Friday, August 29, 2008

I won't be crying that it's over

I've been very naughty because we actually sold the house three weeks after it was listed but the sale process was such that counting chickens would have been a bad idea. I mean, a $2k deposit? Even *I* would walk away from that.

But now that the cheque has cleared and the pretty money is in the bank ---
YAY!! YAY!! dancing and clinking of champagne glasses, hollering and high fiving.

It's over!! That house is now for someone new to love and enjoy :-)

No really, thank you God.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day 3 months. It's finished, complete, DONE!

Happy happy joy joy.
The six weeks that turned into three months is finally well and truly over. The house looks beautiful. Tony stayed for an extra almost three weeks while I came back to Melbourne and started work (with initial teething problems). Battling the flu and other icky illnesses, he soldiered on until finally, FINALLY we called our real estate agent of choice, the lovely Leesa, in to take over.
What? someone else takes over?
Yes, it is a dream come true that we don't have to sell this blasted thing ourselves. I know, I know, the world says horrible things about real estate agents, but I think Leesa is a princess among women. I think I knew she was The One when she was walked through the house muttering to herself. Things like 'oh, here's the heart of the house. This is where a family can come together at the end of the day.' I'm like 'YEAH! That's exactly what I would've thought if I had an ounce of brain cell left. And she offered all the right things as incentives, and was so keen that in the end the choice was easy. I just know she's going to sell it just like I would (if i had the beforementioned braincell). So we'll see how it goes. And as I keep reminding Tony - we have to let it go now.

A few little words of thanks to some people who may not realise what angels they are. Leonie, for sending down chocolate at regular intervals and always being an ear to whine to. Robert for previously mentioned priceless help at the exact time we needed it most. Freya, for the countess blessings in my mail box and also for coming down when she obviously saw the horrid pictures of me and knew I needed saving, the guys at Blue in Inveresk for the wonderful coffee. The Muffin, for providing my husband with eye candy when I was looking so woefully unappealing. Adam and chiropractor for those adjustments that can only be termed as euphoric. Boris for being not only the handiest man around but one of the most generous. Marie for giving Boris muffins and chocolate for his morning tea (and thereby us). Jill for sending me down new release books. And definitely everyone who left us messages right here on these pages. It was great to know you were all checking up on us and our progress (or lack thereof).



Here are some before and after shots for the sake of closure. Hopefully you can figure out what is what because the blogger picture thing is causing me grief.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Day 64 - in which we are so over it we want to cry

And in fact tears have been shed. I have now done the boo-hoo-hoo tour of Lonny, where you drive around crying until you can cry no more. Extra points if a truckie looks down at you with sympathy. Triple points if you can manage a snot bubble. Unfortunately I'm just not that talented, but I did give it my best effort, and pride myself on the delusion that Tony had no idea I'd been crying.

Tony hasn't cried, but this is obviously because he is made of sterner stuff. He just swears a lot, and sends me down to the bottlo for more wine. Then suddenly the wine is GONE.

Either method is an effective stress release for the renovation that refuses to end.

In an additional measure for stress relief , we took ourselves down to the Basin Cafe. This was the view from our table.

But I don't remember it because I was busy with these pancakes. What pancakes? you might ask, and fairly so, because the poor fluffy darlings were buried under what must be 500 grams of blue berries.
Later, we wondered why people were looking at us like we had two heads (ironic), until we smiled at each other and saw we had blue lips, teeth and tongues.

But we are SO close (i feel like i've been saying that for a month, so you really shouldn't trust me). So close that I can almost hear the 'For Sale' sign being banged up out the front. So close that I can smell the musty odour of the Spirit of Tasmania. And I could say that I can almost taste the food from my new oven, but that would be a *lie* because the oven is installed and I really can, finally, cook. And thank God, because I think I've put on two kilos in two weeks. If anyone's looking for the spare tyre they were sure was in the boot of their car - panic not - I have stashed it around my waist. Keeping it nice and safe for you.

