We looked around at the rotting floor, the dripping water, and the garbage/beer bottles/old furniture littered everywhere. Tony turned to me and said "What were we thinking?"
Thankfully, we've come a long way since that challenge-filled morning. The morning after we signed, the weather cleared and we got right to working! The first weekend in the house was spent mainly cleaning. The ladies strapped on some masks, gloved up and got to sweeping, organizing and cleaning the mold off of doors and walls. Healthy air was key if we planned on living long enough to get any work done! I had the pleasure of sweeping up a multitude of deceased rodents and their droppings. Tony and Alastair made their way outside and tried to patch up the hole in the basement wall and leak in the roof over the downstairs bathroom area. Mairim and Alastair also worked on the architectural plans for the house. We also got started on our fruit orchard by planting 5 trees to the right of the house. They included two apple trees, one plum, one pear and one peach. By the end of the first weekend, our project was already looking far more manageable. The decision to buy the house seemed like a sane one!
Our second weekend at the house followed soon after, with best friend and roommate Steve Lowe joinging the fray. Steve, Tony and I spent a weekend at the house cleaning and, most importantly, bringing light to the home! Our new electrician, John, is the fiance of the lawyer who closed on the house for us. He's a good man and a great electrician, and he will be popping up more on this blog in the future. While Tony and John got to building the new electrical box downstairs, Steve and I made light of the ratty, mouse-covered furniture that had been left in the couch. By the end of the weekend, we had moved 3 couches, 2 upholstered chairs and 9 mattresses outside to the street. The terrifying thing about all that? Only one couch was left by the end of the weekend. I hope whoever took that stuff has a good steam cleaner, but I somewhat doubt it...
All in all, it was a very uplifting weekend. The cleaner the house got, the better we felt about this undertaking. Tony, Steve and I attacked the kitchen area on day 2. With the couches now gone from the room, we set to organizing what was scattered about the floor. We ended up finding some gems, including a hand-hewn country church pew, which we plan to reuse, and a bevy of antique doors, farm tools, and old mason jars. Some less than valuable finds included about 100 dirty Budweiser bottles and a filthy toilet bowl. Now I consider myself a brave woman when it comes to dirt, the elements and the creepy crawlies being found throughout the house, but the insides of that abandoned toilet were truly scary enough to send me running from the room screaming.
Also, check out a few before & after photos of the kitchen and dining room area:
Nothing says progress like a kitchen that is no longer filled with turned-over couches!