So, this is what's been taking up all my time:
Cute, no? I wish I could say it was ours, but we're getting decent rent and the landlady is letting is pretty much do as we please to it (mostly on her dime!). We were able to convince her that if she wants any resale value when she sells after we move, she needed to update just about everything. I have so many Before pictures, but the boxes and general chaos inside right now would make for some pretty dull After pictures, so maybe in a few weeks.
The picture above is already outdated: I've already weeded, hauled brush, repainted the window boxes, replaced the flowers in them, and repainted the house numbers and mailbox black so they pop. Up close, we still need to repaint the front door a warmer red, power wash the siding, sand down and restain the back deck (which is huge - 437 sq ft) and continue weeding and beating back the landscaping. And that's just the outside.
Truth is, the previous tenants didn't take care of the place - they didn't really clean, or weed, or mow the lawn, or decrust the dishwasher, or ever bother trying to not get moisture on the bathroom walls. It disturbs me that people can live like that. I'm such an Aries that I'm really casual about a cleaning schedule, but Jeez, I shouldn't be cleaning a crust of dog hair off the baseboards, know what I'm sayin'? And they had a baby! I'd be horrified to have my child growing up in that kind of filth.
I tend to rant. Anyway.
Before it gets too cold, we're going to have our contractor* do the deck, we've got to finish the kitchen walls, we'd like to replace the stove**, and I've committed to repainting the trim and window frames, which is not as big a task as one might think.
So that's where we've been; it's hard work, very hard work, but it's very fun, and it's fulfilling to see things change for the better.
*contact me! He travels and he is AWESOME. Completely self employed, honest, conscientious, and does amazing work. Wait until you see the before and after of the bathroom. Licensed electrician and does everything else with expert skill.
** It's a 24 inch electric from somewhere around 1960 and it simply will not do.