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lifestyle thoughts
Old 12-01-2007, 10:37 AM   #1
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lifestyle thoughts

We are in the middle of a winter storm that is supposed to last the weekend. Yesterday afternoon the grocery stores were packed. I ran into a former co-worker. I told him that I was dreading having to run our monster snow blower to clean up after the storm was done. He said hire someone.

Different lifestyles. I'm not dreading it that much.

When my old coworker asked what I was doing to keep busy I mentioned that I have been working on a winter project, beading some purses that I am making for my women friends and relatives. He told me that it sure would be more efficient to work, bill $250 an hour, and buy some nice presents.

Different lifestyles. I imagine he or his wife wouldn't much like my beaded purses, but my friends will.

While working on my beading project, I have been watching some HGTV and have seen several times a show where a real estate agent goes in and tells people what there house is worth and what they could do to make it sell. Apparently, granite countertops are a necessity no matter what the price point. And one bathroom is simply not acceptable. Same with the show, Househunters. No matter if you are starting out, and even if you are single, three bedrooms and two baths are the minimum requirement.
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:07 AM   #2
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Ooohhh, I have beading on my list of things to learn. I have a friend who does it and I love what she makes.
I also prefer to do things myself. I tried using a cleaning service once but gave up because it was too stressful. I had to clean before they came...kind of defeated the purpose and I went from cleaning my house when I felt like it to having to get it cleaned before the service came. I'm a freak.
I will say that 2 bathrooms are not a necessity but sure comes in handy at times.
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:18 AM   #3
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I am not a very "crafty" person, but beading doesn't take much talent, only patience. I got a couple of books from the library and went at it.
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:19 AM   #4
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I told him that I was dreading having to run our monster snow blower to clean up after the storm was done. He said hire someone.

Different lifestyles. I'm not dreading it that much.

..beading some purses that I am making for my women friends and relatives. He told me that it sure would be more efficient to work, bill $250 an hour, and buy some nice presents.

Different lifestyles.
Interesting perspective, at least to this still-working stiff. I'm struck by how your examples are quite different from one another.

Sounds like your "pay someone to do it" judges life solely in terms of dollars earned per hour. Beaded-purse friend initially seemed to me to be about the same thing but upon reflection perhaps he just doesn't realize that some pursuits are simply enjoyable or made someone else feel good.

I'm glad you have other friends than them.
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:28 AM   #5
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I live alone and never actually USE my two bathrooms, but I bought a house with two because they are so much easier to sell when the time comes for that. Besides, I really like having a dedicated walk-in shower instead of standing in a bathtub to shower, and most one bathroom homes have a tub. I doubt that a one bathroom home with just a shower would sell quickly when the time came. (Why? Probably due to HGTV.)

Even though Househunters shows houses all over the country and world, that show seems to have a very Californian, yuppie-ized culture compared with where I live in Louisiana. Personally I would rather have a small house/shack/bungalow in a small hick town than a McMansion on a postage stamp sized lot in a planned community in the suburbs of some grand city, like many that they show.

Just as an aside, I think HGTV's idea of decorating is enough to drive a person to drink!! Not everyone in the world wants each room a different, vivid version of yet another intense primary color. Once I saw them even paint a ceiling blood red, which would really turn me off as a buyer because I would have to repaint it myself. I have seen them take breathtakingly beautiful Victorian homes and paint them that way, which seems almost criminal to me. Maybe that's a regional thing.
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:32 AM   #6
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We had some friends that built a fancy house with beautiful Corian counters. Two years later they sold the house to some other friends of ours, who immediately replaced the Corian counters with granite. I told them I'd take the Corian, but an estimate showed that it would cost more to rework it than to start with new Corian, so it all went to the dump.
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:35 AM   #7
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The comment about the purses sounds more rude than I think he meant it to be. I truly think that efficiency is very important to him: Why go to stores, look at furniture, pick out paint, etc, when you can have a decorator do it? Isn't that what the big bucks are for? And he does rather enjoy his work. But he has no hobbies other than exercise. So, he hires someone to shovel his walks while he goes to the gym and spins and lifts weights.

