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That Old House

Posted by maryo_nh z5 SouthernNH (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 29, 08 at 20:44

Part II.
Well, the inspection was interesting. The tilt is nothing to worry about, just the ground settling. "All" we have to do is crank up the house until it's level, slide some extra support under the sill, and voila. Heehee. O yes, and grade the soil on the outside. To slope AWAY from the house. Duh.

But, then there are the windows, that don't close at all (might have something to do with the tilt? Hmmm?), the lead, the plumbing with pinholes, and the 1927 never-improved electric system. And the termite damage. The oil tank is about to roll over too.

So, we offered to pretty much divide the cost of all that 50-50, but the sellers are in severe shock, so we'll have to wait and see if they ever recover.

"Our" contractor was going to have a look today for some estimates (and so was "theirs"). We'll see.

Stay tuned for Part III.

:) Mary

PS did I mention the roof?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: That Old House

Oh, this sounds like my kind of place! - Think $25,000 version of "The Money Pit", but I got 5 acres, a house and 2 barns - of course that was 1991.
Very interesting, keep us posted! And good luck!
Sarah


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YIKES! Mary O Mary! That's, uhh, a *real* fixer-upper.

Lead, un-tilt the house, replace the wires, replace the windows, don't forget to grade ~away~ from the house, natural skylight anyone? ... Mmmmm termites! Rent a chimp. They like to eat termites as a snack. Did they find any asbestos insulation too? I don't think the would-be sellers are all that shocked about the condition of their home. Maybe shocked that you figured it out!

The oil tank sound the best of it all.

I hope all this works out for the best. Yes, please update us when you can.

C3D


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How about a bulldozer??
;)
Good luck Mary, and keep us posted.


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 30, 08 at 9:07

LOL!!! @ Catherine's suggestion!

Sounds like a lot of work, but it also sounds like you guys are up to it, Mary. Just imagine where the pond will go, and the house will merely be a backdrop for the crowning glory. :D

Can't wait for updates!!

Brenda


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Heeheehee! Ah, Catherine, ye of little faith... It's a beautiful house, in a really nice neighborhood, on a street where I won't mind my grandchild(ren) growing up. Most of the houses are single-family, with the owners living in them. I'll try to copy the picture and put it in. Wait up a sec.

Here it is!


Being in education, I have the entire summer to enjoy this as a project. DH is very handy, and willing to take lots of vacation time. So it's definitely not impossible, time-wise. We redid our own bathrooms a few years ago, put in floors, and added onto our house, so we've gone through much of it before. On a small scale.

- the termites were treated and there's been a contract with Terminix, but not enough of the wood was replaced. So that needs to be done (structural, so on the seller's tab)
- if they remove the oil tank, we can convert to gas
- when we replace the windows, most of the lead will be gone too, and we can check in the wall how the woodwork is doing
- more lead will disappear if/when we replace various baseboards and chair rails and molding around doors
- new shingles, and a layer of newfangled waterproofing, and we won't even need to save for roof repairs for 25 to 30 years
- the grading is easy - DH loves renting Bobcats, and DSIL will be fighting him over who gets to use it
- cranking up the house is really the easy part!
- when the plumbing gets done, we upgrade the kitchen and bathrooms at the same time
- same with the electric (internet cables etc).

So when it's all done, and it will have cost twice as much as we budgeted (you KNOW that's how it goes!) we will have a lovely and very solid house for DD, DSIL and baby to move into *did I mention they're EXPECTING!?!*

Our own house and yard will have gone to waste, but hey, what else is new. We keep up with our pond, and the rest doesn't matter! A new water feature in the yard of this house will probably be next year.

Meanwhile, DH reminds me not to get to far ahead of myself until we actually bought the place...

:) Mary


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Sounds like a plan Mary.
But........being the "worst case senario" person, and organic, I just have to say something about the chemicals you're using for the termites. Have you investigated what they're using, and is there a more natural alternative?
Just think of your grandbaby coming in contact with any of that stuff......and everyone else, for that matter.
See........I told you. I'm the Debbie Downer of this region! hahaha
Oh, what I would give for a hubby who knew how to handle big equipment! Lucky you!
Its a very pretty house!


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"Oh, what I would give for a hubby who knew how to handle big equipment!"

Gottttt.....ttooo....rresssittt...commmmenttt! :-)

Best wishes MaryO. A "perfect" fixer-upper is my dream house too. As Mrs. 3D suggested, be extra careful if asbestos is present (I would be shocked if it isn't).


