Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Boo: Home Maintenance Happens, For A Price

I’m back, waving hello. 

My late spring blogging hiatus is over.  Because of the almost constant rain I [we?] didn’t accomplish everything I [we?] wanted to do, but I’ve researched that which has not been done and made plans about how to do it.

For me, a solutions girl, that’s a big deal.

So here’s what did happen: we got a new roof put on the house. And kids, that’s a noisy and messy thing to have happen.  This is the third time in my life that I’ve had the pleasure of living in a house as a new roof is installed.

*bang, bang, bang*

Next time, should there be one, I’m going to a hotel for the duration.  The 30 hours of noise involved in tearing off an old roof and then putting on a new roof made me anxious.

[Consider that the understatement of all time.]

• • •

But wait, there’s more.

Try to contain your excitement has I tell you about a few other homeowner things we did whilst I was not here.

  • Z-D and I rebuilt a stone wall around the base of a huge tree that is terrace-adjacent;
  • he painted the inside of the screened-in porch and got the screens replaced;  and
  • we chatted with various sales wonks, then ordered new windows for the front of the house because the current wooden ones are rotting.

In other words, not to put too fine a point on it, we spent a boatload of money on necessary home maintenance projects that will improve our lives, but said projects do not immediately bring joy to my heart.  

Like a long vacay in Hawaii would. Or a first class excursion to London. Or a train trip across Canada.

[All expensive, potentially joyful, adventures that I long to do.]

But that’s what happens when you have a house you consider your home– and you are responsible adults who lack a fairy godmother to magically, in an instant, transform and repair your house with the flick of her wand.

• • •

Question of the Day

So what’s new in your life? Anything magical? Tell me about it in the comments below. I feel so out of touch with everyone.

• • •

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Pleasantly crazy. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Wordy.

105 thoughts on “Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Boo: Home Maintenance Happens, For A Price”

  1. Glad you’re back! Missed you! Nothing magical….but still standing….which is sort of a hint that I saw Rocketman, which has fantasy moments which is sort of magical

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  2. Oh boy, we can’t escape the household repairs, can we? We’ve done the new roof thing a couple times (2 different houses) and there was a huge thunderstorm in the middle of the 2nd one. Awesome…It seems like spring is the time to get things done. I’ve spent the last month restoring our back patio which the grass had begun to claim. Digging out weeds and grass between bricks is a tedious process.

    Now you can relax a bit and admire the improvements!

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    1. Book Club Mom, you’re so right– spring is the time to get this home maintenance stuff done [or at least planned in my case]. A thunderstorm in the middle of your roof going on? We had that happen, too. A few houses back we had a brick patio so I can relate to your weeding project. Boring, but so nice when it’s finished.

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  3. I feel your pain. In the last few years we’ve replaced 15 windows, the furnace, the hot water heater, built a new kitchen landing/porch and installed electric garage doors. Now? We need new floors, a toilet, 2 entry doors, new gutters, 5 more windows and a total driveway overhaul. It never ends when you own a home.
    Sigh.

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    1. Rivergirl, I feel you pain. We’ve done lots of remodeling and updating around here, too. I truly appreciate having a home, but tire of having a home at the same time. You said it, it never ends…

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        1. We had this house built and it was an adventure. I’m glad that we did it because I learned a lot about architecture and color palettes and contractors– and how to be a bitch when necessary. [The last point being the most important one.] However now it’s 20 years later and we’re back to maintaining a property… at least one last time.

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  4. Glad you’re back and still have a sense of humor! Have you considered living in a yurt as an option? Definitely less upkeep 🙂
    I did some apartment maintenance while you were gone… hung a hummingbird feeder, sprayed some weeds in the grass just outside my door which I was tired of looking at, and put a pretty little birdbath in my garden area. Have seen only 1 bird thus far-at the feeder not in the bath, but the weeds died!!

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    1. Deb, a yurt you say? Sure, it’s an idea. 🤔

      Your apartment maintenance sounds like fun. I’m sure that once the birds find your birdbath, it’ll become THE place to bathe. Plus it’ll be fun for you to watch them.

