Time for a quick update on what’s been going on! I’ve been wondering about doing more vlogging as well, vs. the website posts. It always seems a bit weird to me when I talk to a camera, but of course, I consume plenty of that content myself on YouTube without ever reading a word of what they write online. Go figure.

I didn’t get back from my summer CA trip until August, I was out there almost six weeks. I got in some family and lake time in August, and a trip down to PA to see friends for a long weekend at the end of the month. 

North Carolina Road Trip: October 

One of the things I most wanted to do with my time off was make some fun memories with my family. My parents never travel, so as I mentioned in the June update, getting my mom out to Nashville was a big deal. Well, this October, we planned a trip down to see my brother’s new riverfront house in Washington, NC, with both my mom AND my dad. We found a really nice 2BR/2BA AirBnB closeby, so we had our own comfortable space to return to, and ended up having a great time primarily fishing the river and ocean, and just visiting. My dad and brother caught a huge red drum that was the largest fish they’ve ever landed, so that in itself was a really special time for them. I did all the driving and we tried a couple of different highway routes (one near DC and one avoiding it), neither of which we really liked. Next time I might cut through Delaware to take the “scenic” route.

Renovation Projects: September/October 

My major project in September was doing some major restructuring of our lake cabin (32′ of new structural beams), siding repair, and replacing old single pane windows with beautiful new insulated 5.5′ tall ones. We didn’t intend to change the size, but Lowes had a closeout where each window was only $54 (usually well over $200!!). So, it was worth doing all of the work to change the rough opening and redo all of the trim. They came out great and all the old rot and damage is repaired for very little money, just a lot of labor.

After we returned from NC, we were still dealing with some persistent roof leaks in various points of the house that had been patched repeatedly but still had issues. I got fed up and decided to fix them properly. I did a full tear-off of the back porch roof, plus three courses of shingles up into the house roof where the old rolled roofing tied in. I replaced a bunch of the rotten sheathing underneath, then applied self adhesive underlayment over the entire deck (usually just used at ice and water problem locations). Overkill, but I didn’t want to do this ever again. Then we reroofed everything with new metal roofing, shingled in three new courses to the house roof, and tied them together with aluminum flashing. It looks great, and we haven’t had a single drop of leaking yet.

We also had one leaky skylight left in the garage roof. I ordered an insulated glass replacement for $168 which took some time to come in, and crucially, was self-flashed (mounts directly to the deck, no curb to build up, no leak points to flash perfectly or else). We waited for a few days of clear weather then tore out the old one, replaced rotten sheathing, framed in the new rough opening, and installed the new skylight along with a LOT of new shingles. The color match isn’t exact to the 30+ year old roof, but that’s the only qualm I have: the new skylight looks great, lets in tons of natural light, and hasn’t leaked a drop since install despite a ton of rainy weather in November.

Thanksgiving in CA: November 

I flew out to the Bay Area on November 10th to spend three weeks visiting and having Thanksgiving with friends. I spent most of the time just relaxing with a few people instead of running all over to see everyone like I did this summer, and it was a much more restful time. It was also great to get a healthy dose of warm weather and sunshine as New York enters the long dark winter, haha. 

Wrapup

December has been slow, just spending time with family and getting ready for the holidays. I chose a new healthcare plan from the exchange, I can do an update to that article at some point, it’s something I knew nothing about before being unemployed. I’m also still tracking all my investments, and will do an end of year check-in as always. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, all!

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