Optimism is a helluva drug. I used to get so high, man. Really out there! Like that time two months ago when I first tore into the water damaged kitchen floor. The vintage linoleum was worn away in spots and the plywood backing crumbled like shredded wheat.

Start of kitchen floor demo - November 8, 2022

The shiplap subfloor splintered apart where I tried to pry it up and I stepped right through more than once. Despite that evidence, I wanted to believe I wouldn't have to replace it all. That was the Optimism talking.

See, it doesn't look so bad. What rot? Gimme another hit of that Optimism sh*t.
Call it mission creep or a can of worms, but instead of replacing just a couple of sections of rotted wood, in the end I tore out all the shiplap, extricated two large water tanks, trenched the crawlspace, re-mortared the river rock foundation, wrapped the pipes in electric heat tape and insulation, demolished an intractable monolith, laid a plastic membrane, tucked in mineral wool batts, and screwed down a fresh subfloor.

But I never fully kicked my Optimism habit, just took it in smaller doses and kept expectations low.

Like, this morning I really hoped to get the kitchen sink re-installed because 18 days doing dishes camping style gets kind of gross. There were many steps ahead but I felt ready, and Sarah is back and put her back into it immediately, hauled out the ruins of the original chimney, robbing future archaeologists of the opportunity.

I jammed some batts up under where the sun don't shine, used a 78" level to extend my reach. This should have been a Rockwool R23 for 2x6 framing, but this Safe and Sound skinny (meant for 2x4 framing) was easier to push into place from an awkward position. It's better than nothing and better than nothing is my guiding principle. This place will never be perfect but we'll settle for comfortable and sturdy.

It's one foot in front of the other, an inch at a time.

Wow! Been a while since I beheld the sun through a window here. Welcome to the Northwest!

It stopped drizzling around noon, and gradually over the afternoon blue overtook the sky. Around 3:45 Sarah suggested a walk to the spit but I stayed inside plugging away, driven by a vision of hooking up the sink before sundown.

What was I sinking?

I came to my senses and caught up with her at water's edge. The river was running fast, tide drawing out. A photographer set up his tripod, complained they weren't the clouds he wanted. Maybe it will change, I suggested, trying to push some Optimism. First one's free but he wasn't buying.

Back to work, there wasn't much left to do. One last square of floor...

The sink reattached quick and easy. This is temporary. I left just a little original countertop for dishrack space, didn't bother clipping it in or caulking. The cheap faucet dribbles at its base when in use and the garbage disposal is broken, but it was a sheer delight to do dishes luxuriously again.

After that, I jammed more batts in the wall adjoining the bathroom, coaxed the last dregs out of an aged can of foam, and took in the clean smell of sawdust where once was mold. Buttoned up and fully insulated at last, the room warmed up fast.


I'm having an Optimism relapse.


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