Toni: Reconstruction Thursdays – The Tub Dilemma

If you haven’t been with me thus far, I’m in the process of remodeling an old building in the French Quarter. We gutted the building on the inside, getting rid of things like salmon pink cubicles (it had been an office building in the 80s and 90s), and some truly abhorrent carpet. What I was left with was glorious 107 year-old beams, and exposed brick walls like this (this is the second floor):


Second floor demo'd area

Ignore those boards running through the center of the trusses–those are temporary; they have been acting as a platform in order to do some work on the monitor (the big skylight) above, and they’ll come down soon so that all of that area is opened up.


Downstairs (and entering this room to my right) was a staircase built some time in the 70s. It blocked the street entrance of one of the big front doors (there are two), and you could not even access the bottom of the building in a logical manner. The previous owners had done this on purpose because the bottom floor had been rented out to the restaurant next door as their overflow dining area, and they didn’t want customers to be able to exit through this part of “their” restaurant. (They already had another exit just a few feet away, in their own building.) This staircase allowed the restaurant to occupy the entire first floor, and then the owners of this building could rent out the upstairs (access via the rickety staircase) to other tenants. There were far smarter ways to have constructed the staircase, but why do smart when you can do stupid and cheap? (grrrr)

One of the really weird things about buildings in the Quarter is that they’ll do stuff like this–rent half a building to the people next door and create a new access for the upper floors somehow. You’ll go into a hotel, or an apartment complex, and from the outside, you may look at a single building and think “oh, that’s small,”, but inside, it seems to go on forever. That’s because they’ve rented or bought the buildings next door, cut holes into the walls, and annexed the additional space. It can be very maze-like.

The bottom floor of our building was decorated exactly like the restaurant when we bought it, and we spent several weeks working with the former lessors separating their stuff from our stuff. They’d rented that space for 25 years, but had recently bought their own building (instead of leasing it), and were building their own overflow dining upstairs. Win win, for us, but it was a tangle of electrical–half of ours ran over into their building; some of the sprinkler systems were all tied in together, as well as the plumbing. Kinda a mess. 

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Toni: Reconstruction Thursdays – Commitment Phobias R Us

I’ve had a difficult time writing about this project. I have to confess that to you all up front, because every time I try to write something about it, I think, “holy geez, woman, you are full of yourself, SHUT UP,” and then I delete it. It’s a really big project–essentially, three stories of a historic building 1/2 block off Jackson Square in the French Quarter. It’s insane, is what it is. And as I start writing about it, it feels like Alice falling down the rabbit hole–one incredibly insane thing leads to another and another and it sounds… sort of ridiculous. Like bragging. And I’ve always had zero tolerance for bragging.

The thing is… it’s kinda neat, too. I’ve always had this fantasy of living in a loft-like warehouse space, in a city. I took drafting classes when I was in high school and loved them. My first-ever choice in college was to be an architect. (Until I realized that architects did Math. Not simple math, but Smart Math. Math that looked like a language from an alien species, with the symbols and the weird diagrams and my brain went explodey. I left architecture as a major when I realized that you need Smart Math to make the roof stay on top of the building and not crash through and squish the client. Picky clients.)

Anyway, I’ve loved architecture and interior design for as long as I could remember. As a kid, I used to make up stories to tell my brother Mike and our cousin, Danette; I was the oldest and it kept them entertained. Each story somehow had some amazing universe, a bus that had multiple decks (and obviously, I wasn’t the only one with that idea, as I learned later). A house with multiple stories and secret passageways and elevators and… wow, that one is coming true. I hope you will come along with me on this journey and watch the building blossom from a derelict, barely used place on a street that was, to put it bluntly, horrible, into something stunning (I hope).

