Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writers Guest Post By: One Funny Motha


     Funny lady in the house today! I'm so excited to introduce you to my WWW guest---Stacey of One Funny Motha!  I met Stacey last year through a writer's group and have admired her humorous style of writing ever since I discovered her blog. She refers to her site as a "potato head's philosophy of parenting." I love her unique voice in the blogosphere and let me tell you, this lady really knows how to deliver the giggles! Please welcome Stacey to Meno Mama's site today and leave her lots of comment love!





Top 10 Reasons I Need a New House



I’ve lived in my house for over 12 years now, and for that entire time nothing has worked. Ok, maybe not nothing, but a lot. My house is nearly a hundred years old and basically it’s slowly crumbling to the ground with each passing day. It’s almost like ancient ruins only we live here. And we can’t get back on our tour bus and return to our luxury hotel with all the amenities like heat and electricity.
My house is a bungalow dating to the 1920′s, and when we bought it 7 months after the birth of our first child, it looked fairly similar to a condemned building. In fact, shortly after we moved in but before we had a chance to do any work other than what was required by law to bring it up to code, I interviewed babysitters at the house as I was, at that point, still gainfully employed and desperate to find childcare after having just moved from one state to another and given a week in which to arrange for the safe and secure care of my infant with virtual strangers. One of the babysitters, a grandmaish, Jamaican woman who didn’t drive and was instead chauffeur by her husband in a rusting, old jalopy, approached the house and remarked, “Oh, I wasn’t sure this was the right place. It didn’t look like anyone lived here.”
Does that give you a sense of what we’re dealing with here?
For me and my husband the house was a coup. We were ecstatic when we finally landed our home because it came after a more than year-long search with two different real estate agents launched prior to the birth of our daughter and concluded afterward with a little hiatus in between because we were both exhausted by the mental and emotional scaring of the search and because I had to give birth sometime although I’m sure my husband would have fled the hospital room had a really nice property come on the market.
Most of that more than year-long search wasn’t because we didn’t find anything. It was because we couldn’t afford anything. Every single weekend we bid on a house, and every single weekend we were out-bid. This was during the early years of the real estate bubble, but at the time we thought we were buying at the height of the housing market because that’s what everyone thought in the first decade of the new millenium. The prices never seemed to stop climbing, and fear was rampant that if you didn’t buy today you wouldn’t be able to afford it tomorrow. As it turned out, we didn’t buy at the height of the bubble. The inflated prices went up for several more years. So, as it wasn’t actually the height of the market, and we bought a fixer-upper in the true sense of the word, we actually made out alright. Of course, we didn’t have heat or operational windows, but you can’t have everything.
When we bought it, it looked something like this.
When we bought it, it looked something like this.
And the house hasn’t changed much since. Alright, that’s not entirely accurate because we did refinish all the hardwood floors ourselves, and we replaced all the windows except for the original ones along the front of the house. I couldn’t give them up. I don’t care if they are sealed shut and completely uninsulated so that in winter the temperature drops to near freezing in the living room.
We also gutted the bathroom, which was mandatory if I was to actually occupy the house. But a lot of renovations remain, which is what brings me to my list today.
Before we get into that, though, let me just note that from the day we closed on this house my husband has been searching for another one. That’s over a decade of searching. He most definitely would qualify as a real estate agent by now if he ever wanted to make a career change, and I think perhaps he should because realty really seems to be his passion in life.
Sadly, after all that time he never did find his dream home, and while my home sounds practically medieval, it has a ton of character, which I will – and have – suffered for. But now it seems we find ourselves at a breaking point. There are some things for which even character can’t compensate. Here are those things.
