Okay, we’re now officially Southerners, so you know what that means, right?
No, no, I’m not talking about painting my car like the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazard (but I did love that show when I was a little kid up North!)
Nope, I’m talking of course about that quintessential Southern contraction—that quaint little word that drips from every pair of smiling lips from the tobacky fields of Virginia on down to the swamps of Okefenokee.
Yep, I’m talking about “y’all.”
While I’m a bit circumspect when it comes to adopting regional vernacular (I lived in the California Bay Area for 10 years and never once uttered the word “hella”), Handan has no such compunction, and she began practicing her “y’all” on the very day we received the keys to our new house.
Now before I get the meat of this story, let me preface it by saying that Handan has been wracked by a pernicious cough these past several days.
No, she doesn’t have the ‘Rona, so don’t worry. But she’s got wicked allergies, and she’s discovering that Georgia and her sinuses are not going to be fast friends. In March, she suffered an eye-watering humdinger of an allergy attack that developed into a nasty bout of sinusitis. When I came down to visit her, I was similarly afflicted.
Fast forward about a month, and a whole new ecosystem of allergens is wafting through the air and up into her nasal passages. I’ve avoided any of March’s unpleasantness, but Handan caught a whopping gobful, and she’s been hacking and sneezing up a fuss ever since. It got so bad that she lost her voice. She sounds like a vaguely British Marge Simpson when she speaks these days.
So anyway, as I mentioned, my babes has been practicing her “y’all.”
We were waiting in the drive-through line at Starbucks over the weekend to get some people-fuel for all the moving-related activities we’ve been engaged in. Handan thought it was a grand time to start practicing. I listened to her for a bit, but man, I gotta say, she sounded like an ass!
Now just a minute madam! Before you scold me, I mean what I say. When my dearest wife said the word “y’all,” she really sounded like an ass!
Hmmm…okay, perhaps donkey would be the better word?
Oh crap, she heard me. RUN!
Anyway, Handan’s scratchy voice coupled with her Turko-British accent produced a distinctly barnyard bray whenever she uttered the quaint Southern contraction.
It went a little something like this: “Yeeeeee-AWLLLLLL! Yeeeeee-AWLLLLLLLL!! Hey, yeeeeeee-AWLLLLL!!!”
I give her full marks for enthusiasm, but she was attracting the attention of local farmers. And who knows what would happen if they stumbled upon a fat man and a donkey in the front seat of a car. I think they’ve got laws against such things down here.
But give my babes some time. I’m sure she’ll have her Southern-speak down pat before you can say “bless your little heart.”
In the meanwhile, would you guys like to see our new home? (I know there’s another word besides “you guys” that I can use, but I will not give in to peer pressure!)
Great, let’s take a gander, shall we?
By now, you’ve seen the outside.
Can you see our ghost?
He’s right there in big window over the front door. He likes to stay there night and day – in fact he never leaves that window. I guess he’s just nosy about the neighborhood goings-on.
Moving inside, here’s another look at that window. The photo is a little too bright to see the ghost, but I assure you, he’s there! 🙂
Now there seems to be a big thing down here about having a black front door, but Handan was once told up north that it is a harbinger of sickness and misfortune. When she saw the black door on our home (and every other house we looked at down here), she was uneasy about it, and it became one of the first items on her “babes-do” list.
We’ve already chosen a new color for the door, and once I get permission from The Exalted Ones (aka, the HOA Architectural Committee), I’ll be sharing that project with you. I’m joking with the funny name for the committee, of course. I know some people have horror stories about their HOAs, but so far our seems to be great. I’ve already met one member of the Architectural Committee, and he seems perfectly reasonable. Not at all the three-headed monster I’ve read about in other HOAs!
Here are some more shots of the foyer.
To the right of the entrance after walking inside is a small room that will become my office.
To the left of the entrance is the dining room. It’s a nice-looking room with a tray ceiling and wainscoting.
But, uhh, those walls. Yeah, I’m gonna have to paint them something a little less…red. And those curtains.
