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Despite feeling quite tired, sleep proves elusive.

The night's real dark; I'm not sure what phase of the moon we're in or if it's just overcast. The temperature is quite comfortable, cooler than it is in my bedroom. We opened the window a couple of hours ago, but neglected the patio sliding door. Sans air conditioning, the bed felt both too warm & slightly damp from sweat. Not a recipe for good sleep. I gave up 15 minutes ago and came out here. Meanwhile, my husband is blissfully within the arms of Morpheus.

LJ got back late this afternoon. He'd been away since last Friday; off to an annual meeting, with all four of our godchildren in tow. He had five days of playing parent, while I spent my time trying to bring order out of chaos. While I did take a friend's invitation to lunch on Friday and had a memorial to go to on Sunday, I've been quite busy the remainder of the time.

I was desperate for a dresser. While I have ample closet space, both of my dressers remained at our old place, leaving me no place to put things like underwear, socks and sweaters. Further, T-shirts were hanging, taking up room in the closet they just didn't need to take up. I made the journey with a handcart to the old place, retrieving the smaller of the two dressers, a modern oak coffee table & a dining room chair inadvertently left behind. I would've preferred the mule chest, but the dresser will live in my walk-in closet, & there just wasn't room for the larger chest. That, plus the fact the mule chest simply will not fit in the back of the Prius, while the smaller dresser did. The mule chest will eventually make the journey here, likely to be in my craft space.

With the dresser in my closet I was able to sort through things like socks, underwear, t-shirts & tanks and decide what stays and what goes. This afternoon (well, I guess yesterday afternoon), 6 sizable boxes of old clothes went to the thrift store that supports the local hospice. I found a cache of ancient shirts that dated back to the late 1970s. They got packed when I moved to the West Coast after medical school, and never opened, given all the weight I gained while doing my residency. They were mediums & larges. I think there's a reasonable possibility I will once again get into larges, getting into a medium feels rather doubtful. I got rid of 2/3 of them & washed the remainder. They're sitting on the living room chair right now for my husband to take a look at. Many, if not most, should fit him and I've asked him to take what he wants, and I'll bring the rest to the thrift shop.

With the china hutch in the living/dining room, in the place where it's going to live, I've been unpacking all the things that go into it. The china, the crystal, the fancier serving pieces I've acquired of the years were all super well packed, & taking up a lot of space. I had hoped to have everything put away before my husband's return, but that was just not in the cards. I did make a huge dent in it however. New goal is to try and have it all the way by the weekend.

I did have numerous boxes of things that belonged in the china hutch, in various kitchen cabinets. That's no longer the case, so I have more space now in the kitchen to figure out how I'm going to use. I also now have a bunch more bubblewrap to use for shipping things that I successfully sell on eBay. Speaking of that, three more items shipped out today, but I await payments on another half dozen, three of which I suspect I'm going to wind up having to relist. However, putting stuff up on eBay is definitely working and I expect when all is said and done, I'll reclaim 3 to 4 grand out of things I know longer want or need. I'm already up to 800 bucks and only a fraction of what I ultimately want to dispose of, has been listed and sold.

All right, time to try and lie down again.
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The pantry closet was ready for shelves, so that's what I did today. Now that those RN it was time to unpack the alcohol, and the cookbooks. The only problem is, where the hell are they?

I knew with the bulk of the alcohol was, and so that's been retrieved from the center of the barn. Also retrieved from the barn was the case of homemade vanilla, now residing at the bottom of the pantry closet next to the sake. There's still more alcohol in the garage, somewhere, but we are still remains to be seen. Such is also the case for most of the cookbooks. I found a small box of oversized books, which have now been put away in the closet, but the bulk are still MIA.

It's good and hot here and after getting the bulk of things away after dealing with that much alcohol I decided to make myself something to drink. We have an inordinate amount of coffee liqueur of different pedigrees and there was a bottle of Saint Maartin's which is tequila-based. When I went to open it unfortunately the cork stopper broke off in my hand. There after I took a bottle opener and shredded the remaining cork. Fortunately in with the vanilla with some good stoppered bottles, one of which was perfect for the Saint Maartin's. Ever prepared I had a filtered funnel in one of my kitchen drawers and, perfect for decanting in the remains of the Saint Martin's into the new bottle, with none of the offending cork bits.

A White Russian sounded way too mundane and I'm not a fan of vodka anyway. I knows the rounds on one in the little bit and came across a recipe for a white nun, and in this heat rather than make it over ice it went over some cappuccino ice cream instead. Quite decadent. I think I'm going to go take a nap.

