summersdream: (sneaking)
Soo... I fell off the face of the internet again. I'm sorry. :/ Getting our house unpacked, arranged and trying to thrift/garage sale/craigslist/buy furniture is sort of eating time. On the bright side I discovered chalk paint and at last there's something I can paint furniture with that doesn't kill me with paint fumes. I finished painting a nightstand that Spike gave me and it looks a million times better now that its ugly dark exterior (which was further destroyed by someone having a water bottle incident I think) is hidden under distressed white. So I'm doing the same thing to Brynden's unfortunate chest of drawers and I'm working on a cute wicker piece I picked up at a garage sale. The wicker piece was $5 and all it needs is some glue and new drawer pulls! Easy fix.

Meanwhile I spent last week in Hometown at mom and stepdad's place while Brynden was at training in Georgia. And that is where we hit problems. Many problems. Let me list them.

1.) Mom is working hella overtime because her high stress state job is now higher stress with the state being in dire financial woe and consolidating 3 county offices into one with half the workers they actually need. So by the time she gets home, she's exhausted and just can't cope with cleaning or housework. Stepdad meanwhile has had a couple eye surgeries and his sight is just... not all that great. Plus he's a product of the 1950s and while he tries to clean he's just not thorough or careful (seriously the number of figurines, pieces of furniture etc that he's broken are just too numerous to count). When I lived at home I would clean the main areas every couple months at the least so while it might get messy it didn't get dirty... and the last few times I was up I was in bad asthma situations so I couldn't clean. So last week I walked into the giant family room and choked because oh my god the dust and spiderwebs. And that's not even talking about the guest room or the front parlor or my old room. And no one told them how to use the new HE washer so oh god the mold in it. o____O 

I spent four days just on the family room, I'm not even kidding. The bar fridge had a giant block of ice instead of a freezer (SOLID. ICE. BLOCK.) and it took 3 days to defrost- with a lamp shining right on it. I swept up enough dirt to build a dam, I think. And I didn't even get around to wiping down the rough-hewn cross beams on the ceiling (btw I know cross beams and rough hewn stuff look cool but TRUST ME you learn to hate them if you try to dust them) or to scrubbing down the mantle. Most of the time I was sweeping, dusting, and cleaning out the tables (they are the kind that have doors and storage in them), washing the curtains, trying to fix some of the scratches on the hardwood with finish feeder, etc.


2)
Mom and Stepdad had to put on a new roof in May- and I don't mean new shingles I mean new ROOF. Their house was built in the 60s sometime and oh my god the stress from the roof stuff has left huge stress cracks all over the walls in almost every room, and a couple in the ceilings. The popcorn ceilings. The textured walls. o____o So Brynden and I are going to do some patching and in the process we'll probably just de-texturize that shit because replicating the wall texture is just... not going to happen. And I'm not interested in popcorn ceiling sprays either, I'll be honest.


3) The half-finished basement flooded three years ago and they had to put in a fully new line for the sump and storm drains and whatnot- including digging up the yard and the street. Afterward stepdad was supposed to get the basement de-molded but he decided there was too much stuff in the way and instead of moving it and doing one wall at a time (the floor is still cement so just required a mop and some soap) he just didn't bother at all. I refuse to go down there without a gas mask, tbh.


4) Stepdad decided to redo the bathrooms about... four years ago? Five? Mom's new shower insert sat in the front parlor for almost two years anyway, and then he finally put it in and hooked up the knobs backward (the cold is to hot, etc) and he didn't even finish off the edge of the little toilet nook where it meets the shower, or repair the other wall where he put a hammer through it. It looked like that for a couple years until he finally put a half-hearted piece of sheet rock on the edge bit but the grout everywhere is still like a giant mess of blobby ick, and there is still the hole in the back wall and.. yeah. The shower he picked for his bathroom is still somewhere in the basement. So that went well.

Oh and god help me, Stepdad hung up a shelf in mom's bathroom- by cleverly nailing a giant plank on the wall and hanging the shelf on that. I wouldn't quibble with that but it's a tiny shelf and I think he used a 2foot 2x4...? And didn't even put the nails in all the way. I don't know. I just... I don't understand.


5)
While cleaning the family room, I worked my way through to the front wall that is nearest the rest of the house- on the other side of the wall are the main bath and part of the dining room. I started cleaning under the surround speakers and the entertainment center and realized it was leaning funny. Having experienced my stepfather's style of furniture arrangement (shove it wherever and if some part breaks whatever)... I figured he had broke the entertainment center and didn't tell mom. I was then distracted by the fact my hands and forearms suddenly looked like I had poison ivy or some kind of horrid welts (allergic reaction to dusting probably, or to cleaning the mold out of the washer without gloves becuase I'm dumb sometimes). That evening mom came in and she was going to help me finish with the entertainment center... and all of a sudden I hear from her side of it: "Oh, shit."

