Thursday, May 8, 2008


I closed on my house a year ago today.

Time flies...

The contractor I decided on a few weeks back wanted to get in the house today to take some measurements to finalize his bid. But I was at work. Maybe I can meet with him tomorrow.

Still, it's exciting that he's serious about working on it, and I like him. Here's to hoping our numbers will match.

I'm optimistic about it all. Even though it's a year later, maybe the real work of putting it all back together will start soon.

I'm excited.

Has it really been a year?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May, already?

I went over to my house today after work for a few reasons, to check on things in general, to speculate about whether or not a tree should be taken down, and to check on the bamboo growing back... I also have a terrible case of Spring Fever and have really been wanting to do some yard work. I settled for buying a silly little wind catcher for 77 cents and hanging it on the front porch, because it catches the light and makes me smile. I drive by my house at least twice a day, two and from work and wanted to see a little *something* there.

Also because I briefly entertained the idea of potting some plants for the front porch until I remembered that the water has been turned off due to the leak (burst pipes) in January. At least the wind catcher will make me smile. Can you spot it?

See how the branch from the tree in question has already grown back down and over the front of the house? That's one reason I was contemplating removing the tree. Maybe it just needs a trim.

You can still SEE the house (this view is from across the street), but you can see what I mean about those low branches crowding the view. But also, see the power lines? I wonder if my utility company would like to remove the tree free to me?

It's actually two trees, growing a foot or so apart, close together. One looks like a bushy stick, and the other has half a canopy up top, due to trimming by the utility company over the years, I'm sure.

Oh. The tree(s) really wouldn't have good cause to be removed by the power company. Maybe just the bushy stick of a tree could be taken down? And then the other tree could branch out a little? It'd still be one sided because of the power lines... I don't like how it appears to be leaning towards my house, though. It does provide a shady front yard... Hmm...

Much thought. So I ventured inside at this point to find a surprise:

This window (nor any window in the house) is really secure. But it appears someone tried to get in or got in or something. I don't think the wind did this. And the glass isn't broken. It just kind of was pushed to the side, with one of the counter-weighted ropes undone. And one side of the makeshift (and inherited with the house) curtain has 'fallen'.

A picture with flash. Nothing broken. Nothing missing. There are tools scattered throughout the house. Nothing out of place. Maybe some kids? Maybe a nosy neighbor? Maybe wind? I maneuvered it back into place and tacked the curtain back up. Good as old. I don't want it raining in the house, and as far as I could tell, it hadn't.

But what's this on the other side of the house? It looks like maybe someone tried to get in here, too. I guess if they did, they found out that there is a stack of wood piled high on the other side. No entry gained here. Or has this side been like this? I honestly don't know.

Maybe the window thing should worry me more than it does. I kind of just fixed it back to looking like it was secure and shrugged it off since nothing was missing. Odd, yes.

But onto the real concern. The bamboo.

It doesn't look too bad. It's sprouting back up, and is almost chest high to me, but it doesn't look very happy or healthy. It's quite... brown. And sparse. But definitely coming back. I knew it would, I just didn't know how fast. But it's still small enough to cut by hand. No chainsaws needed this time. Pay no attention to the random plate or sauce packets from Taco Bell. I have no idea how they got there. Maybe the trespassers had take out?

Here's another view. I'll have to cut this back soon. When I cut it back the first time, I cut it to within an inch or so of the ground. My Aunt and Uncle recommended some sort of chemical to spray on it, but I remember that the bamboo needed to have foliage for it to work well, if it works at all. Oh, and I forgot the name of the chemical... Hey Aunt A, if you read this, drop me a line and remind me of name of the stuff again. And out there in the internet world, if you have suggestions, let me know that, too.

Here's that whole side of the house that had to be cut back for insurance reasons. Not too bad, definitely can be tackled easily again. But how do I get RID of it?

I walked along the side of the house to peek into the back yard. This is my view from the corner. See the white blurred edge? That's the end of the house, the 'secret' back porch.

And the next image is pivoting a little and turning towards the back of the house. Anyone want an old, reclaimed-by-nature oven? It's truly organic.

And and attempt look straight back, down the deep, narrow back yard. Sigh. This might be a temporary cure for anyone's Spring Fever.

I still am terribly fond of this house, craptastic back yard and all. When I walked through it today, I could completely see the house as it will be when done. I felt the flow of the rooms and could almost smell the paint. That's truly a gift when dealing with a renovation and seeing the rooms in such dire shape--- being able to imagine and visualize what it will be.

And of course, I shall end this blog post with hopes that work will begin on it soon. My contractor (the new one) is on my radar, and he's getting closer to starting, hopefully.

Fun news on the financial front, I'll have owned the house for ONE YEAR next week. Which means my original construction loan has matured. Which means I get to pay the interest on it and renew it for another year. Fun times.

But it will all happen in good time. I'm excited about my house again and have found a renewed sense of patience and faith. With Spring comes life and birth, and soon this house will be born again.