We’re Still Here … Are You??

I honestly don’t know where to begin. First, I had to remember my password to log in to the blog. Second, I had to weed through SO MANY spam comments. Third, I had to figure out where we left off – the condo we bought – almost a year ago. So much has happened since then, so let’s go!

We started replacing sections of the old, rotting, leaning fence as soon as we moved in, which was literally propped up and tied to trees in places, with posts broken off in the ground, and the whole process took us about a year:





The Boy, his father, and The Dog figured out how to move the shed out from the fence using a car jack and 6″ PVC pipes so we could build the fence on that side of the yard.




Which is when we discovered a friend living in the backyard:


After much cajoling, he (she?) finally left without incident.


There was some pretty intense stump removal as well …


before the fence building could commence.


After all that, we made the tough decision to get rid of the shed, and brought in reinforcements to help with demolition …



What child labor laws?

We had no idea that children could be taught to use tools, work for hours without breaks, and fit into small inconvenient spaces. In light of this new information, we decided to take matters into our own hands.


Coming soon, The Kid!

Buying an Investment Property

It is probably no surprise that we are always going in a million directions at once. Things have stalled indefinitely with the roof renovation because it is going to be a LOT more expensive than we initially anticipated, and we will likely need to obtain a home equity loan to git ‘er done. Since we are pretty both very averse to MORE debt, as we are desperately clawing away at our mountain of student loan debt, we just …. can’t. We can’t pull that trigger right now.

Which makes the fact that we bought an investment property – by of course putting money down but also taking out a MORTGAGE – hilarious. I have a few saved searches on Zillow just out of curiosity, and get emails with new listings (I never claimed to be normal) so when a fully furnished condo popped up that looked interesting, I went to look at it. A few things fells squarely into place, and they are as follows: 1. our area has been getting a decent amount of good attention lately, and as a result tourism is booming; 2. the condo is a block from the beach; 3. the association dues were prepaid for all of this year, and the sellers weren’t looking to be reimbursed; 4. the association’s rules (called the declarations and restrictions) do not set minimum rental requirements (most associations in this area have at least a one month minimum, some are three months, and we want to target vacation renters); 5. the unit was owned by the current association president, whose shoes would need to be filled (pick me! pick me!); 6. the entire building only has 12 units, so a limited number of bored retirees monitoring our every move; 7. the condo was already rented for the entire first month we owned it. It was just too good to be true, so I made an offer (the realtor’s expression when I told her my hubby okayed this by text message was priceless – he doesn’t even … want to see it first??).

This is what the condo looked like when I saw it:

Condo Before Condo Before Condo Before Condo Before Condo Before Condo Before Condo Before

I knew once we packed grandma up and moved her on out, it would look nice. So I took two days off of work (I had TWO WHOLE DAYS between renters to get this done), scheduled Salvation Army to come pick up a ton of stuff, and got busy. The only “major” change was removing the old, disgusting, rickety doors on the shower, and filling in the holes the screws left and scraping off all the silicone and caulking. We do want to gut this bathroom, but need a big enough break in renters to accomplish this. Here is how the condo is looking now:

Condo After Condo After Condo After Condo After DSC_0083 Condo After Condo After

Does that dresser look familiar? The great news is that the condo is pretty busy with renters, and so far it seems like buying it was a good decision. It is a little bit sad that the condo is much nicer than our own house, but I try not to think about it as I stare at the carpet pad in the corner where we cut the carpet out after removing the orange fireplace, and the tree stump we still have in the living room. We will get there eventually, and now we have a place to stay if we ever make a move on that roof project. Here’s to debt that pays itself!

Knock Knock

Who’s there?


Knock knock.

Who’s there?


Knock knock.

Who’s there?


Orange you glad I’m finding a new home?


Our retro conical dust-gathering “conversation piece” (once visitors got over the live tree) has been put out to pasture. Actually, it found a new home with The Boy’s mother, who lives in Gainesville, FL (Go Gators!) and was happy to take this orange beauty home. It now has a loving home on a farm, with space to run, and couldn’t be happier. If you don’t believe me, here’s proof:

Fireplace1 Fireplace2

Greener Oranger pastures.