Year in Review + What’s Up Next

I guess maybe it’s customary to do a “year in review” post at the end of the year in question, but I didn’t do that. So first off, Happy New Year, folks! We’re only a few days into 2016 but I have a good feeling about this one.

So, 2015…oh, 2015.

2015 was a difficult year. It was a year of major life changes: some good, some bad, some where the jury’s still out. It was a year where I had to learn to let go of all sorts of things—my longest-term and most serious relationship, for starters, New York City as my home (even if only part-time), and the Brooklyn apartment that so influenced so much of what I’m doing now. The broadest theme of 2015 was maybe letting go of control—which at various points of time included relationships, my house, my professional life, my time and how it got spent, the plans I’d made when reality just didn’t agree. There was so much uncertainty, so many oh shit! moments, so much time feeling unable to decipher between sinking and swimming. It was the kind of year that had to be ridden out, because no other options presented.

2015 was a humbling year. It was a year in which there was more reacting than initiating, in which I learned a great deal about my limits as a human being—physical limits, emotional limits, intellectual limits, professional limits, limits of time and space, limits of giving and of taking. It was an extended exercise in prioritizing, in learning that doing my best doesn’t always mean pleasing everybody, or even necessarily myself. It was a year in which I had to become comfortable with the word “enough” and proficient in saying “no”—which is usually harder to say to myself than to others.

2015 was an exciting year, too. It was a year of thinking, planning, and in some cases, executing. It was a year of taking opportunities I didn’t anticipate. It was a year of learning, not just new skills and bits of information, but about what I want—and, equally important, don’t want. What I want out of my personal life. My professional life. My house. This blog.  I wouldn’t say I found clarity, but somehow the result of the past year is that all of those things feel at least somewhat less fuzzy. It was a year of great progress and great setbacks, and of trying and trying and trying to embrace that period of work that comes between the “before” and the “after.”

I realize I’m speaking more in abstracts than specifics, but that’s kind of what it feels like—that it was the kind of year that begs to be measured more in feelings than hard data, where I probably learned more about how I respond to things than about the things themselves.

It was busy. Really, really busy, and it felt constantly as though one of the casualties of all that activity was this blog. While this blog does loosely track what’s going on with the various projects in my life, the past year saw a pronounced imbalance between all the stuff I was actually doing and the relatively few things here and there that I had or made the time to write about. And that made me think a lot—about different ways that I can approach blogging, about different content I’m interested in producing, about the parts of doing this that I love and the parts that I don’t. One of the great things about this platform is its malleability, and I want to take greater advantage of that. I’ve been at this for almost 6 years now, and—while I have no intention of stopping in the foreseeable future—I do think it’s high time to shake things up a little.

Basically, we have a lot of catching up to do. I know 2015 wasn’t the most prolific or most Pinterest-worthy year for Manhattan Nest, but if you’ve stuck around, thank you. I have a good feeling this next one will be much better.

So! What’s been going on? What do we have to talk about? What DON’T we have to talk about? Here’s my stab at looking back at 2015, which should give a big sense of where we’re headed, you and me…

brooklynrooftop

See ya, Brooklyn! Apparently I took this picture exactly a year ago from the rooftop of my old apartment building, which I officially vacated a few months later. While I don’t miss paying rent on that apartment, or climbing five floors to get to my front door, or really living in Brooklyn at all, I definitely feel a little pang of longing whenever I think about that place. I couldn’t have asked for a better living situation than I had in my last few years in NYC, really.

In case you’re wondering, I rarely go down to NYC, even though it’s only about two hours away. I think a lot of people assume that living in Kingston was some sort of compromise and that I must bop down to Manhattan or Brooklyn all the time to see and do stuff, but that just isn’t the case! I pretty much only go down to see a few select friends, but mostly I try to stay away. I guess I was just never cut out for all that.

livingroom

I finished renovating the living room in my house almost a year ago! Looking back at the original reveal pictures is so odd—it looks so different now. I did a follow-up post after getting a few months more settled in the room, but we’re long overdue for another one because almost everything has changed again.

olivebridge1

It’s also been almost a year since the first time I walked through Olivebridge Cottage, and about 9 months since work commenced. Considering this was supposed to be an 8 week kitchen renovation and some cosmetic upgrades, suffice to say this project is MUCH, MUCH bigger than what anyone bargained for. You better believe there’s a story there…a lot of story.

mekko

This DOG! Mekko continues to be the most beautiful girl in the world, duh. My baby is turning 6 this month! She’s calmed down a bit since Max and I adopted her, but she’s still such a puppy. Instagram makes it seem like she’s super tame and sleepy, but that’s just because it’s practically the only time she’s still enough to snap a picture of.

pantryprogress

I finished the pantry, which I think also might be due for a little blog visit. Not a ton has changed, but I’ve made some little tweaks here and there. It’s been so nice to have it, though! It’s definitely made me cook more.

Kevinsstudio

I got to visit my friend Kevin Paulsen‘s studio, where he was working on an incredible mural for my other friend’s house. He’s so talented. It’s always such a treat to get a glimpse of the spaces where artists do their work. There’s so much creative energy here in Kingston and so many people producing really amazing work, which is something I’d like to start writing about more! There are also some super inspiring folks doing beautiful renovation work around town, which I’d love to start featuring here and there.

jerseyicecreamco

I met Tara and Percy, the incredible design duo behind Jersey Ice Cream Co. I’ve been such a fan of their work for a few years now, so getting to know them as people has been so great! They’re both gorgeous superhumans with perfect taste who can do everything, so when they asked if I’d like to come out to work with them on a project in Long Island for a few days, I pretty much packed a bag and hopped in the car. They taught me how to do traditional plaster work (verrrrryyyyyy different than skim-coating with joint compound!), and were such gracious hosts even in the midst of a major renovation project. They’re kind of too cool so I’m glad they’re willing to associate with the likes of me.

chairs

I keep buying stuff. Back when I started this blog, I feel like I logged nearly every thrift purchase! I’ve really fallen out of habit on that, but maybe it’d still be fun. In other news, my house has WAY too much stuff in it since I’m storing crap for myself, the Olivebridge house and Bluestone Cottage, so I really need to wrap those projects just so I can get some space back!

marfa

I went to Marfa, Texas with my gal-pal, Anna! We set aside a whole few days to go just to go, which felt very adult of us. Marfa blew me away, by the way—such a cool place. Anna wrote a nice post about our trip if you happen to be curious about a vacation that a couple of strangers took almost a year ago? Whatever floats your boat.

basement

This is why we never talk about my basement. BUT! I actually did a TON of work on it in the past year—nothing beautiful, but I don’t know why I never blogged about it. I’m sure there’s at least one person who has a mild, passing, almost-interest in how my tools and crap are organized, so I’ll try to get something together.

