Wednesday, April 30, 2014

work day number one

Work day session one was held last Saturday. We are so thankful to everyone who came out to help.

First thing in the morning the kitchen ceiling came down as Kevin waited for Cameron to arrive with his pickup truck. They made two trips to the scrapyard. The three large cast iron radiators, the boiler, the water heater, range hood, and some miscellaneous steel are all gone.
Sweeping up kitchen ceiling debris
Not really Cam but as usual, I missed a photo op

You know your friends really love you when they spend their Saturdays scraping loose paint off your basement walls. These ladies went home with a little something extra in their bras at the end of the day and they left my heart full. 

Baseboard heater with years of misc. small crap in it

The rest of the baseboard heaters were disconnected. The heater bordering the checkerboard floor was the type found in the rear addition. These are newer and made of copper with aluminum fins. These were easy to remove once you used the copper cutter to slice into the pipe near the floor.

This heater is completely made of cast iron. I didn't realize it would be so heavy until it fell onto my good knee with a BAM once I separated the pipe. Some screaming entailed but no one came to the rescue. Kevin has made a new friend in Mark who runs the scrapyard. Friend may be the wrong word because even though Mark wanted to make sure Emma's fiancé was employed, he did threaten to sic the dog on him if he returned to close to closing. So the baseboard heaters lie in wait.

Keeping the tub
Our nephew Abe came and made quick work of the bathroom. He and his two boys pulled up two floors and pulled down at least 3 levels of tub surround to reveal this beautiful window. 

The grapevines were cut off the gutters, fence and electric wires. A trench was dug to bury conduit for the garage electricity. Trees were identified(thank you Sharon) and pruned. 4 large brown bags of yard waste were collected. Bricks were pulled out of landscaping. A vinyl floor was ripped out if the first floor bedroom. A mailbox was repaired. 

Our roofing materials have been paid for at Willoughby Supply so once the weather clears our main roof should be replaced. We also signed a contract for 26 new windows which should be installed in May.

Still much to do...

All in a good day's work. Post work day family dinner enjoyed at The Unicorn in Grafton. I had wine.

Friday, April 11, 2014


How do 2 weary parents and one 8 year old move a 600lb 3 bay concrete utility sink out of a basement? 

One garbage bag at a time after Dad smashes it with a sledgehammer.

But there is nothing we can do on our own about this leaning tower of a chimney.

Calling in the experts for this one.

Monday, April 7, 2014

a house grows in south lorain

I don't remember a lot about my house in Brooklyn on E. 37th St. The few vague memories that I do have were formed during the summers that we returned to visit my mother's sister. I remember the heat, the rolling blackouts, the noise and the temple a few doors down with the imposing iron gate, but it was never really a home to me.

The majority of my first six years were spent in Westlake in a tiny yellow house on Hall Drive. I became a big sister in the yellow house. We had a fruitful pear tree out front. I nearly met my death when I choked on a lifesaver in the driveway. Once my dad caught a gigantic rat in the crawlspace and somehow convinced my mother it was a mouse. 

I was too young to comprehend exactly what it was that moving meant. I remember that I cried the day we left. My dad asked me why? But the only thing my six year year old self could express was that I would miss the pear tree I happened to be standing under. He promised me a new pear tree before loading us all into his Plymouth and heading out.

That house and those memories were soon left in my past with all of the excitement and adventure waiting for me at the almost new, big white house in a neighboring suburb. We moved in in 1975 and that house remained my home and my home away from home until my parents sold it to a friend 2002. Even though things are different, I love being able to stop by and reminisce.

Well, the time has come to move again. We are relocating to a new old house that is a better fit for a teachers salary. ( It is also so much close to Kevin's work and closer to the population of clients I serve in my home childcare. 

We have been actively searching and bidding on foreclosed homes for about 2 years. Fortunately, we were outbid on every one until we found our gem. An all brick, 4 bedroom colonial with an open floor plan. It even has a grape arbor, water garden, AND...a pear tree! We closed on it late last month and had hoped to get moving with a few repairs and be in by June. That plan hit a snag when the water department arrived and turned on the main. Soon after they left it started raining in the kitchen.

I called my very good friend, fellow loss mom and prayer partner Cass. I was lost. This home had been prayed for and prayed over by so many people. This home was going to be a place of ministry. Ministry to our life group and ministry to low income families in the neighborhood. Ministry to my husband's student runners. And now it was raining in the kitchen.

Cass lives not far away(location, location, location) so she arrived promptly and brought her pastor/tire salesman/hvac tech/all around handy husband with her. He is the kind of husband you would want on a desert island. It didn't take long for him to break it to me very gently that we had bought a money pit.
(To be continued I promise.)