What….is your quest? Part Deux, Year 2, Paragraph 2, etc.

Stop!  Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.  What…is your name?  What….is your quest?  What….is the air-speed velocity of an un-laden swallow?

…African or European?

I love Monty Python.  Furthermore, I love that we totally stole the reference back in September of ’09 to plan out our house “quest” – i.e. trying to get our priorities in line so that we could actually get this house whipped into shape. The plan was to get it all completed for Christmas when we had a gaggle of family coming into town to stay with us:

Sorry, bros, but had to include you in on der blog-in-stein

Of course, nothing ever goes to plan, does it?  However, we have managed some pretty impressive remodels since Christmas in particular and have more or less completed our first round of changes!  You can actually click here to go back to the original post and click on the individual links back to all of the projects we’ve completed!  Honestly, I’ve gotta say….we have worked our @$$es off since a year ago and I’m pretty damn impressed with what we’ve managed to accomplish so far.  But it’s only just beginning…

So you’ve gotta be asking yourself, “Now what?!?”  Well, first of all, Lil’ Miss Impatient, just remember that we both work 40+ hours/week in Cubeland Jobs….they always get in the way of our renovating and blogging, but what’re ya gonna do?  We also have more gaggles of familials coming in throughout the month of August (and we can’t wait!!!!) plus a pretty significant amount of travel throughout the back half of the year and to top all of that off, we also adopted another dog!  Oh, I haven’t mentioned that yet?  Yup, we added another pup to our K-9 family – check’er out!

Her name’s Tiki, she’s a 4 year old smooth coat Jack Russell Terrier, and we are presently doing a pretty major DIY project to get her accustomed to our house, our routines, and our potty-training regimen – oh, how she likes to try my patience at times!  Have I mentioned that I hate carpet?

Needless to say we’re pretty busy people, so prioritizing and making lists makes our lives much easier!  What can I say?  I learned it from my mother, Organizing Fiend Extraordinaire.  I’m not nearly as OCD as my she (i.e. I do *not* P-touch label my linen closet like *some* people I know – love ya, Mom!), but I think setting goals for yourself is always a good thing!  Especially since we still have *so* much we want to do to this house, we really do need to prioritize so that a) we can budget for major and minor remodels without going bankrupt, b) we actually schedule some downtime so we can concentrate on the important things in life like each other and c) make sure we don’t over do it on the house remodeling so as not to price ourselves our of the market – we’re definitely not planning to stay in this house forever.  Without further ado, here is the Year 2 Quest.  It’s a little more vague this time around, but no less ambitious!

Decorating/Wall Decor: We are still suffering from a lot of bare-as-a-baby’s-behind walls in our house.  A lot of that has to do with the fact that we’ve just been working our little @$$es off trying to get the basics done around the house and this is one of those things that has just fallen by the wayside.  Le sigh.  And this is really L-blogger’s territory and not Dr. J’s.  Love ya, honey!  We’ve actually already started doing this a little bit (which we haven’t really detailed too much of here….yet!) and so I’m looking forward to sharing all of those good stories as well as taking on a few more DIY art projects to boot!

GET ORGANIZED!: Remember the P-touch comment from above?  Well, as much as I love to make fun of my Mom, we really could learn a few things from her organizing ways.

  • A big part of the organizing is purging, purging, purging! I can’t tell ya how many bathroom drawers, laundry cabinets (yes, we have those now!!!!) and closets are filled with unused beauty products, toxic chemicals (which I am trying to rid from my home altogether), ill-fitting clothing (or hardly used clothing), and/or just plain extraneous items that are un-used, un-loved, and unnecessary.  It’s time to clear out the closets (which I do every season change anyway), clear out the vanities, and just generally clear my house of unused things that would be better left to somebody else.  In fact, I may actually take on the “A Thing a Day” challenge for a set period of time just to really force myself to re-evaluate my possessions and clutter!
  • Get the garage in order! When you have no basement and no attic, everything, by default, moves to the garage.

Oh, how I wish this garage would magically be less cluttered!

