Making Progress with the Bathroom Reno

For three years now, Mom has been reminding me that I promised we would renovate our bathroom. The blue mid-century modern toilet and bathtub just didn’t go with the white, tan, and gold tiles. I’m sure it looked great back in the 1950s, but today it just wasn’t cutting it.

Before: Looking south through the bathroom into the laundry room.
Before: Looking south through the bathroom into the laundry room.

So in the fall of 2013, John and I started redoing it. We tore off the tile that was along the vanity wall, removed the small cabinets, and got to work. We put up some really nice bead board and replaced the blue toilet with a new white one. We installed new cabinets and a new light fixture. We even put a new vanity in. But the vanity and toilet install were only temporary, because we were planning on getting a new vinyl floor as well.

The months passed, and before I knew it, we were in December and no additional progress had been made. So with Bob coming home for Christmas, I thought this would be a great time to have additional manpower to get the job done.

We decided to forego the new vinyl floor because of cost (the vinyl would need to go into the laundry room as well). So right after the new year, we tore out the tile that was on the back wall behind

Before: Looking north from the laundry room through the bathroom.
Before: Looking north from the laundry room through the bathroom.

the tub. We discovered that water had made it through the tile and that the drywall had to come out as well. Of course, after tearing out the drywall, we discovered that the insulation was wet, and the studs were wet as well. Dang!

After examining the wood, we decided to rent a carpet fan and see if simply drying the lumber would suffice. And it did! After about 18 hours of blowing air, the boards were plenty dry and showed that they were plenty strong–no permanent damage had occurred. We replaced the insulation, put up a vapor barrier and drywall, then started putting up bead board.

With Bob and John working on this, it went up really fast. We reinstalled the toilet and vanity, making them more permanent. Bob cleaned up the bathtub fixtures as much as they could be, and John and Mom did additional cleaning with CLR.

The bathroom now looks great! I don’t know why I didn’t do this three years ago! 🙂

Bob and John removing tile
Bob and John removing tile
Bob and John installing bead board
Bob and John installing bead board
Bead board all up
Bead board all up

 

Almost done. . .more pictures to come!
Almost done. . .more pictures to come!
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Grandpa Call Visit

This month we were blessed to have Grandpa Call come up and visit us for a couple of days!

He called me earlier in the month to see if we would all be around the weekend of January 24–which we were. He said this would be a good time for him to come up and give us some lumber he had bought years ago during a visit to Roscoe, Illinois. This lumber was from a small lumber mill near our old house that I had discovered shortly after we moved there in 2001. This lumber mill was used primarily to cut fir and other

Grandpa's poking and joking makes posing difficult!
Grandpa’s poking and joking makes posing difficult!

softwoods and make them into pallets. Once in a while they would have some nice oak, cherry, or other hardwoods come in by accident, and so they’d cut it into boards and set it aside for people like me and Grandpa to

buy. I had purchased some of the lumber myself, so Grandpa decided he might be able to use some, too. But by 2014, he still had some that he hadn’t ever used, and was offering it to us.

He arrived at about 7 p.m. on Friday, 24 January. We were able to catch up and visit that night, and the next day we had a great time playing games and visiting. It was still very cold, so we pretty much stayed inside–except for when Grandpa, John, and I unloaded the lumber into our barn. Mary Ann had to work on Saturday, but she got back home at about 3 in the afternoon and joined in with our games and visiting.

Grandpa left very early on Sunday morning, so it was a short trip. But it was great to see him!

Grandpa, Mary Ann, and John
Grandpa, Mary Ann, and John
Dad, Grandpa, John--three generations of Calls
Dad, Grandpa, John–three generations of Calls
Dad, Mom, and Grandpa
Dad, Mom, and Grandpa
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Lumber for the Pole Barn

In January, John and I had quite the adventure in getting a load of lumber for the pole barn we’re constructing. We are grateful for the Lord’s protecting hand. And I’m grateful for John’s ingenuity!

It started earlier in the month when I found some 2″x10″ lumber for a great price on craigslist.com. The guy had some bundles of 80 8′ boards for only $225. That works out to less than $3 each–and they sell for nearly $8 at Home Depot. Since we would be needing a whole bunch of these, we decided to buy them, even though the drive would be about two hours.

So we got up before sunrise one Saturday morning, having hitched our eight-foot trailer the night before, and headed out. We were in a bit of a hurry, because we had to get back home in time for Mom to go into Liberty later that day. As we were going west on Highway 10 (just west of Hardin), we hit some black ice. Some of you know that Highway 10 is only one lane in each direction. We fishtailed to the left, then to the right, and then I realized I had completely lost control. This was compounded by the trailer. I hit the brakes as hard as I could, and we continued to slide on the ice for several yards. We finally came to a stop crossways on the road. We were clearly protected, because there were no cars behind us, and the vehicles coming toward us were about a mile away. Not only that, but we stayed on the road (those who’ve driven these roads know how sharp of dropoffs we have here in Missouri) and we came to a stop before we hit some guard rails that were on both sides of the road. We pulled off the road and said a prayer of gratitude. We decided that if we were careful we could continue our journey.