kitchen

Oh yeah, I destroyed my kitchen…again. And I’m still putting it back together…again. And I don’t know really why I did this…again…other than to blame post break-up acting out and general idiocy.

backyardbefore

Spring marked the beginning of LOTS AND LOTS OF YARD WORK. I can happily report that this view looks NOTHING like this anymore! We still have some serious ground to cover about the yard, in part because I was still actively working on it until just a couple weeks ago when the weather finally turned, but I think I’m pretty much done back there until spring/summer hits again. I didn’t get as far into the big plans as I’d hoped, but the progress still feels great.

cottontail

I found this baby cottontail rabbit in my yard which I thought needed rescuing because he was so tiny, only for the google machine to tell me that he was probably totally fine (evidently they wean and become independent at a very young age), so I put him back. Good GAWD that thing was cute.

bluestone

YES, I still own Bluestone Cottage, and YES, I’m still working on it, and YES, I’ll start blogging about it again. Frankly the Olivebridge project just completely took over the spring, summer, and fall, and Bluestone became the biggest casualty of that…which sucks and makes me feel like an awful piece of shit failure. The only direction to move is forward, though, and that house will get done and it will be very, very cute, and maybe this serious delay will have some great silver lining when all is said and done. It HAS given me more time to plan and choose materials and gather salvage like a lunatic, so maybe that’s nice?

:/

nola

I got to go to New Orleans for a couple of days in the spring. The only other time I’d gone to NOLA was to work for Habitat for Humanity shortly after hurricane Katrina hit, so seeing the city thriving after the intervening years was really special. The architecture there is SO dreamy, omg.

gardening

I did a couple of gardening posts this year, but I did a lot more planting than I ever actually got around to writing about, which is just dumb! My tan was BANGIN’ after this summer, though. I feel like I lived outside.

garagepainting

I painted a lot of shit black, including my garage and then my new fence! It’s kind of a habit, you could say.

garageinterior

What I stupidly never talked about, though, was all the work that took place on the INSIDE of the garage! It ain’t beautiful, but it is VERY different and leaps and bounds more functional, so we really have to talk about it.

backofhouse1

I tore a roughly 100 square foot room off my house completely, which unintentionally led to a HUGE project that I’m proud to report is now finished!

backofhouseprogress

Seriously, that project was huge. I kind of can’t believe how long it took, but then again I totally can, and I’m really very proud of how much of it I did myself. Sometimes the hardest jobs are the most satisfying!

hudson

Remember summer? I kind of do. I FINALLY went out on the Hudson River for the first time. It was such a blast and so gorgeous. That was a big deal for me—I feel like I’ve been so busy since I moved here that I forget that there’s this whole side of living here that really should be about recreation and enjoying this beautiful place I get to call home. I want to try to do more of that kind of stuff instead of being so wrapped up in projects all the time that I don’t give myself a minute to enjoy stuff.

dogwood

Oh yeah, more yard work. WAY more. I’ll get us caught up before spring hits.

towpound

This right here is part of why I hate driving into NYC. Getting your car out of a Manhattan tow pound has got to be right up there with childbirth and black friday at Wal-Mart in terms of agony.

dirt

Did I mention I did a lot of yard work? Part of that included moving around 60,000 pounds of dirt into my backyard. Boy was that fun.

chimney

I also demo’d this chimney down to the attic floor. It had previously been removed to below the roofline and was somewhat of a structural hazard, but I’m not sure why mid-summer seemed like the best time to tackle this one. It was miserably hot.

coffeetable

I think I should have bought this coffee table. I hate thrift-regret.

doorsixteen

One of my besties, Anna, moved to New Mexico. I helped clear out the house in Newburgh, which was emotional even for me as a long-time reader and admirer of Anna’s home and approach to renovating. We’re still great friends and I’m so happy for her for making such a big decision and making it work. Hopefully this year I’ll to go visit her in her new hometown of Portales!

kitchenfloor

This one time, I sealed and polished my kitchen floor. It looked AWESOME for a few days, and then it went back to being a dusty, filthy mess because keeping anything clean in a house under renovation with a dirt pit backyard is just a losing battle if there ever was one.

aldermanballot

Oh right, I ran for elected office in Kingston city government…like ya do. I lost in the primary, but I’m very glad to have done it and grateful to have met so many amazing people throughout the process and during the campaign. The whole experience made me a more active and knowledgable member of this community, and that’s a nice way to feel after a relatively short amount of time. Have I mentioned I love this town?

hallwaypainting

I STARTED PAINTING MY HALLWAY! Then I stopped. I really want to get this done soon, though—it feels like forever since I checked a big interior project off the list, and this one is basically just paint and a ton of prep work…it should feel like child’s play after dealing with the back of the house for the past several months.

diningcloset

Remember how there’s a little closet in my dining room? I always forget about it too. I didn’t really touch it when I renovated the dining room, but now I want to circle back and get that done. Maybe I already gutted it. It could be super cute, and the storage would be so nice!

upstairskitchen

I demo’d a lot of the room above the kitchen, which also used to be a kitchen. It’s looking VERY different! I can’t wait to really get my hands on it…I don’t think it’ll be a SUPER challenging renovation but it will be a HUGE transformation and I think it’ll be really gorgeous and cozy and great.

brunette

My friends Tracey and Jamie opened a wine bar called Brunette in downtown Kingston, and they did SUCH a good job with the space! They also happen to be super lovely people with great taste in wine (and everything, evidently). It’s exciting times here…I feel like there are so many new restaurants and bars and stores opening up all over the place, and it’s always extra nice when such lovely businesses move into these spaces. I’ve only lived here for about 2.5 years and it’s already changed so much, which is cool to see.

wiltwyck

I finally took a walk through one of the gorgeous old cemeteries here, and stumbled upon the headstone of the family who built my house! I have GOT to dedicate more time to learning about the history of my house and the people who lived here. I’m sure there’s more information out there than what I’ve found!

footings

Well, concrete footings for a new foundation is a sight I didn’t know I’d be seeing last year, but 2015 was kind of like that. I DO THIS STUFF NOW.

windows

I think I may be the foremost expert on windows now. Old windows, new construction windows, replacement windows, renovation windows, sash kits, awnings, casements, double-hungs, single-hungs, pictures, true divided lights, simulated divided lights, jamb extensions, j-channels, wood, aluminum, vinyl, insulated, Low-E…it’s enough to drive a person insane. Ask me how I know.

linus

Had a big old scare with my little old dog, Linus, when a routine grooming appointment resulted in emergency surgery, full anesthesia, and ten stitches. Poor thing! He had to wear a soft cone for two weeks while he healed up, which I’m not sure he even really noticed.

linus2

He bounced back just fine, though. And so handsome! I love that dog more than words can express. Best 11 pounds I’ve ever gained.

vbkitchen

I want to work on this house. Maybe, just maybe…

johnson

And this one.

bergermatthews

Also maybe this one? Who the hell knows. New Year, anything could happen!

