Monday, November 22, 2010


Hey guys! We're still alive...I've missed blogging, but this house is sucking up 110% of our free time. We're hoping to move in this weekend!

The basement has really set us back, time wise. The jack*ss who owned the house before us (we also call him "that sh*thead," among other things), owned a dog that he had no business owning. The dog escaped from the fenced in backyard and bit someone, so the owner locked the dog up in the basement. For 4 months straight.

This breaks my heart for the dog. The dog was forced to go to the bathroom in its playspace, which is so cruel.

We knew the basement was gross when we bought the house, but I didn't think that clean up would be this intense. The basement is unfinished with concrete floors, wooden stairs, a walk out, a 4 windows. Last week Ryan and I soaked the floors with Comet and hot water and scrubbed with these nylon scrub brushes he bought at Big Lots. That made it smell worse, because then it smelled like old dog pee and wet dog. Yum.

Then the drain clogged. Ryan pulled out handfuls of matted, soaked dog hair, but the drain wasn't draining 100%.

The next day, Friday, my mom and I scrubbed again with a special product made for animal urine in concrete. That got off at least 1 layer of grime. (Mom had a snake and unclogged the drain. A dog toy was stopping it all up). I took a shop vac (best thing EVER) and sucked up all the fossilized dog turds and huge wads of dog hair, then we scrubbed the floors again with vinegar.

It still smelled worse. The more we scrubbed, the more dirt leeched up from the concrete floors, the more urine smell we seemed to unlock. The smell was rising upstairs, too.

Saturday. Saturday we scrubbed twice with Tri Sodium Phosphate and a power sprayer. This was the most effective thing yet. We've come to the conclusion that the stairs (which are wooden) are responsible for a great deal of the smell, so we're painting those with a special odor blocking paint. We're also going to rip out the wood shelving that's down there. It's oak, and we hate to do it, but even if the dog didn't pee directly on the wood, those shelves have been marinating in that stench for years.

Just working in the basement requires masks for your face and gloves. It is the grossest thing I think I have ever done. But we are finally seeing some progress, because when we got to the house yesterday, the odor seemed much less pungent than it has.

Anyway. Hopefully I'm buying a camera this weekend, so I can document all of our progress!

Did you run in to any roadblocks with your home?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Another WTH moment

Last night, while I was happily enjoying a fantastic episode of Glee at my parent's house, my husband was finishing up painting the trim in the office, so that I could rip up the carpet and take out staples, etc. We knew there was hardwood under the gross and dog-urine stained carpet, and Ryan was trying to get the painting done so I would have something to do.

I come back from watching Glee, and Ryan informs me that there is good news, and there is bad news.

Good news: lovely, honey colored hardwood floors underfoot for a good half of the room. Darker stained hardwood floors for the back half-no biggie. Character, right?

Bad news: Gaping hole in the honey colored hardwood floors, plugged with a random piece of wood. Also gaping hole by the closet, also patched with random piece of wood.

So like I said last week about the poisin ivy....WHO CUTS A GAPING HOLE IN INDESCRIBABLY GORGEOUS HARDWOOD FLOORS?!

Anyway. I have plans, plans that include salvaging the original hardwoods from the closet to patch the holes. Plans that might not work, but I have back-up plans that include rugs. Area rugs.

Honestly I'm not that bothered by it. When my sister and I were ripping down wood paneling in our house we live in now, we found a window that had been bricked over and stuffed with insulation behind a chunk of wood paneling.

Truly though, it's a small room, and we can definitely make it work. With houses as old as ours, you have to go into it expecting crap like that to happen. But it does concern me for the upstairs, which is 100% carpeted. We can hide stuff in a small room, but the upstairs has much bigger rooms, meaning any fixes we have to do will be more expensive.

Other happy house news: the entire main floor is 100% popcorn ceiling free, and our living room and office are both painted a cheerful, sunny yellow. Also we did yardwork almost all day Sunday, and the house already looks much more loved.

Have you ever had any home improvement or decorating surprises? And how good was Glee last night?!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Holy Hell

Holy Hell is exactly right. Ryan and I are both covered in poison ivy that we got from our own house. WHO LETS POISON IVY GROW IN THEIR FRONT YARD?!

Ryan did some yardwork Monday, trimming bushes in the front yard. I did his laundry late Monday night, and I've got poisin ivy and so does he. Not cool. And I'm in a wedding this weekend, so I've been having mild anxiety attacks that the bright red welts will show, but it looks like they are all going to be covered. Whew.

