shadesofmauve: (Bob the Builder)
Monday morning when I got up my arms, and then my whole body, started shaking and twitching involuntarily. This happened spring of 2016, too, right after I upped a med dose. That time I guessed/assumed it was a reaction to the drug dose being raised, talked to the specialist who'd prescribed it, and weaned it out of my regiment, which worked. It took weeks of shaking before whatever-it-was cleared my system. Fun times.

This time I hadn't really changed anything in my drug regimen recently, so I called my general practitioner, who made me a very last minute appointment after I told the nurse that no, I was NOT going to call 911 for something that had already happened once and notably failed to kill me. I'm very glad I went to see him, because it turns out it's serotonin syndrome which, er, can kill people. Oops. Makes me feel a bit bad for being so flip, but here I am, still not dead, so that's cool.

The trick is that I'm not 'reacting' to any particular drug; the anti-depressant plus the drug cocktail I'm on to try to control the auto-immune itching results in raised -- and at this point toxic -- serotonin levels. At the doc's office I had a high-for-me blood pressure and pulse, a fever so slight I hadn't noticed it, and dilated pupils. I suspect I should be grateful my basis level BP and heart rate are low; there's room for a big surge without it being dangerous.

Anyway, I have entirely cut out an OTC antihistamine that's the only thing new in the last month, cut the anti-sad drug by a third, and am titrating down on one of the anti-histamines-that-is-also-an-anti-depressant. Of course, that means i'm just waiting for the moment when I itch all over again. So far it's not too bad, though -- we discussed it, and while gabapentin might be contributing to the serotonin syndrome, I'm staying on that one for now. It's done the most to control the itching (which suggests neural rather than allergic response, fun times).

I quite enjoyed staying at home yesterday, but I'm really tired of being a chemistry experiment.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
When we talk about working to stop oppression, lots of people get tied up questions of personal responsibility and blame and defensiveness. There are lots of great essays about that, but having to go over it every time is distracting, so I want to look at it practically, instead.

Look.

A black person cannot have a "useful conversation" with a white supremacist because that white supremacist has already decided that they have no value and thus won't listen to anything they say. The only person the white supremacist might listen to is other white people, because those are the only people whom they value.

A woman cannot change the mind of a die-hard sexist because the die-hard sexist has already decided that her words have no merit based on her gender. The people with the best chance of dismantling that sexism are men, because the die-hard sexist values what they say.

The transgender person can't change the mind of the entrenched transphobe because the entrenched transphobe has already decided they're a freak and everything they say is warped or suspect. They only value the words of cisgender people.

Dismantling white supremacy is white people's work, because we're the only ones who can do it.
Dismantling sexism is men's work, because they're the only ones that can do it.
Dismantling anti-semitism is goyim work, because we're the only ones that can do it.
Dismantling homophobia is straight people's work, because we're the only ones that can do it.

I want to acknowledge that people in an oppressed group *can* impact people who have unconcious bias -- they do tons of that work all the time. It's the die-hard/entrenched/actively-out-to-get-you people who BY DEFINITION won't listen to those they oppress. I need to figure out how to do that acknowledgement without lessening the power of the statement. On the other end of the scale, I truly think that when you have someone like the nazi fuckheads marching in Charlottesville, there is no such thing as a 'useful conversation' with them. There is a useful reaction, though -- like the family who disowned their nazi son, the people who's words these assholes actually value need to say "Fuck you" and turn their backs on them. It's still white people's work, I just don't think we get there through a heart-to-heart over the dinnertable, because the enemy is too far gone.

I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate that nuance -- the idea that there are hugely different levels of racism/sexism/homophia/antisemitism etc etc etc -- without losing the power of the message. 