SO! That’s all I gotta say. This’ll be fun!

Life
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180 Comments

  1. This post made me so happy, for a number of reasons. You’ve been so busy! You also want to do approx 200x more things than there’s time for (I think my number is around 100x, so props to you!) You are still into blogging! There’s more Manhattan Nest house(s) to come! All the best to you in the New Year.

    And hey, I even like the non-Pinterest posts, so you do you.

  2. Wow. Quite a year I’d say. What a hard worker you are. Please pat your shoulder for me. I hope 2016 brings you all that you could hope for (and then some).
    Glad Linus bounced back. Was the vet nice?

    • Thanks, Simone! Yes, I really love the dogs’ vet up here—recommended by a friend and not that convenient, but we keep going because we like them! He did a good job fixing up Linus. :)

  3. Looking forward to 2016! Side note: so many heart eye emojis for that last house.

    • Me too! Unfortunately it’s a VERY complicated situation with that house, but I really hope the owners can figure it out and fix it. It’d be a fun thing to be involved in even peripherally—it’s crazy cool! The interior is nuts but full of potential. Here’s hoping…

  4. Happy new year!

    Can’t wait to see what this next year holds for you!

    Also thank you for always writing such witty, hilarious posts. Your writing is such a pleasure to read!

  5. So glad to hear you are going to continue blogging! I love hearing about the Kingston house(s) adventures and of course seeing Mekko and Linus doesn’t hurt :D Happy New Year!

  6. EVERY time I read a post from you I want to move to Kingston! I am always so happy to see you pop up in my feed. Looking forward to some updated pictures.

    • Ha! Kingston is pretty great! I feel so lucky that I landed here…it was so motivated by the house itself at the time and I knew so little about the actual city (which is sort of insane, I recognize), but I plan to be here a longgggggg long time. :)

  7. This is the best “year in review” post of all time! You were so busy. Those of us who keep checking back for a new post understand that to write great posts you need to be out there doing stuff, so we understand the infrequency. You have been so productive so don’t beat yourself up about the loose ends you haven’t tied up yet.

  8. Wow…. What a year indeed! I appreciate your candor and honesty about the realities of life very much. Keeping a blog up is a lot of work (I am happy if I can post 2-3 times a month). It’s hard to say yes to a million things and then feel guilty when we don’t complete everything we think we should be able to. I often say “We make plans, the universe laughs”.

    You have a loyal fan here, I look forward to your sharing the million things you are working on in 2016.

    • “We make plans, the universe laughs”…AMEN. If 2015 was a pillow, that would be embroidered on it in huge letters. :)

      Thank you so much for all your kind comments over the years—it really is so appreciated and part of what makes this whole blog thingy still fun! xoxo

  9. And here’s to an amazing 2016!

    I’m very curious about the NYC car-impounding situation. I’ve heard horror stories about that pound-on-the-pier…

    • Here here!

      Ugh, it’s brutal!! I got towed for accidentally parking in a commercial vehicle spot…then had to figure out WHERE I got towed to (311, crouched on the floor of B+H Photo with my phone connected to one of the store model iPads because my battery was dead), then had to walk to the piers on like the hottest summer day in Manhattan…at least there was some great people watching when I got there! Then of course you have to pay a shitload of money and get taken to your car, where there’s another ticket waiting under the wiper…oy.

  10. Wow! Wow! Wow! Linus, aww! Bunny! Coffee table! Oh, yes, you should have got that!
    I want to hear about everything … or anything you want to blog about.

  11. I’d say that was quite a year! You always impress me with your ambitious projects and lack of fear (at least at the moment of demo, ha!).

    Still want to get you to the house at some point! We’ve moved on to exciting outside stuff in the woods; last week involved a log splitter, and we own things like chainsaw chaps now. Good times. Happy new year!

    • You inspire me, Kate! I was showing the hopefully-soon-to-be-owner of the house in the second to last picture photos of your house before-and-after just the other day when we were discussing what to do with the exterior! Then I told him all about you and the house and how I NEED TO GET MY ASS OUT THERE so let’s make that a real thing, OK?!

    • would love to take a look at your blog!

  12. HAPPY NEW YEAR DANIEL!

    loved this post…pictures, stories…dogs..and yes..you should have bought that coffee table

    ps..love the Hudson.

  13. Long time faithful reader here. Cheers to the new year and waiting for whatever you get around to post about!

  14. Sounds like a super busy year. GOOD LUCK on all your projects! And if you are still looking for a husband I might know a guy ; )

  15. Damn, dude, what a year. I knew you had a lot going on, but damn, you sure had a lot going on. I got a little afraid that you were gonna say you were gonna stop blogging, and you’re my current favorite blog, so it was a huge relief that you did not say that. And I know how much work blogging is, which is why my blog is so sadly neglected. I’m glad you found the time to blog at all! And I want to hear about all of these projects & things you mentioned when you have the time to write about them!

    Also put me on the list of people who want to hear about how you organized all your tools & shit. I am currently attempting to clean out my tiny garage & shed full of hoarded and unorganized tools & crap in order to balance storage space with some actual work space, so I will appreciate any hot tips on how you’ve made that happen.

    Also, your pictures make me desperately want to move to Kingston. I miss living somewhere with seasons where it doesn’t bake for half the year. And also buy an old house and fix it up. That last picture in the post…GRABBY HANDS. I wants it, preciousssss!

    Anyway, I toast you with my third cup of coffee….may 2016 be your awesomest year yet!

    • Thank you, Lori! Not stopping the blog!! Although it IS a lot of work, and there’s just no way around that…I’ve been trying for almost 6 years to figure out how to make it faster/easier/more efficient, and I think the only answer is employees, ha! But I’ll keep trying. :)

      OK, I’ll bump garage/basement up on the list of stuff to discuss! And hey, if you move to Kingston, promise you’ll buy near me! We need more gardeners! :)

  16. Count me in as someone who has a mild, passing, almost-interest in how your tools and crap are organized in both your basement and garage.

  17. Ditto what Lori said. Your blog is my favoritest blog in the whole world, I check it every.single. day. You accomplish so much (regardless of whether you think you do, from where I’m sitting, you do), and reading about all your projects and thoughts and challenges is motivating and inspiring. Looking forward to all the things in 2016!

