Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dissassembling the Girl Cave

Subtitle: The Unplanned Office Renovation

Two weeks ago my in-laws took my youngest two sons by airplane to their house for a week in Massachusetts. The night before the flight, my hubby and I decided the grandparents should take a photocopy of the boys' birth certificates with them for identification purposes. That would have been fine if our scanner hadn't decided to suddenly malfunction at nine o'clock at night.

After spending an hour searching online for a solution and calling the neighbors to see if they had a scanner we could use, my hubby finally had to drive into town to use my brother's scanner. That left me at home on the floor of my office still fiddling with the scanner and unknowingly making a big mess.

One of the tests we did was to feed paper into the printer and turn the machine back on. The paper came out all clumped together with tire tread marks on the top. Unbeknown to me, clumps of black ink had collected on the back of the stack of paper. When I set the paper to the side, I spread the ink around...everywhere. It was on the floor, on the sides of the printer/scanner, over my legs and hands.

I jumped up and washed off my hands and legs and returned with a damp cloth to wipe the carpet. Uh, oh! Big mistake. Water and dried ink together become wet ink blots on carpet. I wanted to cry, scream and tear my hair out, but the children were upstairs sleeping. Instead I doused the carpet with water to dilute the ink and soaked up much of it with paper towels. And I kept finding more microscopic pieces of ink clumps whenever the water hit a new spot on the floor. Finally I had everything nearly clean. I was resigned to living with new black specks on the multicolored-flecked, mostly white carpet. And I went to bed, leaving the office door open so the carpet could air-out and dry.

The next morning I came downstairs and knew a cat had peed somewhere in the house. Cat pee is so much worse than dog pee. More concentrated or something. I sniffed my way through the downstairs until I came to my office. My oldest son informed me that Dad thought the wet ink was letting off the odor. I stuck my nose to the carpet and immediately knew what the cat had done.

The carpet is nine years old and unfortunately this wasn't the first pet accident, but it was the one that pushed the carpet into the unsalvageable category. Especially because we are supposed to have guests using the room at the end of the month.

So now the carpet must go, which means I must empty the Girl Cave and my hubby must remove the built-in shelves, desk and murphy bed so we can get to the flooring underneath.

Amidst a major allergy attack (have I mentioned I'm extremely allergic to dust) I spent all day Saturday purging the office and moving everything into the dining room where I now sit in my makeshift office at the dining room table.

We've decided to use laminate flooring in the office to match the hallway, and we ordered it last night. Hopefully my hubby and I will be able to install it ourselves without too much trouble, but first he still has to remove the heavy, MDF built-ins out of the office.

Can anyone spare a few muscles?


  1. Focus on the end result. Won't it be lovely? Serene? Wonderful??

  2. Yeah, and my office chair will roll so much more smoothly over the hard floor!