Prepping the new place.






My girlfriend and I just moved from Salt Lake City to Merriam, Kansas. We found our rental on Craig’s List after a previous Craig’s List landlord took our deposit, and decided we couldn’t rent it after someone with “a better profile for that space” came along. He then very helpfully tried to get us into a much more expensive place that he owned as well, we didn’t bite and he got surly.
When we got here, the place needed a lot more help than we had anticipated. The place had been nice in the 1980’s, but had seen only sporadic care since then. The previous tenants of four years had done nothing to help the place stay viable. Our first month here was spent cleaning- for example 6 hours of cleaning in each bathroom ( replacing the toilet seats, caulking, scraping layer of yutz), and 15 passes of the carpet steamer per room to get the water to turn from black to a frothy grey, and chasing back the ants and roaches. Even with our best efforts, we were undone by prior water damage to the sub-floors which mixed with the months of rain (see the little footbridge in our backyard almost getting swept away) and made for two cases of mold infection in my girlfriend’s lungs/system and almost sent us packing. A great CPK doctor in Kansas City cleared her up both times.
My house back in SLC had one of the nicest yards on the street, so I spent quite a chunk of time- really whenever the sun came out during the months of rain- to thatch rake the front yard, pick out all the moldering sticks, bark, and garbage, nuke the weeds (which were legion, more weed than yard really), and put down new grass seed. Our one neighbor who has said “hello” came over to tell me that in all the time the last people were here they never did a thing outside the house (and ditto for the inside as well). In the back yard I cut down a rusted out old swing-set, and trimmed back many volunteer trees that were pushing into the fences, and trimmed the real trees as well, and secured the inlet and outlet of the stream so my German Shepherd wouldn’t escape; while my girlfriend began the arduous task of picking broken glass out of the streambed (when the water was low), and old toys, and rusted metal remnants of whatever else emerged after each big rain.
The last job was to re-finish the deck as it had a thick layer of black mold that became incredibly slick with the rain. I used a chemical solvent and brushed it in repeatedly. Then the rains came back for bit, and when things dried out I hit it again- then sealed it. I bought a hanging fuscia and another nice hanging bloom to help dress it up.
While I was working one of my Iris bloomed. It came with me from my yard in SLC- and originated at Long’s Flower Garden in Boulder, CO. I hope the others do as well.

At the same time as getting the house in order I was setting up the garage as a shop. One of the steps was spraying for spiders- there were Hobo spider cone nests and Brown Recluse spiders(both necratic venom arachnids- which means badass f-ing spiders), and a few Black Widows, and many egg nests.
The garage leaks through the north wall in heavy rain, and luckily I stored everything up off the ground anticipating leaks. There are quite a few dry rotten 2×4 struts. The walls are uninsulated, the structure is open to the roof, and the window is boarded shut- so hot and stuffy in the summer and freezing in the winter unless I want to invest in fixing it up. which I don’t.
Right now it is a good studio space. The days are cool enough and breezy- I open the doors and get things rolling.

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