  18. Cheers to all your magnificent progress, Daniel. So impressed you ran for office and hope you’ll give that a go again. That and your lovable pooches at your side really say Kingston is Home, and isn’t that the best feeling?

    • Thank you! It is a good feeling! I think after feeling unsettled and annoyed at New York for the years I lived there, landing here is extra nice. :)

      I’ll probably run again someday! It’s a two-year cycle for the Alderman elections, so lots of opportunities. I’m glad I did it this year—great introduction to the process, what’s involved, and really forced me to get out there and get to know lots and lots of people while petitioning and campaigning and stuff. Next time I’ll be more prepared!

  19. I am ridiculously excited to live vicariously through you this year. It’s going to be a good one!

  20. Love love love. Can’t wait to get back into the cottage, I miss those updates. It’ll be such a sweet place when you’re done. You’ve had one hell of a year, hope 2016 is as productive but less hectic. Thanks for inviting all of us into your life, it makes our lives brighter to have you.

    • Amen, Sterling! I can’t wait to really get back into the cottage!! And to start blogging about it again…it’s SO overdue and about damn time! It’s been incredibly frustrating knowing it’s RIGHT THERE but my attention needed to be elsewhere.

      Thank you for all the kind words and wonderful comments! Always a pleasure hearing your take on stuff!! :)

  21. Happy new year!
    Look forward to a very interesting year in your blog, keep up the good work. And I’m glad you manage to keep writing the blog for us to enjoy. I check back often to see if there is anything new from you and when there is, I take a moment in the evening to read the post carefully. Kingston seems such a nice place!

  22. Daniel, you’re just the best. If I love you this much from the distance of the interwebs, I can only imagine how lucky people who know you in real life must feel. I hope 2016 is flipping awesome for you.

  23. Great to hear from you … makes me really happy to read and see what you’ve been up to (and all you’ve been up to). Happy New Year!

  24. I love you dearly, as everyone who reads you would attest, but that was about the cruelest teaser bit of writing ever. Plus, a little bit ADD sounding-but I mean that in the most loving way. XOXO

    • Daniel’s Mom: Have you had a chance to see the Kingston house in person (and the Bluestone Cottage you funded)?

      • In case my mama doesn’t see this…yes, she’s seen the houses! She even helped strip wallpaper and did some yard work with me! :)

      • Oh, of course, and even Olivebridge. Though, not THIS version of Olivebridge. Just wait until you hear the rest of THAT story. OMG. See, I have learned the fine art of the tease too. Daniel has taught me well, or vice versa.

    • I never said I was nice, Mom! Cruelty is my specialty! You oughta know that by now. (love youuuuu!)

  25. I’m so glad you are sticking around. I love your blog. Give us what you can, when you can and we will stay happy. Have a great 2016.

  26. Just… wow. So Much Stuff, teasers and all. Anyway, {{{{{cyberhugs}}}}}. Pretty sure I speak for many when I say we’ll stick around for whatever you care to dish out here, as long as it’s you doing the dishing. Happy and healthy new year to you and the pups. Looking forward hugely to the catching-up.

    • Thank you, Gillianne! Your comments are always so nice to read, and majorly appreciated from this side. Happy new year to you! xo

  27. I figured you were super busy when you weren’t posting much, but good heavens…………..you did so much! Can’t wait to see your posts on that. I’m really looking forward to the coming year, and all the good stuff coming your way :)

    • Yep, bit off a little more than I could chew last year—gonna try to fix that in this one! We’ll all see how that works out, haha! Happy new year!

  28. Happy new year’s, Daniel! Your blog is hand’s down my favorite whenever and on whatever you post. Can’t wait to see what 2016 brings–hopefully less heartache, better health, and more old houses!

    • Well, shucks! That’s so nice of you to say! And YES YES YES to that list at the end!! Gonna do my best. :)

  29. Hey go you for running for office!! I read recently about the Pilgrim Pipeline running through Kingston and Newburgh – terrible. Hope it gets stopped! Try running again!

    • I will! Luckily the common council (which is what I ran for) has opposed the pipeline and our new mayor’s background is mainly in environmental issues, so hopefully they’ll be able to hold it down without me. :)

  30. Happy New Year! Hope this one will have more of the highs and less of the lows for you, personally. But on the blog front – we all love it just the way it is. Thanks for sharing with us!

  31. I was SOOO terrified this was going to be a ‘I’m not blogging anymore’ post that I actually hesitated clicking. WHAT A RELIEF! Keep on being awesome and sharing with the interwebs your awesomenest. You’re so inspiring as a person as well as master handy person.

    Cheers to 2016!

    • ohhh, i did that too.

    • Ha! I feel like I keep inadvertently making people think I’m closing up shop!! Sorry! I didn’t mean to!

      And thank you very much for the kind words! Too much, but I’ll take it. :) Happy 2016!

  32. This was such a fantastic recap! I hate being the weirdo fan girl but it’s always exciting to see the progress you’re making + new projects you’re tackling. I hope 2016 brings a bit more calm…+ possibly more adorable baby bunnies!

  33. Love this blog! You are amazing and I cannot wait to see what 2016 has in store for you.

  34. So glad to see another MN post, and wow it looks like you have had a busy year.
    – I completely love your detailed posts with lots of info, and have read them with interest. Even the ones on timber framing (wtf is a collar tie anyway?) which are not hugely relevant to me, given that there are no timber framed houses around here. So screw pinterest, you do what you do, and we read it because it is damned entertaining.
    – That table is fugly, you dodged a bullet.
    – I completely feel you on the dusty floor issue, slowly losing my mind over here with the constant filth of living in a home under renovation. I think my long suffering husband might finally disown me if I mention sanding the concrete screed again…

    • Thank you, Alexis!! The constant filth thing is definitely exhausting! I’m looking forward to a few months focused more on stuff outside of my own property…maybe I can keep it clean longer if I’m not always tearing it apart!!

      (a collar tie is a piece of lumber that spans horizontally between rafters to keep the roof from sagging/falling in with snow-loads and settling and stuff! Keeping those framing members stable also keeps the walls square—otherwise they can bow out. Just in case that wasn’t a rhetorical question, ha!)

      • Totally rhetorical, but now I know :-)

        See that is why I like this blog, learn something new every time. :-)

  35. My heart skips a beat when I see there is an update. Happy New Year!!! How nice to be able to document part of life. Look forward to your updates of 2016. It is inspiring!!

  36. Damn, you did more in 2015 than I did in the last ten years!
    So happy to have an update. Happy New Year!

  37. Just wanted to say, I’ve been a reader of your blog since 2008 when I lived in Brooklyn and have continued since moving back to London so…I ain’t going nowhere. If you keep blogging, I’ll keep reading. Love your way with words, take on life and those crazy DIY/interior design/gardening skills! Can’t wait to see what 2016 brings!

