Saturday, August 22, 2009


This December marks the seventh year Dennis and I have lived in the same house in Michigan. In our 20 years of marriage (anniversary coming up in a week and a half), this is a kind of milestone. Before this, the longest we lived anywhere was our home in Acworth, Georgia for almost three and a half years. We've been rolling stones. Even when we lived in the same town, we still moved from one residence to another.

Our Michigan move was unique in that we decided to buy our home before moving to Lansing. We drove out, looked at homes for a week while staying with our friends, Bob and Donna Tobey. We put a bid on one home, but it fell through, and I had a backup plan for another, the current one we live in. We left our car with the Tobey's and took a memorable train ride back to Denver.

It's a three bed and two bath multi-level with a basement, garage and a storage shed. I've always liked multi-level homes as opposed to a ranch style or a two-story. They have a more contemporary feel to them, and are adaptable to any decorating scheme you decide on. For the price we paid, I feel we got our money's worth. When we bought it, it was only eight years old. I've just realized that now our home is fifteen years old.

Prior to moving in, we painted the family room and the living room, as well as put in some shelving, an automatic garage door opener and a ceiling fan in the master bedroom after buying our appliances. A year after, we replaced the light fixures with more modern ones, and since then, we've done little besides some landscaping and painting inside the garage walls and the wood trim around the windows and chimney. I'm looking around and seeing that we have a lot to do before the end of the year. The Honey Do list is starting to grow.

Since we have had a lot of animals, including an elderly german shepherd mix and a golden retriever puppy, as well as a destructive mother cat and her six kittens, the carpet needs replacing in some rooms. Our living room is small, so we are thinking of installing a wood floor ourselves. I've tolerated the wallpaper border in the dining room but now I'm sick of it. The kitchen is showing on the walls that I love to cook and that my eyesight is not so good, as well as a lot of wear on the laminate countertops. The cupboards are simple, but they are oak and I like them. When we bought our stove, I didn't insist on buying an overhead microwave/hood that matched it and now I wish that I did.

For all these projects, plus more, I'm planning to post some before and after photos as well as document all the decisionmaking that Dennis and I have to do. The first project is the window project, which will be posted in a few days. Dennis and our friend, Youngbae, went up on the roof a few weeks ago and had an accident with a ladder. Everyone is safe, but the ladder went through the living room window. A replacement had to be special ordered and with the plywood covering the shattered picture window, we ascended to the top of the list of the worst looking houses in the neighborhood. I'm looking forward to the new window installation on Tuesday.

Living here has had its ups and downs. There are other places I wish we could live, like closer to family in California. But I'm celebrating the fact that we actually have a home at all.

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