Sunday, August 10, 2014

So, Long, Summer 2014

This is the last day of my summer holidays.  Granted, they mostly sucked, but I'm still not even close to ready to go back to school tomorrow.  I need a few more weeks, but the calendar waits for no-one.

Fingers crossed for good classes and a successful year!

Summer, 1957


We are still unloading boxes and boxes and boxes, but this photo jumped out at me from one of them and I had to immediately scan it and put it on Facebook so my aunt could see it.  This is my dad's youngest sister, aged 13.  I know this because I was maybe 9 months old here and I was born on her thirteenth birthday, and I hope I may be forgiven for thinking she's just the most adorable teenager ever. I'm rather fond of my aunt.

Anyway, this morning we woke up to the unhappy discovery that the washer connection had leaked and water had seeped under the laminate in the hall and flowed freely into the one bedroom that we hadn't pulled the carpet out of yet.  Water and laminate are not good friends (although boy howdy does it wick water like a champ), and it was ruined halfway down the hall, so Emily pulled it all out while Elizabeth and I pulled more boxes out of the POD and tried unsuccessfully to put.stuff.somewhere.  To pull up the ruined laminate Emily had to also pull up the baseboards, which were ugly and cheap anyway, and would have been taken out soon regardless (just not this soon).  She found that the drywall was not in good shape under the baseboards, and they'd just covered up holes with impunity (instead of actual, you know...patches).  So we've got to repair the drywall, decide what to do with the floor (concrete), and redo everything from the ground up.

We also pulled the carpet out of the last bedroom and put it out in the sun, once it's dry it'll join the rest at the Habit for Humanity Re-Store, as it's new and there's no reason for it not be used by someone who actually likes carpet.  Emily is at this very moment pounding away at the nail boards.  A friend is puttering about the mess that is the sprinkler system, as there's nothing that man likes better than a puzzle having to do with electronics. And I'm back to work tomorrow morning.

Quite a mess for only a week and a half of being here, isn't it?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Lots o' Work Ahead

We finally got the keys on Thursday last week and have been trying very hard to create order out of chaos ever since.  


Next time you move, I highly recommend ordering up PODS for your move.  They drop the POD off in front of your house, you fill it up with your belongings, then they either come and take it to the new place or put into storage until you're ready for it.  Expensive, but much more convenient than putting things in storage because there's a month gap between the old place and the new place as there was for me.  

We filled up two of the big ones and still had things left over.  Ugh.  This is the first one, that was delivered on Saturday to the new house. We emptied it into the house/garage (mostly garage), and will be spending the next few days assimilating the goods into the much smaller new house.  The second one will be delivered Friday.

But before any assimilating, we needed to get a few essential chores done.  The people who flipped the house didn't do all that good a job, slapping paint seemingly randomly and not cleaning anything.  



First up: Removing carpet.  It's new carpet, newly laid, but I really really hate carpet, so out it is going.  


It's a bit of work to pull it out, and yes, we'll be living on bare concrete until we decide for sure what to do with those floors (and have the shekels to do it), but we'd rather live on the concrete than the carpet. At least you can clean it, which, given what we found under those NEWLY LAID carpets, clearly was not a priority to whomever flipped this house.


This is what we found under the carpets, piles of it.  Ugh.  This is what I do not like about carpet!  You have no idea what's really under it and it's impossible to keep clean.  Good riddance, and it'll go off to the Habitat for Humanity store later this week.

When we got to the kitchen, we found that the cabinets had been painted without cleaning or priming (no lie, there were gobs of food spills that were just painted over), and this is what we found happened when we tried to clean it all up:


It was hideously disgusting, but it's clean now.  Only problem is that the outside of the cabinets were also painted without cleaning or priming, so we will eventually need to strip the paint off of them too.  

But that's okay.  It's mine, so I can do as I like with those kitchen cabinets!

Then on to the garage:


Before we could start using the garage as a staging area, we had to clean and clear out the battered cabinets that are in there now.  They were filled with cans of paint--full, partially full, and these, which are empty.  Not only that, but all three bins were filled with construction debris, so we needed to empty the recycling and yard waste bins before we used them for what they are supposed to be used for.  A trip to the dump is in our immediate future.



The yard's a disaster, too.  The grass is lush and green and way too long for the push mower I bought, so I've had to hire someone to come in and restore some order to the greenery before I start playing with it.

Once the carpets were out and the garage semi-neat (it still needs paint very badly), we were faced with the POD:


All of this needed to get out of the POD and into the house.  And it's only one POD!  We've been working on this for a few days, and finally have most of it at least temporarily incorporated.  