The chandelier isn’t too bad, but it’s going to need a paint job.
Moving on to the living room…
Beautiful room with soaring ceilings.
We love the built-ins that flank the gas fireplace.
We’ll never want for light in this room!
But those carpets.
And the carpets in the study and the dining room…
They are old, stained, discolored and buckled.
We’ve decided to tear them out and install new hardwood of the same style as the existing flooring – a simple red oak plank. While we’re at it, we’re going to have all of the existing floors sanded bare, and then we’ll stain the whole lot a darker color.
This is not a DIY job, so we’ll be paying pros to do it right.
Just off the living room is the guest bathroom. This is perhaps the oddest thing about this house. Both Handan and I keep wanting to walk into either the pantry or the laundry room (both off of the kitchen) to answer Nature’s persistent call, but nope – the downstairs bathroom is off the far end of the living room, spitting distance from the front door.
Yes, that’s a huge pack of toilet paper over there. How do you think we paid for the house??
Okay, I haven’t told Handan this, so she will read it here first at the same time that you are, madam. Here’s the thing: I actually like the wallpaper in here.
I know, I know, it’s hideous, and I know its not going to stay, but I gotta admit. I really don’t mind it, and more than that, I actually like it.
Hey, we’re all allowed our little quirks, right?
Okay, let’s move into the kitchen – the most important room in the house (in my humble opinion).
The kitchen is huge. Massive. Almost too big.
Here is the breakfast nook and door to the deck.
Across from the nook is the kitchen proper.
We already have big BIG plans for this kitchen. Stay tuned, because this is going to be a massive undertaking!
There’s a big bonus space at the far end of the kitchen.
In some cultures, this space might be turned into another bedroom, but this is America, so we’ll probably just install a jumbo TV so we can liquefy our brains while heating up the Hamburger Helper.
That door to the right in the photo above is the laundry room.
Do you know what I love about our new laundry room?
Just behind me in the picture above is a laundry chute. It originates in our master closet upstairs.
I’ve waited almost half a century to play Bombs Away with my dirty unmentionables in a laundry chute.
My wait is over.
Bonus points if I can land a direct hit on Handan’s head while she’s transferring a load to the washer.
So another interesting thing about this house (at least to a Northerner) is that is has two staircases leading to the second floor. Next to the laundry room is the back stair.
I love it! It’s basically a direct path from the kitchen to the master bedroom. In other words, it’s a carpeted superhighway from Dreamland to Meatsville.
Looking up from the front stairs, you’ll notice…
Well, carpet, I guess. You’ll notice a whole lot of carpet.
Not bad stuff. Easy on the toes. Feels good in the winter.
But it doesn’t really stand out in photos – at least not in the way I’m looking for.
Remember, for better or for worse, we’re bloggers, and we have to always make sure our house and lives look perfect.
Pffffft, I’m totally kidding! Our lives are usually a slow-motion train wreck. But if our lives aren’t perfect, we can at least try to make the house look as good as it can. And the first floor and main stair carpeting just isn’t cutting it for us.
So like I mentioned earlier – we’ll be letting some seasoned pros put hardwood on the floors and on the stairs. We can’t WAIT to see how it turns out!
Moving upstairs now…
This is the guest bedroom, aka Mom and Dad’s room.
When my parents come to visit, they’ll have their own private wing of the upstairs.
They’ll have their own private space and a full bath to boot.
Looking from Mom and Dad’s room towards the other end…
Another architectural element I’m not familiar with but have seen in many houses down here is the catwalk.
Don’t think for a second that I won’t be donning my Calvins and strutting my stuff on this catwalk while Handan watches in shock and horror from the living room sofa below.
Hey, when you got it, you flaunt it, amirite?
If The Boy had a cherry setup in our old digs, he’s going to be living like a Kardashian in this house (minus the bubble butt).
His sleeping quarters are directly across from the master bedroom.
And because he’s our only child, he makes out like a thief in the night. Here’s his other room:
This room will be his TV and Playstation room. Oh, and see that little room in back?