Gotta think on that one.

shadesofmauve: (Default)
I didn't get the job at Ecology -- no surprise, after this long without hearing from them, but it was nice to at least get a bit of closure. Now I have to figure out my next steps, in an area where the problem seems to be the job market rather than me. And, okay, the other 'problem' is that I'd like more money than I'm currently making if I have to work more hours. Lots of people'd be willing to employ me full time (6 more hours per week) for slightly less money than I make now. And of course the hell of it is that maybe that's a good idea if I could use it as a stepping stone, but that's a large gamble, and I'm not good at 'stepping stone' jobs -- I've been in this one ten years. I'm afraid I'm a creature of inertia.

It does make me think of work/life balance, and how really, I'd be happiest working a half-time job and filling the rest of the time with freelance design, art, and music (personal improvement, but also giving lessons). I just can't quite figure how to make the first bit -- the part time bit -- work, since it'd have to include healthcare and preferably the mortgage. Hmph.

I have a few portfolio/resume improvement ideas, I just need to figure out which of them are worthwhile and point me in the right direction. I can call the boss of the job I just failed to get and ask for an informational interview, which might give me a better idea of what I need to bone up on. 
shadesofmauve: (Garden)
I made a list on LJ in August of 2016 of things that needed to get done on the house. I went back to it so I could see progress, and hey, there IS progress! Whoohoo! Maybe it'll help me plan my weekend.

Fake Paver Driveway / Patio
All steps gloriously finished! I sometimes practice my fiddle out there.


Other Yarden things
  • Retaining wall: Currently being built by my friend Tom!
  • take down cherry & willow trees (requires dad's help or $$$ to hire someone)
  • limb up / clean up maple ($$$$ to hire arborist)
  • redo back path with fence-board border & sheet mulch
  • Extend back path
  • Finish edging existing south bed with fence boards
  • continue sheet mulching back yard (made progress, nowhere near finished)
Once the wall is done, it'll be time for garden soil and raised beds and planning. Fun stuff. I can't hire an arborist or other help until I'm done paying for the retaining wall. It's more expensive than expected (of course) and I may well be broke after.

Exterior House things
  • install ridge vent  or other vents ($$$, dad's help)
  • exterior trim for new windows ($$$ for material)
  • siding patches on new areas ($$$ for material)
  • final inspection and off permit!
  • remove aluminum siding from front
  • clean & paint front of house
  • wire in extra porch light from outside
  • New water line put in autumn 2016
I really should vent the attic better, but all the cosmetic house things can wait a year or two.

Interior House things

Studio

  • studio window trim
  • studio chimney trim & shelves
  • sand & finish studio door  Done!

Living Room & hallway
  • replace living room heater
  • patch living room drywall
  • paint living room & hallway (already have paint!)
  • replace living room fan Done!
  • NEW: replace hall closet door  Done!
  • replace living room baseboard & door casing? ...eventually. 
Bedrooms
  • Finish cleaning out guest room
  • sand, stain, & finish rent-a-room window trim
  • repaint rent-a-room
  • Replace rent-a-room closet doors
  • rewire master bedroom for wall sconce? Someday later.
  • paint master bedroom
Laundry room
  • Delayed until autumn: replumb laundry room ($$$, dad's help)
  • Delayed until autumn: finish drywall mud in laundry room
  • Delayed until autumn: floor laundry room ($$$)
 
 
shadesofmauve: (Self Portrait)
We saw Erik's mom and her friend off very early yesterday morning (woke up around 4:30 to get them to Seatac in time for an 8:30 flight), then we both went home and slept. E's coming down with something. I just took an hour-and-a-half nap, then came into work. 

I had a nice surprise when I came into work this morning -- I chatted with a courier and found out they've given nicknames to all my vans (well, their vans, with my art on them). <3

Not sure what I'll do with my weekend. I have to try to find some sort of routine -- we were busting ass to get my house all nice for E's mom's visit, and now that's done and the rest of the summer is still here. I felt like everything over the last six months was sort of working up to that visit. Well, that or the job hunt, and I still don't have a firm 'no' back from Ecology, and nothing new to apply for on the horizon, so that's a limbo-area, too.

