Aches & pains: sciatica, lower back, left wrist and shoulder, ankles/feet
Current reading: Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe
Recent listening: The House Song by Beta Band, Come Together by The Beatles, Money by Pink Floyd, WTF Podcast (Jackson Browne), Very Bad Wizards, Making Sense with Sam Harris, Radiolab, This American Life
Recent viewing: Mythic Quest, Mosquito Coast, Hacks, Childrens Hospital, Real Time with Bill Maher, Jazz vs. Clippers, Bucks vs. Nets, Suns vs. Nuggets, Trying, Dirty John, Lucifer
Recent playing: Mini Motorways
Recent events: Rain, real-life happy hour, WWDC, dinner at a restaurant
Recently accomplished: added edging and river rock to the south side of the house, sharpened mower blades, cleaned grill, tree trimming, learned 4 different scales on bass
Imperative To Do: ride bike, store CD boxes, contact kitchen contractor for warranty items, clean gutters, visit J&J, fix gutter leaks
It all started with the mystery wet spot in the carpet next to the kitchen. It was about 4 inches in diameter and had no apparent source.
On May 2, a post on Reddit’s home improvement sub led me to check under the dishwasher. I found water steadily dripping from one side of the dishwasher because an $18 valve had been leaking.
We removed the subfloor under the dishwasher and replaced it with plywood. I replaced the valve and began to wonder how extensive the damage had been. I imagined there was an under-floor stream that went from the dishwasher directly across the kitchen to the wet spot in the carpet. It was obvious that we would probably have to remove all of the wood laminate flooring but we had been planning that for some time anyway.
After some rudimentary attempts to facilitate drying, on May 26 I posted on Reddit asking what else I should (or could) do. One helpful user told me to call my homeowners insurance company. This advice changed our lives.
Our insurance claim was accepted on June 9 and two weeks later our kitchen was entirely enclosed in plastic with dryers and dehumidifiers running 24 hours a day. Everything had been torn out including the floor, subfloor and all the cabinetry. We had to move the contents of our kitchen and dining room to the nearby family room.
The temperature inside the house peaked at 93º despite the “bubble” surrounding the dryers. This went on through the rest of the month.
After everything was dry, negotiations between contractor and insurance company stretched over three frustrating weeks. Our original estimator left the contractor company shortly after our project began and the new estimator struggled with the regimented process required by the insurance company. On July 23, we signed a contract to have our kitchen rebuilt from floor to ceiling and it seemed like we would soon be done eating take-out on the picnic table on the deck outside and washing dishes in the laundry room.
Because the moisture had touched all the adjoining rooms – dining, family, living room/office and entryway – we got new floors for five rooms. We elected to have the same vinyl planking installed in all five. The contractor crew installed vinyl planking in all five rooms from August 3-6. They also put in new baseboards and repainted the kitchen.
No further work would be done in August as we awaited the cabinet maker but on August 11 we were able to move the stove back into the kitchen and return to eating at the dining room table. We were still stuck using the laundry room utility sink, though.
The new cabinets were installed on September 1 and 2 but we did not have counters yet.
Tina had purchased the sink of her dreams from Wayfair after we cleared it with the project manager. Unfortunately, he had made a mistake because the sink required granite counters but we had decided to use the less expensive laminate counters. After we considered an upgrade to granite, we decided to send back the sink and go ahead with the laminate. It seemed that we were close to the finish line when a strong, dry wind blew into Oregon on September 7. Two days later the sky began to darken.
Eventually the smoke from nearby fires would blanket Portland and the surrounding area for over a week. Our contractor was incommunicado during this time, further delaying the project. Eventually, we realized that they had been evacuated due to their close proximity to forest fires. The smoke cleared by mid-September but counter installation was delayed until the end of the month. In the meantime, they installed our new over-the-range microwave and moved the refrigerator back into place.
Finally, the counters were installed along with the new sink.
We had to wait a few more days for the dishwasher to be installed due to a part that had gone missing.
Five months after discovering the source of the leak, our new kitchen remodel was finally nearing completion. During the first few days of October the dishwasher was installed, the backsplash was put into place and the finishing touch was the addition of door knobs and drawer pulls.
I began shopping for a new refrigerator in November and found the perfect deal shortly before Christmas. The deal was so good that the model went out of stock for two months. It was finally delivered in February.
Current reading: Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe
Recent listening: Paul’s Boutique by Beastie Boys, Hidden Brain, Making Sense with Sam Harris, Women and Children First by Van Halen
Recent viewing: Young Wallander, Wallander, The Crown (season 4), Hinterland, Evil, Manhunt, The Professor and the Madmen, Star Wars (episodes 1-9), The Mandalorian (season 2), The Flight Attendant, The Undoing
Recent playing: n/a
Recent events: Election Day, Thanksgiving, mortgage refinance, shaved, Xmas vacation, fitted for hearing aids, bought Apple Watch Series 6
Recently accomplished: survived 2020, replaced living room couches, bought a new refrigerator (delivery pending), replaced CPAP machine, dryer duct inspection, roof replacement estimates, installed standing desk, gave away most of my books
Imperative To Do: finish unpacking boxes, transfer IRA to Vanguard, finish office re-organization, finish laundry room re-organization, finish the kitchen story, ride bike