life in my Big Yellow House

tackling domestication, one day at a time

Step 1: Make a list March 4, 2012

Filed under: projects — dianarchy @ 4:42 pm
Tags: ,

There’s a bedroom in my house that, when I bought it, I thought would make a good crafting room, but the longer I’ve been here, the more it’s turned into place to dump crap I hardly use (but haven’t brought up to the attic) or never use (and haven’t brought to the dump). And what the room really ought to be is a bedroom. There’s one tiny closet in there, but if we took that out and put in a closet on a different wall (the wall that has the door on it), the closet would be big enough for two people to use and a bed would fit in the room on a more logical wall.

There are a couple broken outlets, and there’s a junction box sitting off-center near the top of the wall I’d like to put the closet on, so turning this into a bedroom I’d actually like to use will mean some DIY projects and some projects will need to be done by trained professionals.

Here’s my list so far of what needs to be done:

  1. Sort the crap that’s in there: trash it, donate it, or put it in the attic.
  2. Tear out the old closet. This will probably end up damaging the wall behind it and the ceiling above it, so we may have some plaster/drywall that needs repairing.
  3. Update the electrical. This is something I don’t feel comfortable doing myself.
  4. Build the new closet. This is something I could — at least in theory — do myself. I might get a few quotes for it, however, and see if it would be worth the headache. I’m not a perfectionist when it comes to doing things, but once they’re finished I like them to be at least superficially perfect, so I would probably end up happier if I did source this out.
  5. Take down the crown molding in the room. It’s gross, saggy, and with a new shape to the room it will just be easier to replace it all. It’s also not very expensive to buy new crown molding.
  6. Repaint the room and ceiling.
  7. Install new crown molding.
  8. Install carpet (from what I’ve read, this definitely sounds like a job for professionals, but maybe I can cut costs by buying carpet at Marden’s? I must admit that salvage carpet scares me a little).
  9. Bring in new furniture. What we’ll need:
  • Curtains
  • A bed (we have a frame, but I’d like at least a headboard, perhaps a base with drawers in it)
  • A dresser (there will still only be room for one dresser in this room, so even if we don’t get a storage bed, we’ll need something. Preferably something low and wide.)
  • A nightstand or two
  • A chair for reading/nursing

If everything goes according to plan, we’ll have a baby in this room (though I’m not pregnant yet), so I’d like to keep enough room to make this possible:

Is there anything I’m forgetting? Is there a better order I should be doing this in? We have huge steam radiators in our house, so I’m not sure what will happen to the carpet underneath them. Is it possible to carpet under them, or should I try to make the wood look nice and create some sort of transition there? Also, I’d like to put in a ceiling fan, so would that go with the electrical updates? There are currently no fixtures in the ceiling.


Scum December 9, 2010

Filed under: projects — dianarchy @ 8:15 pm
Tags: , ,

With Nate working late, nothing saved on the dvr that I want to watch without him, and no games online that could possibly distract me, I decided to finally attack The Scum.

From what I gather, the family who lived in this house moved out about six months to a year before the house sold. During that time, they hired a man to live in the house (to keep it occupied during winter) and do minor jobs like painting the bedroom and floors (yes I said floors).

I always figured The Scum in the bathtub was the result of a man without any idea of how often a person is supposed to clean a tub living there for, at minimum, 12 times the recommended bathtub cleaning frequency. I’m not saying all men are like this, but there most definitely are men like this, and I assumed this guy was one of them.

Now, I don’t take baths and neither does Nate, so when I clean the bathroom, I don’t always scrub it to sparkling. Maybe that’s gross, but there always seems to be something better to do. I scrub anything that is going to be touched by anyone’s naked butt, but after that, I don’t really care.

Tonight I finally ran out of excuses and broke out all my scrubbing supplies. I was not prepared for what happened next, though. It was not soap scum that was coating the sides and bottom of my tub. It was paint. Under all the paint were rust stains. Paint! What kind of cheap idiots were these people??

Ugh. So now I can’t get the tub clean and also one end of it is now yellowish, while the rest is white. This is worse than before! Sigh. I can’t win with this place.


thoughts inspired by a checklist December 2, 2010

Filed under: mental,personal,projects — dianarchy @ 8:21 pm
Tags: , ,



Bangor Bungalow: Winter: window-mania!.

Two things…

first of all, isn’t that checklist beautiful?

I realized that I have two big reasons for not starting projects. Yes, there is the fact that I am incredibly lazy. But in my head, I have beautiful ideas for this house, and I think if I actually did them I’d feel so much happier. Especially about this house. I am sort of suffering buyer’s remorse right now because I hate my house so much.

I hate it because I bought a house knowing I’d need to put work into it to love it; I didn’t realize that almost 2 years later I’d be sitting in this house with no projects done, resenting the place. And who wants to fix something they resent? I don’t. I just sort of hide from it as much as possible. I don’t invite anyone over, and I don’t devote any time or energy to making it better. I sleep here, I eat here, but I’ve felt more at home in some apartments than I do here.

