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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

REDUX - Four Year Anniversary of Moving to Our Old House

Wow... today marks the fourth anniversary of our closing date buying ''Our Old House''....  Dec 28, 2012.  It was a horrible stormy blizzardish day and our bank had screwed up enough on the loan processing as it was. There was NO way we were going to postpone the closing.... so we slogged on through the storm TWICE to get it done.

Thank you to Laura Baldock, Debbi Riley and Paula Freund for being patient with our stupid Mortgage Specialist and finally selling us your parent's home!!!!

It was a very good decision to sell our big log home up in Oconto when we did. It sold in June 2012 for almost full price. We lived in the motorhome for the next seven months and we were going to retire and travel around the country for a number of years.

But back then, instead of retiring, Steve had accepted his job transfer to High Cliff State Park and we needed a home that was close to the park.  We drove around touring the various little towns near the park and chose Chilton.  He put in four more years of working and now has retired. We will still keep ''Our Old House'' as we fondly refer to it.  It is more affordable than our other house was, and we now  have it all fixed up the way we want it to be.

Here is a little video clip on Youtube of how our house looked when we did our walk-through:

I copied the blog post from that day here: 


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, finished in 1914 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 get 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 plasterers 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. It's sometimes fun looking back at special dates and what we did to get where we are today.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. I remember seeing photos of the house when you bought it, and the gradual transformation of every rooms. You have a beautiful place, and hope you enjoy many more years in it.

  3. I remember this!!! I really enjoyed watching you all fix up your home. I have a great fondness for older homes.
    Isn't it fun to look back!!!

  4. This was a find of a life time. How wonderful that no one ever painted all that beautiful wood.

  5. Time sure does fly by! I hope it will be a great home base for many long RV trips.


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