Monday, April 23, 2007


I miss blogging.

And apparently, some people in the blog world even miss me. Thanks to everyone who emailed me or im'ed me or phoned me to check in and see how I'm doing. It meant a lot to me.

I'd like to start blogging again now, if that's alright with you all.

Some adjectives to summarize my life for the past five weeks: busy, harried, adjusting, covered in paint.

When Jeremy and I were engaged, my dad gave me some words of wisdom for marriage. One of those words was "renovate" and it was used in close proximity to the word "don't". More divorces are caused by paint and wallpaper than finances, children, and infidelity combined. (Note: May not be a real statistic.)

Somehow, though, we made it through this past month of painting and renovating, and no one is dead (and I'm pretty sure none of the injuries are permanent). All it took in the end was Erin deciding that we could host a surprise party for her mom with about 45 people, only a few weeks after moving into a house that was, in every way, the epitome of a "fixer-upper". And actually, Erin was right, we pulled it off (mostly due to her not sleeping for about 36 hours prior to the party). And it was a great party. But the best part is: the house is finally together.

It's not done. If I have learned nothing else from watching other people in the act of home ownership, I have learned that there is no such thing as "done" when you own a house. But it's done enough that I finally dare to post pictures.

And, without further ado, here are some pictures.

This is the Chrysalis from the front. Consider it a "before" picture of the lawn (which is badly eroded and needs to be terraced), and of the sidewalk (that needs to be torn up and replaced because it is being destroyed by the roots of the big, beautiful tree that needs to be cut down).


This is Apollo. He is the guardian eagle of the house. He hung in that same spot on the wall for as long as anyone remembers, quite possibly since the house was built in 1950. We were told that if we took him down, the house would burn to the ground. We decided to brave fate, however, in order to paint behind him. We were greatly amused by the color difference between the wall behind Apollo and the walls around Apollo. THIS IS WHAT SMOKING WILL DO TO YOUR TEETH, TOO!

apollo before

This is what the bathroom looked like when we moved in. Yes, those are trash bags stuffed in cracks in the tile.

bathroom before

This is that same section of tile after Jer's dad came and spent an afternoon with him. The rest of the tub still needs some work, but the trash bags are gone!

bathroom after

This is the living room before we started to paint.

living room before

This is Rachel in the kitchen before we started to paint. The kitchen had been fairly recently painted, so we decided to leave it that color for now. We took a paint chip of the teal with us to the hardware store when we bought the purple so that we could make sure they would match. We also bought a little bucket of the same teal in order to do some accents in the living room. And yes, that is a computer on the kitchen counter. It was the only music we had for the first week or so here, so we kept it central.

rachel kitchen before

This is Erin and Brian in the living room getting ready to paint. Notice that they are still smiling. That's because this was taken on Painting Day 1, not on Painting Day 19. Fortunately for all of us, my camera batteries died and I couldn't find my charger for the next few weeks.

erin brian before

Brian's name is on the deed, so we let Brian put the first stroke of paint on the wall. Please note how utterly horrible the color of the primer is. I think the name was "Murdered by Easter Eggs Purple".

brian first paint

Erin painted the walls nicely for a while...

erin painting

Then Erin posted important public service announcements on the walls.
(Aside: See that big rectangle on the wall that is a different color than the rest of the wall? There used to be a mirror there, and the last time the wall was painted, they just painted around it. Around Painting Day 12, this idea started to sound really, really smart.)

jon licks monkey butts

There is an unexplained cubby hole in the living room. We were told that the family that used to own this house before the person we bought it from raised seven kids in the house. We figure the baby must have slept here, because we have no idea where else seven kids would go in this house. Regardless, random cubbies must be painted, and I painted it from the inside.

jule ann in the cubby

And finally, some after pictures...
The dining room. (Yes, it's a little cluttered, I know, but for two days after having a huge birthday party, I think we can be forgiven for having a few "50" napkins still kicking around.)

dining room

Erin relaxing on the couch.

erin after

Jeremy relaxing on the other couch. (That's Erin's dog Peanut in the foreground.)

jer couch

Another angle on the living room. We're still not sure what to do with the cubby, so it has a stereo in it for now. We also left the cubby Grandma's Attic Purple for the time being, lest we forget.
(Aside: The banister may change colors again after all. We liked the teal on the door frame, but it's a little much on the banister. We're hoping some purple stenciling will tone down the PeeWee's Playhouse contrast effect a little bit.)

living room after

The guest room is the only room upstairs that is presentable enough to photograph at the moment. There are two other bedrooms, which are both much bigger, but also much more lived in. This room has been dubbed "Stuart's Room", even though Stuart doesn't actually live with us. And his name isn't actually Stuart.

stuart's room

This is our porch. It was our salvation during the birthday party, because it has many windows and a ceiling fan, and stayed about 15-20 degrees cooler than the rest of the house all evening. We're currently looking for cheap/free wooden seating to furnish it with.


This is our backyard, which is across a little alley from our house. Consider this a "before" picture with an indefinitely distant "after". The retaining walls are falling down, but that's a pretty big project to tackle for amateurs. We'll see how we do on the front yard, first. For now, our makeshift gazebo is about all the beautification our backyard is going to get. And maybe a fire table at some point.


This is my car Bitsy, parked in front of our house.


And, since I'm posting so many pictures, what's one more? This is a picture Steve took of me at the wedding of a coworker and fellow Canadian, Bronwyn, last weekend. It's the first picture of myself I've really liked in a long time, so I decided to share it with you all.

jule ann at bronwyn's wedding


susie said...

I am glad to see you back blogging. You are SO right....there is no such thing as done!! We are always thinking as soon as we do this, then that will be done but then we say yeah but this would be even better. Remodeling is not for the faint of heart!!
It looks great and I am glad you got to enjoy the fruits of your labor with a great party :)

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Anonymous said...

Hey Jule Ann,

It looks like you put a lot of work into the house already and it sounds like you had a lot of fun doing it!

Can't wait to come visit in person.


Kate said...

It's good to have you back. Lots of changes for you these's understandable that you were out for a bit.

The house looks fab. Maybe I can convince Jordan to stop by for a visit in May or June when I am living at his mom's house.

Dan said...

Nicely done! I personally believe purple is a fantastic color for housing. And good to have you back =)

jon said...

thanks for sharing my secret with the rest of the world.

jd said...

Looks good! I'm confused about which one of the row houses is actually it the one that is an end unit (that looks like the one with a porch).

Jule Ann said...

jd: Ours is the one in the center of the picture at the very top. (The picture of the car is a little misleading because it is actually parked down the street a little ways.) It doesn't look like it has a porch because they all have porches, so the porches don't stick out.

Brian said...

That picture looks like it should say "About the Author" on top of it.