In Case You Were Wondering


Melencolia I. Print of Albrecht Dürer
Melencolia I. Print of Albrecht Dürer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These past few weeks have been challenging. Sometimes I feel like Mighty Mouse trying to save the day against crazy odds.

Most of the time I think I’m more like Wile E. Coyote and life is a rent house full of those tricky anvils ready to fall on my head when I least expect it.

A few weeks ago one of our erstwhile renters decided to duck out in the middle of the night, leaving quite a bit of damage behind. It’s all good. We had her deposit. Okay well, her deposit covered the cost of the paint and sheet-rock mud.

So this is the thing. My husband wants to sell and I agree. But the place was a mess. So we gutted the kitchen, somehow scumming past the giant, dead or dying Palmetto bugs (they resemble giant cockroaches) and bundles of human hair stuck between the stove and the refrigerator to decide what we were demolishing. All the lower cabinets, and the breakfast bar-top in the kitchen had to go, maybe the bathrooms needed a serious makeover.

When the lower kitchen cabinets were removed we thought now would be a good time to install a water line to the refrigerator’s ice-maker. While unscrewing the fitting, the pipe broke. Water spewed. Rush outside to cut off water. Water had already been cut off. Quick! Find buckets. Found. Whew! I guess all the water in all the house drained down to that one pipe. We took in what other damage was evident then. The black mold on the sheet-rock from behind the cabinets was overpowering. We tore the offending pieces out. The insulation behind it was made up of tiny Styrofoam balls. They poured from the walls and floated across the floor. After sweeping them up a hundred times – most of them ended up in a garbage bin. Water line is now repaired, replaced pipe, refitted new insulation and sheet-rock.

We decided to gut the bathrooms. Taking out the sinks we discovered a giant depression in the cement foundation under the two of them. What was the purpose of this? It’s the oddest thing I’ve ever seen. We had to buy cement and fill in the depressions so a new vanity would fit in the place of the old ones (one of them we are making a pedestal sink to give an impression of more room.)

At this point we decided to tackle taking out the breakfast bar.

The breakfast bar is a layer of formica coated wood about 58″ long and about 15″ wide. Mark, the handyman, took a crowbar and hammer to it. It didn’t budge. I had a sledgehammer and I suggested that Mark use it. He was willing. I figured he would be. What man doesn’t want to use a sledgehammer? No, the bar still didn’t budge. Mark noticed the tiny dimples along the top and began slamming his claw hammer into them because he said, they were the nails holding the thing down.

There were twenty nails along the 58″ breakfast bar. It took about an hour, with much sweat, and a few choice words to get the wood to budge. By then the brick along the front of the bar was cracked and shaking with every swing of the hammer. Finally, the last nail was pried loose and the bar tilted up and with some effort was torn away from it’s sixty-year-long mooring.

So if you were wondering what happened to the blog all along these past few weeks, this little renovation project is one reason for the delay in my adding a new entry. The other reason is that during this time my mother-in-law was in the hospital briefly. She is fine. We don’t actually know what is wrong or why it happened.

Onward and upward we strive forth through the sea of tiny Styrofoam bits!

Two (or three) Mighty Mice to save the day!

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