Posts Tagged ‘home ownership’

Frink the frug

No, we’re not Frink. I don’t think we’ll be ever be done. Frink, you may never know a home without projects. You’re a renovation pup. There was a time you enjoyed rolling in torn up carpet foam and tracking through wet paint. Even those exotic textures and smells  bore you now? Sorry, Frink, how do you think I feel?

Tudorks 1 year update: Well, we aren’t divorced yet. That’s good. Everyone says that when you take on a project this huge that a divorce is certain. No, I completely disagree. If anything, it has made our marriage stronger. We have accomplished so much, still working on 1 year before and after pics. We’ve defuzzed, defurred, decarpeted, defunked 2500 square feet of living space. We’ve painted every single room. We’ve waxed every single floor. We’ve put down a new kitchen floor. We’ve electrical and plumbing down. And much, much more. I’ve blanked out half of the nasty projects from my memory. So, what’s left? Here’s the short list as to not bore you, Frink.

  1. Finish upstairs bathroom. Please don’t laugh at us. Wasn’t this supposed to be done months ago? Need to touch up paint, clean up floor, maybe get tub glazed. This should be finished in a weekend.
  2. Finish downstairs powder room. Put up ceiling tiles, rip up old floor and put down new. Maybe get “new” fixtures, meaning something more authentic to the era of the home. Oh, and get them working. A month of weekends?
  3. Random paint touch-ups. We painted every room and then messed it all up in the renovating process. A room could be done nightly.
  4. Repair front porch. Concrete is cracking, chipping. It’s a big mess and we are so intimidated by concrete projects. Pay somebody.
  5. Finish cleaning door hardware and hang up remaining doors. Maybe a weekend?
  6. Fireplace mantel. I will be so happy when that is done. I’m so picky that this may never get finished.
  7. Oh, and all the new things that have to be done: replace windows, roof, make us completely and totally broke. Ughh, do I have to think about this? Welcome to the wonderful world of home ownership. Frink, can’t you get a job posing on a greeting card or something so we can replace a few windows or something? All you do is lay around, complaining, staying in your kennel all day.

So, yeah, these are the main things left. It’s doable considering how much we got done in 1 year on our own, but frankly I’m sick of renovating. I know this feeling is very normal when talking to other people and visiting home forums.  All of you home builders, home restorers, home renovators- how long did your project take? Are you finished? Am I sweating the small stuff? I expect repairs throughout ownership, but how long did it take you finish your “must do now” list? How did you live through it? 🙂



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DIY Picture Frame Shelf

shelf from Country Living

Here’s a really cool DIY shelf from Country Living. Since I found the picture, I’ve found it on many other sites too. I’m trying to find an easy way to incorporate storage in our super small 1930’s bathroom. I like this idea.  I always find fancy picture frames at thrift and antique stores. I don’t buy them because they don’t have glass and because I have to stop hoarding picture frames. (I never use frames). I also can control the depth of the shelf. This is the issue in our small bathroom. Pre-made shelving and storage is too deep. So, now I’m on the hunt for a nice picture frame. Like always, once you are looking for it, you can’t find it. Here’s the tutorial for the shelf on Country Living’s website.

I’ve been super busy trying to finish some of the loose ends around the house. The weather has been oddly cool, rainy, and fall like. This makes me feel like I’m missing out on summer but it makes me keep busy in the house.  Saturday was our 6 year wedding anniversary and our 1 year home ownership anniversary.  So, I’m trying to make up for lost time.


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Our garage door

This is our beautiful new garage door. It’s solid wood with a flawless finish. It makes the rest of our exterior look cheap and awful. The goal is to get the exterior to look like it is as classy and jazzy as the garage door.

David and I were given free home show tickets by the local nursery that we buy from. We didn’t know what to expect at such an event. We went because it was an unusually cool spring day in the PNW.  The show was OK, I guess. It seemed to be more for new constructions. Most of the vendors were too “contemporary” for our tastes and for our house. It was nice to see what other people are doing with their homes. There is lots of new stuff out on the market. We stumbled across this floor model garage door for a steal. We had just contacted our contractor a few days prior about a garage door. We called him up, luckily he didn’t order the hideous one from Home Depot yet. We ended up getting this one for under 1k (1k cheaper than retail since it is being “discontinued”).It really looks original to the home and resembles the original carriage doors on the homes in the neighborhood. I just have to upkeep it yearly by applying a sealant. No fun, but so is home ownership.

Why have I not added lovely carriage door hardware? Too tight of a squeeze. 😦


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2009 was a pretty busy year for the two of us. We both started working our “professional” jobs and spent time adjusting to not being in the university setting. We made a big move and were still settling and trying to look like “native” Pacific Northwesterners. We had a dramatic home buying experience that lasted half of the year. We bought a rehab home and have been working countless hours on it to make it a pleasant living space. We got Frink the Frug. It was a good year even though it didn’t lack stress. I shouldn’t complain. We’ve been in good health. Our families have been in good health and we’re happy.I haven’t been able to say that every year.

I hope for 2010 that we will finish up this home project. (We have only been working on it for 4 months and I have to remind myself that). I hope to start working on the exterior of the home and finally get a night blooming moon garden started. I hope that this project will feel worth it. I just hope for a somewhat stable year. It’s been a very eventful decade and I just wonder how it would feel to not have something major going on. Does it feel boring?

I also hope that everybody has a prosperous 2010. Make it is eventful or uneventful as you please.


