Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Achy But Happy

There are only three tasks standing in the way of my home being back to normal:

1. Daughter's bathroom needs to be painted, and this should happen this weekend. We had to wait for the ceiling treatment to "cure." Once that room is painted, her shelf and copious amounts of health and beauty products can be returned to their proper place rather than in my sun room.

2. The wall in my office needs to be sanded and painted. I will try to get at that this weekend, but if not, the huge book case is covering the worst of it.

3. The building supplies need to be removed from the sun room so that I can finish cleaning it. It's presently half cleaned which is a far cry better than what it was. Husband has been put on notice that it's his job to remove these supplies for me so that I can clean.

I'm very happy that things are almost in place so that we can all take a deep breath and relax! I'm also pretty darned certain that never again will I hire people to do work in my house. I'm convinced that most men and some women are slobs! I cannot get over the slopped paint on the floors and general mayhem that was left here all because someone (not me!) thought it was fine to slop those things on tile floors rather than take the extra 15 minutes to spread paper or plastic before mudding and painting the ceiling. I am very thankful to have a husband who is capable of being tidy and who takes pride in a job well done rather than raging through like a bull in a china shop. This is one of the many things I owe to my dear departed mother in law. She raised her boys well. OK, let's put that soap box away.

I will take some photos this weekend to share. It's been way too long, and I have several little things to show you. For instance, I know you're all dying to see my relaxation corner that I've added to my office. And what about those cool hats I knitted for my darling bald headed husband? I've also started a new shawl/scarf project using a hank of "souvenir yarn," a mohair boucle in lovely shades of aqua, brown, and purple. I can't believe how soft this yarn is! The last mohair boucle I used was a bit scratchy, but it was also a heavier gauge yarn that the one I'm currently using.

Tomorrow, I should have the house to myself. Daughter has plans to go to the movies and ice skating, and husband is having an outing with his "girlfriend" (who's old enough to be our mom and a really cool knitter/spinner). I plan to do my holiday cooking and prepare a little family New Years Celebration.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Still Plugging Away

Saints be praised, there have only been the three of us in this house since Friday afternoon. I am delighted not to have a plumber or handyman of any sort here with me. May it be a looooong time before I have to have them here again.

We are slowly getting things in order in the house. Yesterday, we cleaned the office and dining room. I've put my Dutailier glider and ottoman in the office. My chair is not as plush as the ones they make now. I got it during my 7th or 8th month of pregnancy with daughter (who's almost 16). That chair was a lifesaver. While I was still pregnant, it was just about the only place I could find any comfort for my poor, aching back. After daughter was born, husband and I both spent many hours rocking her in that chair. I love it for the physical comfort factor and for all the happy memories it brings back to me. I'm glad to have room to use it again. It had been sitting neglected in daughter's room previously.

The downstairs is shaping up. Daughter still has a bunch of stuff in the sun room, but I'm hoping she'll tackle that today. We have an old book case in the den that needs to go somewhere else--Goodwill? My final chores are to get tehe sun room and laundry room mopped. I think husband dusted the laundry room already, but if he hasn't, I'm sure he will if I ask nicely. Oh, and then there is the kitchen upstairs. Isabella bunny is currently living in a cage in the eat in part of the kitchen, and the table is still covered with daughter's school books from her exam studying. Now that her room is in order, she can take those away. One step at a time, and we're getting closer to our goal of having our home back.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Bit of Respite

Finally, we're able to use half of our downstairs space--a bedroom and the family room. They are slowly coming back to order. The sunroom and laundry room are still an absolute disaster, but we're hopeful that today we'll clear at least some of the things out of the sunroom and into the bedroom. Then, we can tackle the upstairs! I feel that we'll be able to have things fairly well under control by the end of day tomorrow.

There is still repair work to be done, and that means one more day of enduring strangers in my house. I don't care how nice people are, it's unsettling to me to have outsiders in my home. Given that this has been a solid month now, it's a wonder I'm still sane.

We'll see some merriment today in terms of enjoying a nice meal. I've cooked a ham, my great aunt's broccoli, cheese, and rice casserole, and my parents' sweet potato casserole. As soon as daughter and husband finish assembling one of her Christmas gifts, I'll pop rolls into the oven to brown and we'll have our little feast. The sweet potatoes are usually a dish I only do at Thanksgiving, but since it's been such a hellacious month, I thought it would be a treat to have them again.

