Friday, April 30, 2010

A Good Shag

When the house was being painted, I told everyone, don't worry about the carpet, I'm replacing it.  I had to. It was the nastiest looking carpet I'd ever seen.  Well, maybe not ever, but there was no way I wanted to be walking around on it for longer than I had to.  See what I mean?

That is not even close to the original color of the carpet. *shudder*

Luckily for me, my brother-in-law was a carpet layer in a former life, and still does side jobs.  Woot!  I went to the Floor Center and picked out a nice but inexpensive carpet to do the job.  My sister helped me measure the space that I needed to cover, so all I had to do was tell the store how much of it I wanted - which was 768 sq ft.  Although we apparently over measured some areas so we had a bit left over, that I sold on Craigslist.  The carpet pad was even included (apparently this is par for the course, but I didn't know that).  $1,400 later I was the proud owner of carpet and carpet pad.  I purchased the carpet on October 29.  Remember, I closed on the 16th and spend the week after painting and cleaning for move in.  I left for a Cabo vacation the weekend I bought the carpet, so we didn't get it installed then. 

After my well deserved vacation, my brother-in-law, sister, mom and dad came to help me put in the new carpet.  There's a lot of work that goes into it.  First we had to clear the rooms - since I had already moved in we had to shift furniture in order to get each room carpeted.  It wasn't so bad though.  Dennis (the brother-in-law) started ripping up the carpet.  First we pulled up the baseboards (I'm replacing those).  He'd cut it into manageable pieces so it wasn't too heavy or cumbersome to carry down.  He also rolled and taped the pieces up so I could store it in my garage and gradually get the pieces trashed.  This part was pretty easy - just dirty work.  Then we had to pull up nails, glue, etc.  My sister went buck wild with the broom and did a lot of the cleaning parts while I did a lot of hauling.  While Kris was sweeping the floors, Dennis got to work measuring and cutting.  Measure twice, cut once. 

He rolled out the pad first and cut those pieces and put those down.  I didn't watch the actual process - too many cooks in the kitchen, if you know what I mean.  It was really a fast process though.  By the time he finished the guest room, Kris was ready for him in the computer room.  He whipped through the computer room, the bedroom, and the hallway and finished those all by...I'd say 4 pm.  It was a long days work and I know it was hard on his knees and hands.  Blood and sweat was truly shed.  But no tears, thankfully.

The stairs proved to be the most time consuming and difficult part.  It took Dennis all of Sunday to get the two staircases carpeted.  Relatively small square footage, but lots of hard work.  In the end, I had an entire roll of unopened, unused carpet pad that I sold on Craigslist, some carpet remnants I also sold on Craigslist, and a few pieces to put down in front of the laundry area to keep my toes warm.  Score!

I gave Dennis a little gift for helping out and with only $1400 spend on the carpet, my entire second floor and stairs looked fresh and new.  I'm so lucky to have family with so many different brother the carpenter, my sister and brother-in-law the accountants, my sister-in-law the nurse, brother-in-law the carpet layer and sister the jack of all trades.  I'll let Eric know if I need any help with security.

Now, I forget exactly what the name of the carpet I got was...It's not super shaggy by any means, but its also not a short tight carpet either.  I think it might be called a frieze loop.  This picture is pretty similar to what I have.

Go figure - I can't find any pictures of my own carpet.  Not that those photos would be terribly exciting anyways.  Now, if only I'd get those baseboards replaced...Another day, another dollar.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Windows for America (and for Debbie)

When I bought the house, I knew one of the first things I'd have to buy for it would be new windows - my front picture window appeared to have a B.B. Gun shot in it, one window was missing a pane and instead had plexiglass.  Luckily for me, the government was giving me $8,000 to buy a house so I knew I could use that money to do some improvements. 

