I haven’t blogged in a while, but even though we are at home in the Florida Panhandle we are still busy. Much of that activity is supremely boring and not blog-worthy — think appointments for maintaining the truck and various parts of our bodies. But we surprised ourselves by starting to tackle a few house projects, too. I suppose that means for some readers this is the long-awaited return of the construction blog, after a strange interlude filled with summertime RV travel posts. Faithful readers may recall that we received the Certificate of Occupancy on our home in June 2021, after nearly a full year under construction, and then it took many more painful months to get enough furniture for the house to be essentially complete and functional. Thanks, supply chain disruptions! After the seemingly-endless stretch of making decisions, choosing finishes, shopping, scheduling, and dealing with delays and other frustrations, I was completely over it.
Relieved to finally have a mostly complete house, I declared it “done” and vowed never to visit Wayfair.com again. There would be no more measuring, no more sketching, no more shopping, no more debating the merits of various alternatives. The house was D-O-N-E!
Then we spent an engaging summer on the road, exploring the Upper Midwest and not thinking about house projects for a single second. When we returned, it turns out that we had revitalized our interest in home improvement projects, and we finally had the energy to start thinking about finishing up a few loose ends around the place. Soon enough, we were back to planning projects. We measured, we shopped, we debated, and we laid out sample outlines to develop plans for a few different projects. I even spent some time on Wayfair.com again. But before we could get too far along on these efforts, the holidays — also known as “the time no projects get done” — were upon us.
Local Holiday Flavor
We started off the holiday season by celebrating a milestone birthday for Ken in early November. Our celebrations mostly consisted of indulging in all of his favorite foods, especially the seafood that we really missed during our summer travels around the Great Lakes. Later in the month we made a trip down to South Florida to visit my mom for Thanksgiving. Mom and I shared a fun field trip to the lovely Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach, and we were grateful to spend quality time with family and friends. As befits the holiday, we also ate mountains of delicious food.
The calendar of local holiday events and offerings this year looked very similar to last year, which I wrote about here. We once again helped install the community holiday decorations that brighten the central boulevard of the island, and later attended the annual holiday carnival sponsored by the business association to see the fruits of our labors. The whole affair was charming, from Santa arriving via fire truck to the parade of cleverly-decorated golf carts to the array of games and activities for kids.
We are HGTV Wanna-bes
Visiting South Florida also helped launch a few of our house projects. Now that we are more settled in, we have a far better idea of what spaces remain to be filled. Some additional artwork has now emerged from storage (AKA the closet of my mother’s spare room) and been installed in the house. We also realized that we had a great situation for some of our favorite succulents, which for the last several years have been enjoying the plant spa that is my mom’s patio.
When we designed our home we envisioned our screened porch as an extension of the main living space, and merely having two lonely patio chairs floating around in the large space just wasn’t cutting it. Adding a new outdoor coffee table and plant shelves helped furnish the space and make it feel more inviting. Also, since my mom has the greenest thumb around, the plants she was babysitting for us had grown tremendously. This presented a perfect opportunity to shop at the local pottery place (Frost Pottery Garden), which is chock full of colorful delights, and then repot and reorganize the whole collection. We’re pretty happy with how it all came out.
The most ambitious house project we are tackling is finishing off the yard. But that project — which is still very much in the initial stages — merits its own post. In the meantime, we send our best wishes out to all our readers for happiness and good health in the holiday season and throughout the new year.