Posts tagged with the keyword: ‘Bill Smith’


Wood & Bones, Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 10

Wood & Bones, Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 10
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Editor’s note: Here’s part 10 of Bill Smith’s blog chronicle about the restoration of a run-down cottage in Pasadena’s Historic Highlands neighborhood. Bill and his wife, Sheryl Scott, are both graphic designers and do-it-yourselfers who have expectedly found themselves headed for a year of home-improvement adventures. Look for a new post in the saga soon. […]

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 9

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 9

We had to dispose of a few tons of concrete and drywall to get our project started. Sheryl had informed me that Pasadena only allowed certain haulers to work in the city. This came as a surprise to me, because Pasadena is usually so easygoing about those things. It’s hard to tell in text, but that was sarcasm. In actuality, if they had the inspectors to spare, I think Pasadena would tell you that your piss is the wrong shade of yellow and doesn’t match the Batchelder tile above the toilet; the really annoying thing is that they’d probably be right.

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 7

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 7

We began skinning the interior of the house today. I enjoy this part. It’s fast work if you don’t mind a little dust — and, in our case, quite a bit of mold. Mold can be beautiful to look at. Contrary to what some dishonest mold remediation specialists will lead you to believe, it’s relatively harmless — unless, like my wife, you are allergic to it. While no one wants it in their house, it’s often only skin deep and can be killed easily.

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 6

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 6

So we haven’t made much physical progress this week because of the rain. We’re also trying to get up to speed with a general plan to submit to the permit office, but we’re still working out the basic layout of the house. Our dining room table is deep in books about plumbing, framing, contracting, Craftsman homes….

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 5

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 5

I didn’t see Mark as much over the summer. He usually didn’t bother me when he was on a binge, and this one was epic. In six months he managed to drink, pop, smoke and plain give away every cent of his 60 grand. He lived like Scarface. Hell, he lived like a banker. But as the money dried up, he dried out, and reality hit Mark like a square of shingles. He finally brought up the subject of his finances to me. It seemed that shortly after mortgaging his house, he managed to lose his government assistance.

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 4

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 4

About a week before closing, we were getting hit with heavy rain. The Realtor called me with the combination to the key box so we could open the house, look for leaks, and attempt any repairs that would prevent the already-bad condition from getting worse. Along the side of the house, I found a big blue tarp that had blown off months before. It was still in good shape, so I rolled it up and prepared to climb on the roof to reattach it before the sprinkle turned to a downpour.

Karma & the Cottage, Part 3

Karma & the Cottage, Part 3

To recount the series of events that lead to our buying this particular little, red bungalow in Pasadena, I have to go back almost 35 years. The youngest son of the owners at the time was about 16. His weakness for drinking beer and riding motorcycles fast met up one night with another driver’s habit of not looking for small flying objects before changing lanes.

Wood & Bones: The Chronicle of a Pasadena Cottage

Wood & Bones: The Chronicle of a Pasadena Cottage

Tonight we received a phone call from our Realtor, Jackie Watamura (the hardest working real-estate agent on the east side) with the news that the deed on our new house recorded. By “new house” what I mean to say is, “A 90-year-old cottage with a collapsing roof, severe water damage, uneven foundation, no electric or plumbing and busted-out window, which has become the de facto residence of most of the neighborhood’s feral cat population.” My wife, Sheryl, and I were, of course, ecstatic.

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