Liberation (or, how we spent our Saturday)

Let me start by making one thing clear.

We are NOT doing the work on this house ourselves. After living in the 100-year-old Craftsman for 8 years, we learned a lot about home improvement (Joe, mostly) and (he) did everything from ripping up carpet to laying a patio, tiling a shower to planting a row of shrubs, adding electrical outlets to restoring windows. But this house is WAY beyond our skill set and, frankly, we want it done before we retire. We have several subcontractors lined up to begin basement work, exterior and interior demo, and rebuilding the garage…hopefully at least one of them will start this week.

That said, since the house is finally OURS, we were itching to just get in there and do something.  So, over a few drinks and a game of cards with our friends Mark & Mindy on Friday night, we came up with a plan to rip out all the shrubs around the front porch.

Basically, the day went like this:


Woohoo! The truck is here (shout-out to Marvin – Mark’s Dad – from Kansas City Motors for letting us use his car carrier for our little project).


So…how are we actually going to do this? Does anyone know to operate the winch? Joe makes multiple winch jokes at Kendra’s expense.


Neighbor stops by and gives Joe & Mark tips on how to operate the winch and position it to pull the shrubs out by the root. Game on!


Awesome progress. The ground is really wet and soft, so these bushes are coming out like butter!

The truck is stuck.

Kendra and Mindy make a quick trip to get another truck to pull it out. The truck is un-stuck! Game on!

Apparently while getting the truck un-stuck, we broke the winch.

Mark and Joe take a quick trip to Turney to fix the winch.



Kendra and Mindy (and the kids) get bored. Let’s start peeling some wallpaper!

Kids get super-into wallpaper peeling.


Kendra and Mindy find some hidden messages behind the wallpaper in the dining room. They also find a patch behind the wallpaper in the living room. The patch is soft and the wall feels hollow. Mindy is convinced there is treasure behind it. Kendra is convinced there’s probably a human head in there. We never look.


Joe and Mark finally return. The winch is fixed. Game on!  Shrubs coming out like butter…

The truck is stuck again.

Use other truck to get the car carrier un-stuck (again). Decide parking in the yard isn’t going to work. Try parking on the shoulder of Center street. Too soft. Consider parking the truck across Center street. It would block the road, but for only – like – an hour. Also consider parking across the street, which would stretch a cable right across a main highway in town. Kendra and Mindy can stand in the road to keep cars from clothes-lining the cable. The group rejects both of these plans. Well…mostly just Joe rejects these plans. Joe is a rule-follower.


This will not do.

Determine we MUST liberate the front porch, but only half the shrub removal is done. Consider getting a chainsaw. Mark rejects this plan. Take a vote. Mark loses 3-1. Mindy goes on a chainsaw hunt. Joe, Kendra, and Mark decide to take a beverage break. Having beers before operating a chainsaw…what could go wrong?


Joe and Mark find a good spot to park the truck near the back of the house and remove a few more shrubs there. Kendra operates heavy machinery with one hand.


Joe and Mark admire their roots.




Mark channels his inner badass and mows down the remaining shrubs.


Joe supervises appropriately.





Admire our work, ruts and all. Decide what took us a whole day would probably take someone who actually knew what they were doing about 3 hours.

Don’t care.


Look. At. That. Concrete. Porch.

Start planning how we’re going to save it…




One thought on “Liberation (or, how we spent our Saturday)

  1. Pingback: By the Numbers | Off Center Revival

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