Electrical, Floor, and a Tree. The Latest.

I haven’t posted anything in a few weeks, because life has been so crazy busy. The end of the school year is upon us, which means band concerts and contests (which went AWESOME) and so many scheduling issues. And Doug is coming up on several (yes – several) races, which is seriously depleting the time we have to work on the bathroom. Please, oh PLEASE, let it be finished by band camp.

Four quick updates.

First, the electrical is done!

Lights on dimmers! I suffer from migraines, and luckily as a band director, mine are primarily light, and not sound sensitive. So every time we redo a room, they get dimmers. It gives me a lot more freedom if I have an episode.

Everything is just rough right now – no real fixtures up. Two sconces will go above the built-in-to-be. Also, we thought ahead, and while the walls were open, added a light and outlet to the closet behind this wall, and electrical for a sconce in the study, which is right outside the door.

The blue tape lines are SORT of showing where the built in and top of the sink backsplash will be.

Overhead, there will be one AMAZING center-ish fixture.

And a light in the exhaust fan that looks like a recessed light over the tub.

Next, we tackled the floor. We needed to get the hardwoods up, save what we can for future repairs, and make way for new plumbing, a new subfloor, and tile!

Doug started with a circular saw, to work his way into the floor.

Once he did, the floor came up well. I’d say 50% was decent enough to save to use for repairs elsewhere on the first floor!

The worst of the damage was around the toilet.

One board that we pulled up had a label from the Memphis Hardwood Flooring Company, which is still in existence! The company was founded in 1905, which certainly doesn’t mean these floors are that old. But we know they at least aren’t as old as the house itself. More clues!

Up they came!

Down to subfloor!

The weekend after this, we took a jaunt to Valparaiso, Indiana, to install a chandelier that we restored for our friends Stephen and Jordan. Since our house is a pile of rubble, we all need to see something pretty. Here you go!

Also, please admire the stencil work they did on the stairwell!!!! It’s amazing. I’ve never done a stencil, and I doubt I could do anything this good. I might have to beg and plead for them to teach me, because it’s so perfect.

Speaking of perfect, the four of us went to see the touring company of “Pippin,” which I had been dying to see since the revival appeared on Broadway. It was FANTASTIC. It’s one of my favorites, and it was a joy to see it on stage at last!

Back to Franklin! The subfloor came out. Under the bath is basement crawlspace, so the floor is about waist deep.

He’s a rockstar.

Sadly, no buried treasure. Our friend Jeremy wants to have a time capsule dinner party (pretty much, Jeremy and I try to plan a dinner party for ANYTHING), so we can put a time capsule treasure back INTO the house. I think it’s a great idea! What would you put in it?

The other thing that’s happening, is the loss of a giant, beautiful, amazing, and dying tree in the backyard.

Because of the awkward spot on the property, this gigantic tree needed each branch strapped, and pulleyed over into the yard. Which translated into a pretty decent hit on the bank account. Which was really, really hard to swallow in the midst of renovating a bathroom.

It’s really, really hard to pay so much for someone to take something away.

And if you’re thinking, “Wait! Couldn’t that be saved? It’s growing green things and doesn’t look THAT bad!”

Trust us. It was:

Each storm that we’ve had recently, has resulted in another large branch in the yard as it’s rotted from the inside. We met with several tree people, and there were only four possible things that could happen :

  • The tree would fall on our house.
  • The tree would fall on the garage of our next-door-neighbor.
  • The tree would fall on the house behind us.
  • We should take the tree down ourselves.

Since we could see through parts of the rotted trunk, we went with door number 4. I can’t imagine the damage or heartbreak that would happen, if that beast had fallen in any direction.

And on that somber note, I got samples in for the bathroom floor! That should cheer everyone up!!!!

“Everything has its season, everything has its time.”

-From “Corner of the Sky,” the Musical PIPPIN, by Stephen Schwartz.

So long, giant tree.



  1. I love the update. I hope you are able to get some work done during the summer too. End of school year is certainly a busy time.
    I love the tile pattern for the bathroom. It is amazing. Where do you get your hexagon tile? I have only seen a handful of tile colors and never a pretty yellow.
    We have a few bathrooms to redo as well and I am excited to learn how to do my own tile work.

    Sorry about the tree. We have to take one down too. It’s so hard to see them go.

    You are doing an excellent job.

    Victoriann Jones

    P.s. Pippin is one of my favorites too.

  2. The chandelier you did for your friend is gorgeous! I never would have guessed that was stenciling, it looks like wallpaper! They did a fabulous job!

    So sorry about your tree. My first thought, was that tree looks great. You were right though, it had to go. A year ago we went through the same thing at our new, old house. Our tree was about 100′ tall and covered in ivy at least a third of the way up. When we removed the ivy we found that the entire center of the tree, that measured 32′ around at the base pure rot. We were so sad to have to remove a tree that was so old and large. We were astounded that a tree with so much rot could support so much living matter. We left a good portion of the main trunks and staggered them to use as a structure to grow flowering vines over. It will slowly finish rotting away over time, and when it does finally fall, it won’t damage anything. This also saved a huge chunk of change over removing the entire tree. I feel lucky this was an option for us.

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