New Year, New Projects

 Posted by at 12:15 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 012024

I hope your New Year’s Eve went well and you didn’t overindulge. But if you did, I hope you did so responsibly because 2024 has a lot of adventures and challenges in store for all of us.

Since we moved into our house in January of last year we have been involved in one project after another, from putting a new roof on the house and garage, to having the slope of the land changed and French drains installed to help with standing water after a heavy rain, getting a tornado shelter installed, having two new decks built, getting a hot tub, adding gravel to part of the driveway, building a shooting range, and I’m sure a lot of other projects that I can’t recall at this moment.

Now it’s a new year, and we have more new projects we want to get done. One of the first will be to insulate the floor beneath our office, and then we will enclose that space with some sort of siding. At one time it was a back deck that then got enclosed and turned into a room. But there is absolutely no insulation underneath it and it’s downright cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

The next priority is getting a propane tank and whole house backup generator set up. Hopefully both of those projects will be done in the next two to three weeks.

Another project is taking down the old hay sheds behind our pasture. We don’t have horses and don’t plan to, so they are just taking up space and making it more difficult to mow in that area. With any luck at all they will be gone sometime in the next few weeks.

Speaking of mowing, now that Travis and I cleared up the downed trees on one of our perimeter roads, I need to spend a day on the tractor with the bush hog. Yes, there really is a road under all of this brush.

Terry also bought three more of the raised planter beds that we need to put together and get in place for spring gardening. She had a lot of success with the three she already has last summer and is looking forward to even more this year.

Yet another project that we have been talking about is building a small footbridge across a drainage ditch alongside the road that goes back to the barn. It can stay wet and muddy, and crossing it to get to the barn road or to the carport where we keep the riding lawn mower and Mule sometimes becomes a challenge.

The biggest project, and one I have mentioned before, is getting our barn in shape. It’s been neglected for many years, and the design really does not suit my needs. However, it has a strong steel frame and cement floor, so it’s well worth the time and effort.

Travis and I are going to knock down the walls separating the main barn from two rooms that are now wasted space. This will give me more room for my tractor and its implements and make it easier to maneuver around inside. After that I plan to enlarge the door at the other end so I can drive in one end and out the other if I want to. Then we will redo the exterior walls, since the wood on the outside is weathered and in bad shape. It’s doubtful we will get all the barn work finished this year, but hopefully we’ll make some progress.

And, of course, there are books to be written this year. I will be starting on my next Big Lake book any day now, and I’m really looking forward to seeing it come together.

Wow, just hearing me talk about all of this work exhausted Alli. She fell asleep on the floor with her favorite toy in her mouth. 😊

What plans do you have for the new year? Travels? Projects around the house? Getting creative? I’d love to hear them

Congratulations Patricia Shonk, winner of our drawing for an RV camping journal donated by Barbara House. Barbara makes several variations of these, and they all have pages where you can list the date, weather, where you traveled to and from that day, beginning and ending mileage, campground information including amenities at RV sites, a place for campground reviews, room to record activities, people met along the way, reminders of places to see and things to do the next time you’re in the area, and a page for notes for each day.

We had 23 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed. After 90 days, unclaimed prizes revert back to the drawing pool for a future contest.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.

Thought For The Day – It’s probably my age that tricks people into thinking I’m an adult.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  9 Responses to “New Year, New Projects”

  1. It might be a little scary to start, but Happy new year
    When you get a chance turn your kayaks upside down, and if you have an old cover, cover them so the rain or dirt won’t accumulate
    And did Miss Terry put a drain hole in a mulch planter bed? Otherwise you have soupy mulch. Nobody wants super mulch

  2. I live on 26 acer farm in cool ca , rent out pasture for cows, which get me a half a a beef cut and ready for freezer also rent out to a bee guy he give me 5 gallons of honey.
    I have irrigation on 8 acer in the summer time , also have my own eggs from my chicken , then have 13 raised grow beds, which I use year round.

  3. Your “room of the year” post reminded me of our travels in places like Mexico where I rate the bathrooms. A 5 star has running water from a sink, soap, paper towels, toilet seat, and toilet paper. That is a rare find! It’s not unusual to have none of the above. Of course we travel and explore places that most “tourists” don’t go, so that’s why we have such ratings.

  4. Thanks. Can’t wait to get the journal.

  5. You sure have ambitious plans for 2024 but they all sound like work! I guess we are spoiled because our plans will be more like play, we hope. We fly to Oaxaca, Mexico to live for two months, Then March at our retirement place in Pensacola. April and May travel in our camper gradually on our way back to our cottage in Vermont for most of the summer. A round-trip cruise out of Boston to Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Greenland and Iceland for three weeks in August. Leave Vermont early September for the Boomers Crab Fest in Oregon the end of September. Then we don’t have specific plans but hope to wander into Baja, Mexico at some point. And them fly to Rochester, NY for Christmas with our daughter’s family. I wonder what “life event(s)” will happen so we have to go to “Plan B or C.” Whatever happens, we hope to be able to take it in stride and make the best of it.

  6. Nick,
    I liked that “would poop here again” sign and found it for $7.99 on Amazon and ordered it for our guest bathroom.

    On the backup Genset propane system. If you have natural gas coming to your home you would do better to just have it plumbed to it because the gas has never gone out on us during any power outage here or in Louisiana. There we bought a 200 gallon or thereabouts propane tank, and got a 15kW watt Propane/12.5kw on Natural gas whole house backup genset with a 24hp Kohler engine from Home Depot, a Generac. It stumbled with the A/C a lot in their hot summers and frequent all night and a day power outages.

    We had the auto switch and then got rid of it and bought a 24kw water cooled 4cyl Generac/Mitsubishi engine genset running on Natural Gas. No hassles, not running out, no delivery guys getting stuck in our front yard, just easier all around.

    Now I may have missed you saying there was or was not city NG already at your property.

  7. Derek, natural gas is not available here. I wish it was.

  8. When will your new book The Ballad of John Lee be released?
    Love the series! Thx😊

  9. Jerry,
    The Ballad of John Lee will be released this summer.

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