November 29, 2013
Basements Need to be Cleaned Too
Yesterday was the big push to get the basement in some kind of decent shape. There were two reasons for the push:
- New washer and dryer (thanks CC and HH!) are being delivered this AM and I needed to make sure that their spots were clean.
- Tomorrow is moving day and a lot of stuff is going to be placed in the basement until I figure the bast place for it.
OMG the cobwebs! You see in movies houses that have been abandoned, or barns that are full of cobwebs. Okay, it wasn't quite that bad, but I spent as much time vacuumig the ceiling as I did the walls and floor (yes, the walls too desperatey needed vacuuming). I used a large shop vac that I hauled from the other house. Sorry, no pics of the cobwebs, but I did take a couple of the area. Oh, and I had already picked out a bunch of larger boxes that were in good shape to use for moving, removed about a gajillion blocks of wood, plus removed a bunch of plastic sheeting so you aren't getting the full effect.
Doesn't look too bad, until you realize that every box was filled with more boxes, which were filled with other boxes. I had to break down every box, and remove styrofoam inserts, so the cardboard could be recycled. And, underneath the boxes was several years (maybe a couple of decades) worth of dust, grime, lost screws and bolts etc. After many hours of breaking down boxes, picking up various piedes of metal and more wood blocks, broom sweeping the major stuff, then vacuuming everything, the area was much better looking and organized.
I didn't take a picture of the cleaned area under the stairs as it is now empty and quite boring. I also moved a couple of doors (room entry and sliding closet-type) and bed frames to the corner picture. I needed to move those as that is where the dryer is going (plus, it needed cleaned - I know, imagine that). I scrubbed the walls to get the old mold stains off (they show up as black areas on the walls) using Krud Kutter and bleach water. Then I scrubbed the 6 inches of concrete floor closest to the walls as there was about 1/2" of yucky black gunk (gunk mixed with years of dust/dirt) that I just couldn't let be. But neglected to take pics so you will have to use your imagination.
One find was an antique chair. It is in sad shape, butr the most interesting thing was that the pad was kept in a plastic shopping bag. Okay, that isn't the interesting part, but this is; the padding was falling apart (beautiful fabric by the way), and it was stuffed with straw. Yes, straw. I'm guessing that means this was truly an antique.
I really wish I had another day so I could paint the walls, but if wishes were horses . . .
Anyway, I gotta go do more cleaning and then the appliances will be delivered between 9 and 11 this morning. Will post more pics when I get a chance.
November 27, 2013
Even though 2013 has been a horrible year for me, what with relatives and pets passing away, my marriage breaking up,and my computer dying (just to name a few), I have much to be thankful for.
First and formost I am thankful for family, both by blood and by marriage. Everyone has been so concerned and supportive it makes me tear up just thinking about the blessing these people are.
Second, I am thankful for the friends who have listened when I needed it, taken me out for a good time when I needed it, and just acted normal when normality was desperately needed. Some of those friends I have never even met (on FB and bloggers), but they have offered their understanding, love, and support never-the-less.
I am thankful for Prince, Fuzzy, Tory and Birdie - all of whom have supported me in their own special way.
I am thankful that an aunt has seemingly had a successful surgery for cancer.
I am thankful that WS and I can keep things civil and friendly; he has been a big help getting my new place ready, picking up stuff that was too big for my vehicle, and checking out my new (to me) snowblower and mower (even picking up a kerosene heater for me when the oportunity arose).
I am extremely thankful for my job, which is not just a way to make a living, but is a place of refuge where I can concentrate on other things outside of my troubles.
I am thankful that I have the means to move on with my life, buying a house and supporting myself. So many people do not have the options that I have when presented with such challenges.
And the last that I will mention, but certainly not the least, I am thankful for the men and women who protect and serve our country - I keep a special place in my heart for them.
I hope everyone out there has a wonderful Thanksgiving!
November 24, 2013
House Rehab Update
I have spent all my free time working on my house. All last weekend, and after I get home from work (7 to 9 or so), all of yesterday, and more planned today. That sounds like a lot of time, and I have little to show for it, but the house is getting cleaner and better looking - which is important to me before I move my stuff in.
I didn't get any before pictures of the kitchen and dinette that really show any differences. Just be assured that 2 coats of White Chocolate paing, scrubbing the cabinets inside and out, scrubbing the fridge inside and moving the stove to clean out all the crap underneath out took up 2.5 days. Additionally, I polyurathaned the kitchen window, the bay window in the dinette, and the shelves in the dinette, which they sorely needed.
The biggest bedroom, which will be the craftroom and contain bookshelves was really ugly. It had one wall that was a bright reddish pink and the other walls were a brownish pink. It took 2 coats of specialty paint (I chose that instead of putting on up to 4 coats of regualr paint to cover the colors), the entire room is painted Nob Hill Sage green. This color has a bit of energy (this is a craft room) and is slightly soothing (don't want too much energy!)
