I’m originally from a manatee-infested backwater on the West Central Florida coast. As a child, almost as soon as I perceived (from TV and books) there were other places, I plotted my escape from that region. I did escape, at least for a while, first to nearby Gainesville, FL for school, then to Boston for a few years, but I came back to Florida, settling in the Tampa Bay area.
My husband has always wanted to live out in the country, and after our kiddo grew up and left home a couple of years ago, he pressed that case. If it were strictly up to me, I’d stay within easy driving distance of an urban core for the convenience of it. But where we live has always been more important to the mister than it is to me, so I’ve let him drive those decisions for the last 25 years. And he really wanted to move.
Still, we argued a bit about it. I said I liked being near cultural opportunities. He (rightly) pointed out that we rarely avail ourselves of them. I expressed a desire to be near good restaurants, pubs and movie theaters. He said we hardly ever go out and tend to wait for movies to come to our streaming service. I said I hate change. He said that’s a recipe for being stuck in a life-long rut. Etc. To sum up, I was persuaded.
My one condition was that a prospective house had to have broadband service — a reasonable request since I work from home and am addicted to several Netflix programs. And indeed, that proviso did stymie the mister for many months. But he finally found a place that is both at the ends of the fucking earth and Wifi’d up. It also happens to be the county where I spent my childhood before my mom divorced my dad and fled to Tampa. The irony!
So, we moved. Now I have to drive 1.5 miles on a treacherous dirt road bordered by a swamp and forested Confederate redoubts (where treason flags and a Trump sign or two are proudly displayed) to get to a hardtop road, then an additional 15 miles to (a small) town for supplies. That kinda sucks. But here is the view from our dock:
It is also the view from everywhere in the house except the back bedrooms — there are floor-to-ceiling windows across the river-facing side of the house and a screened porch where you can sit and watch the egrets and herons fly past and listen to the limpkins scream at each other.
It’s just breathtakingly serene and unspoiled. Every now and then a giant airboat full of tourists drawn from I-75 for a “swamp adventure” comes blasting through, but aside from that, it’s incredibly quiet.
This is a stilt house, and the downstairs is enclosed and has a pool table and dartboard that came with the place. There’s a screened-in patio area where we plan to build a new outdoor bar. The previous owners said the downstairs stays dry unless there are several hurricanes in a row that cause a major flood, as happened in 2004. We’ll see, but there was significant flooding on this river late this summer, and this place stayed dry, so it looks promising.
Our last house was nine feet above sea level in an area that would get a 14 to 24-foot storm surge if directly hit by a major hurricane. This place is 49 feet above sea level, which is a dizzying height in Florida — I’m not even sure I’ll be able to boil water! So I feel like we’ve addressed the climate change risk as best we can without leaving the state altogether.
The new place has tons of potential, as I’ve described, but it is definitely a fixer-upper. The previous occupants apparently chain-smoked a carton of cigarettes a day for many years, so we’re scouring the walls and getting ready to paint everything. We’ll also have to replace the A/C and duct work because it’s coated with nasty nicotine residue. The popcorn ceiling is a horror that must be addressed at some point. Suggestions welcome!
Anyhoo, that’s my news. I’ve been stressed out as hell for the past several weeks as we tried to put this deal together and then prepared to move out of a house we’d lived in for 14 years. I’m a creature of habit, so change is hard for me. The additional anxiety prompted me to take a break from the news so I wouldn’t lose my goddamned mind altogether. For that reason, I’ve been absent from the blog a lot and probably a bitch-kitty when present. Apologies for that!
But the critters are adjusting, and so will I. After all, I’m home.
I LOL’d ;)
Thanks Betty and best wishes on the new place!
To be pedantic, high altitude makes it easier to boil water, not harder. “Boiling” occurs when the (water) vapor pressure is equal to air pressure, and there’s less pressure at higher altitudes, so you need lower temperatures to achieve that state.
Still, I reckon you must be far more subject to nosebleeds than most in Florida, and probably need to take chewing gum when driving to the low-lying areas to keep your ears from hurting during the drive….
Is there dry land nearby for the dogs to poop on?
Badger better not get eaten by a crocodile!
Nice view. I missed you and your acerbic tongue. I moved just before the last election and it took more than a year to feel at home.
Dayumn, you’re making Florida sound incredibly nice. Except for the Confederates. Forty-nine feet? Watch for nosebleeds.
