May 13, 2010

O.M.G.


Here's what's happened since last we spoke.

On Mother's Day we signed the lease. Then we got to see the cottage again briefly. Let's just say there was a lot we missed the first time in our race to write a check. Here's a partial list:

-Neither of the girls' rooms has a closet.
-The one and only bathroom has mold growing around the window and has no exhaust/ventilation.
-The kitchen has hideously painted counters and a lovely orange faux finish
-Emma's bedroom has plywood walls which have wallpaper that is u-g-l-y and which is not completely attached to the wall
-Emma's bedroom doesn't have a door.
-Maddie's room also has a lovely faux finish only it's done over wallpaper.
-Oh and there's more ugly wallpaper in the bathroom.
-It's f-i-l-t-h-y. The whole house. I can't imagine how someone can live the way the last tenant lived. Messy I can handle, filth I can not.
-There appears to be almost no natural light. I thrive in natural light.

O.M.G. What have we done? I know you want to see pictures of the inside but I'm not sure I can handle facing that much truth right this second. Instead I've included these pictures of what I wish the inside looks like. I'm completely overwhelmed with all that I have to do with packing and cleaning and moving the old house and then when I think of all the cleaning and fixing and painting and disinfecting that needs to be done at the new house, it just about does me in.

Lest I leave you with the impression that it has all been bad this week, let me say that this past week has brought some great things:
-I got to spend last Saturday visiting with one of my besties who was quick to offer her help with the house.
-I had a wonderful Mother's Day and spent the day being treated like a queen.
-Maddie shadowed at the Village high school yesterday and loved it there. She already has plans and has given her # out to new friends.
-I gave a friend a tour of the cottage yesterday and she was full of ideas and offers of help.
-We got the appraisal back on our house and it was the number we needed it to be.
-For 20 minutes yesterday I sat in the Village coffee shop, just me and my laptop looking out on Main Street remembering why we are doing all of this in the first place.

51 comments:

  1. I am a new follower and I cannot wait to see what you do with this great little house. I am an interior designer and know that when you get these personal feelings about your dwelling you MUST follow them. Your biggest issue will be storage - but you will just simplify! I can't wait! SUE

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  2. It'll all work out, Jen. You'll have that cottage whipped into shape in no time, I am sure. By the time you are done with it, it will be beautiful! And you will be in the village, right where you want to be. Hang in there. It will take some time, and lots of work and energy, but seeing a run down place become beautiful with some love and attention is lots of fun. :)

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  3. Just think of it as a blank slate - a very dirty, somewhat dilapidated slate - but yours to do with as you will. I can't wait to see the before and afters because I know it's going to be gorgeous!

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  4. Well at least you can paint,etc. the way you like (I hope). We are all rooting for you!

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  5. You are going to make it FANTASTIC, I am sure of it! Can't wait to see the transformation...so come on - show us those photos! ;o)

    ~mary~

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  6. We had the same feeling when we walked into our house after we bought it - suddenly we noticed all the bad things we had somehow missed! I know you are going to make it gorgeous, I can't wait to see the transformation. I'm sure you will feel better once you can get in there and get started! Glad you had a nice Mothers Day
    Janice

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  7. Ok I too am new here but I can already tell that you very talented "GETTER DONE" kinda of gal.I can only imagine how over whelming it must feel like right now.But you know what you want you know what you like and you will get it there I am sure.Now maybe for the girls rooms you could find some sort of a wardrobe.Look at garage sales or second hand stores.Any way enough of my corny ideas.I love the pictures you showed I want my house to look just like them.I have a 2 story old house that was built in the 1800's and it always needs something done to it.But OMG the kitchen you showed is to die for and so is the bath.I can't wait to see your little cottage when you get it done.Just keep your chin up and it is so good that you have great friends willing to help ya.Hey half the fun is seeing what a miss it is now to what a difference you can make it.Good luck dear it is going to be a doll house.

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  8. eeek!! Good luck! You can totally conquer this :)

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  9. ...This is where you just dive in...no doggie paddling...Trust. The water is fine!

    ...And a 5 gallon bucket of cottage white does wonders...

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  10. Jen...you are doing what my husband and I have been talking about for ages! I am so afraid to take the plunge...but we are growing braver with every prayer. I am so theilled for you...even though I know there will be set backs I am sure you are on the right path. I haven't commented alot lately but I have been following along cheering and praying for you all! You are my hero and my inspiration! I pray that I will be able to act as boldly!

    You go girl!
    Cathy

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  11. Don't worry Jen, keep your eye on the prize and thats a nice permanent home somewhere else in the village! This is just temporary and there ain't nothing a bucket of white paint and some $4.99 white gauzy window panels from target can't fix in the meantime! Hope to see you guys out on Saturday!

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  12. Hang in there! If we all were closer you know we your blogging friends would be there in a heart beat to
    help make it more livable. i know once it gets a good cleaning you will feel much better about it all.
    You have amazing taste and style and it will feel like home in no time!