We finally made it to our destination in Adrian, Missouri.But when the seller came out of his house, he explained to us that our trailer was way too small and wouldn’t be able to hold such a heavy load. We had made that long trip for nothing!

Because I was heading out of town a couple days later, we had to wait about a week and a half to go back down there. This time we borrowed a big 16′ trailer from our friends the Hales. It was a long round trip, but the weather was clear (though very, very cold) and we made it down and back safe and sound.

Since it was getting close to dark by the time we got back home, we decided to wait until the next day to unload the lumber (which was nicely stacked and banded).

The next day, I told John we needed to get the lumber unloaded because Grandpa Call was coming and we wanted to have it all done before he arrived. It was a very cold and windy day, and neither of us were looking forward to doing the two to three hours of work that it would take to unload all these board and neatly stack them.

Eventually, John said, “I have an idea. Don’t say anything until you hear what I have to say.”

A ton or two (literally) of lumber in the trailer, all rigged up for John's idea
A ton or two (literally) of lumber in the trailer, all rigged up for John’s idea

He then explained his idea for unloading the boards. We could back up the trailer inside the pole barn area. We could wrap a strap around the bundle and then attach it to the trunk of a huge cedar tree. I could then

drive forward and pull the trailer out from under the bundle of boards. If it worked as planned, the boards would stay together, nicely stacked and right where we needed them.

What a great idea!

We went outside, got the thing rigged up, and slowly drove forward. By golly, it worked like a gem!

We saved about two hours of working in the cold and wind, and the boards are stacked nice and neat. Bravo, John!

Will the cedar tree hold the load. . .or will the load pull the tree out by the roots?
Will the cedar tree hold the load. . .or will the load pull the tree out by the roots?
It seems to be working. . .
It seems to be working. . .
Ready to start driving forward. . .
Ready to start driving forward. . .
Coming out. . .
Coming out. . .
Success!
Success!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 7th, 2013

December 7, 2013 was a Saturday. I called home that morning, and Dad answered. He told me that Grandpa was not doing well, and not expected to live very long. Dad was in the middle of finding a flight to SLC for Mom, so I told him I could drive her to Logan. The weather had been snowy and stormy, so I started gathering up things to put in my trunk: salt, water, a blanket, a flashlight. I called my friend, Jake Ritchie, to ask for a shovel. He said his parents, who live in American Fork, would not be home for most of the day, but would leave 2 shovels outside their garage for me to take whenever I could get there. Dad called back and said Mom would be landing at 4pm. Bob and I both needed to be in SLC for the day-at the Family History Library and at the Business College. We decided that we would drive together and Bob would take the train back down to Provo. I was to meet Bob at the train station at 11. By this time, the roads were already pretty bad and it took me twice as long to get to the station as it normally would, which was a sign of things to come. Once with Bob, I was able to get the shovels and we made it to SLC safely.

A few hours later, Mom’s plane landed. We were so grateful that it was not delayed. The weather was much better by this time and I was optimistic that we would be in Logan in no time. However, as soon as we reached North Salt Lake the snow returned and the roads were treacherous. Traffic was 35 miles an hour on I-15. Weslid and fish-tailed some, but we were safe. The day before, (Dec. 6) I had a flat tire. Once it was in the shop, I learned that both front tires needed to be replaced. I was so discouraged at the cost that when they told me I also needed new windshield wipers I told them I didn’t want them. The man kindly gave them to me for free. I believe he was inspired, and that the flat tire was also a miracle. We would not have made it to Logan safely without the new tires and wipers.

We finally made it to Brigham and decided that it would be best to take the longer route through Tremonton rather than try to make it through the canyon. At this point, what would normally be an hourish drive had taken us 3 hours. After one more hour and a few heart-stopping phone calls from Aunt Shauna, we finally made it to Logan. I pulled into Grandpa’s driveway and Mom jumped out before I was fully parked. Shauna, Shari, and Sharla were waiting at the door for her. A few minutes later, as Grandpa opened his eyes for the last time, Mom was able to look into his eyes and tell him she loved him, and he was able to see and hear that she was there. What a blessing from our Heavenly Father.

I can’t even begin to describe the heart-wrenching anxiety Mom and I felt as we drove those long 4 hours. We wanted so desperately to be with Grandpa and I was so worried for Mom. We feel so blessed that we made it safely and that Grandpa was able to see that Mom was there.

I know that Heavenly Father was guiding us to Logan safely, and in answer to so many prayers He allowed us to arrive and see Grandpa before he passed away. I learned a lot during the hours that followed, and never once felt that what was happening was wrong. About a month before, I had dreamed that Grandpa told me to come see him before he died. For various reasons, I didn’t make it up to Logan. When we arrived the night of the 7th, I felt so guilty for not coming sooner. But as the hours passed I felt that even though Grandpa couldn’t see that I was there, and I wasn’t sure if he could feel my hand or hear my voice, his spirit was completely aware of everyone there and the love that we all have for him. I really learned how much our spirits and our bodies are truly two separate things, and that God is in control of our time on earth.

I love you all.

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