  1.  We have NO insulation. That is not hyperbole. It’s truth. It’s me, plaster, and the 20 degree temperatures on the other side of the wall in the dead of winter. I can actually tell the weather conditions outside by the weather conditions inside. I know when a cold north wind is blowing by the gail force winds blowing through my living room.
  2. We have no air conditioning. This isn’t terribly important to me as I don’t really like air conditioning, but there are certain occasions that call for it, and on those occasions like in the middle of the 2012 heat wave, I’d like to have access to a little cool air. My neighbor has central air, and when I told her I might have to use her house as a cooling station, she suggested I open up all of the many windows in my house to get a cross breeze, which brings me to my next point.
  3. The front windows of the house are sealed shut. ALL. Sealed shut. Unfortunately, there is no breeze in my house unless it’s wintertime. That means the entire front half of my house has no operating windows, and even if they were operational they’re still on a rope and pulley system so if I tried to open them, the ancient, frayed rope would undoubtedly snap in half and send the window crashing down, shattering into a million pieces. window
  4. We have no heat in the kitchen. As you might remember from my Husband Shaming post, we have radiators, and the one in the kitchen doesn’t work. It took 10 years for my husband to get around to telling me it could be fixed. I guess it slipped his mind. So we called in a plumber and had it fixed, but it still doesn’t work properly, and it’s freezing in there. No heat
  5. My kitchen has 5 doors in it. And it’s not a large room. I know you think this is impossible, but I can assure you it’s not. One door to the pantry, one to the dinning room, one to the basement, one to the attic, and one, most remarkably, to the bedroom. Odd, I know, but quite handy for midnight snacks.
    bedroom
    There’s my bed right next to the kitchen table.
  6. Every kitchen accessory, food item and supply we use in daily, ordinary kitchenly duties is stored in the pantry, and ever since I forced my husband, after a lifetime of living without, to buy a mini-size, special-order, portable dishwasher because a normal one won’t fit in our kitchen, access to the pantry has been blocked.
    Kitchen pantry
    Oh, you wanted salt and pepper? Let me just squeeze through here again and get that for you. No, it’s no problem at all.
  7. Some of our electrical wires are still the old knob and tube. I have no idea what this means except that it’s bad, possibly illegal and my house is on the verge of burning down at any moment. Also, it means that every time a light blows out, it will not be replaced. Currently, we have no light in the hallway, my son’s room and half the dinning room. I need to move out or get my house renovated quick before we are living in complete darkness.
  8. We don’t have an upstairs, but we do have a spacious attic, and I’ve always dreamed of an upstairs where I could run and hide from my kids. My kids are way too lazy to make a trek up a flight of stairs to annoy me. I would be safe there.
  9. We don’t have practical, functional access to the back yard. We have to squeeze between the kitchen table and the counter, pass through two narrow doors and down a short flight of steps to make it to the backyard, and we like the backyard. We frequently bbq, and we eat outdoors almost every night in the summertime. So as you might have surmised this is a serious pain in the ass. back door
  10. I don’t have an office. Well, I don’t have a proper office, and I really, really, really need a real office because when your office is set up smack in the middle of the house everyone always thinks you’re just hanging out and up for chatting. They also think it’s perfectly acceptable to shout or sing or trample or wrestle straight through your office because your office is actually the dinning room.
But, people, I’m here to tell you I am standing on the precipice of a whole, new life, one I can hardly imagine. After years and years and years, we have finally hired an architect.
I am going to chronicle the (hopefully dramatic and unbelievable) transformation of my house for you and as a scientific study to show future generations how people used to have to live.
I wish I could show you a picture of our home when we bought it, but I don’t have it on my computer. We bought our home before digital photography took off, but don’t worry. I’ll have my husband scan the few pictures we do have, and I’ll post it with the many more house post to come because you really have to see the before and after photos to have a full appreciation and understanding of the transformation that’s about to take place.
Stay tuned.

