Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 10 - Help Arrives!

Day it only Day 10? Feels like Year 10. Seriously, I can't complain about today. I made alot of progress with some good help. Bright and early, Mom, my sister and nephew (Dillon) showed up ready to work. My sister, Lori brought a pressure washer with her and immediately went to work. It's amazing what those things can do. You don't even realize how dirty the siding or sidewalks are until they are cleaned. Then - PRESTO! They look brand new! Lori worked like the devil on the outside of the house only stopping once to grab a quick bite to eat. I didn't even realize the fountain in the front yard was white - I thought it was concrete gray. She even washed the cows in the front yard - tehe!

Dillon said he would do anything but clean (like you couldn't guess that by looking at his bedroom), so I pointed him towards a closet that needed to come out for the bathroom expansion. Before I knew it, he and Colton starting hammering like mad and out came the wall. I think I even hard a Tim Taylor grunt or two as they were a two-man wrecking crew. Here is the results of their hard fun work.

Colton was so impressed with himself (and so was I) that I wasn't sure that he could fit out of the tiny bathroom with his swollen-with-pride head. Dillon removed most of the hardware from the bathroom walls, also. Thanks, boys. :-)

At some point, I saw a vehicle pull into the driveway with some girl waving madly at me. I thought, 'oh, no - another salesperson'. I have had several people stop by offering to sell me some service for my new house like seal my driveway, etc. To my delight, it was one of my dearest friends from Knoxville with her son and they were there to help! It's amazing how a friendship bonded by the snowstorm of 1993 can keep on giving back. While Mom and I scrubbed, she was kind enough to keep us a clean bucket of water handy and cleaned up the debris from the bathroom wall that was removed.

There isn't too much more scrubbing to be done - it can hopefully be wrapped up by tomorrow. Then the priming and painting can start again. Hopefully, Daddy will be there to work on the bathroom.

I was so incredibly grateful for everyone that helped out today. All in all, it was a fantastic day.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 9

I was hoping to sleep in a little this morning, but Colton was up at 7:30. Well, actually Mickey (Lori's dog) was up at 7:15, so I was already awake from letting him out. We needed the early start. Colton wanted to go to Hardee's since we usually go there & sit for a while on Sunday mornings. Yes, we've become those little 'ole folks that go to Hardees to see who they can see and "visit". After a quick stop at Wal-Mart to pick up snacks, we arrived at our house. Colton had gotten some new games at McKay's yesterday, so I was hoping those would keep him entertained. I had tucked back his McKay's gift certificate from his Papaw and Mamaw from Christmas and this was the perfect time to let him "blow it" (thank you Papaw and Mamaw). I know he gets bored in all of this and I don't want him trying to "help" with that nasty old nicotine going everywhere. I had brought his X-Box and a little TV to use for it. Unfortunately, the little TV didn't had the red/white/yellow inlets, so we had to make a quick trip back to Lori's. She dug out a TV she doesn't use and it worked perfectly (thank goodness).

After that, it's pretty boring. I scrubbed and I scrubbed, and then I scrubbed some more. I ran out of Spic-N-Span at one point and Mom ran some over for me. I've been wearing dark t-shirts, but today I had on a white one. You would not believe how splattered it was with brown nicotine. UGGGHHHHH!!! Anyway, I stopped about 8:00 tonight. I finished the top of the walls in the dining room and living room. I know - doesn't sound like alot, does it? But if you had seen all the icky filth that came off of them, you would understand why I scrubbed them 99 times. I had really hoped to finish the bottom of the walls in there today, but that must have been a wild fantasy.

The seller left behind the washer and dryer which looked to be in decent shape and are heavy duty and large capacity machines. I decided to take down the curtains on the back door and the valances above the kitchen sink and wash them. The curtains were nasty and stained from the nicotine. The ones on the back door were actually "crunchy" . While the stains didn't completely come out, they smell much better and are soft. I was pleasantly surprised when the washer and dryer both ran quietly and seemed way more efficient than mine, so I will probably keep them there. My sister can have mine since her set are on their last leg.

