Can you believe it was around now five years ago that I moved in to this house? It feels like this has always been my home, yet looking at the pictures of when I bought it and now it’s basically unrecognizable.
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It’s a never-ending endeavor.
John, if you felt like it, I bet a bunch of folks would ooh-and-aah over before-and-after photo pairs.
It does seem like yesterday.
James E Powell
Five years ago? I’m sorry to differ with you, John, but you have always lived there.
Cole, that’s how you know you’re where you belong. Glad you’re there. Glad you’re here posting.
Awaiting the Woodstock-style, all-BJ 4th of July party at your house.
Could be epic.
And the house came with a complimentary dog, if I recall.
You’d never see that in today’s market.
“The willow is too close to the party.”
Just means you made that old fixer upper your home sweet home. That’s a wonderful thing to do.
@SpaceUnit: I cringed when I read your comment.
Walter was a wonderful success story, but we will hope that no other house ever comes with a dog that has been locked inside, emaciated and abandoned.
I’ll never forget that the house came with Walter who desperately needed a John Cole to save him.
You beat the Omicron wave.
Chacal Charles Calthrop
Well, it’s got a lot more mushrooms in it now than it did before
Ah yes Walter. You are a good man John Cole and that’s why I have hung around here since your R days.
Its been a little over five years since we moved to this house. One week after we moved in the beast was elected, it felt like the bottom fell out of my world.
@realbtl: Many of us played a part in saving the pup.
My apologies . . . it was perhaps not a thing to make jokes about.
But clearly angels were at work in bringing Walter and John Cole together.
Congratulations. You’ve done well.
It’s hard for me to believe that the year is nearly over; at the same time, January seems like 5 years ago…
Excellent. There are still sensible judges out there.
congratulations, especially on your timing. Can you imagine trying to overhaul an older home today, with supply chain issues, temporary spikes in the costs of materials and a labor shortage? There would be years of “this fucking old house” posts. I think even Lily would have wanted to maul the contractor is you were starting this project today. Enjoy your beautiful home and your exquisite timing..
OT Sad news. Artist mews, fatcat Zarathrustra is no more.
I’m with you on that.
@BGinCHI: Would be epic! Many would travel!
@Almost Retired: We’re almost done with a total renovation of our rental house. We started in September.
And now I’m trying to imagine the Geico commercial with that setup.
@raven: That gives me hope, because we are in the planning stages of a major remodel, even though the timing could be better. I’m going to a neighborhood holiday party tonight, so I think I’ll try and get the busy local contractor liquored up and get him to submit a bid between shots. It’s my only hope.
Not to be a downer, but might want to review the coverage of any fire/hurricane/flood insurance.
You know, there’s something from that incident that I don’t actually recall . . . was the scumbag that abandoned Walter ever charged and prosecuted? Or did John track the fool down and introduce himself?
Debit is a true angel. Walter lived his best life with her going to spas and getting groomed. It might have been a short life, but it was a life well lived.
Five years, wow.
And your furniture is so much better, too!
@Almost Retired: We got incredibly lucky with our contractor. He’s an old friend and he and his partner were really great to work with. All the subs were great as well but, I have to say, the painting and sheet rock dudes stepped in partially because we’ve used them before and I’ve gotten them tons of work. The cherry on top is the tenant we got who is a homeowner and an artist in LA with family here so he and his wife are taking a (long term lease) but only plan to be here about half the year! Here’s a shot of the kitchen, the floor will be sanded and finished next week.
Pardon me. I would like to report a murder please.
@raven: Beautiful kitchen (and those floors…wow). Thanks for the positive story, as I’ve only received doom and gloom input from friends on the subject. And….yeah…I recognize the irony of posting on BJ to get a respite from the doom and gloom.
Dorothy A. Winsor
Cole, you did a beautiful job on that house. The neighbors should thank their stars that you bought it.
@Almost Retired: Things really worked out for us but we’ve lived here a long time a have some pretty great connection. One strange thing is that I always thought our contractor was just a roof guy. In July I needed help with a stuck door and just asked him if he would be interested in working on the floor. It turned out that the the joists and sills were shot and it required an entire rebuild. He has a two-year waiting list so we’re thanking our lucky stars every day.
