This whole espresso thing has brought my son and I so much closer. Ok… so he just visits for his coffee fix — but that’s just fine with me. 🙂
Escape the 80's House Project
If I were young again, I would chose one career path in particular. I’ve not had many jobs in my lifetime — I worked in a Nursing Home for a couple years after high school while attending IUS, I worked for a dentist (while having a baby and again, attending college), I held several different positions in one bank, I was self-employed (drove a bus and worked from home creating corporate websites), and for the past 10 years, I’ve worked with my brother — a professional business speaker/trainer/consultant. But if I were young again… I’d be a handyman.
Why a handyman you ask? Because they are obviously in great demand. As a female homeowner I can’t seem to find anyone that will do “fix-it” jobs. It doesn’t matter who I call, if it’s not a BIG job (like building a house) no one wants to do it. In Seymour, I need someone to clean up the brick columns that were flattened, put in a lamp post and a mailbox. At my Crothersville home, I need a new back door, the back yard graded and grass planted (where the pool was), and either deck renovations or a patio poured (again, because there’s no longer a pool there). I’ve had two different people tell me they would take a look and call/email with pricing “tomorrow” only to never hear back from them. And if they don’t respond with a PRICE within 2 weeks… you can bet they won’t complete the job in a timely manner, you guys.
If I were a handyman, I wouldn’t knock on people’s doors to say, “Our crew is in your neighborhood installing new windows,” or “we can roof your house cheaper than anyone else.” I would; however, do a good job for everyone that hired me and charge a fair price. And I WOULD WORK. I remember delivering food to a home a few years back during the holiday season so the family could eat — yet, this “handyman” is obviously too busy with other projects to take on any more money-making endeavors. I know because I called him.
If you’re young — be a handyman. If you have children (or grandchildren), teach them to be handy — send them to college — but buy them an old beater truck and teach them to be handy. If they choose not to be a full-time handyman, for extra money they can do small, weekend jobs for people like me.
And if you get this look when mentioning the “handyman” career choice, don’t be discouraged:
Because I started the 80’s house remodeling project with intentions to sell right away, I stuck with neutral paint colors in most every part of the house. Since the bathroom painting project turned out better than expected, I thought I’d go BOLD and paint an accent wall in the kitchen before starting the backsplash project on the opposite wall. Halfway through I was REALLY questioning my choice (what was I thinking? FIREWEED in a kitchen??). Standing back looking at this horrible wall color, I wondered if I just added a little yellow how many visitors would try to order a Big Mac.
I stopped for a break and posted this on Facebook:
Have you ever painted a wall in your home and when you finished you wish you wouldn’t have done it? I sure wish “control-z” (undo) would work with everything… not just on computers.
If I could’ve clicked a button to “undo” what I’d done I would’ve. But then, the paint dried and I redecorated the walls, and it really wasn’t so bad after all. It wasn’t McDonald’s red like it appeared before.
The comments to my Facebook post got me thinking… and not just about paint. How many people continue through life secure — surrounded by taupe and different shades of gray and are afraid to take risks — while others go out and risk it all on a whim or an idea. Going a step further (because I know I’m guilty of this too) — how many will take a risk but back out before waiting long enough to realize the outcome?
Goodness knows I’ve taken risks and have failed miserably, taken more and probably jumped the gun to pull the plug, and even more that didn’t fail or achieve any great success (like my wall). But I’m not 100% taupe, you guys, and I hope you’re not either.
I haven’t shared much in the way of the 80’s house project lately. I could make up a bajillion excuses but the sad truth is… I got lazy. I hate to admit it — but it’s true — it took me a little over 2 years to rework the master bath. I got rid of the truck-stop-red carpet long ago, but never got around to finishing this room. A fresh coat of paint this past weekend along with a few finishing touches and the mirror over the sinks in the last 1980s room no longer screams for big hair. Better late than never. Right?
As a reminder — here is the before photo taken in 2013 (not 1980):
The photos I’ve shared show only one corner of this room. It’s actually bigger than the master bedroom at my old house, and I love the natural light of the skylight. But, I’ve used the tub maybe 3 times since I’ve been here (once to bathe Gracie) and have never used the shower. Ever. I would be just as happy with a small area containing only a toilet and lavatory, but I sure do remember a time when I would’ve killed to have this much private bathroom space. If I didn’t love this house and hate moving even worse than I hate shopping at Wal-mart, I’d be looking for something smaller. What an awesome house this would be for a family with kids.