I'll be back at it again tomorrow. Sigh...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 8

Whew...what a day! I had planned my trips out last night and don't faint, I actually got up and out the door right on schedule this morning with Colton in tow. I was so proud (Saturday mornings are usually lazy times for me and Colton). We got to East Ridge and picked up a set of lamps I had lusted over on Craigslist yesterday...even prettier than the picture showed. I've found a little thrift shop down there that I just love and have found several unique and very inexpensive things there. We were getting into the car to go check out the cheap paint in Chattanooga, when my phone rang and the schedule I had so carefully planned out fell apart. It was the guy that I had bought the dining room set from (yep, Craigslist) wanting me to pick it up this morning. I was a little peeved. On Tuesday, we had originally agreed upon Friday and a friend of mine kept a truck and trailer on standby all day Friday; however, the seller didn't answer his phone until 4:00 and it was raining and hailing. Sooo...we had agreed upon Sunday and here he was calling on Saturday morning. I flew back to Cleveland skipping all of my other stops (@#!(@#(&@&!!!). On the way, I called Daddy to borrow his truck, called my brother to see if he could help me load and unload and even managed to raise my 17-yr old nephew from the dead to help (with the promise of some food since he's a bottomless pit). I realized on the way there I needed to stop and get cash and my brother was already waiting on me, so it was a madhouse. I'll bet Daddy didn't know his truck could hug the curves like it did (tehe). It all worked out in the end and my expert-mover brother loaded everything in one load.

Once it was unloaded at the house, I was ready to start scrubbing the walls again; however, I realized that my "work clothes" were in my car and Daddy still had it so I took his truck and brought a small load of stuff over from my sisters. After that, I just piddled around the house. He didn't get back until 4:00 and Colton was begging to go to McKay's since we had to skip it that morning. We hit the road to Chattanooga again and then stopped at Big Lots. They had some cute "bamboo" blinds for $7. The house has a few blinds here and there including some nasty fabric vertical nicotine-stained-yellowish blinds in the den - all of which I will probably just throw in the trash. While blinds are not my priority, buying them for the extra bathroom was a must. This bathroom has a window over the washer and dryer that faces the toilet. The window is part of the screened-in back porch, so anyone walking up can see you 'on the pot'. I'll get them installed tomorrow.

Mom was there a big portion of the day working in the flower beds and has really made some progress. My Aunt sent me a ton of flowers she had dug up because she is moving this weekend. I really don't even know what they are, but I'm sure they are beautiful. We painted some rocks with flowers and Colton painted his with an alien and a ghost which will work beautifully in the landscaping. LOL! Speaking of the little artist, I did see one white polka-dot on the side of the red barn today. The paint is starting to come off of his leg a little, too.

A couple of hours ago, I realized I forgot to call the guy about the vanities that I was supposed to look at today. I tried calling him and had to leave a message. It's too bad...I even had Daddy's truck to haul it in. Grrrr....maybe tomorrow will go smoother.

Tomorrow it is so on....

Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 7

This evening was a bust. Colton had a birthday party to attend to which took up most of the evening after work; however, I did run into my Dad who wanted to come see the house. He went through the house with me and offered to help me with the bathroom remodel. That could save some major moolah, but I'm not getting my hopes up just yet. With Daddy, you never really know, so we'll just see.

Tomorrow morning, I'm going to look at a bathroom vanity I found on CraigsList (I'm so addicted to that), so let's hope it pans out. I've also got some leads on some el-cheapo priced paint which will also be great if I happen across some good colors. That type of thing is just hit or miss. I hope to get back to the house by noon & start scrubbing the lung cancer off of the walls!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 6 - Nicotine Hell

I'm in nicotine hell!!! This evening starting by buying some Spic-n-Span, soft scrubbing brushes, yellow rubber gloves and microfiber sponges. As soon as I got home, I started spraying down the paneling with Spic-n-Span (thank you LP for that tip). Can I just say? UUGGGHHHH!!! It was disgusting...brown stuff just starting rolling down the walls. Once I sprayed an area, I took a brush and scrubbed it down. Then, I took the microfiber sponges and wiped it down. The good thing about microfiber is it rinses right out, so I kept rinsing it out & wiping until it showed no stains on it. I think I may have scrubbed some finish off in areas, but it doesn't really matter since I'll be priming and painting over it. I worked from 6:30 to 9:00 and just covered a small area. After about 20 minutes, my face starting itching and burning. I looked in the mirror and I had red splotches all over it. I think I was splattering some of the nicotine on my face, so I itched to death the whole time - and the worst part about it was I couldn't scratch with the nasty rubber gloves on. After using the brush to scrub, I couldn't wipe in the groves of the paneling very well with the sponge, but I think the walls are as clean as they can be under the circumstances.

