Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Our House is a Very, Very Fine House

As the workmen are busy on the outside of the house, I'm working on the inside. The painting is complete, except for the ceilings, which I'll tackle after everything else is finished and the weather is too cold to spend time outside. For now, I'm working on the window sills and trim, which are in horrible condition from years of neglect and abuse. I took these photos to remind myself just how bad they look! I sanded half the trim and sill so it's easy to see the difference. Soon they will look as nice as the new windows that are going in a few weeks from now. Bye-bye, old, rattly, windows! Hello new, energy-efficient, wooden windows.

The last photo is of our new dining room rug. The cats aren't quite sure what to make of it. The spent a good deal of time sniffing it when it first arrived and have slept on it a lot, trying to make it "theirs" no doubt. Maybe there were cats in the home where the rug used to live? Cats sure do have a good sense of smell. Gomer couldn't resist getting his nose into the photo!

Friday, September 25, 2009


No I'm not stuttering.

Most things in life are cyclical, from the seasons to the days to our moods and so forth, and I really do try to accept and enjoy the nature of things. One aspect of my life that I don't enjoy being cyclical is my health. Right now I'm on the upswing: it feels great. The Prednisone I took last month worked wonders (I *heart* that drug) and I was able to breathe much more easily. I was able to go from being a listless couch potato with no energy back to my spunky self.

I love rehabbing! It's so encouraging to be able to add more minutes on to the treadmill each week, or an extra set of reps with the weights. It doesn't happen overnight but any improvement is always a good feeling. This week I'm up to 35 minutes on the 'mill with 18 of that at a 3% incline. My goal is to be back to 30 minutes of incline, which will probably take 2-3 more weeks. It's so nice to feel energized after exercising, rather than feeling like I need to lie down and take a nap. Isn't that how exercise is supposed to be?

When I told Joe I am up to 18 minutes he said, "soon you'll be back up to 30", to which I replied, "yeah, then I'll get sick and have to start all over again".

Unfortunately, that's true. I'm not one to dwell on the bad stuff and I don't often think about getting sick, but I do admit to dreading the "next time". It's so discouraging to lose stamina and strength after working so hard to regain it, in addition to feeling sick. Ah, this is the fate of a cystic, I suppose. A cystic cycle. ( I sense a clever play on words here, but can't quite get it to work out. Paul?)

So I rehab. And get sick. And re-rehab. And get sick again. Then re-re-rehab. And so the cycle continues. That's life. For now I'm going to enjoy the upswing of and hope I get to stay at the top of the Ferris wheel for a long while. The view from up there is amazing!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

More Progress

The work continues. The entire house is stripped of shingles and wrapped, except for the front and back dormers. It's very noisy here during the day with all the banging, creaking of the house, the compressor, and music from the workers' radio. I don't mind so much because I know things will look so much better once they are finished and I enjoy seeing the progress each day.

On the interior, I've finished painting the spare bedroom and the bathroom. I'll take a little break before doing the computer room since I feel the onset of tendinitis in my right arm. No sense in aggravating that!

Once the new windows go in I'll need to stain and urethane them, as well as refinishing the sills, which are in bad condition from water damage they sustained before we moved in (17 years ago?????) It's going to feel like a new house when we are finished! The ultimate repurposing project.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday is Laundry Day

Monday is laundry day in our household. Millie finds laundry to be exhausting.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Before and During

I love taking before, during and after photos whenever we have work done on the house so years later I can look back and remind myself of how things looked. This is going to be a rewarding project as it is one everyone will see: the entire outside of the house.

The first photo is of the house before any of the construction started; the paint is peeling off the shingles, which are in bad shape. The workers are going through the laborious process of removing each shingle, wrapping the side of the house as they complete it, and once that is done, they will nail individual shingles (already painted with 3 coats of paint! yay!) in place. So far the back of the house and the 2 sides have been stripped and wrapped with only the front to go. Needless to say, it's pretty noisy during the day. They will also be building a small deck to the right of the 3-season porch on the back of the house where we can keep the grill.

The interior photo below is of the spare bedroom, which had been cream is getting a new color. I finished painting it yesterday and will start in on the downstairs bathroom next: stripping the wallpaper and hopefully priming the walls today. One room done and 2 to go!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Little Miss Millie

The kittens have been a bit out of sorts with all the chaos around the house lately, though they seem to be able to make the best of it. For example: Millie discovered this plant basket I was storing on the porch (without the plant) and decided it made a wonderful bed. Up high, safe, and with a nice view. She settled in for a good long nap in the afternoon. What a disappointment it will be for her when the house is put back together and the basket once again has a plant in it!

Friday, September 18, 2009


For me, fall is a time of doing things inside the house, partly in response to having a bit more time on my hands, and also in preparation for the winter months and spending more time indoors. Nesting behavior, if you will.

The dining room is finished, save for the new rug; the table is re-done and a fresh coat of paint is on the walls. The new windows haven't gone in yet, so I'll refinish the trim after that part of the project is completed.

