OK, please forgive me for being boring and domestic, but in keeping with my whole blogging for documentation deal, all the stuff we've been doing with the house recently has taken up a surprising amount of head space, so here we are.
First, we finally replaced the shed in our backyard. We had this TuffShed playhouse thing that was in the yard when we bought
the house six years ago, and while it was cute enough, it wasn't
practical--too small and low for real storage, plus not weather-proof
because it had open windows and doors. Because it was TuffShed brand, we could probably have sold it for a few
hundred dollars, except that there was no easy way to get it
out of our yard because it wouldn't fit through the gate. Finally I
listed it on Craigslist for free with the caveat that whoever took it
would be in charge of cutting it apart and removing it from the property
on their own. I had SO MUCH INTEREST that I had to take the ad down
after just an hour, at which point I had already received texts, emails,
and calls from at least 30 people. I gave it to the first person who
asked, which turned out to be two ladies who run a farm in rural
Colorado, and it took them FOURTEEN HOURS to take it apart in a way that
would allow them to reassemble it again later, but they DID get it
done, and they took every last nail away with them, and lo, it was
With that shed gone, we took the opportunity to replace it with a proper shed that we could actually store stuff in. We found one the right size and structure for what we needed on special offer at Costco, and then the heavens opened and our beloved handyman/contractor, who had moved out of state with no plans to return, actually DID move back and assembled the new shed for us. It's bigger, it's taller, it has room for our lawnmower and our snow tires and our excess patio furniture and our bikes and and and. And it also looks good! See?
Then, because we were finally able to get stuff we've been storing on our side patio off the patio, we were able to get our patio arranged in a really functional, lovely way. I already had a nice patio chaise lounge, and we finally got a matching setup (though he got the chair and ottoman instead of the chaise lounge) for Torsten. We moved things around on the patio so there's a dining area, play areas (with sandbox and water table), and a lounge area. As a final touch, we got a patio heater at Costco, so our patio is usable on cool spring evenings. It has been surprisingly major life change... so much more use out of our backyard! It helps that both kids LOVE the yard (Annika yells "ow-side! ow-side!" the second anyone goes anywhere near the back door) - we basically spend our whole weekends outside, straight through til bedtime, and everyone is happy and tired by the end of the day. It's not magazine-ready, but it is SO FUNCTIONAL:
Lastly, thanks to Torsten's parents' incredible generosity, we are replacing the windows in our house. All of them! Our current windows are the originals from when the house was built 50 years ago. They are plain glass, they have no UV filtering (as a result, the back of our couch, which faces a picture window, is completely sun-faded), they are not at ALL energy-efficient, the wind comes right through them, many of them are missing screens, AND the vast majority of them won't open. But in a month! They will be gone! And we'll have new, modern windows! Our furniture won't fade! We won't be freezing at night because our bed is in next to a window! Also, since we live near the highway, we will not hear traffic noise (we don't hear MUCH now, but we hear things like sirens and 3 a.m. drag-racing, and supposedly with the new windows all we'll hear is blessed silence).
This leads to the question of blinds... which turn out to be staggeringly expensive, at least the fancy ones our window company recommended. This is our major topic for next month (because we can't order until the window are installed so that we can get accurate measurements): BLINDS RESEARCH. Brands! Types! What features are worth paying for and what's a waste of money? How can we get good blinds that do not cost nearly as much as the windows themselves? These are the basic questions of homeownership, yes?
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