We spent the first day of 2016 where else but working on the house, the whoville house. Christmas songs will now carry the memories of our days of working on the house. Both of us singing jingle bells at the top of our lungs while I painted and Mitch worked on leveling the bedroom floor. We’ve officially changed the name from the yeller feller, to the Whoville house, because it’s beyond wonky, crooked and if you tried, you couldn’t find a level wall or floor anywhere.
We’re slowly making progress, but from the get go, as with every house we’ve worked on, comes unexplainable frustration, but I’m still going to give it my best shot. Where to begin…the dirt, the dirtiness, the dust, the smells and everywhere you look there’s something else that needs to get done. It’s as if the hopes and dreams of bringing something forgotten and dilapidated back to life become overshadowed with the suffocation of those self-created ideals.
I know normally I’m a positive, this too shall pass kind of person, but every now and then I feel the need to talk about the random littles of life that can get the angry monster inside to jump up and down, screaming in frustration. Lately for me it’s the nail that just won’t come out, the sheetrock dust engulfing everything within reach, the mini blind brackets that shouldn’t be that difficult but are a nightmare and the itchy awfulness of the dreaded INSULATION! As the stress mounts for us to finish the house, small annoyances seem magnified ten fold. In those overwhelming moments the hope of ever truly finishing the house seems to be an unlikely reality.
Last month, after once again getting sheetrock dust all over me, I couldn’t stop the mental tirade of having to wash my hair. I know, maybe it sounds petty, but having super thick, normally dry hair, frequent washes are a no-no. When we’re getting dirty and dusty every night I end up having to wash the hair every night, and in turn people have actually asked me what I’ve done to my hair because it looks like Monica’s on the Friends episode when they go to Barbados! Imagine their shock when I tell them all I did was wash it! After letting all the house work go down the drain I came to a clear and decisive conclusion; if, in the future, we end up getting another house to remodel, I’m going make like GI Jane and shave it all off! No, seriously, and I’ll totally be all serious and intense, just being sooo over it! It won’t be me trying to make the cut, it’ll be me trying not to go nuts! Yes, remodeling a house can really take one to the brink of eating checkers and crayons!
That’s our life right now, powering through the pain, slowly putting one foot in front of the other, trying to run a foot race with our shoes tied, sometimes tripping, and leaning on each other and our faith, knowing that we are now one step closer to completion. Dragging ourselves home from a long days work we once again say to each other “well, we’re closer than we were when we started this morning.”
I’m not proud to admit this but I literally cried during our remodeling process when Mitch unintentionally laid his overalls on mine after he’d been crawling around in the attic. To me, sheetrock is like sauerkraut, and insulation is like liver! Beyond dislike, can’t stand it and super yucked out by it! The tears were more of being over whelmed, frustrated and farther in debt, but leave it to a little insulation to put me over the edge.
The first couple months we weren’t in it alone! We found great help on Craigslist, funny enough we thought it was a friend of ours named Tom advertising his help so we sent a silly text at first, come to find out they just had the same first name with the same skills.
Craigslist “Tear it down”Tom!
Also, our first renters grandsons were a great help too! Unfortunately their availability ran thin around them same time as our funds dried up.
Of course no house remodel would be complete without the help of our friend!
Mitch and “Demolition Man Mike”
There comes a time when pride gets in the way of progress and after we ran out of money to pay for help we swallowed that pride and called friends for help.
Pops came over cheer us on and was so comfortable he fell asleep!
One of Mitch’s friends came from out of town and volunteered his time before we even asked for help.
He came one weekend in January with his girlfriend, Tina and they both worked with us on the house all weekend, then they even worked on the house for us while we both went to work one day! Talk about above and beyond.
For them to be so selfless with their time, especially when we so desperately needed it, what an amazing gift they gave us. It will never be forgotten!
The mini blind brigade, Karen, me and Stacey
It just seems so much harder this time around. Maybe because our bodies are older, or that for now its going to be a rental, and not our new home…. Or it could just be that during the winter months it’s hard to get motivated, especially when the house we’re working in is freezing cold because we don’t have heaters hooked up yet and the ones we did have either stopped working or costs way to much to keep it half warm. Yeah, its all those reasons and still none of them are really good excuses. But……SPRING is in the air! Today it is 55 degrees and we really really really think that this might be our last weekend to work on the house and it’ll be done. For the last 5 months I’ve been saying that we should be done in a couple of weeks, but seriously Mitch is even saying that we should finally be done this weekend! Things have come together better than we’d imagined and the house looks really nice! Finally I’ll be able to share pictures from beginning to end on my next post!
Thanks for listening, I feel better already!
Now onto a few of my favorite finds during these trying time.
Earlier in our remodeling I stepped on a rusty staple because I was wearing tennis shoes, after digging it out, two weeks later, there were still particles of that staple in my foot! Lesson, proper foot attire is a must! Walmart has a pair of good work boots and they only cost $20!
Now that I’ve gotten my feet covered, I have to share what is ESSENTIAL for dry cracked hands, it’s O’keeffe’s working hands.
I had this crack in my thumb for a week and half, and it was still as painful as the first day it happened!
I used this for 3 days straight at night
It was almost totally healed after three days!!!
Overalls are super handy when it comes to really getting into the middle of a mess, especially when spiders and cobwebs are involved, mainly because you can duct tape the legs and sleeves so they can’t crawl up your clothes! Eeeeeeks. I got mine from Napa, they are pre-used and come in the next day when you order them. They are all different and if one large is too small ask for a different large.
Mitch and I in our Napa overalls
My last favorite find is a cold brew coffee maker!
Oh yes it is that awesome, especially since I make myself an iced coffee everyday it has saved me tons of time, my ice doesn’t melt when I mix it because the coffee is cold and it’s even easier to make because it’ll make at least 6 cups of coffee, meaning my whole week is pretty much covered in the coffee department!
If you”re ever in our neck of the woods come on over and I’ll fix you up an iced coffee too! Just don’t be surprised if we put you to work 🙂