Monday, June 13, 2011

Ding! Dong! The Carpet is Gone!

Can you believe I'm posting twice in one week?!? One week into summer break and I've just got a small case of cabin fever.

So, onto today's post. THE CARPET IS GONE! All the nasty, dingy, staple-filled, wall-to-wall carpet (that Grandmother was so proud of) has been ripped out of the house. Underneath are beautiful oak floors full of staples and just waiting for someone to love them. Everytime we mention to Grandmother how beautiful the wood floors are she just stares at us and says, "I don't understand why you would want those old wood floors. They aren't even very good quality. I just loved my wall-to-wall carpeting." She views the wood floors as "working class floors." I have to remember that 50 years ago almost everyone had wood floors and wall-to-wall carpet was the ideal.

But carpet just kind of grosses me out. Maybe its because I have a toddler, two dogs, and a cat but I just can't help thinking of all the little microrganisms breeding under the surface of carpeting. They just never seem clean to me. I can vacuum every day and carpet scrub once a month and I still feel like it's just dirty.

Anyway, we ripped carpet out of the living room, dining room, two bedrooms, and the hallway. I feel so much better about the entire space. It was the end of the day and we just wanted to get it over with so we just started ripping and rolling. You've heard me complain about the staples in the living room, dining room and one of the bedrooms. Well they continued through the hallway. When we got into the back bedroom, however, the carpet changed from beige to blue. And guess really...guess...oh all right I'll tell you, better yet, I'll show you.

Instead of that nasty composite foam stuff, there was this. Equally nasty but not stapled down to the floor (insert squeal of excitement). I'm guessing it was once foamy and cushiony but now it is brittle and flat. It was just laying on the floor like that. We were able to just pick it up and neatly roll it inside the carpet.

And here's what we were left with...


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Snoopy Snooper

When Joe and I purchased Grandmother's house we apparently also purchased all the stuff in the house. You see, Grandmother just turned 90 and decided she needed a little more freedom. She was kind of restricted in the house - stuck there on rainy/snowy days, no one to talk to, no one to take her places, etc. So, she decided to move into a retirement village. She went from a four bedroom house to a one bedroom apartment. She didn't take much stuff from her house, mainly just her bedroom furniture, personal items, kitchen necessities, and some books. So, there was a lot left over.

Before we signed on the house, all the family members went by and got what they wanted from the house (mainly pictures). After continuously begging asking family members to clear out the house we finally realized that everyone now considered all this stuff (I'm holding off calling it junk) ours. We were the proud owners of a lifetime's collection of furniture, books, kitchen supplies, clothes, toys, etc. Nothing of monetary value (that was already gone), just all that other stuff.

This brings us to the title of today's blog. Cleaning out someone else's stuff from their old house makes me feel weird. I constantly felt like I was invading Grandmother's privacy. I felt like a little kid snooping through my grandma's drawers. I kept looking over my shoulder to make sure no one was looking, like I was going to get into trouble or something. It's just very strange.

After a while, though, it kind of became a little game of who could find the coolest thing in the house. So here's a little run-down of the cool tidbits we have found so far:
  • an ice pick advertising the Fort Smith Ice Company. It also said, "Yes, you too can have your very own ice box with cooled air."
  • Grandmother's baby doll (from when she was a little girl) with the original dress. She was only partially decapitated.
  • a 1940's step stool chair (I'm totally pumped about this one. Short people don't like tall cabinets).
  • a 1950's dress. It barely fit me but I'm totally keeping it. Joe told me I looked like Debbie Reynolds when I tried it on.
...and then, we found the things that made it all worthwhile (almost). They were so cool, I can't even describe them. So, I took a picture with Joe as the model.
 Aren't those the most awesome swim trunks you have ever seen?!? This pair was one of three. This pair was very Lycra-like. There was one pair that was really short. So short Joe's butt would probably hang out of the back. They felt like polyester. There was also a pair that looked like today's board shorts but were way smaller. They were really thick and felt like wool (though I know that's not what they're made of). I'm currently trying to talk Joe and his brother to wearing them to the pool this summer.

We boxed and boxed and moved and moved until we had taken three very full truckloads of her things to donate. I didn't take any pictures because it just felt weird to document it, almost too personal. They weren't my things, they were someone else's. And yet, I was the one getting rid of them. I felt bad about it.

This whole process made me really think about the stuff at my house and what is important to me. Sometimes, I place sentimental value on things that aren't valuable to anyone but me. I keep things forever (especially if someone else gave it to me) and have a hard time getting rid of it. Do I really need all this stuff? And how would I feel if someone else went through it, boxed it up, and gave it all away?

What do you think? Do we really need all the stuff we collect over the years? Should we just part with it? Why do we feel we have a constant need for more and more?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Saga of the Tar Paper

So, several friends have inquired as to why there hasn't been a new post in over a week. Well, it's because the tar paper continues to aggravate me. I see tar paper everywhere. I shake my fist at the linoleum section as I walk through Lowes. I can't smell anymore. Everything tastes like battery acid (even though i'm wearing a mask). I dream of tar paper adhesive (it's stronger than super glue). And to top it off, my hands are so sore from pulling and peeling, it kinda hurts to type. I promise I will post pics later this week.

To be continued...