The old homestead here at Camp Cactus turns 100 this year, and to honor the occasion, we're making an effort to get the old gal looking a little less like a rundown boarding house and a little more like a well preserved gem. Looking back over old photos, I realized we've actually tackled some pretty big jobs over the years.
The little bathroom off the kitchen is one project I'm really glad we did.
the bathroom before
It was funky. A little 4 foot by 4 foot space on an open back porch. You had to go out the back door from the kitchen to get to it. There was no sink, the walls were open to the studs, and the floor was covered with cheap, stick on vinyl tiles that were peeling up at the edges. The tiny room was heated by a giant 220 volt electric heater next to the toilet that would have heated a space four times the size. Despite its obvious shortcomings, we were grateful for the extra toilet in a one-bathroom house. A year or two after we moved in, however, we discovered the floor had a severe case of dry rot, and we had to pull out the floor and the toilet before someone sat down and went through the rotten floor with their pants down.
We kind of lost our momentum after that, and went about two years with a gaping hole where the floor had been before we acknowledged that the job was now more than we could handle ourselves, and were able to afford to hire someone to finish the job. He closed in the back porch, eliminating the back door and stairs, leveled the sloping floor, and lovingly stripped all the paint off the funky old narrow fir door and frame. Then we ran out of money, and decided to finish it ourselves. We insulated and drywalled it, textured the walls, repaired the original old double hung window, installed a new toilet and tiny corner sink we found after an exhaustive search for one small enough to fit in the space.
the bathroom after
I papered the ceiling with pages from an old atlas. But the best part? We replaced the humongous old heater with a smaller, more efficient one.
Yesterday I read an article in the paper about the 2010 Census, and how the country is gearing up for another official head count in the next few months. I thought it might be a good employment opportunity, so I set up an appointment to take the test for Field Employee positions this morning. Last night I took the practice test provided online to familiarize myself with the kinds of questions that would be asked.
They're about what you'd expect from a government document. Here's a sample:
(The instructions tell you to refer to a provided outline of a chapter from a census procedures manual in order to answer this question.)
23. Which section of the manual tells how supplies such as pencils, erasers, and paper clips should be stored?
The correct answer is 2.D3, the section on "Storing small items".
Yup. It's government work all right.
No detail escapes attention.
There are even Official 2010 Census Government Pencils (No. 2 1/2) to use on the test.
Clearly, being a Census Enumerator is a Very Important Job.
I scored a 95 this morning...I'll let you know if that's good enough for government work.