Friday, August 28, 2009

Still No Paint...

Last night was the big Brenham Chamber of Commerce Tailgate party, so I had two assistants for the evening.  (Leslie was running the party, so Marshall IV and VJ hung with me.)  Instead of going over to the house, we went and watched the new star quarterback of the Brenham Cubs Sophomore team make 3 of the touchdowns in his first season game.  Go James Zeiders!  Marshall was disappointed that we didn't get anything "painted" but I have to be honest and say I was a little relieved.  I was worried about getting into painting and getting them both fed, homework done and in bed, all with the energy of a slug.  (Don't sweat, I'm not sick, it's just usual exhaustion from getting back into the swing of things.)  I only have one bedroom primed, not painted, primed.  (Promised I wouldn't paint without my assistants, but do have permission to prime.)  I would like to get a couple of more rooms under my belt before any color goes up.  This way I can put the color samples up in the rooms where I potentially want that color. 

I do have a bid waiting on me at the house on the new windows.  The guy priced out aluminum clad windows and vinyl ones.  Does anyone have any opinions on which ones to go with?  I'm leaning towards the more expensive vinyl ones, but am wondering about other people's opinions.  (on windows...)  Gotta go, I'm headed out to return several things at Lowe's & Home Depot, my two new favorite stores, or at least the ones where most of my money goes...  ;)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Seriously Slacking...

Chalk it up to the kid throwing up in my classroom, finding out I have a new student, a long afternoon of bus duty or learning a REALLY old laptop for a new visually impaired child, but I was a serious slacker yesterday.  After I finally left school at 4:30, I'd been trying to leave for since 4, I went and got the crew drinks and headed for the house.  Dad (Marc) and Sara had been working non-stop all day yesterday and lots to show for it.  Dad had cleared out a large patch of grapevine and other weeds/weed trees from the back fence area.  He had also worked on tearing out the old faucet in the green bath and replacing it with a shower tub faucet combo.  This is really good news, seeing as the only shower in the house is in the pink bathroom and there is no way in heck I'm getting in that thing!  (Granted, the shower pan in it is shot, so I have a legit excuse...)  See the attached pictures to check out his new "workshop" area.

Sara spent the bulk of the day organizing the myriad of tools that I currently own.  (The drywall guy, Wes, was really impressed with my tool count.  Impressed and maybe just a little bit jealous...) The tools look great and now I can easily find the one I need when I need it.  Thanks for all of the hardwork.  I'm sorry the only appreciation I could muster was supper at Cici's, but I do appreciate it.  In case anyone from the Texas Board of Education is reading this, I would really appreciate it if school could start on a Thursday every year so we can then have 2 days to recover and plan for the next week.  :)  Have a great day, or night if you're reading this late and I'll keep you up to date on what happens next!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Holes, Both Good & Bad

The pictures attached show the newest additions/removals going on at the house.  Jack, my GC (General Contractor,) came in and opened up the wall for me, creating a much larger opening into the kitchen from the living room.  In the process, he removed a pocket door which will later be moved between the laundry room and the kitchen.   I love the new opening and can't wait to see it completely finished out and painted. 

Speaking of paint, I was able to finally get in a prime the master bedroom. (PLEASE do not tell M4.  He will be MAJORLY upset with me if he knows I "painted" without him.  You know it was priming, and I know it was priming.  He'll never buy that line.)  The primed walls look fabulous.  Clean and white now instead of stained and torn up.  It was worth every penny spent on drywall and the wonderful looks I'm going to get tomorrow at work with my fabulous new hairdo.  Note to self:  wear a bandanna on head when painting ceilings...

There are some other pictures attached that are a bit scarier than the pretty hole in the living room.  Those are of the back soffit and fascia boards.  Jack's crew came in and tore off the aluminum siding that was up there, holding water next to the wood.  They repaired the damage and have replaced the aluminum with Hardi-Plank, a cement board product that has venting holes built into it.  Eventually this is what I would love to have the entire house re-sided in, but until then it's going to be a bit by bit process.  It appears that the gables might also be getting a new look soon.  They too have water damage and need to be repaired.  Jack is coming on Friday to see what that is going to cost me.  While costs are mounting and MOUNTING, I still feel that this is the house for me.  Little by little I can update and redo, making it my own.  I just have to be patient that while I cannot afford the new windows right this minute, I can have a safe roof over my head.  I guess its all a matter of perspective. 

