6-18-21 Friday

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I used my “Not Judging You” mug today!!!

I forgot about the mugs! If anyone wants an “Inspector Stompers not judging you mug”, you can still get one at Zazzle, here. (I shut down the CafePress store because I was tired of dealing with it; Zazzle’s much easier.)


The real question is however – how many boxes will remain unpacked after the move and will this be your LAST move?

I unpack boxes pretty quickly – when we moved here, I think I was pretty much done unpacking after about a week.

And who knows if this will be our last move? Only time will tell!


I haz some questions, which (of course) feel free not to answer if too nosy. But inquiring minds want to know!

1. opening to a second hallway behind the open front door, or coat closet?

Coat closet!

2. Is the distance between the bottom of the stairs and the front wall wider than it looks? (I’m assuming the answer is yes, because otherwise you’d be edging by where the staircase curves out!)

It is definitely wider than it looks!

3. I also wondered what VirtKitty & KathyK. asked. Those stone steps in the patio–are they back steps to the tornado shelter, or what? Could see a kitty falling down there, or getting cornered by a raccoon at the bottom.

That’s a bad angle – the steps stop at ground level and lead to the patio, they don’t continue downward (unfortunately, Fred didn’t take any other pictures that show that, so you’ll have to take my word for it!)


How old is the house?

It’s about 50 years old. The people selling the house to us have lived there for 19 years. They love the house and really don’t want to leave, but her only family left lives in Tennessee and they want to be near them.


The big question I have is – will you get a cat flap installed on the tornado shelter door. 🙂

HA – no! You know Dewey would LOVE that, though!


How big is Charlie these days? He looks pretty long and tall compared to the other permanent residents.

He weighed just over 12 pounds two months ago (we need to weigh him again, but I predict he’s definitely put on some weight.) I would say he’s probably our tallest and longest cat, and I don’t think he’s done growing yet!


In a post last week I mentioned that one of the houses we looked at when we were first looking at houses in April was one that we call “The Nightmare House” because it was so awful. Someone suggested I share pictures, and so here they are. They don’t do the house justice, though – that house is in awful shape, and the seller is full-on delusional if she thinks she’s going to get the price she’s asking for.

Beginning paragraph, captions, and pictures were written/taken by Fred in April.

So, one of the things we learned after moving back to the city is that while we love the convenience of being close to everything, we very much do NOT like having neighbors just feet away (lest anyone misunderstand, we have no issues with our neighbors at all, we just like our space). As such, we’ve made the odd noise about maybe getting back out of the city to a place that’s more or less convenient, but with some land to serve as a buffer. We know what we want — some room for a small garden and chickens, but not as much room as we had at the last place, because I’m too lazy to spend 6-10 hours a week cutting grass, and we’d like a place that has character and maybe needs some updating to make it our own. We’ve looked on Zillow, oohed and aahed not very seriously, but this week we found a couple of houses we wanted to look at. This is one of those houses. On Zillow, the place looked interesting. Plenty of outdoor space, plenty of indoor space, and a curiously large outbuilding and rickety-looking barn. It seemed on the pricy side to me based on the pictures, to be honest, but the realtor said it was a good price per square foot. That was before we visited. He told me there had been a couple of low-ball offers, to which I responded: if everyone is making low-ball offers, maybe they’re not low-balls. Now that I’ve been there, I think the owner should take one of those low-balls and RUN with it. I only wish I’d taken more (and better) pictures, but to be honest I think I was in shock. So without further ado, The Nightmare.

When you first walk in the back door. Not so terrible, except for the ancient television hulking in the corner. What the picture doesn’t show well is the sag in the beam across the center.

Part of the kitchen-ish area, where Robyn and the realtor explore a wall of cabinets. Now some of the general state of the house is showing.

Hospital bed room. Those packets are Desi-Paks, a desiccant used to pull moisture from the air, like the little packets you sometimes find in things you buy.

More of them.

Inside a closet. This was one of the few places in the house where the lights worked.

Random open ceiling hole to the attic. I hesitate to call it an access, because the roof is like two feet above the hole, if that.