In November, I started contacting window companies.  I got estimates from Home Depot, New Windows for America, and....a company whose name I can't recall.  All the quotes were around the same price and all the companies really wanted me to sign on the dotted line while the salesman was there.  I actually did sign on that line with Home Depot, but since I only had that one quote I decided to cancel that order while I still had time and get some other companies in. 

I had the other salesmen come in and I decided to mull it over instead of signing right away.  I went with a company called New Windows for America - they had the best price with a comparable window to Home Depot.  When the salesman from HD called me back, this was the only time it started feeling slimy...he said that it turned out he talked to his boss and he could get me this discount and that discount, etc etc.  I stuck with New Windows and three weeks later I had windows with real glass, no bullet holes, and double-hung white vinyl.  So pretty!  They also have a double lifetime warranty on the whole thing - glass, screen etc.  So that means no matter what breaks the glass - a gun shot, rock, baseball - the company will come out and replace it for free.  And they'll do that for me, and for the next owner of the house. How sweet is that!

The saddest part about it all was saying goodbye to my tax credit - but the investment will be well worth it.

If you look really closely, right at the top of the bed cover where it starts from the cab, you can see the bullet hole. Too bad I didn't get a better pic before I got the new windows.


Terrible picture, but such a pretty sliding picture window!  And yes, they installed in the middle of winter.

You can see the quality of the window better here.

All in all, I wound up replacing 9 windows.  Two of the windows were sliding - the front picture and the upper bath.  The rest were regular double hung.  I had only one set of windows that were the same size - otherwise every single window was a different non-standard size.  My total cost was just over $6,000.  With the purchase of the windows, I also qualified for an energy star tax credit, so I did get an extra $1,500 back in taxes this year, which also helped offset the cost of some of my home improvement projects. Not only did I get the windows, there were installed in two days, with only one day inside the house.  They also put on the .... flashing? I forget what exactly its called, but its the stuff on the outside of the windows that makes it look nice and uniform on the outside of the entire house.  So, no mess, no cleanup, and just a beautiful end result.  For free! *some restrictions apply ;-)

Lessons learned:
  1. Get multiple quotes, don't be afarid to tell the salesman no or that you're not ready to decide.  Also, if you feel pressured at all, just go with a different company.  Don't deal with a company who might be giving you the skeevies, even if they give you the best price. 
  2. Ask friends and family for recommendations and opinions. Even if you don't use their opinions it might help you make your decision. It's especially useful to just bounce ideas off people.  Thanks Rita!
  3. Get familiar with any tax write-off, credit, etc. that you might qualify for by your purchase.  Lower end windows wouldn't have qualified, but would've been slightly cheaper.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Painting Party

Directly after closing on the house (and after a celebratory glass of sparkly) my mom and I went out to Home Depot so I could continue to drag myself further into debt and by supplies of the painting kind.  I walked out with $500+ in supplies and ready to take on the house the next day. 

I'm lucky enough to have great friends who are willing to do manual labor for only pizza and beer as payment.  Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, I had over a dozen helpers tackling the painting with me.  My sister and her friend who love nothing better than painting and wine, were able to whip out the living room and kitchen in just a couple hours. And they did an amazing job of not getting paint anywhere.  They were also lucky enoguh to have two out of the only three rooms in the house that didn't have textured walls.

My friends and I retreated upstairs and worked on the bumpy rooms and hallway.  Because the rooms were so heavily textured, it took a lot of elbow grease and paint to get the walls completely covered.  As more reinforcements came, we went outside to the garage to sand and prime the kitchen cabinets.  Can you imagine - painting 5 rooms, one hallway and kitchen cabinets all in a weekend?  People scoffed that I wouldn't be able to do it, but, with our powers combined...

Megan was in charge of the green room - and she did an excellent job as usual. Thanks Megs!

Loretta worked hard at sanding and scraping - and was only slightly terrifyng as she got her hands on power tools.

Pat and Demie were troopers - sand Reckas-Jacksons, SAND!

Evidence of hard work...

