What Day is It?


We have to prepare our fixer-upper for asbestos removal, plumbing, and wiring work. While we wait on subcontractors, Jim and Craig got to work tearing out old plaster walls, which were attached to a metal structure. It was messy and tiring work. They wore masks to help them breathe when the room filled with dust and eye gear to protect their sight. (In the photos below, they are wearing it all, but took the glasses off to clean then when they went outside for a break. Back to work PPE Boys!) Beth, Craig’s girlfriend had the honor of the first smash of the kitchen tile with the sledgehammer. She’s. A. Beast!

The rooms in the photo are the living room (with the fireplace and curved window, along with the kitchen where walls will come down…after the asbestos removal company does their thing.)

PPE (personal protective equipment) is often overlooked, but is so important. Once, Jim was on a job site (not his own) and a worker was busting up a cast iron pipe without eye gear. I’m not even going to tell the rest of the story, as cast iron has a tendency to break into shards.

Back to me.

While Jim and Craig were busting a move inside, Beth and I went outside to investigate the bog that is my backyard.

I’m thinking of growing cranberries.

The soil is clay, which for some reason, surprised me. I’d seen plenty of that in West Virginia when I’d go visit my relatives, but didn’t realize it was in this part of CT. The properties to the south (side yard) and east (back yard) of the house drain into mine, as West Hartford is sloped. My neighbors to the north get drainage from everyone and currently have enough water for spawning salmon.

My goal in life is to live on the water. This is not what I meant.

Taking any & all suggestions for water drainage solutions in the comments! A Swale? Some French Drains? A Lazy River?

So, I Bought a House…

Have you ever heard the proverbial advice: “Buy the worst house on the best block“? Well, when we take advice, we go ALL THE WAY! In the summer of 2017, we moved to Connecticut, where I’m the Director of Curriculum and Professional Development in the smallest school district in the state. (SUCH wonderful colleagues I have!) After renting for a year and eight months, we found our diamond in the rough.

And when I say rough…the old dear had sat empty for a year. She has rotting sills, crumbling chimneys, with a touch of asbestos. Our realtor, Sarah, said, “It’s got great potential!” The inspector said, “She’s got good bones.” Our banker, Kelly, said, “You could really do a lot with that!” Sort of like all the things people said to me when I was growing up, with my cat-eye glasses and frizzy-haired self! lol

When we closed on the house earlier this month, our daughter drove down with the kids to see our fixer-upper. Before she arrived, I convinced Jim to sit down for a champagne toast at Abigail’s Restaurant in Simsbury. After the gang arrived, we drove with the old front door key for a tour. My pre-school-aged grandson, although disappointed his room “didn’t EVEN have a door”, kept looking for the good in the house. “Look! THIS light switch works!”

Jim stayed behind to lock up that first day. Or tried to, anyway.
This is where his first-day fun began.

First, the back door would lock. Frustrated, he finally took a two-by-four and nailed it across the inside opening! (After all, he has to replace the door anyway. The next day he installed a new lock.)

Next, he went to close the garage door. When he pushed the button, the motor whirred, the door inched forward. The. Chain. Snapped.


Since he didn’t have all of his tools there yet, he had to improvise, but eventually got it shut and locked. Move replacing the garage doors to the short list!

I hope you follow along as you see my visions become a reality. We have plenty of plans for this cute colonial cottage!

Next up: What day is it? DEMO DAY!