With the dining room looking so fresh and spiffy the hallway looks extra-dingy. Ok, same color and I have some left over, I'll put up a fresh coat of paint in there too. Hm.... the guest bedroom would look much better in a different color and the "office" needs a spruce-up... Off to the home dec store to pick up 2 more gallons of Benjamin Moore. I'll tackle the 2 rooms over the weekend, but for now I'll bask in the glory of having finished the dining room. It's a race to see if the carpenters finish putting on the new shingles on the exterior of the house, or I finish painting the inside. My money is on the carpenters.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Colored Glasses

It's amazing how some days nothing seems to faze us and we can fly through the day letting things roll off our backs. On other days everything seems to go wrong. Is it how the stars are aligned? Cosmic karma? Luck?

I don't have the answer but I do believe that our moods greatly influence our interpretations of the events during our day. The expression "wearing rose colored glasses" comes to mind for people who don't want to acknowledge the darker side of life, so why not consider the opposite? Wearing dark glasses.

Some days, for whatever reason, we put on our rose colored glasses. Little things don't bother us and we can take the bigger stuff with a grain of salt. Our perspective is good; the bigger picture is easy to see and small events are recognized for what they are: small events. Other days we don our dark glasses: little issues irritate us and it feels like the whole world is out to get us. Things don't have their usual flow and we feel out of sorts. It's easy to take things more personally, whereas if we had been wearing our other glasses it might be easier to see that some days shit just happens. It's not all about us.

In a perfect world we'd all have bifocals, or maybe one lens of each, for balance. But as it is we have to settle for being aware that some days we're wearing our rose-colored glasses and some days we have on our dark ones and that the events in our day don't change; it's our perspective that does.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Girls

A year ago today Millie and Gracie (in that order) entered into the world, assisted by their foster-mom, Joyce. Millie was first and her feline mom, a stray named Chelsea, wasn't quite sure what to do. Joyce to the rescue! She removed the amniotic sac and - voila!- Millie was born. As a tiny kitten she was always a bit slower than the rest of her litter-mates, but she's just as clever as any other cat now. A bit more hesitant and timid, but no less intelligent.

Millie is the first one to greet us in the mornings and as soon as she hears us stirring she hops up on to the bed for her attention. She's a skilled mouser and has brought up several trophies from the basement in the past couple weeks. Hopefully her presence will deter any more rodents from setting up shop down there. After all that hunting she must be a bit tired; she has decided to spend her birthday lounging on the 3 season porch in the sun. Aaah, the life!

Gracie, on the other hand, is the more outgoing of the two. She loves to play with toys and asks us to throw bouncy balls for her, which she delights in chasing. She'll play fetch with yarn balls, depending upon her mood, and will bring them back to be tossed again. She loves sitting on my lap when I do my treatments and is a good sport about getting her claws clipped. She is taking some extra time to pamper herself with a good bath on her birthday.

Happy Birthday Millie and Gracie, and may you have many more happy, healthy ones.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Bad Cystic

We returned last night from 4 days at Joe's sister's house and oh boy is it good to be home! I don't think my own bed has ever felt so nice. It was a fun-packed, fast-paced good time, although exhausting. We saw 2 concerts, ate out at Reids, Fat Bob's Smokehouse, The Basket Factory, the concession stand at the concert venue, and my personal favorite: Cold Stone Creamery. My sister-in-law and brother in law are wonderful hosts; we had a delicious meal on the night of our arrival and they cheerfully put up with a house full of people despite the chaos.

One of my biggest flaws is not being able to keep up with my treatments when I'm out of my environment. I'm not perfect at home, but am extremely compliant- rarely missing a neb or vest session, dutifully taking supplements, enzymes and exercise on a daily basis. Somehow when I leave home I morph into this non-compliant person who thinks nothing of abusing her body for days at a time. True Confession Time: I didn't do one neb or vest treatment while we were gone. Bad, bad cystic.

Part of it is that I forgot my vest. Doh! I packed the machine, tubing and cord but left the jacket hanging on the back of my chair, which made the rest of the equipment pretty much useless. I did bring my nebs and compressor, but rationalized that while I was skipping my vest I might as well be really bad and skip the nebs, too. Yes, I'm well aware this is downright stupid. I know better. I also know it's going to take me a week or 2 to get back on track after this little holiday from reality.

I'm aware that when I'm on vacation I'm not as good about doing treatments and always vow that "next time" I'm going to be better about it. I suppose that as compliant as I am, there are times I need to take a break from reality and pretend to be a "normal" person, if only for the purpose of realizing that no matter how much I pretend, it'll never be the case. I'll skip treatments and then feel terrible for a number of days, all the while thinking: this was NOT worth it!

I know what I need to maintain my level of functioning: a solid 8 hours of sleep with the Bi-Pap, 2 full vest treatments a day with nebs, frequent, healthy meals -lots of fruits and veggies, plus at least 45 minutes of exercise. Time consuming? Yes. Pain in the ass? Yes. Impossible to do on vacation? No. A challenge, definitely, but nothing that isn't within my reach.

Memo to myself as I work to undo the hopefully-not-permanent damage done while away: no more vacations from reality- the price is too high. Sometimes I really piss myself off.