Mom was there the entire time and emptied my bucket and refilled it for me. She was also keeping an eye on Colton - or so we thought. When we got ready to leave, we walked outside to find that he had "discovered" a white can of spray paint. Michelangelo had painted one of his legs, the ants in the driveway and some of the rocks in the flower beds. Of course, the funniest thing he had painted was the polka-dots on Lori's left rear tire (Mom was driving her truck). I hope 'Aunt Lolo' finds it as funny as we did. The entire can was empty, so I can only imagine what hidden treasures we'll find in the daylight tomorrow.

I felt like I actually made some headway today - even though it's sloooowww-going.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 5

Ok...I admit it. I totally did nothing today. I stopped by the house to make sure everything was secure and that was it. Colton begged to stay home (at Lori's) this evening and honestly, I was ready for a break. Not to mention, my laundry is soooo far behind! We're out of clean socks and undies - I know too much information. So, we stayed home and relaxed and I will get started again tomorrow. A fresh start will do me good!

Day 4

Yes, yes...I am late in posting, but it was late when I got home last night.

I had been thinking that the blue I had bought for Colton's room was just too bright. He wanted a darker blue and the more I looked at the room I'm "copying" for him, I decided he was right. I took my unopened paint to Lowe's to see if they could darken it up to a navy color. They tried, but since I hadn't used any of the paint from the can, it was too full for them to try remixing it. I'll have to get an empty container & pour some paint in it and give it another shot.

Next, I stopped and picked up some supper and headed to my house to meet Mom and Colton. Mom had been there almost all day with my Mamaw (yes, that's what we call her) planting flowers and weeding. She had two of the small flower beds looking really nice.

By the time we ate, it was almost 8:00. Colton's trim inside of his room was looking much better - not perfect by any means, but for 60 year old trim, the white paint made it look a heckuva lot better! I wanted to finish putting the second coat of paint on the trim in his room and try to get my room primed. My friend Tobi came over :-) and we went to work. Within five minutes of Tobi putting the second coat of paint on the outside of Colton's door and trim, you could see something bleeding through...see?
I remembered the seller (nephew) telling that his aunt and uncle, the owners had been heavy smokers in their younger years, so I decided what I was seeing wasn't stain, but nicotine. Tobi took a cloth and wiped it on the pine walls and it was unreal what we saw - that yellowish-brownish stain from nicotine. UGGGHHH!!! After "test wiping" a few more walls, it was time to call painting to a halt. I was so discouraged.

Last, Tobi and I wondered around the house discussing various methods of cleaning off the nicotine and other ideas for the house, so yes...we gabbed for a while since the painting couldn't be done. I needed the wind-down time, though, and was glad Tobi was there to help...or gab...or brainstorm on the house. :-D

Until I can wash down everything, there is no use in painting anything else. Just thinking about trying to clean the ceilings makes me cringe. Sigh...oh, well, time to suck it up and just get it done.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 3 - Escape Hatch

Ok...short & sweet today. I dropped Colton off at summer school which was an adventure in itself, but hopefully it will smooth out. Being the trooper he is, Colton took it in stride and was off making new friends in just a few minutes, but being a Mommy, it left me ill at ease all day long. I left work a little early to go pick up Colton and we stopped by the house to check on things. As I suspected, the trim around the bedroom door and the door itself looked icky. The staining had bled through. I hope that another coat of paint will fix it, but I'm not real hopeful. I did not do any work, just locked back up and left.

This evening, I've been researching the musty old smell issue. It is really bad. My appraiser said that the majority of the problem is because there is no plastic over the dirt in the crawl space. From everything I've read tonight, he appears to be correct. Gonna need some 6 mm plastic sheeting rolled out & taped down. Any volunteers for the job in that super icky crawl space?

I also wanted to mention the nice "bonus" I found this weekend. I moved an floor rug in the hallway leading to the bedrooms while I was sweeping. Guess what was there hiding? A nice big rectangle with some wood nailed over it - an old heat register vent had been removed.

I certainly should have been wiser, but never thought about checking under the rug. I was really disgusted because I've been seriously thinking about doing the floors myself to save money. This means I will have to call in the pros - at least to piece the floor in that spot. I showed it to Colton and he popped off, "Cool - an escape hatch!" You had to laugh and I feel much better about the "escape hatch". Maybe I'll use it to escape and hide from the rest of the painting jobs in the house...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 2 - Painting Lessons

First, let me get my whining out of the way. I am exhausted! I'm sore in places a person shouldn't be sore - even my butt cheeks are sore! I'm trying to be positive about the soreness and hope that I will drop a few pounds, but darn...

