Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow


Archive for the ‘guest blogger’ Category

Meet Our New Old House’s Newest Caretaker


I am happy to welcome K.O. Myers to the illustrious crew of people who love, care for, and swear at Our New Old House.

K.O. is a recent transplant to Des Moines, having arrived via Philadelphia and points east. His appreciation for Des Moines and the people he’s met here have inspired him to put down some Midwestern roots, and 1622 York St. is just the place to do that.

A judicial policy analyst by day, by night K.O. produces and edits podcasts for Suburban Panic Media, where he also has a blog.

With no more than a basic background in DIY home maintenance, K.O. stepped up with bold enthusiasm to learn new skills in historic window repair and wood floor refinishing. With his help, Our New Old House has never looked better.

You’ll be seeing more of him as we wrap up the story of the windows, the floors, and a few other things.

Guest blogger: Brandon… “Mouse!”

The other night I wanted to rinse out some cups. about 2-3 seconds after turning on the water a small mouse (we’ve known we’ve had for about a week) sprung up out of the garbage disposal sink drain. He was very small (young, but adolescent), very frightened, and obviously wet. He scurried across the counter to a corner and tried to hide behind a jar.

We had been leaving our cupboards open in the hope that the cats would catch it this past week, but not only had they failed, when we tried to show them the mouse they were too afraid of being on the counter and immediately jumped down. (We’ve apparently trained them too well about staying off the kitchen counter).

By this point I’d gotten a better look at the mouse and felt bad about the idea of one of my cats getting it anyway. So with Kelli’s help we slowly cleared away various objects from the counter and I picked up a small plastic container to try and catch it. After we’d moved nearly everything out of the way, it made a dash out from behind the jar and I had it trapped momentarily with the side of the plastic container. However, it broke free and scurried to the other side of the counter behind the microwave.

So we started clearing everything away from that side of the counter. Then turned the microwave away from the wall a little and it dashed underneath and around to the sink again, but at this point fell into the sink basin and I was able to get the container over it.

Finally I slid the lid under and had it trapped and I took it far out to the shed in our back yard to let it loose.



The whole ordeal was probably 20+ minutes, and I was exasperated by the end of it.

So yeah… my cats apparently have about as much interest in mousing as Garfield. But it was oddly still kind of an enjoyable experience. …now to wash everything. 😛

Guest Blogger: Gianfranco Berardi

Today I’m handing over the posting to my dear friend, Gianfranco. “Franco” as we (I) like to call him writes his own blog, GBGames’ Blog: An Indie Game Developer’s Somewhat Interesting Thoughts. After he and Colleen visited a couple weeks back he wrote up a great account of their trip. It’s been a couple weeks since I posted about the visit, so here’s a link to mine as well. Take it away, Franco!


Wow, I’ve never written a guest blog post before! I can get used to this!

/me sips his martini and relaxes into his recliner.

Kelli had told me about a number of the tasks she was hoping to accomplish with her house, and when she mentioned the need to break about the front stairs with a sledge hammer, how could I not offer my services? Besides visiting my friends, I could destroy a house!

Colleen and I traveled on Friday night, at one point stopping at a gas station near an interesting sign.

Thuersday is before Caturday

When we arrived at the house, it was a little after midnight, but we still ended up talking for a bit. There was a futon setup for us, and Scratch even let us know he inspected it to make sure we’d be well rested for the morning.

What? It's Caturday!

I had to meet the mantis myself, and I was sorry to hear of its recent passing.

The Mantis

Kelli informed us that some cleaning product claims are bunk. After seeing all the work she had done, I am inclined to believe she knows what she’s talking about.

Cleaning Product Displeasure

We got a late start on Saturday, so we had a late breakfast before starting our work. Actually, we took a break after eating all that food first. It was a long break. Scratch helped.

Cat lap nap

Brandon was tasked with destroying part of the kitchen to make room for a dishwasher. I removed staples from the ceiling. Colleen worked on scraping paint off of the wall in the front bedroom, and Kelli scraped stuff off of the floor. I kept feeling like something was missing when I realized we didn’t have any house work music playing! Kelli fixed that problem quickly enough, and we were jamming.

Time to dance!

Some of the staples were tricky and didn’t want to leave the ceiling, but I showed them! I also found a spider and decided that its name should be Wally. I should have taken a picture of Wally, but instead I took a picture out the kitchen window into the backyard.

View out the back window

After Brandon removed the greased-up lampshade from the ceiling in the kitchen, I cut the wire that was left. It won’t be bothering anyone for a long time.

It's gone, for now

After a bit of work, we had a mostly staple-free ceiling, a hole where a cabinet used to be, and cleaner walls and floors. We went out for dinner and watched a DVD as a reward. Colleen went to sleep while Kelli, Brandon, and I walked around the town a bit. Kelli pointed out a number of the other houses in the area that either had been recently fixed-up or will be.

It rained the next day. I learned that there are plants growing in the gutters, which I think would be cool but then I don’t own a house with plants in the guttrs during a rainstorm. They’ll have to go soon, I’m sure.


The basement also had a bit of water. Kelli said that she’ll have to do something to stop the water from getting in under the foundation from the backyard.

Colleen and I had to leave for Chicago relatively early on Sunday. I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t do too much more than pull staples out of a ceiling. The front stairs will have to wait until the spring to be destroyed. I’ll be ready for them. Still, it was great to visit with Kelli and Brandon and see their new old house up close.

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