Date Night, Asbestos Morning

I’m sure our large readership **cough cough** noticed the radio silence these past couple weeks, and for that we are sorry. The truth of the matter is, The Mr was working some serious overtime, which cranked up my Momma duties, and we have barely even noticed the 43′ monstrosity in our backyard in the midst of life. BUT! The work deadline has been met and normal life shall now commence! Woo Hoo!! And to celebrate (a couple days early), we had a date night this past weekend. For those of you who don’t know, we have good friends nearby who are also “going tiny”, so they understand us on a level that many don’t. (You can check out their tiny house build at Crazy.Tiny.Free and see what they’re up to!) And our sons just happen to be “best best best best best best friends”, so we’ve developed a rather natural kiddo swap (read: free babysitting) between our families. So, when Kristy offered to keep SpartanKiddo for the night to allow The Mr & me a date night on Saturday, we JUMPED at the opportunity! And we knew that they would understand when our “date night” went this direction:

The Mr: Well, we just dropped off SpartanKiddo…have you thought of anything to do?

SpartanMomma: That fancy burger place we like in town sounds pretty good to me. You know I love their milkshakes, too. I’d also thought we could just window shop appliances.

The Mr: Yeah…we don’t have that kinda money to drop tonight, and I’d be just as happy with Five Guys.

SpartanMomma: If we’re going cheap, I have a Chick-fil-A gift card in my wallet…

So, yeah. Our “date night” was burgers and fries at Five Guys, followed by appliance gawking at Lowe’s and Best Buy, then curtain fabric hunting at JoAnn’s. And a chocolate milkshake from Chick-fil-A, just ’cause. That’s all totally normal, right? Nevermind, don’t answer that. Something useful that we did learn that night, though, was that the big box stores don’t carry the tiny appliance sizes that we’re looking for. Next time, we’ll be going to CampingWorld to check out the RV appliances! The Mr DID, however, fall in love with a TV at Best Buy, and is now devising a plan to fit a 40″ screen into the spot that was supposed to fit a 32″. I’m pretty sure he’s gonna get his way on this one. 😉

This brings us to Sunday morning. We would usually be at church, and we should have been at church, but we weren’t. (Except that Kiddo went with his BBBBBBF.) I woke up in an otherwise empty bed at 7:15AM. I checked the kitchen, the couch and his bicycle (his usual early morning haunts), but no signs of The Mr anywhere. At this point I had a pretty regular thought: What is he up to now?? One peek out the back window and my question answered itself when I saw the Spartan curtains open with plastic sheeting covering the inside of the window. That’s right friends, he had started the asbestos-floor-removal-project. I took a deep breath, threw on some clothes more appropriate for the morning chill, and trudged out back to assess the damage.

SpartanMomma: Good morning! Look at you, ready to tear up some floors.

The Mr: Good morning, Sweetie. Yeah, I figured we were gonna get something DONE today.

SpartanMomma: How long have you been at it?

The Mr: Well let’s see, I had to wait till daylight to get out here [because no electricity in the Spartan]…

Here’s a HUGE difference between my husband and I: he waits till daylight to get big projects started, while I will ecstatically let daylight pass me by without so much as a peek from my slumber. Mornings give me the creeps. But I digress…

Standing in the kitchen, looking into the living room. Plastic sheeting covering every surface EXCEPT the floors.
Standing in the kitchen, looking into the living room. Plastic sheeting covering every surface EXCEPT the floors.
A glance to the left of the kitchen. These pics were all taken before demo began.
Standing in the living room, looking into the kitchen. These pics were all taken before demo began.
Standing in the living room, looking into the kitchen. Take note of that tool leaning against the wall to the right - it's pretty handy!
A glance to the right into the kitchen. Take note of that tool leaning against the wall to the right – it’s pretty handy!
The XXL Tyvek suits we wore and the the plastic sheeting we hung. Just in case you're planning a similar project and looking for product recommendations. ;)
The XXL Tyvek suits we wore and the the plastic sheeting we hung. Just in case you’re planning a similar project and looking for product recommendations. 😉

With nearly the entire living room and kitchen taped off with plastic sheeting already, The Mr was charging ahead full speed with intent to get the asbestos-laden tiles safely removed from these 2 rooms. So I helped tape off what was left, we took a quick biscuit break, and suited up! We each wore full body Tyvek suits, gloves, respirator masks and goggles. We basically had no exposed skin. The further into the day, the higher the sun’s position, the hotter our tin can house became, the more sweat poured! And this was a relatively cool day! I wish I had taken more/better pics of us all geared up, but we’ll have to make do with a couple rough-quality iPhone shots.

Here I am, all suited up! For some reason The Mr bought only "XL" suits, thus the State Puff Marshmallow Man appearance.
Here I am, all suited up! For some reason The Mr bought only “XXL” suits, thus the State Puff Marshmallow Man appearance.
The Mr diligently tapping on the head of his paint scraper in an effort to "save" one of the better-looking tiles.
The Mr diligently tapping on the head of his paint scraper in an effort to “save” one of the better-looking tiles.
Here are the tiles that The Mr was able to save during the removal. The stacks are graded by quality - full tiles, half tiles, and last resort tiles.
Here are the tiles that The Mr was able to save during the removal. The stacks are graded by quality – full tiles, half tiles, and last resort tiles.

In the pic of The Mr, you can see the plastic sheeting wafting into the room to the right. This was because we decided to NOT tape the plastic down at the bottom, and we had also left the outside window cracked open. This “wafting” effect became increasingly annoying toward the end of the removal process when sweat was dripping down my eyes, a blister was festering on my left hand, I had the grace & mobility of the State Puff Marshmallow Man and all I could see was that dang plastic sheet dancing in front of me. But we made it through and learned a few lessons for the day that we tackle the back half of the house.

  1. That tall paint scraper on a stick tool (see pic above) was AMAZING at the blow-and-go removal! None of it was easy, but with that tool, we could stand up and throw all our weight at the tiles with no concern for their condition.
  2. Patience and hydration are highly correlated. And stopping to eat can greatly increase our ability to make fewer mistakes.
  3. Perfection is overrated. I don’t have to get every piece of green backing off the floor (tests showed it did NOT have asbestos in it) since The Mr is putting a layer of plywood over it.
  4. Everything takes longer than expected.
  5. Tape the dang plastic down at the bottom!
  6. We need better gloves.
The bare floor!! This shows the living room and most of the kitchen floor with the killer tiles GONE!
The bare floor!! This shows the living room and most of the kitchen floor with the killer tiles GONE! It’s a beautiful sight…at least it is to us!!
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