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  5. Last time I reroofed, it was in conjunction with an addition. It poured AFTER the old room was on. The guys had to put tarps on the plywood during the rain but we still had a pond in the basement that I had to take care off. We lost our cleaning person and are trying to do it alone. Bought some fancy cleaning equipment (not as much fun as new shoes) but I still don’t like cleaning. We replaced blinds (which are a bear to clean) with solar shades. That was a good decision. Other than that it’s been rainy, muggy, cool and yucky. I think we had a total of 3 or 4 nice days total. Glad you back.

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    1. Kate, what a situation with your roof and addition. From what I can tell it’s always something with roofing, but a mess in your basement? Yuck.

      Cleaning is not my thing either, but I/we do it. At least some of the fancy cleaning equipment now makes the chore less chore-y. Did your solar shades come in colors other than black? Do they have something over them when they’re closed so that you don’t see the rollers? Inquiring mind is intrigued with those things.

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      1. Ours are a very light cream color (there are a several colors, all neutrals). We can see out but during the day you can’t see in. At night you see faint silhouettes. All of ours are under window treatments but they can come with a valance that hides the shade roller and mechanics. For the kitchen we got a motorized one since it’s hard to reach over the counter (it’s set back in a window box). For us it was a great decision. I love blinds and still have them in the bedrooms because you can’t see through them but the shades work downstairs very well. We sprung for a dyson. Best decision ever!

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        1. We need to change the mess of ratty blinds + dangling cords that we have in the kitchen. I’ve seen these roller shades and I’ve seen the motorized option. If I can get the shades in a neutral color then they might be my solution. Thanks for the info.

          We bought a Dyson last year and I agree it’s the best thing ever. Soooo much easier and effective to use.

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  6. Sigh. That’s a lot of Grownup Stuff. Not any fun, is it? Nothing excitingly new here, just trying to get through all this damp and rain. What a washout Summer has been thus far. Ick.

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    1. nance, I agree with you that this has been a lousy June. So much rain and temps too cool and doing all the home maintenance things… well, I’ve been happier. And richer. Just saying.

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  7. Happy to see you in my inbox this morning – was just wondering yesterday if we might hear from you.

    The thing that I find the most challenging about home rennos (yes, even more so than the noise, the destruction, the clean up and the huge dent in the bank account) is a.) finding a contractor and then b.) finding a contractor who wants the work, who will return your calls, who will quote a project, who will schedule that project in a timely fashion. That is, after we accept his quote and authorize him to proceed, we want him to show up soon, not 6 months later after the snow is deep on the ground and no, you cannot come to install the patio doors or the picture window in the hallway!

    Fortunately, the blackflies and mosquitoes were not too bad when he was here to finish the job a couple of weeks ago.

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    1. Maggie, you bring up a great point. About 70% of any home renovation project is finding the right person to do the job. We’ve been burned a few times on that issue. That being said, your window guy wanted to install them in when there was deep snow? Why? Just to make it more challenging for him? Honestly…

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      1. Right? Since it was November, and Christmas was coming and he probably had to pay for the windows and doors, I guess he was hoping we’d say “yes.” Or, maybe he didn’t let a little ol’ snowdrift or two bother him. I dunno.

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  8. I have missed reading you. Im glad your home is well-kept, although I’m sorry the repairs did not make memories to cherish for a lifetime. So adulty, le sigh.
    A fresh sunroom has got to help some 🙂

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    1. joey, here’s our plan: we fix up this house now, then we retire here and let it fall down around us. After that we sell it as a fixer-upper. And yes, the clean fresh bright paint in the screened-in porch is lovely… but you can only stare at paint for so long.

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  9. It’s been……. interesting for me, to say the least. I think the noise level of a new roof would be welcome compared to the hustle and bustle of hundreds of people on thousands of pieces of loud equipment trying to do millions of things at the same time in a confined space all because some 10 year old kid decided to play with matches and nearly burned the store I work at down last Friday. It will takes weeks for the working half of my life to return to normal…

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    1. evil, someone tried to burn down your store? FOR REAL? That’s way too scary and weird. Are you still going to work? I mean, is there enough of the building left to be a place of employment for you? 😳

