I’m back.  I’ve not posted recently…since last year, in fact.  I’ve hit a bit of a writer’s block – after all, it’s kind of difficult to write about summer vacation travel in down east Maine when we’re dodging snowstorms.  (And speaking of dodging snowstorms — it looks like we’re dodging a big one this weekend).  Do you remember this week last year?  We hadn’t had that much snow to date and then, boom, we had a giant storm… then another giant storm…then another…and another.  I had guests staying in my rental home in Machiasport the last week of February and I needed to hire a front loader (I think that’s what it was) to come in and shovel a pack of snow that was above the top of the garage door.

We’re not going to have a repeat of last winter are we?  Or of the winter 2013/2014 when a historic ice storm dammed up my roof and dripped water on my forehead in the middle of the night?  Please no.  I like snow.  I enjoy the change of seasons and winter.  But I can do without all of these historic storms.    I even bought snowshoes — at a black Friday sale – and I’m excited to try them out at some point this winter.

If you own a vacation home, do you utilize this off-season time to get projects done around the house?  Or do you shut it down, all tucked in for the winter and then deal with maintenance issues in the spring?  I know that I head up to my vacation home whenever I can during the winter months.  The silence of the falling snow is such a luxury.  But no relaxing while I’m there.  Ever.  If I’m not shoveling snow (yeah, before I gave in and hired heavy equipment) and sprinkling salt, I’m scrubbing the baseboards and grout. 

I’m heading up to Machiasport this coming week.  Hopefully I’ll be able to dodge the storm and I won’t be stuck in a seedy motel in Portland like I was last year (although it was very close to a giant Salvation Army store).  I have my list of things that I MUST accomplish — most of which involve chalk painting.  Chalk painting a cabinet, a nightstand, maybe an antique sleigh bed.  We’ll see — I was thinking of sleeping on that sleigh bed so that project may have to wait.  Then I’m replacing all of the stock Home Depot-like interior door knobs with hacked glass door knobs, spray painted (the brass faceplate, not the glass part) to look antique [I found the instructions on a great blog found here].  I’ve ordered a bunch of things to be delivered while I’m there – a new carpet, fire extinguishers, smoke and CO2 detectors, a new router, case of wine.  You know, the necessary things that have to be done.

I have guests staying at one of my houses this week who will depart while I am there, so I’ll go over and clean and wash the linens and hopefully have time to do my semi-annual deep cleaning of the duvets and pillows and carpets.  Then if I still have time (and if my cousin and I have the brute strength) I want to move a sleeper sofa from one house to the other… and just hope that we can get it through the door (a prior sofa bed had to be hacked into pieces to remove from the house).

What winter projects are you planning on doing this season?

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