I sense a reason for the Desi-Paks.

A wavy ceiling.

I spy with my little eye…


This was the nicest bathroom.


One of the ovens in the kitchen.

The other oven, and some cabinetry. The sink is just off the right of this picture, in a whole other room.

This greets you as you first walk into the large outbuilding, which is where the nightmare truly begins. I apologize for not getting more and better pictures, but I really was overwhelmed. For example, there was a whole upstairs part we didn’t look at, because the stairs were covered with fallen ceiling material, and there were plants growing in the stairwell. I didn’t get ANY pictures, because there was something moving around up there and I was freaked.

Part of the giant building.

I’d wandered out to the barn here. Those Texas Chainsaw Massacre hooks were a common theme at this place.

So many body hooks, disguised to hold farm stuff.

The barn (and Robyn) from the outside.


There’s a hose snaking up the stairs and over to a pond on the next property, gushing water. I could only imagine what it’s like down there, and that whatever lives down there … floats.

A kitchen in the outbuilding.

Looking at the barn from the outbuilding.

Another place to store bodies.

I (hi, it’s me Robyn again) would like to note that recently the realtor who represents that property uploaded new pictures that indicated they’d hauled some of the junk away and had possibly done some cleaning. There’s no way they could have fixed that house up enough to be livable. NO WAY. But you better believe I’ll be keeping my eye on the listing so I can see what happens! (My prediction: an investor will buy the property, knock everything down, and put up either a quick and cheap house or slap a subdivision down on that 2 1/2 acres.)

HOLY COW. I just went to the listing to see the exact amount of property and it is UNDER CONTRACT as of two days ago. I will report further once the sale goes through (assuming the sale goes through, and I have strong doubts that that’ll happen.)

Edited to add: The house was “under contract” for 3 days, and now back on the market. My guess is that someone made an offer on it without seeing it, and then once they saw it realized it was a NO.


Newt’s favorite place during the day is to flop down in the shade of this Meyer lemon tree (which is in a pot, and which we brought here from Crooked Acres, and will go with us when we leave!)

Yeah, the outside of that pot could use some cleaning. I KNOW, Newt. I know.


2020: Benjamin says “You gots a big foot, Clyde.”
2019: No one poops without snoopervision.
2018: I’m glad they weren’t sad and missing me, I SUPPOSE, but they could have faked it a little.
2017: Floofy perfection.
2016: No entry.
2015: “No one understands me but you, springy mouse toy!”
2014: “You kids! Keep it down! I’m NAPPING.”
2013: “He just keeeeeps on talkin’.”
2012: These pictures of Stompers are killing me dead.
2011: No entry.
2010: Who’s THAT?
2009: No entry.
2008: I wouldn’t want to see THAT carnage.
2007: Mister Suspicious.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



6-18-21 Friday — 34 Comments

  1. OMG, I am both relieved and horrified in equal measures about the Nightmare House.
    We have a major national housing shortage in New Zealand and I’ve seen similar places renting and selling for silly money.
    People keep saying “oh just buy a dooer upper” to us not knowing it would be the worst thing possible for me. Give me a tiny house with a cat flap

  2. wow! nightmare house for sure!
    How much were they asking for that load of awful?
    I have no money to buy, but I’m a real estate junkie and have 2 sites bookmarked, one canada wide and one just in my province. It’s how I knew my landlord was selling this building before he told us tenants.

  3. Holy moly! I both love and am repulsed. It’s also a wealth of ideas for Fred’s next horror novel. If you thought things were bad, you have no idea how much worse it could get…don’t go down the stairs! 😉

    I think I’ve watched too many remodeling shows; that nightmare has potential, if you have the money.

  4. Yikes, that’s a whole lot of black mold. I honestly thought the mold on the door were speckles of Malcolm-sneeze on my laptop screen. (Clearly the Realtor loves a challenge).

    And I’m totally creeped out by the hanging pumpkin Halloween bin in the “Another place to store bodies” photo. And the the hanging carousel horse. And those basement steps leading to the plot of a Stephen King novel (the lights didn’t work – are you effing kidding me???). Oh, and the Santa-plate is giving off IT-vibes too.

