My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Friday, August 9, 2013


While cleaning out the litter box, a chore I hate not just because of the obvious (poop) but because it is incredibly painful for me to bend in the position  I need to and because the box of litter is heavy and hard for me to refill. And my lungs just don't handle the dust well. It's all really beyond the scope of my comfort zone and every time Mom is back in Riverdale, it becomes my job. Honestly, it should be Austin's job but he's on strike so if I didn't do it we would have a poop rebellion going on. Anyways... what I started to say is cleaning the litter box gave me the idea  of showing you some of the less Martha Stewart-y parts of the house. You know, the skeletons in the closet. I mean, we don't have skeletons in the closet. Who said skeletons?

This probably means I am officially out of blog material. You have been warned.

What's really great about this house is that after living in the same little 1200 square foot ranch house for the past 37 years, my parents now have a home with room to hide stuff store things. Trust me when I say that they outgrew their little house about 31 years ago when child number five, my brother David was born. At the time Jim was 16, I was 14, Michael was 7 and Bryan was 4. We were a full house - and not in the fun way they did it on tv. Until Jim moved out he lived in the converted garage space. I had my own room and the three little boys shared a room. That's right. Three boys, one bedroom. One bathroom. We didn't have any additional living space other than the living room and little bitty kitchen. It's still really bizarre to me that we have this spacious (to us) living room, HUGE (to us) kitchen and still have two whole floors of space to stretch out. It's been almost a year and I'm still amazed that God saw fit to bless our family in this way. It's a reward for my dad's years and years of hard work and frugality and even though I'm not having the best time of my life as far as my health goes, I really love this house and I love living here. So... ok... back to the expose. This little room between my living/dining room and my bedroom...
contains the hot water tank, the electrical panel and good bit of storage space. This is where we keep the downstairs vacuum and various tools.

There's also another room with the furnace that is right across the hall from this room.

There was no way to
really get a
good picture of the contents but you get the idea.

Across from mine and Austin's bedroom there is a huge storage space under the stairs. Austin is convinced that there is a little girl who died here who haunts that space and doesn't let the door stay closed. I tend not to discredit Austin's extra-sensitivity to these kind of things but it doesn't really feel haunted to me. Regardless, we all have taken to calling this space "the little girl's room". We're an odd family. This may be the only closet that REALLY has skeletons. Skeletons? Who said skeletons?

Because of the leak problem in Austin's room I have encouraged him to not keep anything in his room that would tend to grow mold... books, clothes, etc. This big old rubbermaid tub holds his clothes. It's supposed to. I think there are more clothes in there but I dare not enter. I am not up to date on my shots. He just randomly digs out whatever he wants from this tub and there is no sense of order to it. It's a big old space grabber in the hallway between my room and the downstairs bath but I'm willing to risk a stubbed toe over moldy/mildewed clothes.

I've mentioned that I climb two flights to shower and dress everyday. It's partly because I can't stand to share a bath with my little Pigpen and partly because the downstairs shower is so small that you're always under the shower head. I usually like to leave conditioner on my hair the entire time I'm showering and it's impossible to do here because the water is always pouring on me. Plus. It just feels and smells like a boy. And there are spiders. It's just not my favorite room of the house.

I show you guys a lot of really nice pictures of the view from the downstairs patio. I love my huge porch and I love the view. There is, however, a huge eyesore on the back of the house... this huge shed. Now... it's a great benefit to have this huge shed to store the lawnmowers and ... heck, I don't know what else is in there because I don't go in there. I went in long enough today to take a few pictures for you guys. (Willing to sacrifice for my art, you know.)

This has been the rainiest Summer here in my lifetime and the shed has a leak. It's on the fix-it list but since it's not living space, it's not at the top of the list. Once my dad retires and has more time here these kind of things will get taken care of. In the meantime, it's a great place for lawnmowers. And... you know... stuff.

I've mentioned the fountain that has also been a work in progress all year. Ultimately I think we're going to have to get some sort of outdoor water feature expert here to get it working right. It will be beautiful one day, I'm sure. Right now it's just a Mosquito Farm.