  38. thank you for a nice meaty post. i check your blog every day and was worried about you. i have to say, the saga of your replaning the original siding boards to restore the back of your house kind of made my year, reno blogwise. i am happy to think of you so busy, of doing road trips with anna, of getting out on the hudson, and i look forward to much more news about the interesting artistic community in kingston. happy new year, grasshopper. all is well.

  39. How did you get this all done in just a year? And cook, too! I have been thinking about cleaning my attic for three years. Takes awhile for me to start projects.

    • Oh, I hear ya on the attic! I demo’d that chimney and basically haven’t been back up there since. Cleaning it up enough to use just for storage has been on my list for at least a couple years!!

  40. Probably not what you were going for, but this post made me happy. I’m not a home renovator, but I am a quilter/sewer and I swear there are always 1,000 ideas that are floating around in my head and no way to do all of them at once like I really want to (because life). Thanks for sharing what’s in your head and I can’t wait to see what comes in 2016!

  41. I was also worried that you were going to write that you would stop blogging. So glad that’s not the case. The “year in review” is so impressive as you have accomplished so much-and so well.
    Long time reader. This is my favorite blog of all and I really look forward to every post. Thanks, Daniel!

  42. You need to get a TV deal for real. Ha. I need a re-energization of home reno. My want, to finish my home is lacking. Hopefully more posts from your amazing talent will help that.
    Thanks for this blog.
    Thanks.

    • Ha! I literally can’t imagine myself on television or what such a show might look like, but hey! Anything could happen! I’m done trying to predict how stuff is going to pan out. Thank you for the kind words, and great name! :)

  43. man oh man what a year indeed!
    I can’t wait to see more of whats been going on with all your projects! Glad Linus is okay- what happened???
    I was just in Kingston yesterday- dream real estate shopping and pretending I could be as cool and handy as you some day. Wish I knew about Brunette! Super cute! We ended up at Stockade Tavern instead and then ate at Duo.
    If you’re looking for more homes to dream about and probably never work on, this is my current obsession… http://www.trulia.com/property/3208003892-153-Fair-St-Kingston-NY-12401
    Looking forward to seeing everything 2016 has in stock for you (and everything you haven’t posted yet from 2015!)

    • You were in Kingston and you didn’t email me?? THE FUCK, MAN.

      You went to the right places, though! Two of my local favorites with really nice owners and staff.

      Ha, 153 Fair! I walked through that house a couple of weeks ago…it just hit the market and is bank-owned, so the asking price is sort of incredibly low and the location is SO good. It needs quite a bit of work but for the right buyer, oh man…could be glorious!! Shoot me an email if you wanna discuss it!

      Happy 2016!

      • Oh man! So cool that you’ve already seen 153 Fair! We didn’t go in but totally snooped out front and could see that its probably more work than we’re really ready for but a man can dream. We’re a ways off from being ready to take the plunge anyway – but when we start to get more serious about looking at properties up there I’ll definitely drop you a line!

  44. OMG – sign me up for house #3! I can’t tell what the first two look like from the curb, but I’m a sucker for a broken down old lady needing a little rouge and… well, everything else it seems.
    – I also love the idea of redoing your dining room closet – may I suggest a french door (you must have one somewhere?) and put up shelves like the pantry to store your plates and platters on? I guess I don’t remember how close the dining room is to the kitchen so that might not be practical, so I’m just throwing my dreams in your house.
    – I love the meaty post and realized how much I missed hearing the updates. I had no idea 9 months had passed with that lovely cottage… crazy! I have one way that keeps me feeling slightly caught up with the changes in my world, even when I can only manage to do the huge blog posts every once and a while. I try to capture everything on instagram and give them different tags (#projectjumanji for house projects and #waughwoodshop for my carpentry stuff) so that when I’m ready to write a post, I can just pull up what I’ve tagged… or rest assured that I’ve shared it already so anyone interested has a way to find it. I actually thought to share this idea when I saw that you wished you could share more of your thrift store finds… perhaps do it that way? #mnestthrifty or something? and #mnestolive #mnestblue ?

    Happy 2016!
    Beth

    • Ha, a little rouge is the least of that house’s worries! Believe it or not, the owners have already put a TON of money into it to have the brickwork and foundation repointed and rebuilt, but yeah…it needs EVERYTHING.

      I think I will use the dining room closet for servingware and stuff mainly, but I’m pretty committed to keeping the original door on it! I like that it matches the others, and the fact that it’s still there at all! :)

      I’ll definitely think about how to use instagram and other social networking kinds of stuff more…I’m not super great at updating and I have more to share than I do!

      Happy 2016 to you! :)

  45. Happy New Year Daniel. Thank you for taking the time to write and share with us on your blog. Really, we love it! I look forward to the future little glimpses into your crazy full life and wish you all the best.
    xx

  46. Happy new year!

  47. Cannot wait to tag along this year. Love your blog and am so happy when you get the chance the post. Fucking Awesome!!! (Prior sailor, forgive the language!)

  48. Hey Daniel, great blog. I’m also interested in fixing up older homes, though I wish I had your design sense. Just wondering if you ever worry about asbestos in some of these homes. The idea of that kind of freaks me out. Thanks.

    • Hi Scott,

      If you avail yourself of the search function you will find that there are more than 10 posts that contain the word “asbestos” and one whole post devoted to that subject.

      Cheers, Karina

  49. It looks like you have enough content to last you at least 2 months, if you wrote a post everyday! Looking forward to hearing all the stories, especially of Olivebridge. I took to the Instagram hashtag to see what was happening, and wowza. So. Much. Stuff. Happy 2016, Daniel! Let’s own this year. Love from a long time reader in the Philippines :)

  50. Agree with several other commenters; your blog is a daily stop for me and when I find that you’ve posted something I feel a weird surge of excitement. The boring updates are as fun for me as the exciting new development stuff. I’m the kind of guy who gets excited about basement tool organization. Keep ’em coming.

  51. Daniel,
    Wow you have a lot going on – great post! Keep writing, and keep renovating, and thrifting, basically do whatever compels you to write; I always love reading your blog!
    here’s to a great 2016!
    Michelle

  52. Damn you. Damn you!

    I recently discovered your blog and have now spent an alarming amount of time (which I have zero of) starting from the beginning and moving forward in time.

    And I am gobsmacked. And in love with you. And your two sweeties. And just, well, wow.

    Wow.

    It also THRILLS me to discover somebody so young dedicated to making a wonderful old house the best it can be. This gives me hope for the future of humanity.

    I wish you the best for 2016. If you are ever in Kansas, I will be thrilled to give you a tour of my monster 1894 house.

