Payin’ the Price

So, the good news is that I finally finished the guest bedroom! Well, I have yet to order the mattress and still need to decorate but the room and the new closet are painted and clean and ready to welcome guests.

The bad news is that during the process of installing the baseboards I tore the meniscus in my left knee. My doctor has ordered me to rest, elevate my leg, and ice it. After I start physical therapy (first visit on Friday) she will reassess and see if I need an MRI (and possibly surgery).

I wasn’t doing anything too crazy when it happened, well, maybe something a bit like this (but I’ll never tell):

Hole-y Moly!

I can’t fathom why but the previous owners really, really liked shelves. And the guest bedroom held the motherlode. I spent hours yesterday removing shelves, screws, and anchors before patching the associated holes.

Looks like the room has a bad rash!

Though the damage has long been done, in my frustration I modified a phrase from Captain Jack Sparrow, “Stop putting holes in my house!”

Oh, and here’s a pro tip, if you have a whole bunch of stuff to display, buy a damn bookshelf!

One Room at a Time

I learned, when renovating my previous two fixer-uppers, every project will take twice as long and cost at least twice as much as I thought. Unfortunately, I kind of forgot that and I was overly optimistic when I tackled the Florida room last week.

In my defense, I was thinking the room was relatively small and uncomplicated. Ha! It could’ve been but I decided the six foot opening from the dining room into the Florida room was too awkward. It left my dining room table floating in the opening, so I decided to enclose half of it.

I have some carpentry skills but lack all the cool tools so it was a largely creative process (don’t look too closely at my lines). Thankfully, joint compound and paint can cover a multitude of sins!

I am pleased with the outcome, it is now a bright and cheery room. I have some artwork and a dart board to hang and it will be done. Well, not entirely, the six windows that make up the majority of the exterior walls are all single-pane, aluminum which I need to replace but my budget doesn’t allow it at the moment.

Next up, the guest bedroom, which will require opening up part of a wall to regain the closet. Seems simple and straightforward, right? Wish me luck!

Big News!

Well, the time has finally come. After living in four states over the past four years, I’ve found a place to settle down. I started looking for a place to buy after deciding I liked it here enough to stay.

The parameters I gave my agent were a bit challenging; I drew a circle on the map of the area I was interested in living in and a fairly low price point but I reassured him that I wasn’t afraid of a little hard work. I’ve restored two fixer-uppers before, I figured I could do it again.

It took three months of looking and I’ll be honest, I was starting to despair, but then a little block house popped up on the market. Built in 1954, this two bedroom, one bath (with a Florida room – a bonus room of sorts) had been partially renovated. While it was filthy, and obviously in need of quite a bit of elbow grease, the bones were good. Plus, it’s located on a large, fenced, corner lot on a cul-de-sac in a quiet, little neighborhood just ten minutes from my old apartment (and the beach). ‚Äč

I closed on it the last day of September and after ten long days of work I moved in this past Saturday. Which explains the lack of activity on this blog, I’ve been too darn busy! I still have a great deal of work to do but the house is clean and livable.

Before photos: Note the lack of trim/baseboards as well as the orange and industrial grey paint scheme – blech!

After photos: I have yet to tackle the Florida room, the guest bedroom, and the kitchen but the main living area is at least clean, freshly painted, and livable.

Exterior photos: Needs to be painted and some landscaping work. All in due time…


Tuesday afternoon, I chased the last light of day around J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island. It was a wonderful “golden hour” as there were plenty of animals out and about. Most (like the invasive Green Iguana, the native Marsh Rabbit, and the colorful Roseate Spoonbill) were seeking out their last bites before heading to bed. While the Yellow-crowned Night Heron was out early, presumably hungry after a day of fasting.

The most charismatic diner of the evening was this massive alligator. A fellow photographer and I estimated it was close to ten feet long. Thankfully, it was so engrossed in its crab dinner that it ignored our presence (though I did not turn my back on it, I know how wicked fast they can be).

Chomp, chomp! That’s one happy gator!