Day 13 in Villisca

I know I skipped a couple of days, but I had nothing to say. For every step forward it feels like we’re taking one back. All we had left to do on the bathroom was plaster holes and skim coat and – surprise – the bathtub needs yanked and the plumbing redone because the people who did it screwed it up.

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It’s a long sordid tale but suffice to say this has to wait until hubby is here because the brother and I can’t do that by ourselves so we’re even further behind now. We have started on the ceiling though.

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Just a first coat and need to do edging work

The laundry room has been “ready to paint” for days -

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This is not paint, just where we washed. Ewwww.

- but then we find something else – holes in the ceiling that need filled, woodwork that needs puttied etc.etc. But I think tomorrow after we sand we can finally get on with it.
We did get the new mailbox up, so that’s something.

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Blah blah.
The electrician is supposed to come tomorrow but don’t hold your breath. I’m not.
In the name of eating we have been bouncing back and firth between the grocery store’s lunch counter and the cafe and I have to say in some instances Villisca Foods wins. Like the tenderloins.

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Yum!

We did go to the cafe Sunday for lunch but it wasn’t as good as it had been, though it looked okay.

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They have a habit of undercooking potatoes which I am getting used to. In fact we’re heading there for dinner shortly as it’s too hot today to do much. It’s going to be even hotter tomorrow so may sit with my feet up ( my ankles are puffy and need to drain anyway – it’s a med i’m on), and do some writing. I dunno. We’ll see.
Oh, I did get the cupboard doors painted with a couple of coats:

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Looking good

So at least one thing in the bathroom is working out. Knock wood.
I know I should not get discouraged – I kind of spazzed on FB last night and called the previous owners complete morons. They weren’t complete morons, just not very good diy-ers. Or at least not good at doing it right. And it just gets tiresome after awhile. But chin up, it is what it is and ask that pap.
I’m back. We went to the aforementioned cafe and it was better tonight.

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Bbq bacon cheeseburger

I also tried the flavor burst ice cream.

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Which was fun. But I have to say this place is so small town it feels forced. We were waited on by the cook’s grandson, who looked all of 16 and is playing football this year, if you wanna know, while the senior citizen club player skip bo at the back tables and farmers discussed tractor and cows. We left to find unaccompanied children playing football in the village square (okay, it’s the park, but that sounded cooler) , returned the waves of the couple sitting on a bench in front of the vets’ place, and drove the three blocks home (we’re lazy today) past the idyllic churches and the local drug store and the tiny medical clinic and the home owner hair parlor, until we reached our own little peeling paint house where kids on bicycles sailed past, chattering in the summer evening, and the distant sound of late summer fire crackers popped. I feel like I’m in a movie set. I’m considering checking the place for cameras, lest we end up ala The Truman Show.
Anyway, posting this and gonna play cards with the brother. Have a good one.
Jo :)

day 10 in Villisca

We didn’t do anything yesterday except go to Red Oak, then Shen, then Red Oak then the cafe. Oh and I wrote a little on my book. Long hand. I did get some cool cloud photos though.

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Yeah. The phone did weird things to the car antenna.

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And there’s a piece of Red Oak architecture worth sharing.

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I think it wins for ugliest bank.
Since I have nothing to report I thought I’d mention an odd phenomenon. The house isn’t really spooky… Not really. Not even without electricity. Until 2A.M. at which point I wake up every night with the sensation that “something” woke me, and from them until about 4:30 when the birds start tweeting every little sound is terrifying. At first I thought it was unfamiliar house syndrome, but it’s getting worse every night rather than better, and in fact last night I saw a shadow move across the window in the laundry room door (the door goes between the laundry room and the dining room) and woke the brother up. He skulked around, but couldn’t find anything, so went back to sleep while I lay awake obsessively staring at the door until I got bored and finally turned to reading a Don Camillo book until 4:20. Am I positive I saw a shadow? Pretty damn sure, but just like everything that happens in the middle of the night, the next day in the sunlight you’re not sure and you tell yourself it was your imagination.
It may be of note that the laundry room also has the door to the basement in it, a door we have previously left wide open. I’m not a basement hater by nature, nor are all basements creepy and this one didn’t seem like it was, except that one crawl space, but maybe it gets creepy at 2am and something slinks up out of it. Or maybe someone was murdered in the back of the house between 2 am and 4 am and so they only come back then. Or maybe the place is a dead battery, having set empty for two years, and our being here is recharging it and between 2am and 4am is when the atmosphere is most conducive (after all, ghosts are just electricity) and as the thing gets stronger it will be around more. Or maybe there’s some totally rational explanation. But if so I don’t know what it is.
So there’s my ghost-y-ness for the night. Have a good one.
Jo :)

Day 9 in Villisca

I’m not going to lie, yesterday is a blur. I’m sure something interesting happened but I can’t think what. Chris conquered the ceiling:

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We made the mistake of peeling a tiny piece off the kitchen wall which now leads to scraping two whole walls:

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We ate green jello cake

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It's lime.

