Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Something odd has been taking place over the course of the last few days.  I'm not quite sure what to make of it.

I find myself suddenly laughing out loud as I read, or listen to a song, or stumble across a bit of humor on a website, or watch television or while playing the piano.  Sometimes I'm not even sure why I'm laughing.  Apparently I just feel like it.

Odd indeed.

On the surface of things, I should be feeling stressed.

I have huge portions of my house in complete turmoil.  I'm dealing with strangers wandering all over the place and I don't like strangers in my house.  If and when the work crews actually show up when they say they will, which they never do.

My back is giving me fits.  I've messed something up with all the packing and unpacking and furniture shoving around and my schedule is so up in the air I've not been able to indulge in my usual semi-monthly massage.

I'm trying to get a handle on the financial records of an organization I belong to and for which in a moment of insanity I agreed to take the office of treasurer.  (Today involved a trip to the bank to get that ironed out.)  I'm also treasurer for another organization and currently using my debt collection skills to pull in dues and then mailing out materials to the long distance members who have already paid.  I am secretary for yet another organization that doesn't call for quite so much work, but still creates pockets of activity when I least need it.  (Word to the wise:  Never, ever agree to hold an office in more than one organization at a time.)

I'm feeling a bit home bound these days (see above where the workers never show up when they say they will).  But, that isn't so bad, actually.  The animals are all thrilled that I'm spending so much time with them and I'm thrilled that I'm not having to spend so much time on the road commuting while the remodel drags on.

So why all the sudden fits of giggles?  I have no idea.  Sometimes I even stop and ask myself "what's so funny?"

I've been trying to figure out where it's coming from.

Maybe it's because I'm operating on a different time schedule these days, staying up a little later, sleeping a little later, eating on a different schedule.

Maybe it's because I spent the last couple of weeks re-breaking my sugar addiction and getting back on a lower carb diet.  I don't think I'm losing any weight - yet - but I can sense my body is recalibrating and I have energy again.

Outside work hours, I'm reading when I want to read, knitting when I want to knit, playing the piano when I want to play piano.  Trying to let myself go in whatever direction my mood takes me and not forcing myself to get anything in particular accomplished.

Today I watched a hummingbird flitting around the yard and took a break to fill the hummingbird feeder and put it outside the window where I'm working.  It's given me great delight to watch him come and go all afternoon.  I spent most of the day in silence - no TV, no radio - and have worked on the laptop at the dining table so I can watch my hummingbird, with the pine trees swaying in the breeze behind him.


There was a time not so long ago when I tried to remember the last time I was truly happy.  It's not that I've been unhappy, but it's been a long spell that there's been too much on my plate and no time to stop and just enjoy the moment.

Odd.  I dreaded getting started on the remodel, but I think it has had a lot of good effect.  I'm tired from the noise and dust and constant in and out of the workers, but I'm not frazzled from fighting traffic 2 hours a day.  I'm frustrated at times, but staying out of the way of the work crews gives me an excuse to sit on the couch, have a cup of tea and knit a few rows instead of arguing with myself about doing housework.  In the morning, instead of running around getting trash out to the curb, ironing work outfits, getting my briefcase packed, etc., I get to spend 30 minutes playing the piano before I sit down at the computer to work.

All this spontaneous laughter must mean that whatever I'm doing has been good for me.  I think I needed some "me time".

Or maybe I'm just going crazy.

Whatever.  I'm having a good time.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Living in a Jumbled World

Looking back at my calendar, it looks like the big remodel began on July 10th with the delivery of the new doors.  Today, September 18th, we stand about 75% complete by my best guess.

So far completed:
Exterior doors installed (front door, back door, two patio doors)
Gutters replaced all around
Decks repaired and stained
New porch lights and garage security light installed
New granite counter tops installed in the kitchen and utility room
New tile surround installed in the upstairs bath
New vanity top, sink, shower head and tub faucets installed in the upstairs bath
New light and exhaust fan installed in the upstairs bath
New ceiling fans installed in the guest room and hobby room
New upstairs hall light and stairwell sconce installed
New chandelier installed in formal dining room
Utility room, kitchen, office, formal dining room, living room, hall, stairwell, guest room, hobby room and upstairs bath repainted
Doors and trim painted

In progress:
Powder room wallpaper removed, vanity top and sink removed, door removed and pocket door framing completed
Master bath completely gutted, plumbing moved to new locations, pocket door framing completed, fiberglass shower base installed
Kitchen backsplash tile installed (waiting on grout to be complete)
Order placed for new window blinds

Still to come:
Master bath to be rebuilt, installation of shower, new toilet and sink, new tile floor and shower surround to be installed, new lighting, new exhaust fan, new counter top for vanity in dressing area
New ceiling fans in bedroom, office and living area
New hall lights, utility room light, kitchen dining area light
Removal of wallpaper and painting of master bedroom suite
Installation of new bathroom mirrors and hardware  (still desperately seeking one mirror)
Restaining of kitchen counters, stair railings, mantle and bathroom vanities

And, one of these days when my nerves and checkbook are somewhat recovered, I'll tackle new flooring in the master bedroom and living room.

Is it any wonder that I say I am hanging by a raw nerve at this point?  Boxes are still piled behind the couch and in the office (someday to be unpacked), all the furniture in the master bedroom is pulled to the center of the room to facilitate the materials to be carted in and out, the clothes I find necessary to have at hand are piled around the guest bedroom (because the closet is full of stuff that had to be moved out of the way for the painters), new lights and mirrors and bathroom hardware still to be installed are piled here and there and there is an inch thick layer of dust on everything.  I've tried a bit of cleaning here and there, but the dust is back before I can turn around good, so what's the point?

Then there are the animals.  I've moved the cat litter boxes almost daily, depending on where I can secure the cats out of the way for the day's work.  The dogs are happy as long as they can be with me (although the morning of jack-hammering had them thinking about packing their Milk Bones and heading for Uncle David's & Aunt Karen's house).  The cats are being extraordinarily good about the disruption.  I think they may even be enjoying the whole thing.  Every evening when I let them out of their daily incarceration, they roam the house sniffing and checking for what may have changed.  It took about a week before they all gave up and accepted the temporary move to the guest room, but now they all head upstairs about 9 o'clock, miaowing and barking for me to "come on".

The good news:
Everything that has been accomplished looks great and I can begin to see a teeny, tiny light at the end of the tunnel.
I should be on Lowe's Christmas card list this year.
I've learned how to make quick decisions and live with them (discard all the choices you absolutely hate and then choose from the 2 or 3 left).

The bad news:
There really isn't any, except I'm really, really tired.  But in a good way.

Really strange that I've lived in the house for 10 years and it's only now that it is beginning to feel like MY house.