Sunday, April 30, 2017

Full Stop- Construction

It happens.  To us.  And I guess to our General Contractor (GC).  Too many clients.  Too many bathrooms and only the one tile guy and only the one plumber. one came to hook up the washer.  So today I carried it all plus four floor rugs and two dog blankets to the Laundromat.

I can safely say that from now on the floor rugs and dog blankets will ALL be going to the Laundromat  each and EVERY time they need washing.  Hot water, large machine.  What's not to like?  Well, the $7 to get the machine going.

The Laundromat continues in the long running saga of life to be a Continual Puzzle to me.  Human Development or the lack thereof.  And I still had unused quarters in my pocket this time.  Why hasn't some do-gooder opened a free laundromat for those in need???  Or at least make the dryers free?? Perhaps in the second 100 Days.

 I think tomorrow J & W (carpenters) will be back trying to finish installing the new closet doors in my bedroom.  No bi-fold.  Real doors.  The GC says bi-fold is only used "now" for starter homes.  His opinion was given when we tried to interest Habitat for Humanity in the bi-folds we were taking out.  They said "no".  In fact, Habitat says no to quite a lot of donations.  Didn't even want to stop by and look at what we had.  I had decided from the first to use real doors.  No hollow ones.

It's still too cold and damp for the guys to tear out the old front door, do carpentry to frame out for the new door.  The new door is in the garage and I look at it every day.  It is going to be so nice.  Lots of windows to let in light.  Also it's "thermal" so it will also keep heat in and cold out.  This wasn't the case when the old fireplace brick wall was pushed out and we had tarps up and nothing else.  That was summer.  This isn't.  And those were big French Doors we were installing.  Love those doors!!!

I am feeling so much better with the 2 week treatment of the stronger inhaler.  No need of the rescue inhaler, even on Saturday--9 hours on my feet running around at work.  And I had a lot of re-pots and that means soils etc.  So--it's all good.  I did find a SECOND tick on my clothing.  Reports are that this is going to be a heavy tick season.  The first tick was in my hair at the back of my neck. So I have to check myself.

I swept and swept and swept up the dirt, dust bunnies and debris that is all over the house.  It just sort of "drifts" from the construction zone and the garage and the yard.  Dust pans full of grit.  And the mess that fell out of the runner rugs when I shook them?  Well, no Good Housekeeping Award for me.  Mostly the floors are now plywood.  So no walking barefoot even in socks.

I finished up the tomato, lettuce, mayo, bacon and bread that I took to work yesterday for lunch.  Finished it for today's lunch.  Having coffee to warm myself up.  That's about all for now.  My days off are spent cleaning, sweeping, wiping, stacking, moving, sorting, packing into containers for the attic, and for entertainment--I am pruning rose bushes, shrubs etc. plus cutting web worm nests out of the fruit trees.  Oh--and also "looking for stuff" we already put away.

Tomorrow--work.  Where I can rest up. (laughing)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Finally Looking Like Spring

So I bought some eggs.  I think eggs and Spring go together.  I will be having them on toast with salt and pepper.  Just like this little whatever it is that came along with the photo from Food52.

The new inhaler is finally working.  I now take the second dose at 8 pm instead of bedtime.  Today--A long and tiring day at work--I didn't need to use the rescue inhaler--not even once.  Yesterday I used it once.  So--small steps.

But I am tired at work.  Standing for 7 hours.  On cement.  It's not for 70.5 year old bones, knees and feet.  I had a difficult time falling asleep last night. Twinges in the knees and calf muscles.  Tossing and turning, trying to get comfortable.  Woke up tired.  Friday I have the day off.  Resting up?  Nah. We have to empty the master bedroom closets.  Carry it all up into the attic (not the upstairs bedroom--the actual attic)  G has screwed hanging clothes poles up to the wall of the attic and we'll have our clothes up there.  It means climbing stairs but not overtime we need something.  The clothing in the second bedroom (where we are now) was selected in March.  We need May clothes now.

So once we have exchanged Winter for Spring in the second bedroom closet---what we wear will be there.  Everything else will be in the attic or at Goodwill.  I plan on filling G's Jeep with boxes and bags of donations.

The Farmer's Almanac says the Spring/Summer of 2017 is going to be cool and very wet here in Maine.  I am reminded of another summer like that.  50 degrees on 4th of July.  2001 or 2002 .  I remember both of my children were at home that summer and shivering and questioning why we had moved here.

