Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Beginning of Another Year

On the east coast, it is now New Year's Eve.  I have made it to the end of my daily December posts, missing only one - yesteday's.  It has been a long month for me.  I was not prepared for Christmas at all; Internet ordering saved me, with the last of my gifts arriving on the 23rd.  Construction has been ongoing since December 10, and is scheduled to be completed, except for a bit of outdoor work, later today.  We will hopefully pass our last two inspections.  The business that installed the cable, telephone, and CAT5 jacks needs to come back to put covers over the outlets they installed, making them functional.  Grace and Anthony will clean the space after the workmen leave, and move in the couch and some other furniture.  Anthony plans to bring over his TV and his DVD collection, which he says he will share.  We still have to purchase and install a closet system, paint the doors, do touch-up painting, install doorknobs, make curtains, and put up the blind in the bedroom.  It seems like the finishing work on any project, whether craft or home repair (or any other, for that matter), takes a long time.

As for me, I am looking forward to getting some sleep.  The days of being awakened from a sound sleep by the loud bang of a hammer accompanied by the shaking of the house are almost over.  2010 will bring its own excitement and challenges.  We have a wedding to plan, a son (in-law) moving in, the transition to having a married daughter to explore. 

I have one personal goal, and that is to lose weight before the wedding.  The last time I was on the scale, I was shocked, so I haven't used it since!  Ideally, assuming I haven't shed any pounds since I last checked, I would like to rid myself of 20 pounds.  But even 10 or 15 would be acceptable, and would help ease the pressure on my bad knee quite a bit.  Sarah would also like to lose a few pounds before we alter her bridesmaid dress, so I am hoping we can encourage each other.

There is one crafting goal I'd also like to meet, and that is to complete Grace and Anthony's wedding sampler.  I haven't worked on it all month, choosing instead to stitch some Christmas ornaments.  I will need to finish those - even though Christmas is over! - and get back to the sampler.  The winter Olympics begin in about six weeks, and I know I'll make progress during them since we enjoy watching many of the events.

What about you?  Do you make resolutions or set goals for the new year?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Two Quick Pics

I'm fighting a headache tonight, so I'll share two quick pictures.  The first is the flooring in the basement rooms:

This second one is her royal highness, Callie Caper, doing one of the things she does best.

I can't make the bed most days because she's snoozing away and I don't have the heart to kick her off!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

23 years ago, a little after noon, our firstborn daughter came into this world.  She has been a joy to us through the years.  "Nothing brings me greater happiness than to hear that my children are obeying the truth."  (III John 1:15,.CEV)  Sarah loves the Lord and is growing in her walk with Him.  Happy birthday, Sarah!  May the year ahead be one of continued growth as you serve our Lord Jesus Christ.

Weekend Painting

It has been a long weekend.  Not just because Friday was Christmas, either! Here are some before pictures:

And here is what we accomplished this weekend - primer + two coats of paint.  The first two pictures are of the bathroom.  The color does not show up well because I took the picture in the dark - there are no lights in there yet.

The dark-colored corner is where the TV will be.  The door to the right is the bathroom door.

The closet wall.  To the left is the wall across from the TV area.

This is the bedroom area.  The wall which adjoins the dark wall to the right is where the bed will go.

There is touch up that must be done, as there is with any amateur paint job, but we thought we'd wait until the workmen leave, as they might cause minor damage that needs to be fixed.

I'm not in a hurry to do any more painting!  I could hardly move on Saturday night after working all day.  I keep saying it, but I can't wait until this project is done.  The plan is that the work will be done by New Year's, as the contractor has to start another job on January 4.  The floor has to be installed in the bedroom and TV areas; the electrical needs to connected to the breaker box, and all the outlets and switches installed; all the moulding (baseboard and door) must be cut and nailed in place; the DVD rack will be placed in the wall opening; the doorknobs inserted; and anything else I've forgotten.  Finish work seems to take lots of time.  I do not know how people endure big remodeling jobs without losing their sanity.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


My husband and I were privileged to sing together for many years before his illness.  Every Christmas, we would perform Michael Card's Immanuel.  If you're not familiar with Michael Card, I would encourage you to read his bio here.  We have always appreciated his faithfulness to the Scriptures, which is reflected in his songs and writings.  You can listen to the song here - scroll down to song #4 or on YouTube.

Immanuel - Michael Card

A sign shall be given
A virgin will conceive
A human baby bearing
Undiminished deity
The glory of the nations
A light for all to see
That hope for all who will embrace
His warm reality

Our God is with us
And if God is with us
Who could stand against us
Our God is with us

For all those who live in the shadow of death
A glorious light has dawned
For all those who stumble in the darkness
Behold your light has come

Our God is with us
And if God is with us
Who could stand against us
Our God is with us

So what will be your answer?
Will you hear the call?
Of Him who did not spare His son
But gave him for us all
On earth there is no power
There is no depth or height
That could ever separate us
From the love of God in Christ

Our God is with us
And if God is with us
Who could stand against us
Our God is with us

Our God is with us
And if God is with us
Who could stand against us
Our God is with us

Saturday, December 26, 2009

'Tis the Day After Christmas . . .

