Hey, November got crazy, I did finish the shed but it was a marathon! I had tons of help and it was like a party, I can see how barn-raising used to be a community affair. We did get the snow, as expected, and the weather just kept on for the entire long weekend. However, it was not that cold so for me, that was really good. Sure there was snow on the ground but my fingers and toes were cozy in normal layers so the finishing bits got done. On Thanksgiving day I pulled out the ladder and air nailer and finished the roof tarp properly. Then we installed the door. It may have been what I was most worried about and in the end, it was the absolute easiest! We had everything going for us;
- High-quality Anderson door that was well built and had fewer steps for installing than my doorbell
- We built the opening to match the door so we didn’t need to adjust anything
- everything was square to start! that was a big surprise to us all but it shows that being careful at the start pays off in the end.
The only snafu was the cat stepping in the silicon gel and we wasted a little time laughing at the cat (and googling if it was toxic) (it was not). The thing was heavy but between 3 adults we shoved it in and that was more or less that. It makes the shed look like a real building, I’m very pleased.
Thanksgiving afternoon, post-construction projects, progressed as holiday normal. Friends came over, the table was set with cheer, food was cooked and consumed and everyone had a good time. I went to bed happy, and, for the first time in weeks, I slept well because I had ZERO crazy deadline projects on my mind.
The kids had off from Wednesday through the weekend, but, it was very crappy weather with snow, freezing rain, more snow interspersed with random decent weather. This is NOT GOOD for going places but the kids really did have a great time playing in the snow around the house. I can’t express in words how good it feels for them to decide to put on snow gear and go out and play. They play nicely for ages. It sounds dumb but it makes my heart full and happy, I hope I always remember this.
There was a vague plan to go get a Christmas tree ‘from the wild’ but the weather just wasn’t on our side so we went with our traditional visit to the Home Depot to pick a tree ‘from the not wild’. It is still a fun little trip and I love the tree we picked. The Home Depot must have extra jolly criteria for working the tree lot because like last year, the people who helped us were fun and happy and made the experience more than transactional.
In the past I’ve stressed about the ‘holiday card picture’ and over the past years, I’ve realized that I do better trying all year to get good pictures and then one low-stress fast fun photo if the opportunity arises. The perfect opportunity presented itself on Sunday – we had been unpacking the decorations and found all the assorted shirts so everyone put one on, also found were the assorted Santa hats. The day moved on and there was a break in the weather so everyone ran outside with boots, hats, scarfs and no other changes to outfit or hair or makeup and we took about 15 pictures in under 5 minutes and it worked great. I have two great shots and zero crabby kids.
The balance of this week has been all about putting the house back together post project and 5 days of lazy vacation life. I finished our Christmas card today and its at the printer and this weekend santa comes to our town to light the tree so I’m working on decorations and gift ideas too.
It is a different type of busy, Christmas still has its stresses and I create my own extra for wanting to do ‘all the things’ but it is a fun busy. Who knows how long the particular magic of Santa will last but I plan on enjoying it all.
Today it is snowing. Not just ‘oh, some snow’ this is tie a rope between the house and barn snow I always thought was hyperbole in the Little House on the Prarie books (ps. I do actually live where those books were generally based!) Yesterday they were predicting snow but half I didn’t have time and half I didn’t believe them so I went ahead and did my grocery order for this morning.
:: Tangent on Grocery pickup:: Free grocery pickup came to our area about a year ago. I kept failing to make it work for me because I need stuff today, or, I can’t be sure of my schedule for tomorrow so I just shopped in person. Over the past few months, I got into the swing of things, meaning, I manage to plan a whole day in advance what I need. For me, picking up right after I drop kids at school is a very good use of driving time, and, most reliable for my schedule. Overall I’m impressed with the speed and accuracy and it actually is kinda nice to use a virtual search function for a specific grocery item and then someone else does the physical searching. The negatives are; I can’t use my reusable grocery bags, and, I forget things because I’m not walking the aisle and seeing it. As you may expect, you don’t necessarily get the perfect product, but usually its ok and it has never been downright bad. I’ve gotten pretty good at the comprehensive list and most things I can wait the day to get. That is why we A. had an apple juice shortage and B. the need to go out in a storm because I’m not positive of the no-show policy and you prepay. ::
Poor Zoe has been out of her favorite drink, apple juice, for a few days and I kept not getting the grocery order in so when my order was ready today despite the snow and school closing I had to go. It wasn’t actually so deep on the ground yet so sooner the better and off I went. I only had to go 5 miles but it was so hard to see that cars just suddenly appeared out of the white out. It was all fine in the end, driving was not slippery yet even, it was the visibility. Home again with all the kids and we are getting used to this home thing. They played outside, I shoveled, now they are playing and it is not the most productive day but I’m glad to all be snug in the house.
On the subject of MN weather, it is always impressive to see the chunks of ice they pull out of the lake to make open water for the Polar Plunge (where crazy people jump into that open spot of water to raise money for charities). We were there selling cookies and supporting our friends jumping and it was a lovely day outside. Given our winter, you can’t just hibernate, you have to get a good set of snowboots and lean in.
Current status; We have a roof that is nearly all done, we have (I’ve been told) something called “foam and grade” going on. We also have evidence of plumbing in the places plumbing is expected and also some odd holes.
Next; I don’t have to guess because we got something appearing to be like a schedule with dates and actions and next up really really is the floor on or around 4/23. Between now and then is more floor prep and laying the in-floor heat.
Status; 300 of 1000 <- I gave a big bump because now I have a list of what will be done
Holes… to hide things inside?
