Friday, September 17, 2010

More Wallpaper Notes and a Mini Contest!

As many of you know, I had some really good fun at my dear pal Jen Lancaster's wallpaper's expense earlier this week.  You can read my snarkiness here.

Nothing says warm and inviting kitchen better than crazed monkeys attempting to make yakitori out of actual Asian men.

And sometimes, wallpaper fights back.

My darling Charming Suitor lives, as one would expect, in a Charming Bungalow.  Built in 1918, and renovated in the 1950s, it is classic Chicago architecture and completely, well, Charming!  And in this Charming Bungalow is a Charming Kitchen that has the 1950's awesome steel kitchen cabinets with the chrome handles.  Being that the cabinets were actually installed in the 1950s, there aren't a lot of them, just one lower unit that houses the kitchen sink, and then a large wall unit above the sink where Charming Suitor kept all his Charming Plates and Glasses and Bowls and Vases etc.

And this week, whilst we were sleeping snugly at my house, the Charming Cabinet decided it was tired of the wall.  60 plus years of hanging in one place, stocked to the gills with heavy stoneware and glassware, it's little open shelf on the bottom filled with oils and vinegars and spices and such.  It was bored.  Or maybe slightly suicidal.  Maybe it had heard that at some point it was likely that Charming Suitor might in fact be planning on taking up permanent residence at my own equally Charming abode.  Perhaps it was having a Betty Draper hissy fit, going all "I can't even FACE the idea of him dating another kitchen cabinet."and since a cabinet cannot chain smoke or suck down eleven martinis, it just decided to make a statement. 

A big statement.

CS returned to his house to discover the cats, brawny indoor/outdoor toms, named for manly sport heroes, who can face down the neighborhood mastiff with nary a moment of fear, huddled in the corner, holding each other.

A peek down the hallway revealed a ktichen floor covered wall to wall with shards of glass and pottery.

Hmmm.  That's weird.

"Methinks I have been burgled!"  CS thought to himself as he cautiously moved in to investigate.

That seems wrong.

And discovered the lovely cabinet, and all of its contents, no longer attached to the wall even the tiniest bit.

Oh, there's nothing good about this...

Bad for glassware.
Its the Poseidon Adventure at the Pottery Barn!
Yes Greg, that's a full gainer off the wall!

A lifetime of lovingly collected dishware and cookware and glasses and mugs, kaplooie.  Not just broken, EXPLODED.  It was all kinds of Kristallnacht in there.  Some items had literally been pulverized to powder.



The cabinet, only slightly bent and dented here and there, was not so much worse for wear.

Desperate cry for help from kitchen cabinet.

The wall, original 1918 lathe and plaster, was cracked and had a couple big holes, and....well....this:

I know this stuff is making a comeback, but...

...does it really need GLITTER?

Jen, you MAY NOT try to find this wallpaper for your house.  Step away from the light, Carol Anne.
Yep, a large rectangle of this 1950s kitchen theme wallpaper, WITH GOLD GLITTER ACCENTS.

Jen believes that this wallpaper pushed the cabinet off the wall in order to prove that kitschy wallpaper WILL NOT BE DENIED. 

A couple of other friends implied that I might have sneakily loosened a bolt or taken a crowbar to the unit, in order to speed up the "purge and merge" process.  (This was not made less viable by the fact that the eight plates and six bowls of mine that were currently living in the cabinet were all amongst the survivors.)

My parents both asked if it was related to the moth problem of last week, but I am pretty sure that fifteen half-dead grain moths from the pantry could not have caused this level of damage.

CS filled three enormous garbage cans with shattered glass and pottery, called a fabulous handyman, and the cabinet is now firmly reattached to the wall, as if nothing had ever been amiss.

There were THREE of these!

The cats are suffering from Vietnam flashbacks, so we are not slamming doors these days.

And yes, we did save a piece of the wallpaper for possible framing.

It will look absolutely Charming.

In my kitchen.

I'd love to hear about your own Charming household them in the comments section and the top 20 answers will get a signed copy of Good Enough to Eat and a limited edition GETE promotional apron! 

And thank you to CS, who provided pics, most of the captions, and the kind of sense of humor to give permission for me to share this story with you all.

Yours in good taste,
The Polymath


  1. First, I love Jen's attack monkey wallpaper! I would love to find fabric with that pattern so that I could have a Betty Draper-style shift made.

    Second, the glittery wallpaper is brilliant, too -- literally!

    Finally, I remember coming home to my studio apartment many years ago to find my bathroom ceiling had migrated to my bathtub. It didn't say why it chose to make that move. I suspect it was an impulsive decision. My cat wasn't thrilled with it.

  2. Does finding tins of naughty polaroids of the former (swingin'!) owners of your tiny bungalow during renovations count? That was 3 years ago and I'm still twitching.

  3. I awoke early one morning in need of a restroom. I climbed out of my bed and walked towards the door on the other end of the room. Just before reaching the bedroom doorway, I took a step and heard a "squish" and felt my foot sink into a puddle of cold water. Upon further investigation, I found the entire hallway, my son's bedroom, and part of my bedroom, all carpeted, and all SOAKED! There was about an inch and a half of water standing in the bathroom floor as well. It was later discovered that it was a leak from the hot water heater in the apartment above ours. We cleaned up as much as we could with our trusty Hoover Steam-Vac, but moved 2 months later as we STILL couldn't remove the musty smell from my HUGE walk-in closet and my son's room! It was an adventure to say the least, and we still laugh about the morning we woke up in the swimming pool!!!

  4. How’s this for charming? Upon moving into my first charming little condo, I discovered that there was a charming little 4-year-old water leak, and my charming little crawl space was filled with charming little mushrooms!

    This led to a full-fledged mold remediation MONTH in which I couldn’t live in or move anything into or out of my place. It also involved my water heater living smack dab in the middle of my living room for a while.

    But the most (actual) charming part? I complete master bathroom remodel care of my lovely insurance company. Hooray for charming disasters!

  5. Our home was built in 1901. Every single time we renovate or do any type of necessary upkeep without fail we stumble upon a disaster. When we replaced our 1960's furnace for a sleeker more efficeint model the installers called to inform me that the old furnace was actually holding up my bedroom floor. Whomever had installed the last unit had cut out the floor joists so the furnace would fit. I had to call a carpenter to replace the joist & jack up the floor so that whilst we were sleeping we wouldn't end up sliding into the basement.

  6. My Charming household disaster involves me, naked in the shower, desperately trying to hold up the glass shelf above the bathroom sink where all sorts of tubes and bottles resided. Result - massive bruise on my knee & forehead from falling out of the shower but I rescued the shelf.

