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sweat equity

sweat eq•ui•ty 

noun informal

an interest or increased value in a property earned from labor toward upkeep or restoration.

refinishing hardwoods

So about this townhouse we bought.

My hands are blistered, bloody and cracked.  If you have ever stood in the corner of a room looking down at hardwood floors crying out for rescue from under the filth of carpet, you know that blistered, bloody and cracked is the next step.  If you are like me and did it yourself once, you later said “I’ll never do that again!”  And if you are like me, you’ve learned over the years to never say never.   So here I am again, tugging, cutting and bagging, Carlos in the next room pulling up all the tack strips and staples.  You couldn’t have hired me for $525 to do this job, but since we took our bank account down to $15.35 to buy this place, it was well worth our efforts not to incur more debt.  Even though I said never again 3 moves ago.  Thus, sweat equity.

I tried to swap the awful chandelier in the dining room for a regular light and it worked — for a second, during which time I was so proud of myself — and then CRACK [very loud pop, scene right] and now none of the lights in the dining room, kitchen and back porch work anymore.  🙁  

And that’s just the part of today’s story that went WELL.

On the up side of the big picture, do we ever have some kind, thoughtful and generous friends and family!  Thank you, Mami and Papi and Grandma and Pa for the amazing housewarming gifts!  Thank you, LtCol Scott and Mrs. Jennet for driving all the way from Maryland to bring us home cooked meals!  Jennet fed us for three nights, and we’re talking some serious food.  And wine.  And our first visitor, Mrs. Chapman, who brought us a package of goodies!

Also a plus: I love my new kitchen! The electrical mishap forced me to take down the ceiling fans to check the wires for juice and I swear their absence has added 10 square feet to the room (I hated those fans anyhow, and I think my husband suspects I secretly planned the electrical mishap to get rid of them.  I didn’t.)  This is the first house of 12 years of marriage and 7 moves where all of my cooking, baking and dining stuff not only fits, but fits easily.   Usually I spend hours on strategy to get it all in; this time, I have drawers I don’t even need.  A cook designed this kitchen.  It’s small, but every inch is utilized the way a cook would use it.   I’m all about efficiency and am thrilled not to find wasted space.  I’m also thrilled to discover that when I return to the new townhome carrying a trunk full of groceries, I have only three short steps to climb and POOF I’m in the kitchen.  Beautiful.

So Christmas dinner will be served hot, efficiently and without missing a beat — although we won’t be able to actually SEE one another much less dinner to confirm nor deny…  

🙂  “Humor is tragedy plus time.”  — Alan Alda


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  • christine - hey girls! thanks for the love. really. I’ve needed it! Amber, I your headphone trick is genius! I gotta get my iPod out of the bose dock and give it a try. we did the same thing you did, 2 bathroom remodels and the hardwood refinishing — I have been thinking about you going through that last week!!! are you moved back in now? I’d love to see your before and afters, too! I don’t have any afters to post yet. I got really motivated by walls coming down and tile going up, but then the details of cutting in with paint and swapping light fixtures to finish the job have kind of slowed me down. and then there was that water leaking from the dispenser in the fridge, and that water that came in from the heavy rains… (hmmm, I hope you’re not sharing THAT with me! I heard this morning that the Northwest is flooding) you know houses: there’s always something.ReplyCancel

  • Amber Geiger - I can so relate to this, as we are endlessly working on our house. Sweat equity is where it’s all at. We have 2 bathroom remodels, a completely relandscaped yard, and a wealth of books on iPod to pass the time. Music & books. It’s what gets me through the monotonous hours of painting. And it’s easier not to be volunteered to make the 9th run to Home Depot that day if you can pretend you don’t hear him asking b/c you’ve got headphones in. Just a little tip.

    We are moving out today for a week to have our hardwood floors refinished. I had no idea it was going to entail as much work as that. But like everything else w/ fixing up a house, we are learning as we go. Congrats on yours, can’t wait to see pics as you post them!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Your kitchen sounds like a dream! Can’t wait to see photos.
    Congratulations on the new home!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - Enjoy. I love this stuff, blisters and all!ReplyCancel

  • Sheila - Oh the JOYS of being a home owner…house warming gift on it’s way 🙂 it should bring a smile to your face.

    Merry Christmas Gacharna family.