Monday, March 30, 2009

Home Improvements

What a difference a few days makes!  My mother-in-law and a friend of the family were in town last week and through the weekend.  The family friend is a contractor-type up in Pittsburgh who did a bunch of work around our house and David's brother and sister-in-law's house.  The work in the other house was far more complicated than ours-- adding a powder room to the first floor office-- but I think I'm equally pleased at the simple things we had done over here.

We had every doorknob in the house replaced, along with the hinges.  You'd never think this would make a huge difference, but I am loving the result.  All of the townhouses in our neighborhood came with your standard-issue builder-grade brassy doorknobs.  I've long admired the knobs in my neighbor Brooke's house; she and her husband traded the brass for oil-rubbed bronze years ago.  We also went with the oil-rubbed bronze, because it matched our decor best.  It's amazing what a difference this little detail makes!  I'm happy every time I open one of the doors, and my mother-in-law couldn't stop commenting that she never thought the knobs and hinges would look as nice as they do.  Hooray for small changes!

We also swapped out several faucets, and we now have much prettier sink jewelry in our upstairs bathrooms and our kitchen.  I also finally got a sprayer in my kitchen sink, which is a godsend-- I never realized how much I missed having one until I quickly and easily sprayed out pots, pitchers, and the sink itself with the handy new sprayer.  Ahhhhh.

We have a new ceiling fan in the living room, a new light fixture by our front door, a repaired front door threshold, a repaired closet rod, and new knobs on our kitchen and bathroom cabinets (again, goodbye brass!).  (I did do the knobs myself-- my tiny contribution to the week's updates.)  

My mother-in-law was almost as busy as our friend; she ironed David's shirts for me.  I should point out that this is no small task.  David has always had bad luck when the dry cleaners handle his button-down shirts.  Inevitably, they break buttons or crease the collars funny, and so he has long washed and pressed his shirts at home.  He did them himself before we were married.  When I took over the laundry, I put my foot down about ironing them.  I didn't mind washing them, but I figured that if he refused to send them out, he could deal with the hassle of ironing them.  Sadly, he was so busy at work during the last half of last year that he was operating on an iron-as-needed basis, accumulating a huge backlog of clean but wrinkled shirts near our washer and dryer.  

I knew that when I stopped working, I'd inherit the job of ironing the shirts, but I'd asked David to make sure I didn't inherit the backlog.  He wanted to honor my little request, but work conspired against him as my last day on the job approached.  Soon enough, I was facing dozens of shirts all waiting to be pressed.

I did a few here and there over the last couple of months, but my first trimester exhaustion kept me from making a significant dent in them.  I'm feeling much better now, thankfully, but my angel of a mother-in-law still didn't want me to have to stand by an ironing board for hours getting the shirts done.  And that's how it came to pass that she ironed between 25 and 30 shirts on Friday and Saturday.  TWENTY FIVE to THIRTY shirts, people.  I might have wept some tears of gratitude.  

(The number of shirts in need of ironing led us to wonder just how many shirts David owns altogether.  After all, he'd been wearing button-downs every day while this backlog accumulated.  The answer?  My husband owns EIGHTY-EIGHT button down shirts.  I have a feeling that I don't own anywhere near 88 shirts of any kind.  Perhaps a counting project is in order for me.)

After she ironed the shirts, Barb made a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond to buy special hangers that would keep the shirts neater in the closet.  Yesterday afternoon, she switched all the shirts over to the new hangers.  I swear, the woman is some sort of a shirt-care angel or something.

Today, I'm enjoying my new doorknobs and faucets and the elimination of the ironing backlog.  Sometimes it really is the little things that make a difference.

3 comments: said...

That is great that your mother in law could do the ironing for you. And the number of shirts your husband owns? Insane.

Branwen said...

Speaking of 88 shirts, you guys must have a BIG closet! :)

Petroni said...

Branwen, he pretty much has his clothes spread out across three closets. :-) We do have a walk-in in our room, but I have most of that. He uses the smaller side for his suits. He has the smaller closet in our room for his pants and most of his shirts, and the rest of the shirts are in the guest room closet!