Betty, given the description and my knowledge of the area I’d guess…Homosassa?
If you gotta live in the country, doing it with such great views is the way to do it.
Congratulations, BC! What an oasis of peace. Well worth the hassle of driving. It looks like it will be easy to tune out your neighbors and focus instead on on the birds.
@efgoldman: Welcome back! We’ve been saying, “Fuck ’em,” on the blog in your honor but it’s not the same as when it comes from you!
Congratulations! How are the dogs and chickens doing?
You made me smile without snarky darkness being the cause. In a previous thread, a possible tweet from a Chinese spy strangling a Japanese Diplomat to get access to tRumps phone almost caused me to cease breathing. Only time I’ve laughed about him since forever. Thanks, Betty and all the best in you new digs.
All the best to you. Chickens adjusting well to the move and the altitude? Are you now closer to gators too?
@efgoldman: Yea! Lovely to see you!
@schrodingers_cat: I left you a reply in the Stochastic Terrorism thread.
@efgoldman: It’s alive!
Martha Rapp Ruddell
Scrubbing and painting walls will not remove the years of smoke residue. It will certainly leech through. I recommend professionals for the job. We used ServePro after a house fire and they were excellent.
@efgoldman: Hey ya old codger! Long time no talk!
I am so relieved to hear about your change in altitude. I grew up east coast Florida 6 feet above sea level. We moved in just before Donna and moved out right after Betsy.
Sounds lovely! A smoker owned my house before I bought it. Removing the old carpet and drapes made a world of difference, but I did have to scrub the bathroom ceiling. No problem with the heating ducts, though. And no popcorn ceilings.
@efgoldman: I have been thinking of you. Fuckem.
congratulations! i await funny stories of the neighbors finding out you’re a dirty hippie :D
Adria McDowell (formerly LurkerExtraordinaire)
@prufrock: Given my knowledge of the area and the description, it could literally be anywhere from Homosassa to just south of Sarasota (sans the more urban and suburban areas). ;-)
Anonymous At Work
@dlwchico: Croc, gator, and/or boa. Gotta have some protection or something to help critters stay alive if they are outdoor critters. Spiked battlearmor wouldn’t be out of the question.
Have the popcorn checked for asbestos. As long as it hasn’t been painted, it’s easy to remove. Spray it with hot water and it should peel off easily with a long handled scraper. It’s messy, but fast. The nicotine and smoke residue will come with it.
Brendan in NC
As others have said, Congrats, BC!! My brother and my SIL just sold their house, but haven’t found another one yet. They’re living in an Extended Stay place, with their dog, for at least a month.
Hope you are happy there!
Myself, that would be my worst nightmare. You might as well kill me as ask me to live in such a place, far from civilization. Hell, I’m basically the opposite of Mr. Cracker in that I despise living in the suburbs (and would simply give up the relationship rather than live in the country) and I’ve been agitating heavily to sell our house and move in the city. Haven’t convince him yet, but I’m not giving up. I hate it here, even though it is where I was born and raised, and I want to live in what I consider my natural environment. There is nothing about living in Pittsburgh that I wouldn’t love. I lived there once and I can’t wait to live there again. 36 miles away is too far!
Sounds lovely Betty and why I’m in MW Montana. .75 mi of dirt (snow? ice?) to paved, 3 mi to town and 20 mi to an airport that will take me anywhere. The timing of those flights is another matter.
I removed the popcorn ceiling in my last house and you should be ready to have to actually finish the drywall because most places I’ve seen used popcorn rather than finish the ceiling. You may have to tape, fill and sand.
Congratulations, Ms. Cracker! It sounds like heaven to me. Be well!
PS I hope we get to see before, progress, and after photos of the house.
Betty, for the popcorn ceiling…..do it now. It is not overly difficult to get rid of but it makes a metric fuckton of mess. By that I mean move everything out of the room type of mess. To remove you need a large pot of boiling water, a 1 gallon garden spryer, large drywall knife and some low scaffolding. Also too hat and eye protection.
Mix the boiling water 60/40 or so with hose water and spray a section of the ceiling. Get it soaking wet, wait a few minutes and scrape with the drywall knife, down comes popcorn. Forgot to mention, cover floor completely with plastic, unless you are removing it too.
Yo?? anybody home
@efgoldman: Mostly lurk here, but it is good so see you back.