Loretta, laughing maniacally and Rita, blacked out to protect the innocent

Many thanks go out to all my friends and family who helped:
My parents for providing equipment, food and labor.
My sister Kris and her girlfriend for their excellent work on the first floor.
And my friends - Megan, Justin, Baron, Loretta, Pat, Demie, Rita, Katy

And if I'm forgetting anyone...I'm sorry.  It's been since October and I have no photographic evidence you were there.  But I am ever so grateful.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Closing Day

A month and half after my offer was accepted and I went under contract, I went to my closing.  There was a lot of stress in that month and a half.

  1. The Home Inspection.  A couple days after going under contract, I had the house inspected.  Good thing, there wasn't really anything major.  Just the AC didn't work, so we amended the contract for the AC to be fixed or replaced and the sellers agreed.  There were (and still are) some other things that I need to fix, but it wasn't anything major enough to stop the buying. 
  2. Financing. Oy, the financing part was the most time consuming.  It was mostly just gathering all the correct documents and sending and resending and getting more documents, writing letters to explain things, etc.  Apparently compared to other mortgage applications, mine was fairly straight forward and simple.  It really was just a lot of paperwork.
  3. Home-buyer class.  I was told that in order to get the St. Paul Heroes money, that I needed to take a class on first time home, I signed up for, paid for, and attended an 8 hour class on buying a house (which was fairly useless to me since I was all the way through except for the closing) and then it turns out that the Heroes program ran out of money. GRRRRRR!!!!! 
  4. Planning, Planning, Planning.  Since I had a month and a half to stare at the pics from the walk throughs, I had lots of time for picking out paint colors, arranging furniture, remodel ideas, etc.  I even made a "My First Place Idea Book".  How fun!
Closing day finally arrived.  We did a final walk through and went to closing.  It was pretty much a no-fuss affair.  The seller had pre-signed all the papers.  We did hit a little snag with the home warranty, but the closing lady was all hard-ass with the sellers agent and she got it all sorted out.  Fifty billion signatures later, the place was mine!  I really do think my whole process was a lot easier than other people's experiences are. 

It's all mine and the banks!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Inspiration, Lack Of

I'm not feeling terribly inspired today...Wednesdays are my long day at work.  By long, I mean long with the public.  I am a children's librarian at a suburban library and on Wednesdays I do two storytimes for toddlers, which takes me from 10 am - 11:30 am.  I have a half hour to clean up, do stats, help parents after storytime, etc.  Then I'm on lunch from 12-1, followed by an afternoon on the public information desk....from 1-5:30.  4.5 hours is a long stretch of time to be on the public desk.  We tend to be quite busy after school.  Actually about the time I'm writing this post.  Take that, teenagers! Kidding, kidding...I'm still helping them.

Today is especially special.  For some reason the babies yesterday and the toddlers today were all acting crazy like, running around, chasing, hugging, pushing, running, screaming, was non-stop during storytime.  I finally just gave up trying to exert control. I figured if the parents didn't care, then I wouldn't either. Sometimes we just have to drop the pretense of reading and just sing and dance.

So, as I'm sitting at the desk waiting for a question, my mind tends to wander to all the things I have to do, the projects I'm in the middle of.  Let's list them.  Because I love lists.

Special Projects
  1. Painting trim on second floor (I have the paint, just need to do the work)
  2. Put in base boards and crown molding on second floor (I have neither sets of molding or measurements ready)
  3. Fixing the grass
  4. Planting bushes
  5. Painting outer doors (need to pick paint color still - Dark blue is winning, although I had a suggestion for bright yellow...)
  6. Cleaning out and organizing garage
Ongoing Lists
  1. Spring cleaning list *puke*
  2. Mowing lawn
  3. Laundry
  4. Sweep and Vacumn (man, the cat hair has exploded)
I wonder if I'm missing anything important....