A White Nun on Vacation
1 ounce coffee liqueur
1 ounce white rum
1 scoop cappuccino ice cream

Stir the 2 ounces of alcohol together. Put small scoop of cappuccino ice cream into an old-fashioned glass and pour the alcohol over it. Serve on the veranda with and ice tea spoon in the glass.
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At 2:48 yesterday afternoon, the central AC got turned on. (Can I get an a-men!)

Almost 3 weeks ago, the AC contractor was getting started with his crew and he called one of them Adam, only to be told, "I'm Jason." I looked at the man quizzicality and he looked and said, "Adam's my brother." I smiled and said to the contractor, "I never thought I'd get to say this, but you don't know him from Adam!"

Well now I've met Adam.

Two guys started working at 9:30 in the morning & at 3pm, Adam did a 60 second explanation of how to program the thermostat. Fortunately for me, he left the instruction booklet.

I need to get some air filters for the system within the next couple of weeks, particularly given the amount of dust and dog hair we've got around here. They only left us two filters and Adam's assessment, not the highest quality. However, even with the less than stellar air filter, the system is now working and the house is much more comfortable.

We are by no means done, but this was a huge milestone.
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Mercifully, as I write the AC people are working on the ducting under the house. It's been brutal here for the last half week. It made it to 105 here both yesterday and the day before. Last night I slipped upstairs to take the proverbial cold shower, generally not something I enjoy, but last night an absolute godsend.

LJ had beaucoup errands to run in Sonoma County yesterday, so I was here by myself. The day was productive. The curtain for the bathroom window got sewn and hung. The bathroom door of that painted and rehung. The toilet paper holder that hung. The casement around the pantry closet got its fourth and final coat of varnish. This morning, that door got rehung. The Roomba robot vacuum got unboxed and put into service. It is diligently working its way around the living room as I write. More items got put away and others into the car for Goodwill.




(I see a black door and I want it painted white!)

Need to pick up a couple of items that sold on eBay this weekend and get them into the mail. No rest for the wicked.
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This was David's first experience using epoxy grout, and sadly he wasn't able to get everything grouted before the grout set up. There is a small section of the floor unfortunately right in front of the door which still needs grouting & we don't have enough of the gray grout left. Further, the finish plumbing (faucet and shower head) still remain to be put in. I still need to settle on a custom shower door, which unfortunately is going to be pricey, so likely we'll be living with a shower curtain ,hung from a tension rod for the next several months, while I search for a permanent alternative.

What remains to be done in the bathroom is a curtain for the window (which I am likely to make rather than buy), a toilet paper holder, door knobs for the door, hanging said door, and deciding on a bathmat. Otherwise, the bathroom is done (& the check is in the mail).





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I have just settled onto the porch swing, as the sun is sinking low in the sky. I've got my back to The approaching sunset, otherwise I'd be unable to sit here right now. My husband is napping & David is cleaning up, having tackled one of the more challenging jobs left, the shower floor.

LJ finished the initial phase of the repairs he was doing on the front steps. I was up early and out of the house first getting a final coat of varnish on to the kitchen door, and then get in the plants watered before coming in and making breakfast for the three of us. I'm really enjoying David's presence here; his calm and good humor go a really long way to reducing stress levels here and I'm thrilled with both the quality of his work and the speed with which it's happening. Further, he's a delight to work with, when you're working alongside him. No question is too stupid on how to get something done. He's everything our last contractor wasn't.

So, I managed to finish the kitchen door and get it back on its hinges. I managed to reinstall the entry door knob and it's working better than it had been before. The deadlock is proving more challenging, as it's refusing to go back in in the same way it came out. I have some work to do on it, shaving down one of the metallic supports inside the door in order to get everything sit just right.

David suspects that the door dates to the early 50s, which would correspond to a remodel we think was done in 1950. I'm really pleased to save this door. Junking it would have felt absolutely wasteful. The colored glass now that the door is it's original wood color actually looks kind of attractive. All in all, it's been a satisfying experience.

Late this morning I turned my attention to the mirror which in a few minutes we're going to hang in the bathroom. We've done some recycling with things within the house. The pedestal sink which was lost in the old master bath is now in the new smaller bath upstairs. The door (along with its jam) between the master bath & bedroom is now the door to my closet, not far from its original location. This mirror was in the upstairs powder room. The vanity it hung over was hideous, and having taken such an intense dislike to the vanity, in my mind's eye I had painted the mirror with the same broad brush. Guilt by association.

We had moved the mirror downstairs for temporary use a couple weeks ago. I noticed thereafter it really didn't look that bad and was kind of a match for the granite countertop on the vanity there. I decided that the mirror warranted some work to save it, at least for now. Fortunately, I've done some picture framing in the past and so I knew what was required here.

