Yesterday was patching day. Today was sanding-vacuuming-washing-and-priming day. I dragged the vacuum cleaner, a mop and a bucket, and can of primer from one end of my St. Paul condo to the other this afternoon. Tomorrow will be painting day in preparation for the new closet "systems" that will be installed in my bedroom closets and in my tiny kitchen pantry. The kicker is that I actually enjoy this sort of thing. With two walks to the hardware store plus the actual work, I got some exercise and saved myself at least several hundred dollars. How could that not be fun. I have always loved improving the places I've lived-- even as a renter.
I'm a sucker for pretty.
Right after Mr. Ex graduated from law school, he got an offer for a temporary job in Denver. We lived in a 450-square-foot apartment in the middle of L.A. then, and I stayed there while he went to Denver. While he was away, I pulled up the filthy carpet and hand-waxed the beautiful old wood floor. I custom blended paint colors tinting and mixing the almost-free paint I'd gotten at a flea market until it was a pale sandy rose and painted our living room. Everyone looked gorgeous in that room.
I was both stricken and furious when he left me. By then we lived in a big house with a pool and a jacuzzi, a playground, a built-in barbeque big enough to cook a side of beef. We had a gorgeous patio next to a waterfall and a billion other things we didn't have when our life together was smaller.
I made this list sometime after he left me, pissed as hell that all my sweat equity was washed away, and that he let me work as his general contractor and as a laborer on a house that he wanted for himself and the Little Missus.
What I Did or Hired to be Done from Jan. '07 to Jul. '07 ( I chose to focus on this narrow period of time because after studying his cellphone records, it was pretty obvious to me that he knew he was leaving me by January.)
Haulers for misc. junk
Xmas lights down
Winterized Shade-Tree canopy system for patio
Solved drainage issues in driveway and front flower beds
Organized Mr. Ex's pile of papers in garage
New garage doors
Cleaned and organized garage top to bottom
Free-cycled the stuff we don't want
More shelves from CA closets for garage & repair of bin in back hall closet
Maintenance of AC & heating
Carpet & rug cleaning
Direct TV installation
Garage floor installation
Set up garage as M's party room
Researched and bought new fridge
Got rid of old fridge
New shower head
Pond guy again
More work on Pond
Constant yard work and gardening
I'm pretty sure I would feel like I was living in a mausoleum if I'd been the one to keep the house. I don't miss it--except for what I grew there.