Daughter was delighted with her gifts. She got a drafting table and stool, a purse and wallet set, and her favorite cherry cordials. We're setting up an art studio in her room. One end of her room will be devoted to the art, television and book shelf, and the other end of her room will be the sleeping and relaxing area. I can't wait to help her finish it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Well, That Didn't Work

The counting blessings crap DID NOT WORK. I am back to full scale bitch, skipped right past the whining. I'm not happy, but I will spare you the details.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Enough Already

I'm going to try not to whine today and focus on my blessings instead.

1. I have a house, and although it might be in disrepair right now, there's still a roof over my head, electric lights, running water, heat when it's cold, and airconditioning when it's hot.

2. I am loved. I'm fortunate to have a wonderful husband and daughter, other family, and friends who care about me.

3. We all have our health.

4. Both my husband and I have good jobs and are able to pay our bills, keep food on the table, and support a nice life for ourselves.

5. I have enough yarn, patterns, and knitting needles in my collection to keep me going for a long, long time!

There are plenty more blessings, but for now these 5 will hopefully help me focus on what is good in my life rather than in whining about what is wrong.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Same S#!t, Different Day

And the whine goes on. I am sick to death of everything going on around me. I want everyone to whom I did not give birth or to whom I'm married out of my house. I wish that all the sanding had been done today so that I could at least have started cleaning up some of this mess. I have nothing else to say, and certainly nothing nice to say.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Joe says he'll be all done here with our renovation work by Wednesday. I hope he's right. He's a wonderful man, but I'm ready not to see him every day! I'm ready to have my home, my sanctuary back in order.

I cracked a whip over daughter today (figuratively) and had her go through the boxes and bags of stuff out of her room. I was hoping for a few more bags full to go to Goodwill and a few less bags full to either store in the attic or return to her room. Oh well, every little bit of de-clutter on her part helps. In all this, I've seen just what an addition the child, scratch that, the young woman has for cosmetics and health and beauty products. She certainly doesn't get that from me!

I took the ham out of the freezer today to thaw for Christmas. I'd bought a picnic ham back during Thanksgiving thinking The Boyfriend would be with us, but when that plan changed, I decided to freeze the ham. I'm hoping that husband will de-bone it for me, and I'll bake it with a honey mustard glaze. I'll also do some of the veggie side dishes that didn't get made at Thanksgiving--a nice squash casserole, maybe another of husband's favorite sweet potato casseroles, some fresh green beans....Mmmm. I'm hungry thinking about it.

We missed our guild meeting in Atlanta today because daughter dear has been ill. She ran a 102 degree fever Thursday and woke up with it yesterday along with a terribly sore throat. I wasn't about to risk that this was strep, so off to the docotor we went to find out that it's just a viral throat infection and nothing to do for it but wait it out. The fever is gone today, but she's still stuffy in her nose and has a little sore throat. By some miracle, Boyfriend isn't sick. He must have super immune powers or something.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

If I Could Turn Back Time...

Any Cher fans in the audience? If so, you know where I got the subject line for today's post. Don't we all wish at one time or another that we could turn back time? If that were possible, I'd turn the clock back to Monday. Of course, all that has been accomplished during this week would remain completed, but we'd get another few days in the week to do all those things still outstanding. I'm particularly thinking about all the work Joe and Beth still have to do on our house. Joe feels that things are going more slowly than he anticipated, but I'm quite impressed with how much is done. Daughter's room and bathroom look like they just need painting (which Beth is working on). The family room is getting new lighting as I type this, and then it's a matter of putting in the new sheetrock, painting the ceiling, and touching up the walls. The laundry room hasn't been touched, but that's not my biggest worry. My office wall is patched and just needs another coat of "mud," sanding, and touch up painting. If we can get daughter's room finished and move her and all her belongings back in, then I can attempt to start putting my upstairs back in order.

I mentioned yesterday that I was so happy to have re-connected with friends from high school and college. One of these friends is Jenni. She has always been an amazingly wonderful person, and I'm sad we haven't kept in touch since graduation way back when. The happy part is that now I've found her again. She is a pastry chef! Isn't that cool?? You've got to take a look at Jenni's blog. She has information on all kinds of yummy things that I want to try to make. Jenni makes it all sound so easy, too.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Seven Things

Jeannie tagged me for this....here goes. Thanks for the much needed diversion, Jeannie!

