Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Busy, busy! Bought a house - a 1930's brick beauty with actual wood lath and plaster walls (and the plaster has horse hair in it - I was totally floored when I looked up plaster building techniques from that era). This house has HISTORY. And of course, being us, we're going to have a lot of fun updating it and obliterating three quarters of a century. We're scrubbing walls, patching walls, and cursing at broken plaster keys and rough casement windows. Fixing leaks in the basement, tearing up carpet. Imagine this - we paid less than assessed value for this house, and were told that the bathroom had hardwood floors. The rest of the house, other than the wonderful wood stairs, was carpeted (except for the ugly linoleum in the kitchen). We tore up the carpet - it started because I wanted to get rid of the carpet in one small bedroom where it smelled awful and was too stained to bother with. There is solid, beautiful old hardwood underneath, albeit a bit water-damaged. It's recoverable, mostly. So this weekend Mom came down and we tore up two more rooms. The wood floor is in great shape downstairs and I'm both cursing and praising the idiots who installed carpeting over it... it's a mixed blessing, as it wouldn't be in such great shape without decades of protection from the ugly carpeting, but there were at least two carpet installs (we found a few brown shag carpet fibers stuck to rusted staples under the current beige carpet) and I have to pull out a LOT of staples from the padding. Ugh! We think that there's wood flooring in every room of the house... even the kitchen - hidden under not one, but two disgusting layers of linoleum!

We also discovered that behind a giant mirror (it literally covered the entire chimney from mantle to ceiling in the living room), there were remnants of some really cool old wallpaper which we've got to remove before we can paint. The 50's come back to haunt us...

So that's that. We're trying to get things in move-in shape (a big task, considering the copper plumbing was stolen from the basement before we bought the house, and all the rooms need serious cleaning), and it's a huge task... but we're EXCITED.

That's all for now - more updates soon - hopefully with pictures!

Sunday, May 02, 2010



Been waiting for stuff to settle, and I hate waiting. I get flustered, and waste my time with things like this word game, which although supposedly good for your verbal skills is also infringing on my ability to finish my paperwork (as usual; anything is more exciting than paperwork).

Monday afternoon I've got another appointment with the adviser at the community college and will hopefully be able to register for classes right then and there. Once that's done for sure I'll have to re-work my summer schedule at least for the mornings that I'll be in class, and after that I'll need to check on funding for fall and scramble to get my fall schedule worked out as soon as I can get the class listings, because that class schedule will determine which client (if any) I can keep and which will have to be dropped. I'm planning on tutoring this summer/fall and possibly changing jobs to pick up any slack in income, and will need to know when I'm free to do that as well.

This week some time we're supposed to be getting new neighbors - a single mom and two young children. Since we're moving out soon we probably won't get to know them very well, but I hope they're quieter than the last neighbors!

Saturday, my sister comes to town. I haven't seen her since... over a year ago, maybe more. It's been a long time, although it didn't seem that long until I thought about it. There will be a lot to catch up on!

And next Friday we close on a house, and I expect the rest of May will be lost in a flurry of cleaning, repairs, and packing. We are planning on giving notice at the beginning of June or July, depending on how long it takes us to fix the place up, so we'll be out by August, a year after we moved in. As soon as the new house is secure I'll be bringing my gardening tools over and setting up the veggie beds. The raised beds I was working on were left unfinished due to a run of bad weather and our sudden house search, and last week I finally gave the pallets away to two people from the local Freecycle group where they'll be turned into a chicken coop and someone else's raised beds. There's one left; the only one that had been finished and filled. I planted a few onions, radishes and greens in it, just to have something to show for my efforts. When we move I'll harvest what I can and re-seed with nasturtiums so that the new neighbors have something pretty to look at this summer.

Later this summer I'm hoping to take off work for a week or two. I want to go camping, visit some friends and/or invite friends to visit us here, and catch up on my reading. There will be lots going on this summer! What are your summer plans?