What is a true eclectic to do when her passions lead her in different directions?
This is a blog for the unfocused, the round pegs in the square holes, the short-attention span types, and all those who just can't bring themselves to join the ranks and adhere to a single category of activities or interests...whether sketches, drawings and comics, fixing an old farmhouse in Oregon, or whatever else strikes my fancy.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Cleaned out the shed, etc. (03-29-10)

I am amazed by everything Gary and I did today.

While Gary took down all the ratty shelves inside the shed, found a rats' nest and killed a bunch of ants, Julia and I carried dozens of 2 x 4s and put them in the trailer. After that, we took a load of lumber to the recycling yard, then went to the dump.

Later, we picked up a huge red bookcase for the living room and, best of all, we met with the tax accountant.

And I forgot to mention that all this was done in POURING RAIN, and I also met with two tree guys for estimates...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pretty Mosaic Glass Windows (03-28-10)

I went by Portico to pick up the windows that were on hold. They are absolutely beautiful, especially the one with flowers. I placed it over the front dining room window. The one with a sort-of metaphysical hand design on it will be in my closet.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pretty Mosaic Glass Windows (03-27-10)

I went by Portico and saw some gorgeous mosaic glass windows on display and ask for three of them to be placed on hold. I need to think about this, because it’s a lot of money.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chosing paint colors (03-26-10)

My day was spent opening the last boxes of kitchen stuff.

The color for the upstairs bathroom paint has been chosen (big, big step, since it takes me a long time to make up my mind). It's funny, but it basically is the same color of light teal green as we had in the staircase at the other house.

Monday, March 22, 2010

First Project: Tear Down of the Lean-to (03-22-10)

This is the first project we've undertaken: to repair the shed, the crumbling lean-to must first be removed...
Gary and Valérie at work

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cleanup (03-20-10)

One roll of towel paper, a big bottle of Scrub Free with Bleach, and a LOT of elbow grease to EXORCISE the upstairs bathroom of the very gross and filthy messes. It's amazing the grime that fluffy pictures and homey plaques can cover up...

The House in the 1980s (ca. 03-10)

When we moved in the house, we found an envelope the previous owner had left to our attention on the kitchen counter. Inside, some papers pertaining to the history of the Rupert house (the original owners), but also this photo of the house and the property in the 1980s. The rear part of the property has been sold off, including the small structure with a tree in front (demolished to build a house). We still have the large structure with a lean-to behind the house. The oak tree in front of the house is still there, as are the other trees in the photo.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Vintage Photo (03-19-10)

Here is a photo of the house ca. 1902 with the Joseph and Sarah Rupert family who were its first owners. The front porch, door and windows in the photo have been replaced by the fireplace chimney and side colonial-style windows. The diamond window is still where it was. The front entry of the house is now on the right side of the view in the photo. 

Wallpaper removal (ca. 03-10)

Flowery, over-the-top wallpaper in upstairs bathroom: GONE; frilly/foofy wallpaper in Gary's office-to-be: GONE (Many thanks to Valérie, Meghan and Julia).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Boxes (03-18-10)

We're surrounded by boxes all over...There aren't enough closets in this house! Aside from the small bedroom closets, there is one closet under the staircase, and one in the family room.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Doodle Study in Black and White (03-11-10)

An interesting exercise to get into my Creative Zone...

Moving in and working out (03-10-10)

The house is already full, but I'm moving more boxes over today.

Every time I walk by the fireplace in the living room, and see the hearth filled with a foot of the finest light powdery ashes, it makes me think of the box of ashes we found in the laundry room a few days ago. I now regret returning it; I think the yard would have been a great place to disperse them.

I decided to clean out the hearth. I swept the ashes up carefully and filled two paper grocery bags. I set aside a few small things that haven't burned all the way: part of the header to a legal document, a torn piece of photograph, a negative...

In the middle front of the fireplace, there is a spot of hardened glue. The previous owner ripped out a plaque that used to be glued there, one of her "Home Sweet Home" or "My Heart Belongs Here" like she had everywhere in the house.

Mysteries and unanswered questions abound. Why so many ashes? Why not dispose of one's private papers by shredding them the old-fashioned way? Why rip out a stupid plaque and leave the fireplace damaged? This is too weird.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cleaning Out the Shed (03-09-10)

I thought that a good cleanup of the shed would make a world of difference. But a closer look reveals that all the shelving and ramshackle built-ins will have to go.

Junk! Out!
Add caption

Moving in and bugging out (03-09-10)

I take a truckload of garden plants and miscellaneous things over to the house with Julia. We take the black and white cat with us. He does not look very happy; he promptly finds a hiding place behind the furnace and refuses to come out. I leave the cat to his own devices to take Julia to school.