Wonderful view. I am glad you’re home. I myself am a city rat but dream of a tiny retirement home in the Isle of Skye… and seeing I don’t drive it will lose me a fortune on all sorts of public transport/taxi-type services but I.DON’T.CARE.
I’m from Wisconsin, and I don’t like it in Florida:
Too much rain
Too many mosquitoes
The shrimp are good down there though.
Last year we drove down to Miami for a Caribbean cruze with some friends. We stopped over in Homosassa to visit some of their friends and ate at this place:
5590 S Boulevard Dr, Homosassa, FL 34448
Was a memorable place.
Congrats on a safe move.
It doesn’t sound like Polk County. We’re a bit off from I-75 and there’s a ton of places around here that DON’T HAVE BROADBAND. Libraries are starting to offer Hotspot devices for checking out, and we’re having a hard time getting them back.
Don’t forget to register for a library card at your new place!!!
(hope you voted before you moved)
Google maps says it’s the Freezer Tiki Bar.
Hmm. Were you able to stop at Weeki Wachee to say hello to the mermaids?
Popcorn or stipple?
Popcorn’s the paper/plaster mix that looks like bad snow,
Stipple’s the hard plaster that looks like heavy orange peel.
Hot water in a mister bottle, or a wallpaper steamer, and an 8″ scraper makes quick work of it. Keep the scraper blade flat so you don’t gouge the drywall or seam compound.
If the home was built after 1977, there won’t be any asbestos in the ceiling.
If the ceiling is stipple, it’s easiest to paint over it, especially if it’s been painted in the past. The easiest way to remove it, if you must, is an 8″ orbital sander, 180 grit paper, hooked up to a shop vac with a HEPA filter. The shop vac will suck up 99.9% of the dust.
You know that this move means you will have to regularly contribute to “On the Road and in your Back Yard” as well?
Also, maybe have it analyzed for asbestos before going whole-hog with removal.
Very nice! It would make me crazy to be that far from civilization, but it would be a great vacation spot.
I would not normally suggest this, but if you don’t already know how to shoot a rifle or shotgun, I would learn ASAP and practice frequently. I would be more worried about a monster alligator than a bad-intentioned neighbor, but you never know.
New phone, who dis? ?
Welcome back, you old crank. We missed you.
@efgoldman: hey there !!
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@efgoldman: I was gonna say it was good to see you around, but I was afraid you might find it gushingly sentimental
and I was gonna ask BC about ‘gators, but I guess those are the less lizard-brained neighbors
I didn’t think there was anywhere in Florida that was 49 feet above sea level. Well done. My husband made the same case for us, but at least it’s only a second home and it’s not wifi’ed up yet. Same kind of view, although more houses on the other side. His argument went something like, most of what you like to do is to sit around reading and you can do that anywhere. There was also a promise of a kitchen remodel that went along with the purchase.
Congratulations! May all your remodeling go well and quick.
Anytime I think of rural Florida near water, I think of large prehistoric dangerous animals. I hope they are nowhere near your new home.
@Mnemosyne: Funny you should mention that because we discussed it in light of our remote location, but I won’t have a gun in the house. Well, except a BB gun. The yard is fenced to keep the gators out and dogs away from the water. I can dispatch a poisonous snake with a hoe if I have to, and if a human tries to fuck with me (highly unlikely), they’ll get a can of wasp spray in the eyes. The whole state is lousy with gun nuts, so I don’t feel particularly more threatened out in the boonies.
Quarter inch drywall right over the old popcorn ceiling. Less work in the long run.
With a smoker/popcorn ceiling house I would have recommended just ripping out all the drywall anyway and putting in new. Gives you a chance to check/upgrade the electrics and insulation at the same time.
i seem to recall her home grounds were close to the suwannee river….
On the bright side, if you believe in things like science, clocks run slower at higher elevation which means you’ll be younger the next time you go to the beach.
Steve in the ATL
I believe Miami holds that crown
My goodness, Betty, what a great view. I hope you guys get many years of enjoyment out of the new place; congratulations! (I assume you already factored in any increase in the threat condition regarding your menagerie, if applicable.)
Congratulations Betty. I’m always pining to move off to take ‘the cure’ — sit and watch the light change and the birds and animals come out in the quiet On a bad day I think (maudlin) ‘if these are my last days let me spend them looking at nature.’ My partner is so change averse that he panics at the idea of any disruption.
