Little by Little

Work continued today. Jami and I ran some errands, and the crew was probably grateful that for once I wasn’t walking outside every thirty minutes or so to stare at the work being done. It didn’t stop me from taking a few more photos to share on the old blog.

This is what started the whole ball rolling – a soft spot in our kitchen floor (tile has been removed) – we were worried that our subfloors were rotten.
After our crew removed some of the old flooring, it was determined that the damage was actually minor, and probably the result of someone spilling a glass of water at some point in history and it seeped under the vinyl tile.
There are a few of these spots, though, so the plan (part of which has been executed) is to remove the plywood subfloor, leave the shiplap (or whatever that stuff up there ^^^ is called), lay hardiboard over that with a vapor barrier, and then install our new flooring.
While some of the guys were working outside on Monday, other guys were inside marking the studs behind this wretched accoustical ceiling tile. Chalk lines were popped in preparation for our new ceiling.
These are 3 1/2″ wide tongue in groove planks that will be installed on our ceiling. After an understated “crown” molding is installed around the perimeter, we are going to paint it Ultra Pure White (Behr).
The pups are a little confused by all the chaos. We’re having to keep them in the back of the house during the day and when they are set free after the crew goes home at 5:30, they are so excited!
Jane chases Kona around the empty living room!
They run a few laps around the room in the evenings after running a few around the backyard. Poor pups.
Jane honestly has had a hard time with the upheaval. She doesn’t like storms and always leans against us when the weather’s bad. The last few days the weather has been fine, but she will come and lean against my leg while I am working at my desk. She wants to know when life will return to normal. Me, too, Jane! (But won’t it be nice???)
In the living room looking toward the dining area. I am trying to imagine after the ceiling and floors have been finished, the walls have been painted and we put everything back in place. It’s almost more than I can imagine.
Standing in the dining area, looking back toward the living room. Someday those three windows (and the two in the photo above) will have plantation shutters on them.

I have to go into Houston for just a bit this morning. Whenever I have to leave the house, it’s so hard because I can’t watch the progress. Coming home is a bit of a kick, though, because there is definitely progress being made! More photos either later tonight or tomorrow!

Sally Needs a New Dress

We bought our little home almost nineteen years ago, from the widow of the man who built it in two stages. The first – a two bedroom, one bath house with a small living room and eat-in kitchen was built in 1950. The second, done in the mid 60s’, made the living room into a third bedroom and bath, the kitchen into a little sitting room and added on a new living room, dining area and kitchen. The little 900 square foot house increased to almost 1,700 square feet.

We have been dreaming of this day forEVER. We paid our last mortgage payment in October, enjoyed not having a mortgage for a couple of months, and then took out a small home equity loan to get Sally a new dress. Her crumbling blue siding was well past its prime, and she also needs some subfloor repair and new flooring. While we’re at it, we’re going to put up a beadboard ceiling!

I am really looking forward to the finished project in two or three weeks (hopefully sooner). In the meantime, here are a few pictures of the progress, beginning with the brick repair we had done:

Sad little house β€” we originally planned to have the brick stained to match the trim color we planned, but after they pressure washed it, we reconsidered. I’m glad I was there to see how good it looked before they stained it!
It’s looking so much better.
He is sealing the brick so it holds its color better over time.
New Hardiplank over foam insulation. This side of the house gets COLD in the winter, so we are hoping this will help.
This used to be the front of the house before the original owner turned it sideways and added on. That little window over the a/c compressor is a bathroom now, but it was the front door!
I noticed this out the brand new backdoor a few days ago. Beautiful.
Repairing rotten wood and putting in new porch posts.
They used to be skinny posts – we really like the simple way our builder dressed them up for us.
Of course, there’s always a surprise. The flat roof over the garage had a hidden leak. This has been repaired and Monday we are having a new roof put on the garage.
New backdoor and painting coming along!
First coats of paint are almost done. I am so happy with how everything is looking. Look at our red door!!!

This is all for now. I’ll be taking more photos and sharing them as the work progresses. Right now I need to go take a chandelier apart…

Coincidence? I think not!

There’s a cliche that goes something like this: “The devil is in the details.” When googling the quote I discovered there’s also a version that states “God is in the details,” and today I found this to be exceptionally true.

