We are not going to get the house renovated in time for school to start. There. I said it. We aren't getting done. We are going to have to refinish hardwood floors while we live there. I can just imagine the grit everywhere.

Our friend came and finished wiring the water heater and the stove. At some point, we are going to have to get him to come and rewire the outlets to 3 prong grounded outlets. But first things first. We have a giant hole in our living room floor right now, and pieces of subfloor in a stack beside it. I am not sure how much of it can be salvaged and reused (if any).

It amuses me, as I paint & drip paint on the chipboard, to think that someday wood may be scarce enough that some, in years to come, will fuss over the chipboard the way I fuss over the stained hardwood that we found under the carpets after we took them up. Or possibly the vinyl tile will be treasured.

Whoever would have guessed what a problem 30 year old termite damage could be.

We knew the floor in the living room was uneven, but, hey, it's an old house. Not until we started taking out the patched bits did we find what was (not) underneath. The header was rotten away. Where it should have been, someone had stacked two-by-fours on top of concrete blocks to hold the house up. It looked like something my child could have done. So that set us back on our timeline.

The kids have picked up a new show Who Wants to be a Superhero? The best part of that show is Stan Lee, who is judge and jury. It is funny to hear him teaching these people (who evidently never read X-Men) what being a super-hero is all about. In many ways, Stan Lee's superhero requirements and the Sermon on the Mount have many similar characteristics...

Why do I only discover shows after they are cancelled? Today I found LA Dragnet. Only lasted two seasons. Stars Ed O'Neill (formerlly Al Bundy) and Eva Longoria. Don't know how I missed it.

Aladdin Homes archive shows a house with a foundation like ours, even down to the textured blocks. Here is another house with textured blocks on the foundation.

I found out something else today that is really interesting for a number of reasons. It was not until the 1896 with the Rural Free Delivery Act that mail was widely available. This act changed the face of rural America by providing mail order to parts of the country that had relied on cross-roads store to provide all of their "store-bought" items. Sears and other mail order catalogs changed this. No longer did a rural customer have to depend on what was available in their local area, accessible only by horseback. Now they could have items shipped in via US Mail from all over the country.

At least one forum exists where people discuss issues related to kit homes.

At some point, I am going to walk around Conway and take pictures of the houses I suspect of being kit homes and see if I can id them. Maybe I should write an article... (at least for the Historical Society).


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While this is, indeed, ugly, it has other problems. Like none of the appliances work. And the area underneath the sink is rotted. And the cracks running between the walls and the ceiling? Those are because the wall is pulling away. We have to shore up the foundation.


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Dining Room

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Master BR

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This closed-in porch is supposed to be a walkin closet. Except it is not done. There is bare chip board everywhere.

Mea's Room

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The back bedroom is a mess. There is no door, the woodwork is painted dark green, the light fixture is dangling from the ceiling, there is a big patch in the corner and a hole underneath the baseboard. Oh, and that carpet? Totally hiding a dissolving particle board floor. That had to come out and be replaced.

Living Room

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House update

We are really closing on the house tomorrow. We were supposed to close on Wednesday, but the termite inspection did not get done. None of the termite companies could inspect until all the garbage was pulled out from underneath the house. The seller wanted us to take $500 and ignore the garbage and sign off on the house without knowing whether or not the house had termites! Sometimes I wonder just how stupid people think I am?

Todd is hopeful that we can get the house ready to move into by the first of August. That would be really lovely. We really need to be moved by the 14th of August, as that is when Todd reports for school. On the 21st, I have to be available for meetings, and whatever else comes up. We really need to have almost all of our stuff out of here by then. Possibly just some stuff here to prop the place and possibly not.

Anyway, by then, we need to have the floor joists fixed, the foundation repaired, the sub-floor in the laundry room replaced, and the roof joists replaced. And the inside needs to be painted and the floors refinished. No pressure, right?

Kit houses

We are wondering if the house we are buying might have been a kit home of the type sold by Sears and others. So I wasted the afternoon looking at online pictures of kit houses. Well, that and looking for my 2004 W-2 forms for the bank...

