Happy Holidays 2014

We hope our electronic newsletter finds you happy and healthy as we close out another year in the desert we love so much (camping and quad rides included).

Steve is enjoying his job at Motorola Solutions and took advantage of various training opportunities (mostly at the company’s headquarters near Chicago, where I joined him in October during our 14-year wedding anniversary. I also visited him in Vegas during training that fell on his 44th birthday).

I continue to write for various clients and still blog a bit (check out my nature/writing escapades, if you’re interested). My fiction also fared well in a few contests during 2014: semi-finalist in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Writing Competition for a completed novel; and Top 10 Finalist in the Columbus Creative Cooperative’s Great Novel Contest 2014.

In house-building news, Steve spent a lot of time under the crawl space of the “new” build (hard to believe we started in 2009), working on electrical and HVAC/heating. He’s worked to wrap up a host of odds ‘n ends in preparation for drywall: finishing soffits and dropping ceilings; furring out the walls and ceilings; installing tubs, fixtures, fart fans and decorative vigas in bathrooms; final door entry framing; and low-voltage wiring for TVs, network, speakers, smoke detectors …  In June, he also passed the electrical and plumbing rough-in inspection, which means we have one final inspection to go.

So, the good news is that we’re inching closer and closer. We just ordered the majority of interior doors and jambs, and are anticipating drywall at the start of 2015 (then another big slow-down as we save up for the next round. Maybe we’ll be done by retirement!).

Enjoy some progress shots of Steve’s handiwork during 2014 (click on any underlined words for links; then click on photos to enlarge):

Also check out the wildlife and other encounters we’ve experienced this year (as well as some of my landscape photos):

Wishing you a wonderful 2015!

Steve & Melissa

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