easier time parting the Red Sea than we've had trying to complete this project.

Speaking of Moses, take a look at the yellow crow bar hooked onto what remains of the lath.  I think it was actually made from Moses's petrified staff... the one he used to part the Red Sea.  How's that for biblical?  

Meanwhile, is it just me, or does it seem like we've been sold into slavery with this "30 Days of Photographs IV" thing?

Let my people go, Mike and Ziva!  Let my people go!

* * * * * * * * * *

Now... head on over to the Inferno to see who else is trying to make it to the Promised Land at the end of this challenge.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME Day 15: China

Here we are at the half-way mark of the 30 Days of Photographs IV blog challenge.  Little did we know that the IV in the name of the challenge actually stands for "intravenous".  That's right... by this point we all need intravenous drugs to make it through to the end of the challenge. Some of us are so frustrated, we may even try to dig a hole to China just to get away from Ziva and MikeWJ.  But enough moaning and groaning... we'll never get to Day 30 if we keep stopping to complain.

For those of you who've been following my foray into remodeling closely, you know that things have not gone smoothly. It took five (5) shipments to get one (1) complete toilet.  Then the vanity I ordered arrived with a cracked top.  I decided to go to a competitor's store and buy an in-stock vanity instead. This one has a beautiful vitreous china top.  So smooth and shiny and all in one piece!

On closer inspection, however, there appeared to be something lodged in the drain.  No freakin' way! Please tell me I don't have to return yet another purchase!  Let me just get a little closer...

This is not what I meant when I told Katherine I hoped fake Barbie would make an appearance during this challenge.  While I try to pry fake Barbie's cousin out of my new sink, why don't you head on over to the Inferno to see who else is playing along today.  

Saturday, September 14, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 14: NSFW

When Ziva and Mike came up with the prompt NSFW as the prompt for Day 14 of this interminable 30 Days of Photographs IV blog challenge, my initial thought was... WTF?  What does NSFW stand for?  Because I'm on #teamlame, I had to look it up on the internetz.

NSFW = Not safe for work

Hallelujah!  One prompt that won't take much thought!

As most of you know, I teach preschool to four year olds. (The professional term for them is "kidlets".)  The Office of Children and Family Services offers a rather lengthy list of things that are not safe for children:  plastic bags, cleaning products, small objects, alcohol, drugs, etc., etc.  What a buzz-kill!

One of the activities that we do that might surprise you therefore, (given the above list,) is woodworking.  Yes, fellow sufferers of the "Bob" challenge, I'm also giving Boom Boom's Remodeling Tutorial to the kidlets!  One of their favorite activities is drilling holes and pounding nails into 2 x 4 pieces.  It's a great stress reliever when you're four.  Some of our most "active" children are soothed by this activity.  I kid you not!

However, there are still a few renovation tools that are deemed NSFW.

I guess they're afraid the children might get blood on the walls when they cut off their little fingers with the reciprocating saw.  As for the torch... it's all well and good until somebody sets off the fire alarm during nap time.  Then there will be hell to pay!

Geesh!  Taking all our fun away!

Now go check out who else can't go to work today because they're too busy figuring out what's NSFW!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

And for those of you who were wondering... the clue to today's bathroom update is the rag at the top of the photo.  It's plugging the disgusting, gaping hole where the toilet used to be.  Yes, Vlad pulled out the old toilet last night!  R.I.P. ugly yellow toilet!  My weekend will be spent tiling over the last remaining floor space in preparation for the installation of the long awaited Kohler Memoirs Stately Comfort Height 2-piece 1.28 GPF Round Toilet in White.

Friday, September 13, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 13: Wrong

After a short detour to determine what a she-woman I am, it's time to get back to Boom Boom's Remodeling Tutorials.

Let's talk about HVAC.  What?  You don't know what HVAC is?  Then you obviously haven't been watching enough HGTV.  I learned everything I need to know from my secret heartthrob, Scott McGillivray on Income Property and that rascal Bryan Baeumler on Disaster DIY.

HVAC Tip #1:

The best way to understand how to do HVAC correctly is to see it done wrong.  Like ours was before we ripped it out.  Take a look and tell me what's wrong with this picture of what was beneath my tub/shower tile.

