The Irritation Magnification

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.

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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.

 

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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.

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Jarod

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Ethan

Of course no house remodel would be complete without the help of our friend!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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I had this crack in my thumb for a week and half, and it was still as painful as the first day it happened!

 

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I used this for 3 days straight at night

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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.

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Mitch and I in our Napa overalls

My last favorite find is a cold brew coffee maker!

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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!

 

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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 🙂

Savoring 75

As each day passes by, Pops struggles to keep his mind straight, trying to remember what he’s doing or how to complete the task at hand.  Depending on the moment, is what defines his experience, he can be completely coherent or lost to the point of frustration. It’s comical at times, like last week when I gave him his inhaler to take his morning puffs and he was so confused that he thought it was the remote and tried to change the channel. I laughed at how adorable he was and then explained what it was really for.

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simplifying pops remote for him

It also comes with new worries, taking us into the role of parents and he’s our child.  Sometimes he isn’t able to figure our how to call us, so now we have a door bell button for him to push and plan to get a baby monitor just so we can keep an eye on him.

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The toughest though, is the glimpse of what’s to come….he won’t know it’s me.  Pops turned 75 this Saturday, and friends and family were calling him to say Happy Birthday.  Mitch’s sister, Cindy, was on the phone with Dad when I went over to his place and he was saying, “ok baabay”, a name he calls me in a tone that he uses with me.  He said good bye and I asked him who it was, and he said, “That was Shawna…yeah, I’m pretty sure…, that was Shawna.”   I said, “Papa, how can that be me when I’m right here?” He was completely confused, and said, “I don’t know, she sounded like you.”  I played it off and consoled him saying, “Well Pops, people say her and I look alike, so it wouldn’t be too far off if we sounded alike too!  Plus we both love you big bunches.”  Truth be told, my heart sunk, tears welled up in my eyes and I got a lump in my throat, knowing that he’s not going to get better.  I take a couple deep breathes, calm my fears of him not knowing me someday and remind myself that how ever it plays out, we’ll ride it out together, all three of us as a family, a team, based on faith and love.

The most wonderful dad in the world

The most wonderful dad in the world

Mitch and I wanted to do more for Pops birthday than just going out to dinner for his big 75, so we entertained the idea of going to Chuck E Cheese. The idea of playing air hockey, skeet ball and getting our pictures taken in the photo booth with Papa sounded like fun, until we thought about having to share that space with more than 50 screaming, running, possibly crying kids. Since Mitch had to work this Saturday me and Pops were to meet Mitch and a couple of friends at option # 2, Golden Corral, the best buffet in town. Before meeting our friends for dinner we stopped in at a Huckleberry’s/Rosauers, as I came driving up to the door to drop Pops off we see a handsome fella taking a ride.

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Howdy there cowboy!

Maybe we can make our own fun here!

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Instead of a go cart, pops cruises from one side of the store to the other on the motorized shopping cart

There's even a game to play

There’s even a game to play

Mitch gets one for Pops on his 3rd try! wahoo what a fun birthday time

Mitch gets one for Pops on his 3rd try! wahoo what a fun birthday time

They even have Ducky Dynasty stickers and tattoos!

They even have Ducky Dynasty stickers and tattoos!

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Living the dream, winning a love bear, wearing Duck Dynasty sticker, cruising around with the motorized shopping cart.

Lets finish the fun and all of us get neck tattoos!

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Best time ever at a grocery store, thanks Rousauers!

We worked up an appetite, so it's a good thing we had every option of food imaginable!

We worked up an appetite, so it’s a good thing we had every option of food imaginable!

The waiters came and sang Happy Birthday to Pops, we stuffed ourselves silly and cherished the quality time we got to spend together with friends.

 

 

Jingle Bells and Whistles

We were blessed with a warmer than usual fall season, just going through our days thinking we wouldn’t have much snow for the winter and boom, it started SNOWING, and snowing and snowing!

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Our white Christmas

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Our Christmas tree!

Not exchanging gifts this year was a simple decision, especially since we spoiled ourselves a couple months ago and upgraded our phones.

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We started a new Christmas tradition and waited until Christmas morning to open all the Christmas cards, passed them around while we drank our coffee and ate some delicious pumpkin bread from a wonderfully thoughtful customer from my Four Lakes Post Office.

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My new job at Four Lakes has been great so far, the community’s been very welcoming and patient as I learn the ropes.

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I decorated for the holiday’s at the office, they say it hasn’t been done for decades.