Not all the glassware is even here, but at least what is here is finding its home again (after anchoring this Billy shelf from Ikea securely to the wall).



And once the cabinets were cleaner, we could start putting what food we have away.  

This is just a start.  We're all tired of it, but perhaps nobody is quite as knackered as the dog:


We're all rather envious of her ability to find a safe corner somewhere and let the humans do all the work.

It's a start, after six days in the new place.  And since I'm back to work next week, it's going to go more slowly.  

But it's mine, so that's okay.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Still waiting...

This whole house-buying thing has taken longer than it should and cost much more money than it should.  I had budgeted to have some moolah to get started on a few things as soon as we moved in before school started, but by the time we get the keys--hopefully Thursday--and get things moved from storage--hopefully this weekend--and get things put where they will go for the time being--over the next couple of weeks--it will be time to go back to work, and with all this extra stuff I've had to pay for I'm tapped out.

I say "hopefully," because we've been told for the last two months that it'll be end of the week, beginning of next week, just a few days, by Tuesday, FOR THE LAST SIX WEEKS.

I expect it will all be worth it in the end, but at the moment, I'm about ready to start living in my car.

How I feel:


Friday, July 25, 2014

At Last! It's Mine!


Well, after years of waiting and weeks of anxiety whether I'd get it or not, it seems to be mine.  Mine, I tell you, mine!

Well, mine and the bank's.  God willing I'm around in 30 years and hale and hearty enough to enjoy owing it outright.

I expect--and hope--to see photos of how we change it from being mine to being mine.

Here are a few photos of a walkthrough we did several weeks ago so we can keep track of how it slowly gets (hopefully) transformed.

This is the front room, which is rather small, and I could do without the fireplace, actually.  I doubt I'll use it, but it's there.  This room will probably be my studio/office.

This is from the dining area (kitchen is on right, back door is on left) looking into the hall and two of the bedrooms.  I'm not all that stoked by the tile--which has been poorly laid in any event--and what we'd really like to do is strip everything down to bare concrete and stain it gloriously.  

The kitchen has been totally redone, and although the backsplash hasn't been well grouted, that's easy to remedy and is at the top of the to-do list.  Appliances are all new, and while I wouldn't have chosen black, it is what is.  

Trying to decide where to put what, although we know that it'll take a bit of shifting to put 2300 sf of stuff into a much smaller 1300 sf house.  

This is the master bedroom closet.  It's big, but there's nothing there but an unsupported shelf.  This will be hopefully transformed soon, and my cousin Cat has promised to advise, as she has just done her about-to-be-born son's closet in their house.  I did say I'd let her give birth first, which I think is quite generous of me!

The carpet--all of the carpet will be removed as soon as we get the keys.  Hopefully Habitat for Humanity can use it, because I'd almost rather live on decomposed granite than carpet.

Okay, not even almost.

This is from the passthrough that leads to the hallway, showing the kitchen, the "dining" area, and the poorly-laid tile.  the bright spot to the right is from a sliding door to the back yard.

The kitchen in my previous house was so delightfully huge, airy, and full of counter, cupboard, and drawer space that I have become dreadfully spoiled.  There is no place in this kitchen area for my fantastic butcher block island, which distresses me, but I'll figure it out, and I'll deal. No ingratitude here, lemme tell ya.

The refrigerator, which is currently in a pod and has been for a month, goes here.


Here's a corner of the back yard.  Eventually it will be mostly raised beds, although there is a lot of shade that might cause my gardening hopes to be a bit more difficult.  The back wall is a sound wall that is on a not very busy street, so only two neighbors who both have woof-woof dogs.  I like neighbors with dogs, because dogs bark when someone who is not supposed to be there comes around. Emily has a dog who does that too, but she's not as big as these dogs sound.

Eventually we hope to have hops growing on this arbor-ish thing.  The paint is badly peeling, though, so we'll need to do that soon, hopefully before winter. 

So very much to do, but hopefully I'll have plenty of time to do it.  Now all I need is the money!

Yes, I look very tired.  It's been a long summer, band not in the good way.


I can't wait to get the keys and start moving in!  This has been a very difficult summer, but it'll be worth it once we can settle into a house that does not belong to someone else. We can paint, pull carpet up, remove shower doors, install pet doors, tear out grass, build raised beds, whatever we want. It's mine.

Glory.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Modern medicine wins again...

This morning I had a tumor taken out of my neck for the fifth time, and again I'm singing the Kaiser praises:

Checked in at 7:30 for pre-op, headed into the OR around 9, was back in post-op and waking up by 10:15, dismissed at 11:30, stopped by Denny's for a quick lunch, then home in bed by about 1.

Death to Cancer!


Sunday, July 6, 2014