I moved in and started working 14-hour days, replastering the crumbling walls, stripping five layers of paint from the home's trim, and running yards of electricity lines to new light fixtures. I bought 10 how-to books. The rest was learning through trial and error—like the first time I mixed plaster of paris, and it hardened before I could get it out of the bucket. Luckily, our Realtor-slash-contractor-slash-friend Nicholas Grant let me pay him to come by and teach me how to do things like replacing porch joists and installing a toilet.
It took me a while to get Jill to leave her rental and follow me, but I couldn't blame her.