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      1. Oh yes, I’m still gainfully employed… and it’s very difficult to burn down an entire Mecca Supercenter. But the entire counter of pet beds went up in flames along with the ceiling tiles above it…. and then there was the water damage from the fire department…. and our own sprinkler system. Oh, and the insurance company declared it a total loss, so literally EVERY time in the store (even in the backroom) must be shipped out. It’s a mess…. but I found out just about every store has to deal with this eventually. It’s an unbelievable pain in the butt, though…

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  10. Please send that Bippidity Boppidity Bo Person my way! I find researching and planning to be half the battle so at least you accomplished that. It’s also the most exhausting part…..all those decisions. I’m tired of talking to sales people – “wonks”? I am in the middle of my home reno, but my part is almost done. All decisions done, cupboards emptied out yesterday – now it’s up to the trades people – ripping out this sat, and electrical upgrade, then painter Mon, then installer, hopefully before the long weekend. I’ll be sitting outside on the deck supervising….it it doesn’t rain! PS. I would love to have a screened-in porch – it must be heaven sitting outside without being bitten to death by mosquitoes!

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    1. Joni, I’m with you. For me, doing the research and making the decisions are the most difficult parts of any project. I get fatigued by it, but after I finally decide on something I’m good to go. We had our kitchen remodeled about 10 years ago and it was a MESS. However, it was worth it in the long run.

      Yes, the screened-in porch is delightful. It was Z-D’s idea to have one and it’s lovely. Of course it does little to mitigate the effects of rain, but as for mosquitoes– they’re not a nuisance at all.

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  11. Glad you’re back…missed your ‘down to earth’ blogger voice!
    😉
    As for me, we just got back from 2 weeks of house/pet sitting for daughter and sil while they were in Africa (sil joined her there after her phd data collection for 2 months).
    Anyway!
    We enjoyed a final day together on Father’s Day where part of daughter’s gift to her dad was to see ‘”Field of Dreams” in the movie theater! (AMC series)
    IMHO it all counts as ‘magical!’

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    1. laura, FOUND YOU! Like you suggested you went to Spam, but I don’t know why. Anyhoo…

      You’ve had some interesting things going on. I agree it’s all magical. Someone you know is getting a PhD, eh? That’ll be something amazing, almost as amazing as finding a movie theater showing “Field of Dreams” on the big screen. What fun all around.

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  12. adulting sucks! hope you get to enjoy a bit calmer few weeks under your new roof while looking out your new windows at your fixed stone wall… or if that doesn’t work, then watch the travel channel and plan your next vacation

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    1. teacherturnedmommy, thanks for your support. The windows won’t be here until September, but in the meantime I could plan a vacay… just a little one… somewhere close…

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  13. I’m not sure when your hiatus began. Hunydog passed away at the end of February and most of March was a blur, so it’s not that I didn’t notice you were gone (I did), I just didn’t retain much info during that time. I now have two new canines – both male (which is a switch. In future it’s all girls or nothing) – who have stolen my heart away. One is a young dog (about 1 year of age) and the other (his travelin’ buddy..they’re both rescues) about 9 years old. Doesn’t the time jog along though? Congratulations on your improvements to your home. 🙂

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  14. After 20 years, most houses need new roofs. The TAP, TAP, TAP of hammering in new shingles is common on our street. Choice music on the TV masks the noise. In a year or two, it will be our turn. Then, I’ll head for the hills!

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    1. marian, it wasn’t a surprise that we needed a new roof, so there’s that. But I’d forgotten how noisy it is to have a roof put on the house. All’s well now, but it did make me nervous in the process. I’d have been better off in the hills than inside our house. You have a good idea there.

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  15. Welcome back! I’ve seen a couple of the pictures you posted on Insta. The porch looks great. We did our roof and siding a few years ago. You got that noise part right! Not to mention the dust that was covering EVERYTHING in the garage since there was nothing between the roof and the inside. When we first moved into this house 23 years ago we had all the doors and windows replaced for free through a noise abatement program since we are in the flight path of SFO. They took every window and every door off at once and then started replacing. We weren’t sure they were going to finish it in one day but they did. It made quite a difference. As for me, I got the family a dog for Mother’s Day. They wanted to know if I was really their mother since I’ve always been against having a pet. Benny (the dog – short for Benedict (Cumberbatch) Hunter (Pence) Miles has been a great addition, even if I am the one who has to walk him twice a day. He’s helping me with my weight loss 🙂 We’ve seen two concerts so far and have another one coming (ELO) next week. Our weather was HOT.HOT.HOT for a few days which makes my husband very cranky. Of course we went out and got an evaporation fan and now the weather is cool so…Happy Tuesday to you!

