Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ever So “Grate-Ful”!

Early in the week, I was getting the feeling that this Thanksgiving holiday was going to be a little different than those in previous years. The right side of my face is still dead from Bell ’s palsy, and I still have headaches and dizziness that keep me from being what I used to be. It’s amazing how illness can sap your spirit if you let it. Everything I normally do has become so hard, and it has really been grating on my nerves. Then, the day before Thanksgiving, while taking a shower I noticed two tiles in the back of the shower completely bowed out away from the wall. I had been concerned about the grout, etc., in this original shower in our 1970’s house, but we had thought that we could hold off on remodeling it until next spring sometime (well AFTER Christmas and the financial damage that is done during this season). Not so…bulging tile could only mean that water was getting behind the tile (for quite awhile, I’m afraid), causing who-only-knows what kind of damage. I had thought that this Thanksgiving was going to be different, and I was right!

However, in a strange way, those bulging tiles helped me to get back to seeing things in perspective and brought a new sense of appreciation to my week. I’m grateful for a husband who is willing to spend his precious days off dutifully working on said bathroom without complaining, and I’m glad that he has the know-how to do it (he was working construction and remodeling when I met him). That has really touched me. I’m also grateful that he’s the kind of guy who didn’t have a cow and berate me when I lost control of the cart while he was loading sheet rock at Home Depot, sending the cart scraping along the underside of the tailgate of his truck. This loss of control resulted in some pretty good scratches on the outside of his tailgate. I’m also grateful that Target sells scratch repair kits. I’m grateful that we had the means (albeit borrowed) to be able to buy the materials to make the new bathroom possible. After living without this bathroom for a few days, I’m grateful we even have it in the first place.

So now we have a new remodeling project to document. Here is what it looks like now:

I also am grateful that Alan seems to be enjoying work so much more now. After returning from Yellowstone, he returned to working at Albertson’s. Apparently, they got a new store manager while Alan was gone, and this new guy is very personable and caring towards ALL of the employees. A good manager can make all the difference, and Alan seems to be much happier in general.

I’m grateful that Molly-Anna Marie came into my life. While it is true that she is a loping, big galloot, she is also very easy-going and just a joy to be around. In the quiet times (when she is NOT pouncing and wrestling Toffee), sometimes she and I just hang out together and it is quite comforting. I sure love her.

I'm grateful for all that my Mom has done for me, especially lately. I don't know how I would have made it during this time, especially the period immediately following my first coming down with my illness. I guess you're never too old to be helped by your mother.

And of course, no post is complete without being grateful for Miss Popper. She is the most cuddly, sweet package of drooling goodness in the whole world. Here is a picture her mother snapped while their little family was out doing some “Black Friday” shopping. Miss Popper’s dad will filling the car with gas and Mandy looked in the back seat to see if Miss Popper was okay. She seems more than okay – I think she knew her parents had decided to give her the big activity set/seat (intended as a Christmas present) on that day instead of waiting until Christmas. I guess we both have lots to be grateful for!

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Room…New Alan

I am still having some issues with my health, and because of that I have been sidetracked somewhat. I totally forgot that I was going to write about the guest room/Alan’s room remodel! It was finally finished just a few days before Alan returned home (I like living on the edge), and I must say that it turned out okay.

As a refresher, here is the “Bordello of Blood” room that was left behind when Alan went to Yellowstone:

Here is the new room. I did a lot of purging and sorting and whittling down on things in that room. When it became a more manageable volume, I was able to put some of the things that Alan really likes on his bookshelf, along with some new organizing stuff from the Container Store:

I then replaced the cheap plastic knobs on this chest of drawers with some cheap brushed nickel knobs from Lowe’s:

I moved this cabinet from another room and hid his television and a whole bunch of video games in it:

His new bed is soft and comfy (and notice, no more blood bordello!):

Alan came home to a new room, and we got a new Alan. He has lost a lot of weight and seems to have a lot more confidence. He is also an uncle now, and he seems to think that Paisley is pretty neat. He often asks, “Have we heard from Mandy today?”

“Yeah, she called a little while ago,” I’ll say.

This is ALWAYS followed by, “How’s Paisley doin’?”

Here’s a picture of Uncle Alan with Paisley:

I think they are both as cute as can be! (That is totally unbiased, of course!)