    • I commiserate Ross, I discovered Daniel when MN was only a year old and I remember going back to the very first post and reading everything – even the comments – over a two-day period. You have a-ways to go but, if you have the courage to do so, I recommend you read ALL of the old posts, you’re in for a helluva ride. Daniel’s a genius, genius DIYer and genius writer, he makes rusty old bolts fascinating!

      • And check out Ross’s blog, Restoring Ross. Another creative genius!

  53. Ok, I feel like my whole life is a waste of time now. You have been SOOO busy! Two very literal face-palm moments for me: the kitchen, why? and running for office. My goodness I so admire your ambition. As long as you keep writing I’ll keep reading. I laugh out loud at nearly every post. Maybe this is the year I buy a house and start putting some of the things I’ve learned here to use. Happy New Year!

  54. Oh, frabjous day! Callooh, callay! Daniel is back! I love this blog!!

    Poor little Linus, having to wear the cone of shame. I don’t even want to know what a dog-grooming related injury might be!

    The bunny was adorable. Hope you weren’t planning a vegetable garden – he’ll be back, with friends and relations. Although … some people plant butterfly gardens to attract the little winged ones – I suppose you could plant a bunny garden on purpose …

    The table? I loved it, but you will find something even better. You’re Daniel Kanter, it’s your fate.

    So, go forth and do fab things in home renovation and small-town living, and keep your loyal fans informed. We care, Daniel, we care.

    Happy new year!

  55. OMG OMG!
    such a GREAT post – so excited about all the news and projects – and the GArDEN… cant WAIT to hear and see more about the garden and the mysterious circle of dirt (i have so many ideas…)

    yea you …
    Here’s wishing that 2016 is 2016 times better than 2015.

  56. Looking forward to more updates throughout the year! You have a real talent for writing – it is a pleasure to read your posts :)

  57. Damn. That’s all there is to say! I don’t know how you juggle all of that, but I love reading about it.

  58. Frankly the Olivebridge project just completely took over the spring, summer, and fall, and Bluestone became the biggest casualty of that…which sucks and makes me feel like an awful piece of shit failure.

    Frankly, Daniel, you get more done in one year than most people do in 10. Happy New Year!

  59. omg, that last house. I want you to work on it just so I could watch the updates from afar.

    Love the blog – glad you’re not giving it up for 2016. ;)

  60. Gosh! I’m exhausted by just reading your recap. What a busy and eventful year you had. I wish you’d blog more about your shenanigans.
    Here’s to a happy 2016!

  61. Daniel I’ve been following your blog – and Anna’s – for about 4 years now. It wasn’t until recently that I understood just how much work goes into running a blog. Not just the writing but all the technical stuff to make it look and function right. I’m amazed you ever get anything posted. And I completely understand the feeling of even if time were infinite I would never get through the backlog of all the awesome things I want to share. The only answer I have is Less Words, More Pictures.

    And Instagram.

    Just please don’t run yourself into the ground and be forced to stop. I can survive on reading a two picture blogpost with three word captions on here. But no posts, ever… it doesn’t bare thinking about. 2016 is the year of looking after yourself. xx

  62. Amazing and wonderful that you do any blogging, thank you. Don’t do yourself in. Do you need to hire a full-time carpenter?

  63. I love your blog and can’t wait to see all that accomplished last year and will do this year! You are an inspiration to DIYers everywhere.

  64. I was so excited to see this post! Your blog is my favorite because I love that you write about your own houses and projects. I always look forward to reading the details you put out there for all of us. It’s original, interesting, and fun to follow. I think yours is one of the few old house blogs that actually talks about the house. So many blogs have turned into sponsored spaces that all look the same—Loloi rugs, Target pillows, mass-produced decor, etc. I’ve always thought that your blog has a distinct personality to it, so please keep it coming! And I would love to read and see more pictures of your ‘hood. It sounds like great things are happening there!

  65. When I started reading, I thought you were writing a break-up post! Love the recap of 2015 and looking forward to following you in 2016. Your blog is like a long-distance lover. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. All the best for a wonderful New Year!

  66. Happy new year, Daniel! I wish you all the best, and I can’t wait to see what you get up to in 2016 :)

    I have been reading your blog since the beginning, but I’m one of those readers who don’t comment very often. Loving every single post you write though, and doing some serious fangirling waaaay over here in Norway every time a new post is up.

    xx

  67. Please, never stop. I enjoy every post no matter how infrequent, no matter how boring you think they are. They are no. I like to see how other people arrange their scary basements and garages – I have them, too. I’d love to see more, of course, but I am perfectly content with things as they stand.

    What an incredible year you have had! I hope 2016 is as full, but maybe a bit less stressful.

  68. Happy New Year, Daniel! I really get a happy jolt when I see you’ve been able to post. I can’t remember who came first, but I found you or Anna from the other ones’ blog about four years ago and have been following you both ever since. Not to sound too Fan Girl, but the way you write about your life is so genuine that I connect -and have had more than a few conversations with you in my head about remodeling my space! 2015 was a learning/just-ride-the-wave-in kind of year for me too. 2016 WILL be a great year – for both of us. Just keep doing what you do, in any form you choose and I’ll be there.

  69. What a great post Daniel. You are incredibly awesome! I can’t believe you had time to run for public office with everything you did in 2015. Wishing you and your adorable pups everything great the universe has to offer in 2016.

  70. I am selfishly disappointed when I check your blog and there’s nothing new.
    Obviously you’re busy, just want you to know I so look forward to it, so keep em coming. Love the sentiments in yesterday’s post!

  71. Like many others, I look forward to each and every one of your posts. I get that you may need to change up the role of this blog in your work/life but boyohboy are you good at this writing and doing and writing about the doing. I wish you all the best for 2016, including a hot, nice, fun, smart, focused, hard-working boyfriend:).

  72. Hi, Daniel. I’m a big fan of your blog. Just wanted to satisfy my Mom impulse to say how proud I am of you. You’ve had a lot thrown at you, but you’ve kept your head down and powered through it all. Good job!

    If you ever want to visit the South, we’ll fix you a big ol’ plate of biscuits and gravy. Come on down!

  73. HNY Daniel. Your writing is my absolute favorite and I’m sure my husband would love it if you stopped blogging because I always read you new posts aloud, but I’m thrilled to hear that’s not the case. Looking forward to what 2016 holds for all of us.

  74. Awesome recap! I’ve had a busy year of projects around the house and everyone once in a while I stop and think I should blog about it all. I find blogs like this one and DoorSixteen so inspiring and helpful and I feel like I should give back by sharing my own projects. But then I think about how much work it is to run and write a good blog. I don’t know how you find the time to write between all of your projects, but I’m so glad that you do. I’ll take whatever you can give. Keep it up, Daniel – can’t wait for you to catch us up on everything you’ve been doing!

