Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dangerous Times

My house, just before moving in, 2003.
Now that my house is all mine, the loan is finished, the election is over and California voters passed the proposition to raise taxes a little to fund schools which means no more salary cuts (!), I find myself in a dangerous place. I still have my financial windfall and a house that needs my touch. MY touch. Where to begin?

I live alone in a four bedroom house of approximately 1740 square feet. Well, I live alone except for my dog and cat. One bedroom stands empty, except for a dresser, night stand and lamp. I cleared out this room for a potential roommate before applying for the loan modification the first time. I'm not sure where this roommate thing is going, maybe it's not meant to happen, quite yet. In the meantime, it sits empty, unused....yet full of promise.

What to do with this room?
I have always loved the color of the room. It is a turquoise/teal reminiscent of tropical waters. In fact the name of the paint color is 'Cozumel' and 'water' became the theme for this room and the second bathroom, and they became our guest suite. One of the options I'm considering for this room is to buy a bed and have it available for guests, though no one is planning to come visit anytime soon. I got bored last night and went furniture shopping. A salesman had also suggested a sleeper sofa, (hmm, interesting idea) that way I could just go sit up there and read or meditate. (I like that!) On my way home, I thought of a futon. Again, I could go read or meditate, instead of lying on the floor. But, there is a problem....

I am planning on converting his old office into a library. I am thinking of painting it a soothing gray, with some dark blue and  brown accents. Why gray? 'Fire' was the theme for this room and orange was his favorite color and now that the fire's out, all that remains are the ashes. And with gray I stay true to the theme of the bedroom colors being based on one of the elements; my bedroom and bathroom is painted in 'earth' colors; sage and forest greens with cinnamon accents and my office is 'air', the lavender of sunset with accents of the cobalt blue of deep night.

My future library, but in gray
When he moved out, he left his recliner behind. I'd donate it, but it is very comfortable, as is mine. I may move his up to the library as it will fit into the color scheme. Or, I may donate it to a charity and buy a different one, starting over. It's just that it's soooo comfortable. Either way, I will have nothing downstairs in the living room but a tattered old sleeper sofa which is slip-covered, my recliner, a coffee table and plant stand.

Being as I don't know when or even if I will have a roommate, I'm leaning toward making the water room into my meditation room. So, here's what I'm thinking; I want to paint the trim black. Just the trim. Then I want to get a futon and a decent dock for my iPod. That way, I can go in, close the door, and meditate. Hopefully, my dog will go lie down and my cat will not howl for food during that time. If I meet someone who I feel would make a good roommate and he has some furniture, maybe I can move the futon into the library. So, maybe I should donate the recliner (tax deduction!), look for a smaller chair for the library, possibly a wingback and perhaps a footstool of some sort. Just some thoughts.

One other area that needs attention is the garden and the front garden in particular. I have a small bed on one side of the walkway to the front door, as is evident in the top photo. That picture was taken when the house was new. The bed today is dirt with about three plants in it. My idea is to create a bed of California native plants that can tolerate the heat and less water. The problem with the bed is that it faces east, so it gets only morning sun. I guess a visit to a nursery is in order for some plant ideas.

So, here's the dangerous part. I have money. I want this ALL done tomorrow. When we bought this house, we were counseled not to rush into buying everything we needed (wanted) for the house. Did we listen? Sort of. We waited but ultimately grew impatient. The two projects I've mentioned here are small. Yet, they aren't the only ones, the oven doesn't work, the refrigerator is over 10 years old, the kitchen sink is beginning to show it's age as are the toilets, and dishwasher. The powder room also needs a paint job, it is painted peach right now. Ewwww. (It was a compromise.) The tree outside between my house and the neighbors' house needs attention as it interferes with their satellite reception. And I want decent window treatments, as the temporary vertical blinds are becoming permanent. Some artwork that reflects my taste would also be nice.

I also have some personal projects/needs as well; my laptop is beginning to fuss, I'm thinking of joining the 21st century and getting a smartphone. And, I want my own iPad as it's a bit annoying when I'm using my current one (provided by my school) in class and I get notifications while projecting the educational image to the board. (I'm just glad the notifications aren't of a, um, sensitive nature.) Yet, I need to learn to save for these and other upcoming concerns as my property taxes aren't impounded into my loan anymore, and my four-legged children are aging. With my mortgage payment now lower, I can save and learn to control my impulse spending. 

I really don't need all of this done tomorrow. I'm just an impatient person with some money and a house that needs attention.

Maybe that's my lesson in all this....

After all, patience is a virtue.....


  1. I know how you feel, Jeff, wanting to get it all done at once. But just take one room, one project, at a time and bask at the end of each and take a break. Don't rush through it. Will winter weather affect your tasks?

    Okay, I promise I will not send you a message during your working hours.

    Nooo! to the black trim.

    I sent you some recommended colors for meditation rooms, but they wouldn't be my choice. I like comfy, warm earthy tones.

    Save the kitchen make-over for last, because that will be the most costly and the most inconvenient to get it done at once. A friend in South Africa had a kitchen do-over. She lived mostly in her caravan (trailer) for about 3 months. That's the most unsettling overhaul.

    I'm just glad this is all going your way. You've been patiently 'frustrated' until now. So, go slow, and enjoy your creativity!

    Love you and have fun,

    1. Thank you, Nancy, for your time and comment!

      I will indeed tackle one project at a time, and not rush to get it all done at once. I want to get the library painted first as it will be the first step to make more of the house over to being all mine, plus I have a week coming up that I can do it. And just because the room is painted doesn't mean it needs the furniture right away. Maybe I'll buy it slowly, kind of like a piece-of-furniture-a-month club. Winter weather shouldn't affect my painting plans and I may consider painting the powder room over winter break.

      I'm not considering a full out kitchen makeover at this time, though the idea of painting it now has entered my mind. The oven is now fixed, and I can live with the rest as it is. We shall see how the summer fares up in terms of painting the kitchen.

      But, I am sold on the black trim. It will ground the room. But, I need the right shade of black.

  2. Is there a different shade of black? How 'bout a soft gray? Have you made a "To Do" list? Keep it posted on the fridge and decide which one you want to do on a certain day. Nothing feels better than to line through a project and know it's completed. It's hard to have too many goals at one time.

    1. Well, the only other shades of black I know of have just a touch of white or some other color. They are not light enough to be considered gray. I also need to find the right sheen.

      I have made a "to do" list. Informally, in my head. I will jot it down later this evening.