It’s that time of year again — the time to make an inventory of what I have done and what I have failed to do (through my own grievous fault) here in the house. Time also to look forward and make plans (next to making lists, one of my favorite pastimes — so much more fun than actually doing work) for 2014.
Normally, as December comes to an end, I feel disappointed at not having accomplished the many home projects I’d hoped to do during the year. But one of the main reasons I started this little blog was to document what I had done, and in so doing, realize that I wasn’t such a do-nothing as I felt.
So, in 2013, the following happened at 29 Mattoon:
- Put in a full bathroom in the guest suite (top floor). This was a major accomplishment and I don’t in any way minimize how important this was for Total Home Renovation Completion (target date of which had been 2012, but that ship has sailed).
Here are some before and afters:
- The bathroom construction led to the replacing of the very ancient cast iron waste pipe throughout the house and major reconstructive surgery on plumbing in basement. What once was iron is now plastic. Well, except for that one section behind the wall in the new bathroom. Fingers crossed.
- As a result of that project, I also got a light at the top of the basement stairs:
Which, sadly, did not prevent me from falling head first down the whole flight of basement stairs on the day I was clearing a path for the masons to come and repair the exhaust channel for the oil furnace in the basement – this was the before, I can’t find an after, but trust me, it’s now safe and not oozing exhaust fumes into the basement:
- The stairwells got a couple of new lights; the grotty tin ceiling on the top floor was replaced by drywall, and the crumbling under-the-stairs plaster was shored up. All was painted a glossy light green. Again, trust me. These photos probably make no sense at all, but the ceilings look way better:
So those were my big projects of the year, and they really were big. I had hoped that I would be able to finish the hallways this year. Not only to fix the ceilings, but also to put up new wallpaper and carpet the stairs. Alas, it was not to be. My beloved cat, Jerome, died in 203. It was unexpected and I had the doctors try everything they could to save him, but they couldn’t. His medical bills equalled the cost of papering the walls and putting in carpet on the stairs. Also, little Taggy fell ill with a mysterious malady a few weeks ago and had to be rushed to the ER. He, thank God, is fine now and getting back to normal, but it also cost a pretty penny. And Claudette, the lovely and sweet cat with IBS is currently eating cat food that costs more per week than my human groceries. And last but not least, we are in heating season, i.e. the time of no home improvement projects. So nothing much will be happening here until the Spring at the earliest.
In other news of pets, I thought that Claudette missed having a cat friend, because after Jerome died, she would walk around and cry. So I got a kitten. His name is Walter. He’s a gangly teenager now. Sometimes he’s as sweet as can be to Claudette, and sometimes he’s a horrid beast. Trixie loves him to bits, and I’m pretty fond of him, too. Frankly, if I had to choose one or t’other, I’d rather have manky hallways and happy pets, but it would be nice to have pretty hallways and happy pets.
So for 2014, my realistic plans are:
- Install tin ceiling in guest room bathroom
- Turn guest room closet into “kitchenette”
- Paper stripey stairwell
- Install light in stripey stairwell
My “I’ve won the lottery” and/or “I get two long-term airbnb guests” plans are:
- Finish the stairwells/halls with paint, paper, and carpet on stairs
- Install remaining (11) storm windows on rear of house and have sills repaired
Goodbye, 2013. RIP, Jeromey. Hello, 2014 — let’s see what you bring our way.