Another exciting day of vacation as we attempt to get the downstairs tiled. Since my wife is now back to work and currently out of town I am doing all the farm chores during all this. I now wait until it is light to do chores, it just makes it easier than doing it by head lamp. We have not had any more lambs for the last two days to the best of my knowledge. I have to throw that out there as there are lambs everywhere! They are like cockroaches in the barn. Its hard to keep track of all of them. We have had one more bummer since the ram’s demise for a grand total of 10 bummers and 2 dead. That is a lot for us.

The real problem with any remodel is the prep work. it is absolutely crucial to the longevity of any job but it is the most unglamorous part of the job. Take today for instance, we finished laying the subfloor. I had to screw in another 1000+ screws. This is painful, first you run the impact driver in your right hand and pull the trigger with your index finger. It gets tired so you start to use your right middle finger for the trigger. This also has the added benefit of altering your grip. When this gets too hard you switch to your left hand even if its not your dominant hand. That is four different ways to drive screws. it is just enough to keep going until the job is done. The site needs to stay clean and when tiling there can be nothing under the underlayment and the fuzz from the screws needs to be cleaned up. All the low spots that we patched Mr Experience floated in mastic so that when it dries the floor is perfectly supported in all areas. We then spent about an hour drawing lines on the floor to make sure the tile stays in alignment once we start laying it. You can see the bright orange chalk line we snapped in the picture below. I have been trying to figure out how to keep a steady input of coffee ready at all times. My french press doesn’t keep it hot. So today I started to use a small thermos to keep the second cup of coffee from my press hot. I tested the thermos last night by putting hot water in it. This morning the water was still very hot! This has been a fantastic discovery and I will be doing this every day of my vacation.

I have had to put Zeke outside on the run as he keeps jumping the fence and Mouse just runs around in the yard. Gizmo wants attention but he cannot run around when there is wet mastic on the floor. He does not understand this and tomorrow we will need to use the back porch so the laundry room will need to be traipsed through. He is going to have to spend some time upstairs in his day room.

Lunch today was chili and real Hill, all beef, hot dogs mixed together with onions, and drowned in cheese. A very manly lunch. For tomorrow we are having leftovers I am thinking about mixing the cheesy potatoes and ham with the chili and hot dogs! A most excellent combination.

We were finally ready to start laying tile after we moved the tile saw out onto the front porch. Its above freezing and we are trying to get the cut pieces to the layer as fast as possible. A bucket of mastic had to be mixed and the first tile cut and then we could lay some tile. I am the designated tile layer. Mr Experience does everything else. This means mixing mud, cutting tiles, and feeding me whole tile stacks so I can reach them. The firsts batch of mastic was a little runny for me. I truly do like the peanut butter consistency. It works well and is is easy to manage. Mr Experience fixed it up and off we went. I am the designated layer as it is my responsibility to get it right! In an hour we were able to lay the tile below. This doesn’t seem like much but this hallway is hard as I have to lean out and work on one side. Once we start down the other hallway I will only have to work one row of tiles at a time instead of bouncing between 7 rows of tiles and jigsawing them in place. I am hoping for 50% completion tomorrow. I realize this is incredibly ambitious but one must have goals!