Today I started painting all of the trim work I had primed yesterday. Okay, I first want to debunk a big fat lie. All of the online research I read and even the guy at Lowe's told me that I would not have to sand the trim first if I used a good primer or even use a second coat. Most recommended Zinsser as the primer. Can I just say? What a crock. I'm pretty sure the door is going to bleed through and all of the trim required two coats. The trim also just didn't come out smoothly at all. I bought the exact brush that was recommended and's just not smooth. I am very blue about everything this evening, but hopefully, it will magically transform itself into awesomeness overnight. And maybe my booty will be small & flat when I wake up tomorrow, too.

While I painted (and cursed like a sailor), Mom came over and washed down all of the pine tongue and grove walls with TSP in order to prep them for priming and painting. She found about 99,000 nails along the way, so that's more holes to be filled. I really appreciated her help!

On a positive note, Colton's grandparents loaned me lots of tools that did make the process go so much better. Papaw Gil loaded me up with some goodies and I left their house this morning feeling pretty happy about that. I even have....a real "live" level! Stop it...I know you're jealous!

As I was leaving (crawling out the door) this evening. my friends Tobi and Aaron stopped by with their two small children, Cole and Lilli. They remodeled a home about four years ago and know the pains it can bring. Cole tried to make off with my very expensive flyswat and Lilli toddled (yes, that's describes her perfectly) around just being too cute.

I'm probably leaving out details, but that's about all for today's post. Colton is on his way home from his Dad's and he starts summer school tomorrow. I haven't even done laundry! Gotta get busy.

PS - Oh, yeah...I do intend to post some pics soon!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 1 - Ignorant Bliss

I went to my house (yes, I'm proudly saying MY house) this morning with the naive idea that I could get both mine & Colton's bedrooms painted today including trim and doors. Now when you finish laughing, I'll tell you what actually happened today. I arrived at the house and decided I could no longer stand the musty stale smell that just about knocks you down when you enter the house, so I decided to clean. After cleaning the den, kitchen and half bath, I knew I had to head to town to get something to kill the 99 million spiders I had killed. Now these were not the big hairy nasty ones, but those little ones that are so light-colored (some even white) that I was convinced they were all over me...ewww! I hadn't noticed them any of the other times I had viewed the home, so obviously my rose-colored glasses just glazed right over them.

I went to Lowe's and spent way too much money for this "frugal" chick on a very limited budget, but left with blue paint for Colton's room, white paint for trim and some primer along with paint brushes, rollers, drop clothes and several other items. I was ready to knock out both mine and Colton's rooms - or so I thought!

When I got back home (love saying that), I opened the back door of my car to get out my purchases and the primer fell out and busted open. It was all in the driveway with some splattering on my car. Now while I don't take great pride in my car like I should (it usually looks like a homeless person is living in it), I still didn't want this primer adhering to it. I took some wet paper towels and fortunately, it came right off. On a positive note, I realized I didn't have anything to open the can with so it popping open ended up being a blessing in disguise.

Next I starting taping off Colton's room for painting. What a pain! I'm sure I went about it the wrong way, but I got the job done in the end. Well, actually, what I got done was priming all the trim and doors. Yep...that's it. I worked my booty off (well, I wish) and that's all that was done. I had not taken into account how long it takes to tape off the room not to mention removing a zillion nails and screws from the windows where different sets of blinds had been installed over the last 56 years in my (yep, mine...tehe) house. That in itself was a chore since I don't own any tools. Fortunately, my sister came to the rescue with two screwdrivers and one hammer. Heck, that's probably all the tools she owns since she's also a single parent. Of course, that brought up another point...I definitely will need some wood putty or caulk to fill in all of those holes before I paint the trip tomorrow.

At some point this evening, my friends Cathy and Jim stopped by and got the grand tour. Jim shared his expert decor ideas while Cathy pointed out the irony that I have walnut trees in the yard and I hate nuts. I was very touched that they stopped by this weekend to see my little nest.

Last of all, I set off the bug bombs before I left, so I hope all those critters are dead or gone when I go back in the morning. Now don't get me wrong, I believe in being green when possible, but spiders are one thing I can happily live without! I'm still brushing them off of me.

It's almost midnight. I'm tired and the tendonitis in my elbow is hurting a little, but very happy that I finally got started. I've laid awake the last 3-4 weeks thinking about ideas on how to decorate and it's nice to put those ideas to work finally.

Off to rest for tomorrow!