And the yellow roses are in full bloom

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Exciting huh?
We’re going to have to skim coat the bathroom so that’s going to be an adventure. The bathtub seems odd so we may need to try to fix that – there’s no support under it, just two boards running across the middle so it’s like a seesaw. And we thought the bathroom would be easy.
Blah. Tired today. Tired of dust and popcorn ceilings. Tired of scraping. Blah blah blah. I probably have interesting stories – like chris smacking me in the head with the ladder or his trying to hammer up the squirrel feeder after we accidentally pulled it off the tree, but I am also tired of typing on this phone, so I’m ending here.
Have a good one.
Jo :)

Day 8 in Villisca

I have now been here over a well and still no power. The electric guy was supposed to come Monday, then Wednesday, now maybe Thursday. Ugh.
Despite not having power we got a lot done. There was the last later of drywall mud, followed by masking off the kitchen in preparation for scraping the ceiling – we learned from our mistakes in the bathroom – a mess we are still cleaning up. Or more truthfully ignoring.

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We even removed the kitchen ceiling fan, which was a challenge because though we googled it, ours has some extra bits. Luckily there are disassembly directions included. INSIDE it!

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That just amused me. Another amusing thing was lunch. See how neatly we taped off those cupboards? Guess where lunch was? That’s right, so the brother had to pop down to the grocery store, where he found jello cake.

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It was pretty good, actually.
So after lunch the brother started the ceiling – which is turning out to be twenty times harder than the bathroom was because they painted over the popcorn several times so the water is not soaking in and making it soggy. Meaning he is more chipping it off than anything

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I worked on the bathroom cabinet – speaking of which, here is the answer to the picture frame question:

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Now imagine the whole thing painted white. Gonna look snazzy.
And I finally found something to eat through the mess on the bathroom wall. TSP.

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Yay!

It still had to be scraped the hole-pokey tool (I’ve forgotten the name of it) is leaving tiny dents in the plaster but at least it’s getting the lumpy layers of mess off. No wonder these people just nailed up paneling over it all.
We had another nice surprise. The lady across the street, Susie, brought us a plate of cookies!

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She is really nice, which makes one feel better to know there is someone they could borrow a cup of flour off of or whatever. The only trouble is I have never had friendly neighbors in my life. Well, when I was a kid we had nice neighbors but not the cookie sharing kind, and I have no idea what the etiquette is. I know that you make them all cookies or what not at Christmas, but past that…
Speaking of suburban experiences, we had to put our trash on the curb. I felt kind of red neck because everyone else had neat bins except us:

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And you notice they have ONE bin each. Just one. What do they do with the rest of the trash??? You can’t burn it here, and I have yet to find a recycling place. How can they just go through one tiny little bin in a week? Are we just trashy people? ( as in too much trash Lol!)
Also, in case someone knowledgeable stumbles across this, does anyone know what this plant is:

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Mystery plant

And now I must finish my donut stick and get to work. Have a good one.
Jo :)

Day 7 in Villisca

The gas man cometh.

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The gas man giveth:
He chops down some of the bushes (yay!) And puts in a new gas meter. He goes to the basement. He lights the pilot lights and….
The gas man taketh away:
the dreams of hot water die when the water heater won’t stay lit.
AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
A call to the plumber later (I imagine we’re racking up quite a bill) and he comes round at two while the brother and the father run to Red Oak to re-buy those supplies and do some other things. They return with lunch:

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KFC

By the time we finish eating, the plumber is done. It seems the water heater burner was full of water. But the water tank is not leaking. He’s baffled. Then the brother admits that when the water was first turned on – before I was here – they ran around the house shutting everything off ( apparently part of winterizing is turning on all the valves) but they forgot the outside spigot. Five hours and a flooded basement later that noticed. They cleaned up their mess but apparently did not think about the flooded water heater. Anyway it now works and a huge bill is coming our way.

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It's hot!!!

