Thursday, March 19, 2009


Having a work-at-home wife means that a handy-man husband sometimes has to wait for the opportunity to do certain projects. For Michael, that means making plans for every single time I leave town for the day (or two).

One time, about eight years ago, I came home from somewhere to discover a plastic-covered hole in the side our hull the size of a man-hole cover. He'd found some wood-rot (the bane of old wooden-boat owners) and had to excise it -- but he didn't want to start drilling and sawing until I wasn't around! (He claims it's because he doesn't want to disturb my work, but I think it's because he doesn't want me to know the drastic nature of some of these projects!)

Last spring we had talked about taking out all the carpet in our boat, and putting down laminate floors with a few scatter rugs. Well, when I came home from the Quadra Island knitting retreat last spring, the job was done (except for the bare wood floor under my desk which has been there since, but that's another story...).

Three weeks ago, I came home from up-Island, to find a bathroom remodeling in progress. What a job! Unfortunately I have no before pics to show you, but picture it: it's the 'v-berth' bathroom, which means it's about 3' x 2', but full height, and it contains a toilet and a sink, period. When we bought the boat, it was wall-papered with a 1960s 'psychedelic' silver geometric wallpaper ... a bit like this...

... only imagine the colors reversed: silver where the white blocks are, white where the silver lines are. Like I said, 60's psychedelic. A couple of times we peeled back a little corner of the wallpaper only to discover 40-year-old glue that wasn't budging, and the job got relegated to the REALLY BIG JOB list, which meant postponing it indefinitely.

Until a year ago Christmas, when I was the recipient of some amazing paintings. I knew then that those paintings had to hang in this bathroom, but we also knew that removing 40-year-old wallpaper/glue was not going to be fun.

Oh, we had a few 'fits and starts' with it -- every time someone would give us some advice, we'd try it ... and another corner of wood would get exposed (complete with gouges, bits of wallpaper still drooping, etc.) until the v-berth bathroom was truly the ugliest thing you've ever seen, and an embarassment when we'd have guests aboard.

But I went on a road trip last week, and again yesterday, and here's the result:

It is the palest pale blue, PERFECT for a tiny boat-based bathroom, and I'm so excited. Today he just has to put the molding on, and I can hang pictures!


Anonymous said...

Love the story about the wallpaper :-)


Anonymous said...

Gotta love a man who plans stealth home improvements, then DOES them!

Esther V. said...

do you rent out your 'handyman'????
JUST JOKING...way to go, Michael...
a very very neat job indeed.