Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 - A Retrospective

January - Instead of the post New Year's let down, 2008 started with a bang, er .. make that a rumble. On January 3rd, construction commenced on our home here in Tennessee. It was such a great feeling to get started on a project two and a half years in the planning.

February - Despite being the first birthday my mom did not call me and sing to me, February started slow and cold and finished with a visit from a friend in Michigan (Hi, Chuck!) and a belated birthday visit from younger daughter. Both were treated to very chilly tours of our under construction home!

March - I hate when Easter falls in April. In addition to it being unseasonably cold for Easter, March was alternately too cold to lay brick or too wet to lay brick or bricklayers were too far behind to lay our brick. They did manage to get out on Easter Sunday to brick though!

April - Older daughter celebrated her 28th birthday by becoming my twin! Way back when my kids were little and when I turned 32, I decided 28 was better. When my girls were old enough to question me about my age, I told them 28 was better. Older daughter wanted to know what she should tell people when they asked my age. I told her "Tell them I'm 28 and leave it at that!" So she would say "She's 28 and leave it at that!" Such an entertaining kid! Oh, and the house finally got bricked by the end of April.

May - The monster and the beast. The monster is what I call our gigantic heating and cooling units which sit outside on a pad. It's actually two furnaces - one is the conventional heat pump and the other is a gas furnace. Also installed is the A/C unit. The gas furnace was tested on walk through - haven't used it since. If it gets really cold though, It's going on backup. Our thermostat allows us to set it up to switch to gas when it gets below a certain temp. We've arbitrarily said below 30 outside for any length of time and we will switch over to gas. We'll see. The beast is our grinder pump that allows our sewage to be sent out to the sewer line that runs under the street. Due to our weird grade here, we are a few inches above the sewer depth where the pipe comes out of the house. So now the flushed stuff gets sent to the grinder pump which shreds it and shoots it down to street level. All that installed in May. More than anyone wants to know. Our builder insists it will grind up jeans and send them too. On the 27th we closed on our house. On the 28th had our new bedroom set delivered. This is the first bedroom set we've bought for ourselves. I love it. Previously we had a queen size bed with footboard and headboard, a small dresser, a chest, and one nightstand. Now we have a queen size bed with footboard and headboard, two nightstands and a large dresser big enough for his clothing and mine.

June - Official move in day was June 12th. Unofficially, we were living there since closing. I swore I would not go back to the condo and sleep and hassle with parking. It took about 3 hours for the movers to load up truck, drive truck a mile and then unload truck. For Father's Day, DH got a big screen TV. On June 29th, 6 of our friends drove down for a surprise visit from Michigan. DH and I still talk about how dumbstruck we were. Good going Wild Ones for keeping it a secret!

July - Hot and humid in Tennessee. The highlight was driving up to Michigan mid month to help younger daughter celebrate her 26th birthday. We had a great time with her, family and friends while in the Great Lakes state. On return from our trip to Michigan, I started this blog. Older daughter had long encouraged me. Thanks!

August - The dog days. By August, DH and I had decided we were going to kill all our grass/crabgrass and have it reseeded. We spent a couple of enjoyable evenings at the University of Tennessee Extension service learning how to grow grass in Tennessee and what kind to grow. Hey, I'm from Michigan, we plant sod there! We now have grass rather than crab grass and are very happy with it.

September - DH and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary at the end of the month. I started hassling him about hanging pictures. Slowly but surely, they've been getting hung up.

October - Yet another trip to Michigan - this one for niece's wedding. It was a great wedding, but a short trip. DH came another year closer to a major milestone age!!

November - Lots of picture hanging, re-arranging of guest room stuff and preparations for our first overnight guest. Menu planning began for Thanksgiving when younger daughter would come for a week's visit. Unfortunately, younger daughter mangled the front end of her car and missed the trip here. Wah! Thanksgiving was a gorgeous day - so they tell me. I was busy cooking.

December - Christmas preparations begun. The tree actually went up the weekend of Thanksgiving, with most of the decorations the next day. Now the tree is up, snowbuddy ornaments on the tree, and my Snow Village (the home of the Snow Buddies) is displayed. Most shopping is done. Menu planning is in its early stages. Prepping gifts for Michigan to be mailed.
Husband spent one Sunday at the hospital with his dad an 89 year old with emphysema. Hospital sent him back home with some respiratory therapy follow-up. Wouldn't be the Christmas season without someone in the hospital! Christmas day was fun, with all but our Younger daughter present. Older daughter brought a friend from school and she was a lot of fun and added that extra cheer we needed from missing our younger daughter.

As the year winds up, plans in place to de-Christmas the inside and outside of the house. I will especially miss the exterior Christmas lights as our street is so dark. Only our neighbors across the street put up exterior lights - two lighted fake trees on their porch. Our wonderful neighbor, Mrs. A. had candle lights in all her front windows and that was it for our street.

I am reminded how fleeting good health is with updates from family and friends about their loved ones. Our family wishes yours the best for 2009.

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