Tuesday, September 8, 2009

For all you house flipper maniacs.

This is the back of the house. The dormer in the middle is the bathroom, separating two half floor bedrooms. The skylights are nice, but old, open into the rooms, and not being vacuum sealed, the panes have moisture and fog in them obstructing the view to the outside. (All pictures can be clicked on to be enlarged and show a more detailed view.)

This is the stairs leading up to the two upstairs bedrooms. When the house was rebuilt in the seventies, this was the style of carpet that was in style.

This is what the carpet and stairs look like now.

This is Doug's bedroom. Notice the slanting ceiling showing that the house is really one and a half floors, not two. Notice how a queen sized bed takes up almost the entire room. Notice the in-style 1970's wallpaper.

This is Wendy and my room. It is filled with junk from the eves that we are cleaning out. Sorry I don't have a better picture. Notice the slanting ceiling and how you have to bend over to get to the other side of the bed. It does have a nice skylight. Which opens into the room, further limiting space and causing concusions when I get up in the middle of the night to pee.

This is what the house looks like now from the back. Full dormers, making the back of the house, i.e. the bedrooms, much more spacious, with new skylights that don't open into the room and many more windows to the outside.

This is Wendy's and my bedroom. Looks a little bigger, huh?

Bigger nothing! This room is enormous! And look at the new windows!

This is the house "before." Not a bad looking house from the outside. Not a bad looking house from the inside. But nothing really special. As you may notice, the top flooor is almost half a floor, not a real, whole floor.

The first thing Wendy did was add skylights to the front of the building so the rooms downstairs received a lot more light.

Wendy has always wanted a porch to sit on. A rounded, circular porch with plenty of room for chairs, dinner, people watching, relaxing. This is the outline.

This is the porch almost completed. This view shows the new steps as compared to the old on the far right side. They were made out of pressurized lumber so they wouldn't rot, but that also meant they wouldn't accept paint very well and had to be repainted every year. Expanding the image by clicking on it will show you the steps on the right need to be repainted - badly.

This is a good image of the curve of the porch. The wraparound. Actually, we don't have an excellent view of the entire porch finished yet. It has Adirondack chairs and no construction material and no steps next to it right now. It also has arcs at the top of the ceiling, and the railing is a bit lower for better people watching. Those pictures will be up at Christmas. This is the best one we have so far below.

. (notice the extra periods? Blogger is refusing to accept carriage returns at certain places in the text for no logical reason.)

Blogger makes doing pictures very hard. Reorganizing how you want pictures in sequence is time consuming and annoying. I had to upload these pictures in reverse order and write the text the same way because moving the pictures once uploaded is almost impossible. I will be posting a few more random pictures in the next few days that show off other rooms but aren't in any sort of sequence like today. Today I wanted to do a chronology but that turned out to be very difficult and time consuming. With what I've shown you, I think you get a good idea of the before and after and the next after pictures will illustrate further the changes without needing to be in chronological order.

In other rambles -

I get my braces off today. In theory, they come off at 1:00, so for those of you on the East Coast, about two hours ago as you read this in your office and start your day. (That is, if I had posted this on time.) It has been a long twelve months with them on but I’ve been lucky. The hygienist who helped the Doctor put them on just got her braces too. She has to have them on for two years. (Update : Half my braces came off today. The top half is gone, he says the bottom need another day and a new wire to close a small gap on four teeth.

I liked this dentis in the beginning. He was kind and gentle, professional, friendly and thorough. A couple of my friends have described him as "a butcher" and more friends have described him as fine, gentle and friendly. The more I go to him, the more he pushes me. As if he can sense that I can take pain, so he doesn't have to be so gentle. In the past when he has replaced a wire on my braces it was with careful consideration and gentle movements. Today, it was like an experienced angry gardener snipping unruly rose bushes with shears. SNAP! SNAP! SNAP! then the blood, then the drilling with what appearted to be a small buzzsaw and all I could smell was blood, burning flesh and melting metal as the top layer of braces were shorn off. Really not pleasant. By the time he finished my legs were straight out in the chair, not relaxed and resting and my thighs were cramped from clenching so tight.

"Okay Jamie, now rinse."

A fountain of blood goes into the sink.


Everything was supposed to come off today, but no, now I have an appointment tomorrow to remove the bottoms (more angry gardening) and the next day get retainers. I used to give blood at the Red Cross, now I feel I give it at my dentist.


In still more rambles...

At the moment I am reading many things when Wendy and I finally retire to bed at night.

“Earth Abides” which was recommended to me in the comments section after I bitched about “The Road." This is another post-apocalyptic novel. Spoiler Alert : I am going to talk briefly about events that happen in the book. If you haven’t picked it up yet, skip this next paragraph.

I am about half way through it. It amazes me the complacency of The Tribe so far. The water has just run out so they’re going to have to do something now. Also interesting how he has made it that no great thinkers are part of the tribe. Usually there’s a doctor and a scientist that makes things easier in these types of books. He does a good job with describing all the things I didn’t think about. Plagues of locusts, mountain lions, cattle, rats, etc as Earth tries to find a balance again. Wildfires raging out of control. Cars dying eventually because batteries run out. Houses rotting and falling over suddenly from termites or even water damage that no one is around to repair. He does a great job explaining how fast the Earth would reclaim a lot of the land that man has covered if there were only a few people left in scattered areas. How a ton of the stuff we take for granted requires constant maintenance to stay that way. But I wonder about a few things. Do canned goods really last 21 years? My canned Ravioli has an expiration date of 2013, so I think he might be off on saying they don’t need to get fresh veggies and some cattle for milk. They’re still using canned milk 21 years after the plague and he explains the tribes complacency on the fact that anything they need they can just go down to a store and take. Toilet paper is still good. Wouldn’t that dry out after 21 years? I’m asking, not telling. True, they do get fresh meat from the hundreds of roaming cattle, but you need fresh veggies and I don’t think they last 21 years in a can. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

Ultimate Spiderman – Can’t get enough of this. Bendis’ work on this title has been nothing short of amazing. One of the best, longest run on a series ever. Always great art, great dialogue, “realistic” situations and a perfect grasp on recapturing the Peter Parker I read as a youth. Pick up the trades, you won’t regret it. If only I could get comics for the Kindle/iPhone.

Eat, Pray, Love – Yes again. Wendy got me the Kindle/iPhone version for my birthday and when it’s handy, I read that. (Lines in the grocery store, subway, waiting in the dentist’s office. etc)

We are addicted to seafood at the moment. We grill salmon at home, only order seafood when we go out to eat and yesterday Wendy came home from the gym with a bag of shrimp, percebes and necora. (Percebes are like a goose barnacles, a delicacy here in Spain, and Necora are a small crab that you eat the entire inside of the body and the tiny claws.)

We are settling back into the routine here in Spain. The routine in Vermont is so different than the one here. I have been running a few times again, writing about fifty times more than when I am home in Vermont, walking everywhere, eating better and less, and most nights Wendy and I quit work around seven and watch The Daily Show, or some American series we love, or a movie and snuggle on the couch. Once the heat drops down a little more at night we’ll be on the terrace doing the same thing or playing “Magic” or Quandary or some other game. Around eleven we head to bed and read until we fall asleep.


  1. The house looks amazing. That is like a complete rebuild, you added an entire floor! Seriously beautiful.

  2. Thanks man. Actually, the pictures don't do it justice. It's reeally beautiful. I'll try and get some better pictures up around Christmas that really show it off. When those pictures were taken, there was stuff in the rooms and construction was still being done as well as a little painting, so, it gets even better.