More surprises at home

mrsmortarmixerFebruary 26, 2013

Unfinished kitchens are a nice welcome home surprise, even when said kitchen is still largely unfinished a year later.

This was not as welcome. Please disregard nearly naked children and safety hazards, they are accustomed to construction zones in the house.

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That's a classic!! The pantry, I presume?

My favorite part is the cutie on the left in his knickers holding a wheelbarrow full of dirt inside the house.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 12:02AM
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Actually, that's my dining room. The centrally located, must walk through for everything room. We had just picked up the ash flooring for the dining room on Friday. It was agreed upon that we would not be ripping out the original hardwood or the floor joists. I went to town to pick up a few cans of stain from my mom, I wasn't gone more than two hours.

There is good news though. The 1.5" slope in the floor is now fixed, the crawlspace can actually be crawled through, all of the rotten wood has been replaced, and there are extra pillars to support the walls. Mr. MM also surprised me by getting all of the subfloor down this morning, so you can safely walk to the kitchen without balancing across floor joists.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 8:10AM
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Never a dull moment in your house, is there! Sounds like it will be worth the mess though.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 8:31AM
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Just think of all the cool things your kids are learning in this process.
Things can be ripped apart and a total mess and some hard work and undaunted spirit can make all right with the world again.
This is can-do attitude in action. A little more work and this will be fixed right this time...
Your children are witness to this demonstration of "this is no big deal; needs to be done, might as well dig in and get to it."
Mighty good lessons to learn for younguns and fun too :)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 8:59AM
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I'm saving's proof that I could really be do far more "improvements" to the house when my dh goes out of town. Lately, he leaves, I head to Benjamin Moore, come home with paint, and there is something new when he gets back....

Good luck.

And I have to say...the bare feet on the wood--the splinters!!! :o

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 9:13AM
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Wow Mrs. Mortermixer, you're a trooper! It'll be worth it when it's finished, but in the!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 9:21AM
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My DH is not a DIY guy, but my father was. I remember as a child being fastenated as our kitchen was torn out. There were holes in the floor! We could drop dog bones through the holes and drive our dog (and our mother) nuts.

Both my brother and I agree--we didn't always learn HOW to do everything our father did, but we learned that it was possible to do these things. My brother has built one house and extensively refitted two rentals during summer breaks from his teaching job. My DIY projects are smaller, but on-going.

Your children will know forever that they can create the world they live in.

Please say hello to Mr. MM for me and, I am sure, everyone else here. Wish you lived close enough I could stop by occasionally and see what was happening.

And best wishes to you as well. I am sure your life feels as frazzled as a bowl of spaghetti some days.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 10:36AM
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Laughing! We realized a few years ago that a photo of DS2 taking his first steps (awww) also includes a bit of his 3 year old brother at the edge of the photo. Said brother is wearing only a t-shirt. The wonders of PhotoShop: that picture can be cropped, although I haven't actually done it. No rush, the boys are in their 30s now.

And, yes, they loved construction when they were growing up. Do you know about making race tracks on the rug using blue tape? Lots of temporary fun at the cost of a role of blue tape. We just did that last week with our grandson who was turning 5. While at the hardware store, he found huge 5" hex bolts and nuts and was fascinated with screwing them together.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 10:55AM
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It'll be so great when it's finished and you know it's all fixed right.

We are, what I call, "terminal DIYers" and our kids have grown up in remodels and construction projects. My kids were confused about why their uncle moved out of his house during his remodel, because we always have had something torn up and under construction and we live and work around it. Now our eldest and her husband are looking for a house and she can see potential and things she can do to improve each house and make it their own.

I'm happy for you that Mr MM is so handy, and so eager to make things right for you.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 12:28PM
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That's awesome! It's great Mr. MM is so efficient as well as handy. Your picture is a classic. : ) It's nice you are able to roll with it so well.

We've reno'd at least 4 places while living in them with young children. They sometimes get weary of the talk about all the details, but it sure is exciting to see the big things happening. I hope they catch the can-do spirit. This last house was a real dog when we got it, but they're watching it shape up into a pleasant home. Our DS, 7, thinks he wants to be a carpenter when he grows up, so I think a little of daddy is rubbing off on him.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 4:04PM
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The girls are all very happy to help in the process. Mr. MM and I were taking turns manning the shovel and the pick axe while the girls were moving dirt by the pie plate. Many dirt pies were made over the course of two days. Only one splinter and one belly scrape through this ordeal. Pretty minor compared to other injuries that have happened when there was no demo going on.