We then watched the squirrels a bit:

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And then went back to Red Oak to get the wood they forgot. The Do It Yourself store had a notable item:

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Pig made from propane tank

Red Oak also has a lot of cool buildings like so:

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Very cool

By the time we got back I had a fever so laid down and didn’t get anything done. Eventually we cleaned the ceiling out of the bathtub ( from where we scraped it) and then I took a shower which worked miracles.

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Shower!!!!

Sadly by then it was too dark to see much (still waiting on electric) so we glued the wood into the picture frames:

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Can you guess what we're doing?

And called it a night. Hopefully today will be more productive.
And in that light, have a good one.
Jo :)

Day 6 in Villisca

We woke to the mailman bringing us our first piece of mail!

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Of course it was junk mail but oh well. I loved the question mark on it. From what we have discovered no one had been living here for two years so no wonder.
Also, because I know you’re wondering, the squirrels like the corn:

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For various reasons, such as the need for fly swatters, we headed “up town”. This is a matter of walking two or three blocks, but it counts. There’s not a huge amount of businesses but it’s better than Coin was when I was growing up.

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Pretty flowers by a church

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Another church

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The library - we didn't go in

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Random flowers in a pot

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The park

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Still at the park

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Some cool old buildings

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More cool old buildings

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More buildings

We stopped at the City Hall which I believe used to be a bank.

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Cool building

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Inside the City Hall

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Very pretty

We also checked out Stoner Drug.

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Where we wasted five bucks.

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Then the grocery store.

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This is of interest only to me, but when I was growing up hy-vee had a book rack like this and when I make book covers in the back of my mind I always think “would they look good on the grocery store rack?”

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Then we went to the cafe.

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T & Js. Good food.

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Inside the cafe - doesn't the brother look excited

And I have to mention Jones store which is notable as the place the axe murdered man was working.

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Through the window

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Antique stuff

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Not sure why this is on the doorstep

Then it was home and back to work. We did our second layer of drywall mud and scraped the bathroom ceiling.

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Popcorn free!

And we started taking kitchen cabinet doors of to find this taped inside the door of one:

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I guess why buy the magnet when you get the picture for free.
We also worked on the bathroom cabinet but could not finish it, nor could we sand the bathroom because even though we went to True Value and bought the stuff to do this with, hubby “accidentally” took the bag with him to Missouri. Meaning we have to go BACK to Red Oak and buy it all over again. Not best pleased, that’s for sure.
In happier news we finally got one of the front bushes done.

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And the yellow roses are blooming.

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As evening set in we went for another stroll.

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Cool house

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I’m not sure what the deal is with this but I assume the joke has something to do with their brown lawn.

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And here’s a pretty sunset photo.

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Yeah, that’s a lot of pictures. I know. In other news the gas inspector came and we passed – yay! Also we’ve talked to several locals who have all been nice. They get nicer when we mention we grew up in Coin and my dad still lives there.
Think the gas guys are here to turn it on so have a good one!
Jo :)

Day 5 in Villisca

It’s Sunday. How exciting. We didn’t do much today. First I put some squirrel food out for our fuzzy friends, though I did not see if they ate any of it.

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The feeder came with the tree

Then we ran to Red Oak and did some shopping at True Value, Hy-Vee and Kmart. I was impressed at True Value, not only did the employee know where everything on my shipping list was (including the mysterious TSP for cleaning walls) but he knew what everything was and offered advice and such. I guess I’m so used to Walmart and the like where the people just work there but don’t know anything about what they’re selling.
The hy-vee is also interesting as it is better than Clarinda’s – bigger meat counter and such – but at the same time more old school – they still have the old finding carts, the bathrooms are in the back, and after you checkout an employee takes the groceries to your car. I’d forgotten that they used to do that. I did get a couple of interesting things there.

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He looks the way I feel

And a magnet:

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No words necessary.

Like we need more.
Kmart was Kmart, but there were some fun things there. For instance:

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These are watering cans. Who'd have guessed.

And:

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Wind chimes

Then we came back. I mentioned Stanton’s giant church steeple the other day, well here it is from the highway.

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After we got home, hubby left to go back to Missouri so the brother and I waited for it to cool down some then cleaned and organized this place. When I say cleaned I mean swept the debris from the carpets and such. Right. Still no power.

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Sleeping Japanese style

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The dinning room. That slanted door won't open- it's locked and we don't have a key but we will get one.

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It won't stay yellow forever

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It's a straight shot.

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From my "bed"

We snap for some rain today.

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And with that I am out of pictures and interesting things to say. The brother is reading and I am doing this because it’s dark out. Fun times.
Have a good one.
Jo :)

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