The Rules
1) Link to your tagger and list all these rules in your blog.
2) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blogs
4) Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

1. Being Mom to my beautiful daughter is my greatest joy in life.
2. I love the peaceful sanctuary my house usually is--it's not that way right now due to all the plumbing and repair issues, but it will get back to normal soon.
3. I love snow and true winter which we don't really get here in the south.
4. I'm not willing to move just to get snow and true winter!
5. Mexican food is my absolute favorite, especially the Fajita Salad at Monterey's.
6. I'm hopelessly addicted to playing Animal Crossing: Wild World on Nintendo DS.
7. It's been great re-connecting with old high school and college friends on Facebook recently. I sometimes wish we could all go back to those carefree days.

Now, I'm going to link to Cristi, Beverly, Vera, Carolyn, Sandy, Shea, and Jenni.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dust in the Wind

I really need to take some photos of this place just to show you what a mess our house is. There is not one room that isn't in some way impacted by everything that's going on here. We moved the majority of daughter's things out of her room last night so that the lights could be installed in the ceiling, the wall repaired where the plumbers cut it, and the painting done. We've come to a conclusion: our daughter is a pack rat. She's also a slob. This girl is so meticulous about her appearance, but it seems her bedroom is another matter altogether. We're going to have a serious de-clutter session before anything returns to her bedroom.

We're very fortunate to have Joe here looking after the repairs. Our friend, Lisa, is the one who helped us find him, and we are thankful! He's such a nice guy, pleasant to have around the house, and very good at what he does. I'm excited about how things are starting to shape up so far and am desperately grasping to a thread of hope for what the eventual result will be.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Roller Coaster

I feel like I'm riding the proverbial emotional roller coaster these days, and it very often is that harrowing straight drop where you scream uncontrollably and think you might die. Those nice little zipping up and down short hills parts that I love so much on real roller coasters are strangely missing from my life right now.

Believe it or not, the house looks even worse than before the plumbers pilaged it. The thing is that now, even with entire pieces of sheet rock missing (as in whole sheets gone), I do think we're making progress. Still, I cry and wonder how we're going to pay for all this. I wonder what kind of Christmas we're going to have this year (and how am I going to pay for gifts, minimal as they may be). Husband and I always manage to land on our feet, so I have to believe that will be the case with this, too.

Daughter's mid term exams start tomorrow. I'm so proud of the effort she's put into studying. She even passed up a chance to go to Moe's with friends today and instead opted to come home and study. That's out of character but appreciated. I know she'll be ready to see Christmas break come. I just hope that the house is in decent enough shape for all of us to enjoy break and get some much needed rest.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Is There a Light at the End of This Tunnel?

The plumbers have finally gone, saints be praised. They left us Friday afternoon, and I was thrilled to see them go. On Friday evening, a man who may well be our savior appeared at the door to give us an estimate on the repairs to the walls and ceiling. We are very pleased to have him helping us out. We're having him do some painting and a couple of other small fix ups for us as well. One nice thing that I'm very excited about is that we're getting cannister lights installed in the den, and there will be dimmers on them. That means (or should mean) that when some people are watching TV or movies down there, I can also sit with them and enjoy my knitting. Some folks seem to think TV should be watched with the lights out, and I simply don't agree!

Daughter is delighted that she'll get to change the paint color in her bedroom. She's going with a nice hot pink color. We almost came to blows over paint color. Her first choice was a horrible "old bruise" purple and if not that an "artificial grape flavor Kool Aid" purple. Horrible!! She is also getting some additional lighting in her room including a set of track lights in one end which is becoming her art studio. We figure that while there are holes in the ceilings already, this is a good time to install lighting.

Once we recover from the financial blow that this whole ordeal has dealt us, we're going to have more work done on the house. There is still plenty to do that we've not had time to do ourselves, primarily cosmetic fix ups. Patty and Rebel, our sheep, are putting in their baaaahs for new fencing and a little barn as well.

