Whoa! I didn't realize that it had been almost 3 years since I last updated. I know that some people are able to raise kids and get tons of work done, but apparently I'm not one of them -- our now 5.5 year old granddaughter has lived with us full time since 2/08, and our just-turned-16 year old granddaughter (who has lived with us off and on all her life) has lived with us full time for just over a year now. Maybe if I were 20 years younger I would have the energy to parent two very different (though both exceptionally wonderful) kids, but I tell you -- there's a reason why nature made it so that women in their 50's typically don't have very young kids to raise, and it's one of God's many jokes to combine a rising-hormonal teen with a disappearing-hormonal grandma.
We actually have done some things since then -- or rather, we've paid to have things done. We had a concrete floor poured in the garage (along with new walkway in back and some patching done on the basement floor), we had the garage and the front porch painted, we had some structural repairs done under the porch and a hole patched in the soffits, and thanks to my dad (along with some hired muscle to dig a long trench through a zillion roots) I now have updated power out to the garage (plus lights in the garden shed) so that in theory I could set up the workroom that I really want. And I was able to do a few things towards that goal: I built some scrap wood storage bins and a simple workbench (love the Kreg jig that made that so much easier!), and I bought a router from Craigslist but haven't used it yet, but between the garage being filled with most of my step-d's worldly possessions for the past year, my physical limitations that I finally learned were because I have two disks in my neck pushing into my spinal cord (surgery 1/3/12, fun fun fun!), and the fact that we pushed everything over to one now impenetrable side in order to get my van in there (what a concept, a VEHICLE in the garage!) when Irene came through here a couple of months ago, nothing else has happened.
And when I say nothing else, I mean nothing: The dining room floor project? Still not done (though we did at least find a much nicer rug to go over the crappy subfloor). The bathroom project? Still not done (though I'm going to ask my dad to fix the electrical issues that I wrote about almost 3 years ago when he and my mom are here to help out for a couple of weeks after my surgery). We will at least soon have natural gas in the house, which will mean a tankless HWH, a GAS STOVE (hallelujah!!), plus gas lines run for a future gas fireplace and future gas dryer, but that's only because we committed to the gas company that we'd have that done by the end of this year so that they'd run the hookup to our house for free, before the bottom fell out of our finances, so that's going to get paid... somehow.
But past that? Feh. Nothing serious on the horizon, since money is so extremely tight (can't do my usual extra jobs because of the physical issues, both 10 year old cars have needed WAY too much work in the past months, the impending gas installation, we've been sucked into financially supporting our elder granddaughter's cheerleading habit, and I'll be out on disability for two months after this surgery) and I'm not physically able to handle the work that I'd normally be able to do for very little money (rip out drywall, wiring, get the workshop set up, finish the dining room floor, etc.) because of the physical problems. But I'm hoping that by the time my summer break rolls around, I'll be given the go-ahead to finally do the work I've been wanting to do for a long while.
So how's that for a long-winded "not much to update but I'm gonna do it anyway" post?