Thursday, April 21, 2005

Bathroom Remodel

***HTML editor Not Working Still ****

Some of my regulars asked about me to update them on my Bathroom Remodeling from a few months ago. I got about half the photos back and decided to post them. I plan to finish the film off this weekend and should be able to post the final next week.

So, my contractor has finished the bathroom. I wrote the company the last check about a week after they started. It took a bit of extra time because I wasn't thrilled with the finish work. Still not 100%.

So, what did I get for my almost $8000? See below for what it looked like before.

It was pretty bad. The worst was that water was seeping into the insulation around the window and the tile/tub edge. The floor tiles weren't evenly applied and had dirt ingrained between them. The toilet wobbled. And the sink set less than 2 inches from the tub -- so I lost many items down between the two.

Of course, originally it was purple -- and not cute purple. But a gross shade of lavender yuckiness.

This is the original bathroom with tile, ugly light, and small mirror. Posted by Hello

This is the before sink, toilet and floor. Posted by Hello

Other side of the original tub. Posted by Hello

More of original bathroom. Posted by Hello

Under Construction

When they tore out the tub and tile, this was the bones of the back section of the tub area. Check out the gross rotten wood under the window. Posted by Hello

And here is what was underneath the tub. See faucet hookups on right side. I had them get rid of all moldy insulation -- that is what's in the black trash bag. Posted by Hello

And this is where the toilet sat after they ripped out the original floor and toilet. This is the original 1952 tile - beautiful, but damaged. Posted by Hello

Overview of torn out tub with the floor that was installed when I arrived. Can you believe they put those linoleum tiles over that beautiful original floor? Posted by Hello

The New Bathroom Rises

The window was torn out, frame included. They build me a new wood frame and put the window back in. Then, they started installing the tub and this is just part of the surround with the new showerhead pole above. Posted by Hello

Other end half done. There are the old sink pipes on the right. I love the shelves in the surround. Posted by Hello

Here you can see the new floor and you can see some of the new faucet. Posted by Hello

A closer look at the tub faucets -- they are awesome. Posted by Hello

More to come next week.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

My First Bike Ride in about 15 Years.

**The WYSIWYG/HTML editor is not working, so I am typing HTML language in. Just an FYI.**

I took my first bike ride the other day. The Mount Vernon Trail on the George Washington Memorial Parkway isn't that far from my house. Since this was the virginal voyage of my bike, I wanted to go somewhere familiar.

The trail was crowded. So many people had shaken off their winter doldrums and were ready for fun.

There were the young, athletic people running with their headphones and skimpy clothes. You can always spot them with the latest gadget on their wrist, the camel watering systems on their backs and the sweat pouring off their bodies. The bikers are fast and furious. Some remember to say "On your left" as they pass, but occasionally one came flying around my friend and I at warp speed.

Families were out. Runners had their running strollers out and the babies were bundled up. The bikers had their kids' bike attached to theirs. And most of the time, the kids seemed to have given up on pedaling, just enjoying the ride.

Couples rode tandem bikes. They seem to enjoy both the rhythm of it and the oddness factor. You just don't see them very often.

The walkers returned. Some strolled casually and chatted with their walking buddy. Some had their arms crooked and were doing the mall walking style.

The ages and races varied widely. It somehow lifted my spirits to see people enjoying the outdoors seemingly without a care in the world. There is some pride in knowing that this happens all across America.

As for my bike ride, I found it somewhat challenging. I have gained a new appreciation for why we teach children to ride so young. They have no fear. I however remember falling down - the bruises, the scrapes, the scars. When the bike went too fast, I had to slow it down. Of course, I am still learning the fancy shifting device on the bike, so it wasn't as smooth as it probably could have been.

I can't wait to return. I am looking forward to getting my bike out again, to learning how to use it better. This was a good purchase!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Losing Weight - My Way!

While I tried to do this before, I am now making a sincere effort to exercise and lose weight. So how you may ask? Let me point out right away that I do not believe in diets! I don't believe in restricting any food. If I want an oreo, I can have an oreo.

On the weight loss side, I am:
1. Eating three meals a day, including as many veggies and as few carbs as I can stand.
2. Snacking - I am a snacker, but I am trying to make fat-free yogurt my afternoon snack instead of a candy bar.
3. Liquids - I am drinking more water and less soda. In fact unless the soda a C2, I won't drink it at all.
4. Old-Fashion Remedies - Several cups a day of tea, not black tea, just herbal.
5. Portion Control - Yes, I can have oreos, but two or three, not the whole package. And at restaurants, I never clean my plate.

On the exercise side, I am:
1. Biking - Bought my bike on Saturday and rode almost 6 miles Sunday. (Bike is awesome - 2005 Trek Hybrid 7500. Butt still a bit sore.) Will try to bike at least once a week.
2. Yoga - Started my yoga class last week. It's Hatha Yoga - never taken it before. Seems good so far.
3. Gym - Use it every Monday, Wednesday and Friday that I work. Went up there yesterday and lifted weights for about 30 minutes. Then, I walked on the treadmill for 8 minutes and then I used the elliptical runner for 12 minutes.

