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There’s so much I could say, but instead I am going to get right to the point.

We have sold the Two Cats house. We are here, but we are currently renters.

I would have told you sooner, but…it all happened so fast.

We met with a broker and told him we were beginning to think about possibly selling. About a week later, we had an Open House on a Sunday. The next day, we had three offers on the house–two of them above asking price.

We accepted the offer that came with a personal letter from the potential buyers. They were renting a small apartment downtown, had a baby, and they loved our house. They had even read our (this) blog. As they wandered through during that open house, they looked down at a heating grate, and suddenly realized–they were in the Two Cats house.

We met them on Wednesday at the closing. They are a lovely couple. Like us, they lived in New York before moving to Portland. I think they’ll be very happy here.

As for us, we are moving on to a bigger house… with a yard. Now that we have two children, who are both extremely mobile, we just want more space. We are not leaving Portland. We’ve moving about two miles inland as the crow flies to a family-centered neighborhood at the edge of Evergreen Cemetery.

We are really going to miss the East End. We have lived here for almost 5 years. I will miss hearing the foghorns on misty nights. (I hope we can still hear them in Deering Center.) We will miss Rosemont, and the Hilltop Coffee Shop, and the Prom, and “our” playground, as Sadie calls it. I’ll miss the 4th of July and being able to walk to the beach. And boy oh boy will me miss this house. This house is our family. We built this house from blood, sweat and tears. It’s hard to extract our family from this house.

But, we are still a family, wherever we go. These four walls, as much as we love them, don’t make a family. The four of us do. And our new house is going to be lovely and so much more in tune with our needs. We close next Wednesday.

As for the blog, well, as it turns out, the woman buying the house is a writer. Maybe she will want to continue the 2cats blog?

For our part, we have some remodeling to do at our new house. We will most likely begin a new blog for that house, too.

Stay tuned…

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We’re Baaaack!

Or at least, we will be. Soon, I promise. There’s been some stuff going on in our lives, like this:

Baby #2

And like this:

We made it official!

So between nursing a newborn and planning a wedding, there wasn’t a lot of spare time for blogging in 2010-2011. But now Clover is walking, the wedding is behind us, and we are back to renovating. Pics soon to come!

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Oh, Grate!


We bought three of these iron heat exchanges at Nor’east Salvage in New Hampshire; the circular one was original to the house.

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Room for Two

We’ve done a lot but have been bad about taking pictures. (That might change now that I’ve upgraded to my iPhone 4.) Anyway, still no baby sister, but here’s the dresser we just got for Sadie’s soon-to-be-shared room. We got it from the Mill Stores in Scarborough, which sells unfinished pine furniture you can then get painted or stained in any color. It looks great and it holds a ton of clothes.

The new double dresser for the girls' room!

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Thumbs on Deck

Cappy took this photo of Thumbs hanging out on the deck. Look closely at the mildewy gutters, because after tomorrow they won’t be there! We’re getting our missing siding replaced, along with the old (useless) gutters. We’ll be sure to post photos when the deed is done.

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An Olive Branch.

After demo of second stairway, this patch remained.


We finally got around to some planting in front of the house. Beside not having planted a thing outdoors in my life, there were a few unusual obstacles as one might expect around Two Cats by now.

The plot of land I chose to plant Reeve’s Mother’s Day rhododendron plants was once the site of the second entrance stairs. The ground was hard and needed tilling, so I began by removing as many rocks as possible, including, it turned out, some that formed the foundation of the house. I discovered this when I suddenly was able to see into the basement from the outside.

After replacing the field stones and patching them with hydraulic cement from both sides, I recommenced the planting. Unearthed artifacts included several dozen rusty nails, many shards of glass, a few marbles, a rusty spark plug, a broken thermometer (hope rhododendrons like mercury!), and many many non-foundation stones which I used to border the patch. A few cubic feet of Miracle Grow soil and a spritz from our new hose caddy et voila!

We achieved our goal, which was to announce to the neighborhood that we are more than just another trashy East End family. That, Typar and rusty mailbox aside, we care about aesthetics and are committed to being a cute house someday.

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This was our deck last August, about two months after we began demo. The vinyl siding is still completely intact, as we hadn't yet installed Sadie's egress window.

This was during the mending, scraping, filling and sanding phase.


Finally a day off without rain! I’m making the most of it by painting our once-sad little deck. The goal is to go from shabby-shabby to shabby-chic. Next step? Replacing the siding around the deck and painting our Adirondack chair. Oh and Doing some container planting and putting up a trellis in front of that neighbor’s window.

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Our Biggest Fan.


Well it took a couple of days and some monkey-like rafter swinging but we got our ceiling fan installed in the bedroom. And just in time for the hot weather! Sadie smiles and says “fayun!” whenever she looks up and sees it.

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Nick’s dad, Grampa Luke, flew out for a week-long visit and we had a trim party. He and Nick caulked, spackled, sanded and painted all the trim in Sadie’s room and our living room. It was a lot of work, hindered somewhat by the gloomy weather we had for the first few days of Luke’s trip. But the end result is phenomenal, as you can see here in Sadie’s room:

Next up: some fabric roller shades I plan to make out of this Amy Butler fabric.

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We’re finally getting to the point where cleaning is actually just normal cleaning, not a retroactive major clean-up of leftover construction dust or months-neglected debris from the renovation. The house is really starting to feel sort of finished. There are lots of little projects left to do, like sanding, caulking and painting all the trim, but we’ve taken care of some of the major eyesores.

Nick cleared out the sleep loft–took all the boxes and bins we were storing up there down to the basement storage heap instead. Then he scraped up all the spray-foam insulation that was stuck to the plywood floor of the loft. We plan on laying down the ash wood we never used for Sadie’s room up here to give the loft a finished feel. Our house is so small that hosting guests without a dedicated guest space could be difficult, so we’re hoping guests won’t mind sleeping in the loft. Currently, it can only be reached by a rickety old painter’s ladder. We searched online for a ship’s ladder, which would be perfect, but discovered that they cost several hundred dollars, even when you buy used ones. So we asked our neighbor, carpenter Ben, if he could make us one, but he doesn’t have time since he and his wife started their catering business (helpful plug: Bazkari Catering). Nick’s dad is coming next week for a visit, and we’re going to give him the choice of climbing up to the loft and sleeping on a futon mattress or camping out in the library/sewing room/kids’ room on an air mattress.

The other little job involved finally putting up our bathroom shelves. Slowly but surely, we’re making progress. The latest on the bathroom tile is that contractor Ben won’t get a chance to work with the tile mason until sometime after May 5, when he gets back from visiting his fiance in India. So, we’re still roughing it to a degree, but more and more it’s feeling like home. I think the longer daylight hours definitely help. I can actually see when I get home from work, so I feel motivated to work on projects or clean things up instead of letting things pile up until the weekend.

And finally, our little spell of warm weather got me thinking about plants. My mom and I went to the garden show a couple of weekends ago, and then,  since I don’t know a hydrangea from a watering can, I went to the library to check out books on plants and gardening. I’d like to get a dozen plants for the deck to give it more the feel of a plein air room than a deck, so it’s a place we’ll wander in and out of like any other room in the house. In particular, we want to get a trellis with climbing vines of some sort to park right in front of the wall of the neighboring condo building so we aren’t looking at plain green siding all summer. Some flower boxes for the railings, a few pieces of outdoor furniture, and voila, we’ll have our little piece of the great outdoors. Unfortunately, we’re supposed to wake up to snow tomorrow morning, so I have no idea when any of the planting and landscaping is actually going to happen.

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