See that gray thing beneath the conduit holding the electrical?  That's the HVAC ductwork, spewing hot air in the winter and cold air in the summer onto your wet body about waist height as you're trying to take a shower.  That is so wrong.  Since we couldn't totally move the ductwork, I ripped out the lath above it and raised it up about 3 feet so it comes out above the tile.  Still wrong, but a vast improvement over how it was before.  Yes, I can do a minimum of HVAC work.  Because I'm a she-woman.

As for that conduit holding the electrical?  That's the light switch for the bathroom.  Also wrong.  But at least it is accessed from outside the bathroom door instead of from inside the shower.  Even people on #teamlame would know that would be an epic fail!

Now, head on over to Ziva's Inferno to see who else is tackling this latest prompt from Bob's 30 Days of Photographs IV the wrong way.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME Day 12: Tremor

Welcome to Day 12 of the "30 Days of Photographs IV" competition, otherwise known as "Bob".  In case you're wondering what Bob stands for, forget about it.  It stands for nothing.  Now, let's get on with todays prompt... "tremor".

One can't think of the word "tremor" without thinking of the ultimate in tacky horror films, "Tremors", starring Kevin Bacon of six degrees of separation fame.  Come on... admit it... you've watched it... you know you have!

Funny that should come to mind right at this time.  As (bad) luck would have it, I was sitting in the bathroom just the other day, contemplating the next phase of our remodeling project when I heard a noise.  The walls began to shake and lath started to fly off the wall.

Holy Crap!  Could it be?

Just like in the movie, the evil creature blasted through the wall!  I felt so vulnerable, sitting there with my pants down around my ankles.  Damn the six degrees!  Where was Kevin Bacon when I really needed him?

Suddenly another one appeared, this time even closer to my feet...

This one started gnawing on the tiles that I had just put down last weekend.  Damn it for destroying all my hard work!

It didn't take me long to figure out that Kevin wasn't going to show up, (the rat bastard,) and that I'd have to take matters, (and my sledge hammer,) into my own hands.

I don't care what Ziva and Mike are giving out for prizes for this contest... I was NOT going to succumb to the jaws of the evil tremor creature just to get the best photo.  That vile thing was going down.

I let out a scream so blood curdling that the creatures slunk off back into the wall.  I ran out of the bathroom and slammed the door.  Hard!  No more remodeling for me tonight!  Several adult beverages later and there's still no sign of them.

I think I'm safe.  For now.  Or at least until Ziva & Mike come up with the next prompt.  This is all so "wrong"!

Now worm your way over to Ziva's Inferno to see who else is starting to experience tremors after a week and a half of this photo nonsense.  Go #teamlame!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 11: Girly

Girly?  Today's prompt in Bob's photo extravaganza is "girly"?  What am I supposed to do with that?  I don't think I've been girly since I was in junior high school.  

No, if anything, I've become a she-woman with all this destruction construction work.  No posh frocks or stilettos in my closet.  Work boots are more comfortable for my flat-footed size 12's.

Finger nail polish is not for me, either... it makes my nails feel claustrophobic and I end up scratching it off. As for make-up?  Forget it.  Who has the time?  I have to be at work at freakin' 7:00 in the morning.

It's a good thing I don't use all that stuff because even with the remodel I'd have no room for all those girly things in my small bathroom anyway.   Just take a look at the new medicine cabinet we installed in the bathroom.  Here's my section of the shelf:

The only reason my toothbrush is pink is because it came from my dentist.  (I usually favor blue or green.)  And that other pencil thing?  True confessions time.  I have no eyebrows.  (Well, only a few hairs above each eye.)  I have to draw my eyebrows on each morning so I don't scare the small children with whom I work.  I know... so GIRLY of me!

I am so #teamlame!

Time for me to go shower and try to get the drywall dust out of my hair.

Now put on your big girl panties and mosey on over to the Inferno to check out what the cool kids are doing with this prompt.  I know Ziva and Nicky are going to have more than enough shoe pictures for all of us!  (Although the thought of what Mike might do with this prompt scares me, quite frankly. I shudder to think!)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME Day 10: Close-Up

Welcome to Day 10 of "Bob's Photo Extravaganza".  The prompt today is "Close-Up".  Which brings me back to...

Boom Boom's Bathroom Tutorial

Drywall Tip #2:  (Yes, Jackal, there IS more!)