I then rush back to the house to meet the pest control guy. This guy whose pickup truck is embellished with violent cartoons suggesting mob-like dedication to the task, is all smiles. I tell him about hearing that there were big spiders around, and I think we may have carpenter ants in the shed... No worries. He's gonna take a look and tell me all about the problems. He does in fact spend a good amount of time in the crawlspaces under the house and under the shed. When he emerges, there is a look of concern on his face. There are bad news, indeed: the insulation is installed upside down and rats are nesting in it; there may be wood boring beetle damage; there is carpenter ant damage in the shed; and, not to frighten me in any way, there is an "amazing" amount of spider eggs under the house…and they will soon hatch, by the thousands. The cost for treatment may seem high, but bugs get throughout a house by crawling up the walls and wherever there is an opening, -such as a heat register-, there is a way for them to get in. All said with a greasy smile and assurances, his company's services are guaranteed to the tee. There will be spraying, dousing, drilling holes and fumi-gating. Total eradication, no more, no less.
I am not sure I can trust this guy.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Moving in and sweeping out (03-08-10)

Gary rents a bigger truck and we load it up. He decides to take the black and white cat with him for the trip. A couple of people from church come by to help along. Things get taken out of the rental house that shouldn't, such as food and pots and pans...

When Gary gets to the house, immediately runs upstairs to hide in the room that will become my closet and stays there the entire time.

I start cleaning the shed out. I see a what appears to be a large sinister spider by one of the windows and keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't pounce on me unexpectedly.

Sweeping takes me a couple of hours. There is so much crap in the shed, all I can do is dump everything out the door: old rusty tools, boxes of nails, floor tiles, pieces of lumber. A dumpy looking dresser with drawers has been nailed to the walls and is attached to a hollow core door supported by wobbly feet, meant to be used as a makeshift workshop space. I start removing the drawers and notice a very sizable amount of sawdust. I suspect there may be carpenter ants in there...

There are so many boxes, they get taken in anywhere in the house, willy-nilly. I never realized we had so much stuff... I am overwhelmed by how much we need to get rid of.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Moving in and cleaning out (03-07-10)

I take a carload of stuff over to the house by myself. I decide to get organized and to clean this grimy house from top to bottom before the bulk of our things get moved in. I decide to focus on the floors in the laundry room, but before even getting started, I get distracted by the hallucinatory checkerboard pattern in the laundry room closet and start ripping it out.
The seller's agent shows up at the door to pick up the seller's mother's ashes. She hands me the check for the seller's one day of rent and congratulates me for "making a great deal." I want to laugh at her; I only foresee problems ahead.

We make another trip with my car and Gary's truck in the evening. Gary gets there before I do ans tells me he saw the greenhouse taken away in one piece on a truck; all the garden pots are gone.

I bought a beautiful fragrant Daphne yesterday to plant at the new house; I am still on the lookout for a self-pollinating semi-dwarf cherry tree :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

"Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore"...Or Does She?.. (03-06-10)

Now that we're in our new home, Gary and I go about checking things out in the empty house, opening doors and drawers. The main part of the house is dusty, filthy even. The seller took the carpet runners off the stairs; something was ripped from the front of the fireplace mantel, leaving it damaged.

While I rummage around the part of the house (the family room) that had previously been used as a rental space, Gary calls me, his voice urgent. Her points to a shelf in the laundry room cupboard, where, next to a box of Miracle Grow, there is a white cardboard box. He tells me to read the printed label on top, bearing the name of a local crematorium. I open it to look inside. There is an open plastic bag filled with ashes. Looking at the label again, I realize that the seller has left her mother's ashes behind. In a cheap cardboard box. On a shelf. In the laundry room. Next to a box of fertilizer.
We call our agent, who laughs at the news of our discovery. The call he makes to the seller's agent gets an unusual response: put the ashes out in the yard and the handyman will pick them up tomorrow along with the garden stuff!

I am in shock. This is creeping me out. My heart sinks. Did we make a mistake? The accumulation of every aggravation we've experienced with the purchase of this house (which I haven't written about) is too much to bear. Gary says we'll make it work and stick it out for a couple of years and see how we feel about it then.

She's finally leaving! (03-06-10)

George, our agent calls to say that we may get the house after 5 PM (Yessss!!!) I don't know how he managed to pull this off, but the seller is finally moving out!

In the late afternoon, we load Gary's truck and take a load of stuff to our new house. George is waiting for us at the house; he gives us a bunch of keys, way more than we'd ever expect to need for this house. before leaving, George gives us a present: small figurines of a duck a bunny (totally like George to tease us like that)...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Delays...again! (03-05-10)

Guess what? We ARE the owners of record, but we don't have the keys AND the owner is not moving out!

We're supposed to get the keys and possession of the house at 5 PM. Her agent doesn't answer our agent's calls or messages.

She didn't want to move out by the date of closing and she has apparently decided to take her time as she pleases.

I am furious; Gary looks beat and sick.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

We're Homeowners! (03-04-10)

I was teaching my adult art class in Hillsboro today when I got a phone call from the escrow agent letting me know that the transaction had been recorded. I felt mixed feelings at the news. The house is now ours. Yipeee. I am a bit apprehensive; the last few months have been extremely frustrating.

Gary is getting sick.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Almost there! (03-03-10)


But we're not done yet. Now, we're negotiating the date when the seller will finally move out... And, would you believe? We managed to get her to agree to not rent back beyond March 5th!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010