I've been back for nearly a month now. We've done some decorating while trying to fit all my California things back into the house, but with the excitement of Christmas I forgot to take pictures. Now, with the new year, everything is starting to fall apart due to neglect. My dryer died and my washer won't spin. Our dishwasher is rusting from the inside-out, my clothing line fell down in the basement (hung, of course, with clean clothes since I was unable to use the dryer), the outside Malibu lights aren't working, and just last night the kitchen sink backed up. (My husband at first unhelpfully tried to blame me for the backup [WTF--this didn't happen overnight and I've been gone for a year!] but finally he got out his old rusty snake and managed to make way through the pipes.)
So, sadly, the next few months' income will be spent on these decidedly unglamourous, but necessary, purchases:
New Hot Water Heater (ours is thirty years old and after the basement's bad luck of the past week, I'm sure it's ready to blow imminently)
Dryer repaired. Happened today, although apparently the electrical box is damaged and needs replaced at some point.
New Dishwasher + new plumbing/hookups below kitchen sink and oh, what the hell we might as well replace the ugly faucet as well.
New Washer. One that can manhandle jeans and towels, and doesn't leak fluid.
Repair plumbing in both toilets (neither can be depended on to fill up and shut off) and the spigots of one impossible-to-turn-off sink.