The Most Exciting Thing That’s Ever Happened While I Had a Fever

Should I keep you in suspense here? No? Okay, well LOOK WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK.


That, my friends, is a bath. In my house. 

It’s been four years (almost to the day) since I moved out of the Memorial House with its gorgeous beachy bathroom, and a master bath with a huge soaking tub and fireplace.  And, listen, there is no doubt my life has become infinitely more awesome on this farm, okay? I was just thinking about this yesterday while I was on my tractor mowing my back field…  when I first bought this place I considered myself a reasonably competent human being (and licensed builder) and I still had to call my grandpa and get step-by-step directions on how to operate the damn riding mower. And I didn’t exactly want to learn how to operate a tractor, but I needed a tractor, and someone was going to have to operate it, so..


Here we are. I love that tractor. I’m so grateful for all the awesomeness on this farm and all the lessons it teaches me, but, also? At the end of a long day?


I don’t even give a shit about fancy tubs or fireplaces anymore. I would just be happy with an option that doesn’t look like this…


Yeah. That’s what the one working bathtub in this house looked like when I moved in.

And a year ago (an actual year, that is not an exaggeration) I decided I would do a “quick fix” on the upstairs bath to make it useable. You know, just swap out the tub and the surround… maybe a little tile. No big deal. I said multiple times in this post that it would “just take a couple of weekends.”

Ha. Ha ha.

Okay, so, I might have underestimated the timeline a little bit. (Seriously, I’m both entertained and exasperated at myself right now.)

The best part is that out of the last 52 weekends, there was only one that I had a fever and complete inability to breathe through my nose… and that was the day I decided to finish my tub.


Actually, a big thanks (and a lot of credit) goes to my girl Sarah at the UggDuck (which, for the record, I just typed as “UggDick” so… yeah) who put so much time into tiling this bath surround when she was here. I would still be hours and hours away from having this complete if it wasn’t for her.

As it stood I just had to cut and install the bottom row of tiles, and a few mind-bendingly tricky pieces like this…



Well. Technically I should have pried that whole piece of window trim off and made this work a different way, but a.) 150 year old windows (and I was not opening that can of worms) and also, b.) FEVER. So I decided to make the most intricate tile cut I’ll probably ever have to make in my life. Totally makes sense.


But it worked. 

Anyway, there was a day of cutting and installing the last of the tile, and then a day of grouting.


And at the end of the day I didn’t have the wherewithal to finish installing the trim for the fixtures (which would have required using a blowtorch) or caulking the bottom joint of the surround.

This is as far as I got…


And then I basically just gave the spout a middle finger and turned the valve on anyway.

But I did find five minutes to pull some scrap wood out of my pile to put together a makeshift bath tray…


It was seriously 5 minutes. I just ripped down the piece of wood…


Then I cut it to length (and used the scrap for “legs”)

And a little sanding and wood-glue later…


I basically built this while the tub was filling. It’s not pretty or finished, but it’s damn handy…


There’s still a fair amount of work to do in this bathroom (starting with the floor tile) but even though its got exposed subfloor, and a copper pipe sticking out of the wall instead of an actual spout…

This is still the best thing that has ever happened on this farm while I had a fever.

(And I’m 100% better now, by the way, but I’m still playing catch up from being sick for a few days… and by “playing catch up” I mean “reading books in my bathtub” obviously. Can you blame me?)

20 Responses

  1. I’ll bet that bath was glorious!

    We’ve not had a bath since I ripped ours out 6 years ago – the ‘new’ family bathroom is used to store materials, the baby gets his baths in the kitchen sink (we’re old skool) -we have a week shower room too, we don’t stink.

    I love those tiles, the cut out one looks great, and you were right to go with dark grout -looks brilliant!

    Enjoy your bath!

    Ann @

    1. Seriously… it was amazing. This should have been the very first thing I did when I moved in here.

  2. Kit, You are amazing…. Now you do know in that tractor picture your driving around with your R.O.P.’s down and your toplink to the brush hog missing. I need to drop my ROP’s while working under obstacles but I put it back up as soon as possible after. ROP’s up, seatbelt on. Safety first!

