Wallpaper is the Devil

Another day at the cat pee house, although it’s starting to smell better. Last night we went to Chicago to see Little Dragon in concert and just as they came on stage, we got a call from our home security service. It seems as though a door was opened and they were sending a technician to see what was going on. Great! We were two hours away and couldn’t make it back in time. After that call, it was hard to enjoy the concert. When the show was over we heard back that it was just a door that had opened, possibly from the torrential storms we’d been having. The next day, we went to a local door store and found some really nice French doors and a basement door, which in an old house that has settled and leans a little, doors are so hard to install!

The day after the concert, with just a few hours of sleep, we met contractors at the house who made us anxious. There’s nothing like someone coming into your house and pointing out all the work that needs to be done, weeks before move in. Most of the work they said we could do ourselves, which I’m sure is true, but not when we both work full time and can’t dedicate enough time to complete these intense projects. We specifically wanted them to do our bathroom and they said, to cut costs, we need to demo, shim the floors and walls, and a few other things ourselves. This was the first time I ever heard of shimming things.

Wanting to feel like we accomplished something, P filled up the rental truck with garbage while I worked on removing layers upon layers of old wallpaper. Wallpaper is the devil. Not only did they layer the flooring, they also layered the wallpaper and then painted over it. So I spent the day scraping the layers of wallpaper off of the wall, I think we counted three. Sometimes I could get a good chunk of all three layers plus paint and it was the most satisfying accomplishment. Other times it was fused to the plaster and there was no way it was going to budge. Even though we are going to drywall over the plaster, we want to remove as much of whatever could be holding any kind of smell.

With the truck loaded we headed to the dump. As a resident of the city, we can dump our trash for a small fee. When we entered the dump there were three stations we stopped at to determine price and which bin we’d dump in.

One evening while I was at the apartment and P was working on the house, he saw something moving around in the yard. Was it the mole I thought we had? No, it was something much more potent. Slowly, unafraid, and busy P saw a large skunk digging in our backyard!


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Jill Skok says:

    I can’t believe ther are skunks in inner Milwaukee! Don’t injure your shoulder doing all the scrubbing and peeling wallpaper!


    1. Antonia T. says:

      That’s what we said too. So many wild animals in the city!


  2. Lorrie Schnabler says:


    I couldn’t resist reading this blog post of yours today even though it is October. Peter will tell you we have an old house too. It was built in 1916. And like your house, in some areas it has wallpaper over wallpaper and paint over that. We are currently scraping the front bedroom. So yes, I totally get you!



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