About Me

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Douglas, Alaska, United States
I have lived in Alaska since 1978, having come to Juneau as a Jesuit Volunteer. I fell in love with Alaska and now live on Douglas Island with my husband and two dogs.

Monday, April 30, 2012

My Wish List

Replace The Bedroom Carpet, etc.

Our carpet is over 15 years old and disgusting.  We need to rip it out and replace it with laminate flooring.  A certain dachshund puppy, who shall remain nameless (cough, cough, Frida) has managed to ruin it.  It is not all her fault, however.   The three puppies who lived here before did their share as well.  Anyway, I have tried spot cleaning, and I found a great natural based cleaning system that is pretty labor intensive and didn't do the trick as well as I had hoped it would.  I think the only solution is to get rid of it.  However, this presents a dilemma:  What do we do with the furniture, and where do we sleep during the process, which I know will take more than one day, since we can't afford to hire a contractor (not that a contractor would get it done in one day).  Plus, if we rip out the carpet and put in new flooring, we might as well put in those built in bookshelves we have been planning for 20 years.  And, while we're at it, we should remove the wall between our bedroom and the closet, which the previous owners put in so they would have an adjoining baby's room (our closet still has teddy bear wall paper), and re-configure the closet, which is a big dump.  Of course, that would mean getting rid of the four drawer filing cabinet which holds a bunch of old useless papers, and a whole drawer of important human rights information about countries that don't exist anymore, from Charles' Amnesty International days, that he used on his public radio show Samizdat when Phoebe was a baby, 26 years ago.  So you see our quandry.  I suppose that moving everything into the living room would work, but since we have four adults living here, along with two dogs, one of which is still semi-house trained (cough, cough, Frida) it would be difficult.  What do people do when they remodel a bedroom and have nowhere to lay their weary heads at the end of the day?

Yes, Frida, I AM talking about you!
Re-side and Paint The House, Enclose The Shed, and Build A Porch

The siding on the weather side of the house is shot, and needs to be replaced.  Charles' studio needs to have siding put on since it has tar paper, which is an improvement over the Tyvek that was on it for the last 10 years.  The shed is a great storage area, but would be better enclosed.  We are thinking that corrugated clear fiberglass would be good.  It would block the weather, but still let the light into Charles studio.  The porch has been a dream of mine for years.  I would love to have a porch in the front for the rare nice days.  Ideally, we would take out the big window in front and install French doors.  (I can dream, can't I?).

Home, sweet home, complete with the requisite blue tarp.
Refinish the Wood Floors

Our wood floors are also a wreck.  They need to be sanded and have about a million coats of Varathane applied to them.  However, this presents the same problem as the bedroom remodel.  What do we do with the furniture, and where do we go while it is being done (or rather, while we do it ourselves, as we can't afford to hire a contractor)?  It's a puzzlement.

Bump Out The Kitchen

Our kitchen is galley-style, or as we like to call it: The Two-Ass Kitchen, since only two people can be in it at the same time, and only if the oven, dishwasher and refrigerator doors remain closed and the two cooks are standing side by side and not attempting to pass each other.  My dream is to enlarge the kitchen so it is the same depth as the laundry room (about five additional feet).  This would allow for more counter space, and perhaps an island.  More money.

Cute, and he cooks too!
Build A Cottage

At some point, we would like to build a small, handicapped accessible two bedroom cottage in our lower yard.  This would serve as a guest house, a B&B, and a future home for Charles and me when we are too old to handle the stairs and maintenance on our current house (not that we do too much maintenance anyway).  We would eventually live in the little cottage and rent out the bigger house.  It is a good plan, but it will take money to make it happen.  (Are you seeing a recurring theme here?)  At the moment, we have a Community Garden in our lower yard, which is an excellent use of the space!

Perhaps something like this?
Oh well, rather than get depressed about the lack of wherewithal to accomplish these dreams, I think I will go and polish my kitchen sink (a la The Flylady).  THAT, I can do, and it takes nothing but baking soda and elbow grease!

Have a great day, and while you're at it, say a quick prayer for my friend Cari at Clan Donaldson, that she has a safe birth and that she goes into labor today!


  1. Paula:

    I always like your and Charles' blog...and I loved your little tiny house when we visited. Know what you mean about little jobs that become whole house remodels...I have a kitchen like that..it's on my to-do list. Ian/Chad are 1/2 way thru the Camino de Santiago in Spain (Martin Sheen/The Way). Enjoying, but lots of wind/rain. I'll join them in 2 wks in Santiago. Tell Charles I really liked the picture around Easter of him with the children and his illustrated Exsultet. Love from Colorado, Jenni Roeber

    1. Jenni! How nice to hear from you! I'm glad that Ian and Chad are walking the Camino. That is definitely on Charles and Phoebe and Miguel's future...I plan to attend language school while they walk! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Paula, wish lists and house upkeep are toughies. I consider it a great week when I cut grass and vacuum my floors. Since we currently have two houses I am never and will never catch up. Money wise there is none with a kiddo in college either. My wee buy resell business keeps cash in my wallet and I am thankful for that. I see kitchens with new cabinets and granite counters and realize that is not ever in my future but my kiddo eventually having a degree certainly is. Having a small cottage in back does sound like a good plan. Our yellow house is smaller and cottage like compared to our falling down pre civil war horror. Do not tell Joe I said that. I am way to chatty-forgive me when I hurt from joint pain I carry on. Have a blessed week. olive

  3. Hi Paula, I think we all have a list similar to that. :-) As to where people put things... they park a "Pod" in their driveway and move furniture into it for a few days while all the work is being done.
    To answer your question, it is the daily Mass chapel, inside Visitation Catholic Church, in Kansas City. (where DH grew up)

  4. I took my last final this morning and have the entire summer off—no classes—yahoo! I’m really looking forward to catching up on all the blog reading I’ve missed out on lately. Be sure to write up a little tidbit about one of your favorite posts, or blogs—or share something of your own on “Pay It Forward” for May. I’ve appreciated your participation in the past. I’ll be making the rounds and seeing what everyone has been up to while I’ve been cramming for tests and writing essays … I can’t wait!

  5. Paula, I am sending this post to my hubby. I swear you have been listening in on our conversations! We are having the same discussions about our bedroom (except it's 31 YEAR OLD carpeting!) and I'd also love built-in bookcases in there! The kitchen, which I've written about on my blog many times, is not even big enough for two people which is why nobody ever offers to help me cook (at least that's what they say!)... I feel your pain! haha... I'll be watching for updates on how the bedroom project goes! Sooooo excited for you!... Donna


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