Thursday, November 25, 2010

Did I Say Painting Could Lead to Dancing?

Oh my! I woke up this morning, thinking about my kitchen and how nice it will look once I get it all put back together. And then Istarted thinking about how awful the floor looks. And how nice the kitchen would look with slate and berry colored tiles.... oh, this is truly endless!

I took a talley this morning and realized that I have already sunk $100 into painting alone. So if I DO redo the floor, I am going to be cost-conscious. No need to sink a bundle into it.

But that sounds like a great deal of backbreaking labor. I think I'll move onto the bathroom first and come back to the kitchen later. Maybe that will be my Christmas Gift to myself - flooring from Menards or Lowes. It does sound like a good January project.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there. I am thankful for so many loved ones in my life. I am thankful for my kids and my beautiful grandson Liam. For my family who have been so supportive of me on this journey. For my silly kitten who gets tutored tomorrow who presently is laying on my right hand, making it difficult to type ... but he's purring and looking oh so sweet. You'd never know he spent the night "in Jail" for being so sassy, allowing Miss Oc the luxury of snuggling me all night. Yes, I am blessed!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Light at the End of The Tunnel

I spent the majority of last night scrubbing away grease and grime, and patching the last wall of my kitchen. Wow. It was bad. But tonight, I decided to see if I could move the refrigerator by myself without having to get the Sliding Robots (a Godsend for anyone who loves to rearrange large furniture - available at Menards.) Well, it actually moved quite easily! That was exactly the second wind I was hoping to find in this project!
(The Last Wall!)

I finished patching behind the fridge, and waited an hour, and put primer on both those walls.
After an hour of watching The Walking Dead, I got out the yellow paint and got a coat of that on the wall as well tonight. Sadly, I'm now out of yellow paint. I'll need to stop at the Hardware store after we get Young Cracker to the Vet on Friday for his Tutoring Lesson.

(The first Wall. Yeah, I still need to organize yet)

I am so glad this project is nearing closure! I can spend the day Friday getting one more coat on this wall, and then I can start organizing and eliminating even more.

I needed this. Considering that a year ago today, we were on the worst part of Jim's Journey. That has been on my mind all day today. But it helps to have something to keep my hands busy and to feel a bit of success instead of feeling like I'm just treading water. Now would be a great time to post The Fanny Pack Song By Swim You Bastard, but alas, youtube has never heard of it. LOSERS!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Is it any wonder that I'm painting?

My November project is my kitchen. It seems to be taking forever. It started with me thinking about finally replacing the ceiling tiles that were so worn and ugly that it looked more like Grey Gardens. Which lead to painting and scrubbing, and scrubbing and painting. My kitchen has some redeeming qualities, but also some very bad qualities, and I'm afraid it's gone down hill through the years because Hubby and I could never agree on what to do to improve it. And because it was his domain, I left it be for many many years.

So now, I am diving in and taking it in chunks. I can only paint one wall at a time because there is too much stuff in there. And as I go, I am cleaning and eliminating so much stuff. I've cleaned out the pantry for the second time since Hubby passed away and came out with two more bins of stuff to eliminate. It's endless. Painting woodwork leads to washing and re-hanging curtains. Taking down the spice rack lead to scrubbing each container. It just keeps on going.

I am on the last wall now. The wall where the stove and fridge live. Wow. I saved the worse for last. It's pretty grubby back there beneath the appliances. And I found 3 of Hubby's favorite knives laying behind the stove as well as old containers of spices, giant dust bunnies and a mountain of grease. Well, okay,maybe not a mountain, but definitely hills! It's going to take a lot of scrubbing before I can get to the actual painting part of this wall. It's quite yucky. But I need to keep mindful of how wonderful it is going to be when it is finished. And hopefully I will get the painting part completed on Friday.

I keep trying to picture the completed project. Keeping my eye on the prize. I'm not going to sink much money into this project. I just want it to be a clean and scaled down kitchen. It;s getting there.

I'm grateful for such a project, though. It is great therapy. Especially for this time of year.
And the rewards will be my sanity and a sparkling clean kitchen!

Top 10 things I hate about this Holiday Season

This is an especially tough time for me. They say the holidays are an especially difficult time for a person grieving the loss of a loved one. They're not kidding. I've upped my meds and I'm still a fecking roller-coaster of emotion.

So here they are. My Top Ten (today, at least) reasons why I hate this holiday season.

10. The Andy / Lindsey Drama that is creating great havoc in an already stressed family. The childish lying and fighting and name calling and careless hurting of people that I love is pushing all of us to the brink of canceling Christmas altogether.

9. Christmas Music. Every time I hear O Holy Night or any other song that Jim and I sang in the church choir, I want to find a bathroom and just have an emotional melt-down.

8. The Duality of it all. Last year the Holiday season was a blur of sadness and stress. This year, there is the stress of the here and now, but there is also the oh too vivid flashbacks to last year as well.

