Her home is cold and scary with rodents in the walls? come on! it’s not that bad is it?
Sure there’s an unfinished wall or 2 or 8 but it takes time to build the perfect home.
A good brisk home is good for a lot of reasons. You don’t need to dig out a root cellar for your garden crop! and if the electric goes out your food won’t go bad 😆 As for the rodents, well that’s hardly a problem, if we can’t trap em we’ll wall them in. 😀
This is a long post but, there are a lot of pictures and besides, do you know me to write anything boring?
Had occasion to have one of my sisters for a sleep over the other night. She sent an email alert to our family hoping someone loved her enough to scoop her up from the airport.
A ride home out to the boonies was her first choice but she was willing (and desperate enough) to settle for a next of kin bed, cot, or thick blanket on the rug. Since I was the only sucker at home I replied “of course we’ll get ya” and we did.
Now we don’t have a particularly warm home at times. For starters we don’t have insulation and our roof…well let’s just say we don’t like rain much.
Since our home is so old and lacking in proper layout design, being the “artist” that I am, I have slowly consistently and tirelessly over the years, knocked out punched out and smacked out as many walls and stupid attributes in my home (see photo above) as I could. My imagination is limitless so I did a lot, much to my husbands “horror” as we couldn’t afford to finish as quickly as I demolished.
And if that weren’t bad enough we don’t have gas for heat, nope, we heat with coal, yup, coal. My husband had a very “cool” idea a few years back and decided to “get back at those raping suckers” by dropping the gas service and promptly building a coal-burning boiler with water lines for heat? yup.
Now, I bet there’s an image in your head of an old decrepid shack falling apart in some dirty old alley cat alley. Well you’d be partly right, like I said, we couldn’t afford to finish as quickly as I demolished so some rooms look a little rough, and our back alley is indeed a haven for every straggly alley cat around for miles, but it’s not that scary, here’s my home.
And here’s a side view. The front is very deceiving isn’t it? It looks small with the little front porch addition.
And here is some of my landscaping handiwork. I initially built this pond in/on/at? the opposite side of the deck here, in the backyard. We had a dog that liked to grab the waterhose and drain the pond so I had to move the pond to the front. How do you move a pond? dig another damn hole.
O.K. the old saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover is true. It looks like a very lovely home…and it is, but it is very old and not insulated very well and the upstairs has not been “renovated by moi” yet.
My husband did a real good job designing an intricate coal-burning boiler system and then building it (I suppose welding is the proper term) from scratch. He’s such a smart guy.
And takes a decent photo when he doesn’t forget his meds.
And he’s not opposed to modeling when I sew.
But sometimes he gets carried away, meds again I think.
Now his coal-burning hot water heating boiler system worked like a charm and we saved a truckload of money. We cracked open a bottle of bubbly and discreetly behind closed curtains laughed and mooned the last gas utility bill.
We were well on our way to becoming independent from every raping utility service known to man. I told my husband over and over what an extreme talent and genius he was, saving us so much ca-ching ca-ching this way.
We didn’t count on our coal supply people to close suddenly on weekends rendering us pretty much screwed. I re-acted as any mentally well-balanced wife would.
“GENIUS!…WHAT A STUPID DUMB ASS IDEA YOU HAD, I CAN’T BELIEVE WE HEAT WITH COAL, WHO DOES THIS! WHAT ARE WE, CAVE PEOPLE?
Now the only time he can get coal is during “working” days. This doesn’t always work so well with work.
Now my sis didn’t really know what she was in for with her sleep over at our house, kinda, but not really. She was coming back from some hot place down south? up south?…somewhere south and not expecting to visit a place where the toilet water freezes.
Sometimes we have to keep the house a little on the cool side so we don’t run out of coal completely and burst pipes before he can skip out from work early for the next load. Cool usually means…oh….anywhere between 13-15 celsius. I don’t think she’ll be sleeping over twice.
The night we picked her up it was warmer outside than it was in our house. She started belly aching about the weather right away, I just smirked and rolled my eyes in devious delight.
When we got home she was greeted and almost eated (not a typo) by Baby, our squawk box min pin. Then State Trooper our over-zealous Rottie bowled her over and immediately picked her to be his new best friend.
Then she commented on the house being warm? I agreed, it was and I didn’t know why. Rob told us he had some electric heaters running so she would be comfortable. Oh! how nice I thought.
She also commented on how nice I decorated and such. I said “thank you” decorating is my thing after all.
Bedtime rolled around and I gave her 3 choices. Sleep upstairs in my makeshift spare room, sleep in our bed or sleep in a big thick sponge on the living room floor.
She of course had to be difficult and asked for the couch. I said “well, we like to fall asleep watching t.v. on the couch (we just don’t wanna go upstairs) but I have many many blankets upstairs and you will be very warm, or you can sleep on the big thick sponge on the floor here”.