It’s supposed to be a closet, but the promise of a freshly starched shirt hanging in rigid conformity with its buttoned-down brethren doesn’t do much to capture the imagination of a young hormone factory, so we’ve decided to install two desks, one along each wall. This kid is going to have about 15 linear feet of desk space on which to study, write papers and computer code, learn about the wonders of the world and any number of other intellectual pursuits.
Or he’ll just play online video games with his friends and see how many pairs of smelly teen socks it takes to bury 15 linear feet of desk space.
You decide which is more likely.
And that there in the middle of the picture below is his bathroom. It’s a Jack and Jill bathroom, so it has two sinks.
Lucky bugger. He can wash each hand in a separate sink!
Moving on from His Nibs’ quarters, we find ourselves in the master bedroom surrounded by an ocean of light pink.
Ye gods! What fresh hell is this?
Nothing was spared the pink brush, not even the poor ceiling.
I have a lot of jobs in queue, but painting the Pink Palace holds a special place in my heart.
But color aside, there’s a hell of a lot of room in this master bedroom. It clocks in at 417 square feet, which is the exact same size as the studio apartment Handan had been living in since February.
And light? Why, it’s practically like being outside!
This alcove awash in glorious sunlight is the future sleep nook for Penny and Pepper. For years they had to sleep outside of our bedroom, and Penny was separated from me by a glass door. Now her wildest dreams will come true as she’ll be allowed to sleep near Daddy with no barriers between us. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it, but Penny is a total Nervous Nelly when she’s not near me.
The bedroom is big and all, but nothing prepared me for the first time I laid eyes on the master bath, aka The Blue Lagoon.
There’s enough open floor space in there to get in a little ballroom dancing between bowel movements if you’re into that sort of thing.
Ballroom dancing, I mean. Everybody’s into bowel movements, whether they care to admit it or not.
Anyway, there’s enough real estate in the middle of that tiled expanse to put a fountain or hire a Mariachi band to lift our spirits while we scrub the plaque from our teeth.
Yeah, those golden fixtures will have to go someday, as will the baby blue, but for now, there are more important projects to tackle.
The thing that really boggles my mind is that they could build a master bath that could easily qualify for its own zip code, but then they shoehorn a dinky shower stall into a forlorn corner and call it a job well done.
Who designs these houses? Certainly not anyone who actually lives in a house. This bathroom could have had an epic shower stall. It could have been like washing in a rain forest! But instead they went with the smallest brass ‘n’ glass enclosure they could find at Home Depot.
We’ll be giving some thought to the shower. Someday we’ll be tackling this room as well, and I’m keen on an Amazon Rainforest shower experience!
That doorway to the right leads into the master closet.
It has some potential for renovation, and my babes already has a really cool plan for that laundry chute. Don’t worry, most of it will remain as a laundry chute (I’m not going to let her ruin my childhood dream of lobbing my small clothes on her unsuspecting head as she toils below), but she has a great plan to optimize the space. More on that later.
Oh, by the way, I’ll spare you the Master Throne. It’s in a room that’s literally about 1 square foot bigger than the Throne, so there’s really nothing to show. We’ve noticed the movement in Georgia (see what I did there) towards small bathrooms, but our Master Crapper takes the cake.
Four walls and a toilet…
And that leaves us with the basement.
The massive, high-ceiling’d, unfinished basement.
Here’s another basement stair project waiting to happen
That speck in the distance is my babes.
Great light for a basement!
And over in the dark half…
underground lair workshop.
This will be the woodcutting room…
This will be the sanding and staining room…
There’s almost no power down here, so I’m having an electrician install a second 100 amp panel and wire the basement for outlets to code. Once my machines arrive, I’ll get this place humming with life!
So what do you think of the new Navage Patch? I’ll show you the outside of the house and the surrounding yard in a future post, but now you’ve got a good idea of what we’ve got and what we’ve got planned. And there are already so many projects I haven’t mentioned.
You’ll just have to wait and see. 😉