Friday, August 6, 2010


While reading A Midsummer Night's Dream in college, I came upon this little quote

                         Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
                         It fell upon a little western flower, --
                        Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound, --
                        And maiden call it love-in-idlness.

I didn't know that love-in-idless is actually an old name for a pansy until I started searching for the quote to post here.  Learn something new every day!
I fell in love with the flower's name.  So romantic and descriptive.  Over the years it morphed into the pefect name for my house - my dream house.  Because a home should be that - a tangible expression of love.  My fantasy vision is a charming old house, rich in details and brimming with family memories in every room.  It's gorgeous.

Unfortunately, it is not my current home.  Well, the old part and the family memories part - but that's about it.

We moved into our rental home a little over two years ago.  At the time we desperately needed to move into an expensive neighborhood because of the school district - but our rent budget was a lot lower than the average rental price.  And I mean a LOT.  I was determined to avoid moving into an apartment because I wanted my son (and boyfriend - both avid golfers) to have a yard to play in.  The wish list wasn't crazy (3 bedrooms, yard, school district), but we were having the worst luck finding anything we could afford. 

Then one day, I stumbled upon a Craigslist listing that sent me over the moon.  3 bedroom, 2 bath house, right school district, totally in our price range.  It even had a laundry room - you should have seen how excited that made me.  The catch, of course, was that the house needed work.  You could tell just from the pictures - the living room was painted charteuse green with school bus yellow trim.  But I was actually loving the challenge - I was so tired of living in white-walled rentals - we could paint, build, whatever!  My boyfriend needed to be convinced.  He saw the house for what it was - a nightmare.  But I bulldozed him over with my DIY-attitude, and the fact that this would probably be our only chance to get his daughter into her dream school.

So we moved in and immediately started working.  We painted the walls.  We tore out a closet in the master bedroom so a queen-sized bed could actually fit in there.  And then we started realizing that we had bit off way more than we could chew.  After years of HGTV training to look for "good bones" - I had picked a house with very, very bad bones.  Every project led to 3 others as I discovered something was falling apart.  Everything is "fixable", but even with the landlords reimbursing us for supplies, how much time and effort was it worth to put into someone else's house?

So we lived with it.  And are living with it.  We slapped a few band-aids on it and called it a day.  We kept saying, "We're only here for another year... Why bother?"  But, despite the problems with the house, I don't really feel like we should move until we buy a place, and that is still years away.  So, for the moment, we're staying.

Then, in February I quit my job to be a SAHM for a little while with my son.  Money is tight - so I don't get to go out and do a lot of things.  So I started working on projects at home.  Lots and lots of projects.  I made a list and started going to town.  However, I am really bad at finishing projects.  I get to a certain point and move on to something else.  Bookcases I am building for my son's room ended up staying on our dining room table for 2 months as I "worked" on them.  So, that is why I'm starting this blog.  I'm hoping that having to be accountable to someone (even myself) for finished projects will motivate me to finish up the gazillion half-finished things around this house.  Hopefully, anyone else living in a fugly house will be able to find some inspiration as we try to make this one less of a transitional place and more of a home.

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