Friday, October 23, 2015

What a Mess...Then and Now

After such a long dry spell, we are finally getting a little rain today.  I can't remember the last time we've had more than just a few sprinkles.  So far, the rain isn't much today, either, but we'll take what we can get.  Our county is in the "moderate drought" zone.  

And, of course, the drought affects the color of our trees this fall.  They aren't as pretty as I've seen in years past.  Once in awhile I'll see a pretty tree such as the lone tree above standing in the midst of walnuts which have already dropped their leaves.  The prettiest trees I've seen are in parks or someone's yard.  

Warning!  I've been too busy, and too tired, to post since last time so this may turn into a lengthy post to try to catch up.  But if you have a messy job coming up, you will want to read on to see what my sweet mother had to deal with once upon a time!  

First, though, I do want to thank everyone for your comments on my last post.  I think we are all pretty much in agreement on "blogging without obligation."  Everyone recognizes that there are seasons when commenting and posting just can't be done as often as we'd like.

Now, on to what's new at Pond Hollow.  I don't know whether to tell this...just like some days I don't know whether to laugh or cry.  I've chosen to tell it like it is...just like I choose to laugh over crying.  Crying makes my eyes puffy.

Most of you have surely forgotten, but I mentioned about 4 years ago that we were going to redo our main bathroom.  Remember this is a 60's ranch-style house and has just one bathroom upstairs and one bathroom downstairs.  

That may seem like a big pain in the tush to those that have 3 or 4 bathrooms, but I can remember not having a bathroom at all until I was 9 or 10.  The house we lived in burned down when I was 9 years old.  It didn't have a bathroom.  We just had chamber pots in cold weather (we just called them pots) which was a round metal container large enough to sit on with a lid and handle to carry.  In warmer weather, we used an outhouse.  Washing hands was done in a bowl with a bucket of water with a dipper nearby.  Or outside we just pumped out water from an outside well.  Primitive, huh?  

I want to tell a little sad story from that time of primitive living.  When I think about it, my trials and tribulations regarding our "projects" seem to pale in comparison and I try...well, sorta try...not to complain too much.

When I was probably 8 or so, one of my chores was taking out the chamber pot and dumping it., it makes me cringe even today when I think about it and, as you can see, I've never forgotten morning I was carrying the nasty pot through the kitchen and had gotten to the next room where there was a threshold between that room and the kitchen that was raised and I tripped over the blasted thing.  Oh No!  You guessed it, I fell forward and the nasty pot lid came off and all the contents spilled out on the floor.  

My poor mother.  She was understandably livid and I got a few swats on the behind for being clumsy, but then she had that whole mess to clean up.  Unfortunately, the pot was pretty full.  The room was just sort of an enclosed porch and I vaguely remember boxes of stuff like canning jars and so forth out there.  I don't know what was ruined or even how long it took her to clean the mess up.  I think I went into hiding for awhile.  

Back to the present...I haven't had to clean up messes like the one my mother had, but one of our cats has taken to peeing where they aren't supposed to.  For example, BG left a sack of plumbing stuff on the floor night before last and I saw the puddle when I went to pick up the sack yesterday.  I spent an hour scrubbing that up because while I was on my hands and knees, I just cleaned the whole kitchen floor.  And it is a good sized floor, too.  Any way, as soon as I figure out which kitty it is, I'm pretty sure it is either Peanut or Callie, then another home for her will have to be found.  That is a deal breaker for me. 

And why would BG have plumbing stuff in our kitchen, you might wonder?  The bathroom we wanted to redo 4 years ago is finally going to get done.  We are slow, there's no doubt about that, but getting someone nailed down to do a job in this town is nigh impossible sometimes.

We had one guy that promised on 2 different occasions, beginning 4 years ago, that he would do it.  Turns out he likes his alcohol more than working, so it's probably just as well he didn't begin.  The next fella was from several towns away, but he came and looked it over and said he could do it.  Even sent me an email about the project.  Then nothing.  We called, he didn't answer.  We didn't know if he had an accident, gotten sick, or what.  Called numerous times and left messages.  Nothing.  

Well, we finally got the drift that he didn't want to do the job, but why not just tell us, for crying out loud?!  Then time passed, we painted the bathroom as it was a shade of tan, which I since have grown tired of, and resigned ourselves to having to go to Plan B.  