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  13. It might seem a bit daunting right now but you are one talented lady so it is going to be so awesome when you are done. I cannot wait to see some of the rooms before and after pictures!!! I love thinking of you in the coffee shop with your laptop looking out into the Village, you my dear are livin' your dream!!!

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  14. I just know you are going to make this the darn cutest little cottage... I think you will feel better when you get it just cleaned...The rest will all come... I know you have the talent to make it charming.... I will be anxiously be waiting for the lovely results...Sending you best wishes for many energy spurts....

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  15. Hang in there! We got a 'fixer upper' and there's always things to find. Closets? Older homes sometimes didn't do closets because they were taxed as rooms. We use wardrobes -we have a wide upper hallway-a previous owner built-in some closets - a bit helpful. We also have a small bathroom with ventilation issues (it used to be a blanket closet). Once you get it cleaned; wallpaper stripped (oh yeah, the downstairs bath had mobile home walls put in) You can just let your imagination run to make it your own. In a year...look back - and laugh or smile.
    We'll be here to listen and to share,
    Kathy

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  16. I smell a metamorphosis, Baby! JJ, I have no doubt that you are going to whip that cottage into shape and make it uniquely yours. You may not be able to make every square inch beautifully perfect, ( and you know that I know what that's like!) but it will be home and and it will be adventure and you will learn and grow through it. I can't wait to watch it all unfold!

    And I want to come and help, too. You can pay me in cupcakes. Or pie. I'm easy.

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  17. So sorry about the cottage conditions! We bought a foreclosure and have been working on it for 1 1/2 years. It feels like home now and so much has changed! I'm sure you'll have lots of help to scrub and shine it up! Great positives too! Love the pics! Good luck!

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  18. (((Jen)))

    Divide and conquer girlfriend!!!

    You can do this!

    Because you ARE doing this!


    Proud of you.



    Love,
    Kim

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  19. Isn't amazing what your eye refuses to see until it is too late. Not only did I miss a fireplace in my house but also that the ceilings aren't quite 8 feet high. Some things I will live to regret forever.

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  20. Just break it all into little projects. Believe me.. it will all work out! Congrats again!

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  21. I too am a new reader and I have just enjoyed your writings so much. I just want to encourage you to "Keep Calm & Carry On". It's a British motto that was popular during WWII - especially the bombing of London. So, take heart and have courage in this new (somewhat untidy) dream right now. We are all rooting for you.

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  22. First, your rental will prepare you for the world of buying and living in old houses. You can do it! Second, I have the same top picture (aqua shelves) in my inspiration book.

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  23. Hi Jen,
    I echo many of the preceeding commenters. The mold is the worse and that you will take care. And imagine you can make this house into the kind of home you want.
    Keep at it, can't wait to read more.
    Best wishes,
    BG

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  24. The last thing that you wrote is the most important one -- keep your eyes on the prize. Living in the village will make it all worthwhile.

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  25. I've enjoyed following your blog for a few weeks now and after reading this post I just had to write to say I've been there. Just be glad that you did not buy this house and it is simply one step in the transition to a new home. This is a temporary home until you find something to buy, right? Cleaning can go a long way in making a home feel more comfortable and with the help of your friends it will get done. Sounds like a good name for this place is going to be "The Make-do House". Think Village! :-D

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  26. Sounds so stressful. I did something similar once too because I was so excited to move. It was filthy. I guess I didn't pay attention. You'll do what you have to do. I can't wait to see what you do with the place.

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  27. Just breathe...it's gonna be great! Remember, filthy can be cleaned...paint can do WONDERS, a cottage of any sort sounds just lovely to me!

    Think of all the possibilities and ACCEPT help!

    I'm sure in a few months time you will look back at this post and chuckle! Good luck & congratulations! I hope it turns out to be the cottage of your dreams!
    xoxo Beth

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  28. Wish I could fly up there and help you scrub. If there's anything I can do, it's scrub.

    Bleach/Water/SprayBottle/Toothbrush = some good scrubbing

    And you just may be forced to spend most of your waking hours at that coffee shop in the village for your natural light. :)

    xoxo, Julia

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  29. I can somewhat understand how you feel!! I looked at our "hole" yesterday with the cement forms in it and then laid in bed last night COMPLETLEY overwhelmed with what is happening and needing to be done!!!!!
    I'm sure your afternoon in the coffee shop was JUST what your soul needed!!!! XOXO

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  30. ps- if I was closer, I'd be there in a HEARTBEAT to help you!! :)

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  31. Will the landlord let you paint? Sometimes a cheerful paint job makes a world of difference. And remember, its only a rental, not a life long commitment!! Good luck!

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  32. Hi. I am also a new follower and I would like to offer you a bit of positive encouragement. About 21 years ago my husband and I moved with our two small sons from Washington, D.C. suburbs to a very small town in the Blue Ridge mountains. Our first house was an old farmhouse that had been rented out for years because it had a two story mother-in-law's suite with its' own front and back door. We weren't very handy and too poor to contract help so I walked around cringing and crying the first year. Finally I through myself into small projects with DIY books from the library and bartering skills until it was my dream home. The architectural detail set it apart from all of the plain new construction homes I've lived in before and after. I hated leaving that home and am so excited for you knowing how the work truly becomes a labor of love and your home becomes the heart of the family and so much pride comes from transforming it into your nest. I so look forward to following your blog and already feel a bit of longing to find another cottage to transform. Good luck!

    xo Susi xo

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  33. I completely understand you feeling overwhelmed. Just take one day at a time and it will all work its self out.

