ust got back from my trip to my Missouri place over Christmas and not to beat around the bush...IT WAS A TOTAL DISASTER. Nothing got done, spend too much money, nearly froze to death and even managed to melt a tire on my wheelchair and spend christmas in a motel eating Sunchips and Dr Pepper watching bad cable movies and hoping Jon would be able to find a working car to come rescue us. It could have been worse, I might have been in Iraq or Homeless or swept away by a Tsunami, but needless to say Im glad to be home. I should have known better to trust the weather forecast but they said nice weather all week but it only lasted three days. The carpenter showed up 3 days late and we were able to strike a deal at a decent price. He was supposed to start on Thursday Dec. 23 but never showed up and I have yet to get a hold of him. My little house is comfortable as long as the temperature is above freezing but when it goes to single digits fireplaces just dont do the job. I now know why our colonial forebears had low ceilings, wing chairs and wore night caps. By christmas eve, we were cold and miserable, the water was frozen in the gas jugs we haul water in and I couldnt even wash dishes. The kitchen was soo cold i hated to cook. Thank GOD for my good neighbors Jeff and Adrianna and RAndel and Pam. They all lent a hand with extra wood and Randel and Pam had us over for dinner one night. Finally we retreated to town and a motel so we could be near the Bus Station. Jons car had broken down and he couldnt rent one as he had no credit card, so we were going to try to come home on a bus. Greyhound has accessible buses but I had my litle dog with me and they werent convinced she was a "companion Dog for the disabled" and of course in the best tradition of bureaucracy, the Man in Charge of ADA Compliance does not work over the holiday. Jon finally convinced a good friend to drive down here and rescue us. SOOOOOOO all in all after wishing and hoping for more than a year, I still dont have a roof on the addition though I did buy all the materials and store them. I hopefully will be able to get the carpenter to do the work from the plans and without my being there as soon as I can find him..NOOOO I did not pay up front. And the first thing I do in the spring is buy and install a good heating stove, finish all the insulation in the old part of the house and get it finished before I even think about working on the new section. Maybe next year, we will have that dream Homestead Christmas. But it could be worse and the new year is coming.