My husband came home last week for a 3-week R&R from Afghanistan. He didn’t hesitate before jumping right in with me on various big projects. First things first, he helped me get the workshop in the basement cleaned up. Then… we trashed it again and again and again.

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It’s almost too bad we don’t have to use the outhouse anymore. Look at all the sawdust we’re making! Just kidding – I wouldn’t want to still be heading outside in the middle of the night with a flashlight and puckered cheeks in this below zero weather.

So far we have finished hanging all three sets of bifold doors for the closets. I still have to finish the ones in the bedrooms. I’ve got special plans for them!

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The fancy ones in the hall still need their pulls. Six hundred dollar doors and they came with cheapo plastic pulls the color of poop. My husband picked up some nice brushed nickel ones in town today when he went on a lumber run. We’ll get them on tomorrow.

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All of the wood is unfinished – the doors, the jambs, the trim. We’re still deciding whether to put a natural finish on it or stain it. I think we’re leaning toward a natural finish like I did on the pine ceiling. Our doors are all maple, while most of the jambs and trim are select cut pine. The woods look similar enough that whatever stain or finish we choose should have the same effect on each.

It took a day and a half to get all three closets done, and we still haven’t even chose trim to go around them. What we did choose trim for were the windows in the great room. Actually, my husband chose the trim, and he spent all day today working on the first window. It looks gorgeous! The other two windows in here will have the same style once he’s done. Isn’t he talented?

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I know. Still have crappy pictures. I found our camera, but the SD card is missing along with the connecting port for uploading the pictures to my computer. Y’all will just have to suffer with my ipod pictures until I finish going through all the boxes in the basement.

Another project we worked on together was getting all of my home-canned goods up off of the basement floor. I helped my husband build these awesome shelves all along the one side of our basement, and I’ve nearly filled them already. We have plans to do the other two walls and a section down the center as well. It was so exciting to finally get to unbox all of my canned goods! I didn’t realize how many jams, pickles, beans, and salsas I had made! I even uncovered an entire case of pepper jelly! It was like finding money.

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In the prepping world, I believe the above picture would qualify as pantry porn. Once I unearth all of my buckets, they’ll go on the bottom in a single layer. There’s enough room for 8 buckets under each shelf. We have many sets of shelves, and will have many more in the days to come. Once I get organized, maybe I’ll post more about what we’re storing and how we’re doing it. For now, we are on the bare minimum because I ate through our food storage for a few months before our move. I would like to get up to 1-2 years worth for our family. The garden should help with that this summer.

Speaking of the garden, while my husband worked on the window trim today I worked on building and painting a set of seed-starting shelves for the great room. I brought all of my lights and supplies to the new house, and all of my seeds are sorted in popcorn tins. I spent a day last week getting my planting schedule all set so I know when to start everything. I can’t wait to see all of the little seedlings sprouting and growing! The paint is still drying on my shelves. Once I get them all assembled, I’ll post pictures.

It’s so nice to have my husband home! The kids are enjoying having him here, and it just feels complete. I missed being able to hug him and kiss him and touch him whenever I feel like it. I missed hearing his voice. I missed his smell. I love having him here with us, and I’m not looking forward to losing him again. At least this time I know he’ll only be gone for another 4-6 months, then he’ll be home for good. I hope. By the time he comes back this summer, I’m sure I’ll have another long honey do list for him to help me with. Love you, honey!

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