Last 2016 Project

I seem to do the same thing with time and accomplishments as I do with money. That is, at the end of the year I think where did it go. At one point when I was down about not getting anything done, Laurie suggested I do a ‘did it list’ to go along with my always ‘to do list’. Does it sound like I’m a list maker? Big time, sometimes I think I have lists for lists. 🙂

Okay I’m regressing here.   I do make daily lists, but a few years ago I put the major things down for the year. Looking back on 2016 I didn’t do so bad. I even got in 3 really great trips. Now, just to make it clear I’m not talking about ‘making this world a better place’ type of accomplishments though I hope I leave it a little better than if I hadn’t been here. This is secular type things, (ie. Trips, new furniture, etc. ).   So this fall I got the itch to do one last project for the year. As many of you know I moved into this place in January 2013 and it was pre-owned. Even though it had some nice upgrades I wanted to changes some things.

One thing was to re do the master bath. Take out the white, poorly laid tile shower, and put in granite or quartz bathroom counters. Now this is a small room so I thought hey how big a job can it be.   “Silly me.”

#1. It was expensive. I wanted a solid material to replace the tile and a pony type wall so I don’t need to clean water spots off glass. I settled on a material called Piedrafina. It pretty much is to marble what quartz is to granite. The main thing is the ease of maintenance (cleaning).

#2. It isn’t a fast job. They scheduled two weeks. At the end of three everything was still a mess.

#3. It was messy. They should have put up plastic for shields. They didn’t and I had a layer of dust over everything. They cut material in the garage, what a mess.

#4. There was missed communication.   The model shower in their showroom had a pony wall with wrap around Piedrafina. It turned out they designed mine with a sheetrock wall on the one side. And, they didn’t allow for it to be finished. When the job was done I had an exposed sheetrock wall open at the bottom showing the studs. I hadn’t intended to paint until next year but that changed. Thankfully I hired a separate painter who is fantastic. He not only painted the bath and bedroom he cleaned and painted the garage.    🙂 🙂

The last project of the year, that started out to be a medium sized one, turned into a major headache.   It will take a few months before I’m ready to even think of the next one. Well that is except for our trip to Jamaica that’s different.   Maybe I should just plan a year of travel and let house projects sit for awhile.

The pictures don’t do it justice. But it gives an idea of what it looks like.

 

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Gallery

SNOW, SNOW and MORE SNOW

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 Here are a few pictures I have taken.  The one of Laney is when it first started to snow and the dogs are Andy and Daisy. Here we are in January already and what a January we are having.  Jim … Continue reading

Gallery

Snow and Movies

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Well, I will say 2016 went out with a bang.  And by that I mean snow.  While others where wishing for snow I wasn’t. You see New Year’s day I had tickets to go see Rogue One. I’m a big … Continue reading

You know it’s Cold When …

Even the panhandle of Florida is in the 20s with wind chill in the teens. I see where you friends in the Pacific Northwest are even getting cold, cold temps and snow. Our England pals are also getting winter. Now, we here in Pensacola are in the throes of the season (for 48 hours)- by Wednesday this week, it’ll be back to 74 degrees.

Last week, it was in the 70s and there were two nights of severe weather and even a few tornadoes. Then, by the weekend, it was in the 20s. Friday, it didn’t get over 38 degrees. It’s a wonder we don’t all perish from the craziness of the season.

Every one stay warm and cozy!!

I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions because I always say that word seems to set me up for failure. The word goal seems much more palatable to me. I can accomplish a goal, not too sure I can do the same with a resolution.

Since Kit put it out there in the universe that she’s going to get her books published and going to enter some art contests, I’m going to put out there that I plan (goal) to publish at least 4 this year. So, I’ve said it, let’s see if I will do it!  🙂

 

Catch Up Blog…

As this new year starts, I’ve been itching to organize my house, my life, and my thoughts. As part of this, I recently went back and looked at some of the things I’ve posted here. I feel like I’ve left some things hanging with regard to my blogs, so I thought I’d start the new year out with some closure.

I talked a lot about family memories as we cleared out Mom’s house in May. We were lucky because she got to help us with the process and they are memories I will treasure forever. Here’s a couple pictures of her wedding dress that I thought you’d appreciate.

p1110961 weddingNeedless to say, her dress went back in her cedar chest for future generations to ooh and ahh over.

My July blog was all about how I was starting to meditate and I got some great tips from everyone on how to proceed with that. Sadly, I did not keep it up. I find it very hard to just sit and “be” without doing anything but thinking to myself. Which means I really need to get back to it, because I probably don’t relax enough. Lately, though, I’ve been focusing on getting outdoors for walks. It seems to be feeding my soul right now. However, I’ve kept “get back to meditating” on my 2017 to-do list, so don’t give up on me. I’ll tackle it again sometime.

