Thursday, March 27, 2008

Being a Grown-Up...

Y'know that house I've been posting pictures of? Well - I OWN IT now! Hooray!

Of course, since it was *me* buying it, there's no way that the closing went off without a hitch. Sit back and behold the wonder that was my day:

I arranged to have the morning off school. The appointment with the lawyer was at 9:30. I showed up at the bank to get the certified check, and the fun began. Naturally, I had a trainee teller, who took 15 minutes to write a single certified check. So I rushed out the door, already late.

In Atlanta rush-hour traffic, I now had 15 minutes to make it across town. Every road - and I am not exaggerating - EVERY road I traveled on had construction on it. Highways, surface streets, back roads that no one knows about - ALL OF THEM were under construction. Therefore, I arrived at the lawyer's office at 9:55 instead of 9:30. However, this turned out not to be as big a deal as you might think. You see, the power at the attorney's office had just come back on. The construction crew outside (see - you thought I was joking about the construction) had cut a power line. So the lawyer was behind already.

Now comes the really fun part. The seller of the property (who is also financing this deal) and the lawyer had thought they each understood each other, and it turns out they had not. Lots of boring/frustrating/bordering-on-angry conversations followed, the settlement statement was re-written TWICE, and I sat and did basically nothing for THREE HOURS. I had to call work and get someone to cover my classes. I developed a headache, which my migraine drugs did nothing to alleviate. I ate quite a few mini Three Musketeers candies out of the dish in front of me. Finally, an agreement was reached, papers were printed, I signed and signed and signed and it was done.

Now, in the middle of all of that, my mother called to tell me that she was heading to Pennsylvania, where she was going to have to take my 90-year-old grandfather to be admitted to the hospital for what we believe is bleeding in the brain. I don't know what will come of this, but of course, it won't be good. So that added a new dimension of drama to a day that had quite enough already.

All of that happened by 1:30. I rushed out of the office and back to school. I grumped and yelled and basically took out my frustrations on the last class of the day. I foisted my track runners off on the boys coach, went home and took a nap, and then got up and drove an hour and a half in MORE rush hour traffic to play in a double-header with the softball team I'm on. But hey - at least I got a couple of decent hits tonight!

Anyway. I sincerely hope that all of you have had/will have far easier closing days when you buy houses. As for me - if this is what happens when I buy a house, I'm not planning to move, oh, EVER.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

And some more

This is the last major change that was made. The house was built somewhere around 1915, and originally had no indoor plumbing. What used to be a back porch is now a laundry room and the bathroom. The laundry room is long and narrow, with jalousied windows. I still haven't decided what to do about window coverings back there (you know - it's been almost two years now and I don't like to rush into these decisions...) but Todd made the room eminantly more fuctional with the addition of shelves!
Before (this was when Todd was staying here trying to get the house sold, hence the air mattress....):

After (note that I've also replaced the 25 year old dryer! :-):

And the view in the other direction:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

More with the house...

Ok, so on to the living room.
This will be the first room of the house that gets completely done the way I want. The painting phase is over (although I still need to touch up the TV cabinet and get now knobs for it). This summer, with extra money from a summer job, I'll be replacing the couch and making new curtains. Oh, and moving in the piano from my mother's house. Anyone out there want to help get a piano from Knoxville, TN to Atlanta, GA? Anyone? No? Hmph.
In any case, behold the progress so far:

Before (really in before I ever moved in, hence no furniture). Notice, especially, the pine mantel around the bricked-up fireplace:

And a slightly different view, immediately after I moved in, with my unpainted TV cabinet and un-slipcovered couch:

(This is a view of just the fireplace, obviously. The bricks are now matte black, so as to recede a little, the mantel is white to match the trim, and the walls are a very pale blue-grey.)
And a view with the painted TV cabinet and covered couch.

Still to come: the laundry room!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Before and After

I am addicted to home improvement shows. I like watching the transformations, but really, I'm perfectly happy to miss most of the show and skip to the end where they show the before and after shots of the rooms they've transformed. And now I get to do my Very Own Version! Woo-hoo!

Last week, as a house-warming gift, my friend Todd (who is the one selling me the house) came up from Savannah and absolutely SLAVED for a week, doing many projects. I helped, but he did almost all the real work. So here are some shots of his (our) results!
#1: The kitchen, specifically the sink. Someday, I'd like to have this kitchen be the perfect kitchen. Unfortunately, that costs tons of money. So this go-round, I settled for replacing the antique, cast-iron sink and the cabinet under it that was rusting away. I hate throwing out a good antique, but it just couldn't get white anymore, didn't have enough room, etc. Also, notice that the ugly piece of crappy counter over the dishwasher is replaced. The cabinet and counter are from IKEA, the sink is from Lowes.




It is missing the small door for the cabinet to the left of the sink (I just got it from IKEA, but haven't installed it yet) but isn't it great?? And the greatest thing is that now I can replace the other cabinets as I have time/money!
Stay tuned for more tomorrow.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Moments in House Renovation With Mary

(And, by the way, I know it's been two months since I wrote anything. Chalk it up to a case of terminal laziness and a spectacularly uninteresting life.)


male: "I need to paint over this caulk by the bathroom mirror with white paint. I don't understand why the caulk has turned pink."

female: "The caulk didn't turn pink. That's from my makeup."


person who is not Mary and doesn't know how clumsy she is: "Don't worry about a drop cloth. Since I'm on the ladder I'll be the one who makes a mess...oh, wait. You've stepped in some paint and tracked it all over the floor."


Yes, that's right. I've been participating in home repair and renovation! Whoo-hoo. I'll have pictures soon...