After two-and-a-half years of wrestling with it, we're finally replacing the sliding doors at the rear of our kitchen with a new set. That's in the "in progress" mode, so no photos yet. The doors, of course, lead to our spacious deck.
I also ordered a range hood for our stove, which will tide us over a little while longer in the kitchen upgrade department. Still planning to tile over the yellow-orange, chipped and stained countertops and switching to a newer, trendier, retro-style sink.
In the "we knew this was going to happen" department, our water heater gave up the ghost, Exorcist-style, spewing water all over the basement. Some comic bags were dampened, some unbagged comics (newer stuff, thankfully) got a little bit warped, some boxes had to be tossed, but it could have been a lot worse. I discovered something was amiss in the basement late last night when I noticed that our bedroom floor (directly above the basement) was warm, almost hot. I asked Shaenon, who was half-awake, if I should check the basement, and she said "that's a great idea" before falling back asleep. The basement was sweltering when I opened the door, and after a brief moment of panic I hauled several moistened long boxes onto our deck and commenced drying them.
While doing that, I shut down the gas on the heater, which turned out to be a good idea since our 15-year-old tank had sprung a bit of a leak and neither of the emergency shutoffs managed to activate (another one for the revenge-against-the-previous-owners list). This morning, I got to do some of that adult stuff I never thought I'd have to deal with, calling plumbers, getting estimates and making snap decisions about water heaters. We ultimately went with a local plumber who's installing a tankless water heater for us at less than half the price of our first estimate (which sounded fine at 9am after not getting any sleep all night and just wanting to get everything fixed). Due to his workload, the plumber's installing the whole thing over the course of three days, and we've got to get an electrician to come in and finish the job, but I should be able to take a nice hot shower by Wednesday night if all goes according to plan at this point.
It's a hassle, and I'm not excited about spending the money that we're dropping on essentially just getting our house functioning as well as it did on Saturday, but it should improve the house's resale value, save us a little bit on the gas bills, make the house a lot safer, stabilize the temperature in the basement (where I store my comic book collection) and hopefully make it so we don't have think about the water heater again for another ten or fifteen years.
And that's our house update. I'll try to post photos once some of this stuff has finally happened--and I'm clean again.