I look at my lists and feel pretty overwhelmed by them, but I know everything doesn't have to be done at once and that I just need to take it one at at time.  On top of my home improvement projects, I've got softball starting on Tuesday, a trip to ATL to see my little monkey (and Joseph and TJ too), two weddings in Wisconsin (deep, deep into Wisco), a friend coming to visit in June or July, another friend coming in August (yea!)....I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I'm swamped.

What kinds of lists do you have?  Weekly? Honey-Do? 5 year plans? Any favorite movie quotes?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Choosing Paint Colors

As long as we're talking about paint, I should tell you about how I picked paint colors in the rest of my house.  I have nary a white room.

Living Room:
I choose a light, goldish color here to compliment my purple furniture (yes, I'm that girl) and my gold curtains.  What can I say, I'm a pretty pretty princess.

After: I think the color is called Summer Harvest by Behr.

That's a nice color, good choice Deb.

Kitchen and Dining Room:
Here's where I got a little crazy.  I went with this turquoise color that is bright, fun, and a little over the top.  With the brown cabinets it was dark and bleh.  But once I painted the kitchen cabinets white, BAM.  It went from blah to FANTASTIC (at least in my opinion - which, btw, is the only one that counts since it's my house). HA!  Not that you can't tell me your opinion, because you can. But, as I am the Queen (or pretty pretty princess) of the castle, I have final vote.


After: the color is (I believe) called Jamaican Sea by Behr

Now that's a bright blue!

Don't these curtains (they're actually tea towels!) just complete the look?

Master Bedroom:
First, it is only called the master because it's where I sleep.  It's not like the master bedrooms you see on HGTV that have like, 3243 sq ft with vaulted ceilings, sitting areas, walk in closets, and attached baths. It's just a bedroom.  But it's my bedroom and after a lot of thinking, I finally decided to go with a blueish-gray/grayish-blue. (BTW - do you say gray or grey?).  The color is called Shale Gray by Behr.

So soothing!

Guest Bedroom:
I knew I wanted to go green in here.  The room is at the front of the house and in the spring/summer/fall the giant leafy maple tree is right in front, which casts great shadows in the room.  The green makes it feel like you're in the woods. Love it!

You can practically smell the woods...

Computer Room (aka THE BABY'S ROOM):
I originally went with a color called Daffodil Yellow.  Doesn't that sound so pretty? Don't be fooled though, by daffodil yellow, Behr really meant, highlighter yellow or gatorade yellow. It was fluroscent enough to not need lights on any time.  Holy Moly. 


I finally couldn't stand it any longer and repainted it this time with a yellow/green color called Key Lime Pie by Behr. Not only does it sound delish, it LOOKS delish.

Greatly Improved

Upper Bath: 
I knew right away I wanted to put bead board up and that I really wanted to work with a coral color.  This turned out to be one of my favorite rooms.  If it was entirely coral, it would've been overwhelming, but with the bead board and white trim, it's fantastic.  Then with the black and white fave!  I'm still working on replacing the sink...that calls for more plumbing skills than I currently have.  The actual name of the color is Tangerine Dream by Behr.
No, it's not your eyes, my photo taking skillz sometimes leave a lot to be desired.

So, what say you dear readers? Love some, hate some? Love them all? Think I'm nuts and should use neutrals more? What colors have you painted in your houses? Or would paint, if you could?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Poll Time!

I *love* the look of painted doors.  I'm a color girl, and it is very distressing to have a white and grey house, with blah colored doors.

So, please take a look at my sample colors and then vote at the poll at the top of the page.

Dark Blue, Light Blue, Red...something different?

ETA: It is an exterior door - my house colors are white and pale grey and my storm doors are white. I thought painting the exterior would give it a good punch of color.

Bushes and Flowers oh my!

Two weeks ago my dad came over with his truck and chain and we ripped out the half dead bushes and trees that were in my front yard. Now I've got a giant eyesore of a gas meter and dirt pile to deal with.  I am completely a novice at garden things.

