We knew that tackling a remodeling job of this magnitude would bring surprises. Our most recent round of dusty demolition delivered new ones, some good and others not as welcome. It’s all part of the journey on which we have embarked. We are keeping in mind the words of Thomas Edison: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Every weekend (and some weeknights) since August 1, we willingly put on our work gloves and proverbial overalls for the opportunity to transform September Farm into the bright, cozy home of our dreams .
Surprise #1: “Say hello to my little friends!”
Dear husband and I went back and forth about how to transform the family room. Do we tear out the dated paneling in favor of sheet rock, or keep the dark paneling and paint it white to brighten the room? The second option would definitely be cheaper, and we are all for saving money and using what we have. However, we wanted to widen the opening between the family room and future kitchen, so we knew we would have to take down at least one wall of paneling. We started on that wall and got to work at removing one panel. “And what is behind door number one, Bob? Show us what the homeowners win!”
Very suspicious looking sheet rock was lurking under that paneling. See that pretty, swirly design that was under some of the paper backing? We thought that we should dig further into this mystery, so we removed the sheet rock and found this:
That swirly pattern was not my latest attempt at faux painting, gentle readers. It’s tunneling. From termites. They were rude little critters who knew enough to leave a party they weren’t invited to (quite a long time ago by the look of things). Naturally they departed without cleaning up their mess. After discovering this, we decided to strip the family room of all paneling just to know what hand we’d been dealt. To our relief, we will end up replacing only about twelve studs on two walls in this room. David and I didn’t anticipate this kind of repair, but we would rather know about it than not know, you know?
Surprise #2: More Critters
As basement demolition continued, it was time to remove the rest of the
depressing antique drop ceiling. Dear husband counted 4 dead mice who had met their demise in that ceiling, courtesy of a mouse motel strategically placed there. We will spare you the visual of mouse carcasses in varying stages of decay. You’re welcome.
Surprise #3: A Vintage Gem
We barely noticed a cabinet shoved into a corner of the dark basement the first several times we were down there. As we continued to gut the basement down to the studs this past weekend, looking for any evidence of more termite damage, we had to move that cabinet. Lo and behold we turned it around to reveal this little gem:
Just in case you don’t recognize a vintage vixen when you see one, it’s a hand made 1960’s bar, complete with slanted front, drawers, and gold, swirly mirrors. The glitter-flecked formica top extends as needed. When hubby showed me this, my jaw dropped and I practically drooled at the prospect of repurposing it. Keeping a treasure such as this in the basement will not do! Once I freshen up the old girl with some rouge and new jewelry, she will occupy a place of honor as our kitchen island. This happy demo surprise was just what I needed that day!
Surprise #4: The Dumpster Dance
I took a chance and ordered a thirty yard dumpster to put all the remodeling trash in. In case you are spatially challenged like me, that’s a big old dumpster! Go ahead, take a gander.
It is now two-thirds full after hubby and I made countless jaunts from house to dumpster and back again! I do believe we will use almost every square inch of this big blue bad boy. The best part is that stinky carpet, ceiling tiles, chewed wood, and a powder blue toilet (which reminds me of my junior prom date’s snazzy tuxedo) will soon be hauled off forever. Can I get a hallelujah?
Even after the surprises that this house had offered up, we wouldn’t have done anything other than buy this place. Trekking in and out with armloads of trash and materials is making us farm strong. Even with dirt in my hair and sweat on my tired body, I still get to feel the uncharacteristically cool August Kansas breeze on my face or hear the rustle of leaves and conversation of cows across the road. It’s a wonderful life.