Begin at the beginning

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I live, we live, in a home that is less than 500 square feet. It has two floors, downstairs is the kitchen/living area/dining room and upstairs is the bedroom/bathroom. I love it! But it’s not been easy. We moved here because it was a steal! Low rent + utilities, but it would need to be cleaned and painted and have some work done to it.  Uhm, yeah. Lots of work.

When we first showed up to clean the older woman living her still hadn’t moved all of her stuff out so I had to start on the top floor while she had people helping her load up and move out. Even The Man helped her, while I grabbed my bucket – o – supplies and headed up the very narrow, leaning stairs.

What I found had me crying within an hour. Don’t misunderstand, I am normally a very strong woman! I don’t cry much usually, but I was overwhelmed by what I found. There was shit all over the floor. No, I don’t mean stuff that was left behind, I mean feces. Human feces. Covering the floor, running down the side of the stair case, in every nook and cranny. The bathroom had been left to her cats (lord knows how many) and reeked of cat urine, the toilet, tub and floor of the bathroom were black. I had to call in the big guns! On went the triple thick rubber gloves, the face mask, the long sleeves – you get my point – I looked like I was ready for a chemical war! Everything got scrubbed. Everything, walls, ceilings, floors, anything that had been touched by someone else was being touched by Mr. Clean and Lysol. It took nearly 7 hours to clean the top floor! But it was a whole new place when I was done.

I couldn’t do the downstairs until the next day, which was fine since the Man wanted to start painting upstairs and needed me to be down.

It was a Sunday when we returned. I got to work on the downstairs and he started painting the up. Oh, it looked so wonderful when we started getting the paint up! Before the walls had been this ugly brownish-pinkish color that you find in nursing homes, but the Man had coaxed these beautiful walls back to life with primer and earth tones so that you wouldn’t even recognize it was the same place. We have often said that we should have taken before and after pictures, because no one would ever believe us.

The top floor was coming together, and we were both starting to breathe.

Soon, the work would take us to whole new levels of hell and triumph.

That’s for another day.

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