  75. Your Mom is right. Tease! Tease! Tease! Hey, you can right about anything you want to. I wanna hear about the leaning chimney. Is that typical? (Leaning chimney, not interest in it, although…) I’ve never seen anything like it. And your attic has a rug and giant checkerboard. And a trough under the chimney. See. I’m interested in everything. But that attic makes me want to grab the wet/dry vac and get up centuries of dust. You could dump it out in your yard and save a load or two of fill dirt. Take care of yourself and have a great new year.

  76. I’m so looking forward to what you’ll share in 2016 – your posts are worth waiting for, and everything has an ebb and flow. That’s just nature and physics and stuff right? Wishing you the best for this year!

  77. What a busy year! Good luck in 2016 and I hope you find some time to relax and enjoy life along with all of your epic projects :-)

  78. I’m so happy you’re still here and still blogging! I don’t care if you post once every three months, I’m still interested.

    I was watching “The Wrecking Crew” documentary about a group of amazing set musicians, and one of the guys said “you don’t say no to anything until you’re too busy to say yes” and I thought of you right away. I think you’ve been living that life, saying yes to everything, because who turns down opportunity? I trust your process. Take care of yourself and your health! I’m super glad you took two vacations this year, I am pretty sure you needed them and probably need still more.

  79. HNY, Daniel!
    You have such great style — in writing, designing, renovation – *all* of it! I’m another grateful reader that is happy you are continuing your blog. I, too, check it every day and am delighted when you publish an update. Just wanted you to know that you mean so much to us lurkers, too :o) Thank you for all your hard work, and please take good care of yourself. Wishing you much success and good times in 2016!

    • ditto what Nancy said..I don’t frequently comment but I ALWAYS read and love your posts.
      Thank you!!
      Happy 2016.

  80. I’m so happy you’re back! I’ve missed you! I had a similarly tough 2015 (broke up with the fiance) BUT know that 2016 is about to be the tits! You are amazing and talented and charming and if you ever want to come to New York and help me out with my little West Village apartment I’ll buy you all the dinners (or a light fixture, your choice lol).

    HNY!

  81. Hi Daniel,
    I, like many others above, was reading this post very hesitantly as I was worried this was a “Goodbye” post. SO glad it was not! It is really impressive to see all you have done this past year, and as others said, we will take whatever you want to share along the way (though I must say I particularly enjoy the thrifting and decorating posts). You have so many more loyal/adoring fans than you are probably aware of–I am always surprised by how many of my friends read your blog. Please stay healthy this winter and keep on posting :-)

    • Me too, Kirsten! I was really worried. I love all types of posts – renovations, thrifting, decor, dogs, men, life….
      I think I like interior decorating posts the most. But you know, if you’re looking for blog post ideas, you could do a “quickie” on the dog sweater Linus is wearing? It’s very cute. Happy new year to Daniel and all the other readers and commenters!

  82. Love your blog! You did a helluva lot in 2015! I’m exhausted just reading about it all. Hope your 2016 is wonderful and that you keep on writing!

  83. I was so sure you were heading down the “i’m not going to post anymore because I’m exhausted” path.. So happy you are still into it. It would be a shame because you have incredible writing skills and you’re really an interesting guy, for realz! I was sooo into the pantry this year and the fireplace was amazing! I will say that you have done a freakish amount of work in a small amount of time. I was most happy to hear about the lessons you’ve learned along the way and especially about the need for a little relaxation. I will be watching in the new year for a vacation or two… Happy New Year and thank you for all of the great posts!

  84. First time poster and new-ish fan, here. I’m so relieved that your blog will continue! After reading alllll the back posts on everything, I’d just have to have a little cry if you were bowing out only months after I found you. Your posts are informative, descriptive, energetic, and they make me laugh. Although I have to be old enough to your mother’s……um……older sister, your style speaks to the ever-young woman in my heart. I look forward to reading your further adventures.

    • Chris, don’t worry, you are in good company. I too am probably older than Mom (lovely lady that she is) but aesthetics is ageless :)

  85. WHAT? Waitaminute… You ran for president (ok alderman)? You’re car got towed?? Linus got HURT??? This post was a cliffhanger! At some point I got really scared that you were going to say “…that’s it folks!!” but no, phew! Again, thank you for writing this blog – I don’t know HOW you find the time. I think you should get paid to write this stuff, I WOULD PAY to read it!! Anyway, I wanted to comment on so many things but that would really take too long. Seeing all those old pics took me back, I feel as though I’ve known you forever and I hope I can call you my friend. So, friend, I wish you all that you wish for yourself in 2016 and a MILLION times more.
    XXX

  86. Bonne et heureuse année 2016. Pour beaucoup de gens 2015 n’a pas été heureux donc tous les espoirs sont avec 2016. Bonne santé et joie pour vous. Linette de France

  87. So glad you are using your available spaces to store and preserve reclaimed materials. More power to you. Ouch on the tow but consider it a payment in lieu of taxes to the big city you don’t have to live in anymore. Such beautiful pictures!

  88. I love to see what you’re up to. So glad Linus was okay. Your posts are a treasure! Hope you can keep them coming in 2016 — best wishes for a healthy and less hectic new year.

  89. What a fantastic post! I am such a huge fan of your writing, and am very happy to see that you aren’t calling it quits! Just keep on writing about whatever you are doing, and I am sure it will be amazing. Your posts on the back of the house made me so happy, and I have absolutely no intention of ever doing such a thing myself. But to watch you tackle projects that you don’t actually know how to do, and then learning along the way (from your contractors or the interwebs) is just so inspiring. Makes me feel like, if I had to, I could do some of those things, too. Did I mention you are an inspiration? ‘Cause you are.

    Also, I might have said “What the hell did you do to your kitchen?” out loud as that picture scrolled into view. Hopefully that will be expanded upon in the near future? Pretty please? Anyway, here’s to a wonderful 2016, full of healthy dogs, finished projects, and new possibilities.

  90. Nearly 150 comments in two days… I think you have plenty of readers still around. :)

    Looking forward to a new year.

