Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A to Z With a Smile

"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." Robert Burns

Paint it white - I found this card from Michael Pelkey in the downsize and purge in New Orelans,  and placed it on the newly painted mantle in our beach house. It's the first decorative accessory I added.

In life plans change. I have always aspired to go from plan A to plan Z (and back) with grace and a smile. I never let a client see me fret or sweat. Since the last time I posted Dave and I had a restoration plan for our beach house. We were going to renovate the Love Shack and live in it while the larger house was being worked on. This meant raising it up and replacing rotten termite damaged wood under carriage with concrete piers. Dave also wants to move it to a better place in the yard. Some sewer and plumbing issues also need tending too. In short, it needs more than cosmetic attention.

Plan Z went into effect when Dave fell while moving an enormous amount of stuff from his New Orleans home to storage in Bay St. Louis three weeks ago. He injured his shoulder (a serious tear), and has seen a doctor. The only remedy is to rest the shoulder which means no lifting, no strain, no swinging the proverbial hammer. Since Dave is doing the bulk of the work on both houses, this development is a set back as we will be officially homeless when we must vacate my New Orleans house at the end of the month. The woman who bought my house has been super nice allowing us to stay rent free for 45 days after the August 23 act of sale.

I have managed many projects over the course of a thirty year career, so I jumped into action, and made the executive decision to get the big house ready first for us to live in. Except for the plans to take the back part of the house off and rebuild it, the rest of the house is sound and basically needs cosmetic attention. This I can do. We can even live in the back part of the house as is. It's basically a large add-on lean-to sort of structure that contains the kitchen, and a combination laundry room and large bathroom. The foundation of it has termite damage, so Dave will eventually carefully dismantle it (saving precious exterior weatherboards). He will raise it up to be level with the rest of the house, pour new concrete piers, and enlarge the footprint of it to create a dining space in the new kitchen. An en suite bathroom will be configured for the second bedroom, and also a reconfigured laundry room. 

Cosmetic I can do. I had the interior doors painted black. The en suite bathroom in the larger bedroom is small and funky but usable. A fresh coat of paint and a good cleaning will suffice. Eventually it will be renovated, but for now we are grateful to have not one, but two working bathrooms in the house.
It's all white and fresh. Ceiling vents need to be enlarged and we'll install white ones, and yes the ceiling fan will be replaced with a lovely vintage one Dave has in storage with no light kit on it lol
So I hired painters to paint the inside and out, and someone to clean up the floors. Surprisingly everything is being painted white inside and out. I added my signature black doors. We found the shutters for the house in the shed behind the Love Shack and they will be painted Quietude by Sherwin Williams. At the same time, the HVAC is being installed, and water lines connected. And Dave purchased a twenty foot long shipping container that has been delivered, to securely hold his tools.

I had all the interior doors painted black except for the front door, which will be removed for restoration. It's cypress that we will have stripped of old paint. It has an old stained glass window which also needs extensive repair and restoration (it's missing several old stained glass panes).

Back in New Orleans, we hired two guys to clean out my garage. And I continue selling furniture and editing my possessions and donating to The Salvation Army and Goodwill, and to friends who can use my things that I have no room for. I also hired movers a couple of weeks ago to move 100 boxes to storage (and those 2000 antique and vintage bricks). Forty of the boxes are Alberto's tango archive, which I hope to place in an educational institution once I have time to do the necessary administrative work. Dave and I have also been continually stocking our booth in Antique Maison in Bay St. Louis.

The center hall looking toward the kitchen. It's costing money to clean up the kitchen and second bathroom/laundry room, and paint it, but it must be done to be livable. It's a shame since it will be torn down in a few months and totally renovated and restored. It's only money lol.
So onward from plan A to plan Z. And I am smiling because this house is so lovely.
We are trying to go from plan A to plan Z with grace and smiles. It's hard when physical pain is involved for both Dave and me. I'm like a little old ant on an anthill, slow and sure and getting things done. I'm 80% packed. The rest is last minute things we will need when we are actually moved into our beach house.


  1. Hi There, I'm so happy to have found you again and also happy that you've found someone to enjoy life with again.
    I can't find out how to follow you; are you on Instagram, or just blogging? I can't wait to see all you've been doing. Congratulations!

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  2. Love that you are blogging again! May I ask what color Black you are using on the doors?

  3. hi i realy like this this is so amazing i really hope you will post more like this
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