Sunday, August 10, 2008

Change of Heart, Part II

Note: You should read Part I before you read this post.

I'm starting the tour of changes with the exterior of the house because frankly, the interior is not very clean right now. Once I clean, I'll take photos inside the house and post them. The before photos were taken back in the spring of 2005 when Mother and Father of Ken came to NY to find me a house. The after photos were taken today.

The front of the house before:


Another view of the front of the house before--click on the photo to enlarge it and check out all of the crap in the yard, especially to the right of the house in the "Bermuda Triangle":


A few more views from today--here's the entrance, where I now have a porch thanks to Father of Ken and his skills. I also painted the window trim and both the metal door and the screen door. The paddle with my house number on it was a housewarming gift from Mother and Father of Ken.

I also ditched the original mailbox cover, which had birds on it. I don't care for birds. This barrel used to be near the front door, but I filled it with flowers and moved it to the street.

The new grass in the "Bermuda Triangle" is now filling in. If you looked at the previous photo of the front of the house, you would have seen all of the stuff that was in this area. There was a fake well, a bunch of yard art, nasty evergreen plants, white rock paths, and that lovely plastic sheeting and border stuff that people use that looks nice for about five minutes and then looks like crap. It generally looked like crap. When I moved in, the Disgustingtons had taken most of this stuff with them, but left behind the crap that was too awful to move.

Finally last year, I had Bill the Yard Guy rip up the plastic sheeting and borders, I hauled the rock away, and planted grass seed, which I am excited to see actually growing. I can't tell you how many people have walked by and told me that the house looks a lot better now that there is so much less stuff in the yard. I guess there was some kind of trellis thing near the front walkway that one neighbor in particular hated. He thanks me for removing it all of the time, but the truth is that the Disgustingtons must have liked it enough to take it with them because I never saw it.

The rest of the yard:

And now for the back of the house. The Disgustingtons certainly crapped up the front of the house, but that was mostly "decorative" stuff. The back of the house was crapped up with actual crap. The back of the house from the north, for example, before I moved in:

What do we have here? Well, from what I can tell, an appliance or two, a grill, some tables, a scary cat clock or possibly a Pink Panther decoration? Trash, garbage, and trash. A hammock, a rain gauge, and more garbage.

Now it looks like this:

That's my little red wagon from when I was a kid that I use to haul things and the ladder I use to water the window box. Right after I moved in, I painted the trim on several of the windows white and painted the window boxes red to contrast more with the house. Also, notice that the stairs have been removed and the posts have been reinforced with something more sturdy than random blocks of wood.

There was more crap in the back, though--here's another view of the back of the house before:

And now:

If you thought that was all, you were wrong. The Disgustingtons really knew how to make a mess of things. Here's a view from the south before:

I asked them to remove the pool before they left. I was later informed by a gentleman who stopped by to peruse my trash pile on the weekend I moved in that they gave it away to whoever wanted to remove it. He was disappointed that he didn't get there sooner. I am glad that I asked them to remove the pool, but I should have been more insistent that they fill in this area or put in a better retaining wall. I ended up with a retaining wall made of hay. Needless to say, that disappeared in about two months and now I have to fill in the "sandbox" that is left.
Here's what the area looks like now:

Check out the new stairs that Father of Ken built me last summer, allowing me to have the other ones removed.

Now, the only piles of crap left around here are the ones I put by the curb today. All of this fantastic stuff is free to the first person who wants it. I've got pieces of my old stairs, a slab of marble that I found under the porch, parts of the original porch floor that was removed last week, and some fabulous furniture.

I also have some paneling and a trash can--the dog isn't free.

Last weekend, when I was putting the laundry room back together, I put an old wood cabinet out here. I told Father of Ken that I was planning to put a sign on it and put my old shop vac out there as well, but he didn't think that was necessary. So I made him a deal that if no one stopped by the next afternoon, I would put a sign on it. Until then, I agreed to wait and see. No more than ten minutes later, a gentleman in overalls knocked on the door and wanted to know if he could have it all and, of course, I gladly gave him leave to take it away. It's always fun to see how long it takes for someone to want the things you have discarded. So far no one has stopped for this lovely pile of crap.

1 comment:

Leah said...

What happened to the Pink Panther?!