Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ch ch ch ch changes...

Arg.... it's been that kind of week. Tony was hospitalized from Monday 'til Friday, weak, in pain and hallucinating from the morphine they were pumping into him.

I spent my time driving back and forth to the hospital (15 miles one way), bathing and shaving him because they had a full house of even sicker people than him, and they never seemed to get around to bathing him. I was am pooped.

Ian arrived Thursday (YAY IAN!) to aid and abet his old mother. He did the driving after that, and once we had Tony home Ian started some reno work which we've wanted to do for a long time.

The person or persons unknown who decided it was a good idea to put a banquette in an RV kitchen had never tried to use one. They are impossible to get in and out of, horribly uncomfortable and take up huge amounts of space. The slight amount of storage they offer is difficult to get at under any circumstance, especially with the eager "assistance" of a large cat who wants to explore any open space he is not usually able to get into.

So, Ian did his old mother a world of good by ripping out the banquette table and benches. This left a large (by RV standards) open area. I sketched up a cupboard and shelving unit that would stretch along the now empty wall, and while I painted the wall white he started carpentering. Unfortunately he ran out of time before he got the moldings and doors on, but I think I can get the moldings cut and on. The doors will have to wait 'til his next visit.

No matter. I now have accessible storage I don't have to crawl into, climb a ladder to get at, or unearth like King Tut's Tomb every time I need a can of tomatoes or a skillet.

I've been wanting to paint since we bought this place. The brown-linen pattern paneling on the top part of the walls and the dark fake wood on the bottom half makes me feel like I have moved into a somewhat commodious coffin. The one white wall and shelves makes a huge difference in the light of the interior. It's fantastic! I will go buy another litre of this latex paint and some painters tape and paint all the brown linen-pattern paneling. Bob the RV guy says if I don't and and prime the wall the paint will come off. I have news for him. I sanded and primed all the walls in the Tinpalace, and that paint came off like it was painted on a teflon pan. This couldn't be any worse. At least it has a woven pattern which grabs the paint.

At the end of the visit Ian also came up with a clever idea to fix my upper cupboard problems. Picture a six foot run of cupboards with three 12" doors. Each cupboard door has a 12" space between it and its neighbour. And everything you put in the cupboard immediately begins to inch into the nigh inaccessible spots between the doors.

So he suggested tearing out the doors and the spacers, and either adding more doors or put in sliding doors, Japanese style. I've had those before and I very much like them. So I'm thinking that would be a great idea.

I also bought a couple of nice, comfortable dining room chairs and now must shop for a table. I know what I want, it's just finding it.

In the bathroom we have a new toilet, higher and easier for old folks with somewhat wonkified legs to get on and off. After Bob the RV man told us we cannot replace the tub with a more accessible shower stall he suggested a built-in step which would take the step-over down from 17" to 7". He is replacing the tap and we will get a bath chair. All this in aid of husband's safety and mobility.

Other projects slated are:

1) replacement of the sofa
2) the building of a storage drawer in the empty, but now inaccessible space beneath the sofa.
3) a platform to compensate for an inconvenient wheel well, so that our secretary desk and drawer unit can sit on top of it, next to the wall, instead of 9" from the wall, and at a space-hogging angle.
4) a movable bracket for our wee flat screen TV to make it easier for Tony to watch.

This will probably take a year's worth of visits, but the year will go by, whether we improve or not. Might as well go for it.

Pictures later.


Patchkat ~ Susan in TX said...

Splain this step thingie for the tub....I'm not getting the picture! All your other changes sound GREAT!!!

Love and hugs

Deb said...

The side of the tub is 17" high. You have to get over that 17" barrier to get in the tub. With a seven inch step on the outside you'd only have to step up 10". So in effect you do it in two steps instead of one. Not as good as no steps, but better than a 17" one. I'll take a picture once it's built. :)
X Deb