My friend Melissa is getting married tomorrow! I get off work at noon, then I have some stuff to finish up and a few errands to run and I am on the road. According to the intinerary, the b-maids are decorating the church from 3-6, so I will hopefully get there right at 3. I am failing miserably at the bridesmaid bit this week...I told Melissa's mom I'd bring some baked goods for the wedding breakfast tomorrow, but this house is sucking up 100% of my free time. I was up until 11:30 last night baking bread and muffins, and I just didn't have it in me to knock out cinnamon rolls too. So I'm cheating and stopping off at a bakery on the way to get something delicious. I'm heading home from the wedding after the reception tomorrow night, so it's going to be a marathon however many hours! I'm so excited for her...she's had such a time of it, and I know she's going to have a beautiful day.

Also, my little sister Mary is running at her state cross country meet tomorrow at 9 a.m. She's a senior, so this is her last rodeo. My sister Alli is video taping it for me :)

We're scraping popcorn ceilings. It's a much bigger project than I thought it would be, but hell, we'll NEVER do it while we live there since it's such a freaking mess, so we might as well do it right now, right? Right. Thankfully it's coming off like a dream, and revealing nicely textured walls that we don't have to patch or sand. Woohoo!

I am so worthless on Fridays....what about you?

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Wow I'm slow on the uptake...but our wedding was blogged by our photographer, Gail Fleming! You can check it out here, and if you aren't 100% sick of our wedding pictures yet, at the bottom of the post you can click on "Stacy and Ryan slideshow" to see a sampling of pictures.

I just love our wedding!


Ryan and I closed on our house on Monday, and we've been over every evening since working on it. Ryan has taken on the huge job of sanding, priming and painting the kitchen cabinets, and I've been cleaning along with help from my mom and my sisters.

We are lucky to have such a large amount of cabinet space, but lots of cabinet space means way more work for Ryan. It'll be worth it in the long run! We both knew that once we moved in the cabinet painting project would just keep getting pushed off, since it comes close to making the kitchen unusable. Who wants to mess with that when you live somewhere? So Ryan is doing this before we even move in.

The kitchen is huge, and the cabinets and appliances are in the great U-shape. The fridge is pushed way out from the wall for cleaning right now.

This is the living room. The big opening on the right is the kitchen. I love the open staircase.

We are super lucky that my family is so close and so helpful! Mom, Alli and Mary have been over every night this week. Mary took a toothbrush to the woodwork last night...needless to say, their help is making this gargantuan project seem much more managable.

This was post-floor cleaning.

Mary cleaned dog hair and dust out of the vents. Sidenote: Mary qualified for state in Cross Country, so she'll be running in Jeff City this weekend!

The ceilings are 10 feet high, and the woodwork around the windows is original. This is the living room again.

More living room.

This is wildly unique for an old house: main floor laundry! And it's right off the kitchen and the master br, so it couldn't be more convenient.

This is the upstairs landing. We're thinking sewing machine spot or reading nook, not sure yet.

Here's one of the upstairs brs (the master is on the main level). We'll set this up as a guest room..maybe that will induce some of our St. Louis friends to come down for a visit!

I love the transom above the front door.

Our first night in the house, all I did was clean out the fridge with bleach spray. I worked on it for over 3 hours and didn't even get to the freezer. I have never in my life seen a dirtier fridge.

It's sparkling clean now. We have 2 pears (courtesy of Grandma, thank you Grandma!, 1 Coors Light courtesy of my mom, 2 bottles of Michelob Ultra and 1 bottle of champage. The freezer has freeze pops to bribe people to help us.

(That's a sorority rush shirt, I was a ZTA but I went alum when I transferred in the middle of college.)
Here's the other upstairs br.

This is the main floor guest bathroom, nice and clean.

Last night we realized that the popcorn ceiling comes right off and reveals a lightly textured ceiling that looks WAY better than the popcorn. So tonight I scrape popcorn ceilings. I'm hoping it won't completely ruin all the cleaning I've done, but we'll see....
We are hoping to move in in a couple weeks, but we'll see. If we keep on discovering big messy projects it's going to be longer! We also have to decide on paint colors tonight. Any ideas?
How long did it take you to move in to your house after you closed on it?

Monday, November 1, 2010


Saturday night we threw Melissa the best bachelorette we could manage! With everything that has been doing on with her, we just wanted her to have the best possible time. Mission accomplished!

Everyone minus me and plus a few others took a bus to some wineries all day. I met up with everyone for dinner and the bars.

We dressed up to go out downtown in the worst b-maid dresses we could find.

This picture is from the local paper's online photo gallery for Halloween. The caption below it says "A bride and her groomsmen walk down Main Street on Saturday, Oct. 30th." I personally don't feel as if we look manly, thank you!

I pinned a bow to my dress to give due honor to the classic bridesmaid butt bow.

No idea:

It was a great night, and I hope Melissa had a blast!
Also, a hangover at age 24 takes much, much longer to shake than a hangover did a few years ago. Who knew.
What did you dress up as for Halloween?