The Quest for the Holy Grail: A House Completed Before X-Mas??

In case you haven’t noticed, J & I have been furiously trying to get our house all primmed, trimmed, and ready for its closeup, Mr. DeMille – i.e. Christmas 2009!  And if you recall this post from a few months ago, we had a pretty ambitious “Quest” to complete all of it before the Yuletide Cheer descended upon Tell’er All About It.  In a manner of speaking, it was truly the Quest for the Holy Grail: A Completed House for Christmas!  But, as with all things, life intervened, and we found ourselves scrambling just to get the simplest of tasks completed.  Now that I am back to work, our time (and energy) is much shorter than it used to be, though the extra cash certainly helps us complete projects that have otherwise festered for far too long.  So we thought now would be a good time to “Return to the Quest” and figure out if our projects have shaped up like we planned.

We had divided the projects up into three fairly essential categories (Safety, Functionality, and Cleanliness).  For the most part, we were just looking to get some “basics” completed and the “aesthetics” were simply bonus points.  If you look below, we have updated the list with some handy dandy links to point you towards the projects we have completed (along with the words crossed out like so to indicate they are finished) and updates in italics on some of the things we *have* completed but didn’t necessarily report on here at Tell’er All About It.


  • Buy and install (by ourselves, of course!) a new Hot Water Tank!  That should be fun! (Update:  Unfortunately, we still have not been able to get this done, however, it is tops on our list for 2010!)
  • Buy and install a garage door opener (our house never had one installed – what gives?) (Update:  Santa actually gave us one for Christmas – hooray for celebrating Christmas early when presents need to be shipped from 3,000 miles away!  Installation process and photos to come!)
  • Window Dressings for a minimum of 4 more windows.  Is privacy a safety factor?

One of the 10 Window Dressings we have purchased since July!

  • Caulking our outdoor “leaks” and repainting almost all of our window aprons before winter sets in.
  • Replacing the seals on our front door and our garage entry door so that they don’t leak – and while we’re at it, see if we can fix our “leaning tower of Pisa” doors. (Update:  We are pretty much finished with this project, though the pictures weren’t as interesting as simply telling you about it)
  • Service the Furnace – we can’t turn it on until we do!  Could be a cold winter…Brr…(Update:  Actually, the furnace is almost *too* efficient – we are boiling at night still trying to figure out what the best temperature settings are).



So out of 16 Bullet Points, we were able to complete 9 Full Bullets and two are halfway completed (we simply need to install the garage door opener and the painting of the house is almost completely done).  I’d say those are all pretty good odds and considering I was doing much of the painting on my own, it was a successful first 5 months in our new house!  Yes, only five months, can you believe it?!  Can you imagine what this house will look like after one year of us living in it?!


5 thoughts on “The Quest for the Holy Grail: A House Completed Before X-Mas??

  1. Have you tried a programmable thermostat for your heat problem? We programmed ours to drop 5 degrees at night to compensate for the 14 layers of blankets and sheets on the bed, and then it comes on in the morning about 30 minutes early to heat things back up. Seems to work wonders, and it saves a bit on the gas bill too!

    • Drew –

      Yup, we have the Programmable thermostat and love it to pieces! We are thinking that our insulation on the first floor may not be the best and so it gets chillier down there than it does upstairs. We also have a good deal of the vents and doors closed on the second floor to keep the energy bills lower as well, so maybe all of our heat is getting directed straight to our room? We’ve since opened one more vent upstairs and that has seemed to help….we’ll see! Thanks for stopping by!


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