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    1. Janet, it’s interesting that you got new windows and doors for free because of your geographic location. While that’s wonderful, it’d be messy. Our window company tells us it’ll be one day for installation, maybe two. The roof project is completed and the debris associated with it is gone. So happy to have that over with.

      A new doggo with a snazzy name! You do take the cake with that one. Funny that he’s a diet aid. While your weather is hot, ours is cool and wet. So very wet and moldy. At least you’ve had your concerts to keep you entertained despite the temps.

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  16. Maintenance projects aren’t very glamorous, and it seems like they can impede the improvement ones. Having a roof put on drove me out of the house. It wasn’t just the noise either! When I came back, my wall hangings were askew and there was some interior mess to clean up from the pounding. Nice weather here, so lots of watering, walking and sitting on the deck, reading 🙂

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    1. Margaret, you said it, no glamor here with these projects. All are good + necessary, of course– but boring. Stuff on the inside of your house was askew after the roof went on? We had a few pictures tilt a bit, but overall the inside is intact.

      It’s incredibly rainy here so Mother Nature is doing the watering for us. Reading on the deck sounds perfect to me. Enjoy your life of leisure.

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  17. If fairy godmothers are all booked up or on vacation, any chance of hiring all those perky little birds and animals Snow White trained?
    New roofs are wonderful…after they are done, the mess cleaned up, the plants apologized to, and the ear ringing stops. Hopefully you have recovered.
    Houses are the most demanding pets. (Looking around we’re trying to decide how much spiffying up/repairs have to be done – and then deciding whether to stay or make a break for it and run.)
    Great to see you back!

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    1. philmouse, I’ve recovered and the new roof looks great. I knew what I was getting into having been through this process before, but the noise was intense. You’re right in that houses are like demanding pets. Our plan is to fix up this house one last round, then let it fall down around us as we age in place. Not ready to move anytime soon again.

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    1. Jill, we’ve bought houses knowing that we’d need to have a new roof put on the property so this wasn’t my first experience with roofing. Still, I’d forgotten how noisy and messy it is. May the hail avoid your roof and your shingles hang tight!

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  18. Glad you’re back, Ally Bean! I agree with LA, Rocketman is magical. So magical I have seen it twice already. I’m back from a week in Newfoundland – also magical. Lots of magical things happening for me so far in June.

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    1. Deb, your June sounds great and looks good, too. I saw your photos on IG. So far everyone I’ve talked with has liked Rocketman, but the reviews of it haven’t been positive. Same as it ever was, I suppose.

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  19. So glad to see you back! Sounds like you’ll have a pretty brand new house after September. We will get a new hot water tank after paying off the HVAC in Sept. And I’m so hoping to get a couple of solar tubes in the kitchen since it is so dark in there. Had all the kids and grandkids here this past weekend to celebrate father’s day and Isaac’s birthday. But the kids totally surprised us with a 40th anniversary party! They brought a projector and screen into the garage and had made a really cool video with music and pictures from when we were growing up, met and since then. Of course I cried. It was so sweet! Little Cameron saw pictures of young Tim and said “That’s a different Chip (what he calls him)! LOL😅

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    1. Beth, well, parts of the house will be new, but there are always other parts of the house to replace when they wear out. A never-ending story, eh?

      I’m sure that seeing all those old photos was a trip in and of itself. How fun of your kids to do that for you two. I can’t imagine what little Cameron thought of young Tim! Time travel via photos is such a hoot.

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  20. On the plus side, those repairs have gotten done!
    Magical? Uh, summer? As in, it will be magical if the kids survive the boredom without anyone getting killed or otherwise scathed. (Apparently scathed is not a word. Only unscathed is. Weird.)

