December 2020 in Review

December was 100% different than we expected, starting with Morrigan’s call on the 2nd to tell us he was positive for Covid. Our anniversary vacation was subsequently canceled, Jason traveled to KS to pick Morrigan up because the school wouldn’t let him stay while infected, our family was in isolation for two weeks, multiple house-issues cropped up unexpectedly (see below), and then there was Jason’s and my 21st anniversary followed by Christmas and New Years, 2020-style. It was an incredibly surreal month, to say the least.

Not much this month. Some mysteries and thrillers, plus a really good nonfiction book about Mysterious Illnesses – which actually played a big role in the discovery of the Devil-Bed, so I really appreciate this one! No surprise that The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness tops my list of the month.

Yeah, nothing happened on these this month. I’ve already done all covid will allow me to do this year. Time to begin something new.

My health continued on the weird insanity that began in October. I’ve had bloodwork with weird results, burning inflamed skin on my upper arms, massive dehydration issues, unexplained weight gain, etc. Honestly, I’m putting a lot of that down to the Devil-Bed combined with medications that treat diseases I don’t actually have. So I’m starting from scratch(ish) going into 2021.

Did you know that oven sensors can just suddenly and inexplicably go bad? After making a brisket in our oven, we needed to use the self-cleaning function, and afterwards, the oven wouldn’t register that it was unlocked. We couldn’t turn the oven on at all, and it couldn’t be fixed. (Well, fixing it required ordering a part that cost more than a new oven, in any case.) We knew that the old oven, which came with this house, needed to be replaced. But seriously, can we have even ONE appliance that we can replace on our own terms? Anyway. So a few days before Christmas, we spent an entire day scouring stores for an in-stock oven, because of course covid means manufacturing delays everywhere. Oy. Thank goodness for IKEA, which not only had one in stock, but had it on sale for under $200!!! Woohoo!

And then there was the next part of the siding saga. Let me just say, as many have said before me: KB Homes builds terrible houses. And long story short, because they build the worst houses ever, replacing our siding meant replacing the dining room and master bedroom windows. Which happened to be custom-sized, so the order for them was delayed multiple times and was unlikely to come any time soon. Soooo…we had to install new windows of new/different sizes, including building new frames, cutting out old walls, moving electrical wires, etc. Ironically, we had to do half the work (with a large hole open to our house) on a weirdly hot 80-degree day, and the other half (with a new large hole open to our house) on a weirdly cold 30-degree day. Fun! But, the new windows are in, and we’re working to get the rest of the siding on/painted, and to redo the interior walls so we don’t have open framing and insulation hanging out for the cats to get into. But hey, the one positive thing about all this is that instead of having one small sliding window in my room, I now have two tall windows! More light, woohoo!

(before and after-ish)

Unfortunately…this morning I woke up to find water dripping all over from the new windows. It was pouring outside and my first thought was that there was a leak, but as it turns out, these particular windows are very badly built, and all the water is from massive condensation! We’re in the process of either finding new windows to install and/or devising another plan, because the amount of condensation would destroy wall/trim within a couple weeks. Far worse than my old crappy window. However, that’ll be a project for January/2021. I’m glad we at least hadn’t installed the trim and new wall-coverings yet!

Favorite Photos of December
Because I have plenty of general 2020 wrap-ups going on, I’m going to include my favorite photos of the month here in this post rather than a separate one. To be honest, I don’t have a dozen. I spent the first three weeks of the month inside my house and anxious/depressed, so very few photos were taken at all. So I’m going with my top six instead. Even that was tough! All photos taken by me and unfiltered.

Left to right: Jason walking down the hall with a gift bag on his head – I love this one because it’s the first in a series of three that I took which remind me of a scene from The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson; the moon over the scrub at Hardberger Park; my unexpected Hoid sticker (also Sanderson-related!)

Left to right: Atticus in the Christmas sweater he hates (ha!); new blooms in the garden; Jason’s and my 21st anniversary photo from our hike that morning

Highlights of December
The most obvious highlights of December were the covid recoveries (Chelsea, Morrigan), the negative covid tests (Jason, several other friends across the country), and the anniversary/Christmas celebrations. The rest:

  • Natalie’s covid care package
  • receiving an unexpected Hoid sticker along with my Bridge 4 face mask!
  • all the birds that were hanging out by my back window
  • this –> text conversation on our family chat, which still makes me laugh every time I see it (btw, Jason’s response was, “True. But I have the door shut so you don’t have to see me. I still have to hear you.” Ha! I love my family.)
  • all the Christmas cards, and especially the one that came from my friend Sarah in South Carolina (we’ve known each other since we were single-digit ages), because she included a tatted butterfly inside!
  • RLGS Podcast hosted a 12-days-of-Christmas listeners stories event (now if only I could catch up…I’m so behind!)
  • discovering that my favorite park put up new artistic planters and benches up at the lookout!
  • a Zoom Secret Santa meetup with my hiking group
  • hiking the newly-opened land bridge at Hardberger Park –>
  • going up in the newly-opened tower at Eisenhower Park
  • Christmas sugar cookies!
  • the discovery of a new morning drink to replace coffee
  • Ash has been hanging out in the main house a lot this month, definitely an improvement over the last year
  • several nights of AMAZING sleep after getting rid of the Devil-Bed
  • Jason’s incredible ability to do house construction himself!

Coming Up
I’m moving my monthly summaries to a quarterly format in 2021. Hopefully by the time I check back in, things will look much brighter in the covid-world than they do right now, and I’ll have lots of fun stuff to share!

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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