Blog Entry

Oh the Joy

Posted on: February 20, 2009 5:22 am

Want a good stock tip, aspirin, invest early, invest now.  I’ll make you rich, trust me.  Here in the south, for the most part spring has arrived, and so has my tax return.  With that, my husband and I have decided we were going to put it back into our house. 

It’s an older house and like a lot of the houses in our development, the trim has started to rot out on it.  So this weekend looks like it’ll be a weekend filled with trips to Lowe’s for wood and paint and him yelling at me because I’m painting against the grain and not with it.  Yep, going to be a fun weekend for me.  If it were only up to me, I’d hire someone to do it, but it’s not, so I pick and choose my battles.

Sometimes being a homeowner sucks, because there’s no landlord to yell at when things start breaking down or need work.  Let’s not forget the arguments that ensue between husband and wife on changes and how to do something.  We’ve been discussing redoing our ceilings, getting rid of the god awful stucco and popcorn on them.  I’m thinking good old elbow grease in scraping all that garbage off, he’s thinking belt sander.  I know, any excuse for a man to buy a new power tool. 

He’d rather not redo the bathroom until we can replace everything, but for now, all it really needs is some plaster and caulk.  Of course, we’ll have the argument over what color to paint it.  I want to go a nice sand color, he doesn’t. 

We have the cost for what we’ve already planned to do with the house pretty well budgeted out.  The extra, well, he wants a fireplace blower.  Okay, I can see that, but with the blower comes a new screen for the fireplace, and lets face it, we never once used the fireplace this year.  He’s thinking it would be great to have if we have an ice storm come through, like we did a few years ago, that knocked out the power.  At least we’ll be warm.  I’m thinking backup generator instead.  Seriously, I hate cooking on a buddy burner. 

Of course, he’s not getting the hint from all the gardening magazines that I’ve left laying around that I want to work on the yard.  Instead, he wants an HDTV.  His rationalization is that the daughter needs a new tv and if we got ourselves an HDTV, she could have one of our old ones (which is larger then the one she has already).  Of course, I pointed out that it would probably be cheaper and easier for us if we just bought her a new tv, preferably smaller…after all, we’re the one’s who have to move her up three stories each year when she heads back to college.  

Now I’m not going to deny that I’m actually looking forward to working on the house over the course of the spring and summer.  And I’m actually happy that we’re actually discussing and planning the housing improvements, but to say he and I have different tastes and ideas on what we’d like to see done to the house is rather an understatement.  Unfortunately for me, my husband is immune to the fluttering of eyelashes, the pitiful eyes and pouting.  Of course the other extreme doesn’t work with him either. 

We tend to make compromises, often to my dismay.  He’s happy that I don’t want to destroy his cave, I’m glad he doesn’t gripe about all my collectibles.  It’s just getting to those compromises that create the headaches.  While it was football season, we both had excuses not to do the work, and avoided the inevitable pain that is sure to occur.  Unfortunately, now that there is no football on tv, neither of us have that excuse anymore and have to focus on our honey-do lists.

Oh well, I’m sure we’re not the only couple facing this.  At least he’ll have his meds and I’ll have my wine and we both can be thankful that it’s not next year yet.  Our marriage will probably survive this round, but hard to say how it will end when we look at replacing our windows and doors next year.  Wonder if Roger Goodell would look to extend the football season to 52 weekends next year?  My marriage may depend on it.


Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: February 28, 2009 12:10 pm

Oh the Joy

Mom, maybe we should send you to Washington to teach our "leaders" that you fund first and spend second.  You're definately more disciplined than everyone in Washington.

We vote people in who have outsiders manage their own budget...and we wonder why our economy/deficit is the way it is?

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: February 28, 2009 12:06 pm

Oh the Joy

F&L ...

Here's what a butterfly bush looks like


Named because it does attract butterflies. 

Have you thought of taking pictures of the butterfly infiltration?  I'm sure it's spectacular.  We have hummingbirds here but I've never seen one.  I have a hummingbird feeder but haven't put it up yet.


Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: February 28, 2009 11:44 am

Oh the Joy

 (I have to keep him on course to keep him from buying me a laptop and remind him that the house is a priority right now). 

Mom, maybe we should send you to Washington to teach our "leaders" that you fund first and spend second.  You're definately more disciplined than everyone in Washington.  I'd say maybe you can use your tax rebate for the laptop, but unfortunately I read this year's rebate will be significantly smaller than last years ($800 versus $1,200).  Fundamentally, the difference I see over and over again between the two political parties is one prefers to let it's citizens determine how they will spend their money, and the other wants the government to decide.  Nice that your husband sees the need for a laptop, and hopefully you'll have one on your lap again soon.  