I would like to do a huge shout out to Dad & Sar for coming up today from Houston and working majorly hard in the two most important rooms in the house, the bathrooms.  Dad replaced the sink faucet in the green bathroom and removed the water damaged base to the vanity.  Sar, bless her, got into the NASTY pink bathroom and scrubbed it to within an inch of it's life.  It is now safe to use the bathroom to wash your hands and the toilet if you must.  (It's not a water saver.)  The shower is still off limits due to a shot shower pan, but the green bath will hopefully have a shower head soon.  Thanks guys!

On a completely random note, my fifth year of teaching started yesterday and I'm just not sure about these kids yet.  They are sweet and talkative, but they're not last year's group.  Granted, I know last year's group gave me fits, but it's amazing how quickly you forget the headaches and just miss the kids.  (Not all of them though.)  I realize this happens every year and as soon as we're into a routine, it will be better.  As of now, I need to get to bed seeing as I have my first day of morning duty.   I'll let you know what happens next, both with school and my house.

Haven't Forgotten...

I promise I haven't forgotten about the blog, but school started yesterday and our internet was down at the house last night, so I didn't get it written.  Big things are happening and I promise to get them posted soon!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Big Changes

I am sitting here barely able to move, but sooooo excited!  I went over to the house today and I loved the ceilings.  Wes, the drywall guy, uses a technique called stomp and drag.  He uses a self-designed tool to apply the plaster to the ceilings.  (See the picture of the guy in the blue shirt.)  They then go back and knock it down so it provides a flat surface.  Tomorrow, yes Sunday, he's going to apply an orange peel texture all of the walls in the house.  It's going to look just like an orange peel, minus the fabulous orange color.  I wanted flat, but I will settle with the orange peel.  It hides the flaws in the walls much better and makes the overall look much smoother.  I just like it because it's smooth enough that I can still get straight, clean paint lines for stripes, apply vinyl wall graphics etc. and no one will draw blood on rough walls! 

While the guys continued to work on the walls/ceilings, I tackled the paneling in the kitchen.  It all had to come down because we need to rewire the kitchen for electricity.  (No one panic, Dad was able to save the green built-in in the corner.  It will be moving to the opposite corner.)  The need to rewire means that I get to design my kitchen and have to know where everything is going.  Yahoo!  Since I already have everything planned in my head, I now just have to make it reality and get it down on paper.  Should be an easy task.  I have no where else to be on Monday so I can tackle it then.  Oh wait, school starts doesn't it?  Darn.  Can you guess what's going to be the feature of Day 13?

Soon after finishing the paneling, Les (see prior blogs) showed up and helped me get rid of the fabulous linoleum in the kitchen.  Surprisingly, it came up really easy.  We used a flat nose (no real idea what it's called) shovel, chisel, and pry bar to get it all up.  It only stuck in a few places and those popped up easily with a wee bit of encouragement from the chisel.  :)  Unfortunately the mastic used in 1961 and now highly visible was a lovely black color, so I now have a custom floor treatment that will be featured on the cover of "60's Kitsch." 

Dad & Sar showed up for a little while in between ER shifts and pitched in after taking in all the hard work.  Sar assisted Les with the floor demo and Dad headed out back to attack some much overgrown grapevines. (think 3-4 inches in diameter...)  Thanks for taking the effort to come up between shifts, I appreciate it!