@raven: Looks great! What material are the countertops?
I remember when John fell through the deck while inspecting it. And thinking “omigod, don’t get any closer!” when he showed a picture of the death trap Staircase That Opens Up in the Middle of the Floor Without a Guardrail. And the photos of his friends who redid the bathroom.
Yes, I would LOVE to see a lot of before and after photos!
@CaseyL: Yes! And the willow tree then and now ?
@Dan B: Granite, they are textured and were the least expensive option in that material. I had ZERO to do with any of the selections of anything! We did a FaceTime with the tenant and I never knew that my bride is a born real estate salesperson! I just held the phone!
Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like an apple.
In the most unsurprising Breaking News ever, Washington State Representative Doug Erickson (RWNJ-Ferndale) has died.
(He’s the anti-vax, anti-mask nutjob who caught Covid down in El Salvador and begged to be airlifted to Florida to be treated with whatever quack nostrum DeSantis was peddling. Then he just vanished from sight. I guess the quack nostrum didn’t work)
@CaseyL: Me three!
I just found pictures of my former house’s kitchen before and after. Before was horrible. After was amazing. I miss that kitchen.
OT but related to his earlier post: can anyone recommend some favorite board games that tweens or young teens might enjoy? Ones who also like Stardew Valley and any game with Quest or Tycoon in it?
Used to really like Race to the Treasure, but getting too old for it.
John, you turned your house into a showcase, and a loving sanctuary for all living things (including humans no matter what you say). It’s an amazing accomplishment. You should turn the lights out before bed each night feeling tremendous pride.
@raven: They almost looked like soapstone. My kitchen counters are large ugly pinkish tan tiles and the edge tiles are falling off. Your granite would look great.
And, glad to hear you married well!
@JMG: ???? Well said.
@CaseyL: I was about to post that as I just got the alert on my e-mail. It’s a tragic loss for his family, so I wish them well. But no real sympathy for the fucker who found out.
Clearly State Senator Fortunato doesn’t know any actually-smart people.
@Dan B: She’s a peach and the daughter of an old school builder and SeeBee. I learned long ago to get out of the way, she knows what she wants and it’s always right (except for the perfectly good ceiling fan she wants to replace!
@dmsilev: Multiple intelligences!
@raven: Sorry didn’t mean to leave out the whole spontaneous organization for Walter. Makes me like this place even more.
@realbtl: It was a hell of an effort, I often tell people the story.
Just an all-around great guy.
@raven: Awesome. I don’t quite have the same connection with the local “in demand” contractor we will see at the party tonight, so I doubt we can jump the remodeling queue. But I did suggest to my wife it might be fun to watch “Indecent Proposal” before we went to the party. No particular reason I picked that movie.
@Steeplejack: He registered as a foreign agent while he was a state representative? Or did he get elected after he became a foreign agent? Either doesn’t speak well for the voters in his district.
Love the paint color!
The former. He was in the legislature since 1998.
@CaseyL: I wonder how long before Inslee calls for a special election. Any hope at all a Democrat can win this seat? Or, at least a non-Trumplican!
@debbie: Oh, that’s just one of them!
He’s also a registered foreign agent. ??♀️
@debbie: Here’s the exterior. It’s hard to see but her dad made the screen doors and the scrolling and the doors have them behind the screen.
@raven: It really is a charming little house.
Ooh, I like that too. Plus, textures!
@raven: Oh, that is a darling little house! I assume you have a hands-off attitude towards your tenants, but it would be fun if you got to see his art, or him doing his art. Is there room for a studio?
Again, nice! Is that two units, or just two doors? How many bedrooms?
@CaseyL: No, in fact we had a couple of people who worked from home look at it and decide it was too small. It’s only 816 sq ft. We did thorough background and financial checks on everyone and I think this person will be able to afford a space to work if he wants one.
@raven: 816 sf isn’t teeny weeny, but it will be…cozy, for two people.
@debbie: One bedroom and the picture of the kitchen is actually the living room with the wall taken down. These are two 8ft x 2inch think pieces of cherry joined. It will be a counter coming off the wall as sort of a breakfast bar.
