Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lessie and Minnie fix up the house

Minnie, June 23rd


Your sister has showed me how to work this blog and so now I am going to help her write it.  (She is none too happy about that, by the way…she doesn’t believe that my writing is up to snuff.  I patiently reminded her that I am a distinguished graduate of Appalachian State Teacher’s College, and she just needs to shut the hell up.) By the way, I will no longer apologize for using the occasional ‘hell’ or ‘damn,’ as I believe that after eighty long years on this earth, I have earned the right.

I am afraid that Corless has completely lost her mind regarding this house.  Our agreement was that she would sell her condo and we would use part of the proceeds to update this house, sell it, and move to the beach.  Myra Bumgarner’s boy, James, has assured us that this house will be worth at least four hundred thousand dollars if we fix it up.  That money, plus what’s left over from the condo, is more than enough to buy a lovely condo at the beach.  But Lessie is pinching every penny until Abraham Lincoln screams. 

She is now insisting that we undertake a great deal of the work ourselves!  I am not sure that she understands just how labor-intensive some of these updates will be.  I am eighty years old, for Heaven’s sake, and I refuse to scrape wallpaper!

Please see if you can talk some sense into her.  She received a good amount on the sale of the condo, and we won’t need to spend it all.  We should be able to pay someone to scrape wall paper.



Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lessie, June 14th
This is where you will come to check on how we’re doing here at the house.

I was so glad when John, our technology teacher, showed me how to make this blog and was shocked when he told me you could access it from Australia! Now I can put pictures up here to show you our progress on the house.

The sale of the condo went well. I was sorry to leave my next door neighbor, Shirley, but we’ll continue the tradition of our first Thursday dinner out. I am not sure who will take her to the store to do her grocery shopping, but I think she’ll manage.

I am still adjusting to retirement, but I have my hands full with mother, as you well can imagine.

Check back here every few days, as I will try to post once a week.

Love to Debbie and the children,


Lessie, June 17th

Of course you remember our realtor, James, who did such a wonderful job selling my condo. We had him tour mother’s house today to give us some suggestions for getting the best price.

Here are my notes, nearly verbatim:

1. Have the two oak trees removed from the front yard. I find this patently ridiculous, as it will be both incredibly costly and there is nothing wrong with the trees—they are perfectly healthy. His words were “No one wants to rake anymore.” Can you imagine anything more ridiculous? Raking is the price we pay for having beautifully mature trees!

2. Completely update the kitchens and baths. New toilets and showers and tubs, new kitchen appliances, new flooring—every single piece needs to be replaced. Honestly, I was expecting to update the appliances and countertops, but I thought we could paint the cabinets—they are solid wood, after all. And why would one replace a perfectly good toilet or bathtub? I just don’t see the sense in it.

3. Remove all the wallpaper and paint the walls a pale gray or warm beige. I can understand this—Mother’s choice to redecorate in honor of the Bicentennial leaves the home looking a little worn and tired. I am afraid that this will leave Mother feeling a little depressed, as we all had a hand in the decorating…even you attempted to help paint in 1976, despite not being able to reach the upper part of the walls.

4. Get rid of personal items. And what, may I ask, am I supposed to do with the personal items? James suggested that we rent a storage unit and hire someone to move our things there. I believe that this is risky, unless we can have some assurance that our things will be in good hands. James tells us that in order to sell the home quickly, it needs to be “depersonalized.” My counter-point is that according to the television shows Mother has been glued to, a home is supposed to reflect one’s personality. To whom should I listen?

5. Paint the exterior and put on a new roof. I can understand the necessity of a new roof, as it hasn’t been replaced since before Dad died, which was nearly seventeen years ago. I believe a new roof is a big selling point. But why in the world would someone paint brick? James says that more and more folks are asking for a painted house, as opposed to brick. He says that the red brick makes the house look old. I pointed out that the house is rather old, having been built in the middle of the last century. He said he would have his roofers and painters give us an estimate for the outside work.

As you can see, Martin, I am rather agitated by the thought of remodeling this house. I am glad I have the money from the sale of my condo to invest, as this looks to be a rather expensive undertaking.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Amy is Up at Bat!

A week or so ago, I asked a question on my blog:  Which blog is on your list of must-reads?
People picked Amy.  Here are her answers to some of the more pressing questions of our time.

1.  What do you think of heated floors?

Heated floors sound wonderfully indulgent.  Alas, in a house that is over 100 years old, one in which I can't both blow dry my hair and have any lights on without blowing a fuse, heated floors are not in the foreseeable future.  So, unless my house starts on fire, my floors will remain unheated.

2.  How about gas cooktops?

I've never cooked on any other kind of a stove other than a gas cook top.  I especially love it when I have to light a match.  I must be the only person in the world unable to light a match from a matchbook.  If I had an electric stove, I'd have to forgo lighting candles.

3.  Who was your favorite Spice Girl?

Posh Spice but only because she nabbed David Beckham.

4.  What song on your iPod (or in your album/CD collection) do you feel best represents who you are at this point in your life? 

"Don't Ask Me Why" by Billy Joel.  I have a 4 year old...'nuff said :)

5.   If you are out cruising around town at midnight, are you more likely to hit the drive-thru at Wendy’s or Taco Bell? 

If ever I am lucky enough to be awake past 10pm and I find myself cruising around, I usually have a hankering for a cheeseburger.  I've found, the best burgers, are McDonald's (sorry Wendy's).  I'd happily order a double cheeseburger and a side of fries.

6.  Have you ever played with electricity?

Does static electricity count?

I am not brave enough to fool around with electricity.  Fortunately, I am lucky enough to have a dad that is truly the jack of all trades.  When it comes to anything electric, I bat my eyes and sweetly ask my dad for help.

7.  Where is one place you have visited that you will definitely try to return to? (Or, if I’m using my English teacher grammar, to which you would like to return?) 

I would return to Tahiti in a heartbeat.  The world slows down there.  You have no choice but to enjoy life, sip tropical drinks and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.

Of course, there are so many places I haven't been, chances are Bora Bora will remain at the bottom of the list.  I am desperate to get to either Paris or London next.  And, don't let 'next' fool you, my last real vacation was over 6 years ago.  Next could be 20 years from now.

8.  Seafoam or chartreuse?

Chartreuse hands down.

9.  Your HONEST opinion regarding burlap is…?

I'm more of a felt kind of a girl.

10.  One blogger you love to read is---

This is like asking you pick your favorite child.  Of course, I only have one child so that's a bit easier.

There are so many talented, amazing women, who blog, that I now consider friends, picking just one is nearly impossible.

(Kirby here) Thanks, Amy, for indulging me and letting me feature you at Women Who Blog.  And have fun with your felt (in an appropriate way, of course).