Monday, September 21, 2009

Living in the projects

Despite the images the title of this posts brings to mind, I am not living in large scale public housing. This post is not about drive bys or gangs. I am not in imminent danger, though I did spend the afternoon at my doctor's office getting a tetanus booster. I'll explain. When I say projects I mean DIY projects. Different elements of my life in varying stages of disrepair, things taken on for improvement and not quite finished.

The big one is the house. Remember we bought this house as a fixer upper and have been fixing it ever since. Not a bad thing, just a very slow thing. (And Mr. Dog, I want to stress I am not complaining.) The first stage of the fixing has been the foundation, a job much larger than I think either of us bargained for. Granted, the project has also morphed from replacing the rotting posts and pouring a partial wall to adding a full finished basement. Still, the project has been in progress for a very long time, and while the overall safety of our house has been vastly upgraded even with the partial foundation completion, it is not the fun kind of remodel project that you get to show off to friends. Instead we show off the torn up yard and the heaps of foundation forms in the yard. I also seem to be husbandless most weekends as he dons his work clothes and goes under the house to continue his labors.

Our projects don't stop at the foundation, we also have a partially demolished former-kitchen-turned-play-room-on-it's-way-to-becoming-a-bedroom that is currently a storage space for household overflow. This is a good and bad thing since we lost a useful play room, but now have storage which our house is otherwise sorely missing.

Not enough for you? Well, I recently bought an antique couch, that I adore, but need to have reupholstered. It was passable enough until Dashiell's large paw swatted down on the fragile old mohair and tore a nice hole in the arm. Now the project has taken on a slightly higher importance, but not by much because in the scheme of things it still works. Now I just cover it with a velvet throw and pretend the tear doesn't exist.

But fixers are in my nature. I can't resist an old thing that just needs some love to truly shine. I have always loved thrift shops and garage sales for this reason. I've recently mentioned my lust for the craigslist free section and freecycle. And from my perusal of these fonts of glorious free stuff I recently added an old oak office chair to my list of projects. It needs a little work, but once it's done it will be a stunner. I just need to find the time, and sadly time is something I never seem to find. I have a beautiful old light fixture I need to sand and stain before I drop it off to be rewired. It's only been waiting for over a year for this work that should take a couple of hours.

As for my tetanus shot? Well that's the result of another project that is waiting to be completed, though this is more of a repair. Little Dog's bed is a trundle from which the front board has been tugged off. It wasn't exceedingly well attached, and it broke pretty easily. I've been meaning to fix it up with a couple of L brackets and some wood screws. It just hasn't happened. In the meantime, I hammered the remaining staples into what I thought was a more safe state. But last night when I stepped on it, I found I was wrong. Now I need to get this fixed once and for all before one of the boys is injured.

Sometimes I long to be the one with the showplace home. I want to post photos on facebook of the fabulous new kitchen or elegant new living room. But I know I have years before my home will be photo ready. And sometimes it's kind of depressing. I know it will come together at some point, but when I'm tired and stressed it can be pretty hard to see the end goal. But it seems like it is always something, right? I mean, I as just talking to a friend who has a new home, one not needing tons of repairs, one that has a solid foundation and heat. And guess what. She hates her home. Wishes she had something else. At least at the heart of my situation I love our house, I love the projects we've started. I just wish they were closer to completion. I wish the work we've done was more of the "fun" work than the dull structural stuff. I want to see the goodness in reality where I can grab it, show it off and in some cases, sit on it. I'm not good at waiting, but wait I must.


Beth said...

I love projects, too! And I love older houses. They have so much personality.

Can't wait until you guys get to the fun part of renovation!

mamamilkers said...

I can appreciate this post-- our house is a work in progress, as well. Of course, it's our first house and my hubs and I barely know how to hammer in a nail, so we're learning slooowly.

Building Materials Supplies said...

My house is a ongoing home improvement build.

It will finish one day

geekymummy said...

Your house will be beautiful, it has so much potential. Hang in there! I love our place. I sometimes sit in my bathrooom just enjoying the feel of the tile under my feet and admiring the glass tile trim! Your place will be fabulous.

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