19 October 2016

On the Enumeration of Unhatched Poultry, and Other Such Nonsense

Ah, October 1st, that exciting day.  We were all packed and ready to go - in fact, we finished early and had time to sit around talking about how we'd planned to decorate our new space.  A moving truck was going to show up n the morning of the 1st, whisk away our things, and by that evening we'd be happily neck-deep in unpacking and beginning to make our new home beautiful.

What actually happened was this:
  • The moving company underestimated somehow, and sent us a truck that was too small.  The actual movers were fabulous to work with - they even called to see about getting a second truck to help out, but none were available.
  • When we got to the house at noon on the 1st, the floor tilers were still at it, and we couldn't go INTO the house - at all.  The movers packed our things into the garage, and a few pieces of furniture were left out in the driveway.  We camped out in the driveway and waited.  Turns out, the tilers would be there late into the night, and there was no way we were getting inside the house - except for the master bedroom, which was not being done that day, and which has a sliding glass door that opens into the backyard.  A couple of friends came over, and we all carried everything from the driveway around to the backyard and into the master bedroom; after that we went to their house for dinner and a shower, and then back to the old place to sleep on air mattresses for the night. Thankfully, by the next night, the bedrooms were finished and we could begin to sleep there.
  • It would be nearly two weeks before the rest of the floors would be finished.  The work crew was actually great - they did an awesome job, and were really friendly and fast. It took a while to get the job done because the crew was on loan from a construction job - the foreman is a cousin of my landlady's - so their availability was sporadic, is all.  Still, until there was a floor in the kitchen or laundry room, the stove was unhooked - we couldn't cook.  Also, there was a problem with the gas shutoff valve on the clothes dryer - we couldn't do laundry until a plumber could come out and replace the valve so that we wouldn't all, you know, die in a fiery explosion. 

However, as of Sunday morning, the entire floor in the entire house was finished, hooray! We've spent the last few days beginning to arrange the house - and finally, after two weeks, now that our stuff is beginning to fill up the place, it's finally starting to feel like home. the only problem is...where the hell is our stuff??

Here's the thing: although we labeled our boxes according to which room they were to go in, we completely omitted labeling the boxes with what was inside them - I mean, why bother, right? We were going to be unpacked in a day or two, and all the boxes, so helpfully labeled by room, would be deposited by the movers right where they go - we were only going to have to open them and empty them.  Tada! 

So, for the last couple of days I've continually kept markers and pens clipped to my shirt, knowing that anything I open (a) could be anything, and (b) probably isn't the thing I'm looking for, but (c) needs to be LABELED so that the next time I go looking for something, it won't take me as long to find it. I'm pretty sure I've opened every box in the house at least six times each. (Btw, cardboard cuts suck). At the moment my biggest Mystery!Box peeve is that while I've located and sorted all of my SCA garb, I'm missing one single box - which just happens to contain literally everything I need for an event I'm going to in two days. 
*sad trombone*

It's all been an extremely difficult and painful lesson in staying strong while being flexible.  It's [forcibly] expanded the limits of my ability to deal with stress, uncertainty, anger, frustration, panic, and despair.  It's expanded my physical limits, too.  The whole time this was all happening, I was also putting in about 20 hours a week working on the old house - painting, cleaning, landscaping, repairing things, climbing up and down ladders, replacing bits of the laminate floor - as well as moving everything I own around the new house at least four times each.  I almost wish I'd had one of those fitness tracker armbands through all of this - I'd love to know exactly how many squats I've done in the past two weeks.  (Interestingly, although maybe only to me, I hadn't ridden my bike since September 14th - and I ride nearly every day.  I was worried that 4+ weeks off the bike would have ruined the fitness level I'd previously built up; but when I got back in the saddle a few days ago I felt like I was actually in better shape than when I'd last ridden - probably because of all the squats!)

But the real moral of the story, kids, is LABEL YOUR BOXES.  Even if you think you don't need to, even if you're literally only putting them into your car and driving them three blocks away.  LABELS. 

