We've been a little busy.
At last report we had bought two 80-year-old houses in Murphys, in need of work and furnishings.
The living room was ripped up as the floors were being worked on. The bathroom had no working sink.
The plumbing was doubtful.
We had few lights, as everything had been stripped.
The smaller house was uninhabitable, and we had to consider demolishing it.
And we had almost no furniture.
Well, that has changed a lot, thanks to the incredible help, work and contributions from a village full of friends.
The Family Room seen from the kitchen.
The Dining Room is in the background, table covered with Christmas stuff.
and stocking hung by the chimney with care.
Our master bedroom is essentially done, except for pictures on the wall and the guest bedroom is sparse but useable. The spare bedroom has become Pat's exercise and music room.
Some other things have changed since the last report:
The heat works, and we have air conditioning.
The toilets flush, and they actually connect to the sewer.
The asbestos roof is replaced, and gutters installed.
The stucco is repaired, and the one-story house painted inside and out.
We have lights in ever room, and appliances cabinetry in the kitchen, and washer/dryer in the utility room.
The basements in both houses stay dry, most of the time, thanks to brand new sump pumps.
We have planted five trees and numerous bushes and ornamental plants, and hundreds of bulbs.
Credit for all the contributions of furnishings and labor will come later. We are considering setting up a plaque in bronze to honor the wonderful sharing we have experienced.
And we still are finding some surprises, like circuit breakers that pop regularly, slow drains, still-leaking basements, and places that flood when it rains hard.
But you get the idea.
We are home for Christmas.