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Hey, will you will adopt me :^)

What a wonderful house! We looked at a similar house - I loved it but I could tell by the look on dh's face that he was not! Old houses are hobbies, wonderful and satisfying if you like to do the work, not for everyone.

But I have to tell you, I have a friend that had termites and had the treatment done. Unfortunately the chemicals got into the duct work (not sure how), they had to sue the company to pay to have the duct work sealed and all new ducts put it. It was a long hard battle. Then they had to repair all the termite damage which was more extensive than they thought (they practically rebuilt all the walls) - but they still live there and all's well now.


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Thu, May 1, 08 at 10:02

NICE house! It gives no sign of the dangers which lurk within. :D

I recall when I was a pup that my folks had to crank up and level a Victorian house we owned. You'd walk in the front door....and feel mysteriously "drawn" toward the back of the house. Wheeee! Rather dizzying, but fun when you're a kid. LOL

Brenda


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Heehee, Brenda, that's how the floor in the kitchen feels! The termite control, btw, you worryworts, has been done a few years back, and the maintenance is done along the outside perimeter. But I'll look into the chemicals, Catherine. The asbestos,it looks like that was insulating the pipes, has been removed, air quality tested and came out good.
Estimates should come in tomorrow - then we have to submit a new offer - and they have to accept it... ***trying not to get too attached already*** Keep your collective fingers crossed!

:) Mary


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Mary, it's a grand house! Good luck! I can't wait to see/hear how the progress goes as you are fixin' her up!


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At the risk of being a wet blanket, my advice would be RUN!!The repairs and updates you mention are not minor and most are time consuming, complex, expensive and rarely successful. The contractors will be lining up at your door. MONEY PIT!! My sister and her husband (now ex) took on a similar project and it was (oops gotta go. Storm starting again) Sandy


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LOL Semper fi!

Sandy......I think you must be like me. The last thing I would want is a fixer-upper, but I think there are people out there who actually enjoy it! I think Mary and her hubby are of that kind!
Good luck Mary!


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OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Part III about to begin! We got the house!

But, first we have to go to Aruba for the Mother's Day weekend. Plenty of time to start making exciting plans!!! I'm so excited!

:) Mary

*Yes, Catherine, that's us all over!*


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Congrats! And have a great time in Aruba!!!!! S


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Congrats! It is a beautiful home!

Happy Mother's Day! Even better in Aruba! :-)


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Thu, May 8, 08 at 8:49

Congrats on the home, Mary!! Aruba sounds like a nice way to start a remodel. :D

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Brenda


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Part III has started! Woooohoooo!

The closing was last Friday, and afterwards we immediately started ripping the ancient kitchen cabinets out. We found a very cool ancient pocket watch on top of a cabinet. I'm going to have it checked, maybe it can still work. It has a little chain and a doohickey to attach it to a vest button hole an' everything. We're hoping for more goodies in the walls (the broken bottle, old work glove, and ripped hankie don't count as goodies).
By now, we're halfway the first 30-foot dumpster. Thanks to Moses, my new best friend, he got into the dumpster and lined everything up so we can get way more into it... we had it almost full but with lots of space underneath unused. Enough for a bear to hibernate in. Moses also carries my buckets of broken plaster pieces every time he sees me, and he helps everyone. He was on the roof yesterday, helping the roofers get done with the first half of the roof so the waterproofing could go on before the next wave of thunderstorms. I'll get a picture of him when I can.

We started with the kitchens. This is what it looked like when we bought it. You can't see the broken and worn part of the flooring, the never-grouted backsplash tiles, the wobbly loose counter, the broken cabinet door hinges, the windows that either don't open or don't close... But DD is keeping the curtains. They have tulips on them!

Photobucket

So out they went. Notice, zero insulation, in a climate with four or more months of winter... Btw, they didn't use sheetrock in 1927. We took off the wall cover (wall paper layers with or without paneling), a thick layer of plaster, and a layer of thin slats. Below is the downstairs kitchen, which, believe it or not, was already improved in the past. We found some termite damage, behind the sink and in one corner, but nothing structural. Phew! We're keeping our fingers crossed for the bathrooms where we can also expect moist areas behind faucets etc.

Photobucket

The mess below is the upstairs kitchen. It was tiny with a "sunroom" next to it (facing north... we think, more a case of realtor speak than anything). It will be a nice wall of windows for the new improved full-size kitchen. Here we have broken through the wall. Clouds of plaster dust billow out of the window fans...

