The Inspiration Behind Home Improvement: FRIENDSHIP

"He Said, She Said"
“He Said, She Said”

Nearly four years ago, the caveman part of this duo and I got married in a simple private ceremony in our front courtyard right at home. We had a great local Beatles cover band Fab Fever on our lower back deck, where the hot tub once was. Today, that area is landscaped with pea gravel and stepping stones with water-saving shrubbery and a new fence surrounding the entire lower level deck. A perfect place for a DJ set-up!

Fast-forwarding several years to this week, we find ourselves excitedly fixing up the house for our friends Allison and Michael. They will be celebrating their wedding reception at our home with a Batman theme laced with pink. So, as I type this, the landscapers are at our home planting pink flowers in the courtyard. I hope Allison likes them.

It is friends like Allison and Michael that make living worthwhile. Because of them being our inspiration, our butts are in gear this past year to make the house as beautiful as possible. New paint, new driveway, new landscaping, freshly stained deck, new fence, new roof, new ambiance! Now to make that call to the house cleaners, window washers and pressure washers at Guss Service Agency…

We look forward to Batman and Cat-woman’s wedding reception this weekend!

Home Wedding Spurs Home Improvement

Allison and michaelMeet Allison McManus and Michael Coleman! Later this month, this wonderful couple will enter into wedded bliss before tromping off to their honeymoon.

As a result of our friendship with Allison and Michael, we offered to have their wedding reception at our home, where we got married 4 years ago.

As a way to push us to make improvements and beautify our home, we used Allison and Michael’s wedding date as a deadline for doing a whole litany of home improvements so as not to embarrass ourselves with a deteriorating yet charming old 1926 house. What we’ve done so far includes:

new tile floor

-new roof

-exterior paint

-interior paint

new driveway with paver bricks

-replacement of board on the back deck


In the next 2 weeks, we’ll be putting the pedal to the metal by having window washers, landscapers and pressure washers come out and put on the final touches to be ready for Allison and Michael’s Batman-themed wedding. It will be FUN!


A Day (NOT) at the Spa

Fab Fever performing at our home wedding, 2010
Spa [spah] noun: a hot tub or similar warm-water hydromassage facility, usually for more than one person.

My husband’s recent quest to have a lonely, neglected spa removed from our back deck as part of ongoing home improvement and maintenance met me with equal parts nostalgia, relief and sadness. Over eight years ago after first buying the home, I remember sitting in the spa with my mom, looking up at the house with its warm lights shining through the windows down to where we were floating. The words from my mouth in that moment came from a sense of comfort and relief: “I feel rich” is what I remember saying to my mom as we sat there enjoying the hot, bubbling water.

Now, the empty void where the spa once sat reminded me of the Dr. Suess book titled The Lorax, where the Onceler sadly told the story of the way things were. During my time in this home, there have been numerous memorable events that took place around the spa, especially in the warmer months when anyone dared venture outside to enjoy it. There was the party when wine glasses were found at the bottom of the hot tub with countless wine bottles strewn about in the dark the night prior, the party guest who looked down at an inebriated guest thinking he jumped in fully clothed (when in reality, he was just a hairy guy)…and our own home wedding two years ago when the band used the hot tub cover for their equipment and staging area.

To deal with the loss of the spa, I’ve taken it upon myself to see it as a “mind-clearing” and “decluttering” event in my life. Being that the previous owners of our home had the darn thing hoisted over the neighbor’s property with a crane to get it to where it sat for many years, the relatively simple process of having it sawed into pieces and hauled off was quite liberating…

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