I'm just sayin'

Got A Little Free Time?

on August 6, 2012

Like most homeowners, I have a  perpetual list of projects needing attention around the house. It is not uncommon for one project to lead into another, whether you want it to or not and certainly you did not intend for it to go that far. Surely that has happened to all of us. You know the kind, your kid shakes a can of soda and upon opening, it sprays all over the kitchen, including the ceiling. If you’ve ever tried to wipe down a ceiling in one spot you know it can’t be done. One swipe with the sponge and you see the original color you loved so much, so many years ago. Now you have to wipe down the entire ceiling so it’ll match the one clean stripe you made with your soap and vinegar cleaner. If said child is old enough, they get the honors. But once the ceiling is clean you realize how dingy the rest of the paint looks in comparison. Dang. Okay, so you add ‘wiping down kitchen walls’ to your list. It doesn’t matter where it goes on the list, top bottom somewhere in between. But it gets added. Dang. Sigh. Another freakin thing to do.

So one day recently, I went to Home Depot to just get filters for the air conditioner/heater unit. On the way to the filter aisle I went down the aisle with the caulking for tub and showers. Humm, I’ve had that on the list for quite sometime. I thought to myself, I have some ‘free time’ ( what the heck does that mean “free time” ? I pay for my time everyday I get a little closer to that eternal dirt nap. I suppose when I die I have used up all my “free time”.  And I’m pretty sure I can’t pass it along if I don’t use it all up.) Well anyway, I looked over the caulking tubes and caulking guns and decided I just had a small job so I purchased the small tube, the one I didn’t need a gun for. But I did purchase the tool labeled ‘caulking removing tool’, I thought that would be helpful instead of using a screwdriver or box cutter to dig out the old silicone caulking. Wrong. I needed to use the box cutter to cut through the old caulking so I could use the tool that was supposed to do it all. And the caulking did not come out in a single strand like the educational caulking youtube video showed me it would. I guess if I had gotten to this project sooner, years sooner, it may have peeled off easier. But nooo, I kept moving the caulking project down to the bottom of the list every time I revised it as another project was completed. So now my one hour of  ‘free time’ project turned into a prescription-drug-kind-of-pain-in-the-back, a mess in my shower and not all of the caulking out of it’s caulked places. ( Did you know that caulking will stick to ANYTHING except caulking?) So while I was curled up in the shower stall, with a very sharp box cutter, of course I had to buy new blades for that, too, I thought my grout looked a little dull. Well, it didn’t make sense to add that to the list since I was in the shower working anyway. Why not ‘spruce’ up the grout. Let me set you straight, you can not ‘spruce’ up grout. That is why they have people who make careers out of being ‘Grout Doctors.’ They are not grout sprucer-uppers. But what they heck, I thought, “How hard can this be?” I’ve watched “This Old House”  and other do it yourself  HGTV shows. Where editing is their friend. So I go to the old reliable youtube video on ‘re-grouting your shower’. Wow, that guy made it look so easy. Okay, maybe not easy, but simple. And really it is simple, the concept; score the grout and put in new grout, wipe said grout with sponge, in circular motion, and wait to dry. Voila, new grout!  Easy concept, yes, IF you have been doing this as a means to feed your family of four for the last two decades. And are still young enough to have kids at home. The video did not come with a disclaimer “Not a project for grandmas with tendinitis in the shoulder.”  I’m telling you the video guy did not even break a sweat. He made the wiping off in circular motions look as effortless as the Karate Kid, “Wipe on – Wipe Off” scene. I’m pretty sure there was no mention of  how hard wiping off a thin layer of grout on tile is. But I’m pretty sure the video guy wasn’t expecting woman with a worn out pitching arm to take on a re-grouting job. But she did. Well, don’t you know, after the new grout and new caulking the tile looked a little dull. You guessed it. The tile needed a ‘sprucing’. But thank heavens for the Dawn soap and vinegar concoction. That was a breeze, well, except for the noxious fumes in such a small space. And the wiping in circular motion thing again. But I was excited to try the helpful tip the Home Depot guy gave me when he sold me the little grinder to help remove the old grout, love that tool by Dremel. The salesman told me he used car wax on the clean tile to keep a shine and let’s the water bead off.  Wow, only one more step to go to a fresh like-new shower. Yippeee. It is done and I have to keep going back in there to admire my work. And that’s when I notice how bad the paint in there looks! Stay tuned….


4 responses to “Got A Little Free Time?

  1. Eric Lyon says:

    Good job! I am looking forward to seeing your handiwork!!

    • VirgoVoice says:

      Yeah, I’m thinking of having a shower for my shower; A Shower Shower. There’ll be games; guess how many tiles? How many freaking hours did it actually involve? Everyone gets a drink with an umbrella and pastel mints as they leave.

  2. Eric Lyon says:

    How about posting some photos of your spruced up shower??

  3. VirgoVoice says:

    I took some – but it’s kind of a difficult shot, not one that really could show the grout job very well. Believe me I tried. And don’t forget, next is painting…

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