Baby steps

One of the problems of living in a house that definitely qualifies as a fixer-upper, is discovering that you are not really a fixer-upper type of people. I'm sure that having no money and twelve children plays a big part in that, but still, there it is. So, any home improvements that do occur happen much more slowly than the decay. They also happen to be more cosmetic than structural. Here is an example.

For a long time now, J. has been trying to make due with a folding table as a desk to work on his dissertation. Folding tables are not great desks and ultimately it became the dumping ground for all that little stuff that accumulates. It's really difficult to work amongst all that. The folding table was also right there in front of the fire place in our bedroom, which also didn't look terribly nice. Pretty demoralizing all the way around.

I've been wanting to do something about it for quite some time. A couple of months ago, I realized that I didn't need the huge dressing table that had been in our room and was actually quite tired of it. What I needed was something much smaller. So I found and ordered that little red dressing table. (It's hard to see because I was taking pictures right into the light. But, I'm sure you all learned long ago not to come by for the amazing photography. I should clarify the amazingly good photography, because some of it is amazingly bad.) We had also moved the large couch out of bedroom and downstairs and moved one of the chairs and a table from downstairs upstairs. I like this arrangement much better.

Then last weekend, a neighbor stopped by to borrow some older children to help move furniture and offered us an IKEA desk, complete with new top. It was just the right size for the space where the dressing table was. Since J., B., TM, and D. have been away all week at Boy Scout camp, I did a little organizing. (Shh.... this is a surprise, but since they are currently in the car coming home, I think it's safe to give you a sneak peek.) I also bought some hanging file folder holders because the desk doesn't have a lot of surface space or drawers. I did try to figure out some place to put the dog crate, but there really isn't anywhere else and Kenzie really likes it. So it had to stay.

The rest of the room is still the same. I know from back here it doesn't look too bad, but the mini-blinds are still broken, the wallpaper is still exceedingly ugly (and textured, so you can't even slap some paint over it) and the paint job is bad. I probably wouldn't mind the room so much if I could always see it from twenty feet away.

And there are still lovely places such as this where the wallpaper is coming off in shreds.

The sewing area is still here, though if you look closely you'll see the Easter place mats that I when I realized no matter how late I stayed up the night before I wouldn't finish them, have sat neglected.

At this rate, the house will have completely fallen down and a forest will have grown in its place at the rate we get things fixed. Fixer-uppers always sound so romantic, don't they? Like that house in It's a Wonderful Life.. though it seems with the whole newel post-thing, that they suffered from much our same difficulties.


Carla said…
We deal with something similar. My husband is very handy, but our quandary is this: When we have the money, we don't have the time (because he's working so much making the money) and when we have the time, we don't dare spend the money on home improvement (he's unemployed).
We also have a big old house. Ironically with the same radiant heat and the same wall paper issues. I feel your pain... both of your pains. I'm just curious. Do either of you also have the masonry concrete walls as well??

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