Monday, October 31, 2011


I saved some pics until today to show you, because they're appropriately creepy.

Now that discussion on tearing out the shower stall on the back porch/laundry room has turned serious, there's the question of what to do with the gaping holes that will be in the porch ceiling once the ugly shower is gone.  (The walls surrounding the shower stall extend up through the porch ceiling.)  I thoroughly detest the 1970s-era acoustic tiles on the ceiling and was hoping that the original beadboard ceiling might be above them.  First I carefully removed one of the tiles.  And by "carefully removed", of course I mean I smashed the thing with a hammer.  Insulation and dirt rained down.  No beadboard or other earlier ceiling was visible.  Well, crap. 

Then I wondered just how much insulation was up there, and if the roofline of the existing porch at all matched the roofline of the original porch, and if the ceiling might be raised so that the transom between the kitchen and the back porch might be used (right now it's painted over and was tacked shut), so I climbed up on a stepladder, pried the transom open, and took these photos: 
A fair amount of insulation.

Existing roofline does not match original at all. 

Impressive cobwebs.
And the results of this investigation:  The ceiling will stay right where it is....but it will be covered over with beadboard.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Truth Comes Out

You cannot hide the truth.  It always comes out.  This I have learned in my nearly 45 years on this planet.

When last I blogged, I told y'all that John said the point of old-house restoration is "to keep moving forward".  Remember that?  John said, "The point here is to keep moving forward."  Moving.  Forward.

And then yesterday I found out that he's re-done his bathroom four times in the past five years.  Four times.  FOUR.  In five years. 

Ohhhhh yeahhhhh, you know I made fun of him for that. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Look, A Kitty!

My friend John has known me for 30 years.  In the past three decades, he's gotten used to hearing me go on and on about my crazy ideas and big plans for this or that.  He lets me prattle on for a little while, and then, invariably, he laughs, points, and says, "Look, a kitty!"  It's his way of reminding me that I am...shall we say...easily distracted. 

The most recent instance of John's saying, "Look, a kitty!" came Sunday night, when I first told him I was going to paint the kitchen turquoise and then explained (again) my plan to remodel the two bathrooms, beginning with tearing out that shower stall.  "Look," he said gently, "the idea here is to keep moving forward.  The kitchen's done.  Why would you repaint it?"  Oh.  Well, that makes sense.  And then he asked, "When did you finish fixing that peeling paint you were talking about?"  Ouch.  Um.  Well, I haven't finished it. 

But I did start it.  Yesterday.  I went out to the east side of the house and discovered that it looks even worse than I thought it did, so I commenced to scraping yesterday afternoon.  I got almost all the loose paint scraped off, and then I went out to the new hardware store in town and bought several tubes of painter's caulk, and then I came back home and commenced to caulking.  I finished the full length (about 20 feet) of three clapboards before I began having doubts that I was doing it right and called White Trash Bob for affirmation.  (It was WTB who suggested this method of fixing the peeling:  scrape all the loose paint off, wet your hands, dispense a big blob of painter's caulk into one palm, and smear over the clapboards, sealing in the edges where paint meets wood.  He did this with great success on an old house he used to own, so I have high hopes for my own house.)  WTB declared that I was indeed doing it correctly and that I should have no trouble finishing before winter if the weather holds and if I work hard on my days off. 

And then we decided that since yesterday was one of those rare late-autumn days of unseasonably warm weather and clear skies, that what we really ought to do was to get on WTB's motorcycle and go for a ride to enjoy the weather and the changing leaves on the trees.  We got back just before dark.  Thereby proving that a Triumph motorcycle can also be a kitty. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

I Have An Idea

I have an idea.  Another one, besides painting the kitchen turquoise.  Now mind you, I've been sick since Sunday morning so I've had a lot of free time to think, in between sleeping, and barfing while Mean Little Marie stands on my back (she has well-earned her name), and going to the doctor, and sleeping some more. 

Y'all probably remember me griping and complaining about how much it bugs me that the back door's been moved and doesn't match up with the back walkway.  The reason the back door was moved is that Charline (the suckiest of the Sucky Previous Owners, the one who shingled the damn house) had a shower stall put in on the back porch, right in front of the door, which necessitated moving the door.  The stupidity of this continues to thoroughly amaze me. 