Photobucket

The roofers, when they just started Tuesday morning. They had all the shingles off yesterday and were putting waterproofing on when I left at 4. They cover the roof with a tarp in between. I have never seen a tarp that big!

Photobucket

Yesterday I was destroying the upstairs bathroom and chucking it out of the window on the opposite side. Demo is such fun! (I'm leaving the heavy lifting for the XY-ers). So far I've lost about 2 1/2 lbs. Not bad in five days! Today I have a day off from the physical work, so I can get the appliances and cabinets ordered.

More pics as we go along!

:) Mary the demolition lady


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Hey Mary........that kitchen looks better than mine! lol!
They seemed to use alot of those slats back then. I've seen them on old roofs too. Can't wait to see more pics! Is that you in the one picture? I sure wish I had your energy!! I'm exhausted just looking at the pics. I better go lay down.....
So why are there 2 kitchens? Is it a separate upstairs apartment?
Keep those pics coming! I do get vicarious pleasure out of them!
:)


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Ohh, this is going be fun! We get to WATCH while you do all the work. It's going to be fantastic!


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 27, 08 at 10:24

You have me all sorts of curious about Moses now, Mary! :)

I can't wait to see the wall o' windows, as well as more progress pics! This IS like This Old House, without all of the accents - tearin' up flahs and pullin' out drahs, eh, Nahm? LOL

Brenda


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LOL Brenda......that was a very good impression!


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*giggle* hey, that's no accent! That's how we really talk around here! Heehee - I'm smart though, I spell it correctly so nobody knows how I pronounce it...
Yes Catherine, it's a two-family. DD and hubby and future baby will live downstairs and unknown strangers will live upstairs. Two bedrooms in each, and a living rooom as well as a separate enough dining room, with doors, so it can be used as a bedroom if needed. Since the kitchens will be marginally large enough to eat in.

I got the permit today - a bit after the fact but hey (shrug). In the middle of downtown, so no parking, so I took two subways and a bus. It took all morning and a mere $671 but yes, dear nosy neighbor that called the building inspector, we now have the big yellow card up in the window. Behind the giant tarp.

A thunderstorm came through this afternoon. Of course more roofers went UP the roof when they heard the thunder (they insist it was to secure the tarps and piles of shingles) - an enormous gush of wind - I had visions of SuperRoofer flying by... a little nerve wrecking! Afterwards, in the future kitchen, they were dripping rivulets of rainwater on the plaster dust, eating pizza and bragging how three of them had spread-eagled on the tarp to hold it down in the wind. Definitely XY.

The new windows arrived, one laundry area and one bathroom are stripped and ready for the plumber, and the roof is almost done. I'll make bathroom pics tomorrow.

:) Mary

*Btw, DD had her ultrasound and! IT'S!! A!!! GGGGIIIIRRRRLLLL!!!!*


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Ooooooooo! Congrats on the ultrasound! :-)

Your home is lovely and will be even lovelier once completed with the renovations. I'd be happy if we could find the time to paint the bathroom here. LOL!

Slacker Me :-)


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 28, 08 at 9:25

Awwww, congrats on the DGD images, Mary! I foresee lots of pink in your future. :D

LOL @ the roofers. It takes a different breed of XYer to do that line of work. They're just this side of crazy from oil platform workers and crab fishermen. Maybe they should do yet another reality show - Deadliest Shingle. LOL

Brenda


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Oh this sounds sooo awesome!!! Love the pics and congrats on the GIRLY!!! I'm so into renos but DH has anxiety attacks about mess!!! ha! Reality show...I'd watch it!lol!


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Congrats Mary!! And thanks for the updates! Flash backs of the start of my renovations years ago - layers of wallpaper, plaster, lath, "real" 2x6's, more lath, more plaster, then thick sheathing on the outside walls! They don't make 'em that that anymore. The insulation was sort of grey crumbly stuff.

Keep the pix comin', and keep smilin',
S


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Oh, I'm smiling! There is this big grin perpetually on my snout.
Seeing what's behind whatever layer we're ripping off is so entertaining. Today I started the little back hallway at the back door, DH took the sledge hammer to the built-in closet. It was a REAL built-in -> meaning they built it into/onto/against a corner of the little hallway, in whatever space was left next to the refrigerator.

The refrigerator in the back hallway next to the back door. Yes. We're thinking, crazy idea maybe, but, let's put the new one IN the kitchen! Whaddayathink?