Right now, I’m having to make a bunch of final decisions. Continue reading

Toni: Reconstruction Thursdays — Rewrites/Edits

Hi everyone. I’ve been knee-deep in polishing the book (finished! woot!) and getting it read by betas (also woot!) and then polishing some more (not so woot, but damn, one day…)

Today, I don’t have photos. Coming soon–photos of the big building in the Quarter remodel. We’re working on a project that is now into the beginning of the third year (technically), and there’s finally starting to be some real progress to show for it. The entire first year, it was all about figuring out the plans (many many drafts) and then the second year was demo and submitting said plans to the Vieux Carré Committee (VCC)–the historical committee which has authority over everything that touches the atmosphere… and then some framing.

For the record, the VCC has a reputation of brutal hostility and a great desire to make anyone who comes before them regret breathing. Which sort of stuns me, a year later, because we got every single thing we asked for. And we asked for <em>a lot</em>.

Also for the record? I did not attend the meetings. My husband did. My husband is waaaaay more even keeled than I am (big surprise there) and when people are being particularly stupid, he does not feel the need to point this out to them. I have a difficult time refraining.

The process, it turned out, was so similar to writing a book, it felt like wearing old, favorite jammies. First, we had to come up with the conceptual drawing — what we ultimately wanted, without being married to all of the little details. That took a long, long time, because the concept was that we wanted to add a third floor. (It was originally a two story building.) There are strict (exceptionally strict) rules to this in the Quarter, though. They generally will not allow it if (a) it didn’t have a third floor at one time in the past or (b) it can be seen by anyone else. The “no” is so automatic, that to have bought a building on the wish and a prayer that we could add a third floor was <em>insane</em>

But, well, we <em>are</em> insane, so that wasn’t that far of a leap for us. We wanted to be able to keep the bottom floor for parking (one side) and commercial space) other side. (The interior of the building is divided into two by an old brick wall. From what I can tell from illustrations from the late 1800s, there used to be two buildings on this lot, and in the early 1900s, a new façade was added, turning into one building. Previous to the two buildings, the lot was the courtyard for the original governor’s mansion of the Louisiana Territory.)

Anyway, the no-adding a floor rule is pretty strict, but the people across the street had lobbied for years and got one. I can’t imagine how, as their third floor can definitely be seen by others in the Quarter. Ours, however, would be visible only to them and not even from the street level, if you’re standing in front of the building. There’s only one spot you can see it and for reasons that make no sense whatsoever, the VCC didn’t count that against us. We got the approval for the third floor. Our main argument, though, was that there was, technically, a third floor up there. The building had a raised roof–a half-floor in height–in two different areas of the roof. That raised roof had windows all the way around which allowed light down into the building. There are spots on the second floor where you can see the floor was filled in long after the original construction; originally, though, those openings were there to allow light to flood all the way to the ground. We pointed out that we were keeping the same concept… mostly… that we were just raising up that roof to a full floor height and that we’d still have the same amount of windows all the way across/around. It wasn’t the strongest of arguments, but they bought it. Whew.

Over the last year, we’ve begun all the framing/building, and are getting to the point where it’s time for the sub-contractors to come in and do the electrical, the plumbing, then the sheetrock and cabinets. But that same year saw us going back to the VCC multiple times for “edits” to the plan. Because as we “lived in” the building, walked around the rooms, picturing them and how we’d live in them, we kept having little epiphanies, ways to improve how we’d live in the building, and how we’d use it. We had to define our goal and keep refining it until we got it down to a clean, concise idea–one we could both agree on. (Luckily, we’re generally in synch. Generally. That is not to say there weren’t a couple of heavy death-matches for certain things.)

It’s not all that different from rewriting a book. You have to conceptualize the story. What it’s about helps to eliminate everything <em>it’s not</em>. A story can’t be everything to everyone. It’ll fail, if you aim for that sort of vague target. You have to not be afraid to be specific, to know what you want, and why you want it.

