Wednesday, July 26, 2017

2.5 Years Later...

Let me fill you all in on the last few years:

My sweet Ralph got sick at the end of 2015 and ended up dying a few days after Christmas.  It was heartbreaking and awful to lose the boy who was such a good friend to me for so long.  We went through a lot together.

Sam's brother, sister-in-law, and their kids moved to Scranton, PA (yes, that Scranton) to go to seminary.  That left their house, which was actually Sam's house that he was letting them live in, open and available for us!  Unfortunately, the house had become pretty run down, so we started a pretty major renovation in January.  Here you can see some of the work we've done in before and after shots:

Dining Room Before
This is what the dining room looked like before: Dark.  The wainscoting is actually original to the house.  Sam's brother and his wife refinished it, and added drywall over the plaster walls.  We just repainted everything.  We have redone the floors since this picture was taken, and we made a corner cabinet for the corner you can see here.  It houses our fancy dishes. :)

Dining Room After

Kitchen Before
The kitchen was falling apart.  It was probably in the worst shape, as far as the entire house is concerned.  We would have loved to have saved the kitchen cabinets--a wedding present to Sam's grandma from his great-grandpa--but they were too far gone.  We completely gutted the kitchen, filled in a doorway, put in new wiring, insulation, drywall, cabinets, counter tops and sink.  The only thing we didn't replace was the stove they left and our fridge.

Kitchen After

Living Room Before
 The living room is very interesting.  It used to be the porch and Sam's grandpa turned it into a living room because that's what grandma wanted.  The room is 26'x9.5'.  We took down the old lace curtains and the trellis Tiffiny had put up.  We filled in the old window and the doorway that used to lead to the kitchen, we repainted everything and put up new curtains.  The windows are old and need to be replaced, but with 11 windows, that project gets expensive and time consuming.  It will have to wait!
Living Room After

We made a few pieces of furniture for this house.  It was my first time making furniture and I had a blast learning and experimenting.  I'm so thankful for a husband who is patient with all of my wild ideas.  He taught me how to use the circular saw and cut the pieces I wasn't confident cutting. And he cut all of the pieces for the first project.  I should add that the door on the corner cabinet has been painted since this picture was taken. It's all white now.

Also in January, we added this insane puppy to our family:

 She ended up getting hit by a car on the road in front of our house in April.  Both of her back legs were hurt badly and she ended up having surgery to repair two joints in her right leg, and had a ton of staples in her left leg.  We had to help her walk using a harness on her hips so she couldn't put full weight on her legs, and so we could catch her if she started to fall.  She handled it all better than we did. :)
As you can see, she's doing fine now.  She's insane, opinionated, constantly moving, very playful, and still wants to run to the road any chance she gets.  So she's an inside dog, and stays on a leash outside.  We go for walks in the pasture (far away from the road) and I let her run out there.  She loves it!   

So, here we are, enjoying 2017 and all of the adventures she has thrown our way.  Sam is moving to a new job in Joplin.  I'm so thankful for this opportunity for him, but I'm going to miss seeing him whenever I want at work.  He'll be teaching middle school and high school math at an independent school.  I think it will be a great  place for him.

We have done quite a bit of visiting friends this summer, and working on our house.  But mostly, we are settling in and trying to figure out what we want from life.  We're in our early 30's, so we're starting to seriously plan for the next big chunk of our life--what do we do as far as kids, jobs, house, etc. are concerned?  I know people who are in their 60's still ask those questions, but we'd like to at least have some sort of plan in place so that we aren't still wondering what to do with our lives when we'd like to be retired.

We have developed a few new hobbies over the past few years as well: I've added milking a cow (not sure how much longer I'll keep that up.  It's very time consuming, which is not good when we're trying to keep up a yard and a house during the summer!), making cheese (I've made gouda, feta, mozzarella, ricotta, and I've got cheddar and monterey jack aging in the garage...we'll see how they turn out), and Sam added podcasting.  He and his friend Matt have a podcast called "According to the Technical Rules". You can check them out on itunes, google play, stitcher, etc.  They're also on Facebook.

Okay, hopefully that covers the main points.  I'm sure I'll think of more later, but for now, that's all I've got.  Oh, and here in the south it's been about 98 degrees with 70-80% humidity lately.  There are spiders that build webs between the trees and the ground every night (you have to walk with a flashlight or you'll get a face full of spider every few feet).  And we should mow our lawn about every 5 days (we do more like 7-10...who has time for every 5 days?!).  That's how life in the south rolls during the summer. I hope you're enjoying your summer!  I hope you stay cool, dry, and spiderless.

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