January 11, 2006

It's not just me

I stumbled across the Hillsdale House Blog today. It a blog of the "The long and strange journey to transform our 1942 war cottage style house into a (circa) 1914 Craftsman bungalow, without going completely nutz." So I'm not the only one. I was reassured even further when they quoted a friend in their Back Story as saying “Just add some built-ins, extent the roofline, pop out some dormers, enlarge the front porch, and pretty soon you could have a nice Craftsman. Besides, you don’t have to worry about ruining its authenticity; it never had any.”

Happy sigh.

April 3, 2006

Upsizing through preception

If you have a small house.. I recommend that you fill 2-3 of the rooms with boxes. Full boxes. Something with bills from 1998 and stuffed animals from your childhood work best. Just stack them quietly in a corner or next-to-but-not-completly-out-of the walkway. Leave them there for a minimum of 3-4 months. Or at least until you stop seeing them. Then, in a mad dash of spring cleaning, abruptly empty all of the boxes and move them out of all of the rooms.

Suddenly your small house will feel absolutely caverous. You'll marvel at all the space and wonder how it is you ever thought of your house as small.

June 2, 2006


Ok, the date is set. The house is finally to a place where we're willing to allow people through the door and have an actual party. Our "housewarming" will be on July 8, 2006. We're in San Pablo California (it's near San Francisco). If you're interested in attending and remotely nearby, drop me an email at and I'll add you to the evite.

Normally, I think housewarming parties are terribly boring. Your friends and family show up, bring wine (so you may never be thirsty), bread (so you may never be hungry), salt or spices (so you may always have spice to liven up your life), and a house plant (so you may have something green to kill). They then wander aimlessly through the house for about 20 minutes before they wave bye-bye and bug out. *yawn*

We're breaking out of the mold (and protesting that we're -not- old). Instead of the usual yawn-fest we're having a shots party (so that we may always see the world through the wavy fuzz of an alcoholic haze)(kinda like rose colored glasses.. but less hippy-tree-hugger-y).

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June 19, 2006

ROI: Fun with numbers

Commenting on Tip On Getting The Best Return On Home Improvements. For some reason this just tickles my funny bone.*

Let's say I decide to sell (it's not time yet... but this is all hypothetical). Tip #1 here says:

1. Clean / de-clutter - 973% Average Return on Investment: Remove clutter by storing items in basement, attic or friend’s home. Rent a storage space or sell excess items, if needed. Keep every room very clean during open homes. Do pre-open house cleanliness inspections.

Wow. 973% return. That just begs for a closer examination.

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August 4, 2006

"Why don't you post more??"

1. we're out of money. Don't worry, we're staying even and keeping up on our bills. But other than that, we're out of money.
2. we haven't done anything (see #1)
3. It's summer.. so that SCA thing (my -real- hobby) is cycling up. Thus sucking away all of our time and any money we might have had for house projects. It's way easier to spend $100 on wool for a new 16th century German Dress than it is to cough up $4000 to get the bathroom remodel started. Yes, yes, I know.. I probably spend more time in the bathroom than in the dress.. but it's the scale of the thing. I -have- $100. I don't have $4000.
4. Do you really want to hear about my plans? Plans with no money and no projects are just boring. (see #1 and #2).

So to make it short, we're still here.. we're just very very quiet.

(Marc's uncle is coming on 8/12 to help us rewire the house. So maybe something then)

September 7, 2006

The house we didn't buy

Back when we were looking for a house to buy we looked at this house. It was about 5 houses down the street from the house we were renting.. in a nice, clean, safe neighborhood... very convenient (both for the move and for future commuting). It turns out that the house was sinking into the ground (to the tune of $10k estimated to fix it)... but it had a creek in the back yard (that overflowed it's banks occationally and flooded the house).

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November 20, 2006

Resisting Temptation

I'm ridiculously pleased to be spending the Holidays at home this year. I don't have a horror of a family.. and I do wish I could actually be with them. But the first year of home ownership doesn't leave an extra $1,000 at the end of the year for buying tickets to fly to Montana for Christmas.

So this year is totally different from any other year. For the first time -ever- we'll be putting-up/decorating a Christmas tree.. and decorating the house and baking Christmas goodies (still struggling with this one... goodies are the polar opposite of "getting into shape". I may have to research Christmas goodies that are actually good for you).

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December 7, 2006

Dogs 2, Christmas Tree 0

I've never had dogs before. More specifically I've never had to live with something with the curiosity of a five year old that had no thumbs so investigated things with their teeth. The dogs knocked the tree over twice today. It's not a good day to be a dog.

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