Archive | October 2017

Exterior Water Problems, Bathroom Design

It’s a good thing we’ve had 2 really heavy rains in the past couple of weeks. It has shown a few leaky spots. We are adding one more layer of concrete on the seams, with the waterproofing compound, then the elastomeric primer and tape. I also have the Ames elastomeric paint, ready to be tinted. This paint is really good for preventing the cracks that freezing and heating have done to other brands of paint. And that should be the final seal on the seams.

large drain for yard, needs more work

The other problem is water collecting in front of the house, in spite of a French drain. We have a 12 inch pipe that runs under the new part to the back yard, but the inlet was not in place yet at the last rain, and we had water lapping at the building. We will work out a good drainage for this area – it collects from the yard uphill of the driveway, now with a building in the way.

The master bath has been on my mind lately, looking at tile, glass block, space available in the room. We have already planned for the tub, and it will go to the left of the door over to the window wall. There will be a surround built for it, and tile on the surround plus a grab bar I found for hot tubs that will swivel and lock over the tub to help with climbing out. All to help me safely use it.

tub location, pipes and wiring visible in channels in wall

For the shower, I have decided to go with glass block along 1 1/2 walls of the shower. It will let a lot more light through to the corner farthest from the window. It will have a barrier-free entrance on one 3 foot wall (no lip to step over), which will make it easier to use safely. The wall opposite the glass block will be tiled, and I found a glass tile for accent that I really like.

shower location

The crew is in the process of putting a ceiling over the bathroom. I don’t plan to use that upper space for storing anything, but I will have an oscillating fan to keep the air stirred in the living room and bedroom.

master bath ceiling

For the rest of the addition, I have decided on cork click and lock flooring. For some reason, they make it 1/4 inch thinner than other materials in click and lock, so we are going to need an underlayment at the doorways to make up that amount. If we don’t, that is enough to be a tripping hazard. I found a cork underlayment that is 1/4 inch thick, and easy to install (instructions say to duct tape it together). We’ll only need 6 to 8 inches width to make a small ramp to the door. Cork is supposed to be the best flooring in both soundproofing and temperature barrier. It is so much sturdier than what most people think about from bulletin boards. It seems to bounce back better than bamboo, so it doesn’t leave furniture marks as easily. All in all, I like what I’ve researched, I like the standard warm shade of a basic (low-priced) variety. That’s a win for me.


Bathroom Decorating Decisions

preparations for front entrance and sidewalk

future sidewalk and flowerbeds at back of house

The changes lately have been small details and some exterior landscape work. Not easy to get interesting pictures. They are preparing for another pour of concrete, for an entrance at the new front door, a sidewalk around the back or the building, a pad for a utility building to hold water heater and furnace, and filling in the gap where the old front patio was removed to create a foundation under the hallway.

outside back door, looking toward future utility building

We have another delay – this one with the electrician. My foreman has done the wiring and boxes, but wants his electrician relative to look it over before finishing and getting the inspector out to approve. The electrician has had a family emergency with illness, so the delay.

Of course until the electrical is approved, the wallboard can’t go up. And we need that to finish things like bathroom sinks, tiling in the bathroom, adding the plaster finish and paint inside. The flooring will not go in until after all else is done.

They will be installing the exterior doors and last window this week. That will be nice, I can actually let the cats out (maybe one at a time) to explore the new space after it is fully enclosed. Not that either cat is going to escape unless something scares it. These two back away from the door, knowing their good life is safely under a roof, utterly cautious.

I like this for my master bathroom

I’ve decided to keep my bathroom tile as a light beige porcelain, with a swirling pattern. Large tiles for the floor, then in the shower floor, small tiles in a variety of beige colors. The shower wall will probably be same or similar (maybe lighter beige) tiles as the flooring, just smaller. I will probably have a stripe of bright glass tile for decoration. The walls themselves will be painted in brighter colors, as that is the easiest and least expensive way to redecorate if someone tires of the colors. After living in an older apartment with pink fixtures, I have always gone with white. Some colors just do not coordinate well with others.

I am communicating with a company that does glass block showers, and will see if it is feasible to put that in, and if I can afford it. I’d certainly like the light shining through. It would be nice to have one end flush with the rest of the floor, so I wouldn’t have to worry about stepping over a rim while balancing on one wet foot. That is do-able with other materials, but the glass block is well suited for a curved wall, open on the end. Whatever we end up putting in for the shower wall, we will need to build a tiled wall in front of the foam exterior wall, so a fold-down shower seat and grab bars can be hung.

The Pups, They Keep A-Growing

At five weeks old, we are marveling every day at the pup’s development. They are now running, mock fighting, dragging toys around the pen and chomping on each other. Most of them have razor sharp teeth, so I am really looking forward to being able to feed straight kibble. Kibble mush requires a lot of preparation and even more clean-up.

Speaking of clean-up, poop patrol has become quite a task. Most of them can manage to get to the potty box, most of the time. Training puppies to a potty box gives them a head-start on later housebreaking. You need to be sure to only use a kitty litter named Yesterday’s News, as they will ingest it.  They ingest other things, but I sincerely hope this phase passes soon.

Previously, we had tried wood pellets but they made quite a mess. They turned to sawdust when wet, and ended up everywhere.  This kitty litter more or less turns to mush in the under layer and packs down rather neatly, with a top layer of the pellets. Seems to me this could be an excellent solution for a small dog in an apartment without access to an outside area.

Enough about potty matters, let’s have some pictures of cute furballs – which is what this is all about, right?