And you may not know all of those things at once. You’ll go through drafts, having epiphanies, figuring things out. You’ll fall in love with some things, only to realize later that doing that one thing–clinging to it–is torquing everything else out of line, and you have to let it go, to realize that it’s not working for you. Eventually, everything that’s not doing its job–making the story better–has got to go. [In the building, I was absolutely determined beyond any reasoning that the master bathtub was going to float in the center of the room. I’d pinned a dozen or more pins of master suites where they had that sort of design and I <em>loved</em> them. But… there were other things I wanted just as much, and having that tub out there was killing me on the other stuff. Which I stubbornly refused to admit to for almost nine months, but when I finally capitulated, it freed me up to come up with a much much better design. I love the design now, and while I don’t quite have the floating tub room, I think what I ended up with is much much better.]

I can tell you there were some quirky, hairball ideas we had that we tried to cling to for the building. Some managed to stay, because they made the building work for us. Some had to be jettisoned–very reluctantly–because they blocked us from doing something better.

Drafts on a story are like that. I’ve done more than fifty drafts on this book, if I counted everything. There were a few scenes I was married to in the beginning that I wouldn’t let go, no matter what. (Um, they are now all gone, all except one, which underwent such a transformation, it might as well be completely new.)

You have to be willing to do that kind of work. On a building, or in a draft.

Right now, we’re at the stage in the building where it’s still kinda ugly on the outside (it’s not painted yet), and it’s still stud walls and ladders and scaffolds. I can see, though, what it will be when we’re done. The bones are there. I haven’t made all the final decisions on finishes, but that’s just a polish, really.

We just got approval for the last big “ask” from the VCC (folding French doors for the porch of the third floor, essentially giving us a year-round sunroom up there). Anything else might be tweaks. They’re happy with the color choice (I’ll have to post a photo of the swatches I painted on the wall to show you), and I now have to refine exactly where the accent colors will go.

Lots and lot of people complain about the VCC forcing them to be historically accurate, and not letting them add a bunch of modern things. I have to admit, I’m baffled by that. If that’s your preference, don’t buy something in a historical area. Duh. To me, the restrictions were a challenge, an opportunity.

Same with genre–with story. Pick the kind of story you want to live in, the place/feel/textures you love, and commit to that. That doesn’t mean you can’t push boundaries (we’re going to be the only building in the Quarter with solar power, because we not only asked, we figured out how to do it and where to put it that worked within the VCC’s perimeters). Push them, but don’t massacre them.

Next time, some photos of the progress.

Toni: Reconstruction Thursdays — The G-kid’s room

Well, the g-kid’s room is mostly finished. I learned several things in the process of this creating this space, but mostly, I got to do a really girly room for the first time, ever. (I’d had two boys and in the early days, no way to do anything much for their room. This was my chance to have fun.)

We started out with this room in my son’s new house:



That’s from the door. And here’s from that right-hand corner:



Obviously, a blank canvas painted in typical “contractor beige.” There’s nothing wrong with the color… just sort of bland and for a little girl, not really fun.

That blue you see in the photo is my first attempt at painting the furniture. I had the, and it deserves all caps, INSANE, idea to use the Annie Sloan Chalk paint and get an aged look. The problem became obvious almost immediately. I was trying to replicate the look of a dresser I saw in one of her magazines, and the piece had an aged purple look. I bought all the paint they said I needed, in the colors used in the photo, and it came out blue. Very perfect-for-a-boy’s-room blue. It wasn’t bad, if it was just one piece, but then looking at it, I had the realization that there were several pieces of this furniture to go in one room. A desk, chair, hutch for the desk, dresser, headboard/footboard/trundle bed combo. Combined, they made three actual groupings, but still, a lot of that color was too much. I can only say, for my excuse, that I was in the middle of the rewrite and had clearly lost my mind.