I don't have a book to read.  I don't have any food I am planning to make.  I have one load of laundry I could do at the laundromat.  Bed sheets.  Towels.  Work clothes.  That's two loads.

I finally found my raincoat.  I looked everywhere.  We always say that when we are looking and then when the item is found--geez, it was right where I put it.  laughing.

I do have work to do--carry all those clothes upstairs.  Carpenters will be here at 8am.  No sleeping in.  I will ask one of them to paint swatches on the bathroom wall.  Then chose the white I want. And My prize for all that up the stairs climbing is to be a hot fudge sundae.  G promised me one.

If I have time, I will prune my Cameo quince.  Rake out the garden path.  Beds were cleaned in the evenings of last Fall (by the light of the security lights from the porch) --- but I lost interest with the last of the paths full of leaves and junk.  Then it snowed.  Now I have to finish before I can start.

That should be a sampler on my wall.  I have to finish before I can start.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Little House-Big Garden

Some day.   Right now it's big house and neglected garden.  The weather is getting better.  I am on a two week regimen with a higher dose inhaler.  The twice a day-12 hours apart one.  And then inhaler four times a day as needed.  I no longer have the "cough".  Now I have hyper-reactive asthma.  And I need to get it calmed back down to just regular reactive.

My doctor is sympathetic.  It IS difficult to go from being always healthy to being chronically ill. It is hard to see one's self as having an illness.  Of having to take daily meds.  And ignoring it isn't going to be the path I should be taking.

On the renovation front:  The new walk in shower is amazing.  All tiled now and caulked.  Ready for the plumbing to be attached to fixtures.  The vanity isn't here yet.  The tile floor is in--super gorgeous-- and is also caulked.  The new modern chair height toilet is still in it's box.  The plumber was on a week's vacation to somewhere warm.  And sunny.

The entrance hall now has it's new closet doors.  LOVE them.  Two doors.  Not louvered. Now to choose the black knobs for ALL the closet doors, the passage doors and the bed/bath doors with security locks.  Three kinds of knobs.  I have to walk thru the house today and count.  Want to get all of them at once.  And order the bathroom lights.

The little "room" for the washer and dryer had it's walls painted.  Well, primed.  And it has it's own little door.  It is regular sized but looks like a Hobbit Door in the very tall feeling bath.  As soon as the plumber gets it all hooked up--I can do laundry at home again.

I did go to the paint store and chose three whites.  Pure White, Extra White and Highly Reflective White.  The last one matches the bath tile exactly.  The first is the softest.   So I expect we will end up with the middle one.  If I can find my paint brushes and or roller I will do a block of each on the bare bathroom wall------G says no.  He is positive I will spill or drip on the new tiles. He is possibly correct.

A few of the seeds I planted in the gallon milk jugs back in early March or late February (in the snow) have finally sprouted.  So happy to see the tiny dots of baby leaves.  I only got 4 onion seedlings.  Out of quite a few seeds.  Boo!

What's Cooking:  Chicken thighs were 77 cents a pound so G is getting a final pot of soup.  I made a garbanzo bean "chicken salad" with beans, celery, pecans, red grapes, poppy seeds and mayo for myself.  Next time I will add onion to it.  It is very good and I need the protein the beans provide.  No rash and no reflux so Garbanzo beans are back in the line up.  I bought organic ones.  Next I am making tuna salad.  With lots of onion and mayo.  I may add celery and petite green peas.

What I Am Reading:  The Boy In The Shadows by Vallgren.  Not an author I know but the book--once I got past the first 30 pages, is holding my interest.  The violence in the book is written matter of factly.  But since it is first person and that character is damaged--it makes sense.  Finished The Girl From Venice by Cruz-Smith.  Slow but a good read.  I see that Vallgren wrote another book and will order that as soon as I hit publish on this.

What I am Working On: and my long list of things I need to find, choose and order. I was making myself crazy with chrome, polished nickel and bronze etc. and just sat here one day and said "I just wanted everything to be black and white".  So the light fixtures and the knobs will be black.  Just plain black.  Against white walls.  I can add color with art, towels etc. Duh!  But my choice of doors?  Like I said--love them.  And they are white. Will have black knobs.