Anyhow, Mare and I came up with this grandiose plan a little over two years ago to remodel the bathrooms:  we'd tear out the shower stall, move the back door to its (sort of) original location, put in a window where the door is now, knock out the wall between the two bathrooms, tear out all the fixtures in those two bathrooms, repair the water-damaged subfloor, lay a hex tile floor, put up beadboard, paint or paper the walls, and then install all new fixtures and a clawfoot tub.  Whew.  This is typical of Mare and me, to come up with a plan that far outstrips both our time and our resources. 

Now here's my new idea:  Divide and conquer.  Tear out the shower stall, move the back door, and put in a window.  Leave the rest for later.  Of course, it's not really that simple.  Tearing out the shower stall will still be a pain in the hiney.  So will moving that door and putting in a window.  A lesser pain in the hiney, though, than trying to do everything all at once.  Now I just have to track down Mare, who's been MIA for several months and see what he thinks of this idea.

Oh, and I'm still hanging onto that other idea of painting the kitchen turquoise.  I just got sidetracked this week by illness.  I'll find more pictures of the kitchen, both past and present, so you can get a better idea of what and where I'm planning to paint. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

That Advice Thing, Again

This post isn't really my typical blog post.  It's a public service announcement.  So, listen up.

If you have a best friend who is a paramedic, very intelligent, highly respected, and who looks out for you like you're his favorite sister, and that guy tells you, "The department's giving free flu shots; you oughta get one", the proper response to that is a resounding, "Okay, I'll run right over there!"

Not, "Meh...I'm not in one of the high-risk groups so I think I'll skip it."

Because if you do not take that good advice to get a flu shot, and then you end up with the flu, and you call your brother-from-another-mother Kenny to whine about how awful you feel, you will not get any sympathy from him.

You will get, "I told you so, Calamity!  I told you so!!"  (Yes, the man calls me Calamity.  And it's stuck, so now other people call me this, too.  Sigh.)

Get a flu shot. Especially if you're in one of the high-risk groups:  the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, health care workers, pregnant women, people with asthma or other respiratory diseases, and at-home caregivers of children younger than 6 months old.  But even if you're not in one of those groups, get a flu shot.  (Unless, of course, you have a severe allergy to eggs, have ever had Guillain-Barre Syndrome, or have had a bad reaction to a flu shot in the past.)

Or you could end up like me.  In the words of Catherine Aird, "If you can't be a good example, you'll have to serve as a horrible warning."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Playin' the Blues

It's 2 a.m.  I couldn't sleep very well Sunday night (I have a cold or something--sore throat, stuffy nose, headache, etc.) and so I laid down for a short nap Monday after lunch.  I woke up at 7:30 p.m.  So much for going to the new hardware store in town to get paint samples.  Sigh.  So here I am, at 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, hoping that I go to sleep soon and that I don't sleep through my alarm.  Again. 

I've been playing with Virtual Painter on the Valspar website.
Deep Turquoise

Glass Green

LaFonda Teal

Ocean Soul

Positano Blue

Sea Wave

Tidal Teal
I've narrowed it down to these.  So far.  Until later today when I come home with 57 paint chips.  (Past experience speaking here.)  Then I'll tape those up all over the walls, force myself to narrow it down to my three four five favorites and buy samples of those, which I'll paint onto posterboard, tape onto the walls, and live with for a month week until I decide which color to use.  Which one do y'all like best?  I have a favorite already, but I don't want to say in case it might keep someone from saying it's a godawful color.

(By the way, it's not that I have any overwhelming allegiance to Valspar--although I do like it--it's that Valspar is available locally and I'm trying to support local business.) 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

House of Blues

Yesterday afternoon when I was looking for something in the cargo space of the Toaster (what the guys at work dubbed my Kia Soul) I pushed a bag aside and the contents spilled out:  red envelopes, scrapbook paper in different shades of turquoise blue, pink ribbon, white cardstock.  Supplies for my save-the-date cards.  They were gonna be so cute, y'all.  Sooo cute. 

Let's all pause just a moment for a prayer, shall we?  Thank you, Jesus, for giving me a brain so that I could figure out that marrying a man who hates old houses, calls me by his ex-wife's name, and goes through a one-liter bottle of Ten High Bourbon in three days would have been a terrible, terrible mistake from which I might never have recovered.  Amen.