The wood floor has dropped away from the wall. No, really. About half the width of the room, the floor has just started curving downward, away from the wall. O____O Like I have no idea what is keeping the tv from falling into the basement. NO IDEA. Because I'm certain that eventually the middle is going to be pulled further down by the already fallen part and woe to anyone in there. The GIANT and VERY HEAVY television is sitting at about a 15 degree angle an the left part of the entertainment center is worse. So mom and I freaked the fuck out and got out some beer because... yeah.

We told stepdad the next morning and he just stared off into space all depressed and shit. And then moved his mental landscape into Denial. "It looks like it's been that way for a while. It's nothing." O________________________O 

I started begging mom to promise she'd call contractors on monday, or she'd let me call them. Or she'd start nagging Stepdad. Or anything. Some kind of action. PLEASE. The giant heavy television is going to crash into the basement and the house will collapse, etc. I wanted her to AT LEAST call an inspector to check the foundation.


6) We moved into the house like 14 years ago and the first thing mom wanted to do was put new carpet and/or flooring in. It's still not done, and the white carpets in the parlor and dining room and hall is so bad now that it looks like dingy cream but trust me it used to be eggshell white. Seriously. Plus the carpet in my room was ruined when we moved in (previously it was a teenage boy's room and there was ground-in poster putty and a couple burn marks, plus a spot that I think he tried to shave the carpet...? I don't even know). Mom had me pick out flooring and color when she picked out flooring for the rest of the house and then... none of it ever got bought.

7) The laundry/mud room has turned into a truly hideous version of a walk-in closet, with stepdad hanging up two questionably stable rails to hang clothes along two sides of the room. Again with nails/screws not in all the way, and clothes piling up on top of the washer/dryer and I just... I can't handle even looking at it. I don't even know where to start- aside from scrubbing the entire washer with vinegar, soap, baking soda, peroxide and then running straight vinegar, baking soda and bleach through it about six times- which I did last week. Plus I bought them HE detergent (Free and Clear because hell no with those ucky fragrances ones) .


.... yeah. (And before suggesting they had budget concerns for not doing stuff... no they didn't. That's part of why I'm so rage-y about this whole thing.) 

Brynden brought me back north yesterday. I talked to mom last night and apparently Stepdad is just like... in no hurry to do shit about the family room floor. And mom was like "We'll see what happens." At which point I freaked out at her "What happens is your end up having to rebuild the basement an family room from fucking scratch. And I will have zero god damn sympathy." 

On the better news, Mom volunteered to take a week off work in September to help me with cleaning the house (I suspect she knows I'll start rearranging things and tossing junk in the garage sale bins- starting with all the fake flowers) and setting up a garage sale for them. And she wanted to take another week off to help me deal with our house but tbh theirs is in far more dire straits. Ours just needs some routine things like painting some scratched paint, etc. Nowhere do we have mold, floors falling in, or cracked walls.

Brynden's volunteered to deal with the mold in the basement if we can get stepdad packed off to visit his kids or taking mom on vacation. It's just figuring out how to ship him off that will be troublesome, and Brynden will do the patching with some minor assistance from me while I go around cleaning stuff so he can get to the walls.

So basically most of my time right now is researching home diy stuff while I try to figure out how to fix some of mom's storage and furniture issues. Half their mess is because the house has almost no storage except to just shove everything into the basement so if I can figure out places/things/ideas for storing stuff neatly and maybe building some stuff maybe part of the problem can be mitigated. Plus, gods bless my mom, but she has a math brain. Equations and investigations and things she is amazing at- but organization and decorating she has a horrible time with, because she just can't see it in her head. She hates decorating with a passion because she can't visualize things without just doing them so she redoes/reorganizes a room then doesn't like it and gets frustrated so she'll just leave it. Which is why the guest room has had the same furniture arrangement for 14 years. The only room she periodically reorganizes is the family room because it is HUGE and she spends lots of time in it, and the furniture in there has slider things on it so she can rearrange it pretty easily. But she hasn't lately which is why she didn't realize how filthy the corners and back area were.

Here's how much my mom hates decorating: She let the 13-year-old pick out the furniture. Seriously. I was the one to out the family room furniture, the dining room table, entertainment center and kitchen table. I was 13. Which, actually I don't think I did too horribly- the only piece that makes me cringe now is the dining room table (it's that honey oak color with carved flowers around the edge and a kind of pedastal feet thing in the center- oh tweenage me, what were you thinking?). The main issue with the kitchen table is the kind of ugly swivel rolling chairs but they are comfy at least. I also picked out the front door, and did most of the furniture arranging until I graduated high school.

AND, stepdad is swearing that if he could just "get this fucking house cleaned up, I'll hire a housekeeper. I'm tired of dealing with it." Of course he follows this declaration up with no doing a damn thing toward cleaning the house. So, I figure if I can get it cleaned, Brynden gets it patched then maybe mom can convince him to get off his ass and buy flooring and deal with the family room, and a housekeeper will finally take pressure off her as well so maybe she'll decide to just order the flooring and get it installed whether he does anything or not.

