It seems my mantra for the past several months has been "I'm getting a little better each day." Granted, it's a load of horse-poop, but my theory is if I keep saying it, eventually I'll believe it and it will become reality.
Healing doesn't come by leaps and bounds. It comes by degrees. And there are all sorts of setbacks and roadblocks along the way. For example: the six small incisions (three on each side of my abdomen) have healed. They are not pretty by any means, but they are a nice dark grey/brown color and were smooth to the touch. Note the "were" in that last sentence. About two weeks ago, I noticed bumps on two of the scars. I figured they were calcified stitches working their way up and they'd erupt, I'd pull them out, and I'd be done with it. This process usually takes 2-3 days. It has been nearly two weeks. Instead of coming on out, the stitches seem to come nearly to the surface - enough to irritate the scar tissue layer into making a scab - then, when the scab comes off (or when I tear it off in frustration) the stitch slips back down inside where I cannot get to it without doing myself serious harm. This cycle has repeated itself roughly 4 times. In three separate spots (two on one incision, one on another.) It is annoying to say the least. And somewhat frightening when I rake what is left of my nail across it in my sleep and awaken to spots of blood on my fingers and sheets.
Hmm. Noticed that "what is left of my nail" did you? Yes, my nails continue to do odd things like shed entire layers in the shower and break off whenever a bit of growth manages to happen. Even Sally Hansen Tough-As-Nails is unable to stop these changes, and it has always worked for me in the past.
I'd be downright depressed about the strange things happening to my body if I weren't so thrilled that I'm not bleeding -at all- anymore.
The hot flashes continue with no discernible pattern to their appearance. Morning, evening, middle of the night, while active, while sitting, while sleeping, even once in the midst of a shower. I thought the hot water heater had gone into overdrive. No, it was just me. They are not causing an excessive disruption to my lifestyle, so I continue to opt out of hormone replacement.
Occasionally the mood swings hit me hard and fast - but I'll shed some tears or rant and rave and then I'll be fine again.
I'm finally feeling physically well enough to get back into household projects. This makes my OCD quite happy, because not only do I get to organize the crud out of everything, I also get to make lists. Oh, lists. Lists of supplies that we need. Lists of things to do. Lists of things to do broken down into daily to-do lists and weekly to-do lists. Handwritten lists, typed lists, I think the only think I don't have a list of is all of my lists... though that might happen before the end of all of these projects.
Let me explain what we are working on, as it sort of has a cascade effect that is interesting. First, when I came home from university, ill, we simply stacked the totes containing my school things in the living room. We had no idea at that point that I would not be returning anytime soon. Plus, the office area is already overrun with books and files and other totes of "things"... and the 2nd bedroom is overrun with odd bits of furniture and more totes of "things"... oh and lots more books. Did I mention all the books? There are many. Last time I checked, we had nearly 15,000. These are crammed onto many, many bookshelves with barely any walking space in the "office" room. And on more bookshelves in the 2nd bedroom. In fact, that bedroom no longer holds a bed because the space is overrun. So, there are totes in the office, the 2nd bedroom and now the living room. Oh and more shelves and books in the living room - along with let's see... a fish tank (sans fish, RIP Salem), roughly 7 totes full of VHS tapes and DVDs, several cans of paint, my computer desk (an old teacher's desk - it's huge!) a coffee table, a 3' square table, a small altar table and a clothes rack.
So, the ongoing project has been to clear out the living room - but I've been unable to stretch up to the upper shelves nor have I been able to move the heavy totes around, so it's been slow going. Progress has been made, however.
Introducing: Mousus interruptus. An influx of adorable little field mice who, in the course of 2 weeks, managed to destroy all boxed and bagged foodstuff in the pantry along with soiling every pot and pan in the lower cabinets - put the living room project on hold in favor of an emergency kitchen cleaning and mouse round-up. (The huntress chihuahua, Morgana LeFay, has been taking care of the last few mice for us.) Thus, the kitchen began to be organized before the living room was quite finished. But in the process of mouse invasion, the dogs managed to destroy the air conditioner return - which was poorly positioned anyway... and now a lead project is the moving and replacement of the return and the subsequent patching of the 2' hole that will be left after it is moved. Also on that wall is a glass-doored cabinet... at upper kitchen cabinet height... looking very strange all alone over there.
So, the project for tomorrow (Sunday) is: Take down the glass front cabinet, install the new air return, remove the old air return and patch the wall, remove the joining strips that are between the wall panels, repair any damage to the wall, wash the wall, tape and mud the joints and corners and prime for painting.
We digressed in planning for a moment here, while debating about a new home for the cabinet. It is a nice piece, just badly placed. We tossed around putting it in the master bathroom - and we most likely will do that eventually, but rather than piling -another- room onto our plate at this point, we opted to simply store the cabinet, for now, in the shed.
Then, Monday while Peter is at work, I will paint the wall. When he returns home, we will install the hangtrack, standards and shelves and move the sparkling clean dishes, pots and pans and secure pantry items to their new mouse-proof home. This will free up the counter that is now stacked with clean dishes, allowing us to wash the remainder of the dirty dishes and have a clean kitchen once more.
Tuesday and Wednesday I will attack the living room with a vengeance, ending with absolutely everything moved out out out of there, even if it means stacking everything in the last available bit of room in the 2nd bedroom. Why?
