Saturday, June 30, 2007

If you have a fireplace...

and you burn fires...

then when you do that seller's disclosure paperwork, and it asks you when you last had the chimney cleaned, it is good if you can answer that you have had the chimney cleaned, at some point.

So, one more thing done:

chimney cleaned.

This guy, Jeff, came within two hours of my calling him and he was really cool.

Thanks, Jeff!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A little facelift action

For the mere sum of $300, we paid a few guys to re-stain the deck railings and lattice, and to paint the play structure.

They did a great job and the deck and play structure look way better than before.

Ray has always been inordinately invested in the play structure (notice the permanent roof he built on it, to replace the typical tent like roof these things normally come with). Maybe he figured the place really needed to be turned into high quality alternative housing, in case things ever really went south with the marriage...

Saturday, June 9, 2007

There really is new carpet...

but the lighting is such here, I think, that you cannot really see the new carpet/color all that well...

Dining Room

This room cleans up pretty well.

Milo's Room - ready...

A few "new" things for the walls. Lovely new paint (we were a bit worried about the color, but, it really seems to have come out well) - thank you, Ray. Some general tidying and tossing of a certain amount of toy crap, and....

lo and behold, the place is looking pretty much ready.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Fat Wood

Here's what it looked like by the end of the day:

All "the branches and shit" are in the truck. The rest of that tree is comeing down, it is just a liability. Alden and I will have the whole thing on the ground inside of an entertaining hour, I am thinking. That is when the work starts.

RJ helped me engineer getting that big broken piece safely in the ground - we did it entirely with a ladder, a bow saw, and a razor sharp Hudson Bay pattern axe. Thanks RJ! Once on the ground, though it was time to fire up the gas saw.

This is bad, very bad...

Huge windstorm last night. The wreckage is significant, all over, not just at our house.

Ray actually spent some time putting in supports on our fence. Probably a very good thing. Someone a few houses down from us lost whole sections of fence.

Nevertheless, this tree damage is sad, not just because of what it means in terms of clean up, as we try to get the place looking tip-top, but also because of all that shade and protection we are losing.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Getting New Carpet

New carpet goes in tomorrow, in the living room. so, one of today's projects was dealing with all the crap in the living room. First the toys, then the furniture. Here's an in progress shot of getting the living room ready.

Another stump/tree project

Ray lives for these. And, this one wasn't even ours. Sadly, I failed to get pictures of the tree coming down. But, here is the aftermath.

I guess I should also add that this tree was basically dead, and looking pretty crappy. Hence Ray's investment in getting it down.

Painting Done

Two pretty big sized painting projects done.

The wall in the kitchen - the one where we tore out the tall cupboards. Now the only thing left there is the little patch of floor from under the cupboard.

Also, painting is done in Milo's room.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Wallpaper Steaming

For some reason, I was under the impression that I was done with wallpaper steaming in this life (maybe in another life there would be more wallpaper steaming for me to do, but at least in THIS life I was free and clear). WRONG. Sadly, off I went, to rent a steamer, a few days ago.

Of course the job took a little longer than expected, but, now it's done, and here are a few photos of that project while I was in the middle of it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

No more hole in the floor

Ignore the white bits, which Ray claims will come off easily when dry.

In the meantime, Ray did a lovely job fixing the hole.

Still needs to be finished, but, the major hard work part of this task is done.

Holes in Ceilings...

Again, not things that prospective buyers or real estate agents are all that thrilled about. So, we're fixing 'em... Here is that hole in the downstairs bathroom ceiling. Ray is fixing it...

Then, here, there's some bizarre hole in the garage ceiling, which I don't totally get. I think it has been there pretty much since we bought the place, but Ray is fixing it anyway.

You are really lucky if Milo decides he wants to help you.

No stumps

Once I had a rosebush, then I had none. But I did have some stumps.

Now I don't even have those.

Go, Ray!!

Once I had a rosebush...

Here you can just see its leggy tendril (up in the right hand corner of the photo), reaching out behind the little kids... the roses smelled lovely, greeting you warmly as you walked up the path to our front door. Sadly, this is apparently not what buyers are looking for, by way of a welcome...

to repeat:

Once I had a rosebush...

and now I have none.

Instead, just a stump - just the kind of yard project Ray LOVES. I'm not kidding. For $20, he'll come to your house and dig up YOUR stumps (let me be clear, this is not necessarily a great economical or labor deal for Ray. Yet still he seeks out these opportunities.)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Major Project

I think the most significant thing we are doing is dealing with the kitchen. Nanner, our real estate agent goddess, said we had to deal with the kitchen.

Why, you ask?

When we moved in, we painted the walls a lovely blue, and the upper cupboards a white with very light purple doors. I think it looks great, and I have really enjoyed being in my kitchen these last four years. But, bottom line, it was not the most professional job; it turns out to be really hard to go a good job painting cabinets. Now the cabinets don't look that great, the counter tops - which have always looked crappy, look evencrappier, and then there are the funny wall pantry cupboard type things, which we started to paint but never finished, and which we took the doors off of. There's also the fact that we never finished painting the lower cupboards.
So, to get to the point, we have thrown a bunch of money at the problem, and are having the cupboards/cabinets/countertops totally replaced. And, the wacky, now doorless cupboards? we are ripping them out - really, that is the cheapest and easiest way to deal with that problem. But, alas, that leads to all sorts of other issues, as you'll soon see.
Here's one of the cupboards I speak of:

Here is Ray taking the shelves out of the cupboard.

We knew we would find wallpaper behind the cupboard, and that renting a steamer and getting rid of the wallpaper was part of the job.

What we did not know, but were worried about, was the floors underneath the two cupboards. The good news was there was a proper wood floor underneath the first cupboard. The bad news was there was a big nasty hole under the other cupboard.

We'll talk about that more later.

The Irises are nice...

that is, in contrast to the dandelions.

But then we have the truck as dumping facility, just to the side. Ray would pipe up now, arguing that it is NOT a dumping facility, but rather a temporary firewood hauling and storage facility. And, of course, note also the 1988 Nissan. Another reputable rig to have parked in front of the house.

uh-oh, a dandelion

Some of you may know about Ray and his dandelion obsession. He'll spend hours in the yard uprooting the dandelions. He thinks he is winning this battle. But, the sad truth is, you just can't win against the dandelions.

We are getting some work done

although really, the place is just getting messier and messier. I'm thinking if I try to document some of what we are doing, we might feel a little bit better about the progress we are (maybe) making.