Emma? Lizzy? The Dashwoods?

Category: Daily Diary

This morning, as I was blearily punching up my email while simultaneously burping the baby, I received a note tipping me off to an article in the New York Times Magazine insert.  An article about houseblogs.  In which housebloggers are compared to the protagonists of Jane Austen's novels AND publishers of smutty pornography at the same time.  (Well, he actually seems to go much deeper into comparative literature and makes all sorts of excellent intellectual points according to Aaron.  I'm just skimming because, you know, sleep deprivation.)

I immediately looked down at my uniform these days of sweat pants, spit-up streaked nursing shirt, clogs, burp cloth and "baby as appendage".  What I would give to channel either Lizzy Bennet or Pamela Anderson right now!  Okay, maybe not Pam as much.  But she did used to be the "Tool Time Girl."  So, there is a connection there, however slight, right?  I mean, Pam and I have both worn tool belts.  And that is where the comparison sadly ends.

So, I went to brush my teeth to make myself  feel better.  (I can look like a mess and brushing my teeth always makes me feel a bit more human.  I don't look cleaner but...hey!  Minty!  Fresh!  Breath!) 


As I stared into the mirror and reflected on Stephen Metcalf's article, I was propelled back in time to the first day of walking through the house.  When this very space where I was brushing my teeth looked like this:


How in the world did we ever picture the end result with that as our starting point?!  It is still a mystery to me.  But, maybe housebloggers as Emma makes sense after all.  Emma took people on as projects to be improved and "raised up".  (Look at her work on Harriet Smith!)  We take on houses instead of people.  And, as with  Emma, things don't always go as planned.  Though we all hope it turns out okay in the end.  Yes, sometimes we have to call in the professionals (either from lack of special equipment or skills, or because building codes require it).  But this brings its own potential complications and pitfalls as well as an (often) amusing cast of characters. 

Mr. Metcalf's article just makes me all the more impatient to keep going on the house...to move on to our next projects.  Transforming the living room.  Finishing the windows on the first floor.  Attacking the exterior.  Trying to figure out the "real" kitchen.

But, um, first we have to finish the second floor.  There is still trim to be reinstalled.  And, having doors on the rooms would be helpful.  Doors on the bathroom cabinet.  I have to figure out how I'm going to make interior windows.  You know, little things.



And, I took the Jane Austen's Heroine Quiz.  You know, just for the heck of it.  Turns out, I'm Marianne Dashwood.  Now, if I can just get safety goggles to match that lovely hat...

I am Marianne Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

By the way, there are a LOT of houseblogs out there to enjoy...here are a whole list of them.  Enjoy!

Looking for More?

House in Progress Search for more on 'New York Times' on this site.
Houseblogs.net Search for 'New York Times' on on other houseblogs like this one.
Google Search for 'New York Times' on Google.
Amazon.com Search for 'New York Times' on Amazon.com.


I could not believe, as I sat in bed reading the Times magazine that there you were! I hooted and hollered and my husband again gave me that "you don't even know these people" look. I feel like I do, however, and I was VERY proud to see you in the paper of record.

The Austin quiz says I'm your much more sensible older sister, Elinor Dashwood. HA!

What's going on with the houseblogs.net site? I'm dying with all this manually having to search for updates!

Wow, seeing the before pic of that bathroom makes the after pic look even more fabulous!

Amanda--Yeah, we're having a little problem with our web hosting provider. We're hoping to have it fixed shortly, sorry.

- Aaron

huh, I turned out Marianne Dashwood as well. But I ain't no Kate Winslet, I can tell yas.


I've been systematically going through your site from earliest post to latest, loving every minute of it. My fiance and I are currently building a new house in Zushi, Japan. I am really getting excited about building furniture, fences, stuff like that, and the scale of your project is a huge inspiration. Anyway, also running a few web sites I know what a frustration blog spam can be, and how much I hate it when I stumble on one that I missed deleting, so I thought I'd point out one that I stumbled upon. Since comments are off for the old posts I'll leave the comment here. The post is at http://www.houseinprogress.net/archives/000162.html

hope that helps.

Love your new bathroom, especially the color. I have been watching too much Monk though. I want to tuck all the ends of the towels in, and have the tri-fold edge to the front. My mother trained me well-Sigh! Glad you don't have my hangups!


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