Friday, May 31, 2013

Let spring 2013 begin!

Woo! I haven't updated this in 11 months. Not quite a year so its ok, right?
The house is now COMPLETELY gutted. Two $700 dumpsters later... no more lathe, plaster, or insulation. Never again will I gut a house with plaster. I will sell my belongings and pay someone else to do it. Honestly.

The long haitus between posts has been because of winter. Our house is north facing so it is usually about 10-15 degrees colder inside than outside. Even a really enjoyable 55 degree fall day is unbearable inside. Since it has been almost 90 degrees this week we are now having the opposite problem. There is no pleasing me.

The front yard is planted! The plants look so amazing and are really selling the illusion that the house isn't as unlivable as it actually is. The neighbors especially like that instead of rotting leaves and trash there are plants. The deer enjoy eating them which really pisses me off.

Expect more updates to come. We hope to be moved in by fall, although I said the same thing last year. I am an optimist. 

SPOILER ALERT: The next post will be about being able to turn lights on and me crying uncontrollably because of the lights.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Yellow wires, blue boxes, and a Native American Princess.

Debris is what I am good at.
I know its been almost a whole month. I am aware. You have to understand dear readers, that the massive improvements to the house on Main Street are not much to be appreciated visually. Honestly the house looks nearly identical to what it did a month ago; except the hollow walls are now strung with bright yellow wire and dotted with hollow blue boxes.

You see, electricity has finally come to the house on Main.    Eureka.

I don't know much about electricity other than I like it and I am glad that I live in a time when I can abuse the fact that I have it by accidentally leaving lights on and blasting music too loud at random hours of the night. I wasn't much help during this installation process so I filled up the last month with plans, work, and scouring antique stores for quirky additions to the house.

Oh, hello basement. I can see you through the laundry room floor!

Some of my awesome finds include:

Magtag Gemini gas stove: $350 my $1800 dream stove at a banging' price. Thanks Habitat for Humanity!

This awesome iron and milk glass chandelier: $5 I am seeing this in a bathroom.

This lamp made of hooves: $??? I am not telling because Will would kill me. He hates it.

Chalk horse: $3 I have already broken one of his legs. Character.

Rooster cookie jar: $7
Chrome diner chair: $2 To be recovered in a grey velvet. I am unapologetically obsessed with chrome right now.
Huge and very old mirror: $2

and my crowning glory,
Native American Princess oil painting on cloth in cool old frame: $35

Honestly I would have paid more for this pretty and suspiciously Caucasian lady. You see I firmly believe that an old house should have an old portrait in it. It greets your visitors and brings a little lore to the place. I could have gone the creepy realistic portrait route (I found a few paintings that I wouldn't want to meet down a hallway late at night) but I prefer quirkiness to creepiness. I had seen this pretty lady in the antique store multiple times before I finally caved and bought her. Each time I left without her under my arm I regretted it and I would find myself checking in on her each visit until the amazing 25% off sale over 4th of July weekend. All self control was lost and she came home. She is just so smiley and happy looking that I am sure she will be the perfect Main Street house mascot. I just love her.

The plans for the rest of July are as follows:

1. Rent ANOTHER dumpster and clean out house AGAIN. Does the plaster and insulation ever end? No it doesn't.
2. Plant the front yard. All of my poor plants are dying to get in the ground.
3. Paint doors. Probably blue instead of the yellow I wanted but fear not because...
4. Paint and hang huge YELLOW porch swing. We can't compromise on Will's beloved coconut shampoo smell but we can paint the swing yellow instead of the door.
5. Find 10k to pay for heating and ventilation system. Don't worry, I have a plan. It isn't stripping or prostitution.
6. Buy a toilet and hook it up. I am sick of peeing in the drain in the basement. Girl has a tiny bladder.
7. Try to blog more. I WILL TRY.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What have we done?!!

Masks for safety and attractiveness.

I am so sorry I have neglected you all. The interest in this insanity has blown my mind and I hate that I have left you all in the dark for almost 2 weeks!!

My husband is so manly, tolerant, and attractive. 

Today was the first day I asked myself this question. I went into demolition mode thinking I would LOVE it. I mean, I get to knock down walls with a HUGE sledge hammer feeling all badass and bashing away all the stress in my life right?

