It Does Get Worse

Remodel Karen Schulz

We are in the middle of a house renovation. When we started this a few weeks ago, I asked you for advice on how to get through a remodel with my sanity intact. Many of you offered some great words of wisdom, and your suggestions have been helpful.

  • Treat yourself to something special
  • Use paper plates
  • Cook meals with a slow cooker
  • Know that it will be over soon and will be worth it!

One wise reader reminded me of 2 things :

  1. Renovations always take longer than planned.
  2. There are always surprises along the way.

My Dad was a General Contractor. I knew this reader was right, but things seemed so straightforward here… I wondered what could possibly come as a surprise.

This week answered that question for me.

Surprise #1:

We have had a lot of rainfall here lately; fast and furious rainfall. We noticed a few drops of water dripping from the ceiling in our breakfast nook.  A few drops of water can – and usually does – mean there is a lot of wet wood behind the drywall.  And that was the case with us.  We had to have the beadboard and drywall removed from the entire nook to reveal all of the damage. We also had to have half of our house re-roofed. We’re now waiting for another storm to come through so we can check to be certain all is fixed before the new drywall goes up. In the meantime, it’s just one more “mess” we are navigating.

Remodel Karen Schulz

Surprise #2:

Whoever added the breakfast nook onto our house wasn’t necessarily the most detailed person.  They left a small opening, near the roof, between the drywall and the framing. This allowed access to…. well, whatever animal found the opening. When the walls were opened, we found what appears to be a squirrel’s “nest,” full of sticks and acorns. I feel kind of bad that we destroyed their winter food supply, but they’re just going to have to find someplace else to serve as their pantry.

Squirrels in the wALLS Karen Schulz



We are having our kitchen cabinets painted and glazed. Everything is out of the cabinets and drawers. We are stumbling over boxes of dishes, and it’s a challenge to find much of anything quickly. The painters come next week to finish this job. I can only hope that we have no surprises next week. I’m not sure I can manage any more so soon.

Cabinet Remodel Karen Schulz


And, yes, that is a very old Tupperware bowl. It was my Mom’s and I just can’t bear to part with it, even though it is slightly discolored and stained.  🙂

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Comments (33)

  1. Steph Barry

    This too shall pass? One day at a time? Just keep thinking of how great it will look when it is all done.

    March 22, 2019 at 7:18 am
  2. I have that SAME tupperware bowl! Stains and all!! 🙂

    March 22, 2019 at 7:36 am
  3. Sue Ogden

    I have one that looks almost that bad. Probably got it when I got married in 1968 or shortly thereafter. Tupperware “parties” were really big among military wives back then. I even had a lid for mine although it’s not the original. It was purchased shortly after I moved back to my home town in 1982! Ancient! I don’t use mine for cooking any more due to all the staining, even bleach doesn’t get it completely clean BUT it’s really handy for those times when you need a big bowl to wash a non-food item but don’t want to use a big wash basin! So don’t feel bad about hanging on to it.

    March 22, 2019 at 9:31 am
  4. Patti

    I love your breakfast nook! And the view!

    March 22, 2019 at 12:11 pm
  5. Michelle

    Oh dear…when it rains it pours.

    March 22, 2019 at 12:29 pm
  6. Lynn Hoyt

    Oh my, aren’t you glad you found that animals winter stash?! What a mess and that opening is not a good thing. Why not just get a big pack of paper plates, plastic silver and plastic cups and just go with that. I hope it gets finished soon, and you will be in love with your new inside.

    March 22, 2019 at 5:07 pm
  7. Monica

    We have been in remodel mode since last April so almost one year. One room to be switched to a laundry room on the main level led to oh, we should make a larger bathroom for our daughters, and new larger bedrooms for them. But then we found a laminated beam 🙁 Jacking up the area meant my new mudroom and pantry planned for Phase 2 or 3 was now on the docket. My double oven was ripped out because it was in the way of new wall…I was without an oven for 7 mos. We are our own general contractor so trying to find pros to help us during building season, forget it. It’s very depressing at times. The dust, disorganization, life in boxes. I feel your pain. But life goes on. While our project feels like it’s standing still at times, the time has gone fast. The end is in sight! Good luck to you ?

    March 22, 2019 at 7:59 pm
  8. Margaret Crozier

    Karen, the first thing I noticed while looking at the pictures or your nook was the amazing view out the windows! Wow!
    Yes, renovating does provide some different/often difficult journeys, but it sounds like you are coping. At least, you haven’t thrown your hands in the air and run away!
    I sold Tupperware about 43 years ago so have lots of the *old* items, nothing new.
    Looking forward to seeing you settled after the completed renovations. 🙂

    March 23, 2019 at 9:22 am
  9. My husband is a builder/contractor, and he tells me I wouldn’t want to remodel…
    I appreciate reading all of your posts – I look forward to hearing from you on Saturdays.
    Baking soda. Just use a bunch of baking soda, and really old Tupperware looks and feels like new!!
    : )

    March 23, 2019 at 9:59 am
  10. You poor thing! Yes, you always run into the unexpected. I hope you have the roof fixed! Poor little squirrels. They got evicted! 🙂 Hang in there! Hugs, DeLoris

    March 23, 2019 at 3:28 pm
  11. Donna

    Oh my, I think we have a squirrel in our attic also. I lived through one remodel and said never again. You can do it, but you also may not to want to go through a remodel again.
    And there are lots of uses for that old Tupperware bowl. I still have one and still use it often 🙂

    March 24, 2019 at 4:51 am
  12. Shelly Lowery

    I have that Tupperware bowl in my cupboard right now. And I am the one that bought it new. Karen, you are a strong and intelligent woman who runs a business. So, I know you have the strength and intelligence to get through whatever this remodeling. And when it is done, you will be able to tell great stories about it. And, surely you can find something to use in your classes for Photoshop. Just keep your sense of humor. Oh, and find a big pillow to scream into when needed.

    March 25, 2019 at 4:55 pm
    • Karen

      Thank you, Shelly! I appreciate your encouragement. I’m sure I will have many stories to tell along the way! And using something for a Photoshop class is an intriguing idea! I’m definitely keeping my eyes open for that possibility.

      March 27, 2019 at 8:04 am
  13. FussBudget

    Gosh, I’m such a softie. I think I would just leave the squirrel’s, or whatever’s, nest right where it was. But I would make the entrance hole more attractive by putting a cute little door frame around it. And a wee bit of scrap paper from any of your designs would really brighten that little space up. Also, have you given your little guests names? Oh, that’s right, you shooed them out.

    March 26, 2019 at 1:41 am
    • Karen

      LOL! Sounds adorable, but I’d rather it be in a tree than in my house.

      March 27, 2019 at 8:03 am
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