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The Lacy House

  I bought our new home, which so far we've been calling "The Lacy House" in Fitchburg WI less than a month ago.  It was purchased from Don Schultz, a WWII Marine Corps vet who saw action in four separate Pacific campaigns.  After the war Don came home to his wife, Eleanore "Tuffie", and began civilian life by apprenticing to be an electrician.  After a decade or so the couple decided to build a home closer to Madison than where they lived then, in Oregon, WI.  He found a farmer willing to sell him an acre of land near the corner of Lacy and Fish Hatchery roads. By 1964 the Schultz's new home was ready to live in; which they did until fairly recently when Don & Eleanore moved into a place that they were better able to manage, although they wish they still lived there. They are welcome anytime!
   Since then Lisa and I (and others) spent a LOT of time getting it 'ready'.  It wasn't just us moving in, it was also the whole "Peanut Gallery".  The Peanut Gallery is Lisa's business. It's a family daycare that's been in operation for Twenty years!  The only exception being a short break for our ill fated move to New York.  Anyway, making the house ready is a ton of work.  After the closing, we had just two weeks to get everything ready to go. Most of that time we still had our 'regular' duties to perform. I had to go to work every day, and those babies and kids needed someone to watch over them at the Peanut Gallery.  We had a few nights followed by one full weekend, then a few more evenings, then the big work happened over the Thanksgiving holiday.
   Luckily we have great family who were willing to help.  A seemingly constant presence was Lisa's sister Kris.  She provided help in all sorts of ways.  The most tangible to me (but probably not the most) was her assistance with painting.  Her big box of painting supplies, super powerful lights, and painting skills saved untold amounts of work for Lisa and myself.  She also helped Lisa go through almost every box in order to unpack enough to get the "Peanut Gallery" safe and ready to go . 
   My sister Kara and her partner Nancy deserve huge credit for helping us with the initial scrubbing of the house on that first weekend.  Although the house had been scrupulously maintained over the years, there was over forty years worth of 'this and that' built up everywhere that we had to knock down.  Plus for the last year plus, the home had been occupied by a relative, who wasn't quite as diligent as Don and Tuffie.  The renter in the apartment was awful.  Apparently the apartment had been rented by the same woman for over twenty years, but when the house went up for sale, she moved out.  The most recent tenant had been there less than a year, but had managed to do more harm in that time than anyone else who'd ever lived there. Yuck!
   The first thing I did (as instructed by Lisa) was to remove the wall separating the home from the apartment, making it all one again.  There's not too many things as fun as tearing down a wall. Of course I kept the framing and the wood paneling in case we should ever need to rent it out in the future. There is already a waiting list to move in :)
  Kara especially deserves some special recognition for going 'above and beyond' and tackling the downstairs bathroom, where the tenant of the apartment had less than perfect feline hygiene skills.  The place stunk bad of cat. Kara dove right in with her gloves, a scrub brush and a gallon or so of bleach.  I only had to step in to help with the removal of the commode and some of the tiles where the vile cat juice had crept under, even then I almost gagged.  Thank you Kara, you're a trooper.
   Fortunately the move ended up happening over a nice long holiday weekend, and was I ever pleasantly surprised when my darling sister Jeni volunteered (unprompted) to drive five hours up from Quicny Illinios with her family and offered them up as "slave labor" for the entire Thanksgiving weekend.  After double and triple checking that she really meant it, Lisa and I began planning their chores. They even offered to tow their trailer all the way up here, but I decided to rent the big U-haul one I used a week earlier to move some heavy items over again.  They arrived after midnight on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. 
    Lisa and I were still frantically trying to paint the things we wanted painted before we did any major moving.  We got pretty close. The big thing to finish was the Kitchen, witch was being changed from its original baby blue, to a bright yellow (named "Cheerful" by Sherman Williams).  The color is similar to the yellow of my old condo on Doty St., on the Isthmus, where Lisa and I both felt at home.  Interestingly that yellow kitchen is one of the things that attracted me to that condo, when I was shopping for one.  It reminded me greatly of a hotel I stayed at in Vercelli Italy, the place I tell people, when asked,  was the favorite place I've been (and I've been to lots of places).  In fact we also decided to paint the West wall of the living room a color similar to another one from that Bedford Court condo.  Unfortunately the yellow paint, although it was supposed to be very good at covering light colors (like baby blue) as each coat dried, the blue would shine though and the walls would look green.  Now I love green, it's my favorite color, but the house already has PLENTY of it.  The only solution was applying coat after coat to it all.  Normally not a big deal, but in the kitchen there is more cutting in work than there is roller work.  The cabinets in the kitchen are all custom built in place, which means when you open the doors, there is 'wall' in the back of the cabinet, not cabinet material.  That wall needed to be masked sanded and painted. It was a pain in the butt.  By 3 or so in the morning we figured we'd gotten enough coats and left Jeni, Eric, and Riley to stay in our new home without us. We went back to our rental house on Lyman lane, a couple blocks away, for a few hours of sleep.
  I had big intentions of getting an early start, but ended up sleeping 'till almost eight am. Once I was up and headed over to the Lacy house to roust the troops, I realized there was something I hadn't  planned for.....The Berbee Derby , a annual 5k 10k charity race that is held right there by the Agora which is basically in our backyard.  There were people everywhere! Thousands of them. Roads were closed, and even our normally quiet street in front of the rental house had cars parked everywhere. I knew nothing much was going to happen until the event was over.  I got to the Lacy house and found only my twelve year old nephew, Riley, was up.  He was reading his book in the living room. I was glad to see how 'at home' he felt.  Since there was little else to do, Riley and I went down to watch the start of the races. It was quite an event. I took a bunch of nice photos. Riley counted seventy regular port-a-potties and one handicap one.  That's a lot of port-o-potties.  It made a special, memorable day, that much more memorable to have the one largest event that happens in this area happen on that day.  Maybe next time we do something big, it will be when they are having the Agora Art Fair in summer. One thing I decided, is that next year I'm going to make a few bucks and sell parking. I'm sure there will be people willing to pay.  Anyway, by late morning the runs were all done and all those folks had gone elsewhere. If you want to see my photos of the event. I put some online, here.
   Once we got everyone up and ready, we started the real grunt work of the weekend. Moving all of mine and Lisa's stuff over.  Lisa and I had spent the last several weeks packing and boxing tons of stuff, so even though there was a lot of it, it all moved relatively easy. Easy that is with willing "slave labor"  Jeni, Eric, and Riley, worked tirelessly to load, then unload that big trailer.  It never got quite as heavy as it did when I moved my printing press, my lawn tractor, and my wood stove at once, but a few of the many loads kept my Land Rover from going too fast over to the Lacy house.

Here is a map showing ALL of the varous locations.
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Lisa & Rich's 12/12/12 12:12:12 Wedding