Anyhow, as I was cramming all that stuff back into the bag I was thinking about how much I like that color combination.  Pale turquoise and a clear red is such a lively, pretty combination.  It's a shame I don't have anywhere in the house I could use that.....or do I?  What if I repainted the yellow kitchen?  Would it look good with the red-and-white chicken wallpaper?  Turquoise might not look good with the green table and chairs, but I've been wanting to repaint them anyway.  I bought them online and the description said "distressed"--in reality, it looks like a wolverine clawed the table legs and the chair backs.  I painted the kitchen yellow back when the outside of the house was still covered with yucky brown shingles and I was dying for some color.  Now that the outside of the house is yellow, this is a bit too much yellow for me.  

What do y'all think?  Pale turquoise?  Robin's egg? Stupid idea?

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Other Side of Craptastic

The craptastic door from the other side.  With baby gate in place.
Go ahead and laugh, y'all.  It's funny as all get out.  But hey, it works.  And best of all, this little bit of redneck ingenuity was free because I already owned both the door and the baby gate.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


The craptastic kitchen door is back.  I have admitted utter defeat.  But strangely, I feel better now that it's back.  Allow me to explain.  (This is a somewhat long explanation, so if you want you can skip to the funny story in the next-to-last paragraph.  I won't be offended.)

Note the year on the calendar.
Hey, the days are the same, so it works.
About a year and a half ago, I decided the door between the kitchen and the laundry room/enclosed back porch was just too ugly and awkward to tolerate any longer.  It's a wider-than-average door (the doorway is the original back entrance to the house; the door is decidedly not original to the house) and it opened against the fridge, so when the door was open, and you opened the fridge door, it bumped against it.  The open door also blocked the trash can and recycling bin, which because of the layout of the kitchen can't be put anywhere else.  So, in a snit, I took the door off and shoved both halves of it down the basement steps.  I intended to buy a folding door, which would've looked nicer and not stuck out into the kitchen awkwardly.  But guess what?  They don't make single folding doors that wide, nor do they make double folding doors that narrow.  Grrr.  The chirpy woman at the big-box store told me I could special-order a folding door the size I needed, but I have better things to spend my money on. 

However....not having the door there at all proved way more problematic than having an ugly door there.

First, winter came.  The laundry room has no HVAC and no insulation in its walls (not that the rest of this house has insulation in the walls, either) so it gets mighty chilly back there.  All that Arctic air wafts into my bedroom, which is conveniently located just off the kitchen and laundry room.  Last winter I hung a big fleece blanket in the doorway to block the air.  You won't see that crafty idea on HGTV, I tell you. 

Second, the laundry room is bright and sunny.  This is a nice feature if you're a daywalker person who sleeps at night.  It's irritating if you're trying to sleep in the daytime and, even if you close the bedroom door, sunlight streams in through the kitchen doorway and through the transom above the bedroom door and right into your eyes.

Third, the animals can't be shut in my room while I'm trying to sleep because they have to potty, or they bicker, or they need a drink or a snack.  (Like little kids, really.)  Simply shutting them out doesn't work either because Louis Cat sticks his paws under the door and rattles the door in the frame or Libbi (my dog) scratches on the door because she's lonely.  They also have access to the kitchen that way, which means little kitty pawprints on the kitchen countertops (eww!), Louis popping open the cabinet doors to go spelunking in there, and Mean Little Marie turning on the kitchen faucet. 

So the craptastic door is back.  In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, I braved the basement (and found a dead, petrified mouse on the dirt floor down there), retrieved the two halves of the Dutch door, and re-hung it.  I hadn't bothered to take the hinges off the door when I removed it, so re-hanging the door took about 10 minutes.  And I put this off for 18 months.  I amaze myself...and not in a good way. 

Roughly five minutes after I hung the door, herded the animals to the laundry room, shut the door, and latched the flap on the pet door, Marie tore the flap off the pet door, breaking both the plastic hinges and the plastic latch in the process.  I attempted to re-create the hinges and the latch with Hello Kitty Duck Tape, but Marie tore the flap off again and then became even more enraged when the tape stuck to her paws and fur.  (If you ever have to pull Duck Tape off an angry cat, I recommend donning heavy gloves and using a big piece of cardboard as a shield.  Less blood loss that way.)  Now there is a baby gate in front of the door, which is closed.  It doesn't look stupid at all. 

