Saturday, February 11, 2012

Unexpected Guests On the Doorstep

Just as I am brand new to home ownership, I am also just a new little fishy swimming in the giant blogosphere. I've got some modest (Hi, Dad!) blog traffic and I'm still trying to figure out what my page should look like, and trying to "find my voice as a writer," though I suspect my voice is coming from inside my head and in that very "get some help" sort of way....


The blogosphere paid me a visit on Wednesday in the craziest and best way possible. Did I mention I'm insecure about this blogging thing still?

Anyway. (Note to "voice:" work on transitions)

The best thing about the best blogs is that they are stories with chapters that come out, bit by bit, and you become absorbed into them. You want to know what happens NEXT.

One of those blogs is DIY Diva, and I found Kit's blog months ago when I was still in the home shopping phase simply by Googling "do it yourself." I figured whatever kind of house I could afford, I was going to be doing a bit of it.

As blog categories go, she is in a different part of the family tree of "house blogs" from mine, I think. I am more of a historic home, paint-some-rooms, isn't-this-vintage-whackadoodle-cute, sort of blog. I'm not going to over-reach at this point. If you've seen me with a drill, you know why.

Kit, however, is not "do it yourself" in the sense of spray painting a few crappy garage sale picture frames, though there's a time and place for that sort of thing (hi, everybody!)

THIS is Kit with a drill:

Stand back. This is DIY Diva.

In the years she's maintained her blog, she's rehabbed one old house, bought another and added a major addition to it, and has drawn up plans to build a third. Oh, and she became a licensed general contractor. Then there are the miniature donkeys. She calls herself a power tool wielding badass. She once wrote a post (with diagrams) about the disintegration of her work jeans.

I'm not sure whether I want to go grab a beer with her or HIRE her. I mean, damn, girl.

For awhile now I'd been following DIY Diva as she went looking for just the right piece of land to build her dream house, her Hillside Cottage, as she calls it.

On Monday she posted a real bombshell: she'd gone and bought a 150-year-old farmhouse and 6 acres. Not for the building of Hillside Cottage, but just because foreclosure auctions are the sort of trouble which a woman who collects power tools for fun and recreation would get herself into. You can read about that here.

I was moved by this. That is my kind of crazy. I am three for three in buying a house based purely on emotion. Or gut instinct. Lack of a grip on reality. Whatever.

So along with all the other friends, family, other bloggers, and whosomevers that were commenting on her surprise purchase I commented for the first time on her site:

"I’ve been lurking around your site for some time, mostly in profound appreciation of your general kick-assery. Don’t second guess yourself on this, no matter what. I did the same thing with my house. I walked in the front door and said, “Oh, yes. This is it.” The real estate agent thought I’d gone ’round the bend (and I probably had), but it ended up being the place I signed for. Wish you the best in your unexpected adventure!"

To which Kit responded:

"The Unexpected Adventure — Laura, you just named the next 3 years (okay, 5 years) of my life. I love it"

And I'm thinking, cool, she seems nice too.

Wednesday turned out to be one of those days that other single working mothers will recognize--I was wretchedly tired. It was a packing lunch boxes/finding socks for little boys/putting on mascara/get in the car NOW! kind of morning, all underpinned by the distinctly nagging dread that not only had I forgotten to pay some bill, I was hopelessly behind in the laundry, and what in the HELL was I thinking getting a divorce, going back to work, and buying an old house all in two years? Self-doubt never hits the single mom in little bits and pieces. It's more like the total shit-storm, all at once. I pulled out of the driveway looking at the tired paint and the tired yard and just felt distinctly defeated by the enormity of it. And then I went to work.

I came home from work early because I also had to work a turnaround night shift, headachey and dangerously crabby. I checked my blogs, and realized that Kit had posted something titled, "An Unexpected Adventure: The Extended Version." Nice, I thought. She must have liked the ring of I clicked on the link.

And she'd blogged:

"I know, I know, I kind of dropped a little bomb in the middle of the “Hey I’m going to buy some vacant land and build a garage on it” party yesterday. I have to start by thanking all of you for the support, laughs, words of encouragement, and– specifically Laura from Door Step Home– for calling this my Unexpected Adventure instead of my Have You Lost Your Ever-Loving Mind moment."


She'd given me a shout out and a link to my blog, and here I am with no good graphics yet, the place is a mess, and I haven't combed my hair.....

Just THAT was just a good, good thing on an otherwise crappy day. But then I found this comment posted on MY blog, from someone named Gayle:

"I just found your blog via DIY Diva, and I just want to let you know that you CAN do it. I'm a single Mom too, and when I was raising my two kids, we worked on several "distressed" houses (kind words) that remind me of your plumbing travails. Can you say "former homeowner who was too cheap to buy electrical wire, so patched together little pieces with wire nuts and strung them inside the walls."?? So hang in there, and remember to sit back and enjoy your progress so far once in awhile. Your kids will have fun learning how to fix things, and it will all get done eventually, so don't sweat it. Take care."
I had no idea the blogosphere dealt in good Karma until Wednesday. And it arrived just in time. So thanks, Gayle and Kit. I needed that.


  1. You are awesome and you can do it!

  2. Just FYI, I just left a comment on your March 12 post about your garden; let me know if you'd like to talk about it in more detail. I LOVE designing gardens! Gayle