In contrast, I enjoy my little projects. I enjoy puttering. And my friends will like my little beaded purses I make far more than ones I might buy them. Same for me, isn't it nice when someone does something nice for you?

And I always thought it a bit odd to hire out yard work and then go pay a gym to get the same workout, but without accomplishment.

Different strokes I guess.
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:47 AM   #8
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Same with the show, Househunters. No matter if you are starting out, and even if you are single, three bedrooms and two baths are the minimum requirement.
That would not be good for me. I would have three bedrooms with matresses on the floor instead of one, and two bathrooms that give me fits to keep clean. Even when I was young, I couldn't figure out why Americans seemed willing to turn themselves into slaves to their homes.

I don't think I have the domestic gene.

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Old 12-01-2007, 11:51 AM   #9
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That would not be good for me. I would have three bedrooms with matresses on the floor instead of one, and two bathrooms that give me fits to keep clean. Even when I was young, I couldn't figure out why Americans seemed willing to turn themselves into slaves to their homes.

I don't think I have the domestic gene.

Ha

I have the domestic gene, but I don't find anything wrong with a small space. I can make a small space really nice and comfortable. What is wrong with cozy? I would have a hard time making one of those big HGTV type suburban homes homey.

Just like the big two story ceiling in living rooms. There is nothing cozy about that. I don't find that type of space comfortable either.

And don't forget, a bathroom is not a bathroom unless there are two sinks.
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:54 AM   #10
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And I always thought it a bit odd to hire out yard work and then go pay a gym to get the same workout, but without accomplishment.
You got that right. I see people around here who could be running on the beach, but instead get in their cars, drive to the gym, exercise indoors, then drive home. You know what I think it is: they want the social aspect of hanging out in the locker room with their buddies.
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Old 12-01-2007, 12:27 PM   #11
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I watch HGTV a lot and is surprises me that no matter what price bracket houses are selling for the expectation seems to be granite benchtops are the standard.

When we sold our house in Australia before returning to So. Ca. it took us 3 months to sell because it only had 1 bathroom. Mind you 1 bathroom was the standard in the town we lived and the 2nd bathroom was as rare as hen's teeth. Add in the price was only for a 1 bathroom, but buyer's expectations were so unrealistic.
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Old 12-01-2007, 12:50 PM   #12
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After planning to leave my large lawfirm after 30 years of practice for a small solo practice I am instead doing what you did Martha and going partime. In my case 50%. It is interesting to see the responses. Most are positive. And some ask incredulously, "but what are you going to do?". I respond, "something other than this". If I no longer need to earn a full time salary, what is the point of doing it. Particularly something as numbing as biglaw. I hope the part time gig works.
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Old 12-01-2007, 12:52 PM   #13
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I truly think that efficiency is very important to him: Why go to stores, look at furniture, pick out paint, etc, when you can have a decorator do it? Isn't that what the big bucks are for? And he does rather enjoy his work. But he has no hobbies other than exercise. So, he hires someone to shovel his walks while he goes to the gym and spins and lifts weights.
And I always thought it a bit odd to hire out yard work and then go pay a gym to get the same workout, but without accomplishment.
Different strokes I guess.
I can see his point. Shopping & chores just interfere with the office time that he perceives to be fun... at least for him.

While those chores may be a workout, they may not be the "right" combination of aerobics & strength-- or they may detract from his triathlon training. Or maybe he looks at it this way: solo snowblower operations on a cold & windy driveway with layers of sweaty clothing vs socializing in a warm gym with sweat-slicked people who wear as little as possible.

I bet if he was cleaning offices for a living or doing other hard physical labor he'd have a different perspective on avocations vs occupations. Between yard work & surfing the only muscles I don't use are the six-pack abs.

I agree that HGTV (brought to you by many fine home décor companies) has started a builder's & decorator's arms race. Every time we watch one of their shows my spouse says "Boy, they sure live large on the Mainland!"