So will all of this make a difference?

We shall see. I realize that at 31 I am never going to look like a cheerleader, but I also know it won't get any easier the older I get. I figure since I am supposedly entering my sexual peak, it would be nice to look good enough to attract more sexual interest.

Plus, I am so tired of being a size 14. My mother was a size 14 my entire childhood. It's the biggest I've ever been and I really hate buying bottoms for that reason. There's nothing wrong with a 14 - I do know that. However, for me, I would just like to be a size 12 again. I am not looking to be rail thin.

So, these are the changes I am making.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Blogging, Computer Issues, and Work Bitching

Well, I have determined today that it is my computer that is somehow preventing the Edit Posts section from appearing correctly. Now how to fix it? Since it is my work computer, I can't exactly ask for assistance there as technically I am not supposed to be blogging on government time. But, enough about that.

As I may have mentioned before, I am temporary assignment right now on a team implementing a new computer program for our entire department. My team lead is annoying, but generally a nice person. She has no idea how to lead a team and isn't a very good instructor. We have to teach a great deal of classes. We are training over 200 people in groups of 6 - 10 for 8 hours.

We have been teaching together for over a year now. I have a master's in education. I've trained many people before. I've developed handouts, manuals and set up multi-day training. However, I am considered the more "junior" person on the team.

She mentions to me earlier this week that we are presenting in about 2 weeks at a government wide users' group. I ask her what we are planning to talk about. She kinda shrugs it off. I mentioned three times this week about defining what we are going to talk about. She just blows it off. She never wants to do anything until it reaches crisis mode. She is making me crazy.

So, needless to say I am job hunting. I don't know what you all know about the process, but it is ridiculously cumbersome. It takes hours typically to apply to just one. I finished one application this week to Homeland Security for a customs position and have another for the Peace Corps' Headquarters to complete. I'll let you know if anything happens. However, it takes 4 - 6 months to get a government job typically, so it may be awhile.

Work...if they didn't pay me, I wouldn't do it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Cherry Blossoms Have Bloomed

Another blogger mentioned she missed the Cherry Blossom season, so I thought I would share a bit of it with all of you.

Basically, the story is that the Japanese gave Washington, D.C. these cherry trees as a symbol of friendship. The trees have been there for almost a hundred years

Cherry Blossom View of the Jefferson Posted by Hello

Cherry Blossoms Blooming over the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. Posted by Hello

Washington Monument Peeking over the Cherry Blossoms Posted by Hello

Monday, April 11, 2005

Shopping--the Never Ending Story

***HTML/WYSIWYG is still not working.*************

Shopping used to be fun. I remember fun. I remember looking forward to it. Now, it just seems like work. Nothing fits or looks right. For every one thing I buy, I try on 20 different items. What has happened to me? Or maybe it's the stores!

The other night, I invited a friend to go shopping with me. We both wanted to look at clothes and I needed to look at bathroom accessories. No problem or so I thought. As we waded our way through the crazy racks at Macy's, I found very few items that I actually liked. Now, mind you, I don't pay full prices at department stores unless absolutely necessary. So, it's through the sales racks I look. Pink blouse, purple sweaters -- when did the world turn into an Easter Egg. I don't wear pink -- I have red hair. And I don't care for purple.

I just want a pair of nice black slacks, some loafers and a nice sweater set for work. Why is this so hard? Of course, pants have always been hard for me. Being tall, I can't buy pants at regular stores because most of them don't carry talls. Since many of them carry petites, this is a point of contention for me.

So, we're shopping in Macy's. Nothing good. Nothing is popping out. It's as if they design for the teenager and the 40 years and old crowd. Either it's too revealing and tight for work or it's too matronly. The skirts hit at strange places. We both tried on some things. I did find a black bohemian style top for the weekends. But for work, both of us found nothing. It was disappointing.

Next, we ran to one of those home design stores. They probably had 50 shower curtains. I spent 20 minutes trying to narrow it down. My friend tried to help, but her style is completey different than mine. Even the toothbrush holder was challenging. Go for function or form? Decorative or useful? What about the gunk factor? (You know the stuff that grows in the bottom of your toothbrush holder if you don't watch it.) Finally I picked out a set -- including curtain, rug, toothbrush holder, and matching hand towels. Almost $125. And we left.

(Of course, three days later I returned everything that I bought because I decided it was too modern for my faucets. Okay, so my best friend (the design student) said it didn't go. So I knew if I kept it that his comments would keep resurfacing in my head until I eventually gave into them. I went to three other bed and bath places before finding the one I bought. Which I love and it goes!)

Shopping has become such a chore, especially for clothes.. Trying to locate what I want is becoming more difficult. It seems as soon as I discover a new source of tall pants, the store discontinues the style I like. For jeans, I have to order them through the internet. It's a bit nuts.

It is store after store without end. And I hate the feeling that my clothes are becoming stale in any manner.

It is a necessary evil, which I find myself still indulging in. What's a woman to do?