♥ How We Spent Our Summer “Vacation”

Some days in our new house, I am reminded of the movie The Money Pit. But, it’s really not so bad. Well, most days.  On the other days, J reminds me that I was the one that wanted an A-Frame house when we moved to Tahoe.

We lucked out and found our A-Frame; a rare gem with the garage located under the living space. Our new home’s only drawback: it was built in 1973 and it had not been updated since, but for a regrettable carpet layer addition and a new coat of paint on the kitchen cabinets sometime in the 1980s. The previous color of both the carpet and the cabinets: sea-foam green (shudder).

Ah, the glorious 1970s! When shag carpeting, paneled walls, kitschy light fixtures and coordinated orange and sea-foam green were considered the height of fashion and tasteful home decor. Apparently. The first thing we did was take down all the nasty curtains and blinds, which appeared to be original. And this green and white “beauty” hanging in the dining area had to go, too. Every time I looked at it, I was reminded of the Green Acres theme song.

Then began the so-not-fun task of carpet removal. J removed the blah beige carpeting only to discover a sea-foam green shag layer of carpeting underneath that. As if that wasn’t bad enough, we discovered that the sea-foam green atrocity was not the original carpet. Oh, no.

The original carpet was a bright orange and brown plaid that was actually glued to the sub-floor. Just imagine this lovely orange and brown pattern with sea-foam green kitchen cabinets and a bright orange pantry (sadly, I am not making this up). The hardwood flooring is a definite improvement, both aesthetics and allergy-wise.

Meanwhile, we began the kitchen overhaul. J spent days ripping out the original plywood cabinets, taking most of the glued-on wall paneling with them. We didn’t consider that a loss.

Naturally, there have been a few unplanned mishaps along the way. The dishwasher caught fire not long after we moved in.

I was thoughtful enough to edit the “plumber butt”  out of the photo, and you are welcome for that.

And then we had a minor flood in the main floor bathroom. That hole in the floor is where the toilet is supposed to be (sigh).

All in all, I spent a week washing dishes in the bathroom sink. Needless to say, we ate a lot of takeout that week.

So, the walls aren’t done yet, the hardwood floor expansion hasn’t made it to the kitchen and my counter tops are still plywood (hey, it’s “rustic”!), but I love the look of the new cabinets. The knotty pine is a definite improvement over painted (and re-painted) plywood.

Re-painting the orange and sea-foam green pantry/laundry room is next on the “to-do” list. And I am anxious to replace the crappy apartment-sized stove. But, somehow, replacing the idle stove doesn’t seem so important when the daily temperatures are in the 80s, or higher.

Our re-design of the cabinets eliminated the (ugly) hanging cabinets that divided the kitchen from the dining area, thereby opening up the floor plan and making the kitchen seem brighter and larger. We doubled the cabinets, back to back, that were underneath the hanging cabinets and we squeezed in extra wall cabinets where we were able, resulting in plenty of extra storage space and double the counter space.

When the snow finally melted (in June!) and the yard dried up, we were dismayed to realize that our “natural” back yard was actually a huge dust pit. Our greyt boy loves to run (big surprise) and he loves to run a lot.

Greyhounds reach their top speed (somewhere between 42 and 45 mph) by their third stride, so imagine the huge dust plumes that he was kicking up when he ran, all of which seemed to settle in my kitchen. So, two weekends were spent laying sod, all for the comfort and enjoyment of the greyt boy. The fact that it saves my sanity with a lot less floor sweeping is just an added bonus.

While J handled the fun task of sod-laying, with the greyt boy supervising, I planted dozens of flowering bushes and perennial plants in the front yard. And I filled the deck planter boxes and pots, too.

In addition to the great dust bowl in the backyard that we discovered when the snow melted off, we were also not thrilled to discover a pile of large boulders in the front yard. Too large to persuade the garbage men to haul away. So, we made an accent garden in the side yard. Problem solved.