The rain will stop sooner or later.   Good luck on your projects.   

Since: Sep 23, 2008
Posted on: February 28, 2009 10:03 am

Oh the Joy

Ok, what's a butterly bush? I have about a quarter acre covered in lantana. In the spring and summer, millions of butterflies swarm all over the flowers all day long. There's also a little lily pond with a sprinkler-aerator, and they love the mist. Lots of humming birds hang out there, too. Quite a show, better than television. The humming birds are crazy. They fly right into your face at about 50 miles per hour, then come to a dead stop one foot in front of your eyes, and hang there hovering, staring at you. They sound like giant bees.

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: February 28, 2009 4:28 am

Oh the Joy

Well actually belief in the best stimulus is ... job creation.  Tax rebates are temporary and in my case, gone quite soon.  I won't get into a political debate about spending until both sides agree to creating job training programs to get people off of welfare and quit funding defense projects just because they bring jobs to a particular Senators state and has no real value to the actual defense of the USA. 

Carpets are after windows and doors, which are after the replacing the trim on the roof.  My cats are okay on the furniture, even if they're not declawed.  Now my legs are another issue. 

I think my husband is excited that it's raining this weekend and he doesn't have to go out and do inventory on what we'll actually need.  (I have to keep him on course to keep him from buying me a laptop and remind him that the house is a priority right now).  And I got at least one thing on my wish list with the tax refund, a butterfly bush.


Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2009 5:42 pm

Oh the Joy

I know what your going through Jelly with having three big dogs.  The downstairs linoleum and carpet is a low priority with them tracking mud, grass, and leaves at various times.  Right now one of our German Shepards is having incontinence and diareah problems.  She had her anal glands taken out in January.

I have decided that eventually I would like to replace the partially dead grass in the backyard with artificial turf to get rid of the dead grass and mud.  Between the three dogs, mature trees, and arid climate our lawn takes quite a beating.  My wife kind of agrees which means I will have to sell her on it first.  First I need to get a job to pay for it.

There are good deals to be had from contractors starving for work right now.  I've had two roofing companies come to my door to solicit work recently.  My neighbor who is a carpet installer said he is taking on jobs at cost just to get the work.  If I was employed right now I would invest in a major house project.

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2009 9:57 pm

Oh the Joy


Your blog is living proof to my theory that the best stimulus to the economy are tax rebates.  It sounds like you could easily spend your tax refund twice, something only the government itself has found a way to do.  In fact, this year they will spend our money three times over before they are done. 

Our house is a 35 year old split level that can use some work.  We replaced the roof and gutters about 13 years ago, but other than that haven't done a whole lot in the 18 years we've lived here.  We should refinish the siding if not replace it.  Some of our furniture is what we moved in with, and so is the kitchen floor and carpeting.  We've painted some of the rooms, but not all and even the ones we've painted are ready for another round.

Our cats help us postpone maintenance projects.  We have one cat that even the vet wasn't able to cure her incontinence and diareah problems.  Then there is cat fur and the clawing from our cat that still has her front claws.  Three cats provide plenty of reasons to postpone new furniture and carpeting.   They don't help much with the painting or siding, but I doubt I would take on those projects with the wife.  My philosophy is do them less often and use the savings to pay someone to do the work. 

So, if flirting, pouting, and screaming don't work what can you do?  Remember, what your marriage survives will only make it stronger.


Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2009 4:49 pm

Oh the Joy

Good luck in your changes Ron.  At least attacking those projects will keep you busy.

The other night I told my husband I ordered a butterfly bush and showed him where I wanted it in one of the beds out in front of the house.  By the time we got finished discussing it, for a brief moment, I found another place where I wanted to plant course that was a very brief moment and we eventually both listened to each other instead of talked to each other.

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2009 9:47 pm

Oh the Joy

Your post struck some familiarity with me as I've lived on both sides of the coin as a house renter and now a house owner.  We live in a 40 year old house and have made some major improvements.  The upstairs is pretty well finished but the garden level basement needs paint, trim, carpet, new linoleum, and a total rework of the bathroom.  One of the rooms has the popcorn ceiling and I will eventualy get rid of it.  I've been thinking that now I have some free time, I might start attacking the paint and trim.  Outside we need an new deck and patio but my wife is bent on replacing the driveway.  I'm willing to compromise to a point at which I can be very stubborn.


Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: February 20, 2009 10:28 am

Oh the Joy


I'm keeping an eye on the Penguins...I'll keep an eye on the Pirates but watching them for me is a more a matter of self preservation. I fear that if I sit through and watch the games on the tv then there will be holes in my wall by the time the season is over with.  It's not often I get to catch a Penguins game on tv here. 

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