Saturday, August 27, 2011

Moved In...

We moved in today and all day my thoughts were... how in the world can I ever thank everyone? So, in last page of a CD cover style, I want to use this public blog to thank everyone individually.

First. Mom and dad... for the air conditioning which is blasting over my head as we speak, which would bring tears to my eyes if there were any fluids left in my body. For the beds. The WORK...(mom scrubbed toilets and dad climbed around on the roof.) The love and support and of course... for everything else I won't mention.

My mother and father in law, Wally and Debbie. For watching the children for hours on end, for the awesome Slade hot dogs that first moving day, and Wally for lifting and shifting and scrubbing. And Debbie for painting until her usually perfectly manicured toes were speckled and her hair was peppered with a lovely shade with baby blue latex.

My brother Brad and his wife, for housing us and feeding us for four days, for watching the kids for hours on end. Brad for coming out TWICE and trimming trees, hauling trash, and mowing dirt. :)

Ben Hunt my brother in law for coming that first day and getting yelled at by our crazy toothless neighbor lady and then still staying and cleaning up the yard in record breaking heat.

To MOLLY... who is not family but who worked her arse off like she is. She was there at least once a day EVERY day, painting, cleaning, hauling out trash, she fixed my front door. She drove with me all over Mesa. She was my sidekick and support and I can never thank her enough.

To Ben and Emily Slade, who came for two days in a row and basically painted my whole entire house. Truthfully the house would not be painted if they hadn't shown up. And to boot, they took my two boys to the STYFL carnival for several hours and let Newell and I work... miraculous. Also to their daughter Adrianna, who helped paint today. So sweet.

To Brent Slade, who let us use his dump trailer and his big huge truck so we could haul three dump trailer loads of the previous owners trash to the dump. And for helping Newell load most of that trash into the trailer. Even a trash bag that I had hastily loaded with kitchen knives and broken glass... sorry Brent. No harm no foul right?

To Toby and Tyler Trejo, who came this morning and basically unloaded the Uhaul alone, with Newells help. They were nails today.

To my step son Bradley and my step daughter Jennie. They both helped for several days, heavy and difficult labor. Two teenagers whom I am sure had other, more pleasant things to do.

I am overwhelmed and emotional after five days of hard labor. My feet hurt and my heart is full. I can't imagine a more blessed person that I am with family and friends. I wish I could give you all five dozen roses or five dozen cookies ... or both. I simply can't express it enough.

Other than to simply say, from my family to yours,

Thank you.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011


First I have to start by saying, when I see other people's blogs, I get jealous. I am not a good blogger. I have no idea how to do link parties or anything like that. I have even looked into attending a community college course on blogging, but so far I haven't found anything.

Also, I have a decent computer, but my three children, especially my boys, Ethan and Wesley, are addicts. They are on it non-stop, and when I make them get off, it's full out war. I find that I avoid such unpleasantness on a subconscious level. So I blog from my HTC Evo. It's a great phone and the Blogger app is the best I have found, but it's limited. No including links in the text, no integrating photos into the text. It's pretty simple programming, but I use it over the computer because of my kids and because I don't keep methadone around the house for their computer addiction withdrawal symptoms.

But in an attempt for a higher quality blog, I write today from my computer.

Because I have amazing news.

Today we are closing on the house! For those of you who don't read often, this little number:

It's 1100 square feet of 1970's heaven. Here are the upsides:

Large, healthy trees, an amazing plus in this Arizona heat. Not too many houses have big trees here, since most homes were built in the last 10 years.

Another upside, two FULL bathrooms. Adding a bathroom can be complicated and expensive, and many old homes here only have one, or one and a half.
Here is the master bath, there were no lights, so the flash on my mom's camera caught more details than the naked eye. Tee hee... I said naked.

And here is the hall bath, not a bad size, and has my hottie husband in the shot, staring down woefully at the tiny dirty toilet.

