Thursday, December 25, 2008

Day 14--Merry Christmas

Since Joshua and I both had to work today, and it's Christmas, we didn't work on the house. Instead, Joshua shoveled about a foot of snow when he got home from work.
And I cooked a very nontraditional Christmas dinner: Chicken, mashers, stuffing, and salad. We dined on the borrowed (from Mom) card table and chairs in the living room since the kitchen is the staging area for all the home improvement projects right now. It's not quite a Christmas goose, but it will do.

Day 13--Taking a Christmas (Eve) break

Thank you darling sister for convincing us to take a much needed break from the house to celebrate Christmas Eve with the a place that doesn't smell, and isn't full of semi-unpacked boxes. We had a great time.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Day 12-- We can breath a little easier.

If you've lived in your house for a while or buy a "new" older home, I highly recommend having your vents professionally cleaned.
A HEPA Vac can get some serious work done, more so than our little Bissle for sure.

That's what we've been breathing during these past 12 glorious days. Worth every penny to have it gone.

Joshua went back to work today, after being off due to a knee injury for the past 2 weeks. He said he wasn't happy to go back, but I know deep down he was happy to escape the house for a few hours. In his absence, I braved Costco to get holiday supplies for work, and SuperWalmart to get a little grocery shopping done. Soup and bread for dinner every night was getting a little old. Talk about a Crazy Train. What was I thinking, Walmart and Costco 2 days before Christmas. I think the house has given me brain fever.

I also had to set up a fan to dry out the water damage from Day 10, try to insulate some of our pipes to prevent more water damage down the road, wash a load of laundry, and set up a PO box because our mailbox wont stay in the ground and we have bigger fish to fry right now.

Nevertheless, I am grateful to be in a home that is warm (even if it smells like pee), and I am grateful to have the health and strength to do the work that needs to be done (even it it is exhausting and depressing.)

Day 11-- It's real porcelain!

Joshua is turning out to be a home repair genius. Yesterday, he replaced the toilet in the upstairs bathroom. This one actually flushes without having to hold the handle the whole time. And a word of caution, when you buy the "Toilet to go" from your home improvement store of choice, it's a good idea to open it at the store and verify it actually has all the parts it says it should. (and he's not really using the john, just celebrating the installation victory with a demonstration.)

While Joshua was busy with the toilet situation, I began painting the bathroom. White for now, until I can decide on what color to change the lovely green vanity to. Pictures of white paint are about as interesting as watching white paint dry, so I will spare you more photos for now.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Day 10-- The adventure continues

This was both a blessing and a curse. On Sunday, after our first night in the new house and our first showers, we discovered Old Faithful erupting right in our garage. We had both taken showers and the house, thankfully, wasn't smelling much like urine which we had previously attributed to pets of the previous owners. We had sealed the floors before laying the carpet, so we expected the smell to subside. Well, suddenly Joshua asked me if I had noticed the increased odor of putresence. I did, but couldn't figure out why until I heard water running in the garage and discovered that our water heater was spewing hot water from the emergency pressure valve. The water had saturated an already previously soaked and subsequently rotted wall, which was repaired on the garage side but not on the side of the wall behind our bathroom cabinet. The blessing, we finally know the source of the pee smell. Every time the furnace (right next to the area in question) heats up the wall, it stinks. The only solution we can think of is to rip out the bathroom sink and replace the wall and flooring behind/underneath. Ugh, that would be the curse part.
What a mess:
Joshua, the ever-handy He-Man of our crumbling Universe.
The water heater is fixed and there don't appear to be anymore leaks. Can we call it now? Can we pronounce this house DOA? A Lemon? (Pardon me while I start silently chanting my de-stress mantra here, "I can do hard things, I can do hard things, I can do hard things.")

Day 9--Moving Day

In all the hustle and bustle, we forgot to document the hysterics. The few pictures we do have were thanks to my sister, Ivy. (Vote for Ivy for class historian!) We got up bright and early to shovel snow and continue packing up a few more items. Yes, we were that family you hate to help move because you show up and they're still packing things on their way out to the U-Haul. We just figured we'd do the move in stages since we had so much going on.. Hello! Who's bright idea was it to move in December?

There were a few items the guys had to wrestle with: An oversized sofa-sleeper (Heavy) and a BowFlex were probably the worst.

"Maybe if we angle it this way..."
"I think we had to take it apart to get it in the first time..."
"Finally. Now, who picked the 3rd floor appartement again?"

"I'm good with the boxes...thanks."
I might also mention that we got a couple inches of snow that day and it was terribly cold. I think I went to bed about 7:30 pm and slept for about 10 hours (the onset of a head cold didn't help.) We were beat. Thanks much to Josh, Bus and Ivy for the extra hands and muscles that day. We'd still be trying to get the sofa down the stairs if you hadn't been there.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Day 8-- Packing Hell

'nuff said.

