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07/10/2005 Archived Entry: "My $30,000 bathtub"

I HAVEN'T BEEN BLOGGING much this week because of Real Life. You know. Spring cleaning. Strangling weeds before they strangle me. Fighting off invasions of blackberries. Occasional attempts at earning a living.

This weekend I'm building a surround for the sunken-style tub in the bathroom of Cabin Sweet Cabin. It's is one of four finishing-type projects I originally left undone, figuring I'd save up the money to have a contractor do them.

Well, not gonna happen. So this month I began to tackle them myself. The surround is relatively easy now that I'm finally looking at it objectively -- just framing, drywalling, caulking, tiling, and trimming; nothing I haven't done before.* Not sure why I was so intimidated. But for the last four years much of the underside of the tub has been exposed to ugly view. Ick.

It's about time I put the finishing touches on this Infamous Bathtub. It cost me $30,000 and deserves a setting that acknowledges its glory.

No, no. Of course I didn't go out and spent $30,000 on a bathtub. You think I'm Paris Hilton or something? I spent $5 -- five, V, one itty-bitty paper Lincoln -- on the bathtub. Such a deal!

Little did I know what I was getting into.

I walked up to this garage sale early one Saturday and there The Tub sat off to one side, away from the other merchandise. I couldn't believe my eyes. There was this fabulous creation about the size and design of the one in this picture, except with shiny Lucite grab-bars. Brand new. Never installed. It had obviously been stored for years in a barn and was covered with dings and chemical stains and bird poop and tree sap and heaven knows what else. But it was the bathtub of my dreams (yes, I'm the kind of woman who dreams of long hours spent in glorious bathtubs). It was a bathtub like I never figured I could own. And the sticky note on it said $5.00. I was sure they must have meant $50. But nope. $5.00 for a bathtub as big as some bathrooms.

I handed over Mr. Lincoln and thought it was the most marvelous bargain I'd ever gotten.

Well, shows you what I know. Because I was living in the yurt at the time, where there was (and is) no room for a bathtub built for two. So what's a girl to do? Naturally, I had to construct a building fit to house such a gem! I had a little money left from a house my former Significant Sweetie and I owned. That got the project started. And four years and $30,000 later ... here I am.

There's probably a moral to this story. But I'm too bushed from my labor to think of it right now. "Avoid garage sales" might be a good start. "Be careful what you wish for" might be another. "Real estate owns its owner." Yeah, that's a thought. OTOH, I could look on the bright side and appreciate all the Learning Experiences I've had while finishing Cabin Sweet Cabin.

(And what useful preparedness skills I'm building, too. I tell you, if anybody ever needs some emergency drywalling done after TSHTF or simply must have ceramic tile for the bunker in their compound, I'm just the girl to do the job.)

Oh well. Now I'll go contemplate the moral of this story while I go take a looooong, deeeep, hot, soaking baaaaaaath ....


* Clarification for concerned builders: No, I am not creating a tile surround over regular drywall. The "drywall" here is water-resistant green board. And the tile is just a small trim strip. As there's only a bathtub and no wildly splashing shower in this arrangement, I'm guarding against general dampness, but don't need to armor against seriously, frequently wet surfaces, rot, termites, etc.

Posted by Claire @ 08:46 PM CST

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