    • But I want the Holly Hobbie plate, because it matches one I have from my childhood! 😀

  5. O M G ! Well, at least Fred has a new starting place for his next book now. How far is this place from the new house?

    • Oh, they’re nowhere near each other – according to Google Maps, they’re about about 52 minutes apart.

  6. I think we may have just seen the setting for Fred’s next book! Wow!! (NOT a good wow…)

  7. Lordy mercy, that house! Argh. People have lost their minds in this real estate market. I live in a modest-size town 50 miles to the south of ya’ll and recently (out of curiosity) got an estimate on selling my house. It was ludicrous, sky-high, and I cannot believe I’d sell it for that. I am, at some point, going to downsize maybe to a condo — but right now, everything is so overpriced I would just rent, except there’s very few rental apartments here. Sigh.

    Enjoying seeing the new place, and think ya’ll will like having more space!

  8. You have to wonder at the mindset of the sellers agent and their price advice. That place is worth the value of the land only.

  9. Wow! So many places for bodies and that spare stove! Wondering what decade that came out of? Glad you found a better place that worked well for you. I also have been trolling the market as we are looking to downsize in a few years when “kids” are done with schooling. I’ve also seen some things that make me go “huh”. But it is kind of amazing that we could potentially make money by selling this house and moving to a more southern location and have nearly the exact same house.

  10. I’ve fixed up much worse, but they were all lakefront cottages that we didn’t have to live in while trying to rebuild them at the same time-that’s the main problem here. What looks like an unfixable situation to one person might just be a minor problem to someone with the skills and tools to deal with it.

  11. Did I miss a post where you shared pics of your new house? If so, can you tell me what date was the post so I can look for it. Thanks!

  12. Wow. We looked at some bad houses (knob and tube wiring from the turn of the 20th century, sump pumps that never shut off even in dry weather) when we bought 15 years ago, but wow. Just … wow.

  13. I think I walked in the back door, turned around, and walked out. Never to look back.

  14. Ok, as soon as I read the words “sag in the beam” I was all NOPE NOPE NO WAY…but out of steadfast loyalty (and not wanting to be called a skimmer) I looked at the remaining photos. I have to say I’m impressed you stayed long enough to take all those OTHER pictures of what is clearly a trainwreck, nay, dumpster fire of a house. I agree with your prediction: someone should tear down that trash heap, run off whatever is living in the hole belowground, and build a nice home. (although now that I’ve written this, I’m thinking this house could be EXCELLENT fodder for a Fred Anderson book…)

  15. Maybe they should have used the silica packs *before* the place started to disintegrate from water damage.

    The house is gross, but the barn and outbuilding are pure nightmare fuel. I thought the rocking horse was an *actual* horse for a second, before I realized you would have warned us about that.

  16. The real estate market is absolutely crazy now. I have no doubt that horror house property will sell. That’s probably why it’s listed now.

  17. I can’t believe no one suggested a dehumidifier rather than all those packs lying around. Instead having all of those sit there in every room just makes people think well that’s $5000 for each one of those packs that I have to put into this place.

    Maybe it’s the pictures but it kind of reminds me of though that British show about finding a cottage in the country. Where they walk into some absolute messes but historical and they end up fixing them up.

    That barn though is totally chainsaw massacre decor.

  18. So, the steps that lead to the patio? The planters with red and purple flowers must be on the edge and higher than the patio. They make what they sit on and what’s to the right look the same height in the photo.

    And, Oh My Goodness! I’m so glad you didn’t buy that house!! It would take an army to clear out the junk. To say nothing of the mold. Yuck!

  19. no words. Whoever lived there and their poor pets (hopefully there weren’t any) must have lungs full of black mold.

    and a pile of silica gel packs might have kept the top of the table drier, and that’s about it. A house is not a shoe.

    (Or maybe it’s the former home of The Little Old Lady Who Lived in a Scary, Fungus-filled kinda sorta Shoe.)

  20. My skin itches just from the pictures. Being in the house would’ve induced a full on panic attack. Besides the mold, just such an awful vibe.