Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Happy House-a-versary!

June 14th: Happy House-a-versary!

It was on noon of this day, one year ago, that Jason held my left hand under the table while I signed (and signed, and signed) the mortgage papers that would make this dear house mine. My mortgage broker gave me a tin of chocolate chip cookies and a ink roller that stamps my name with new address on return mail. The woman who officiated the sale asked me how strong I like my bubbly. She did not seem surprised that I opted for As Strong As Possible; I guess I didn't give off the LDS vibe. I left the office with a bottle of champagne, a tin of cookies, and a very thick folder of mortgage documents.

Dear house, you didn't know what you were getting in for. Between roofing woes, tippy beam and moldy wall, you and I got to know each other, warts and all. This winter, there hasn't been so much renovation as there has been ruining, but what is a good love if it isn't worn in, a little bit? Dear house, I've nicked your delicate lathe and plaster walls, I've scorched your clean new paint, I've let your windows get filthy. But now, it is a new summer, and with summer comes the Season of the Blarg. Watch out, dear house: I've paid off my Home Depot credit card.

Granted, there have been changes that a good blarg would have documented. Most importantly, Jason and I are no longer alone in the house. On January 29th, a new life form came to call this house his home: Briscoe, the dog. For the full story on Briscoe (and all things fabulous and thrifty) check out my guest blog on ThrippieGalore, my dear friend and colleague's life & fashion blog. Let's just say, this house loves a dog, and so do I.

We have yet to finish the studio apartment in the back, but the wood has been purchased, and the Greenhouse Window has been installed.
The back bathroom is still a staging area for future construction, but hang tight, dear readers: I've boo
ked Jason (of Artisan Hardwood Flooring, a true gentleman and professional) to make some progress as of next week. We've spent a winter sitting and pondering and watching Battlestar Gallactica. We're like the Cylon: we have a plan. It's posted on the refrigerator door, and color coded. In fact, we're so good, we have two plans. We may not have chosen a which one, but hey: color coded.

Also in important news, we can add another character to the cast of This Old Blarg: meet Brother Button, the archaeologist. Seth is good at many things, and seems to share a genetic predisposition for playing in dirt. While he is working for an archaeology firm down in Moab, Seth occasionally comes to spend a weekend in Salt Lake with me, Jason, the house and the puppy. Seth is particularly tolerant of our lifestyle, taking in stride the curious conditions of life in our house. He does not question comments like, "Oh, you can't lock it from that side," or "That tape? Yeah, that means don't use the sink." He has patiently washed his hands in the bathtub for the past month while I procrastinated a plumbing problem, and didn't even curse when the puppy chewed up the power cord to his computer. He knows that the big hole in the backyard belongs to Briscoe (it's only bad behavior if it's not supervised) and he knows not to hack up Audrey III, the grandmama of all thistle plants that is spawning by the compost pile. One weekend, I left Seth out back with a shovel and a general description of the area I'd like to turn into a garden bed. I kid you not: 15 minutes later, the sod had been cut and turned into the rich top soil in a perfect 20' x 5' garden bed. Dear house, I know you've wanted a garden very badly, ever since we met. Our giant pots of last year were a poor substitute. Look, house -- there are baby tomato plants growing in the backyard! You must be very proud.

This spring, Mama Screech, our resident owl, showed up with two fuzzy owlets. The biggest pine weathered the winter with ease, despite heavy, heavy snow and winds. It was a snowy winter -- the snowfall in the mountain exceeded the slang spectrum and the skier dudes were left speechless. This spring, after we finally cleared the last of the mulching leaves from fall off the sad lawn, Jason discovered a latent love for mowing grass. With a puppy sleeping in the shade of the porch and a handsome redhead pushing whirr of the reel mower, I great a great sense of satisfaction from collecting piles of fresh cut grass. If it was a salad, I would eat it with strawberries and red wine vinegar. If we had a horse, I would feed it with my hand. As it is, we only have a hungry compost pile behind the garage (which Jason has started to call the Barn, which I love, because we never park cars in there and it just sounds much more romantic) and, of course, Audrey III.

Out front, I've added a raspberry bush and some more strawberries to the Things You Can Eat bed by the porch, and a baby peach tree is currently deciding if it wants to survive in the front strip. The blueberry bushes are dangling tiny white flowers, but the birds have eaten all the wild strawberries before they've turned ripe. The snacking tomatoes (Mexabilly Midgits, Sungold, Ace 55 and Juliets) grow by the flagstone path that desperately needs weeded, and $2.50 worth of terra cotta tile from Re-Store inspired me to build an official walkway where the mailman would step, anyway.

So what's on tap, blargers and blargistas? Well, remind me to tell you the story of the bathroom sink and the demon inside it, along with my most quotable encounter from Home Depot: "If you're buying a Sawzall, that means you're ready to f- some shit up." Ready? I don't know about that. But willing? Well, I'm really tired of brushing my teeth in the bathtub, even if Briscoe likes to lick the toothpaste when I'm done. And really, what else is summer vacation for?


  1. Hi Harmony, I am SO delighted that you are back to blarg-ing. I am looking forward to your summer adventures - oh, and congrats on the new addition!

  2. I'm so glad you're back! And with an expanded cast of puppy, brother, Audrey III. And I love the "slang spectrum" of weather reporting. Yes!