Happy Spring! New Projects

Happy spring! 82 degrees on the last day of winter…whaaatt?! A harbinger of a hot summer, I’m afraid.

It’s time to plan projects for the next few months. And we have monkey wrenches already.

We had two major goals for this year: a bucket list vacation to celebrate our 25th anniversary, and addressing the retaining wall on the south side of the garage. Weeelll, wouldn’t you know it?

During a ROUTINE ANNUAL EXAM, a tumor was found, in my abdomen, which required major surgery to remove. I cannot stress enough the value of such exams. It had been two and a half years since I’d been to the doctor, and this thing developed during that time, with no symptoms! Sometimes we think since we’re feeling fine, our bodies are fine. But things happen when you don’t even know it, and the doctors’ jobs are to be aware and find these things while they can still be taken care of. It was ultimately benign, I thank God, but the size of a large, unripe pear. It and the obsolete organ it invaded were removed. There will be a scar, a very large scar. Which no one but my husband and me will see. I’m okay with that.

Without getting political, I have a pre-ACA health insurance policy, with excellent coverage, and my out of pocket cost will be quite manageable, although a big part of our savings. I know the dollar amount, and we are just waiting for the bills to roll in. I’m keeping track of the EOBs online. I have several weeks of recovery ahead of me, doing quite well, thank you. I am trying to learn to “be still.” I have more time to plan, less time to work, and less funds. Challenge accepted!

First of all, we’ve scratched the retaining wall project. My spidey sense is telling me it will cost much more than my marked up estimate. (I usually add 15% to what early research indicates.) While this does need to be done, there are also neighbor factors involved (they have their own issues this year), and more thoughtful planning required (electric supply lines run through the area). This is not something I want to tackle this year, especially since it would take several months from first calls to completion, and be angst-ridden the whole time.

My health issue brought to mind that our self-promised vacation should be a priority for us right now. Since we’ve already saved for it, even with the medical bills, we’re going for it. We may revise our itinerary a bit, but we’ve decided to go.

Meanwhile, the funds will grow for the retaining wall project, while this year we focus on more mundane and less costly maintenance. I will be using service professionals for most, if not all, of my projects this year. My body needs to heal, and the projects are very specific. Plus, I don’t have the equipment. Landscaping will probably not be a big thing this year, except for general cleanup. I’m still developing the list, and hope to get started implementing right after Easter. I’ll be back to share that.

What projects are you planning this year? How have financial surprises changed your list?

It’s Good to be Done

It’s done (for this year). Here are some of my choice pics of the ordeal that was my summer.

 

Lots of Trucks and Noise
Lots of Trucks and Noise

 

newroofmess
the Joys of Home Ownership….

 

Proper baffles provide proper ventilation over vaulted areas.
Workers Work!

 

The Calico House (with repairs done and new roof on)
The Calico House (with repairs done and new roof and gutters on)

 

Before Paint Color, So Dark!
Before Paint Color, So Dark!

 

Bare Barberry
Bare Barberry

 

More than half the bushes were dead inside.
I Can Breathe!

 

Oh, I Didn't Tell You About This... This Was Fun
Oh, I Didn’t Tell You About This…Such Fun

 

The Three Amigos
The Three Amigos

 

The Three Amigos Makeover
The Three Amigos Madeover

 

Yuuuuuck.
Yuuuuuck.

 

Much Better, Thankyouverymuch!
Much Better, Thankyouverymuch!

 

Uh, no, I don't think this is going to be okay.
Just No.

 

New Garage Door, New(ish) Light
New Garage Door, New(ish) Light

 

Front Door Under Repair
Front Door Under Repair

 

Lots and Lots of Details.
Lots and Lots of Details.

 

All adorned in autumn glory.
I swear it’s not that orange.

 

"When all else fails, follow directions."
“When all else fails, follow directions.”

 

Best.Friend.Ever!
Best.Friend.Ever!

 

Now for the final reveal pics! After all, the paint, fixtures and (minimal) landscaping are all about the final overall image. Please keep in mind that yes, I know there is still a boatload of work to be done.

'Merica
‘Merica

 

Nice Autumn Setting
Nice Autumn Setting

 

Much Nicer, Yes?
The New Chez Frugal.

Oh, you need a reminder?  Here you go.

The Calico House (with repairs done and new roof on)
The Calico House

Oh, you want an original, original? How about this one?

Long Ago, On A Cold Tundra
Long Ago In The Bleak Mid-Winter. Boring!

 

The work never stops. We’ve started saving up for a total re-do of the side of the garage area. A solution to the cracking and wrong-sloping concrete is imperative, the retaining wall needs to be replaced, and the steps to the gate are beyond disrepair. Reworking the side is going to solve some other issues, too. But we’ll deal with that once we’ve hit the savings threshold.

For now, we’re going to enjoy the comfort, safety and security these completed projects bring. We’re good on the roof till the next “catastrophic hail event.” We’re good on house paint for another 8-10 years. The lights should serve us well for years. And the front door — well, shut the front door! Just in time for holiday planning, I’m calling this one a wrap.

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