When January 2014 was actually happening, I thought at the time that the highlight of the month would be my long-overdue restoration of the doorway trim in the back parlor:
But obviously you all already know about Bob's suicide on January 25th, and my mom and I finding him. Our friends and family members did a lot to help us through it. Hannah and Sarah J. helped me bag up and donate Bob's clothes and throw away a ton of garbage. Dr. Girlfriend Sarah helped us notify his past clients, organize and clean the house, prepare for the funeral, and helped me care for Frida, Bob's turtle.
Bob's funeral occurred in this month, ultimately taking the form of a luncheon in a private room of a restaurant. Kevin was extremely helpful with the arrangements, offering his services as a professional funeral director pro bono.
One evening, Sarah blew out a tire on her way to Ann Arbor and then blew out her spare on the way back. AAA just told her to walk from the M-14/US-23 ramp to a hotel. On my way to drive out and lend her my spare (since we both drive Aveos), **I** blew out a tire. I pleaded for help on Facebook at 1am. Ang saw my post and got Dale to loan me his Prius in the middle of the night. Thank you both!
Highlight of the month: HOMEMADE VEGAN PACZKI!
The estate sale to liquidate Bob's art collection was held. He had A LOT OF STUFF.
As an entry in a contest, Joe, the two Jeffs, and Tara submitted a music video to They Might Be Giants' "Am I Awake?", which I helped out with:
While cleaning up after the estate sale, my mom and I drove to take a lunch break and saw an odd vintage store we hadn't noticed before along the way. It was Mercury Retropolis. We checked it out and eerily noticed some of Bob's items inside. We became acquainted with the store owner, whose back story contained enough bizarre twists to flesh out a full season of the Serial podcast.
Sarah moved into the Bumblebee House!
A historically-themed publishing company contacted me about writing a book on Corktown, but they refused to pay for any photo licensing and Becky pointed out shady stuff in the contract they sent me. I told them no thanks.
I charged high rent on Airbnb rooms during the electronic music festival and used that money to rip up the side yard and paid Don to build a beautiful picket fence. Abe helped me paint it. I then spent way too much money on planting perennials in the new garden.
Sarah and I attending the Waterfront Film Festival in South Haven. We did not stay in a hotel or B&B, but I actually *went camping* for this trip.
Abe moved from Michigan to Portland. She loves her new job and city, but I'm sad she left.
Sarah and I started jogging. We still do it even though it sucks and it's stupid.
My water heater died and Scott helped me install my new one. Thanks, Scott!
Sarah and I and a few strangers rescued two dogs from the freeway.
My car stereo's face plate was stolen so I installed a whole new stereo. I thought I did it right, but every once in awhile it will stop working, and when it works again all of my preset stations are erased. Whatever.
Sarah and I stayed at a B&B on the west side of Michigan, a Christmas/birthday gift from my dad and stepmother. Here we are visiting some sand dunes on Lake Michigan:
I finally finished the trim in the rear parlor. This piece of trim was pulled out of a dumpster and refinished:
That month I first laid eyes on an ad for sale for a cottage on an acre of land in Farmington Hills.
Scott and I checked out the Farmington Hills house. I liked it a lot and viewed it a second time with Sarah, and she also liked it. We negotiated with the seller and agreed on a price while negotiating the sale of the Bumblebee House to Dr. Matt.
On October 28, I sold the Bumblebee House to Matt and purchased the house in Farmington Hills.
I have been working on the house nonstop in all of my free time. The house was severely neglected and needs a complete renovation, including a new roof, all new plumbing, new furnace, etc. I am doing as much of the work myself as I possibly can. It will take until at least April or so for the house to even be livable.
My mom moved to Mesa, Arizona.
Sarah and I adopted a stray cat brought into her clinic. We named her Contessa. The name was half chosen at random by Stacey as a baby name for me and Sarah, and half a reference to Liz Baillie's "Freewheel".