Monday, October 24, 2005


First Project

"A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With Just One Step"

So true...and yet that first step is the hardest one to take. I decided to a take a more logical approach to ordering my improvement projects (ha -- we'll see how long this lasts). Anyhow, by my own "logic" it's important to clean things up before you can really begin to improve them. Nothing says "lazy slacker" like overgrown landscaping. I decided to start with my innner-courtyard.

This is one of the things that really sold me on the house. The living room has floor-to-ceiling glass that looks out onto it so I see it all the time. Unfortunately, it's entirely overgrown and worse still, many of the plants have dead. One BBQ guest referred to it as a "museum of dead plants."


See those stumps? At first I thought I might be in for removing the remains of some ill-planted forest. Nope, the previous owned just put stumps (not even buried) on the ground as "decoration." WHO WERE THESE PEOPLE? Anyhow, I got a bit of an unexpected bonus. Since moving in I came to the rather quick conclusion that my house was built on an ant hill. It was so bad, I was keeping cereal boxes in the refrigerator (yikes!). Upon closer examination, I realized that my decorative stumps were not so much stumps as high-density suburban ant condominiums. I think this is going to make a big difference with the ants. There must have been millions of them in these things.


Of you can see the wonderful "sprinkler system" installed by the previous owners (POs).

Thursday, October 20, 2005



"So, Stephen, what have you done to the house?"

I feel like I'm asked three times per day: once from a friend and twice from my parents. I closed on July 23rd, 2005 -- moved in on July 24th, 2005 and here it is October 20th and I haven't done a thing! But that's about to change (you can tell I'm serious because a one-entry blog would be even more pitiful than a fixer-upper without any fixing for three months). Sometimes, the hardest part is deciding where to start.

Here's a baseline picture of the front of the house from the MLS listing. It looks a bit tired and neglected -- and as if it were painted by someone who was colorblind.


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