Tonight we went to Home Depot to look at door handles to replace the one on our front door that sticks so much now I struggle to get into the house.
That turned into looking at kitchen faucets, bathroom fixtures, sinks, flooring and more.
Talk about a multitude of options.
I dragged boyfriend over to paint to pick up color squares and palette cards.
By the time we left, we had a
Do you see that ceiling? IT SPARKLES!
I haven't been a fan of glitter since clear glitter nail polish was all the rage in, what, 8th grade?
It's especially unwelcome on my ceilings. And it's made itself at home in about half the rooms on the first floor, as well as hallways.
IT HAS TO GO!
Last night we took two car loads of boxes to "the homestead" and got a sample of the popcorn. There's a company in Montana that will test samples for asbestos for $35. For that price, I say it's totally worth it to be sure we won't be inhaling that awful stuff that could give use crazy awful diseases. Boyfriend initially said not to worry, but I worry. There are plenty of times when I through caution to the wind, but not when I can take such a simple step to prevent catastrophe.
My co-worker wrote an editorial about removing popcorn ceilings on the same day we closed on the house. Someone put popcorn ceilings in his turn of the century house, which makes the awful stuff that much more offensive. My editor also recently removed popcorn ceilings so I'll have lots of expert advice.
Today I'll mail off the sample to make sure we're in the clear on asbestos and as soon as I know for sure, I'll be up there scrapping away to get what looks like 8th grade glitter nail polish off my ceilings!
Monday Motivation will be making a come back next week, but this was too good to wait a week. This has long been my mantra, so seeing it as a quote was just great.
I have worked just about every Memorial Day for the last 7 years.
As a military reporter, and having done media relations for a veterans nonprofit, I expect to work this day. And honestly, I love it.
I spent today at various ceremonies around town, talking to veterans, families and young people who have a wonderfully grown up understanding of how important it is to honor service members, past and present.
So many think of cookouts and pool parties and the start of summer on Memorial Day, but it's a day specifically to honor those who have been killed in service to their country. Veterans Day is for the living, Memorial Day is for those we've lost.
It's a day that I spend thinking about one veteran in particular. Brig. Gen. Neil Smart was at the Battle of the Bulge.
I met him years ago at a MOAA meeting at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. I went to ask him a few questions after the meeting and at every meting after, he would demand that people make room for me to sit next to him. The state American Legion honored him later and after I wrote the story, he sent my publisher a lovely letter praising me and the photographer. I kept it pinned up on my desk and still have it. He was scheduled to go on Honor Flight in May 2008. He passed away just hours before the flight. I'd only known him a short time, but I was devastated.
He was a special man who had done extraordinary things during his military experience and his life. I was often amazed by his stories and more amazed that he took time to talk to me and write letters to my bosses about me. There are few experiences more humbling and gratifying.
Last week I went to D.C. with the Big Sky Honor Flight and spent most of the time talking to Billy Paul, a World War II veteran from Great Falls. I snapped that photo as we were loading the buses at Duller International Airport. I was reporting on the trip, but Billy will always be a special veteran to me. At the end of the trip, he thanked me for walking all over D.C. with him and helping him take photos and tackle stairs. I found myself sounding like the teenager BIlly talked to at the Lincoln Memorial: "It's no trouble, I haven't done anything really."
Service members are a special breed. I grew up in a military family. Many of my closest friends are in the military. My boyfriend currently serves in the military.
Perhaps it's because I grew up surrounded by the military that it holds a special place in my heart.
But, no matter what, they all deserve our thanks and our remembrance.
To the service members I know and those I don't, to those past and present, my sincere thanks.
My cousin found a great Pinterest board full of color combo ideas so help with the Swan Lake bathroom, but I found myself a bit obsessed with the options for an hour or so on Saturday. Here's a few that I'm falling in love with.
In three short months, I'll turn 30. As a kid, that seemed old. Now, it seems so young.
To prep for that "OH MY GOSH I'M 30" meltdown so many people have, I started working on the things I wanted to accomplish by 30 a year or so ago. Can't say I've finished some of the bigger ones, but I have made progress and other massive life changes have crept in. Including moving to Montana to be with the boyfriend and, you know, buying a house.