. . . and we'll be painting in the basement.  Our contractor has asked that we try to get everything painted - two coats plus primer - by Monday morning!  The doors will not be done, and I noticed that on the horizontal sides of the MDF that form the soffits, they had to use two pieces to cover the length of the area, and no spackling was put in the joins, so we'll leave those unpainted for now.  It took nearly four hours after everyone left on Christmas night  to vacuum the walls and ceiling of the bathroom, completely cover the shower with plastic, put paper on the floor (the vinyl has been laid, and we don't want to get any paint on it, then put up the painter's tape in the bathroom, as well as the rest of the apartment.  I am tired, and trying to unwind before going to bed.

I'm not sure I'll be able to keep up with my daily posts over the weekend, but I'll be back as soon as I can to tell you about our Christmas!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Luk 2:1  In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
Luk 2:2  This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
Luk 2:3  And all went to be registered, each to his own town.
Luk 2:4  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
Luk 2:5  to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
Luk 2:6  And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
Luk 2:7  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Luk 2:8  And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Luk 2:9  And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.
Luk 2:10  And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
Luk 2:11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luk 2:12  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."
Luk 2:13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
Luk 2:14  "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"
Luk 2:15  When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us."
Luk 2:16  And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.
Luk 2:17  And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.
Luk 2:18  And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.
Luk 2:19  But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
Luk 2:20  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

" In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."

-- John 1: 1 - 14, ESV

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


We have an escape window!

I don't have an outdoor view because by the time I got home tonight, it was dark.

The existing window in the bathroom has been framed with drywall.  It's a bit difficult to see how deep the sill is because of the angle I took the picture at, but it's at least as deep as the egress window. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Construction, Day 9

It was wonderful to get out of the house this afternoon and go somewhere quiet to get my hair cut!  My hairdresser works out of her home, and it was so peaceful.  By contrast, all I heard at home today was the back door slamming continually, and hammers drumming. 

The hole outside the egress window was dug today.  I think it's finished, except for whatever structure they have to put in it to hold the dirt back.  Fortunately, it wasn't extremely cold or windy today, so I didn't have to feel too bad for the workman who was in the backyard all day.

 My husband requested that the hole be covered, lest our dog or some other critter fall in.  I quickly discovered that the lumber was too heavy for me to move!

The drain pipe trenches in the bathroom and from the bathroom to the composting unit were covered with cement.  That leaves the huge area behind that composter to be filled in.

More drywall work:

This is the beginning of the soffit that will cover the existing ductwork.

The plan, as I know it at this time, is that the men will work through midday on Thursday.  They hope to have the room to the point where we can paint.  Then they will come back after New Year's to finish up.  I'm not certain whether they will have the bathroom in working order, or the flooring done before Christmas.  I will speak to the contractor myself this afternoon.

I am so ready for this project to be done!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Grace's Stocking

It took about 2-1/2 hours, but I was able to complete Grace's Christmas stocking today.  I used the same pattern as for Anthony's stocking, just a different view.  It was Grace's idea to use the fake fur for the cuff, as well as to make a tag for her name.  I think it turned out cute.  What do you think?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Construction, Day 8

What a long day it was for the plumber!  He arrived around 9:30, and didn't leave until 5:30!  We had a couple of snags, but nothing major.  It turns out the town requires a single-handle, anti-scald shower faucet, so Phil and Sarah made a quick trip to the hardware store to return the one we had purchased and get a new one.  The price was ridiculous, but what could we do?  The other problem was with the fittings needed to connect the new Pex water line tubing to the manifold unit.  A little ingenuity solved the problem.

Monday morning, the inspector will come to look at the plumbing, then the bathroom can be completed.  The contractors are working hard, but there appears to be too much work left for the job to be done before Christmas.  I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Construction, Day 7

If it weren't for our current construction project, I'd have a difficult time meeting my goal of posting every day during December.  I suppose I could write about how cold it is for this time of year, or how the snow plow has been here three times already, which is also unusual.  It looks like we'll be having a white Christmas this year; in fact, the weatherman is tentatively predicting an "unsettled wintery mix" for the middle of next week.  Yuck.  I think that answers the question of which day we will do our grocery shopping next week - Tuesday - before the storm!

More drywall went up today; in fact, I think it is all up except for the soffit which will go around the existing ductwork.  The macerating barrel went into the floor today, so no more worries about the cats checking out the hole!  And the plumber comes mid-morning, so I'm hopeful the bathroom will be finished up early next week.

Up until now, I haven't been at liberty to say why we're doing this work, but I finally can.  As my regular readers know, my daughter, Grace, is getting married at the end of May, 2010.  Grace has another year at the local community college, and works only part time, and Anthony is currently out of work.  There was no way they could afford their own apartment here; one bedrooms can't be had for less than about $700 per month, unless you're in a questionable part of town.  The solution was for us to build a basement bedroom/sitting area/bathroom for them.  It will be a challenge for all of us to live together, but it will be helpful to them, and to us, as having another man in the house to assist with the things Phil can't do because of his health.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Construction, Day 6

Jackhammers are great tools for breaking up concrete, but they sure are noisy!  Here's what they helped do on Wednesday.

Drywall also started going up! 

We are tired.  Of noise.  Of the mess.  Of not enough sleep. 

It was a C-O-L-D day on Wednesday!  So unusual for December.  I typed this in advance, but the temperature just before 11 pm was 7 degrees.  Fahrenheit.  Brrr.