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Sunday, December 30, 2012


I know it's been two weeks since I last posted.  But things here have been in such a whirlwind that I have not had time to post, nor to read any other blogs.  I will catch up, I promise, during the deep dark dregs of winter.....

But for now, here is the latest.   As you know, we put an offer in on a house in Chilton, WI.   Here is the blog post about the house in case you missed it:

We closed on the deal on Friday, Dec 28, after a lot of mishaps and mistakes by our un-named (for now)  Mortgage Specialist.  Arggghhhh   I sold real estate for nine years and never had this many mistakes in any of my client's mortgages.  Also, between Steve and I, we have had 8 mortgages, 5 or 6 refinances, a few equity loans, all through the same bank.  NEVER a problem, NEVER a glitch.  Till now.  Seems in their infinite wisdom after the mortgage crisis, the bank no longer has "loan officers" at each branch like they used to.   We used to know our loan people by first names, and dealt right with the head of the bank over the years.  Nope, now you get assigned to a "Mortgage Specialist" .... who travels from bank to bank and doesn't seem to know what the heck is going on.  The one we ended up with was a hum-dinger!   After EIGHT major screwups, we finally got to close the deal.  After she left the room, even the other professionals in the room were amazed at her ineptness.  One remarked:  "She sure is a Special Kind of Disaster, isn't she?"

But all in all, we got the deal done, finally, after having to drive an extra 80 miles round trip in a blinding snowstorm to go back in the afternoon to sign the corrected documents she was finally able to produce.  In the meantime, the lovely understanding sellers gave us the keys and garage door openers, and let us meet with the carpet cleaners at 11 am as planned at the house, even though we wouldn't technically own it till 4:30.  What a nice seller!

We drove up to see this wonderful sign with the SOLD tag hanging underneath it.... awwwww

We got in, got the carpets spruced up and moved in paint, ladders, tools and an air mattress.  You betcha we were gonna sleep here!   Besides, it was a very messy snowstorm going on outside, so the last thing we wanted to do was travel back and forth to Appleton.  Loaded in jammies, food and painting clothes... and of course the dogs!  We hauled along a trailer with a snowblower from my dad. We drove through windy blinding snow, eager to begin our lives in our new home.

Steve got the snowblower going and opened the drifts back up a few times during the day and evening.  Oh, and our wonderful neighbor's daughter was over shoveling out our doorways and garage when we got here!  What a nice welcome!

Our first night was exhausting, emotionally and physically I am sure.  We slept good!

Early the next morning, Steve blew snow again so he could get out of the driveway, as another 8 or 9 inches piled up overnight. Then he had to go into work to help with the snowplowing, so I was left alone to unpack and start some painting and tarping off areas. We removed light fixtures and prepped and I started the painting.  Just about the same colors as before, just freshening the walls up.

We brought along our chaise lounge chairs to sit in, because all of our new furniture won't be delivered till Wednesday, Jan 2.

We even put up our tiny Christmas Tree!  

 There are wonderful multi-paneled pocket doors that slide into 
each side of this doorway to the livingroom from the foyer. 

Today's project (besides more painting) was to move this built-in hutch from the diningroom over one room to the south to my studio room (from here on known as My Loom Room)   Steve used a sawzall reciprocating saw to cut through the nails holding the cabinet to the wall. It's been there since the house was built in 1913, and was not going to come out without a fight!  I swear he had to cut through 200 nails holding it to the wall!

Whew!  What a job!  But we got it loose without damaging the wall or the floor underneath it.  We did have to remove the bottom base molding, which we can put back on as soon as we move it to it's new place in the other room.

But now the next task was... how do we MOVE it?  It was wayyyy too heavy to be carried and it was built on site as all in one piece!

Oh, while moving it, underneath in the back some tiny items fell out that must have been pushed back beyond the drawers over the years.  I saved them all in a zip lock to return to the family.  There are old payroll stubs of their father's, some kids cards and game pieces, old colorforms and assorted odds and ends.  One wheat penny and one quarter from 1937.

Back to our problem of moving the unit about 25 feet.  Hmmmm ever heard of "sliders"?  Sometimes called "Moving Men"?  Those things are GREAT!   They are little flat disks that allow heavy items to slide across the carpeting.  Slick!

And here it is, in it's new location with it's base molding back on.
(I had to get the wall painted quickly behind it before sliding it into place)

And here is where it came from....
The marks on the wall will skim coated with some plaster before we paint over it.  Oh, this notation was left on the wall by some worker 98 years ago.  Wonder what it meant?

(edit:  from my friend Chili Bob:  "Karen that writing on your wall is a date.
Possibly in 1914 they used a emigrant from the old country to help build the house.
That is the way they wrote dates a hundred years ago in Europe.
14/2/6 is Feb 6 1914. I see it all the time in old documents when I do genealogy.