Third plus, three bedrooms. While bedrooms are much easier to add, it's nice that we won't have to add any for awhile. Three is our minimum... and that's pretty tight. They are little baby bedrooms, I think the master is no bigger than 122 square feet, but that's a great start!

Here is the master. Once again, not lit and draped with some kind of semi-permanent window treatments. So the flash from the camera revealed a lot later.

Here is bedroom number one. Whoever lived here was sleeping on bare mattresses, and didn't mind untidy conditions. This room was obviously for a girl, probably a teenage girl. It's also very small, maybe 10x11.

And bedroom number three. It seems to have been used for dogs and I would guess the man who lives there sleeps in this room. It's substantially darker and not pleasant.

You can't really see the flooring in the hall and bedrooms, but it's torn apart something fierce. The current residents have dogs, and they have had their way with the linoleum. You can see concrete as much as you can see linoleum. We knew we needed about 100 square feet of hard flooring for the hall and entry.

A few weeks ago I was browsing Craigslist and found this:

The lister said she had roughly 100 square feet, still in the boxes, and it was Shaw engineered, handscraped wood flooring in Maize. She was asking $50. I jumped on it. At fifty cents a foot, it was a SCREAMING deal. It normally sells for close to $7.00 a foot.

We wanted a wood flooring in the hallway because we knew we could get carpet remnants for the bedrooms and none of them would match each other. The lovely wood floors in the hallway would make a perfect transition.

We went today and bought all the carpet for the bedrooms, plus the pad, for roughly $450.00. Newell will install it and that makes for a screaming deal at purchased and installed for $1 a foot.

I highly recommend this place, called A&P Carpet Center, in Mesa. They have rolls and rolls of remnants, and you end up with a nice, high quality carpet for a really great price.

Also an unusual and pleasant surprise, a very nice sized kitchen. You will notice, no dishwasher, a serious problem for me and my large family, but one that can easily be remedied. And... blue cabinets. But Newell and I have figured out a cheap and easy way to fix that, and you will have to wait and see to find out!

The flooring is hideous, but in good shape. So we will fix that sometime down the road.

Notice the gas stove, which means... gasp... I will be able to have a lovely gas stove of my own someday (Viking!) I have had electric all my married life and envied gas stoves. They are just better.

Amongst other things, I like the siding, the slump block that looks like brick, and this sweet little playhouse that will also get it's own makeover.

The last thing, is the price. At a tidy sum of $39,000 in the center of Queen Creek, it's a steal. A STEAL.

Now, for the drawbacks.

There is no pantry.

After much discussion, we decided that a temporary, if not permanent, solution to this would be to take a neglected armoire and bring it to life, so that it looks like this one

Or this one

Or, heart palpitations, this one

So, I am on the lookout.

Another drawback, wait for it, no air conditioning. It has a central swamp with ducts running to each room, but evaporative coolers are virtually useless between early July and early September. So... pray for us. Seriously.

It's also not the best neighborhood. Queen Creek is a sleepy suburban town, and there are really no slums. But if one neighborhood came close, it would be this one. It's a tiny tract, about a square mile maybe, of old homes, in a town where all the homes are, like I said, less than ten years old. Not much can be done about this, and we console ourselves with the fact that the Maricopa County Sheriffs Deparment is just over a mile away.

So, wish us luck. We are so excited, and thrilled to take all our friends, family, and blog followers along on the adventure.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fabulous Furniture Friday

My husband doesn't work Friday and we have been in the habit of making Friday a big push day.

We finish whatever projects we have lying around and sometimes go buy more.

Here is what we finished today.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011


I found this awesome junkpile... in my own town! There's a guy who has been collecting furniture for years and its piled high on top of itself, covered in dust and cobwebs.

I couldn't even scratch the surface.

I grabbed a headboard and dresser and made a bench from the headboard.

Dresser is sold... bench is still available for $160.
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