I haven’t posted anything in a long time; since November! But, a lot has happened and I just haven’t had the ambition to keep the site up to date. So, to recap:
We again talked about buying a house and decided it was time. We wanted to be settled somewhere permanent when Patrick started kindergarten. We found an agent and identified some houses we liked. On Saturday, November 15, the first house we visited was the one. We decided to make an offer before we even finished looking at the other houses we planned to see. Saturday night the offer was tentatively accepted (there was also a Hubbard Clause offer on the house), but Sunday it was formally accepted. Home inspections took place on Wednesday the 26th (the day before Thanksgiving). Preparing all of the paperwork for the loan was a bear.
Over the long Thanksgiving weekend we ate yummy food (including Thanksgiving Day lunch with my parents and brother Chris), built Santa’s Workshop out of Lego, visited Lake Compounce to see Christmas lights, and because Sherree’s Dad was up from Florida we celebrated Christmas with them, too.
On Wednesday, December 10, we got final approval from the underwriter for the house loan, however there was a lengthy list of conditions to close that required digging out and compiling a lot more paperwork. On Friday, December 19, we closed on the house! Of course, packing was well underway by then; we expected to move over Christmas vacation. On Saturday, the 20th, we had breakfast with Santa and Elsa and Anna (of Frozen fame). On the 20th we also went and bought a tractor for the new house — a John Deere 1025R with a bunch of attachments. We moved boxes every day from the 23rd through 26th, making one or two trips with our cars, help from friends, and a big moving truck on the 28th. Our first meal at our new house was lunch on Christmas day.
In addition to all of that excitement, we celebrated Christmas with my family on the Sunday the 21st — my parents came to our (old) house and we Skyped with Jim and his family. Of course, we finished that visit with my parents by giving them a tour of the new house. Christmas day Santa also brought some presents — to both of our houses!
On Monday, December 29th, Patrick turned five! We had a birthday party at Bounce Town on the 27th with a bunch of his friends. He made out like a bandit, of course, and still has boxes of unopened Legos.
There was so much to do to get the house livable. We were able to do a lot of unpacking after getting everything moved on December 28th through New Years, when we were both on “vacation.”
On Tuesday, January 6th, our tractor was delivered. We were concerned about getting heavy snowfall before having a way to clear it, so it was a relief to finally have it. We ended up having the tractor about a week before this year’s snow really came. I think we clearly made the right decision!
After clearing the overnight snow, Patrick, my Dad, and I headed to the Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show (“the train show”). Patrick had been very excited about this for quite a while and saved lots of money, and we had a great time exploring and finding all sorts of things to add to our little train layout.
It snowed. We cleaned up snow. Repeat, all month long. I also broke the snowblower on the tractor. There are a bunch of widowmakers on the property, and an 18” long by 4” diameter stick (er, log) fell into the driveway and was then covered by a foot of snow. I never saw it! I replaced a broken shear bolt on the auger, but noticed the impeller fan wasn’t turning, and the shear bolt for the fan wasn’t broken. The plastic fan attaches to a metal plate for the shear bolt, and it broke where the plastic fan meets the metal plate. Happily we still had the loader, and it was a warrantied repair; but, we still took the opportunity to upgrade to the metal impeller fan.