Tornado Updates – Finished Bathroom (With pics!) and more.

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My tornado memoir – “Twisted” was released on 05/22/12! click here for more details, or to purchase!
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Wow, it’s been a LONG few months here!

A you may recall, I demolished the bathroom– by myself! – back at the end of June. We’ve been picking away at the repairs and renovations in there ever since.

WELL. We’re finally DONE! YES! It feels so good to have a fully functional bathroom!

Let me share the photos! First, a couple before shots… it really was an ugly bathroom…

ugly bathroom
I HATED that flooring… and the awful textured wallpaper was peeling off the walls!

ugly bathroom before and after
Before: Awful mirror-door enclosed shower, with ugly blue tiles. After: The header had been ripped out, all of the ugly tiles replaced with beautiful green ones. No more shower door – replaced with “oil rubbed bronze” shower rod. gorgeous new cabinets, new floor!

ugly bathroom before and after
Before: Ugly cabinetry, textured wallpaper all the way down to the floor. After: Tiled partway up the walls. Contrasting ivory tiles were designed to represent pi, in columns. Oil rubbed bronze towel loop, new toilet.

bathroom renovation
New sink, completely custom (home made!) built in cabinet. We had purchased the mirror to match the cabinetry, even thought it was far too big. My husband took it apart, cut the trim columns so it was shorter, affixed that to the edge of the new built in shelving… Made a door out of a smaller mirror, and some new trim pieces and – Ta da!- new door. Awesome.

ugly bathroom renovated
I hated that shower door, I hated those tiles… UGH. LOVE the new tile work!

fibonacci sequence bathroom tile
My favorite part of the new bathroom – Fibonacci sequence tiled right into the wall! Any Mathnet fans out there will likely remember “One, One, Two, Three, Five… Eureka!” all these years later. (If not, check out videos here, and here). Well, here’s one of those cases when one of us makes a crack about a crazy idea, and the other becomes an enabler / cheerleader.

We have Fibonacci sequence on our wall! Seriously, how awesome is that?!

It’s so awesome, we’re discussing hand-setting 150 digits of pi into 2″ glass tiles as the kitchen backsplash! YES! (Edited to add: We DID IT! 159 digits of pi as our kitchen backsplash!!)

ugly bathroom pics

Crappy wallpaper was removed, walls repairs and painted, awful popcorn texture scraped off ceiling and replaced by knockdown texture… and a heat lamp replaced the old light. YES!

Also, more “oil rubbed bronze” accessories.


New cabinet, more oil rubbed bronze accessories… it’s all far more elegant than our quick snapshots really show. Cannot tell you how much I love the new tile.


Man, it feels SO good to be DONE!

In other news, today is a HUGE milestone here. As you may recall, the cats had to stay with our father in law for 6 weeks after the tornado, while the house was unlivable and we were in hotels. Then, they came home and were stuck upstairs in the bedroom, while the whole main floor was used for staging / tools / storage / renovations were underway, etc.

Well, we finished the last of the real cleanup downstairs today, after a LOT of work over the holidays. Now, the front entry way, living room, 2 offices, bathroom, and dining room have NO evidence whatsoever that the tornado happened. No tools, no building materials, no contractor garbage bags, nothing. All clean, all liveable.

The only exception is that the temporary shelving from the kitchen is now in the dining room, so we can do the cabinets. I’m not counting that as “tornado” appearance, simply because we had planned to redo the kitchen anyway.

ANYWAY, yes. We let the cats out about half an hour ago, and they are stalking around the main floor like it’s a whole new world to them. They seem to be enjoying their freedom, after over 6 months “imprisoned” upstairs!








Huge sigh of relief to be able to take THAT step forward!

On the afternoon of May 22, 2011, North Minneapolis was devastated by a tornado. Twisted recounts the Porters’ first 11 months, post disaster. Rebuilding their house, working around the challenges presented by inadequate insurance coverage. Frustration at repeated bouts of incompetence and greed from their city officials. Dealing with issues such as loss of control, logistics, change, and over-stimulation, as an Aspergian woman.

Subjects covered include: Opportunistic “Vultures”, gawkers, new friendships, a bizarre gingerbread house, unique decisions made with the rebuild – including an internet-famous kitchen backsplash, “Tornado Claus”, contractor drama, water balloons, DIY design and work, music, sensory overload, and details on how to cook jambalaya for almost 300 people, in the parking lot of a funeral home… should you ever find yourself in the position to do so. Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.

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