Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Boxing Day

On solstice, I was walking in the woods close to our house listening to the hoot owls, and in the middle of nowhere, lying in the leaves was this angel. I felt sorry for her, with her bad Farrah Fawcett 70’s hairdo, so I had to pick her up and bring her home. The dove in her hands came off on the way, which I hope isn’t a bad omen. I was going to give her away, but Jackie thinks we are supposed to keep her.
We are enjoying St. Augustine for a few days. Deirdre's enjoying the 80 degree weather, and Jackie can't believe she's turning on air conditioning the day after Christmas.
Here's how we left the house. Hope it's different when we get back.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

(Not Quite) Home for the Holidays

People try to warn you about things, but who really listens. For example, building a house will cost more and take longer than you think. A lot. Here’s the formula: imagine more money than you would ever want to be in debt for, add about 1/3 of what would give you a major anxiety attack in the middle of the night, and figure in a major recession/global financial catastrophe. That’s what it costs. And to figure out how long it will take: multiply by two the number of months that you think you could live out of a suitcase without tearing your hair out, and it will be longer than that by several weeks.
So we carry on, putting together our little Ikea projects and observing the amazing (not in a good way) mud that the grader tells us is only in our area of the county, and he knows mud. On the positive side, the electrical is in, the plumbing’s almost done, the basement ceiling was insulated, and the boiler could possibly, maybe, if there is a Christmas miracle, be installed early next week. We don’t hold our breath anymore.What’s great is the wood stove, which we have seasoned over the past few days (the temperatures have gone from 60’s to 30’s, so just in time). We sat in front of it Sunday and dreamed of living here and having our wonderful friends come visit us!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ikea - nobody gets hurt

Jackie and I spent yesterday afternoon putting together these dandy dining room chairs. We're getting good at Ikea furniture - and we have plenty more to do to get our kitchen stuff together. Once you get the hang of it, it goes fast and easy, and is relatively painless...unlike some of our other projects!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


...or gypsum or wallboard, but not Sheetrock (a trademark name), as I was reminded by my friend Debbie who works for Lafarge and has been trying to train us for years, but I slipped. Anyway, the walls are covered and Jackie likes this design the joint compound makes. We may be looking at it for a while. Really. No money for paint... And appliances from Sears arrived. Very exciting day.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving on the other side of the Mason Dixon line. Live and virtual family present (I'm happy with slightly pixelated versions of people I love if they can't be there - thank you Skype), lots of gratitude despite some hardships.
On long road trips, I like to collect odd place names. When we lived in St. Augustine, I wondered how it was for people who had to give their address as "Glimpse of Glory Rd." or "Mosquito Control Rd." Last week we discovered Pigs Ear Rd., Cheater Lake, and Upper and Lower Shut-In Rd. Many years ago we loved Powhite Highway, but we don't drive that way anymore.