Monday, October 31, 2011

The Flattest Sidewalk in the Village

Now that I've covered the start to this story, it's time for the interesting stuff: our house.

J purchased this abode in late December of 2009 with the sole purpose of fixing it up so he could sell it and move on to the next one.  We live in a neighborhood where homes can range from the low 100's to over a million, just depending on which street you live on.  So the trick was to find just the right place at just the right amount in just the right location.  And this is what he found:

I was only partially involved in the home buying process (he was shopping around when we went on our hiatus) so I can't give the details on what he went through to find this place, but I will say the man has an eye for things that most people would run away from.

We are currently redoing the kitchen so I'm going to start with the outside projects and work my way inside.

Most of the sidewalks, and streets for that matter, in our neighborhood (referred to as "the Village) are paved with brick.  And, as it goes, the bricks shift for a variety of man made and natural reasons.  One feature J's house didn't have, however, was a brick sidewalk.  Instead he had this little gem:

Now this is flat by neighborhood standards, but it's lacking the brick that ties the house in with the rest of the Village.  But never fear, because even though it wasn't on the list of things to immediately fix, the sewer line had other ideas.  

One busted, leaking, gross sewer line later, we went from that nice little picture above to this:

Aforementioned busted line

Big hole in sidewalk
Now, thanks to a lovely little thing called homeowners' insurance, the cost of digging up the concrete sidewalk to access the line was 100% covered.  That left J with the dilemma: does he put another concrete sidewalk down or does he go the route of the Village and lay some bricks?  Of course the bricks won.

The best part of the new brick sidewalk is that J didn't incur any out of pocket costs.  The insurance company gave J the funds to put another concrete sidewalk down and a friend who lives a couple hours away had bricks he was looking to get rid of.  So J used the insurance funds for materials and to rent a trailer to pick up the bricks and in a matter of two weeks went from the mess above to this:

It is hands down the best stretch of brick sidewalk in the Village.  Yes I'm biased but I don't care.  It's so good the neighbors across the street have asked him twice if he'd consider re-doing their sidewalk but unfortunately for them, he's only working for himself.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Our Story: Chapter 3

I won't get into the dirty deets of the end of our relationship, only to say that some of us don't handle commitment as well as others.  And, thank goodness, it wasn't exactly the end.

At the end of 2008, I found myself a single girl again and wanting out of D.C.  Through much persistence, I made my way back in April of 2009.  J and I hadn't spoken in four months and would continue our stalemate until May of 2010.  During that time, his sister in law (you remember her from here) had delivered his first nephew and we very carefully avoided any situation in which we may see each other.  Including, but not limited to, boycotting the grocery stores nearest to each other's homes.

Spring of 2010 was tumultuous at best for me.  One nasty car accident combined with a very ill Grandmother and a variety of other incidents left me praying for someone to talk to.  Literally.  And on a sunny day in May, another email from J.  "You want to talk?"  And now, as they say, the rest is history.

J purchased his first home in December of 2009 (great timing, right?) and I moved in this fall.  I'm pretty smitten with this kid so as a girl who hates being dirty this whole house flipping business is new to me.  But I love that I get to provide my input and I love that a guy who went to culinary school can do the most amazing things with a hammer.  And a drill.  And a whole lotta other tools currently sitting in our basement.

I welcome feedback as I update you all on our projects and will give credit where credit is due if we use your suggestions.  I will be sharing some of my favorite home blogs and ideas, even if they don't fit our current theme.  You never know what the next house will bring!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Our Story: Chapter 2

Now where was I?  Oh right, THE email.

It was now over two years since the dinner party and a variety of life changes led me to Washington, D.C.  I was enjoying the national political scene, living three blocks from the U.S. Capitol building and shocked that my small town self landed here.

On a recent trip back home, the friend from the dinner party kept mentioning J and how we should date.  Wouldn't it be so fun? I was certain that this guy, a whopping twelve years my senior, would have no interest in dating me.  Why would he?  I lived 400 miles away, we had never had a one on one conversation and again, I was twelve years younger.  I brushed it off and headed back to the East Coast.

You can imagine my surprise when four weeks later, on a Saturday afternoon, my stomach jumped to my throat when I saw his name in my inbox.  A brief introductory email (which I later found out came after weeks of coaxing himself into emailing a girl HE thought had no interest in HIM) and the rest was (nearly) history.  We spent the rest of that year emailing all day, talking late into the night and managing one visit a month.  It was the best year, particularly because as the Presidential Election cycle came to a close, I knew I was moving home.  And closer to J.  But then it ended.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Our Story: Chapter 1

As you may have gleaned from my "About Me," the intent of this blog is to document my journey as the girlfriend of a dude who likes flipping houses.  

Well, how many houses has he done you ask? Just one so far is the answer.  And not even one, just 3/4 of one.  But we (mainly he) have every intention on making this a long term thing.

Before I jump into where we are now, let me start at the beginning.  I met "J" in 2006 when I was working with his sister in law.  She had a group of our co-workers over for dinner one evening after work where J was manning the kitchen.  And not in the sense that this guy tended to the grill or aided in setting out some plates, we're talking bona fide graduated from culinary school and was instructing us on the proper way to prepare an acorn squash with brown sugar and butter.

I fancy myself a pretty decent cook and didn't expect to be schooled that evening, but alas I was.  We were all instructed to bring a dish and mine was stuffed mushrooms.  (That plays a minor role later in this story.)

Fast forward to the end of the night where, after too much wine, a coworker was expressing her strong attraction for J and his mad kitchen skills.  I figured he was far older than my 22 years so I didn't think anything of it.  Until one winter day in 2008 when I got an email...

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