The alternate theme of this post was going to be Things I Hate About This House. Or Why I Hate Living Here. Or I Just Can’t Stand It. But I thought I’d (attempt) to talk about all the positive stuff, like just how much progress we’re making working overtime. Or none of the time – seems to be all or nothing lately.
Let’s start with the best news: WE HAVE RENTERS!
I’ll give you a moment to do a dance for us. Go ahead.
Yep, real, live, renters. A couple. Which is better, in my opinion, as they can sleep in the back bedroom, where it’s quieter. I was feeling bad that anyone would have to stay in the front bedroom and hear the main road noise. (This is where Lou says “You’re not going to be a very good landlord if you care about things like that.”) We even have a signed lease. No turning back now.
The bath and kitchen plumbing and fixtures are (almost) all in, on both floors. We have a working toilet on our floor now, so we don’t have to climb to the arctic third floor bathroom in the middle of the night. And supposedly by Wednesday we will even have a functioning sink and a cabinet and counter, too. I’ll believe it when I can use it.
Let’s see, after fixtures come walls! The drywall and boards are going up in the first floor bathroom, so it’s starting to look like a real room, not some East Berlin ruin. Nevermind that the rubber we ordered for the floor is MIA. Walls are more important for a bathroom anyhow.
In the mudroom, we replaced the thin piece of glass in the back door masquerading as a window with a shiny new piece, held in not by splintery sticks of rotting wood but by a real frame. The door, however, is still
a little shabby full of character.
Of course, because I don’t do precision board-cutting or cabinet building, I spent the weekend touching up every knick and raw wood patch I could find on the first floor trim, doors, and built-in. It looks way less ghetto now that the little unstained wood spots aren’t screaming “Look at me!!!.” Trust me, they were screaming, going on and on about the place not being worth the rent we were asking. But a little stain here and there and I shut them right up.
I patched all the holes in the walls. I’m not just talking nail holes, I mean chunks where the plaster has crumbled. Filled the missing plaster around a ceiling light fixture. Filled the holes in the ceiling tile where old pipes used to be. I even matched the existing dirty beige ceiling tile color perfectly (Behr Antique White…inspired by aged, faded filth. Who knew?). You have to look hard to find the patches. I’m pretty proud of that work.
And now, because we’ve reached the end of the good, here are a few things that I just wanted to cry about last week:
The cold. It’s endless. Not just outside, but inside the house. The ceiling light wiring issues. The dust. The big, chunky dust. The permanent, fine dust that doesn’t really ever go away, mop, broom, vaccum and swiffer be damned. The lack of kitchen. Doing dishes in the third floor’s sorry-excuse-for-a-bathroom, in the smallest sink ever. This requires going up (and of course, down) the stairs and through the sorry-excuse-for-a-curtain piece of canvas at the base of the stairs that prevents the heat from heading directly out of the radiator on the second floor and right up the stairs to the arctic third floor. And on that note, OMG THE ENORMOUS OIL BILL THAT COMES (MONTHLY!) FROM HEATING A BIG, UNINSULATED, TWO-FAMILY HOME.
I leave you with a shot of our second floor front porch, where I stood hallucinating about blue sky, sun, carne asada on the grill, and beer on a table. Look real hard, you can see it.