The frame of the mirror was basically in sound condition though it's backing was gone. I took a damn cloth to the frame to clean it up, then some Windex to the individual mirror panels. After scraping the back edge a little bit, I coated its edge with a thin layer of wood glue, then cut a swath of construction paper we've been using to cover the floors, and draped it over the back of the mirror to adhere to the frame. Once dry, I took a sanding block and lightly sanded the edges, giving a perfectly sized and shaped backing for the frame. I took a water mister to dampened the back, left it in the sun to shrink the paper, giving a tight back sheathing. Since this is going into the bathroom, once dry, some Aqua Net hairspray, essentially aerosol lacquer, got sprayed over the backing to give it some better moisture resistance. I reattached the eye screws, added some heavy duty picture wire, and it was ready to rehang.

David finished laying the tile on the shower floor today & mañana, grout awaits . The painting is done, the 'throne' is in, though the water supply isn't hooked up (I got the wrong hose at the hardware store), the mirror is up, the outlets above the vanity are in & working and the window is finished. While we'll still be showering upstairs for the next week (David's doing a building project for the place he went to high school next week), we'll be using the bathroom for everything else. I need to make a window treatment happen (& I've got clear thoughts about what I want) while he's gone and figure out how we want to decorate the room. However, that there will be a working john down the hall in the middle of the night, rather than using the patio's toilet or going upstairs is a boon, as will brushing my teeth in the bathroom rather than the kitchen tickles me no end. (Gotta get your thrills where you can.)

The kitchen door in situ:

Before



After



Bathroom Mirror



Shower (I can haz floor!)

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T'was a busy day today.

David (contractor extraordinaire) crashed here last night. I enjoy his company, plus saving on the drive time from Lakeport to our place means that much more time he has to get things done. I made chicken fajitas last night, and it's nice to actually hear someone praise my cooking. I also got b'fast prep done before I went to bed.

This morning I had b'fast for three ready in 15 minutes. I'd put steel cut oats up last night with cinnamon, raisins & vanilla, so all they needed was a fast reheating. The veggies for two personal frittatas was cut and ready. All I had to do was beat the eggs and into the microwave. LJ had toast with avocado and queso fresco which is fast, and the lattes were all set today brew. Then all three of us went into action.

David attached the bathroom. The painting is done, the toilet now in. The sink is affixed to the counter. The shower floor tile got laid out and is ready to be set in the morning, with grout in the afternoon. (Knock wood) The window is done. I need to get picture wire in the AM and the mirror will get cleaned up and hung. The back of it also needs to get closed up. Since I've done framing in the past, I know what to do. I'll be making that my AM project. David's going to be gone all next week so there's a lot to get buttoned up in the n ft 48 hours.

LJ continued to work on the rebuild of the front steps. He's not done yet and he's not fully satisfied with the job he's doing. I brought back con heart redwood 2x4s from the lumber yard yesterday. He's happy with the wood (& what man wouldn't be?), but I screwed up the screw order; right gauge, right head, wrong length. My bad.

I was in door world today. I started with the front door, flipping it over to finish the cleaning process, and managed to get two coats of varnish on that side of it during the course of the day. Then it was on to the pantry door, which got sanded, then painted multiple coats today, I finally put the hardware back on it. It's now ready to be rehung, once the casement is ready for it. The first coat of varnish went on that casement today. By midday, that entry door should be ready to go back up as well.

Fading here. I'll finish this post in the morning.
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No, this is not an homage to Gypsy Rose Lee. (And frankly, despite my sizable weight loss, I doubt there are many people out there who would be hollering, "take it off take it off.")

When we bought this place the kitchen door was nothing short of garish. Once upon a time it was probably a lovely door. However, somewhere along the way the nine panes of glass in the upper part of the door I suspect were replaced with multiple shades of colored glass. (Nine panes, four different colors.) The previous owner then compounded the insult, by painting the door black. Poorly. As in, he obviously hadn't bothered to mask off the panes of glass and there was black paint splashed along the edges of all of them. A razor blade and a little time could've corrected that. He hadn't bothered to do that either. To my eye, the door looked like something out of a carnival nightmare.

With everything else we had/have to do in the house, an ugly, but solid and functional door was not a high priority. They were many other more pressing things. Still, I had to look at that eyesore daily and I desperately wanted to do something about it. Now that warmer weather has arrived, late last week I took the door off the hinges, and started stripping it. Between sanding blocks, chemical stripper, & an orbital sander, The door was ready for its first coat of varnish early this afternoon.

What a difference! Against the natural wood tones of the door, the colored glass no longer looks garish, but warm and well, colorful. I was dreading the idea of having to take the wood supports the part to replace the glass, and so relieved with the difference. With luck by late Wednesday, the door will be reinstalled and one more chore will be finished.