In August, I posted pictures of our pressure-washed shop we were about to have painted. After agonizing over colors, we ended up choosing something very similar to what we already had. Here’s the before and after pics. We did both the house and this shop in the same color and have been very happy with it.

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In October, I blogged about the pampas grass in our backyard and how we usually lose at least half of our beautiful plumes by the end of October due to wind storms. Well, I’m happy to say that until two days ago, every single one of those plumes was still standing. We did finally lose five of them yesterday when a brisk north wind blew through. Has it been cold enough for y’all? We hit 16 degrees last night. Well below freezing. Brrrr.

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Lastly, I’ve successfully crocheted a hat and a headband I spoke of last month, in anticipation of trying to teach grandchildren this hobby. (Still haven’t completed the baby blanket I started 26 years ago, though.) Our cabin adventure with our kids is in a couple weeks, so you can bet there will be a future blog to let you know how that went. 🙂

Just for a little laugh as I close this out, here’s a picture of my parents and siblings and I from way back in…well, the picture dates it quite well, I’d think. I’m the one in red. The middle child. 🙂

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Happy New Year, everyone! Let’s hope 2017 gets better and better as it goes along.

Making 2017 Count

Once again, the giant blue orb has slipped into another year and 2017 is with us. Winter has come too, with a heavy frost. The garden pond is frozen, the grass crunching underfoot as I ventured out to replenish the bird feeder. At least today the sky is blue, the air clean and the sun out.

The festivities are over, decorations put away, cupboards looking decidedly bare of food and Mum sitting snug in my sister’s car being safely transported home as I write this. With Dave back at work today, the house is quiet and calm. A little too quiet after a frenetic fortnight but it grants me the opportunity to reflect for a moment on 2016.

It wasn’t a good year for many people including most of my family and friends. Dave and I certainly had our share of misfortunes and serious health issues, and whilst it would be easy to list all the problems we’ve endured and come through, there were several highlights too; nothing major, perhaps small, almost insignificant, for many people, but they meant a great deal to me.

The first was being able to celebrate with the family my mother’s 90th birthday back in March which, in turn, brought my brother over from Spain to spend a few days with us even if he couldn’t bring the sunshine with him. There was a short trip to the English Lake District, somewhere I’d always wanted to visit. It was here I saw our native red squirrels at close hand and had the opportunity to hold and stroke a barn owl ­­– one of my favourite birds. Three items on my most want to do list ticked off in one fell swoop.

Kingfisher © Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Dreamstime Stock Photos

Then came the visit to the garden of  our native kingfisher – my favourite bird of all. They aren’t rare but I had never seen one in the flesh despite my being a keen birdwatcher. They are birds of woodland streams and rivers, so to find one perched on my bird feeder in the middle of a vast housing estate one morning was an absolute joy and a dream come true. It was the last place I expected to see one. By the time I had scrabbled to get my camera ready, the beautiful bird had flown.

So to 2017. I’m not one for making resolutions – like most people’s good intentions they seldom last more than a few weeks. Instead, I make a list of things to achieve. I might never achieve them all, if any, but it gives me focus and a starting point, pointing a way forward. First on my list is to have a proper sunshine holiday. You know me: hate winter, love summer. But at least the days are getting longer now, bit by bit. This morning I spied the first snowdrop in bud on the lawn and the more I looked, the more new shoots I saw, of crocus and daffodils and of hellebores in bud, their colours shining out already. Anyone walking by would have wondered why I wore such a broad smile.

I have several novels written which I am determined this year will see at least one of them published, if not all, along with a self-help book I’m writing.  I intend to give my art a big push too; enter painting competitions, join an art class, lead an art class? And I simply must make the effort to exhibit some of my work. Some how. Some where. Make the effort. Push myself.

Starting now. Things can only get better.

So, yes, 2017 WILL BE MY YEAR!

And wishing you all have a fabulous year too.

Season’s Greetings!

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is all but over now and we’re nudging another new year. Where did December go? Let alone the whole year? But it’s once again the time for reviewing what has gone before and for planning what will be. To take stock of goals, aspirations, and what we hope to achieve in the coming year. Some of my goals seem to get transferred from one year to another, with not much in the way of progress being made on them. So this coming year I’ll be tweaking my approach to achieving them in the hope that next year they’ll be off the list! After all, didn’t someone once say that “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”? 🙂

I know that 2016 has been a tough year for many of my friends here at the Fence, as well as a challenging year for the world at large, so I wish everyone a Healthy, Happy, Prosperous and Peaceful New Year. I’ll end this short post with my favourite TV Christmas Advert this year, which is a reminder that despite adversity it is always possible to emerge triumphant and find our way back home.