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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Manuel Ramos

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

These past few weeks, I’ve been in my head a lot – thinking, planning, sorting through old (mental) files. I guess I am just getting prepared to organize the next set of tasks my brain will need to tackle.

Building a house from the ground up is a dizzying affair. From the detailed architectural plans to the moment - just the other day - when our builder asked, “What paint colors do you want on the interior walls”? I wasn’t quite ready for that decision, it sounds small, but it’s actually quite daunting..

And, couple that with the fact that I haven’t been able to sit and write a blog post either. Writer’s block? Perhaps… Or I just didn’t have that spark of inspiration to weave a good set of ideas and thoughts together to put it out there for others to read. It can be daunting too - kind of like building a house - I don’t want to make a stupid mistake or a glaring error. It is stressful making a lot of, what seem to be, permanent decisions.

Now, back to the house. The foundation is dug, the framing is complete, the drywall is up, the walls are wired, and plumbing plumbed. Lighting and plumbing fixtures have been purchased, siding and its color decided upon - with its arrival happening next week, fingers crossed. No one wants to go back on any of those items and start over. It is not fiscally smart, nor is it time to re-do something at this stage when it should have been completed correctly the first go around.

A dear friend once said, “This is your one shot to get it right from the beginning,“ (thank you Jim that statement resonates and rattles around in my brain every day). Every decision we make matters, everything we chose in the construction of this structure will make this our own unique home. I am confident that we’ve made solid choices - from the metal roofing to the windows and doors. Everything was purposefully picked for both form and function.

We’ve dealt with delays too, of course. Delays on deliveries. Delays due to weather. Delays due to product availability. We just try to roll with it, not get stressed, and hope everything will catch up with the process and schedule. The construction started on July 20. Here we are four months later and we can honestly say a lot of progress has been made. Every time I walk through the house and take someone on a tour, I wear a big smile, and have a sense of pride as to how our vision is coming to life.

I digress - maybe this is reasoning for my writer’s block. November has been tough emotionally. With the loss of my sister-in-law earlier in the month, comes the realization the memories we will create in this new home will be without her laughter and one-of-a-kind sparkle. It makes me contemplate how fragile our lives are sometimes. Every day is not a guarantee. We are lucky to wake up every morning, move forward, try to be the best person we can be, act with kindness, and make our daily choices wisely.

We are building our home as a place where our family will always be welcome. We are building our home so our dearest friends will come visit and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds us on the lake and the acres of woods.

We are building the foundation of not just our home, but the next stage of our life.

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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Manuel Ramos

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

As the month of October creeps in, I've wondered where September had gone. In the blink of an eye, it seems summer has taken flight and autumn is already at our doorstep. Mind you, fall is one of my favorite seasons. The vibrant colors of fall foliage, the brisk chilly wind that whisks off the lake, and the food of course are all welcomed additions to the season.

Looking back over the years, the month of September has always been one of beginnings, new challenges, and the time when I turn a year older. I've always said, it's a tumultuous couple of weeks for me. When I was in school, a new semester would begin in September - with it always came that feeling of anxiousness and excitement for the upcoming academic year. And, the month of September marks another year of growth with each birthday that passes. I'm a Virgo astronomically with Libra leanings. If you know anything about Virgos - they are the most critical sign in the pack. Now, mostly that critique falls heavily on my own self judgment - let's just say I am my own worst critic. It is also the time of year when the date of my mother's passing coincides. It is a month of reflection, remembering and restarts.

The older I get - hopefully I am becoming wiser - I am trying to not be so hard on myself, and realizing the 'perfection' a Virgo strives for is a fallacy. I tend to focus on the things that didn't go as planned as failures rather than trusting the path that I am on will bring me to a better destination. I need to stop falling into that trap - it's a lesson I've been trying to learn, perhaps this semester I'll get more than a passing grade.

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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Manuel Ramos

Living at the lake this summer - our first full summer living here - has been incredible. We've been lucky to have our kids and grandson here for a week-long visit almost every month. The July 4th holiday was filled with lots of family, great food, fireworks and pontoon rides.

Something I enjoy each day, is seeing how different the lake looks on a daily basis. The sunsets, clouds, and light are so painterly. We've had long stretches of warm days, blue skies and very little rain.

The construction on the house began on July 20th with the arrival of a 'digger' to clear the land and get it ready for the foundation. After many many years of planning we were underway! It felt surreal, it still does on occasion.

The first month of construction went by quickly! We went from 0 to 60 mph in just 30 days. The transformation and changes daily were unfolding and we became more and more excited by each new milestone.

We've seen some great progress and the crew from R.E. Krotzer Construction have been working hard to move the project forward.

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