Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm (By Randy)

In a little while, my house will be full with family and friends for Christmas dinner. Fortunately, I won’t be the one cooking for fourteen – just providing the meeting place this year. That’s because half of them want to see what I’ve been doing the last couple of months. Some of you here might be wondering, too.

I believe mentioning before that the view from the back yard is delightful. (In fact, somewhere around here is a picture or two featuring that view.) While the breakfast area, the master bedroom and another bedroom all have large windows through which one can enjoy that view, it has always bothered me that the one room I spend the most time in, the family room, doesn’t.

At the end of September, two able-bodied and knowledgeable friends and I embarked on a project to rectify that situation. We removed a door, moved a window, put a new 8′ tall sliding door in where there was once a window, moved the gas fireplace from the center of the back wall to the corner, added a large window where once the fireplace and a well for an old-fashioned large TV set, and finished that area off as a window box seat.

As we finished only last week (and still have much “touching up” to do), we obviously weren’t in a huge hurry. The project was most definitely entertaining, often educational, and rarely tedious or bothersome.  It was a great way to take my mind off other things. Suffice to say we had lots of fun.

Here’s what the room looked like before we started:


And here’s what it looks like now:


We couldn’t resist adding a twist:

What’s that opening up from behind the window seat?

It’s the television:


If not for the the very reasonable price set by the fine folks at Firghelli Automation for their lift ($590),  this would not have been option as we’d read/heard that this kind of equipment usually retails for about $2,000. Anyway,everything turned out great as far as I’m concerned.

In other news, chemotherapy didn’t work, which is not a great surprise as it usually doesn’t in cases like mine. IMO,it was worth making the attempts, though. Throughout that process, I was indeed fortunate that the side-effects were by-and-large minor. In the meantime, the tumors reproduced at a terrific pace and are now recorded as “innumerable.” A CT scan two weeks ago showed that four or five nearby lymph nodes have been affected as well.

Well, it’s time to get cleaned up before the guests start arriving. Here’s hoping all of you reading this have as much fun and good food as we’ll be having here.

Once again, Merry Christmas!




  1. chickelit said,

    Lookin’ good Randy,

    I’m so glad to not being doing such a house project at this time. It gets really good nights here.

    Merry Christmas!


  2. mockturtle said,

    Nice, Randy! And Merry Christmas to you, too!

  3. chickelit said,

    “good and cold” I meant.

  4. Tim said,

    Not as cold as it does here, Chickelit ;-)

    Good for you, Randy. Nice work.

    Merry Christmas!

  5. amba12 said,

    Aw, Chick, and here I thought you were having really good nights.

    Randy, the place looks beautiful. Bigger . . . IMO those sliding doors are even better than the giant flat panel screen. Enjoy, enjoy.

  6. Stephanie said,

    Gorgeous. Enjoy your new space!

  7. karen said,

    phew- i can comment, now. My words were not printing out– slow connect, or something.

    RANDY!!!! Awesome place!! You decorate so nicely for Christmas, too.

    So much to say, yet i print a sentence and then delete– i just am thankful for you.

    Keep the faith– it looks good on you. Love you.

    ps– i envy the tv. We have this huge box of a tv(we get 1 channel)(CBS) that a girl w/a shistle(hehe– that’s whistle)(wonder what shistle means– doesn’t it sound a bit Yiddish-ish?) in her words sold us(i had to walk away as A was talking to her- her whistle drove me to a nervous tic in my neck!) Althouse had some little blurb on tv’s& LEDs vs 3D, etc. I’m totally in her boat, there.


  8. Peter Hoh said,

    Great to hear from you, Randy. This looks like it was a satisfying project.

  9. karen said,

    I noticed the cows on the screen of your tv, too.
    Amazing milk wagons, i bet:0).

  10. LouiseM said,

    Same yet
    In One

    Same yet
    In One

    Same yet
    In One

    Same yet
    In One

    Randy, May you continue to be visited with Goodness, Laughter, Love, Hope and Purpose in the days and year ahead.

  11. karen said,

    Oh, that’s beautiful and so appropriate, Louise:0).

    Happy New Year to all.

  12. Randy said,

    Thank you all for the compliments!

    Bruce: If I were still working, I’m not sure that I’d be willing to do this, even if I hired a professional. Remodeling always seems to take twice as long and cost twice as much as expected. Fortunately, we avoided the latter this time.

    Amba: I think you may be right.

    Karen: I thought those “mad English cows” used by BBC to promote BBC America would catch your attention. ;-) While I’ve been buying organic since we met, it was only a few months ago that I ran across milk produced by the Strauss Family Creamery. Not only is it organic, it is not homogenized and comes in real glass milk bottles.

    I began using a new computer just after posting this thread and have been slow getting organized on this one – and about rediscovering the place I’ve used in the past to store photos for use here. If I get around to it today or tomorrow, I’ll post some photos of interest to Karen & Lori.

    Louise: I was moved by your sentiments so beautifully expressed. Thank you.

  13. karen said,


    yOU all know i love it best when the caps lock up on me and i don’t notice it until i’ve written a few words. It’s like sharing an inside joke. Makes me smile, every time.

    I can’t wait to see the pictures of ~interest~, Randy. I have a small little collection of milk bottles(usually just collecting dust– and a friend gave me a Straus bottle. Holy cow– when i read your words i went to look and here it is, little black and white cow in the grass:0). Makes me feel even closer to you… Isn’t it funny i could end up w/a bottle from CA- here?

    Uh, mad cows… that’s a tongue in cheek, eh?

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