29 September 2016

The Fixer Upper

We move in two days, and I am not even stressed about it. I've finally reached the point where I've sat down and strapped myself in for the ride.  Whee!

 I've brought some before pictures of the house we're moving into this weekend:

The front entryway, in the process of being coated with paint primer.  Terra cotta tile on the floor, 90s sponge-paint job on the walls, in terra cotta over yellow.

Yay, a front door with windows! I've always wanted one of those!

The living room is enormous, with a 12' vaulted ceiling. The fireplace is gas (and needs to be refinished/restored).

The floors here are concrete, once painted blue with a darker blue rag/bag job over it. 

In the next few days (as we move in, hooray?) there's a contractor coming in to replace the flooring in the whole house with a wood-look ceramic tile, in a pale grayish-pine color.

Looking into the dining room from the living room.  There's laminate floor here and in the kitchen, which will also be replaced with the ceramic tile.

A yellow kitchen with a popcorn-encrusted soffit above the upper cabinets. 

The island will be removed by the tile guys; Sylvan and I plan to get a rolling work cart instead, that we can move around as needed.

The stove and fireplace are gas. I haven't cooked with gas since my last apartment, back in '03.  I LOVE cooking with gas!

The sink faucet, sprayer, and disposal were replaced just last week.

Looking through the dining room door at the other end of the kitchen, into a breakfast nook.

Sylvan's bedroom - it's Smurfy!

More painted concrete flooring and popcorn (there's popcorn throughout the house).

My bedroom, with peel-n-stick brick-look floor tile and a decorative wooden shelf across the top of one wall.

CAN you believe this window? I can't think of the name for this type of window (it's not a bay); but I LOVE it! The seat area is 16" wide, and some of the panes are covered with a decorative privacy film.  I can't wait to fill it with plants.

The ceiling fan in my room.  LMAO.  (This was a kid's room, once upon a time).

I am so happy that there are ceiling fans in every room. This is Texas.  The heat does NOT screw around, y'all.

The master bedroom, which will become a shared craft space for Sylvan and I, just like in our current/old house.

Red walls, clean but old carpeting, and some gold wall stenciling.

The master bathroom.  Lavender walls with gold glitter mixed into the paint, pretty vintage-y shell sinks with brand-new faucets...

...and a ginormous walk-in shower with a tiled bench and body sprays. Woohoo!

There are also two closets here, one on either side of the shower. Those will be great craft closets! (I wonder whose will fill up first. I bet it'll be mine - I'm a costumer. I have a LOT of fabric).

As you can see, there's a lot of work to be done here. The new flooring will be going in over the next few days, and we've already begun priming and painting - the whole house needs to be painted from top to bottom.  Those two things will make a huge difference; everything else is small stuff like replacing outlet covers and doorknobs.  Most of the fixtures and about half the appliances have been replaced in the past year, and everything works great.

The next couple of days is going to be all about moving, but after that's done and everybody's toothbrush and underwear are unpacked, I can get back to painting. It's already making a HUGE difference.  I can't wait to see what this house can become! :)

27 September 2016

The Final Push

Well, my (old) house is a total war zone right now. You've moved, you know how it is.  Boxes everywhere, nothing on the walls or windows, walls full of spackle and half-painted, and so forth.  The dogs are mostly okay with all the chaos - Daisy's being clingy, but is calm; Shelly's enjoying the ever-expanding empty floor space to lay on. The cats have pretty much lost their collective mind, but, you know, cats

I've also been losing my damn mind; though the more information I have, and the more I actually get *done*, the better I feel about everything.  My roomate has been a freaking rockstar throughout all of this. She's handling most of the packing while I tend to repairs and painting; but more than that, she's been a rock and a source of perspective and calm when I've needed it most. She must have the patience of a saint to deal with how nuts things have been with both houses lately.

Most of the house is packed; we're down to just the things we'll use this week.  I've taken off this Friday to do last-minute stuff; the movers are coming at 8am on Saturday.  Eek! 

The new house is kind of in limbo at the moment.  It's empty, and there's someone replacing the flooring in the whole house this week. At some point before Friday, I have to go over there and paint the two small bedrooms - I'd love to have time to paint the entire thing before there's furniture in the way, but I'll have to get to everything else later as I have time.