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Frink the frug

Frink the frug

OK, so we are so freaking crazy. I guess we’ve been inhaling a bit too many toxic chemicals during this renovation and killed too many brain cells. We’ve added a new family member to the family. Let me introduce Frink the frug. Frink is a dumb looking puppy. His mother is a pug and his father is snazzy looking brindle French bulldog. We know we didn’t need to add any more stress to our lives, but Frink is so frugly that he is cute. We’ve been wanting, well, I have been wanting a French bulldog forever. (See my previous buttermilk baby posts.) Frink just happened to happen. I wouldn’t call myself a dog lover. I am very breed specific. I only like French bulldogs and pugs. Frink is a great compromise and quite an original. He has the coloring of a Frenchie and the pig tail of a pug. He has a “win me over” personality that I can’t resist. He’ll be a great older brother and hopefully positive role model for a buttermilk Frenchie sometime in the future.

Frink is very sweet, a bit dumb, but he is only 10 weeks old. I was shitting my britches and screaming at that age as well. Frink is great because he doesn’t judge. He doesn’t care if he is being raised in the chaos of a renovation. In fact, he loves to snack on lead paint chips, just kidding but I bet he would if he could. He doesn’t care if we appear stressed out about exterior paint colors. He just loves us. We’ve had him for 5 days and he is spoiled rotten. He’s a good friend and really well behaved for an infant. We’ve learned so much. We are becoming quite the behaviorist. We needed a distraction from the chaos of our renovation. It also feels very good. It makes us feel like a homeowner. No pet deposits, no asking for approval. Frink has really brought the home ownership, dare I say, home. We love our Frink and he gives us the motivation to finish this huge project 🙂


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To make a long and boring story short, my French bulldog biological clock has been ticking for over 10 years now. I’ve wanted one of these smushed faced creatures for quite sometime. In fact, in my mind he already exists. His name is Stuckey and he is a buttermilk baby. I have already projected all of my personality quirks onto him like great pet owners do. He gets grumpy if you wake him up early, he has a fuzzy food phobia, he hates tennis bracelets, has a little hat collection and often finds himself anxious in social situations. This is Stuckey. He will also make me 50k a year modeling for greeting cards. I’m happy that he is so photogenic.

I always thought I did not have this buttermilk blessing because we were not homeowner’s. Pet deposits are a crock. We were in college and were broke. Face it. These aren’t cheap dogs. We’re over planners and couldn’t justify not getting our little Stuckey into the most prestigious of doggy daycares…

We joke that Obama Claus is getting us a little Stuckey baby since we are 1st time homeowner’s (8k, haha). This really isn’t true. We are getting a little Stuckey because we have our own home and life is a bit more stable and we don’t have to pay some slumlord a 1k pet deposit. However, I’m getting cold feet.

Just look at the pic above! Stuckey will love to sink his puppy teeth into the soft leather of Frye boots! He will love to puke on vintage silk blouses. I just know it. He will love to destroy the hardwood floors and trim that we have just repaired. Will I ever forgive him? Will I want to walk him in the PNW rain and slush? Will he be nice to the other pups in the neighborhood or will I be the mother of a bully, antisocial Frenchie with a pit bull complex? Do I want buttermilk dander on all of my gothic black wardrobe? These are the fears of somebody that has been petless for so long and has never had a dog in the house.

I told David that I want a Halloween Stuckey. I think we have too much to worry about with this renovation and all. Now even I am thinking a Halloween Stuckey is too soon. However, I feel I need one. I am an adult now. I mean I do own a home. Isn’t it only natural that the next step be to clean the facial wrinkles of a little grumpy French bulldog dressed up in a top hat and dandy cape?


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So our loan got all the way to closing this week- we signed documents and so did the seller.  It briefly zombified, and I beat it back into it’s grave by supplying even more documentation on our contractors.  Later on, get this, my mortgage brokers had the nerve to complain about the fact that I didn’t have anything good to say about them when I talked to a friend’s secretary.  Never do business in a small town.

The exchange this week went like this:

Lender: You forgot to sign this form that says you’ve physically inspected the entire house and found everything in good working order.

Buyer: No, we refused to sign that.  Have you noticed that some work needed done on the house?

Lender: No one has ever refused to sign this, but the brokers did complain to us that you were “eccentric.”  (true story)

Lender: We need forms XYZ filled out on the plumbing subcontractor, and we need a lock of the plumber’s hair.  After you have done that, smear blood above your front door or we’ll take your first born child.

FHA Consultant: You don’t need those forms.

Lender: Yeah, you’re right.  Why don’t you write us a nice letter about how you’re contractor will take responsibility for the plumber.

Contractor: That’s what a contractor does.  Remember the stacks of insurance papers I sent you?

Lender: Oh, Alright.  Now have the buyer sign this photocopied page from an FHA pamphlet on how the 203K works.  There are no blanks- just sign anywhere.  (seriously they did this)

So at this stage I asked the escrow company to ram it through the county before the lender changes their mind.  Which they were going to do. Then the entire city lost power- just in time.

A couple hours later they got it back, and then they got it done.  So I went over to my new house.

And… I found the old owner living in it.  And his stuff is everywhere- calendars on the walls, food in the fridge, TV plugged up, sheets hung up to satisfy his rodent-like urge to hide, this guy is moved in.  After cleaning the house to satisfy the cleanup addendum, he then moved his clutter back into the house. We allowed him to stay the night tonight because the check to him hasn’t cleared.  There’s a full dumpster out front of the house which he claims will be picked up (yeah right, that’ll be my bill).  It’ll be followed by a 30 yard dumpster which will be filled with, we estimate, about 5 tons.  Can’t wait!

Tomorrow at 10AM I get to chase him out of the house and begin moving his garbage onto, I guess, the front lawn.


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