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Looking outside the window                 of the post office

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Being such a small post office and only working about 4 hours a day, I’ve been working at the Medical Lake Post Office for some of the mornings during the Christmas season.  To put the size difference into perspective… My little office got 50 packages in one day … Medical Lake got more than a 1,000 packages in one day, and Medical Lake isn’t that big of a town either!

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Santa’s elves surrounded by towering packages waiting to be delivered from the Medical Lake Post Office.

The latest news on the house…we’ve started to make visible progress on the house.  Painting, putting up some trim,  it’s just a matter of having time and energy to get’er done.  Here’s the yeller feller at night, inside the kitchen through the sliding glass doors is my sweetie pie cutting some half round after he plugged in the Christmas lights that’ve been on Mac’s ol tree for all the years we’ve known him.

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We did get the dogs Christmas hats, just so they could be a part of the celebrations.

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The dogs stockings with their new hats

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Merry Christmas Everyone!

 

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HO-HO-HO

We even had Turkey for dinner, thanks to Mitch winning one at Turkey Bingo last week!  BIG HINT about cooking the bird we learned last week,  after taking it out of the oven, let it rest for at least 30 minutes before cutting into it, that way it soaks up all the juices and won’t be dry!!

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B-I-N-G-O!!!

Now, onto me explaining how I came up with the title for this post.  It all began Tuesday the 22nd of December.  It had once again snowed, Mitch had already left for work and his morning of shoveling. I headed out to leave when I see that the darn snow plow blocked Fancy in.  It wasn’t the soft fluffy snow that first came down, it’d become packed, wet from freezing rain and solid as a rock.  I took a picture just to show my progress after moving half of it, thinking that I’d at least I got my hard knocks out of the way early in the day.

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Fancy just waiting to get out

I decided to do a bit of maneuvering, pulling forward and turning a little, then pulling forward and turning a bit more until I could get out.  The odd thing was when I went to start fancy, the steering wheel was locked, and it wouldn’t start until I turned the wheel, which she’d never done before.  Finding it a bit odd, I think to myself, well that’s perplexing, hope that’s all my troubles for the day.

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I say goodbye to our cute little house

hello to the big house across the street

hello to the big house across the street

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and I’ll see you later, yeller feller as I pass it by, driving one block to Medical Lake Post Office

and I'll see you later, yeller feller

Why drive one block? I know! Normally I walk,  but I had stuff in the car to take to work.

After work I needed to make a couple stops, while pulling up to a stop sign, my check engine light came on, then some code came up and fancy began to sputter.  I decided to stop by the hardware store, maybe I just needed a little oil. Since it’s a VW it requires certain oil, I call my mechanic, tell him what was happening and he said,”Don’t even try and drive it, that could do a lot more damage”.  So thankfully I had AAA

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Fancy’s off to the shop

The results, bad news! There’s no compression in the 3rd cylinder and the cost to repair it ranges from $2,000 to $5,000! Now I’ve already paid a good amount of money to get a few things fixed in the last year and half I’ve had her.  Still having to get to work that day, my friend Felicity gave me a ride.  I suggested we go a different route thinking it may be a little faster and I would  get there on time.  And then…..

A ten minute drive turned into a 40 minute wait

A ten minute drive turned into a 40 minute wait, A tow truck was loading a railroad plow.

Not only did it make me late for work, but it made her late for work as well. Tough day. Could’ve been worse. It could always be worse. Now what to do?  I got a second opinion, and decided based on the cost of all the repairs I’ve already done, how expensive it is to fix anything, let alone the price of just an oil change I am going to say goodbye to all the bells and whistles of fancy. So long sun roof, all wheel drive and my heated seats, but honestly I never could figure out the wipers, which way to push the switches, and the power.. seriously that girl could jump off a curb standing still.  I think it was just more car than I’m designed to have, hopefully her future home will be just right for someone. Future trade in here I come.  I already have one picked out, but I don’t sign papers till tomorrow so it’s not officially official.

It's a Nissan Versa

Everything happens for a reason, this is just a tough time season.  Our renters and friends across the street are planning to leave in the spring, we still don’t have anyone lined up for the yeller feller and just the other day I took a nap on the couch, charlie came over to give me some love, knocked my glasses on the ground with his big ol tail.  Not realizing it, I get up to go to the kitchen and crunch, I stepped on them and they broke.  So we say hello.. hello.. hello..from this valley we are experiencing in life, and know that someday we will be sharing our peaks.  That’s the great thing about life, can’t have peaks without valleys!

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Pops has been more forgetful lately, the doctor says it from his mini strokes he had a couple years ago, and so when I went over to his place to get a plate for dinner I couldn’t help but laugh when this is what I found.  Yes, that is a piece of pumpkin pie that I gave him the night before, just sitting in the dishes drawer.