    Moral - no glass shelves in bathrooms, ever

  7. The other day we were making jello. I got out one of my wonderful glass mixing bowls from Williams and Sonoma... the microwave/dishwasher safe ones.We proceeded to boil water, poured the jello package...strawberry...into the the bowl, and then added the hot water. KABLOOOOOEEEEEEE. It exploded. It did not just break. No. It exploded. All over the mostly white kitchen. It looked like a crime scene. Red jello everywhere, in drawers, all over the white stove, microwave, counter, floor, refrigerator (which is across the kitchen i might add). Glass shards mixed with jello, mixed with any food left on the counter, just a straight up MESS. The people at Willams and Sonoma are graciously sending me a replacement bowl, as that one was the only one in a set of ten that reacted to hot water in such a fashion...yes i tested all of them while wearing safety goggles and placing bowls in a giant Tupperware to prevent injury. Apparently it may have had a crack or something...they asked if i could send the pieces in to them....I laughed.

  8. Finished Good Enough To Eat last night. I am currently looking for my very own Kai and Delia- I think my life will then be complete.

  9. Don't know if this qualifies as a Charming household disaster or not but...

    I was about 22 and still living at home (oh joy) when my family moved to a nice, older two story home. The wallpaper - well *shudders* we don't talk about the wallpaper.

    Anyway, we'd been living there about a year when the furnace went out and we called in a repair person to fix it.

    They told us about old disconnected duct work, the need for new something or another and well, honestly, whatever. Just fix the damn furnace already, okay? It's Illinois. It's January. I like all my fingers and toes attached and unfrosbitten.

    I was at work when the repair crew came but my 16 year old brother and 14 year old sister were at home. I figured they could handle anything that needed handling (like standing at the top of the basement steps with something sharp and pointy to prevent the crew from coming up until the furnace was doing the whole heat making thing).

    About halfway through the day my brother called me at work. Whatever I expected him to say when I picked up the phone, it was definitely NOT "The cops are here and I don't know why".

    Clearly this was not a conversation that was going to go well.

    He explained that the police had showed up at the front door, asked to be let in - and, like my brother says, when the guy with the gun and the badge says "let me in" you don't say no. They then went down to the basement and wouldn't answer any of my brother's questions about what was going on.

    I told my brother to go tell the police that I wanted to speak with them. I wasn't too concerned. After all, my mother raised us all to be WAY too afraid of HER to ever think about stepping a toenail outside the law.

    I got on the phone, identified myself and asked the office to tell me what was going on. The conversation went something like this.

    Cop: Ma'am, the work crew found your stash.
    Me: What?
    Cop: Your stash, your pot.
    Me: What?
    Cop: In the furnace duct work.
    Me: Oh, yeah, they're there working on the furnace because it's not working and it's so stinking cold.
    Cop: Right and that's when they found your pot.
    Me: What? (See how clever and witty I am?)
    Cop: Your.pot.stash. You know, marijuana, in your duct work?
    Me: WHAT?!?!?!?!?

    Here's the thing. You know how when you move out of a place you almost always end up leaving something small behind for the next owners to find? A broom in the back of a closet. A forgotten cup on a top cupboard shelf. You know, simple stuff. Non law breaking stuff.

    The previous tenants of our home? Had left a giant brick of pot stuffed into one of the disconnected furnace ducts and the workers found it and called the police immediately.

    Ever tried to explain to the police that the pot they found, in your house, isn't yours? Innnocent or not, you end up sounding just as supidly guilty as everyone who has ever appeared on an episode of COPS.

  10. Not nearly as epic, however, moved into a new abode after living with my own "no longer so Charming" Suitor. He won the toaster oven in the division of household goods, so I purchased a new one. Considering this is my main form of heating my sustenance, I probably should have invested a little more and not bought the $50 model from Target, but I digress. Little more than a month into ownership of said toaster oven, the door hinge began to stick requiring a little bit of muscle to get it to open. On one such occasion, I must have had a few too many Wheaties, because the glass door EXPLODED. Millions of shards of safety glass. Everywhere. Needless to say- it became a take-out night. This happened 10 months ago- I am STILL finding shards of glass every time I clean the kitchen. I am convinced they are hiding under the stove procreating. If I don't get me security deposit back it will be because the landlord was sliced to ribbons by wayward shards.

  11. I sincerely hope there is photo evidence of the cabinet and dishes on the floor!

  12. Well, my house isn't very old -- specifically it's 11 years old. And come to think of it, Stacey, since your father built my house, you know damned well how old it is! But I digress . . .

    Any problem with my house is a user error, since my cabinets aren't concealing any wallpaper, nor are they ready to defect. So here's mine:

    A few years ago, when my mother was sick, I would spend several hours away from my home at a time. My schedule consisted of waking up at 6:30 am, going to work (back when I had that pesky office job), going directly to my parents' house, and returning home at around 10:00 pm. This schedule made me tired,careless and forgetful, so I guess I must have flushed the toilet one morning and failed to notice that it overflowed. When did I notice? 12+ hours later when I walked in and heard a drip, drip, drip noise. For the record, there is no worse noise to hear when walking into the house. It just reeks of wrong.

    I reluctantly followed the noise into the powder room, and sadly noted the puddle of water on my hardwood floor. I looked up and saw my ceiling -- ominously bowed from oversaturation. I ran upstairs to the master bath and shook my fist at the toilet, which had apparently been running all day.

    So, at 11:30 pm I wiped up water, put a tarp on the floor, and called the emergency plumber who didn't arrive until 7:30 am and charged me several hundred dollars to stop the running water and cut out the majority of my ceiling. He even graciously offered to sell me a snazzy new toilet for a mere $800. (Ummm . . . hell no)

    It took a while, but ended well . . . with me eventually redoing both bathrooms.

    And for the record, I STILL think you used C4 and a crowbar to get that cabinet off the wall. :-)

  13. My favorite kitchen disaster actually belongs to my mother and is one of those solid childhood flashbacks that you just can’t forget. When my family moved into the house I grew up in, the kitchen was in serious need of updating. Even my 8 year old self knew that the brown and beige checkerboard wallpaper with neon orange flowers as big as my head had to go. One day my mom was cooking a spaghetti squash in the microwave (because it was the 80s and it seemed like everyone was trying to see just how much could be cooked in the magic box). Apparently this particular evening she failed to poke enough holes in the squash. About ten minutes into cooking the squash exploded like Fourth of July fireworks. The microwave door was blown open and the entire kitchen was covered in stringy yellow squash bits. Thankfully the wallpaper was stained and completely unsalvageable.

