Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I am a cartoon....

I had been doing so well: A few weeks ago, I exercised every day, saw some weight go down. I felt great.

On a Tuesday morning I was leaving for work, the kids wanted to wave goodbye so I opened the blinds on the front window. Their cute little faces peering out, I took a step and thought, "life is pretty good." Unfortunately, I put my foot down on a patch of ice and slipped so that both feet flew out in front of me and I slammed against the concrete steps, then bounced to the sidewalk. I must have looked like a cartoon.

Everyone asked me later if time slowed down for me--nope, it was lightning fast until the moment I landed and could not stand up for several minutes while I waited for my body to stop feeling jarred from the direct hit my spine took. I am certain that parts of me went "SPROINNNNNNG" and those parts are not meant to sproing, under any circumstances.

As I sat there, in the cold, trying to breathe, I could only think, "Gosh, I hope the kids aren't scared or freaking out.'

And inside the house this is what happened.

My eight year old daughter calmly walked to the kitchen (which overlooks the backyard only) and said, "Daddy. Mommy fell down." Then she walked away.

My husband called after her, "Did she get up?"

Angie strolls back, "Huh?"

"Did she get up?"

Angie replied thoughtfully, "I'll go check." And wanders back to the living room.

She returns and casually says, "No. She's still on the ground."

At which point my husband races past her, flings the front door open, and starts to slip on the same patch of ice that brought me down. Fortunately, he catches himself or we would have had a pile of parents outside, in the cold, at the foot of the steps, and two kids alone inside.

At least Angie maintains her composure in the face of actual adversity.

For a few days afterwards, various parts of my body were in excruciating pain, from which I gather my nervous system was sending mayday signals randomly. And I learned that when you hit your spine, acetaminophen is too wimpy to handle the pain. I am okay. I had a mildly scary 24 hours in which my doctor thought I had fractured my spine and would need cement injected into the vertebrae. Fortunately, it's just a bad bruise.

The down side is that the gains I had been making stopped completely because I did not feel up to exercising. My doctor said that I could expect to be in a lot of pain for at least six weeks. Two weeks later, I'm managing a few sit ups, but I'm hesitant to yoga at the moment. If I'm really lucky, and Kian wakes from his nap soon, maybe we'll go to the gym. Maybe not.

I like cartoons, but I would really prefer not to be one!

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Saturday, February 05, 2011

Hopeful house plans

We had a frenzy of cleaning in our home today as we expected our realtor, Sandy--who helped us purchase this home a year + ago, to arrive at 11:00 a.m.-ish to see what we have "done with the place." Well Sandy never appeared, no problem because now we are enjoying our clean uncluttered house. I had mentioned at Hooked on Houses that I felt we had done not nearly enough since we moved in September 2010. Our to do list is much bigger than our done and to get myself back in the groove of posting, I thought I'd share our done and to-do dreams.


1. Electrical work in the kitchen and bathroom. The previous home owner had put too many things on one [insert electrician terminology here]. Can't remember what it was called, but on one of the first mornings we were here, I started some toast in the toaster, stepped away for a moment, then returned to find flames shooting out of my toaster.
2. Corian countertops in the kitchen with built-in sink and nice shiny new sink fixtures complete.
3. Fixed the garbage disposal as it was apparently originally hung with a few wires and some hope.
4. Plumbing in the kitchen, the main line for the house and major plumbing in the upstairs bathroom.
5. Painted the master bedroom and ripped out the horrible carpeting to reveal very nice wood floor beneath.
6. Ripped down the wallpaper in the bathroom, installed new drywall, bath surround, fixtures and bead board, which we then painted along with the walls.
7. Installed a new vanity and fixtures for the sink in the bathroom.
8. Installed a new handrail and painted the stairs leading to the garage.
9. Removed above ground pool from backyard.

Not bad for a year plus, including six months of me being sick.

Our to do list is, of course, much longer. I'm sure that we will finish some things only to add more to the list.

To do:

First floor: Refinish the floors running through the living room, dining room, hallway, master bedroom and linen closet. Purchase new doors and door knobs for every room and the main closet. Replace all the trim around the floor and the doors.
Living room: Paint.
Dining room: Paint. Remove the counter cabinet between the kitchen and the dining room. Remove ceiling fan (which is too fast for over the dining room table unless we want to simulate eating in a windstorm) and find a replacement light fixture.
Bathroom: Cut, paint and install the last bits of trim for the bead board. Install and paint new drywall on the ceiling. Replace commode (which seems to be original)
Linen closet: Paint. Find a light fixture with a switch on it or rewire for a wall switch.
Angie's room: Paint (Most likely a pink and/or robin's egg blue). Rearrange to fit a double bed (formerly the crib) and give her toddler to twin (thank you so much Ikea) to Kian. Would love to figure out if her closet can be expanded.
Kian's room: Paint (currently green has been requested). Rearrange to fit the toddler to twin bed. Install a rack for his bathrobe etc.
Master bedroom: Finish ripping out the built-in desk. Refinish that area with board and batten and move my dresser into that alcove.

Basement: Install banister leading from garage to basement.
Long room: Install new ceiling and flooring. Figure out the heating situation. Finish putting things away and otherwise tidying.
t.v. room: Install new flooring. Maybe paint. Add actual door between workshop and t.v. room
Laundry room: Paint. I would love a stackable washer and dryer so that we could add a small cabinet with a countertop for folding and a place to put the soaps and so forth. Install new flooring.
Basement bathroom: Paint. Install new flooring. Install new sink and fixtures--perhaps a wall mount with built-in towel bar. Improve the shower (which is currently cement block with exposed pipes).


Front yard: Get rid of the wheelbarrow with flowers in the front yard and replace with a stone or brick circular flower bed. Replace the wood retaining wall in the front flower bed with a stone or brick one. Obtain bench for front porch.

Back yard: Install square foot garden where pool used to stand. Lay stones between the garden sections. Remove the gigantic tree stump.

I count roughly 42 items on the to do list to get this house back into shape. For this next year, I would really love to finish the bathroom, the floors on the first floor and the trim. I'm hopeful that we will have a couple square foot garden beds set up this year. We were very lucky with the tomato plants we had at the side of the house and the back shed. The pepper plants were less than productive. I think the change for Angie and Kian will happen no matter even if nothing else does. They just keep getting bigger.

As lengthy as this list is, Chas and I have some major hopes for a big remodel in about five to seven years, so these are just the "simple" projects. Someday perhaps I will share our big, pie-in-the-sky renovation dreams.

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