Thursday, May 28, 2009

the joy of home ownership

Between work life and home life and now - getting ready for marathon and family coming to town weekend - I have so many things to do, I am almost paralyzed with where to begin.

Earlier today, as I sat trying to figure out where to start ... fill out the medical forms necessary for the race? ... start a load of laundry? ... pay the bills? ... clean out the refrigerator? ... go grocery shopping? ... get out of my pajamas? ... I got dragged in to something completely irrelevant.

I dusted each individual slat on our wood blinds.

Then I cleaned the tracks of our sliding glass doors.

And the tracks on every one of our windows.

We strive to be tidy people and at least twice a year, I clean our windows inside and out. Not to mention, I clean our wood blinds at least once a month and vacuum the tracks frequently. So I'm at a loss how it is that these things get so unbelievably disgusting and full of rolly pollies?

It never fails that once I start a simple project like cleaning the windows, I start discovering all kinds of problems with the house that must be repaired. The weather stripping on the windows is brittle and falling off!! The wood frames are rotting out!! The tracks are open and water from the outside pools on the inside!!

Yesterday our windows were perfectly fine because I didn't know any better.

Tonight, they all need to be replaced. And if we're going to replace the windows we need to get the frame of the windows re-stuccoed. Then the whole house will need to be re-painted.

Suddenly a simple task that should have just left me with clean windows is resulting in Google searches and calls to contractors for estimates that will undoubtedly cost $25,000.00.

How do I cope with this kind of stress?!

Three words: Peanut. Butter. Cups.

Lesson learned: The more you look, the more you find and the more poor you will be. So the next time I am motivated to do home improvement, I am going to pick up a box of chocolate and close my eyes until the feeling passes.


  1. lol Yummmm PB cups!

    I wish we had a trader joes here.. you keep talking about them. Ha.

  2. I call that 'If you give a Mouse a Cookie' cleaning.

    I'll sit with you in the peanut butter cup corner :)

  3. I totally agree. Peanut. Butter. Cups. are much, much better. One day a couple years ago I told my husband that we should paint the outside of our house. Then I said, we should probably replace the windows for something more modern (and so that the AC stays on the inside only) while we're at it. What the heck, he says, let's get some quotes. $18,000.00 alone to replace all our windows. Um, yeah, we like them just the way they are thankyouverymuch! GOOD LUCK TO YOU, CHARLIE AND MARGARET AT THE MARATHON THIS WEEKEND. YOU ARE ALL FANTASTIC PEOPLE AND WILL BE BEAUTIFULLY REWARDED FOR ALL YOUR EFFORT AND HARD WORK. GOD BLESS! Linda

  4. Greg replaced all the windows in our house for like $10. Now he's replacing all of them in our foreclosure house. Should I send him down there? :)

  5. Michele: Absolutely >> Red Rover, Red Rover ... send Greg right over. You need to do a post on how he replaced all your windows for $10.00. Infact, I think you could have a whole separate blog just on the Life of Greg.

    Joy H: I love your analogy!! In our case, it shapes up to be: "If you give Jen a bottle of Windex" because the same thing happens whenever I clean the bathroom and get a close look at our old tub. Or clean the kitchen and get a close look at our old cabinets. It's like pulling a snag on a knit sweater ... you think you'll just pull off that little piece and be done. But instead, you start pulling and soon, you've got a gaping hole...

  6. I love this post! P.S. I wanted to tell you that you have motivated tme to run with my kids in the stroller which a couple days ago I thought would have been impossible!

  7. Hey Jen!!

    Thought I would send along all the e-mails from friends that are sending well wishes and GREAT! Vibes to you guys and Marg.

    Hope you don't mind thought I would put it on your comment page ~ It's just that cool!!

    Subject: Go Go Go
    From Gina

    Have a great trip this weekend Maggie!! We'll be sending positive vibes
    your way on Sunday for the race. We know you'll do great!

    Love you!!

    From Kristin H.

    Definately!!!! I think she left this morning at 4 am. I am running 5
    miles on Sunday with her (in spirit). So, she can think about me for 5
    miles of the race! anyone else???

    From Rebecca:

    I still can't run - but Sam and I usually walk 8 miles on Sundays. Count me
    in for 8.

    From Gina:
    I'll probably walk Sunday so count me in for 4 miles!! : )

    From Angela:

    Ok - I can walk 5 miles for Maggie!

    The one that will make you CRY:

    I'm in for 5 with you Kristin - where and what time are you thinking of running on Sunday? I'm out for lunch tomorrow though since Dom's busy and I don't feel like trying to bring both kids.