Ugly gas meter to the left

I've got a giant maple tree in the front yard that provides copious amounts of shade (and leaves and seeds).  Plus I've tended to kill most things I've undertaken growing in the past (goodbye jade plant, sorry lucky bamboo).  So for me, the important considerations for choosing greenery is for something that will thrive in the shade, will give me some green and possibly some color, and something that will camouflage the gas meter. 

I've had suggestions for: astilbe, hydrangeas, and hostas.

I know hostas are a low lying plant that does well in shade - which will be great, but not for camouflaging the gas meter. Maybe hostas in the front? Man, who knew there were so many kinds of hostas?!

I think hydrangeas are so beautiful - and I heard that they're fairly hearty.  It'd be nice to add color somehow.

It looks like astilbe will also do well in the shade - and it provides lots of color and height.

So...what say you interweb? Have I missed out on a plant/shrub/flower that will do well in shade and is of a hearty sort?

PS - thanks Patty and Joe for the seed and peat moss suggestion...I think I might try it out for the patchy areas. :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Patchy, Bald, and Brown

Otherwise known as, my yard.

What the heck is going on with this grass?

I think the patchy and no grass areas can be attributed to the maple tree in the front yard. At least in my entirely un-expert opinion. far as I can see there are three options. All options would require me to prep the lawn - somehow....
  1. Lay down grass seed. The pro's of this is that it's probably the most cost-efficient option of getting grass.  However, from what I've read I'd need to do something to protect the seeds from being eaten by critters and it would take the longest amount of time.
  2. Get roll out grass.  This doesn't look terribly pricey and seems to be pretty easy. Just roll out and water.  Would take time for the grass to come out, but I wouldn't have to worry about the critters and other problems with seeding.
  3. Get sod. Bam and I'm done. Pricey though. I'm also worried about spending that kind of money and not having the results I want.
I am kind of leaning towards option 2.  Has anyone heard of or used this product before?  What is the best way to prep for it? Till?

Do you think option 2 is a bad idea? What would you do?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Debbie of the Jungle

Last week I had a big week of yard work, my first ever basically.  I started out the day by raking up leaves that I didn't get up before the snow came - that took at least an hour (I've got a large lawn and it's a lot of work!).  Then I pulled on my gardening gloves, flexed my muscles and started pulling up half dead bushes.  My muscles can only be flexed so much, so I was only able to get one up through brute strength.  Luckily for me, my dad came by with his 4wd blazer and a chain. He showed me how to wrap the chain around the bush, securing it deep enough that it would pull up the whole root system, connected it to the truck, and off he went.  Just like *that* my pesky bushes and a tree(!) was gone.

To remind you, this is what it looked like before:

Those pesky bushes and tree last summer

And then the space after:

Blank slate

Take that, pesky bush!

They were half dead, even though they look green there

After we tackled the bushes, my dad hung around and we went after the trees in the backyard.  It turns out I've got a maple and .... some other trees.  But they were being attacked by rogue grape vines that were attacking from my neighbors yard.  Now, if you've never tried to prune or rip out grape vines before, you're in for a big surprise. After yanking a vine for all I was worth and finally ripping down about 25 feet worth, I says to my dad, I says "wow, these are really strong".  He replies back "How do you think it was able to hold up Tarzan?"  So, I figured what the heck, and I gave swinging on a vine a try. Word to the wise - don't try to be George of the Jungle while also working as a lumberjack.  I just missed stepping on the stump of a tree and instead managed to slice the side of my leg with it. I still have the scab and swelling and bruising to show for it.

Back to the story.

Last summer, it looked really pretty....well, by pretty I mean leafy and green
It's a jungle in there

After hours of yanking and cutting and cutting and yanking I had a giant pile of brush

Thankfully my dad borrowed a trailer and hauled it to compost for me

We even found a fire pit buried with the trees

And trees that could breathe again.

My First Time...

Mowing the lawn! 