Dimple your screws.  (As opposed to screwing your dimples.)  Here is a close-up of a perfectly dimpled screw:

Note to Self:  iPhone is not good for close-ups.
The trick is to screw it in just far enough to create a slight indentation, or dimple, in the drywall. Too little and it's going to show no matter how much mud you slap on it.  Screw it in too far and the paper covering gets torn and then you're screwed again.  That sucker's going to show.

So remember the correct order:  screw, dimple, slap mud, screw, dimple, slap mud... etcetera, etcetera.

Actual unpaid worker (in disguise) dimpling screws
This hereby qualifies as the most incredibly lame contest entry, thereby proving my worthiness to be a member of #teamlame.  Tune in tomorrow for another exciting episode of Boom Boom's Bathroom Tutorial.  In the meantime, check out who's screwing around with this prompt over at Ziva's Inferno.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 9: Disguise

"Boom Boom's Bathroom Tutorial, Day 9" or "Bob's Photo Challenge".  You choose.

Drywall Tip #1

Perhaps the most valuable tip I can give you for working with drywall is to get a respirator for sanding the "mud" once it dries.  Otherwise you'll be coughing for weeks.  

You can also kill two birds with one stone by using the same respirator as a Halloween costume, or better yet, as a disguise for robbing banks to pay for the bathroom project. Not that I'm going to do that...

Now go check out the other masked marauders over at Ziva's Inferno to see how they approached this latest prompt.  But if they demand money, don't fall for it.  (I'm the only dangerous one with sledge hammers and axes.)  Go #teamlame!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 8: Texture

Today's bathroom renovation tutorial is on "Texture".

Texture is an important, nay, critical part of tiling. If you don't get the texture of the adhesive just right, the tile won't stick.

The first step is to throw a mess of tile adhesive onto the floor and smooth it out with the straight side of your trowel.

Then you take the notched edge of the trowel and drag it over the adhesive on the floor in a couple of different directions before setting the tile into place.  Like this...

Renovating your bathroom is a long, slow, tedious process.  Very similar to the 30 Days of Photographs IV challenge.  It takes even longer when you keep stopping to try and figure out what the hell Mike and Ziva were thinking when they came up these prompts.  Feel free to stop by the Inferno to see how everyone else is faring.  Me?  I'll be busy adding a little more texture to that tile adhesive.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 7: Seven

Seven?  Seven WHAT?  I need more information for this prompt!  Where am I going to get seven of something AND tie it to my bathroom remodeling project?

Oh, yeah...

Now, go check out Ziva's Inferno to see who managed to successfully avoid becoming a member of #TEAMLAME today.  I've got work to do.

Friday, September 6, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 6: Two Birds, One Stone

Okay, it's only Day 6 of the 30 Days of Photographs IV challenge and already I've brought #TEAMLAME down.  I got nuthin'.  Then again, part of being on #TEAMLAME is failing to come through for the team.


I might as well go do some work in the bathroom.

Until we can install the new vanity and sink, I guess we can always use the plumbing to display our treasures...


Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 5: Mushroom

Mushroom, eh?  Talk about a #TEAMLAME prompt...

This 30 Days of Photographs IV challenge is already mushrooming out of control.  But I remain undaunted.  Why?  Because we just took the kidlets to what is affectionately known as "The Mushroom Park" the other day.  Its defining feature is a group of climbing discs on top of poles that look like giant mushrooms.  See what I mean....

These stand on their curved posts anywhere from 1-3 feet off the ground.
Then there's the dark, seamy underbelly of my bathtub, made visible when we gutted the bathroom.

Not only is it mushroom like, it's perfect for my next business venture.  Yeah... that's where I'm going to start my mushroom farm.  Dark, steamy, moist... perfect!  Or maybe I'll just get around to closing the wall up again and have a normal bathroom.

Decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 4: Backward

Today's the first day of school, so I'm afraid I was a little busy getting ready yesterday and didn't get a chance to visit everyone and reply to all of your delightful comments about my wad-o-soft-stuff.  I promise... tonight all will be restored to normal.  (Which means I probably won't get to it until Friday.)  But for now, I must soldier on as the newly dubbed "Captain" of #TEAMLAME.  (You weasel, Dufus, abandoning ship like that.)

Today's prompt in Bob's 30 Days of Photographs IV challenge is backward.  All this talk of captains and abandoning ship made me look backward at the summer camp we ran.  One week we were playing pirates and one of our favorite pirate songs was:

When I was one, I'd just begun
Going out to sea.
I jumped aboard a pirate ship
And the captain said to me,

Oh, we'll go this way, that way
Over the deep blue sea.