Oh, DEL has posted a new opening that looks exactly like the one I applied for, was offered, and turned down. I don't know if it's a new-but-similar position, or if they had to repost it after I walked. Shoulda offered me more moolah, guys. 

I still feel a little guilty about holding out for more money, but if a new job makes me work full time, I want that compensation -- because what I REALLY want is to work fewer hours per week but still have enough job for health care and stability, but I don't know how to get that. Enough money to pay for housecleaning help and a car is the only way I can see to seize back some of the time lost to a full time job.

I'm maundering. It's just tiredness. I suspect a few days of good sleep and relative quiet will help me get some energy and direction again. There's things to do on the house and in the yard, three started paintings to work on in the studio, some design work that needs doing... it's not like I lack a to-do list. I just want to nap.
shadesofmauve: (Power Tools)
I've been trying not to really think about using the guest room for anything, because I was kind of mentally holding it open to be E's space if he ever moved in. Now he and I are talking about building him  a Fancy Shed in the backyard in that eventuality, though, so it opens up Actually Doing Things with the guest bedroom. Like more book cases! Storage for instrument cases! And finally moving my giant dollhouse from my folks place, which would make them very happy even tho' it's just tucked in a closet.

I'm really surprised by how excited I am about that last one.

First: yeah, I have a giant dollhouse. I've had it since I was four -- I got it for Christmas after my parents picked it up at a garage sale, and when we were in an apartment I think it served as their 'dream about nice houses and remodeling' outlet, so the whole lower floor except the kitchen is done in actual wood, hand laid piece by piece. And when I say 'whole lower floor' I'm not talking about two rooms in something that looks like a shelf; this monster is a foursquare. It's two rooms deep -- just about thirty inches. It's open on the back and hinged on the front. I've never seen another dollhouse like it (and I used teh googles!). 

I haven't thought about it much in ten years, but now that I can actually bring it home I'm... kind of enthused? I mean, on one level it's ridiculous because A) I DO NOT NEED ANOTHER HOBBY and B) I have a human-sized house that I'm always working on, so surely that home-improvement demon is exorcised enough? And may I remind myself of point A again, and unfinished fan writing and a garden that needs me and a desire to have enough fine art for a show in the nearish future? C'mon, Shades, this is nuts.

But on the other hand, I really don't want to give it away (illogical forceful 'MINE' reaction, wow), and after doing Real House Stuff for a few years all the things I'd always sort of dreamed of fixing on the dollhouse as a kid look so easy now. There's no plumbing! No heavy lifting! And it would never be on my 'to do' list because it'd be an actual hobby, rather than a... whatever it is when all your hobbies have become semi-professional, like my music and my art, or kind of pressing and necessary, like remodeling and gardening.

A single, utterly foolish thing.

So when I've had time to clear out the last of the guest room (there's a table of stuff I need to sort to make room), I think the dollhouse is coming home. And maybe come fall, when the gloom sets in, I'll poke at it. Because I really am a premature old lady, dedicated to my weird spinster aunt hobbies. Even if I abandon them for a decade or so. 



shadesofmauve: (Default)
 I'm once again in anxious-about-job-ap limbo. I had a phone interview last Tuesday, during which I was told they were trying to schedule real interviews that same week... and I haven't heard anything yay or nay since.

I know silence is better than 'nay', and I get too anxious too soon, but gaaaaaah. *flailing*
shadesofmauve: (Garden)
The last two weeks have been the GOOD kind of crazy, which is much nicer than the bad kind. There's so much to talk about I hardly no where to start.

First, I found out the job I was hoping to apply for was reviewing candidates a week earlier than I expected. I'd given myself an assignment to boost my portfolio cred for this job (which deserves it's own separate post) and suddenly I had to finish it fast, on a day when I'd already committed to be somewhere else. 'Somewhere Else' was my friend's ranch, where I spent the afternoon playing pretty ponies. I took two mares from mudballs to shiny, and in the process I got to lead them around on strings, which is basically all eight year old me wanted in life. 

