Brooke here.

I’ve been making a list of our projects during the time the Disasterhouse blog was dormant. This… Guys, this is a long list! And I’ve got photos for most of it. Why? Well, this blog for one, but we’re also aiming towards getting the house appraised and Yeah but you should have seen it before! has quite a bit of mental sticking power, even if the appraiser is only supposed to take into account the current condition of the house.

Here’s what I’ve got:

  • Remodeled the large bathroom. I started some of the posts on this topic before the blog died. I’ll resurrect them and begin again.
  • Remodeled the basement: Changed out the lighting, added built-in shelves, refinished the cement floors, refinished the brick fireplace and mantle, and stripped six layers of paint off of what turned out to be a really amazing wooden door. Oh, and we added a warp core.
  • Took out one tree that was leaning over the house. Took out three other trees that seemed diseased. Had two other trees fall down, because they were diseased but looked healthy.
  • Eradicated all ivy from the front yard (yay!), and from about half of the back yard (yay-ish).
  • Two fairly spectacular lawns (front and back), and another first-year lawn (back) that’s still straggly but will be fairly spectacular next summer.
  • Removed the original rusty light fixtures that were made of spiders and wasps and probably tetanus. Installed LED lighting that has thus far remained vermin-free.
  • Repainted the pool.
  • Tried to build a natural beehive out of a large chunk of a fallen tree. This has been one of our…least successful projects. Even though we were super-successful at getting bees in it.
  • Installed new gutters after the old gutters fell off of the house. Seriously. One day they were there, the next day they were all “Nah” and hanging off the fascia.
  • Waterproofed the basement: Dug down four feet, pressure-washed, and sealed the masonry, then regraded the soil to go away from the basement instead of directly into the basement (go figure). Installed a new sump system and a rain barrel. Also built a casement window. Also also moved the air conditioner away from the gas main because screw you, previous owners, there are building codes for reasons and you could have blown the house up.
  • Pollinator garden. Pollinator garden. Pollinator garden!
  • Fixed the sinking foundation.
  • Oiled the wood floors using organic walnut oil. This worked well, but also didn’t work well, in part because I’m allergic to walnuts shut up I’m now aware of the situation thank you very much.
  • Painted and repainted a bunch of stuff.
  • Built a walkway from the garden stairs down to the pool (Still on the list? Refinish the garden stairs, which are looking a little run-down in comparison).
  • Installed a new water heater when the old one broke. Same with the garage door opener. And the pool pump. Lately, we’ve been looking at the HVAC and saying don’t you fucking dare.
  • Whole dumptruck loads of mulch.
  • Replaced the walls in the laundry room after a slow leak, the discovery of an astonishing amount of mold, and a week of swearing.
  • Removed a… Hmmm. How much can I say here? There was a…thing. It had stuff in it. Perhaps, and I’m being purely hypothetical here, that stuff was black and oily and should have been removed two decades ago and we happened to find it by accident and while we made sure it was removed safely and professionally, we did not call an organization with a lot of initials in its title to oversee the process. But I’m sure none of that happened and there’s no way I’d ever commit it to a public forum such as this if it had. Which it didn’t. And it certainly wasn’t expensive to fix, that’s for sure!

…and I’ve just reread this list. It’s not complete but I think I need to go lie down in a dark room for a while. Tell me which of these you want to hear about first?

6 thoughts on “Organization

  1. There seems to be a certain enthusiasm for the pollinator garden… I am also intrigued by the non-success of a beehive full of bees.

  2. I’d like to hear about the Ivy and the basement. (Keep the pollinator garden for when you’re feeling need for a pick me up.

  3. I’d vote for bees first. I agree with saving the pollinator garden for later. Maybe the two basement stories next? After that it depends on how you describe it, I guess. ;-]

  4. I like the part where you said “Successful” and “Bees”.
    Pollinator, as my previous partners-in-comments say, sound like you should save it as an achievement milestone, for when you feel you’ve earned a reward.

    Honestly though, with the amount of shit you’ve gotten from this house, the fact that you are still coherent and sane is quite the achievement.
    I would have snapped like one of those house-leaning trees at about a third of that list!

    You’ve really impressed me too: Every time I see a meme or animated gif involving trees in any which way, I think of you, and realise that whatever cool/stupid/hair-raising thing they’re doing with that tree, it ain’t worth spit-n-giggles compared to what you’ve been through.
    I believe I sent you the one where a guy saws down the tree and it falls _exactly_ smack-dab in the middle of the 5 hand-widths between his garage and his house?

  5. I’m happy to read anything, but I am also happy to know I’m not the only one to fail to make the connection between being allergic to walnuts as a foodstuff (and even knowing that it is a protein in the oil that causes the allergy!) and not being able to tolerate exposure to pure walnut oil. In my case I was using it as a medium/thinner for an oil painting project that I was doing, and it took almost a week before I connected the “hand around my throat not quite choking me” sensation with the OPEN JAR OF POISON I had sitting in my room.

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