I just am mostly concerned with the mold, dust and the specter of structural issues that might be hinted at by that damn family room. To me this is like a health hazard in so many ways that I just... I want to fix it. Whether my parents like it or not, dammit I'm getting this fixed. I am not interested in someone ending up with lung cancer or god knows what. *sigh* Seriously as blasee as they both were about everything, I was beginning to think I was being a housing hypochondriac seeing issues that weren't major as major... until Brynden came in was like "Uh no, this is really bad." I was relieved anyway. Until I realized that means all this stuff HAS to get fixed.

D: 

If you guys have any awesome places for storage/organization stuff, let me know.


summersdream: (cake)
Did you know there are actual instructions on how to care for a nonstick pan? Like, you should... season it. I thought that was just cast iron skillets.

And also, water heaters have plastic bits that can break and then you have super hot water pouring out the top and soaking through the floor so that it starts raining in the downstairs. Then you get a new water heater. The carpet still stays soggy for a day or so though. Ugh.

Oh, and washing clothes is hard because every stupid garment has different instructions.

Blech. And sometimes you have to use bleach like on that white towel that got wet and left on the carpet and somehow turned green. Except bleach+asthma sucks. So that was fun too.

*sigh* Can't wait to have a working car again. SERIOUSLY. On the other hand, with no option for easy escape I'm forcing myself to do a lot more laundry and cleaning. Give me another day or two and I might even do proper meal planning... or real true cleaning. ... okay, yeah that's probably wishful thinking lol

Back to moving things into less obtrusive piles and putting things away in the kitchen where Brynden will never find them!

Luckily the wreck and totalling of the car went pretty easily as far as insurance goes- they gave a good price on Carlotta... now to find something else my picky self will consent to driving in public. >.>

Also, watching Rapunzel on Netflix. It's far less awful than I thought. I'm actually entertained.

Ohh and current new fixations: Mad Men.

I know as a Housewife I should be watching telenovelas or something but really... Netflix. Much more convenient.


OMG AND DEADWOOD. Finally watching it and we're on Season 2 and I LOVE THIS SHOW. That is all.
summersdream: (fire!)
I have officially begun the battle against that most dreaded of foes: the bachelor pad.  I consider the kitchen mostly conquered. We even now have a mop, and cleaning stuff. Are you amazed? I'm amazed.

The kitchen was a frightening thing. The garage seemed to have wandered in and taken up part of it, and another chunk had sprouted strange, giant cannisters full of alchemical powders with strange names like "Muscle Milk" and lots of imagery of explosions and bare-armed giants. Meanwhile behind the sink was sludge of a thousand defeated dishsoaps who had cried their sludgy, forgotten tears in the corner. I armed myself with paper towels and a scrubby sponge and did my best. I banished the Sinew Extract to a dark cabinet where it can harm no one with its garish labels and false promises, and reclaimed the counter in the name of the toaster.

 I confess I did not go near the cabinets. I feel this is a separate battle. As long as no one opens their doors and releases the things of the dungeon dimension we can rest and pretend we do not know the evil that lurks...

I started on the upstairs bathroom today but it is a trickier beast because I'm fairly certain it's really just a repurposed broom closet. On the bright side it won't take long to clean a glorified broom cupboard, but on the downside most of its mess is due to the fact there's nowhere to put anything except 'in plain sight' and it has better lighting than the downstairs which, also, as NO COUNTER. This place was designed by men. Straight men, who had one bottle of shampoo and one tooth brush and maybe a stick of deodorant and who thought that if they gave a girl somewhere to put her damn make-up bag that she might then move in and infringe upon their sacred bachelorhood.

This theory is also supported by the entryway which has for no discernable reason a hanging round discoball-looking light fixture that probably thought it added a bit of posh back in the 1970s but now just confuses me everytime I walk in and look up.

The downstairs one is going to get a top-to-bottom cleaning tomorrow too... at least it has a shower curtain now. That's really all I can say in its favor. It has a shower curtain. No counter. One cabinet. There's room for like maybe one bottle of shampoo in the shower and you best not be having any of that there fancy body scrub to keep around...

Meanwhile. There's the living room. The futon finally broke but while I know we need a couch to replace it  I can't find one I like, and by 'one I like' I mean 'one I can stand to look at for longer than five minutes.' We still  need curtains anyway... and some more cabinets or some kind of stuff-storage-things. Everytime I look at Brynden's project table my eyes narrow and I swear vengeance on it, but I can't very well do anything to the giant messy thing unless I have non-messy places to put the mess.

Poor Brynden. I'm driving him nuts. He'll thank me. At least, I assume so. Once he's learned what a love-seat is and spent an hour staring in horror at duvet covers and been lectured on the horrrors of mistaking eggshell for cream, and the virtues of valances... Ok, maybe he's just going to hide in the garage as soon as it's warm enough.

I love you honey. It's for your own good. Really. Scout's honor. Now about that giant sword hanging on the living room wall...

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summersdream

September 2012

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