Okay, I'll admit it. Renovating a house built in 1892 is trying to whip my butt. It's testing my last bit of patience. It's trying to stomp directly on my very last nerve and grind it into the dirt. Not because there have been any crazy surprises we weren't expecting (and for that I am thankful), but because it's taking so long! You know those renovation shows on TV where they seem to turn a house around in -- well, one hour flat, and show very little of the waiting process? Not reality. They almost every show find some horrible surprise lying under the floor or behind the walls which in reality takes TIME to eradicate. Fortunately, we can't always relate to that because that rarely happens with us. Not because we are genius but because we can't afford surprises! We really inspect houses before we buy to renovate BECAUSE we try to avoid those unknowns. You know why they do it on TV, right? DRAMA. They do it for drama and drama alone. But just the intensity of renovating a house that is so old has enough built-in drama without creating any. There are so many things that have to be done that are not surprises but that you don't really realize you're gonna have to do till you get there (especially if it's your first REALLY old one!). It's sometimes learning as you go. Ugh, I am so over it...well, for about a day maybe and then I get my act together and carry on!
The last couple of weeks, like all recently, have really flown by! Progress on the jobsite moves along, and (in spite of my opening rant), things are looking up and we are encouraged that soon and very soon things will take a turn and we will be headed toward the final chapters of this renovation. As I said in my last post, we are trying to shore up everything on the outside of the house to make it paint-worthy and secure it for the winter. It's amazing, but not hard to believe, how many little holes can get into a house that's seen its share of the years. And I don't like holes! Holes are simple little invitations to critters, telling them they can come in and visit, and some of them think it also means they're welcomed to take up residence and stay for awhile. So for the past few months I've been looking at various holes and fretting over what tiny rodent might be considering that invitation to get out of the weather. But you can pass this message on...All holes are being filled, wood is being replaced, and we are buttoning down the hatches. The only critters invited to this party are humans!
I am in the final stages of the design planning, and this week marks my last -- very last -- purchase of lighting fixtures. Every room in the house is gonna have some bee-u-ti-ful lighting and I am so excited for that! I am picking out tile for the kitchen and fireplace hearths. I have purchased a gorgeous free-standing tub for the master bath. I am looking at options for counter tops. I am choosing final paint colors and making those purchases. Everything is in place for final completion but it's just taking a bit longer to get there than I like. You know when your kids ask a million times on a trip "are we there yet?" That's me! But in reality, we've made excellent progress I suppose. We are into the 4th month with at least two more to go (at least). Our last renovation took a full six months, start to finish, so in reality we are right on track. It just feels like forever to me.
This week we are also tying down options for the floor in the back re-do. As we had hoped earlier in the project, it looks like we're gonna have plenty of heart pine to reclaim for the floors. This is the 125-yr-old tongue and groove that was removed from the bedroom walls (didn't wanna have TOO much wood on the walls!) that will be reassembled and used for flooring. This week I have been pulling nails out of that wood, trying to begin the process of making it floor-worthy and, let me tell you, it is a tedious process! My right arm is reminding me today that nail-pulling is not for the faint of heart! And this entire process will be tedious, because nail-pulling is just the beginning. Next will come filling holes, repairing small imperfections and refinishing the entire floor boards in the house so that they all match up nice and purdy. I am making myself tired just thinking about it and it's not even 9:00 in the morning yet!
On a personal note, I am so glad to be able to do this work which is so fulfilling. Even though I playfully complain and occasionally throw the short and to-the-point rant, I am daily grateful to be doing something I enjoy. And no work is without its challenges, right? So...off to the next round of #our1892renovation, and may the force be with us. And I know that He truly is.
And, better yet, off to babysit the tiny little cherub I call my youngest grandbaby, and that's work I never grow tired of.
"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
- Helen Keller
Posted by CC
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