She thought, hesitated then said ” I’ll go upstairs” So up we went with State Trooper hot on her heels. We have a very old house so the stairwell is quite narrow and we could pretty much see our breath. I could tell she was already a bit creeped out and we hadn’t even come close to reaching our destination yet. Geez, some people.
At the top of the stairs things didn’t look so bad anymore. In the landing at the top I have a ping-pong table and next to it a games room suited up with a foosball and air hockey table. It’s quite spacious fun and inviting, kinda sorta… if you don’t look at the cracked lathe and plaster walls and the ceiling pieces caving in. 😆
Down the hallway sits our guest bedroom. Its’s really just a ditch in the hallway that I stuck a bed in, but the bed is nice and the bedding is all new!
Standing there in front of the bed she looked around, thought, hesitated and decided to sleep downstairs. Ok I understand, it ain’t pretty and it is pretty cold. I did reassure her (as I would a child of 3) that she would be warm once she got in under all 86 blankets including one lovely feather quilt. Nope, she was going down.
We went down and then she realized she would have to sleep in the pathway between the livingroom and the kitchen. Wanting her privacy (not wanting Rob to see her drooling in the fetus position) she opted back for upstairs. GRRRRRRR.
Sure I said, I understand you want privacy, up we went again. Once up and standing in front of the bed again she said “oh, I have to go down to change cause it’s too cold up here” Sure I said with a warm loving smile, of course you do $&^%#$%% I thought to myself, and down we came again.
She scavenged through her backpack to get her jamies or so I thought. I was busy making coffee and lighting a smoke while she got dressed. When I turned the crazy widget was dressing like she was going to the north pole!
Once she had 4 layers and a face mask on 😆 she was ready to go to bed.
Being the clumsy chic that she is she promptly knocked my antique girly picture off the wall and thought it was funny.
Then she found a piece of string attached to a silly putty tube and started to play.
I told her it was nighty nighty time and she had to go to sleep.
I asked her if the room was scary and she said yes so I gave her a night-light.
Then she played with that, big surprise.
I started to leave when she called out and said “I love you Sis, and you’re so much fun”.
I replied of course I am now go to sleep. Troop wanted to sleep with her but since he was a rippin 130 pounds or so she would have woke up squished and dead so he came back down with me. He insisted on waiting for her at the kitchen door that led to the spooky upstairs.
Here’s an example of my indecision. I can’t decide whether to re-finish the hardwood floor or put some funky tile design in. Why can’t I decide? because I love wood, but I also love color in the kitchen.
Apparently that night she came back down to go pee and cracked her legs into the kitchen table that I had moved to a different spot in the middle of the night for something to do cause I do that a lot.
It was here when she arrived that night.
I have a very long living room and sometimes I put the kitchen table in a space between the kitchen and livingroom. Oh look…there’s my handsome husband again with a funny little friend.
Now here is my living room. Notice at the far end on the right the familiar curtains? that is where the empty space in my living room is.
The house design is so screwy because that’s where the main living room window is also. Anyway, notice the table is gone? you can just barely see a blue french provincial antique chair instead. I scavenged it from an alley garbage heap.
I love scavenging and second-hand store finds. Notice the old trunk in my living room? Got it from a dead guys house I had to clean….? Acquired it while running a professional commercial and residential cleaning business I had. Yes…that’s better.
Anyway, she came down and cracked her legs on the kitchen table I had moved from the empty space here behind the small loveseat.
This picture is a good example of some of my crazy design ideas that my husband has built for me. Yes it’s an actual bakery sign above the entrance to one end of my kitchen. He even installed an electrical lighting system inside and a light switch on the wall to operate it with. Cool eh!
See! things are coming? The walls almost finished and the rodent is gone.
I bet I had ya all fooled reading my previous post 13 easy steps to the nuthouse. You thought I had a dirty little critter filled dive…didn’t ya 😆
For all of you who have an older home that you would like to alter. Here are the 3 most important words to live by. PATIENCE CREATIVE and THINK- OUTSIDE- THE- BOX…ok…6 important words.
Take advantage and consider it a wonderful opportunity to exploit your creative side to the max. Get wild, use your imagination and go for it. The possibilities are endless and you could one day find yourself in a one of a kind little gem of a home that makes people go WOW! but more importantly, you will be thrilled.
A good example of how this works would be in the development of my bakery sign. I ran a bakery in my home for a short period of time. Now because I love art and design, everything I do in my home is geared towards that (thus the cartoon recipes) and so, when my husband drug home a piece of plexiglass that the corner store was throwing out, his intention was to cut it up and make a cat-proof lid for our aquarium, which he did.
When I saw this sign it was 3 times the length and had red lettering on it, poultry and meat and bakery. I zoned in on the BAKERY word and said, “if you’re cutting up this plexiglass, wouldn’t it be neat if you could somehow save the word “bakery and make a sign somehow”? well I had no idea he would produce such a marvel but that’s how it works, think outside the box.
I dedicate this story to my Sis who was brave enough to sleep over, cause me a lot of grief, made me laugh till I peed and got me blogging.