A few months ago, a dear friend, Sonja, called me to ask for details regarding the house we were preparing for sale. A young woman had come into the office where she works, along with her mother, and in the course of their conversation my friend discovered the young woman was looking to buy a house in Alvin. I remember my first reaction was, “Oh, we are NOT ready!” So with the disclaimer that we still had a good bit of work to do, I gave her the address to pass along to those who inquired.

With so much left to do on the house, I didn’t really think about it anymore. My sister and I kept working on the house and finally listed it with the realtor. We had a false start the day before the house actually went on the market — a young couple expressed interest in it, but in the course of walking through the house, a problem was discovered with the brick walls: they were a little loose with age! We immediately contacted masonry companies for repair quotes and hired a company to secure the walls around the entire house. We were relieved that the repair was not horribly expensive, but still well done. By the time the work was done, however, the young couple had moved on to another house.

I don’t really know the order in which things happened after that — my sister had more contact with the realtor during the sales process than I did. But I do know that in a very short period of time, we had two offers made on the house. One was our listing price and the other was several thousand dollars less. We were thrilled to have two offers and it didn’t take long to agree to the best offer. After inspections, some minor repairs were indicated and we offered a repair allowance which was accepted and we had a deal.

So today we met at the title company in Pearland to sign all the papers. We found out for certain that our buyers were twin sisters, one of whom had been the young woman who inquired about our house when talking to our friend, Sonja! They were absolutely delightful young ladies — hardworking nurses who’ve been raised with a view to the future. In visiting with their mother, who came with them, we learned at the age of 24, they decided they wanted to invest in a home, rather than throwing hardearned money away on rent. And here’s the crazy, “oh my gosh, it is such a tiny, tiny world” bit of the story.

We exchanged our stories — where we were from and what we did. I mentioned I live near Lake Jackson, the mother mentioned her son worked at Brazosport College. I said, “Oh! I teach photography there in the Community Education department!” She gasped and exclaimed, “My oldest daughter is in your class!” I asked if her name was Angela, and “Yes, yes it is!”

So several months ago, this very sweet young lady called me to ask about what kind of camera she needed and told me how much she was looking forward to the class. Several months ago, her mother and one sister walked into my friend’s office and mentioned they were looking for a house to buy in Alvin. And today we discovered all these paths that seemed completely separate were actually very close indeed.

I would definitely say God is in the details. I take a great deal of joy in knowing these sweet young ladies, fellow Christians, will be making their home and memories in our childhood home. I am pleased that such good people will be the new neighbors of the neighbors we have been so fond of for so many years. 

I think our mother would be so happy. I know she would. I know I am.

House for Sale

Over the last several months, anyone who’s stumbled across my little blog here knows my sister and I have been preparing our childhood home to be sold. It’s been difficult, but we have managed to keep each other going and the day has finally arrived. The house is going on the market later today!

I couldn’t wait that long, though, and so I did my own listing (complete with our realtor’s contact information) on Facebook. Now I’m going to share with you!

House for Sale

Considering neither of us has ever tackled a project this large or expensive, I think we did a pretty good job all the way around. Yeppers! Now let’s get this thing SOLD!

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I am really proud of how everything turned out. The house is listed with Regina Harris – Gary Greene Realtors for $169,900. She can be reached atΒ (281) 777-5449! πŸ˜€

Getting Closer

Updates on the house are getting closer and closer to being done. Today we stopped by to disconnect the dishwasher (discovered a manufacturing defect after it was installed – they are bringing a replacement tomorrow). The laminate flooring has been put in. Unfortunately I was a bit distracted by other things and failed to get any photos. I’m going back tomorrow to paint, so after we run the vacuum and dust, I’ll get some shots. In the meantime, here are a few of the progress that’s been made, beginning with some “before” shots:

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Kitchen cabinets in the early stages of updating. My original thought was “clean ’em good and give ’em a good lemon oil polishing.” Fortunately, my sister, the visionary, prevailed.

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The front bathroom.

We hired someone to paint the cabinets with a sprayer. It was a lot faster and the finish was better than if we’d tried to paint them with brushes. We think it was worth the investment in giving the cabinets an updated, fresher look.

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Before and after. Notice the “fur down” has been removed. I was a chicken β€” worried about what might be back there. Again, my sister had the courage to say, “Well, I guess we’ll find out!” It’s more apparent in the following photograph, but see that strip of molding around the top of the painted cabinets? That was around the top of the fur down. Angie carefully removed it and saved it so it could be reattached to the cabinets and painted. She rocks!

