I keep telling myself this, because it's true, if scary. Sometimes money is frittered away, and sometimes it does visible useful things and must be spent.
I found a yard guy on Craigslist. He was the cheapest of the three I asked for estimates and we communicated by text and email. He came out today, and he and one other guy cleaned up the mess at the house in about three hours. The backyard is stripped bare; all that is left is the big golden raintree. The overgrown jasmine is off the rotted fence, so I can replace the most rotted panels. The giant bougainvilla that took over the yard is GONE. They took it the hell out, down to the dirt. (Yard guy: "I hate those things.") The front is trimmed up and looks respectable again. It's not fabulously manicured, but compared to the neglected jungle it was, it's much better, and ready for starting over.
And the contractor is at work on the bathroom, which is proceeding at breakneck speed. They tore out the old bathroom and installed the new tub and cement board already. Tomorrow afternoon I will meet him at his granite resource for a hunk of remnant granite for the vanity. At this pace he'll have it all installed by Thursday - maybe Friday, because the granite guy will have to cut the top to fit and cut the openings for the faucet and sink, and I don't think he can do that overnight.
After it's all in, my daughter and I will fight over who gets to paint. They would have painted, but dammit, I'm a really good painter and I LIKE to paint, and it'll be an afternoon's work, even with all the prep and lots of cutting in. I'll pick a color after the tile and vanity are in place. That reminds me, I need to pick a light fixture and towel bars and shower rod. At the rate they are flying through this job I need to do that by Wednesday evening.
Delaney tonight, upon seeing the empty space that was her bathroom: "Oh no! It's broken!" My daughter says she wasn't upset, just in shock and awe. She'll be so excited when her beautiful new bathroom is revealed - it's like Extreme Makeover, Toddler Edition!