The Bathroom Report: Day 75

When I started this series of posts back in May, I really wouldn’t have guessed I’d still be writing them 75 days later… and yet here we are. If some past weeks went forward in leaps and bounds, progress now feels like it’s measured in fractions of an inch.

I did get to commemorate the 75th day of bathroom remodeling by seeing the last “major” item knocked off the list of things that still need installed. The 4’ x 4’ piece of glass that should, theoretically, keep most of the shower spray contained inside the shower got dropped into place around 8:45 this morning. After a 24-hour waiting period for the silicone to set, the house will have a working master shower for the first time in its 22-year history. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a hell of a big upgrade from the super-sized, dust collecting tub the last guy thought should dominate the room.

It’s still not quite a fully functional bathroom yet, though. The prime contractor needs to come back to put in a towel bar and toilet paper holder. Two mirrors still need to be hung. There’s a fair amount of caulking that still needs done on the vanity and shower fixtures. The hand-held shower’s connection to the supply line still needs tinkered with to stop a rather annoying “belch” of water from coming out of the joint when the diverter is cut over from the hand held back to the main.

Maybe, if I’m lucky, it means just one more visit from the contractor and this endeavor will be finished. I suppose I could spend every day hectoring them about getting the last of the work scheduled, but since I’m holding the last quarter payment until work is finished and accepted, I suppose they’ll be calling me sooner rather than later.

On knowing your coin…

Aside from books, I’m not a particularly avid collector of many things. One exception is Fostoria’s coin pattern glassware. My first pieces were bits from home. I suspect they were mostly things my mother was mostly tired of dusting around and ended up with me because I’m a soft touch for whatever object comes along with a family connection.

Over time, I’ve added to those first three pieces pretty steadily – maybe a piece or two a year as I find them. Coming across new bits for the collection “in the wild” is more entertaining for me than bulk auction buys. I’m not in a hurry to complete a set, so it’s largely a case of adding what I find when I find them.

This past weekend, in recognition of the impromptu three day weekend, I seemed to come across pieces of coin pattern in every shop I walked into. I was awash in an ocean of the stuff. Usually I’d say that’s a good problem to have.

Unfortunately, there was a problem with every single piece I picked up. Fifty percent of it was “reproduction,” or more precisely legitimate pieces made not by Fostoria, but more recently by Lancaster Colony. It’s still nice stuff, but my collection is focused on earlier pieces so I left all of those where I found them. Some of the examples were reproductions pretending to be vintage – their coins sandblasted or acid etched to give the illusion of proper frosting on the coins themselves. Those are always a hard pass.

The real killers were the ones that didn’t fall into either of those categories – and they were correspondingly harder not to bring home with me. These were the original bowls paired with “fake” lids or original lids paired with fake bowls. They were probably the most disappointing of all, since they were in a couple of the harder to find color options. Still, I left them alone, as trying to find the right replacement lid or bowl on its own could take years, if it ever came along at all.

Why am I telling you this? Just a reminder, I guess, that if you’re going to be a collector of anything, knowing a bit about it besides “looks pretty on a shelf” is in order. Otherwise I could have spent a few hundred dollars last Friday and come home with a dozen things that looked like they should fill holes in the collection, but really didn’t. I’ve no idea how that applies to anyone or anything else, but it feels like a decent enough life tip.