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The Man Behind the Curtain

This really isn’t intended to be a self-deprecating post.  Not at all.

And no, it’s not about Justin.

The intention is to show you that even though I always claim to not be perfect, I really. am. NOT. perfect.

So today I’m pulling back the velvet curtain I’ve draped in front of the not-so-attractive aspects of our home to reveal the trembling, scatterbrained, decrepit old man who’s desperately been trying to pose as a Cosmopolitan cover girl for the past 4 years.

And the truth shall set me free.

For example, remember that garden we planted last year?  Well I might have hinted at one point that I thought it was infested with termites.

Then I discovered over the winter while meandering around the yard (okay, I was picking up doggie doo) that yes, it most definitely was infested with termites.

Garden Bed Termite Damage

FAIL.  The seedy little buggers were smart enough to destroy the back of the raised bed where it couldn’t easily be noticed.

And remember that landscape bed we “made over” in the front of the house?  Yeah… well 2 different plant species later, the mulch still looks decent and is relatively weed-free, but the bed is also live plant free, and that’s just not right:

FAIL.  I’m telling you, I can’t keep plants alive to save my life.  Someone HELP me!

Here’s the porch railing that desperately needs to be painted:

FAIL.  We seem to have forgotten that things that don’t necessarily start out as problems in a “fixer-upper” can still turn into problems if you’re remiss in regular upkeep.

And here’s the drywall patches we messed up in the living room:

MAJOR FAIL.  That was one of the first projects we did in this place, and let’s just say our naivety shows.  In fact, the entire color scheme of that room is jacked.  It’s getting re-painted this summer.  With FLAT paint – not high gloss.

Oh yes, and the carpet in the hallway still looks like this:

Old Carpet

Only a little worse.

Oh, and this reminds me, the trim still needs painting, too.

Anyway.  My point here is not just to show you how disgustingly negligent we are when it comes to our house, but to admit just how difficult it can be to finish projects, maintain regular upkeep, clean, repair, and still find time to live in and enjoy the space.

It’s not fun pulling back this curtain to reveal all of our blunders and admit that maybe we were in over our heads a little bit when we bought a “fixer upper.”  It’s not fun to admit that we don’t have it together like so many other home owners (and bloggers) with their perfect green grass and crisp front porches and hole-less floors.  It’s not fun to admit that maybe I’m just not cut out for the ‘burbs.

Or maybe the ‘burbs weren’t cut out for me.

And this is where my particular brand of Domestiphobia comes into play.

I want to have a nice home, where I don’t have to feel embarrassed about holes in the carpet or cobwebs on the front porch or missing shoe molding in the laundry room.  But at the same time, I don’t really care.  Not that much.  I know these things need to get done, but my priorities for my limited attention span tend to get focused elsewhere.

Like food.

Or travel.

Or writing.

Or photography.

Or wine.

So I’ve decided I need to set weekly goals, so I can ensure that these little projects that add up to one big headache eventually get done.  I’ll announce this coming week’s goal on Monday.

Because a home shouldn’t be the source of constant headaches, you know?  It should be a place full of sunshine and warmth.

And ethereal coffee.

A place where you can kick up your shoe-riddled feet, sip your vodka-laced lemonade, and honestly attest that life is, in fact, really really good.

In the spirit of sharing, are there any projects – home-related or otherwise – that you’ve been putting off because it just doesn’t interest you?  Sometimes saying typing it out loud can help, because putting something in writing makes it a lot harder to ignore.


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Katie – I feel your pain. Since moving into our house in August we have failed at many things (that are in the process, somewhat, of getting repaired). The only thing that got us moving on finishing up our decrepit last bedroom? I invited 8 of my closest friends from college to visit on 4/9… so now the room has to be done.

Other things we’re putting off?
– finishing the painting in the bathroom!
– touching up some spackling (need to get that product you’ve blogged about!)
– painting the deck
– and getting the fireplace inspected… which could have saved us some $$ over the cold, cold winter!

Perhaps this will get our butts back in gear again (you know, after I finish reading your blog, the other 50 posts in my google reader, work out, do dishes and laundry, dust, and watch some basketball). :)



Oh, Tracy! Inviting people over used to work for us when the house was still fresh and new (in our eyes) and we were still motivated to get things done. I wish we’d finished everything before that “new relationship fire” burned out and we started loathing all her flaws. ;)

By the way, I think it’s high time I see more pics of your place!

And how weird – I have pretty much the SAME exact schedule as you. Minus the basketball. ;) I hope you’re enjoying your afternoon!


I cannot find my cord to plug my camera into my computer! I still need to load the pictures from when Matt and I visited you guys! I must do that soon!


I haven’t done that yet, either! So no worries! :)


I found you at another blog but when I read this I knew we had to be related somehow. Our office was never painted when we first moved in. It is still a faded blue with blue-and-brown sculptured shag carpeting with paths in it. And the husband sees little wrong with this.

Good luck with your projects.


Ha, thank you! It’s good to know I’m not alone. :) I have decided we will make progress this summer, even if it kills us. ;)


I bet I can top those: our garage has siding on only 2 sides. Yep, that’s right, only on the sides facing our yard are finished. Oh yeah, and the garage door literally will not open without falling off of its tracks. Yay :)


Oh, now that sounds like fun. If it makes you feel any better, we have a 2 car garage, but each car has its own garage door. The house came with one opener, so we decided to DIY install the other when we first moved in. One bent panel, a fix-it guy, and a not-so-cheap repair bill later, we now have 2 automatic garage doors. :)


Not a bad post this time…started off saying, “Who the hell cares about this…” But then it captured my ADD attention…good work.


Haha, THIS time? Gee, thanks. ;)


I have a better idea – you can just borrow Marvin. I will probably need to accompany him, you know, because of the language barrier and all. Then you and I can sip vodka lemonade & ethereal coffee and he can do what he does best! Have any custom word work you would like done, I mean, while he’s there and all:)


OMG everyone should have a Marvin. Can Marvin bring a hot cabana boy named Alejandro to fix us our vodka lemonades and ethereal coffee??


Sorry the only cabana boy Marvin has is Stupy..and we know how that would go. How ’bout I just go ahead and make the coffee:)




You’re so brave posting the fail pics. I try my best to crop the fails out of my pics, but if you look through the window on my fitted table cover post, you’ll see the crap that is our backyard right now. We had major flooding in our below-grade garage last year, so hubs dug our backyard down to regrade, but we never got around to planting a garden, or even grass, so we have a big mucky swampy pit outside of that enormous window.

I would definitely join you for vodka lemonades(we call them ice picks,here.) I knew I liked you.


Ah, THANK YOU for coming clean. ;) We’ve got a sand pit in a corner of our yard where the dogs dig. I simply don’t have the energy to try to fence it off and grow sod.

I would love to knock back some ice picks! Just let me know when/where. The good news is it’s almost summer, so it technically doesn’t even have to be 5:00 to enjoy a cocktail, right? :)


5:00? I’m pretty sure it’s ok at 1:00, it’s the afternoon after all. Unless it’s football season, then it’s perfectly acceptable to have rum in your hot cider first thing in the morning. :) If the 2 of you ever find yourselves in the armpit that is Upstate NY, we’d be more than happy to have you over for ice picks(summertime,) mulled cider(autumn,) or peppermint bark martinis(winter.) NY is beautiful in late summer and early autumn, it’s just feeling a bit armpitty right now.

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