Day 7-- Carpet and more Wallpaper

Joshua spent the day getting the new carpet installed and the new-ish old carpet cleaned. Hooray...our house doesn't smell like cat pee anymore!! A shout-out to Venturi Carpet Cleaning for cleaning the new-ish old carpet and treating for the pet smells. The new carpet is courtesy of RC Willey. We thought we had a pretty good match on the existing carpet color...but alas...not so much. Oh well, it's clean and new and after a few days, we wont even notice. You might when you visit, but we'll just deny it and tell you that you need glasses.

The RC Willey guys:

When I arrived later that afternoon, we started to tackle the wallpaper in the kitchen. Some of it was actually hot-glued together and all of it was ugly.
Some spots had multiple layers of extremely stubborn stick-to-it-iveness so here's my product endorsement. DIF works pretty well but can get very messy/goupy. We found it a Lowe's.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Day 3, 4, 5, 6

Even The Good Lord took a day of rest. His was day 7, ours was Day 3. I had to fly to Atlanta, and Joshua had to give his mending knee a rest.

Day 4 and 5 are just a few of the reasons I love my husband. While I was in Atlanta for work, Joshua was tearing out flood damaged walls, replacing floorboards (with the help of our brother-in-law...thanks much Bus!) and coating the floor with sealant to encapsulate the icky pet odors. What a trooper. Here's some of his progress:
Hallway before Hallway after

Bedroom/Closet before Bedroom/Closet After

Today is Day 6 and Joshua took a well deserved breather. I went over to finish up coating the floor with the sealant. I'd say it smells better, but right now it just smells like sealant. Time will tell.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Day 2

The day started out pretty well. We met one of our new neighbors, Jeff. He stopped by as he was driving home from what we guessed was an early morning workout and introduced himself when he saw us in the yard. He seemed like a nice guy, offered his help if we needed, etc. etc.

Then came the appliances:

Then things got exciting. We found where Jimmy Hoffa was our wall. Actually we discovered that the reason for the tiki wall, was to hide a doorway that was filled in when the kitchen cabinets were built. just got interesting.

While Joshua was 'playing in the mud', I started tackling the wallpaper in the bathroom. It's too bad really, it's such a pretty pattern. Green and pink ribbons. Do you love the Hunter green vanity and the pink medicine cabinet?

I didn't get any pictures, but Joshua also ripped out the carpet in the living room, hall, master bedroom and closet today. Bless his heart. He was covered in dust from disintegrating carpet pad and tore up his fingers on tack board, staples, etc. I wont go into details, about the extensive water damage we found underneath the carpet in the closet and hall near the bathroom. Needless to say, the house got downgraded from "needs a little love" to definite "fixer-upper."

While it's certainly not remotely as bad as this, I'll leave you with the vision that kept coming to my mind with each new "discovery" today.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Day 1 in the New House

Closed on Wednesday, picked up the keys on Thursday, and today...the fun begins:

First the tiki wall...the throwback to the 70's has got to go
Going ... Going ... Gone
Then there's the wall paper in the bedroom
notice the adjoining walls are two different patterns...
Much better, and ready for some paint

The good news is, not all the decor is ugly...well, never mind.
We made 3 trips to Lowe's today. 1 after discovering the refrigerator needed replacing. Then for mud to smooth out the filled in door we discovered underneath the tiki wall. Then to buy a new range to match the new fridge, after we discovered the existing one also needed replacing.
Come back often to see our home come together...slowly but surely.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

We're back on, baby!

We called in a specialist to check out the mold situation and discovered it was not severe enough to scare us away. The seller agreed to replace the offending walls that had all the water damage, so we have some new walls, some new carpet, a new furnace, some plumbing improvements and just a few days until closing. You can bet we're so excited!

We're making a Home Depot shopping list, and checking it twice.
It gonna be dirty work but the result will be nice.
Joshua and Heather are going to own a home!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Our dreams may be dashed by Penicillin mold actually. Our home inspector called today with the results from the mold test we had done due to some rotted drywall behind the toilet in the house we were preparing to buy. He reported it came back positive for the "bad mold" or toxic black mold.

It's amazing how a little thing like this:

Can turn into this if left untreated:

Yuck! Needless to say the amount in the house we were checking out wasn't near this bad from what we could see. Without opening up the wall we wont know for sure and we just don't want to go there. Ugh... back to square one I suppose.

Monday, November 17, 2008

We're trying to buy a house...hooray!

Joshua and I finally got serious about trying to buy a house for the ultimate Christmas present to ourselves. We found one last Saturday and started the ball rolling with making an offer, being countered (yuck), raising our offer, and then crossing our fingers. We're on to the financing phase, we think. Here are some initial photos. Can you picture us there?