You may wonder why we moved the built-in hutch?  Well, our formal dining room set has both a large long matching buffet AND a tall hutch, besides the big table and 8 chairs.  To get all of the pieces in the diningroom area, we decided to move the original hutch into my Loom Room for my supplies and books and tools.  It will be a lovely way to keep it in the house.  If we ever wanted to restore it back to the same position, we could.

We will either recreate more of the "plate rail" to fill in the gap left from removing the hutch, or else figure out some artwork or a mirror to be hung there.  Will see. 

We hired some plasters to come and "skip trowel" some of the ceilings in the house, and they will be here this evening (after the Packer Game is over)  as a cash job weekend thing.   The ceilings are all intact old plaster and lathe construction.  No cracks or bad spots.  But Steve was looking at the rippled appearance of the aged plaster and thought some "skip trowel" texture would hide the long rows of lathes and and add an "old world" flair to the ceilings.  The house where we bought our dining set from had it done to their ceilings and they looked quite nice.  So if we are going to do this, we might as well get it done BEFORE we move in the furniture.  We are only doing the livingroom, dining room, loom room and master bedroom.

Sooooo we are watching the Packer Game now, they are losing...ack!

And my floors are all covered up waiting for the plaster guys to get here.  It's gonna be a busy next few days.

  • Monday- we are renting a Uhaul moving truck to haul the rest of the things from our rented storage space.
  • Tuesday- painting some more and putting things away 
  • Wednesday- the furniture store is delivering our new furniture items they have been holding in a warehouse for us.  Heh heh let them carry up both king and queen sized mattresses and box springs and frames up those foyer stairs with three turns in them.  Plus our couch and mission recliner will be coming too. 
  • Thursday- COLLAPSE! 


  1. Your new home is going to look terrific! I am looking forward to seeing all that you do to it. The Christmas tree was a nice touch!

  2. Steve and Karen, your new home is looking mighty fine, already..the two of you work very quickly!!
    'love the furniture' you are using..it is very 'fitting'! enjoy!

  3. Congratulations. You found a lovely home.

    Happy 2013 in your new place all cozy and warm.

  4. What would the guys do without their sawsall. You really are going to need your scheduled Thursday. Looking forward to pictures.

  5. In one of our houses we couldn't get the box spring up the stair, just wouldn't fit, we had to return it and get a split box spring.

    Good luck on the spruce up and the furniture move! Looking forward to more photos!

  6. Yup.. we ordered a split king. If they have any trouble, there is a back porch on the second story with a door at the end of the hallway. They can hoist it up on ropes and go in that way if need be.

  7. I've missed your blog. I see that you have been plenty busy though. I cant wait to see the house when you get your furniture in and everything settled. Better rest when you can looks like you have busy days ahead!

  8. looking lovely already and you just moved in how exciting...:)

  9. It's going to be so beautiful! Your colllapse day isn't until Thursday, but I'm about to collapse after reading about all the work you are doing. Where do you get your energy?

  10. Looks like you found a great craftsman style house. Have a Happy New Year.

  11. Congratulations Karen and Steve--may you make many, many happy memories in that house!

  12. Congrats on the new house. It's beautiful! I did get a kick out of the chairs & tv trays. Looks like camping is happening in the new house!

  13. How exciting! Many prayers for a safe move and many years of happiness in your beautiful new home. I love that you are making it distinctly yours.

  14. My guess is that notation on the wall is a date. Did you say your house was built in 1914? Feb 6th or June 2nd?

    1. Yup.. You are right! My friend ChiliBob also wrote me that information, so I edited it up above.

  15. Everything is looking really good. I'm glad you are so happy with the house but I'm missing the travels I thought you would be having. Time for those down the road.

  16. So much fun making a house your "home." We sure do love our mobile home!

  17. Can sure identify with your excitement about moving into a new place. Got a kick out of the lawn chairs & TV tables. We've done that one a few times ourselves. I always enjoy moving because it gives one a chance to do something different & creatively exciting. With all the snow outside you will be very cozy inside happily working away on your new digs.....

  18. This is going to be such fun as we watch you and Steve put the house back together. Your enthusiasm is so genuine-has anyone ever loved a house as much as you love this one? That place has led a charmed life: the first family took good care of it and now it has YOU! Happy New Year!!


  19. HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!!!
    WOW, a NEW HOUSE and a NEW YEAR !!!!!! This is sooooooo exciting and lots of fun being on this journey with you guys !!!!! I would just like to say that I vote both of you the most energetic and "get'r done" people I know...... You are both AMAZING when it comes to setting out on a project...... This past year has been a whirlwind for you both, house ready to sell, house sold, house contents moved, RV in full time operation, knee operation, rehab, new job, new house, new contents, the fabulous cabinets, house paint job, on and on and on..........YOU BOTH GET THE GOLDEN GET'R DONE AWARD FOR 2012 !!!!!!! SAVOR IT BECAUSE YOU EARNED IT !!!!!!! Thanks always for sharing ....... You're THE BEST !!!

  20. Congrats on the closing of the house and such a great start to having it become yours in more than name only. ;) I'm looking forward to reading more posts of the "move in" when you have the strength to write them. :)


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