They used leftover butcher block countertop for the uprights of that closet, and leftover bright yellow covered plywood for the shelves. And when the crowbar janked the last piece loose - the back - most of the plaster behind it came right along... I was done really quick with that piece...
There was delightful plastic once-white wallpaper there too, or maybe they glued a plastic picnic tablecloth against the wall? It had pink watering cans on it with flower bunches tucked into them.

The back staircase has a suspicious slab of fake wood paneling on the otherwise white plaster wall... hmmm... maybe we shouldn't bump into it... it could fall off with plaster dust gushing down...

Meanwhile DH scooped the tiles off the walls AND CEILING off the bathroom we didn't do yet. I have pics - I'm just to tired to post them (Photobucket etc).

We would really like to be done tomorrow evening with stripping the parts where the plumber needs to put in new plumbing. But of course DH is now considering "borrowing" a foot from the small bedroom, making the bathroom a foot wider (twice, both apartments). Which involves minor stuff (!?!) like building a new wall and taking down an old one. And cleaning up yet more slats and plaster crud! The advantages would be, 1)the bathroom door (downstairs, hinges on the right) will be able to open 90 degrees or even more! and won't actually bang into the toilet seat, and 2) the other one (upstairs, hinges on the left) won't have to have a notch cut into the edge to be able to swing BY the toilet seat, and 3) the bathrooms will actually have room for turning oneself around in and such... So I don't know if we'll be done with that tomorrow night. I doubt it.

We bought 2 fridges, 2 ranges, and 2 dishwashers today. They didn't have the 2 microwaves I wanted (we'll call them next week). We're still disagreeing about the 2 washer/dryer stacks. So here's an opinion poll -
If you rented an apartment in a city, would you think it was worth more rent if it had its own washer/dryer? Or if it had at least a shared washer/dryer in the basement? How much more?

:) Mary

* This is the artist daughter... I don't think I'll get away with much pink...*


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"If you rented an apartment in a city, would you think it was worth more rent if it had its own washer/dryer?"

Of course. There is always a price to be paid for convenience. Having said that, I think most potential renters would probably be willing to sacrifice the extra convenience of having their own personal washer/dryer at a slightly lower rent and more space for other stuff by walking down a flight of stairs to the basement. Plus sharing the units may give them the impression of being a more "green" environment... something that most urbanites love!


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 30, 08 at 8:36

I agree that it would definitely be worth more, just not sure how much more, especially with the cost of fuel being what it is. Less trips around town, the better, in my opinion. :)

Brenda


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I agree with Semper. I would pay more for 'in-home' laundry, but I would not consider sharing a washer/dryer with one other family a huge sacrifice, especially if space is tight. Know what I mean? I'd rather have an extra chest of drawers or closet organizer shelving in the space, even if it meant I had to share laundry facilities.

This might not hold true for DD - she's the one that's gotta live there! Might not be a bad idea to post 'rules' for the laundry - like only between 8am and 10pm, DON'T leave stuff in the machines (or at least don't get upset if you find your clean, wet, clothes in a heap on the dryer), clean up as you go, etc - just to save on headaches later :)
S


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Thanks for the opinions! Sarah, good ideas. We're going with one washer/dryer, but not in the basement - at the back door on the ground floor. DD will figure out how to organize that. Meanwhile we'll have the plumber and electrician put in the connections upstairs.

Now, the reason I haven't updated you is:

Tuesday we brought the camper over and put it in the back yard (it has a mini bathroom, and the plumber disconnected the toilets in the house...). So we slept over for a few days. That way we could avoid the 1 1/2 hr+ commute. Showers at DD and DSIL who live a mile away. But, no computer access.

And now that we're looking down from the second floor, here's a good picture of the very full dumpster!

Here are Moses on the left and Junior on the right. They are THE best. They work their tails off helping everybody - for example, Junior ripped the kitchen roofs down with DH yesterday, and Moses tried to keep up hauling the horsehair plaster and wood strips to the dumpster. Here they are folding up the ginormous tarps that were used on the roof.

Here's DH nailgunning the frame for one of the new bathroom walls. Isn't he handsome looking? So slender too, when he has his arms up high enough. He took last week off and worked just as hard as the crew. We are moving the bathroom wall a foot out, we figure, it helps the bathroom a whole lot more than it hurts the kid bedroom that loses the little bit of space.
Now the bathrooms will be 6x7 and each door will actually clear the edge of the toilet when it opens...