Glad you got a spot closer to bird land to help with these times.
Yeah, like I said, I’d be way more worried about alligators, but those fuckers freak me right out. I would not be able to live cheek-by-jowl with them.
For some reason, I’m pretty much okay with apex predators who are mammals, like our resident bears and mountain lions, but giant crocodilians dragging me to a watery death (if I’m lucky!) when I stray too close to the water’s edge is the stuff of nightmares for me. ?
Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ
@dlwchico: That was my first thought too! Poor pups need a safe place to do their business. When I lived in FL, used to go fishing on the St. John’s river in a 13ft boat and the gators loved to drool over my 80 lb dog. Can’t imagine how bold they’d be with the puppy. /shudder
Betty, congrats on your little piece of paradise!
Jack the Second
Most places allow you to do your own asbestos remediation up to 300 sq ft or so.
If the popcorn doesn’t come down easily, try just smearing an inch of spackle over it. Spackle fixes everything!
Congrats on the move. Funny though_it doesn’t seem you’ve been gone from the blog that long. You must have moving down to a science.
That view is gorgeous. STILL WATER. Slowed down my pulse for a moment (which I fear will be elevated until at least Nov. 6 and perhaps beyond). I’m like you; Mr. Stars has started grumbling about selling our overpriced house and retiring in the boonies and I am generally resistant. On the other hand, these days I find myself wondering if it might feel safer and calmer to be further away from humanity than closer in.
Florida gets a bad rap but I’ve always been fascinated by it (never been). A couple of years ago at a conference I met a nice person who works at a museum that she said was basically out in the boonies in the middle of FL….so maybe close to you? Anyway, it sounds cool: there’s a mile-long boardwalk stroll you can take and a serious archive of Seminole history. If you’re interested. https://www.ahtahthiki.com/
@Mnemosyne: I was thinking the same. I would go mad in a couple of weeks in such a remote location.
CONRATS ON THE NEW HOME!
Always exciting, if a pain to move.
How I usually gage it is “Can I visit my friends/ will my friends visit me?” But I’m not married.
Sometimes one is all you need.
“boil water” There’s always a gem that makes me laugh in a Betty post. Welcome back.
Best wishes on the new home!
The trick with painting over stained/smoker’s walls is good primer. Kilz is the go-to brand, but there are others. Works better than doing multiple coats of color paint.
Congrats, BC, on finding your bit of jungle paradise :)
It does look lovely. When you said you were moving, I worried (yes! I did!) that you’d be giving up the idyllic wilderness of egrets, spoonbills, and other critters. But you found a spot with just as much wildlife, if not more! Regarding which: have the feral boas and pythons made it to the Gulf Coast? I thought they were still mostly in the Everglades… Glad to hear you have a fenced yard!
I grew up a city girl and never thought I’d want to live anywhere else permanently. But in my twilight years I am just so sick of cities. Seattle is growing at exponential speed; just about everything I loved about the place is gone. What I would like to do at retirement is move to the Peninsula. Whether I’ll be financially able to do so is doubtful.
listen to the limpkins scream at each other.
I hate noisy neighbors. Well, at least the trees aren’t too close to the house.
Those clouds and their reflections are beautiful. Good sunsets ?
Love this piece of writing too.
Moving is a Big Fucking Deal! Congrats and good luck with the transition.
I retired to a country town from the Big City (Cape Town, in my case). I certainly don’t regret it but the thing I miss most is ethnic food. No Mexican, Chinese, Jewish cuisine here. I’d kill for a good bagel.
Well Betty, you don’t need my advice but that never seems to stop us. I would not put up political signs because who wan’t Confederate/treason folk poisoning your critters in revenge. Why didn’t you move out of state? Lotta nice places out there.
Chacal Charles Calthrop
Congrats! Can I recommend you take up kayaking? All the pleasures of being in the water without getting wet, getting chilled or not being able to see anything. And it looks like you can kayak right from where you live, which means you can store your kayak & equipment right in your garage.
Have I lost a decade? I thought you moved a couple of years ago right after your daughter left for college.?
Re: popcorn ceilings…need to have them checked for asbestos before you start removing them.
Congratulations, Betty! It looks so peaceful. Hope it’s all you and Mr. Cracker are wanting.
