Saturday, April 30, 2016


The last few posts I've talked about all of the work that we've done and have yet to do on the lil piece of paradise we bought.  

Tonight, I want to focus on the true paradise this property is.

These are a few of my favorite things ...

I've always had a fondness for violets in the springtime and this place is loaded with them.  Everywhere and I mean everywhere.  

The apple trees are just starting to bloom.  So pretty and the smell is heavenly.  I love all of the trees and greenery on this property.  At least for now I do until the skeeters and bugs all start buzzing in a few weeks.  

Rhubarb - we have our own rhubarb, people!  Rhubarb!  It's not very big as it's pretty shady where it's planted and we will eventually transplant is elsewhere on the property.  But for now, I have rhubarb!  It's skinny but it's rhubarb!  Did I say we have rhubarb?  Just making sure.  No more robbing my sister-in-laws rhubarb bed.  [note all the violets surrounding it]

and DH's little piece of happiness for our paradise... finally, a bulldozer to push more trees over and clear the fencerows [insert - Tim Allen's tool man chant]  It even has a 4-in-1 bucket.  I'm not sure what that exactly is but it was important that the machine had it so I'm good with that.  ;)  DH is a happy boy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

House project - interior

Strap on your face mask and come on inside to our house project.  This is what "as is" looks like.

The Kitchen

 The plus side is since the woman passed in 2012, the family has kept the power and heat on.  This would have been extra nasty if the power had been shut off.  Did you know that eggs eventually evaporate and there is just a shell left?  Just a little something we learned through this.

Again, so thankful they kept the power on.  There were 3 freezers full!

One of the two bedrooms
Living room

The back sitting area

And the creme de la creme .... the basement

One of our initial options was to clean the house out and maybe even rent it out for a year or two until we were ready to re-hab it for us but that was,  The smell was so bad even after removing the belongings that we gutted it to the studs and the subfloor.  Understand when I say "we gutted it" what I'm mostly saying is "DH gutted it".  I helped a few times but this was mostly his winter project.  What a guy!  The smell even through a face mask drove me right back out the door. We've gutted flooded homes after Hurricanes and I can honestly say I've never smelled or seen anything quite like this.

Please understand, that I am not trying to poke fun at or belittle the woman who lived here. In fact, I actually felt sorry for her.  As I was cleaning out the freezers, it really saddened me that she lived there by herself with her only family out of state with freezers full of food possibly for when they came to visit.  It makes me wonder how many other elderly live in wait of a visit from their far away family.  Truly sad and we are just as guilty as the next.  

Saturday, April 16, 2016

House project - exterior

Ahhh, and now for the house......... 
This home has been neglected for many years.  From what we can tell the house was built in the early 70's and was still in the original owners hands.  The woman that lived here lost her husband back in the early 90's and did what she could to keep things up.  From the evidence we can see, she was a hoarder tad eccentric.  They had one daughter who lived in North Carolina and only visited once or twice a year.  After the owner passed, within a year and a half the daughter also passed so we purchased the home from the owners son-in-law and grandson.  

We had to crawl under the shrubs to get in the door when we went to look at it.

There are a number of holes in the side of the house.  
Holes in the house = critters in the house.  :(

 As far as the exterior of the home itself, outside of the holes in the fiberboard siding and a few cracked windows, the house seems structurally sound.  Stay tuned.  Next time, when we take a tour of the interior. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

We bought a project continued.....

The views and sunsets on this property are amazing!  These pictures were taken before any trees were cut back and it's still gorgeous!

And again, the lay of the land is wonderful!

The land is what really sold us on this piece of property.  The house, well.... let's just say, the house alone wouldn't have done it.  BUT will be very worth it in the end.  

Monday, April 11, 2016

We Bought A Project

I suppose when most pick something back up that has laid dormant for a long time such as this poor blog, most would give an explanation as to why the dormancy took place. However, why go with the crowd?  Just pick it up and move on, right?  And that's what I'm going to attempt once again to do.

A few years back, a movie was out called "We Bought A Zoo".  Well, we didn't buy a zoo but definitely bought a project which I'm sure we've referred to as a zoo a time or two.  We've talked for a few years about downsizing to a smaller home.  Our current home is just under 2400 sq feet so not huge in today's standards but still more house than we need as empty nesters.  We rarely use the upstairs unless we have guests which isn't often so for the most part, we only live in 1000 sq. feet of it.   Our current home also sits on 1.5 acres of grass, all of which we mow and we are to the point that we don't want to spend our weekends doing yard work.

So we went on a hunt for something that would suit us well into retirement and our senior years.  One of our criteria was a rural setting or acreage.  We were made aware of a property, almost in the backyard of the church I work at and it was just under 9 acres.  
Cha-ching!  Acreage!  In conversation with the deceased owners daughter, we were made aware that this acreage also had a small ranch house and a few outbuildings and that it might be a bit of a fixer-upper which they wanted to sell "as is-contents included".  Ahem ....

Does the fact that we had to duck and crawl under the shrubs and trees to get to the door qualify as a fixer upper?  or just an overgrown mess?  or maybe, just maybe, both?

Those things alone should've been a deterrent but no, we forged ahead.  Yeah, we're crazy like that.

Once we took a look at the lay of the ground and the setting it won us over.  
(disregard the outbuildings in the picture - they are a post all on their own)

The pine tree lined lane had me at "hello". 

How bad could the house really be?  Stay tuned and you'll see what's kept us busy these last few months.