house update

I've had a few people ask me how things are going with the addition/remodel project, so I thought it would be worth an update here. Last time I posted about it, which was months ago, we were feeling very discouraged about the potential cost of the whole thing and worried about how long it would take and were just generally unsure how to proceed. Not long after that, we talked with the builder, who made a tentative rough schedule to do the work in the fall, and promised to bring subcontractors over to work on a more detailed estimate for us.

That was a little while ago and nothing has happened since. We still don't know how much the project  is going to cost, but an estimate will be coming in late July and we've worked out a financial strategy that should be manageable, assuming the actual estimate isn't way more than we're anticipating. I admit that all the waiting is frustrating, not because I'm all that eager for the process - having a giant hole dug in my back yard and walls knocked down is not going to be fun - but because I'm sick of this house being so small and crowded and shabby. I'm also worried about the cost. I've spent time lately in other people's homes that are much more spacious and nicer than ours and it has sparked some envy.

Yes, I'm admitting to being shallow and materialistic and envious. This isn't my whole outlook on life, understand. I'm generally pretty happy. But I'm so tired of the cramped kitchen and old paint and craptastic decor in the living room; the curtains, which are ugly and ripping apart, came with the house when we bought it ten years ago and all of the furniture was bought on the cheap when we were both graduate students.

I really, really want a bay window in there. I wonder if I'll get one or if the price tag will nix that idea.

I also want a new bathroom floor. I hate the ugly vinyl one we have so much I'm tempted to rip it out myself, though considering my lack of skills in the home improvement department, that's very unwise.

On the upside, I've been spending a lot of time working outside, so much time, in fact, that I've gone through a whole bottle of sunscreen in the last few weeks and I still have a pair of angry red crescents on my back where I couldn't reach around a tank top strap. I have perennials and herbs and a few vegetables in my front yard, I have a straw bale garden in the back yard (which isn't as easy as they say, but that's a whole post in and of itself...), I have a community garden plot, and I've spent many, many hours at the kids' school coordinating the garden program, finding volunteers, and planting flowers and vegetables with students in the garden plots. There is a lot of dirt under my nails these days.

If I can't fix the inside of my house, at least I can work on the outside, right? I'm just so desperate to have some improvement, plus it's so satisfying to grow nice things and pull weeds when I need to vent frustration.


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