  14. O the poor kitties!

    My Charming household disaster was more of a 'moving household' disaster. The fates were against me from the get-go. First off, the truck I'd reserved for 24 hours was suddenly a smaller size,and an 8-hour rental when I went to pick it up. Then my helping hands arrived two hours late and hung over.

    We got nearly everything on the truck; I gave away what didn't fit, then finished cleaning while everyone had some pizza & beer. We put the cleaning supplies and a few final things on the truck and I locked up & turned in my keys while they latched the back of the truck and picked me up. Off we went.

    A few minutes into the drive we stopped at a light, and when I took off on the green I heard a screeeech, then thunk thunk thunk. Pulling over to the side and jumping out, I saw my floor lamp, mop and bucket in the middle of the highway, and my Kirby vacuum traveling northbound in our southbound lane!

    I waved traffic away as I scrambled to grab everything out of the road, frantic that it didn't cause an accident. After it was all tossed in the truck and the back truck door was ACTUALLY latched, we headed off amid honks and 'gestures' from the cars swerving around us.

    After everything was unloaded (without further incident), I was amazed to see that only the vacuum suffered any damage - a few scratches - and that both bulbs in the floor lamp still worked!

  15. You and Jen make me laugh, thanks!

    I have had multiple disasters of the household variety, but the first and most memorable was when I was 18. I was living with my parents in a 100 year old farm house in Michigan. My brother was coming home for Thanksgiving and I decided to cook. I planned, I prepped, it was perfect. Until no one showed up. My mom and brother were stuck on the road coming home from the airport. I think my dad was MIA, but I must have blocked that memory...... No Worries!!! I could keep everything warm and delicious so when the weary traveler arrived they could have a delicious Thanksgiving feast..... They walked in the door four hours later to find me in the middle of a complete break down, dried out turkey and rain in the kitchen. The pipes under the sink had burst. They laughed, I cried. I haven't made Thanksgiving dinner since.

  16. One day I was baking yummy cookies in my own Charming Suitor's kitchen, using his electric oven. Having used only gas ovens in the past, I adjusted and was doing pretty well. At one point I opened the oven to take out two sheets of cookies and noticed something different. The oven was on fire.

    Perplexed I closed the door, assuming it was a figment of my imagination. I opened the door again, and, no, flames were in fact growing beneath my tasty morsels. So I said to my CS, watching TV in the adjacent living room, the only words I that I could form. "S#!T. S#!T. S#!T." When CS didn't respond, I finally was able to come up with a word that would get his attention. "FIRE!" He sprang into action, grabbed the fire extinguisher and doused the flames (and all the cookies).

    Apparently he was immune my overuse of the word S#!T, which in normal circumstances doesn't require a call to 911. (In my defense, the heating element inside the electric oven caught fire because it had leftover goo on it from either CS or a previous owner, which overheated and just combusted. My cookies were just innocent bystanders.

  17. The first house my husband and I owned wasn’t very well built. Cute, but about as well constructed as a house of cards. It was so cold in the winter that we kept an electric blanket on the sofa and our guests sometimes wore their heavy coats while visiting us.

    One year, the husband decided to lay more insulation up in the attic. I was puttering around downstairs when I heard a strange noise and sort of heard Pete saying something from the far-away recesses of the attic. I walked around the corner and looked upstairs.

    What greeted me was my husband’s butt poking through the ceiling of the upstairs hallway. Apparently, he’d been squatting on some joists and had fallen backwards between the joists and down through the ceiling.

    Yep, so there he was, holding on for dear life. Did I rush upstairs to help him? Oh no, I was too busy simultaneously laughing my head off AND shrieking, “Oh my god! Oh my god! What should I do?” while flapping my hands uselessly and running around in circles.

    Eventually, Pete got himself out of the attic and we then lived with an butt-sized hole for several days until Pete started the laborious process of patching things up.

    I don't let him up on ladders or high places anymore.

  18. You guys are KILLING ME! And check back, I've posted pics in the post now!

  19. Our bathroom doesn't have any outlets. I can't dry or straighten my hair in there, so I use the guest bedroom. The person who lived here before was kind enough to buy and hand-paint a full-length mirror with pink, green, and white polka dots around the edges- only they look like amoebas. I now use that in the morning. It makes me giggle on a daily basis.

    When we moved in we also found a random music box that plays a creepy tune that could easily be the devil's theme song. I keep waiting for him to jump out of the box and say "Gotcha! I've just been chilling here in this box; listening to this same damn song over and over." (maybe wearing aforementioned pantaloons?)

  20. When we first moved into our then 30-year-old house, the heat in my son's room wasn't working properly. Before we called the furnace repair professionals, I decided to get out the vacuum with the hoses and clean the two ducts in his room. The first one was uneventful, but inside the second one, I found a motherlode of empty prescription bottles for valium dating to the early 1980s. After filling up a trash can with them, the heating's worked fine ever since.

  21. My fiance (now husband) and I were leaving in a garden (read: basement) apartment during his last year of college in a rooming house.

    We were watching "The Last Samurai" one night and turned out all the lights. The moment the movie was over and our feet left the couch and hit the floor we knew something was wrong.

    The floor of our entire apartment was saturated with about an inch of water!

    Turns out the sump pump out in the laundry area had gotten stuck, stopped working and filled the basement (read: our apartment) with water. Called the landlord and got as much water up as we could but some mold still developed. The carpet was replaced but I still had a terrible time with allergies until we moved out a couple months later.

    I still blame Tom Cruise.

  22. After a 9 month remodel, we decided to host our entire family (think Big Fat Greek wedding) for Thanksgiving. My step dad and brother in law decided they would help clean up after dinner by doing the dishes. They were busy at our new, over sized sink with the new large garbage disposal rumbling away rinsing plates. I then heard one of them say "Huh. That's funny." As I walked over to see what was wrong, my BIL opened the cabinet under the sink and a wall of water poured out. Dirty, garbage disposal water to be precise. The pipe from the disposal to the wall let loose and had been draining chunks of food and water into the cabinet. As I scrambled to get towels, my young nephews said in broken toddler speak "WATER PARK!!" and proceeded to start dancing in the water. It took several minutes to clear out the hysterically laughing (read: drunk) onlookers we call family out of the way so we could mop up our beautiful new floor. They now make a big deal out of checking all the plumbing under the sink before declaring "we don't want any repeats, you should do the dishes".