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I just can’t get over how beautiful everything is turning out! Angie chose the paint colors, formica, and hardware, and did a great job. My contribution was choosing the tile for the backsplash!

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Sink still needs to be set and faucet installed, but isn’t it looking good???

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Brand-new appliances: Whirlpool double oven, smooth surface cooktop and range hood.

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12 x 24 floor tiles also used in the shower. Love ’em!

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See the accent tile in the shower? There is also a shampoo/conditioner niche in the wall that features that tile. I couldn’t walk in there when I took this photo, so I’ll have to show it later!

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Tile backsplash carried over from accent tile in shower,

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Finally, the front bathroom had been retiled several years ago, but Angie found a box of leftover tiles in the garage. We were able to use them to have this backsplash done in the front bathroom! A nice touch!

So that’s it for now. I am really please to see my childhood home receive the update it’s needed for so long, and I’m hoping whomever buys our home enjoys the updates and makes a lot of good memories here.

Painting Update

Well, just touching base … the Cuban Orchid went on beautifully.  It took two coats to get the coverage and deepness of color that we wanted, but as my sister has told me many times:  “One coat coverage is a lie.  Any paint label that reads “Covers In One Coat” is just false advertising …”  She told me this a few years ago when I had a “panic attack” while painting my kitchen cabinets.  I could not figure out why the primer was bleeding through … she said, “Do two coats and you’ll be fine.”  And I was. 

Now the Fuchsia Flock is a different story.  It’s going to take THREE coats of that to get the coverage and color we want.  I just don’t think there’s a better paint out there than Valspar and this little experience with Olympic reinforces my opinion.  Right now the wall looks terrible with just one color on it, but I think it will all be okay in the end.  (At least I hope so, because it’s going to take a 5 gallon bucket of Kilz to cover up that pink paint if we have to shift gears … )

I can’t put the second coat on for another two hours and rather than stay up until 2 in the morning (including wait and paint time), I am hitting the hay and starting fresh in the a.m.  See you on the flip side!

Doing a Little Updatin’ Around Here …

My girl is on the precipice of teen-hood.  Of course, I doubt she sees it that way … it’s an adventure!  It’s exciting!  It’s “Mommy, get a grip … I’ll be okay!”

(Fortunately, she promised me that no matter how old she gets, she will always call me “Mommy.”  I don’t know why, but I do not want to be called “Mama” or “Mom.”   Maybe it’s because those are MY mother’s names and I want to be “special”?)

Anyway, we’re doing some room shuffling around here.  A few weeks ago I sold shutters to a couple here in town who own a furniture store.  We negotiated a deal where they got a discount on their shutters and I got an equal discount on some mattress sets that we needed.  My girl is downsizing from a double bed to a twin so that she’ll have more room.  Since we’re moving her into the smaller bedroom so AJ and I can share the larger one as an office (for him) and scrapbooking spot (for me), we decided to go ahead and bite the bullet — paint her “new” room before we put all the furniture back in.  She knew EXACTLY what she wanted. 

I suppose you can detect a “surfer” theme here?  AJ’s taken her out a few times to try out her surfboard and she’s doing pretty well.  So rather than red with a horse theme (what I expected), she threw me a curve ball when she requested this!  We went to Lowe’s to pick up a couple of gallons of paint after I picked her up Sunday afternoon from church camp (She was gone for four days — that was really weird!  I’m not sure if she enjoyed it, as she is really a little homebody, but it was good for her to stretch her wings and try something new.)

Here are the colors she picked.  The first color is on three walls, and the second color is on the fourth wall:


Cuban Orchid (Valspar)


Fuchsia Flock (Olympic)

I can tell you, NEITHER of these paint chips do the VIBRANCY of her selections justice.  It is some BRIGHT in that bedroom.  But it is perfectly girly, perfectly teen-ish, perfectly tropical surfer girl.  And when the walls are good and dry, we’ll move it all back in, I’ll find the vintage reproduction surf posters I used to decorate for AJ’s 40th birthday three years ago and I think MY surfer girl will be very happy.

I hope so … because that pink is going to be a bear to cover up if we ever change the color of the room … and we just may never do that.  (I hate to paint.  This is truly me loving my girl.)