Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Long Weekend

Woo Hoo, Labor Day weekend. More time to get stuff done.

Divide and conquer. That's the plan for the weekend. Dave is going to get the belt on the tractor so he can mow the yard and get other yard work done. I'm going to get the kitchen cleaned out if it's the last thing I do! Kyle brought a friend and they pretty much did whatever we asked them, which turned into a lot of garbage hauling.

Saturday bright and early, boys still asleep, we have to make the trek to the grocery store and hardware store. Thirty minutes later we arrive at the closest city with a walmart so we can stock the food, get toiletries and other what nots. The hardware store recommended for the tractor supplies is just a couple blocks away.

We get everything we need and head back. It's a gorgeous day, perfect blue sky, Lake Huron is so clear and blue it looks Caribbean. Then we pull up to the clutter shack which we lovingly and tongue in cheek call "Shangri La". Time to work.

I dig into the kitchen and Dave heads outside. A few minutes later he comes in looking for bug spray. The mosquitos are trying to drain him dry. Finds some, big shock, with all this stuff there was bound to be some, heads back out. I'm finding boxes of gun shells, some empty, some full and some partially empty - in the kitchen. Hmmm, wonder what's in this drawer.....used bread ties. Huh, NO I WILL NOT ASK WHY!! Empty that drawer, move on. Bags and bags of old icky food later the boys are hungry. Well it is dinner time.

Call Dave in, get the grill going and dinner on. As we're cooking dinner Dave fills me in on the tractor situation. He got the blades changed on the mowing deck, they were pathetic rusty little stubs. He still cannot get the belt on, swears it must be the wrong size. Ok, it's starting to get dark now, time to shower, read a little and fall asleep.

Sunday. Back to the grind. Dave asks me to come out with him so he can take a piece of string and wrap it around all the pullies to make sure we have the right size belt. Huh.....we have the right size I go back in and leave him to it. I have found so many old and repetitive spices that I'm still shaking my head. Remember, he was just one man, all this wasted food is just sad. There was so much that he must have forgot what he had and just kept buying. Working in a food pantry makes the waste so much worse to me.

What's that I hear? Dave is mowing the yard. WOO HOO. Uh oh, what's that I hear? He keeps running over stuff because of course, there is stuff EVERYWHERE. Peanut keeps running in front of him and dropping her ball so he'll play with her. She doesn't quite get that it's not play time all the time. Yard looks soooo much better mowed. We're starting to see what a gem it really is and not just what we imagine it can be.

I finished the kitchen and we decided to go get pizza. We worked our tails off so it was treat time. We really enjoyed ourselves at the Woodwinds Restaurant in Onaway. Pizza was excellent and everyone was really friendly. We also took the boys to Ocqueoc Falls and walked around a little bit. So beautiful, and almost in our back yard. Ok, time to hit the sack. We have a long drive tomorrow.

Dave and I get up early and think, "Hey, why don't we get a little more done and then hit the road?" So, Dave heads back outside and I decide to tackle the bathroom. SIX garbage bags later I have a clean bathroom. If you look at the pictures you'll see a weird window on the one wall. Believe it or not that window is between the bathroom and the master bedroom. Why? Oops, forgot, we don't ask why because there are no answers. Eventually that window will be gone, but for now, no one wants to sleep in the master bedroom because of the possibility of stinkiness! Dave got a few more things done outside.

Quick showers and time to hit the road. Oh man, we will never leave that late again. I-75 is crazy heading south after a holiday weekend. Whew. Seven hour drive took nine but it was uneventful. Kyle's friend even said he would like to go with us again. Suprisingly the state of the place didn't scare him off. Of course taking the quad and letting them ride on the property probably didn't hurt.

I'm going to post links to photo's on the side of the page. Take a look. You won't believe what we're up against. Yet, we love it there and can't wait to head back. It'll be a few weeks until there is more to post because we have vacation taking up the next two weekends.

More Cleaning

This trip Dave had to make on his own. He found that all the snow had melted and the mounds of snow in the yard were generally hiding piles of stuff. Can you say pile of hammers? Why? Oh that's right we don't ask why anymore!

