Just in case anyone thinks I might have fallen off the face of the earth I wanted to make a quick post: My computer is dying a very noisy and painful sounding death. I can use it for about 10 minutes before the fan starts making an awful racket and I have to shut it off. So for now I'm trying to save what little time it has left on this earth for important things like online bill payment.
On the home improvement front - my mission to Jersey was successful! My super handy youngest son came back to Pittsburgh with me for a week and we made up a deck plan, a materials list, priced it all out and are ready to go as soon as weather permits.
In the meantime he installed some much needed under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen and I hung the TV on the wall in the living room. What a good move that was! It helped immensely with our space issue and I'm now finally satisfied with the furniture layout. If I'd known what a difference it would make I'd have done it months ago.
Hope to be back soon with a new computer (oh, our poor practically non-existent "budget"...) and more updates on the progress we're making on our American Foursquare.