  23. We often have household "events" on holidays at our house. We were hosting many family members for Christmas and were opening gifts when I noticed it seemed to be getting chillier. I checked the thermostat and saw that the furnace would not come on. A gracious repairman came, and determined there was a bird stuck in the flu, and the furnace safety feature wouldn't allow the furnace to run and kill us all with carbon monoxide.

    I don't know why I asked, but when I asked what kind of bird, he answered, "Dead."

  24. It was th night before Thanksgiving...I was about to run a bath for two toddlers. Downstairs I crept to find the dog and still frozen turkey now missing two legs and one wing on the living room floor. She hadn't made a sound

  25. I don't really have any charming kitchen disasters as my kitchen is purely decorative...nothing functional about it.

  26. Did you know it's possible to boil a dozen eggs until the explode? All. Over. The. Kitchen. Including the ceiling. Yep. No Easter eggs that year.

  27. Well... one day I came home from school to find that my dog had peed on my laptop... but it still works. I'm typing on it right now. :D Isn't that charming?

  28. We lived in a charming home built in 1923. I came home from work one January evening (in Toledo) with my 6,4 year 6 month old (still strapped in her car seat) to a very cold living room. I thought perhaps the back door had not been closed tightly when I let the dogs out in the morning and had blown open. Left all the kids in the kitchen to take a look. Door was locked but there was a cold breeze coming from the basement. When I went down to look, I found the dogs staring at the rubble that had once been our basement foundation. It was ALL GONE from the back corner to the chimney base. Basically the length of the house! I sat on the stairs with my jaw on my chest until I realized the kids were all upstairs in a room that was floating above a giant hole. I put everyone back in the car and started making phone calls. The dogs and I were pretty shook up but the kids were unfazed. After a 6 week repair that was not covered on our homeowners policy and living with my parents with three small kids, two dogs and a cat (mom & dad were SO happy to have us...go!)we moved back home. I am loving Good Enough to Eat btw!

  29. I have a twenty two year old son who has the misfortune to work in the same school as his Mom does. He usually does his best to ignore me, only speaking to me if he absolutely has to. One afternoon, I was checking my cell phone for messages and noticed he had called me an hour earlier. I figured he was either bleeding or sick, so I immediately went to the room where he worked to find out what happened.

    He said - "There's water in the basement at home." I said, "Where?" He said, "In front of the washing machine." I asked how much, he said "a little." There was about an hour left to the workday, so I just thought maybe the washing machine leaked, and I would check it out at home.

    One hour later, I arrived home, and as I descended the stairs, I could hear a hissing, rushing sound. In the rear of the basement was nearly two feet of water, with vast amounts spewing from the water heater - the electric water heater, and the water was steaming hot.

    24 hours later, after a new $900 water heater had been installed, and the last of the water had been pumped out of the basement, I turned to my son (who said he hadn't noticed the water spewing like a waterfall when he walked right by the water heater,) and told him that in the future, ANY water on the floor in a house is always an emergency, and the next time he should just take a minute and talk to me to advise me of the situation. BTW, the warranty on the hot water heater had expired ten days earlier...

  30. Not so much a diaster but an inconvenience.After giving 2 children their showers last night my hot water would NOT turn off. Of course, husband is out of town (I had told him before he left that the knob was not turning right, but what do I know? I am a girl) Had to ask my neighbor to come and look at it (luckily they were out still out drinking on their front porch where they were 3 hours earlier when I got home). He actually made it worse.He was sober enough to tell me that 1. running that much hot water was going to really make my gas bill high for the month and 2. that my septic tank probably couldn't handle that much water if I had to wait for a plumber to come out today.
    Husband said I would need to crawl UNDER the house to turn the water off. Not going to happen.
    So what's a girl to do? Call her daddy. So there we are at 10 last night digging in the front yard looking for the turn off valve for the water because he too did not want to crawl in a dark damp place in the dark either. Of course, it was buried really deep and was on the opposite side of the meter than any one he has worked on.Finally it was located, dad fixed the faucet and a nice warm shower awaited me.
    No matter how old we get or who comes into our lives, a girl will always need her daddy.

  31. A couple years ago I heard this odd banging noise coming from the general direction of our kitchen. At first I thought it was the dishwasher trying to explode, but it wasn't. The noise was coming from our basement. In the basement I was greeted to a geyser in the utility room shooting water all over my food storage area, my husbands work clothes hanging on a rod directly above the geyser and my clothes dryer, which was running at the time. A pipe had broken on the well that we kept to water our lawn after we got city water.

    The dryer sparked and zapped until it finally shorted out and the water stopped when the pump stopped running. It was a huge mess! Luckily my husband was working in the area to come home and help. I'm just glad it happened when I was home. I can't imagine what it would have looked like if we had been on vacation.

  32. My dog has a bad habit of getting into the garbage when we're not home. He finds all sorts of treats in there and has the decency to look guilty when we come home and find his mess.

    When we added two cats to the family, all three of the animals found a new way to create mischief. The cats wouldl knock something off of the counter- a loaf of bread, a bag of pretzels, a PLATE of cookies- and the dog would greedily eat up whatever had been dropped. This happened way too many times before we realized just exactly how this was happening and quickly put an end to it.

    I'm really enjoying your blog. Thanks for sharing!

  33. How about a Charming Apartment story? While engaged and living on my own in a 2-bedroom apartment, I kept mainly boxes and wedding stuff in the spare bedroom. After working a 15-hour day (trying to make extra wedding money, of course), I came home to lots of flashing lights and emergency vehicles in front of my building.

    Just wanting to go to sleep, I tried to quickly move through the mayhem and just get to my apartment only to find that a car had driven through my spare bedroom window! A pile of debris was covering my wedding dress, not to mention tire tracks...but fortunately, I splurged on the $20 plastic garment bag to store it in and my dress was saved from utter $20 I ever spent!

    Love you AND your books!!

  34. Those pictures are amazing!

    My next door neighbor completely gutted her house this past winter, when she purchased it. She removed most of the walls, replaced all the fixtures, appliances, and the heating and air conditioning systems. She moved in at the beginning of the summer. Since we live at the beach, she didn’t have to use the central AC right away. However, when she used it for the first time, it didn’t seem to work properly. Since it was brand new, she called the company. They sent someone over to look at it and after a minor repair; they told her it was all fixed. A few days later, when it still didn’t work, she called them again. Once more, after a “minor repair” she was assured it was all good. Shockingly, she had to call them a third time. This time her husband was home with the service men, and he was a bit more forceful that they thoroughly check out the situation. The repair man opened up the unit and as he was poking around he noticed that by the vent that allows the cool air out, someone left a bag of bagels in the unit. He removed the bagels (which were mold free due to the cold air) and handed it to my neighbor’s husband. Ever since, their AC works fine….Now, we can’t help but always ask them if they have any bagels lying around.