We didn't bring Gretchen with us because we thought it would not be a good environment for her. But! the contractor brings his Bella everyday. She loves being around and her favorite part of the day is lunch time. Her favorite day of the week is Friday. Because they get pizza on Fridays... Here she's sharing my cheese sandwich.

Tomorrow we'll take Gretchen along, she so loves camping. And there won't be any major demolition, we're just going to take up a piece of wood floor, make a list of appliances that can go on Craig's list, and measure and count the old radiators. I'm going to see if those will bring in any $$$.
I hunted down remnant pieces of granite for counters Wednesday and cabinet quotes Thursday.

And the bank bounced a check for the first time in many years... It took me a few phone calls to convince them they could use my charge account (with them) until the closing of the new loan (with them) that they're giving us next week (duh)... Things are heating up! Heehee...

Give me a few days for the next update!

:) Mary


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Things seem to be moving right along! At least to me - leave it to the bank not to be able to keep up! Looking good! When you're done with Moses I'd like to hire him! Ah, but then I'd have to part with Geno, the Handyman...

Great idea to put in laundry hook ups in the rental part. Never know when the renters may have their own W/D.

Bella's a cutie, at least you don't have total doggie withdrawals. But who's babysitting Gretchen!

I can be patient, sort of :) S


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I thought I was the only one who knew about horsehair behind the plaster. Mother thought I was bouncing her new electric drill out of the wall on purpose.
Well, I suppose everyone needs to have a moneypit of some sort and I do enjoy the work but DH isn't handy and doesn't understand the why of anything. Good luck. Keep it light and laugh a lot. Sandy


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 5, 08 at 10:06

Mary, I'd like a list of vitamins you're currently taking...and those your DH, Moses, and Junior are taking, as well. LOL

Love your camper! The last time I tried "tenting", I about broke my caboose getting up and down for restroom breaks in the middle of the night. We NEED one of those!

Bella is delicious! But not as yummy as Gretchen, I must say. :D Hope you get pics of Gretchen on her camping trip! I miss her!

Oh, and the house looks great, too. LOL

Brenda


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Hello girls!

I have two days off! They're jacking up the house at the moment, so nobody can get in. This should take care of the tilting kitchen. They do this with very shiny hydraulic jacks. I forgot the camera - bummer, it looks real interesting. Especially where the concrete basement floor opened a hole under the jack... hmmm... I wonder if that has something to do with the tilt? No ground under the concrete? And with the sagging oil tank that sits right next to it? (shaking my head). The oil tank has to be removed now, because they need to try and place the jack where the tank is, hoping the floor holds. That's OK though, we're changing to gas anyway.

I didn't have anything much to do anymore either. We demolished everything we could and cleaned up the crud, and I covered all the nice wood floors with paper. Here's one more last picture of the demolition.

What I've been mostly doing this past week is SPENDING MONEY!!!!! If you ever need new appliances or kitchen cabinets and such, the fourth of July weekend must be the absolute best. We got 10 to 20% of almost everything, free delivery etc, and MY FAVORITE, no-interest-no-payments for a year! Of course it took multiple visits for me to make up my mind what I wanted. But no pics. Sorry. I think the slow part of the renovation is starting now - nothing will show for a while.

Sarah, Gretchen has the best dogsitter. Our DD#2 is at home, she takes care of the house and pets before and after her job. So Gretchen is safe and comfortable. We took her along Saturday, and while DH took up the wood floor boards from the upstairs kitchen area, she was underfoot the whole time... I brought her a soft pad and blankies, but she wants to be in the middle of the action all the time. My main job from here on will be painting, and that's not real good for her either - the (stripping-)spraying-filling nail holes-sanding-and painting of the woodwork and doors and painting of the walls. I can just see her stand in the paint tray just to be close to mommy... brush along a freshly painted wall... heehee. Then our other job will be tiling the kitchen/bathroom floors and bathtub walls. Gretch will probably be OK with that. Maybe. More so the bathrooms... they're too small for her to get in...

I'm trying to convince DH that we need to go away for a weekend of real camping now that it's quiet at the front. It might be the only weekend we can easily get away. I'm thinking Vermont - a friend has a sailboat there... DH and Gretchen love sailing!

Today and tomorrow are for me to catch up on the yard and pond. And groceries. And maybe vacuum up the dog hair. My girl is shedding like crazy!