Lastly, a very special thank you to my visiting father-in-law for replacing a 2-plug wall outlet with a much-needed 4-plug outlet, for which I am grateful. And J is grateful that I have finally stopped complaining about it. I haven’t stopped complaining altogether, mind you. Just about the lack of kitchen outlets.

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10 responses to “♥ How We Spent Our Summer “Vacation”

  1. I can relate so much to this entire post! Our previous house reminded me of The Money Pit, too. We remodeled it almost completely inside and when we did, we found two layers of carpeting (both shag) and one room had vinyl down as well. Plus, there was carpeting on some of the walls. Yuck! Our kitchen was robin’s egg blue, too.

    I love the improvements you’ve made so far. The flooring & cabinets are gorgeous. So wonderful that you laid sod for your sweetie, too. ❤

  2. We just moved into a “new” house that was built in 1912. I can relate to the money-pit analogy. I find things every day that annoy me and get put on a “to fix” list. I’m impressed you got so much gardening done. I think I may wait until spring to deal with our un-landscaped property.

    • Are you back in Seattle? If so, I imagine that the landscaping can absolutely wait until next spring. Doesn’t the rainy winter start almost immediately after Labor Day?! You won’t believe it, but during the worst of the pine pollen season here in Tahoe (yellow dust clouds everywhere), I would have given ANYTHING for a good, therapeutic downpour! I’m surprised I got so much gardening done, too, actually. I think it was guilt-motivated because my neighbors have such lovely gardens. Although, I drew the line at sod in the front yard. I enjoy the pine trees and the native bushes and plants. The one “rock” garden was my only “concession”, but I was forced into that!

  3. Editing out the “plummer butt”…lol, that’s too funny! I’m sure he’ll thank you for that too. 😀

    Ah, the 70’s…what were people thinking (or on) back then? Similar orange and green and brown decor and horrible light fixtures adorned our house growing up too. Now, we’re living in a rental house that was built in 1904…I don’t think it’s ever been updated, which also kind of sucks, but at least it escaped the 70’s.

    It looks like all your hard work is paying off; the wood floor and the kitchen look great and so does the garden. I’ve never done any kind of home improvement/remodeling, but aside from the grueling labor, it seems like it would be fun to be able to do things just they you like them.

    …And look at all that wheatgrass!!

    • I didn’t edit the butt cleavage out of the picture when I posted it on Facebook. He was not happy with me!

      I’m convinced that 1970s “style” was pharmaceutically influenced! I grew up in a house that had original pink appliances, sinks, etc. You would think that was bad enough, but they repainted (orange) and replaced the counter tops (avocado green) in the 1970s. Without replacing any of the pink appliances! Eeeeek.

      What can I say about the wheatgrass? I’m an addict!

  4. Pingback: ♥ If You Can’t Stand The Heat… | it's a Greyt Vegan Life

  5. It’s fun to see how your house is coming together! I’ve always found A-frame houses to be so charming. I think they have loads of personality. I can’t believe that underneath your ugly carpet there was even uglier carpet! That plaid carpet is unbelievable. Wouldn’t it be great to see the kinds of furniture and decorations they had up when the orange carpet was new?

    I’m always impressed by people who can makeover there own homes with significant changes like you’re doing. As a life-long renter, that’s something that I’ve never tackled.

    • Living in the home while you are remodeling it can be tiresome. Personally, I always preferred the freedom of renting. Don’t like where you’re at? Give notice and move! Added bonus: when something goes wrong (like dishwashers catching fire and toilets leaking) you can call the landlord who fixes it on his/her dime. We became home owners mainly due to the fact that we wanted animals, lots of them!

      P.S. they still had a lot of the furniture and decorations from that era when we viewed the house. That, in addition to the unfortunate 1980s updates: the beige carpeting and wallpaper borders in the bathrooms. One of the bathrooms was actually blue and mauve geese. Eeeee…

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