The weekend has been dedicated to glue: putting it on, and taking it off. First, we ripped up the carpet in the bedroom, only to discover that it had gold linoleum underneath! This was no ordinary linoleum -- this was super old, super thick, super sticky linoleum. We laid down coat after coat of very toxic solvent in order to soften the ancient adhesive. The nice man at Home Depot suggested we spend $20 on a tool that converts a hand paint-scraper into a long floor-scraper by attaching it to a pole. Oh, we who have scoffed at 20 dollar poles! If only we had bought the pole. Instead, 2 o'clock in the morning found us on hands and not-even-knees (you can't put your skin into contact with the toxic solvent stuff), still scraping away at the linoleum. We couldn't leave it on forever, or it would just eat through the old floor. We had to stay until it was juuuust right. It was like an unfortunate twist on a fairy tale: Goldilocks and the Evil Solvent Floor. [These photos are of Jason and I wearing most uncomfortable gas masks with filters on them to prevent us from dying of Terrible Ick disease from inhaling solvent fumes. I look really happy about it, don't I? Note: Jason is actually DOING something in this photo, while I am squatting uncomfortably looking like I might put that scraper to use at some point].
In the meantime, while we waited for the strange alchemy of chemicals eat through the glue on the floor, we messed around with the basement problems -- namely, other people's poor choices. There were two places where important wooden parts of the floor had been sawed through or otherwise abused by good-intentioned home-owners or bad-intentioned plumbers making room for their pipes. [ See picture -- the little white cap is the new one I put on (with PIPE WRENCH!) after removing stupid big old one that was the source of the conflict with the center beam, causing Mr. Previous to saw off a section of a Very Important Beam]. We had to get really big long heavy boards and first glue them, then screw them into place alongside the existing beams for reinforcement. The story isn't all that exciting -- just a lot of crouching and grunting and hammering and yanking and asking of "WHY DOESN'T THIS WANT TO FIT" when trying to squeeze new planks in around existing duct work, floor joists and water pipes. Oh, and there was a hydraulic jack involved -- that was exciting. We put it into place to make sure the floor didn't sag while we ripped off the old "sister" board that was this wimpy reinforcement that somebody had nailed in, like a poor attempt to keep the zombies from climbing through the windows (and everybody knows that that zombie is just going to bust through that wimpy nailed board). This new sister board is so tough, it will keep my toilet from falling through the floor when even the largest of guests sits on it, and I would bet money on it holding back the worst of the zombies that might try to bust through. Plus, I wrote my name on it in glue, so it is for good luck.