Anyway, three months to 30! AHH!
I love the Deshanel sisters, and Zooey's HelloGiggles. Last week, I read this post on the site and can already relate. As a college kid, I didn't drink. At all. So I don't have any experience with being able to bounce back from wild nights out, as discussed in No. 9. But I can relate to feeling like death after big nights out, or just nights where my former roommate and I would order pizza, drink too much wine and watch silly movies, or the Bachelor. She loved, I had to drink a lot of wine to get through it and made drinking games out of it.
I totally agree with No. 2. I've been the legal definition of adult for what, nearly 12 year, but I regularly find myself thinking "I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!" As a kid, I looked at my parents and thought they knew everything, even if I rebelled against on a daily basis. A significant number of my friends are moms now and I can't even imagine being responsible for someone else's development, wellbeing, life.
But then again, I'm not sure how I feel about being a "millennial." The cover of TIME earlier this month was about how lazy and self-centered millennials are. I'm at the early edge of the generation, but still, I don't enjoy all the unpleasant things about us. Of course, then the article goes on to say we're the "next greatest generation."
In a weird way, I'm excited about turning 30. I have a friend who told me that her 30s were great, and her 40s were even better. I figure, as long as I'm doing the things I love, with the people I love, I'm pretty much good to go.
Last week, the local furniture had a military appreciation night with decent sales (interest free for four years and free delivery on purchases over $1,500).
It was a cold, rainy, yucky Friday night and we'd bailed on a quick camping trip since I was packing in a lot of tasks before heading to D.C. with the Big Sky Honor Flight (more on that later).
Furniture shopping isn't my favorite thing to do, but practical use of time when it's cold and raining.
We found a few things we liked a little bit, but nothing jumped out at us. As we wandered the store, we realized we had no idea the style we wanted to have.
Mark had dragged me out to an auction a few weeks ago and we went to another one the next week (more on that coming!) and though it's like yard sales or thrift store shopping and can be hit or miss, I'm now so much less interested in buying new things from the store, and paying ridiculous amounts for things we could make or find elsewhere with a little bit of work. I've always liked old things, books, houses, places. As a kid, we took my mom's old dresses and turned them into dress up clothes and I've long had an obsession with old books. There's so much history, character and often actual workmanship in old things. Maybe I get this from my grandma, who works in a thrift shop these days and finds all kinds of things at yard sales and on the side of the road. I have a dresser right now that she found somewhere and my dad cleaned it up and painted it. I love it.
But, we did find this table. It was in the discount section because it had a crack on one side. The table was originally priced at $600. We got it for $200 since it was cracked. We're thinking we'll use it as a desk. It's big enough we can probably both use it and face each other, or I get the massive table all to myself. We'll see.
So we've been thinking a lot about our style. I claim Virginia as home so I have a love of colonial, country, rustic. I came home to my first issue of Dwell. The magazine is beautiful and highlights modern design. We also watched an episode of This Old House that focused on a historic house being remodeled inside with very modern style. Turns out I really don't care for modern style.
I'm definitely leaning more toward country farm house, rustic, Montana style. It suits me far more than modern or anything fancy. I definitely prefer simple and practical, but cozy rustic is so much more me.
As we get rid of wallpaper, popcorn ceilings, knock out some walls and make those kind of changes, we'll be figuring out our style, getting rid of some of our mismatched things and slowly acquiring those perfect pieces we find along the way.
Pinterest, of course, is helping get ideas and finding ways to use pieces I have and things to create! Here's a few things I found while poking around today.
I wasn't kidding when I said the bathroom needed it's own post. It's a diva like that.
So, the tile. It's in incredibly good shape and I don't hate the color, though it's a bit overwhelming. It might be workable.
But there's this accent tile all the way around. With swans, or ducks, or something painted on it. I like wildlife and all, but less so on my walls.
Add to this tile, the wallpaper.
Oh, the wallpaper. I cannot handle crazy, floral wallpaper. It sort of give me flashbacks to when my parents bought a house in Virginia. We're pretty sure a crazy cat lady lived there before. There were actual fur balls in the spider webs in the corners of the one plain room. That ended up being my room. Carpets were all different colors, including pink; wacky, floral wallpaper was everywhere and it was just nuts. We spent long nights taking down that wallpaper and I'm about to do it again. At least I'm old enough to drink wine now.