Before:





In process:



Post first coat of varnish:

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When I first described my kitchen desires to out former contractor they included a central kitchen island, an island I already had. I was open to it being updated, but the contractor was very firm in his belief there just wasn't room for it, unless the kitchen space was pushed significantly further into the living/dining room, something he knew I was unwilling to do. We had agreed to enlarge the room in two directions, but not as far as he thought was needed to accommodate the island.

I moved the island from the old house into a storage unit here on the property. He knew it was here. I insisted it would wind up in my studio space when we got there. I meant it. I'm attached to it as it was built for me, to my specifications by a friend, sadly now deceased, long before his time. Mikey was a woodworker who specialized in turning scrap hardwood into beautiful cutting boards. I'd asked him to build me a kitchen island on wheels with a butcher block top, essentially a giant cutting board on wheels. It had pull out shelves made to accommodate my Kitchenaid mixer, as well as cubbies for baking sheets, etc. Well, when Mikey realized I intended to use the butcher block as a butcher block, he built me a huge cutting board from exotic hardwoods as a gift. That cutting board covered almost half the island.

My cabinets here include a narrow undercounter cabinet for items like that huge cutting board and large baking sheets. While I've been thrilled with the kitchen in most ways, I find I do a lot of walking side to side. Dishes and the fridge are on one wall, the stove on another, the area I've been doing food prep on yet another. It's not an efficient setup. A central island to work from really will make the space much friendlier to work in.

In my old kitchen, which was also large, the island was the heart of everything that went on there. Groceries we put down on it, to be put away; it was convenient to the pantry, as well as the fridge. It was a great workstation for food prep, and just a step from the stove, and could even be rolled closer to the stove, if I needed it. It even made putting the dishes away easier; they came right out of the dishwasher onto the island and once the dishwasher was empty, I could go around to the other side of the island where it was a breeze to put them away.

Well it's my kitchen, dammit! Screw what the contractor felt about it not belonging here

One of my projects today was to the move the island out of the storage unit and into the house. Once I got it to the patio, I replaced the wheels with new ones that shouldn't scratch the floor, that just happen to be half an inch taller. To my pleasant surprise, completely serendipitously, the new wheels now make the butcher block level with the granite countertops.

After being moved about the kitchen countertop for the past month, ever since it was unpacked, the Kitchenaid finally has a home again, back in the island where it lived for the past two decades. So does the huge cutting board. A place of honor in fact, dead center in the heart of the kitchen. The knife block will now live right next to it. No longer is there a hanging pot & pan rack above the island, but to be able to drink in the gorgeous views I see through my windows, I can live without it.

The island fits the space. It just fits. Just as I had envisioned it, when I first described to the contractor what I wanted. There's easily enough room fo me to circle it and have room to open any door, drawer or appliance fully. There is now a splash of wood in the center of a predominantly white kitchen. I'll change the door and drawer pulls to match the others in the room and live with this for a while, to see how it feels, but at this point it feels pretty damn good.

Slowly, this old farmhouse is not just getting a facelift; it's becoming our home. That's our home, not the he contractor's.
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I've got a lot to feel good about. The house is coming together. And many things and my wife are coming together for that matter. We have a new contractor not only who's doing the good work but who we are simpatico with. I'm sitting at the table on the porch finishing up a light breakfast of Greek yogurt over some fruit, accompanied by my morning coffee. I have just emerged from my closet, comfortable in my clothes, a pair of jeans marked 42, that I don't dare wear without a belt, & a favorite old Lands' End shirt that's not a 2X, but an 18. I have to run a brush through my hair come out and water the garden plants, throw a hat on my head, & I'm out the door off to Santa Rosa. I've got multiple errands to run including getting the car serviced at 11:30, and then there's Christopher's graduation party starting at three. There's much to get done.

David (our new contractor) brought me a high-end pole saw,so this weekend I can live the trees on our property that were too high up for me to reach with my own pruning hook. I started stripping the back door yesterday, the garish black paint is gone for most of one side of the door& I'm thrilled with how much better the door looks. David is promised to bring his orbital sander with him today to leave with me for the weekend so I can finish the door, throw a coat of varnish on it and rehang the thing. Getting that chore done is going to make the kitchen the feel much closer to being completely finished. To me, it was a complete eyesore prior; now the warmth of the wood underneath will shine through and be a welcome to all who enter this house. Tomorrow morning I have items that I wish to sell that I must photographs and get listings ready for eBay. Part of getting moved in and really nesting In this home is getting rid of things that I do not want or that are not be needed. It is a decluttering of my space and my life & it feels really good to be doing it.

On the list for this weekend will be starting to move into the bedroom and reaching unity with my husband about what kind of mattress we're going to put in the new bed. New bed here is a bit of a misnomer; It's new to us. I found an absolutely gorgeous, but huge sleigh bed early this year. It's pecan wood nicely carved designs in its side and will dominate the room, but that's not a bad thing for a bedroom now is it?

