|Sticks always make my dog happy.|
I have a renewed determination to get my house refreshed and actually finish all the projects. My ultimate goal is to sell the house and move to the western US. It would be nice if when I get the house spiffed up, the market at least stabilized for me. But, then again, because I have no critical drivers like having to move for a job, I can just keep it until it does sell. I could also rent it out. Because I paid it off and have no mortgage, I have a lot of flexibility with it. Such freedom!
2011 was the year of the dog for me. I adopted a 5 1/2 month smooth collie in Sept. 2010 so raising her and training was a large focus of my life throughout 2011. The effort has paid off nicely. She is turning into a really nice, obedient, and reliable dog. She meets part of the job I had in mind for her - when I am out in my van, she will deter most criminals just by being there. As she matures, she should develop some watch dog ability too. That is just barely beginning to emerge now. Plus, she's fun. Her antics make me smile and laugh out loud. Always a good thing.
My little changes I made to my van made last summer's trip much more comfortable for me. I currently have less interest in modifying the van because I am focusing on my house. I will probably not take many trips in 2012 because I want to get the house projects done. There's a July trip for the family reunion but no other plans at this time.
Retirement is really a huge life change and it did take me a while to get used to it. All the change was really good change, but change it was. I found the odd feeling of freedom to do anything I wanted with no bounds lasted a lot longer than I thought it would. I responded by doing a lot of things but not focusing on my long term goals. Consequently, the timeline I had set up before I retired is not even close to having been met.
After I got back from last summer's van trip, I felt a renewed determination to get the things done so I can do the things I really want to do and live the life I want to live. My house and property take up too much time and effort so I no longer want it in my life. But to get there, I need to finish all the projects that will make it an appealing place for the next owner and help entice another owner to buy it. Maybe I'll get lucky and the real estate market will start to come back.
This fall, I worked on my driveway paving. I kept at it on most days and was lucky that while the fall was wet with lots of rain, it also was mild temperatures. The brick project needs above freezing temps but cool temps help as it is basically aerobic weight lifting. At the close of 2011, I have only another 50 feet of driveway to complete. My driveway is 141 feet up to the back of the house where my rear loading garage has a parking pad. It is a lot but the gravel has been nothing but problems over the years. If I do the work myself, the brick aren't much more than asphalt would have been. The driveway withstood the propane truck and the sand truck. It flexed under the weight but it held.
I already have most of the big ticket materials needed to fix up the house - the bricks and flooring. I will need to get cabinets to redo the kitchen - or at least new doors. Most of the rest is painting and that needs to be done before anything else. If winter is cold, I will stop my brick laying and restart the painting jobs inside. In 2012, I am determined to get very close to done with this house! It is my job for 2012.
HAPPY NEW YEARS TO ALL!