There are lots of words being written the past few days about being thankful. I think that I am tonight, or rather this morning. Although I am not thankful for insomnia.

I have sent my last scholarly paper off into the ether. I am thankful that I can now forget how to write a correct APA-style citation and reference.

I had a very enjoyable dinner at my son's house. Just a happy family holiday meal where we all ate too much. Our oldest grandchild was there, too, and she seemed to be glad to be part of the company. I even played Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii with my grandson, and lost every game. It was the first time we have ever done this with Rob and his family.

We had a long phone call from our daughter. She officially changed her program today from pure math to probability and statistics after an hour-long discussion with the head of the department. She sounded happy and relieved. Pure math was turning into a dreadful grind, and she didn't like what she was learning about future prospects for employment. I can't help but wonder how much influence Nate Silver's website fivethirtyeight.com has had on decision. Nate has made stats look very geeky and very cool.

I am looking forward to getting an iPhone - TODAY! Robert had offered to get me a pantsuit as a combination birthday and graduation present, but has decided that an iPhone would be better. I'm plugged in enough that I'm going to get more use and pleasure out of this cool tool than I would from an outfit. It will be pretty stripped down for a few days - we are heading to my mom's to visit, and her internet comes via WebTV, so I can't slip into the stream. Next week I plan to go app crazy.

I am very thankful that we completed a huge project on the house this year - pine siding installed and stained. One part of the house was built in 1980, the other in 1988, and both were sheathed in waferboard for decades. This year we installed a final layer of insulation, a tyvek barrier, an air space, and boards milled from pine that was logged from our property.

Here is a before picture of a wall that faces east:

And an after picture:

The south face of the private side of the house (bedrooms, bathroom and laundry):

The south face of the public side of the house (kitchen, dining room, living room, Robert's office). Bonus accomplishment #1: Robert installed the glazing in the solarium!

The north face wall of the private side. Bonus accomplishment #2: a new woodshed holding a winter's worth of firewood. No longer will we have to bring tractor loads of wood up to the house every few weeks during the winter time.

The west face. This is what you see when you drive up our driveway towards the house.

Still lots to do. We are starting to believe, though, that we will be able to finish the house before retirement.


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