In which the house of her dreams continues to vex her

We’ve just put the final bit of shiny wrap and silky ribbon on our first Christmas in our new house. It was, by all accounts, a lovely Christmas.

Now with the insanity of the season more or less behind us, I thought I’d bring you up to speed on the ongoing saga of the house of our dreams. Oh, this house. Like a mischievous child, it finds ways to vex me and endear me in equal measures, so I can never quite give in to adoration or exasperation, and instead vacillate rather constantly between the two.

In the love column, we’ve discovered we’re a quick five minute walk to a lovely river-side park with not one but two outdoor rinks that are very nearly ready for seasonal (and free) skating. A five minute walk the other direction is the public library and a ten minute stroll is most of the rest of Manotick, which I love more every time I venture outside the house.

Also in the love column is the way the light bounces off the snow and into the house, radiating from every window. Truly, the way the light floods in is like a love letter from the house to me, a song sung in the key of my heart.

And truly, how can you argue with a house that allows for a winter afternoon of tobogganing right in your very own front yard?

Frontyard sledding

Oh, how I love this house. At least once each day, I find a reason to love it all over again. The house, the property, the community — it makes me happy.

And yet, it finds ways to vex me. We’ve pulled out the mouldy drywall, and installed more vapour barrier. We have a pretty good understanding of why the old vapour barrier failed, mostly due to problems the previous homeowner caused when he rebuilt the walls. Once we get someone to rebuild the walls properly, and put in new insulation, we can finish installing the carpet, and Tristan’s bedroom will soon be habitable and in fact practically new. That, together with a new dehumidifier (which died last week – a blog post for another time) seems to have taken care of the musty smell in the basement.

The furnace is fixed, and we have a new dual system sump pump with backup and alarm. The electrical eccentricities that some former owner installed have been rewired. We’re well on the way to being back where we started — in fact, better than ever. Beloved has taken to calling it the Six Million Dollar House, not so much for financial reasons but because of the Steve Austin “We can build it — better, faster, stronger” reference.

In fact, I’d be downright content about things — if I hadn’t just been completely unnerved to discover a big square of melting snow exactly overtop of our septic tank. The melt over the tank is in itself not so troubling — were it not for the faint but discernable scent of sewage wafting up. Sigh. I’m afraid to even think about it.

Apparently, this house needs a whole category of its own on the blog, as this is a saga that shows no sign of ending. I’ve been ruminating on it for a while, but haven’t come up with anything clever. Postcards from the Poorhouse, maybe? This Crazy House? See, not so much. What say ye, my clever bloggy peeps?

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

7 thoughts on “In which the house of her dreams continues to vex her”

  1. On the plus side, once you’ve got it all fixed, you won’t have to worry about most of the items until your kids are in college.

  2. It is a lovely house and I look forward to the summer when you write about the front porch – it looks blissful.

    Just curious if you have any recourse with the previous owners or with the house inspector? It seems like a lot of these things might have been identified before you bought.

  3. From your descriptions and photos of this beautiful home, property and community, I think that the adoration part should still outweigh the “money pit” vexation factor! At least you and Beloved both have a good sense of humour about it. Plus, as someone else pointed out, you will be repair free for decades once these current projects are wrapped up.

  4. From my chair sitting in a suburban cookie cutter home…your lovely home is my dream. I can only imagine the vexation you feel…but I sigh every time I read about your porch, toboggan hill and community feel. (sigh) –see I did it again. Hope your fix it problems dissappear in 2011. 🙂

  5. I seem to recall that it’s not a bad thing to have the snow over your septic tank melt. You are, after all, pumping warm water into it.

    I know that in an old house, repairs are NEVER done, but here’s hoping 2011 brings you fewer and less costly ones. 🙂

  6. We just ripped out the bar in our basement and guess what? MOULD!!!! We are now taking out the whole floor and 2′ of the entire perimeter of drywall.

    Thought it would be good to commiserate.

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