Instant Gratification

This past spring we had the house repainted, in the process they took the storm windows off and gave us access to years and years of filth. All summer I’ve been saying, “I’ve got to get those windows cleaned” without every really meaning it.  Yesterday, I decided it was time to jump in with both feet.  If I was going to tackle the miserable chore of washing windows, I wanted it done right.  Off to the local hardware I went. I purchased; 1 squeegee, 1 fuzzy window cleaning thing, an extension pole and a gallon of window cleaner. It was the best $20 bucks I ever spent.  In the past I had tried all the little home tricks to get sparkly windows, water and vinegar, ammonia and water, newspaper, none of it works. So yesterday, up on the ladder I went, I soaped up the windows and wiped them down with the squeegee. OMG! Instant, sparkling windows.  This isn’t a miserable chore, I just never had the right tools, now that I do, I can’t wait for the windows to get dirty again.  The only problem is…now that the sunlight can get through, I guess I’ll have to dust.

McMansions R.I.P.

Over the past year or so I have noticed several internet article’s stating that the era of McMansions is coming to an end, Thank God! In my career I have had the good fortune to work with some amazing builders, that sometimes even listen to me.  In every aspect of my life, my story has always been the same…Quality over Quantity. Give me one really good, leather purse instead of 10 cheap ones. That same philosophy apply’s to homes, this is my sanctuary and I don’t want something that has been slapped together with glue and has veneer this and that. I would rather have half the square footage and double the workmanship, who needs 7,800 square feet anyway?  When I was growing up, it was quite common for kids to share a room and for a family to, gasp, share?  We had one television and we survived, not always peacefully, but we did survive.  I live in an “Old Town” area where most of the house were built in the 1900-1930’s many of these homes are 800-900 square feet, and in the day, the basements would not have been finished.  These homes were built for families and they only had two maybe three bedrooms and one bath. Now, let’s not go crazy, I’m not suggesting that any family should be subjected to only one t.v. and 800 square feet is mighty small but hopefully this will be the beginning of a happy medium. Kind of like Goldilocks, not too big and not too small but juusst right.

We Are Family

When I received the phone call from my Sister-in-law that she and my brother were coming for a visit, that would overlap my parent’s one week visit by two days, and not quite sure when they would leave, oh and they would be bringing their three dogs…panic crept in. My relationship with my oldest brother was strained, at best, growing up. He, five years my senior took it upon himself to “toughen me up”.  Then, shortly after he left for the Marine Corp, he brings home this perky little bundle of 5 foot nothing female and my entire family swoons. I was 15, sweet was not the first word you would reach for when describing my personality and in bounces this pretty, happy, sweet 18-year-old. I think she may have even been a cheerleader in her day.  My parents were thrilled, I was not.  Within a year, he was home and they were off to start their life together. As my hormones cooled I could finally see through the green haze of my jealousy and see what everyone else loved about her, it wasn’t long before I was swooning too. As the years passed, I moved to Colorado, they were busy raising two of the cutest kids ever so we didn’t see much of each other.  We would get together for dinner when I was home and he came to visit once while I was living in the mountains.

This visit sounded like it was going to be the most amount of time we had spent in each others company since he left for boot camp in 1983.  YIKES!  The thing that I somehow missed is that while I was growing up, he did too.  When I hear someones name that I have not seen in say, 20 years, I tend to forget that they have probably changed too.  Maturity and life experiences force us to grow, the world does not allow us to be as self-absorbed as we are in those teen years.  My brother was no different he has grown into an amazing man who I respect and really like. He is thoughtful, caring and pretty darn funny. At the end of what turned out to be a two-week visit, I was sad to see my brother and his wife pull out of our driveway. So, bother and sis, anytime you want to come back, our door is always open.