Friday, October 26, 2007

Smoking stinks.

It's like we unearthed a dead corpse.

Once we finally peeled the last of the wallpaper off the dining room... it started to smell like an old ash tray. Upon closer inspection... I noticed the walls had a faint black tint to them. I think the previous owner was a smoker at one point and they just wallpapered over the smell when they quit - or more likely, one of them died of lung cancer.
So Dave and I had to get scrubby brushes and buckets of water and literally scrub the tobacco off the walls. That was by far the most disgusting thing I have done in that house. I had to get one of those dish sponges that keeps soap in the handle. The trick is lots of soap to loosen the grease. You scrub a portion of the wall until the brown suds start dripping down the wall. YUCK! Then you wipe with a clean sponge and you're left with a white streak where you cleaned it. If it does that to your walls - IMAGINE WHAT IT DOES TO YOUR VITAL ORGANS!!!!! Vomit..

Another interesting thing we found under the wallpaper - some areas where there was a doorway and they boarded it up. And it's not even drywall or plaster - it's some weird sort of white board that they nailed in.

On this next picture you can really see how bad it is. The left side is cleaned, right side is not.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Out, damn spot! OUT, I SAY!

My epic saga with the pee stain continues. It's been a full two weeks and countless applications of hydrogen peroxide - and the damn thing will not go away!! I have been taking pictures trying to track the progress. But alas I see NO improvement. I am really dreading having to replace these boards. It's only this one corner of the room, too. So we thought we could get away with cleaning it, and then we wouldn't have to stain the entire floor to cover this one spot. But it looks like I am down to 3 options.

A. Bleach it and see how light it gets - hopefully not too light.
B. Rip out those boards and find ones to match.
C. Stain the entire floor a dark color.

Here are the photos - tell me what you think. Does anyone else have a solution for stained wood? I am up for trying anything.
DAY 14

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Open says-a-me.

The new open pantry in the kitchen looks awesome! You can't even tell that there used to be a huge ugly indoor grill there. It took Dave and Charlie about 3 days to rip it out and build it. We were originally going to make it a deep pantry all the way to the top, with doors on it. But when they pulled the grill out, they found the air conditioner vent came through there - that's how it gets from the garage to the house. So that sort of altered the plans!! So as it stands we have deep shelving on the bottom, and a shallow shelf up top, and we're going to leave it open. I might put my canisters there... or maybe a clock.

I'm going to get you a mug, "Best Husband in the World."

I just want to take a minute to recognize Dave and all the amazing work he is doing on the house!! I started feeling this way when I was looking at some photos today. The house is really coming along - and Dave has done ALOT of the physical labor. Not only does he keep the grass mowed to a respectable height, he does all the heavy lifting and removes anything really smelly out to the curb - that is in between doing projects like replacing all the electrical outlets in the house, replacing toilets, building a workbench, spackling and sanding plaster walls, ripping out shower doors, pulling tacks out of the wood floor, installing a garbage disposal, and he is still running over to me whenever I yell "DAAAAVE, Can you move the ladder for me???? It's heavy and I'm done painting this wall." WHAT AN AWESOME HUSBAND!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Water-downed tailgating...

The Jags game was blacked out on Sunday - but we wouldn't let that deter our spirits! It was a beautiful day, hardly any humidity, and a 1:00 kick off - so naturally we decided "Let's have people over to listen to the game!" We invited the Chowskes... threw some burgers and dogs on the grill... It was a fantastic time. First cook out at the house with people who are not related to us!!

Everything was going great (even the Jags were winning) until I heard Dave yell "Hey - I think I found where the washing machine empties out!!" I came running outside to see Niagra Falls on the side of my house
That's right... that's the washing machine water pouring out onto the ground. Nice eh?
I guess that's something we need to address. Either that - or we need to buy 365 pairs of underwear and socks.


