Real-people progress

Earlier this week, I was thinking about how I wanted to write a post, because it seems like I haven’t been writing much lately at all (here, anyway) and I’ve really been missing it. I was missing writing/thinking about home, and I was missing talking with all of you in the comments.

Problem was, I didn’t have anything great to write about. We have been swamped the past few weeks, and it seemed to me that there wasn’t much point to anything I might share.

I considered writing a post about the absolute high I got using the power-washer to spruce up our deck last weekend.

This (sorta) Old Life: deck power-washing

If you, like me, have a day job in which you do not always get to see and/or know the fruits of your labor, I seriously recommend getting yourself a power-washer and pointing it at some dirty stuff. Look at what I was able to do with ours last weekend:

This (sorta) Old Life: deck power-washing

There was something so deeply, deeply satisfying about seeing such clear and undeniable results for my efforts.

This (sorta) Old Life: power-washer

See that strip of clean? That’s the power of the power-washer. Almost as amazing and awe-inspiring as the first time I used a Magic Eraser sponge.

Unfortunately, the deck still looks like this…

This (sorta) Old Life: deck power-washing

Yeah, bet ya wanna Pin this, don’t you?

…because we haven’t finished power-washing it and I haven’t planted the flowers I bought for the ceramic pots and we haven’t arranged the pots.

This (sorta) Old Life: garden flowers

So, I can’t really write an awesome post about fixing up the deck.

I thought about giving you a family room update. Cane and I (mostly Cane) finished the quick rehab of the classroom cabinet we found a few weekends ago, and we’ve placed it in the family room where it’s going to go:

This (sorta) Old Life: family room storage

This (sorta) Old Life: family room storage

And we’ve decided we’re going 70’s style with our shelving, using brackets and plywood, which we’re pretty excited about because it’s something we haven’t seen much of and we’re putting our own twist on it and we think it might be really useful/helpful for others–but it’s not done yet, either, and it’s not terribly impressive right now.

This (sorta) Old Life: family room storage

Then there’s our gallery wall. Perhaps you remember earlier this spring, when we asked  you to help us decide upon an arrangement for it?

Yeah, well, in spite of the fact that we clearly do not need any more thrift store art, we seem to keep finding pieces we can’t say “no” to. Our latest:

This (sorta) Old Life: thrift store art

Along with her there’s the church painting we found over spring break, and just last week Cane found a really unusual paint-by-number that he couldn’t let get away.

This (sorta) Old Life: thrift store art

And now our wall looks pretty awful, because we’ve been throwing things up there on existing hooks just to have a place to store them and to see if we like the way they play with the other paintings:

This (sorta) Old Life: thrift store art gallery wall

Actually, about a month ago (when I brought home the new lady, who we have yet to name), we decided that we probably cannot tolerate the TV there any more, which means re-arranging the living room. We’ve got some ideas about that, but we just haven’t found the time to try them out. When we threw the lady up there we thought we’d be getting to that in a day or two, but it hasn’t happened.

I could write about our newest thrifty home purchase, which has been customized just for us–a Vari-Kennel for the dog who’s been ordered on bed rest because of a herniated disc in his neck.

This (sorta) Old Life: kennel

Poor old Rocky is not a happy camper these days, in spite of his luxe digs.

On top of a ginormous vet bill, we had to buy a kennel because he’s currently not allowed to walk around. Luckily, we found a great one at Goodwill for about $25.00, a bit more than half off the price of a new one.

Ella is the one who did the customizing, creating decorations of Rocky’s favorite things on the roof of the kennel.

This (sorta) Old Life: kennel

Alas, again–this does not seem blog post-worthy.

I briefly considered trying to get one of these things to some more finished state, so I could have some nice-looking photos to share. I even more briefly considered trying to come up with some small something of a project that wouldn’t be stupid.

Then I remembered what kind of blog it is we write, and what kind of readers we write for, and that’s when I realized the point of all these seemingly random things we’ve been doing:

This is how real people make progress on their homes.

We make it in fits and starts.

This (sorta) Old Life: deck power-washing plant containers

We make it in-between the other big stuff of life–important work deadlines, and kids going on trips, and sick dogs.

This (sorta) Old Life: Rocky

We make it in between all the small, daily stuff that never, ever goes away.

This (sorta) Old Life: kitchen chores

We make what we can, as we can. If the sun is out, we work on the outside.

This (sorta) Old Life: deck garden

If the rain is falling, we work on the inside.

This (sorta) Old Life: family room storage

We do what we can in little drips and drabs of time–because most days, that’s all we have.

This (sorta) Old Life: garden

Cane took 15 minutes one afternoon this week to add this spot of color to a bare patch in our parking strip garden.

So, no:  Today, we don’t have closure on anything. We don’t have a big reveal, we don’t have a great tutorial, we don’t have anything that’s going to go viral on Pinterest.

Some days we have that, but I’d like to think we’ve got something better to offer you today:  Encouragement and inspiration.

We offer a reminder that many home bloggers are running a business (even if they are focused on fixing up their own homes), and their goal is to provide a steady diet of Pinspiration. We’re grateful for the awesome ideas, information, and wisdom they share–we make use of  their great work all the time–but I’m reminding myself all the time that what they’re showing us isn’t real.

Those of us who have real lives outside the world of blogging and Pinterest and Twitter et al can’t keep up that pace. Not without giving up things that matter more than our projects.

When it comes to making home, we’re both tortoise and hare. Sometimes we’re sprinting, sometimes we’re plodding steadily along, and sometimes we’re lounging around on the side of the road, nibbling on a blade of grass.

This (sorta) Old Life: local berries

Or a bowl of our amazing local berries. We’re planning a trip to the farmers’ market this morning to get more of these before their season ends. This is what real food looks like.

As long as cross the line eventually, we figure it’s all good.

But enough about us!

How are you? What are you going to do with your wild and precious Saturday? I feel like I haven’t talked with you in so long! Please let me know what’s been going on in your neck of the woods.

(Oh, and I’m a couple days late, but we’ll be linking up to the William Morris project. It’s pretty much the only link party I do any more. If you like real-time/real-life home bloggers, that’s the place to find them.)

This (sorta) Old Life: thrift store art

Just so you know, we don’t buy every thrift store painting we see! :-)