I will, however, give the previous homeowners credit for matching their colors. The blue/greens in the wallpaper match the tile and the rose/pink matches the tub and the toilet.
That's right, they are pink. Or rose, or whatever you want to call it. They're pink. If I haven't mentioned it, I hate pink. Hate it. You'll only see me wear it if I've run out of clean clothes and I only have one pink t-shirt and one pink sweater. Though I do love a burgandy or mauve or wine color, I hate pink. So, that's got to go. We think we can paint or stain or something to the tub to change the color. Not so sure about the toilet. Everything is great shape, it just it a color combo that will make me crazy.
I'm thinking the wallpaper will go first. It's possible, painting the top half of the walls something that works with the tile is the best option. I really don't mind the tile, swans and all.
One major checked box in our quest for this house was the home inspection.
Boyfriend said I didn't really have to go, but I figured it was more practical to learn everything about the house I could. Plus, in case Mark was ever not around, I'd know where things were and how to work everything. Obviously, I'll pick these things up as we're living in the house, but before making such a massive investment, I wanted to know everything.
When we got to the house, the home inspector had already started poking around the exterior.
"This house is in really good shape," he said. "Sorry if I seem so surprised, but this house is in really good shape."
That was reassuring to me.
Heat hadn't been on in the house in awhile and it was still snowing that day, so I spent most of the day freezing. As we were poking around the basement, we found a giant puddle and I came close to freaking out. Turns out, the current homeowner was working on something and took the water pump out. That was problematic on several fronts. We needed to test all the pipes and the water, but without water pressure, we were limited.
The sellers had still not checked a box on a disclosure form, but when he showed up at the house unexpected, he answered all of our questions about the house.
Mark had mostly technical questions, I wanted to know about the outhouse behind the shop. It hasn't been used in years, but there are gaps in the boards covering the hole in the front and I just know Grover will find himself in that hole. I was curious if they'd dug it out, or treated it with chemicals or anything since Grover will dig and maybe eat the dirt. The seller said nothing had been done to it, but we did get a funny story. Turns out, it's not the original outhouse. The original was hit by a microburst (a mini tornado) and parts of it were never found.
Who doesn't love a house with character?
This was originally posted on my old blog in early March. More things are getting checked off the list and more are coming soon! I'll also update the blog with the items that have already been done and link back to those too.
What's on your 30 by 30 list?
A week or so ago was what I call my half birthday. Six months from when I turn 30. Yikes!
I've got a lot to do by 30, and into that entire decade, but to start here's 30 things I'm hoping to do by 30.
1. Get my non-profit underway. That's my all-time biggest goal right now.
2. Explore at least one more foreign country. First up, Estonia!
3. Visit the farmers market in town. I hear it's fantastic.
4. Learn to compost.
5. Start my own herb garden.
6. Think about growing my own fruits and vegetables.
7. Run another half marathon, and beat my best time of 2 hours, 20 minutes.
8. Play tennis again.
9. Visit all of the wineries in Montana.
10. Host at least 3 more international dinner nights.
11. Declutter my inbox.
12. Go to a rodeo or something else quintessentially Montana.
13. Be a better pen pal.
14. Volunteer more.
15. Follow through on some crafty projects. Starting with my chalkboard frame.
16. Make more from thrift store finds.
17. Purge my wardrobe to the things I really need.
18. Get a pair of boots. I've never owned any and sort of need them in Montana!
19. Read 30 books.
20. Roadtrip to Seattle/West Coast.
21. Visit my friend Jeannette in California and Kate in Canada.
22. Snowshoe with the dogs.
23. Hike the Chinese Wall in Montana.
24. Do the multi-day kayak/hiking/camping trip the boyfriend and I have been talking about.
25. Make a return trip to Yellowstone National Park.
26. Explore Bozeman, Montana. People rave about it, but I haven't been yet.
27. Go back to yoga.
28. Dust off my skates and hit the ice again.
29. Visit at least 5 state parks.
30. Become a part of my new community.
What would be on your list?
I'm Jenn, a globe-trotting, East Coast girl making a home in Montana. Read more here.