He hasn't forgotten how to laugh or love that's for sure

He hasn’t forgotten how to laugh or love that’s for sure. Pops wearing the ugly Christmas sweater Mitch won with at his work Christmas party.

Not gonna take the hard time, just gonna enjoy the times I have with family and friends

Not gonna wallow the hard times, just gonna enjoy all the times I have with family and friends

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a YAWN is a silent scream for coffee!

Merry Christmas from Mitch, Shawna, and Papa!

The Flip of a Switch

Oh my,  the things we take for granted until they’re gone. Maybe it’s not taking it for granted, maybe it’s just in life we become comfortable in our routines, instinctually anticipating results from the flip of a switch, so when it’s gone, it really stinks. Today I am talking about electricity, actually the lack there of! This past Tuesday the 17th, the electrical world of Spokane and the surrounding areas stopped running. We had wind gusts up to 70 mph, power lines were down and trees blocked roadways. Thousands of people lost power and days later, there are still those without electricity, and tragically others lost their lives during the storm. We just got a taste of what others in the Central States deal with, much more often than we do.

Check out the weather channel for more news about how the storm has effected the Northwest.

Our only source of heat is electricity, just like so many in this area but thankfully we have Harvey the RV! We went camping in our own back yard and were able to stay warm until the power came back on Thursday afternoon. Fortunately we’re able to share the warmth with friends who are going to be staying in Harvey until they get power back as well.

The last couple days I’ve been working in the dark at the post office, but with the awesomeness of a headlamp it hasn’t been a problem! I guess we could add that to the postal slogan, anyway we can, we’ll make do, to get the mail to you!

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Best selfie ever !   We’re  alway using headlamps when we’re working on the house, but wow they’ve really come in handy during this time of need.

 

Driving down the street the morning after the storm I experienced a sense of awe and relief when I saw this tree had fallen, IMG_0441

and  it didn’t even leave a scratch on the house!

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What a blessing  that there was no damage and no one got hurt!

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They say the storm was of historic proportion, and Avista, the utilities company hasn’t ever had a crisis of this magnitude in its 126 years of operating.

Down to the Bones

The best part of life is never knowing what’s going to happen next, well ok, it could also be said that’s one of the worst parts. I’d like to think it’s the former, even when times get tough.

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It’s a dirty job, but if someone doesn’t do it, it’ll never get clean!

That being said, Mitch’s been burning the candle at both ends, working his fingers to the bone, while taking the house down to the bones so we can build it back up the right way.

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custom built closets in the bedroom, needing TLC

We’ve all heard stories of people remodeling a house and finding a lost treasure, but we never thought it would happen to us. But it did! As I was attempting to clean out all the cobwebs from the custom made closet drawers, I leaned my head into the empty space where the drawers usually sit and I see rolls of coins!

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Right where I found them

Hey, so maybe it’s only $2.50  but that’s more than what we started with at the beginning of the day.

The guys couldn't be more excited about my find!

The guys couldn’t be more excited when I run out to share the treasure I’d just found.

Going all out is what we’re about when it comes to fixing up a house, and this one hasn’t been any different. We began working on the house thinking it would be a new paint job, flooring and maybe a new roof.  Since we’ve begun it’s been everything, including the kitchen sink! The plumbing, electrical, walls, floors, roof and even the sewer drain was completely busted up and needed replaced. We decided to reroute the drain, making it a shorter (more affordable) and a direct route to the newer drain put in during the 90’s.

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The future path of the sewer drain.

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Digging this hole to access where the old and new pipes met was my job.  I was darn proud of myself when I got done, especially since I wanted to give up a few times, but just kept on keeping on.

Pops came to visit and with one scoop of the shovel he had achieved what took me hours to accomplish. :)

Pops came to visit and with one scoop of the shovel he achieved what took me hours to accomplish. 🙂

What else can we expect from a house pieced together over the years on a poor mans budget, I’ll tell ya, we should’ve expected shoddy workmanship with parts of the house build on sand resulting in, da.. da.. da… rotting wood that had to be replaced!  Such a big no, no!!

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After taking barrels of dirt and sand out from under the laundry room and bathroom we could finally make room to get to the plumbing!

Thankfully we’ve build up enough credit that we are able to fix it right, and now to pay all our new bills I was blessed enough to get a part time job as a sales clerk for the Four Lakes Post Office.  Having been a rural carrier with the Medical Lake Post Office, I knew it was a super physically demanding job out in the elements and I didn’t want that again even though I loved it.  I was ready to do something different so now I’m working in the office.

