December 30, 2009

2009: Year In Review

Kate over at Living The Frugal Life recently did a "Year In Review" post which I thought was interesting and a good idea (her's is here). It occurred to me that I should do the same, sort of a looking back and taking stock of what we've accomplished. So here it is:

January - February

January marked the beginning of our 4th year in the Upstate. In 2005 we had moved twice because of family problems and had finally landed here, with no place to go. At this point we'd been living in a second story apartment for almost three years. During that time we'd been looking for a homestead of our own, had one long drug out disappointment over ten acres, and were still looking.


I would check the real estate listings online every day and spotted this place the day it came on the market. Within a week we'd made an appointment to see the place and made an offer. After a brief bidding war, we lost to another buyer.


We were contacted by our real estate agent, were we still interested in the place? Original party had backed out. Were we interested? Of course! We already had loan approval so the formalities were a breeze. On April 30th we signed on the dotted line and received the keys.


Most of May was spent cleaning the place. It was really messy and dirty. On May 4th I started this blog and then took readers on a tour of our new home. (Floor plan with links to each room here.) By the third week in May we were tired of the hour and a half round trip drive every day and Dan said, "It's time to move in." Which we did.


After the house was livable we started cleaning up the yard. I discovered all sorts of wonderful things, including grapes and a fig tree. I also got my garden started.


We were making plans and setting priorities when our insurance company interrupted things with their own must do list. This was the month we tore down the chimney and planted a privacy hedge.


August was a month of mixed emotions. Our son got married :) but Catzee disappeared :( . We had the two big old oak trees next to the house trimmed. The branches which overhung the house became this year's firewood. We also had the roof replaced, and started preparations for next year's production garden. We were harvesting from the summer garden. August was the month the figs and blueberries came in. It was also when I bought a chest freezer.


This month we started working on the new hearth. We also started replacing the original knob and tube wiring in the house. For our outside project we started putting up a fence for goats. I harvested wild muscadines and started planning my herb gardens.


October's big house project was doing the woodstove alcove and installing the woodburning heat stove. We managed just in time for our first cold snap of the year. I started my fall garden and learned about fermentation as a useful process, both for seed saving and for food preservation. Foraging in October was for rose hips.


November was a house project month. We finished the indoor rewiring, added needed support to the dining room floor, painted the dining room, removed the old dining room floor, and put down the new hardwood flooring. Whew.


First Dan rewired the back porch and added a light outside the back door. Then we sanded and stained both the dining room and living room floors. Out of doors we planted our fruit and nut trees. The second half of the month, we decided to take a break and celebrate our first Christmas in our new home!

2009 Year In Review all text copyright December 2009 


Michelle said...

Sounds like a pretty wonderful year; a lot of hard work, but the beginnings of fulfilling many dreams. May next year only get better for you two!

Theresa said...

Oh my, never a dull moment in that year! Here's to you and your DH, may you have many many more wonderful ( and maybe a little less busy) years in the new homestead.

Life Looms Large said...

It's great that you have accomplished so much this year! There's something about working on your own home and own land that makes it all even more special to you.

Hope you have a great new year in your new (and very improved) home!


Benita said...

You know, I've been reading this blog since the beginning, so I am aware of all you have accomplished. But seeing it like this really brought it home how MUCH you two have accomplished this year. Wow!! Congratulations!

charlotte said...

You must have done work for at least five persons during this year! I wish you a great new year celebration in your new home!

Renee Nefe said...

Thanks for the review. I missed out on the buying of your property drama...isn't that always the case though.

I'm so glad that things are going well for you.

Wishing you and yours a very prosperous new year!

bspinner said...

You have had a very busy and rewarding year. Thank you for sharing your ups and downs in 2009.
May 2010 be happy and rewarding for both you and your husband!!!!

Leigh said...

Thanks Michelle. Yes, it's been hard work but we've really enjoyed doing it.

Theresa, no, never a dull moment! Thank you for your kind wishes.

Sue, I agree that it's really special to make a place one's own. Happy new year to you as well!

Benita, I appreciate your faithful readership! Doing this review was a really helpful exercise. Sometimes it seems like we're just spinning our wheels, but to look at it like this makes me appreciate how much we've actually accomplished.

Charlotte, well, we've been motivated! It is a joyful new year for us.

Renee, I'm not sure I ever told the actual story of how we got here. I wish the very same to you too!

Barb, thanks for reading and commenting. I've appreciated all the feedback, opinions, and ideas I've gotten from everyone. I hope the same for you in 2010.

Kate said...

Wow, you've had quite the year. It is pretty amazing when we lay it all out like that, isn't it? I would wish you a more restful year for 2010, but I suspect your list of projects is likely to be as long as ours, if not longer given the larger size of your property. Still, may 2010 be a happy and productive one!

Leigh said...

Thank you Kate. Yes, it's really helpful and encouraging to write it all out like that. Thanks for the inspiration!

Heather said...

Leigh, I love the story of how you came to be in your current home. I can only imagine how thrilled you must have been to get that call from your realtor after being disappointed (about missing out on a homestead) a second time. What a year 2009 was for you. :-)

Janet said...

Hi Leigh - reading your trials and tribulations and comparing with our experience. I thought all was going well for us apart from visa problems and now the burst pipe, leaking pipe again scenario. No hope for animals at our new home except for our cat whom we hope to bring over. I have yet to see the local racoon population but there are plenty of squirrels and robins.

Good luck to you in the New Year.


Leigh said...

Heather, it was pretty exciting. Now, no matter how frustrated or impatient we get with the state of things, we have that inner conviction that the place was meant for us.

Janet, so good to hear from you! Sorry to hear about the plumbing problems. :( I hope your cat can accompany you soon. Is there a long quarantine period? And I hope your making all your adjustment to Seattle well.