It's funny, because when I worked construction before marriage and children, I always felt bad for everyone who had to walk around obstacles in every room on a daily basis. Before this house, the biggest demos that I've had to live with were usually putting in new flooring or replacing a toilet. This house has been a true test of patience, through living with no electric the first 3 months, no water for over 6 months, rooms exposed to the elements (including getting rained on several times while sitting in the living room), no floors and no windows in rooms. Everything seems pretty minor now, knowing that the big inconveniences, like no floors, will be patched up in a few days, and we're keeping a very old farmhouse standing for a few more years. And knowing that we've done every single project ourselves, with mostly recycled products, with very little money involved makes it that much more special to me.

I appreciate everything that Mr. MM has done. And that he lets the girls get involved even though it probably takes him 4 times longer to get anything done. In all honesty, there's going to be a day when we're out of things to destroy and rebuild, and I'm going to want to enjoy it for a while, and then move to another tear down, assuming that we're young enough to tackle one again. Mr. MM confirmed that he'd like to do this again with a better plan in place from the beginning. If that doesn't say something about our sanity...

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 6:21PM
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I couldn't ignore the nearly naked children. They are by far the best part of the picture!

Good luck with the rest of the project!!!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 6:51PM
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Are you keeping a diary? A chronological record of the house? For the girls.

If not, I wish you would start now. What a treasure for the girls 20 or 30 years from now.

And, yes, include/conclude? with the peaceful settled days between this and . . . . (Er, no, we won't go there now.)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 7:15PM
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Your picture makes me smile :) Today is my oldest daughter's 30th birthday. This morning I was looking through old photographs of her to upload to facebook and it was like, Oh, here she is on her 5th birthday when we were removing the wallpaper from the sunroom and here is Thanksgiving dinner on the table made from an old door and saw horses when we were remodeling the kitchen. What great memories. And yeah, it was hard finding pictures of the kids fully clothed! Why is it, we always took pictures when the kids looked like hobos and the house was torn apart? Anywhos, good luck with your renovation and thanks for the trip down Memory Lane.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 7:28PM
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Bellsmom- We've kept pretty good records of what work has been done since we've moved in. And there are a ton of pictures through each demo/remodel/fix. Many with the girls "helping". Last time I looked, the House Work picture folder had somewhere around 1000 pictures, and we've only lived here 5 or 6 years. One day when the work is done, or at least tapered, I plan to make a scrapbook/memory box of things found and pictures taken. I sure wish someone had kept records through the history of this house. It would be interesting to see how each owner changed things through the years. There is no shortage of clues that indicate back porches, additions, and older buildings on the property that are no longer here. All info on the house at the courthouse leads to dead ends. The house was built sometime between 1900 and 1914. 1914 is the first time it shows up in any records, but other things that we've found date prior to that. Sometime between when it was built and 1998 was when all of the additions were added. No info prior to 98, no permits, no nothing. None of the previous owners are around anymore, so I have nothing to go by.

stacieann- Happy belated birthday to your daughter. It's funny, because every single birthday party picture has construction work in the background. And almost all of the pictures include at least one naked or semi-naked child running through. All are usually covered in drywall mud, primer, paint, dirt, or dust. We take good pictures at other people's homes.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 2:45PM
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Yup, you do indeed have photos.

My current home was built in the 1950s, so it is not really old. But there have been many changes. I love actually knowing the people who built the house, the next owner who converted the garage into a family room and the people who added a private master bedroom suite and deck. We added a carport and storage shed, garden, and side deck.
Wonder what the next owner will do.

I understand how you wish you could know of the people who lived in your home over that hundred years. Have you found any inscriptions in walls or anything like that? Hey, it just occurred to me--have the girls sign and date inside the walls they have helped tear down and rebuild. Or better, you could all leave your names.

I was thinking last night how your girls will ''understand'' houses in a way that no one could who had not seen them taken down to their bones and then refleshed gloriously.

Once again, lucky girls.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 3:55PM
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You and MrMort are tremendous - my DH is not a DIY at all!
Those pictures are precious. At least with digital - you can fix what you need to fix - in the old days - can you imagine the picture popping out of the printers at the mall....
Keep us posted and glad you are back in the fold

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 4:06PM
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They gymnast on the balance beam is the best part!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 5:19PM
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