About the only sense of dread or for building I have now focuses on Washington. I wish I could put that out of my mind completely, but I can't. I am so completely appalled by trumps most recent grandstand yesterday pulling out of the Paris accord, but sadly I'm far from surprised.

Enough navelgazing for now. I need to get my ass in gear.
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The mood here in Lake Wobegon has much improved. Stress levels have gone down since the departure of our former contractor, G-d bless & keep him, far, far away.

David, started work yesterday morning, first assessing what remained undone and expressing strongly what he feels priorities should be, namely getting us into our bedroom and our home lives back to normal ASAP. Yes, he realizes how badly we want the bathroom done & after seeing home get to work, I have confidence he will have that done fairly soon too, but he has expressed to us how stressful living in a construction zone is and how hard it is to live without a sense of normalcy. Temporary sleeping quarters compounds that several fold and what's needed to have the bedroom ready for us to move into, he can knock out by Monday. Giving us usable personal space for us to make our own, is his first priority.

I love the way he thinks. He is also listening to us very carefully and treating us not just respectful, but lovingly. What a breath of fresh air, after months of walking on eggshells!

When he arrived yesterday morning, LJ and I moved were looking at the paint chips of the colors we'd picked for the bedroom. We had selected them a couple of nights before and wanted to see them in daylight. We talked about color with him and then looked thru the stuff left undone.

In the last 48 hours, everything has been moved out of the bedroom, I muddled and taped the large drywall patch over the new electric service to the house, patched a hole in the ceiling and muddled that and primed both patches, as well as the wall between the closet and the bedroom. David has primed the ceiling and painted it, painted the walls, though the accent wall will need one more coat (it's third). Tomorrow, he'll get the the hallway painted, the baseboards installed and painted, and the smoke detector hard wired in, before he moves on to the bathroom. That means this weekend we get the move the bedroom furnishings in. As soon as we get a mattress we get to move out of rth guest bedroom and into our master.

Can I get an a-men!
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Today I:

Finished giving a walnut tree a much needed haircut.
Taped & mudded drywall in our bedroom.
Patched and mudded a hole in the bedroom ceiling.
Smudged the house and driveway.
Unpacked the herbs, spices & extracts and put them away. (Unpacked box quota met!)
Spoke with an old friend.
Made an appointment for the Prius' 10k service.
Did laundry.
Got the last of the outlet face plates installed in the kitchen.
Opened a bottle of wine with dinner.
Watered all the potted plants and the youngsters in the ground that still require watering.
Installed a corner shelf in the upstairs bathroom.
Confirmed with the new contractor he starts tomorrow.
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I've been on CPAP for obstructive sleep apnea for over 20 years. My apnea is not as bad as it was when I was heavier, but from the description of my college room mate, I'm likely one of those people who had it at normal weight. My husband has teased that my nightly use of the machine is evidence of belonging to the Borg collective.

Last night he joined the collective.

For the past several years he has been tired all the time, napping almost daily for several hours by late afternoon. Then recently, now that I'm home much more since retiring, I witnessed him obstructing. I insisted on a sleep study, which revealed moderate obstructive apnea. Yesterday, he drove back to Sonoma county & after seeing his dentist for a new crown and then driving out to check on our old place, he went to the CPAP class at Kaiser and got a trial machine. He'll use this for the next couple of weeks, then return it for them to analyze its data card, after which he'll be getting his own machine.

He's not happy about this, but if it will make him feel better rested, he's willing.

To my surprise, he opted for the full face mask. (I use nasal pillows, with a chin strap to keep my mouth closed.)

I think he slept better last night, for which I'm grateful. Me? Not so much.

He was clingy last night. On a gut level, I think the admission he has a problem, a diagnosis that needs chronic management, is frightening. We're still in the full bed in the guest bedroom upstairs. It's not a comfortable bed for me. With my weight loss since last fall, we now both 'fit' in the bed, but it certainly isn't roomy. If he has plastered himself to me, as he did last night, I can't move. I have no place to turn over. While he was in Santa Rosa yesterday, I spent 4 1/2 hours clearing brush and landscaping in advance of fire season here. With the previous bad fires that hit Lake County over the past several years, I'm taking the warning to create a defensible space around your house seriously. Dry grass and dead tree limbs are fuel for wild fires. I'm in better shape than i once was, and I'm happy I have the ability to do this work, but truthfully, I'm good and sore. That partnered with the lousy bed & a clingy husband did not add up to a good night for me last night.

I need a massage and a long hot soak. Sadly, I don't see either of those happening today. I'm going to have to settle for some coffee and a couple of Tylenol. Time to get up.
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It's been a busy day.