But I wasn't happy with Plan B, so BG located someone who lives in a nearby town who does ceramic tile work and he came by and said he would do the job.  Yippee!  He will begin Monday.  

I wanted ceramic tile around the bathtub, not a surround like we put in the other house.  Not every carpenter such as the one that worked on The Project does ceramic work, we found out.  This guy keeps extremely busy and we've had to wait on him for a couple of months now, but what's a few months when you've been waiting 4 years?  

 ~where vanity will sit, plumbing needs moving - the toilet is on other side of divider on right - the white is where mirror was~
BG has been tearing out the old sheetrock which had tile on it and redoing some electric and the plumbing you see in the photo has to be moved over for the new vanity.  We didn't start on this project until this week because I we didn't want to have to run downstairs in the middle of the night when nature called any sooner than necessary.  It's very inconvenient having the bathroom torn up and I've wished many times already for another one upstairs.  But when I remember what my mother had to deal with way back when, I think it's not so bad and I can handle it.  It's only for a little while.   

I'm still pondering paint colors.  I picked up some samples from Sherwin Williams.  Two of the colors, Rain and Rainwashed, I had seen in photos of bathrooms on Pinterest and liked them.  But, the colors look really different in the sample.  They have a grayish tint to them and I'm not at all fond of gray.  I'm still leaning toward a very light aqua.  

I have made 3 trips to the home center this week for this project.  BG went with me on 2 of these trips.  I had wanted to keep our old vanity as it was about 5 feet long and had a lot of storage.  But, in taking the old vanity top off, it was evident that it should be replaced.  So I picked out one that is 4 foot long and is oak (my favorite wood).  I like the darker wood, too, but they didn't have one in stock that I liked well enough to bring home.  Anyway, the shorter vanity and placement of the bowl means that BG has to move the plumbing over so the drain pipe will clear the drawers.  Hopefully, all this work will go smoothly and get done tomorrow.  Then it will be back to work in his spare time on The Project.  I'm very blessed to have a hubby who can and is willing to do many of these jobs himself.  It does save us a ton of money!

One last photo I have to share...while waiting in the loading area at the home center this week for some waterproof drywall to be loaded, I couldn't help but watch the scene in front of me.  These 2 guys were trying very hard to strap the mattress set down.  I left before they did, so I don't know if they got it secured any better than what it looks like here.  lol!  I hope they made it home okay!

I hope your week has been a good one.  Have a nice day and fantastic weekend!  

xo Cheryl


  1. Hello Cheryl, we have been thru the same ordeal with plumbers. They must be super busy, plumbing must be a great field for someone starting out. I am glad your bathroom is making progress. Happy Friday, have a great weekend!

  2. Cheryl, I remember when we had a pot and outhouse also. I think we were the last in town to have an inside toilet. It was not always easy...but we survived and became strong. I agree, it's hard to find someone to do a job even if you are willing to pay extra. Ted and I learned to do many things by ourselves...just to get it done. I wish you and your husband luck on the plumbing. I wish our bathroom was twice as big. LOL.. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

  3. It's so easy to take for granted all of the modern conveniences we have now. Everyday life was so much harder back then. You'll have to show us your bathroom when it's all done. Have a great weekend!

  4. We were not allowed a pot in the house so there was nothing to dump. We used the outhouse when needed...warm or cold.
    Your poor Mom...but accidents happen...
    Sorry to hear one of the kittens is marking...sometimes they do that when they have an infection...and sometimes when they are upset ( Our daughter's cat was jealous of the new baby)
    It seems like it is worse in unaltered cats and dogs.
    Sounds like quite a project...but it will be great when it is done!! :)

  5. So much in your post I can relate to. I can remember when one set of my grandparents didn't have indoor plumbing but people used an outhouse here even through the winter. Our winters aren't quite so cold as yours. My grandfather eventually was able to enclose the back porch and it became the biggest bathroom ever! I don't think he realized that he didn't need to devote so much space to a bathroom and I know I sure missed the big swing on the back porch.

    I know exactly what you mean about not finding anyone to work for you in rural areas. It is so frustrating. I had hired a man to clean out my mom's storage shed last November. I told him he could have anything in it he wanted. He was going to come to next day and do it. I never heard from him again.

