Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Another project off the list! Master shower and tub surround

 We seem to have an endless string of projects that we want to attack here at home. We finally got to a big one this month... our master shower and tub surround. Suspiciously, the wall of our shower began to "give" a bit in one area and then the grout cracked. We filled in the grout, but we kept having issues with this wall being somewhat soft. We knew it needed to be done and dreaded opening up the wall for fear of what lay inside. We put aside a little more for this project for any remediation that needed to be done. We are glad we did. We were surprised that when the wall was torn away, it revealed a roof leak in that area. Something we didn't expect or even think was a possibility. There were no tell-tale signs of ceiling damage in the area, so we weren't clued in. Apparently, the roof leak was right around a pipe that went up to the roof. Rain leaked right down the pipe and was ruining the wall behind our shower. It was a quick and inexpensive fix and the damage to the studs wasn't extensive. It just looked gross. We are thankful to our contractor for identifying and getting this fixed to prevent future damage.
Picking the tile wasn't difficult. We wanted to pick up in the color of our floor tile done earlier. I was easily able to find both the floor tile color (Roman Stone - Noce by Del Conca) and a complementary shade (Venetian Stone - Rialto White by Del Conca) in the 6 x 6 tiles I wanted to use by the same maker as our floor tiles. A 10% off coupon at Lowe's saved me a bundle on this project. (Click here on where to find them.)

Mindful of future buyers, I had to stick with a classic design for the back wall of our shower. It's always nerve-wracking trying to be all-encompassing in your design.

We also were interested in having a little box built into the wall of the shower for our shampoo and soap. However, we were wary of having another point where the tile grout could crack and water could leak into the wall. Shelves didn't seem to suit our design. Our tile guy presented a very cool solution that both my husband and I were thrilled with. It is a one-piece solid design that you place into the wall and tile right over. All our concerns went away! I'm so glad we went with it. It looks amazing. All our shampoo bottles are hidden away but easy to reach.

We added a travertine pencil line accent piece that went along the top of the tile. I am so thankful for this now. Our walls were horribly crooked and this covered a world of sins. If your walls are awful, this could be your saving grace!

We struggled with what to do about the front of the tub. It is a whirlpool tub, so there are mechanical parts under the tub that one might need to get to in case of a problem. Usually there are access panels but I've never seen them done well. In the end, we decided to just tile over it and keep extra tiles and grout on hand in case in the future we had to get into it. It's maybe a $100 job to replace the tiles. We rarely use the tub, so we don't see that as a problem in the foreseeable future. The front of the tub looks great!

It's funny how making up update in a room accentuates the shabbiness of the other items. I'm eyeballing my awful builder-grade mirror and cheap "Hollywood" light fixture next. 

BEFORE - oh the humanity!

AFTER - love it!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Protect your Credibility

I am ever mindful of how as Christians and homeschoolers we have to protect our reputation by being careful what we post to groups, send by e-mail or post to social networking sites. I've been bitten before by innocent sounding e-mails. By golly, it was sent to me by a pastor who received the e-mail from their good friend who says it isn't a hoax. Well there you go. It must be truth. Simply put, passing on these e-mails without researching it first erodes your credibility. Unfortunately, when you have several people in a homeschool group who continue to pass on erroneous e-mails to the group, it makes all homeschoolers look like raging idiots. Before you click "send", check your sources. Post a few bad e-mails, and no one opens up any of your e-mails again seriously handicapping your communication with others. If you do send out an erroneous e-mail, you should send a followup note to everyone on the original e-mail list and let them know about the mistake to stop the spread of these things.

Let me give you an example. Just today, I saw on several social networking sites a story about the merging of Christianity and Islam called "Chrislam". It showed the church sign below which sparked a huge debate.

Well, the sign turned out to be a fake made on this website. Look at the picture below from the website. Notice anything familiar? Ummm hmmm.

This same church sign maker was used for a less serious prank about dogs going to heaven being debated on signs outside of two churches. Fakes also. Notice anything familiar?


Some of you may argue that while the picture is a fake, the arguments it brings up are are valid. Keep reading.
Matthew 18:15 "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over." While this isn't a sin against me personally, going to the source first will give you a lot information. In this case, as soon as I saw the e-mail, I googled the church name and found this. This poor church is having to deal with the aftermath of a lie. Isn't Satan the author of division and confusion? Yup.
Philippians 4:8 says "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." The picture is not true, right or pure. It isn't worthy of our time or effort.
Maybe the author of the initial article thought it would be a good thing to bring some controversy to the table with this fake picture. On the other hand, maybe he didn't realize it wasn't real. He should have double checked his resources. Either way, the end result is that his credibility as a writer is shot.


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