Memories by JD Staley

We are very blessed to have the jobs that we do. Each home is as different as each individual personality in that home. 
Many of the homes we see are a result of foreclosure, divorce or death.
It is impossible to not discover who each person was, along with much of their family. At the end of a job, JD and I often walk away feeling as though we knew the person, even sometimes praying for that family.

It is equally as difficult to not think of each home as a sanctuary, a place where memories were made and remembered. A place where a love was shared, laughter rang through the house, and a family grew.

In our last "trash out" property there were photo's from the 1920's, immigration and naturalization documents, badges or patches from a Navy uniform that served at Pearl Harbor, personal journals, and service records for his entire military career. Then the items that pull at your heart, divorce decree's, thick medical records, closets full of medication, and death certificates of loved ones.

Some of you have asked what happens to these items. 
Many items have to be disposed of because of damage. There are items that are donated and some that are sold. 
The old photo's and such? I can't throw them away. I will find another use for them. Many of the items we hope to repurpose and bring new life back into them.

In the end, these items are just things, for we know, our business really isn't about homes, its about the people who live in them.

Staley Transformations, Not So General Contracting.

Change by JD Staley

I really don't know many people who like change. Maybe it's just me showing my age. Strike that, that is not possible.

This past week I was told I had to change the way I upload all photos to facebook, and we changed our entire computer file system. Everything is now on google drive and "in the cloud."
The phase "it's in the cloud" evokes images in my mind of this big puffy white cloud floating over my head wherever I go. I'm going to need therapy to release this physical image in my mind.

I sat patiently at the desk while JD showed me the steps to use Google drive. I might have looked patient, but my blood pressure was near stroke level. 
The first step was to find his google drive account, then the maze of finding folders ensued. I was already at stroke level, by the time I actually got the right folder I was about to blow. 
Have you surmised I am not a very technical person?

Obviously, I am figuring this thing out. This usually involves deep breathing before I begin. One might assume I am in prayer as I'm holding my head in my hand muttering "Dear God"

And so I will embrace change. You'll know this is true next time you see me and there is that puffy white cloud over my head.

Staley Transformations, Not So General Contracting.

Monday's Musing by JD Staley

Come along, lets go on another journey..through yet one more unbelievable dwelling.

The house was already revealing what was to behold once within.
The worn and weary looking house had gutters clinging by a mere thread. The wooden siding was a dry as the dust in a mummy's pocket.

We walked up the drive and were greeted by a relative of the homeowner who would be showing us the house. Strangely enough, she came out of the parked camper in the drive, not the house. 
We commented on the camper, and she told us we'd understand in a moment. 
I regretted not grabbing a mask as soon as she told us "we'd understand in a moment."
We walked in and took in the first floor surrounding. It was the usual, dated, in need of a facelift, and somewhat dirty.

My olfactory nerve must be somewhat tired, because the smell took a moment or two to hit me. Hit me it did, and once again, I was wishing I had that mask. 
The smell of mold was so strong it wasn't long before I could actually taste it, and then there was a second smell that mingled with, and complimented the mold. Cat. 
Just one cat, in one house, for a long time. 
If you need to go sniff some coffee or peppermint right now, I understand. I'm going to go gargle.

The relative mentioned there was a room upstairs that had a hole in the ceiling, so we headed toward that room to get a look. 
The bedroom had bookshelves lining the back wall. On first glance, one might have thought someone came in and went into a rage tearing the room apart. 
Books were thrown off the shelves, scattered helter skelter all over the room, while pages and pages were shredded into confetti.
Things were tipped over on the dressers, the bed was more than rumpled and there was indeed a hole in the ceiling. 
The insulation was hanging out of the ceiling, and was "nested" on the floor. Some of the insulation was scattered and peeking out from under the bed.
The relative stated that this room had been closed up for years, not being used. She had no idea what could have happened.

JD and I gave each other "that look" and told her "you have a serious squirrel infestation." 
I was thinking the squirrels must be having the most epic party ever, when the relative let us know there was another hole downstairs near the baseboard in the living room.
These squirrels must have invited all their friends and relatives. They were living in the walls, ceilings and attic of this house..well, really, if we set up a critter cam, we'd see them running through the house, Budweiser's and cigarettes in hand. ZZ Top would be blasting on the stereo playing " Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers."

She let us know there was 'some electrical issues' as well. 
Well yes, when squirrels are partying in the house, they eat electric wires like ropes of Twizzler licorice. 
This house was another "trash out" and then would be cleaned up and sold.
I'm thinking we'll need heavy equipment here, like a bulldozer, or maybe explosives.

We walked and and JD said, "Unbelievable."


Staley Transformations, Not So General Contracting.

April Fools Day by JD Staley

Any prankster's in your midst this April Fool's Day?

The kids have gotten us several times already today..and it's only 10 am..

My youngest (although I know who was the master mind, Skylar!) pulled this one below..and I fell for it.
I then caught him in the act of trying to change my password on my iPad! 
Our middle son disabled the mouse on the office computer, and left a note underneath it..
April Fool's!!

I guess the apple doesn't fall far..we got them all up for school and then said, "Oh wow! They just posted it, it's a snow day!!!"
They all ran to the window.

Foto Friday by JD Staley

Foto Friday: This kitchen reno was just finished in November! The entire kitchen was gutted, but the same footprint was used. 
An awesome upgrade! 

Monday's Musing by JD Staley

Several years ago we were contracted with a company that hired us to "flip" foreclosed properties. After getting the call, the proverbial clock would start to tick, and we had to get in there and look at the home, evaluate the issues and come up with a build back plan in less that 24 hours. 

Let me just state that I thought this was stupid. (Here come's my black and white personality) It's not like the home was going to fall into a worse state of disrepair if we got there 48 hours after the call. God forbid, more mold might grow!

We arrived at the property and attempted to open the lock box. Having lock boxes on these properties was about as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle. The codes were never right. Walking up to the lock and saying magic words worked better than having "the code."
So naturally with the clock ticking, and no code we decided to "get creative."

We went to the back of the house, looking for an open window, or a broken door or something.
I'm sure if the neighbors were watching, they most likely thought we were casing the joint. 
It does always bring a feeling of "America's Most Wanted" when we are rattling the door knobs and checking windows!!

Nothing was open, but there was a doggie door! 
JD volunteered to go in. The place was about as clean as an outhouse, so I didn't ague!
Like a sausage stuffed in a too tight casing,he wiggled, and squeezed his way in. Of course, I thought it was hilarious, and did what any supportive wife and business partner would do..take pictures of course!!

He got in and walked to a door off the sunroom. I went around to have him let me inside.
There he stood with the door wide open. Right along side the door, a huge portion of the sunroom was missing, and we could have just walked right in. 
I believe that would fall into the category of "can't see the forest for the tree's"! 

Staley Transformations, Not So General Contracting