  91. I know what you mean about 2015 being quite the year! I still have my summary post to put up on the ol’ blog too. I can’t wait to hear more about all the details to all your projects. You have such an engaging writing style I even love hearing about the “boring” aspects of renovations. I love that your blog gets into the gritty details of everything. Definitely shows all the hard work that goes into fixing up an old house. Very excited to see what you write in 2016 :)

  92. Loved this update. Keep stopping in to share your stories, we the readers will be around whenever you have time to post them. I’m excited for updates on those 2015 projects, and to see what you have planned for 2016. Keep on keeping on – this internet stranger thinks you’re awesome :)

  93. Great recap! Anyone would be overwhelmed by your 2015. I thought *I* was hyper!

  94. Honestly, I’d rather read just a few posts from you than no posts at all because you burn out trying to maintain an unrealistic blogging schedule in light of your other commitments. You’re one of the few bloggers left who still tells stories in your posts, and, IMO, there is a decency and balance in the way you approach sponsored content that is becoming more and more rare. I hope the things you learned in 2015 help your 2016 feel..I won’t say balanced because I’m not sure that exists in today’s world, but how about less hectic and urgent. Happy New Year.

    • Seconded! I may or may not check your blog every day for a new post. But I would much rather you post on your own schedule rather than burn out. I love all the stories you tell and I’ll always come here for them, even if you can only post once a month.

      For the record, my own kitchen, loft, bathroom, etc etc etc renovations owe a lot of their existence to you and your “hey I don’t know how to do this but there’s one way to learn” vibe. I think you and your blog are contributing, via inspiration, to houses all over the place slowly becoming more beautiful.

      (Does that mean I should blame you for that time we ripped out our kitchen soffits and decided to reroute ductwork by building our own ducts out of pieces of sheet metal from Home Depot? Whatever, it was fun and it totally worked. Yeah, I’ll blame you.)

  95. So, okay, Daniel . . . I can see you’ve been kinda busy, doin’ this and that, but what I really want to know is: have you started writing your novel yet?

    HA-HA-HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  96. Thanks for the updates and teasers, and just overall thanks for sharing your adventures and misadventures. I always love reading/looking at whatever you are able to put on this blog for all of us…so, when life gets crazy, just send a picture or two our way…doesn’t even have to include a ton of detail:)

  97. Hi Daniel! Thank you for the update, I miss your posts lots and started to get a little worried about you. Yiddishe mama-style, you know.

    Have a happy and rejuvenating new year!

  98. I echo all the preceding comments. This was my favourite blog 3 or 4 years and it continues to be my favourite today. Thank you for the great mixture of writing, humour, vision, and ability to tackle any project (sexy or not). Here’s to a good 2016.

  99. I am slooowly renovating my 1874 house and your projects often mirror things I’m working on. I’m not an expert on windows yet, although that’s surely coming, but I can talk for a long time about insulation, and water intrusion. And I would be fascinated — no, really — by a post about how you organize your tools and stuff.

  100. I forgot to add in my other comment that I want to see the kitchen and pantry in your house! They were both very nice, what did you do? Must. See.

  101. What a stellar post! Love you so much. Looking forward to everything you have planned–it’s gonna be great! Hugs to you and puppers! Liz

  102. Happy New Year! I’m commenting to say thank you for your blog. I know you don’t post super frequently, but when a new post comes up, it’s something to get cozy for.

    I also want to add that your blog is the only one my husband also enjoys. He is quite the charming Danish jointer (cabinet maker), and has also enjoyed your window posts. We also tend to point out nice windows and doors when were biking or driving around here in Copenhagen. You’re welcome to join if you find yourself here in the Copenhagen area.

    xx
    All the best in the new year! Maybe you will also find yourself a jointer that can help with windows ;)

  103. I am rooting for you. Thanks for sharing with us – keep it coming.

  104. Hooray a post! Happy new year you special person! I hope you have an amazing year. I always always look forward to your posts no matter the frequency. So keep doing what you do so well Daniel. thank you!

  105. thanks for the huge catch up! always appreciate you sharing what you’re up to, and I’m excited for whatever the new year brings. wishing you the best!

  106. Feeling sorry about your kitchen. But I know that you can get to fix it. Long way to go! You have a year ahead. We all have. :D

  107. Hey Daniel,

    Happy New Year! Hooray for 2016. Long-time lurker, first time poster – I wanted to leave you a note because your 2015 sounded just like mine. Unforeseen changes in life, progress nonetheless, and a lot of self-reflection. Guess it’s part of becoming a real-life bona fide adult…or at least something close to it?

    Glad to hear you’re still blogging, so many of my favorite bloggers have stopped posting because…well life? Whatever you post, know that creepy-long-time-lurkers like me will continue to appreciate and enjoy your work. :)

    Hope 2016 brings you everything you hoped for and more.

    Ingrid

  108. I am always entertained by your posts – it is always well worth the wait! Keep up the amazing work and I hope that 2016 is full of laughter and joy. More pictures of the dogs never hurt!

  109. Just want to say I enjoy your writing and pictures and humor. Thanks for doing it.

  110. Hi! I sure picked a good day to pay my first visit! I am already smitten with you and all of your busyness and your up and down year and your open heart and your dogs…excuse me if I steal your line…”My Beagle Bean is the best 25 pounds I have ever gained!”. I lived in NYC once upon a time, then downsized to Boston, then Charlottesville Va and finally a county town called Greenwood just outside Cville. I LOVE my small town though I wish to hell I had NYC 2 hrs away…but I have DC when I get a hankering for traffic and overpriced everything and class.
    I plan to return and often.
    Hope to paint your dogs one day!
    xolesli

  111. former Highland Parker, current New Mexican, occasional commenter, to say that I prefer the non-Pinterest real-life posts. That’s what differentiates you from other bloggers, actually. Please go on resisting any pressure to pretty things up for us. Love the wry humor, the commentary on life’s imperfections, the way you let us learn with you. Happy 2016, Daniel, and may it be a healthy, productive, tranquil, joyous year.

  112. Hi Daniel,

    I saw these adorable vintage-style bathroom fixtures at Anthro (40% off sale!) and thought of you:
    http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/shopsale-freshcuts/36805000.jsp#/
    http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/36804995.jsp#/

    Love your blog!

  113. I’m late to the party, but Happy New Year Daniel! I hope you do find time to blog more in 2016, but occasional is better than nothing. Also, thrift regret is the worst!

  114. I’ve read (and loved) your blog for years, but I rarely, if ever, comment. 2015 was an very difficult, exciting, transitional and transformational year for me as well. I enjoyed reading your recap and am realizing that I perhaps haven’t allowed myself to really take stock of how my life has unfolded over the past year, in unexpected but rich ways. I’m very much looking forward to your future posts.

    Also – Portales?! New Mexico is an incredible place (I live near Santa Fe!), but Portales is a surprising destination! I recall you talking about Anna over the years. So curious about her move here. I might just have to say hello to her as well!

  115. Wow – maybe the best post I’ve read in a few years.You are a whirlwind. I love to see all the stages of the projects you are working on and your solutions as you tackle problems. Excellent stuff. Thank you.

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