  35. Jen on the edge's story had me rolling with laughter! My husband is about to attempt adding insulation on the attic too and then I saw what she wrote!Oh my!

  36. I am afraid my home horror story involves the invasion of the wildlife variety. We live within a metal shoebox of dark paneling on the walls as common to the mobile homes of the mid 70's variety. Plumbing emergencies often call for innovative solutions to NE IN winter calamities, ie frozen pipes. My dear brother-in-law that always comes to the rescue, carved an opening in the inside wall of our lower bathroom cabinet to access the frozen pipe (culprit) with a heat lamp. The cure while effective, was out of sight, out of mind. Thus the hole remained uncovered well into warm weather as we all forgot about it/ignored it. The bliss of our collected ignorance came slamming to a halt when, drawn by the appealing aroma of our somewhat overflowing fragrant kitchen trashcan, our home enticed the presence of a young opossum. Ironically, at the time, my daughter's favorite storybook was "Possum Come A-Knockin'", by Nancy Van Laan. Well, this opossum didn't knock!! I attempted to catch it with a bucket, empty trash can, jumbo fishnet, and our elderly dog, to no avail. I worried that as a wild animal, it might carry diseases. Out of sheer frustration, I finally grabbed a large butcher knife, though unfortunately it was dull. Using this and a pair of grill tongs, I managed to relocate it to an outdoor garbage can and secure the lid. While, I apparently didn't break its skin, I did leave a rather large dent in the vital organ area. I called our dept of natural resources office and game dept office. I worried about ramifications of disease as it was trash forager and felt guilty for wounding it. They all passed the buck, as said if dead, bury it, or if it's alive, turn it loose!! I was appalled. Well, my poor hubby got to bury it, which I felt lesser of two evils. If it came in hunting our kitchen garbage once, well... Anyway, that is the story of how I became known as "possum killer". And in my defense, my 8 year old daughter lay sleeping on our couch, so I had to protect her from the wild animal that could be carrying diseases! Believe it or not, she never woke up despite the screams (or my pain the butt hubby's giggles). Gee, Juli's going to be 19 next month. I still remember this like it was yesterday. I also still remember the common refrain of that book too. "Possum come a-knockin' at the door, at the door, Possum come a-knockin' at the door".

  37. I had my own movie... "Invasion of the Bees"

    I was outside doing yardwork and noticed 1 or 2 bees flying into a tiny hole on the side of my house.

    Trying to be Ms Fixit, I thought, "
    I'll just stuff that litle hole with a rag. Then they can't get in"....

    But Bee's need to get OUT....

    So imagine my surprise the next morning, when I'm laying in bed, being stung on the face...

    The bee's came INTO my house...

    Happy ending though... The exterminator was very CUTE!

  38. My story comes from my love of experimenting in the kitchen... Normally things turn out well and my husband and I seem to have a decent meal... Well this time is was quite an adventure... It was a special night for my husband and I, so I decided to make a new recipe. I decked out the dining table with candles, a great bottle of wine, and dressed up in a fancy new outfit. (by fancy, read: sexy).
    I decided to make a casserole for dinner and it was one of my first times making it in our oven. I didn't know that the casserole would expand in the dish when cooking and while it was in the oven it overflowed the pan and began to burn. Smoke filled our kitchen and small 2 bedroom apartment... it was a mess. The fire alarm started blaring this awful ear-piercing, mind numbing screech and the ceilings were 10-12 feet high, not good for a 5'4'' woman on a good day! As I run through the house I open the front and back door to get a breeze flowing and hope to get the smoke out... I grab a chair to shut the fire alarm off, I cant reach it. Ugh! now what? So I search out for anything that can extend my reach... a light bulb goes off, an umbrella! I grab it and start swinging away... I can barely reach the ceiling with the umbrella but I can poke at it.
    Guess what? The darn thing is wired into the Ceiling, yes wired! so no button to reset it, or shut it off or anything... I try to knock it off the ceiling but I can't get a good enough swing at it to do so. Just then my husband gets home, walks in the door to see me standing on a chair in the hall way, swinging an umbrella at he screaming fire alarm in the midst of smoke in heels and my "fancy" outfit... it was a sight to be seen. to this day we still laugh about it. Thank goodness he is taller than I am and he was able to fix the shorted out fire alarm by ripping it out of the ceiling...

    Oh and even though the casserole overflowed the pan, it was still pretty yummy! ;o)

  39. Picture the perfect Thanksgiving day. Turkey is in the oven, open oven door, pull out rack to baste turkey, and turkey goes flying out of oven, slides across the tile floor and flies out of the roaster on to the floor and then is attacked "Christmas Story" style by the dogs.

    (Moral of the story, be sure wall oven unit is properly secured before pulling out rack with anything of substantial weight.)

  40. Charming home disaster? I think mine trumps everyone. ;)

    A year ago in May I purchased my first home - all by myself at 33 years of age. I was beyond thrilled. Being a huge animal lover and long time volunteer at the Houston SPCA, I was equally thrilled that besides being a homeowner that I finally had a nice gated yard, which meant I could finally get a DOG! (I had 4 cats at the time)

    Meet Boomer: (named after the dog in 'Independence Day', not a college football team)
    A 10 week old Boxer 'mix' from the local Lone Star Boxer Rescue. Awwww, sweet pupper.

    Shortly after I got him, his growth spurts indicated that his unknown father was some LARGE breed (have since found out MASTIF). He just kept growing and growing and growing. We went to puppy training and he did great! Then he outgrew his kennel and I had the 'brilliant' idea that instead of buying a new expensive larger kennel to put him in the guest bathroom when I was away.

    He would have his bed, food and water, and toys and could move around - WIN! Right????

    Fast Forward to a Saturday in August, (recall I moved into the house only 3 months earlier) I met my parents for lunch and a movie and was on my way to meet up with friends for drinks, but stopped by my house to let Boomer out to pee first...

    and walked into an entire house filled with 3 inches of water and more in some places (the thing that sold me being an animal lover was the all wood flooring... which helps water flow more quickly,than say, absorbing carpet :P) and basically had a momentary meltdown until some happy barking brought me to me senses and I ran to the bathroom to let Boomer out.

    Boomer? Had chewed through the plasticy water line that connects the toilet to the wall and released a high powered stream of water that was shooting about 5 feet in the air. I turned the water off, got Boomer outside, checked on my cats - all 4 of which were in my bedroom very unhappily sitting on my bed and then realized everything electronic was still plugged in and went outside to place several calls to parents, friends and neighbors that 'MY HOUSE IS UNDER WATER HELLLLLLLPPPPPPP!!!!'