The smaller bedroom, which will be my bedroom, was painted a turquiose blue. Although not a horid color, not a restfull color either.Instead of going with the expensive coverup paint, I decided I would use a similar color. I settled on Honolulu Blue, which I think is working very well despite the fact I have only one coat of paint on there (another coat will go on today).
The livingroom has not been worked on yet. It is the same turquise as the small bedroom was, with a mural on one wall. I think I will keep the mural for a while. In fact, painting this room is not a high priority, so I am unsure if the room will get painted before I move in. Depends upon other if other priorities get completed.
Part of the cleanup was taking all the FHW registers off and fscrubbing them, then painting them. These were horribly scuzzy and they are way too long for me to fit in the shower, so I took them up to the family house and cleaned them in teh tub (some of the registerss are 9 feet long, so even that wasn't easy). Each register consists of 4 pieces; 1 cover, 1 face, and 2 end caps. After just 4 pieces, the water had to be replaced.
Last night, just before leaving for the day, I painted some of the registers. Didn't take pictures, but will see the results soon. The good thing about having an unfinished basement is you can paint these types of things inside. I have always had to repaint registers outside before, whcih made it challenging with wind, bugs, leaves etc. Actually, I ended up doing the registers in the workout room, whcih has panelling for the walls so I had to cover them in plastic. The floor is concrete, so I just swept out all the dirt (after moving the crap they had left), and it was good to go. I'll take pics later, so I will just leave you with the fact that I did not paint them the traditional white/cream.
Gotta quit dilly-dallying around. Need to get my butt down to Hillsboro and work on the house. Oh, one last thing - WS finished putting up the dog pen, so now I don't have to take Prince for a walk every time he needs out. I have been taking him with me so he doesn't spend so much time alone, and he can get used to the new house.
Have a great week people, I will update when I can.
November 16, 2013
Light Posting Alert
There will be little posting for the next several weeks. I have closed on my house and will be spending a lot of time cleaning, painting and moving.
Hopefully I will remember to take pictures to share when I coe back up for air!
November 03, 2013
Next Focus - Appliances
Now that I have obtained a house (or at least am within 12 days of doing so officially), I am looking for various items to make life more convenient. I have made a list, and have been looking diligently on Craig's list (or the side of the road - LOL) for some stuff
- Clothes Washer - arrangement made!
- Freezer - Obtained!
- China Cabinet (for Grandma's china)
- Gun Safe (for the long guns - grandpa's and the one I picked up last spring)
- Bookshelf (can never have enough of these!
- Metal shelving unit for work shop (hold tools, tool boxes etc.)
I'm hoping to pick up a washer tomorrow. I found a heavy duty front loader, 5 years old, with cosmetic damage for $50 (not a typo) on CL. The only issue is connecting with the lady who is working and in the midst of moving. WS swapped vehicles with me tonight so I would have the truck to pick up the washer if the opportunity arises tomorrow (I'm on vacation for the day). Also may be able to pick up a 12 cubic ft. freezer for short money - I talked to a guy tonight and he just has to make sure the freezer works (hasn't been plugged in for a while).
Hoping my good luck streak continues to hold until I get these two essentials (or at least highly desired items). The rest I can wait for until the right opportunity comes along.
Getting Ready for Prince
All of the houses I looked at, none of them had a fenced in area - which is neccessary for keeping Prince. I certainly don't want to take him for a walk at 3AM, especially when it is -13 outside. So I have been keeping an eye on Craig's List.
Early last week I found what I was looking for, a young man had 8 - 10' x 6' panels of chain link fencing for sale. They had never been used and he was selling them for less than I could get them at a home improvement store. I offered him $50 less than the asking price and he jumped at it (should have offered even less I guess).
I asked WS if he could get a company truck and pick them up for me as they were in a town about 30 miles away. He agreed and we met at the seller's house on Tuesday to pick up the panels.
So I got the 80' of fencing before I knew that I had a house to attach it to. It should work well going off the corners of the backside of my house. Things have been falling into place pretty well the last couple of weeks (knock on wood). Now all I need is the hardware to fasten the panels together - and to close on the house.
My new house has hardwood floors stained a dark shade, so I'm thinking that the table will stand out more and not "disappear" if left like this. Unfortunately I am not as gifted with photography as I would like, and neither picture actually gives a true indication of what it looke like / now looks like. Also I think having other wood in the second picture gives a distorted vision as to the real effect.
November 02, 2013
Almost Time for a New Start
So by now, all immediate family, and those on Face Book know, that I will soon be the proud owner of my own house. The process moved quickly, although at times seemed to drag on forever!
On October 22, I went and looked at a house that is just over 2 miles away from the house I currently occupy. It had literally gone on the market that day; I was shocked when I asked my realtor to look at it, that they arranged the showing so soon. It is one level for the living space, with a garage underneath and an unfinished basement.