  6. Hi Cheryl, yes, very frustrating, but I'm sure all will be fine.Such a sweet kitty, love the face.Blessings Francine.

  7. Oh I remember the days of no plumbing and spills myself:) I like the colour rain. Laugh don't cry is good advice. Good luck on your reno. HUG B

  8. Great story Cheryl, I enjoyed reading it. On that last note...I hope those boys know what they are up to...driving with a mattress on the rooftop can be very hazardous when the wind gets up! been there, done that!
    Cath from Cath@Home

  9. Oh those memories of days gone by. I can relate to the outhouse and also an indoor potty.We called them cash and carry.
    Hope this reno gets done as soon as possible and you can enjoy anew bathroom.

  10. Glad you are getting started on that bathroom. It takes so long to find someone who will really do a good job. It will be great when it is finished.


  11. I hope the "new bathroom" project goes smoothly . . .
    And you never again have a "chamber pot slip!"

  12. I really enjoyed reading this one; which I always do. I remember using the outhouse at my Aunt's ranch and off and on through they years at different places. It is not my favorite bathroom for sure. I can't imagine having to carry a chamber pot to empty it and I wouldn't have been happy about cleaning up a spill from them. Bless your heart! I will really look forward to the pictures of your bathroom makeover.
    Not fun that you have a cat that is peeing; I have been there and done that and it is a deal breaker for me too. Blessings and hugs!

  13. Oh! Your poor mom and can you imagine how hard that must have been? Poor you, too, cuz you have carried that through your life- that remembrance of an "oops" moment.
    I am glad you are getting the bathroom done and found someone (finally) that really WANTS to work. You are lucky to have a hubby that is handy-mine is not! NOT! NOTTTT!!!!!!!!! It will be so great when it is all done, Cheryl, and well worth the wait.
    So glad to catch up with you-It has been busy times here, too. xo Diana

    ps.IF you have time pop over and sign up for the giveaway for my son's newest venture.

  14. OH! This is such a great read, Cheryl, you have head of the "Perils of Pauline", I think I might just add to that the "Perils of Cheryl"! I absolutely remember the chamber pots, and of the stories that went along with them, I also remember the outhouses! Loved the story, you and I need to exchange stories, I have some good one! ~LOl
    Love the colors for the bathroom, ad oh how I relate to trying to choose the right colors for our downstairs in 2011 when we had the water leak, I nearly drove my poor husband to pulling his hair out!
    Good luck with getting the bathroom finished!
    Hugs, from me,

  15. Hi Cheryl~

    Oh dear, your poor mom . . . poor you! I'm not sure that many could survive an outhouse these days, let alone a chamber pot! My husband can relate, except they didn't have "pots". When it was cold, and it gets cold here, they would just have to get dressed and run! We really do have it so easy don't we, I can remember complaining about doing the laundry once to my grandmother - big mistake! She proceeded to tell me how she had to do the laundry, and it sounded miserable! After that conversation, I never complained again.

    Shame on that naughty cat! I hope you find the culprit a good home... :0)

    Yeah . . . I remember those bathroom posts! I'm so glad you are finally getting a new bathroom! My vote is the light aqua - I'm not a grey person either.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  16. I can remember when I was little when we stayed with my aunt and uncle out at their farm...that we had to go outside to use the outhouse and I didn't like it at all.!!

  17. Hello Cheryl! Love your post! I too remember those outside bathroom days! I so often think of them, when I want to complain of our lives today. Yes, I know how blessed you feel having BG to do things around the house. My Tom was always that way too. We finally got a half inch of rain this week, first time this month. Real dry here too. And oh the poor kitty...nothing worse is there? I have a couple posts started, maybe I'll finish them today. I'm in a lot of pain, so think I'll stay home and not go see my Tom today. He gets to come home for a walk through tomorrow, then home permanently Friday. There are lots of decisions to make, and it's hard to do it alone...

    Good luck on your projects, I know you will be so...excited when it's all done!!

    Blessings to your day..

  18. Oh ewwww, that would have been awful to worry about a chamber pot, much less clean up after one. Poor Cheryl, you must've felt so bad even though it was an accident. Sometimes it seems that things always have to worse before they get better. Hang in there kiddo! I'm rooting for you and your husband to get that job done! PS: That lone tree is awesome!

  19. Hope all goes well with the bathroom. I hope it isn't Callie, I remember how much you wanted a calico AND I don't want it to be Peanut either. Maybe one of them has a UTI. Maybe you could try Cat Attract. I know they are so happy to be in your home and family.