Homeowner To-Do List: September 2012

Matt and I have a five year plan for various renovations, additions, and purchases we want to make for the house. Every month, we’ll be posting what our to-do list is for the upcoming months. As the months go on, we’ll hopefully be crossing things off and adding things on.

Here are the current goals on our to-do list:

  1. Replace older boards in deck
  2. Add new handrail to stairs going to second floor
  3. Adjust kitchen layout to accommodate new appliances
  4. Get quotes on upgrading electric
  5. Investigate getting new dryer
  6. Purchase small shed
  7. Look into getting UPSes for office and for living room
  8. Get quotes on gas-powered generator installation
  9. Purchase new curtains for living room
  10. Fix coat hook in kitchen
  11. Purchase or make a table for grilling preparation
  12. Get gutters cleared and repaired
  13. Reassemble shed
  14. Clean up branches in backyard
  15. Update living room ceiling
  16. Move in new couch set
  17. Get rid of vines growing on the side of the house
  18. Get rid of vines growing on fences
  19. Contact garbage company about getting rid of old couch

Another month of not getting much crossed off the list, but two of the things we did cross off were biggies.

First, we finally reassembled the shed this past month. The lawnmower has apparently not been damaged by the rain, yay. We’ll see how the snowblower does this winter.

Now that the shed is put back together, of course the storms have lightened up, so we’ve finally had time to tackle yardwork again. I got rid of all the vines that started growing like crazy on our fences (we have a grapevine that grows all over the place). The worst, though, is that I hadn’t been maintaining the vines by the north side of the house, and now they’ve grown past the second floor and nearly to the roof. I’ve cut back some, but we need to do a ton more work on that side of the house. (The bees tend to keep me out.)

Now, might I take this opportunity to mention that I’m writing this while sitting on our lovely like-new couch! Our neighbors bought a new couch set, and so they gave us their old set. Perfect timing, because our old couches were shot. This makes it the third time in a row that our couches were free. (The set before this was gotten rid of by a coworker of Matt’s, and before that was a futon brought by Matt’s renter at the time.)

The old loveseat was moved into my office/library on the first floor (to give me an alternative cozy place to read or study), and the old couch is in our alleyway waiting to be thrown out. We just need to contact the garbage company about picking it up, and then that’s that.

Financially, we were thrown for a loop last week when my back right brake finally said enough is enough and had to get replaced. Thank goodness for the emergency fund! But now that’s more money I need to pay back into it, on top of the tree removal. So, everything on this list that actually costs money is being put on the back-burner for the next few months.

On a less to-do note, this month Matt and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary! We spread the celebrating out throughout the week because of course my grad school orientation fell on the same day. (366 days this year! And of all days, it had to fall on that one?) The highlight of our celebration was us going to see singer-songwriter Jeffrey Gaines in an intimate performance on his birthday. He’s perhaps Matt’s favorite still-active musician, and since 1991, Matt has taken every girlfriend he’s had to see JG—well, except me. (Not his fault, because every show we tried to go to either rained out or fell on a day we were unavailable.) After seven years together, we finally had the pleasure to sit right in front and hear JG play his heart out.

The show was sponsored by Matt’s workplace, and so they had reached out to Matt and offered him two comps. On top of that, they slipped to JG the names of some of Matt’s favorite songs. So, the show was basically tailored to my husband. What a special night it was for us.

The next few months will be even harder to cross off things on our list, not just because of money, but because I’ll be starting grad school this fall. And, because I’m crazy, I’m also still working through a certificate program at a local community college too. However, I love what I’m studying, and I love that I have free tuition for both degrees—it’s time consuming and stressful, yes, but I genuinely love the challenge. Being in a classroom is one of my favorite places to be. I’m ridiculously excited for what’s to come!

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