Shriveled Wrecks of Flesh

Brooke here:

We have devolved into creatures good for nothing but generating profanity and hurling fistfuls of money at Home Depot.  Over a hurried sandwich, I tried to explain to Elizabeth that Brown and I have been throwing ourselves into various home improvement projects since early April and it’s frustrating to still not see the end of it: I’m not sure how effective I was in communicating this to her, as I was mostly mumbling at the floor while wrapped in my own bear hug and rocking gently to-and-fro.

It wouldn’t be so bad if half of the projects went as planned.  Repairs on the pool deck?  Exceeds budget, no can do.  Repairs on the pool?  Within budget, but Elizabeth was there when the last contractor walked me through what he was planning, and Elizabeth pointed out that between her, Brown, and myself we easily had the experience required to do everything the contractor promised and at a fraction of the price.

Don’t do it, whispered the part of my brain that is very, very tired.  Just pay the nice contractor the money and it will be someone else’s problem! (The part of my brain responsible for the budget and the part of my brain that can justify the overpriced bathroom sink if we keep pushing forward with DIY grabbed that first part and hauled him off for a chat… I’m not sure what was said but the lazy part now slurs its words and walks with a limp.)

So we are doing the pool ourselves, which would be bad enough had the darned tadpoles not come back.  The pool was drained as of last Wednesday; two passing thunderstorms had refilled the deep end by Friday; as of today there are new baby tadpoles.


So, yes.  Look at all them little buggers.  I suppose we’ll now learn if de-pollywogging skills improve with practice.

Box full o' freshly-cleaned antique Japanese pool tiles. This is actually pretty cool.

I don’t mean to imply there’s no progress – there’s lots of progress!  But we’re running on fumes and everything is at least a week behind schedule, and I’m dangerously close to transitioning from clean all the things! mode to Internet!  FOREVER mode.  Due to time constraints, the bathrooms have officially become the last item on the List.  They’ve been set aside for last as they are the one project that won’t get a full DIY-treatment.  I’ll do the tiling on the floors myself but not the shower walls or floor… if there’s even the slightest possibility that the bathtub might collapse into the basement at a later date, our insurance company will need someone to holler and wave litigation at.

8 thoughts on “Shriveled Wrecks of Flesh

  1. Thanks for updating so regularly, even with the madness. I don’t have realhouse experience, but it’s good to know that a lot of this kind of thing *is* possible, if difficult, so that when I have a house of my own I’m a little more likely to try fixing it first before throwing money at it.

    Besides, box of pretty blue tiles!

    1. The updates keep our sanity – we’re doing this to remind us of our progress so we don’t look at all of the work left to be done and pass out in shock. : )

  2. The amazing Tadpole multiplication! Depending on the species those pollywogs can breed like anything. If you ever wish to use this as a swimming pool without frogs, plentiful chlorine may be the only solution…

  3. Keep up the good work! You can dooo eeeet! And all those sorts of things 🙂

    I’m really enjoying your journal. But sometimes when I see what goes on with your paint, I start wondering when it gets cheaper and faster to replace the drywall. (Probably never, I guess, but still)

    I have to admit, your adventures are making me reconsider my ideal home for the future.

  4. My first heartless thought is after you depollywog this time, pour a gallon of laundry bleach into the remaining water. Any frogs that that die are really not fit to last another generation.

    I’ve done lots of different types of renovation and remodeling, in houses much less fraught with history. My heart goes out to you, and, because I’m stupid, envies you.


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