The good news is, paint is easy enough to fix. When I went back to paint over it, the chalk paint had, indeed, hardened (cured) so well, that it didn’t scratch or anything when moving these pieces around. If I hadn’t seen that, then half-way through this next part, I’d have lost heart, because when I started painting over it in pure white, it looked like it would scratch up too easily to be in a kid’s room. (The chalk paint is a soft paint. You put on a clear coat of wax afterward, which is what hardens. Or the dark wax, which ages-and-hardens.) (The upside to chalk paint? I didn’t sand anything. I didn’t prep anything. I didn’t even think about prepping. I just slapped the paint on and it stuck, even to the super-slick hard plastic-y feeling surface of this furniture. Even over the wax from the first attempt. The only thing it had a problem with was cover something that had been saturated with mineral spirits. I had one piece I’d cleaned the sharpie marks off of with mineral spirits, but hadn’t apparently wiped it off well enough. It bubbled and flaked on me. It came off so easily, I just used a scraper and slid it off like butter. And only on that one spot did I have to do a light sanding, which solved the problem.)

The original finish (that’s the desk on the right above) was a shiny cream color that almost looked like plastic up close. I had seen it at a distance in the store (where it was on clearance), and it looked like it’d hold up to a kid. Unfortunately, Angie and one of her buddies had written on it and scratched it up while that kid stayed with them a while. I could get some of it off (mineral spirits works wonders, and Mr. Clean erasers are da bomb), but it didn’t really look good. Hence the desire to repaint.

First, however, I had to pick colors. It took me a while to find a bedspread that had purple in it (her favorite color), that would be appropriate for her now (at age 5 1/2, starting Kindergarten), but would be something that would grow with her until she’s maybe twelve or so and would want something more grown-up. I got lucky and found bedspreads on sale at Pottery Barn Kids, and had a free shipping coupon and another discount coupon that they let me apply (I don’t think they were supposed to), so it ended up affordable.

Here’s a photo of the walls-in-progress:

Angie's room wall color


That ceiling is actually a lighter shade of the purple. The green drop cloth’s reflection is screwing with the coloring here.

Then came the white coat of Annie Sloan onto the furniture. ELEVENTY BILLION COATS OF PAINT LATER, it looked great. I was so annoyed during the process, I didn’t even take photos. The painting was easy. It’s just that damned blue I’d painted on two of the pieces was so dark, I had to do three coats of the white to fully cover it. Three freaking coats. And then a coat of the clear wax. I grew to loathe the hutch with a white hot passion, because I could never quite get at a good angle to get both sides of the shelf. It was too heavy to lift up onto saw horses (and I already had the headboard and footboard on those). Suffice it to say that if I ever ever EVER paint furniture again, I’m going to do ONE FREAKING PIECE and stop. And that piece will be placed by manly men onto sawhorses. I would have gotten help during this process if I had realized how damned long it would take. (It took more than a week.)

The end result, though, turned out pretty nice:

Angie's room 1


There are several things I did above that I saw on Pinterest (aka, The Evil Enabler). One was the curtain rods hanging from the ceiling to make a sort of four-poster feel for the bed. This was important because for the next year, Angie will have to share that back wall (where the other curtains are in the center of this photo) with her little step-sibling (well, not quite step, but close enough). He’s one, and there are three wonderful boys from the woman my son is with now (terrific woman). There’s a spare room in the new house that needs to be closed in to form another bedroom, and eventually, the oldest boy will get that new room, and this baby and the middle boy will get the current boys’ room across the hall. For the mean time, though, there’s a baby bed, and the need for him to not be disturbed as much when he goes to sleep a little earlier than Angie. That’s where the curtain idea struck me as useful. I could create private-feeling spaces for both kids in one room, but Angie still got “her” room. The baby’s bed is now behind that curtain. Later on, when he graduates to the next bedroom, I’ll let Angie decide if she wants a little seating area there, or a play area (table/chairs) or a stage. Maybe a stage with a little seating area on it. (grin) (I know my ham of a granddaughter is probably going to pick the seating area with the ability to convert it to a stage.)

The curtains were kinda hard to hang. Thank God Carl agreed to go help me with that part. I couldn’t have managed it, and my son was overwhelmed with other obligations. Those curtain rods are hanging from the joists in the ceiling, so they cannot be pulled down easily by kids.

