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The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men Often Go Astray


So in my last recap of these last two weeks of no internet to update all you lovely people back home I covered the actual buying of the house. And I also told you what our plans for the weekend Winter Storm Nemo/ Blizzard Charlotte hit.

Family room before purchase

Family room before purchase

To refresh your memory:

  • Paint family room, the family room came with lovely pale pink walls and a singular wooden wall, and slanted ceiling that was also wood. Originally we thought these were some sort of horizontal paneling, thankfully it turned out to be real wood, tongue and groove, similar to a ship lap wall.
  • Paint Guest room. We have three guest bedrooms in our house. Two are going to be used as such, and one will be my art studio. The rooms are nicely sized and have a lot of closet space, but the largest one was burn-your-eyes-out pink when we bought. Both of our father’s made jokey comments we would have to paint those walls before they slept there.
  • Clean. This house already being older, and having been rented for the last two years by people who were anything but fastidious.
  • Move.

Thankfully we bought all the paint necessary for the family room and guest room Tuesday. My father-in-law worked as a painter in college, and had volunteered to paint whatever we wanted this weekend. The joke was to paint the pink bedroom first so he wouldn’t have to sleep in it, but since we were sealing the wood walls in the family room to prevent wood oils from seeping through (and that takes forever to dry) the family room got paint first, which in turn meant pops got to sleep in the pink bedroom after all.

Much brighter in person guest room

Much brighter in person guest room

In our earlier discussions of cleaning, and especially after some later walk-throughs of the house we decided having a carpet steam cleaner would definitely be the way to go. All of the bedrooms are carpeted and they looked bad. So bad I was convinced we would have to replace them. The same Tuesday we bought the paint we stumbled upon a row of carpet cleaners you could purchase. One seemed reasonably priced at 120, and with thousands of reviews, it still got 4.7 out of 5 stars. Then we checked out the price to rent. 30 dollars for 24 hours. Unsure about what to do, we left the store to think about it. Wednesday night Bryan decided we might as well just buy it, if it didn’t work well we could return it. I wasn’t too sure since I knew we would be spending a ton of money, but agreed and we took it home. If we had just rented it we would have done no carpet cleaning because we were planning on going Friday after closing. If we had the foresight to rent it on Thursday night it would have been Monday before we could return it, and that would have been $120 dollars worth of renting. We bought it, and my mother-in-law worked it like a champ. All the carpets in the house were steam cleaned, twice! And all of them were clean enough after steaming I could now lay (face!) down and breathe easy knowing that they were clean.

The view of our street, our house is behind those trees on the right

The view of our street, our house is behind those trees on the right

So not only did we make money on the steam-cleaner (we have since used it again when the cat knocked over a full cup of coffee on the dining room chairs and the color wouldn’t come out, and Bryan dropped melted chocolate on our light colored family room rug which would have been another 30 dollar rental we didn’t have to make) we saved buying new carpets, since even my mother-in-laws fancy Dyson didn’t make a dent in the dirt on the carpets. Wohoo to one $120 dollar machine and a $9 dollar gallon of carpet cleaner saving us thousands of dollars! If you need a carpet cleaner I highly recommend the Hoover Steam Vac Spin Scrub The link says it’s 179, but Home Depot sold it for 120. Maybe it was a special, I don’t know, but even at $180 it’s worth it. We must have put 24+ hours on it with no problems. And no, I’m not getting reimbursed for saying this,

I just really really love my steam cleaner!

Anyway, back to how our plans changed…..we were snowed in. The roads were closed, Connecticut was in a state of emergency, and we were not even plowed out until 5pm on Sunday. That meant that the four of us were trapped in a house for 52 hours. No internet, no tv, so we did they only thing we could do to not get insane cabin fever. We worked. Pops painted like a champ, he did the entire family room, and the guest room before Saturday night. Momma tackled the kitchen while I scrubbed the bathrooms from ceiling to floor.

Bathroom with fuzzy wall paper

Bathroom with fuzzy wall paper

I scrubbed the floors, and Bry ran around doing everything else. Changing burned out light bulbs, switching light fixtures around, refilling the steam vac for his mom, helping paint, and shoveling. Lots and lots and lots of shoveling. There was a nice layer of thick wet snow that fell first, 6 inches of it, plus a super fine powdery foot+ of snow on top.

Needless to say we were busy, but by Saturday night we were still snowed in, no telling when we would get out and we had pretty much finished our house related goals for the weekend.

So we started peeling the fuzzy, pastel wallpaper from the bathroom (yes it really was pastel shades of the Florida-elderly decorating scheme, and yes it really had a fuzzy, not quite velvety texture to it). My father-in-law fixed some bubbling parts in the walls where moisture had gotten in once-upon-a-time, and I ripped up the bright blue shag carpet.

wallpaper detail

wallpaper detail

The guys then tackled the carpet pad, and the tack-less strips, and us girls continued to get all the wall paper off the

walls in the powder room (several layers with paint in between yippee!). To accomplish this we had to take out the light fixtures, the mirror, and the toilet. But we got it all done (men moved the toilet).

Sunday saw pops Spackle-ing and painting the half bath wall, and the painting of trim by us all. The plywood sub-floor of the family room also was met with some paint, so at least we have a habitable floor while we decide what we actually want. I miss the pretty color of the wood floor, but I’m happy to not have unfinished dust traveling around my house excessively.

late at night wallpaper peeling

late at night wallpaper peeling

With that the streets were plowed and we could get out, go back to the rental, have a dinner of Chinese food, hot showers, and warm beds. We never got around to moving on Saturday (obviously) but we got so much more done than we were planning on (carpets cleaned (except the blue shag), shag ripped out, wallpaper removed, half bath repainted. It felt great! But I wish some more people than just the four of us had seen it in it’s ‘ugly’ state so they could appreciate it better now. Ah well, that’s what pictures ‘are kind of’ for! Though since we were busy, and didn’t have a camera with us (except on phones) we didn’t really take blog worthy photos of the details of the awfulness we fixed. So you’ll just have to use your imagination. Stay tuned for the next post (coming after I’ve actually gotten some work done today to have more pics!)

We were very blessed to have Bry’s parents with us for the weekend. They gave up warm beds to help us get a lot done and really enjoyed themselves in spite of being snowed in and having a lot to do. To top it all off they were a huge calming presence when the first homeowners issue happened, less than 24 hours after we had signed the papers. (don’t worry that post is coming as well!)

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