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Me and my love before a hard days work

The only thing we have to show you that is complete is us…. completely pooped, completely overwhelmed and completely full of hope!  So as Big Smo’s Mama says, “Keep the faith, and keep on fightin”

 

 

The Yeller Feller

When life’s given us opportunities we’ve taken them, including the risks and work involved! The good Lord made our latest adventure a no brainer, we bought another house to make into a rental. It’s just across the street from us and had been the home of our friend and neighbor, Mac who passed away last year. For us to get the house is nothing but fate and we are honored to be the ones to bring this little 1930’s home back to life.

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I remember watching Mac across the street painting away, making his dark green house even a darker green and me saying to Mitch, “He must really like green.”

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We decided to buy a sample of our chosen color and try it before buying gallons and not liking it. It’s on the left side of the door.

Our first order of business after purchasing the house was to change that color. Thankfully Mitch and I seem to usually agree on colors and we already planned on painting it yellow, now it’s just a matter of which yellow.

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First to prepare the siding and the trim, good thing we have a pressure washer

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The side of the porch after pressure washing and scraping paint. I started with white on the inside of the porch and it was taking forever

Mitch had mentioned getting a paint sprayer and I said, “I don’t think we’ll need one, it’s not that big of a house, it won’t take us too long.”

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After doing the trim I was already over the whole painting it by hand idea.

I called Mitch and said, “Tell me again why you don’t want to rent a paint sprayer?” he laughed at my way of telling him he was right, and said, “right!” Mitch rented one that night from Home Depot.

Side note:

If you rent one yourself and are using a 5 gallon bucket please do yourself a favor and rent the “heavy duty” sprayer and not the “medium duty” one. The Heavy duty sprayer will stand on it’s own and fit into a 5 gallon bucket.  It just makes life so much easier.

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Just having white trim made it seem a bit brighter

Plus I had papa's help

Plus I had papa’s help

While Feisty supervised

While Feisty supervised

Feisty was Mac's cat and she's been keeping the house occupied since his passing.

Feisty was Mac’s cat and she’s been keeping the house occupied since his passing but has a future home down the street with our friend Terri.

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The color of yellow is Meringue – Behr Ultra Semi Gloss from Home Depot. Mitch came home early from work and got the whole house done in 3 hours. Yes my people, he’s that awesome!

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I was able to have everything taped off and ready for him to start spraying, The anticipation of having it a new color was so exciting for both of us.

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The reward of seeing it complete was topped off with the praises of the neighborhood folks walking by saying they love new color!

Next order of business was to get a new roof! The previous roof was not only old, it had been put on wrong! Thankfully we already knew who to call, Mark from Premier Roofing.

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Mark telling us what kind of trouble we’re looking at

He’d done our big house a few years back and impressed us with his hard work ethic, knowledge and skills of roofing.

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A couple of the crew getting ready for the day. Yes, that’s a girl standing by the truck and she rocked at roofing!

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The plywood wasn’t even screwed down right! Its no wonder it had so many warps in it.

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There was so much more than just a roof to put on and Mark made sure all the repairs were completed right.

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Even Feisty give it a paws up after inspecting the work

There is still so much to tackle outside and we are trying to get it all done before it gets too cold, but we are also doing projects inside, and underneath.

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The cobwebs after a year of being unused, are everywhere

Feisty hasn’t been the only one staying in the house, there’s also a family of skunks. Not to mention a strong musty damp dirt smell though out the house. Wow do we have our work cut out for us.

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First one cobweb at a time

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We begin by pulling out the carpet, see all that dirt… it’s always under any carpet we’ve ever pulled up. It’s one of the reasons we will only put in laminate and allure flooring in our houses from now on.

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When it’s that dusty it’s best to wear a mask, otherwise you’ll be smelling that stinch for days

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Once the carpet was gone we found a sagging corner, to inspect deeper what do you do but cut out the floor since there is no crawl space

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If its bad in this corner, what else is going on under the house

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Lets tear it out and see

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Then we decided to dig a little deeper

Come to find out, we weren't the only ones digging a little deeper. Those darn skunks

Come to find out, we weren’t the only ones digging a little deeper. Those darn skunks

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We found out why the floor wasn’t level, They only did a cross beam on part of the floor. That dusty damp dirt smell was because there was no ventilation under the house and no vapor barrier over the dirt. It’s got to be one or the other in this climate.

To make things right we’re going to start from the ground up, beginning with digging out a lot of this dirt to make an actual crawl space. There was more than Feisty and skunks in this house, there’s huge spiders!