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    1. Betsy, yes you’re right. The repairs are done and/or planned so it’s all progress. I want summer to be magical, but I, too, get bored with it, often feeling *scathed* in the process. 😉

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  21. I’m so depressed about the state of such things…I mean, we had a wonderful vacation last year, and this year we will stay home and do a staycation, but it is looking as though home repairs may prevent a vacation for the next few years as well. NOT OK. And I may rebel and say, I don’t care, we’re doing it anyway. (As we owed taxes and had an expensive leak under our foundation and we had the ugly popcorn removed from our ceilings…) That’s what we did last year, said we don’t care, we’re going anyway, and it was worth every penny.

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    1. J, I hear ‘ya sister. I see no vacations in our future but you make a good case for throwing caution to the wind and going on a vacation anyhow. I understand that having a home means upkeep, and I understand that we’re lucky to have a house– but there are moments… as you know… when I just want to whine and snarl.

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  22. I feel your pain, Ally. We too had a new roof installed last month – and also had to replace the insulation in the attic. Poor Theo hid in the basement for 4 days. There is NO purchasing satisfaction in a new roof 😕 … although I do like having a dry house 😉

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    1. Joanne, thanks for your support. You’ve said it, there’s no satisfaction in these purchases other than knowing the inside of the house is dry. I like Theo, he seems like a sensible cat. Wish I’d thought to hide in our basement for the duration of the installation.

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  23. I’ve also been spending money on the house. I had a new air conditioning system installed, and I’ve scheduled roof repair and cleaning. But mostly I’ve been busy helping my daughter move from one side of the state to the other and my granddaughter move from an apartment to a house. (Home maintenance is expensive, but moving might be even worse.) I did have time for some fun, though. I flew across the country for my grandson’s graduation from college, and while I was there, I took in a Broadway play, Oklahoma! I guess I’ve been busy. Bibbity, bobbity, boo.

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    1. Behind the Story, home maintenance costs can eat you up alive. We got a new AC a few years ago. While not an exciting purchase I like it as I’m sure you’ll like yours. I haven’t moved in decades so I’m sure I’d have sticker shock when I saw how much it costs now. We saw Oklahoma! when we were in NYC years ago. It was great on stage. Magical, even. 😊

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  24. Sounds like you put your blogging hiatus to good use!

    We took a trip to the GA mountains ~ hiking to waterfalls, drinking German beer, eating Bavarian pretzels, enjoying mountain vistas and streams, antiquing, riding around country roads, picnicking by streams and covered bridges, visiting grist mills, and . . .

    We saw a bear crossing the road. Cool trip!

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    1. nancy, what a fun vacation. I’m jealous, oh yes I am. I’ve been through GA on my way to FL but never been in the mountains, land of beer, bridges, and bears, OH MY!

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  25. Welcome back Ally Bean! Those are amazing accomplishments. Sometimes ‘we’ need those quieter times to do exactly that. Enjoy the fruits of your efforts – which no doubt lend to more fantasising about vacations here there and everywhere –

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    1. Susan, you’re right. Sometimes focusing on all the [boring, expensive, tedious] house stuff at once, while stressful in the moment, does lend itself to a feeling of accomplishment in the end. Now I can sit back in dry comfort while I don’t go on any vacations! 😉

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  26. Lovely to see you back in the saddle, Ally! Glad to hear about your wall building. Did you enjoy the work? Or was that just one of those necessary things homeowners do?

    Other than writing three novels at once, I don’t have anything else new to report. 😄

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    1. L. Marie, building the wall was fun. Kind of like putting legos together in a new way. We had intense rains last night and the wall is holding so all is good.

      Three novels at once? You’re one of those overachievers, aren’t you?

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  27. Welcome back! We are in the process of having our roof replaced too. In fact, they didn’t do a few things right so we are having it done twice. Fortunately, we are just paying for it once so we have all sorts of money for other needed, but unsatisfying house repairs. A trip to Hawaii sounds pretty tempting.

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    1. Janis, I’m sorry to learn that your roof didn’t go on right the first time. What a nightmare! The mess was one thing, but the noise of it got on my very last nerve. “Unsatisfying house repairs” is a great term, one that implies there’ll be no vacations for us in the near future. 😑

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  28. When you are as industrious as you were on vacation Ally, you were glad to return to work. I can remember many a time working on Fall cleaning and the kitchen with its doodads and knickknacks and all the work involved in washing ceilings, scrubbing the floor, moving appliances and polishing furniture made the Labor Day holiday nothing special – I was more than happy to return to work. We have had two roofs on this house – I was at work for the second one. Hopefully your bouts of rain refrained from the day of the new roof.