It has FHW heat (love the FHW) and air conditioning in the living area (haven't had that since I was 18). The living area includes 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, living room, kitchen/breakfast area, and a small dining room (which I will use as a den/office). It has several nice plantings that includee lillies, a large rhododendron, hydrangea tree and two large yuccas (yes, yuccas). The garage opens into the basement, where a small workshop has been set up - that will be a great place to refinish the furniture that I've been picking up. Oddly, there is a built in closet in the basement, but it will come in handy for storing biking gear during the winter, and maybe off-season clothing.
My realtor wasn't able to make the showing, a last minute minor emergency, so I met the seller's realtor and looked at the house. Although the price requested was more than my budget, the listing said the seller was motivated, and the price was above the assessment, so what I figured I could get it for was within my budget. During the showing it was revealed that the seller was moving back down south - she had come to take care of her parents and her father had passed during the summer, so she and her mother were moving back to Tennessee.
I contacted my realtor the next day and told her I wanted to make an offer, which was really low. By Thursday I had everything together to make an official offer, one that was reallhy low. They had more showings so the owner didn't reply until Monday with a counter offer that brought the price under the assessed value. I then countered Monday afternoon with the inclusion that she didn't have to clean the house (for a quick closing), I would waive inspection (I had gone over it thoroughly and was satisfied that is was way more sound than anything I had looked at thus far). The seller didn't answer until Thursday morning with a counter. In the counter, she threw in a Sears snowblower, roof rake, propane in the tank (you usually have to pay for fuel left), and the fridge (originally the only appliance included was the gas stove). However, half of the realtor payment was added which means she didn't come down that much on price.
Thursday afternoon I tendered a best and final offer at just below what her offer was, removed the realtor commission, and asked for shades/curtains to remain. Thursday night we dickered by text (between me and my realtor) and she threw in a treadmill (bonus!) at her slightly higher price, and without me paying any commission. The price was at the top of my comfort range - but within it, so I said yes.
Late Thursday night my realtor got me the new drafted P&S, I signed it and got it right back to her. Friday, fortuitously, I had arranged a vacation day (arranged weeks before, so I must have had ESP that I would need the day off), so I ran around getting documentation. Yes, I had to run around because no one would do it by phone, they needed to prove I was the correct person.
After a slight fiasco where a company sent info to my realtor of what all my assets were, instead of just the required assets (this gets sent on to the seller's agent, so didn't want that passed on), everything was corrected and submitted to my agent.
I finally got the initialed P&S last night, so it looks like this is going forward. The closing date is set for 11/15. I figure I won't move until sometime in December - depending upon how the cleaning goes and moving things in slowly.
This will be the start to my new reality and a place that the pets and I can make a happy home.
October 27, 2013
Last weekend I started cleaning up the garden: taking up the walkways, taking up the weed blocking fabric and brought my one lone, still green pumpkin inside to ripen.
Today, WS came over to clean up the leaves and he mentioned I still had peppers on the plants. So I went out and picked all the peppers - amazing that they were still good considering we have had plenty of 25 degree mornings. There were also two plants that were thriving in the cooler temps, and I decided to dig them up and overwinter them in pots, to be replanted next spring wherever I end up living. Being in the vegetable garden, they would be rototilled under if I left them in the ground.
The one on the right is a cooking thyme, the other is of the mint family. It used to have a marker, but it got lost so I'm unsure exactly what it is (although I can assure you it isn't the classic mint).
Hopefully they will thrive thru the winter, but if not, I haven't lost anything - I have gotten my $4 worth of herbs off of them over the summer.
I have been keeping my eyes out for furniture and in the last couple of weeks I have had some great finds.
At the swap shop at the local dump, I found a solid wood, octaganal end table that has a door in the side and a swiveling top. I love the design on top and it will clean up quite nicely when I refinish it. The sides and base are in good shape, so if I can match the stain color, I may be able to get away with just doing te-doing the top. Then upon opening the door, I found about 70 music CDs, about 30 of which are to my taste - double bonus!
Early last week, at the side of the road,. someone put out another nice end table. It too is solid wood and has a small drawer for holding odds and ends. Although a bit beat, it will clean up nicely with sanding down , re-staining and a bit of polyeurathane.
The next day, at the same place as I found the square table, there was a bunch of furniture out. I bypassed the dresser (I have plenty thanks to Cop Car and HH), and the chest of drawers (which was not solid wood, so would not have refinished well. However, amongst the other stuff was a solid wood coffee table. It is extremely heavy and 60" long (our current coffee table is 50") so getting it from the Jeep, up 2 flights of stairs, thru the hallway into the back room was challenging, but I prevailed.
All of these pieces of furniture are older, made of heavy wood, so will easily serve me well for the rest of my days. A little TLC, which I am well practiced at, and they will be as good as new.