:) Mary


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 10, 08 at 9:12

Awww, Gretchen on a sailboat!! Am I dreaming? LOL Such a good girl, helping Mom and Dad. LOL!!! @ standing in the paint tray!! I'm glad that didn't happen, but I bet Artwork by Gretchen would sell fabulously on eBay! :D

Glad to hear the grunge work is over for now, Mary. Hope you get to leave on that mini-vacation soon! Pics would be appreciated, of course. :)

Brenda


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I'm going to take the camera along with me all the time from now on. I promise. We'll have to see about the camping, the camper might be a tiny bit stuck between the dumpster and the pile of replaced aluminum windows... and Lake Champlain is 4 hours driving with the camper in tow. Maybe we'll go kayaking in a lake in the area instead. Gretchen also likes kayaking! She almost fits in the luggage space in my kayak, and then DH and I switch so he paddles with the squirmy pooch.. I have to fix her a little pillow so she can get comfortable with her head on the rim. Not that she would lie down... too many good smells from every direction! Here she is ready to get in with DH, but you can see there's a bigger space behind me.

Btw, the kayaks were our 35th wedding anniversary present to ourselves. First it seemed that DS had enticed DH to buy himself a godawfully expensive performance kayak from a friend who was moving his business to the Lakes Region, but then, thank goodness, somebody, the smart one in the family (I won't mention my name), insisted on buying the other one of the two of us a kayak as well. A little cheaper even. And called it our anniversary present. So now we can go kayaking with the two of us. Geez.
And of course DS loves to borrow mine to go out with his dad.

:) Mary


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Glad you got this all under control Mary. Makes me tired just thinking about it all! LOL


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I'm with Brenda.....I want to know the name of the vitamins you're taking!! Wow....I'm so envious of your energy!
LOL about your DH looking slender, if he raises his hands high enough. lololol! Unfortunately, even that doesn't work for me anymore. haha
Looks like the house is coming along splendidly Mary!
So glad you hit all the July 4th sales for your appliances.
Keep us posted. I love hearing about your progress (and life). :)


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*Giggle* I love to oblige!
Yes, and we did eventually get to go out in the 'yaks. First we had to find back all kinds of roof rack parts in the garage (yikes). Gretchen sat through the first half of the ride, then she turned around and laid down facing backwards. Looking very cute. We got lots of remarks from bathers and boaters. Then she tried to get out of the life vest. That was a bit too wobbly for DH's taste, so, I dunno if she gets to come along no more... silly dog.
I decided not to bring a camera since I already fell into the pond yesterday with my brand spanking new cell phone in my pocket.

:) Mary

*Popular Mechanics magazine says, put the cell phone in a ziploc baggie with either rice or silicone gel. After taking the battery out*
*Rather than the blow dryer*
*The little screens look better already*


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Well at least you didn't drop yours in the toilet!

And no, I didn't but a coworker did it TWICE! They are also our beepers so we are required to take them with us everywhere (including the john!)


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 14, 08 at 7:25

Hmmmm, thought I replied to your Gretchen/kayak pictures post, Mary....

Awwww, she wears a life vest!! How cute! Well, she used to, anyway. Such a silly puppy!

Ok, I HAVE to know - what were you doing that made you fall into the pond, Mary!? Glad you're ok, and I hope your cell phone makes it.

DH dropped his work cell into the river and couldn't retrieve it. People were complaining for weeks after that he never returned their calls. I imagine a curious sturgeon wishing he had arms....LOL

I think that was cell #3, and I'm pretty sure the one prior was smashed under a large piece of construction equipment after falling out of his pocket. That ol' gunfighter needs a holster!

Brenda


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RE: That Old House

Eh, what happened was, it wasn't my fault whatsoever, I was going to pull out this itty bitty weed, and looked at Demetrius snarfing water celery bits from the Father's day planter right next to it, and then he squirmed his way through around behind the pot and pushed it off its slippery perch - so when I tried to grab it, eh, well, you know. I had green stuff in my hair and in places under my clothes that I don't want to mention. This AFTER I went around the whole pond in my bathing suit to pick off spent lilies and leaves etc, and I was being a good girl, got clean dry clothes on SO I COULD HAVE MY CELL PHONE IN MY POCKET... I tell ya, there's a reason why I never have it with me/on/charged... Subconsciously I know what the poor thing is in for...
Anyway, I reactivated my old phone, and the new one is slowly regaining consciousness. It talks to me and it rings. The little screen on the outside is functioning. I'm just going to leave it in the silicagel for the summer until the inside screen works again.

