Sunday, March 27, 2022

"A House is a Hungry Thing" and our thoughts on living here

 We are now at the “best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” stage of living here and can’t blame it totally on the pandemic.

When we moved 5 years ago we thought we would likely be here three years or maybe a bit more and then move again after my FILs death. He died sooner sadly and we made an effort to find a place in the Berkeley area but didn’t work that out. Then the pandemic hit and we hunkered down here and that was ok as this was a nice place to get through that.

Now we are picking our heads up from pandemic inertia and realizing we have not made an intentional decision about where to live the next part of our lives. Also we are realizing that inertia is a powerful force when there is not a goal to move towards. We are chatting a bit about what we each want going forward but a long “think” is yet to come!

In the meantime any house and home does need maintenance and I’ve had a burst of energy in that area as the reality that we are still here and probably will be for some time has sunk in. So we have been checking off things that are easy to delay in the best of times and extremely easy to delay during a pandemic. Many years ago I had a co-worker who said her European MIL called a house a very hungry thing and I love that image because it is so apt! Houses eat up our time and money not to mention space in our brain.

As mentioned, we have converted 27 recessed ceiling lights to LEDs on dimmers plus put LED bulbs in the 4 of the 6 remaining recessed ceiling lights and about half the remaining lights and fixtures. That leaves more lights to do including odd ceiling fixtures, bathroom recessed lights, garage lights, closet lighting, etc. We have also considered installing solar panels but not seriously and will see how the new lights plus time of use billing plays out. We would also have to factor in when our roof is scheduled for routine replacement by the HOA and if our next car will be a hybrid that needs charging.

Our carpeted areas were pretty dirty between us and our dog these past two years. I had those cleaned plus the dog's favorite sofa and chair. More furniture could probably benefit from cleaning as could a large area rug but I only have so much interest in cleaning even if I’m not doing it!

We noticed the stucco at the base of our front door and entry walls was falling off and that is the HOAs responsibility. I turned in a maintenance request and they have shown up and fixed it! They have been very short staffed due to the pandemic and it wasn’t urgent so I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the work was done. It looks great.

So I’m on a roll with taking care of the house and have the next 2 or 3 priorities defined. We need to clean the windows and screens which is an annoying job but we do it ourselves. Just have to get started. Another high priority is replacing the cushion inserts in my favorite chair’s seat to restore its comfort level after 25 years of use.

I do think something more enjoyable also needs to be on the list though. I really enjoyed framing and hanging some of my art and one should enjoy their home not only have it working well. I will have to brainstorm on that.

Do you have any projects  lined up to help you enjoy where you are living?

12 comments:



  1. There's always something. We live on almost 3 acres so there's weedeating, tree removal, basic house maintenance, etc. This year we need one more tree down( expensive) and our septic pumped. our septic tank is small and would most certainly not meet county standards today. But when the house was built in 1949,I guess it would. Sometimes I fantasize about moving to a town house but I'm pretty sure this is where we will finish our days. There's always something with any house.


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    1. There is always something isn't there! We have owned homes built in 1932, 1941, mid 1950's and now early 1980's. Varying sizes and varying yards and climates. I wish we had kept the 1932 one in Glendale and rented it out instead of selling it. We then could have moved back in.

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  2. A house is a hungry thing, this is true, and when we feed it it can become our sanctuary. You mentioned Berkeley, I met my husband there in 1968, love that man, we were married 45 years. I have been doing home improvements for the past 5 years and it is looking pretty. You have accomplished a lot.

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    1. Glad you are enjoying your home improvements.

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  3. After all the downsizing I did to move I still plan to some more now that I'm settled. I'm also busy looking at spring seeds and plants wondering what will work on my new deck. I no longer have full sun so it's a whole new adventure planning it.

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    1. A few plants on your patio sounds lovely.

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  4. I used to live in Glendale, but if looking in that area now, would choose the foothills of N. Pasadena. There is everything there- colleges, museums, mountains, a vibrant downtown and even college football. And it is still relatively affordable as compared to the surrounding communities, and the remaing portions of Pasadena. We are crossing our fingers that this is where our daughter and family will settle when they return from Europe.

    A house is indeed a hungry thing. We are on a bit of a time out at the moment, trying to decide between staying here, or moving into a lock-and-go that is easy walking distance to the ocean (we are currently two miles away). If we stay, the front yard hardscaping will need to be redone, and that would be a very pricy project. So, we are strategizing over here to a degree as well.

    Am curious, Juhli, as to why you feel you have to stay where you are, when other places seem to clearly be calling to you?

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    1. Ah, we lived in the Montrose area of Glendale so were up in the beginning of the foothills. Right by La Canada. I don't feel we have to stay here but Berkeley is not to our liking except for the obvious attraction of family. The family in Pasadena is considering becoming digital nomads so it wouldn't make sense to move near them now. During the past 2 years of pandemic we simply didn't want to deal with it!

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  5. We just had a new roof put on in the past month or so. Now my husband is painting the house trim before putting the gutters back up. We (mostly me) would like to repaint the entire exterior of the house, hubs said he would do it one side at a time. :)

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    1. My uncle used to do one side of the house at a time. Of course paint quality was different back then but by the time he made it all the way around he had to start over.

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  6. We have some painting and staining to do outside which hopefully will be done once winter is done. Other than that it is just trying to get a few little things done inside.

    You have gotten a great deal accomplished already.

    God bless.

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    1. Thanks for saying we have gotten a lot done. I've always been a doer and I feel like the last two years I have not been!

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