Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House,' by Meghan Daum

JamieSeptember 22, 2011

I'm in chapter one, where the little Laura Engalls Wilder wannabe is about to move to New Jersey.

So far it's a very companionable read.

Much better for me than the obsessively looking at the MLS.

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stinky-gardener

Jamies...just checked it out from the library yesterday...haven't started reading it, but looking forward to it. Looked at the author's website too. She seems really smart and interesting.

LoveintheHouse...thanks for the book suggestion!

OT, but also checked out *My Formerly Hot Life*! Both of these books sound like fun reads for middle-aged females.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 9:56AM
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writersblock

Life Would Be Perfect is a great read. I really enjoyed it, although her relationship with real estate is so very different from mine. (mine is best summed up by that old Mary Englebreit tee that said, "Wherever you go, there you are").

Thanks, LoveintheHouse, for recommending it. Funny, after I got about halfway through it I remembered reading her pieces in the New Yorker about fleeing to the hinterlands in quest of solvency, and all the huge buzz she generated at that time. You sure don't get any sense in the book of what a media celeb she already was.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:21AM
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stinky-gardener

Writersblock, *Wherever You Go, There You Are* is also a title of one of my favorite books. Was penned by John Kabat Zinn. I'm only familiar with Mary's mug and tees that read,
"Life is Just a Chair of Bowlies."

Here is a link that might be useful: Relic of the past found on Ebay....

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 2:17PM
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stinky-gardener

Well, I read Daum's book today and I laughed out loud and I cried real tears. Daum is a very talented writer and storyteller.

I won't be a spoiler, but don't think it's too much info to say that I found the last pages very touching. I was quite moved by the final paragraph, and found it incredibly resonant with my own experience.

The book is a lot of fun for the most part, but in the end, quite poignant and thought-provoking.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 4:00PM
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writersblock

Interesting, stinky-gardener. The ME tee was from way back in the early or mid 80s, IIRC. She was everywhere back then for a little while--towels, mugs, shirts, cushions, ornaments, wrapping paper...

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 6:04PM
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LoveInTheHouse

Isn't it good?! Stinky, I know, I had tears too at the end. I won't spoil it either but I could relate to it big-time.

"My Formerly Hot Life?" Now that sounds interesting.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 9:46PM
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Jamie

I didn't cry, but I did laugh, especially at things like the contractor who didn't show up for work because he had internal bleeding. What a wonderful turn of excuse.

I also like her many parenthetical phrases and that one one hyphenated clause within a paragraph-long sentence contained a semi colon. You can't express complicted house feelings without these devices.

I thought it was great that when she was about to get serious about her guy she had an irresistable urge to give the kitchen a facelift. Pretty sexy.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 11:52PM
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LoveInTheHouse

Jamie, I know! Her writing has influenced my own essays! She's given me permission to write my long sentences!

I think I'm going to see her tomorrow! She's at some college in NC, about two hours from me. I'll have to go alone because I don't know anyone else around here who'd be interested, but, hey, that chick drove from Nebraska to California all by herself. Well, except for Rex.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 11:07PM
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stinky-gardener

Wish I could join you, LoveintheHouse! Report back here & tell us how it went if you do go!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 11:36PM
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Jamie

I, too, would love to hear a report. I drove 3 hours to Chgo today, in the rain. Gotta keep in practice.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 4:58PM
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LoveInTheHouse

I didn't go! I got home too late to get there in time! Wah! I did sign up for her e-mails though. I also read a few of her columns she has links to on her website. She's good.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 12:23AM
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stinky-gardener

LITH, I signed up for the e-mails too! Want to read everthing this woman writes! She IS good!

