Beginning Day 1

You’ve seen the house.  It needs work.  A lot of work.  All of it cosmetic work, BTW.

Wednesday, August 7th was all about the celebration!  After the closing, we went back to the house.   I can’t describe the thrill of standing on the front porch, with my key in the lock, and feeling……IT IS OURS!!!!  So many years have gone into this.  So many years of dreaming, and here we were.  Home.

We celebrated.  After walking through, again, without a Realtor, we took a hard look around at the work that needed to be done, and started making the list.  Then we went out for Sushi, and then back to Forts Ferry to open the celebratory bottle of champagne that had been sitting in our fridge since New Year’s.



But on Thursday, the work began.

The first thing on the list, was to get rid of the THING in the bathroom.

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I understand the need for extra storage.  I really do.  But to put a huge monster storage unit, blocking half the bathroom, at exactly temple splitting height, made no sense to us.  In fact, I had visions of waking up in the middle of the night, going into the bathroom, and cracking my head open.





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Before Tim had all the tools unloaded, I’d grabbed the step stool and the electric screwdriver (my housewarming present to myself) and began dropping screws from the thing.  When he came back upstairs, I asked him to brace it with his shoulder while I removed the rest of the screws.

It’s down now, and standing up in one of the bedrooms.  It will be repurposed somewhere.  Not sure where, but it’s a good piece and neither of us are prone to toss what could be salvaged.

Now, let us go back and look at the kitchen:






My mother taught me that you always bring a couple of items in when you come into a new house for the first time.  They are Bread, Salt, Sugar and a New Broom.  From a symbolic standpoint, I think they’re pretty self-explanatory, but let’s go through them again.  Bread, so you never go hungry.  Salt, so your life is always ‘seasoned’.  Sugar (in our case honey) so your live is always sweet, a New Broom, so your house is always clean.  I think there’s something, for me anyway, about sweeping out the old inhabitants and making a “clean sweep” of the old things.

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Also, I’m a big believer in bleach.


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I want to take an in depth tour of some of my, ahem, favorite kitchen items.  Let’s start with the wallpaper.

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And the counter tops and back plash:



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When was the last time you saw that charming chrome strip join?  That lovely faux-marble Formica?  The last time I saw it was the house I grew up in, when my dad modernized the kitchen in the 60’s.  Considering this house was built in the  70’s, all I can ask is, “What were they thinking?”

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At least they’d hung the wallpaper correctly (it seemed) although that meant more work for us.  I should say more work for me, since Tim got called into his job (on his first day of vacation) to fix a problem.  The first thing I had to do was take off most of the molding and trim around doors, at the floor and at the ceiling, as that was added after the paper was hung.  As I said, they did it right, even though it made more work for me.

I have to say, though, using a pry-bar and doing demolition made me very happy.  I’m not sure if it is because it is giving me a chance to rid the world of really bad decorating, or if it is a way of putting my own stamp on the place.  Making it mine.  Doing things I wouldn’t do to a rental.  I suspect it is the latter.

And so, on a hot and humid day in August, with no air conditioning, I stripped wallpaper. ….and stripped wallpaper….and stripped wallpaper….and vowed that I would never again, in my entire life, hang wallpaper.  I’d rather paint.


After 6 hours, I was hot, sweaty, hungry and covered in glue.  No, there are no pictures of this.  At one point, I called Tim and told him to come back to the house, NOW, and BRING FOOD.  Which he, not being a stupid man, did.




By the end of the day, This is what the kitchen looked like:

Wallpaper gone and appliances removed:


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Cabinets being removed:





Here’s the wallpaper:

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And the appliances:

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We started Day 2, by removing the rest of the upper cabinets, which we had to do, as they had been installed OVER the Formica back splash.  In order to take out the back splash, we had to remove the cabinets.

Then we discovered something delightful.  Apparently the dishwasher was a later addition.  In order to make it fit, the base cabinet under the sink had to be cut down.  Okay, I can grok that.  However, they didn’t replace the left hand side of the cabinet.  so when we removed the dishwasher, this is what we found:



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There will be more in the next post, but for now, I need to get over to the house and get to work.


More later, I promise.


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