And then, something wonderful happened.  I went to bed and got 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  No cats stepping on me, no dog burrowing under the covers, no Gracie licking my hair.  And when I woke up, the kitchen was just as I left it.  No water running (Marie can turn the water on, but not off), no cabinet doors open, no cardboard dragged out of the recycling bin and chewed up.  Wonderful.  I expect more wonderful things when I get home this morning and any mess or chaos that occurred overnight is confined to the laundry room, which is now a giant kennel. 

Craptastic door, I think I love you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Perspective, Or Not

In the ongoing saga of renovation burnout...

I went out this weekend with some friends, and we ran into some other friends, who of course asked me what I was working on at the house.  My answer?  A roll of the eyes and a loud "GAH!" 

To which our friend Steve replied, "Uh-oh", and then sat me down for a heart-to-heart.  He told me mostly what I've already heard:  that I should ride out the lack of motivation because it will return someday, that I should do what has to be done before winter and wait on the rest, that everyone with an old house goes through this at some point, and that if I have something small and not too expensive I should hire it out to improve my mental state. 

Then The Magnificent Greg chimed in and pointed out something that should have been obvious to me:  When I was working on the house down the street with my then-boyfriend Mare, we had help.  Lots of it.  We knew three or four other couples who were also renovating/restoring old houses and we took turns helping out each other.  (All of those couples but one have since split up, by the way, which probably ought to tell me something....)  Working on an old house mostly alone is wholly different from working on an old house with the help of 6 or 8 good friends.  For some reason, that didn't occur to me before now.

And then a woman who lives down the street (who is half of the only couple to have stayed together) said, "Taking those shingles off the house is the best thing you could have done for it.  Every time I go by there I just say, WOW."  That prompted an friend from high school who I haven't seen in years to ask me about that, and I told him the story of tearing off the outside of my house, whereupon he let out a low whistle and said, "Holy shit." 

So I went home that night feeling a whole lot better about the house and my mental health in general.

That, in turn, prompted me to get off my hiney yesterday and decorate the porch and the parlor windows for Halloween.  Picking a project that will pay off in terms of appearance, as Karen Anne said.  (Photos next time because I can't find my USB cable.)  After that, I took Milah's good advice about a fall cleaning doing wonders, and I scrubbed my floors and cleaned up the house.  All of which brightened my spirits considerably.

And then, as I sat in my nice clean second parlor, the phone rang.  It was my favorite local realtor, the guy I would entrust to sell the Kelly House if it ever comes to that, and he said, "I heard through the grapevine that you like a little house on Highland."  I heaved a big sigh and said, "Oh yes, I really, really do."  He told me that he's sold it a couple of times, knows a lot about it, and would love to show it to me.  I resisted the temptation.  For now.  Oh, how fickle is my supposed love for my house at this moment....

Friday, October 7, 2011


I'm seriously crushing on that house over on Highland.  Seriously.

I first developed this crush when I spent about five hours inside that house during last year's Old Homes Tour.  I liked the house already, but an afternoon spent with folks ooh-ing and ahh-ing over it while you walk 'em through it can make a girl's heart flip right over.  And then there was the Laurel-and-Hardy moment just after the tour ended, when all us girls (including the house's owner) kicked off our shoes, leaned back in chairs on the sun porch, and prepared to post-mortem Tour Day until someone said, "Uhhhh....someone's at the door," and the homeowner said something like, "Oh crap, it's the realtor and she wants to show the house," and we rushed around putting away a couple of snack trays, stowing dirty plates in the dishwasher, tucking tour signs into drawers, and then all us volunteers ran out the back door and hid, giggling, until the realtor and the looky-loos got inside, whereupon we dashed out to our cars and made a getaway.  That was fun.  (Also, I want y'all to know that I went to high school with the realtor and I am biting my tongue because I really, really want to say something snarky.  Suffice it to say, I was in the geeky crowd--hard to imagine, I know--and she was a Popular Girl.  Admire my restraint, y'all.)

Anyhow, because I was thinking about the Old Homes Tour, I googled it and found a non-blurry photo of the house and a nice little description of it.  Ain't it cute?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Good Advice

"I often give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it."
--Alice In Wonderland

I'm a lot like Alice.  I can think a problem through, sit myself down, and give myself very good advice.  And then I go and do whatever I want to do anyway, which very often is the polar opposite of the good advice I'd just given myself.  That's why talking things over with friends is important.  Y'all think of things I wouldn't, remind me of things I've forgotten, give me great ideas, and put things in perspective.