This trip he worked on the yard tractor so we could mow the massive yard. He managed to pull the tractor out of the sunken spot in the yard where my dad parked it. Why was it just parked in the yard? We do have an answer this time! Because the outbuildings are too full of stuff to park it in. When Dave originally asked him if it ran, the response was "It worked when I parked it." Ok, so he gets it out of the parking spot, and was able to get the plow off the front. He did all the routine maintenance but just could not get the belt on so that the mowing deck would work.

Well, the tractor runs so he drives it around pulling a little cart, picking up stuff to take to the dumpster, put in the scrap pile and start a keep pile under what we call the picnic pavillion. Well, that's what it looks like to us. Just little odds and ends that needed to be taken care of.

This was also the trip that Dave realized that it gets really DARK in the country! He had to use a flashlight to find the bathroom, so he decided to leave a light on. Poor baby, no residual light from a city. Night lights were put on the list of things needed to buy. He also found himself talking to the dog quite a bit!

Speaking of the dog, Peanut, she LOVES the country. She has tons of room to run around, lots of sounds and smells, awesome. One problem, Dave had to physically pick her up and put her in the truck. She walked away from him when he told her to get in the truck! Now Peanut loves Dave and will do anything he says, so that just shows you how much she likes it up there.

Another truck bed full of garbage into the work dumpster. Whew, just a million more trips and we should be golden!

The Begining of the Clean Up

Unfortunately, we only get to go to the house on weekends which doesn't leave us much time for cleaning. We usually leave after work on Friday and drive the 7 plus hours and hit the sack. If it's winter we have to get the fire going so we don't freeze during the night!

This first planned cleaning trip my brother and sister in law joined us and gave a hand. Knowing the basement was filled with home and store bought canned goods that dated back to 1990, we took a pick up truck bed filled with milk crates. Saturday morning we get up and head straight to the basement to clean. We filled that pick up truck with some NASTY food. I mean some of the cans had leaked and sat there long enough for the food be dried out inside the can. Some of the home canned items looked so gross that our son was actually gagging! Thank goodness we can use the dumpster at Dave's office because the dump isn't open on weekends.

Once we filled the pickup we continued cleaning so we could have a staging area. We figured there had to be one place in the house we could put stuff we wanted to keep. We were covered with dirt and cobwebs. I did realize that I probably shouldn't wear my cream colored fleece while cleaning.

The main task we gave my brother and sister in law was to dispose of the items in the chest freezer. I was the first to open it and discovered in baggies, two perfectly frozen pheasants. Hmmm, well maybe he was really fond of them. Fast forward a couple hours to when I realize the picture on the fridge in the kitchen is of the birds alive in their cage! Funny story about the food in the freezers (we'll discuss the other one later), my dad totally felt that the food in the freezers was fine to eat. When Dave brought to his attention that we had no idea if the power had gone out in the past two years long enough for stuff to defrost, there was a long pause (insert him thinking "Huh, hadn't thought of that.") then he said again that it would be fine! YIKES, what is he feeding my mom??!!

So, we clean like maniacs. One surprise was no rodents. No droppings, nada. LOVE that. Another surprise is the plethura of wonderful tools. The man loved tools, lots of tools. We're afraid to buy anything because we just know the minute we do we'll find the exact item in a pile somewhere.

We still have about a fourth of the basement left to clean but had to move outdoors now that the weather has broke.

We learned quickly to have a sense of humor about all of it. While trying to find an extension cord to charge a flashlight I hear Dave laughing hysterically. He has found at least 5 cords but one end or both has been cut off. Why? We don't know and we've come to the conclusion that we just need to stop asking why.

The Inheritance

We inherited a very solid two bedroom home in Ocqueoc, MI with almost 11 acres of land and a few outbuildings, which we're VERY excited about. After a couple of trips we decided to start this blog because, as wonderful as the house and land is, it is a MESS. We've had some pretty funny experiences already in just a few trips.

The standing joke after a really good look around the place, is that the reason we inherited it is because no one else wants to take the time to do all the cleaning!

The friend of the family that my parents bought this from was unfortuantely a pack rat. Here's a link to a few pictures just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.

These were taken the first time Dave went with my dad to check out the house. That trip was short and sweet and only some paperwork was taken care of to transfer the title and such to us.

Next post will discuss the first time trying to start the clean up process.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009