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The Unfulfilling Part of the Renovation


We’ve come to the part of the renovation I’ve been avoiding. It doesn’t cost a lot of money (thankfully!) but it’s really thankless.

It’s time to deal with the ceilings.

Half finished half peeling ceiling

There’s nothing like peeling paint flaking off an entire room to make you grab your trusty ladder, scraper, and painting supplies. *silently screams inside* Seriously, the adventures never end in this house.

Before you freak out for me, there’s no water damage. We replaced the shingles, removed all the asbestos in the attic, and and re-insulated. There was no water damage anywhere. It’s a combination of not having a dryer vent that goes to the outdoors, no kitchen vent, and very old paint on plaster that just eventually breaks down. Yes, the breaking down paint is a thing.

And while I have that paint brush in my hand, I might as well go around the house and touch up all of those stains on the baseboard from redoing the flooring. If the ladder and painting stuff is out, why don’t I just paint all the ceilings while I’m at it?

But the problem is, it’s just not very fulfilling.

While it looks better, it’s not like I can write a blog post about it. And I certainly don’t get that same thrill like when I put my paintbrush on a wall. Painting a room=exciting adventure. Painting a ceiling=terrible drudgery.

Plus, with 10 foot ceilings, it’s a lot of up and down the ladder. Maybe I’ll have cute legs to show for it?

P.S. You should totally check out our beautiful bathroom.  It will make the memory of that awful peeling ceiling go away.  Unless you click on this link of our old bathroom.  Then you’ll see something even uglier.


Recently the Hermit and I renewed our mortgage. For normal people, this is an everyday occurrence. For us, this is a huge step in commitment.

We’ve been through 4 houses in 11 years, not counting the places we’ve rented. Every house held the promise of the life we wanted, and every house let us down.

We weren’t small town people, though we really tried. We loved our big city house in an old neighbourhood, but we just never felt safe with the building beside us.

While the last house wasn’t our style, it let me have the large at-home music studio I’ve always dreamed of having. But that lifestyle left us super stressed out and wasn’t very compatible with an autistic child.

So where did we go from here? A new house, of course.

But this time, we thought about where we had failed in the past. We though about all the people we tried to be that didn’t fit who we really are. And we bought this house.

There have been times during the renovation where we’ve both regretted this house. We even started looking at realtor listings again. But we realized that even when we looked at more expensive houses that had more bedrooms and bathrooms and way less work, we still wanted our house.

I feel like the struggle with finding the right house is a metaphor for figuring out who I am. And now that I’ve got all the big things in place, it’s time to do the ugly, thankless work.

Figuring out better routines so my son and all of us can thrive. Going to the gym and fine tuning my diet so I can love myself on the outside just as much as I do on the inside. Conquering the clutter that plagues us and finding a system to keep it under control.

Maybe with every thankless stroke of paint on the ceiling and every thankless healthy decision, I can become a better version of myself.

Given our history of selling houses, I’m not going to say that we’re never selling this house. But this time, we’re staying and fighting.

Does anyone else feel this way about their house? Like it’s a physical manifestation of what’s in your heart/mind? Don’t leave me hanging! Tell me your story in the comments so I can feel like a semi-normal person!!

Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!