    Result? All flooring in the house and 1 foot of drywall had to be ripped out.

    It took until November to get everything fixed and for the house to be fully functional and livable again. Most people are surprised to find that I still have Boomer (who has been through two more advanced training classes) as it really wasn't his fault.

    I will say, when all was said and done, the insurance money, the new homeowner tax credit and some of my savings helped me turn my 'starter' home into a much nicer home as I was able/forced to upgrade the flooring, get rid of loathsome wallpaper, and even upgrade my kitchen counter to granite. :)

    All because I adopted this harmless wee puppy:
    who got so big (110 lbs)
    he harmlessly redecorated my whole house. :P

    Oh, and the following day, my parents bought me the largest crate on the market. :)

    @katscouch on twitter

  41. I attempted to post this yesterday but somehow it didn't accept my comment...

    About 5 years ago we had our biggest kitchen disaster. At the time I was 8 months pregnant with my first child, living in a tiny 2 bedroom second floor apartment with my boyfriend and a roommate.

    Our roommate had moved out several days earlier without telling us she was going. My final indication of her vacating the apartment was the disappearance of the cat.

    In order to make the best use of space we decided to pack up the rest of her belongings that were still scattered about the apartment. We piled everything we could find from dishes and pictures to clothing and potted plants. We placed all of it on the glass kitchen table which also belonged to said roommate. Next to the table was a (unsecured) corner cabinet that housed various knick-knacks including slate french bistro menus.

    Me, feeling approximately the size of a house, and my usual clumsiness accidentally bumped the cabinet which shook ever so slightly. In an instant the menu fell from the shelf and dropped to the table. The next 30-60 seconds felt like forever. We stood with our mouths agape as we watched every item on the table shatter piece by piece and finally watched the 1" thick glass table implode from the impact. Needless to say, we had an enormous mess to clean. It looked as if a tornado went through just the kitchen. It left us with a funny memory to look back on (and also our neighbor who watched the whole thing through the window). Oh how I wish I had taken pictures.

  42. The closest I've come to a household disaster was when my hubby backed into the garage door a couple of months ago and we had to take the whole thing down so he could get to work. Then I had to get a repair guy out to put it back up again. Missed an entire day of work - and the garage door hasn't been the same since!

  43. In college, I brought home wine for the the first time. I quickly realized that I took for granted that there would be a wine key in the kitchen drawer where it always was back home. Not wanting to go out and get one for a variety of reasons, I improvised and ended up busting out my roommate's BF's (who was basically a non-paying 3rd roommate as these things tend to go) power drill and I drilled a screw in the top of the cork. Then I used the back of a hammer to pull out the screw/cork. It worked perfectly without incident for the first bottle. Then of course, comes the 2nd, which I hadnt intended on opening at all but after bottle one, we decided to keep the good times rolling. The process didnt go as smoothly because I was drunk obvs and I ended up pushing the cork further down the neck and so I decided just to keep pushing and so I do and SPLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!!!!!!!!!!! A wine geyser rivaling the Bellagio erupted coating the entire kitchen in red wine splatter. I tried to clean it up as best I could...but as days passed we kept finding splatter marks in the most odd places, in places where the law of physics would have to have been defied in order for the wine to reach there. Even months after the incident a splotch would be discovered. It certainly added a sense of charm to our apartment. Ah the capriciousness of youth!

  44. I was lucky enough to be able to purchase my home at the ripe, and very mature age of 23 1/2. (Yes, I still use 1/2's). Me, being that incredibly wise age, with a toddler and an infant, figured I was smart enough when it came to purchasing a home, and caring for it. A house couldn't possibly be harder than an infant and toddler together, right?

    Because of the aforementioned 'short people', we did not have pets. The owner before us, however, did. According to sources, read neighbors, they had a little white dog. That's it, just a little white dog, who apparently shed badly. I blew the motor in a vacuum and seriously damaged a shop-vac before I was able to get all of the dog hair up and shampoo the carpets.

    Being December when we moved in, and snow falling outside, we desperately needed our furnace to work. Day two of being moved in, it suddenly stopped. I checked the thermostat, batteries were good. I removed the wall panel thinking maybe there was fur clogging up the pipes, as it had been wide spread through out the house, and still no warmth.

    Out of desperation, I called the gas company and had them send a technician at after-hours rate (read $125.00 per hour) to fix our heater. They checked all of the wires and connections and deemed them to be fine. Upon further probing... Remember my fur theory... They did find fur blocking one of the vents, and the heater had shut down out of safety.

    The sources, read neighbors, had been wrong. Not only did the previous owners have a small little dog, they apparently had a cat. A poor cat who was pregnant while they lived there, but left her babies behind in the wall panel of the furnace, and the babies had crawled into the furnace seeking warmth, food, or both.

    They couldn't have been more than a week or two old, and through the grace of all that is good, they were still alive. The kittens were placed at the humane shelter, and nursed until ready for adoption, and we got our heater back.

    A good end to a shocking find. All I can say is previous occupants should count heads before moving.

  45. One afternoon when I arrived home from work I decided that I was going to boil some eggs for a salad that I was planning on making for dinner. Then being a little tired (I went into work at 5AM every morning), I laid down on the end of my bed to watch General Hospital. The next thing I remember I was waking up, clutching a pillow with that happy "mmmm, that was a nice little afternoon power nap"...only it wasn't exactly power nap worthy after almost 3 1/2 hours. I stood up and began to wonder through the house when I suddenly remembered...THE EGGS!! Running into the kitchen I found that all of the water had boiled out of the pot, the eggs in the pot had then gotten so hot they burned and exploded...onto the ceiling, floor, walls, counters, cabinets, EVERYWHERE!! The kitchen was filled with a burnt egg scented hazy smoke and the house smelled like burnt exploded eggs for well over a week. Needless to say, I won't even SIT down if I am boiling eggs now. :)

  46. One night a few years ago, I came home after having dinner with my Mom (always an interesting experience) ready to spend a relaxing evening at home. After walking in the door and putting down my work bag and that day's mail, I decide that I'll light some candles and sit and read a magazine. So, I go into my bathroom, light a candle and place it on the cabinet counter. Then, I go into my living room, light a candle there, grab a magazine, and settle in for a good read. A few pages into the magazine, I smell something…kind of like burning hair. I think, hmm…I wonder if some of my hair fell into that candle in the bathroom…I better go check. Um, no…it's not just a hair…one of the shelves in my bathroom is ON FIRE…as in UP IN FLAMES! I screech, then run to the kitchen where my fire extinguisher is (a gift from my crazy mother that I thought was stupid at the time) and come barreling back into the bathroom with said fire extinguisher. Remembering my safety training from the week before at Bath & Body Works that included a segment on "How to use a fire extinguisher," I think to myself: PASS…which stands for…