Clarke Historical Library hosts a huge online exhibit on Aladdin Homes. Aladdin, along with Sears, were two of the largest kit home manufacturers.

Several sites, including Old House Web and River Valley Home and Garden offer information on existing kit houses.

With the construction finally being finished in my bathroom, I had to paint. And paint and paint. My bathroom walls and ceiling are now painted. I still have to paint the wall in my bedroom and paint the repaired drywall in the living room.

Then I get to do it all over again when we move.

House Update

We went to the bank today to talk to the loan officer about the house. We're approved, for both loans. So we should be able to get some of the house in Conway repaired before we have to live there. The first things that have to be done are the piers corrected under the house and the floors sanded (well, after the carpet comes out). We got a book from the library that illustrates how piers were made in Arts and Crafts houses.

The roof joists need to be repaired as well. Todd and Dad think they have figured out a way to do that effectively, but it means the room that is there will have to be torn out. So Mea will not get "her" room for a while, but will have to stay in the Winnie the Pooh room.

So today...

So today we put a bid on a house in Conway. And tomorrow someone is coming to look at our house. I would LOVE for this to work out this quickly...

The house we bid on is on Oliver and needs bunches of work. We are under the impression that the work is cosmetic in nature. But there is a lot of cosmetic work. The carpet has to all be pulled up and the flooring either finished or replaced. The kitchen countertops don't match, but there are lots of cabinets. The hot water heater needs to be replaced sometime soon. The living room walls are paneled, and the adjacent dining room walls are orange. The original baseboards have been replaced in the bedrooms, but are still in the living room and dining room.

The outside needs work as well. Siding to be finished (we're never getting away from that are we?). And soffits. And places where the "older" roof does not match up perfectly with the "old" roof." But I love the brackets on the roof. And the bungalow roof line.

Our never-ending saga of house selling continues today. We have cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. Today we took pictures of the interior and the exterior of the house because the pictures the realtor took were, frankly, terrible. We took over a hundred pictures and chose the best 10. I am thinking the realtor took, say, 10 and used them all. We are taking over the new pictures on CD tomorrow and are going to insist that they change the photos.

I hate the feeling that I am always being inspected. I hate the constant urge to find things to pick up and put away. I hate this whole process. I hate trying to find a new house. Hate it, hate it, hate it.

Mea's room

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My house

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Living room

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Living room

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Weekend update

We "showed" the house for the first time on Friday. It went well, but they aren't likely to buy. On the bright side, we proved we could get the house in shape enough to let people see. On the down side, we've been playing "button, button, who's got the button" to find the stuff we shoved "somewhere." One box, bag, and crevice at a time, we have to go through our stuff and decide what we really want to keep.

Yesterday, I went to the family reunion at my aunt Rebecca's. Most of the cousins who are my age (or nearly so) were there. Anyway, I enjoy these when people my age show up. Nothing is worse than a family reunion where everyone in attendance is either 20 years older than I am or 20 years younger. Really, I only want to hear about my cousins' births so many times. (To be fair, that is not at all.)

Today, I cooked and painted. I made roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, mixed vegetables and salad. Then, I painted trim in the girls' rooms and touched up the paint in the hallway. More things to check off on my "to do" list.

Today Todd took off work so we could hit the house hard. He has some people lined up to look at it tomorrow. While I am thrilled that someone might be interested in buying our house, I am so exhausted. We have finally put the stuff on the walls that we bought to go on the walls two years ago and we painted some odds and ends that we have been putting off. I cleaned the refrigerator, and under the refrigerator, and behind the refrigerator. And then I fixed the refrigerator. It had frosted up on the INSIDE and had to defrost thoroughly. So I let it defrost until it quit dripping water. Then plugged it back in and watched the thermometer and hoped it got cold. It did.

While I realize that the ins and outs of my refrigerator drama are not utterly transfixing, I am so proud of the fact that I figured out what could be wrong with my fridge and I fixed it. Okay, so it did not really require tools or anything, but I still did it.

I need to go and fold laundry. I am too tired to do anything else...


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