I also need to stop for five seconds and take some pictures, in both houses.  Hopefully, I'll have some to post here soon.


20 September 2016

The Fun Part (?)

Here's a very rough floorplan of the house we're moving into in a couple of weeks a week and a half:

When I say it's a rough floorplan, I mean it's *extremely* rough.  As in, none of the measurements are even remotely correctly sized, but they're at least in the right place with relation to each other.  Later this week I'll be able to get into the house to start cleaning and painting, and I'll get exact measurements then so that I can fix this, and so that I can have a better idea of what's going on here. 

But you get the gist.  It's a big house. There are lots of rooms. When I'm overwhelmed, or when I'm on a break at work and stressing about a house while I'm miles away from being able to do anything about it, I like to play with this and try to figure out where all the furniture will go, what colors to paint the walls, etc. Which, you'd think I'd have that figured out by now, considering that in the next 10 days, I have to:
  • finish packing
  • finish cleaning out the garage so I can start staging boxes out there to get them out of the house, because I live in a box fort now and I'm tired of tripping over things
  • clean two houses
  • paint two houses
  • finish fixing up the backyard in the old house so that the nice lady who's repairing the back fence next week can do her job
  • Oh yeah, and MOVE on the 1st

19 September 2016

Rollercoasters and Butts

So far, I've learned two big things about the process of fixing up a house to sell/fixing up a house to move into:


This process is like a roller coaster.  Everyone says that, and I get it; but I'm actually living it right now, and it's more than the "emotional rollercoaster" that I keep hearing about.  There's:
  • waiting in line for hours and hours and hours - when it was just an idea and I wasn't sure if it was actually going to happen or not
  • climbing the hill, clicking along on the rails trying to reach the top, getting more and more nervous the closer I get to the drop - *click* omg there's so much to do *click* I have no idea what I'm even doing *click* I can't even *click* what if something horrible happens? *click* can I get this done in time?? *click* where am I going to get the money for ____? *click
  • reaching the top of the track where you pause for a second and can see for miles - wow, this is really happening! and it's going to be great! just look at it all, isn't it grand? :D
So yeah.


Deferred maintenance is nobody's friend.  Don't ever do this to yourself again, me.  To be fair to myself, there have been lots of things I should have/could have done to my house years ago but couldn't because I couldn't afford to.  But there are SO many things that I'm killing myself trying to get fixed or completed all at once, as fast as I can, so that I can list/show the house that would have been (1) free and (2) easy/fast to do if I had done them years ago instead of doing the fun stuff first and putting off the tedious stuff I didn't feel like doing at the time.

Complete your projects. Don't half-ass things and make more work for yourself (myself) later!  Always use your whole ass.

So anyway, 

This weekend was awesome.  And by "awesome" I mean that I worked myself to the bone on 3 hours of sleep and pretty much feel like I've been run over by a truck. But I got stuff done!  I cleaned up the backyard and disassembled old garden beds, pruned trees, packed, filled nail holes in walls, installed a new garage door (with the help of a friend, and OMG I am SO thankful he was around! That was HARD!), cleaned and reorganized and packed half the garage.

And there's still SO much to do! ACK!

16 September 2016

Damn. If Only We Had A Holocaust Cloak.

When this is all over I'm going to write a beginner's guide to selling a house (as in: written by a beginner who understands exactly nothing. There will be lots of foul language).  I know this must be just one phase of however-many are involved in this process, but right there it seems like there are nothing but questions, and it's eroding my brain tissue as we speak. 

When is my exact move date? 
What if I don't get any offers on the house at all?
How do I balance fixing up two houses when both have time-sensitive issues? 
How do people stay sane throughout all of this? 
In what order do I paint the rooms in the new house?
How do I ask my neighbor politely to put her scary dog away so my contractor can repair the back fence?
Should I be keeping count of all of the things I'm signing for, like, posterity, or something?
How much do auto-signers cost, anyway?
How often is too often re: going to the hardware store for "one more thing"?
What's the best way to store all of my receipts so I can track all this stuff later? 
How the fuck do you even organize a side-by-side refrigerator?
Once we get into the castle, how do I find Count Rugen so I may kill him?
Once I kill him, how do I find you again?
Once I find you again, how do we get out?? 