I'm still feeling pretty down and depressed about this whole ordeal. Anyone who knows me well knows that Christmas time is not my favorite holiday in the first place. It hasn't been since I lost my dad 8 years ago. I have to force myself to go through the expected motions for this holiday. In fact, were it up to me, we'd just completely ignore December 25 and just keep on going. I am also a person who likes things neat and orderly. Things are far from that right now. My home is my sanctuary and escape from the crazy world, and now it seems the crazy has invaded in a big way. I don't like it. All of this is not making me a very fun person to be around right now.

Knitting...hmm...I seem to remember what that is. I'm still plugging away at the alligator scarf for my brother. It's very close to finished. I've worked the recommended number of "body" rows for the scarf, but it seems short to me, especially considering it's going to a 6 foot tall guy. I plan to do an additional 4"body" row sections and see what that brings me. I'm guessing this scarf should come out to be 6 feet long once it's completed.

Facebook has been a lot of fun lately. I've found or been found by several friends from high school and college. It's been entertaining walking down memory lane a bit. I have several photos to scan and share with everyone.

One good thing has happened to us in all this crap. Husband and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary on Friday. It's hard to believe it's been that long. Here's to a lifetime yet to come.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

This is My Life...Covered in Plastic and Plaster Dust

For those of you who haven't heard the whines on Ravelry or Facebook, let me give you the Reader's Digest Condensed version of my woe. We found out last week that there's a leak in the hot water lines (copper pipe original to the house which was built in 1962) which are buried in concrete somewhere under our house. The options were to dig into the floor and try to find the leak--no guarantee that there were not multiple leaks--replace the hot and cold water lines downstairs, or replace the pipes throughout the house with brand new PVC pipes. Because we only want our house torn to bits one time, and because the cost in price between replacing half the pipes and replacing all of them was not that great, we are getting all new pipes in our house. It's going to cost a fortune by the time we pay the plumbers and then pay someone to come in and repair the damage caused by the plumbers. They are having to tear into ceilings and walls to get to where they need to run the new pipes and to access some of the old ones. It's a freaking disaster in this house right now. There is white plaster-like dust everywhere. Most everything is covered in plastic. Daughter has been displaced from her bedroom because she has a bathroom in there and it's torn apart at the moment.

This is very unsettling. First, we didn't have the money just sitting around for this major repair work. Second, it's Christmas and I want to be cleaning up and decorating for the holiday, not living with plumbers in my house (very nice ones, I must add) and a mess all over. I "wasted my time" yesterday by vacuuming out the sun room, the laundry room, and the downstairs den so that we could have some sort of normalcy around here. The state of semi-clean won't last long. The plumbers are due back bright and early tomorrow morning and likely will be with us the rest of the week. They said that the time consuming part is running the pipes. It took them 2 days to demolish our house. I just hope there's no more cutting of sheetrock or drilling of holes in wood. *sigh*

Thanks to a local friend, I've found the name of someone I hope can do the repairs to the sheetrock. He and his wife both are currently out of work due to layoffs, so I hope that we can get him to do the work we need done. They need the money, and we need the help.

The sheep fencing is currently on long term hold. I'm sad about that, but we need water and no leaks in our house's foundation more than they need a fence. Husband will just have to muck out their enclosure on a regular basis.

I am retreating from the world for a bit until my home and sanctuary are in a more stable place. See you all sometime when the dust settles (literally and figuratively).

Monday, December 01, 2008

We Survived Turkey Day

We survived Turkey Day. It was just the three of us which is really what we prefer--nice, low key and no stupid family politics. Thankfully, almost all of the Thanksgiving food is gone. We're down to just some turkey salad now, I think.

We took in a Black Friday sale at the LYS, Sassy Knitter, on Friday and that was fun. I'm not yet in the mood for "real" Christmas shopping so no trips to the mall for me. I'll eventually venture out to buy some gift cards, but that's about it. As in years past, we'll order what we can. It's easier to get exactly what you want that way. This Christmas will be a no frills type Christmas--no going overboard on big, expensive gifts. I'm just looking forward to the time off more than anything.

I knit and felted a Christmas stocking for daughter's boyfriend this weekend. It only took a few hours using this pattern and some Patons Wool. I'll try to get a picture later. The stocking is currently drying. I did alter the pattern a bit (surprise) and made a longer foot. It doesn't look too stocking like as the pattern is written. My modification is much better, naturally! ;)