About ten years ago I read this article from The Onion. If you don't feel like reading the whole thing (and I think you should), it's a point/counterpoint that contrasts an entitled little twit of a teen who is "so starving" because she ate junk food for lunch and has to wait for dinner to be ready and an impoverished child in a third-world country who is "so starving" because, well, because he is starving. She is fortunate beyond his wildest imagination, and she has zero appreciation for that fact. It still makes my stomach hurt when I read it, even though it's technically funny, and it has inspired me ever since. Yes, lifelong inspiration (and entertainment!) from The Onion. I tell you all this because many people lately have suggested that we are brave for what we did and are doing, or wonder at how we can stay positive through this whole process, and all I can say is that whenever I start feeling frustrated or hopeless or exhausted, I remind myself to be grateful for our many, many gifts, because while we may sometimes be "starving" we are never, ever so. starving.
Now we're all at the house and we can flush the toilet and turn on (most of) the lights, so clearly it is time to have a dinner party. Oh wait- we're scared to go into the kitchen. See, there was this mysterious odor coming from that room, some of it from the floor, which was very soft right there when you put any weight on it. And there was mildewed wallpaper peeling off the walls...
and when I looked under the sink "to see what we're dealing with", I found (deep breath) a snake skin. The skin from a snake, which was no longer on that snake, but which had previously been on a snake, a snake who had grown too large for the skin and so had shed that skin...UNDER MY KITCHEN SINK. And do you know what Tommy had to say to that? Do you? DO YOU?!?! "Well" he says calmly, as he is wont to do right after I have just found a snake skin under my kitchen sink, "that's probably why we haven't seen any rodents."
Yes friends, that is approximately when we decided we had to gut the entire kitchen instead of just slapping some vinyl tiles over that rough patch on the floor as I had originally intended. Oh, and also when we realized there were no electrical outlets, except the one for the fridge, the wires for which were run up from the basement through a hole in the sub-floor and linoleum on the outside of the drywall. Now if you are one of those lucky humans who has no idea what those words mean in that order all smashed together in the same sentence, just know that it was bad. Bad and wrong. BADONG!
After spending an obscene amount of money (at least to my frugal sensibilities) on stock cabinetry and counter tops from Lowe's, which made me second guess this whole gutting business, we then proceeded to discover that we had no insulation between the studs on that exterior kitchen wall but instead did have a beehive.
And TWO actual, live snakes. Who were kind enough to leave, allowing Tommy to blockade their little "door". And I second-guessed no more.