Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day Oh - me say day, me say day

Ah, friends, it has been a rough couple of days. But one mini-meltdown, four trips to Lowe’s and a broken dental filling later, and we just might meet the end of this weekend with success. Well, as much success as one can enjoy while chewing food only on the right side.

The folks came out to join the fun. Parents are fantastic that way. I think they’re in shock.

The bath demo is cruising along at a surprisingly slow not-even-remotely-cruise-y pace. The blue tile struck back. Eight inches of concrete secures the tile to the wall. Ok, maybe not eight inches, but it is thick. And resilient. Concrete is serious. They should make more things out of concrete, you know for safety. Like cars. It’s nearly indestructible. Check it - the saw my dad is wielding was throwing sparks.

Speaking of indestructible, the cast iron tub (also blue) is out. In true Philly form, a random guy was trolling the hood in his junk trunk and took it away. Despite my dad’s warning, I don’t think the Notorious believed a tub could be that heavy. They had to sledgehammer and then take it down in still really heavy pieces.

Look at how much ish is on this dude’s truck? There is a fridge on his back gate. That’s how full that boy is.

Good news is, one of the fridges on there is our filth cooler. New one was delivered today. I Frigidaire you to tell me something more awesome than that. And a special shout out to any Hoosiers reading this. What’s more vintage? A cast iron tub OR my dad’s Galyan’s tee.

So, I cannot personally attest to the true weight of a cast iron tub. It’s heavy enough they wouldn’t even let me try to help. I have used a cast iron pan though. I'm sure it’s totally comparable. I’ll just stick with what works…the tub was heavier than eight inches of concrete is thick.

I tried my hand at demo work under the tutelage of the Notorious. Ceiling, not walls. It was a lot of contact, pull, duck for cover. Apparently not a very efficient method, but am sure I looked super cool while doing it. I had to give it up though after the Notorious warned against touching the knob and tube wiring electrical relic tucked in the ceiling boards. You know, I took stock of the metal crow bar in one hand and the metal hammer in the other and peaced out on bathroom demo.

My forte, it would seem, is pulling up crap flooring. And countersinking nails. And looking super cool while doing it.

More on the crap flooring some other time. Mama’s tired.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day Swede

Dear Previous Homeowner:

Eff you. Eff you and the bags of trash you left for us to take out. The bags of trash that when removed to the curb left behind a trail of oats and crab legs. For this, the Notorious has torn out your blue bathroom. Because that is what it makes us. Blue.

And eff you for putting drop ceilings in a bathroom. The Notorious handily dismissed them and uncovered nearly 12 in of more space.

For this, we are going to replace your blue bathroom with items from the brilliant Swedes.

Oh, Ikea, how do I love thee? You are a shining beacon of light in a home made dark from inappropriate paint color choices. Yeah, you hear that Previous Homeowner, HoPiKi (hot pink kitchen) is next.

With contempt,
e. and the Notorious

For any astute viewers, you may notice the masks we are forced to wear.

It's the mask OR Legionnaires' disease. Or Black Lung. For my nursing homeys, you recognize the N95 droplet precautions mask right away. You recognize and cringe. Feel me sisters - I'm wearing it for like 8hrs. They should call it the N67 for the awkward 2/3 of your face that sweats while you wear it.

The fridge detail is nearing completion. We replaced the doors today. After approximately 4 seconds of being closed and then re-opened, it stunk. Not original power stink but a pronounced wafting of chemical cleaners and seafood. Which I can only assume now to be crab. So very disappointing. We even flipped the fridge doors opening from Left to Right just to further ourselves even more from what once was. The Notorious, who was super impressed with the engineering feat that is easily switchable left-right door opening, remarked, "I Frigidaire you to be more genius than them." Though clever enough that I care to repeat it here, he couldn't see that I wasn't smiling behind my respiratory isolation mask....this whole refrigerator business has left me cold.

Bathroom re-do this weekend. Should be ridiculous.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day Ew

After a couple of days of real work, we were back at the mansion today. Ah, what to say about today? 13 hours of ew, ew, and more ew. I think the day, as a whole, can best be summed up by a direct quote:

"Termindor is considered the gold standard of termicidals." 

Blarg, did I ruin the surprise? Well, SURPRISE we have termites. And lots of other icky, icky things. Here's another Day Ew fact. Cockroaches make their home in refrigerator door handles. Neat, huh? A good 6 hrs of my day was dedicated to cleaning said refrigerator. Check out the before:

And the after in still a work in progress. Which brings me to a new blog addition. A section I assume will continue for quite some time....

Dear Previous Homeowner,
Re: Are You Fridggin' Kidding Me?

So, I'm just dying to know. Did you purchase the fridge already filthy? B/C it doesn't seem that old. I simply cannot imagine how so much filth could accumulate in anything short of 800 yrs. Was your food dirty? Do you blame the preservatives, hormones, pesticides, etc. that we're all concerned about in our diet? Please advise.

E and The Notorious

We intend to re-do the whole kitchen, but given that the floodgates of donations just aren't pouring in (yet), some things will have to be made livable for now. We did begin tearing some truly hideous and/or disgusting items out of the kitchen today. All of which made the critters very angry and mobile.

The Notorious puts on a brave front for me. He shows no fear in the face of the ensuing onslaught occurring when cabinetry is removed. But I know he's scared. Me and the bugs can smell fear. 

All in all it was a good day. I realize I am developing a shifting interpretation of "better". It's a continuum really. After today, I left thinking "man, this place looks better". Maybe my standards are shifting...I did use the bathroom today. Plus, The Notorious ended the day on a high note. He found a working and variable speed orbital sander, with extra pads. Outside of the "sander" part I really have no idea what this truly means, but he was super happy. Oh, that and a really long extension cord. And an 8-ft ladder. And a Khymer to English dictionary.

And what do you mean the kitchen is hot pink? Surely I would have noticed something like that...


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day Fun

Hello all. So, this blog is intended to track our progress, or lack thereof, on a complete home renovation in South Philadelphia. "Complete" doesn't even really touch the ballooning scope of this bad boy. Total? Full? Exhaustive? Ah, there it is. Exhaustive. It's a brick row home, 3 floors plus a basement, and (currently) 5 bedrooms.

It's day 1 of home ownership and coincidentally day 1 of WTF have we gotten ourselves into. Day 1 of HO was not particularly productive. Mostly b/c we spent a large portion of the day waiting for the previous owners to move out. I know, right? But it's an improvement over yesterday when seconds after closing was final, when we're literally getting the keys, the owner indicates she has more copies of the keys but her children are on their way home from school and will need the keys to get in to (now) OUR house. The idea that the home was no longer hers was unbelievably hard to explain. Don't misunderstand, she wanted to sell the home. It was just the transition of ownership that was lost in translation. Realtors and all had to return to the home to ensure all family members would vacate. Thankfully we had already purchased new doorknobs/locks and installed them immediately. I should have swept the home for kids before locking the door though. Always anticipate the trojan horse move. Whatevs. It all kind of worked out.

On day 1, I did however learn that cockroaches like to live in curtain rods. Ew. Yuk. Ew. See, I am really not kidding with that exhaustive rehab thing. Did you take a close look at the front of house pic? Did you notice the address marker?

Classy. I won't even use the restroom at the house. Partially b/c it skeeves me out and partially b/c I'm just uppity when it comes to bathrooms. TBD how that will shake out when we're for real living in the place.

Anyway, more to come. Follow us. Comment. Suggest. Taunt. Donate. Here's a peek inside...brace yourself for RED stairs. The pic doesn't convey the RED as RED as it is. It's like they're angry at you.