Our adventures in AirBnB

So after 10 days of scrubbing, sanding, painting, constructing, plumbing, cat rescuing and even some spelunking into a well, we finally mostly got the property ready to go. We have a short term tenant in it right now, so I’ll probably do a little more work when she finds a house to buy and moves on, but here is the result so far:
photo 4
bed area:
photo 3
laundry closet to the left:
photo 2
photo 1

Need to get a wide angle lens out for real photos instead of using my phone, but that will happen later. There are still a few things I want to change before we put it up on airbnb website.

Baby Jessie and the Hellmouth

So Wanderland is undergoing a few changes these days. We’ve decided that due to the limitations of the house as it is, we are going to do short term AirBnB rentals in a portion of it. Our tenants have left and last week we started the process of installing a kitchenette in the area we’re closing off for rental. While running new plumbing, my husband ran across an odd hole in the crawlspace, pretty much almost fell into it. Looking down into the abyss, he saw a pair of glowing eyes at the bottom, and slowly, the reality of the situation became apparent. He was laying atop the mouth of what was most likely an old well, and there was a CAT at the very bottom of it, about 30 feet down, meowing pitifully.

After ascertaining it was not one of ours, we had some moments of complete panic and frustration about how to get the poor thing out. The hole is situated so putting a person or anything large down it was not really possible. Eventually, we decided on a soft sided basket with food in it on a rope, with a prayer the cat would get in and wouldn’t jump back out when we tried to raise the basket.

As it turns out, jumping out wasn’t an issue, she was so emaciated and weak she could barely walk, and we’re frankly surprised she was able to get IN the basket. When we got her back up, she was literally skin and bones and stuck to my husband like velcro.

A trip to the vet in the morning revealed she had probably been down there close to three weeks, and we got her out literally just in time.
The vet kept her for a couple of days, on an IV to get fluids and some nutrition into her, because she literally couldn’t eat enough on her own. She is home now, but she’s still really weak and has a little trouble walking. We’re working on getting her healthy again.


Of course we were dying to know what was down in the hole, because my husband could see other things, so he attached a go pro to a rope with a flashlight and sent it down the hole. Fair warning, you might not want to watch this alone in the dark.

We didn’t get the camera all the way to the bottom because it got stuck on something we couldn’t see. Maybe someday when we gut this house for a complete renovation, we’ll lift the floor above it and explore fully. Right now we’ve just put heavy boards across it so no other poor animal can fall down it. I’m really trying not to think about why there is a bathtub and someone’s clothing down there.

(oh, and we named kitty Baby Jessie and yes, we’re keeping her)

So this happened

More details on that project coming soon!

Also this precious thing was delivered yesterday:

I’m so excited I can’t stand myself.

Rearranging the yellow house. We got a pair of new tenants, so we reconfiured the rooms to give everyone some more privacy. They all work nights and since I have people in the studio during the day it’s going to make everyone happier to have separate spaces. I lost my bathroom access, but oh well. Also, I can finally bring Lucie-Fur over to be studio cat since she really doesn’t like being in a house with 5 other cats. SO, everything is a disaster right now as walls are being built and rooms moved from one to the other, but it’s going to be amazing in the end.

ANd last, but not least… starting to prep for the halloween rush!

A Screened Catio

LucieFur and I are enjoying a nice mosquito-free glass of cabernet on the newly-screened catio.

(ok, who am I kidding. LucieFur hates cabernet, and that’s not a particularly “nice” one anyway.)

Of course not 30 seconds after I let the rest of the zoo out, Monkey proceeded to climb the screen and try to wiggle out the hole between the crappy roof and the rafters.

Catio construction, round two, will commence this weekend.

Dammit, Monkey.

Building a Catio

Backstory: Our house is still undergoing renovation. The inside is getting there, but we’ve been pretty well ignoring the outside. We’ve got a small covered deck that we eventually hope to totally replace and expand across the whole back of the house, but that’s a project for a day when we have a LOT more money. In the meantime, the railings and stairs were horribly unsafe, and we rarely used the space due to mosquitos.
Also, since we finally finished our master bathroom, and are using it, keeping the kitty litter boxes in there was just gross.

So, we decided to build a Catio.

Trying to do this inexpensively since it will all have to come down when we finally re-do the whole deck, yet still making it sturdy enough to keep the cats inside was a challenge. We couldn’t just screen the whole thing, because the cats would rip right through it. So, we decided to run 3 feet of lattice around the inside to keep them away from the lower screen bits.

It’s still a work in progress, I need to paint the wood and we need to run the screening, but here’s a sneak peek!

