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To say that the first 15 months of owning our new home haven't been what we imagined would be an understatement. 

Between last year's whole house freeze and subsequent replumb of the entire house, installation of a new HVAC system, and generally the feeling of one step forward, nineteen steps backwards, the endeavor has been expensive, time consuming, stressful, and exactly the opposite of what we envisioned. For this reason, when something fun, interesting, or positive happens, we're making every attempt to make the most of it. 

We jump for joy each time we discover a "new" antique bottle in the yard or washed up on the sand.

Through our "treasure hunts" we've amassed a small collection of eclectic bottles, and I'm having a great time working them into several rooms of the house.

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Comments 22

Things have been a little hectic of late, but our 12 DIYs of Christmas are nearly complete.

I started this goal of accomplishing 12 nagging tasks with every confidence I'd finish them all of without issue. But as DIYs tend to go, several little things got it in the way of successfully completing all 12 prior to Christmas January 6th, the official 12th day of Christmas.

A very rainy week of weather kept me from making adjustments to our garden gate to allow it to close without sticking. This was supposed to be DIY #12. I'm waiting for a bit of dry weather that's over 40 degrees for a little while, which may not be for some time. And frustrations with our attic furnace have kept me from finishing up DIY #9, the install of our new thermostat. At this point I've even replaced a few parts on the furnace in an attempt to resolve the fact the thermostat isn't getting 24 volts of power over the common wire as the wiring diagram suggests it should. Let's just say, I'm very familiar with this diagram now.

It's been a frustrating couple of projects to say the least. However, and this is a big however, we were able to get DIY 10 and 11 wrapped up before the January 6th deadline. These were both located at our new house, and both were shockingly boring in comparison to a major event that happened when we were there last weekend working on these projects. That's because, we officially met our neighborhood pig!

Yes, it's true, she's amazing! We don't know her name yet, but we're going with Petunia until we learn it. I'll let Wendy fill you in on more details about her next week.

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Comments 4

Though I realize we're already beyond Christmas, we're in the home stretch on my 12 DIYs of Christmas nagging project goals.

The holidays bring so much joyous fervor and enjoyable obligations that it's often tough to squeeze in the time necessary to check projects off your list. In the past this has always been our excuse for why we don't get much accomplished during the month of December. I mean, when you have amazing traditions like the Scottish Christmas Walk...

...the neighborhood Gingerbread competition...

...and what seems like an endless stream of get togethers and holiday parties, it's not hard to come up with some good excuses.

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Comments 11

The story of my new favorite Christmas decoration began last year on Christmas day. After a fun afternoon of enjoying my family's famed potato soup, eating too many cookies to count, opening gifts, and the annual visit from my uncle Santa... Aunt Margie surprised my cousins and me by inviting us around the dining room table. Years earlier, my Gram handed down a box of old family ornaments that had been passed down to her. 

The box contained beautifully tarnished orbs, in different shades of antique glass, and my aunt announced that she wanted each of the grandkids to have one of the ornaments for our trees. I was ecstatic! I was so excited to not only have a piece of our family's history, but since we decorate our tree in glass ornaments I knew it would be a perfect addition to our home. 

To maintain order and fairness (our German ancestors would be proud), the cousins drew numbers and then in the order of our numbers, each selected an ornament to take home. We selected until the ornaments were all claimed, and I ended up with a beautiful pink ornament, smaller in size, with a beautiful old silver cap.

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Comments 8

While I may not have given you a 12 DIYs update the last few days, that's not to say I've not been working my tail off to make my 12 projects goal a reality. With my somewhat limited time during the week I've been working to knock as many of the small tasks off of my list that I can. So today I present you with three fairly minor things that are surprisingly a pretty major deal to us. DIYs four, five, and six.

On the 4th DIY of Christmas I did for my true love to see, some working shutters in our front window.

Back in 2003 we purchased our home and almost immediately launched into what would become the longest renovation project we could ever imagine. Shortly after, we started work on the front parlour/living room (the very first project room of our decade plus renovation).

Almost as soon as we started the project, one of the very first things we did was to remove the window shutters and window sash stops. It was a necessary aspect of the project, and we had high hopes we'd be able to get things put back together in no time.

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Comments 6
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