Happy New Year!

January 2, 2013 — 4 Comments


Happy New Year Everyone! I hope everyone had a joyful and restful holiday season!

I can’t believe 2012 is over and it is time to start thinking about 2013 and what lies ahead. This past year has been so full it is hard to imagine what is in store for this year. As you can see I’m starting off the year with a bit of a ramble. I’ve had some time to stew things over in my head, so I thought I would share.

I had some quality downtime over the break. So what did I do with it? We spent a good bit of time as a family and Mr. S. and I actually managed to get some alone time in, including going out to lunch a couple of times by ourselves!


I also managed to start cleaning and organizing the workroom in the basement and Mr. S. worked on a new logo for the blog and is part way through a new layout. I’m pretty excited about that, especially since the current format seems to be literally falling apart.


The other thing I managed to do was to read an entire book, which is a miracle in itself. I chose “Happiness at Home” by Gretchen Rubin. I haven’t read the “Happiness Project” but I thought this sequel might be more my speed. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, much less on actual concrete “home” and more on creating a better home life. A lot of the things she wrote resonated with me. So I’m not quite sure I will be starting a compete Happiness Project, but I am going to try and be more mindful and am considering a few small changes. I like her strategy of making small concrete changes, rather than large gestures that are harder to actually implement and stick to. Has anyone tried their own Happiness Project?


I also worked on some to do lists for the house. I really like making lists, particularly by hand. That way I can add notes, circles, cross things off. Does anyone else still do this?

What came out of my house lists and discussions with Mr. S. is that adding air conditioning by the summer is at the top of the LONG list. Our window units aren’t cutting it and with global climate change air conditioning has become much more of a necessity in these parts.  We also have some ongoing space planning issues on the second floor, which have been on hold until we determine the layout for the air conditioning ducts. Our general plan had been to install the unit on the third floor to feed the second and third floor. Our neighbors have this set up and it has provided ample cooling for all three floors of their house. Of course it is never that simple. It will require removing a good portion of the plaster knee walls in the third floor to insulate and then carefully snaking the ducting through the eaves down to the second floor and into the third floor. Well after some thinking about both the second and third floor problems, I think I have come up with a better solution. Our second floor ceilings are 9 1/2′ tall. The plaster ceilings in the master bedroom and the hallway need to be covered/replaced anyway, so why not take some of the ceiling height in the hallway and run the ducts down there? That should provide a straighter and cleaner installation for the air conditioning ducts. Of course that still requires insulating the third floor/roof and installing the base unit up there, but I think it might be a good solution.

As I work this out a little more in my head I will post up some drawings and photos. I also need to get some air conditioning and insulation guys in to take a look. I also need to figure out how to get more power up to the second and third floor without making a total mess of the house.

I also have a list of a LOT of smaller projects. So over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing some of these ideas.

Cheers to a wonderful 2013!


4 responses to Happy New Year!

  1. I love making lists. Jon jokes that my favorite part of any home improvement project is the PLANNING, and he’s not wrong!
    I can’t wait to see your drawings for the A/C. Every so often we’ll dream about the possibilities, but the first item on THAT list is “Win Powerball lottery” and so far it’s proved elusive.
    Happy New Year!
    (If you need a GREAT electrician, by the way, let me know!)

    • Hi Katie!

      I think my favorite part are the first hand sketches, before anything is dimensioned and everything seems possible. Then I add all sorts of notes until it is basically illegible. Of course this is followed by dimensioned drawings where I usually find out that nothing fits like I thought it would. So right now I am still in my “happy” anything possible period. Although it was a “aha” moment when I was staring at the second floor ceiling over vacation. I am hopeful that it will make the air conditioning less expensive, since I should be able to avoid a high velocity system.

      • I think the ceiling idea is awesome; and you will definitely save money if you can accommodate ducts.
        I love the early stages when there are no dimensions to worry about! That’s the only time both my desk and filing cabinet ever fit in my office! Ah, such sweet memories…

        • I’m glad I am not the only one! I remember fondly when everything magically fit in my basement, ahhh those were the days!

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