January–A Look Back

Looking back each month is so encouraging. I always think to myself that we haven’t really done much lately, and then I look at the blog. It’s this steady stream of progress. We are achieving goals, and making this house into our home.

It goes to follow that my favorite post this month was Taking Stock which detailed the changes we’ve made around here in the last year. We don’t have siding falling off the house, and the walls aren’t bubbly and gross. It’s fun to see the side-by-side pictures and realize we’ve accomplished a lot.

Nasty Siding

While only a few rooms have really come together, I know the great room will get the special treatment this year. I just have to remember this is not HGTV. These things take time.

I laugh when I look back at Push the Button. No longer do we wake up and check the thermostat to see why it’s so cold. Our new boiler automatically kicks in when the heat pump can’t keep up. The MR has been frustrated with the thermostats that were installed this summer–apparently they aren’t following his programming. But I am warm and happy.

In Let’s Try Again, I talked about being willing to change. Last week, that was one of the principles the couple from Young House Love expounded on. Sometimes Plan A doesn’t work; go to Plan B or C or D. It’s OK to change things up whether that means moving some bushes or rethinking how you store the dog food. I have some closets in need of attention.

Changes Collage

In This & That, the MR moved a recirculating pump from the kitchen upstairs–that no one uses–to the main kitchen sink. I love having hot water quickly; it makes so much more sense for how we live. He also removed the projector TV and capped off the live wires in the coffee table. Now I just need some help so I can swing the whole seating arrangement 90-degrees. Of course the coffin-like coffee table is 30 x 60-inches and topped with granite, so I need some buy-in before that happens.

Bogart doesn't like to be left out of the action. He can be quite the lovely model.

Bogart doesn’t like to be left out of the action. He can be quite the lovely model.

Maybe I’m the worm whisperer, I had not one but two posts about worms this month. First, I mentioned it was worms gone wild in What’s Going On. Our 20-gallon, homemade worm bin was getting quite full of worms. Since I prefer not to see them, and it’s freezing cold outside, I figured it was time to expand my worm farm. So some of my silly worms are Moving on Up to the top of the line Worm Factory 360. If you’re going the pre-made worm bin route, purchasing one at a garden or home show is the cheaper way to go. I saved $30-40 by buying directly from the company and not paying shipping. I asked the MR to text his friend who has a worm bin to see what he’d paid. I know, it’s rude to ask how much something cost, but I didn’t want to get taken, and I never would have had the guts to start a bin without seeing his in action. I ended up with the fancier version for the same price. It’s all good–the worms are happy eating my food scraps, and I have better access to castings and “worm juice”.

Worm Metropolis2

I’ll refrain from showing the worms and scraps, since my friend mentioned that she wanted to throw up after viewing them. I do kind of like a few gross pictures.

I’m really happy with how the bookcases look in A Little Tweaking. Of course, now the puppy has taken to doing her business on the Magic Carpet, so we’ve put that away for the moment and lost a lot of the visual interest in this room. Someday we’ll stop having to go out in the dark with a flashlight several times of an evening, but we’ll miss out on some awesome stars. Life comes with its pluses and minuses. The carpet will return in a month or two and in better condition than if we left it down.

Bookcase Collage

A friend of ours asked what Baby Girl’s favorite teriyaki place is. I told her and then it hit me–she must read my blog. It’s always a nice surprise to find that some people are actually reading these words. She in turn wanted to know how I come up with ideas for posts. That’s a great questions. Sometimes it’s a no-brainer. We have workers all over painting or fixing. Other times, me or the MR have been busy with a project, and it’s the perfect time to share. Then again, ideas hit me out of the blue.

When I made muffins for Bible study and half a dozen women asked for the recipe, An Apple a Day was born. It’s not my usual type of post, but these muffins are fab, and I shared two great ways to use up less than stellar produce. Oh, for you locals, Baby Girl’s favorite teriyaki is the chicken bowl from Happy at the Bay.

Apple Muffins Up Close and Personal

After a weekend of crawling around on his belly under the house, the MR appears to have taken care of Mousey, Mousey in the Housey. For those of you who suggested a cat might be the answer, the MR hates them, and I have a total aversion to litter boxes. Perhaps Cocoa will take to hunting mice.

That brings us to That Spa Feel, where simply changing the shower head made a huge difference. This minor upgrade boosted my shower enjoyment by leaps and bounds. Getting rid of a face full of spray is always a good thing. It’s funny how little changes snowball encouraging to do more in the master bath. The shelves need some organizing, and a pair of matching white (so they don’t show water spots) soap dispensers are in order.

New Shower Head

Now that the MR switched a set of drawer glides in the kitchen, we’ve declared it a success in Exorcising our Ghosts. I don’t believe we will be replacing them all any time soon. I imagine the MR will continue on an as needed basis. I mentioned that we were going with the cheaper option and that we have 28 drawers. Well, I forgot about the trash/recycle bins, the slide out drawers in two of the cabinets, and the pots and pan drawer. All of those raise the number to be replaced to 36. At $8 a pop that $288, but if we went with the low end of fancy glides it would total $900. That’s not replacing drawers, it’s simply keeping drawers closed rather than randomly sliding open. Maintenance has its price.

I don’t know what adventures February has in store, but I’m excited to find out.

What have you been up to in the first month of 2013? Surprised at the changes a few short days can make?

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2 thoughts on “January–A Look Back

  1. I did not remember hearing about Young House Love, what is it? I have been shredding 13 years of tax stuff and receipts for the last 4 days……….all day. Almost done, and will have lots of space in my office closet for new ‘stuff’ that has been sitting on the floor for a year! Exciting days..

    • Young House Love is a blog I follow. They’re this cute young couple in Virginia who love to DIY, and they spoke at the Home Show last week. The MR bought me their book for Christmas, and I brought it to get signed, but the line was hours long. Anyways, I love their philosophy on decorating, and we had fun seeing them in person (even from afar).

      How freeing to get rid of old documents. Everything will look neat and tidy when you’re through. Happy shredding.

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