Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Subtle Changes

Since becoming a house owner in 2012, I have worked on a lot of projects at my house. It's a lot more responsibility than condo living in Boston. Most of the projects involve painting walls, but I also had the wall to wall carpet upstairs replaced, had repairs made to the screen porch, installed central cooling, had the roof repaired where ice dams had caused damage and had heat tape installed so that ice dams can be prevented.  I have planted (and then moved and replanted in better spots in the yard) plants, vegetables, herbs, and flowers (including the previously non-existent spring bulbs).  I have relearned how to mow the lawn and learned how to use a snow blower!   

My next big repair is getting all of the windows on the house replaced. (Not one of them is well sealed, and none of the upper panes stay in place without the help of dowels. This problem was identified on the home inspection, but carpeting and air conditioning took priority. And then the roof pulled a whammy on me.)

There is one project that I had been bumping down in priority on my "Things To Do" list and that is window treatments. Based on my extensive watching of HGTV, I know what an impact they can have on a room, but I never made it a priority, neither in Boston, nor here, AS YET. (Friends can attest that in Boston, I had one room where the "curtains" consisted of a tension rod, a folded flat bed sheet, and those little clips for curtain rods.)

But I wanted to remedy that so this weekend, I bought some simple, neutral color curtain rods at BB+B and VOILA! HUGE improvement!! 

This photo shows the newly installed curtain rod on the left, while the old curtain rod carried over from what the previous owners had is on the right. While the old rod may have worked with their sheers, it just made my curtains look like they had been slapped up on the wall (they were, so I deserve that criticism). The new rod looks so much cleaner and installing them above the window frame makes the windows look bigger too.

Check out how the new rod improves the way the curtains over the slider look. My mom HATED these curtains because they were all puddled on the floor. (She mentioned it every time she came over for dinner.) Well, Mom, you can't complain any more!! (They *just* clear the floor.)

I honestly don't know why I waited so long to hang new rods, but I am glad that I had thought through what I wanted and didn't just buy something to have new rods. Even though I had seen this on TV many times, it still surprised me how much more sophisticated the living/dining room looked once I made this small change. Every time I go in there, I smile at the improvement.

Now I am going to get new rods and curtains for the rest of the house (definitely need new curtains in the guest room and office - the ones currently there are leftover from my bedroom growing up!). Hanging the new rods has been a great wintertime home improvement project.

Monday, January 5, 2015

On the Eve of Epiphany...

So here we are in 2015. ::looks around:: Seems okay thus far.  2014 left something to be desired for me, which is definitely reflected in my lack of blog entries for the year. My plan for 2015 is to get back into blogging so I am setting a personal goal of 30 posts for the year, a little over 2 posts a month. That isn't a lot. (Actually, it's a little lame, but the frequency of my posts for last year was so pathetic that 30 actually is a reach target.)

2014 in Review: 
On the downside, my health was pretty rotten. My friend MEM had made up this joke about me being her "Sickliest Friend" (which sounds like the title of a song written by either The Smiths or They Might Be Giants), because I kept getting colds, which turned out to be an allergic reaction to winter! But this year, starting just before Memorial Day, I came out with an (as yet) unidentified serious digestive ailment. It ruined my vacation planned in June and spoiled my summer. [I have had a string of tests with no conclusive results, although the big diseases have been ruled out, which is good.](Sorry if that was a bit of an over share. It does explain A LOT about last year though.)

On the upside, I made a new friend (which seems sort of silly to get excited about, but it's difficult making friends outside of work when you are over 35, single, and childless - this isn't just my opinion; it was in the New York Times), and not one, but two, new nephews joined my extended family. [Both boys are cute, but only one is smooshy. The other is a solid little nugget. Henceforth, he will be know as the "Nugget". I don't know what I will call the smooshy one yet; he is the younger brother of the "Sweetpea" so maybe he could be the "Sprout". Need to think on that.]

Big Purchase:
I bought a snow blower, which is new for me as a relatively new house owner. Back in Boston, the condo association handled the snow removal. My first year in Connecticut, I shoveled my own drive and walk. Then we had 4' of snow dumped on us in one storm; if I hadn't laughed about it, I would have cried. Last year, I hired a service plow my driveway and snow blow the walk, but I'd find myself waiting quite a while for them to get to my house and would end up shoveling a lot of the time anyway. So now I have an Ariens' snow blower for this year. I was given a demo by the man who delivered it, but probably should read the manual before the Alberta Clipper scheduled for tonight and tomorrow comes through.

Luckily, the snow we have had up until now hasn't really amounted to much. But it was still pretty to look at.


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