Here we are in January again, turning the page of the calendar. January symbolizes fresh starts to many of us, and is even named for Janus, the Roman god of gates, passages, and doors; of beginnings, transitions, and endings. Janus is traditionally pictured with a double-faced head, the faces looking in opposite directions – to the future and to the past.
I have been “offline” for more than a quarter now, and I need to reboot my blogging – to make a fresh start. Looking back over the last calendar quarter or so, I’ve spent quite a bit of time without secure internet access. That took a lot of the wind out of my sails. I know I can post from my phone, but tagging, formatting, and attaching the photos I’d use are more cumbersome that way. I could go to a WiFi hotspot, but then my internet access isn’t secure, which isn’t great.
Why have I been without internet?
My beloved and I have been embarking on a new adventure. As you may remember, we were house-hunting over the summer, for a retirement home. There will be other posts about our various weekend treks around the US Northeast as we searched, and about our impossible wish lists…
But the short story today is that although he is still working, and will be for a while yet, we found and bought a fixer-upper about 3 hours away from our current home. There were some plumbing, heating, and electrical updates needed, and we’re attacking those in order of necessity (those will make for a fun post as well). But the house is structurally in pretty good shape (the outside is in great shape), and it’s near a good medical center, walking paths, and our little downtown.
As with any house, part of the process is envisioning the possibilities. Our new place required a little imagination.
Since we won’t be living there full-time for a while, we haven’t moved in much furniture, and we haven’t hooked up cable or internet. We’re taking advantage of the empty space to do some redecorating while we’re improving. So, I’ve spent much of the last few months there Monday-Friday in the company of contractors, having new outlets and lights put in, repairing some plumbing, and cutting through and redoing walls.
Most of the interior was covered in aging, yellowing knotty pine. We left the pine beams in the ceiling, and left some other accents up (some of which may get painted later after we’ve lived with it while.) However, we pulled the wood off of the living room, dining room and kitchen walls, improved the insulation, then added and painted drywall in a light neutral color until we decide if we need more color.
Old & new kitchen walls (prior to painting)
But wait, there’s more! In the halls, two of the bedrooms, and one of the bathrooms, the pine was covered with wood paneling, then wallpapered or painted. I’ve left the halls alone for now, as the wallpaper there is fairly neutral. However, we primed and painted the bathroom and bedrooms (again in a neutral beige for now) to update them. Here’s why:
Plaid red and teal wallpaper and Pepto-Bismol pink walls in the bedrooms. They were a little overwhelming.
Busy wallpaper and dark mirror in the powder room…
brightened up a bit… now to hang some pictures!
Anyway, we’re beginning a New Year, and although I have now committed to accomplishing a fairly daunting number of tasks at both houses, I am also committed to resuming my blog.
It’s time to look at goals and possibilities for the future – And I’m looking forward to getting back to work.
This post was written in response to two weekly blog challenges:
- The WordPress Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge on the topic of Beginning.
- The weekly Travel Theme challenge by Ailsa of WheresMyBackpack, on the subject of Possibility.
To see other bloggers’ responses and get more info on these challenges, just click on the links above.
Photo credit, Janus image: from “Janus,” Encyclopedia Mythica from Encyclopedia Mythica Online. [Accessed January 06, 2014]. © MCMXCV – MMVI Encyclopedia Mythica™. All rights reserved.