I’ve avoided saying this for a while, because I feel like a failure. I feel like I betrayed the American Dream or something. This house is – at the moment – a smarter financial decision than continuing to rent. But right now, I don’t have a real compelling reason to have become a homeowner.

I always thought that it would be silly for me to get my dreamhouse as my first house. I see people my age doing that and I wonder if they have any idea what’s in store for them. I just think, “My life could change at any time. My job is stable enough to warrant purchasing a house, but not so stable that I’ll never move again (as in, I probably won’t want to do my job for the rest of my life, but I’m not in any serious threat of getting laid off).” At this point in my life, I don’t want to be tied to a dream house.

I just wish I’d realized, before buying this house, that it didn’t mean I shouldn’t love the house I do buy, in the mean time.

I also wish I’d realized that by not loving a house, I’m going to put off doing projects on it, even if those projects would help me to like my house more in the long run. I’m an instant gratification kind of girl.

These are the things you should know about yourself before you commit to a 30 year mortgage. So yeah, I kind of feel like a dummy for not realizing that about myself — supposedly the topic I know best — before now. Another reason why this topic has been silent for so long.

So I think I need a checklist.  A whole-house checklist, broken down into sub-checklists for each project. And maybe I can recruit some of my “roommates” into helping me with them. Or maybe I can’t. It’s my name on the deed, there’s no reason I should need their approval or their help. But it’d be nice.


The benefit (or peril?) of wearing jeans you haven’t fit into in 3 years July 17, 2010

Filed under: personal,projects — dianarchy @ 6:14 pm
Tags: , , ,

Scene: just after changing my clothes and looking in the mirror, daring to ask that question that no woman should ask a man who lives with her:

Me: “Do I look okay?”

Him: “Yeah, honey, you look great!”

Me: “Are you sure? I don’t know, I feel like I’m …”

Him: “A little skanky?”

Me: “Yeah! That’s the word.”

Him: “That’s what makes it great, baby.”

So I guess things are fine in that regard.

I haven’t spent much time working on the house. Spent a lot of time these last few months trying to focus on our relationship. Any progress we *have* made on the house hasn’t been documented, since we don’t have time to blog+work+love+potty. I’m still not even sure how the folks over to Young House Love did it, before they made blogging their full-time jobs. I’m not even popular, I don’t even have any readers to respond to or feel obligated to.

I’m going to try to get better. If anything, I need to experience. English might be my only language spoken, but it’s getting rusty and folksy and I’m not exactly proud of it. See above, re: “over to”.

For starters, I bought this book the other day at Bullmoose (tangent: if you’re in the Bangor area and you haven’t stopped and checked out Bullmoose’s Bangor location’s book section, you are really missing out. It is currently my favorite bookstore in all the town.). I plan on making something out of it, and I plan on blogging the entire project. It might be boring, it might be a disaster, but it’s a project, and you guys are getting it play-by-play. I hope that by forcing myself to document one thing, it becomes a habit and I do it more often.

<iframe src=”″ style=”width:120px;height:240px;” scrolling=”no” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ frameborder=”0″></iframe>

What looks like a neat project to make?


Sweet Home 3D March 15, 2010

Filed under: projects — dianarchy @ 12:20 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Sweet Home 3D.

I found this on Lifehacker, and can’t wait to try it out. I’ve been meaning to make a SketchUp of my home, but this might be a better place to start.

Have you made any virtual designs of your home or projects before jumping in to them? Or are you more of a pencil-and-graph-paper type like my dad?


ambition March 13, 2010

Filed under: projects — dianarchy @ 4:03 pm
Tags: , ,

We dug up the hydrangea bush today. Last night there were Columbines for sale at Lowe’s and I’ve been talking about disliking that hydrangea bush for a while, so you put the two together and Nate and I had to get ambitious today.

The thing is, hydrangea used to be my favorite flower. I’ve gotten kind of bored with it, though. Everyone has them everywhere. I tried to find out what kind it was using the hydrangea identification tool over to, but I couldn’t find it. It was just a boring kind with white flowers that quickly turned brown and papery. And now I know it had an extensive root system, because it’s all gone now. My fingers are so sore that this is going to be a short entry, since I’m pretty sure my fingertips might fall off if I keep going.

If it had been pretty and blue or pink, maybe I wouldn’t have wanted to get rid of it so much, but I have a big house on a 0.1 acre lot. If there is a plant in my yard that I am only keeping around because it’s already there and not because I love it, then that is a waste. If Nate plants some beautiful columbines in that spot, it’s no longer a waste. At least in my mind.

The bed is cleared out as far as the hydrangea goes, but we still have to level out the bed and clear out all the dead leaves and crap. And by we, I mean probably Nate. I am a good outside helper, but he is mostly in charge out there. I come up with the ideas and he implements them.


Come to think of it …

Filed under: personal,projects — dianarchy @ 2:44 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Let’s just clear out some open tabs, shall we?