Monthly Archives: May 2012



You’ll be happy to hear that we got some really quality helpers to get some of our big furniture over to the house:



Actually we needed a little time to get things organized enough to start moving, so they napped through that part and then made short work of the heavy lifting.

I’m interested in seeing how our dining room table looks once we get all the leaves in and the chairs around it. Right now it looks teeny tiny in this room. We will definitely have room and want a buffet on one wall and pretty antique benches under the windows. The dressers are only in there temporarily.



I had a really wonderful birthday Friday. Chris took me to see Wicked and we went to a nice dinner. Saturday we went over to my parents and mom made chow mien. Check out my presents:

Couch throw pillows my Mom made out of material I had bought.

Porch swing, can’t wait to put this up!

Chris bought me two black raspberries from a family friend’s nursery in Virginia. They definitely need some love after the journey, but I’m willing to pamper them for a bit.

I also got a gift certificate for a massage and Daniel and Rhys gave me cash which I’m going to use on a mani/pedi at a nice spa downtown. Spoiled? Definitely.



No pictures this time (what’s that, worst post ever?) but I went by the house last night and things are definitely still happening. For one thing we now have 5 big piles of supplies/ dirt/ smashed pavement so that’s coming along. They’ve also done a bunch of structural reinforcement in the attic and we owe them exterior paint colors this weekend!

Chris is taking me to see Wicked tonight and we’re going to check out Parizade (anyone from Blacksburg feel like that is just too similar to Palisades?) but starting tomorrow we need to begin getting some of our stuff into the house since our apartment lease is up Thursday. We did find a condo for a few weeks through so we will not be homeless, at least until June 22nd.

Couching Up


Why is this picture so terrible? Because the house is apparently haunted. When I went to take this shot the door I was standing next to flung itself open. Seriously went from shut to almost smacking me. It’s a glass door so I could clearly see no one was there so it was either the wind or our resident ghost. Regardless I think I was 5 minutes down the road 4 minutes later.

So even though you can’t see the new couch except in its blurry and not put together state, I’ll tell you about the steps I took to get it. I found it on craigslist, listed twice (once for $300, once for $325) and texted the guy for a couple days before there was a time for me to go look at it. Once we haggled a bit I got it home in my Dad’s truck and some guys from Chris’s work helped him get it into the house. Then I was faced with an upholstered couch (including pull out bed) that had seen who-knows-what and had who-knows-what living in it.

My first step was to tackle the pull out bed. I extended it and dumped a whole box of baking soda all over the mattress. I spread it around a bit and then let it sit for an hour before I vacuumed it up. The baking soda was just to remove the smell. Nice clean sheets will have to help as well. It was a pleasant surprise to not see any stains on the mattress though.

Next I took 1/4 cup mild organic (Whole Food’s is dangerous, Chris has instituted a life-time ban) detergent and 3/4 cups water and sponged it all over the upholstered area. I scrubbed hard on discolored areas and fairly lightly everywhere else. For the most part I don’t think I took off any deap seated stains, but I did remove some strawberry jelly from between two cushions. The little stains that there were are almost exclusively on the arm rests so I will probably keep some throws draped over them. Bonus: then I have blankets if/when I get cold!

Finally I just chased everything with the vacuum. Under the mattress was especially crumby.

Overall I’m pleased with it. I’m much more confident in how clean it is and it has a nice neutral smell thanks to the baking soda. I got it for a good price for the size and condition, and I think it will work nicely with the room. Also, Chris doesn’t want to have any furniture that people are afraid to mess up, so having a few (small) stains is good for us!


Catching Up 2: Green thumb


Our sweet neighbors welcomed us to the neighborhood with 2 blackberry bushes. I had told them months ago that I wanted to plant some and they remember, it really made us feel welcomed. So after several weeks of pulling things up I was excited to put some things in the ground, so Chris promptly planted one of them for me. Unfortunately when we started looking at how things were going to work when we graded the back yard we realized that we couldn’t work around anything (except gigantic trees) so I uprooted it and reassigned both of them to some pots. This will be temporary until we have a place to put them.