After I read the comments to my last post, three things stood out:

Karen Anne's advice to take a wait-and-see approach.  "Either the price will come down further or the house will be sold, solving your problem."

Sandra's very wise reminder.  "All of us enslaved to an older house covet ones that are perfectly finished."

Dave's good advice.  "Accept the burnout and go with it when it happens."

I thought about all of that on my days off, mostly while sitting on my front porch with a cold beer in my hand, and I made a decision that's a conglomeration of those three pieces of advice:  I'm going to finish what has to be done before winter (namely, the peeling paint on the east side of the house) and then I'm going to sit back and wait until my restoration burnout dissipates, because everybody who has an old house feels this way sometimes and it will probably pass--but if it doesn't go away in a year, then I'm going to buy that house on Highland.  A year.  I'm giving myself a year.

I also took Dynochick's advice about putting hot towels on the floor to dissolve the glue, but that didn't work.  Joey (the floor guy) thinks that's because the glue on my floors is newer and not water-soluble.  Speaking of Joey, when things slow down a little for him this winter, he's going to come over and give me a real estimate for refinishing my floors.  A real estimate, not the "somewhere between $2,500 and $5,000, prolly" that he gave me a couple of years ago. 

Then I sat down with a calculator and started working on a Real Budget for the bathroom renovation.  A real one, not the seat-of-my-pants estimating that I usually do.  I want to come up with a total cost for materials, add a healthy 15% to 20% to that to hedge against unseen problems (because you know there will be some), get a plumber in here to bid the work I don't know how to do or don't want to mess with, add in Joey's estimate for the floors in the rest of the house, and then get a loan to cover all that and be done with it.  The two things I detest most about my house right now are the horrid floors and the horrid bathrooms.  Horrid, I tell you.  If the floors and the bathrooms were done, I might forget all about the Highland House...but if I don't, having that stuff done will help out my resale value.  I'm against loans on principle (haha, principle) but in this case, with my mental health at stake, I'll make an exception.

And speaking of mental health...remember The Devil Queen?  If you're not familiar with this blog, you really ought to read it.  John says in the header that it's a cautionary tale, and it truly is.  My house is not nearly "the ruin" (John's word) that the Queen was before John and his wife started their restoration, but this is a case of Restoration Burnout becoming terminal.  Reading The Devil Queen again makes me feel both better and worse.

A plan.  A year.  Or so. Mark your calendars, y'all, because come Fall-ish 2013 2012, we'll revisit this issue.

Late Edit:  Thanks to Kate H. for pointing out my incorrect timeline.  I shouldn't try to write intelligently just before bedtime.  :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Movie Night

I still haven't found my missing house mojo.  But in the meantime, I found something on YouTube.  Something wonderful.  "Videos For Cats", and that's exactly what they are--videos for kitties to watch. 

So little Gracie and Louis had a movie date.

Isn't that cute??

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I Lied...A Little

I have a confession to make, y'all.  I lied.  Just a little.  It was more a lie of omission, as the priest would say, than an intentional lie.  So if you're grading on the curve, I thought I'd throw that in there.

Anyhow, my long absence from this blog has not been entirely because I was mourning the loss of the clawfoot tub.  It's because I have a serious case of Renovation Burnout.  I mean, a serious case.  Like, almost terminal.  I have not done a damn thing on my house other than to maintain the usual state of untidiness and clutter since...oh, my...since August 2nd.  Oops.  I told my daughter-in-law that I'd taken a thirty-day break from the house.  Hey, Sarah, make that a sixty-day break.  Yowza.

Just how bad is this Renovation Burnout?  Bad enough that I seriously contemplated chucking it all in and buying another house.  Yeah...that bad.  Not just any house, though.  An 1845 Greek Revival that's six blocks from my house in another one of the four National Register Historic Districts in my town.  It's a terrific little house.   You can see for yourselves here.  (The photos don't do it justice.)  The two upstairs bedrooms are tucked under the slope of the roof and are cute as can be.  The kitchen's really pretty, the hardwood floors are gorgeous (I wonder if Joey refinished them??), the rooms are all painted these warm Pottery Barn colors, and the downstairs bathroom even has a clawfoot tub.  The best part is:  the house is done.  Done.  Finished.  Routine maintenance only.  No painting to be done, no wallpaper to be hung, no glue-crusted floors to be refinished, no yucky 1970s bathrooms, no picture rail to hang, no light switches that don't work, and as far as I know no scary trap-door basement.  (I have to end this list here, before I cry.) Tempting.  And did you see the price?!  Holy Buyer's Market, Batman!! 