Cons: The typical Utah split entry, smallish (only 1500+ sq. feet), ugly wallpaper, ugly tiki-hut wood panneling, ugly carpet, fence needs repair/replacing, way out west.
Pros: seemingly good neighborhood, large yard (.23 acres) with pretty good landscaping, new kitchen cabinets, 2 car garage, affordable, new deck, spot for a garden, fireplace, bigger than our apartment, and it would be ours.
We plan to close on the 10th of December. Grab a moving box, a paintbrush and c'mon over. We'll buy the pizza!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The little people are comming

It is unfortunate that it was a flooded house that ushered in April's visit earlier than planned, but hip hip hooray...the North Carolina little people are coming. After we left them in sobbing hysterics after our very brief visit (less than 24 hours) last month, I've seriously been craving little punkins. T-minus 2 hours...and they'll be here!

(Not pictured here...little Max. I don't have any pictures...yet.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Boo...winter has begun.

It's snowing and cold. I must fly south soon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

If the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity...

I'm not jumping on the doomsday bandwagon, but I do think our nation is walking a very fine line in recent years. I've though much of late about the words of Mosiah (29:27) when he taught the people that, "...if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land."

I watched this video of Elder Bednar that came in my LDS Living email today and I think it's some worthy food for thought regarding California's Proposition 8 and the "ripple effect" that comes from these choices. The "voice of the people" is making me more and more nervous.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Yes, I kicked your bumper!

Yesterday I took my car in for an alignment. Since Firestone was just a 1/2 mile or so up the road, I dropped it off and walked home and walked back to pick it up a few hours later. As I approached the intersection, I checked both ways before crossing and made sure the light still indicated my right of way...because I know how to obey traffic rules. Suddenly out of nowhere, a car came barreling around the corner and missed hitting me by just a few inches. Now my first instinct of course was self preservation, so I quickly jumped out of the way. Amazingly, she wasn't stopping. She was either clueless to my near death experience, or just so self-important that it didn't matter to her. My next instinct, after realizing the woman (on her cell phone) had slowed ever so slightly to complete her turn, was an outraged kick to her bumper.

Well of course this caught her attention, though nearly killing me didn't. She pulled over and rolled her window down and stared at me with arms in the air as if to say, "Did you really just kick my car?" So I shouted, "Yes you self absorbed idiot, I kicked your bumper. How about checking for pedestrians next time." I quickly regained my senses and kept walking, leaving my almost-assailant staring in disbelief.

I'm not totally proud if the little scene I created, but the moral of the story is this: If you think your agenda is so important that you don't have time to follow simple traffic rules, (like yielding to pedestrians) you need a swift kick in the...uh...bumper.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Trip 2008

Joshua and I just got back from a whirlwind trip visiting family back in North Carolina and Tennessee. Our visits are always so short but since they're free (airline travel anyway) we try to do as much as possible and see as many loved ones as possible, in a short amount of time.
We visited Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville, TN with Justin, Betsy and the kids, and Betsy's whole family. Our group of about 17 adults and 10 children, explored these cool caves, saw blind-albino crawfish that live in an underground pool of water, and tried not to giggle through the light show near the end.

At the bottom of the cavern, they have the "undergound ballroom" where they perform bluegrass concerts. There was a very "Phantom of the Opera" type pipe-organ likeness (hooked to electronic sound equipment) and a chandelier suspended 60 feet from the caver floor. Imagine your senior prom at the bottom of a cave.

Joshua even found a little cave-imp in our explorations. We called him Seth.

We also visited with Joshua's parents, playing Dr. Suess fruit bocci-ball while we waited for them to finish their missionary duties for the day. Have you ever see a mock orange? They smell like lemon cake. Very strange.
We fed the ducks and geese at the park as well. I never knew ducks and geese like Cheesy Puffs.
This was Mr. T duck..."I pitty da fool who eat my bread crumbs!"

This was Don King Duck..."If you cast your bread upon the water and you have faith, you'll get back cash. If you don't have faith, you'll get soggy bread."

And here's a new idea for your Thanksgiving feast...I give you Durkey.

Oh how I miss the aweful-waffle! Joshua had his first Waffle House experience on this trip. You have to love a pecan waffle with hasbrowns smothered or covered and folks with southern accents as thick as the grits they serve!

We enjoyed some yummy southern barbeque and even visited a pumpkin patch in the afternoon.
Then we were off to Charlotte for little Maxwell Moore's blessing. Congratulations April and James, you have another beautiful member of the family to be proud of. We wished we could have spent more time in Charlotte witht April, James, and the little people, but alas...the dwindling seat availability on our flights beckoned and off we flew.
Despite the few naps we took along the way

This was how we felt when it was all said and done. We hope to visit all y'all again soon.