Also from this view you can see our propane tank. Austin was tasked with weedeating around it last week and has yet to do it because he's, you know, on strike. He did go out and check the status of the tank and it's at 59% full.
You might also notice the yellow arrow pointing out the Herbie Curbie trash can that is tipped over. Thanks Trash People. You're the best. (sarcasm)

A few more pictures of the backside of the house. There is a staircase that leads down from the porch beside the driveway. Austin's buds sometimes just go downstairs outside rather than come through the house and have to exchange pleasantries with me and my mom. Sometimes they do it to be stealth. Sometimes they want to avoid upsetting Oscar. It's a nice feature, I think.

This would have been a really cool house to play hide and seek in... there are so many nooks and crannies where you can hide.

This little retaining wall was a huge hazard when we first got the house. It was just a concrete wall with no barrier. My brother Jim who is quite the handy woodworker (two of my brothers are - Jim, the oldest and David the youngest) and he made a rail to go at the top of the wall that blends in well with the rest of the porch and it will blend better once we get this porch stained.
Another cool feature of this house is that my parents each have their own walk in closet in the master bedroom. This is HUGE because for years my parents have had to store their clothes in different bedrooms. This is also huge because my parents have a lot of clothes. My dad keeps a full wardrobe up here and my mom keeps a lot of stuff here. I didn't take pictures of their closets because... I can't show the skeletons. Skeletons? Who said anything about skeletons?

I will show you our linen closet on the main floor which is a hodgepodge of my stuff, stuff from Grandma's house and my mom's stuff that she's brought up here. It's a really deep closet but the shelves don't go all the way to the back because there's a huge vent. It does allow room for a lot of storage on the floor, though. Those bags are full of lightbulbs from Grandma's house.

Another feature that is really new to my folks is having a separate pantry with lots of shelf space. We try to be really organized in there since my parents are not living here full-time and it can be hard to find things if they're not in the same space every time. The washer and dryer are also in the pantry space so we are careful not to store dirty laundry there. The dirties stay in hampers until we're ready to wash and we pretty much fold laundry and put it away the minute it comes out of the dryer. Since I use the upstairs bath as a dressing room I have to haul my laundry down one flight of stairs and usually I get Austin to carry it up and down for me. It's one chore he will do without procrastination.

The hanging trash bag in the pantry is actually full of grocery bags which we use when we scoop the poop. It has occasionally be confused for refuse by guests. Ha. 

I've shown you the two bedrooms on the top floor before. They are pretty much the same - this is a Cape Cod style house and the top bedrooms have the slanted roof and little built in shelves under the eaves. There's not a lot to see there as the rooms are fairly empty. We do have a bed and dresser that we're storing for my cousin who may not realize they're here. These are things that Grandma has bequeathed her in her will and since we've closed on the sale of Grandma's house, we had to move them out. There are four different places in the eaves of the attic that can be used for storage. We call these the dwarf attics. Now we pretty much just have Christmas stuff there. 

More top floor 

My dressing room/closet/top floor bathroom 

And the best part of our "stuff you don't really want to see" tour is the poop pen. 

And what expose blog entry would be complete without a picture of me, minus makeup, in my comfy dress and rockin' the go-to frizzy side braid? There's no shame in my game, folks. Hope you enjoyed seeing the less than spectacular parts of our home. Happy Friday!


Peaceful Epiphany said... least I know where to run to with the kids now when all hell breaks loose!!! We can sleep in the shed till it gets too cold, then Alex can sleep in the creepy haunted "little girls room" and me n the girls can sleep in the empty room on the top floor. ROFL. I'm SURE my hairless cat would love Trouble kitty and hey....what's two more anxiety ridden dogs to the mix??? ROFL. :-)
Love ya girl!

monique said...

Great show n' tell Friday.
Have a peaceful weekend!

Fat Free JAM said...

love seeing your world! what i wouldn't give to be out of the city!