I'm sitting on the front porch at watching the sun over the lake as it sinks towards the mountain. I'm wearing just a pair of gym shorts and nothing else having just gotten back from said gym. I ran a 5K in 36 minutes and 10 seconds, that is if the elliptical is to be believed. I did it while listening to Rachel Maddow's podcast from last night. Amazing how anger at the current administration can be motivation to get out and run at breakneck speed. This is a minute and 20 seconds faster but the last time I ran a 5K the end of last week.

Speaking of the administration, times are feeling more and more The Nixon administration just before his resignation. Trouble is the country is much more divided than it was back then, or at least seems to be & I don't think we had nearly the degree of right wing extremist media as we have today. Neither did the Internet exist, along with Breitbart news and the Drudge Report, pedaling their version of "news". Still, each day brings word of yet another outrageous thing associated with the president and his administration. I simply cannot fathom how this can continue without his base turning on him.

In addition to running and lifting weights today, I've spent time clearing brush, helping out contractor cl among the kitchen fun tile post grouting, and unpacking stuff and getting it out away. I'm trying to find as much as I can that I can do that with. Today, it was my coats and jackets, as well as Pop's suits.

I packed up a good sized box of outerwear, none of which fit me last December. Now all of it does. I have an Aussie oilcloth duster now hanging on the back porch airing out, several nice leather jackets in my closet as well as two XL Landsend field coats in the closet. There are two coats that will go away in a couple of months, one a Levi denim jacket, the other a down coat. They fit loosely now, but by fall I suspect they will have outlived their usefulness size wise. I feel a bit like a kid in a candy store. "Oh! Yeah! Look what fits!! Yes!!"

The suits were also pleasing but in a different way. These were my father's and came to me after his death over 20 years ago. I've never worn any of them. A) they were too small and b) I never had the occasion to need them. Still they were pop's, which made them important to me. Pop wore suits daily. He was a pharmaceutical detail man working in hospitals, also a heavy man. We however were built very differently and since I'd been to big to try them on till now, I'm just now realizing how different.

The box was labeled "open @ 250". They had been hanging in my office closet from the time they came to me. All were too small for me to wear when I got them. When I closed the office last year about 1/2 went to Goodwill, 1/2 I kept. I cried when I left them there. Even though I was ready to let go of them, since they had been pop's, it was difficult. As for the remainder I'd kept, traditional men's dresswear changes so little, that a classically cut business suit really changes very little over the years. If they're kept properly, you can get away using them for decades. Anyway, suits vary in cuts. Pop wore a portly or executive cut where the drop from the chest circumference to the waist was 4". A standard suit is 6". An Athletic cut is 8". Weirdly enough, guess who's an athletic cut. Almost all the dress clothes fit now. Sort of. Any suit where the jacket fits, the pants are huge and have to be taken in. Any where the pants fit, the jacket is too big. I now fit a size 52 suit coat, but the pants have to be taken down to a 43" waist. Pop's 52 suit have pants that are 48".

Fortunately for me, both my grandfathers were tailors. They made and did alterations on men's clothing their whole working lives. Pop's father first stuck me behind a sewing machine when I was 6 or 7. I know how to take all those pants in and if the need for a suit arises, I'm ready.

Our contractor will soon depart. When is not absolutely certain, but his work is drawing to a close. With luck the bathroom will be finished by the weekend. Famous last words. We'll see.

Also the central air and heat people are finally on the installation path. Ducting is now mostly in. The real heat this area is known for has not hit yet, but it's just around the corner. I have my fingers crossed that work will be done before the temperatures begin to roast. I succeeded in finding a pet door that is large enough for Arjuna and that fits the both the sliding door to the front porch as well as the one to the back patio, so he will have egress once the heat hits and we have a h doors closed to keep the house cool.

We (as in my husband and I along with 2 helpers) husband upped out the carpeting, padding and fiberboard underlayment in the living room last weekend intime for heat and air guys to set the floor ducts at the correct height. The old floor is in surprisingly good shape, only needing two small repair patches. Turns out the front living room was once two separate rooms and where the wall once existed the hardwood did not. Given the pattern and size of the missing hardwood, I'd say there were either French or pocket doors that separated the two rooms. Patching those missing areas should not too difficult or extensive. I may ask the contractor to take that on, or not depending his demeanor this week. If not, we've got another construction guy lined up for the next phase of renovation and if floor repairs are not his forte, Oana's husband did flooring for half a dozen years. This might be something he would be willing to take on.

Much to do. Time to go make supper.
osodecanela: (Default)
It's 5:20am. I've been conscious for an hour, unable to go back to sleep after my bladder decided I needed to be awakened.

I went to bed sometime between 10 & 11, I think.