The little LED lights that are strung across the top do not touch the curtains. They’re very low wattage and not a fire hazard, and all of the cords hang down the back side of the curtain against the wall, and plug into one outlet. My son can easily reach that to unplug/plug as needed.

Angie's room 2


The photo above was taken with the big room light off, and the curtains closed. It seems a little brighter in the photo than in the room itself… but it’s very much a sort of dreamy, night-sky effect that Angie flipped over.

I painted the chair the wall shade of purple and a lighter shade, and the drawers of the desk the lighter shade. Then did the same lighter shade on the dresser:

Angie's room 3


(All of the walls were the same purple, best represented by the first photo with the furniture. The lighting really kinda screwed with it for the photos.) We (and by “we” I totally mean “Carl”) put on new hardware on all of the furniture, since several of the old handles had broken and several more were about to be. I liked the lighter shade on the drawers–it kept the room from being just a ring of white furniture around the room. Ultimately, I wanted to do a large photo above this piece, but I didn’t have any that suited the room. Next spring, I’m going to get some of various blooms and blow them up to large canvas sizes and stagger them here. That’ll give me some break from the purple and introduce other colors into the room. Eventually, she’ll probably end up with a TV in there on that dresser, since, as the only girl, she often wants to watch Tinkerbelle in a house full of Wreck-it-Ralph boys. (Though she does enjoy the latter, too.)

The Dr. Seuss decal was one of those “looked really easy, turned out to be a pain” things. I got it for a little over $8.00 from an Etsy shop, and it looked so easy to apply. However, in actuality, the lettering did not want to let go of the front film; the backing peeled off easily, and then you put it in place and the letters are supposed to stick and then the front film is supposed to peel off easily after you rub the letter. That was a complete LIE LIE LIE. And I could have easily hurt someone if the maker had been anywhere near me at the time of application. The letters wanted to tear, and stick to each other and the damned thing was a royal pain in the butt. I don’t know if this was because of something wrong with the product or, if in shipping, it got so hot that the act of shipping is what screwed it up. Plus, they sent me a different saying than the one I ordered. It was still a good one, but I’m really glad I didn’t try to apply this straight to the wall, as originally intended. For starters, the lettering is much smaller than I had wanted, and it would have been a nightmare on the wall. This way, I can take it down later. If I had it to do over again, I’d order a custom-made decal where the letters were much larger. I think handling them would have been easier, plus it would have given me the impact I was looking for when I looked at the photos online. All of those are much larger than what arrived.

The flowers were plastic stick on flowers, and were cheap at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I didn’t do nearly as good of a job attaching them as I had intended. I had definitely gone screaming past the fuck-it stage and was bordering on the let’s-just-set-fire-to-it-and-go-home stage by this point.

I picked up the pops of green from the green in the bedspread; got lucky on the find for the lamps and then the rug (washable).

For her birthday, I’m going to add a purple bean bag chair. We also ordered a pretty fan/light, which hasn’t yet come in. That’s in white, and I might go over there and paint the fan blades (which are leaf shaped) in the same green as these lamp shades. But it won’t be any time soon.

So there ya go… that’s what I’ve been up to.

Overall, I’m happy with the project, and I know I can add little things to it over the next year or so that will make it a more complete room. (She needs bookshelves down low where I can add in all of her books that I have over here.) I’d also like to create a type of art center for her (something better than her desk) where she can color or do school projects without risking the paint on the desk (which, God knows, I do not want to ever have to repaint). But for now, this is way better than before, and the absolute look of shock and wonder on her face when she walked in and saw it definitely made the effort worth it.

There’s no way for a kid her age to grasp what it took to pull it off. But her racing downstairs and grabbing everyone to come and see… well, that pride that she has in her pretty new room is something I suspect she’ll carry forward. And every day she’s there, she’ll know her Mimi did that for her, so that’s good.

I remember my parents letting me pick out my favorite color for my new room the first time we moved to our new house. I was twelve, and my dad loathed yellow, but I picked out a pale yellow to go with a pretty floral bedspread, and as much as it pained him (and still does, I think, just the memory of that color), he painted it for me. Very. Begrudgingly, but still. Yellow. I loved that room.