So, to update and stop boring your pants off:

Bathroom - tiling the wall is about 70% done and Boris is doing an amazing job. He sings while he works which I find very amusing. It's always songs like 'going to the chapel and we're, gonna get maaaarrried.' They say Italians are good tilers, but I say you can't beat a good German for getting it exactly right. See that bath in the bottom right hand corner? It's not hooked up to water yet, but that doesn't stop me plonking myself in it every single night. I have to use my stock pot to fill it up, but it's so worth it. I sit there in the dark, just me and my flannel, trying to remember what my life was like before we started renovating. Did i have one? Not sure.

Kitchen - waiting on the benchtop. Yesterday the sparkys came and hooked it all up, much to my Snoopy-dancing joy.

House - exterior painting done. Currently painting the shed which is proving to be a pain in my expanded posterior. If I'd realised all those ridges in the iron meant painting by brush, I would have left the bleeding thing au natural and to hell with the consequences. There's rain on the way this week so we're making the most of the sunshine while we can and then we'll finish up inside. At the moment we can't start painting until nearly 11 am because of the dew that sets in overnight, and by 4 30 it's pretty much all over because it gets too damp in the air.

House - interior - currently doing small finish up jobs. Replacement skirting boards have gone in where we pulled them off. A new window has been made for the kitchen, the sliding doors have been installed including a cavity door for the bathroom. Half the down lights are up and the sparky's are coming back next week to finish off all their jobs. Still have to do another coat around some of the windows. Still have to put up the blinds but they are all here waiting for the rainy days.
More soon when I post the goodness that is the revamped BBQ area.
Bet you can't wait!!

Unless, of course, you're as over this as I am. Renovating!! Who's idea was this???

It was mine? Urrggggg.

Tony (prince of men) has just told me that he's stock-potted a bath for me, so i'm off before the water gets cold.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Day 55 - Kitten de jour

Obviously the word is getting around that our place is the place to be if you're a very cute cat.
Walked into the front bedroom to find this:


That soon turned into this because as we know, cats are curious:

That soon turned into this because Schweitz is a soft touch.

Pushka was not happy when he came to call later on. There was some cat spatting and the kitten chased poor Pushka away. hey guys, there's enough pats here for both of you!

We thought he was asleep but the industrial strength purring gave him away.

Things grooving along again today, with the boys installing the kitchen and me doing that thing I do so well (watching).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Day 52 - in which we start to get excited.

Oh it's starting to look good! It actually looks more like a house and less like a hovel. We did work hard today. I think it has something to do with the Schweitz saying "come on! finish that coffee and let's get started!'

So let *me* get started on some updates:

1. The dipped doors are pretty!! And who knew, but they perfectly match the floor boards. Must be something to do with the fact they were, um, MADE to match the floorboards, you doofus, Robyn.

2. The garden has grass and looks like a garden rather than a giant kitty litter tray.

3. The entry looks good too. The left is 'before', right is 'after'.

More later!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day 51 - in which the Schweitz kicks some renovation butt

So much has happened in the past week that I've barely had time to eat chocolate.
Hold on, I've had time to eat chocolate, but no time for anything else.
A girl has her priorities, after all.

But all jokes aside (not that i was joking), there were times during the week when the house looked suspiciously like a bad episode of Renovation Rescue. Minus the Suzie Wilks babe factor. And after all my whining, we had in one place at one time: landscapers, floor sanders, electricians, carpenters, plumbers and any old riff raff that felt like wandering in off the street. It was manic.
Tony was very happy. I was very exhausted. Who knew it would take so much energy to watch other people work?

But nothing has managed to get our asses into gear like a visit from the Schweitz.
Or at least his ass is very much in gear, and ours is left trailing behind in his Energizer wake.
He is ace.
We've always known he was generous, it's kind of hard to miss someone with his size heart. His generosity is the stuff of family legend and something he would hit me if i wrote about. But when we were still in Melbourne and arrived home one night to find his sleeping bag and his inflatable mattress on our porch to take down with us, we knew he wasn't kidding about coming down and giving us a hand.

He's here a whole week!!

He arrived Monday, and I swear all the Launcestions must have thought the Beatles had reformed and arrived, by the rockstar welcome we gave him. I was yelling 'where is he? I can't see him!' and Tony is all 'he'll be there, don't worry. Oh, there he is, I'd know that scone anywhere.'