Sitting in my office Sunday morning I heard a loud noise that I assumed was something extraordinarily heavy falling off of a very large truck. You see, I’m getting new neighbors next door and someone decided Thanksgiving morning at around 6:00 AM would be a great time to start putting on a new roof. Yes. 6:00 AM on Thanksgiving morning… a holiday… a day some people (ME!) might like to sleep in. I simply assumed it was those
bastards workers doing what they’d been doing so very well — making racket. But NO!
My remaining brick post claimed another vehicle. Another total loss. Some young kid that was doing something other than paying attention drove into the yard and back out through a brick driveway column. He was bleeding; I saw the officers give him a breathalyzer test. After that, I’m not sure what happened. Before that, the older woman in an SUV who witnessed the accident rather handily called the driver a ‘liar’ when he claimed he swerved to miss her. She wasted no time telling the police what she saw either — and she didn’t hold back.
So now that both posts are dead, I can only assume it’s safe to travel here once again. I’m thinking I should consider light poles as a replacement option.
I’m typing this in my office attire for the day — shorts and a sweatshirt and it’s 20 degrees outside. If you don’t think that’s crazy, wait to you hear what helps put my day into perspective…
I grew up in a home with well water. Matter of fact, about 95% of my life has been spent in homes where water was supplied by a well. That translates to LOW water pressure, you guys. About 8 years or so ago, the opportunity came about where I could hook to county water and I did so immediately. I went from soft flowing showers to a blast that could knock flesh from bones. I was thrilled!
Having a type A personality (if personality types were measured in increments, I would absolutely be an A+++ at least), I’m pretty much always in a rush with zero time leftover for anything unless I can carve in a early evening nap. I can’t remember a day where I didn’t do something pertaining to my job (not. one. day.) and if I could reset my electric toothbrush to shut off in 1 minute instead of 2, I would change it up ASAP.
What does this have to do with water? Well… the ‘escape the 80’s house’ has water supplied by a well (actually there are 2 wells here) and showers can no longer be accomplished in 5 minutes or less. It takes time to get the shampoo washed out and my quick 5 minute shower is a now a 20 minute relaxing experience — no matter if I like it or not. The first few days I seriously thought I would die and if I could’ve mustered the energy to repack and move back “home” I would’ve. After about a month I’ve realized it’s not all that bad to relax for 20 minutes. It’s not like when you’re in the shower you can multi-task and there’s simply no earthly way you can hurry up water.
Is there one thing that helps put your day into perspective? Helps you relax?
Just please don’t suggest that I take a bath instead…
You can call this entry ‘transformation Tuesday’ or even ‘toilet Tuesday’ if you want, but here’s yet another before/after room project blah blah blah. I’ve gotten quite a few messages from readers letting me know they love seeing the 80’s house changes — and only one asking why I’m not posting more business ideas or photography tips. Since WhatIfItDid was not designed to make money or sell advertisements, I figure it really doesn’t matter what I choose to yack about.
This house formerly belonged to my great uncle, Theodore (lovingly referred to as ‘Teddy Bear’), and I sometimes wonder what he would think if he could walk through the front door today. My guess? His eyes would likely pop right out on his cheeks upon first glance at the half-bath. The framed print of the Wicked Witch of the West (which my favorite brother said probably looks like me in the mornings when he calls wanting something) and the funky paint (PPG’s ‘Fireweed’), is simply not his style. Teddy was more into silicone and engineering a make-shift countertop covered in linoleum (which Perry is removing in the ‘before’ photo below).
At one point, I thought about keeping the linoleum in this room. Except good ole’ Teddy Bear had spilled drops of iodine on it right about where Perry’s butt is planted in the before shot. It looked like pee dribbles and since it was in a spot not fitting for a rug, the half-bath got a floor treatment as well.
This flooring is something I’ve never had before and honestly never even considered. The word LINOLEUM even sounds ugly and rustles up connotations in my head that relate to single-wide house trailers. Not so anymore, you guys! (If you’re interested in the brand you can leave me a message and I’m happy to share — it’s just too cold for me to walk in the garage right now.) This stuff is so durable and looks great grouted.
And finally, for the reader who left the message about wanting more business/photography posts…
- Don’t be afraid to try bold, new things. When I opened that can of ‘fireweed’ paint, I almost backed out to opt for something ordinary. I am so glad I didn’t.
- And, both the ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots were taken in manual mode, ISO 3200, 1/30 sec at f/3.5 — so no longer shy away from higher ISO’s… many of the newer DSLR cameras have the ability to shoot at higher ISO values without a ton of noise.