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Demo Days

When some people are angry they break stuff.  When I’m angry, I storm off to the bedroom, and slam the door – but the truth is, it’s really just an excuse to take a nap.

So, it’s fair to say that it really isn’t my nature to break things.  But since Bunker Hill had been cleared out (everything was officially donated, trashed, scrapped or sold), the next step was the demo.

It’s amazing how fast the demo goes — within 8 hours over two days, our house was a blank slate:

  • the kitchen cabinets and floors were gone
  • the upstairs bathroom was gutted, and the built in cabinet was placed in the living room for painting
  • the wallpaper was removed
  • all of the rotted sheetrock had been cut out

The tools we used to get the demo done included: a hammer, sledge hammer, screwdriver, crowbar, sawzall, sheetrock knife and wall paper removing solution.

Charlie and I were pretty pleased with the results — even she smiled for the picture:

One important thing to note is that while we were clearing out the house we got the permit for the roof and had it replaced.  This way we ensured that all of the interior improvements wouldn’t be ruined by a leaking roof.

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Hoarder’s Paradise

Everyone has a default song — for me it’s always been “When the Saints Go Marching in.”  I sing one particular stanza over and over again until I realize what I’m doing and then inevitably have the internal conversation re: why that’s my default song.

So, you can imagine my internal dialogue when as we were clearing out Bunker Hill my default song switched to “Gangsta’s Paradise.”  Then it clicked — I’d been talking about how this house was a hoarder’s paradise for days, hoarder’s paradise = Gangsta’s Paradise = new default song:

As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death a hoarder … I take a look at my life and realize there’s nuthin’ too much left … like:

1.  A dead squirrel in one of the bedrooms

2.  1,000’s of books, including porn from the 70’s (who knew porn came in book format?), and some books that I’m sure we can all relate to:

3.  Mouse droppings all over the house

4.  5 refrigerators filled with canned food

5.  Disgust that resulted in noticing that all the canned food dated back to at least the 80’s

6.  Rocks

7.  Disappointment from the realization that my life is not like an episode of CSI when after clearing the rocks I did not find a skeleton

8.  Further disappointment when I realize that the old homeowner’s life WAS like an episode from CSI after finding letters written to him from prison

9.  An ad that read “I didn’t want to lose him, so I lost 59 pounds”

10.  Over 5,000 pounds of metal (this is Neil and I in the dump truck on our way to the scrap yard)

“Happy” Birthday?

Working in PR in Manhattan, you always hoped, and kind of expected, that the last-minute urgent team meeting called on your birthday was really happily screaming women and birthday cake.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to be surprised by these lovely ladies?  This was just a few of us posing for a holiday picture one year.

And this was us at an event with Ty Pennington of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” little did he know I was jonesing for his job…

So, even though I switched careers and cities, I knew I’d get a surprise this year — I just had to, right?  Sure my new team was a bit different (see for yourself):

But, I did have one particularly loyal employee:

However, this year instead of a card and cake, my work birthday involved someone breaking into my new house, the police, stolen copper pipes and me almost crying (but then not, because if an office isn’t an appropriate place to cry, a construction site REALLY isn’t).

So, here’s the takeaway:

1.  Copper can be scrapped for over $3/lb

2.  It’s very common for these pipes to be stolen out of vacant houses, so invest in a security system 🙂

3.  Make sure you fix ALL the locks on the house, and don’t be shocked if a window is broken into (it happened to us twice, but more on that later)

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