2011 to-do's

Okay, folks, this year is already one-month down and Jennifer and I haven't started our annual to-do list.  Anyone who knows me well, knows that this is par for the course for this procrastinator.  Oh well, whatcha gonna do? 

Anyhow, below is a list of the things we have in mind to accomplish this year (in no particular order)... 

Do wish us luck.

[1] Replace the washer and dryer with more efficient ones, preferably before the State of Texas rebate program goes broke.  As of a week ago, you could get up to $175 as a rebate from Texas so long as you buy a washer model that is on the approved list and give up your old one to a proper recycling facility.  We've wanted a front-loading washer for a long time now and it's about time to meet that desire.  A new washer and dryer will also help out with our energy bills since Jennifer plans to start using cloth diapers in the next month or so, which means lots of loads of laundry.

[2] Replace our fallen fence with a new and taller one.  This will be a real chore, given that we'll have to clean the fence line at the back of our lot, including removing a hefty portion of a massive tree trunk system.  We'll also need to replace the wooden posts that are presently in place with metal ones and actually cement them into the ground for added sturdiness.  I look forward to having this project accomplished, as Jennifer and I would like to enhance our backyard such that we'll actually let people look at it, and maybe even visit it. 

[3] Repaint the living room.  Jennifer is sick of the yellow color and has a light blue in mind, but she's notorious for needing to buy 30 samples before committing to a color.  Yippee. 

[4] Install crown molding in the dining room, living room and kitchen.  This will be a great project to finish.  I've wanted to do this for awhile now, but we got burnt out on in-home construction projects last year.  I think the addition of crown molding in these spaces will greatly enhance the vibe in our home.

[5] Install a backsplash in the kitchen.  Jennifer has in mind a beadboard style, but time will tell what we go with here.  Depending on how things go this year, I may consider installing granite countertops at the same time, along with a deep basin sink.  That's clearly a much bigger deal, but I think our home value would positively benefit from the work, so it'd be an investment worth making.

[6] Get a new camera, learn Photoshop and organize the plethora of electronic photographs we have taken over the last several years, and back them up in a few locations.  That ole saying 'you don't know what you've got until it's gone.'  I don't ever want to see that become relevant to our photo collections.  But Jen's main reasoning is to make our little guy a victim of her picture taking.  She loves to create memories of him through photos and videos.

[7] Complete Boston's nursery (and get him to like sleeping and playing in it).  We actually put a wrap on this project yesterday, except for moving the swivel-rocker-recliner up to his room.  Jennifer wants to keep it in our room until he's sleeping in his room full time.  It's an amazing room, thanks to Jennifer's keen eye and sense of class. 

[8] Sand and repaint the buffet table we just purchased, which we will situate in our entryway.  It'll provide Jennifer a whole new set of drawers and cubby holes to hide things.

[9] Build shelves and more clothing rods in our master bedroom closet.  It's funny how as time goes by Jennifer's need for space increases and mine continues to dwindle.  Just maybe if she starts to like her closet she'll be willing to toss out (eh hum, donate) some of the old clothes and shoes and bags and purses and hats and belts and scarves she hasn't worn in ages.  Given the size and squareness of our closet, I am contemplating building an island of cabinets in the center with a countertop that could work as a folding table.  That way, we'd be making good use out of the entire closet.  Who knows?  But, it's something to consider.

[10] Build shelves along the walls in the closet space underneath our staircase, and organize all of the stuff we put in it using containers and tubs.  We use this space for storing paper goods and other odds and ends.  Unfortunately, it's become a default for anything we want to hide when company comes over, so it's overrun with junk at this point. 

[11] Draft wills and medical directives for Jennifer and me.  The passing of Jennifer's uncle this past fall has really made this project a must-do.  We each want to ensure the other is comfortable in knowing what we want if something were to happen, and we both want to ensure Boston's future is secure even if we weren't able to be a part of it.  Not a fun subject, but a necessary one for parents to deal with.

[12] Start a savings account and/or college fund for Boston.  We so look forward to this.  Education has provided us with a life we'd not have without it.  Thus, we will strive and endeavor to see that our children have all of the same opportunities we've had by way of education.  [Here's where it turns political].  I'm proud of our president - Barack Obama - for placing serious emphasis on education and for reminding the legislative branch that without increased expenditures on education, America will not maintain its place as the leading superpower.  My hope is that rich Americans will put patriotism in front of greed and be willing to give up the tax breaks they do not need so that there is sufficient funding for better education on a national level.  [Okay, I'm done with the soap box.].

[13] Sell needless-but-valuable items so other people can hoard them.  Thank God for Ebay and Craig's List.  I've already sold a printer, a desk and a tv that would have ended up in a closet for several years before heading off to a recycling plant, and I'm close to selling another box TV, too. 

[14] Build a retaining wall around the frontyard flower bed and maybe around the tree.  Given that we have Austin stone and brick on our house, we think a similar retaining wall would look pretty good and help us avoid weeds migrating into the flower beds. 

[15] Get electrical power to the hot tub my mother and stepfather gave to us 3 years ago so we can actually fill it up and turn it on.  Come on, y'all, we like our redneck swimming pool.

[16] Get a photocell installed that will automatically turn on/off the coach lights on the front of our house.  This is purely an item of luxury and one that will meet nicely with my laziness.

As you can see, we have our work cut out for us.  And, we will need to watch the number of coins we spend.  That said, we look forward to aiming at accomplishing all of these things in a single year (make that 11 months).  If you have any ideas or suggestions, write those on a $20 bill and send them to us right away and we'll be sure to consider them. 


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