FIXER-upper

I spent some of last week painting my house, mostly woodwork. I have a 100-year-old house, so there are plenty of projects, although it’s really in remarkably good shape for its age.

In the 18 months I’ve lived here, I’ve added baseboard heat to the living room, put in three raised vegetable/fruit beds, done a lot of painting and replaced the sump pump in the basement. Unfortunately, though, every time I look closely, I add more to the house to-do list.

I’ve gotten really tired of cleaning snow off the car most mornings. Two weekends ago I spent the two hours shoveling out the car and driveway figuring out how big I could make the new garage if I ever got the money to build one. Every time I try futilely to clean the kitchen floor, I dream of new tiles. Spend much time cooking, and I’m mentally measuring for new cabinets to replace the cranky, dysfunctional ones there now. Here in the depths of winter, I’m fantasizing about radiant-heat floors and a full-size rug for my bedroom.

The bathroom upstairs was done on the cheap – how much could it cost to get a toilet that’s all the same color and doesn’t tilt to the left (plumber)? The lone light in there is completely inadequate to do most anything, and most of what permanent light fixtures I have in the house are begging for dimmer switches (electrician). Painting trim has been a painful reminder of how amateurish the newer work is (finish carpenter).

It’s been several years since I’ve owned a house; you forget that it’s a constant work in progress, that the project list is never empty and that there’s a reason someone made a movie called “The Money Pit.

A friend told me last week that just before her family moved out of their last house, she ran out of house projects. It was actually sort of sad, she said. Fortunately, they moved into a house that had to be completely redone. Even now, some two years later, some fixture is continually breaking, so she has enough to keep her going.

As much as I’d like all my house projects done now, they’ll have to stand in line behind saving for emergencies and retirement, paying my mortgage, and keeping my 15-year-old Volvo running. It’s just as well – I’m not planning on moving anytime soon.

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About Mindy

I am divorced, no kids, working full-time in corporate communications. There are never enough hours in my day, mostly because I insist on hygiene, food, exercise and clean dishes. Really, how do women with kids do it?!?
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