Tuesday, August 16, 2016

When a house is a home. . . . . . . . . . . .

We live in an aging cottage.  
Many things are looking tired on the exterior and we must make some decisions in the coming months to ramp up the maintenance plan.  Part of our problem has been traveling often and letting things slide. We still get the chimney cleaned every year, we burn a lot of wood all Winter, and safety comes first and foremost.
 Yesterday we had the deck power washed because I just couldn't stand looking it after so much rain and then torrid heat baking it all Summer. Weather conditions, and so many huge overhanging trees, had done a job on it, turning the golden wood dark and dreary, quite uninviting. Now it's bright and beautiful again, for a while! 

Then there are windows, high up on each side, and another reason a one story condo looks more and more inviting! 
Just so you know, Bob will get upset at that last sentence!
I so love to look out at the garden through sparkling glass. I can no longer hang out the second floor windows to work magic on grimy glass! I did this until lower back issues put a stop to such silliness. Right now I'm 'babying' my back so that I can head to Kenya pain free, hopefully managing those wonderful game drives on rough terrain without discomfort. Ladders, did I really hear you say that dreaded word. . . . . . . the piece of equipment we older gals and guys need to steer clear of. So the young pony-tailed power washing guy, with muscles and no fear of heights, was also given the window washing job!

We need to have some major tree pruning and drainage work done in the back of the house, and come next Spring there will be more exterior freshening and fixing. All shrubs close to the house will have to be cut down prior to exterior painting - a huge job I can't even bear thinking about.

Well, as they say, "that's life", let's face it, being a homeowner/gardener
 is not for the faint-hearted.


  1. For the last 20 years or so we have hired out lawn cut and our bushes trimmed. We have also hired out the pressure washing and window washing. Same goes with outside painting, though I still paint the inside by myself as long as there are no cathedral or vaulted ceilings and stairways.

  2. You are right Mary and that is why leasing is beginning to be the new fad. Ownership is just too expensive anymore and on a retirees budget, remodeling and fixing up everything is just too much. Plus, like you said, hard.

  3. Greetings from someone who has lived in ancient old homes for most of her life and loves them ... just love them.. the character, the wacky things from the past .. yes, they are work and they are energy inefficient and can cost a lot in care and upkeep but they are so worth it.
    Even our apt in Buenos Aires was very old ... about 100 years old. It was like living in a French apartment, half of the floor was our apt, the other apartment was on the other side .. with one of those crazy cage elevators in the middle. I miss it every day. There is nothing like the grace and charm of an old building ( imo) and I think so much more at this moment, living in a brand new condo with all mod cons and not a lot of charm. The views here and the size make up for a lot though.

  4. The upkeep is challenging, I'll agree! We're enjoying this smaller house, though it is old and needs attention often. So far we've been able to handle most things and only call in the pros for the big jobs. Ladders? The are absolutely forbidden! I hire window washers and eaves trough cleaners!

  5. When you're a homeowner, it's a never-ending job to take care of all the upkeep inside and out! Our home needs new windows, siding, furnace, AC, front porch/deck replacement, etc. We live in a ranch house, so washing windows isn't too hard...but yet, that's a job we put on the back burner simply because we both hate doing it! I don't know if you're in the market for new windows, but at least on the upstairs ones, you could get the ones that tilt in for easier cleaning.

  6. Yes houses are not for the faint-hearted but so worth it. It is a pity that as we get older everything becomes such a huge task. I just wish that the sun and rain would not cause so much damage to the exterior.

  7. That last statement is so true. I wouldn't mind a condo, but then Jim would be soooo bored. For now we stay put. Yes, it is alot of work, but with each job done you can just sit back and enjoy. I have been up on the ladder to past couple weeks picking plums, then a younger friend came yesterday and climbed the tree and picked where I couldn't reach. Wishing I could still do those acrobatics.

  8. Maggie, I'm nodding my head in agreement. We are getting lots of rain here this week, and I noticed that it has washed some of our windows. '-) I haven't had them washed in a year, so they need it. Not the professional job I like, but at least the dust is off. Have to agree about the ladders. Not going to take that kind of risk, but there is a list of things that need attention here.

  9. It certainly isn't for the faint of heart. And it never lasts...like housework, home maintainance never ends. I am so glad that all my windows are tilt-ins.

  10. I'm glad that my flat is one of three - so if anything needs doing around the house (not in my flat), we decide between us three owners. Not always things are then done to my complete satisfaction, but at least they get done!
    As for window cleaning... mine are in urgent need of a good scrub, and I can very well do that myself, but out of all house work (which I usually LIKE), windows are at the bottom of my list.

  11. This is the reason they had big families back then. So that the younger take care about things the older can't. I am getting old and I wonder about things I need to do.

  12. Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish we had a nice new (or relatively new) house with modern plumbing, plastering etc. There's always SOMETHING to do with an older home. Round here, none of the window cleaners use ladders anymore - they all have HUGE extending pipes and brushes with tanks of cleaning solution/rinsing water etc on their vans. This means you don't need to tidy before the windows are cleaned! :-)


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