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I’m almost certain my neighbors think I’m nuts. While my landscaper neighbor is having his minions mow, trim, and otherwise beautify the rest of the street in my neighborhood, I’m pretty much the only one on the block who can’t afford his services. So while we’ve got manly, professional landscapers working through the heat and sweat of Saturday/Sunday cleanup, you’ll also see me working away on my own yard. I’m sure its quite comical, especially since I’m teeny compared to the guys, I have no idea what I’m doing half the time, and the extension cord keeps twisting in the wrong directions (leading to me accidentally cutting through it, stopping me mid-hedge-trim with a very loud ZZZAAAP!, and thus forcing me to buy a newer and longer cord, solving my original problem but embarrassing me nonetheless).I’ll admit that I may just be too self-absorbed and maybe no one in my neighborhood really cares at all since it’s not their home that looks completely ridiculous. But when those landscaping business cards get taped to my mailbox, I’m immediately red-faced all over again. So after a hot day working around the house, I can’t help but think of the conflicting dialogue between what I want my house to say versus what it actually says:
What I want it to say to the neighbors: “Please be patient. I’m only one person, and you’ve seen me working hard, so this area is being neglected for now while I work on other projects.”
What it actually says: “This thing is falling apart.”
What I want it to say to the neighbors: “I’m getting started, see? Pretty soon, this will all look so much better! Please be patient though, I can only get so far in one afternoon and the caulk is still drying, so I can’t paint this eyesore for another day. I’m really sorry, but it will be worth it!”
What it actually says: “What the heck is she doing? Putting toothpaste on her garage door?”
What I want it to say to the neighbors: “I totally have a plan. This is going to look so good when it’s all finished.”
What it actually says: “Is she painting her whole house by herself? Is she high, or just crazy?”
And to answer an important question ahead of time, no, I’m not planning on painting the entire house by brush, and not by myself. I’m actually going to get dear ol’ Dad involved and spray most of the exterior. But since the garage and front door area is mostly trim work, I reasoned that I’d be spending most of my time painting this area by hand anyway. And this small area is perfect for trying out the new house color, which is only a few shades lighter than the color it is now (the paint has been sun exposed for many unmaintained years, so a lighter color in the same color family just seemed to be a better choice than trying to make it all dark again). And the white trim? Love the way it pops off the brown.
And yes, I realize that’s a ton of caulk. Embarrassingly so. I’m a little OCD, so some of those places probably didn’t really need it, but I told myself to be better safe than sorry (“There’s no such thing as too much caulk…hehe”). Ideally it would be fantastic if I could afford to completely replace the siding with a more low-maintenance version, but right now the budget dictates that option is currently in the OhHeckNo column. So, after replacing the dry rot areas with new wood, caulking the rest and painting was the way to go. And might I add, a huge improvement, even if you can only see a real difference in person.
Anywho, back to the fun part. Do you see where this is eventually going with the new color scheme? Remember when my sister came over to meet the new pup and take a few pictures of us? I told her about the color scheme I was thinking of for the house, and I really think she said it best (as only my sister, in her wide-eyed, gasping excitement could pull off – and yes, she speaks in exclamation points):
“You’re going to have a gingerbread house?!?!?!!!! SO COOL.”
I agree. Christmas is going to be mine. Does anyone have a clever idea of how to make giant, realistic looking gumdrops?
Wow, it looks great already!! I can't wait to see the finished product on your house. It's going to be epic and delicious.
I say, don't let the neighbors pressure you by worrying about what they think.
You're doing an awesome job and it takes time!
Paper Mache = gumdrops (and/or really big candy canes)
I love your blog. really helpful and fun. thanks mucho