What I Will Be Wearing Soon:  Black linen pants and white linen shirts.  Red rimmed glasses. As soon as it is warm enough.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter To All

Well, here in Maine the sun is shining and it may get to 76 degrees today.  Almost all the snow and ice has melted.  I have three boxes of pansies to plant into the tall planter I carried to the front porch. Hopefully the deer won't eat them all this year.

My cough is doing much better.  Yesterday, at work, teaching the afternoon gardening class, I started coughing and really needed my rescue inhaler.  Now everyone at work knows where I keep it and if I start coughing they know to run and get it and run to me with it.  My emergency plan.

G has the cough I shared with him and is having a hard time.  He is sleeping quite a bit.  His doctor gave him a prescription for his own rescue inhaler to use 4X a day.  He keeps forgetting.  this cough really takes your energy out of you.  It's NOT whooping cough, which is also in Maine right now.
And it's not the flu.  This is something quite different.

We are having a New England Boiled Dinner today.  I purchased everything days before I got sick and it's all still in the fridge, so, I have time today to watch water boil and make the dinner.  Might as well eat it.  We all like it.

I worked Wednesday and Thursday and spent most of Friday doing our taxes and our daughter's.  Hers are very quick--ours with investments and stock sales etc takes hours for me to type it all into Turbo Tax.  But they are done.  Being sick really set me back on a lot of things.  G sent them off to the post office Saturday morning.  Today is Sunday and a Holiday so I am not carrying the many loads of wash to the Laundromat.  Tomorrow.

Now, I am going to plant my pretty pansies and go sit in the sun out back.  Happy Easter.  Enjoy the sunshine!!!

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Only Day This Week

To do all the things I haven't gotten around to since I got "the cough".  I have loads of wash to take to the laundromat.  I have the taxes to do.  I have carpets to vacuum.  Sheets on the bed to change. The hall bathroom to scrub clean .

And now that the snow has finally decided to stop coming down---I have to go upstairs to search for Spring clothing.  Which was furthest from my mind when the carpenters first arrived in March.  Now it's April and nearly May.  It's been so long that I think lifting plastic barriers to get to the different rooms in the house is "normal".

My shower tile is like the tile in the picture above.  Only my tiles are 4 by 12.  And the line where the shelf is in the picture is a thin one inch line of the black floor tile.  My vanity will echo the cabinets and granite top.

But instead of the solid bottom my vanity has a long shelf at the bottom to hold folded towels. The shelf is higher off the floor. Sinks are under mounted. My faucets are shorter but only the one for each sink.  The little column has a little lever to switch from cold to hot/ on and off. I spent too much time and effort cleaning the previous sinks (shell design lots of indents) and faucets (clear glass knobs with creases) so I don't want anything with grooves or design elements.  I think I just found a less expensive (and correct finish) light fixture.  Previously I had ceiling tube lights.  Wallpaper. Lots of wallpaper. Such an ugly bathroom.

I still have to find and order vanity knobs.  And door knobs.

The shower floor is going in today.  Adding to the neighborhood excitement--- a big oak tree is being cut down next door.  Riley is torn.  To watch and supervise the bathroom work or be outside supervising the tree work.

Have to run across the street to list my neighbor's cleaning person in to the house.  See you later!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spring and Pansies

At work--the pansies are taking the second row.  Easter Lilies the first row.  Easter seems too quick this year.  I must really be getting old.  Time speeds up as we age.  I am always reminded of the way time seemed to slow and not move when I was a child.  Waiting.  Always waiting.  Now, things just seem to rush past.

Easter.  I had wanted to put up an Easter Tree with all the old German ornaments.  While packing everything into the attic room--I found the ornaments I thought were long lost to me.  Little rabbits, chicks and eggs.  So sweet.  I never did buy the tiny carrot ornaments.  Perhaps they never really existed.  Perhaps I just imagined them?  Now it's too late.

And Taxes.  I was supposed to do them and then got sick.  Doing complicated taxes while sick and woozy isn't "a good thing" so now I am behind and rushed.  Worse thing.  It will work out.  I have been in worst situations regarding the taxes.  Last, last minute.  Working and reworking with calculator and pencils.  It's about a four hour job now with the computer.  Just need to set aside the four hours.

