Friday, September 6, 2013

OG is Bored - Heaven Help Us!

Hopefully by now you are well enough acquainted with OG to grasp the importance of that statement. Before we moved to California, he had an entire sixty-year-old house to work on. There was never a shortage of projects to keep him out of trouble. Since the move he's been cooped up in a condo half the size where most of the work has already been done by professionals.

You'll note I said most. Until last week, there remained one potential do-it-yourself project--the shower in the master bath hadn't been touched in forty years, and the tile was starting to buckle. No longer! Our daughter visited us for Car Week on the Monterey Peninsula in the middle of August, and two days after she left OG ripped out our shower. It turned out to be a very good thing.

Beneath the tiles, we discovered plywood--nothing more. No waterproofing of any kind, just soggy, moldy plywood. If you know anything about construction, you know this was not an approved method even forty years ago. OG cut out the plywood, re-plumbed the shower with a non-scald balancing valve (yaaay!), and is putting up concrete backer board. Next comes the tile, then a new shower door. 

I have no idea how long this may take, but I told him I'd like it finished by my birthday the first week of October. He laughed, but I have enough experience with his home improvement projects to be cautious. When he remodeled the master bath in our last house, it took six months. He's quite skilled, but (oddly) not quite as young as he used to be. Besides, with any construction project things happen. They just do. You might as well expect it and make peace with it.

Since he started this project, OG has taken a bit of a physical beating. The shower stall is small, and it's hard on the legs to spend a lot of time working in a crouched position. His hands are scraped from cutting and screwing the backer board, but having a project with a goal is well worth the aches and pains.

OG retired a number of years ago and has always struggled to keep himself occupied. In contrast to the many years he spent working in an office, he prefers to work with his hands on projects that produce a tangible result. Since I retired from insurance and we moved, I've been very busy with my career as a writer and designer, but OG hasn't had much to do. The shower project has been good for his psyche, if not
his body.

Our contractor is building him a workshop under the family room in our new house, where I hope he'll find enough interesting things to do to keep boredom at bay for several years to come. If he can't stay busy at home, I might have to resort to renting him out just to preserve my sanity.


  1. LOL. I think part of the way I stay so busy in retirement is thinking up things my own OG might want to do. (I only bat about .300 in the thinking department--he's picky.)

    1. LOL Liz. Some days I have to bite my tongue to keep from blurting out "it's not my job to entertain you!".