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When my husband and I started looking for houses back in 2006, we stumbled across a BEAUTIFUL townhouse. It had hardwood floors, granite countertops, mirrors everywhere that made it seem huge, and it was located in a perfect area.

Our realtor praised the beauty of the townhouse until he spotted… termite dust in the corner.

A LOT of termite dust. And the more we walked around, the more we found. Those hardwood floors showcased the busy work of those nasty bugs.

The place was loaded – so our realtor recommended we move on. I had wanted the townhome badly and was heartbroken at the sight of that nasty termite residue.

Fast forward three years to two mornings ago. I had flipped my head upside down while blow drying my curly mess and was staring at my bathroom floor thinking a nice mop job would go a long way when suddenly I spotted IT. IT was a pile of termite dust.

I dropped my blow-dryer – and screamed.

I looked heavenward and said, ‘Gee thanks Lord. As if I don’t have enough to worry about – job loss, money, etc. You send me pestilence?!?!’

I ranted and raved for three days. I cried. I told Chris that if we didn’t lose our house to job loss, we’d lose it to the dang termites that we can’t even afford to eradicate.

Then this morning, I dropped my sweater on our driveway. I bent to pick it up and noticed termite residue on the asphalt. As I start to scream in anger, the wind blew and ‘termite dust’ tickled across my face and into my hands.

Turns out, our tree is shedding tiny bits thanks to the sudden turn in the weather. The ‘termite dust’ is actually our tree sneezing into our bathroom window located directly under it and across our yard.

So. Um. Sorry for the yelling Lord. And, um, if it’s not too much of a bother, could you keep the real termites away?

Making wise home improvements…


About a year and a half ago, my husband said, ‘The shower pan is cracked and water is leaking. If we leave it, we will destroy our bathroom and mold will grow. I’m going to take out the bottom row of tiles, replace the shower pan, and replace the bottom row of tiles.’

I left to housesit for a co-worker and came home to …

Bathroom 2

My husband explained that he had discovered mold under the floor and in the walls and decided to replace everything to be safe.

So why… why… why… did I assume that when we intended to insulate the separation closet wall in a 50 year old house, that we would simply be able to insulate the closet wall?

This is our spare bedroom as of today…


A few days ago, my husband asked if he could insulate all four walls. We both agreed that as long as we had one wall down, we should take down the remaining three walls, fix the electrical, and fix the phone line. Total tab so far? $142. I am so very thankful to be married to a talented construction man.

When making decisions like these, it’s hard not to want to put it off until later or take the easy way out. What we constantly have to consider is: Is this going to cost more later if avoided?

My nearly $200 electric bill tells me… I should have done this two years ago.

The good news? Energy improvements, including insulation, are tax deductable. Yes!

Want more info? Go to: energystar.gov/taxcredits