Now, if I'm going to design and mentally install an entire kitchen tomorrow, I better get to bed tonight.  Advil, oh advil, where are you???  Advil?  Hmm, maybe it's somewhere near my muscles and my ability to move.  Soon as I can locate those I'm home free!!  I'll let you know what I can find.  ;)

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I am beyond impressed with the new drywall guys. They have really busted tail today and fixed EVERY crack, chip, and hole in the entire house, barring the kitchen. They have re-drywalled the ceilings in the master, guest and green bathroom, taped & floated them and textured the living room, office, and hallway ceiling, all today. Wow! My house is starting to have an obvious change in it. With this huge change, I'm hoping that we can start painting soon, much to Marshall's delight! I know it's only been a week, but there has been no change that has been "pretty." Yes, I took out the nasty carpet and scrubbed the walls, but nothing that made me happy to see it. (other than the house itself.) It's going to be awesome!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Changes Are Stirring

(In case you're wondering, I'm a day behind again with the blog due to open house.  Hopefully this weekend I will get back on track on the days, but school starting is a bit hair pulling around here!) 

Jack, the contractor, called yesterday with good news on the nasty ceilings in the master, guest room, and green bathroom.  These rooms all have extensive termite damage in them, causing the paint to peel and look tacky, not to mention the stained ceilings in the master.  He had his drywall guy out and they are going to apply 1/4 inch drywall over the damaged pieces and re-tape and float.  They did look at repairing the damage, but it is so extensive that there is nothing really to attach the patch too because the paper is all gone.  (For those of you who don't know, drywall is a layer of plaster, sandwiched between two sheets of paper.  Paper is a tree product and thus is eaten by the termites.  They don't eat the plaster, but they do make a rather impressive freeway system in it. The current drywall still has holely (sp?) plaster in it, but the paint just flakes off because the paper the paint was on is now gone...)  In one fell swoop he will fix a wall and three ceilings, allowing me to get started painting and hopefully look at moving in sooner!  (For those of you wondering, Jack did check the studs in the wall and they are fine.)

Due to a slow time, the drywall guy is going to give me a GREAT deal.  I'm going on the whole faith thing that it just worked out that the guy that I needed was available right now.  There are a TON of things that I want to do in the house, built-ins, custom treatments, remodeled bathrooms, etc.  I so don't want to spend my time inhaling drywall dust, ESPECIALLY from the ceiling!!  (You blow white boogers for a week and that's with a mask on!)  For a mere $200 plus materials, over the cost of the other rooms, he is going to go ahead and drywall the entire kitchen for me!  That means this weekend I will be prying massive amounts of paneling off of the walls and spend next week wiring the kitchen for electricity  (If anyone wants to join, I'll be there!)  Mom suggested saving some of the paneling and using it as wainscoting in the kitchen.  I love the idea.  It's a really pretty paneling, almost tongue and groove, with evenly spaced panels.  Nothing like the rancid paneling of the 80's.  I'm just not in love with the idea of painting the paneling and leaving it in the house...  (Sorry Can)  I'll let you know how the rest of the weekend goes...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Not Much Happening...

Sorry about the delay in this edition.  I was at work until 8 last night working on t-shirts for the 4th grade Open House, so very little was accomplished on the house yesterday.  I did meet with my contractor over my lunch hour.  He had the roof measured for the new metal and looked at all of the termite damaged drywall and the SCARY laundry room.  He's working on a price for all of it and is going to let me know something tomorrow.  I realize that I could possibly repair the termite damage myself, but I do want to be in this house before I turn 40, so...  And as for the roof, no amount of money could get me up there!!  I will gladly pay someone to climb it for me, not to mention the 100 degree temperatures!  Keep your fingers crossed that the estimate in my price range which is free to cheap!  ;)  I am excited that for once, I'll be spending a large amount of money and have a large item to show for it!  Nothing like having a medical procedure done, paying $5,000 for it and having nothing tangible to show!  Now I can show off my roof!!  It's the little things in life!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Short & Sweet

In honor of all of you who have slogged through all of my prior e-mails, I promise to keep this one short.  In honor of my first week of being a homeowner, I took this afternoon off!  ;)  Actually I REALLY needed a pedicure, so mom and I went and had girl-time. I also managed to drop almost $70 on two AC filters, trash bags, a pressure pump sprayer thing (technical name) and a couple of other things.  

