Yesterday was our “house-aversary” wherein we achieved one year of living in our new place.  I have gathered many pieces of wisdom, knowledge and information in this 365 day period that I should like to share with you now.

1.  Assume the Worst
I wish it weren’t so but it must be, based on all my experience to date.  The previous owners of our house were some kind of crowd of thumb-fingered, well-meaning blockheads whose reach exceeded their grasp by a couple of orders of magnitude.  There is so much that we just shake our heads in wonderment, trying to decipher the train of thought that led to a particular set of decisions being made (viz. all the wiring, most of the plumbing, a pretty fair percentage of the decorating, etc. etc.)

2.  We Mock What We Are To Become
Even as I wrote the above, I realized that anybody coming into our house now (or likely me in two years trying to do something else) will feel exactly the same way about me as I feel about the previous owner.  There are surface-mounted wires all over a couple of rooms because I didn’t want to hack up the wall.  The power for the new fan in the bathroom comes from the same junction box in the basement that feeds the basement bathroom light, the exterior outlet and the backyard light.  All of these decisions seemed like a good idea at the time but in retrospect (or from any outside viewpoint) they were pretty dumb.

3.  You Can’t Tranquilize the Neighbour’s Dog or Grandkids
Although you definitely should be allowed to do both.

4.  Living Four Doors From One’s In-Laws Is A Mixed Blessing
On the one hand, pies for no reason.  On the other, they notice when I don’t mow the lawn for three weeks (though this resulted in it magically becoming mowed [Thank you, Ed]).

5.  (Related To Above) Reel Mowers Work Best When Used Regularly
Going through 3″+ grass with naught but muscle power is a challenge at best and rare torture the rest of the time.  5.a. is that mowing one’s 1/4 acre lawn with a reel mower in under an hour in 30 degree weather is  a recipe for dizziness.

6.  It Is Important to Have at Least 5 Circuits in The Kitchen
And really unimportant to have labelled any of them on the panel in the basement

7.  Immediately Over The Electrical Panel is The Best Place to Have the Shutoff For the Outside Tap

8.  Water Shut-Offs For Toilets Are Highly Over-Rated

9.  Brown Is The Best Colour For A Bathroom
In fact, they liked it so much that there were five different shades of it present before Amy painted all the trim white.

10.  The Best House Ever Is Our House.

don’t you know it’s gonna last