Investing In Our Home

I’m loving how productive I’ve been this week. Several big projects have been completed, work has gone well, and the regular weekly responsibilities, like food shopping and lawn mowing, have been completed. I was able to grout all the new bathroom tiles yesterday and today I’ll add the waterproof sealant to finish off the job. I must say, I’m really proud of how well this project has come out given the unforeseen and anticipated worst-case-scenario obstacles.

Once this bathroom tile job is crossed off my to-do list, I’ll return my focus to the backyard deck. I’ve refastened all the nails and loose boards and checked the integrity of the structural supports and beams. I’m halfway through sanding it, which is a laborious hands-and-knees task that, even with goggles and a face mask, is dusty and unpleasant. It’s well worth it though. Sanding the boards removes the old paint, exposing the wood underneath, which makes it more receptive to the new stain and sealant we will add.

Like the bathroom tile project, which is essentially a temporary patch that will extend the life of the materials there, the staining the deck now isn’t meant to overhaul and really “fix” the structure, but rather eke out a bit more life on the current wood before we replace the whole thing (a financial commitment we can’t swing at this time). By restraining and sealing the wood, we can protect the beams a bit better from exposure to the elements, prolonging their usable life. It’s a large deck so fully scrapping it and redoing it will be quite costly. We were able to get more than enough stain and necessary application supplies for under $200. Since we already own a sander, albeit a tiny one, the investment to string it along a couple more years from a functional standpoint, is reasonable.

Cosmetically, the stain job won’t overhaul the appearance of the worn beams, but Ben and I have a low bar for aesthetic expectations. It’s nice to dream about “someday” when we might be able to improve things solely based on our desire for them to have more “curb appeal.” For now, it’s pretty noteworthy that we are even trying to invest sweat equity and our minimally-available funds into bettering our home. We’ve both previously been so depressed and/or overwhelmed by the disarray and dilapidation of our house and yard that we buried our heads and lacked energy and motivation to fix it. It all felt too far gone and impossible to remedy. Our perspective on our lives, independently and as a married couple, have become much healthier and happier, such that we see value in building a better home, one that reflects our interest in living and taking care of one another. We’ve had a tough few years and I feel like we are finally walking hand in hand out of the abyss together.

Today will be busy because I have to get a new MRI, which always takes several hours between the drive, the inevitable wait, and the imaging time itself. Fortunately, since it’s a Saturday, Ben can drive, so that helps with the travel aspect.  I’m trying to keep a positive attitude, both in terms of being optimistic about the scan results and for the hassle of going, which usually makes me cranky and frustrated with the sitting around and waiting for what feels like an unfairly long time. The tough part about the wait there is that you have to sit alone in a tiny room with no devices for distraction and they never even have magazines. It’s an exercise in patience for sure. Since that’s a quality I desperately lack, it’s never an easy experience. That said, I’ll focus on the good aspects of the day and make the most of the tough ones.

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