Work--I think I am good enough to return to work tomorrow.  We'll see.  I can always decide to sit and rest if I feel fatigued.  I am teaching on Saturday.  Vegetable Gardening in Small Spaces.  Mostly it will be about containers.  Small spaces usually means no ground for digging a garden.

I potted up my dahlia tubers yesterday.  Five large pots and 4 smaller ones for the small sets of tubers. I think most are Park Princess my favorite cactus dahlias.  Pink.  Petals shaped like little fireworks explosions.  I intend for some, if not all, to go into the garden beds this summer.  Not stay in pots. We had way too many pots on the front steps, ground in front of the steps etc.  Plus the indoor plants on the porch itself--out of direct sun.  And then the large containers full of annuals (petunias mostly).  It was colorful and cheerful but such a job to keep it all watered.  I often felt like I did nothing else each day but water.  Hours of hauling hose.  More work than at work.

The truth is evident.  I have chosen to create a very expensive master bathroom.  Very.  I thought, at first, when the contractors referred to my bathroom project as the largest of the five in progress right now, that they were referring to size.  But it isn't that large.  Now I realize it's "large" in cost of materials.  I have asked for, and been given, what I wanted.  Not knowing that the very simple design is also very costly.  The very large walk in shower is being tiled in white subway tiles with a thin line of the black slate flooring as a pinstripe.  Black granite bench and trim on the shower entrance.  Glass doors to come.  Well, I guess I have "good taste" or something.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

First Signs Of Spring- Crocus

Mine are not this abundant.  I should plant more bulbs.  But they are very welcome here in the back garden -over the septic out-take.  Where the ground is warmest.

The tile is going up/down in the shower starting on Monday.  The plumber is buying the European hot water radiators.  Not the ugly American style ones that are so impossible to keep clean.  These are flat closed systems like the lovely ones we had in our German house.

There are still so many things to consider and choose and purchase.  Like door knobs.

What I Am Cooking Today:  Chicken Soup for G.  I gave him my cough.  But I don't really think Bronchitis is "catchy" so more likely we are both being affected by the drywall dust floating everywhere.

What I Finished Doing:  Watched two full seasons of the Affair on Showtime (free week of viewing) which took a lot of time. I skipped season three as the reviews said it was all about Noah and I detest his character.  So, yesterday I watched season 5 of Homeland.  Eleven episodes.  Those foxy people at Showtime got me all the way to 11 and tonight is number 12.  The ending.  And I would have to subscribe to get that.  That's okay.  I can just read the reviews after. Figure it out for myself. It was very good.  Had all the characters I enjoyed in the first few seasons with Damian Lewis.  Not so much after he left.

What I Tried To Do:  Vacuum.  I was doing okay and then I clogged the vacuum up and G had to work on unscrewing all the tiny screws to get the hose that was plugged up--open.  What a dirty mess. And then he vacuumed with his shop vac.  Too much dirt for the household one.  Especially in the construction zones (which is basically everywhere right now).

What I Still Haven't Started Doing:  Taxes.  I'm just too foggy headed right now to do it right.

What I Thought I Wanted To Do:  Go on Riley's walk in the woods with G and Riley.  G said no, it would be terrible.  Guess it's wet, icy and muddy.  Just the way Riley likes it.  It's sounds like the conditions I usually have at work in Springtime.  50 degrees.  Sunshine.  Very Nice For Sitting On The Deck, I think.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Getting Better

Well, if the computer will co-operate I will be letting you know I am getting better.  Mucinex to the rescue.  Productive coughing.  Rather than just annoying coughing.

I spent yesterday watching the two Elizabeth movies with Cate Blanchard.  Loved the Armada burning in the ocean.  Also loved the clothes.  The dresses.  They must have cost a fortune.

It's red grapefruit season and I bought 3 lovely ones and have them segmented and prepped for yogurt  lunches this weekend.  Today I am finally able to drink the smoothie I made--------days ago. The raw cashews have thickened it up a bit too much and I added too many blueberries so it's less peachy than I like.  Soothing to a throat roughened up by coughing.  My voice is deep and croak-y.  Like I have been smoking for decades.

It rained most of yesterday.  Today I got a few rays of sunshine out on the back steps.  Felt energetic enough to dig up the Ajuga that invades the back garden bed--every single year.  People actually BUY the stuff.  I dig it up.

The TiVo remote stopped controlling the on/off/mute controls yet again.  This is the new remote. I also dug the old one out of the trash to see if it wanted to try working again.  It did not.

