Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Two days in.....

When we were searching relentlessly for homes in our perfect neighborhood, we knew we would have to give up on some things in order to live here.

What we weren't willing to give in on:

* Land. While 1/3 of an acre -GRASS- may not seem like a lot to some people, it is a TON out here. It is an oasis in the desert. Literally. We live in the desert, and no one has real grass. Backyards are either rock, turf, or made up entirely of the backyard pool. My son didn't touch grass until he was three months old and I took him to Dallas.

baby's first grass circa 2009

* Location. We wanted to be close to the kids' school and in this particular neighborhood. No HOA, character filled homes, friendly people, and resale value is high.

And that's it. Everything else we could deal with.

The first time we saw our house, The Hubs didn't give it a second glance. A week later, after checking out four other homes in the neighborhood, I asked if we could stop by it again.

"Ugh. Why?! Did you see that kitchen?!" he asked.

Yes, I did.

I also saw the two original fireplaces, one gas and one electric. Where even one is overkill, this house had two. The irony of two fireplaces in Phoenix kills me.

I lost track after 6 of how many times we saw this house. Our realtor must've thought we were nuts. But I had fallen in love with it the first time I saw it.

Little by little, I snuck ideas into The Hubs head. Kitchen demo. Bathroom rehaul. Huge garage. MAN CAVE.

What we would be giving in on:
*Bedrooms. This is a 3 bedroom house, with an additional outside bonus room.

*Master Bath. The master bath in this house is the size of my pinky toe. Not your "normal" master bath.

*The kitchen. Ohhh, the kitchen. I don't really mind it. But then again, I don't cook. I order in. So the fact that one of the cabinets doesn't have a handle, or that it's smaller than my galley on the plane? I don't care much. It has a huge ugly laminate countertop that we eat breakfast and lunch at, and the kids spread their homework on, and it gets colored on and spilled over, and it works. But, The Hubs hates it. With a passion. He is the chef and he needs a big, open, modern chef kitchen.

I promised him that I could handle living in a renovation home for a while. That I didn't need new appliances, or a big spa bathtub or any of the other creature comforts we have grown used to in 2015 that just didn't exist when this house was built.

I was wrong.

We weren't in the house for two days when I made him put in a new bathroom sink.

When I dropped my toothbrush in the sink and it hit the back of the sink and a clod of rust fell out, it was over. Bye bye 1963 bathroom sink.

Changing a bathroom sink is easy though, if you have a handy husband, so he just popped that sucker out and unscrewed the pipe from the sink base.

Where it promptly fell off in his hand, completely rusted.

Nothing is simple here, I tell you.

Two trips to Home Depot later, we had all the supplies we needed and thirty minutes later, I had a brand new sink and faucet, clearance aisle, of course. It'll do, for now. We have big plans for a few years down the road.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Welcome Home!

Oh, Internet, it's so good to have you back.

See, just yesterday, I didn't have you. No Facebook, no blog, no social media of any kind. My ranting outlets were limited to the four walls of my home.

You have no idea how hard that is.

And why did I not have internet? Because we moved!!! (And other reasons I will explain later.)

We moved to the neighborhood of our dreams - a close-knit, charming community with (wait for it) NO HOA (those of y'all in AZ know how hard that is to find!) and sprawling ranch homes reminiscent of days past.

Seriously. Our house was built in 1963. The kitchen and bathrooms are a testament to that. Days WAAAAYY past.

While the kitchen and bathrooms (and floors, and laundry room and doors, and ...) could use a little work, The Hubs and I couldn't beat the location, the little quirks of an old home, and the 1/3 of an acre grass yard we have been yearning for since we moved here.

It's going to be a labor of love, this house. Thank goodness I have a handy husband and, thanks to the good people at CenturyLink, the internet to document all the do it yourself-ness at this blog. Because if you build it, they will come....and we have come to make this the home of our dreams. Even if it kills us.

Apparently, nothing with an old house is easy. Take Day #1.

We hadn't been here two hours when we tried to move the refrigerator into the spot where the refrigerator should go.

Only to find that it wouldn't even fit into the kitchen....because instead of the standard 36 inch doorway, this one was 29 inches.

We took the doors off the fridge, one screw at a time, pulling the ice machine cord out carefully so as to not spill extra water all over the 1963 hardwood floors. Pushed and pulled and prodded it into the tiniest kitchen known to man....only to find that refrigerators were smaller back then. Ours didn't fit.
Just an excuse to buy new tools 

Props to my handy husband for deciding that since we were going to demo the kitchen soon anyways (two, three, five years....), let's just cut out a hunk of counter top.  An hour later, six inches of Formica counter were on the floor and our refrigerator was were it belonged.

1963 called and wants its wallpaper back

I had the feeling, this would only be the beginning....and I was right.