Lynn's Comments: So many personal truths were told in the strip. As I reread everything, I see just how close to the bone some of my stories were.
Lynn's Comments: This was the truth. It seemed that no expense was spared on things outside the house….but, the kitchen, where so much of my life was spent, didn't need improvements.
Lynn's Comments: Once I had decided I needed a new kitchen, however, I realized the whole dining area needed to be remodeled, as well.
Lynn's Comments: My husband was certainly capable of remodeling the kitchen, but it might have taken years. In order to keep the marriage stable, we decided to get help. The dismantling, however, we did ourselves.
Lynn's Comments: The trouble with design books is…they all seem to think you live in a tidy environment. They seem to overlook the fact that a space has to be lived in, and living means junk and clutter. I needed storage. Lots of it!
Lynn's Comments: At the time of our kitchen renovation, we managed to dine in the hallway with the use of a borrowed hot plate and a microwave. This was fun…for a while.
Lynn's Comments: Here’s where Annie’s husband, Steve, had a small role. Until now, he had just been a shadowy figure. I’d alluded to his infidelity, but had never gone into that story. It was a rather daunting one, and I wasn't ready. I did, however, see him as a bit of a hoarder, so when the Pattersons did their renovation, he was there to salvage their cast-off materials. At the time, I could see Annie and Steve’s garage crammed with stuff and all of the ensuing family squabbles it might cause. I imagined all of the interesting side stories this would generate…but in the end, I had only one statement a day to work with and my readers spent less than 30 seconds reading it! I never developed the "hoarder" side of next-door neighbour, Steve. There wasn't time.
Lynn's Comments: Yes, I realized as we were dismantling the kitchen that this would be the perfect time to remodel the dining room, too. This meant removing a wall between the kitchen and dining room to create an "open concept." Open, much like my husband’s mouth when I made the suggestion.
Lynn's Comments: Your taste buds wear off because you eat stuff like over boiled weenies and untouched spuds.
Lynn's Comments: We did get a new fridge, but it was delivered and installed by professionals. During the delivery, I wondered how we’d have managed on our own. Asking myself, "What if?" was always a great way to start a series of strips.
Lynn's Comments: This was a serious comment. Those of us who are polite, understanding, and non-threatening, often find ourselves left to the last, in favour of customers who are demanding and miserable to deal with. Go figure.
Lynn's Comments: Because the Patterson house was a combination of two houses I had lived in, it was a real challenge when it came to renovating. The real house on which this aspect of the cartoon house was based had a bedroom on this side, and there was no room for an addition anyway. My head sometimes spun with the decisions I made, and the storylines I fabricated.
Lynn's Comments: Creating storylines for the strip allowed me to go back and forth between child and grownup. As Elly, I would live in the moment; talk about the day-to-day things a mom might deal with. As Michael, entering junior high school, I would become a teenager again. It doesn't take much to open up those difficult, exciting, passionate, and intensely private times. Try it. Take yourself back to grade 8 and see how much you remember. When adults dismiss teenagers as being "just kids," we are forgetting how brilliant, aware, creative and fragile we were.
Lynn's Comments: So many people wrote to say this had happened to them, I had to make up a "standard reply!"
Lynn's Comments: I often used to start big projects after dinner when the kids were in bed and the house was quiet. The trouble with this was that I couldn’t stop when I was tired–I was always determined to finish the job…which might be 3:00am.