I'm feeling every last minute of my age this morning. The factors behind this? Number one, the rib fracture the other day isn't letting me use my left arm freely (not good for a southpaw) & number two, I'm definitely not enjoying the re-runs of This Old Bed. A full size, ancient boxspring and mattress is far from ideal for a couple of bears who've spent their entire 36 year marriage in a king sized waterbed. Granted the weight I've dropped in the past 5 months has made sleeping together in a bed this small possible. It hasn't made it especially comfortable, particularly in light of my recent rib fracture. Right this moment, my shoulders, low back, & the top of my butt are complaining.

I need a massage therapist.

In a couple of hours, I'll get up and hit the shower and get my butt on the road. My friend the osteopath is going to see me this morning. With luck, she'll be able to help me with my chest pain. Breathing right now is not a lot of fun. I'm pretty sure I've got two problems in my chest/ribs. I think the 4th is anteriorly displaced which should be fixable, although it's the 5th I think is broken, which is likely to keep her from putting the 4th back in. At the very least, she should be able to medicate me. Other than my generic Celebrex, I haven't been taking anything.

In an admission of being completely self absorbed, I'm wondering if she going to say anything about the weight I've lost. I haven't told her I've been losing & I'm down 55 since she last saw me.

At 1 this afternoon I have a memorial to go to. A friend down the street from my place in Guerneville was widowed in January. Matt lost his husband of 14 years after a brief fight with esophageal cancer. Given I'm 8 years Eddie's senior, this is one memorial I hadn't expected to attend.

On the home front, I found the rest of the everyday dishes, and they've been put away for the most part. So too the bulk of the serving pieces. I think the coffee cups are going to continue to live in the top drawer of the breakfront, which is still in the storage container, and so those guys remain boxed. The break front will not come out of the storage container until the living room floor gets done, so I suspect that won't happen for a couple of months. Before I go too far from this, the mugs (as opposed to the cups) are already in the cabinet right above where the coffee and espresso machines live, or at least, will live, once the backsplash gets done.

In the course of hunting for the dishes (turns out they were in the barn, not the garage), I also found a small box of pants labeled "44s - open @ 280". Well I'm 10 below that now. Upside? My wardrobe just increased by 5 pair of pants. Downside? Only 2 pair are suitable for work; the rest are jeans.

The kitchen is nearing completion, as are the hall closet, pantry closet, and my walk in in the bedroom. These last 3 excite me; when they're done I get to unpack into them which in turn is one further step towards normalcy.
osodecanela: (Default)
I just bathed for the first time in the house. Heavenly.

The upstairs bath is now functional.
osodecanela: (Default)
So I've been hacking away at the jungle densely overgrown plants in the yard. In he last 2 days, I've just about finished pruning the grapes, and decided there was a sickly looking, huge oleander that pretty well blocked any view that the future room my husband wants to construct at the back of the garage might have of the lake, that needed to leave. This thing stood a good 18 feet high and side to side was easily 15 feet if not more. It was leggy and branches were beginning to rot in some areas. Now it's a mangled twist of stumps on a deep root ball.

Most of the branches were easily clipped with a Fiskars 2' pruner; however, there were some that presented a challenge by their size. I remained determined.

It cost me.

Towards the end, I was pulling out the larger branches and got too cocky. There was one which I should have gotten the sawsall for. Instead, I persisted with my clippers, lost in a self justified attack of machismo. At one point I had one arm of the clipper handle wedged against my chest, with both hands pulling on the other. The branch went down, but I simultaneously felt a resounding pop in my anterior chest, followed by a sharp pain and point tenderness at the left side of my sternum where the 5th and 6th ribs connect. Coughing, and reaching for anything with my left hand make it crescendo. G-d forbid, I sneeze.

I'm pretty certain the 4th and 5th left rib heads are injured and likely, either out of correct place or broken.

The next couple of weeks is going to be fun - not(!).
osodecanela: (Default)
Doors went in today, on the master bath, my walk-in closet, and the pantry closet. (Pictures wil follow).

I hit the gym and got a run in 3 miles in just under 36 minutes, followed by a brief session on the treadmill at a 15 degree incline, followed by almost 3 hours in the yard, trimming bushes, pulling out hollies and pruning grapes.

Now lying in bed, exanimate.

Years ago I saw an exercise physiologist who informed me that people who get 2000 kCal per week had the pest success in permanent weight loss. I figured I was screwed, that there was no way I would ever be doing that. According to my weight management app, I'm at over 1500 for the week & it's only Monday.
osodecanela: (Default)
As of this afternoon I have a functional kitchen!

The fridge went in yesterday and as of this morning the water & ice thru the door now works. I moved the contents of the old fridge into the new one as well as a bunch of things from the garage. The microwave convection hood got installed the other day, but vented today and this afternoon the dishwasher is in.

