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As I rolled through the house and made my list this morning what leaps to mind is “Wrecking ball then start from scratch”. Unfortunately, I can’t spend money on so much as a can of paint until after the BIG yearly bills, Homeowners Ins and Property Tax, are paid.  I am thankful my freezer is full.  Over the past 4 years since William passed away, it’s been one huge repair after another and I’m facing at least 3 more of those big repairs this year. I’ll include the big repairs in this list, but for January I can only take care of issues that I already have the supplies for.

We do have a lot of supplies, so I’m grateful for that. When we took over Billiam’s unfinished “To Do” list we needed dry wall compounds, tile, spackling, touch up paint, stain and various tools.  I think, with my son’s help, we can accomplish quite a few tasks while saving bigger things for when I can afford a gallon of paint.

Wheelchairs can take a toll on a house that is not built for wheelchairs. They take up a heckofalot more than 18 inches of space around furniture. Almost everything in this house shows some type of wheelchair damage just because I rather like to turn around on occasion without bashing my knees on something. Also, in William’s final weeks, he was too sick to walk and had to try to learn how to use my power chair.  Learn from my hindsight. If any of you know anyone that uses either a manual or power wheelchair, get lessons in driving them now. There’s a learning curve you do not want to travel in a health crisis. William put several cuts into doors, damaged the bullnose corners between bedroom and bathroom and even poked a doorknob shaped hole in drywall. I’ve done most of the damage on my own over the years just by needing to turn around in tight spots.

Last summer, John and I finally tiled the master bedroom. I’d had to rip up all the carpet in this house when my husband had to have tandem bone marrow transplants in order to have easily sterilized surfaces. The good news was that he never developed any of the infections that plague many people after this procedure. Bad news was that when he recovered, we had to replace flooring.  The master bedroom did not get done before he developed a whole new cancer that took his life.  John and I had never tiled a floor on our own before so this was the scariest project we ever tackled. It took us a good month to complete and was exhausting. The results were terrific, but we did not have the strength and stamina to tile the closets. He’s not going to be thrilled that I’m putting “tile hell” on the list, but he knows it needs to be done.


Mom’s china.  She loved this china. This was the special occasion stuff that was only used at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I inherited it. It’s pretty, I love it, there are lots of memories with it, but it just sits there collecting dust and taking up space that we could currently use for art supplies here in the Mad Artists Laboratory.  I need to store it in my Grandmother’s cedar chest.


Hopefully, this will be the easiest task on the list. For reasons known only to this drawer, the drawer face has come loose on one side.  No, I didn’t run into it with the wheelchair, it’s too high. No clue why this happened, it just did. Further evidence that William was the glue holding the house together.

Other niggling things include straightening up that beautiful patio that has become the playground for the Kraken Puppy, cleaning bird leavings off the front porch and (maybe) finish building the table and chairs I planned to put there, and cleaning out the barn aisle and shed.

Big things on the list that need doing but have to wait include fixing the leaky roof, repainting the great room and kitchen, staining the wood columns (we have the stain so it’s a low cost thing, it’s just really labor intensive and it’s a better project for February or March when we have more time to devote),  building a chest for the chair cushions the Kraken Puppy decided were chew toys, and building wood shelving and work station units in the garage.

There’s a good half a year of work to be done here and I’m tired just thinking about it. Time to hit the Motrin bottle, but I doubt I’ll tackle any of this other than that stupid drawer face today.