    I'm not sure if I shared this with all of you but I know I told Maggie. When I told my dad about Maggie running and said I sponsored her in his honor he got really choked up and asked for a picture of her on that day wearing her t-shirt with all the names. Just recently the doctors took him
    off most of his medication and stopped chemo. For over a year he's been on chemo and taking meds that make him cold and tired all the time because his
    cancer indicator test has shown he's got cancer. Well they can't find the cancer and have given up looking - this is great news for him! He knows the possibility of cancer is there but this will improve his quality of life.
    Just a few days ago he walked a 1/2 mile loop in his neighborhood! This is a man who was given two weeks to live two different times in the three months before my wedding nearly six years ago! We are so thankful for the power of prayer and positive thinking! I am so proud of Maggie for accomplishing such a feat to help others!

    Have a great weekend! Becky

    Show it to Marg....maybe it will make the run easier for all of you....It's just a couple of miles :-) and you can see most of it's covered!!


    Go Go Go!!!

  8. OMG... I have that syndrome. The one where when I spot one piece of dirt and clean it... all the sudden every other piece of dirt shows itself! Then I go on a rampage! I like your idea better... can I eat raspberry jellies with dark chocolate instead?

  9. SEE??! THIS IS WHY I DON'T CLEAN! My point exactly. Why clean? That's why we got ducks... to distract everyone from the dust bunnies and wood beetles (not really, but I just KNOW they're in there)...

    Good luck this weekend. I'll be praying for you and eating bananas all day...

  10. Totally cracking up at "If you give a Mouse a Cookie" cleaning. So perfect! LOL!

    But I so understand this!!! Two years ago we ripped out our carpet and installed hardwoods in the commune area of our home. We spent months researching, pricing, shopping and finally found a great deal on the perfect Brazilian Cherry we loved. We then spent 12 weeks installing them ourselves (pre-children) so we could save $3k. Suffice it to say, they were STUNNING! We were so proud of all the personal sacrifice and work!

    I still remember that first night after the furniture had been put back, we sat on the sofa, looking at the floors in all their glory. Big smiles and even bigger sighs of relief over a bottle of Chilean red. Suddenly the new baseboards made the doorframes look disgusting. The walls were dingy and needed a coat of paint badly. Our cabinets looked old and outdated. Our picture window suddenly was in dire need of replacing. The glory of those beautiful hardwoods was short-lived as we mentally ticked off another $10k of work that needed to get done. That was two years ago and we haven't done much since then. We're too broke. LOL...

  11. o.k...this is one of the many reasons I have a cleaning person! If I cleaned myself and actually saw everyting up close and personal, I would be just like you...wanting to fix/replace everything. So, even though the cleaning lady costs $$$ I figure I am saving far more in the long run. That is some good logic, huh??? I have actually used that argument on my hubby when he starts mumbling about the cost of the the cleaning lady :)) Good luck with the marathon. I'm so pg the mere thought of walking 26 BLOCKS puts me in a coma. I can't even imagine running/walking 26 MILES!!!


  12. Gosh Jen, It must have been "clean you windows and blinds day". I was doing exactly the same thing! Only without the Peanut Butter Cups. Good luck to you both tomorrow!

  13. You and your marathon have been on my mind this week. During a long and difficult labor I kept repeating to myself "I can do anything for a day"... somehow it helped me get through the bad parts. I know you will get to that finish line someway somehow. Best of luck to you guys! You are an inspiration.

  14. Michelle M in TX5/29/09, 9:00 PM

    Okay. I did that when we lived in CA. It was the best $15K we've ever spent. They came in and there was no damage to the stucco (thus needing no repairs and no repainting). They did the entire house in a day w/minimum dust/dirt. They were the most gorgeous double paned windows. We were the envy of the 'hood (Scripps Ranch). Anyways, here is the company, whom I would highly recommend, The Window Factory. They were recommended by a friend of ours who loved her results too. We had a TON of window on this house and even changed one into a large transom window and two sliding glass doors. I can't tell you how much I loved these awesome windows (and no, I don't work for this company - LOL!) Anyways, here's their website: Good luck!

    And good luck w/your marathon!

  15. Another pearl of wisdom I have learned from you! :)

  16. I think Michele S should just pimp out Greg to do home repairs. Bet she could make a mint. LOL


  17. One of many cuzzins!5/29/09, 11:10 PM

    Hey Jen,

    You're a N*U*T! For sure the first thing your Southern guests are going to look at are your wooden blinds and slider tracks!!!!!!!!

    Have a GREAT run on Sunday. You guys are AWESOME! We'll be thinking AND PRAYING for you and sending lots of positive vibes. The three of you are going to do great.

    Jen, Charlie and Maggie BE STRONG!

    Hugs, kisses, and high fives!

  18. Those Trader Joe's PB cups have magical powers.

    Good luck with your marathon!