All the plumbing parts! I can id a few, some have name tags, some are mysterious but I’m sure there is a plan.
All this was done in and around and despite a massive blizzard. We got 18 inches of snow over 2 days in a crazy storm. I’m not sure if it was ‘fortunately’ but we left town on Friday and driving back on Saturday night it was not a pleasant drive but we actually missed all the really bad snow. Reports of the storm before we got to MN were whiteout conditions but by the time we got there around 9pm it was not snowing at all. We actually got lucky with that because it was merely a pause and by the next day we were in blizzard part 2 and the driving was 10x worse from where we were. People thought we were crazy not spending the night but we got lucky.
The snow was so bad we had a snow day for school on Monday. I had a series of meetings in our state government to try and get better/rational school funding and these meetings don’t come together easily so I was NOT going to miss it. Therefore, kids got to go too. They got tons of positive comments about being good so it worked out and I hope we were heard.
For anyone counting, this is the 8th Monday they have had off since Jan 1…
My life otherwise centers around cleaning my house and then sitting quietly until I need to leave because there is a showing. I have possibly never cleaned it so much, I am getting pretty efficient at it, and, I’ve finished 3 books over the past 2 weeks. When people ask me if the house sold yet it feels a lot like when people would ask if we were pregnant yet – both situations where I’ve done all I can and I’m not really able to affect the results much more, and, saying ‘no’ somehow feels like a personal failure. Today is the 2 week mark and I’m as sick of it as anyone but sometime soon the right person will make the right decision. Telling me about how your aunt’s cousin sold her house the day it was listed is a lot like telling someone in the throws of infertility about how someone got pregnant by walking past their husband. Sure, tell me those things when I’m under contract, we can swap war stories, but right now I’m not in a place to hear that. Same goes for horror stories like when a house took 6 months to sell or how buyers fall through at the last second… Trust me, I won’t keep it a secret, when we have an offer worth talking about I will tell everyone!
So that is pretty much it. I am in a limbo that includes a lot of dusting and vacuuming on this house and watching and picking things on the new house. I feel like a broken record over here.
Any positive thoughts you can spare for this process are appreciated! I would love to just move on to the next phase where I can *just* worry about moving and building and summer and not SELLING.
According to my timehop, this week of January is nearly never “good”. There are a few days I had nothing, just nothing, and that is pretty odd for me. For this 3rd week of January I was a touch sick, just sick enough that I was still able to do most things but the color of the world was just lost to me for a few days. I’m not sure if it is the week or a germ or maybe both – my stamina might just run out 2 weeks post holiday extravaganza. All I know is that I wish I could make toast because I like toast but our toaster oven is in storage. I seriously don’t need the oven anymore, just the toast function.
Tuesday was an odd day for us. We had a nice little snow storm on Monday afternoon and the school delayed for 2 hours. That is a strange compromise – not a snow day but not a normal day either. The kids didn’t even know until they questioned why we weren’t getting onto the normal schedule around 8:30 (normally out the door by 8:40). With the extra time they started a game of cribbage, went outside and played in the snow, came inside with soaking wet things so I put it all in the dryer and then they stood on their heads for a while and finally it was time to put on super hot snow gear and get out the door.
Odd morning, what is usually a 9:05 drop off was an 11:05 drop so they more or less went to school to have lunch then play time then snack then home. I think they did some school in there… maybe… Snow is the best toy because went they got home they went directly back to tunneling and building and sliding until it was dark.
Tuesday was also a very odd day because I sang the national anthem 9 times (or more). Niamh’s class was invited to sing at the basketball game and when I asked her that morning if she was ready she admitted to not really knowing all the words. So, we sang. And sang and sang. Lars who works from home was fairly puzzled why he was hearing such a racket but in the end she knew 99% of the words and tune. The game itself was better than expected. We watched the 1st half and spent a lot of the time guessing why something was happening. Around then I was getting a massive headache and we all went home and I went to bed.
**Technically I wrote all of the above on Wednesday morning, however, Fiona came home sick at lunch and I never published. Instead of scrapping it I’m just publishing it late. The week did get significantly better but I still wish I had a toaster, nothing makes looking at snow better than toast and tea. **
They are predicting 1-3 inches and I think that those same inches are just blowing around in perfect snowglobe flurry. The flakes are teeny tiny and the girls and I went to a playdate at an inside playground. The roads are mostly fine really, slick here and there, but the snow blowing around in eddies and currents is hypnotic. I don’t know how plow drivers do it!
Home again with only one close call where I exited in basically a white out to see a tow truck blocking most of the ramp but I was going slow anyway and made it by.
Life is still about the same as normal. I need so amp myself up to go finish the painting in the pantry, I’m getting bored of doing it you must be bored of hearing about it. It is, however, the thing that I’m doing that is semi unique. Nap is far more appealing but if I want to finish I need to keep going. It has been very cool to have kids wanting to help. They do slow me down but not too much. I’m hopeful to be putting things in this weekend so 2 cars can once again fit.
It happened. You know why? I forgot we broke our shovel at the end of last year. (I actually know it was from the Canadians! they sent us their cold air…)
The girls were soooo happy though so I’m trying to get in their mindset. Fiona went out first, putting on snow gear over her PJ’s and tromping around the deck. She went out again later with me while I did the driveway she trooped all over the yard. No picture can capture the tiny little girl in a neon orange suit in a great big world of snow. Niamh and Zoe have big plans for when they get home to play play play and I’m all for that! I think we will end up with about 6 inches total, not a bad start.
Snow does make things brighter at night, all reflecty and nice rather than just endless dark. This particular snow I’m sure will melt but by December we just have to be ready for a lot of white :).