The truck is running again, and other triumphal tales of progress

Big news, Ken drove the truck to work today! Last Wednesday night was the first time it was started. Ken started it up, started backing it out of the garage, then shut it off when I started screaming and waving because oil was shooting out all over the floor! Happily, it was an easy fix, there was an accessible plug in the engine block that hadn’t been moved to the new engine. Side note, I had no idea how many holes with plugs are in engines, or at least in this engine. Super fun to clean up about 2 gallons of oil all over the floor… There are a few more things that need to be reinstalled or fixed – drive shaft, R134A, couple of broken light bulbs, new brake booster, door handles, some question about oil pressure to be resolved, etc – BUT KEN DROVE IT TO WORK TODAY! It took a mere 14 months from when the new to us engine arrived and about 8 months from when it was driven into the shop to be torn apart. Huge thanks to my cousin Peter who helped a LOT. I don’t know how it would have gotten done without his help. Probably would have taken another year.
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In other news, I sold the Porsche! It’s not yet off of the property, but we’ve exchanged money and title, so I expect it will be gone soon.

I have also completed all sorts of mundane but necessary tasks like getting rid of old laptops, filing taxes, sorting out insurance billing for Anna’s arrival, writing wills, setting up daycare, filing papers, reviewing budgets, etc. Boooring. But they’re done and it feels great!

I’ve also built shelves for one closet, although they need to be sanded, finished, and permanently installed.
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I also have plans for how to build the door, here’s a mock-up of a small one, but other projects have taken precedence with the arrival of spring.
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Speaking of the arrival of spring, this is the view out one of my kitchen windows. I love this house!
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This raised bed is one of the things I’ve been working on, in fact I just finished it and planted some lettuce about an hour ago. It should be gopher and hopefully above-ground rodent proof. I WILL be eating my green beans this year.
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We’ve also started seedlings, despite me swearing last year that I wasn’t going to put so much effort into growing plants from seed only to have them chomped by rodents. I will never learn, probably.
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I have 1.5 weeks of leave left, and way more projects to do than I have time. We need a new top for the glass outside table which blew over and broke. I want to try some simple smocking to make Anna a dress. The beehive needs to be finished and prepared for bees. I want to build an owl box to attract automatic rodent control. The irrigation system needs to be fixed and re-started. Trees need to be sprayed. Dogs need to be kennel trained.

Oh, and we somehow need to get this baby who has lived her entire life having her needs met by me used to having somebody else take care of her. That means getting her to take a bottle and nap without nursing to sleep. We’re making slow progress on both, I think, so she probably won’t immediately perish when I go back to work. She’s wearing an outfit that my aunt (the aforementioned Peter’s mom, actually) knit for me before I was born in this picture.
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