Well not really, but thankfully we are completely out of the old house and into the new house....'the new-old house'. It's been a big last few days, very exhausting, emotionally challenging and difficult on the kids. But at the end of our third day in, there are little signs among the chaos that look and feel a little bit like home.

Thanks again for anyone and everyone that helped out with the stage one reno's, especially Mum, Dad, Tone, Lou, Soph, Kirsten, Chad, Bec, Cath and who ever invented the Visa Card.


Today was my last day finishing off the last coat on the floors, three in all and it's starting to look sharp.

We have a shed installed (thanks Tone) and all the rubbish has been removed. Lovely.
I even installed the last set of blinds in the kitchen and cleaned the kitchen. We have a home. 
Tomorrow (fingers crossed) we will have the new gas heater installed and the cable installed. 
Friday we move in. 
A few last minute jobs, of knocking out the love heart tiles under the heater, and handing the sanding after each coat of floor juice.


On my knees again. I have sores on my knees.

Bye Bye Love hearts!
My 'No Women allowed' Shed
I'm a messy worker. 

The last few weeks have been...OH such a joy! It's a feeling that hangs somewhere on the balance of pure indulgent happiness and on the other less glamorous side, psychotic episodes of torment.

This is the story of how I approached phase three of my cunning plan of renovations, which I have coined....'Domination of the Floors'.

Phases 1: Show No Quarter, Fill the Gaps.
The first week of reno was all about filling in the holes and the cracks, 36 tubes of no more gaps now hold our house in place. The places was 'holier' than the Vatican. Up and down the ladder, 12" ceilings mind you. What a uplifting process it was. When I think about that job my mind drifts off....I'm running through a field of long grass and flowers, hair blowing in the wind, stopping to gently caress and cuddle soft little bunnies and other woodland creatures......then I go postal.

Phases 2: White is the New Black
The second week was all about paint. Some of it actually got on the walls the rest on me. Did I mention white?

Phase 3: Domination of the Floors
First I had to rip up all the carpet in the house, the dust, the sand. No matter how many times I wash I still feel dirty. What was revealed was hardwood floors....oh yeah, not chip board. But they were almost black. Why, because house's of this era used to get oiled to preserve them. I'll talk more on this sensitive issue later.

The next job was to bang down nails. Every nail in the house needed to be banged in with a mallet and nail punch. And not just a tap, these brutes need to go in over an inch, it's an Imperial house not metric ;-) and this requires a lot of yakka. Oh Joy!  The problem is that because the house is so old there was nails from all sorts of different things that had happened in the house. Floor rugs had been nailed down, carpets nailed in, and generally nails for nails sake. I'm sure at some stage in the 1940's there was a family of 'Nail Enthusiasts' living in the house, that to amuse themselves on weekends they would gather in the lounge room and bang in nails for a good time. But because the floor was 'black' from years of oil etc I couldn't actually see all the nails. More on this later.

Next job was to putty fill all the holes made by driving in the nails. Thousands of holes. On my knees, or on all fours which ever hurt the least. Pretty picture eh?
I'm drawing closer to the fun part. The power tools! ARH ARHG
I hired a belt sander and disc edger, both beautiful machines. Shiny and silver and smooth and POWERFUL! They usually make light work of floorboard sanding, however due to the fact that our floors were covered in black muck they just baked the oil into hundreds of sanding belts and discs, and at $9.00 a belt it was looking pricey. 
In any case a job that should have taken one day took three. 
I've finished now and as a reward Kim is sending me off for a few days rest at Happy Valley Psychiatric Retreat. 

It was looking like an expensive job, what with all the burnt out sanding belts and discs and the 2 extra day's hire of the machines. But when Kim took all the hire gear and the remaining sanding belts back to 'XXXXX' Hardware store, she must have got served by some pimple faced twit that struggled with the buttons and paperwork required, which resulted in them saying something along the lines of 'It's a bit too difficult, how about we reimburse you for the unused sanding belts and don't worry about the extra days hire'. 
Which means instead of paying THEM they paid US and didn't charge us for the two extra days hire. Gold!

(Figure 1: Me jumping for joy after finishing sanding)

Well there is a good reason for that. We're busy. Like you wouldn't believe. 

I'm sanding 100 year old floor boards and Kim is juggling packing the house, the kids and helping at the house when ever she can.

There is a heap of stuff to show but I figure it would probably look better when we have moved in. So hang in there. Wish us luck!


Each day we get a little more accomplished. In fact some days are more productive than others. With a little bit of help from family and friends we are making our HOME. So a few folk need a shout out. 
Thanks for the baby sitting help, Cath, Lou and Tone. 
Thanks Dad 'Poppy' for helping at the house and making a great set of shelves in Tia's room and finishing off the mantle piece. 
Thanks Chad and Bec for an afternoon session painting and sanding.
Thanks Tone for the mantle piece glue and cutting and the endless baby sittng help. 
Mum your a machine! The greatest help ever!
We had a great helper yesterday, when Kirsten popped in and did some nasty work in the kitchen, pulling up staples off the floor boards and using a heat gun to pull up the remaining bits of horrid lino that was still glued to the hard wood floor. Thanks Neighbour!
We have two bedrooms finished, the hallway finished and the family room finished all apart from the skirting boards and some door frames. It's a great feeling. And we have some mini projects coming alone nicely. Mum is doing a spectacular job on the fireplace in Helena's room. Pics to come. Our first 'before and after'!

