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.: 4.01.2010 

And there was Bamboo. And it was Good.

Hubby and I have been talking for years now about how gorgeous bamboo floors are, and how awesome it is that the side benefits include being harder than hardwood and more ecologically friendly because of bamboo's sustainability. But, you know, we're still living a little bit like college students (sans milk crate shelves), and we're not the most DIY-driven folks on the planet.

So last year, when this tax credit thing happened - the $800 whatever thing, I couldn't make heads or tails of it. This really worried me, because I'm pretty smart. I gave into some mild paranoia and decided instead of trying to figure it out, I'd just adjust our W-4s so that we were bringing home the same amount as we were before the credit. Then I didn't think about it anymore.

Until we had our taxes done, anyway.

Holy cow! Such a big return!!

In the meanwhile, our tomcat had decided to get pretty friendly with a particular corner of our front room while we were gone to Puerto Rico. And the bunny, ever territorial, entered into a literal pissing contest with him over it. We pulled up carpet. We enzyme-treated. We blocked the area off. We finally put down some puppy-training pads and that sort of worked, but by then the subfloor was already seriously damaged.

We'd been wanting to pull up the carpet since we bought the place. It's at least 10 yrs old, if not original to the house. So we took this as our Sign from the Universe to keep pulling out the carpet on the first floor, at least, and our big tax return as the Universal Nod to put down some durable new flooring.

We seriously considered ceramic tiles, even though they would be cold as hell in the winter and would likely confuse any future buyers. (Ceramic tiles work great as flooring -- in Florida, Texas, New Mexico... You get the idea. Not in the K-Y.) It was sheer chance that we got online and checked at Lumber Liquidators, and there it was, the style and color of bamboo we had always said we'd wanted, on the front page and on sale for $1.79/sq ft. My co-worker who has hired and fired most every contractor/carpenter/plumber/electrician in Lexington while renovating her 100-yr old house gave us the name of a good guy, who in turn gave us a good quote. We went forward with it and now...

Pictures of the new floor. (Which still needs to be swept.)

Edited to add:
I really must be in a rambling, slightly philosphical sort of mood, for Blogger to seduce me back twice in the same day from the pithy wiles of Facebook.

Seriously, though, having this new, cat-resistant, beautiful floor is strange. I feel like it was a magical gift that fell from the sky, one that I somehow don't deserve. I know, however, that it was because Hubby and I were sacrificing more each month out of our paychecks (which really, we just would have spent on eating out if you want to be brutally honest about it) and reaping the rewards of our frugality.

Also, its shiny-newness has underscored the general shabbiness of the rest of the house. Don't get me wrong, it's not falling down or anything, but any scuffmarks on the walls or dirt on the baseboards, any cobwebs in the corners or spots on the windows just seem to really stand out next to the gleaming bamboo. I think it might just spur me to up my housekeeping game. And it's time for a good Spring Cleaning anyway. So, before we put the fridge back against the wall, we'll vacuum down the coils on the back. Maybe even rip out the wallpaper that was behind it. (That Gods-awful '80s country-chic dusty-blue-with-stylized-pineapples number, if you'll remember.) Stuff like that.

And then, it will all be ready for our first guests of the year: Matt, Justin, and Brian, and maybe a few of the HP-Ohio and SLAW folks crashing in the nooks and crannies!

Spring is good. I feel recharged. Rawr. :)

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thus proclaimeth the Zabet  10:15 AM   0 comment(s)

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