Thank Goodness for Exchange Students!
I have a tendency to tolerate dilapidation and primitiveness, so I had about 13 years of home repairs that could not be ignored any longer. Over the last few weeks I have been painting the house, patching holes in the plaster, fixing broken interior wooden stairs, patching exterior concrete stairs, replacing screens ripped out in the hail storm of 2001, finishing a 3 year old bathroom tile project, finishing a 5 year old shelving project, finishing a 10 year old wallpaper project, repairing ragged wallpaper from an ancient roof leak (pre-us owning the house), trimming the bedroom doors (the previous owners put in new doors but didn't bother trimming them, and neither did we), cleaning the basement (because we needed storage and tools for all that fixing), putting up more shelving, fixing a dresser salvaged from the neighbor's garage (he said that it fell off a truck while his son was moving it and he was using it as a tool box since it was in too rough of shape for clothes after that - not anymore!), sorting through all our old boxes of things (trying to figure out either why we still have it or where the hell we will put it while our exchange student is here), and, of course, cleaning cleaning CLEANING!!!
I am happy to say that we are in the home stretch of preparing the house. I feel much better about offering this more improved house as a home to this young man coming all the way to the US for the first time. And I have to say that as an added benefit, I am enjoying the house much more myself. Some of it was so simple that I really wonder why we waited so long.