7/31/2015: Management guest blog: “So…How was it for you?”

Everyone’s been asking me this, so I figured a little kitchen renovation round-up was in order for you guys.  If you bore witness to our basement renovation, you may remember that I was in my third trimester with the littlest monster and then home on maternity leave for the duration of the project, and it was Not Good.  I may or may not have threatened to kill the plumber when he woke up the baby a few times.  But this project was different.  This project was Not So Bad, probably because now that I’ve raised toddlers, my level of tolerance for mess and noise is much higher.  In fact, if you’ve ever raised or lived with toddlers, well, then, you are totally ready for a kitchen renovation, because it’s basically the same thing:

  1. Loud, destructive monsters that get up too early will invade your house. Every day.  And they won’t go away.  And they’re constantly banging on things and hollering at each other and dropping stuff so suddenly that you develop PTSD while the situation is in progress.  As with toddlers, you need to find a good hiding place, or get out of the house as early as possible.
  1. They will make a huge mess, always, everywhere. Muddy boot footprints appear, even when it hasn’t rained in weeks.  The other day, I found plaster inside a sealed box of Triscuits.  The trash situation at our house got so nasty that we’ve actually started to name the raccoons that come to visit.  (Say hi to Albert the next time you walk by!)  As with toddlers, you will try desperately to contain the mess in certain zones, but probably fail and just have to throw a bunch of stuff out.
  1. So. Many. Questions. Except instead of, “Who invented air?  Why is blue?  Is Abraham Lincoln older than Grandpa?  Can I drink beer when I’m an adult, too?,” it’s “Where do you want this electrical outlet?  Do you prefer the Arctic White or the Polar White paint?  Do you want this hook at 4 feet or 4 feet, .2 inches high?”  As with toddlers, keep it simple and don’t overthink it.  The devil is not in the details – the devil is the person in the house asking you unending questions, so just answer a few and then head back to that hiding place and hope they get distracted.
  1. Well-balanced, family dinners are out of the question. It’s too messy and loud and disorganized.  So, everyone eats too many hotdogs for a few months.  Guess what?  Nobody ever died from eating too many hot dogs.  I mean, that Black Widow woman was like our family mascot for a while there.  As with toddlers, rely on your village to throw some nutritious meals at you out of sympathy every once in a while (shout out, generous neighbors, you know who you are!!!), and otherwise, embrace the takeout.
  1. 4 o’clock is the new 5 o’clock. Or 3:30… or 3:15…  We don’t judge on upper Randlett, and it doesn’t take a kitchen to serve up cheese and crackers and booze. As with toddlers, a little of Silver Lake Liquors’ finest offerings flowing at the end of the day sure makes the mess and noise and questions a lot more tolerable.  Administer as needed.

Kristen Wig

All in all, a little patience and acceptance of the circumstances goes a long when you’re dealing with any renovation.  This project was better than expected, and I have to credit Pete and his crew for that.  They were reliable and considerate and hooked us up with a great kitchen on time and on budget.  So, if you’re thinking about having some work done, give them a call for a quote.  If you’re thinking about adding some toddlers to your household, well…good luck to you…and feel free to stop by my kitchen any time after 3 for a drink.


7/31/2015: 2nd summer using All Green for lawn care

Our first few years in the house, I thought I knew everything. Had internet access and a Home Depot credit card. Was reckless with lawn care. Some fertilizer here, seed there. It’ll look nice I told Management.

Then I got crabgrass.

dead grass

Everyone was telling me to get help. But I didn’t. And that’s when I got grubs.

Don’t know if you guys have ever hit rock bottom.  Well I did in 2014 when I got grubs. Grubs are nasty little bastards that eat away the root system of your lawn. They make a healthy lawn/lifestyle impossible.

That’s when I called All Green and told them I had crabgrass and grubs and god knows what else. Told them I had been reckless with my lawn and possibly my body. They didn’t need to know the last part but said it was ok. All Green is a lawn care company in West Roxbury that specializes in troubled lawns like mine.

They started by aerating my lawn. Then applied lime, fertilizer, crabgrass preventer and grub control — for $40/month. Grass perked up right away. I did too.

This is our 2nd summer with All Green. Best our grass has ever looked. Like we’re finally on the path to recovery.

If you have crabgrass or grubs or know someone who does, please get help.

7/29/2015: Kitchen renovation — final cost

Talked to Pete today and got the final tally. Our original estimate was $112k — not including appliances or light fixtures. This estimate was for a 21 x 8′ addition that included a new kitchen, mudroom & half bath. Final cost is $120k you guys.

We had some extra work done that added to our cost overrun. Most of the overrun was because we spent $19k on cabinets (budget was $15k).  Also dropped $5,200 on marble counters. Only the best for Management.

There were no surprises which helped. During demo it appeared we had asbestos shingles but Pete had them tested and they were asphalt. Remediation would have been a couple thousand. We also planned to have the drain pipe for the upstairs bath replaced, since it ran right through the kitchen to the basement. But Pete said it was cast iron and in good shape. That would have been another few thousand.

Pete kept us on budget. Anytime we asked for something he hadn’t planned on, he let us know and told us how much it would cost. He would say that’s gonna be expensive, then tell us it was $500. Which I appreciated. Cause at the end of the project, all those $500 extras add up.

Probably gonna be the last blog about the kitchen you guys. Management may do a guest blog in the next few days. Overall, love the new kitchen and my TV above the fridge. Very pleased with Pete as well. Highly recommend him.




7/28/2015: Reminder — today is the last day to pay less for 277 Waltham

If you want to pay less than $998,888 for 277 Waltham — then you have until exactly midnight. Seller put you guys on the clock last Tuesday. Gave you 1 week to pay less than $998,888 and do your own renovations.

277 Waltham

In 11 hours, this option is off the table. In 11 hours, you’re getting a renovated kitchen & 1 new bath. You’re gonna pay $998,888 in guess what?  11 hours.

Tick tock you guys.









7/25/2015: RandlettPark.com gets a facelift

The site was looking a little tired you guys so I gave it a facelift.  New theme, new header.  No big deal.  Just another reason we are superior in absolutely every way to Eliot Street.

Was gonna use the pic of the whole gang at the block party as the new header.  Just a great shot.

Then I noticed my daughter’s face.  Scared the living shit out of me.  Like something out of a horror movie. I mean normally a cute kid but my god.


7/24/2015: Don’t forget to order firewood this summer

Firewood is cheaper in the summer.  It needs a few months to season.  So why wouldn’t you order now?

Let’s be real.  If you have people over and can’t get a fire going — there’s gonna be gossip.  Like Chaz can’t get it started.  Or Bunny said it’s too wet. No Clayton’s wood is the problem.  Next thing you know your party is an erectile dysfunction commercial.

Don’t be that guy.  Be the guy that lights a match with his stubble, tosses it into the fire then walks off for more bourbon.

All you gotta do is call Bruce at Beech Hill Firewood.  Cord is $450.  Half cord is $275. For an extra cost, Bruce will stack it for you. He also delivers kiln dried wood and wood for pizza ovens.  Mine was delivered today so basically my Christmas party is already better than yours.

If you really want to step up your fire game, order some fatwood from LL Bean.  Pine fatwood sticks have a natural resin that make starting fires a cinch.  Almost don’t even need newspaper when you have fatwood.

Firewood pile