7. Shopping for gifts has always been a difficult thing for me. I never know what to buy anyone and I always fear that they will think I'm a lame gift giver. I don't have Hubby's input this year. Even though he hated Christmas Shopping more than I do, we got through it. This year, I'm on my own to fend off the attitudes of other shoppers and store clerks.

6. Passing a Christmas Tree Lot that we used to buy our Christmas Trees from each year. I always hated having a real tree, but Hubby always insisted on a real one, and somehow, he always managed to make hunting for one a special event. It was the furthest thing from my mind tonight, when suddenly, I went past the tree lot and had to hold back tears.

5. Seeing so many wonderful gifts that I could buy for Hubby were he still here. For years we didn't buy each other gifts because we never had the cash once we finished buying for every one else on our list. It was only in the past few years that I insisted that we start buying each other meaningful gifts, and I think it helped us to get through the holidays with our sanity intact because we were looking forward to seeing the look on each others faces when exchanging gifts.

4. I won't be able to watch It's a Wonderful Life or Holiday Inn without crying my eyes out. I had never seen It's a Wonderful Life before I met Hubby. Our first Christmas together, we picked out The Christmas Tree From Hell. It was so awful, we had to wire the top of it to the wall so it wouldn't fall over! As we were decking the tree, It's a Wonderful Life came on TV and it instantly became a tradition to deck our tree while that movie was on. And Holiday Inn is one of those movies that we always searched for late at night and stayed up watching it while snuggling on the couch together. This year is gonna SUCK!

3. Jerry doesn't believe in Santa any more. My baby has had to grow up so fast in the past year and it just breaks my heart.

2. Gin from Lakeview Cemetery called me tonight while I was on my way home from work. I let it go to voice mail, but listening to the voice mail, I had to choke back tears because she was inviting us to a vigil at the mortuary where everyone who has lost a loved one this year is supposed to bring an ornament and place it on their tree in honor of that loved one. How the hell am I supposed to go and mingle with a bunch of grieving strangers and retain some dignity?

1. My Grandbaby's First Christmas is also my first Christmas without my husband. I hate that more than anything. Especially with things being so messed up in his life right now.

I know, I know. This sounds like one hell of a Pity Party. But this is reality. I am trying so hard to press forward and keep positive. I don't want to drag The Boy down into depression as well.
I think next year, The Child and I are going to go into seclusion - at least for Thanksgiving. I just don't want to walk this road year after year. We're gonna shake it up and do something different. These are survival tactics and we need them!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Painting can only lead to dancing....

I have been painting my kitchen slowly but surely for the past few weekends. It is quite a project because I have so much furniture in that room.

It just makes sense to pull stuff away from one wall at a time, paint the wall, paint the trim, give it a second coat, sometimes a third, and then move on to the next wall.

That in itself sounds like a big project. But it is also leading to many other big projects. It prompted me to clean out my pantry and part with two more big boxes of stuff that we will never use.

And it lead to cleaning out the cat boxes and a total scrub down of the floor beneath, and re-organizing the kitty litter supplies.

And now, I'm thinking about completely swapping out furniture in there. That room is so crowded and uninviting. But if I move the big cabinet into the dining room, that will be major work as well. Do I have it in me? My back is already threatening to rebel on me. And will I be happy with the result?

And I REALLY ought to disassemble the window and take it in for repair. But that would be a real pain to do.

Ah, decisions, decisions! But I have a 3 day weekend to ponder / accomplish some goals!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


It's November already. Crazy.
Things have been quite stressful at work lately. There are a lot of rapid changes in progress right now and I REALLY don't need any more change in my life right now.

There are days when I feel like I'm on a plane of duality. I could tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing a year ago today, and I can tell you what I have planned for tomorrow all at the same moment. It's tough because I know I need to try to stay positive and keep going forward.

So I'm passively looking for a different job. There's not much out there right now, unless I want to work all hours of the day and night or do seasonal stocking for Christmas. But it IS nice to know that I could chuck it all to the wind and take some low paying job and still have spouse's benefits to fall back on if my income were to go lower than what I make right now.

In the mean time, thanks to Sis-in-Law Tania, I have new tiles up on the ceiling in my kitchen. That needed to be done five years ago, but Hubby and I could never agree on how much effort we wanted to put into repairing the kitchen and what direction to take. He wanted to go modern hi-tech and I wanted to stay with the old-world charm of the house. So now it's just me. I guess I get to do it my way. Now if only I could decide on colors!!! (I think I'm narrowing it down!).

Just having a new ceiling in that room makes a world of difference. It feels cleaner and healthier. But it makes the walls look ancient! Can't wait to get to painting! But there is a lot of patching to be done first.

So it's off to the Hardware store this morning again. I'm surprised they don't all yell "Hey! Brenda's here!" They all ought to know me by name by now! But I'm glad that I have so many projects to complete. It keeps me sane!