Do you ever get to the point where you just stop and think, “Why am I doing it this way? It’s making everything way harder!”
That realization struck me in two different moments this week.
Example #1: Nope, We Don’t Need an Extra Loan
As we have edged closer and closer to finishing the project of turning a 900 square foot bungalow into a welcoming and safe Airbnb for guests, we have had unexpected expenses.
Life is like that, after all. Just when you think you had covered all the bases, something rears its ugly head to divert you from your straight line. In this case, it was a 100+ year old cottonwood tree, the last cottonwood on our property and the biggest. It is at least 80 feet tall and sits in back of Cottage West.
One day, I was working at Cottage West shortly after a spate of rainy days and noticed that it seemed…dark…and overly green in the back of the house. It turned out that a HUGE limb and broken off and landed on the roof. We were suddenly faced with the fact that we needed that giant cottonwood out of there, and it was going to cost a pretty penny.
I was so used to paying off our credit cards each month in full and mega-paying towards other debts so that we didn’t have to pay finance charges, that it never even occurred to me that perhaps, I could just pay less on the credit cards (oh no, a little bit of interest instead of 0% interest!) and afford it.
Example #2: Stop Writing, Focus on Finishing Cottage West
The second lesson hit yesterday as I sat down in front of my computer and stared at the screen. After all, my short story for August was almost done. I had already written 7,000+ words. I knew where it was going, I just needed to finish it.
But as I read the words on the screen and tried to type, my mind filled with the following…
I wonder how long each of the tasks we listed in our “to do” list will take?
I need to find some seating for the nook in the attic.
Should I add paneling to the sides of the attic stairwell going up?
And so on.
Finally, I stood up and accepted reality. This too can wait. It can wait for one month until Cottage West is finished and up and available on Airbnb.
It can wait.
We are in the home stretch. The colors of the walls in the different rooms make me smile. I feel a fierce joy run through me. Pride, a sense of accomplishment, and the realization that, together with my husband, I am making my dream of restoring a sad and neglected house to one of functionality and joy is almost here.
Five years. Hard work. Scrimping. Saving. Dealing with unscrupulous contractors. Mistakes. Learning curves. And a hell of a lot of sweat.
Cottage West is coming soon and I have a “to do” list today that consists of:
- Go by Dirty Don’s and find some deals for Cottage West and our house
- Floors Direct – purchase hexagon tile and grout for bathroom
- Clean and then paint clawfoot bathtub
- Clean and paint molding in house (I won’t get it all done today, but I’ll make significant progress
- Work on decorating the old windows in order to hang them in the west exposure windows (so folks don’t have to look at the decrepit house next door)
- Find a pedestal sink on FB Marketplace
- Find vintage metal chairs to spray paint and put on back and front porches
The writing is on hold, and that’s a-okay. Because by the time I’m done, I’m going to have a masterpiece that will be earning us money like nobody’s business. Stay tuned!
p.s. Here is my master “to do” list, along with the estimated hours to complete. Because I’m THAT kind of planner!
|To Do’s||Est. time to complete (in hours)|
|Finish painting ceilings in all areas of the house||2|
|Install Beadboard (walls and ceiling) back porch||3|
|Paint back porch||2|
|Install flooring in bathroom||6|
|Clean and paint tub and feet||3|
|Put tub and fixtures in||2|
|Have Robert finish plumbing in bathroom||0|
|Paint cabinets and doors||6|
|Install bead board inside of backs of built-ins and |
|Install washer and dryer||1|
|Install molding throughout house||6|
|Install kitchen cabinets & appliances||8|
|Install wall box in living room for burglar alarm||3|
|Furnish & decorate||8|
|Add molding to exterior door in back||2|
|Add vinyl lattice to front deck||1|
|Paint sections of front porch roof white||1|
|Install new door knob sets on bedrooms,|
bathroom, and sunroom doors
|Add keyless entry to front door||2|
|Add cabinets, “built- in” bookshelves, and bead |
board rest of attic (walls and ceiling)
|Install beadboard in stairwell to attic?||3|
|Remove door alarm from door that leads to |