How about you? What are your favorite colors? What kind of fantasy room would you like to have?

Toni: Reconstruction Thursdays – The End and The Beginning…

Tuesday night, 2:22 a.m., I wrote my most favorite two words in the English Language:



Which doesn’t actually mean that the book is done, just this draft. But damn, this draft nearly killed me, and I wept through the entire last act. (That’s not a euphemism.) I’m still not sure if I captured what I wanted to capture, and that’s where I will set it aside and have a couple of trusted friends read. I’ve got good Betas in that I’ve done enough with them now that they know what I’m looking for–the type of editing I want–and they also know what I don’t want (someone rewriting something). They’ll give me feedback next week, and I’ll polish it.

Luckily, this draft is many many drafts into the process, so it’s relatively smooth. (Except, maybe, that final act, which was almost all from scratch.)

It is an ending that breaks my heart in a lot of ways, because I can see that the time is coming to let this project go. To say goodbye to this part of the process and move on to the next project, fall in love with the next characters and their story. It’s like watching your children grow up. When they’re first born, there’s all this possibility and potential and you have no idea what they might be. You know… you always know, they won’t be perfect, because no one is. (You kinda wouldn’t mind if they were close, though.) But you know it’s not possible and you do your dead level best to keep them alive, keep them focused, keep them moving forward in a positive way.

Same with a book. It’s not going to be perfect. None are. No way for everyone to love your child–or your book–like you do. Some will hate it, through no fault of its own. Some will hate it and have plenty of reasons why, and maybe some of them are right. Others will love it, because it just speaks to them. You hope you’ve managed more of the latter than the former, and you move on.

Endings. Beginnings. Can’t have one without the other. You can’t start something new and refreshing and challenging without letting go of the old.

So, now I will polish and nudge and shine and then, it’s on to the next one while this one graduates and tries to make it out in the big world.

In the mean time, I’m taking a couple of weeks to do some painting I promised my granddaughter a son. He just bought a new house last March and they’ve been in a while… and her room is beige. All beige. Ceiling, walls, floor. Then there’s the challenge that her furniture had been white, but looked worn out. I’d tried a painting technique that sounded good in theory, and I didn’t like it. (It would have been fine for one small piece, but I didn’t think about how many pieces she has of this set.)


See that sort of blue/gray piece? That’s Annie Sloan Chalk paint, and I was going for an aged effect. I’d seen a version in a magazine, and I stopped a couple of steps away from the final product because I could tell it wasn’t going to be what I wanted. And there are several pieces–it would have never worked in that room to have that many pieces in that color. Plus, no one mentioned that it’s best not to try to do the wax outside in the type of heat and humidity we have in South Louisiana. I was thinking (ha ha ha) that heat would make the wax more pliable, easier to use. Almost melty. That I could wipe it on and work it into the crevices and then wipe it off. I knew I needed to work in sections, but I had no idea that that stuff would solidify as soon as I put it on. The first day, the temps weren’t bad, so it seemed fine. The next time I went back to finish the piece, the temps had risen, and the wax was a nightmare to use.

pinterest bitch

I kept trying, thinking it would turn out okay. I plead complete insanity. I was mid-draft then, and I think all my brain cells had leaked out my ears. If I’d had any working cells, I’d have stepped back, taken one look at that color and realized that a room full of that for a little girl was just not going to look good. The one positive about the Annie Sloan Chalk paint though–that stuff covers anythingso I can go back over it with the white and not worry too much. I’ll age that white with a light wax. (I hope. We’ll see.)

I’m going over there on Tuesday. The walls are going to be a purple (not quite lavender, but not dark, either). All of the furniture will be off-white, and I’ve already got the bedding. Purple is her favorite color, so I think she’s going to be happy. I’m hoping to get the furniture done by the end of the week, and the walls may end up being done the following week. I’ve got a couple of surprises for her for the walls, and a new light fixture, if I can find what I want. Plus a rug, etc.

