Sunday, December 27, 2009

Our Home

Looking at these pictures has me homesick a bit. Man, I loved being a homeowner. I loved our house. We put so much love & energy into every inch of it and now another family is living in it. I hope they're happy. It really pisses me off to think that someone could think we did it on purpose. No one loses their home on purpose.

The dump we're living in now sucks. The floors are uneven and even wavy. that's what happens when you put peel and stick squares in the kitchen. The landlord acted like it was our fault, but those aren't watertight and they're not made for high moisture areas. Especially when the basement keeps flooding and the water evaporates up into the kitchen floor. It's disgusting. And I don't even want to get into the bathroom. The linoleum is in 2 pieces, separated and ripped in the middle to expose the underfloor. The walls and floors aren't sealed, so water is constantly getting into the walls and between things. the toilet is sideways so you can't even sit on it straight. The cabinet is 3 inches from the tub so things fall down there and I don't dare retrieve them because of spiderwebs (HUGE SPIDERS) and... eewww.

I hate this house. I hate living here. I hate that we lost our home. I hate that we live here. I hate that Lonnie & Mike think it was part of our master plan. Screw them. Our master plan was to reopen and maintain relationships with people- Lonnie killed that by failing as chairman of the board, to contact investors and then again by stealing the business. He doesn't intend to pay anyone except himself. He screwed us and all of our investors and our staff. It doesn't end here. These crooks haven't seen the end of me.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's a dirty Job

Many people mistakenly believe that the opposite of clean is dirty. I, however, am about to prove to you that they are one in the same. Stay with me.

There are several factors that can constitute a house that isn't perfectly clean. These factors, however, can't make a house dirty. For example; if the pictures on the wall are all crooked and the table isn't straight and the chairs aren't pushed in, the rug has a wrinkle, the couch cushions are all in one corner and the trash should have been taken out a few hours ago, then clearly, no housewife would look around and say “Ahhhh, a clean house!”

However, that's not dirty. That's just messy. Messy is also toys left out, jackets not hung up, clean dishes on the counter, and things like that. Messy isn't a health hazard, and it can usually go away within a few minutes.

Crumby is another story. I once had a friend with a broken vacuum. I loved her dearly, but instead of buying a $40 vacuum, she just swept the carpet and there were crumbs everywhere. I have another friend whose dishwasher liked to leave a layer of crumbs on everything, so instead of rinsing better, she'd just put the crumbs away with the dishes. In one case, the crumbs were clean, in another case the crumbs were dirty. Either way, crumbs are in the “dirty” family. However, a clean house that has a few crumbs is, in fact, not clean, is it? Is it dirty?

Stickiness is another something we moms have to deal with. Sure, I know people whose kids always have their hands wiped when they get down from the table. The only one I can think of is a family with 2 kids and a full time nanny. The fact is, kids can be sticky little people and sometimes you might not notice where they put their sticky little hand until you walk in the door one day and a gust of wind adheres every speck of dust in the county to the ten thousand jelly hand prints your toddler left behind. A house can look completely clean today, but when that little wind comes through, it's definitely dirty.

Dusty is another mess factor in just about every home. Some areas have it worse than others. If you're a mom in Lancaster, California you are hereby excused from dusting because, admit it, it doesn't help anyway. Everyone else, learn this one fact; kids like to dust.

If you can tear them away from the idea of a feather duster, get yourself a Costco sized box of swiffer floor cleaning pads and write their name on one with a sharpie marker. Every now and then, announce (with glee) that it's swiffer time and put on some funky song.

Here's ours; only instead of saying Hammer time, we say Swiffer time. In case you wondered.

Fingerprinted is another situation. That jelly-handed kid comes through after eating some greasy french fries and touches walls, windows, table, cabinet doors, light switches, curtains. All these surfaces require a different kind of cleaning. A different rag, a different chemical or sponge. Chances are, you'll notice them at different times. That's just how these things work. However, does this mean your house hasn't been clean since the day he ate those fries, of course not.

The hardest obstacle on my personal path to clean is disarray. Like the first example, where chairs were crooked and tables weren't centered, pictures were off center, I've got a far worse brand of disarray going on. I'm not a knick-knack person so my shelves have books on them, however with 6 homeschooled kids and a work-at-home writer mom, we use a lot of books. I don't mean to say that we have a lot of books, I mean that we're using a lot. There are always stacks of books out in different areas for current projects, plus there are the groups of books from forgotten projects, books we keep meaning to read and books we haven't read yet but don't plan to. There are stacks of books we mean to get rid of, books we intend to return to the library and this is all times five because there are basically five of us with enough literacy skills and complicated projects to warrant all these separate stacks of books. For the rest, there are bathroom newspapers, coloring books, and bedtime stories. Not to mention family photo albums and cookbooks that don't really belong to anyone.

And yes, there are fingerprints on some of them.

So if the house is clean and it has a few crumbs, is it no longer clean? Does a little sticky handprint, or greasy prints on the window make it a dirty house? Is a house that is otherwise free from all those other messes, but in a state of disarray a mess? Do a few dishes on the counter or in the sink make the house a mess? Nahhh, plain and simple, there's no such thing.