    Pull the pin
    Aim the extinguisher
    Squeeze the trigger
    Sweep the flames, starting at the base

    So I get the fire out, and there is yellow powder and charred, smoldering sweaters and metal shelving everywhere. Several hours later, lots of cleaning products and trash bags later, I have everything pretty much cleaned up…except the burnt hair smell. So, all in all, I feel pretty fortunate that all I lost was my entire sweater collection (with the exception of the one I had on and the one I almost wore yesterday that was on my bedroom floor) of like 30-40 sweaters, my vacuum cleaner (which died after just a minute or 2 of cleaning up…thank goodness that there was a shop vac of my landlord's in our basement), and my ability to burn candles and feel safe. Plus, it still smells HORRIBLE in my apartment, even after having the windows open all night! The moral of the story is…do NOT burn candles near clothes, do NOT burn candles out of your immediate sight, and OWN A FIRE EXTINGUISHER! Oh, and if anyone wonders what to get me for Hanukkah…I'd go with sweaters!

  47. Several years ago, I bought an automatic litter box because I worked such long hours. Nobody, pets included, should have to stand in their own peeps & poops. (Yes, I just said "peeps". Deal with it!) So, one day I come home from work and when I pass by the laundry room, something catches my eye. It's cat poop! I was more than a little annoyed that she was so lazy that she couldn't walk another 4 or 5 feet to go in the litter box. I then noticed that the aforementioned poo had litter on it. Ew! Almond Roca on my floor! My first thought was, "How in the hell did she get it out of the box?" and my second and more important thought was, "WHY in the hell did she get it out of the box?"

    This happened several days in a row and I was beginning to think my cat had completely lost her mind. One night, I was doing laundry and the litter box started to do it's thing. Then, I heard this loud "THWACK!!!" and I looked over just in time to see a peice of poo being hurled at me. I jumped out of the way, just in the knick of time.

    It seems that some litter got in the track and block the rake when it was scooping, which would cause it to fling the poo across the room instead of putting it in the receptical. Needless to say, I went back to the old school scoop-it-yourself litter box. Flying poo is not cool!!!

  48. Poor guy!! I would completely fall apart if that happened to me!!

    When I was 7 months pregnant with my son (hello hormones!!!), my husband came home late one night from playing pool with his friends. As he walked to the front door, he noticed that there was water everywhere. I have a habit of forgetting to turn of the water hose when I water the plants, so he thought that was the answer. When he walked into the house, a river of water was flowing through the hallway and out the door. He began yelling my name, and when I woke up, I thought the house was on fire. No fire could have survived that flood!!

    Turns out the hose connected to the toilet in the guest bathroom decided it couldn't take the pressure anymore, and exploded. I cannot even begin to explain the hormonal tears and rants that came from this VERY pregnant woman. It was awful!!!

    The good thing that came out of that disaster was new carpet and very nice stay at a hotel that was walking distance to my office building. It may not be a funny story, but it was definitely a disaster!!!

  49. One evening in my hubby and I's last apartment, we were sitting at the computer in the office together happily playing on itunes. Hubby gets up, kisses me goodnight and goes off to bed. I am wrapping up our tunes purchases when something comes crashing down, scaring the tar out of me and sending my shrieking hubby back into the room to see if his wife has been shot. I had not been shot - but the light fixture had fallen out of ceiling to the spot where my hubby had just been seated! Funny now - not at the time. We cleaned up the mess, which included vacuuming up the shards of glass so our curious kitties, didn't hurt their pawsies (and a very angry visit from our pot smoking neighbors as to why we were vacuuming at 11 PM and waking their probably high, toddler, but I digress!)

    Fast forward to a couple of months later, when our study light had been fixed by a not so apologetic landlord and hubby and I are asleep in the middle of the night and awaken to a CRASH! We didn't know what it was - but I grabbed my weapon of choice - a maglight flashlight (in case we might really be about to get shot this time) and headed to the back of the apartment to see what the noise was. When we got to the kitchen, we realized the fan in the kitchen had fallen completely out of the ceiling!

    This was two light fixtures that feel out of the sky in a three month period! Needless to say - we did not renew our lease and were just thankful no one was under them when they fell!

  50. Trickling water is generally thought of as charming, except perhaps when it decides to re-enact a River Runs Through It in the bathroom and the kitchen! One stormy night I was asleep in bed, when I heard a trickling noise. Ok, so it's storming and it's probably just water running off the roof. Trickling noise continues. I get out of bed in the middle of the night to investigate. Seems to be coming from the bathroom. check faucets. They are all turned off and there is no water coming out of the taps or showerhead. strange, then why is there water running through my bathtub????
    Upon closer inspection discover that the water is gushing through the WALL and is coming out from under the tile where there is a gap in the caulking between the bathtub and the tile wall. Decide there is nothing I can do about it, as the water is at least confined to the bathtub and I cannot acctually see or remedy the damage that is being done to the drywall. But maybe I should go see if I have any caulking stuff. Go to kitchen. Discover lake of water in kitchen. ???? Dishwasher (that I had turned on before I went to bed) is refusing to keep any water in. Turn off dishwasher. Clean up lake in kitchen. go back to bed. When the plumber arrives, discover that the dishwasher seals are no longer working (really???) and that necessitates getting a new dishwawsher. Proceed to wash dishes by hand for the next six months. Le sigh. Water apparently does not like me. And the tiles and drywall still have not been replaced in the bathroom, but the HOA did fix the outside problems (they had not cleaned the gutters or properly finished re-siding my condo, leaving big gaping holes in the walls). So charming water? Not so much.

  51. Well one day me and my sister was in my mom's bedroom, and my sister went in the bathroom to wash her hands. Next thing you know the faucet falls on the floor and hot water is spraying my sister and the entire barthroom! I ran downstairs where my cousin lives and told him he had to run upstairs to help us turn the water off. He had no idea what he was getting himself into! He just took one good look at my sister soaked and ran into the bedroom bathroom. All I heard frm that point on was a lot of "FUCK" and" SONOFABITCH" and "MOTHERFUCKING KNOB"!! It was hilarious! My mother unfortunately did not have the same sense of humor though lol. Her carpet was soaked and my cousin's bedroom ceiling was damaged.