She started kindergarten Tuesday. Just seems absolutely impossible. Just yesterday, she was this teeeeeeny tiny little thing, not quite five pounds. Now, she’s:

Angie Dahling

Endings and beginnings. What are you starting or finishing up lately?

Toni: Reconstruction Thursdays – Finishing

Hi everyone — peeking in here for just a minute. I’m ~thisclose~ to finishing TDB (this damned book) (this draft), and since I’ve actually written close to 25K in the last month-ish, I haven’t photographed the “after” of the kitchen remodel. I’m also about to do a full re-do on my grand-daughter’s bedroom. They’ve moved into a new house where everything is beige–ceiling, floor walls, and we’ve got some pretty things to put in there. (Mostly, painting.) I’m also doing some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on her furniture (er, sort of fixing the bad version of that that I started a couple of months ago and got annoyed with… you really cannot do the wax part of that process outside in the heat. I have to fix it now, because it dried blotchy and ugly as hell. And, also, I decided I didn’t like the color I started off with, so I’m going back to a neutral creme/antique look.)

Meanwhile, I put this up on FB, but thought some of you might laugh with me:


So… I get this letter from the orthopedic doctor I visited a couple of months ago. After swimming through the medical and legal mumbo jumbo, I shall paraphrase:

Dear Klutz Causey:

Remember that really painful shot we gave you in your hip a couple of months ago? The one that made you think fracturing your hip in the first place was easy-peasy fun and games? Turns out, it’s poison. Oops! We did not see that coming. The FDA, those lazy suckers, have recalled the drug off the marketplace, and just because we used it, doesn’t mean we meant to poison you. So, totally not our fault!

btw, if your leg has been irritating you, turned red, had lesions, turned purple, or has fallen off, again, totally not our fault, but you maybe want to call us. And lie down.

Otherwise, glad to have you as patient!

We promise not to poison you next time you come in. Because we’ve seen your x-rays–face it, you’ll be back.


The Totally Innocent and Hell No, You Can’t Have A Refund Doctor Group Boooya.


[Luckily, I didn’t have any of the side effects they’d listed, though I can’t say that the shot was particularly effective, either. At least I’ve been able to start back exercising.]


Hope y’all are all productive and pain free.

Toni: Reconstruction Thursdays — KISS (Keep It Simple, Silly)

I know, I know, it’s technically “Keep It Simple, Stupid,” but I am not a fan of the word stupid except for the drunks who end up face down on Bourbon and wonder why.

And a few politicians, but that’s a whole other bag of worms.

When we first moved into the house in Baton Rouge, the master bathroom was, hands down, the ugliest room that had the most potential. It was a shockingly large room for an en suite bathroom due to the U-shape of the house. The master bathroom was at the very tip of the left-hand side of that U, with the master bedroom right in front of it, and it spanned the entire width of that leg of the U. Since we had come from a one-bathroom home that was drafty and horrible, where there were space heaters that sort of laughed and spit at you, a nice big master bath should have been the crowning jewel.

Except… you remember the ugly dragon faucets that I mentioned here? I am kicking myself for not getting a photo of them before we started to do the remodel, because in the master, they had them everywhere. Two sinks, the bathtub and the shower. Those people loved them some dragons, baby, and I still shudder to think of them. I tried to find some on the internet, and even with googling the ugliest damned faucets ever, didn’t even come close. That’s how bad.

Somewhere, on my oldest computer, are the original photos of the house with the best “before” photos. I got to the remodel a day after the demo started, having forgotten to take newer “before” photos, so I apologize. You’ll have to trust me that it was kinda awful. The cabinets were falling apart, as was the big (plastic-y faux marble-ish) tub:




That tub was kinda hideous, and was stained like you see it before we’d ever moved in. It was also really BIG, which was a plus, and we had had dreams all along to make the whole room really spa-like.

::::cue knob theory music::::

It got worse, much worse, before it got better and spa-like.  Continue reading