My Year in Review 2008

January 4, 2009

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I love going back through the past year and seeing all the stuff we accomplished. It’s easy to forget all the little changes that have been made. Reminding myself of them makes me feel much better!

January: We started off 2008 with a stomach bug. I discovered the wonderful wonders of ginger beer, but got sticker-shock at the store prices. I found a recipe for making it myself! I also found out the hard way what to do if a washcloth is flushed down the toilet. And here’s another little tip about clogged drains. I also did a little research into managing excess (or any) rain for recycling: here’s my rain barrel idea, and here’s how we rigged up our sump pump pipes to irrigate our garden. (Not too many photos with these, sorry– this was before I got camera-fever!). Here’s some thoughts on whole-house surge protection. We had a spectacular, record-breaking January thaw of 70 degrees! That was great. Don’t want to wallpaper but like stripes? Paint them on! It takes a little time, but it’s much more enjoyable than hanging wallpaper.

February: I blogged about my concern over the flooding and water run-off problems plaging New York State, and my own property. NYS has been very negligent with maintaining its infrastructure, and allowing bloated over-development. And the State doesn’t seem to be doing much about the mysterious bat deaths. It was a great month for dwelling on creepy critters– I blogged about the Mother of All Wasp Nests that formed in our maple tree, and reminisced about having to remove a huge bee colony from our bedroom wall (inside the studs). Oh, and if you haven’t bookmarked my post about a formula for removing skunk smell, be sure and do that. You never know when you may need it.

March: March is a soggy month– here are some tips for coping with a wet basement. Here’s our wet basement in action. I was reading headlines that foretold of a coming financial crisis in the banking industry. Here are some posts where I made some calls for thriftier, more resourceful living: with kitchen appliances; avoiding the home improvement magazine temptations; diluting your laundry and dishsoap detergent (and I also dilute my liquid soap in my bathrooms); changing one’s lifestyle; new does not always mean better. My thoughts on curb appeal as we gear up for spring. And is sometimes the case, we got a winter storm warning— for March 28!

April: GARDENING! FINALLY! I spent a lot of time choosing seeds and starting my seeds indoors and prepping my large vegetable garden. I also planted a grape vine, my first! My electrical wiring that I had done last autumn was approved and I got a certificate from the electrical inspector! I was feeling discouraged about my renovations (lack thereof), and reminded myself of my buried treasure. I did a lot of thinking about our society and economy– does money make you happy? And what will happen to our food supply and food costs in this country? And I wondered if I would ever “go Amish”? (I would love to). I also posted a few quick and frugal tips, for keeping your laptop cool, and gardening uses for coffee grounds.

April and May: I slowed down blogging a little, as we were preoccupied with a caterpillar invasion; planting my little seedlings in my flower and vegetable beds (such lovely green!); thinking that American citizens really need to resurrect community living again; watching my gardens grow.

June: Seeing an infomercial got me seething mad about how easy it is to create a serfdom in this country. In the garden, I blogged about treating chlorosis in your young trees. I also blogged about fixing up your paint cans for less messier painting. And I did a post about Our Renovator Story, with links to all the things we have done around here so far. We had an Energy Audit done, no big surprises there– our house is a money pit! Speaking of money pits, I wrote this. And suggested that everyone make one of these. On the light side, my kids made cool Lego models of Jim and Elisabeth Eliot’s mission to the Auca tribe in Ecuador.

In July, my lilies bloomed. Ooooo.

Oriental Lilies

Everything was growing like crazy! My Adirondack Red Potatoes grew! Yum! And I just love the color! We worked on our Secret Garden. I also wrote about the plight of the natural gas mines here in the Northeast. We got our Weatherization Grant job done— wow what a great job!

August: We got some outdoor work done– a beautiful concrete walkway for our Secret Garden. We used a Quikrete mold and it came out very well. I blogged more about thrift and our society, posting about the Planned Obsolescence that corporations afflict us with. I challenged a CNN article about “recession-proof” jobs— uhhh, I don’t think so! If anything, I think all these “crises” have been planned, for governments to gobble up our land and resources. One of my posts about such a thing got posted on the fron page of Alex Jones’ Info Wars website. Who really owns your land?

We installed a French Drain outside to help with the water problems, because we have too much water around here. We walked in our steamy, soggy yard early one morning to find a tiny snake.

September: With the onset of school, I was so thankful I’d installed Cat5 in the walls when I gutted the living room!!! I posted some tips about how to save $$ over the winter (take it from a pro). Now that the days are shorter, make indoors more fun for the kids– glow in the dark paint! We love ours. My back went out again and I got an exercise ball— when I could extract it from the boys!

October was busy, but I did some blogging. I discovered a very cool touch-lamp gadget— I love this! I also did a review of the Temperpedic Mattress— we got one for my bad back. Yours truly was interviewed by a real estate expert, this was fun! I won a video contest with a $500 prize! Snow fell. We had fun with our new kitty, Olivia. Gosh, she’s ADORABLE! I did a post on the secret Underground Chicken Movement, sweeping the country and throwing governments into tizzies!

November: I did a post on winter preparation. I did a paper towel comparison review, in time for the holidays. Results were surprising. My review of a GE upright vacuum gave a thumbs down.

A laminate flooring update (it’s holding up well). DO NOT cover your cold air return vents! I mourned the death of the Yugo… BYE BYE! FINALLY a can opener that works for me! I interviewed the delightful Martha Webb on home staging— read this post before your next open house!! More government tyranny. We’ll see if these kitchen trends come to pass this year *shudder*. I was bored. What’s inside a computer keyboard? The cat discovers the delights of toilet paper, terrific. But she’s so ADORABLE!! VERY cool virtual skylights, I want some!

December: Can’t afford a real tin ceiling? Try this. It works for us! Another cool touch-light gadget, love these things! We got our first bird feeder and made a video for the momentous occasion. And I thought my beagle was bad.
Lake effect snow, in pictures before and after. Times are changing— literally. We got a ton of snow to see the old year out and the new year in.

Whew! I guess I blogged a lot! Here’s to a terrific new year!

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