Monumental Progress!

Look! No more bricks!

“It’s time we started worrying about demo’ing the brick wall on Cottage East,” I said to Dave yesterday. The task seemed monumental and, let’s face it, downright intimidating. We had to remove half of the west wall (the other half had already fallen off on its own) and then we had to somehow remove the buckling, yet solid brick on the east wall.

Piles of bricks to move

I was imagining us taking it brick by brick, on ladders, chisels in hand, and frankly, I was wondering how I would avoid being crushed by falling bricks.

This appears to be a second fireplace, right next to the first. If these walls could talk, they would tell me so many details!

Yesterday, when we took the refrigerator doors of the dumb fridge over to Cottage West and Dave put them back onto the fridge, I weeded the front yard of Cottage West. It looks better now. This mild summer with frequent rains has meant a crapload of weeds. Every time I turn around, our yard is overrun!

This used to be a side door off of the staircase going up to the second floor. I think it might have had a small porch and possibly some stairs. The window came off during the demo, so we need to board it up until the guys come out to replace it along with the roof and siding.

My pain levels are high, but I’ve been able to get plenty of weeding done in the past couple of days.

This had a side banister so rotted it lifted off of the brick and cement in one easy motion. Well, it needed to be replaced anyway!

The front raised bed at Cottage East, along with the side strip which had been filled with crabgrass. I still need to do about 1/3 of it.

I pulled at least half, if not 2/3 of the weeds on this side bed.

Either this weekend or the next, we have a small army of kids and adults coming in to move and stack brick. Once that is done, the house will be ready for the roof/windows/siding installation.

The newly weeded raised bed in front of Cottage East

We are about two to three weeks out from it and I can’t wait!

This little house is going to look awesome when it has brand-new siding, roof and windows.

That’s a lot of bricks!

I won’t hold my breath on the codes violations dropping off anytime soon. The violation for “inappropriate storage” was on the books for a year, (it was three large pieces of styrofoam that occupied a porch for three days before the porch was torn down and rebuilt).

As we worked away, we could hear our neighbors talking. The wife just kept on and on. Finally, we heard her husband say something to the extent of, “They are working on the property, they have the bricks down, what more do you expect from them?”

The west side of Cottage East

We just shook our heads and soldiered on. Some folks don’t have much of a life. I feel sorry for her. She seems like a fish out of water around here.

We can only do so much. Our bodies, mine especially, are failing us. We work our wage-earning jobs during the week and then try to fit in time around my dad and the kiddo in the evenings. And on the weekends we go until our backs scream for mercy and our knees say nasty, nasty things.

I’ve spent good money on custom insoles, foot braces, and more for my plantar fasciitis and out of whack back. Despite this, after a few hours of work, I am in so much pain I can barely walk.

So it is plenty frustrating. I want to get so much done!

And I know, I KNOW it will all happen.

We have had some hard hits this year, but we have also had a couple of solid boons. And by next spring we will finally have paid off the fixes to Cottage West and can start putting some serious money towards the other repairs needed to finish both the Airstream and the two Cottages.

Eventually, all of the little pieces and plans will unite into one solid plan, and the three properties will start producing income and our yard will look fantastic.

I’ve never been afraid of hard work. I’m just going to keep plugging away every weekend until we make it all happen, one piece at a time.

And one piece of upbeat news to share. After we managed to demo BOTH walls before noon – my friend and neighbor Michelle came by to whisk me away on a shopping trip. We checked out the Super Flea (not impressive) and then she took me to Weird Stuff over in the West Bottoms. I had never been and was so happy I went because I found that fountain I wanted for the brick wall in the backyard of the Cottage East!

Just $50 – instead of $199 or more brand new. We will mount it with a solar powered pump when we are closer to finishing the project. It will look awesome!

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