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    1. Linda, yes, getting back into the normal groove has been lovely. I’m glad we accomplished what we did, but now that you mention it a good kitchen scrubbing would be in order. As for rain and the roof project, it stormed one day so they had to cover the naked areas with blue tarps. While effective this did nothing to make me feel less anxious about the project. 🤨

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      1. Oh yes, I remember being happy to be back at work and having no more exertion than to move my fingers on the keyboard. One Summer (1985) I redid all the landscaping in the front and back yards and the sides … granted it’s not the size of an estate, but I tore out everything, hauled home 4 X 4 beams, countless bags of dirt and bark (no Lowes or landscape companies to deliver it in those days). Luckily the nursery delivered bushes and plants and a small tree and a hose reel they put together as a courtesy. I made a perimeter garden in the backyard and that took me most of the Summer to do that and then started to re-do the front/side as well. That was a job for younger legs. I cringe when I see people getting roofs with all this rain we have had this Spring. We were lucky and did not have any rain and a small house, they finished the same day – I can feel your angst believe me.

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        1. I hear you about landscape projects and younger legs– plus might I suggest younger backs, too. What you did sounds like a wonderful project, but *oh my* the work involved. I no longer even contemplate doing that kind of work; I just go straight to hiring someone to do it.

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          1. I would never do it again Ally, I’ll tell you that – I was 29 when I did that all the work in ’85. I’ve lost many of my perennials, my entire butterfly garden, bushes, etc. from the bitter cold, and I won’t replace them now … last year I had someone cut all the bushes as they were out of control and we had even more rain than this year. My handyman’s future son-in-law and I paid way too much and he barely nipped them – I said “give them a good haircut” … made him cut them more – he pruned around some big weeds … I thought to myself “you purposely cut around this weed growing inside a barberry bush and could not cut it?” I should have done it myself, but in 2017 I had contractors and messes the second half of the year and I did nothing but clean up messes (4 of them plumbing and a big insulation job) so I treated myself.
            No more!

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      1. So golden. Or if I was the least bit handy outside of painting and the normal run of the mill improvements, then I could knock these projects out and still go to Hawaii, a place I’ve never been, I might add, but that I’m trying to get to before climate change submerges it. 😳 Welcome back, Ally. 😘

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        1. Good to be back, but if I could find a way to get to Hawaii for a little vacay I’d happily disappear from the blogosphere for a few weeks. Hope you get to visit HA at some point. I’ve been there [20 years ago] and it was amazing and relaxing and wonderful.

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  29. We got a new roof on, too, in May. Fortunately we were at work most of the day, but our bunny suffered through all the banging. Another piece of good fortune: insurance paid for it – hail damage. Yay, hailstorms!! The new roof looked great upon first inspection, but we have a little roof area above a bay window that looked like it had been slapped on by blindfolded Kindergarteners in a rush. Thankfully, they came out and redid it without a fuss. I hate spending money on those necessary, not-remotely-fun things like home maintenance. Next up we have to get the whole house painted. Ugh.

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    1. The Travel Architect, I feel for your bunny at home during the roofing project. The noise of it got on my nerves, big time. We didn’t have a hailstorm on which to pin this expense, so we paid for it. A few years ago we had the whole house painted and it was worth the cost. Of course, the painter was about as unreliable as you might expect, so it took much prodding to get him to finish the house once he’d started it. Still, he did a great job, flake case that he was. Good luck.

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      1. Our neighbors had a similar problem with their house painter. This would be our first experience with this as our last house had maintenance-free siding. We’re hoping to tear down a 3-season porch next year and add on a mud room, so we are going to wait til then and tack it onto that project. The cost of it will disappear into the project total and therefore will be less painful????

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  30. I’m glad to read that the roof was on before the rain started! We’re considering the window replacement thing too – a 29-year-old house breeds rotting windows. At an incredible pace…WTH?! Hawaii does sound nice…windows…trip somewhere tropical…a rain forest, not?!

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    1. Shelley, you’re right about the price tag for new windows. It’s incredibly expensive, but what are you going to do? [Answer: pay through the nose and be happy inside your dry house.]

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