Note to self:  NO MORE WALMART TRIPS!  Tomorrow I have a roof measurement, drywall consultation and laundry room implosion scheduled.  My fabulous contractor, Jack, is meeting me sometime tomorrow afternoon.  The city of Brenham is also supposed to come by and trim trees out of the electrical lines.  Slowly but surely things are happening.  I'll let you know what happens next!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Making Your Mark

I am slowly resigning myself to the fact that I have to work and cannot spend all of my waking time working on my house.  Thankfully though, the kids aren't back yet, so I was able to leave school this morning and meet the A/C repair man.  Perseverance prevailed and after a $60 call fee, it was deemed that my unit did need a charge and it was possible that it COULD have been working when we signed the papers.  He did tell me that it would take a while to cool the house down and get all of the heat out of the walls.  I was also told that my unit was a ton and a half too small for the house.  It will work, but it's going to work it's little heart out for me.  If anyone has an extra 4.5 ton A/C unit, preferably American Standard in honor of my Papa, I'd be glad to take it off your hands!

Tonight Cas, Mom and I headed over to the house to work.  (I would like to throw an honorable mention in for Rach.  She was ready to work yesterday, but I was taking a nap...  She had to make supper tonight, so couldn't come.)  Cas and I tackled the master bedroom.  I started to wipe down the closet, think beautiful green covered in a tea/nicotine stain.  While I was working on that, Cas dirtexed the walls.  Dirtex, a cleaner used for wall prep is the last step before priming, so that is a huge leap.  When she finished that, we both worked on the closet, taking down the shelves and trying to get the layers of nicotine off.  After scrubbing the walls down by hand, scrubbing them again with the mop and then a final hand scrubbing by Casey, I can pronounce the entire closet clean enough to prime! 

We tackled the closet and Mom took on the green bathroom sink.  It looks FABULOUS!  Somehow she got rid of all of the rust stains, hard water deposits and general yuck on the sink.  I am so impressed and thrilled to have a clean place to wash hands. 

As we were finishing our chores for the evening, my "dollar dealer" came over and gave me another installment.  Thanks Jon and Feli for all of the effort.  I really appreciate it. 

So far, Thursday I am having the rest of the house treated for termites, next Monday evening meeting with the window replacement people and tomorrow meeting with my contractor to see about the laundry room and other odd jobs.  I'm still waiting on the roof.  Jack, my contractor, hasn't received word back from the roof guy yet.  I think that just about covers everything. Slowly but surely I am making my mark on the house. 

Speaking of making my mark, we took Elvis with us this evening to the house.  He had a ball sniffing all of the new smells and barking at the leaves in the bark yard.  As long as the bad guy is wearing leaves, I'm safe!  Anyway, apparently one of the spots in the guest room was left by another animal.  What does an animal do when it smells another animal's scent?  Marks it's territory!  Darn dog!  Now I have another spot to clean up.  It's a good thing Elvis is cute.  I've attached some various pictures of the work so far.  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

More Than Slightly Overwhelmed

Reality is slowly starting to set in on the HUGE job that I have ahead of me. I still don't regret my decision to buy the house. I'm thrilled with it and the potential it holds, I'm just blown-away by what I need to do and have no idea where to start... Cas, childhood friend, and I are going to try again to make a list (or two or three) of everything I need to do. I'm not sure if it's a good idea to list EVERYTHING, but at least I'll have something to cross off after I finish it. ;) I didn't get much accomplished today, but I'm chalking it up to the fact that it's Sunday and it's supposed to be a day of rest...

I went over this morning and picked up the tools and drinks
from the massive day of work yesterday. I also was able to sweep up the "kitchen" and rearrange the tools so we can once again find everything. I am surprised at how large, open and bright the room is now that the horrible peninsula oven thing is gone. I've attached some pictures of the work space. I attempted to continue to work on the coffee/white ceiling in the master and grabbed the mop out of the bucket of bleach water from yesterday. Note to self: bleach water causes the heads of scrubber mops to disintegrate. Two of the pictures show what the mop head should look like, and what it looks like after sitting all night. It's just as sticky and soft as it appears. Ugh. Chalk it up to things I now know...

