Note to self…(and to you too, Internet)

When fixing the bathtub faucet, removing the C clip that holds the cartridge in place without first turning off the water is a BAD idea.

In case you can’t tell, the front of me is completely soaked because the cartridge for the faucet and who knows how many gallons of water came shooting out ala horizontal geyser, and all over me.

I actually knew to turn the water off, but I couldn’t get the C clip back in, so I pulled it back out to try to get a better angle, and, well, you’ve seen the evidence.

At least I’m man enough to admit when I make a mistake, and can laugh about it.

New digs, a year later

So this past week marked a couple of anniversaries. The first was my one year mark at my new job. Even though it can be stressful at times, I feel a lot better knowing that when I say something it will be listened to and that I have a big role in the decisions being made for our district. Even though the job title is the same as my last job, the responsibility is much greater, and I think that fact, in and of itself, alleviates the pain of having the drive over 60 miles every day.

The second is our one year anniversary of being in our new house. It’s funny how quickly it went by. In our first house, I completed a bunch of renovation projects in just two years: replacing the back fence, making a garden (of sorts), creating flower beds along the edge of the house, remodeling a bathroom, redoing Rachel’s room, taking down and rebuilding an entire wall, replacing the lighting in the living room and dining room, and replacing the kitchen floor.

In our new house, I’ve laid sod in the side yard and replaced the flooring, and even that isn’t completely finished since I’ve never gotten around to replacing the baseboards, and we still have crap for carpet in the bedrooms.

But we are raising a child, which is a remodeling project all on it’s own, every day. Now I know why people hire other people to do that kind of work for them.

Instant Yard

I took half a day off work today to finish a couple of projects around the house.

Monica and I bought a new stove over the weekend, and it was delivered today. I wanted to make sure that someone was home when they delivered it, which was my original reason for taking the half day.

Also over the weekend, I put fill dirt down in our side yard, with the intent of getting sod to cover it so our yard wouldn’t keep washing away when it rained. This is phase two of the larger landscaping project (phase one was the gutters). Since I had a couple of hours before the stove would be delivered, I decided to go get sod to put down in the side yard.

I only thought briefly about how much a full pallet of sod might weigh, and figured it couldn’t be much more than the dirt I had carried in. I couldn’t have been more wrong.


I worked most of the afternoon and ended up dirty and sweaty. But it was the perfect day to do it because it wasn’t too hot outside.

The HGTV before shot…

Before 1

…and after.

After 1

From the other side, before…

Before 2

…and after.

After 2

Not bad for a day’s work.

Catching up with the Lalemans

It’s amazing how quickly time flies by when you don’t have much of it to spare.

It doesn’t seem like it’s been a week and a half since I last updated the old Laleblog. I can also see that I need to update the banner, because it’s December and, well, it’s not November anymore. And that’s November’s banner up there.

So what have we been up to since our warm and sunny Turkey Day?

Freezing our butts off.

It got incredibly cold (for San Antonio) last week, and so we’ve been conserving energy and staying warm. And shopping. Without much success, at least on my part.

Actually, we have been pretty busy. The day before Thanksgiving, we decided to take the plunge and buy laminate floors for our living room and (we thought) dining room. The day after Thanksgiving, we rested, then Saturday, I started taking our the existing flooring.




Those first two pictures are from the realtor posting, so that’s not our furniture, but all of the tile in those pictures was scheduled to come out. The third picture, you can see how ugly the carpet was.

So anyway, Saturday morning, bright and early, I pulled out the carpet in the living room and hallway. It took all of 20 minutes. After Monica got up and left with Rachel, I started taking out the tile.

It took me the rest of the day.

To do a little patch by our back door, maybe 15 square feet total, took me almost 3 hours. That’s when I decided a bigger slegehammer might be helpful. The part by the fireplace took about the same amount of time despite being a much bigger area. The 10 pound slegehammer took care of most of the work, until it broke.

That’s right, I broke a slegehammer taking out tile.

Of course that made the decision not to take the tile out of the dining room that much easier to make.

On Sunday, I started laying out the moisture barrier, which took most of the morning.



Because of the 45 degree angled walls in our living room (our house has all kinds of strange angles), the first part of the laminate required lots of cutting. By Sunday evening, I had about 1/4 of the floor done.


It took me until Wednesday before I finished, and I had to take 1/2 day off work to get it done. We still have transition pieces and baseboards to put in, but the floor is done. I don’t have a good picture of it yet becase we moved the furniture back in the room and it’s still a bit of a mess.

It looks nice though, so chalk up another home improvement project as a success. There’s plenty to do in this house, and I’m looking forward to working on it and making it our own.

I took this weekend off to just spend time with the family and attempt to shop for Christmas presents. Next weekend I’m going to tackle the Christmas decorations.