One of our little projects. More details to come.

We ordered our new gas heater.....on credit of course. Ouch!
A little help from Marc and Kirsten on a Friday night. They popped in for a hello and in no time they decided it would be fun to help pulling up staples!
The master bedroom is pretty well much done.
Me painting.....all week. 

I've been wanting to give a big shout out to someone very special but haven't had the right image to go along with it. It's tricky.

My Mum (let's call her Lynne because that's her real name) is an AMAZING woman. I know my Dad will be reading this and smiling thinking 'I know she's is amazing' with a cheeky grin of love and adoration. Well the truth is she marches to the beat of what ever drum SHE wants to. She has been an inspiration to me over the years and during the last few weeks she has been at the house putting in hours that would put a tradie to shame. In fact not one of my friends has come to help at the house (bar Cath because she as the darling she is did some much needed babysitting for us) but Mum is there every day, and some mornings she is there so early I'm just getting out of the shower! She even tolerates my music choice.

When I was a kid on the farm, it was Mum and I doing the fencing, tending to the veggie garden, moving the cattle, painting the sheds, choping wood.....you name it. This woman is not afraid of hard work and that's worn off on me. 

Sure we've had our differences, but I can easily put that aside when we are hanging out together at the house, like mates. Appreciate your Mum, forget the commercial crap of mothers day. Celebrate them every day. Thankfully for me I got a good one.
Love ya heaps Mum!


'Lynne' in her element

One of the painful jobs is ripping up the carpet the the edgers
Seriously over forty tubes of filler have been used....maybe fifty

Look at that sweet get-up!
Man style!


Ro painting like a trooper above.
Beck, one of our helpers, below. Thanks!
Chad helps with the sanding. Horrible job! Thanks.

We have been crazy busy in the Anderson household.  Actually, that should be plural - households.  We, in the old house, are keeping busy with trying to get this issue ready for print in a weeks time, having Mother's Day celebrations, keeping the kids happy, and organising things for the move in two weeks.  Ro, and helpers, have been sanding, painting and filling gaps in the main rooms.  The study is almost done, the hallway and master bedroom are getting painted, and the kids bedrooms are almost ready for painting.  Tomorrow the scaffolding we are hiring is getting picked up, and Ro starts the arduous job of prepping and painting the high ceiling in the living room.  

We have only one week to complete all the painting in the house, because we have to start sanding and polishing the floorboards next weekend, so that they are finished before we move in on the 25th.  Aaaargh.  It feels like we are on a renovation show, counting down the hours before we have to reveal the finished rooms.

Too much going on to mention it all. More pics to come...

I'm super knackered and sore in places I never expected.
So far we have a room painted and a few almost ready for paint.
Thanks for all the pop in's and hellos. 

'The house of Cracks' (20 tubes of Selleys no more gaps are gone)
The hallway has been a challenge to say the least. Fake Wood Panel removed, Wallpaper removed, plaster done (3 layers) and first coat of primer is on.
Just after the wallpaper was removed. Did I mention I HATE WALLPAPER???

I do all the pre-work, Kim comes in and gets to put on the first coat of paint. Lucky for her, she looks smashing in Man overalls.

I am amazed at just how much work can be achieved in just three days! We got the keys on Friday, which was a little earlier than initially expected, and of course Ro couldn't resist getting in there that afternoon, and starting the reno's in some small way.

First thing he did was pull off all the fake wood panelling in the front hallway, to which my Dad initially commented "We're not in a caravan, are we?" This revealed big holes in the plaster due to the glue they used to attach the panels to the wall, as well as wallpaper that would have to be removed. Then, as we moved around the house, we noticed just how many gaps there were in the walls, and windows. (In fact, I think the local Bunnings, and Ballarat Building Supplies have been kept in business these past three days just by our sales of Selleys No More Gaps alone). I am pleased to report, however, that almost all the bedrooms, as well as the hallway are just about ready for painting due to all the work that Ro and his Mum have done. They have been busy bees! I have been able to help a little. I wish I could be there with them more though! I really pictured us doing the reno's together, but one of us has to look after the kids, and unfortunately it's not really a place for littlies, with all the nails and crap everywhere. I had better get packing though. And I am certianly not bored with all the magazine things that need doing before we can go to print in two weeks.

Will post some pics soon.

Thats basically what a dear friend of ours said as we showed her through the house last night. It's probably the best (most polite) way to describe what our house looks like at the moment. Instead of the other option which is "OMG why the hell did you buy this shit hole"

I'm starting the 'project' today. I'll keep you posted with images as I progress. For now, be afraid. Be very afraid.