Friday, February 1, 2019

Turning the page to 2019, Looking back at a busy 2018

Our big shed is now gray with touches of light blue.
This past year we were stretched to the limit completing renovation projects.  Seems I could hardly breathe at times. Thankfully my husband took over when I pooped out or just got bored with a task. I do have a brain that likes to stay busy so finding projects is very easy for me but completion is another matter all together! My husband does such good work that I pester him until he can't stand it any more and finishes the project so I'll leave him alone.

I started 2018 by falling off the front porch backward while swapping out a suet feeder and fracturing my ankle. So I was worthless for a solid 2 months and gardening was near impossible!

Our little shed that was painted in 2017
While I was crippled up, my husband painted our large shed. I had no part of this for the exception of small design details. One day we will attempt to paint the house to match. At least the two sheds and coop finally look like they belong in one yard together.

Another fun project which was a little more complicated was to install an outdoor rain barrel shower. Only available for use when it's hot outside, I used it exclusively this past summer. I love outdoor showers and feel as if I'm doing my part to save resources by not turning on the indoor shower. It works amazingly well and saves time after you get out of the pool. Also no more tracking water through the house to get upstairs to the indoor shower! A friend donated a rain barrel and we used shutters that were in the shed as partitions. I picked up a shower head at the habitat store. Our only purchases were a hose and connector piece.

Our patio incorporating the outdoor DIY rain barrel shower.
Summer and leading into Fall was spent on two bathroom renovation projects. We still have not laid the floor tile in the master bathroom, due to other more pressing projects, but we've completed the hardest parts. I'm very happy with our tiny bathroom remodels. We enlarged one bathroom and stole some space from the other to even the sizes out. Ripped out an old plastic shower surround and installed wall and floor tile. It's such an improvement. Long lost friends came to visit during construction and their auto rental happened to be a TRUCK. Danny hauled some shower boards for the project, he loved every minute. Great timing for that visit! 

The last pair of Monticello Lions were tracked down!
Taking a Spring break from construction projects, we took a very quick trip to North Carolina to investigate a solid report that the Monticello Levy Lions were sitting peacefully gazing out over the lawn of a historic estate. One of our highlights of the year, we enjoyed lovely company and visiting with the lions! A massive discovery being they were the real deal with a long history. Catch up on this interesting mystery.

Jethro the magnificent.
During the summer months, our dear Roo Roo Jethro passed away suddenly. I so miss his morning call and alert noises. He was a commanding rooster that was well behaved. We were lucky to have experienced a flock with a rooster as so many are discarded due to noise and behavior. He was just plain cool. We miss his antics, it was a sad day when he passed. A friend gave us three hens early in 2019 so we now have six pretty girls. It's going to be a whole new egg laying dynamic this Spring!. Watch my funny viral video about the noises that chickens make.

Our little barn garage. Shutters to be added next.
For a solid year I interviewed contractors and researched an addition to our house in order to move mom here. We started big with a full on mother-in-law suite and ended up adding a 2-story garage. We decided to turn our basement into Mom's space. Getting the garage layout ironed out and the prefab structure here was not as easy as it sounds. I acted as the general contractor and independently hired a foundation guy and builder. After the foundation was poured, and the structure went up in an amazing 2.5 days, it was time for us to do some work. I installed most of the electrical wiring (we did hire an electrician to hook up the big wire from the garage to the house).

In the middle of all this, I had some weird health issues creep up. I developed something called Morton's Neuroma of the foot. It just made me so angry that I worked through the pain. It took several months to get in to see a doctor but it looks like a cortisone shot is forthcoming next week, which I hope will provide some relief. It is unbearable burning stabbing pain that worsens the more you walk. My nature walks have come to a grinding halt. This shall not do! I also developed an allergy to meat called Alpha-gal! Which sounds unbelievable but it's a real thing (it so happens the allergist that discovered this is right here in Charlottesville). My ankles and feet were attacked this summer by what I call chiggers (could have been seed ticks). Talk about horrible, the only thing that helped the itch was a baking soda paste. A week later I ate pork at a restaurant and thought I was going to die. Massively ill, hives all over, go to the emergency room ill! An antihistamine curbed the reaction but it was hell. At that time I thought it was food poisoning and I even called the health department! Because I only eat meat a few times a year, I did not realize this was a meat allergy until it happened again in the Fall after I ate a hamburger and I experienced the same violent reaction. A near vegetarian in 2018, needless to say, a complete vegetarian in 2019!

Two of the three cats, Cesar was injured in 2018 but better.
I still sell vintage online and hope to ramp things back up once we get mom here and settled. I sell online mainly on Etsy and Ebay on consignment for seven friends and family members. I also try to market art and vintage through my Facebook and Instagram pages for our local talented Etsy shop owners.

Looking back, it probably was the busiest year since we moved into our home nearly 10 years ago. We will be putting the finishing touches on the garage in 2019 (we just finished insulating and will begin hanging sheet rock ourselves this weekend) and next redoing the basement for mom. Hoping to get things wrapped up in a few months. Then we have to get mom's place ready to sell and her moved. I'm looking forward to possible rest in 2020 already!


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