The only way the house can really not be clean is if it's dirty, and dirty is just a combination of all those other things, so if you've got sticky and greasy hand prints, dust, food more than a day old anywhere in the house, dishes that are more than a day old (unless it's that pan that won't quite fit into the dishwasher) and crumbs and mess and disarray in every room, THEN the house is officially dirty.

I've known a lot of moms in my day, some with houses on the clean side and some with houses on the dirty side. The cleanest-housed-lady I know has a linen closet that's folded every which way, and poisons her dandelions. The messiest housed lady I know eats entirely organic and none of her 5 kids has ever had a cavity. So whether you're the clean type, the messy type or the dirty type, it's all good. It's all relative. It's all the same, isn't it?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What home?

Such a lag in posts to this blog, I intended to be posting right about now with new and exciting decorative things we've done at the new house, but that's not happening. In fact, we might not even be moving right now. There's nothing I hate more than uncertainty. I am not generally a control freak, I am pretty relaxed and mellow about things, I just want to know my address, y'know. Should I unpack? The up-in-the-air-ness of all of this is really killing me. I was given a task "Find us a house to move into while I'm out of town" so I did, I spent about $400 in gas, fast food & hotels driving over to the other side of the state to find a house. I loved the house. i wasn't kidding myself about the neighborhood, I was willing to take the trade off for a house in a less-than-desirable neighborhood so that we could be close to the Art School, the museums and the theater and the library, all the important downtown things we LOVE about the city. My husband's friend is freaking out, though and now we might be opening this restaurant again and I really hate this uncertainty. I'm trying to be cool about it, but our stuff has been packed up into boxes for almost a month now and I am really sick of this garbage. Get me the heck out of this nasty little town, I hate it here. I hate this town. I've said goodbye to my friends, I've made some new friends and researched the new neighborhood and I don't give a crap what your friend says about the neighborhood. Sure, I'd never UY a house there, but we're RENTING and it's close to everything. I hate this. I really really hate this. positivity is hard to come by at the moment. I think I should stop writing.

Friday, October 10, 2008

House Hunting

Yes, we are house hunting. Actually, I am house hunting because Mr H is working on a film on the other side of the Mountains. Right after we did the county fair, he takes off to go shoot the movie for 20 days. As soon as he returns, we have to move. Like within days. So here I am, working full time from home, homeschooling 6 kids, trying to get everyone back and forth to different clubs and classes and rehearsals and meetings and auditions and other kid-things, while house hunting in an area 3 hours from my house and packing, too. Wow. I feel like Superwoman.

I didn't realize how picky I was about a house. I want the following
-a big yard
-4 bedrooms or
-3 bedrooms and a living/family room and formal/informal dining. We can always turn one of those into a home office or another bedroom if we need to.
-RV access for our catering trailer
-mature landscaping
-a big backyard (I said that already- I really mean it)
-a garage 9attached or detached, I don't care
-no mold

You know how hard it is to find a house when you have 6 kids, a dog, a bankruptcy, a foreclosure and you're self-employed? Honestly, if they look at our bank balances we might be OK. But do they? It should help that our Bankruptcy is from business debt and not from consumer credit. Anyways, I found a few lease-to-own companies that are looking promising. We'll see. What a crazy month this will be.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Master Bedroom

The first two pictures show what this room looked like when we first started to remodel. We had a friend of ours helping out and he began to rip out the ceiling tiles. All sorts of dust & cap came raining down upon him while he worked, and he just kept on, like a trooper. My husband didn't tell him until afterward that it was rat poop. In fact, we still call it the rat poop room. We didn't get to the remodel on this room until we'd lived in the house for a year or so. We just kind of shut the door and pretended it wasn't there.

When we did end up remodeling, we ripped out the entire bathroom, built a closet (in the after picture you just see the frame of the closet door, not the doors or organizer) put in a stall shower and transformed the under-the-stairs closet into a built in entertainment center.

One thing about a basement room- no matter how hot the summer gets, this room is always cool, and those windows face Southeast, so they get the morning sunshine, it's a great way to wake up.

AND- no rats- the house had been abandoned for like a year before we moved in, the rats moved away.

Dining Room

In the first picture, the walls and floor are covered in dust, sanded and ready to paint (after we vacuum it up) and the several boxes of floor planks (what are they really called?) for the living room & upstairs bedrooms are stacked up in the middle of the floor ready to be put down.

In the second picture, most of the floor tiles are down, he's probably out cutting the edge pieces right now.

In the last picture, the room is done with the exception of the crown moulding and window frames, which might not get done, save it for the next owner.

Upstairs bedroom

I wish I had a before-before picture of this room. It is kind of long, like 22 ft long, and 11 ft wide- and when we got the house, the bedroom was covered in wood paneling and had a brown linoleum floor. We removed the wood paneling, replaced several sheets of drywall- some had been sprayed by a cat (why do they call it spray and not piss- it's quite disgusting and I don't know why anyone would want one of those nasty creatures pissing on their walls. There was also plywood instead of drywall on some of the walls, so those of course had to be replaced, too. We went with a moss green, it's relaxing and it matched my comforter.