Chapter 59: From Temp, to Temp-to-Perm

March 1, 2011 • Written by Christina Berry

Okay kids, fun’s over. It will probably take us another four years to get the place party-ready again. In the meantime, there’s work to be done.

Now, remember how all of our pipes go boom and rained PVC shrapnel all over the living room, yeah that was our temp kitchen/laundry room. How in the world am I supposed to make iced tea and wash clothes in our bathroom sink anyway? It was time to attend to the temp kitchen.

Only, here’s the kicker, the temp kitchen was “temp” so if we’re going to be rebuilding it, let’s rebuild it in the permanent location — a sort of temp-to-perm kitchen, if you will.

Time for that kitchen to know it’s place. Kitchens belong in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant…or something like that.

Here was the temp kitchen – before.

And during the party, the temp kitchen became even more temp, all up in the living room’s business. Not cool.

Errek took to the dissection like a…like a…like a handy man dissecting a kitchen. Hrm. Sorry, my simile synapses are misfiring today.

While Errek busied himself with the move, I made lunch using a temp-to-temp kitchen on the living room floor.

Now, the kitchen was off to her new home. It was just a few feet away, but it made all the difference in the world.

And the laundry room was closer to her permanent location, too.

As of this printing, we still don’t have plumbing or permanent electrical in the temp-to-perm kitchen, but give us a garden hose, a wash tub, and some extension cords and we’ll get her working in a pinch.

I choose to think of our situation as proof of our resourcefulness, but Pandora keeps playing the Deliverance classic, “Dueling Banjos.” What are you trying to say, Pandora?

While we were in the moving mood, and now that the kitchen was out of the way, we decided to move something else — a wall. The west wall of the living room, to be precise.

I’m sure you’re all, “but I thought the living room wall was finished.” Yeah, it sort of was, until we connected the old house to the new house. Then we noticed that the old house was crooked. The bottom of the wall was a whole inch and a half further west than the top of the wall.

I’m sure you’re all, “yeah, and?” But in the house that Errek (re)built, that just won’t do! Time to rebuild a wall. Ready? Let’s go!

This photo will help to illustrate just how crooked the old house was in comparison to the new house. See the stud with green letters on it, it should be right up tight with the stud behind it. It’s not.

To make that possible, Errek attacked the floor with a variety of saws, cutting it out of the way.

There, nice and neat.

Next step was to take everything off the wall. The old siding, the new siding, windows, it all had to go sooner or later, might as well be sooner.

At first the plan was just to sledgehammer the wall into place, but as he looked at the old termite damage, notches cut into it over the years, and overall cockeyedness; he decided to replace the bottom plate.

Oh holy crap, is that even safe?

The view from the shower. Howdy, neighbors.

Apparently, Errek was in fear of losing the title of craziest neighbor on the block. Uh…baby, I’m pretty sure there’s no chance of that happening.

“Craziest Neighbor on the Block” title secured.

The view from Pleasant Valley Road caught a few glances.

Day two of “Living Room Alfresco.” This was our “wall” over night. It was mainly for keeping the raccoons and bums out. Totally did its job.

Seriously, though, on this street it ain’t easy maintaining the title of “Craziest Neighbor on the Block.” Sleeping with the wall still wide open helped seal the deal though. Also, sweet ‘stache, hot stuff.

Okay, back to work. Today we build the wall back.

First half up.

And the second half!

And at last, privacy again.

Routing out the windows before the Tyvek goes up.

It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.

There! Finally, everything is as it should be. The kitchen is in the kitchen, the living room has its own space, the wall is straight, Errek is pleased, and I can walk around in a robe feeling less obvious in my laziness.

Speaking of robes and laziness, building walls is hard on the tootsies. If only I had a bathtub…oh snap! Next best thing. Ahhhhhhh!

Well, this seems like as good a time as any to wrap up the update. Coming soon:

New electrical… Sure it’s commercial grade, would you have expected anything less?

New plumbing… Maybe you think it’s not easy to get excited about plumbing, but that’s where you’re wrong. Plumbing can be sexy, too!

And an AC… Look at the size of that thing!

But for now, I leave you with “Wild Kingdom at Pleasant Valley Ranch.”

Remember Randy the raccoon from the last update?

Well we’ve had a variety of other beasties make their presence known around these parts. Unfortunately, these were all far more difficult to photograph, but I did my best.

First, there were the feral Parakeets munching on pecans.

Then there were the horseback riders waiting on the light at 7th and Pleasant Valley Road.

Of course we had the regular visits from Tweet and his friend, who love to flutter into our living room several times a day for visits.


And the most recent visitor was Dracula, the bat who found his way into the living room and had a little difficulty finding his way back out. He moved really fast, but I managed to get this photo, which we dutifully enhanced.

XO ’til next time…