Life is a test. We are not present on earth to just exist; we are here to learn. Life is a lesson. Love one another unconditionally. Love thyself unconditionally. We spend our whole lives learning to do this. Some succeed and some never have a clue. I'm trying. Love my fellow man. Don't react and don't always have to be right. This is one I'll have to work on for the rest of my life. Appreciate each day and recognize positive and negative as a part of life's experiences. Look around me and see life at it's best. The joys of living come as you strive to achieve your dreams. Its the quality of each day that is important, not the distant dream once achieved. Teach and nurture my children. You can never give them too much love. -Randa Jex 1/1/94

Monday, March 25

Face lift in progress...

Well spring is in full swing and so are all of the contractors in Natchez.  You can't drive down a street in downtown Natchez without seeing scaffolding, a painter at work, a man laying brick, etc.  This town gets busy renovating and restoring during that short window of nice weather before the unbearable southern heat moves in.

This spring we joined the club of crazy people throwing money out the window and into these beautiful but ridiculously expensive old southern homes.  We have a list of things being done over the months of March & April to our house...or as Austin calls it, "Daddy's house"....not sure where he thinks I live.  Maybe I am just the housekeeper in his mind, figures!  I thought we were slightly loopy for deciding to do all this work on our house just weeks before the baby comes but everyday when the contractor discovers a new issue under a know issue, I am convinced that we were not slightly loopy....we are full on crazy. But enough about that, I promised Zach I wouldn't be Debbie Downer during renovations since it is almost a guarantee to uncover double the problems you started with while spending double the money you budgeted.....BIG SIGH.

Here is a glimpse at the progress so far..

We removed these "gutters" or as I called them decorative trash since as you can tell they were serving absolutely no purpose in the shape they were in.  I am just glad they were so high up so you couldn't tell how awful they were.  New gutters went up around the entire house and I can promise you one thing, if I ever make a career change..."dude hanging heavy gutters on old Victorian houses on a ladder" will be the last career I pursue   I told my brother, that job is right up there with what he had to do in Afghanistan....not cool!

The second to last job I would pursue is this guy that is on 3 stories of scaffolding, removing the side of our porch rails.  I don't like scaffolding to begin with but I especially wouldn't trust it when it's being balanced on a 120 year old uneven brick driveway.  Count me out!  But here is a picture of our courageous carpenters dismantling and rebuilding our upstairs porch.
Please notice the scaffolding balancing on pieces of wood...CRAZY!

After the porch is complete and painted, we are onto replacing the windows.  Since the gutters have only served as decorative trash over the last decade, it caused a lot of leaking issues with the windows. As much as I complain as we budget for repairs or mail off the payments, I do have to admit that I love our home.  I love that we took something that was already special to the family and poured ourselves in it to make it special to our new little family.  I love coming home to my big porches, high ceilings, and 100+ year old makes you feel like you are adding a chapter to the grand story of the home.  Most of all I love seeing our family make memories in it and hearing the screech of pure joy as Zach slides Austin down the banister knowing that was Zach sliding down the same banister 20+ years ago. Hopefully people will look back on this generation of ownership and feel that we did the home justice.  

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