Saturday, July 7, 2007


We tend to be really good about maintenance on our cars. We try to change the oil every 5,000 miles or so and get the checks and tune-ups when scheduled. We know that they run better when we do this and since we don’t buy new cars very often it is important to keep the ones we own running well.

We also do this with our bodies. We eat healthy foods in appropriate portions, we exercise, we have a spiritual life, and we try to talk when things are bothering us. This has worked rather well for us, we have been dating almost 29 years and have been married for almost 23.

Where we have slacked off on this is our house. We do the minimum when it is necessary. Neither of us are real lovers of yard work and while Steve is very handy, he is also a perfectionist. So he does things really well, but they take time. He feels he would rather pay for someone to do a job, because his time is precious (there are too many summits to be conquered or golf courses in the past). This has worked for us but now we are both beginning to think about the state of affairs. Our house is 19 years old. Some of the weeds are 19 years old. The carpet is 19 years old. I wanted to replace it a few years ago, but the dog was old and the boy was in high school. I didn’t want new carpet to get ruined. But now the boy is college bound and the new puppy is housetrained. It is time. But it was the beginning of summer and the grass grew.

There is a snowball effect in place. I think it may actually be an avalanche. First, we hired someone to come clean up the yard (we have an acre and a quarter with not even half landscaped) and since we paid more than it was worth and he wanted to charge too much to come back for maintenance, be decided that we could do slightly more than the minimum (the minimum being nothing) and keep it up ourselves. The problem is the moles and the back yard. We have a problem and have had for years. The back has never been seeded with yard grass, it is just field grass. This was great when the kids were little because they thought they were hiding in the grass, but now I can’t push the lawn mower that I received as a birthday gift about 10 years ago through the hills and valleys back there. So we bit the big one and for my birthday this week, I got a new Craftsman riding lawnmower. Now everyone wants to mow the lawn.

To get rid of the field grass we need to borrow or rent a rototiller to dig up the grass and blackberries and re-seed both the front and back yards. This is a beginning of fall type job, so it makes sense to wait a bit for that. We also need to look at what types of plants could line the perimeter of the yard and would be low to no maintenance (see a theme here?) and native to this part of the world. Salal and rhododendrons are all I have thought about so far. Planning, one of my favorite activities.

While the house is 19 years old, we designed and built it and we love the location in the woods. But a lot of things in the house are 19 yers old. The carpet is 19 years old. I wanted to replace it a few years ago, but the dog was old and the boy was still in school. I didn’t want new carpet to get ruined. But now the boy is college bound and the new puppy is housetrained. It is time.

I have chosen Brazillian Cherry hardwood floors for the kitchen, dining room, living room, office and hall. Steve didn’t want to put it in the kitchen and dining room, because about six or eight years ago we had Pergo put in there. But the Pergo next to the hardwood would look really bad and then in a few years when the i would need to be replaced, we wouldn't be able to connect it with the hardwood, so it is being replaced now. It just makes the most sense. The new carpet for our bedroom is a neutral green and it has been ordered. So my job today is to start the painting of the bathroom and closets, since I can’t move the furniture and my moving man is out conquering summits. I have to paint before the new carpet is put in, I just have to.

We won’t be putting new carpet in the kid’s rooms because all those years of clothing on the floors protected the carpet for the most part and it doesn’t look near as old as it is. Who knew the kids were saving us money all these years.

So this is my avalanche. I’ve heard horror stories about this and I'm sure there will be more posts about this adventure.


Backofpack said...

Wait. Your avalance travelled a few miles to my house...

You didn't let Eric see that mower did you? I should start painting too - but I hate it. I said I would, so I will. I find the whole process arduous - from selecting a color to prepping the room, to the actual painting. And yet it doesn't make sense to pay someone else to do it, so it'll be me. And what, you ask, will Eric be doing? He'll be completing the bathroom project that was started back in 1999!

Journey to a Centum said...

We need to get drunk and do some rally racing around your yard with that new bad-boy lawn mower! We can set up a course and see who can get through it the fastest. Does it have a cupholder for a beer?

Sounds like we are both in the same mode with our homes. I found a really cool Mission Style bathroom cabinet at McClendons that I need to show to Michelle. I have about 30 hours of work to do in the guest bathroom plus painting. Possibly more with trim work but once I get the tile down and the new cabinet, sink, toilet, mirror, new lights it should be very functional for some time to come. Oh boy!

Mama said...

It even has a place for your cell phone. You wouldn't be able to hear it, but you could have it there. My back yard already is an obstacle course.

The bathroom will be so nice when it is done. I always enjoy it when a job is complete and I can check it off the list.

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Oh, if I were home I'd help you paint. I like to paint, I just hate the prep work to paint. Like taping. But the painting part is great! Have fun and don't worry about spilling cause you will be getting new carpet!