Home Ec 101 Hits Home

Heather says

Does anyone remember the movie The Money Pit? I now watch this with a knowing chuckle.

Many of you know that I moved into what I refer to as the “fixer-upper” back in October. As there are some truly awful people out on the interwebz I was not very open about the exact state of the house that I moved into, other than the sharing the fact that it was pretty rough. Some of you out there know what home renovations are like and still others know what it’s like to live in a home being renovated. The word frustrating and disheartening comes to mind.

The bathroom floor had water damage that had caused the flooring to badly warp and there was a hole into the crawlspace. On the advice of my exterminator -if you are local I will share his name- I made a temporary, amateur repair to the main bathroom floor. Let’s call it effective, but hideous. It looked like I had a tumour of expanding foam growing where the tub met the floor. Nothing was coming in or out, nothing, but still I had nightmares that I would step out of the shower and fall into the crawlspace.

But it was all okay, it would just be a month or two and I would be able to repair it, no big deal?

I knew that a roof would be needed within five years and I had factored that into my decision to go ahead with the move.  For a reason neither I nor the company I hired to do the work understands, my insurance company decided the roof needed to be replaced before I could insure the place. (The contractor was more than happy to install the new roof, but it was not the critical need the insurance said.) The bathroom remodel was delayed.


Time moves slowly in the interim between hiring a contractor and the day he shows up. I had been spoiled by the roofing experience, I got the estimate and work started the next week.

I am currently in the middle of heavy travel season with my day job, so of course the contractor was only able to begin work while I was on the road.

I have a garage freezer that I have slowly been stocking  with meat as it goes on sale and vegetables. I have fallen in love with the frozen bags of onions and bell peppers, they make my life easier, yes the foreshadowing is a bit heavy handed.  You see where this is going. . .

The workmen tripped a breaker on a little used outlet.

The one the freezer is on.

Home Ec 101 to the rescue.

I wrote a post about this years ago: The Freezer Was Left Open, Now What

I spent Saturday minimizing damage and thankfully, most of the  meat in the bottom of the upright freezer was still frozen solid. If you ever have to freeze a lot of food, this tutorial may come in handy.

And despite all of the frustration, today I have five gallons of chicken gumbo in my freezer and more importantly, by close of business today, I will have a fully functional bathroom. I still have to paint, but I don’t think anything will be more satisfying than the jig I did to test the solidity of the floor.

Has Home Ec 101 ever saved your day?


  1. Ruth on April 25, 2015 at 4:01 am

    Oh man, do I ever feel your pain! The choice between a bathroom and roof… We were living with my MIL for what we thought would be a short term thing after a move, and she decided to buy a three bedroom house that needed fixing up. Serious fixing up, as in roof down fixing up.

    It took a whole summer, three months to do the roof because every time we started, it would pour rain! We had to pull everything off, a couple of the rafters had to be replaced, and the plywood put back down. If we had known it was going to be such a horrible job I don’t know if his mom whould have bought the house as we thought it would be simple job until we tore off the old shingles. (We were doing it ourselves because the bank didn’t want to allocate enough money to do the job properly.)

    We would take the plastic off, start the work, and it would begin to rain! One time we all had to crowd in the back of the house and watch the rain pour in the front because it was such a storm we couldn’t get up to put the plastic back on, and that was eight people in two rooms for two days!! After that we got fight the wiring and the rest of the work. We finally gave up and moved out when we got the chance, but that roof will outlast the house.

  2. Jordan on April 24, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Great to see you’re making progress with your bathroom! Fixer-uppers are a huge challenge, but AMAZINGLY satisfying to put together. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Mary Ann on April 20, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I am so happy that you have a solid floor again! I have been there; in fact, we had to tear out a complete room in the middle of our house to redo the foundation, so for a few weeks, we had steps from the living room down to bare dirt, and steps up from the bare dirt to the bathroom. One night, I encountered a strange dog in the dirt floor room–I think the shock was mutual!

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