I did discover that the vinegar based Windex gets smoke off the ceiling. Now I need to figure out how to get taller so I can spray the cei
ling and wipe it down without using a ladder and having to constantly move it.

Wish me luck tomorrow with the AC repair man and I'll keep you posted on how it goes...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Destruction City

Day 5 dawned late, not really getting started until after 10:30.  (See day 4 if you want to know why...)  Dave (awesome brother) & Jess (awesome sister-in-law) came into town to help.  We headed over to the house and met Leslie, VJ & M4 (extended family.)  Leslie got cranking on power washing the carport and M4 & VJ took over the iPhones and checked out the games.  Dave attacked the bushes in the front yard and took them out.  (Don't worry, they were too overgrown and badly pruned to save.)  The remains are headed to the Banch for the burn pile.  Jess and I took out the last room of carpet.  Actually, I got through about 2/3 of it, but then the stomach cramps started again and Jess, bless her, took over and got the rest out.  Almost all of the carpet is now outside in a dump pile.  One bag did end up out the back window due to the stench.  (oops) 

From there, we divided and conquered.  Jess and I took on the front bedroom and scrubbed the floor with bleach water.  While sitting there, I tried the water on the wall and discovered that the cream walls are actually white.  Can't tell if I was happy or disgusted about this, maybe both.  Anyway, Jess and I worked around the entire room with scrub brushes and eventually a mop. The walls are now a relatively clean white.  The bad news is that we discovered they painted latex over oil based paint, I think.  The paint peeled off the trim with little effort.  Guess I see sanding in my future! 

While we were working on the bleaching, Dave tackled the closet doors, taking them off hinges and removing the carpet from the floor of the closets.  A little before 2, the Zei showed up.  Bless you Sam and ML!!  (ML is a fellow 4th grade teacher and Sam is her son who was dragged in!)  Zei jumped in taking down all of the spider web ridden drapery hardware and Sammy found a pair of gloves and learned all about tearing out carpet tack strips.  At this point, certain members were starting to understandably revolt in need of food.  Les and I ran to grab lunch, THANK YOU LESLIE for a great lunch.  The Dairy Bar came through again, gotta love those chicken taco salads!

We dined al fresco, sitting in the patio chairs from Colorado, in the front yard.  I would like to say it was because it was such a lovely day, but in reality it was cooler outside than the 96 degrees it was registering inside.  There was also a nice breeze.  We sat and visited in the yard while we enjoyed lunch.  We continued to sit after eating lunch and eventually (reluctantly) headed back inside.  During this bleaching effort, I took the mop to the ceiling and tried to wipe down the cappuccino paint.  Can you imagine my disgust when I figured out the ceiling was painted white, not the color it appeared?!?!?  Yeah, under the nicotine yuck, there is white paint.  Let me tell you, cleaning that gross off the ceiling is enough to prevent me from EVER smoking.  If anyone else needs a "no smoking" demo, send them my way!  After learning that heat exhaustion, full tummies and bleach stench don't go together, we decided we should head to house and recall the meaning of air conditioning.  After another nap on the floor (just in case you're wondering, the floor is MUCH cooler than my bed and I was WAY too filthy to get in the bed) and looking at wedding pictures, Dave, Jess, me, Mom and Terry headed back to the house to meet the (M3, Les, VJ & M4.) 

I'm not sure if there is a measuring tool, like a thermometer or seismograph that measures testosterone, but if there was one, it would record off the charts at my house at around 6:30 pm.  This evening at 6:00 pm I had a kitchen, albeit an extremely out-dated defunct kitchen.  At 6:45, no more kitchen thanks to Jon, Terry, Dave,  M3, an ax or two and a sledgehammer.  YAY!!!  It is now completely loaded into the back of a trailer and headed to a carbonization location (aka burn pile.)  For those of you into recycling, like me, I wanted to take the cabinets down and donate them to habitat.  Unfortunately, this was not possible because they were built in place.  Unless some poor person wanted to make the exact same tiny kitchen with the same paneling, saddling habitat with the cabinets wasn't the great idea I thought it would be.  Besides, the joy the guys from destroying the room was more than worth it!  I've attached two photos, one "before" shot of the kitchen, back when someone was living there and one "after" shot.  (Not to worry, I did get some good shots in with a small ax and the sledge hammer.  I can say, it's not as easy as it looks on TV!)   During all of this, the girls visited outside and sweet Mom swept the front porch and walk so we would stop tracking dirt back in as we tried to get it out. 

