Archive: Dec 2006

Slacking and Angels

I know we’ve been slacking writing about the progress of the house. I’ve been trying to catch up with the photo updates as much as possible, but just haven’t been good about writing. I’ll have to sit down one day (it’s hard these days when I feel like I’ve got 3 jobs!) and write about it all. But I just wanted to take a moment to write about a very pleasant experience that we had the other day.

Patrick and I were working at the house over the Christmas break. It was Tuesday the 26th and we’ve been working hard on scraping paint and the occasional window sash cord replacement. It had been fairly mild over the last few days, but that day was just rather unpleasantly cold. Of course our house does not have functioning heat yet, and in addition we’re missing some glass in the windows in a couple of places where the cold can sneak right on in. Our neighbors, also the president and vice president of the neighborhood association, had stopped by to look at the progress of the house. We chatted for a short while and showed them what had been done recently.

So then we kept working on the bathroom built-in, scraping the paint off and sanding it down. It’s quite a challenging and time consuming task, but it was details such as this built-in that sold us on the house. We had seen our share of bungalows, but most of them had been gutted to the studs with nothing spared. Our goal is to save and restore as many of these details as we possibly can, and even once we’ll be able to move in within the next month it will take us years to scrape through all that paint. In the end it should all be worth it.

And so we were working on this bathroom built-in. I had just told Patrick how my fingers were starting to feel numb and tingly because they were so frozen. I was thinking to myself that I didn’t know how much longer I’d be able to hold out before I’d have to say “I can’t work anymore.” Just after this there was a knock on the door. Patrick and I looked at each other and were wondering if it could be the house inspector. The inspector was supposed to possibly come that day, but we had been the only ones working on the house that day.

We walked to the door to be surprised again by our neighbor Scott, the vice president of the Westview Community Organization. He was holding a thermos and coffee mugs! He said that he thought we could probably need some warming up, asked us if we liked sugar and cream with our coffee. We said yes to both and he handed us a variety of sweeteners (regular sugar, Splenda, etc) and a bottle of cream.

I hope I didn’t come across as rude to him because I don’t think I was able to say much because I was quite speechless. Just moments before I was ready to give up working because I was frozen through and through when our wonderful neighbor came at the perfect moment with such an act of kindness.

This may not be Buckhead, or some other ritzy multi-million dollar neighborhood, but which neighborhood can you go to where your neighbor is so kind and brings you a coffee to warm up on a freezing day while you’re covered in dust and dirt and frozen to the bones. We felt like it was a moment out of a movie, because I’m just not sure these things happen very often in real life. It made Patrick and I realize that through all our house searching for months, all the various neighborhoods we looked at, despite our neighborhood needing some help, we couldn’t have picked a nicer place with nicer neighbors. I suppose it is a community that does need some rebuilding and recuperating where neighbors will stick together and work hard at what they’ve got.

So not only did we realize that we picked a great little location to live, but we were also able to warm up from the coffee and get some extra energy to keep working on the house for a few more hours.

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Insulation in the laundry room.

Laundry construction

More insulation in the laundry room.

Laundry construction

I had to hold back my husband from strangling himself while working on replacing the sash cord window weights.

Laundry construction

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More Progress – 12/27/2006

The drywall/sheetrock get’s delivered! Here stored in the dining room.

Patrick shown with more drywall/sheetrock in the kitchen. Also shown are the torn out walls from the kitchen to the laundry area, formerly known as the outdoor porch siding.

The insulation in the kitchen.

View from the laundry room to the kitchen.

A “little” mistake we found while working on sanding things in the bathroom…the freakin’ bathtub is not leveled!! I don’t even want to know what setbacks this will cause. 3/4″ may not be much by some standards, but it sure as hell is much when your water will overflow on one side but not the other!! Getting very, very frustrated….

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More Bathroom Work – 12/26/2006

Wow! Look at that exposed wood. It just makes me drool!

Wow, look at that handsome stud covered in dust and dirt next to that exposed wooden door. Now what else could a girl ask for!!

The bathroom built-in with the plaster knocked out.

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Week Twelve – 12/25/2006

People told us “Oh my god, you’re working on the house on Christmas??”…which is funny, because well, what else were we going to do? Sit on the couch and twiddle our thumbs? Of course we’re going to work on our house during the little time we have off! Paint stripping, when coming off easily, is actually quite relaxing and fun…

The back bedroom served as our paint-stripping territory. Here we (“we” as in Steffi takes a sec to step away from the scraper and behind the camera) were working on the bathroom door.

Below the 2 layers of white, one layer of baby pink, and one layer of mint green we got to this redish-purplish-brown paint below which lays the wood.

We also knocked the rest of the broken plastic out of the door. Oh my goodness…the wood. How sexy!!

The bathroom built-in. Look at that small strip of wood that has some green and pink on it. That’s what we’re working on. It may not be much, but it sure as hell is a lot of work!

The bottom part of the built-in. Look at all that stripped paint on the floor. We also discovered another part of a toilet that we never realized we owned!

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