I’m Back!! (I think.)

(Apparently it’s been so long that WordPress did some sort of update and now looks completely different. 🙂 It’s almost like they want me to follow the rules of getting blog traffic, instead of writing for a handful of faithful readers.)

September has been a wild month. Nothing bad happened, a few good things happened, but it was exhausting. The refinance closed on Thursday and the cash out should hit my account this week, then let the home improvement projects begin!

I have a lengthy list of things I’ve been living with because I didn’t have the money to fix. After Sophie passed and my financial hemorrhaging ceased, I then had an unplanned month without pay because being a contractor is crazy. I’m back at work and getting paid again, the refinance is done, so LET’S START TEARING OUT THE BATHROOM!

Not quite yet. Step one is getting rid of the debt. Step two is taking inventory of all the small broken things I’ve been living with and working around for the last year or more:

  • Dead garbage disposal. It died in the last few months. I managed to fix it twice, but now I think the motor really is kaput.
  • Busted icemaker line. I bought ice cube trays and soldiered on.
  • Garage door opener keypad fell apart. Low priority. I can still use the garage door opener remote.
  • Various light fixture issues. Again, low priority.
  • Ancient toilets need replacement in both bathrooms. Low priority until something major happens, because they’re over 40 years old. The toilets are on borrowed time.

Not so small things:

The 40+ year old windows need replacement. They’re in bad shape. The first owner applied some sort of UV film to them decades ago, which is now clouded and discolored and makes them look filthy. I thought it was me, but nope, that cloudy, dirty look is literally baked in. We will not speak of the condition of the screens, but I dare not open the windows – they might not close again. New windows will be far more energy efficient and save $$ on my power bill as well.

The master bath shower is way past its life expectancy and needs a total rebuild. (I’ll do a separate post with photos of my trashy bathroom.) The hall bath is just as old but was basically unused for nearly half a century.

I’m only the second owner of this condo in 40 years. It was originally purchased by a couple in 1983, and then after he passed, she lived here alone until she took a fall and had to move to safer quarters before she passed, too. It sat empty for a while until I bought it ten years ago. The hall bath is original, blue and white wallpaper and all, but immaculate; it was rarely used. It’s still rarely used, it’s the home of Ellie’s litter box, and human guests occasionally use the facilities.

It needs a new toilet, but otherwise it’ll be cosmetic changes there, maybe a new countertop and sink and lighting. I need to find the nerve to try removing that ancient wallpaper, it has some popped seams and I’d really rather have nice clean painted walls. Oh, and also hang some new towel rods. The flooring and cabinet and tub are in fine shape.

So in the next month or two I’ll get the plumber in to replace the toilets and give me a price on the shower remodeling, get the garbage disposal fixed, get my favorite electrician to put up some new light fixtures, etc. The small, annoying shit will get done first.

This place is also going to need a new AC unit eventually, this one is at its life expectancy. I’ll have cash in the bank for that instead of having to finance it!

This is such a relief, I can’t even tell you. As I’ve said, I’m pretty dense about obvious solutions staring me in the face. Though to be fair to myself, I’d been so focused on running a veterinary ICU for Sophie for the past year (around my stressful and crazy day job) I really didn’t take time to think of anything else. As soon as I had a little breathing room and a few weeks of decent sleep, the path forward appeared. Onward.

4 thoughts on “I’m Back!! (I think.)”

  1. Omigosh– what a list!! Good luck with chipping away at it. You are inspiring me to take a closer look at my place and try to put it in better order… *sigh* I am glad you still blog– I do enjoy reading whenever you post, altho I rarely comment…

    1. I am not kidding when I say I’m living with a LOT of deferred maintenance issues I just haven’t had time or money to deal with. That list is just the first things that came to mind! Basically, if it hasn’t leaked or started shooting sparks, I figured out a workaround and put it off. But I really would like a nice shower and a working garbage disposal, and, oh, I forgot to mention new ceiling fans, and…and. As I said, this place is a time capsule from the early 80s, and bringing it into the 21st century is a process.

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