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Home Sweet Home

October 15, 2011

We got one! After a full year of searching, nine total offers put in on 6 different houses, two moves, a cat who literally tore her hair out from apartment living, many relationship difficulties, and ten grand worth of taxes to legitimize our income, the Mandoe clan (Portland chapter) finally has a home.

A home we won’t have to leave due to landlord death or divorce. A home we can paint and prettify without written permission. A home our daughter will hopefully remember more than the previous 11 residences she’s been subject to in her six and a half years (This does include 6 weeks on Maui and 4 on the Big Island and 6 weeks in transition..).

It’s exactly what I was looking for (Well, with one exception: it’s in the city): overwhelming potential, as the sales flyer announced. A fixer house that doesn’t have crazy rot or insect issues. A solid shell just waiting for someone who cares to nurse it back to health. A garage. A yard. A view of Rocky Butte – one block away – meaning trees and birds, raccoons and possums. A quiet street. Neighbors our age.

And a lot of work. The bathroom has been gutted and is well on its way towards reconstruction. One closet was moved and another enlarged. All the wallboard has been torn out and replaced with sheetrock. The bedrooms have been painted. Upstairs in E’s room, there are built-in closets and drawers and a window seat. Oh, and A’s hauled 15 cubic yards of soil around the perimeter of the property. We’ve ordered a wood-burning stove.

I don’t think anything has actually been completed yet. In the bathroom, we have one light and a toilet. The closets don’t have doors. The drywall hasn’t been sanded or painted. I still have to touch up E’s room. The soil needs straw to keep the weeds down until next spring. And the stove is a good 3 weeks out.

Home, sweet home. If I didn’t have the flu I’d be working right now. That’s about the only thing that has slowed me down. Well, that and the necessity of paying for all the materials, so I’ve been working on other people’s houses a lot too. Can’t exactly go out and forage like the real Thoreau. Urban foraging consists of trips to the Rebuilding Center and Craigslist.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll have the energy to get back to work. The vanity needs to be tiled so the sink can be installed. The hearth needs to be built before the stove arrives. More blocking in the tub area, as we’re building it from scratch. Never-ending drywall mud. Radiant heat in the bathroom floor. Doors to be installed. Windows to be replaced. Maybe some insulation in the crawl space.

This is so much fun. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing. Not marching up and down the courtyard OR riding a mule on Moloka’i. What about you – want to help? Got any free time?

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