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We finally made it back to northeastern Indiana, where we are spending our summer. 

As much as I love Mr. F's family nature retreat with two cottages, forest, lake, huge meadow with vineyard and space for a coming vegetable garden, the idea of living here makes me anxious on a myriad of levels.

Mr. F, Miss P and I are inhabiting the "kids'" cottage, which needs an incredible amount of work and upgrade. We've spent the day moving furniture around, cleaning things up and getting it livable. After that, our first goal needs tobe  upgrading the electricity. There's one two-prong electrical outlet with a surge-protected power strip. We've blown out the surge protector twice so far.

Thankfully, there are enough furniture and small appliances to get the place livable quickly.
There are little critters inhabiting the cottage, too. Most are dead, actually.

The front cottage wall has been destroyed by termites, squirrels, mice ... Thankfully, the wall seems stable for now. We have other projects which need attention first. A simple kitchen is necessary. I really wanted to bring our 1920s gas stove, but these cottages aren't hooked up to a gas pipe, and they aren't going to be.

Another big issue that's been plaguing me since last year is the start of this ambitious vineyard.
Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not big into physical labor. This vineyard requires an incredible amount of labor, especially since it's being tripled in size from last year's planting of 74 vines.

Thankfully, the family seems to understand. As long as I'm getting involved in projects that are rewarding and productive, they are all right with my lack of participation. I feel horrible about not helping with it, though months before they started purchasing the vines and getting the land ready, I voiced my personal concerns. Ugh. And here I am letting everyone know what a slug I am on this issue. How many of you readers would give anything to be in my shoes and dig right into the project?

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December 2011