House-aversary, Part 2


We’ve been in the house two years already! We’ve done so much…and yet there is so much left to do! In last year’s recap I had an ambitious list. We didn’t get everything done, but I am happy with what we did accomplish!

We didn’t do anything on our inside list…


  • Install an intelligent thermostat like a Nest
  • Fix the hooks in the entryway and build some permanent shelves for shoes
  • Replace the boob light in the upstairs hallway

…although I did get shelves and different hooks for the entry way (and we probably won’t install a permanent shoe shelf). We just need to repaint the stairwell before we put them up. We did get a new bed and rug for our room and we hung the TV on the wall.


  • Get the chimney inspected and maybe reinforced: it is leaning a little bit: yes! It will cost a bit of money to get fixed, and as we aren’t planning on using the fireplace any time soon, this is not a priority.
  • Redo and enlarge the back patio with concrete pavers so that it is easier to keep clean and has a large flat surface for outdoor dining: yes! Eddy did an amazing job on the new patio.
  • Get a new locking mailbox and put up my new house numbers: nope. Although I did buy new house numbers. Does that count?
  • Install our new outdoor light and add in an additional outdoor outlet so that we can plug in holiday lights next year: yes! Check and check. I even bought a new string of outdoor lights (although I might need to get another string if just one isn’t enough.)
  • Build in a wood shed or shelter for the firewood: yes! Thanks to the magic of Pinterest, I figured out a wood storage solution that fits under the stairs, holds all our wood, and didn’t cost a thing because we could use cinder blocks from the old patio and the spindles from the old version of the deck.
  • Add in a bunch of new plants in the backyard and build new garden boxes: yes! We used some more cinder blocks for the zucchini patch and got a bumper crop.
  • Eddy also put on a new coat of stain and weather protection on the deck.

What’s up for this year? A lot depends on budget.


  • There are several big projects that comprise little projects rolled together. The most likely is earthquake retrofitting, which takes part in the basement. That will mean also ripping apart the basement, and at that point we might as well reconfigure it and add in the plumbing and framing for the third bathroom and enclosed laundry room.
  • From the list above: replace the boob light in the upstairs hallway.
  • Also, from the list above: getting a new thermostat.


  • Digging out steps that lead from the side of the house to the backyard
  • We want to redo the landscape around the pond
  • I still want to get a locking mailbox and the new house numbers will do more good on the house than on the workbench in the garage.
  • Getting chickens? Maybe! It would require figuring out the coop and pen, but I think we are all onboard
  • There are a ton of tax credits for solar panels right now. That would be a great project, but I don’t know that we can afford to do that and the retrofitting at the same time.

It’s still so exciting living here.

Rules, Laws, Notes and Warnings

Kate is a fan of notes, either posted on her door or slipped into my bag.

This one references a holiday concert she had prepared for but didn’t sing in when she was in nursery school.


This is the introduction to a story she started writing.


Kate says that this reads “Introducing My Unicorn”, but I like to believe that it says “Introducing Mr Unicorn”.


We brainstormed a list of things to do instead of being snotty. I keep this in my wallet.


She had this political poster on her door for a while.


She took it down when she decided to open for business.


Besides having a store she thought it might be fun to run a restaurant.


When I asked her to draw something for my new bulletin board at work this is what she came up with.