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This guy was hanging out in the kitchen giving me a preview of what lurks below

One day while Mitch was at work I decide to take on the underbelly of ol’ yeller and clear it out. The plan was to crawl from the living room under the kitchen and beyond pushing dirt out and sucking up spiderwebs with the shop vac. I wasn’t going to dare venture below without the proper spider, skunk poop protective gear.

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Excited and geared up

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Ready to take on those creapy crawly’s

As usual, it was much more challenging than anticipated. Everywhere I turned a shiny scary spider was crawling, I’d brought spider spray down with me but it didn’t kill instantly and I would begin to panic and try to squish them. I tried to shovel out dirt from under the house as I lay on my belly, shop vac in one hand, spider spray nearby and a little hand held rake to push the dirt out from under the kitchen.This task just got to be overwhelming and my steam ran out, then I realized my white overalls had a huge tear in the inner thigh area and spiders could be crawling on me! In frustration and determination I crawl back out from under the house, found Mitch’s overalls, shook off the fear like a dog that just got out of a lake and back under I went with a vengeance. Come on spiders, skunk poo, feisty poo, whatever’s under here, it’s showtime. I dig, I scoop, I push the dirt, then I look to the left of me…eeeeks a spider,

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These are the spiders that were under the house

I look to the right of me….eeeks another spider. Ugh. seriously! I look straight ahead and staring back at me was a frog. This frog must be a sign from my mom that she’s with me under this house, she loves me and knows what a hard time I am having. Why a frog you ask, well days before my mom passed we’d talked about how hard it will be for me not to see her and how much I would miss her. She said, ” Don’t worry, I’ll be with you, if you see a mountain that you love, I’m there, if it’s a butterfly or even a frog, if you think of me I’ll be there.” The day of her funeral, it rained frogs in Oklahoma, literally frogs! Everything is going to be ok now, I stare this frog, loving the special moment of peace I’m experiencing when I realize that I could actually pick up this frog right now and not freak out because I am completely safe with all my gear on (yes I know frogs don’t bite, but they still scare me a little). I also wanted to move the frog because I realized there was another spider behind it that I wanted to spray.  I put one hand under the frog and lift it up onto the palm of my hand.  So special is this moment that I can hold this frog and think of my mom….EEEEEKS.  Right towards my face this little fella jumps.  I pull my head up as fast as I can, in turn bumping my head of the floor joists.  Really life??? ever so comical it is, I’m frazzled beyond return and get myself out from under as quickly as I can, throwing in the towel for the day.

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The look of temporary defeat

After such an experience Mitch put bug bomb on both ends of the house and he promised to help me finish up the job.

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The corpses of those awful scary spiders after the bug bomb!

When the weekend came Mitch and I, along with the help of a friend got 7 wheel barrels full of dirt, tons of dead spiders sucked up in the shop vac, a few shovels full of feces, brick, concrete chunks and kitty poo to, out from under that house.  I would like to think the worst is now over. (Yet amongst our digging we found that the main water line running to the house as well as the sewer line exiting the house have both rusted away) Amazing the things you find when you do a little digging. More about those adventures later.

We have a long way to go and a short time to get there.  I will be posting more as we finish our house projects, lets just hope the weather cooperates with us!

Holy Smoke

Can you guess what this is a picture of?

Can you guess what this is a picture of? Is it a floating chili pepper? Nope, it’s the moon shining through the smoke of the night.

I’m sure you’ve heard, there are fires blazing up here in Washington State! It’s been a tough summer, with record heat and dry conditions, the perfect conditions for fire to thrive.  They’ve left in their wake a black blanket of destruction.

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This is a satellite photo of Washington and the surrounding states. Not a cloud in the sky, it’s all smoke from the fires.

We are located on the Eastern part of the state, hours from any fire and yet the smoke has engulfed the city of Spokane.

Not a cloud in the sky, it all smoke looming over Medical Lake

This is all smoke looming over Medical Lake

Looking out the window, it’s as if the fog of fall has come early, only a step outside tells a different story as the strong smell of smoke overtakes my senses.

The eerie color of the sky, depicting the ominous wrath fire is capable of

The eerie color of the sky, depicting the ominous wrath that fire is capable of

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While at the car wash I had to take a couple pics, yet if only a picture could capture the overpowering smell it packs with it.

Burning eyes and an itching throat is a small effect to experience, compared to those who are fighting the fires and others who have lost all their possessions and more tragically their loved ones.

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Sunrise in Spokane shining through the smoke

It’s just unbelievable that the smoke has traveled hundreds of miles, unwilling to dissipate and still able to pack this kind of punch.

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The sunrise looking like you could drive right to it from the smoke in the air

Please pray for those who fight these huge fires on the front lines! God Bless.