Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Million Ways to Spend Your Money. . .

Our house, the day we first looked at it in '07

Have you ever noticed that there are infinite ways to spend your money? And often we find ourselves spending on things we need instead of want.  If we are really lucky, we get things we need AND want.  Like our decision this year to hire a yard guy.  The final push occurred when Rob and I were sitting on the rockers on our front porch, just back from a run, enjoying the breeze in early spring, when some of our neighbors strolled past. They clearly did not see us on the porch and went about pointing out particularly shabby sections of our yard and whispering about our lack of maintenance.  I didn't really hold it against them.  It was a shabby eyesore.  And I LIKE yard work.  But despite our hard work in other areas of our lives, the ones that were showing didn't speak well of us. Because there are also only so many hours in a day to spend, and the yard was suffering from low priority. So we hired a yard guy for a surprisingly small amount of money.  Now our lawn stays mowed, our shrubs stay trimmed, and our weeds--well, what weeds?!  Well worth the money.

But I had higher hopes for the yard this year than merely being mowed and edged (though it is a VAST improvement already--I am sure the neighbors will agree!).  I planned to add a archway to the side lane for the kids to use when running to the neighbors, replace a few dead shrubs, and plant a cutting garden in my barren side yard.  If I allowed myself to dream a little, I contemplated putting in a stone patio under the pergola off the back porch.  It looked lovely. . . if only in my mind's eye.

If you look past the stained paint, you can see the grassy area under the pergola section, of which I speak.

As summer got under way, however, it became apparent that our house was in need of a paint job.  The trim paint was thin and peeling in a few places, and the lovely buttery cream body paint was stained and tired.  Dreams of my lovely landscaping dwindled and died. 

After contemplating painting it ourselves, we decided to leave it to the pros and hire someone--and while this may sound like a growing trend. . . well it has been.  We, the-do-it-ALL-yourself-family, have discovered that we can get a lot more done if we occasionally hire some of the work out. 


(I even hired a housekeeper. . .once.  I realized it took me a day of cleaning to get ready for the house keeper. Weird.)

We learned day one of pressure washing that while paint may trump flowers and arbors, roof trumps all. Apparently pretty flowers and fresh paint don't mean a lot if your roof is leaking.  And we were in dire need of a new roof.  So the paint got scratched.  And the next week of sun turned into a tear off and re-roof fiasco which included three hours of rain in the less than 24 hour period when the roof was completely torn off.  Awesome.  Having the pitter patter of rain tease you awake is annoying enough in July--it is particularly irksome when you are indecently exposed overhead.  

And despite "hiring" someone, we still managed to be a large part of the tear off process--Rob even found himself on the roof a couple days.  See little Rob up there, helping paper after the rain cleared?

But now that it is done, we couldn't be more pleased with the outcome.  Our green shutters have gone black and our brown roof has gone charcoal.  I like it.

Maybe next year I will get to landscape. . . or paint my house. . . or maybe something else will crop up and take the cake.  

For now I am just going to sit back and enjoy the fruits of "our" labors.

Just ignore the gap in the wayward front "hedge" I am attempting to grow in front of the porch--that dead bush will be replaced soon--maybe even this year!  Or maybe all the free cash we can scratch up will clothe the girls for school. . .

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