Because on Thursday, I am cleaning the floor, repairing any damage to the floor and walls, and prepping everything for Friday.
And on Friday I will be priming the floor (it is exposed OSB at the moment, and that is a disaster with dogs!) so that...
On Saturday I can paint the walls and floor.
Sunday, we will reset the living room - partially -
And Monday I will take a little break. I will only be cleaning the guest bathroom and doing a little repair work on one of the walls and some trim painting in there.
But Tuesday we'll be back at it because I'm attacking the Master Bedroom - clearing out the nightstands and around the nightstands and moving them (temporarily) into the living room.
Wednesday the dresser will join the nightstands along with all the remaining clothes in the closet - which will then be cleaned and any damage repaired.
Thursday the rest of the bedroom will be cleared out (into the living room) so that on
Friday I can rip out the carpet (while Peter is at work) - when he gets home he's going to help me pull up the edge staples they used to excess when installing the crappy carpeting... then I will tape and mud the walls and do any other needed repairs.
Saturday the walls and floor of the Master bedroom will be primed
Sunday, we paint
Monday will be another light day - I'm going to finally pull the refrigerator out and clean under and around it.
Tuesday, the deep freezer gets emptied, if possible, and I'll finally thaw those rabbit hides I've been meaning to tan.
Wednesday starts the tanning process, which will be a little labor intensive for the first day. and I'll be designing a cabinet to go beneath the washer and dryer (which are currently a stacked unit, but soon will be side-by-side on their new, spiffy cabinet-to-be.
Thursday I'll actually move the freezer (which is currently beside the washer/dryer) and build the cabinet. I'll also slap on a coat of primer for good measure.
Friday it's time to move the washer/dryer out of the space, jump back into taping and mudding and repairing walls and painting the cabinet. I'm shooting for having the walls in this space primed by the end of the day.
That way I can paint on Saturday, install the cabinet, unstack the washer and dryer and put them in their new home.
Sunday I'll be back in the guest bathroom with my primer.
Monday, the guest bathroom gets a new coat of paint.
And that brings us to August 15th, when my books for school should arrive... so I'll have until the 29th to get a jumpstart on the reading... and we will have one wall of the kitchen, the entryway/foyer/laundry area, living room, master bedroom and guest bathroom all painted and finished. That will leave us with the cleaning and clearing and painting and finishing of the office room and the 2nd bedroom and the master bathroom. Those will have to wait until I am out of school.
Oh, the colors? They are quite spectacular! The kitchen and attached laundry area will be a lovely Canary Yellow. The living room gets a tan-side-of-light-adobe color. In between the kitchen and living room I'll be painting faux columns and an overhead beam in a greyish lavender that will resemble stone once I'm done playing with it. The guest bathroom (off the living room) will be a spring green. The master bedroom will be a light purple shade. We're plotting a blue shade for the 2nd bedroom and a slightly different blue for the master bathroom. The office will become a cozy library with a burgundy red paint and heavy hunter green drapes.
As we do not watch television, the living room will end up housing a comfy chair, a bench seat and coffee table along with our two desks and computers. Floating shelves on one wall will hold whatever remains of our movie collection once we've brutally gone through it. The bench will be built around three of the dog crates, one more will tuck under a side table and the remaining two will go under the dining table in the kitchen. Every puppy will have their own space - and there will be plenty of room for running about.
I'm going to experiment with the master bedroom layout - trying a stacked arrangement with the nightstands and dresser to form a headboard for the bed. With luck that will work out and we'll be able to maximize our storage space.
When we get around to remodeling the master bathroom, I'll be opening a doorway from there into the master closet and closing off the closet doorway into the bedroom. That will allow us to utilize the space more efficiently. I'll also be adding a laundry pass through from the master closet into an existing cabinet in the laundry area.
Eventually, we'll be laying vinyl flooring in the master bedroom and living room, and replacing the vinyl flooring in the bathrooms and kitchen. With little puppies that tend to have accidents, vinyl is the best option for us. It won't help resale value - but we don't intend to sell, so that's fine with us.
In my dreams, I see the addition of a backyard deck - as we enter the house through the back (kitchen) door, this would be a nice feature. I'm sure the puppies would like to sun themselves without having to tickle their tummies on the grass.
Then there's the property perimeter fence to finish - it's only halfway done at the moment. And clearing the north pasture - which has once again been overgrown by a spontaneous pine forest. And planting the fruit trees. And reworking the chicken coop. And preparing a new garden spot - since my old one is now home to giant bamboo. And cleaning out the bulb and herb garden.
And then there are the two sheds to be tackled. Once the small (movable) one is cleaned out, it goes to my brother. The large one needs to be cleaned out, repainted and the door repaired - then shelves need to be installed and everything needs to be organized... and workspace added for Peter's tools and our gardening things.
And we need to tear down the old shed - the first structure we built when we bought this property almost ten years ago.
It's a never-ending list. And I love it. And I know that we will at least stick to it through this week because we've promised ourselves that after the kitchen wall and the living room are done, we get to go out for a nice dinner as a reward!
So, that's one of my lists and some of my current projects. With luck, I'll be posting later in the week about how everything is going along better than planned. Hey, it could happen.