Some Fool on the Titanic

The maiden voyage of the Titanic was of course an utter disaster and sad tragedy, however I can’t stop imagining that there was probably some fool trying to order a plate of caviar and cheese while mayhem was escalating. The fool, wearing a mask of complete denial.

Yea, that’s me.

We’ve accomplished, tackled and purchased a great amount in the 4+ weeks we’ve been in the house, but our list is still very long. We need to purchase driveway trees, a washer/dryer, plants for the front entry, plants for the patio, actually plants for everywhere, a new furnace/ac unit, roof, exterior paint, revamp the guest cottage… I think I’ve made my point.  So with this giant and daunting list, somewhere along the way I thought it was an absolute necessity to have this faux plaster deer head for the bathroom.

Like I said. Mask of denial.


p.s. As I unpacked it tonight, Mike asked if I was going to give it a name. I said it’s already named Denial the Deer.  He paused with instant regret and that tell-tale look I know so well; the look of “I wish I could retract that question because I don’t want to know now.”  I said, there’s a blog post coming out in a few minutes that will explain it all.

The Bathroom

Our bathroom. Have I mentioned it’s by far the nicest room in the house? Well it is. Here are a few recent updates.

We have a working toilet and shower!

Our vanity and sink are set.

Drawers are lined with over-priced paper but totally worth it.

The mirror is set (the wood blocks are only temporary until the glue dries.

My beloved pendant. Ahhh…. It’s on a dimmer and will likely always be on. I love it that much.

And it all looks better in person, rather than my quick iPhone snapshots.

bath1 bath2

The first pee!

The Clouse House has a toilet!


We’ve been waiting for a toilet in the house for weeks and it’s very exciting! Despite this major missing in-house necessity, using the guest house toilet out back has actually not been bad at all. The only real drag has been if it’s raining, but luckily we’ve had a mild 30 days and at night with the flashlight is not particularly fun but not terrible.

So when I would mention that we were about to purchase a toilet, a funny phenomenon happened every time. Everyone (Mike noted that it was only women that really cared) had an opinion with actual requests and I’m happy to say that it meets the requirements for all of our guests. Tall, not loud, no fancy buttons, no scary bidet and so on. The only thing it’s still missing is the door to the bathroom. So…. privacy is a bit lacking for the moment but Mike is working on that just as soon as he can.

Oh yea, I had the honor of the first pee.

Before + After | Bathroom

I know I’ve been promising you before and after photos, but I’ve been stalling because nothing is completely “after” yet. But I know you just want to see progress, so here’s a good one!

The bathroom is the smallest room in the house and has been the biggest project by far. We’re getting weary, but luckily it’s nearing completion.

The bathroom’s condition was deplorable. The sub floor was completely rotten and the tub was actually sitting on the dirt. The backside of the tub WAS part of the outside siding. Oh and speaking of siding, there was none on that side of the house. Oh yea and the framed wall was rotten too. We still don’t know how the house did not collapse. I suspect the paint held it together.

Here is Mike looking at the wall and saying some choice words followed up with absolute bewilderment.


Here it is all put back together, and yay the tub is not on the ground anymore! It was a big undertaking.


The pretty parts are finally starting to come together. This week, our tile was completed and we’re working on the finishing trim and paint. Once that is done, the toilet and vanity can be set!!


This weekend, Mike has been working on the wall opposite the tub which is the vanity/mirror wall.  He did some very nice paneling instead of sheetrock and we’re very excited for its modern aesthetic. The mirror will be a custom size with it inset flush into the paneling. Before the mirror is set, I took the opportunity to write a little something. So every time you look into the mirror, just know that it’s looking back at you and telling you that… “You look marvelous.”


“I feel like I’m in a Clint Eastwood movie.”

cowboy bath

When we were building our Ashland house, we had it all planned out. Mike purchased a very cute 18′ travel trailer and we parked it on a level spot on the property. It was our temporary home. It had a tiny bathroom and running water and the neighboring blue porto-potty was setup for any construction crews. Every base was covered.

During the first week in the snowy mountains, all of our trailer plumbing froze. Plan B. We switched to jugs of water for dishes, we begrudgingly slipped on our mud caked snow/work boots to trudge over to the porto-potty to do our business (midnight trips were horrible) and then the cherry on top… we specifically joined the local YMCA gym for the use of the showers and we went into town 2-3 times a week to clean up. I’ll never forget the look of horror when we’d hand over our membership card to the check-in desk. You could feel their eyes burning through our backs as our muddy and paint-riddled clothes made a straight bee-line to the showers. We never once set foot on one piece of exercise equipment.

So when our current bathroom wasn’t done in time, our new setup was a piece of cake.  We had two necessary needs. A place to bathe and a toilet.  The good news is the toilet in the detached guest cottage works, so that covered that. However the shower in the guest cottage has no hot water-heater (currently) so cold showers were out. So Mike hustled right up to the very last minute and got us hot water in our beautiful tub. We have to take baths, but it’s kind of fun. (Fun, since we only had to do it for a short while.)

Mike was in there scrubbing away on our first night and I peeked in and asked how it was going and he said, “I feel like I’m a Clint Eastwood movie.” Yep, it does. All we need is a shotgun leaning against the wall and a saloon girl to come in with a copper tea kettle with more hot water.

Time Capsule

My time capsule is all put together and ready to be covered up in the walls!  It includes:

  • Misc photos of us and family with full names, dates and locations mentioned.
  • A local newspaper and national newspaper.
  • A real estate and bridal magazine.
  • And then I included a few pages from my blog that tell our story.


Make it count.

Somehow we’ve become the 1 bathroom couple, likely because of our love for old houses. Sigh. Trust me I’d like more but we always find a way to make it work.

So what we’ve learned early on is to make that bathroom really count; splurging on fixtures and details.  So while we had been waiting for the close of escrow, we’ve been busy planning and making purchases for the house, including our bathroom stuff.

Mike and I work exceptionally well together. We respect each others priorities and generally agree on non priority issues. Thank goodness! We agreed that I could “have” the bathroom with his approval on the side. I can take things a little girly sometimes so we found a middle ground on everything. He “gets” the kitchen and I’m really excited to see what he does with that space! (summer project)


1) The first image is my inspiration photo that I carried around on my phone for over a month. Every time Mike suggested something smaller or different style, I would not budge. This vanity was my priority. I’d once again text him my inspiration photo and say, “This is what I want.”

2) So he found it! This charming old vanity was tucked away in a thrift store in downtown Petaluma. We offered $180 and carried it out to my car 10 minutes later. It needed some love but we could see all the potential.

3) And before the vanity was acquired, I was obsessed with the floor tile. Like really obsessed. Probably more like possessed. Anyway, it’s been my dream for years to have Mexican/Santa Barbara/Moroccan floor tile. Something bold! So the 3rd image is the floor tile we were considering. In all of Mike’s perfectionism, he layed-out the 12×12 mock scale so we could see how the pattern would repeat in our small space. The tile is shipping today!

4) Mike notched the vanity top so it mimicked the base notch and routed a pretty little edge detail all the way around. Those minor details make such a difference! The vanity was then covered in 3 coats of grey paint and another 3 coats of polyurethane and is just about ready – sort of. The bathroom is not ready for it so we have it setup in our current diningroom so we can dream about how nice it will be very soon.

If there is a video or link below this sentence, it’s an ad and not from me.