A Doing Day

Yesterday was a Doing Day. In other words, I spent most of it getting things done. It felt so good to be active, and particularly good to get things off my desk. That feeling of “things hanging over my head” is gone, at least for the moment. Whew! I hope I can carry it forward through the week and get the rest of my pending tasks done!

We also spent some time on fun things. Two of our neighbors’ houses are for sale, so we snuck over to the open houses to take a peek at each. One of them was built around the same time as ours and by the same contractor. We weren’t at all surprised to find it lacking in “the details.” It had outdated bathrooms, bad moldings, horrible wood paneling, poorly hung doors, bad flooring, and a total lack of landscaping.

The twin staircases in the entry (one on each side) should have been interesting architectural features, but the overall affect was of a big, ugly, uninviting square. And worse yet, they were narrow and had narrow treads, which made getting up and down them difficult, especially since I was carrying the baby in her car seat. I wouldn’t want to try running up and down those stairs on a daily basis.

The high ceiling in the foyer should also have been a selling feature, but the builder had chosen a weird dripping plaster effect. From the floor it looked as though the ceiling were peeling. From the second floor, it looked almost like accumulated ice.

The house also smelled like ours used to: a truly unpleasant mix of moisture, dog, and air fresheners. Yuck!

The only thing the house had going for it was its size—nearly 4,000 square feet. All but one of the bedrooms made my office (the biggest bedroom in our house) look tiny. But, having lived here through some long, cold winters, I know how much it would cost to heat that place. Yikes!

All in all, it was exactly what we had expected based on the experiences we have had with our house. But we have fixed many of the flaws in this house, most importantly the bad smell and the awkward entryway. Our house is prettier, cozier, and much less stinky, so there’s no chance of us moving over there! I suspect they’re having trouble selling it, because though it hasn’t been on the market long, it looks like they already reduced the price by $50,000.

On a side note, I saw the saddest thing in one of the bedrooms: box after unopened box of Barbies. I couldn’t help but comment on it. Barbies are for playing, not for keeping in boxes! I told the Realtor that I had pierced my Barbie’s ears with sewing pins. She said hers had gotten hard use, too. Ah, the good old days, when kids were encouraged to play!

The other neighbor, who owns the property directly behind ours, is also selling his house. My husband is bummed because he has a good relationship with that neighbor. The guy even took down a few trees on his property because they were ruining our view. Though personally I don’t care for the way he uses the woods (he’s one of those ATV riders), I am grateful for what he did for us. I hope the new neighbors will be as nice. Fingers crossed.

I was really impressed with his house. He and his wife did a great job with it. The office was gorgeous. The bathrooms were all bright, clean, modern, and comfortable. The back yard was beautifully landscaped, giving my husband and me some idea of how ours could look if we do it right (their back yard is not much bigger than ours). The first floor had not only a man cave (complete with bar, big TV, and pool table), but also a fantastic all-season screened-in porch. The house was smaller than I expected (only 3 bedrooms, one of which had been turned into an office), but unlike the gigantic house across the street, it had “the details.”

Though I thought each house had some advantages over ours, seeing them made me feel better about living here. The first house reminded me of how far we’ve come with fixing this one up. My husband has done a lot of work, and even in its half-completed state, it’s still much better than that place! The second house showed me a glimpse of what our house could be like in a few years, but done to our tastes, not theirs.

We also went to a farmers’ market and to BJ’s for some necessities. When we returned, I paid some bills, balanced my checkbook, cleaned, prepped my brother’s Christmas present for shipping (finally!), and wrote some blog posts for later this week.

I really enjoyed my Doing Day! I hope you had a good day, too.

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