Meanwhile, at the old house, the floor was cranked up four inches at the deepest corner, gradually going down along the length of the house; and now that that's done, the new windows are in except one (somebody wasn't counting right). Only a few beams and sills had to be replaced (the termite thing). The rotorouter man came to clean the drain out (DH and I accidentally dropped crud down the hole from upstairs) and we're on our second dumpster. A small pile of heavy scrap cast iron disappeared magically overnight, so DSIL hauled off a much larger and more valuable pile of scrap aluminum, and we are now locking up stuff better! The new aluminum windowsills etc are scheduled next, and the plumber is finishing the piping for the bathrooms and kitchens. I picked up pedestal sinks, kitchen sinks, medicine cabs, faucets, and two baths in the back of my minivan (two trips), and Moses carried all that to where it needs to go. He's a treasure. Nothing much else for me to do the next few days. Saturday DH is going to reframe the bathroom walls to recess the meds cabs, and maybe I'll strip the LR walls that cracked from the house cranking? I think it'll be easier to cover it with sheetrock than to try and repair it. Then next week I'll probably remove the window and door trimmings.

Moses brought pictures of his wife and kids in Uganda. His older boy did his First Communion, and his little guy is almost three - and he never saw him yet, he left to work in the US before he was born... breaks my heart. It's almost $2000 to get there, and then of course he won't earn anything while he's visiting.
Whenever we're thinking we have problems, this is what we think of. Our issues are so small...

I'll post some pics later, DD needs the computer!

:) Mary


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RE: That Old House

Thanks for the update Mary! Such progress!
Ahh...cell phones are such a curse...'till ya NEED one!
And we just know Demetrius wanted to swim with you! Good boy to invite you to cool off!

Keep it up!
Sarah


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RE: That Old House

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 18, 08 at 8:45

Mary, O, Mary! I think I'd still be stuck in my pond if I fell in....well, until someone noticed dinner wasn't on the table. LOL Glad to hear your cell phone is healing the holistic way. :D

The story of Moses breaks my heart, too! I can't imagine having to say goodbye to my DH so he could go off to provide for us...and not seeing him for at least 3 years! Does he have plans to go back soon then? Is that $2000 round trip or only one way?

Our thoughts will be with him and his family, Mary!

Brenda


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RE: That Old House

Brenda, I think that's return, and he's saving to go next year.
Sarah, no, Demetrius doesn't want to swim with me this year! He has been real shy, we think there may have been some heron visits. Thank goodness the lilies have padded out well, so the fishies have good cover.

Here are some pics.

Here at the kitchen wall was some termite damage that really needed repair. So far under budget though on the termite issue. And - see how the carpenter and the plumber are in each other's way - I think the carpenter actually cut off the pipe... now the plumber is going to drill a hole into the studs... then it's the carpenter's move again... we'll see who wins!

This is the basement ceiling, you can see the wedges they put in when they cranked the house up. If you look good you can see a little green in between... that is indeed the great outdoors! They still need to cover the gap on the outside. The lowest strip of siding is in the grass...

And this is the new doorway from the LR to the kitchen, with the new windows (in the LR) waiting to go in. The old windows are waiting for me to measure if they fit in the sidelights next to the front door, a few of those are broken. I hope so.
There will be a piece of counter sticking out into that door opening, with two little lights dangling above it.

:) Mary


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RE: That Old House

WOW, Mary! You've done soooo much! I *love* reading about your progress. :-)

So heartbreaking about Moses and his family. We just don't know how good we have it until we hear of someone elses plight. Puts things into perspective.

Great pics, Mary. Thanks for the update.


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RE: That Old House

Today was the water event.

It's about 4, everybody has left except the plumber and Moses, who is cleaning up and getting ready to get a bucket of water from the hose in the basement (our only source) (until now *giggle*).
I say to DH, whatchadoing sweetie, and he says, letting some air into the radiators, and I say, isn't there still water in 'm, and he says, nonono, don't worry. I listen to the gurgling in the pipes and say, I hear the air, it's bubbling through liquid, I wonder what it is if there isn't any water in them anymore, and DH says, no, really, don't worry, it's only a tiny bit of water, they have been drained already, and it goes into the pipe in the basement. I say, what pipe, and then where does it go, and he, really, honey, don't worry, it's under control.

This is when Moses comes running up the basement stairs calling, water, water, from de pipe, water from de pipe!

