Sneaky Home Improvement

In Reviews

There’s a running joke in our house. Whenever Elisa goes away for a few days, she comes back to find that the house has changed. Whenever she is away for an extended period of time, I (unintentionally) take the opportunity to ‘improve things.’ She hates that.

Soren Kierkegaard famously said that ‘boredom is the root of all evil.’ In my case this is absolutely true. When Elisa is away I start to think about ways to make our lives better. I clean. I organize. I buy stuff. The last time she went away, she returned home to find an array of bookshelves in the master bedroom, prominently displaying my overflow library (I am a philosopher by training. I am a doctor. I have a lot of books). It might seem trivial, but to Elisa it means coming home to a home that is significantly different from the one she left. It means that she comes home to something that is not quite home. I get it. I try not to change things while she is away. But sometimes I can’t help myself.

All of this is a preface to a confession: Elisa is is Virginia training. I have made a couple of home improvements. I didn’t tell Elisa first. These were not decisions we made together. In my defense, I made these changes with Elisa in mind. But I should have talked to her about them first (sorry honey).

The Thermostat

I only blew one fuse in the process, but I installed a ecobee3 smart thermostat. It’s not a huge change in terms of the overall feeling of our apartment, but I like that we will be able to regulate the temperature remotely, change temperature via our Amazon Echo, and automate temperature changes based on whether we are at home, away, or sleeping. A decrease in heating and cooling costs is a great bonus. Truth be told, though, these are all kind of excuses. I’m a geek. I love gizmos. And this is the latest and greatest. Yay data!


The Recycling Center

Admittedly, this will come as no surprise to Elisa. We talked about this before she left, and she approved. But I have improved our recycling center.

We don’t have single stream recycling in Jasper, Georgia. We have four streams: (1) cardboard and plastic, (2) aluminum, (3) metal, and (4) glass. I looked around for recycling solutions that made sense for us, but they were either expensive or/and kind of ugly. My solution? A laundry sorter! Super cheep. Lined so easy to clean when Schmutz leaks. And it looks great!


The Slippers

Elisa has never loved the fact that I like to wear slippers. I get it. Slippers are nasty. They are basically socks you wear every day without ever giving them a bath. But I like them. Living in an animal house, there’s nothing I hate more than walking barefoot and having animal hair and other random material stuck to my feet. In the winter, I hate having cold feet. A couple years ago, Elisa gave me some bomb-diggity slippers, but they could only last so long. I recently purchased cheep replacements. Sad. Broken. And really stinky. So I ordered these from Mahabis.

Mahabi Slippers

I love these things! They look great (very distinctive). They slip on and off really easily, and the separable rubber soles make so much sense for the barn, which Elisa and I live above. How many times have I walked into the barn having had to change footwear, from slippers to barn shoes? No longer! Now, all I need to do is slip my slippers into some stylish rubber soles and greet my beloved. The transition from apartment to barn has been made all of a sudden seamless. Most importantly, I think that this is a change that is going to meet wifely approval. Score!

People don’t fear change. People fear loss. I feel like these three changes will contribute significant value to our lives, scratching my itch for change without doing anything too drastic. But I’ll see what Elisa’s reaction is when she walks through the door upon her return from Virginia in a little under a week.

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