Well, I just coughed a lot and need to return to the couch.  Close my eyes.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Still Sick -Still Coughing

My cough is strong.  "coughing up a lung" is the way the worker men describe it.  I called out from work.  Wouldn't have been able to stand upright for any period of usable time.  DayQuil.  Tea.  More Tea.  A nap.  That's about it for today. Trying to keep germs to myself.

I have a call into my doctor's office.  They say they might be able to call back in the next 2 hours to chat with me.  Wednesday.  Don't really think anyone is at work.  A bad cough and exhaustion.  Sounds like pneumonia to me but I don't have a medical degree.  And there isn't much other than rest and liquids that can be done.

Not much else to say.

What I've Been Eating:  The turmeric broth with carrots, peas, corn and rice noodles. The vegetable combo is what was in the fridge and freezer.  The rice noodles in the pantry.  Tea. Clementines.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Sunshine & Clementines

It is warm enough to sit outside on the back deck sans coat.  So that is what I will be doing.

I did my one load of wash  and it's in the dryer.  And I used my canned in juice peaches to make my favorite smoothie (frozen banana, raw cashews, peaches, blueberries and yogurt or milk).  Then I had to go up into the attic (into that weird sewing room) where I store things and find my carton of 16 ounce Crate & Barrel Working Glasses.  I use them for my smoothies.  They have lids.

I also counted my Working Glasses.  Three seem to be missing.  I usually buy them by the dozen. I went upstairs because I could only find two jars.  Which was very odd.  Now I have nine. Five were in the attic, two in the porch fridge (turmeric broth), and two in the cupboard.

That's it for today.  Still coughing. No workmen working today. Xfinity Watch-A Thon. I need to decide what to watch on Showtime or HBO.  Billions, Homeland, True Detective.  And hopefully a movie or two.  Deadpool for G and The Martian for us.  And perhaps Arrival.  I really liked it. Last year I watched True Detective one and it was wonderful.  And I watched the movie Birdman.  Weird.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Sunday, Home With A Cough

It could be the dust from construction.  It could be "new to me" germs after weeks at home with just G and the dog--and then back to work with so many new people and new germs.  Anyway, I am coughing and feeling light in the head.  Drifty and not in a pleasant way.  Like I might just tip over and hit the floor.  No fever.  No chills.  No sore throat.  No runny nose.

But that could all change as the day goes.  I called out "sick" for today's 8 hours @ work.  I called yesterday so they could replace me.  I am replaceable......

I have had tea and toast and now have three shiny clementines to eat. There was a great deal of heavy wet snow in Friday/Sat's storm.  Everything is now white again.  No ground showing.  No Spring.

I am wondering if I should have spent money on new doors?  Or should I  just use the ones that came with the house 26 years ago.  I never liked them.  They are very hard to keep clean--all sorts of little groves and indents.  I'm not even sure they are solid wood.  And then I will need new knobs.  this changing of things is like: one thing leads to another and another and another.  Seems endless.

We looked at the old master bath tub (which is being repurposed into the hall bath tub) and discovered it was made by Kohler. Like all the bath/shower things I purchased on line. To go with the Kohler valve installed before I decided what company line I wanted.  It's things like that which irritate me.  But I would have chosen the Kohler anyway.  I liked the way it looked.

I am a visual person.  Also I like the way things feel.  I have run my fingers over the drywall finish in the hall--well, at least twice a day since it was dry.  Like it so much better than the shiny wallpaper.

The second owner of this house did a great deal of work here.  New hardwood floors in living room/dining room.  Third bathroom and fourth bedroom upstairs.  The very strange  "sewing room" on the other side of the attic.  With a wall of nice floor to ceiling built in shelving.

We have done a great deal of work here.  New roof.  New furnace.  New windows.  Now new bathrooms.  New entrance hall with a new door.

I hope we live long enough to enjoy and "use it" all.

 Well, I finished book two -not as good as Boyce's first book.   My thoughts are that the book I just finished was actually the first book.  But not "good enough" so she tried again.  That new book was great.  And then she went back and quickly tried to "fix up" the original book so they could sell it also while everyone was excited about the first (good) book.  But it's still rough and weird to read--almost like an outline at times or a list of plot ideas.  I wonder how book three will turn out.

Time to lay down and "rest my eyes".