Boy oh boy, have we been busy little bees!
Around here, the news that my husband would have four days off from work translated to “Amazing loads of sweat and backbreaking labor in both of our futures.”
There is, after all, quite a lot to do. I had been tackling the side yard that borders my herb bed, planting hostas, daylilies and other perennials as I cleared the weeds. With Dave on board, however, we could tackle even more.
In the past three days we have managed to:
- Clear almost the entire 4×20 bed of weeds and plant plenty of perennials
- Mow the grass and weed whack the fence line along with the path along the west side of the house to the backyard.
- Clear another planter directly in front of the porch along with a path of bricks I had no idea were even there!. They were covered with a thick layer of soil and weeds.
- Remove and clear the thick layer of extra dirt the gas main guys had heaped along the base of the chain link fence.
- Dug up the remains of one pole that could have hurt someone if they walked over it.
- Swept the front porch
- Cleared the inside of the house of most of the trash upstairs – filling three trash bags (trash amnesty day is right around the corner)
- Determined where we need to go to rid ourselves of the 100+ paint cans that are filling the front room, the basement and a section of the backyard
- Weed whacked and mowed more of the backyard and filled a trash bag full of trash.
- Moved a heap of yard waste to the back alley (we will take it to Missouri Organics to be mulched next weekend)
- Dug up a crap load of daylilies, moved and replanted them.
- Cleared the stone and brick steps down to the backyard (no more vines and dirt!)
- Mowed the rest of our properties
Now if that list doesn’t make you exhausted just reading it, then you are always welcome to join us. We could use a hand!
All of this, while my body is aching and uncooperative.
We met with two potential contractors today as well. One, a siding company, seemed to be unprepared for the reality that we are facing and told us they couldn’t help us. That was rather surprising.
The other guy, who owned a foundation company, assessed all three of our homes and gave us quotes on two of them.
The Cottage East (our newest acquisition) will need around $4,000 – $8,000 worth of foundation work. And the Cottage West needs around $5,000. The good news is that the Cottage West is not urgent and can be put off for a while. But the Cottage East will need work sooner rather than later.
On Wednesday I have two more siding companies coming out to give bids. Both do siding, windows, exterior doors and roofs, so I’m hoping we can wrap it all up in a nice bundle and “get ‘er done.”
That will be a heck of a financial hit, but we can finance it until more money is freed up in April 2018 and then knock the balance out of the way.
A dear friend came over yesterday and looked it over. She had some great advice on the design of the kitchen as well as positioning of the dining room and more.
As I turn the areas over in my mind, I can see that Cottage East will be a whole house Airbnb, not parted up into separate rooms and co-cohabitation like I had originally thought. It will be great for families who are traveling and want room for kids and more.
Imagine spending $200 per night to stay in a house, with a full kitchen and laundry facilities available to you and your family.
It will be a couple of years out, but we are on our way.
I will admit, it is a staggering amount of work and money. I want to do it RIGHT, and I also see it as an investment in our future.
My paternal grandmother did very well for herself developing and selling off the tracts of land that she and her husband, a well-loved dentist in Liberty acquired over the years.
As we drove back from Minsky’s Pizza today, I said to my husband, “How I wish I had known, in the darkest moments of my life, that this future was waiting for me. Just a hint, just a small reminder that the best was yet to come.”
It isn’t a walk in the park. It isn’t easy. A week ago today I was reeling from inordinate amounts of stress and very little sleep. I have a very tall mountain of work in front of me. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be stress-free.
But it is worth it. And I have to say, I am grateful for the life I live and the home and family that I have. I have so much to smile about each day.
We learned on Saturday that our neighbors (the ones who rehabbed and sold us the house we live in) had bought the white house directly to the east of Cottage East. They approached us about removing the chain link fence which borders the vacant lot and Cottage East.
I was reticent at first, “If we remove the fence and the brush, we will have a rather clear view of the decrepit white house,” I objected.
He smiled, “Don’t worry, it won’t look like that for long.”
And with that, I was over the moon. We are really looking forward to working with them in a few months to remove the brush and chain link and see what they do with that great old house. It is in desperate need of a facelift, but it is well worth the effort.
As Dave said, “Babe, in a few years, this block is going to look absolutely amazing!”
And I for one could not be happier. I’m excited to be saving so many houses from continuing disrepair and neglect. We are making this block something to be proud of!