Pee stain aside - we discovered some beautiful hardwood floors under that carpet! Take a look for yourself what a difference it makes in the room:
Notice Dave on his hands and knees pulling carpet tacks out of the floor!
So now the next step is - what do we do with the floor? It's got virtually no damage - there are some paint drips, and of course that lovely urine spot. But other that that it's in really good condition. The poly on top has a slight impression of the carpet pad. So it probably needs to be refinished. I've looked it up and it looks like it will need what they call a "light sanding." It's just what it sounds like - sand it only once or twice. Clean it. And put a new coat of clear poly down. I don't think it needs to be stained - I like the kind of orangy color it is right now. So all we need to do is muster up enough energy to rent the sander and get our butts in gear.
OR we've been throwing around the idea of calling in "Mr. Sandless." It's a company that will come refinish your floors without sanding - no mess - and they are done in 4 hours (versus the 6 days it takes for the old fashioned way.) That would probably run us about 500 dollars... compared to the 50 bucks it costs to rent a sander.
One other interesting thing I should mention...when we pulled up the berber we discovered this: What is it, you ask? It's where a fireplace used to be!!!!!!! Why in the world did they board that up?? So I guess behind that wall there are a few more bricks and a big hole. Can't really tell from that wall can you?
I guess that's where the couch will go!

Friday, October 12, 2007


I guess the paint fumes have finally gotten to us. We have just been soo... SILLY lately. It's got to be from days of painting and not opening the windows.
Anyway I am pretty pleased with the results. Here are the colors so far:

Xtra Bedroom 1: Lion
Xtra Bedroom 2: Sandstone
Kitchen: River Rock
Living room: Light French Gray

And I'm thinking of Martini Olive for the Dining Room.
Can you tell I'm a sucker for a good color name?
(It's the one in the lower right corner)

2 Month Update

I just realized it's been 2 months since we bought Ardsley! I can't believe how it's flying by. It doesn't seem like we are moving as fast as we did in the first month. I guess that's because we are now onto alot of cosmetic things and they take more time.
Anyway here's an update on what we did in September...

Finished both of the extra bedrooms - from paint, to new blinds, to even setting up furniture.
Painted the living room. 1 coat only - I need to do a 2nd coat..
Painted over the hideous wallpaper in the kitchen.
Pulled up 2 layers of old linoleum in the kitchen - put down new peel and stick vinyl tile.
New drawer and cabinet pulls in the kitchen.
Re caulked the tubs and showers.
Stripped 2 of the 4 walls in the bedroom.
Pullled up the carpet in the dining room.
And Dave started cleaning out the garage so he can build his work bench. We ripped down that wierd makeshift cabinet in the back of the garage - and found a ton of wierd stuff. Including a huge sign that read "Dr. Carl Hackel"

Wood, Jerry....... wood!

We had every intention of keeping that berber carpet. We even spent the money to have it steam cleaned. But after 2 months it was back to looking like a dirt road. So one day while I was at work I got the phone call:
"Honey, I ripped up the carpet in the dining room."
"What does it look like underneath?" I tentatively asked Dave.
"Actually - beautiful hardwood floors!" Dave said proudly.
"Good! because I was afraid -"
"- Except for one thing." He said.

Please see Exibit A:

A giant pee stain in the corner. Apparently someone couldn't make it 5 feet down the hall to the bathroom.

And yes it has got to be urine because it STINKS.
Well it's only that one spot. So I figured there's got to be a way to clean it. I researched online and found that you can wipe Hydrogen Peroxide on it and it will bleach it slowly. So I tried that for 2 days, and it barely lightened. So then I decided, let's just dump it on there and see what happens. I mean it's already ruined right? So I poured a big puddle over the spot.
It worked a little too well. Now I have a huge white puddle over a big black spot. I guess you have to help it soak in evenly.
Kara had a good suggestion. Why don't we just leave the stain - and that will be the naughty corner. "That's it - URINE trouble mister! Go over to the smelly corner and think about what you've done!!" "PLEASE NO Mom no!!!"

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Rain rain go away...

It's like we're in some kind of wallpaper purgatory. We've got half the house stripped off... the other still on the wall... some painted over... some not... and for the past 2 days we've been trying to get to the house to finish stripping it, and we can't even get there - it's been raining so hard in Jacksonville our streets are flooded!! Some schools even cancelled classes because parking lots were underwater. Crazy!
Anyway, so this is the stage we are in. And it stinks.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COME HELP STRIP WALLPAPER THIS SUNDAY (insert laugh here) I WILL PAY YOU WITH BEER AND PIZZA. Or our first born child. Whichever you prefer.

Before and after photos...Enjoy!

The back bedroom...

The front bedroom...

The kitchen...