* The bus picks up my younger daughter right across the street from our house, and I find myself having the unique opportunity to stand there in my neighbors’ driveway with my daughter and gaze at our house. I see where we just had the wood rot fixed, how solid the new(ish) roof looks, and how winter crops (bok choy!) are growing around our mailbox (okay, that’s sort of weird, I’ll admit). I have to tell you, I have Kudzu’s Must Do 52 weekly enewsletter to thank for a number of small fixes I made around the house this year (not the bok choy–that was my own idea). When the concept first kicked off this past January, it made me cringe just a bit. Must-Do? Like I need another thing I must do? I begrudgingly plodded on, picking the easy things first, such as “check your wrought-iron patio furniture to see if it needs repainting.” It didn’t say I actually had to repaint it–just check it. Gosh, that one was easy.
* As time went on, however, I got more ambitious. I got the carpet deep-cleaned (and yes, it was as dramatic as in this photo from a carpet cleaning company in Florida). I got the screen door (which I installed) fixed (don’t ask–just see here). I got not one but two ceiling fans installed, I had a new bathroom fixture installed, and I got a new hot water heater. In short, I kinda’ sorta’ got my to-do list done.
* Oh, sure, there are lots of projects whose day will come–the whole-house painting (inside and out), the new kitchen floor, perhaps even one day the dreaded “R” word (remodel–I found this pretty white kitchen photo here). And, instead of causing me to pull a Scarlett O’Hara and say, “I’ll think about that tomorrow,” I actually find myself proactively planning for these home maintenance and repair activities. In short, I’d say what Kudzu has done for me has been make taking care of my home more of a joy than a chore, and that’s not only because of the prodding along but because I found every single service pro I used on Kudzu, and it all worked out. Workers showed up. They did the job they were hired to do. They usually shared their expertise with me in unexpected and valuable ways. And they charged fair prices.
* So, I tell you all this to lead up to what happened last night. My weekly Kudzu Must-Do 52 enewsletter arrived in my in-box. And I noticed I no longer cringe when it comes–I actually smile in anticipation of what helpful advice I’m going to get this week. So, let’s see. Install a programmable thermostat–I’ve already done that. Check weatherstripping on doors–”Don’t forget windows!” I found myself chiming in. Rake or blow leaves–already raked and saved to add to my compost tumbler (no, that’s not me in the picture)! Could it be? Am I actually ahead of Kudzu, for the first time this year? Has Kudzu helped me turn home maintenance and repair from a horror to a habit? As the bus rumbled down the street, and I walked back across, I noticed a few cracks in the driveway and a piece of rotted wood I had missed on the garage. “Gotta’ get on that!” I said, and added it to my 2012 list. Thanks, Kudzu (especially to a man named Clint who writes that weekly enewsletter, and to Rhonda, who had the idea). My house and I are both better because of you.