I’ve been a bad, negligent, absentee writer of blog posts; of telling stories.  Mea culpa.  How did it get to be October?  My absolute favorite time of year and I barely have time to notice.

I am loving the chilly hot chocolate mornings and reaching for my sweater.  I love my sweaters, they’re so cozy comfortable.  And hoodie sweatshirts.  They’re right up there with sweaters.

As we welcome the brilliant colors of falling leaves, just the right number of mini marshmallows in my steamy hot chocolate, dried crunchy leaves under my shoes, flickering candles, snuggling in front of a crackling fire and simmering pots of soup on the stove, we find ourselves wrapping up a year of change.

Change is why I’ve been an absentee writer of blog posts for the past couple of weeks. As we finish transitioning into our next chapter; it’s a chapter that finds me not only learning how to live on the east coast, but also learning how to live in the country smack dab in the middle of 5 acres and all that comes with it.  We are learning about well water and septic tanks and we’re gearing up to adopt feral cats.  I found out the hard way that Maryland has mucky clay mud that swallows shoes whole, so I now sport Wellies.  I  channel Ma Kettle as I gather walnuts fallen from our trees.  And these days I’m kinda dressing like Ma Kettle as well, sloshing around in my Wellies and with my clothes covered in various shades of paint. I should be embarrassed, but I’m not.

I don’t know what possessed us to buy 5 acres of land or what we’ll do with it, or even how long we’ll keep it, but it was just so dang pretty we couldn’t resist.  And Abi has always said he wanted to live in the middle of 40 acres.  I’m fairly certain this is as close as he’s going to get.  Mostly, we love the quiet of having 5 acres as our yard. After owning, operating and living in a B&B for nearly 4 years and after having spent the past year living in a large apartment complex, the quiet will be more than welcome.

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We turned our little brick house from a 2 bedroom 1 bath to a 3 bedroom 2 bath, with a brand new kitchen and a newly constructed family room. We’ve been under renovation for 2 1/2 months and if you’ve ever done any renovating or remodeling, you know it’s fun for about 5 minutes and then it becomes a royal pain in the you know what.  But the end results are well-worth the effort.  Even painting ceilings and painting over 300 feet of baseboard and dealing with contractors, it’s all worth the effort.  This is the 8th time we’ve taken on such a project and I suspect it won’t be the last.  I call us long-term flippers.

So it’s been quite the year.  We drove Big Betty across the country.  We’ve lived the urban apartment life for the past year.  We traveled to the Czech Republic, Germany, Iran, Spain, Portugal and France.  And now we’re gearing up to move – again – into our little brick house in the country.  It’s a new zip code and a new chapter.

To beat the monotony of painting walls and ceilings I’m planning and plotting.  Next up, Toronto.  We’re on a mission to pick up a particular bag (dun, dun, duunn) so once we move into our house, in just 8 days from today, we’ll head north before the weather turns from chilly falling leaves weather to holy crap it’s cold weather!  I’m thinking a side trip to Niagra Falls may be in order too.

Anyway, that’s my excuse story and me and Ma Kettle are stickin to it.

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