    We just moved 800 from home and there were many days that I just didn't think I could do it but I did. Six months later, things are calming down. You can do it.

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  34. This will be much more interesting in family stories than "we moved to a vanilla holding-station until we found our dream home" could ever be... it will be an adventure (which of course means agravation and inconvenience... and excitement.) Best of luck!

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  35. Just wait, it'll be fabulous. It's simply a diamond in the rough. You'll be able to get it done and it will be more than you could have dreamed it would be. You'll just have to be creative regarding closets, etc. Good luck and I can hardly wait to see what happens.

    Smiles,

    Carol

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  36. stay strong! sounds like alot of work, but also will be totally worth it to take you one step closer to your dream! Plus, you are so creative.....your little nest will be amazing, I am sure....

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  37. The bathroom window IS the ventilation. A little bleach will take care of the mold, and opening the window will keep it at bay. We don't have an exhaust fan, either, and we just... open the window for 20 minutes after a shower. Low tech but it works!

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  38. Jen ~ I KNOW it's going to be beautiful - with the good taste I see on your blog. My youngest sister in Indiana has done wonders with similar places in Greenfield and, currently, in Irvington - even her current "dungeon" cellar laundry/storage room is so well organized as to be impressive! I am a new follower of your blog (a Hoosier born and bred!) and will be enjoying your future posts on your progress with this little cottage! Cassandra ♥

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  39. Can't wait to see what you do to your little diamond in the rough :-) I know it's a gem just waiting for some TLC ♥

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  40. Jen, I know how overwhelming this is for you, but soapy hot water and a scrub brush will work wonders in removing the filth. You are such a magician with decor, you will have that place looking fine in weeks. I'm a Hoosier and will be there if you send out the call for help. What fun a working blog party! As another friend said, "Keep calm and carry on". It is all we can do.

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  41. Jen, you can do it. I know how you feel right now. But, remember one day at a time and one room at a time. It will happen, just stay the course. And continue to look at things that inspire you when you feel overwhelmed. And also think of all of us who are rooting for you! You go girl!

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  42. Oh GIRL! You gotta show us the pictures! Just think....when you are done making it just perfect..they will be the best before and after pictures EVER! lol....now show us those pics please. :)

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  43. The suspense is killing me! I can't wait to see all the "before" pictures !

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  44. All is not lost...you are super talented and have a vision. Secondly, buy a Scunci Steamer and steam sanitize the heck out of the place. Oh, and lots of Lysol.

    Jill

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  45. Jen, here is a little giggle for you...I heard a story about some people who bought a house. When they looked at it, the living room had recently been painted. When the owner moved out and they got possession, the previous owner had only painted AROUND the furniture. So...they got to paint it the color they wanted! :-)
    I'm certain you'll have it looking ship-shape in no time at all. Hang in there. xo, Cheryl

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  46. dear jen,

    take a deep breath, buy some rubber gloves (and a bag or 2 of m&ms) and get scrubbing. you will make this house a dream come true. you can do it!

    i am easily overwhelmed so i can relate. this will be awesome. you will make it so!

    rooting for you all the way!

    xo
    elyse

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  47. Once that place is clean, you'll have a whole new outlook. Make sure you take before and after photos. Even if you don't share them now, it will be fun (one day!) for you to see how far you came in fixing the place up.
    Keep your eye on the prize and it will be home in no time at all.

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  48. hang in there!! two years ago we moved into a house built in 1936. it was nasty!!! we cleaned and painted for two weeks before we moved in. paint makes a bIG difference!!! (I have painted paneling before too... so much cheaper than trying to remove it)) my kitchen was so bad i had to take the drawers outside and clean them!! yuk!!! we have one bath and only three small closets. we now have a few armoirs to help hole clothing etc. we made and hung many shelves and now our Home is a cozy nest and a reflection of us!!! you can do it and i cannot wait to see the results!!
    blessings!!

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  49. Maybe you should make a list of the "must do, like yesterday" items. Hopefully, broken down like that will make this adventure a little less overwhelming! Be sue to take lots and lots of before shots, and also as you move along. Going through and renovating/moving/redecorating is a lot like giving birth. A lot of the stuff that seems bad will recede in your memory, so the pictures let you see just how much you've really accomplished! Good Luck and enjoy the journey as much as you can.

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  50. Jen - You are so talented and if anyone can turn lemons into delicious lemonade, it's you!

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  51. Just breathe! It will be okay. You'll have that place cleaned and spiffed right up in no time at all. It's amazing what some good cleaner and open windows can do. Get the breeze going in while you scrub it all down and it will all fall into place.
    ~Michelle

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Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.