It has been way too long since my last update and I apologize, but we have been super busy! My in-laws stayed for about 2 weeks and although our time with them is always pretty good, there was some drama around the things we have been getting rid of (*AHEM*CRYSTALCABINET *AHEM*!), but mostly from my poor mother in law who feels by replacing the older things in the house, we are replacing her. Oof . Also, while they were here, we took advantage of their presence to resolve some issues that were all still in Dona Elsa’s name. They were here mostly for leisure, though, so they wanted to sight-see a bit, eat out, visit family, etc. and we went along even though we still had a lot to do and oversee with the remodeling. That’s ok, though, we needed a little bit of a break and some retail therapy! This is Week 7 of the house remodeling project and thank the Lord I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. For countless days, our routine has been wake up early so we could be clothed and ready (not as easy a task as usual in the bitter cold) for the painter/handyman who has been helping us for a few weeks now and then fix, sort, CLEAN, install, go to construction stores and then repeat. For me personally, it has become more and more tiresome, because I have already fixed up the rooms, kitchen, my work spaces, mostly because I crave some sense of normalcy and would like to get to work, but nothing is ever fully ready and every time spaces need to be painted, things installed, built, wood varnished, wire replaced, etc, there’s a world of dust and construction debris that I have to go in and clean up yet again. Also, with my in-laws here, I was “housewife-ing” HARD out of some buil-in sense of duty so imagine being on your cooking, cleaning, laundry, organized, decorated and good smelling home A Game in a house that’s literally falling apart and being rebuilt around you with strange, dirty men coming in and out with no care for what you are trying to do! I know it’s my fault and I should just force myself to embrace the chaos until everything is done but I just can’t, it brings me great anguish to live in dirty chaos, I wish I was different and I am struggling to find balance, but we all have our weaknesses, right!? Well, as of yesterday, I think we are getting a bit of a break along with a HUGE victory! As many of you know, perhaps our greatest struggle so far has been getting the heater/burner installed. Let me clarify the importance of this: when we came in APRIL, the cold was so intense (it’s colder INSIDE than it is outside) that I was seriously considering lighting a fire in a metal trashcan in the middle of the living room. We knew November-January would be rough so we bought the “salamandra” the second day we were here (OCTOBER!) and, after many failed attempts at hiring a person to install the damn thing, SImplicio decided to learn how to do it himself and started buying and adapting the proper pieces to channel the smoke up from the burner in the living room to the roof. However, the last step was creating a chimney on top of the roof and then I had to stop him because I was worried for his safety. So there we stayed, frozen (literally and figuratively) waiting for someone to actually show up and keep their word. Well, in the meantime, we found a contracting company and hired them to install a new roof for the whole house as the current one is rotting and beginning to cave. We decided we needed a team of professionals for this task. So, Senhor Diego, a very serious, professional older contractor who does large scale services all over town has been to the house a few times now to measure, assess and draw up a contract for his services. This week has been the first sunny week in about a month, but, strangely, with the sun, comes more intense cold (weird, huh?) .At night it has been getting to 2-3 degrees and it’s not even the dead of winter yet! I have loved the sunlight during the day but the nights are increasingly unbearable. Yesterday, out of desperation, we decided to light the burner with the tube opening up to the attic instead of all the way out through the roof. Of course, the house began to fill up with smoke and everything smells like burning now haha! Apparently there were billows of smoke coming out of the top of the house and the front door neighbor ( the “Butcher Lady” as we call her since she owns a butchershop across the street) ran over to ask if the house was on fire! At the peak of this frenzy, Senhor Diego came by to have us sign the contact and was very disapproving and said we could die from inhaling fumes and went on and on. To that, we expressed our desperation after searching and not finding a single soul who would install it correctly, even with us offering to pay whatever they wanted! So, he had mercy on us and sent two of his men today to install our chimney correctly AND since we are already going to do a large service with him, he did not charge us. PRAISE THE LORD WE HAVE HEAT!!!!