Also, surrounded by water, in the boonies…can’t imagine there is a city sewer system you’re hooked ip to…pretty sure a regular septic system wouldn’t work…what’s the waste solution?
I thought Tampa was a manatee-infested backwater on the West Central Florida coast. The things a person can learn on this blog!
@efgoldman: hi, nice to see you back?
Place looks great, congratulations.
@efgoldman: Hey, welcome back!!
Also, your new digs look great, BC! Does Badger like to swim?
Congrats to you and yours, Betty, it’s a beautiful place. You’ll get used to the drive.
On the duct work: Those can be cleaned, no need to replace them. I’ve never seen it done so have no idea of what’s involved but there are several companies around here and STL that do it.
Popcorn, Ugh. For people who can’t tape drywall or don’t want to pay for it.
And congratulations on new place in boondocks. Hope it goes well.
But, only 1.5 on a treacherous dirt road? That is big city living for my family’s pieces of dirt in Alaska. I don’t think there is anything most people would recognize as a road to it at all.
And has broadband? Sound like Lady Cracker and her Mr. made a good compromise and deal.
I guess the Mr. should spring for overnights to big city events in Tampa.
@Manyakitty: Let’s hope not, he’d make a tasty little gator snack.
@Chacal Charles Calthrop: Kayaking is fun, but I prefer a boat with gunwales when there are alligators around. We’ve got our eye on a little jon boat that should do the trick. I’m also partial to pontoon boats, but that might be overkill.
@sukabi: We’ve been talking about moving for a couple of years. Finally did it. We have a septic tank at the new place, and also a well with a complicated-looking pump system. I dread the implications of both, but the mister is competent with that sort of thing.
@jl: Tampa is a manatee-infested metropolis!
Great to see you efgoldman. Hope all is well.
Dorothy A. Winsor
I looks beautiful, Betty, but moving is always stressful. Enjoy the view.
@Betty Cracker: And 49 feet above sea level. I’ll refer to the place as the Cracker Mountain Top Retreat.
@OzarkHillbilly: Lolz! I thought about that after I posted.
Congratulations on the move! It does look very serene and a good place for bird watching.
@efgoldman: Nice to see you here again.
Ah, so you live in a swamp! Just kidding, looks nice. Keep the pups away from the gators!
Because she’s from Florida. Fuck the confederates.
We just rehabbed our dad’s mobie-home to sell and he was a professional smoker. Just thick, oily nicotine everywhere. We TSP’d then remudded all the walls. Brother the elder replaced every electrical socket -and that’s the tips I have for your place.
IIRC, Betty is a second or third generation Floridian. It’s too late for her.
What a lovely spot! Get the special paint designed to cover over nicotine – it really works and you’ll never know anyone smoked in there. If the popcorn ceiling is unpainted, it’s easy to remove; if painted, not so much, but go with flat and use the same nicotine-covering paint.
@efgoldman: Howdy efg!!
@Betty Cracker: Don’t forget to get the solids pumped out of the septic tank every 3 or 4 years. I lost track of the years not too long ago. It was not pleasant.
@Mnemosyne: I thought I was 5th generation, but my sister started tracing our paternal line and found out we’re at least 7th generation Floridians. The fucking Confederates should leave; they’re the ones who suck. :)
Hey you!!! We have all missed you terribly! Lots of fuck ems in your honor but we’d rather hear it from you.
Betty, popcorn ceilings suck. When I bought my old farmhouse some genius applied that finish over horsehair plaster between the ceiling beams. My neck aches just thinking about it.
I had to scrape the ceiling with a metal putty knife and then apply multiple thin layers of mud to smooth out the ceiling.
I learned to use a large, wet sponge instead of sanding between coats.
Congrats on the house!
Nice digs, enjoy. If one must live in Florida (or anywhere else for that matter), one should embrace the essence of the place. Water, nature, serenity, dock, stilt house, I think you’ve got it.
I have always been drawn to mountains and deserts so moving to 32779 from Colorado in 1989 was a big change for me. I always thought we would go back but 29 full years later, it looks like mrs. cope are wedded to the Mildew State. In fact, our current suburban cinderblock house looks to be our “Forever House” now at least until looming infirmities condemn us to some sort of “facility”.
Anyway, enjoy the new place and be warned that we expect even more and better critter and scenery pic from you now.
Lovely view, may you always be 49 feet above the nearest 14 foot gator.
oooh efg, a bonus prize and a fine fuckem to you sir.
