November: An Ass Kicking Wrapped in an Alpaca Wool Blanket

I actually own an alpaca wool blanket. Seriously. Not a llama (two Ls), not a sheep… a freaking alpaca. And I’ve pretty much been wrapped up in it every night because it’s November which basically means we’ve been dropped smack in the middle of the next ice age. Well, not really, but my very temperamental boiler isn’t providing heat to the one room in this house I actually sleep in. So hello alpaca.

The cat loves that damn thing. I can’t get him off of it.

Anyway, I’m going to go ahead and admit that the last week has basically kicked my ass. Between Halloween, the flat tire, the time change, and causing sparks to fly from my living room ceiling, I’m pretty much tapped out. It occurred to me today that November has historically been an ass kicker, so here’s a little look back at how bad I’ve gotten pummeled over the last few years.

November 2011

It’s amazing to me that it was only (or already?) a year ago that I moved out of the Memorial House.


I moved into a crappy little rental house in a different town, thirty miles in any direction from friends or family, and thought I’d figured out a new plan for my life. That plan was to build this:


Not buy a 150 year old farm house. So. Ha. Nice curveball, Universe.

That was such a huge directional change in my life that I’m still kind of physically and emotionally reeling from it, although this big old awesome temperamental house of mine has definitely grounded me over the last year.


November 2010

Two years ago I was up to my eyeballs in building Memorial House, with a nonstop slew of projects that included siding, masonry work, and hugging donkeys. (What? That’s totally normal.) We were seven months in to this project, which means seven months of living in a garage.


Seriously. November is not my best month for living situations.

November 2009

I clearly remember November 9th, 2009 as one of those kick-ass days where I felt totally aligned with the universe and the gods of posthole digging smiled upon me, and I managed to put in eighty feet of split rail fence by myself in one day.


Fall of 2009 was definitely a season of preparation and anticipation leading up to the sale of my first love house, and ground-breaking for the big-old addition on Memorial. I had no idea what was in store for me over the next three years and was obliviously happy about it.

November 2008

Okay, this is actually from October 2008 but I think anyone who has been around this website for any length of time will agree that the day I bought this was a pretty substantial milestone in my life and DIY career.


Look at my baby, all shiny and new. Four years and three houses later, she’s still going strong. This was probably the moment my power tool obsession really started, and my bank account and I haven’t looked back since.

I was also making a lot of brooms back in those days. You heard that right. Brooms. It’s what I use to make before I made houses.

November 2006

Apparently I didn’t exist on the internet in November 2007 because I spent most of my nights and all of my weekends that year getting my MBA. But hey loo, in 2006 I painted a tree…


Uh. Yeah. Maybe those weren’t my most exciting years.


November 2005

I made a desk out of a door.

Desk top- Finished

That was kind of exciting actually, and appropriate because guess who is building a desk right now in her very own workshop? Yep. I am. I’ll show it to you after I get it assembled this weekend.

But first I’m going to go upstairs, crawl under my alpaca wool blanket, and go to bed before 9PM tonight. I think happened one other time in my life when I was, like, five. I have a feeling it’s going to be awesome (and necessary to survive another crazy November.)


9 Responses

  1. Same out here…freezing post-hurricane! You have accomplished so much in a year – your plan or not – and passing out in bed by 9 just may recharge you to change the November curse.

  2. Alpaca blankets are the best! Every time I go to Ecuador I bring back more as gifts- they’re the perfect way to stay warm through cold Wisconsin winters!

  3. I’m feeling that November down too. Part of me has a huge urge to keep going, but I’m making myself take two months off and focus on holidays, family, budget, etc, and try to get balance back in my life. November is a great time for that. And as much as I love building buying new tools, I’ve been rejuvinated by focusing my attention on some other things and I enjoy doing other than fixing the house.

    But I did request off for Jan 2-4 to do some major work and wrapping up projects. Looking fowrad to it.

    Good step in admiting November is a down period. Take some time off, enjoy life and family, and go back at it better rested!

  4. So how many notches are in the handle of that drill? You should post a before and after picture of the drill, so we can see how well it has been taken care of/used.

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I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.