Mom’s porch and more…

I thought I had a photo of the finished porch but I can’t find it – but the porch is finished and and so are all the handrails. I promise to get a photo posted soon. Mom can now walk from her front door to the mailbox and back. That’s important. She is so not happy that her body is no longer agile. Anything we can do to keep her mobile makes us all happy. The boys did a great job and for that I am truly grateful.

My Christmas present was the installation of a new Solatube in the hall bathroom. Chris measured and cut the hole in the bathroom from the inside…


Chris is so related to me. You see that bandage on his arm? He fell off the stepstool and luckily only bruised his arm. We wrapped it and he took ibuprofen and it’s OK. More OK than it would be if Steve or I had fallen. Falling down is really bad and I try to avoid it at all costs. I am not nearly as steady as Steve is and I think my oldest son got my not-as-steady genes. One can hope that he also got some of my other more beneficial genes to offset the falling down genes.

Jeff was in the attic. You can see how much he loves the attic.


Steve and I went into the attic the next day to wrap the new Solatube (and last year’s tube) with insulation. I had not been that far into the attic before. It was interesting, knowing that one misstep and I’d be through the sheetrock ceiling. I didn’t love it but I did do it.


Installing a solatube requires cutting through the roof. All my guys were on the roof (see above) and not long after I got this nice shot of the boys. How often do you see sky all the way behind your subjects?


In the daytime the Solatube looks like a recessed lighting fixture. The light from outside illuminates the room. I love it and think of my boys every time I walk by.


On New Year’s Eve the guys (and Elanor!) did the polar bear plunge in our pool. I missed Elanor’s jump but managed to get photos of the guys. Jack jumped twice.


Steve is in the pool often so it wasn’t so surprising to see him wet. That said the water is COLD (low 50s) and you won’t see me in it until late May, or June.


Once you are this far over the water, there’s no going back…


Jeff jumped and swam 3 times across the pool. Which meant that Chris had to jump in again. See that look on Jeff’s face? That’s what your face looks like when you jump into COLD water.


Today, January 1, 2012, is here. Jeff flew home today. Chris is on his way to England for a conference on British literature. I spent all day, and I mean ALL DAY, cleaning the house. I washed and cleaned out drawers. I moved the 2011 files into a box and am ready for the new year’s receipts. I’m getting ready for classes that are coming soon. Tomorrow I have to start writing the text for our next book. Life is going on.

But I can’t help but remember those for whom life is not going on. Some people we love died in 2011. My sister, christy, and right before Christmas one of my mother’s very good friends, Becky, died. It is a constant reminder of how important it is to treasure each day, to let those you love know that you do, in fact, love them. 

I ate my good luck black eyed peas today. I hope they work for the new year.


13 thoughts on “Mom’s porch and more…

  1. My mom has three of those solatubes in her home. I think they’re great and am planning on having them installed when we build our lakehouse home in a few years (aka my dream home that I’ve been dreaming of forever). Happy New Year!


  2. Happy new year Becky. I hope your year is a good one, and for your family as well. Yes it is sad not to be taking some loved ones with us into the new year, doesn’t seem right. But as you say life just keeps going.
    Love reading about the work you and your family do for each other. A great family obviously.
    Jan, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia


  3. Becky, I wish you and your family (and Linda’s, too) a very happy and healthy new year. I hadn’t heard of a solatube before! Sounds really like a good thing – sort of a skylight but not as large and, hopefully, it doesn’t leak when it rains. I’m looking forward to seeing the photos of your mom’s porch and walkway. As I said before, you raised your kids right. They’re almost as talented as their mom. As for swimming in 50 degree water – I’ll wait until it’s about 80!


  4. Hi Becky! Happy New Year to you too! Love reading about all your projects. Hummm, insulating the solatube, I had not considered that for ours – good idea! The water looks refreshing!


  5. Good job, boyz! It would have been much better if someone took a picture of the solatube that was installed. That shot you took of Jack was perfect! And it was pretty clear you guys were busy with the work on the roof!


  6. My mom has three of those solatubes in her home. I think they’re great and am planning on having them installed when we build our lake house home in a few years (aka my dream home that I’ve been dreaming of forever). Happy New Year!


  7. Will the Solatube not affect the curb appeal of the roof? I’m also planning to install one in our house, but I’m a little worried that it’ll look awkward and it might compromise the aesthetic appeal of the roof. What do you think?


  8. No, the Solatubes are pretty innocuous on the roof. They are a lot less noticeable than the vent fans that we have up there. And I think they are less noticeable than either a solar panel or sky light.
    At night, when the bathroom light is on, the little domed top of the solatube on top of the roof glows but I dont find that to be bad.


  9. This is a great cost-saving, free lighting solution that brightens up every room in your house. The only problem is that, if it hasn’t been installed properly, it would result to leaks. So, it is important to snap the supplied diffuser plate over the tube opening very tightly to complete the proper installation. I hope Chris did not break any bones after the fall!


  10. He wasnt even really bruised – he was lucky. Falling down is bad!
    And yes, it is important that the top is on securely. Ours have been stormed on and Im happy to report that everything below stayed dry.


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