The plumber says, Moses, calm down, and Moses says, water from de pipe! In de basemen! And the plumber, calmly, let's go look, Moses, you show me. Calmly goes with Moses to the basement. DH is looking bewildered and runs ahead of them. I'm suppressing a nervous grin and follow. Gurgling in the background, and splashing sounds ahead.

When I get down the stairs there's water pouring and squirting out of a pipe that's nicely capped off, but, cut off above its "t"... DH under it, trying to hold the cut piece tight against the capped piece (not helping). The plumber says, calmly, aha, I see Moses, you're right, from the pipe. Moses explains (hard to understand), how he first noticed or something. Plumber goes to boiler and calmly says something about the water still in there. In view of the calm plumber, DH gives up on stemming the flow from above and while plumber opens a valve (or something) on the boiler, DH says something about an open valve (or something) on the other side, and points.

This is when water starts spouting out of the open valve (or something) on the other side.

The hose from our water source is reassigned to the boiler where DH is pointing. Plumber needs a wrench to get the hose loose (I hand tightened it, I didn't know I was that strong?) and attaches it on the boiler valve. It starts spouting at its other end, but it can't reach the hole in the floor. I notice that the floor is quite uneven and the hole is definitely uphill. I grab the hose and double-fold it and hold it up high. It squirts but not bad. Moses slinks by with a bucket to fill at the water source to go wash outside... O yes, I saw him! He didn't want to get wet the same way as the rest of us! Well, he does have to go home on the subway, so I suppose that's a good enough excuse. Moses exits by the basement bulkhead.

DH and plumber look at each other and stop to think. They find a piece of PVC pipe to help the hose get the water to the hole, I go get a broom, and the men disappear. Shortly after this the water stops running out of the pipe in the ceiling as well as out of the hose. They either did something smart? or else, all the water has drained out of the radiators and the boiler.
Meanwhile I fish an electrical extension cord out of the giant puddle. Only thanks to our Almighty who always looks so well after me, and to the fact that it has a very fat plug so the critical part is still dry - and I think the electricians have dutifully switched the power off when they went home - shudder. I hang all the electrical wires over a board.

For the next half hour or so I keep myself out of trouble brooming water uphill to the hole...

The (wet) plumber goes home calmly after having a happy discussion with (wet) DH about bikes, Harleys, and his ?RoadKing? in particular, while the two munch on the last few inches of peanuts in the XL jar. DH brings a fan downstairs to help dry out the basement. I am the lucky one, I'm not very wet to start with and I can go and put dry things on in the camper. Only my sandals are a bit soppy.

We grab McD dinner on the way home. Burger on a carb bun with carb fries. I have a carb sweet ice tea and DH has a carb milkshake. Chocolate. We deserve every one of them! *grin*

I think I'll have a shower before I go to bed.

:) Mary

*Oh, the plumber is going to have such a field day with it tomorrow...*


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RE: That Old House

Never a dull moment! I'm loving this adventure, from a back seat of course :^)

And I do love that yellow kitchen, I hope you are keeping the color!


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RE: That Old House

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 23, 08 at 10:24

Mary, I'm sure glad you weren't "shocked" by the whole episode! *gulp* That's some scary stuff, right there! My dad, the electrician, would have a heart attack if he read this. :D

Stay safe, and continue with the updates when you can! I'm loving this adventure, too! :)

Brenda


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RE: That Old House

Jeanner, isn't that the most beautiful yellow? I don't think it will go into the kitchen but maybe the front hallway or something. It's so sunny.
Brenda, I asked the electricians and they said there are GFIC's on everything in the house, just to be sure, you never know what happens during construction! Apparently...

There will be more pictures in a few days. All that's been happening is wires and pipes being put in, and Moses is taking the old radiators out. So the mess still looks the same. But the contractor started covering the windowsills and jambs at the back of the house today and it looks great. This is a lovely, pale but warm green, aluminum trim that covers 75% of the lead paint issue, for only a few hundred dollars - much cheaper than a lead removal company and it looks gorgeous! By Friday they will have done the front and I will make pics.

:) Mary


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RE: That Old House

Lol at the water works! But I really think you should plan the new pond OUTside instead of in the basement!
Seriously, I'm glad you're all safe.

I think if you can't take life's surprises in stride, life would be pretty boring. My Dad would be mortified however, he's a 'thinker', and doesn't much care for those kind of 'surprises'!

Keep the updates coming! I love them! Sarah

PS: Could you start a new thread? This one is taking my old computer awhile to load. Thanks!


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