 Going to go soothe my soul by looking at pretty paint colors and the Ikea catalog now, bye.

09 September 2016


I keep starting this post and deleting it, because I can never figure out exactly what to say, or how much to say.  So, I'll get right to the point:

I'm selling my house, and moving into a new one.

I'm not going far - I'm not even leaving town. The new place (actually an older house, built in 1984) is about 8 miles to the west of where I live now. A friend owns it, and is moving out of state;  my BFF-roomie and I will be renting the house from her. It's around 100 square feet bigger than my current home, on an enormous corner lot, with 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths, massive mature oak and elm trees, in a vast, tangled neighborhood in a part of south Austin that I absolutely adore and have missed since the last time I lived near there (about 15 years ago).

My friend is moving out next week, and as soon as she's gone, there's a crew coming in to put down new flooring throughout the entire house and replace the siding.  After that, I'll be going in and doing what amounts to a make-ready on the place myself - cleaning, painting walls, some minor repairs that will be easier to do before I move in.  My roommate and I are hoping to move in the last week of September.

That gives me three weeks to get all of our stuff packed and my house prepped to put on the market - lots more cleaning, painting walls, and minor repairs.  Also some major repairs: parts of the back fence are going to be replaced, and I'll be installing a new garage door the first week of October to replace the one I backed into with my car two years ago and couldn't afford to fix until now (oops).

There is SO much to do, and so little time to do it. Thankfully, I have a fantastic realtor, and a bunch of awesomely supportive friends who've volunteered to help out during this whole process.  I'm a bit stressed out (read: running around with my hair on fire 24/7), but the more I get done, and the more I learn about selling a house, the better I feel about the entire thing, and the more excited I get about the move.

I can't wait to have a new house and yard to play with!

I'll be back soon.

02 February 2016


Two jobs + SCA = trying to keep up with this house like

It's taken me two months to paint my bedroom and hang art.  I'll get there.


09 December 2015


Am I the only one who thinks of Red Dwarf when I see one of these?

30 November 2015

The @#$%@#!! Living Room Ceiling

Well, guys, I finally did it.  I painted the goddamned living room ceiling.

I started the ceiling project in 2012 - three years ago - with my then-master bedroom, followed by the dining room, kitchen, hallways, and eventually the guest bath and two small bedrooms as I re-made them a year ago when Sylvan moved in.  By the time that I got to the living room, I was out of steam, out of paint, out of time in which to work, and injured, to boot.  (I'm still injured, but fuck it).

The holiday weekend past gave me a much-needed break from working two jobs and filling every spare second of time with sleep, depression, and sewing projects (my Very Last Commission Ever is going up on the SCA blog shortly - it's a doozy).  What'd I do for Thanksgiving?  I painted the goddamned living room ceiling!  Yay!

Halfway there. Bye-bye, stupid blue ceiling that turned the whole house
into a cave. The paint is [two coats of] a self-priming latex interior which
I mixed to match the other ceilings in the house ("White Clay" by Behr).
The kitchen cabinets are the same color).

The "clean end" of the room (the other end still had paint stuff
all over it).  I love the feeling of height this gives the room.

And I adore this little corner.  Corner windows: check. 
Table fulla plants: check. Dog sleeping under the table:


Okay, so, technically there IS still one room I haven't gotten around to yet, ceiling-wise: the master bath.  But I have plans for the entire master suite (which is now a gigantic craft room), and I'm not touching ANYTHING in there until I'm ready to do the whole room (and have time, and money, and my arm's not trying to fall off, and I'm no longer working two jobs, which I still am at present. Ugh).  

Shelly, the Biggest Derp.

P.S.:  Oh!  Idk if you noticed (does anybody even read this horrible blog? Probably not, but it's still fun to do), but I also rearranged all the furniture.  Pics of all very soon, I promise.