Then, we had another little laugh by taking him to a derelict house situated in small court along with McDonalds, a second hand car yard, a cane warehouse and a plaster making factory and telling him it was our place.
The cruelty!!
But by God it was hilarious. And he didn't even look at us like 'you must be kidding me', he just said 'it's changed from the photos, that's for sure.'

But within days, suddenly rooms are getting finished and he's tackling all the things Tony and said 'gawd, who's going to fix that?' about.

All those little things like 'we've pulled out the entire cupboard and screwed the plaster up. How do we fix that?"

'Crap, we thought we were so smart buying those ceiling roses, but how do we get them up?'

Installing the kitchen?

He is a whiz, and in addition, has a repertoire of mild cuss words I'm thinking of employing on a full time basis. Or maybe it's just the way he cusses. He talks to the plaster/switch/ceiling rose like it actually has some say in the matter.
"Don't you dare you buggar. I'm warning you, don't even think about it" all said with such relish it's hard not to stand at the bottom of the ladder and grin. Then he says 'what're you doing? I thought you were getting me a cup of tea?'

I don't think he has any idea how much it means to us to have him here. I keep trying to tell him, but he brushes it off. It's not his skills, although they are awesome and something my Dad would have been so proud of. It's having someone we love so much here and telling us it's all going to be okay. That we're doing okay. First Freya, and now Rob. We are blessed. In fact I feel so grateful that I have stocked my fridge with premium beer just because I know he likes it. I think I will owe him much babysitting of his children while he goes and holidays somewhere exotic.

In other news - we even have grass now, but that will have to wait till next post to dazzle you with it's goodness. For now, here's the halfway done BBQ area.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Day Um...not sure...maybe...lots

Haha! Freya has taken control of the blog! For one post, anyway.
Actually, I bundled up my painting clothes and went down to Lonnie for four days to kick the tires on Robyn's reno, so I thought I'd better report back.
They have a freaking amazing job so far, and i heard a rumor the men were in to sand the floors today, so it will soon look even better.

In honour of my visit we got to stay in a posh hotel. (actually, it was the fact the bathroom looks like this & the washing the hair in the bucket disaster that led to the fancier digs, but let me have my delusions of grandeur) It was opposite the Boags Brewery, but I was without husband, so didn't have to go on a tour.

In their on-going quest for the perfect coffee/pancake/danish, I think R & T have been to every cafe in Launceston. (They're even giving advice to Fat Wombat, the landscape gardener, on where to go for a caffeine hit.)
I don't think they quite believed me when I said I really did come down to paint, so we had to stop eating and start working! (after blinis and bircher muesli, of course)

Here is me and Robyn on the scaffold.
I tried to take the pic, but managed to get all of Robyn and only half of me.

Robyn taking the pic worked much better. Taking a pic of yourself is a real skill!

It seems looking at the camera is also a skill.

Now it's time to boast. So here's a pic of the bit I did. I did the bit under the window and the rest of the wall after I took this and also bit you can't see, around the other side, but this shot includes Big Al, the little blue trailer.

Here's Robyn and Tony doing the really hard slog up on top of the scaffold. (I went up there to have a look around and found the hardest bit for me was getting down off the bloody thing. Tony's assessment as I struggled to extract myself - Very Graceful. Luckily there is no photographic evidence of how graceful that was. At one stage I thought they were going to have dismantle it to get me out.)

I did take an action shot of me painting to silence the Doubting Husband, who had the suspicion that the trip would be all chocolate & girly alcoholic beverages and no painting.

And look husband, I'm wearing that old shirt of yours to paint in. You know the one that was lying on the floor...what do you mean that wasn't old?

R & T, having been unsuccessful in canceling my ticket and keeping me as a renovation slave, drove me to the airport on Sunday afternoon via a Devonshire Tea. A peacock tried to eat Robyn's.

As you can see by Robyn's face, no one was going to take her scone.

The weekend just flew by, a wonderful mix of cafe, op shop and painting (oh, and sleeping - manual labour, how you tire me!) and today I kept getting that nagging feeling that I should be painting.

Thank you Robyn & Tony for having me.
Any dodgy paintwork is no doubt the bit I did!