The Hoarder Among Us

December 20, 2011

With the fast approaching holidays, the need to reclaim order around the house is becoming more pressing.  Stuck at home on Friday with a sick kid I decided to try to tame the chaos.  Things were going well, laundry was put away, sheets changed, cobwebs vacuumed off the ceilings until I hit my four-year old’s room and faced the drawer.

When you are four, the drawer is a special place to store treasures.  It is a big pull-out drawer under the bunk bed on wheels.  When you are an adult the drawer represents something entirely different.  Mostly I avoid the drawer.  I know it is there and I have a sense of what is in there, but as longs as it is shut it is easy to ignore.  The problem was, it was becoming difficult to close…

So, Mom tackled the drawer, and yes, Mom won.  Here is what I found there:

  1. About 50 cardboard toilet paper rolls squirreled away from the bathroom
  2. 8 sticks
  3. 2 acorns
  4. a plastic egg
  5. Very large pile of artwork, craft projects and paper with scribbles (aka more art)
  6. plastic Sutter Home Chardonnay bottle (?!)
  7. Miscellaneous assortment of small toys, silly bands, etc.
  8. 1 whoopee cushion
  9. 1 yellow plastic Lei
  10. 3 feathers

Once I was done and order was again established I realized that when a certain small someone opened the nice, neat drawer there were certain to be repercussions.  I decided a confession was in order under the guise of making more space for Christmas.  Thankfully the purging was met with approval.

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Before and (almost) After – Front

December 11, 2011

Can you spot the difference between these two photographs?

September 2010 - house hidden by shrubbery

December 2011

Hint:  Windows, Walkway, attic vent, tree/bushes…

To answer your questions…

1. Yes it’s primer to be painted this spring.  I was going to paint it back to its original white, but everyone seems to like the contrast and the way the trim stands out with the tan.

2. Please don’t even talk to me about why the top is gray and the bottom is tan…

3. We will be re-roofing over the door and window and scraping and painting the trim this spring.

4. Yes, I promise to hide the footings with lattice and plant some shrubs!

In case you can’t see it, Tristan hung up my plaque.

Newhall Farm Circa 1900


Holidays Under Renovation

December 1, 2011

Can you believe it is December 1st?  Aside from a freak Nor Easter in October, the weather has been down right balmy by New England standards.  We are lucky too because not only is the front not finished, but the office is all torn apart down to the studs.  I am hoping the insulation fairy will have it buttoned up before the real cold weather begins, but I wouldn’t want to rush things…

I have been getting some questions lately along the tune of “how do you live like that”?  So I thought I would provide you with some tips for Enjoying the Holidays while living in a construction zone.

Tip #1 – Take cleaning right off your to-do list.  Chances are as soon as you’ve got the place spotless someone will decide to saw up something or rip down something and coat everything with dust and sawdust.

Tip #2 – Invest in a blindfold and walk around the house.  After you bump into a few sheets of blueboard, trip over a ripped up floor and knock over some fixtures you will be so grateful to have your eyesight back that you might not notice the mess (for a day or two).

Tip #3 – Stop entertaining.  Better yet, deadbolt the doors and shut the lights out even when you are home.  This will discourage even the pop-in visitors and that way no one will ask any questions.

Tip #4 – Go on vacation.  When you can’t have a conversation with your spouse without arguing and your life has become a giant to-do list… it’s time to take a break.  Preferably somewhere else!

Tip #5- Ignore #3 and have a big party.  It’s a way for you to give back – give guests a parting gift of appreciation for their own homes that they aren’t living your life.  Priceless.

Tip #6- Imbibe lots of Spiked Eggnog

Tip #7- Try not to work with power tools while practicing #6.

Tip #8- Focus on those less fortunate (war, famine, disease) and you will realize how insignificant your renovation project is in the big scheme of things.

Tip #9- Always look backwards, never ahead.  Focus on what you have done.  Invite over friends that will say “Wow, you’ve really done a lot since I’ve been here!”   Never think about all that is left to finish or how many years lie ahead of you to get there…

Tip #10- Don’t stop believing that in the end it will have all been worth it.  Did I mention the eggnog?