Friday, November 12, 2010

New Day, New S#!^

OK, W appears unable or unwilling to admit that both his failing vision and failing health make standing to urinate impractical. Just as the aim and distance possible is better with a rifle and sight, rather than a handgun and blindfold, his equipment is no longer up to the challenge of hitting the target with any degree of accuracy - a fact not helped by the ever increasing tremors in his hands :-(

I have to wash the bathroom rugs three or four times a week because even after pointing out that his pointer isn't working, and him agreeing to sit, he persists in pissing me off by drenching the rugs and anything unfortunate enough to be under the sink or next to the toilet. I've had to remove just about everything from 'his' bathroom to avoid contamination and/or just plain nastiness. Some nights even the basin is not exempt from the shooting gallery. I know, it would be simple enough to remove the rugs, but with his lousy vision, plus his propensity for falling, wet tiles would be a sure recipe for disaster. At least with their rubber backing they keep him relatively safe. I may pick up a couple cheap spares so I can just pull the soiled ones out, do a quick mopping and slide the next set in place to cut down on laundry loads. Thank goodness we have a second bathroom so I am not constantly subjected to that urine stink.

This other bathroom is in the process of becoming my personal oasis - once I've massively re-worked it, anyway. Like everything else in the place it was put together over 60 years ago on a budget, and it shows. Decrepit cheap white-face board surround, riddled with scratches and gouges and leaking groutless corners. Borderline tolerable country-kitsch wallpaper. Baby blue sink and tub (we replaced the toilet two years ago with a white one, happily) and matching painted lower wallboard. If I have to I can live with the wallpaper for now, but I have picked out a replacement faux tile wallboard in almond & tan stone pattern to replace the old surround, and will paint over the blue wallboard with either almond or tan. That will reduce the blue to a tolerable level - just the two fixtures and the hints in the wallpaper. It will also stop the prior leakage problem from rotting the floors - the main reason we stopped using that tub and have been exclusively using the other tub. For two years this one has been a combination spare potty and walk-in closet as I dealt with other, more vital repairs and renovations. However, since I can do the work myself, and on the cheap, it is one of my planned winter projects, to come in for under $50.

Another big project is re-doing the kitchen, again, on the cheap. We had originally planned to build a second floor owners residence over the office/store and first two efficiencies. The money went to more important things and now we are stuck in the rooms we have. However, W had constructed most of the kitchen cabinets for the residence while we were still in our old place, and they have been in storage ever since. Before I start installing them in this cramped cheerless and virtually storage-less kitchen I have to do something about the floor. Ancient linoleum that has seen so much wear and abuse as to be barely recognizable. Even after steam-cleaning (I had picked up a little Eureka hand-held at a yard sale a couple years ago, still in its original sealed package - not bad for $7.50) the flooring is a mottled s#!^ brown with speckles of blue here and there. With no window, greige wallpaper and only a double fluorescent overhead it is a dreary little room.

So I went to the local bargain outlet and picked up almond peel & stick floor tiles and the spreadable cement to make sure it stays stuck (the newer tiles glue stinks). Once I get everything out and can scrub the old floor down to the cleanest it can get I'll lay the tiles and then, after they have time to set and settle I'll start bringing in the cabinets. I already dismantled and removed the over-sized table - one of the old metal tube-framed jobs with a Formica top - white with gold flecks. I have a small rolling open-sided cabinet I was using for computer paper and other odd storage that is about to get a new life as a rolling kitchen island.  We have a collection of odd ceramic tiles amassed over many years (along with entirely too much other stuff), so I plan to use some of the extra tile cement to put a better top on this and also redo the existing counter by the sink (also white/gold flecked mica). Since most of the stuff going into the kitchen I already owned all the renovation will cost is sweat equity and a bit less than $90 for the floor tiles, glue and spreader tool. I don't know yet what I will wind up doing about the hideous wallpaper, but that is a problem for another day - I'll cope for now.


Now for the real drama - or melodrama - of the day.

Yesterday morning I drove D to NJ to spend Thanksgiving with her fiance and his family. Last night I found out her ex, S - the one who tossed her out after 14 years in favor of shacking up with his recently dead brother's widow - has just died. That makes three of the five brothers gone in three years, all under 60, mostly due to excessive drinking, diabetes and poor eating habits. One of the remaining two, T, lives here, a rescue thanks to D who adores him like a brother and looked after him for years. He has cancer, but mostly it is inactive at the moment, and he is reasonably mobile and able to look after himself given proper surroundings.

His brother S (the one who just died) had installed him in a dilapidated health-hazard of a trailer, was taking his SSD check for rent, barely giving him enough food, and never taking him to his doctor appointments. Nice guy all around. Well, his new girlfriend and eventually wife as of June, is a registered nurse who allowed her first hubby to drink himself to death, and despite his raging diabetes she did the same with S, her new husband. Nice gal - serial black widow, but in true mountain style, kept it in the family. She now has complete control over both brothers pensions, and two sets of kids have just lost their inheritance - they'll never see a dime out of it - she spends every dime she gets on herself. I feel sorry for the next guy she sets her hooks into when she starts running low again. Like I said, Peyton Place, mountain style.

I had to be the one to tell D - I knew she would be shaken by the suddenness - we had just seen him a few days ago, looking more like a beer keg on legs than the vigorous man she first knew almost 20 years ago. Mostly, as I expected, she was sad for the kids, now all in the clutches of that gold-digging harpy. She plans to come back for the funeral for their sake, but I hope I don't get roped into going. I will drive the two of them if they need it, but I don't like funerals at the best of times, I never knew him and never wanted to, and I sure don't want to be in a position of biting my tongue around that woman. What a lousy situation.

Oh well, another day tomorrow - hopefully W will not keep me awake half the night like he did last night, and I'll be able to get some work done.

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