Yesterday, a gust of wind knocked over a neighbor’s trash bin, and the torn out, empty pages of a calendar flew all over the street. No image better sums up where we are at this stage of 2020.
Someone mentioned in an email that Monday was Memorial Day, and I was genuinely surprised. You could tell me that it was still the beginning of April, and I would nod my head in agreement. It’s not because this isolation period has been particularly difficult on us, but rather what day it is (or month) doesn’t feel particularly relevant right now. We have the present. And with this much uncertainty, Andy and I aren’t looking beyond that in most cases.
After the surge to create face masks ended, I finally joined the ranks of the “must clean everything” society. Obviously, we were already wiping down doorknobs and doing the routine cleans, but I took things up a notch. I started eyeing the top of door frames with suspicion. We scrubbed all of our blinds. Our baseboards would smile, if they could.
And then I got serious.
Because I don’t find social media or the news particularly comforting right now, I’ve taken to doing projects that will keep me from relentlessly refreshing a rotating set of pages. I don’t need to read the rantings of … well, anyone, really. Bigger projects started beckoning with their promise of keeping me away from the Internet and on the path of accomplishing something with all this free time.
Home Improvement Projects: Caulking and Grout
This week’s projects involved removing the old caulking from the kitchen sink and shower, replacing them both and then refreshing all the grout lines. I had wanted to do these projects for ages, and it was clearly time. I will say that I did not remember exactly how sticky caulking was (my shorts will bear witness to my caulking escapes forever).
Tip: Grout pen is the best thing for cosmetic improvements when re-grouting is either too expensive or impossible due to being a non-essential activity during very-near-quarantine. It is my new favorite tool for refreshing kitchens and bathrooms!
We have some funky colors in our apartment kitchen — the building was built in 1929, but we think the pink may have come in the 1940s or 1950s. Needless to say, the grout is gone and only tile cement remains.
Step 1 in the grout refresh is done. I need to do some additional clean-up, but the difference is so huge, and it is easy to use. Plus, it is less than $10 — significantly less than re-grouting the kitchen counter (if that option was available). Grout Pen will be my go-to refresher even when lock-down is over (and I’m not getting paid to say that)!
The shower also sports some pink and green tile that would have made my preppy 1980s self, very happy. New caulking has gone in, and the next stage is cleaning up the tile and the grout lines.
I’m not quite finished. I’m still brightening my grout lines in the shower, and there are always touch-ups to be done. But I’m pretty happy that things are moving in the right direction. Today, things are cleaner and brighter. And that’s something.
What is the biggest project you have undertaken since the coronavirus quarantine started?