As for you one-bathroom types: Have you forgotten what it's like to live with a teenager? And whaddya gonna do when the toilet breaks-- dig an outhouse while you wait on plumbing repairs?
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Old 12-01-2007, 01:10 PM   #14
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As for you one-bathroom types: ... And whaddya gonna do when the toilet breaks-- dig an outhouse while you wait on plumbing repairs?
This house has 1 & 1/2 baths and I consider that a minimum for just that reason.
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Old 12-01-2007, 01:15 PM   #15
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I can see his point. Shopping & chores just interfere with the office time that he perceives to be fun... at least for him.
I see his point too. But even with his big bucks I wouldn't want to be married to him. It is simply the case of totally different interests. He will retire with plenty of money and spend it lavishly. Sounds nice, but I never had his self discipline.

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As for you one-bathroom types: Have you forgotten what it's like to live with a teenager? And whaddya gonna do when the toilet breaks-- dig an outhouse while you wait on plumbing repairs?
Well, I don't live with a teenager. But my best friends had two teenage daughters in a house with one bathroom and they made it work just fine. You adapt to what you have. Though when we visited and stayed over night, I would mentally wake myself up very early to be sure to pee before the rush.
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Old 12-01-2007, 01:25 PM   #16
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This house has 1 & 1/2 baths and I consider that a minimum for just that reason.
Yup I'm with you there.

And when you have guests, DW and I are private enough to prefer that the guests don't need to know just what products, medications and other drug-store type stuff we might have or use at any point in time. Not to mention that with the extra "powder room" your 12 party guests don't have to all go marching through your master bedroom to get there (depending on your floor plan).

I'm sure we could get by with just one bathroom, but 1.5 would feel lot nicer for us.
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Old 12-01-2007, 01:29 PM   #17
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As for you one-bathroom types: Have you forgotten what it's like to live with a teenager? And whaddya gonna do when the toilet breaks-- dig an outhouse while you wait on plumbing repairs?
It's expectations. My country cousins had only a two-hole outhouse for their big family. That is sharing! I never remember feeling inconvenienced when I stayed there, sometimes as long as 6 weeks. But for sure, I preferred it in the summer rather than mid-January.

In college my residence dorm was arranged as 2 suites on a landing, which shared one bathroom. Each suite had a lr and 2 bedrooms, so there were usually 7 or 8 guys per bathroom. Two sinks, one toilet, one urinal. I was never inconvenienced that I remember; though I did most of my day-time showering at the gym which was only 3 blocks or so away and open long hours.

Ha
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Old 12-01-2007, 01:29 PM   #18
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Well, one thing I am learning is that I better not get a house with two bathrooms because I sure might get used to it!

(We do have a bare bones basement 3/4 bath, cement floor, exposed plumbing and all. We had to put it in when we redid our bathroom. It never gets used.)
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Old 12-01-2007, 01:34 PM   #19
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To be fair, I grew up in a small house, with parents, grandpa, and 4 children. One tiny bath and an outhouse. There was never a bathroom issue, but those were the days when everyone took a bath once a week, whether you needed it or not.
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Old 12-01-2007, 02:05 PM   #20
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"And whaddya gonna do when the toilet breaks-- dig an outhouse while you wait on plumbing repairs?"

Unless you've had at the bowl with a sledgehammer you can flush your problems away with a 5 gallon bucket of water. Unless you've a wax ring seal problem, which could seep at the toilet base, or you've dropped a kid's toy or aspirin bottle in the bowl and it's lodged in the bowl trap, or the line from the house is plugged, in which case your second bathroom isn't working either. I get to play with lots of toilets, and i betcha 95% of the problems are with the valve, flapper, or tank-to-bowl seal. Which means if you can get stuff in the bowl you can probably get rid of it. Without a plumber. Want to avoid having a second bath? Eat oatmeal daily, don't try to flush plastic, eschew teenage daughters, don't have big dinner parties.
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