The debris grows...


You see, what I didn't anticipate about demo was the dust. Old insulation is also terrible. After 8 hours of beating down walls you are left in a pile of rubble, itching like a crazy person from all of the old fiberglass that is all over your face. The bashing and crashing is great; the aftermath of itch and hundreds of pounds of plaster that has to be carried out of the house into the 5 foot tall dumpster is nothing but humbling.

One of the many piles.

I have found that all of the old features that make you want to buy an old house are suddenly the ones you couldn't care less about. The priceless 8 inch tall moulding on all of the doorways and baseboard you absolutely adored becomes such a pain when you have to pry it off of each and every stud without damaging it. The cast iron claw foot tub you dreamed about becomes this heavy unmovable thing you have to work around to remove the ugly linoleum roles underneath. The little victories seem suddenly eclipsed by the huge realities of the old and damaged house you bought.

Husband to wife pep talk on our stoop.

It is time like these you buy yourself new MAC lipstick called "Brave Red", shiny new house numbers to put on your doors, and listen to everyone who tells you the house will someday be beautiful. It will someday be a legitimate HOME that is worth all of the work, the money, blood, sweat, and freak outs.

Someday this will be grand.

At the end of the day you HAVE to believe everyone else who can see the progress and plans, when all you can see is debris and old linoleum.

New house numbers, and a thumbs up from my dear father-in-law.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Officially Homeowners!


Wreaths and all. Done deal. Will and I own a home! We placed the welcome mat and hung the wreaths so people know someone owns it now. I finally got to indulge my desire to clean the windows. WOW they were and still are so bad and dirty. Can I just hose down the entire house?

A fine example of the lead based paint the house has throughout. This gorgeous mess is in the basement.

So ever since day one Dan had a feeling the porch panels hid spindles. They did and we are so excited!!



 What a difference! I feel like it took the whole porch up a notch. SO in love.

Come see us this fall.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Close tomorrow at 9 am. Tomorrow is going to be like all of the Christmas mornings we have ever had all rolled into one. We may not yet have power, water, heat, or insulation, but we do now have a WELCOME mat and some pretty sweet DIY door wreaths. And plans. So many plans.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Round two.

Well! Almost a month later and we got the call this afternoon that we will be closing this Friday! I have a decent feeling about this second attempt as many lawyers and the IRS were involved in making sure our title is now clear and title insurance should protect us from anyone ever trying to claim our house from us in the future. In celebration we stopped by the house and after discussing how we would break into our own house, we decided to play safe and just trespass in the back yard. I thought it looked better a month ago, but WOW the whole thing looks like a wonderful green jungle right now.

It was a very bittersweet week however. We lost Queenie Puff Puff to a severe and sudden prolapsed vent. She deserved dignity in the end and I couldn't bear the thought of her suffering through the 90 degree days we have been having. Vets were closed on the weekend and holiday so Will and Dan put her to rest humanely and quickly. She is buried under the pine trees along the house. I am still just so sad and so is Deco, who sleeps alone in Queenie's nesting box now. At the end of the day though, I am comforted by knowing that she is at peace now, with no pain, and that she was severely loved and cared for during her life. Deco is bonding with our white Cochin Rosie, and Satchel the Australorp is going to make a wonderful head hen who will treat her fellow hens with kindness and a firm hand.

Long live the Queen.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Hard come, easy go..?

Well, some bad news.

We learned Wednesday (exactly 48 hours before the closing) that we would not be buying the house Friday. Basically I received a text message from Mrs. Realtor that literally said "not closing fri, too much debt". Totally explains everything right?

After anger, tears, and frustrating calls to the realtor  we have untangled that the seller is unable to sell us the house because there is an IRS lien on it. He plans on meeting with them next week to try and reduce his (HUGE) debt and clear the house for sale, but everything is up in the air now.

It is beyond frustrating to have endured this whole process and have it possibly be a waste of time, emotions, and money. Basically it would be $410 of inspection money down the drain and possibly another $250 if we have to fight to get our money-in-hand back (it was withdrawn from our account a few weeks ago.)

We are signing an extension of the contract to June 8th, to let the seller hopefully get his shit together. Until then we are left minus $660, stressed, and with a bunch of plants purchased for the shade garden we might not ever own.

More when we know more.