Not only is our garage a storage menagerie for Christmas decorations, athletic gear, tools and spare lumber, it’s *also* our woodworking/recycling/gardening center, mud room and car workshop.  It houses our hot water tank, HVAC and four (yes, I said FOUR) city approved trash bins that per the HOA cannot be stored in sight.  Needless to say, this room wears a *lot* of hats and it’s further complicated by the fact that it faces the prevailing winds, serves as *our* main entry and exit point to the house and is almost *always* covered in a fine layer of sawdust.  Furthermore, I’d say that this room is one of the smallest “two-car garages” I have ever seen.  I think you could probably park two small cars in the garage, but then you might have to climb out the windows in order to get out, so I don’t know what the realtors were smoking when they advertised it as such.  So when I say this space is a challenge, that’s an understatement.  While it’s not as exciting as, say, a Laundry Room or a Guest Room it’s certainly no less important!

How the Room of Requirement looked back in December

As helpful as it was, the room has really become something of a monster ever since then.  We’ve actually switched things up in there considerably since then by banishing our old TV up there to be a video gamin’ machine and switching up the furniture arrangement quite a bit.  We have many ideas in mind for this room, but rather than tackle it all at once, we’re kind of taking it one item at a time.  We still have yet to paint this room and give it some life and vigor….so stay tuned for all of those changes!

Traveling: One of the big things Dr. J and I agreed upon when we got married was to incorporate as much travel as possible into our lives.  The back half of 2010 is going to be spent doing just that!  Unfortunately, we won’t be traveling to as many exotic places as we would like, but we are hoping to incorporate some  big ticket places into our future itineraries.  Nothing has been decided yet, but Hawaii, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and even Alaska have all crossed our minds.  Stay tuned for those details in 2011.  In the near future, though, expect some updates from the road as we make some pretty major trips at the back half of 2010.

Master Suite: We gave our Master bedroom a minor facelift this winter by switching out some pillows and brightening things up on the cheap with some happier accessories:

However….our bedding is seven years old and is, honestly, just a wee bit girly for me and WAY too girly for Dr. J.  We’d love to keep the blue-ish themes going on but just grow it up a little bit more.  We’ve recently purchased a new mattress, so new bedding is definitely in the works….it’s just a matter of finding it.

Another thing we need to tackle in our Master Suite is the bathroom.  Lord, it just needs help.  We have permanently etched/damaged marble top counters, black mold growing behind the caulk lines in our shower (which we have tried desperately to fix – twice – by digging out the caulk, bleaching it, and re-caulking to no avail).  Our shower is too small, the tub too big, and while I think we have plenty of storage, most of it is below-knee, which means I am constantly bending over every morning to reach simple things like lotions and sprays.  I’m kind of getting tired of it.  Soooooo…..we want to gut it…down.to.the.studs.  And, yes, we do plan to do it all ourselves!  But after our recent laundry room makeover, we definitely are taking a much-needed break.  So stay tuned while we build up the funds and work on our back muscles – you know we’re gonna need it!

So will we get all of these projects done?  I’m going for a negative, Ghostrider, the pattern is full on that one.  I’m certainly hopeful!  But since nothing is “dire” and/or entirely functional (most of these items above are about getting things gussied up for the prom), we’re just taking a “one-thing-at-a-time” approach (with some more breaks and fun mixed in for good measure).

So that’s the Quest for Year 2!!  Now You Tell’Us!  What major renos/makeovers are you planning in your house?!?  We’d love to hear about them!  We’d also *really* love to hear about how you tackled them, too!  Send us a few of your renovations with pics!  Who doesn’t love a good before and after?!?


5 thoughts on “What….is your quest? Part Deux, Year 2, Paragraph 2, etc.

  1. Our plans for the coming year include ripping all the wood paneling down and then slapping some nice lovely drywall up. And of course we’ll add some insulation while we’re at it.

    If we’re lucky and have enough energy and money left over we may put a new toilet in the master bath and new a/c unit.

  2. On any other day I would probably blissfully say yes, but here recently it seems like I just can’t get ahead (still unpacking.) I am probably gonna run away for a week after school is over with.

  3. Pingback: How First-Time Home Owners Are Building Deeper Engagement On Their Blog « Josh Chandler's Virtual Assistant Blog

  4. Pingback: Cork floor Redux « Tell'er All About It

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