Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Long Winter's Nap

Autumn is upon us, and the rainy season has arrived here in Western Oregon. The time change that was supposed to be abolished years ago still happened cutting our daylight hours even shorter, and the temperatures are beginning to drop along with all the leaves on the trees. All of this a good thing this year, because maybe, just maybe... people will stay home and we can get this global pandemic under control.

We live in hope.


Brandy is keeping me busy with home renovations, and as I get one job checked off the honey-do list another is waiting. However, I think I can finally see the end of the list... at least the bottom of page one. Now that the guest bath is done, we've moved onto the master en-suite. 


Narrow, shallow contractor grade tub surround has to go.

This one is kicking my ass though, the last time I removed and reinstalled a tub I was 12 years younger. Also the last one was in a 1970s house when contractor's took pride in their work, this house was slapped together in 2007 and I've had to fix, repair, and replace so many shortcuts because of shoddy workmanship. Although I'm not a professional contractor, I take my time and try my best to do it right, not just for my own peace of mind but for the next poor sap (me) who might have to remodel this house again in 20 years. 


Deep soaking tub installed

Just in time for warming winter soaks

These projects are supposed to keep me home during the pandemic and practicing the stay home, stay safe mantra. But several trips to the hardware store for bits and bobs is proving otherwise. Just as I think I have everything I need to complete the current project, the kid at the store cheerfully says "see you tomorrow". 

Now that the tub is installed and I'm done crawling under the house to plumb fittings, I "get to" move on to framing in the shower niche, plumb the mixing valve and get it set in place, then install backer board, mortar and tile. 


Found a longtime leak in the plastic supply fitting while hooking up the drain

I'm used to working with copper pipe and haven't worked much with PEX pipe before, so I'm upgrading several cheap contractor plastic crimp fittings to very expensive brass SharkBite fittings. I love SharkBite as they don't require soldering, just a simple push to fit and they swivel so if you need to adjust as you work you can. 

We have a four day weekend coming up, so I hope to finish up the tub and shower project by then and get started on the flooring. My goal is to get to the bottom (page one) of my honey-do list for New Years.


I've been asked to write short motorcycle maintenance tips and tool recommendations for our work Facebook page and Instagram posts, so I thought I'd compose and share them here. They're designed for new riders and beginner DIY'ers so I'm hoping for some feedback as social media comments are rarely constructive.

Kidding, just kidding.



Me and Lucy working on E-Rider footage back in the day. (Photo Credit: Team Oregon)

Be healthy, stay safe.

Thank you Veterans. Lest we Forget.


  1. When the folks at the hardware store treat you like you’re one of the family, you know your in the midst of a renovation. Been there done that. I feel your pain. Looks like it will be great when you finish!

    1. I love the smaller local hardware stores, the staff are friendly, helpful, and take their time to listen to you. The big box store staff rarely know what they're talking about, and just point you to an aisle then leave you to find it yourself.
      Thanks, I hope it turns out well.

  2. Glad Brandy is "keeping you safe" at home, working on projects 😂

  3. Looks pretty good! I don’t have complete confidence in the Shark Bite fittings but don’t care for the plastic fittings either. The Pex crimp fittings seem to work for me.

    Tile work is relaxing especially if you are doing some sort of design.

    1. I was skeptical of SharkBite when they first came out, but they proved themselves in our last house. Plastic fittings put me off and it's not the crimp that bothers me, it's my crimping I don't trust.
      We're using large tile, so no relaxation or fancy design.

  4. I like that certification patch! Hah!

    I recently did a bathtub removal and replacement with a shower stall....kudos for doing it all, I had to get help from a plumber friend.

    1. I think someone posted that patch as a comment on TDubskid's page and made me laugh as well.
      And thanks, I don't think I'll do it all again.

  5. I can relate to your contractor comment. When we had this house built in 2005 I took on the job of doing the interior finishing work - flooring, installing bathroom fixtures, etc. I probably spent as much time "fixing" what had been done previously to actually doing the work I planned on. Either that or taking twice as long to compensate for uneven floors, etc. Just crappy work - can't be bothered to take the extra few seconds to do it right.

    I love SharkBite as well. Great product, but very $$$$$.

  6. We are in the same boat as you guys and need our bathroom renovated. Not having another bathroom to use means it needs to get done quick so that rules me out from doing it. Only difference is we are ripping out a bath/shower combo and putting in a plain shower. Cant stand hoping over and in every day, ergh.

    Good to hear you guys are doing well, say hello to Brandy for me.

  7. A long winter with pandemic if people would just; 1.) Stay home and 2.) Wear a mask when you must go.....As to plumbing, I thought some, "Flex Tape" stuff was all you needed? But then I couldn't find a screen door for the bottom of my boat. Well, I don't really have a boat either, but that's probably for the best! Have a safe winter, maybe when this is over, our paths will cross again.

  8. Good on Brandy to know how to keep you occupied. Keep well and try to make the best out of these challenging times.


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