Stuff and Nonsense: November 2019


11.28.2019

(Hopefully Not) Bringing Down the House

I don't know what you do when you buy your house of dreams, but we immediately began ripping it apart. Oh, I apologized to Little Branch Ranch every time I unscrewed a light fixture or came upon my dad bashing holes in walls. I have promised the house it will be worth it in the end and, fingers crossed, I expect to keep that promise.

Whenever my beloved visits the scene of destruction he grouses that the house looks worse than it did when we bought it, when it was just "old." He is correct. Little Brick Ranch is 100% rocking the money pit look. But it's only a look. Little Brick Ranch possesses a very solid, maintained structure with a new furnace as well as newish roof and windows. Many of the changes and improvements we make will be cosmetic rather than structural. There are necessary system updates lined up -- the electrics, for example, are Very Nope -- but those are easy, if not inexpensive.

The kitchen, though, the kitchen needs everything.

Why, yes, that is a circa 1959 KitchenAid dishwasher! 

Goodbye, light-blocking wall that served no purpose except to hide the laundry area and back door. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye. (I was, admittedly, a little shocked to walk in the other day and discover a missing kitchen wall. I swear, get my dad going and there are no brakes on the man).

Gonna spend the next three months tripping over the radiator.

The drafty cockeyed backdoor will be replaced with a super-insulated full lite door and all the remaining woodwork will be painted white to brighten things up. The radiator will Go Somewhere Else. In the meantime it is, as my beloved says, a big mess. A big, beautiful mess. And it's ours.

In case it isn't obvious enough we're not doing this all on our own, we have largely outsourced the basic fixes to a retired professional, my dad. Dad genuinely wants to help and, as a retired general contractor cum building and zoning officer, I like to think he knows his stuff. While Dad might be a wee touch too enthusiastic about knocking down walls and smashing cracked pink sinks, I know what comes after the destruction will be everything it should be.

11.21.2019

Home Is the Nicest Word There Is



We closed on Little Brick Ranch yesterday. Ever since our offer was accepted back in September, I've felt superstitious about sharing details here. I wanted Little Brick Ranch so badly, you see. From the moment I walked into the house, I was smitten. A two bedroom brick ranch from the early 60s with less space and fewer amenities than our current house? A house with a complete tear-out of a kitchen? Heavens, yes. The heart wants what it wants, to quote the poet.

To write about Little Brick Ranch, to dare to tell the (not) indifferent universe how much I love the house, would jinx everything. So I have tried to keep quiet here and on social media. I constantly talk about the house out in The Big Blue Room. Just yak, yak, yak. Don't know how my coworkers (or therapist, for that matter) put up with me. Lynn, someone should say, SHUT. UP. NO-ONE WANTS TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR PLANS FOR A VEGETABLE GARDEN YOU DON'T OWN.

In my mind, talk about Little Brick Ranch is just air, impermanent and cheap. Writing it down, though. Writing it down makes it true and anything that true about love completely chaps the not-indifferent universe, bringing down all sorts of misery. Am I the product of a written culture? Heck yeah and riddled with the vestiges of Catholic guilt, to boot.

TL;DR: We are now the happy owners of Little Brick Ranch in all its flaws and glory.