(Once you know the tune, it's a total earwig.)

One of the anonymous kidlets going forward/backward
on the gangplank of our cardboard pirate ship.
I know, I know, you're wondering where the bathroom photo of the day is.  Okay, I'll oblige you.

Here's the forward/backward route I took to get to the toilet the past several days.

1. Step from the doorway into the bathtub.
2.  Traverse the tub and stand up on the edge of the tub.
3.  Turn around BACKWARD and hold on for dear life to the wall.
4.  Gently ease my foot down onto the small, untiled space in front of the toilet.
5.  The next part is self-explanatory.
6.  Reverse the process, stopping to wash hands in bathtub.

Kinda makes you dizzy, doesn't it?
So there you have it... my #TEAMLAME version of today's prompt.  Now, go check out everybody else's art photos for today while I go to the first day of Universal Pre-Kindergarten. (I'm much more comfortable hanging out with people my own mental age.)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 3: Soft

Here we are on day 3 of the Bob challenge, also known as "30 Days of Photographs IV" and the prompt is "soft".

Soft?  I haven't come across anything soft in weeks, what with all the heavy duty work on the bathroom.  Hard cement, hard lath, hard nails, hard tile, hard floor on my poor knees... everything seems hard these days.  Then I remembered something soft.

This delightfully soft substance:

Mmmm.... yummy!

So light, so airy, so fluffy...  so SOFT!

No, it's not ice cream that I dropped on the newly cemented bathroom floor.  It's tile adhesive. Lovely, soft, tile adhesive...

That sticks to EVERYTHING!  Floor, hands, face, clothes, glasses, walls, pets... and then takes FOREVER to dry beneath the tile so I have to spend three days jumping across the tub to get to the toilet!  (Whereas on my hands, face, clothes and glasses, it dries immediately to a rock-like hardness.)


Even soft things are getting me down these days.


Monday, September 2, 2013

"Bob's #TEAMLAME" Day 2: Illuminate

It's only Day 2 of the "30 Days of Photographs IV" blog challenge, (affectionately known as "Bob",) and Katherine has already thrown down the gauntlet.  She's toying with me, claiming that if I use the bathroom somehow in each prompt, fake Barbie will make an appearance in this challenge.  What a tease!

You remember fake Barbie, don't you?  That sultry plastic vixen who kept appearing in "30 Days of Photographs III"?

Yeah, that fake Barbie.

I have a few nails in my bathroom that she could skewer herself on.  

There's nothing like a challenge within a challenge to get your blood boiling flowing.  So here it is... I shall illuminate you with my progress from yesterday.



So clean!  So shiny!  So luminous!  Luminous-illuminate.  See how I did that?    

Of course, me being me, I only got half of it done.  And it takes 24-72 hours before you can walk on it. Which means to get to the toilet, I have to leap from the hall into the bathtub, then leap again from the bathtub to the small section of floor I have yet to tile in front of the toilet.  Fake Barbie could do it in a flash, I have no doubt.  Me, not so much.  I think I'll be using the scary toilet in the basement for a few days... 

How lame is that?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

"Bob's #TeamLame" or "30 Days of Photographs IV": Day 1

Day 1:  Ice Cream

Fool that I am, I agreed to do another "30 Days of Photographs".  Because I'm a glutton for punishment.  Never mind the fact that my bathroom's been torn up for 2 MONTHS now and I don't have time for this.

You don't believe me?  Who has time to take a picture of ice cream when your bathroom looks like this:

So last night, as I was pouring the cement to fill in the gaping hole we created because we decided to move the sink plumbing from the floor to the wall, I was thinking evil thoughts about MikeWJ and Ziva.  Like, maybe I should have been using the cement to make them some new shoes. Lucky for them I missed one small crack in the flooring next to a stud which created a sinkhole that sucked up all the cement. 

Yes, there's far too much work to bother with such frivolity.  But will MikeWJ and Ziva take NO for an answer?

NOOOOO.... I had to freakin' stop to take a photo of ice cream.  

There.  Are you happy now?

At least I was smart enough to join Dufus and Meleah as a charter member of #teamlame.  So I have an excuse for the pitiful photos you're about to see in the next 30 days.

Don't judge!

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