We’re going to leave the bark and treat it so it’s stable.
@raven: Really cute for living though, and the kitchen looks big enough for a 4-seater dining table, and for actual cooking.
@CaseyL: The last tenants were two plus the guy’s kid every other weekend and two giant dogs. He had a john boat in the driveway and often parked a fucking pontoon boat in front. He liked to clean fish in the driveway and leave deer heads out to “season”.
Yeah, I like that look. Your bride missed her calling!
@prostratedragon: See above.
@debbie: Twenty five years promoting breast feeding and she retired years ago at 60! Now she’s busier than ever with a never ending stream of dog parades, garden clubs and art projects!
We’re about to have serious foundation work done on our house and this small part of me keeps worrying that we will have to flee to a blue state because it is starting to seem like our Governors are getting more right wing and more powerful even as there get to be more Democrats. And they are now doing things for spite.
For example conservation easements, which allow working farmers to generate money for conserving habitat, are now controversial even though it is typically conservative farmers who make money from them. All because Biden is pushing land and water conservation.
The work we are having done was to get more shop space and to repair cracked walls. But if we’re not going to live her very long, what is the point. Working on a basement is not a money maker if you are selling a house (as our contractor cautioned us).
I’m thinking I don’t need to plan for a long retirement because they will kill us before too long.
@debbie: Oh, as far as the doors. Our neighborhood is near an old textile mill and we think that it was a duplex for workers. There were no bathrooms in any of the historic houses and they all have added on spaces in the rear.
Erm… how far is this place from your main house, the one you live in? And is it usually downwind or upwind from the rental property?
@mvr: Go down fighting.
@CaseyL: We bought it because the houses are so close together! Here’s our house and you can see the rental through the tulip magnolia .
We’re fairly close to a chicken plant and the old mill became a brewery so there are some stinky days.
I am, at least verbally and by spending money on campaigns. Hence the fear we will need to run for our lives.
@raven: Heh, my house is 783 square feet. Two bedrooms, one for me and one for the world’s most spoiled dog. Fortunately, she doesn’t use the indoor toilet
ETA – lovely house and enviable garden in front of the main house.
@persistentillusion: Yea, she’s a garden wizard too!
The house has charm and I like the colors you and/or the wife chose. I think it was your own colorful garden pictures posted awhile back, so give us a photo when the rental garden is done. This looks really nice – congratulations on a job well done!
@susanna: She actually uses a good part of the rental yard for her garden. It’s weird how different the property lines are. The rental is about 60 ft deeper than the main house but we have “claimed” a bunch of adjacent are. The tall pines are the back of the main house lot and the area from the small pine forward is the rental. They can’t build anything down there because there is a creek and you have to stay 75 feet away from it.
At 10 Eastern TCM is showing Gold Diggers of 1933. Standard 30s “let’s put on a play to save our bacon” musical, but ends with a really great number, “Remember My Forgotten Man.” It was Busby Berkeley’s tribute to bonus marchers that he had seen the previous year. The main performers of the number are Joan Blondell and, in the sung part, Etta Moten.
It was a bit radical to have a black woman in that number, representing all women many of whom were white. Ms. Moten was in later years known around Chicago as Etta Moten Barnett, local journalist and host of a popular radio show. I met her at tea parties a couple of times in the early 60s, where she might talk a bit about her Hollywood days. She specifically referenced this number as one she was very proud of, and said she enjoyed working with Berkeley, as she did a few times, and with Blondell. Mrs. Barnett lived to be 102. In those late years my father visited her regularly, as pastor of her church, and I think co/officiated her funeral. He said she was a firecracker all the way.
@raven: I swear I was composing the comment “the house is so charming” before I saw MagdalinBlack’s comment at #63.
@WaterGirl: Great minds. . .
I’m there for it. And it’s just an hour 1/2-2 hours from my house.
We have reached the awkward age when all the contractors my husband knows have started to retire. Fortunately my stepson’s best friend got into the business a few years ago and seems to be doing well at it.
Anonymous At Work
On that day, many years ago, you never realized that the Army had not trained you to curse and swear sufficiently for the task ahead…