Monday, April 9, 2012

just because we keep chickens in the bedroom doesn't mean we can't have a Martha Stewart moment

People are asking how the move is going. I can't exactly look 'em in the eye and say, "Fantastic! Home ownership is where it's at!" I can only look 'em in the kneecap and say, "I get depressed watching fish swim in aquariums. Otter Pop, anyone?" By the way, is it just my family that refers to the plastic tubes of frozen Koolaid as Otter Pops? They go by lots of brand names, so maybe what a person calls them reveals their generation. And since Otter Pops haven't been around all too long, by generation, I mean, what year of your life you ate those things like crazy that also coincided with being very impressionable. I'm sure a computer program could be written that would categorize us by what we personally call frozen sugar water. To quote Jack Handy, how about it, Science?

Our living room and bathroom, the main places we started out to renovate, are stuck back at what was supposed to be early stages. The living room's outer walls have been demolished and furred out an extra 2 inches, insulated much better, and sheet rocked. There are four big, shiny, new windows, a bigger L-shaped living room instead of two small rooms, now that a silly old wall has been removed, and a soffit with can lights that goes all around the edges of that L. It's very snazzy! There's still the old nasty floor, a plastic wall blocking off the kitchen, where another silly wall was removed, boards and power tools and dust and grime everywhere. As for the bathroom, no toilet, no sink, and no working shower yet, though the old hefty tub is nestled back in place, and the walls behind it have been redone, reinsulated, etc. You see, the tub/shower was another interesting surprise. Whoever installed it tucked the tub surround (the plastic walls of the shower) behind the bathtub and didn't caulk it. So, water being liquid and doing what liquid does, every time someone showered, ran down the surround and into the walls of the house. Um. Bottom line, the house is a construction zone, and not a remarkably tidy one. As a side note, we're currently staying in the home of some vacationing friends - win!

Here are some random shots of the house from the old pocket camera, then the story will resume.
Here you can still see lathe, long flat sticks, on the far wall before Jason demo'd it.
That is a new west facing window; it used to be solid wall.

lunch time
My father, the thug of water systems.
tangled surprises underneath the porch light

Here are re-insulated walls and a bigger south-facing window.
We do like us some daylight and some warmth.
We've talked to several people who had relatives that owned this place 30-50 years ago;
that availability of history is a side benefit of living in a small town.
They describe the house as cold, drafty, and dark.
Hopefully these remedies will help to make the winters here a little cozier 
and a little less frozen wastelandy.

The kids and I were at the house Saturday to start unpacking the kitchen and also to stare at boxes in wonderment that we still have so many when I've supposedly been minimizing for three months. Since the kitchen is the only spot on the main level we haven't demolished, it's Grand Central Station for tools and supplies, and now boxes of dishes and food stuffs. One thing about packing for a cross-town move vs. a cross-country move is that you don't take care to whittle down your food supply. At least, I didn't. So, work in the kitchen is slow and unsteady, especially with You Know Who and You Know Who #2 at my feet. In the late afternoon, we took a break and settled in for Otter Pops. Enthusiasm abounded and all unpacking fatigue was forgotten until Zoralee's hands got cold. What happened next was...wait, I need to build this up more.

Pause and reflect. A dirty child had cold hands. Everywhere was grime and plastic, power tools and boxes of things we don't need. Just around the corner was a kiddy potty chair full of familial piddle [it has been too bitterly cold and windy to run out behind the barn all day], and the chirps of 24 three week old chickens descended from an upstairs bedroom [yes]. I grabbed for our newly drawer'd washrags to wrap around the pops, so that my darling's hands would be comfortable, and by pure happenstance, I wrapped a green rag around the green pop and a orange/salmon colored rag around the pinkish pop. Strange colors, you might say. Right. They came in a set of 12 rags for $3, looking already like they'd been in a car mechanic's shop for one hundred years.

Right then, you guys, I was ON TOP OF IT. Can't you tell by the children's faces that they believed this moment to be brilliant? The fantasy illustration for motivational speakers? Akin to winning the lottery? By the way, who of you would sign a petition that the lottery folks start drawing 640 one million dollar winners rather than one single 640 million dollar winner? Know what I'm saying? Who needs 640 million dollars? Nobody, that's who. But 640 of us could use one million quite readily. Anyway, I just knew there was a camera crew outside the house, waiting to be let in so that they could [traipsing over piles of flooring yet to be installed] ask me how I do it, how I manage to be so organized, so coordinated, so sexy, as to wrap matching wash rags around the children's frozen juice tubes.

The answer, of course, the only true and correct answer, would be, "We-heh-heh-ell, I can't take all the credit. My mom was just visiting us for three weeks, and she is a bright star that all other stars would be smart to align themselves with. And, well folks, I aligned. Somehow, smartly. Subconsciously. Otter Pop, anyone?"


Shana said...

Ha!! Where's the petitioner-I want to be the first one to sign! Heck, I'd be fine with 1280 people winning $500,000...I mean, why be greedy?!

*Reading Between the Lines* said...

Oh....thanks for the update!
BTW...Karissa and her kiddos are here in MT...until Saturday.
Love ya,

Rena said...

Fun pictures! Brings back lots of sweet memories And I bet Martha Stewart can't do half of the things you do! ☺

The Weems Family said...

Wow! What a wonderful thing to have your own house. And yet,it can also be a burden at times. Praying for you and your family.

When we moved to our property, we had people give us advice. Almost how a person gives unwanted advice to a first time expecting mother. One older gentleman walked up to Ryan and said "Don't try to do it all the first year. It's a struggle on your time, money and your marriage." That guy was right. Soooo right.

I am certain there are things that must be done this year. Like roofs, plumbing, electrical, septic, etc... But I will pass on the old gentleman's advice. I wish we'd listened and took his wise words to heart.

Wishing your family good things to come. With not too many bad things hidden in the earth around you, floors, walls, crawlspaces, and outbuildings.

May a fountain spring up full of joy in your soul. Instead of a fountain flowing out of your walls, toilets, or septic fields!

tamie marie said...

Just because you bought a house and have two small children is no reason not to post on this blog more often. I'm curious! Need update!