I also grabbed some mint and petunias to keep them company. Eventually I’ll replace the blackberries with something (maybe rosemary in one and something flowering in the other?) and I’ll keep them in clusters by the front door.

We’ll have to wait and see how much interest I retain in gardening, because I have rather grand aspirations for the landscaping at this house.

Catch Up


It has been entirely too long since we updated. We always plan to post pictures but working on this house tends to have us out later and later so we usually don’t even turn on our computers. (My tv show watching has really suffered.)

So outdated update #1: Chris vanquished the ivy vine. This ivy was eating the pecan tree and although Chris pulled it off as high as he could reach, this trunk had to go. The ivy has already started wilting so once it turns brown we’ll pull it all down. (Rhyme!)

#2: The sidewalk between the house and the driveway was removed. It had been poured right up to the house so the wooden siding was touching the sidewalk. It was bad news. Once the contractors are done we’ll plant some things and mulch this space so it will look a lot nicer. You’ll also notice the giant hole in the wall, the neighbor’s cat Lovey Dovey comes and goes with enthusiasm.

Last night we had an incredible rain storm and Chris and I were up at 2 pm worried about the water coming into the house. The downpour did not end up washing our house of its foundation, but it did leave some standing water in the crawlspace.

Here’s the other side of that view:

More Progress


It’s an excited stage of the process since Chris and I are not home for any of the work, but every time we come by something new has happened. You’ll notice that the old rotten boards have been replaced with new ones. This alone makes me feel 100% better about the chances the whole house will collapse. You can also see the driveway through the holes in the wall which makes me feel better about the cat’s chances is we accidentally lock her in the house.


I’ve been working in the yard a fair bit but the progress pictures are not quite as dramatic as it seems in real life. One of the issues is you can see the trail of pulled up plants leading away from the pile, gives it a kind of carpet appearance. I’d really like to have the backyard in a reasonable state by the time the contractors are done with the house (at least the structural stuff, windows, and exterior paint).

Our plans aren’t written in stone but we’d like to:

1) Finish getting all the weeds and ivy up. Include removal of the ivy eating the pecan tree. Probably remove the tree shown in the top right corner of the picture below.

2) Put a brick facade over the retaining wall

3) Build some brick stairs leading to a small patio

4) Grade the area into a very gradual slope towards the north-east corner

5) Put down sod/ ground cover that does well in shade

6) Plant some blackberries along the fence in one of the only areas that gets a lot of sun back here

7) Plant a peach tree is part of that sunny area

8) Put a wooden fence up on the east perimeter, fully fencing in the back yard

Some or all of these might not happen as our plans evolve, but for now we’re working hard at item 1, and no matter what the final configuration ends up being we’re certain that this is going to be an awesome space.



Moving Right Along


More work has been done on the foyer, all part of getting to the problems with the foundation. You’ll notice that a few of the boards that had rotted/ been eaten are now gone.



On a fun note Chris let me get this door mat. We decided we can have more fun with the back door. We’ll put our nice “C” rug up front once the construction is done.


I went out front with my broom all intent to sweep the front walk and make it look nice, somehow when I saw the giant pile of dirt it completely killed my motivation. I have no idea how I missed this driving up to the house.



This confuses and terrifies me. Did they find it with the marble eyes or did they put marbles in the eyes? Or are these somehow actually bloated petrified eyes? Is this a sign of a current infestation or a previous one? Either way Chris will be making with the traps and possibly poison this weekend. I need to check with the contractors and make sure we could put the poison somewhere they wouldn’t be near.

Missing the Foyer Floor



The renovation crew got started today, taking up the floor in the foyer and taking out some of the old insulation in the crawlspace. Before we could see anything up close because there was less than a foot of clearance in the crawlspace,rotting and termite damage to the sill plate were proposed as potential contributors to the sloping floors. It sure looks like that played a large role. Here’s some documentation of the damage.



Since she keeps posting pictures of me I’ll have to return the favor in my first post to the blog. My beautiful wife: