I am tired of picking sawdust, wood chips, and grass clippings out of my clean underwear. Before your mind goes somewhere weird, let me explain. My husband has become a project addict. When we met he was that laid-back guy who did well enough in school without really trying and worked a part-time job so he could have money to go out with his friends and to play golf. Not lazy, by any means, but certainly not a highly-motivated overachiever.
After we graduated college and got married, he went back to school and we rented one half of a duplex my parents own. When he had to quit his job to finish school (classes during the day and then radiology clinicals at night and on the weekends), my parents let us live there rent-free until he graduated, in exchange for us keeping up with the yard work for both sides of the house, doing needed repairs, and completing some unfinished projects my dad didn’t have time to finish. We helped remodel the bathroom, paint the old (and quite ugly) cabinets in the kitchen to a bright and pretty white, re-painted some rooms, hung new trim…. you get the idea. The place looked way better when we finally moved out than it did when we moved in. I’m not sure if that is where the project madness began, but… possibly.
When we built our house, we used a company called U-Build-It (totally cheesy name, but not everyone sees the value in creativity, I guess). They are basically a consultant and resource to you, allowing you to act as your own general contractor. The fee you pay is much less than you would pay a GC and they provide you information and schedules and a network of sub-contractors/vendors so you can manage the project of having your house built. It was stressful and challenging, but with the help of family and friends we were able to do quite a lot of the work ourselves and save a bundle of money. We did all the wood floors, tile, trim, doors, painting, insulation in the garage, and numerous other little projects, preventing us from having to pay labor cost for all of those things.
The house has a full, yet unfinished, basement. Ryan has big plans for this basement, on hold until we win the lottery (no, we don’t play) or miraculously come in to some money (although we have no wealthy relatives so that is also unlikely). For the first two years we lived in the house, when we did have some money not already assigned to some other expense, he would purchase some lumber and bit-by-bit worked on framing out the walls for his dream basement. And that is how it looks today. The rest of the materials he needs to finish it are just too expensive. I think he got tired of working on something that would be years to completion and went looking for another fix.
This year, our third in the house, he has completed several big landscaping projects, re-seeded/fertilized the front and back yards, built a custom built-in bench/cubby/hook thing in our little front-hall alcove, and when all that was finished he went ahead and did a custom shelf/wine rack in the little alcove in the dining room too. In between these projects, there have been other mini-projects, most of which also involve things that create saw dust, wood chips, and grass clippings.
I must say I’m completely impressed by the fruits of his labor. It all looks amazing. Yet, he throws all the clothes he wears for these projects in with the rest of the dirty laundry. Yes, I’m grateful he doesn’t just throw them on the floor, but discovering the hard way that you’re wearing a sock or pair of underwear with a wood shaving entangled in the fibers is quite unpleasant. I have tried repeatedly to wash all his work clothes together, but I have yet been unable to prevent cross-contamination. It seems that somehow a sawdust encrusted sock always makes it in with the non-work clothes or a pair of my unmentionables always ends up in with his work clothes. I guess I should get a special hamper for work clothes only and even then try to be more diligent about separating the laundry piece-by-piece prior to throwing it into the washing machine. Just one more thing in my life that requires additional sorting out.