Monday, March 26, 2007

All Around the Yard

I was floating along wearing sweaters and using Kleenex like candy when, BAM... it is spring. Here lately the highs have been in the 80's, my hair dresser is predicting a terrible summer (although, I was a bit sceptical about her forecasting abilities). So this weekend I decided that the yard needed facing.

However, my Saturday morning spent in the yard happened without actual planning. I went to some yard sales early, leaving Matt snoring in bed. Since history proves that he never rises before at least 10 am on a Saturday, I felt comfortable leaving my keys behind since he would most assuredly be there when I got home. However, he was not. So, locked out and lugging my yard sale finds, I let myself into the back yard. Now, the ironic part of all this is that although I did not have my keys with me, somehow I did have my camera in my purse. So here are a few pictures from my morning spent stranded in the yard with Mabel (I was thrilled to find that the climbing roses I planted are looking well and sprouting leaves).

Friday, March 23, 2007

Goodbye Lavender

The foremost reason that my husband hated our house and resisted the idea of buying it was because of the paint colors. Forget neutrals, our house was on the dramatic end of the color wheel. The oddest thing of all was that after the renters moved out, the owners repainted it these colors. On purpose. It would have been one thing if it was just a creative person’s odd taste. But to consider lavender and lime green as selling points is another issue entirely.

I suppose it helped us out. The house had been on the market for a while and the sellers were ready to bargain. As I peered at the house through my giant rose colored glasses, I thought, “Painting will be fun.” It isn’t. I don’t care what HGTV says, it isn’t fun.

I chose to paint most of the house white, December Starlight to be exact. I could tell on the faces of my friends that they couldn’t believe it. “White?” asked Matt, “But that is pretty plain.” But I love it. My whole life I have wanted to live in an ocean cottage somewhere, white walls, white sheers flowing in open windows. In addition, after years of living in neutral apartments and rent houses, I had amassed a very colorful blend of artwork and furnishings. So choosing a color would have been impossible.

Here are some of my before and after pictures.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Our First Home

I have always wanted my own house. When I was little, mom used to buy every dollhouse in existence for me. I painted what I wanted my living room to look like when I was 10 (in all its purple splendor). My husband and I married when we were still in college, and for four years we bounced through two rent houses and a very, very, very hideous brown townhouse before we finally were able to purchase a house.

We found our house a year ago today. My in laws were in town and patiently driving us around to look at houses. Stan, my father in law, slowed down to look at the house, and my husband Matt muttered, "Keep driving." But somehow, I knew it was the house for us. It was, in fact, barely a mile away from a tiny lakeside house where I grew up until I was 9. Perhaps it was the spring air, or the close proximity to my childhood home, but I was sold.

The house didn't have curb appeal. The walls inside were lavender and lime green. Everywhere. All signs of vegetation that might have ever grown in the yard was dead or pulled out by the roots. The grass had died after being left covered in inches of leaves. Years of being a rent house had not been kind to this little yellow 50's ranch.

Somehow, despite Matt's hesitance (which was completely understandable) and our lack of finances (we will never be able to repay my in laws for helping us), owning this little house became a reality. We became more and more exited as we worked our way toward the closing date. The day they handed over the keys, we ran to Lowe's and purchased tons of white paint to cover up the hideous lavender and green walls. We spent several hours relishing being in a house, our own house. We rinsed out our paint brushes and locked up. However, as I walked across the carport and to the car door, I noticed a strange whitish liquid running out from under the house. There was all our paint/water staining and rushing down the drive way from a terrible leak under the house.

It would seem there have a been a long succession of things like this that have happened. Lightening struck and took out the main circuit board to our heat and air unit. Sewage backed up into the bathtub. Rain leaked down the fireplace in disgusting rusty dribbles. The water line to the fridge malfunctioned. And, despite Matt's insistence that I'm crazy and a plumber's promise that everything is fine, I catch a very weird smell beneath the bathroom cabinet every now and then. With all of the trials and tribulations of buying this older house, one would be well founded in assuming that we might regret buying this house. Not so.

Along with all the hardship came so many great moments. Reading books at night and listening to crickets and doves instead of apartment/urban traffic noises. Walking our dog around the lakes in our neighborhood, waving at people we know, watching swans and ducks waddle the streets, hearing an actual ice cream truck every evening, all summer long. The positives far out weight the negatives. And with tons of work done, with tons of work still left to do, I decided to keep a blog about what I am passionate about. I am passionate about decorating and all things house related. Unfortunately for me, I'm not able to make a living at what I'm passionate about. But it would seem that blogging about it, and reading what others are inspired by, is a good outlet for all my enthusiasm.