J R in WV
@Martha Rapp Ruddell:
There is a special paint called Killz which is intended for covering greasy blemishes on walls. My grandma had the safety valve on her pressure cooker pop open one day while she was cooking vegetable soup with tomatoes, we suspect a tomato seed stopped up the pressure release valve leading to the safety valve spewing tomato-beef soup all over the ceiling.
They painted the whole room with Killz primer, before giving it two coats of the selected color. When she finally sold the farm to move to a small apartment near her son, it was still fine. It really seems to work well.
@J R in WV: Killz also covers water stains, which is what I have used it for.
Have such envy.
May pleasures, delights, contentment, and serenity abound for you, the Mister, and the Critters.
Mr. EFG, hot dog, it’s good to see you!
Clermont will disabuse you of that in a right hurry. It’s got the steepest hills this side of the Rocky Mountains.
Hey, y’all. We retired a couple years ago and just a couple weeks ago moved from Cincinnati to North Port, sounds like an hour or so down the road from you, once you get out to 75. 15 ft. Four miles to Starbucks feels like a hardship. We were used to four Starbucks w/in a couple miles.
Why all the hate for popcorn ceilings, aside from the smell issue? We had them when I was a kid, I liked having a moonscape on my ceiling. I’m imagining 20 years from now people will be mourning all the vintage popcorn ceilings our generation so wantonly destroyed.
Beth in VA
That view is beautiful, and I, too, am from central west coast Florida. I’ve canoed and sampled water, fish, plants, all sorts of things in water like that (worked at a Marine Lab in the day). I love love love your pics from FLA!
We moved this past summer after 42 years in the same house–the one I grew up in that we bought from my mom in 1976. Fortunately, the move was just across the street to the house my sister built in 1985, and my son and his wife have moved into our old (literally–my great-grandparents built it in 1908) house. Fortunately, the move was downhill, but it was, frankly, hell. We’re not spring chickens any more and I think I tore something in my right quadricep that hasn’t healed yet, and the move was in July. But we’re on the riverbank here, with great views, and even better memories of mine growing up here, spending summers on the river. Pretty sure I’d do it again. But not positive.
I’m jealous of such quiet. Live in the country with farms around but a freight train rumbles by several miles away several times a day, air base/airport nearby with big planes, and half the neighbors are afraid of the dark and have bright lights on outside all night. (Good bandwidth/latency was a requirement for me too.)
Meanwhile a new work situation (open office) is making me seriously think about these: Panasonic’s human blinkers help people concentrate in open-plan offices and related ideas. (My peripheral vision sees motion >90 degrees left and right of center. Good for spotting birds and other wild animals; bad for open offices with no visual barriers.)
Youse just became gator bait.
All I can tell you is my move to redwood tree country in the San Francisco north bay has done my head and heart more good than I can begin to explain, as if cosmic forces are in play, which may well be the case. I get the feeling, moreover, you reasonably suspect you’ve made one of the best decisions of your lives together, and I hope that’s the case. Best of luck..
My sister did some research on the popcorn ceilings in our parents’ house before she removed them herself. Asbestos was outlawed sometime in the late 70’s, and the house had been built in 1980. She sent away a little sample & it came back negative. She took it off with a spray bottle of water & a scraper (it just dissolves in water) and it took her forever, but the result was worth it.
@JustRuss: I never knew popcorn ceilings were supposed to be hated until I watched HGTV?
Betty, re: the popcorn ceiling(s).
The solutions in the order of easy to hard:
1. Resurfacing smoooth with a thin coat of mud (wall board compound)
2. Cover with 1/4 (the thinnest available) sheet rock and retape and mud
3. Scraping and skim coating. May be easy and 90+% of the time is difficult to umpossible
All popcorn ceilings are candidates for resurfacing so check this for practicality first.
A. Try to scrape. If the popcorn coat is on good go to B
B. Test a skim coat. Apply a thin coat of mud to a 1’x1′ area. Leave 2-3 days.
If it has not peeled you know that the popcorn is on tight and the mud will hold to the popcorn.
C. Now you can skim coat the entire ceiling(s)
A sheetrock specialist should be the one who does this.
Two coats, light sand, and spray primer should be what they quote.
It sounds lovely! Looking forward to audio and video of screaming limpkins!
@sambolini: Good advice. Thank you!