December 2008                                         Click on (most) images for a larger view.

I found myself fully engaged in my Mother's care this month.  She came home from being in respite care on the 4th and required 24/7 care while she recuperated from her surgery after a fluke fall.  On the 15th we flew down to Texas to visit my sister and brother-in-law, as my sister had suggested that Mom come down and stay with her them for a while.  Nancy is in an ideal position at this time... she is home full-time so can be a huge help in furthering Mom's recuperation.  So I stayed 11days returning on the 26th.  Thomas took the opportunity to return to the cottage to anchor his light in our shambhala there.
We had a few days, just before I went to take care of Mom, to get the scaffolding built to get us to roof line above the balcony.  We wanted to get this closed in as most of our severe weather comes from the south east.  We had drilled holes in the ends of the glulams last August because we thought ahead to the time when the house would need to be painted or the beams and decking stained again.  We're sailors so we figured tying on with one's harness to something while up on scaffolding or ladders was a good safety feature.  Well it came in handy while building and working on our first free-standing scaffolding.
This was a time too when decisions had to be made about the balcony door because we had to finalize the rough opening (we had made it bigger than we needed to).  We had designed it for a in-swing French door. We weighed the pros and cons of a standard patio door vs. a French door in construction and how we could best frame, enclose, and seal to protect our envelope..  After much research and measuring, and visits to window/door companies we found the perfect door!  It is more costly than I had planned to spend but it was crucial to get the best because this door will get the brunt of the weather and it must be tight.  I went with an in-swing French door that is very solidly built and weather tight.  We then made alterations to the framing to finalize the rough opening.
The day before I left we got snow... and of course because the north wall is not closed in yet the north winds blew the snow right in!  Here I am trying to sweep it to get rid of as much as possible!  We figured that it would soon melt and then it would take quite a while for it to dry after it melted.  We saw other construction sites under 2 inches of water in the fall/winter... they needed to bring in huge fans to dry it out!  We didn't want that to happen to this house!  Thomas stayed on another day to secure the site which was fortunate because we got more snow while away.
So that is what we accomplished in December.  Our sites this year had been to be closed in for the winter so we could be working inside on our electrical and plumbing.  We didn't make it.  So... we'll get right back at it in January!   As far as being there for my Mother as she needed care... it was a wonderful opportunity to manifest my love for her as my mother and just another human being in need.  It made both Thomas and I wonder what it will be like for us in our aged years.  We don't have children to take care of us.  We have each other.  We shall meet that challenge if it should arise.  In any event we all need to take care of ourselves all the time... not just when we are hurt or sick (this is a lesson I seem to be getting over and over again)..  The stronger and healthier we are as we age... the better chance at a strong and healthy old age.  Don't accept those aches and pains as the natural course of ageing - work on them!
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