Btw, are you a writer/horse whisperer?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 3:14AM
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LoveInTheHouse

I'm a writer AND a horse whisperer! (But don't judge my writing here--I'm just talking!) How'd you know?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 11:40PM
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stinky-gardener

Cool! Tell us more, LITH!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 12:05AM
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LoveInTheHouse

Well, I like to write essays and literary fiction. Some of the places I've been published in are Horse Illustrated, Horse News, Mid-American Review, The Courier. I've done readings at the Hudson Grille in NYC, was a runner-up in Mademoiselle's annual short story contest, and won the New Jersey Library Association's essay contest about what the library means to me. But there's no money in it so I don't really apply myself though it's a passion of mine. (Basically I fart around--I write every day but I rarely submit.) Writing and horses--I'm very lucky to have two passions. I keep on saying I'm going to get serious about it but then we sell a house or I buy a horse and I get busy!

I keep a blog. It's called Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country. If you like to read, check it out. I have some house stories on there. And horse stories. I don't really consider myself a horse whisperer because I don't do it as a business but I use the same techniques the character uses in that book when I am handling my horses. When I get too old to ride, I picture myself sitting on my front porch writing stories and watching my grandchildren ride ponies in the yard. What a life!

When I sell this house, I plan to write a book about my house-selling experiences. I don't want to say what the premise is yet. It's a surprise.

What do you like to do Stinky? I take it you're a gardener?

Here is a link that might be useful: Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 11:19PM
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stinky-gardener

Hi LoveintheHouse! Wow, that's so interesting! Thanks for the link to your blog. Have begun reading it and look forward to reading all the entries you've posted! How fun!

Your house, btw, is absolutely adorable. Love the ferns you just added to the porch. It has tons of curb appeal...just darling.

Wishing you continued good luck with "Bob!"

Enjoyed the pics of you on the farm. You are obviously a hard-working lady who leads a fascinating life!

Sorry it took me a while to get back here. I'm having a my large master bath gutted and re-done and I'm the "designer" & "GC." It's been a busy week, but progress is being made!

I'm sure Ms. Daum would characterize my feeble attempt at "renovation" as "half-assed," and I would agree, as this is merely a "rip and replace." There will be no re-configuration of the layout, no space added to the room, no additional features created that didn't exist before.

Still, I am hopeful that it will look one heck of a lot better without the giganormous yellowy-beige jetted tub, yellowy-beige tile surround, yellowy-being faux marble countertops, horribly faded oak vanities, beige tile floor with cracked grout, and (you guessed it) yellowy-beige plastic shower stall (with non-functional doors and skimpy circa 1987 chrome shower fixtures.) So... while the layout remains the same, at least the aforementioned nightmarish features will change!

On my "farm" the lawn will be core-aerated and seeded this week! Ah, suburbia! At my previous house in PA I did gardening, at this house in VA I do "yardening."

I don't watch much TV at all, but read that there is a new show called "Suburgatory." I'm going to coin that little gem for sure. One word that says it all!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 9:19AM
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LoveInTheHouse

My daughter is watching that show! She likes it because even though we are moving to a rural area in New Jersey, compared to where we are here, where the number one industry is agriculture, it's suburbia, lol.

Your bathroom sounds like my parents' old bathroom! I am sure it's going to be 100% better even without changing the layout. What are you doing to it? Are you getting it ready to sell it?

I'm glad you like my blog! I just love writing it. Once I move back I might have to change the name to Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country... and Goes Back Again. I hope I have time because this time I'd like to document all the improvements and remodeling that we're going to do. At this place, when we bought it, there wasn't even heat. But I have to admit that the curb appeal was always here. The new place needs more cosmetic work. It's another old house but it's a disaster. Kitchen is big but '80s style like your bathroom. Olive green tub, sink, and toilet in one of the bathrooms. Believe it or not, I'm going to work with that. It's going to look very cool when I'm done. Notice the olive towels that all the stores are carrying? Olive is back! But when I was making the deal on the house, I said, "Ew, this bathroom needs to be gutted." When I really like it! lol There's a lot of other stuff that needs to be done but that's what we always do--fix them and that enables us to afford something better than we would have been able to get otherwise.

Those ferns are about exploding! Pretty soon I'm going to have to take them down because they are getting so big, I'm worried about them being too heavy.

One week and two days before closing and "Slow Bob" still hasn't gotten the mortgage commitment yet.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 11:34PM
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