Last night I figured it was time to bust out the lawn mower for the first time this spring - and EVER for me.  My dad was always very particular about his lawn, so I'd never even touched a lawn mower before, much less used one.

Hello, lover

Lucky for me, one of my friends gave me his mom's lawnmower after she didn't need it anymore (thanks B!) and it's been sitting in my garage since last fall waiting for just the right moment.  I rolled the bad boy out last night and looked at it. And thought. And thought some more. Looked for directions. Poked at the caps. Tried pulling the start cord (whatever the heck that thing is called).

Recalling how I used the snow blower this winter, I thought, hey, maybe there's a button I have to push to PRIME it (whatever the heck that means).  I found it, pushed it 3 times like the button told me to, and pulled the heck out of the cord. Nothing. Not even a whir.  I pushed it 3 more times and pulled the heck out of the cord again. Nada. And boy, was that cord ever hard to pull.  Then I thought, well, what about this bar thing on the handle.  So I grabbed the bar and pulled it up to the handle and let her rip again. CHUG CHUG VROOOOM.  Woot! Success.  Turns out that bar is what makes the engine go...when I let go, it stops.  Some kind of safety feature.

And, I was off!
Look at those beautiful lines - I should work at a ballpark!

About an hour later, some extra time spent picking up sticks and tired hands (my grip strength is going to be out of this world by the time fall rolls around) I was done!  Lawn mowing success!

Lawn Mower - 0
Debbie - 1

Preview for tomorrow:
What should I do about my sad looking lawn and giant empty space in front of my house that is desperatly in need of plants? Search the internet, read up on wikipedia and get ready to give me some expert advice.

Patchy grass, no grass, what's a girl to do?

ummm, EWW. Does this mean ants?

My blank canvas. Need ideas for what to plant here, considering it will be mostly shade.

All those questions and more, tomorrow

Real Quick "Real Simple"

This morning in my email (from B3) I had an email about Real Simple's 19 minute speed cleaning guide.  Sign me up!

Literally, you have to sign up to get it in your email.  They had a bunch of other email newsletters you can sign up for as well.  This winter I ordered a subscription to Real Simple through Amazon (for only $5) so I figured I wouldn't mind them sending things to my email either.

Follow this link to sign up for their newsletter guides...I'll let you know how the 19 minute speed cleaning works for me.

ZOMG, checklists!!! I love checklists.  Srsly. 139 of them...just waiting for me.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My very own House Hunters

My path to home ownership was pretty easy and not very stressful at all.  My awesome realtor is the captain of my hockey team, so I've been friends with her for three years and trust and value her opinion.  She explained the process for me, going over and over the parts I didn't understand (I work with books, not numbers, people!)  It turned into a long process.  We first started working on it in March of 2009 and it wasn't until August that I made my offer and then closed in October.  One of the parts that made this process so much longer was that my boyfriend and I first thought about buying the house together, but we eventually decided that I would go at it alone. And by eventually, I mean after about....5 or so months. Not the fastest decision maker.

Once I decided I was going to buy a house on my home, I had to figure out what I was willing to spend, NOT what the bank was willing to give me.  What I could afford alone was hugely different than what the two of us could've purchased together. The bank would've liked nothing more than me buying a house that cost $150k+. However, my salary and clothes budget preferred something in the $100k range. After some serious hunting in the month of August, I finally found the house. It was beautiful. Right off the freeway, not too far from where I currently lived, 2 bedrooms, brand new kitchen and laundry, hardwood floors, a 2 car garage and a giant deck. I visited it with my realtor and fell in love. We planned to go back 2 days later with my parents (since my dad is my handyman) and my boyfriend. The morning of, I got a distressing phone call - the house had an offer and they weren't going to wait for me to see it. Jerks!