(can I just interject here how AWESOME it was to finally take a sledgehammer to those god-awful rails?!? I have wanted to do that for SIX YEARS)

We’re going to build what looks like a bench along one side, so we can hide the cat boxes under it, and then put a cat door leading into the kitchen. Also, we need to reinforce the door screen with hardware cloth, so little kitty claws don’t destroy it.

Sunday Morning

Coffee and blogs on the porch, at least as long as our internet stays up and this breeze sticks around. Husband is off racing, cats are frolicking in the yard. Our back neighbor got chickens and rabbits and luckily a good sense of humor since our cats spend most of their day either sitting on the fence or on the roof of the rabbit house, staring. I’m going to have to hurry up and get our chicken coop built just so the kittens won’t abandon me for more entertaining pastures… Triscuit is currently way up high in a tree overlooking the bunnies. It’s adorable.

Chicken coop designs… I’m torn! (should link to originals on flickr)
Chicken coop for three hens !Chicken CoopTree House Chicken CoopIMG_1241
Working togetherSolar Powered Chicken Coop

Yesterday we finally (mostly) finished the new fence in front of the yellow house. Buh Bye chain link! We’re short 3 pieces of fence, but only because once we got it up I decided on a different path for the end. The last 3 pieces will only take a few minutes to do tho, so…
Now to build windowboxes…

Source: bhg.com via Megan on Pinterest

I thought a guy was coming over this morning to look at the front stoop and back deck on the grey house to give us estimates, but he didn’t show. I guess he’ll come by after the race is over? I hate our current front stoop, and not just because it’s actually rotting and falling off, lol. It slopes down on the same angle as the roof, instead of having a little triangle point like most porches. I’m hoping while it’s being repaired, that it won’t cost much more to turn it the “right” way and I get something much prettier for the front. I’m sort of in love with this house over by the golf course. I would really love to be able to do this with ours, albeit it would be on a smaller scale since the grey house is teeny tiny.

oh, and speaking of teeny tiny and adorable, I just found this baby picture of Triscuit that Liz took. *melts*
Candler Park Fall Fest 2008

problem kitchen

The kitchen in the Yellow house is driving me insane. Something must be done, but since the whole house will get gutted in a couple of years, the “fix” needs to be cheap and relatively easy. Paint will go a long, long way, as one of the things I hate most is the horrible faux finish the last owner applied.
My problem is what color.

(taken at nite, sorry, it’s a little off, but you get the idea)
The cabinets are a pale oak-ish color, and are too nice to rip out. Painting them would also be a headache I’m not quite ready to tackle, although that may happen within the year (and they would go white, at least the uppers). The floor is a beige-ish ceramic tile which would actually be passable except for the horrible brown grout. Apparently changing the grout would also be a PITA, so that’s out. The countertops are black/brown speckled formica. (changeable, but why bother for 2 years when they’re in good shape?)

Here’s the other side. The island used to be twice this size, but I ripped half of it out and put up the beadboard, which also needs painting. The top is temporary, will probably get an Ikea butcher block top for it, since that would be re-useable. You can also see where I started painting the back wall, it is now a giant chalkboard.

Most of the photos of kitchens that I see online with this combo of floor/cabinet/countertop are painted some variation on beige, which seems incredibly boring. The room gets a ton of light, has 10 foot celings and french doors onto the deck. It also only opens onto a hall, so coordinating with other rooms is not an issue.

Examples of kitchens I love are here, but as you can see, they are pretty far from what I have to work with. (and I know… I’m complaining about beige being boring and most of these are white. I know. )

Here’s the side wall, just for good measure. The drop-leaf table is going to my mom’s, so pretend it’s not there.

Contemplating an apple green, or maybe turquoise. Or not. Anyone got any good ideas they want to share? Bonus points for pictures!

The good: most of our floor is down. Still have to do a patch in the dining room and the hallway, plus the transitions and baseboards, but hopefully later today my furniture can be no longer in a pile in the middle of the room. And I’ll have a floor. For the first time in 5 years.
progress photo:

The bad: I already know how to clean chipmunk off of it. (no photos of Monkey’s handiwork, sorry)

The ugly: http://www.washingtonspectator.org/articles/20111015postedprices.cfm”> Uniquely among legislatures in the developed world, our Congressional parties now post prices for key slots on committees. You want it — you buy it, runs the challenge. They even sell on the installment plan: You want to chair an important committee? That’ll be $200,000 down and the same amount later, through fundraising.

click and read and be disgusted, many thanks to MDaniel for the link.

oh and here, this is pretty nifty: pictures of homesteaders and their claim shacks. Amazing how many of them are single women.