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These are Goldendoodle puppies from Souls’ Ease Goldendoodles in Upstate SC and they are for sale as of mid October 2017. They will be going home the week of November 15th.

Our website is still in development, but our Facebook page is up, and contains videos of the pups playing.







Walls Are Framed

We got hit with a lot of rain from tropical storm Nate. Although the weather channel officially said Seneca got 1.54 inches, Sharon’s rain gauge showed 5 inches in our yard. There are still spots to work on leaks, but it takes a really heavy rain to show them, hose was not sufficient.

French drain between driveway and new dome – white pipe is for a yard drain

The French drain was dug for the side of the dome which has the land sloping down to it. This should catch runoff and divert it around the house (also runoff from the dome, as there is no roof and gutters). The other side has so many utilities coming in, it would just confuse things to add a French drain, and the ground slopes away anyway. We do have a large drain that runs under the foundation, to take water from the driveway to the back yard.

yard drain to empty into back yard, downhill from house. L-shaped trench beside it is for electrical conduit.

I am now on the waiting list for a gas line to be run to my house – should be in 3 to 5 weeks. They will give a courtesy call a few days ahead, so I can arrange things. Like having Sharon present to supervise so her plants can be moved instead of plowed through. I also plan to have someone put in a new water line (swapping meters with Sharon’s house). The extension of the electrical line from the meter to a new breaker box for the addition (the original is fully used) is in a buried conduit, and the space between my back patio and back door has already been dug for that. The only remaining excavation will be to extend the septic drainage beds and connect the new drains to the septic tank.

Shape of future powder room – will have a pocket door and enough room to turn a wheel chair, if needed

Wall framing is done. This really shows me how much space I’ll have. Some of the electrical outlet work is under way. The lines for radiators are installed under the floor.

living room with sub-flooring and red plastic pipes for radiators along the edge

I like being able to see what the new place will look like with walls framed in place. They are also starting the ceiling over the master bath.

master bath will walls and start of ceiling

I have someone lined up to work on the bathroom tile and shower, plus odds and ends of finishing. Our goal is for him to start tile November 1. I need to make a decision on tile, floor I know, but shower walls are still in question.

master bedroom, prior to closet and living room walls (too much equipment to get a decent picture now). Giant window is for emergency egress, and is 5×5 feet.

Sub-Flooring and Stuff

October, the temperatures are supposed to get to decent levels now, and the work is being done inside. I am getting so anxious to have this finished and have some space for myself.

beginning of sub-flooring, living room

The sub-flooring is the first part of the work. They have put down the joists, and left a chase for the radiator pipes along the edge. Since I want 2 outlets in the floor near the couch, there has been an electrical line run under the floor. It has to have an inspector approve it prior to covering it. (And as I was writing this, I got an email from the inspector with approval). Now working on the plywood for the rest of the floor. Once that is down, I can safely walk out there again.

sub-flooring with all joists done

sub-flooring with some plywood

The crew has worked really hard to make sure there are no leaky seams between panels and especially in the connections between the hallway and each dome. I purchased a concrete waterproofing product that I hope will hold up for a long time. Kryton is used commercially for a lot of projects world-wide. I picked mine up in Charlotte at the nearest distributor, Carolina Specialties. It’s not inexpensive, but it will pay for itself in less frustration and less frequent repainting of the house. I may not have to worry about replacing a roof, but I do need to paint from the top down with some frequency. We plan to let the concrete cure for a few months before applying paint. We don’t want moisture trapped in the concrete.

The crew started framing the walls. That’s good, because electrical work can start. The HVAC and plumbing have been started, nice red plastic lines for the radiators. That’s better than the lead pipes they used to use, what I had in my Roanoke house.

puppies, Puppies, PUPPIES!!!

We delivered our first litter of Goldendoodle puppies 3 weeks ago, on September 11th. It has been an adventure.

Daenerys – and yes, I am a big fan of Game of Thrones – delivered 7 healthy puppies. Four are boys and 3 are girls, ranging from blonde to a reddish tint and a few in between.

The obligatory “milk bar” picture:

milk bar

the milk bar, fully patronized.

The first two weeks, the pups are considered neonates. They are blind, and deaf. if you pick one up, they scream bloody murder. This is not my favorite time period. They nurse, sleep and eliminate.

The good news for this stage is that mom has to lick them to stimulate elimination and she cleans up as part of the process. The bad news is that Dani has no sense of personal space. A 10 ounce puppy under a 42 pound mama could be in big trouble. Around the clock vigilance is necessary for the first 10 days. Along with screaming puppies because they were hungry – after hurriedly checking to ensure no one was under Dani – this made for a lot of sleep deprivation. I was seriously rethinking my plan to supplement my pension by breeding and selling dogs.

I am new to this whole motherhood gig, even if vicariously.  We went to the vet to get Dani an oxytocin shot to stimulate milk production the day after birthing, but her  milk still did not really “come in” until the pups were a week old. Skinny puppies scare me half to death.; they have no reserves to fight off anything. I was preparing to supplement when they finally started nursing well.  I slept much better when there were rotund little bellies.

The pups don’t really start coming into their own until the 3rd week.  Tiny little eyes start myopically peering back at you and  58/ tiny, tiny barks are heard. As their ears open, the pups begin to vocalize.

There are pint sized growls, yips, screams, and a trilling sound that is very catlike now issuing from the whelping box.

week 3 teething

Our Facebook page,  Souls’ Ease Goldendoodles has lots more pictures and videos of this litter.

full tummy