The hunt was on again...and this time I focused over in the neighborhood where my parents live. We found 3 houses too look at - and I found my perfect starter home! The other two houses that I saw were good possibilities - I actually loved one, but there was a serious lack of closet space AND it still ran electricity on fuses. Apparently it is hard to get homeowners insurance with such an outdated electrical system, who knew!  The other house was also adorable, but very small.  I was the only person who could walk through it without ducking my head going up and down the stairs and on the 2nd floor - I called it the hobbit house.  It had an adorable white picket fence, arbor, AND a beautiful front porch. I would've bought it for the front porch alone.  But, reason won out and I figured a hobbit house would not be the right choice, even if that meant I got 2nd breakfast....

I saw THE house a second time, bringing Z (the boyfriend), my parents, and my sister, brother-in-law, and baby nephew who were visiting.  I think everyone was pretty impressed.  My sister acted as photographer extraordinairre so we'd have pics to remember it by. 

Isn't that color amazing! They must've thought so, since they managed to use this same paint on the entire 2nd floor - party!

You can't find shade like this everywhere!

The basement is where all the important stuff is for making decisions - is the foundation good? How about the plumbing, water heater, furnace and electricity? This is why my dad was invited to the party.

Yup, this is a pipe that water comes through

We'll talk about my adventures with these bad boys later

That afternoon, we wrote an offer and after a very short (but seemingly long) wait, the seller called back and my offer was accepted!  I always wonder if maybe I could've gotten it for less or made some other kinds of demands....I guess I'll never know.  Not a bad deal though - I purchased the house for $5k under the asking price, the seller paying closing costs and I have a warranty for one year.  Now, it was time to celebrate and start making plans!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I've Got a Little List...

or, in my case, several giant lists.  I *love* list making.  It is entirely satsifying to type out everything for the list, put it in bullet points, format the page to make it fit exactly right and then print it out.   Where it festers in a pile of paper almost never to be looked at again. 

I'm a list maker, but not really a list do-er.  My most recent list was a spring cleaning checklist.  I have yet to check anything off on the list though - even after I laminated it with tape at work.  On the bright side, its hanging on my fridge and staring me in the face everytime I open the door.  The down side is that I have no desire AT ALL to start making headway on it. *sigh*

Spring Cleaning List - 1
Debbie - 0

Has anyone else been summarily defeated by a list before?  What did you find was the hardest part? Do I just need to suck it up and get started, or would I be better served to hire out and spend my time doing the things I like to do?

I'm sure you could guess what I would like to do...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


One of the most important things I learned in my HIST130 class was to read the preface - the preface always explains what you'll need to know about the book. Who they are, why the book was written, what the book is going to tell you, and how they are going to tell you.  Who knew! Too bad it took until my sophmore year of college to figure that all out.

The (mis)Adventures of a SFH
SFH = Single Female Homeowner


Almost 6 months ago I made one of the biggest moves in my entire life - purchasing my first home.  It wasn't something that even a year before that I even contemplated doing. I am a single woman, 28 years old, with a large amount of student loans and a terrible habit for buying what I want.  How the heck was I supposed to afford to buy a house?!  But then the government did a magical thing and offered me $8000 dollars if I bought a house. $8000?!  Seriously? With the encouragement of my hockey team captain (who is also a stellar realtor) I began thinking about buying a house and wondering how I was going to afford it.  Eventually, I found my perfect starter home!  A week after seeing it I made my offer and was under contract.

More about me - I'm a children's librarian by profession, hockey player by choice, and most recently have turned into a DIY diva-extraordinaire.  Or at least I like to pretend that I am.  While I'll mostly write about my adventures as a homeowner, I'll occasionally regale you with tales from the library or the rink...or where ever else the unexpected and ridiculous happens.  I'll try to catch up on most things that have happened from offer day in August until now - and I'll do my best to keep it in chronological order. Because I like order. And organization. And label making and sticky notes. Not to mention acronyms. TYVM.

Follow me, put me in your reader, and comment whenever you feel inclined (or disinclined) to do so. I thrive on positive reinforcement. Please, love me! /begging

The house as it looked on offer day