life in my Big Yellow House

tackling domestication, one day at a time

Scum December 9, 2010

Filed under: projects — dianarchy @ 8:15 pm
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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.

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thoughts inspired by a checklist December 2, 2010

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

 

ambition March 13, 2010

Filed under: projects — dianarchy @ 4:03 pm
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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 hydrangeashydrangeas.com, 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.

 

why big yellow house? March 10, 2010

Filed under: projects — dianarchy @ 6:34 pm
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Because last April, I bought a Big Yellow House, all by my little onesies. It’s got 4 bedrooms, a full basement and attic, and a bath and a half, and already it feels cramped. Right now it’s me, my boyfriend Nate, my sister Alix (she has a weekend job in my town, but she lives 3 hours away during the week), a hamster named PeePee, a boa named Julie, 11 black milksnakes (Sonny, Cher, and their offspring, most of whom are unnamed and for sale), an Ecuadorian milksnake named Guillermo, a Sinaloan milksnake named Columbia, and a blue spotted salamander named Mr Blue. We like our pets in cages.

I had hoped to start a blog from the beginning, to document what projects we’ve done around the house and what projects remained, but it was a rough start. Let’s see if things go better from here on out, right?