Sunday, November 22, 2015

Boxes Again

It's been one of those things-have-got-to-get-worse-before-they-can-get-better kind of weekends.

OK - worse is probably a bad word for it.  How about messier?

We started Saturday by cleaning out my car's spot in the garage. The spot has been filled by the detritus from various and assorted projects since last spring. You know how it goes; you put something there just for right now, until you figure out a spot for it. Then, the something starts breeding. Next time you go out there, a box has grown next to it, then a pile of lumber. Add some spare parts and a pile of recycling or two, and the next thing you know, you can't even walk into the space, let alone park a car in there. But winter's coming and it was high time, so we tackled the piles and got the space cleared out.

Next, we needed to start on the things we've been storing in the neighbor's garage. (the breeding process there has been slower, but we've definitely been encroaching upon their space and need to get out of there.) To get our stuff out of their garage, I needed to have room for it in my house. Now the cabinets are almost done, I knew I could clear the rest of the kitchen boxes out of the porch/storage unit. While I was getting those boxes, I figured I should get the rest of the stuff I'd been ignoring out there while things were under construction.

I had more boxes out there than I realized.


But we persevered until the pile had been transferred into the main house. Now, I 'just' need to empty boxes. Again. Given that I haven't seen the things in these boxes for four years, I think a lot of it will just move right on out the door without passing Go. On the other hand, just looking at the labels, I know I'll find some lost treasures - the picture albums, my Nativity set (just in time for the holidays!), a picture I bought in Honduras.

Since I had more stuff in the porch than I'd realized, at least there's plenty of room out there for the furniture that's in the neighbor's garage. It's mostly chairs.  I didn't know I had a thing for chairs until it came time to move - and I moved over 20 chairs from the old house to storage and then to this one. Yes, I know I don't need all those chairs, but for some odd reason, I'm finding it hard to let them go. They can stay out there until Joe moves out and frees up the rest of the space for use as a room instead of storage. Then, they'll have to go. Period. I just hope the stuff from the garage fills the available space. We KNOW what will happen if there's room leftover out there...

This downsizing stuff is a little harder than I'd thought.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Now That's Done...

I went back up to Minnesota this week to help Kate through her latest, and we hope, her last surgery for a long, long, long while.

All went well; the surgery for the final implants is less of an insult to the body; the damage has already been done. As far as her body is concerned, the additional damage amounted to two deep cuts.

She fell in love with the anesthesiologist; plans to send him a declaration of her undying devotion. You see, he listened to her; tried a new combination of drugs - and she came out of the operating room not at all nauseous. A welcome and major change from her first surgery last February.

As we had before, we went down the day before surgery for her pre-op appointments. We were done there by two, so had a marvelous late lunch and indulged in some retail therapy to distract ourselves. Kate hit the wall just after we got to the hotel to check in; she's been fighting what she calls the Great Fatigue of 2015 for the past few weeks. (Sleeping twelve hours at night and another three during the afternoon. It seemed a bit extreme, so she went in for bloodwork last week. All came back as good, so we decided it was her body's way of healing.) Since she was so tired, instead of going out to dinner, we stayed at the hotel and enjoyed their complimentary soup for dinner.  It was canned minestrone, but we weren't complaining. It was hot.

About halfway through dinner, winter decided to make an appearance. The temperature dropped from the upper fifties to the upper thirties in just a few minutes, accompanied by strong winds and cold rain. At that point, the soup tasted a whole lot better - the fact I was there eating it meant I didn't have to face the storm.

The rain had abated by morning, but the wind was still fierce. Hers was the second surgery of the day; we didn't have to be to the hospital until 8, which gave us time for coffee on the way in. (They let her have black coffee the morning of the surgery. I didn't get coffee on surgery days - not fair!) The routine was familiar - check in, wait for a couple of hours, they take her away, wait for more hours, she comes back.all groggy and sore.

Only this time, there were no tubes, there was no sense of loss. In its place was a sense of completion. This surgery is the last piece of her active treatment; she's more than ready to close out this chapter of her life. Now, finally, she can finish healing and move on.


Thursday, November 5, 2015


After I got back from Minneapolis, I set myself in a race against winter; I wanted my cabinets built before the weather changed. The fumes from the finish I've been using for the interior of the cabinets are lung-searing; the lacquer best applied outdoors. (I use it because it dries quickly, doesn't require sanding, soaks into the wood to protect it and is water resistant.)

I made good progress at first - having all my afternoons free helped a LOT; a benefit of the way I'd structured my job search process. But then I found work. In most ways this is a good thing, definitely eases worries about paying the bills, but it cuts deeply into available project work time. Especially when you take a week out to go to Montreal.

My long and easy afternoons were immediately compressed into the hour(s) of daylight left after returning home from work. Each evening, I'd change as soon as I came home and work until dark. Days shorten quickly during October - and once daylight savings time goes to sleep for the year, there is no such thing as daylight after work. The weather is also subject to change without notice from balmy to 40s-and-rain; too cold for finishes and glue to set properly. Which meant I needed to finish what I was going to finish before Halloween.

To be honest, I didn't think I'd make it. It's been several years since I exercised my woodworking skills. My steps stuttered; progress was slow. But I kept at it, and as is the way of such things, I looked around one day last week to realize that I was almost done. Done enough anyways - painting can be done indoors, and I don't really NEED cabinet doors right away, now do I?

Last weekend, Joe and I hauled the cabinets in, and got them installed - it went quickly; my measurements had been close enough; only a small amount of shoehorning was required to get them to slide into place. (**whew** big sigh of relief!)

The countertop people stopped by this morning. (They won't come out until the cabinets are set, and insist on taking all the measurements themselves. You supposed they were burned at some point?) She said I should have them installed within the month.  ?!?!!