I've located perhaps a third of my kitchen supplies which have been put away into the cabinets. I've found the bread & butter plates, half the salad plates, a third of the cereal bowls and a third of the cups and mugs. I have all the flatwear, but still lack a tray for it so it remains unopened for the moment. The glasses, all but two of the dinner plates and all the soup bowls remain MIA. So too, most of my serving pieces, casseroles and the like.

I now can actually cook in the kitchen!

Per my husband׳s request, what did I do the first night I could actually cook? I brought home pizza. In all fairness, I had errands in Santa Rosa this afternoon ending up at my former office manager's home at 5, after a good 5K run at the gym, followed by a short soak and a hot shower to not just bathe, but wash my hair. I still don't have a place to shower in the house, so have to resort to bathing in the contractor's trailer, which is neither for the claustrophobic, nor the long haired.

I am excited. Normalcy is just around the corner. Maybe.

I'm really not certain which I want more, the bathroom finished or my walk in closet? There is nothing I want more after a run then a hot shower. However, I'm desperate for the closet. I need to sort thru boxes of clothing to see what fits, and what doesn't, to put away what I'll keep and decide what I get rid of. Doing that will a) give me both something to wear as well as added impetus to continue down the scale and b) help me to bring order out of chaos in the garage and barn which in turn will c) allow me to sort through and find other things I can put away, like say the rest of the dishes. I want that so bad I can taste it.
osodecanela: (Default)
Well I'm sitting here and sipping my morning coffee out on the porch swing – at 4:30 in the afternoon. Last evening after I got home from taking in a movie (the new "Beauty and the Beast"), I fell into bed and shortly thereafter was out cold. Apparently, I really needed to sleep. That must've been about 7:30 or perhaps 8 o'clock. I awoke at 1 AM, went downstairs and brushed my teeth, then came back to bed and was wide-awake for a few hours. Amen for iPhones, Words with Friends, and the Internet. I probably drifted off to sleep sometime after three and then awoke at 7:30 this morning.

Initially this morning I thought I would simply clear out again, but then thought better of it. Looking out the upstairs bedroom window, I saw a horribly overgrown yard below me and an unidentified fruit tree in sore need of pruning, covered with dead branches. I left our contractor and his assistant to do their work and went outside to attack the yard. I gave the tree a major haircut today. I'm not sure what type of tree it is, but I'm suspicious we have an olive. We shall see later this year.

I also discovered that we have more grapes I didn't know about. To the east side of the house there's another vine which was crying out to be pruned, wending its way through a butterfly bush, and so I obliged it lovingly. The previous owner (or perhaps the owner before him) had rigged up a trellis for a branch of this particular grape vine, and it was sagging badly. Moreover that large branch was showing no signs of life, so I chopped off the dead great vine, untied then retied the trellis wires, and retrained the vine that was going up into the butterfly bush onto the trellis instead. I'm a bit disappointed to say that despite my working for 4 to 5 hours out in the yard if barely feels like I made a dent. In a few minutes I'm going back up to the bedroom to have a gander from the same vantage point as this morning. I'm hoping I'll feel like all my work was worth it – or at least that it shows a bit more from above.

As the contractor was already at work when I came downstairs, I grabbed an orange from the fridge, skipped everything else, & went outside to get to work. A couple of hours ago I took a break and actually ate said orange & then grabbed a cup of yogurt from the fridge in the garage. Until now that's been the total of what I've taken in today. I just had a small slice of gluten-free pizza left over from the other night. It is truly amazing to me how much exercise blunts my appetite. I could get used to this. Actually, I should get used to this. It'll be good for me.

Anyway, now that the workers are done for the day, I've been treated to the unveiling of the floor in the kitchen, hallway, & both closets in the bedroom. It's absolutely beautiful! There's just enough distress to makes this really look like a country kitchen floor. The reddish hue of the mahogany stain is absolutely lovely, as is the satin sheen on the floor itself. Seeing this really makes me feel like there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel.

Interestingly enough, the contractor asked, actually offered to move in the stove this weekend so I could start using it, which I declined since it was only going to be temporary, until he got around to doing our backsplash. I'd rather not move it in & out, so to his surprise, I declined. I don't want to make more work for him & the less the appliances are moved in and out of the house, the less chance for them to be damaged.

Below are pictures of the work in progress:


Note the kitchen door & the last owners' unfortunate taste for black. I'm planning to strip the door and stain it with the same stain in the floor & to probably replace the hideous carnival glass pains panes. I'm hoping they will look less garish with the door refinished. (I can hope, right?)


Finally you can see the refrigerator's alcove. The door fronts remain off for the moment. They're all painted but await the cabintet maker's return to install the drawer pulls.


The view down the hallway to what will be the master bedroom. My husband's hall closet to the right & the door to my walk-in on the left.



This is the walk-in closet in progress. It's a bit larger than 7' square. In SF, this would get rented out as a bedroom.

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