It is now 11:46 and all of my sweet helpers have headed home to crash and I should follow suit.  On deck for tomorrow is more revealing of white paint, straightening up the kitchen and getting back into a normal/school sleep schedule...  We'll see how far we get!

"Crappy" Day

Sorry about the delay for day 4, but if you read a little into the title, you will soon understand. I was sidelined by a bit of food poisoning and spend some of Friday sleeping on my classroom floor. I was supposed to work Friday evening with Cas listing out what I would like to accomplish in each room. Instead I crashed on the couch at home. Sorry!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Small Victories

Today was officially Brenham ISD's first day back at work, which put a large cramp in getting much done at the house. Not to worry though, after sitting in meetings all day, I headed over to the house and took out some frustrations. The office (first bedroom) is now completely free of carpet, pad, tack strips and nails. Bless you Jess and Amy because I am having trouble typing this due to sore forearms. Prying out those tack strips is an awesome workout and a great way to get rid of any hangups from sitting on your bum all day. I was also able to rid the house of the lovely interior shutters in four of the rooms. Thanks Dalman for taking them off my hands! I'm all about keeping things out of the landfill. Can I offer anyone pink tiles or paneling??? You are welcome to come uninstall it and pick it up...

If you noticed the subject of this, it's small victories. I called back the warranty company today about the AC. I explained that I had a home inspection report that declared the unit working, and two separate Realtors that also said it was working. Old Republic Warranty decided that they would send someone out to check out the unit to see if it was possible that it was actually working on Tuesday at the exact moment of closing. Okay, whatever!?! The main thing I was happy about was that I stood up for myself and they are sending someone out. Granted, I am spending $60 to prove a point, but I'm chalking it up to perseverance. Hopefully their service guy will see things my way and I'll have AC by the weekend. Please don't hold your breath because I'm not responsible for anyone passing out!

On a side note, your name is on this list because I thought you might be interested in hearing my tales. If not, let me know and I'll remove you from the list, no big deal. (However, if you are a brother, you're not being removed no matter how you beg... You can delete without comment, but you DO have to receive them.) ;)

Tomorrow I'll include pictures, but tonight I'm falling asleep on the keyboard. It's making for interesting spelling of certain words. Let me know if you're interested in that tile...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Feeling Sore Muscles More Than Homeowner Elation

Well, day 2 dawned tired, but good. Amy, my fabulous friend and Jess, one of my awesome sister-in-laws, were both on hand today. The bulk of the day was spent sorting the tools and supplies after hauling them all over from storage. Need a file, got it! Need a grinder, got it! Screwdriver? Would you like phillips, flat or specialty? Everything is nicely organized, but not Martha Stewart so, on the 2x4 sawhorse OSB table. (Again, many thanks to Dad, Jeff & G'Pa) We also covered the back sliding glass door with OSB to avoid any five finger discounts by others... Thanks again to the Lowe's people for being so helpful and cutting my 2x4s and loading our OSB. (Haven't bought gloves, so loading that would have been a booger-bear.)

We installed the "new" deadbolts instead of the doorknobs. Jess and I split the job and she took the carport door and I the front door. The bolt itself went in easily, but the jam plate was a different story. Not to worry, I found that while some screws strip out easily, you can simply pry the jam plate out around the screws with a flathead. (Craftsman please, so it can be replaced if destroyed...) While I was wrestling with that, Jess and the carport door jam had a discussion and Jess won. For those of you who know Jess, this will come as no surprise.