  52. #1 - After a VERY long day at work, I was kicking back with a glass of wine and re-watching Super Troopers. Halfway through the movie, my behemoth kitty saunters into the living room, completely soaked with what looked like a beige piece of fabric on his head...Once I stopped guffawing at how ridiculous he looked, I realized that I hadn't left water in the bathtub that night (which I had to do nightly to deter him from peeing in it when his box wasn't OCD immaculate). I take a close look at his soggy chapeau and realize that it is the same colour as the bathroom walls. I get halfway down the hallway and realize my socks are now soaked. The bathroom wall was a pool on the floor. A pipe upstairs had broken and there was so much pressurized water it blasted away at the drywall until it disintegrated. Three days of industrial fans blowing 24/7 and I was on the verge of losing my sanity due to sleep deprivation.

    #2 - The house that we had just moved into had a huge fireplace. Upon a quick inspection we determined that it had likely NEVER been cleaned, so we closed the floo and decided we would avoid using it until we could get someone in to clean it properly. Our youngest cat, Jimmy Choo, was the definition of FRAIDY CAT (I was the only family member who he allowed to go within a 10 foot radius for the first 2 years of his life). My boyfriend decided he was going to give our floors a thorough cleaning (SCORE!) and pulled out the industrial vacuum to get started. None of our three cats enjoy vacuuming, but since we had just moved in a few days prior, they were extra sketchy about their new surroundings. Jimmy took one look at the vacuum and Scooby Doo’d down the hallway and scrambled into the Living Room. Three hours later, no Jimmy. Six hours later, no Jimmy. Every couple of hours our oldest cat would park himself in front of the fireplace, and stick his head in to listen. As they had never had a fireplace before, we assumed he was just listening to the birds that park themselves on our roof and squawk. We figured Jimmy would come out when he got hungry and kept getting the living room set up for my boyfriend’s D&D group. Fast forward four hours, they are deep into their suspenseful game when suddenly they hear scratching noises come from the fireplace. They all turn themselves to face where the noise was coming from and then… POOF! In a HUGE mushroom cloud of soot, a black cat magically appears in the fireplace. He shakes himself off, leaving a four foot radius of dirty soot, then a trail of sooty paw prints to the other side of the house. The next three weeks were spent trying to get soot stains out of the carpet, the bedding and the cat post. The D&D Group was impressed at the lengths my boyfriend went to create an authentic experience ;) Bathing the cat was a disaster in itself.

  53. Instead of writing, which I should be doing, I've been reading all of these hilarious kitchen tales starting with your's Stacy that had me laughing so hard I was crying. When you want a story about daring dining room wall paper murals from a 1970s perspective, let me know...but my favorite kitchen disaster belongs to my mom, who upon creating her first meal as a newlywed - a perfectly prepared meatloaf - popped it in the oven. When the timer dinged, she dashed over and threw open the oven door. As she leaned in to grab the loaf, flames leapt out and burned away her eyelashes, eyebrows and her bangs. My dad came home to find her sobbing - and well, a little crispy. As soon as they were able, they bought a new oven.

  54. I couldn't decide which to post so here are two:
    1. In my first solo apartment, I went to cook one night. Chicken was finished so I pulled it off the burner and went to turn it off. The knob? Stuck! In the on position. So I just have flames going on the stove with no way to stop them. It was a gas stove so maintenance finally came and just shut off my gas, until the knob could be fixed. But they had to believe me when I said "The knob is stuck and there are flames that I cannot shut off!" Apparently they'd never heard such a thing.

    2. I had my toilet overflow once. Happens all the time, right? Well just so happens so kind of seal was broken so the toilet water not only flowed over onto my bathroom floor but then leaked through the broken seal around the toilet, through the floor. What was below said toilet? The fire alarm in my first floor entry way. A wet fire alarm goes off just as if it had detected smoke. Which then set off my entire house alarm. Ended up ripping the fire alarm out of the ceiling and had to do a lot of drywall repair. Thank goodness the toilet was only full of #1!

  55. Thankfully, our home horror story was all cosmetic. It only took one look at a small part of the house to realize why it had been on the market for eight months despite the large, corner lot and good school district.

    The most-repeated conversation when my husband and I bought our house was:

    "Wow. Well, that kind of wallpaper was really popular in the '70s."

    "The house was built in 2000."

    "Oh. Yeah, there's no excuse for that then, is there?"

    We had wallpaper with yellow and pink hearts, silver glitter, backward "handwritten" German phrases, and faded newspaper clippings in our master bath (a nice contrast to the forest-green carpet, no?); a bedroom with two *different* fairy-laden borders (one top, one at elbow height) with more than 80 individual fairies cut out and glued to the wall between the two strips; mettalic bronze leopard-print wallpaper in the powser room that managed to hide the wrought-iron towel rack (seriously, I didn't realize it was there until we bought the house); a three-colored checkerboard tile floor; and then there was the kitchen.

    The kitchen had the tile floor (brown, grey and off-white tile in a vague checkerboard with no pattern to determine grey vs. brown), a brown and black checked wallpaper with a pattern so tight that the inspector got briefly dizzy, and our favorite--the dual chicken border. (one just above the backsplash, one at the top of the walls). Not your average chickens, however. No, these were featherless chickens that instead were tiger, snow-leopard, zebra and leopard print.

    They were so committed to the chickens that one of the outlets features chicken legs sticking out of the outlet cover.

    Only later did we realize the leopard-print chicken was the same bronze mettalic print as the powder room.

    Not surprisingly, the wallpaper was removed before we moved in. We tried to do it ourselves, but apparently the vinyl wallpaper was affixed with super glue. The professionals had trouble removing it in a few of the rooms.

  56. Too funny! I love the idea of framing that old wallpaper actually... :)

    This summer I was in the hospital for four days having just been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (yeah, kind of morose I know...sorry..) when my neighbor called to tell me our building has been hit by lightening. Yes, the ancient chimney residing atop our building was struck by lightning, creating an avalanche of bricks pummeling through our sky light. Several hundred bricks were scattered throughout the building, destroying our beautiful vintage entryway. There are holes in the walls and soot everywhere, and our lovely old banister was ruined. While repairs have started on some of the damage, whenever it rains there continues to be a steady stream of precipitation in my hallway as well as a full-out shower in my kitchen. Lovely.

  57. What I'd like to know is where you met Charming Suitor and if there are more of him out there. I'll even take the wallpaper!

  58. Poor cats! I'm always worried my cabinents are going to fall on top of me. Good thing nobody was in the way!