    1. Oh, Clark, I know that was a well-intentioned comment, but when someone starts off with “Do you know…” about any of my tools and equipment, I’ve got to say that comes across as a little condescending. Of course I know why things are set on my tractor the way they are… I’m the only person who uses it. Consider that you’re seeing one snapshot of something totally out of context and that I’m actually the person operating the equipment, and that sometimes I toss random pictures in posts when I’m telling a story for effect. It would be absolutely horrible storytelling if I stopped in the middle of a post about my bathtub to explain all of the things that are going on in a picture of my tractor and justify why they are that way… not fun to write, not fun to read.

      Now if I’m ever saying “here’s a picture of me doing something and you should do it exactly this way” then I expect I’d be providing a lot of explanations, and people should definitely feel free to question why I’m doing things the way I’m doing them. In the meantime though I appreciate concern for my well-being… it’s not something I take into account in any of the decisions I make regarding my tools, equipment, and safety practices (all of which I fully accept the consequences for) but it’s nice that people don’t want to see me get hurt. 😉

  3. As Clark said of ROP’s guards n seat belts. We do enjoy very much reading you and wish you well with continued success 🙂

  4. Thanks for the excellent blog post! I am glad I found your blog and I look forward to reading the other posts you have! As I am just getting started in the blogging arena, your site is going to be a great resource for me!


  5. Congrats, Kit! As always…a phenomenal job and I’m very glad you’re feeling better! The tub is fab, but I have to say I am totally impressed with that intricate tile cut! I’ve been a fan/follower for quite some time now, I’ve learned a great deal from you. Thank you! (Still cherishing my Paslode nailer!)

  6. Yay for you and your Bath!! Love the last minute shelf. At this time we don’t have a tub on our farm and oh will we be redesigning the master bath by our bedroom :>) There are many days I could use a hot bath.

    Keep up the good work and glad to hear you’re feeling better and catching up “on some reading”!

    You’ve certainly earned it this year!

  7. I myself am not a huge fan of baths (I hate getting pruney toes and fingers) that has to be the most well-deserved bath I have ever seen! Also, your last minute tub tray might convert me to baths. Convenient access to wine and a book might make me less annoyed by pruned digits.

  8. Getting out lying projects done is so rewarding. A hot bath in a cold climate has got to be a heavy hitter on the comfort scale. In southwest Florida an outside shower is the equivalent. Rock on home improvements! Best to you in your homestead journey 🙂

  9. Congratulations! I too love a bath, so I can imagine what you’re feeling right now. I’m wondering if you can share how you’re going to finish the tile up against the window? It looks like you didn’t use an edger strip (whatever they’re called). I didn’t either in our bathroom, but now I’m not loving how I can see the edge of the tiles.

  10. I’m more a shower than a bath person, but I do get the excitement, it certainly looks great. I love the look of the tiles, always been a fan of them. You also made (imho) the right decision around the window trim, even though it might be considered not the best option. In my experience these things always go south…

  11. I’m amazed that you did all that with a fever! I can’t even get out of bed when I have one. Then again, it’s also amazing the lengths we’ll go to when we really want something…

  12. Hi Kit! I’ve been following your blog probably the last year and love your drive, humor, sarcasm, skill and balls to take on some of the projects you do. Since my husband and I bought a house 3 years ago we decided to take on renovations ourselves, which resulted in some similar highs and lows when doing our kitchen, and currently the master bathroom.
    We’re almost done with our bathroom but one of the last things left is grouting our tile walls, which look like the same white subway tiles as yours. What type of grout did you use and how was your experience applying it (will be using a white grout)? We’re looking between SimpleGrout Pre-Mixed Grout and Fusion Pro Single Component Grout, but if you used something different and it was great I would love the advice.
    Thanks and keep kickin’ ass on the farm!

  13. I love that I’m not the only one rocking a spout-less tub at the moment! Congrats, its beautiful.

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I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.