Remodeling and Upgrading Our Cloister Bathroom


After living a few years in our Cloister home Bonney and I knew what we needed to do to upgrade our Master Bathroom. We decided not to completely gut the bathroom but rather to upgrade for safety and comfort. Here is what we did:

We Replaced the Old Toilet

Elongated Extra Height Toilet

We replaced our old toilet with a luxury, or ADA (American Disabilities Act) 17″ height, elongated bowl toilet. The elongated toilet bowl typically is two inches larger in circumference  than the standard version. Its oval shape does  take up more up front space than a typical round toilet bowl. The elongated, oval shape also provides more seating comfort. The sides of the elongated  seat comfortably support the upper thigh, much like a comfortable chair.

An ADA  accessible toilet is 17″ to 19″ in height. Most regular toilets are 14″ to  16″ in height. The difference between ADA and  regular toilets is about 2 to 4″ . Until you need assistance because of a disability or temporary  infirmity you will never realize how important that extra 2″ is for both safety  and comfort. Having had hip and knee surgeries this toilet has been a Godsend.

We Did a Tub to Shower Conversion

Before and After

We tore out the old tub and installed a custom shower. The shower enclosure is 6 feet wide by 2 1/2 feet deep and fits in the same space as the old tub. Grab bars helped with balance and stepping into the enclosure is easy since the shower base has a low 4″ lip.  We chose sliding frosted glass doors with attached towel racks. We added a corner shelf and both standard shower head and handshower with a bar mounted  adjustable holder. We did not get a built-in shower seat since a portable shower seat is more convenient.

We waited several years before we took on this project but we are glad we did it.

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Phew, The Cloister Garage Sale is Finally Over……


Bonney pushed the button and the garage door finally closed on Saturday’s Cloister Garage Sale. We did fairly well on this sale. I sat at the cashier table, negotiated prices, and collected the money.

We left the lookers and buyers alone as they rummaged through our treasure. As the buyers bought our stuff, Bonney would rearrange the remaining items to make them more attractive and moved them from the floor and bottom selves to the upper shelves and table tops. It worked and we sold a lot of stuff.

Nearly every buyer negotiated prices but that was OK since we had priced our products appropriately. At one o’clock we put up a sign “1/2 Off on Everything”. A number of people stopped between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm to look. If we donate what we don’t sell then no matter what we received for an item was better than nothing. I tried to assure that no one walked out Saturday afternoon without buying regardless of how much I dropped the prices. I am not running a business for profit but rather ridding us of useless stuff so we can empty a storage locker on Charlotte Pike and save $95/month rent payment.

Our total return on this sale included money from the Garage sale plus $1140 which we don’t spend on storage unit rent over the next year.

That’s not bad for a day’s work!

Garage Sale At The Cloister


The Cloister Homeowners Association is sponsoring The Cloister Community Garage Sale on Saturday, October 8.  Barbara Swift and Betty Lingerfelt are the Co-chairs of this event and their announcement in the monthly Association newsletter “The Cloister News” has some good hints and suggestions. It’s a great opportunity to get rid of a lot of “treasure”. Bonney and I will set things up inside the garage in advance behind closed garage doors. On the morning of the sale we will lift the garage door and move some of the goods outside in the driveway to initially attract the people and lure them into the garage where we will  have arranged most of the stuff.

We will post an ad in Craigslist listing various items and categories along with some pictures. If anyone is interested in placing their own ad on Craigslist describing some of the items to be sold, here is the information. These ads cost nothing except personal effort to post them.

How to Post Your Ad on Craigslist www.craigslist.org

1 When you are on the Craigslist website, it will have a long list if states, cities, and countries outside the U.S. Click on the targeted area where you want to post.

2 Select the category you wish to post your advertisement, then click on the right side of the page where it says in blue print ‘Post’.

3 Next pick For Sale then pick Garage Sale.

4 Now it is time to write your ad. Think of a headline that will stand out from the rest. Remember that you have competition with other advertisers so make sure to write a catchy title for your ad so you will gain many readers.

5 Make your description clear. If necessary, make it short, simple and to the point.

6 After making a headline and description, type in your email address your can readers can reply to your ad.

7 Click on ‘continue’ and you will see a preview of your ad and below will be a verification code. Type in the letters and numbers correctly and move on to the next page.

8 Read the Terms of Use. After reading the agreement, click on the button and you will will be ask to check your email so the ad can go live. You will have a email from Craigslist to activate the link. Your ad is finally posted for all to see.

Here is a sample screen of a Nashville Craigslist listing:

Sample Craigslist Page

Tips & Warnings

  1. If you do not want anyone to view your personal email address, don’t worry. Craigslist automatically post your email address anonymously.
  2. As they say, a picture is worth a thousands of words. You may have more success posting pictures, especially in the personal ads, housing or of the items you are selling.
  3. Do not spam the website. If you must gain traffic at least post to five different cities, rewording your descriptions. Because if you go overboard with spamming, there is a high chance that your ad will constantly get flagged. Also Craigslist will spot this, ‘ghost your’ ad and it will not be available for all to see.
  4. Never post in the wrong category or your ad is violates the Terms of Use. Your ad can be flagged immediately.
  5. Be careful that your ad does not offend anyone. One wrong word can set some people off and have you reported.

Good luck with your sale!