Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow


Posts Tagged ‘15’

There can’t really be more wallpaper… can there?

Oh yes, my friends, there is more wallpaper. In fact, I probably haven’t gotten through half the wallpaper in this house yet.

(Consider this fair warning: I am cranky at the time of writing this. I worked overtime at my day job yesterday. Then I battled my way in to work this morning through an ice storm so I could work some more overtime. Meanwhile my darling husband’s day job called him this morning and told him not to bother coming in, they were closing on account of the weather. What makes getting out of bed on a cold, crappy, icy day even harder? Leaving behind a warm and snuggly somebody who gets to sleep eight more hours than you do. So, I’m cranky. Try not to hold it against me. Or, you know what? Hold it against me. I kind of feel like picking a fight right now anyway. But I digress…)

This weekend I scraped the last bit of painted wallpaper in the front bedroom, which left me with walls full of brown paper residue. Here’s the progress midway through scraping all that residue off:


I got bored of that room so I went on to the bathroom, which had sad looking strips of peeling wallpaper everywhere. I pulled it all down and made a pile in the hallway:


When I was done pulling, the walls looked like this:


Here’s why having wallpaper in the bathroom (anything more than a border or a trim) is a bad idea. See those water spots over the window and over the woodwork behind the shower? There was mold growing on that paper. The mold was hidden behind a layer of “bathroom ready” wallpaper. Wallpaper in the bathroom? Just don’t do it.



Now the joyful work of removing at least three more layers of wallpaper can begin! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip… oh f*** it.

While I was in the bathroom with a stepladder I took a picture that tells another cautionary tale. Well, two cautionary tales. I want you to look at the picture, see if you can guess what it is, and then don’t bother to tell me your guesses because frankly, I don’t care. Ok, you ready? Go.


The previous owners of my house smoked. A lot. Everywhere. Including the bathroom. An interesting fact about the bathroom in my house is that it has never had a shower. Just a clawfoot bathtub. Brandon and I installed a shower and have been happily cleaning ourselves in it ever since. But one day I looked up at the ceiling over our shower and found these puzzling spots. Turns out the tobacco residue on the ceiling paint has been loosened by the steam of the shower and is now congealing in little blobs over the source of the steam: the shower. So, the moral of the story, kids, is DON’T FREAKING SMOKE A PACK OF CIGARETTES WHILE YOU’RE ON THE JOHN!!! Or if you do, then just never install a shower. Either way.

Cranky Kelli, over and out.

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.

More like a home

Well, Brandon’s out of town for two weeks and I feel like I’m coming down with something, so I’m afraid the updates may be few and far between for a little while.  But here’s what I’ve got from the past week or so:

 The bathroom lights are finished and they look and work great!  The one in the ceiling has a ventilation fan.


My Grandma gave me a couple pieces of furniture to get us started. The bed is nice and comfy and the vanity is an antique that belonged to my great grandmother who came from Mexico.


Once our bedroom was nice and comfortable, I caught Brandon taking a snooze on the bed.


This is always going to be a problem: Brandon’s too long for the bed.


But he’s just right for me.


We stayed in our new old house on Saturday night. I took Brandon to the airport on Sunday morning, and I slept at the house by myself last night. It’s nice and comfortable with the windows cracked open to let the breeze in. The cats love it too. Oh yeah! I haven’t posted about the cats moving in! That’s coming next. 🙂 Stay tuned!