While I was prying out the plate, I found the number for the home warranty and placed a call to them. They told me that while I did have a warranty, the AC was a "known" pre-existing condition and did not qualify for the warranty, but if I paid to have it fixed, and notified them of the repair, they would then warranty the unit. Say what? That did NOT make my day. Argh, another bolt of money down the tubes, in the drain, whatever. Anyway, I'll call the repair man tomorrow and put my name on the schedule to have it checked out. I'm hoping/praying/wishing it just needs a charge, so it shouldn't hit my pocketbook as hard as a new unit!

Amy and Jess both spent a good part of the day prying out carpet tack strips. For those of you unfamiliar with the technique, you hit a metal prybar with either a hammer or a rubber mallet and in theory, the nails holding the bars down pop right out. What this really translates into is the repeated banging of metal on metal in an empty echoing room, poofs of dust hitting your face and tack strips that come up, leaving the nails behind. Why don't they ever show this side on HGTV??? A huge thank you to Amy and Jess for sacrificing their hearing and arm muscles for a day or two.

Later in the day, Les, M4 & VJ showed up to tour the house and test out a power washer. Les ran the washer while M4 gave VJ the grand tour. They decided which room was theirs and how they were going to put in their furniture. Didn't realize that they travel with furniture, but hey, why not? M4 wanted me to be sure and NOT paint secretly after he left, but I assured him that I wasn't going to paint without him. (In case you are wondering, we're light years away from painting anything! Every wall has to be scrubbed down before we crack a can of primer, let alone a color...)

Tomorrow will dawn bright and early with teachers officially reporting for work. While that will help the budget, it's going to cut down on the work time. Not to worry, I'll be back at it Thursday and Friday after 4. Wonder what Giddings Lane holds in store for me then? I'll let you know.

Closing Day

It's official, I am finally a home owner. I had a walk-through yesterday morning before signing my life away, in blood, in a million places. That was by far the least painful part of the day. After the closing my assistant, Marshall Allen IV (his school was closed) and I headed over to the house to unload the preliminary set of tools and cleaning supplies. He was a huge help. Everything got dumped on the floor and we headed into the house to explore. Marshall discovered a treasure trove in the carpet in the guest room and ended up picking up 40 yen and a $1.42 in pennies, nickels, pennies, dime, quarters, and more pennies!

While he was doing that, I checked out the green bathroom. This is going to be my bathroom and at this point will stay t
he mint green tile. In the window, between the glass and screen, I found my first house guest. Fabulous! What's a girl to do? Why take a picture of course! After our greeting, M4 and I headed over to Mrs. Tate's house for a lovely lunch honoring the 4th grade teachers. It was very sweet and really good. We left close to 1 and went back to the house to meet my college friend Amy (thank you, Amy.) We went out and picked up a load from storage, a load of drinks from Sonic and headed back to the house to get cranking. Speaking of cranking, I had turned on the off AC unit when we were at the house earlier to cool it down, no problem right? Uh-oh, problem! The darn-tootin' thing doesn't work! Thankfully I received a home warranty from the sellers, odd I know, given the shape of the house, so all I have to do is track down that particular piece of paper and call it in. Amy and I tried to work in the green bathroom, but the heat was so bad that we couldn't continue, so we moved to the kitchen and carefully removed all of the trim and pried the nails out of it.

While Amy continued to work, I headed into the laundry room to see if I could find the source of the smell in the corner. Yeah, well did that and found SEVERAL skeletons. None were of the human form, but I have a vertebrae of a bi
rd, guessing here, the legs, a rather large jawbone for the inside of a wall, and a rattle. I'm not talking baby rattle here. At that point, I dissolved in tears and called my brother who very sweetly calmed me down and reassured me that I had sunk all of my savings in a good thing and it's going to be rough for a while, but I can do it, with the help of tons of friends and family! After hours of work, I had a new toilet, thank you Brant!, a carpetless front room and de-nailed trim removed from the kitchen walls. Today my goal is to empty storage (Thank you Uncle Bubba & Aunt Gail) of needed tools, call the AC repair man and board up the back sliding window. We'll see how far we get!