Hot Tub Maintenance

Giant Spit

Some weeks don’t always feel that astounding. There are hundreds of meditations about living in the pause and accepting the breaks, the ordinary and the routine. This week, I didn’t particularly feel all that wonderful as I continue to go through the motions of life, asking questions of myself along the way.

What am I doing to better love myself? How do I cultivate peace? How do I sort through what I am best at, and then recognize the contributions that I want to make in this world?

When I write those statements down, I suppose they are anything but mundane and ordinary. They are big, monstrous questions with evolving solutions that we can only live our way into. I have been dwelling in the murky answers to these thoughts, and did not feel particularly inspired to reflect on beauty.

Then I read this post by my cousin-in-law and remembered that yes, each day, there is something to appreciate.

I’m going to go list format for this week’s beautiful things with one exception. Right now  extensive, tied-together narrative feels too cumbersome to create.

This week, beauty was found in:

  • Homemade Happy Hour – on Sunday my dad put together a beautiful plate of olives and cheese, and crackers with rosemary and hummus. We sat and nibbled off our little white plates while sipping red wine and shared laughter together. I loved how the shiny colors of the dark green and black olives paired well with the soft, yellow hues of the serving platter. Finger foods are delightful, and taking time to enjoy snacks is a beautiful thing.
  • Sunshine – once again, for a day in late February, I was shocked and grateful for the warm weather and cascading rays of sun that made my Saturday enjoyable. I will forever be grateful for Colorado sunshine.
  • Support – from mentors, from friends, from family. Sometimes, all you need is someone to hold your hand and say “Everything is going to be ok.” It is beautiful to bask in an extension of love and support that you can feel radiating throughout your soul when you seek connection.

Also, in an effort to acknowledge imperfection, I want to let you know that the hot tub we ‘inherited’ is causing a rather hilarious predicament. I have shared our adventures with the hot tub before, and the journey continues. Something is off with our water chemistry and as Dylan and I set out to clean the beast this weekend, we were met with an overwhelming display of well, blue foam. This is not how hot tubs are supposed to react. When it looks like a giant spit his toothpaste into your Aqua Spa, you do not want to enter that steaming pit of water.


We will continue to work on it. Drain the tub, begin again. Add more chemicals and a defoamer agent.  Like all things, progress not perfection. Find something to laugh about and eat an olive – ok?


Work in Progress

You know that Home Depot commercial, or maybe it’s Lowes, with the young couple flirting their way through painting a room in their half furnished house? The woman’s hair is pushed into one of those unattainable messy pony tails, the sprigs of hair perfectly framing her face, while the man’s navy shirt accentuates his nice muscles as he applies paint to a wall with a roller. As he writes a love note on the wall with a nice ocher color, she basks in his cleverness. Joyful music plays and the advertisement laughingly suggests, ‘Oh if you only buy from us, how blissful this process of home improvement can be.’

That was us this weekend! My hair perfectly poised atop my head as we worked as a team to start the process of repainting our multi-colored house. Not.

There were no love notes rolled onto the wall, no drama either, but instead the shocking realization that, dang it, the color Dylan wanted is way more, well….white, than previously anticipated. Two coats of Behr Ultra paint and $30 in and we are probably going to start over.

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon at around 3 pm. I am yelling instructions off of the online manual from inside our kitchen through the space in the sliding door as Dylan crouches under our deck, attempting to drain the hot tub we inherited in the move (long story – I’d be happy to share if you are interested). “Pull the black plug towards you and attach it to the hose,” I yell. “There is no black plug Katie,” he responds. “Find the number to the Aqua Spas place!”

Five hours, lots of gallons of water thrown on our lawn from a bucket, a headlamp, teamwork, and $70 of hot tub chemicals later the silly machine has been drained and the water replaced.  The pH strips tell us we are ready to enjoy our spa without the harrowing effects of well, too much acid to soak in. Good to go for the next six months.

This weekend our projects felt like works in progress. I am a finisher, according to all the personality tests out there, and so these open ended projects drive me nuts! I want deadlines and to wipe my hands on my dirty paint stained pants and to look at the wall and say, “All in a day’s work.” It’s going to take us longer than that. As I sit and write this, I stare lovingly at a lemon yellow wall in our den, windows without coverings, and I can peek into the half finished room of white white white. I have to remind myself that this adventure we just embarked on is a continuous journey in improvement.

Life. Is. A. Work. In. Progress.

It took the blessing of homeownership and the last eight weeks for me to realize I am, in no way, going to figure out this thing called life in a weekend. I can set goals and learn as I go, and call and ask for help but the beauty is in the progress. I am thrilled we chose to steer away from a “fixer-uper”. I would have gone crazy.

I love this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote. It’s going to be my mantra for the rest of the year.


I can’t function any other way and their is beauty in that. Too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. Progress, not perfection.

Nails are a mess and biscotti has been non-existent for months. Progress, not perfection.