This concludes Phase 1

And I didn’t even notice!

Which is funny because I’ve been fixated on the end for a solid 3 years now. And it was 3 years of scope bloat. At first it was the things I needed to make the place safe, like this chimney. (This is behind my bookcases in April 2014)


To the “while we’re at it” jobs that couldn’t feasibly happen later, like moving the bathroom.

second floor existing and proposed

To the surprise problems I couldn’t fix later, like the water behind this stucco. It was at least not getting behind the asphalt.


The messy things I wanted over with, like the patio door.


And the things that seemed unnecessary until I was living without them, like kitchen storage. (The oak chopping block on top of this cabinet has been deferred beyond Phase 1.)


Even with the washer and dryer it didn’t really feel finished. So how do I know it’s over? Because I went away for the weekend and my social calendar filled up every evening but one this week. Normally, there’d be something I wanted to do to the house and knowing that I was even slower would make me grumpy.

As far as actual work goes, it’s been only little things. My bedroom door has been down for a while. I was going to paint the jamb and install vintage hardware and all that. You know door hardware is my favorite. But after that got held up I just hung it back up again as it was and felt great about it. The only real house progress was the furniture and pretty things on this wall. Well, that and polishing silver.


That dresser was in my grandmother’s childhood home and the mirror was in her living room. The mirror always looked really, really formal in her house and I thought it would be too much for me, but I love it. And I got the bust because I used to be afraid of one just like it at my friend’s house when I was little. The Irishman’s kids haven’t seen it yet.

And otherwise, I’m working on putting life before the house. On Tuesday I threw together a small dinner – this kind of thing is why I have a house at all instead of a studio apartment.

And I’m starting to get used to regular cleaning. Not shoveling up debris, the normal people kind. And I went to a neighborhood tree planting today after 3 years of no volunteer work.

So while I’m not doing house work, I have some other stuff that I’m looking forward to writing about. I think it’s time to put together a proper little tour of my little house. Then there’s the house hunt, stuff about the neighborhood and city, past and current projects for my family (because you know I owe my parents forever and ever), and other fun stuff.  There are little projects to do during the “break” and loads of clutter – moving my grandmother and dealing with her stuff is unfinished business. There’s so much more of it after my sister and I got what we wanted. And it’s never too early to plan out Phase 2. I’ve had ideas in my head and can’t wait to write them down. Stay tuned!


5 thoughts on “This concludes Phase 1

  1. Mary Elizabeth

    When I was reading this, I remembered a few times in my life when I had to put everything else on hold until a major project was completed. It does feel, when you have finished, like you have woken up from some Rip Van Winkle type sleep and are suddenly aware of the rest of the world and how you can move about in it. Enjoy this time, and enjoy your dinner parties and so on.

    I’m sure the right piece of butcher block is going to jump up and grab you some time in the near future.


  2. Jo

    Congratulations on the completion of Phase 1. Enjoy your breather; it wont last long enough. We’re coming to the end of our breather and need to get busy to finish the details. oh, bother. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music



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