BIO:
Predicated on the belief that parenting is not nor ever should be an extreme sport, One Funny Motha provides incisive cultural commentary also known as common sense. The funny Motha behind One Funny Motha is also the proud founder of the Detached Parenting Movement, a child-rearing model she single-handedly developed without any guidance or advanced degrees in child psychology. The woman's a genius! She's also a freelance writer, Huffington Post Blogger and a self-proclaimed Thought Leader. Find her goofing around on:

19 comments:

  1. Hi Stacey! Your house sounds like a mash-up of the two houses I have lived in. Sometimes, don't you just wonder what the attraction was? But as you said, it was crunch time. For all of it's downside, I know it's served you well.
    Your kitchen looks like mine. I refer to it as 'The Bowling Alley'. More than three people and its gridlock. I raised two to three kids (depending on the fostering situation) in this house, but the people that lived here before us had six kids?? How did they do it??? I would have to hide all the knives that's for sure!
    I'd vote for that attic office. Or dig a hole in the backyard!
    Ceil

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  2. Your house sounds BONKERS! And how your husband escaped without serious bodily harm for the heating thing I don't even KNOW! Wow!

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  3. The whole thing sounds pretty painful, but I'm sure you love it because it's your home, right.....right?!!!!

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    1. Yes, I do love the house. It has some pretty cool features like funky windows and a swinging door that you can't find in houses any more.

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  4. Hahaha 5 doors in a kitchen ... woaaa... Loved the guest post... You are one patient lady :)

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  5. Wow... your house sounds scary..lol... although I live in an old, very old apt, I have many of the same issues, the wiring especially. I will be out by the spring, looking forward to it... I will have to follow you, I want see the transformation :)

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  6. I remember this post from your blog, and I loved reading it again! I do love seeing pictures of people's houses...does that make me a creeper? I swear I'm not; I just find houses interesting. Don't tell your husband lest he thinks he can keep getting away with not fixing things...but I think it looks cozy! There is always so much character in old houses. Are you sick of hearing that? But I swear that's how I feel!

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    1. That's how I feel too. I do love the character in this house. That's why I'm still here. And, I'M the one fighting to stay here. He wants to move. I want to renovate. And, Shay, they built a whole network on people liking to see other people's houses, HGTV, my favorite channel.

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  7. I agree with Shay, I love seeing people's houses. It fills in the details for me. I can see how they live. Where they eat. It's kind of cool.
    That being said, OMG, I would HAVE to have heat!!! I'm cold natured anyway. I'm wrapped in throws right now and it's not even cold outside.
    I do love houses with character. You can't fake that. Either they have character or they don't. I'm excited for your renovations!

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    1. Guess what? If the temperature drops below 80, I'm freezing. I survive by having space heaters.

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  8. That husband shaming photo might be the funniest thing I've ever seen!! And this sentence: "there is no breeze in my house unless it’s wintertime." made me yelp in laughter so hard my dog jumped up, gave me the stink eye, and ran from the room.
    How EXCITING that you've hired an architect!! WHOO HOO!! I was just thinking yesterday how much I wish we could do our tiny master bathroom...and closet. --Lisa

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  9. Our house needs so much work-I totally feel your pain! My house is 114 years old and while it does have character, there are many times when I just want to light a match. Yay for hiring an architect-I hope you can turn it into the house of your dreams...

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    1. Me too. That was the plan anyway. Now we have to see if we can afford the plan.

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  10. I feel your pain! When we moved to Tampa to open a business, we bought a 1929 bungalow at the height of the market. The mortgage industry tanked a week or two later. It was supposed to be a 2-year house, while we got our business off the ground, then we'd trade up for something much better. The windows are all painted shut, the plumbing is constantly backing up, because modern pipes are wider ... it is falling apart around us. Now it's worth six figures less than we paid for it, and we keep having to pay to have things fixed ... money that we will never get back ... like the new roof ... and the termite damage that was discovered when they ripped off the old roof. This house is a nightmare and I don't know how we're ever going to dump it and move on. It needs so many renovations which we cannot afford and don't want to do, because it's a "temporary house." It's been 7 years. The economy never gave us a chance to get our business off the ground and we closed it last July. We're just hoping when our daughter graduates and we put it on the market, we can at least get what we own on it. I will NEVER buy an old house again. No amount of "character" (of which this house has plenty) is worth the stress of a money pit. You know what I miss more than anything? A fresh breeze coming though a window. You know what else? Being able to find a spot to read or write, where you can't hear the TV. Sometimes I think hell might be an upgrade. Oy!

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  11. Oh, no. I'm sorry to hear that. That's awful. We're not quite in that dire situation. We always planned to stay in our house and make renovations, but now that the time has come my husband's not sure he wants to do it. But I do hear you on the fresh breeze and a place to read or write where you can't hear the TV or be interrupted 5 million times. Good luck w/ everything!

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  12. Holy smokes that sounds like a crazy home. Like something out of a bad HGTV episode. No AC? No windows that open? No insulation or heat? Is your husband secretly plotting against you to drive you mad? Hope the new home is a McMansion! With heat! :-)

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