Guys, I recently made the switch from skim milk to half and half in my coffee, and it is a game changer. I mean, life is short, right?
So the last time I checked in, Spring was upon us. And then I blinked, and we’re heading into Summer. I’m not quite sure what happened to the month of April; it was here and gone in a flash. Now it’s the end (!!!) of May, and we’re looking ahead at summer projects for #thisoldhouse.
Last year, I had these lofty goals of landscaping and planting and beautifying the outside of our property. Ha! I was so cute and naive. But now that the inside of our house is livable, our outside projects are already off to a great start.
The weekend after we closed last June, we weren’t able to work inside the house (it’s a long story) so we decided to tackle the flower beds. I wish I had more pictures of what the house looked like those first few days, but frankly, I was too mortified. Anyway, what you need to know is that we pulled weeds as tall as me all weekend, and that pretty much sums it up.
But look at my flower beds now!
We made a dent last summer, but the persistent rain from July until, you know, yesterday made it pretty difficult to do real work. But over the last couple weeks, we’ve edged new beds, turned the soil, planted azaleas and annuals, and laid down mulch. I’m still adding as we go (last weekend I didn’t plant a single flower and it hurt my heart) but I’m just so happy with the progress.
David also straightened and expanded our patio. It’s nice to have a little bit more maneuverability, and it pleases my love of symmetry. Now we’re acquiring some patio furniture, sprucing up the fire pit, and cleaning off the grill. Who wants to barbecue?
I know that you’re all really here to see the fence, though. Let me tell you, was that a project. I am continually impressed with David, and this was no exception. He meticulously planned and measured for 500 feet of rail fence around our property and then, like, he built it.
The plan is to eventually paint it white, but I foresee that being an “at a later date” project. For now, the pups love having free reign over the yard. And I have to say, as I write this from our patio, with my coffee and some snoozing doggos, I’m a fan of it, too.
This weekend, we might get over to the north side of our house and create some mulch beds around trees and bushes. And, of course, I have more weeds to pull and flowers to plant. Coming soon – sunflowers around the barn!
But I’ve recently thought a lot about what it takes to buy a fixer upper, especially when you intend to DIY it most of the way. Even though we’ve heard from realtors and friends that most people aren’t interested in anything less than turn-key perfection, I thought I’d make a list of some qualities prospective DIY-ers should probably possess (in case that’s you!)
- Patience. “Duh,” you might say. But while I have endless patience for other situations in my life, patience on the home front (ha ha) was a tough one for me. Some of my patience is forced, since we can only finance so many projects at once. Yet, surprisingly, prioritizing projects (even out of necessity) helped us be more thoughtful and take more pride in our work.
- A sense of adventure. This whole process will be unexpected. Hope you like surprises!
- Vision & creativity. It’s not what you wanted – yet. But being able to look past ugly wallpaper or dinged up floors will ensure you don’t miss a diamond in the rough. When buying this house, I constantly compared it to the first home we’d seen. That first house had everything I was looking for, and this one didn’t. It wasn’t until I started saying “yet” that I could see this house for its potential.
- Persistence & flexibility. Things will go wrong. Onward!
- A sense of humor. Again, things will go wrong. If you can laugh instead of cry (or at least laugh after you cry), it will help.
As the school year winds down, my free time will increase exponentially. Hopefully that means more frequent updates over the next couple of months. For now, I’m off to participate in my new favorite weekend activity: flower shopping.