One of the changes we are going to make to the house is to remove all the existing flooring and replace with stained concrete. This is for several reasons. The vinyl flooring is peeling and unattractive, and the carpets are full of dust, which causes allergy problems for Eleanor.
Stained concrete is an economical way to go, but we've never had it before and so we are proceeding with caution. The guy we have chosen to do the job is starting with just the laundry room. If we don't like it, it will be easy to cover up again, and if we do like it he'll do the rest of the house when we return this fall.
Since our floors were previously covered with glue for the vinyl, they need some prep before they can be stained. Toby has covered the concrete with a thin skim of an acrylic concrete compound to give a fresh surface. This took a few passes and overnight to dry.
The next step is to apply stain. This is the artful part. After a couple of conferences, we decided on a mixture of a tea-colored stain with an orange stain, with touches of turquoise, red, and tiny veins of eggplant. I know, it sounds like a bad salad, but we think it will come out nice. We won't really know until the clear sealant is on, because that's when the color pops out.
If everything goes well, Toby will have the floor done on Wednesday and I'll have pictures to post. In the meantime, a parade of tradesmen continues through the house. Today, we had the chimney sweep install a spark arrestor and barrier against animals. The palm tree trimmer came by to give an estimate, and I talked to two landscapers, who will be coming by this week to offer estimates on our disastrous back yard.
Another bit of neighborhood color emerged today. Apparently the "famous mobster" I mentioned in yesterday's blog was Joseph Bonanno, a.k.a. "Joey Bananas". He's one of the few old-time Mafia guys who managed to live to old age and not spend a long time behind bars. His career was the stuff of legend, starting with his rise to power as a boss at the age of just 27 years.
He died in Tucson in 2002 at the age of 97, having survived three assassination attempts while he lived here. Since he owned several houses in the city I doubt he lived in this neighborhood toward the end. He probably bought in during the neighborhood's heydey in the 1960s and 70s. Still, it's a great little bit of notoriety to think about during our evening walks. I'm sure someone here knows which house he owned.