House Projects

Well, dancers, I hope you did more dancing than me this past week! I saw the PT this morning (yay, my hips are sore but re-aligned!). I’m looking forward to working with her and getting back to more dancing. In related news, my neck spasmed when I stretched/twisted the wrong way trying to put sunscreen on my back on Friday and I had to get my hair cut with less mobility and a lot more pain. It was real fun trying to lean back enough so the hairdresser could wash my hair! Not to mention making turns in the car to and from the salon. Ouch. My neck issues will be the next thing I tackle with the PT.

I’m sorry to say that I don’t have anything dance-specific to report this week. The focus was on house projects. We had contractors out to prepare an estimate to replace the roof. Chimney guys came out to inspect and clean all four chimneys, and they’ll be coming back again to do some repairs. It’s been hella hard to connect with all of the different tradespeople we need to hire to work on this house, and for good reason. While I was trying to figure out what to write here, I wrote an article about it on Medium.

My mom and I spent many an evening drinking wine and discussing how the heck we’re going to pay for all of the work we want to do on this property. On a more fun note, we went to Home Depot and brought home paint color chips to start planning what colors we want to paint the different rooms. There are a lot of rooms to paint! We also successfully installed a window shade for the kitchen window next to the table where I sit and work. The view is beautiful, but the late morning sun comes in hot and threatens to melt my laptop.

This week was another great example of why people my age and younger aren’t buying homes. Once you get past the down payment, the closing costs, the mortgage, the home insurance and the property taxes, if anything breaks, you have to pay to repair or replace it. Some people say that renting is just throwing your money away every month, but while I was living in my last apartment, I got a new dishwasher, new microwave, and new A/C unit installed plus roof repairs done that I didn’t have to shell out one extra penny for. That was the advantage of renting (and having great maintenance guys).

The advantage of owning this gorgeous, old, creaky house on 60 amazingly peaceful acres of land in MidCoast Maine is waking up happy every morning, having my own space and privacy, and the ability to dream big and do more with the space I have. Assuming we can figure out how to pay for those dreams!

Of course, not everyone buys a 120-year old house with a lot of delayed maintenance. But still, even just replacing the water heater is over 4 figures, and that’s after a rebate from the state’s energy efficiency program. I can’t help but think of countless other families who went the home ownership route and find themselves feeling screwed any time something big needed fixing. I don’t feel like the contractors are overcharging either. I feel like it’s a symptom of a bigger issue of how wealth is distributed in our society. But that’s another story for Medium.

Oh! Actually, I do have a tiny bit of dance to share with you. I continued my dancing through the house series with a Viennese Waltz on the second floor. Or at least an attempt at a Viennese Waltz. Watch the video and you’ll understand.

Finally, in Critter Corner this week, we had a porcupine visit the backyard! The dogs wanted to go investigate, but I explained this neighbor is one we greet from a respectful distance. Later, I saw him up in a tree. Did you know porcupines climbed trees? I didn’t!

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