Our waking hours have been filled to the brim these last several months. There has been the usual garden and yard work, the usual housework and meals, and the usual number of hours spent on the work that brings in our income… but we have also tackled some really huge projects in what we optimistically call our “spare time.”

First we repaired and rejuvenated an old shed that was originally built over a hundred years ago. It is in amazingly good condition, except for normal deterioration and some recent rather extensive water damage, and we wanted our repairs to preserve the integrity of the shed’s age and history. I think we managed to do that, but finding appropriate materials at a reasonable price was more difficult than we had anticipated.

After a fresh coat of paint on the shed, we moved on to another building and replacing clapboards and more painting. Then we built a small front porch, and after that a very large deck and two flights of stairs. By the time we were finishing the last of these projects, the days were getting shorter, the temperatures were dropping drastically, and any spare time was becoming almost nonexistent.

The first lasting snowfall and two weeks of near-zero temperatures brought a sudden halt to our outdoor ambitions. After all those weeks and months of long hours and hard physical work, everyone agreed it was past time for a rest!

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What a beautiful tabby! It’s amazing how much time they spend sleeping. My dear Queenie, who is 12, spends much of her time curled up on her poof or watching the birds from my bedroom window.
Hubby and I got an early start (we thought) on the outside work, getting ready for our bird friends and making sure they had plenty of feeding stations and shelter from the weather. We have two new platform feeders this year and the cardinals love them. And we have a heated water supply for them. It is a magnet to so many birds. When the mourning doves come they drink like there is no tomorrow. For us, I guess, winter time is bird time. When it is too cold to sit outside, we watch them from the windows and enjoy the time they spend near us. There is nothing like seeing a male cardinal against the white snow.
I come to this site often, Shirley, and get inspired by your pictures and writing. May you and yours have a great 2015.


You folks amaze me with your ability to do so many things and take on big projects like these. Before I started reading here my hubby and I never did anything like this but we are learning slowly. We painted our new apartment and I refinished an old chest of drawers that my cousin gave me. Like you said these successes have made us want to do more.


I can’t imagine the length of your to-do list!! Seriously – you guys inspire me. Kudos for all the hard work. This is a marvelous blog.


We painted this summer too. We have a one story house so we didn’t have to deal with heights but painting a whole house, even a small one like ours, takes a lot of hours. It was a big accomplishment for us though and the neighbors have been very complimentary. Feels good.