So then, I appealed to my friend John (a house appraiser and old-house-freak like myself) before I ran off foaming at the mouth to the realtor's office.
Me:  "Talk me out of this, John.  You know, like you did before."
John:  "Location, location, location.  You've got location where you are.  There's a reason this house is down to where it is."
Me:  "But I love her."
John:  "Just say no!....To debt."
Me:  "But I love her."
John:  "Your house has one of the best locations you can probably get in Lexington."
Me:  "But...but..."
John:  "Sorry to piss in your Post Toasties, but you asked me to."
Me:  "I know...but still, with all that said, this house makes me swoon.  It's like being in love with someone I know is bad for me.  I mean, I think it's like that.  I certainly have no experience with that.  Nope.  Not me."

So I didn't go running off like a rabid chicken to the realtor's office.  (Do chickens get rabies??  Christine??)  And that's only partly because by the time I woke up Saturday afternoon the realtor's office was already closed.  Today I'm safe, because it's Sunday. 

Dear Readers, I appeal to you:  One of you, please buy that house.  Or make me an offer on mine.  I beg of you, buy that house.  It's the only way to end this craziness and house-loathing.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tub Story 2, A Tale of Procrastination & Woe

I apologize for my long absence, but I have been mourning the apparent loss of my free clawfoot tub.

I say "apparent" because although it's lost, no one seems to know exactly what happened to it.  See, a long, long time ago--like at the beginning of baseball season, when it looked like the Red Sox might make the playoffs instead of falling completely apart in an astounding night of baseball that left me whomper-jawed and kicking things--what was I saying??  Oh, yeah.  A long time ago, like back in April, there were two clawfoot tubs in the parking lot of what would later become the awesome new hardware store.  They were both painted green.  Mine, in case you wondered, was the slightly smaller one on the right which was a slightly lighter shade of green and had had its feet removed.  Shortly after the hardware store opened, both the tubs disappeared. 

Two weeks or so ago, I asked The Magnificent Greg (aka The Tub Giver) to check on the whereabouts of my tub.  He came back with a mumbly answer that was something like, "I dunno where it is," which might have been the truth or might have been TMG's way of sloughing me off.  So then my daughter-in-law and I drove around behind the hardware store to see if someone might have dragged the tub back there for safekeeping.  My heart leapt when we found a little tub on a pallet, missing its feet, which was in the process of having its paint removed.  "That's it!" I squealed.  Sarah said, "Mom, what paint's left on the tub is white, not green.  I don't think that's the same tub."  I may have wept a little, but I bravely took her out for shrimp nachos and beer, which made me feel a teeny bit better. 

But I am still sad.  A free tub, lost.  Lost through my own procrastination and stubborn refusal to ask for help in hauling it from the parking lot to my house way back in April.  Procrastination....stubborn independence.....Hmmm, that's a familiar theme here.  And I know last time I talked about the tub, I said if I'd lost it I would need one of y'all to come kick my hiney.  Well, that's not necessary.  I've already kicked myself plenty over this thing.  I lost a free tub.  Free.  So now, the budget for the bathroom remodel has increased again by about $1200, conservatively.  Rats.  Which means it will be put off again, until probably Spring of 2013.  Rats, RATS.

And now, I think I'm done kicking myself over it.  At least temporarily.  Competitive Freezing Season (also known as Winter) will be on us before we know it, and I have stuff to do.  Lots of stuff to do.  I need to scrape the peeling paint off the east side of the house, caulk over it like White Trash Bob taught me last fall, and then paint it.  I need to make sure all the storm windows are secure, check the caulking around the window frames, put some Seal-N-Peel around the inside frames of the windows, put plastic film (ugly but effective) over the leakiest windows, and generally get the house tucked in for winter.  After that, I can make a list of the winter/indoor projects....some of which are still hanging around since last winter.  Or even the winter before.  It's that procrastination thing, ya know?