The end of my two week vacation

Today is the end of my two weeks of vacation. I haven’t had two weeks like this since 2004 when I went to India. Oh, I’ve taken 7 – 10 days off in the past here and there at the end of the year before between Christmas and New Year’s, but it’s always gone fast. Or I had catch up work to do. Something always happened.

Apart from seeing movies and relaxing with the family, I wanted to get a lot of work done in the house. I will admit that I didn’t get as much done as I wanted, but what we did accomplish was very much worth it. The first week went by fast with all of the Christmas activities, plus our weekend away the day after Christmas.  The rest of the time off, and especially while my wife was home, we got a lot of work done in the house. It was clean up, decluttering, and general fix-up work that needed to get done for a long time.

1. Most importantly, after trying for many months, we found a contractor to repair the 2012 Super Storm Sandy -related exterior damage to our house, including the squirrel hole. About three weeks ago, I found out that not only was my squirrel friend still coming on a daily basis into our attic to sleep, I think he was bringing his girlfriend too. So now we had a squirrel man cave, and a love nest. I renewed my push, calling contractors. On Saturday, December 28th, the squirrel is gone.

2. Decluttered the master bedroom and our walk-in closet.

3. Decluttered the hallway closets. Also,  met with a closet design company that we’ve worked in the past, and put in an order to redesign our downstairs hallway closet.

4. Decluttered the side of the office where I had a stack of papers and photos as high as my knees. Recycled a lot of stuff, but I will need to budget some time to clean out our filing cabinet, and file all of the documents that I found, and which we need to keep.

5. Installed / replaced two sets of bathroom tissue holders (for 1.5 bathrooms) and installed a new dual towel bar for the kids, since Lily played jungle gym last year and broke one of the originals towel bars that came with the house. For all of the above mentioned work, I had to remove the old hardware, spackle, sand, and install the new hardware. Not a lot of work, per se, but it was long in coming.

6. Removed the caulk in the master bath shower, cleaned the shower stall from top to bottom, and applied new silicone caulk. Side note: I am now the proud owner of a caulk gun. We also cleaned and scrubbed the master bathroom from top to bottom.

On the plate for 2014?

1. I never got to finish decluttering the basement. It’s probably only 25% of the way there from what we started in 2013.

2. Reorganizing of our filing cabinet.

3. New upstairs carpeting.

4. Painting the upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms.

5. Replacing the upstairs shower heads and fixtures.

6. Regrouting the tiles in the kids’ bathtub, and putting in new caulk also. A top to bottom cleaning wouldn’t hurt either. Those kids are sweet, but also filthy.

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