The next day I went for a bikeride. It was 28 miles, which used to be only middling for me and is now quite long. My legs and lungs were fine, but my back was horrible for the next two days. Apparently I lost all my core strength over my illness. "Do boring core exercises" has become a more urgent task on my list.

The back made driving up to and enjoying Fiddle Tunes more difficult, but I did it anyway. First time I've gone up in three years, and wow, I don't think I'd realized how much I missed it. It was made even better by the fact that friends of mine are now living three minutes from the fort, so I had a bed to sleep. It's also more time than I've spent with those friends since they stayed at my place for a week a few years back, so it was great to catch up. I played music with lots of people, chatted with even more, basked in the sun, sketched, and generally had a marvelous time. I could only stay up for two nights, but when I came back down I had the best 're-entry' into 'normal' society I could hope for -- I called my dad round-about Shelton and found out he and some of our musicker crowd who weren't at camp were just about to sit down to dinner downtown, so they saved me a seat and i joined them. The crack was so good, and I was so hyped to play more, that I invited everyone back to my place after dinner, so we had songs and tunes around the fire pit in the back yard (in between fireworks and the neighbor repeatedly mowing the same patch of lawn, because it was national explode things day).

Later that week I had overnight guests from France by way of Quebec, whom I'd never met (kids of friends of friends sorta thing, possibly with more layers than that). I had to get the guest room cleaned out for them, which is GREAT, because next week Erik's mom is coming to visit.  He's lived here over 14 years and this is the first time she's come out. It's also her first travel without his dad, and just a big deal all round.

This weekend I had a ton of energy and unexpectedly had my folks' extra vehicle while they were at the Oregon Country Fair, and I ended up getting a ton of stuff done on my house. Lots of little things that I've been meaning to do for ages but hadn't gotten around to:
  • Replaced 30" hall closet door that blocked almost the whole hallway with two french-opening doors from a bifold door kit with all the hardware removed. I had to chisel two new hinge mortises into the door frame, which was new for me.
  • Replaced the hall light, because as long as I was working on the hallway I might as well, and because the replacement was a fixture I took out of the laundry room and had stored for three years and I was tired of moving it from place to place.
  • Replaced the non-functional, noisy-when-functional, and incredibly ugly living room ceiling fan with a nicer looking, quieter, more powerful fan. Turns out the old fan was just wired waaaay too loosely -- one neutral was floating free in the box, and the wire nut pulled right off the hot leads. \o/ I'd never taken a look at 'fixing' it before because it was so dang noisy and had so little airflow that it wasn't worth it, but now all these problems are solved with the power of consumerism.
  • Since I spent all this time up near the ceiling, I also destroyed huge amounts of cobwebs. \o/

Just in case all that isn't ENOUGH, my friend Tom started work on my retaining wall out front, Anthony & Kiyoko joined us for dinner somewhere in there, and I got a phone interview for the job I applied for way back at the beginning of all this! The phone interview was this morning, and I think it went really well.

The world may be going to hell, but with some health-related exceptions, my small corner of it seems to be doing pretty dang well.

shadesofmauve: (Bicycle)
(So when is it NOT, you ask? I don't know, dear reader, I really don't know).

I'm hoping to head up to Port Townsend for a few days at Fiddletunes Sunday, and come back down on the 4th. The job I want to apply for closes the fourth, so really I need to get that application in by Sunday, before I leave. We have a rehearsal Sunday, too, and tomorrow I've arranged to go help my coworker, Nancy, with cleaning the winter-muck off some of her horses, which I'm really looking forward to. Tonight there's a concert to go to. Time grows tight. Oh, and I have francophone guests-I-don't-know (daughter of a friend of a friend sorta thing) staying over Thursday the 6th, so the guest room needs to be clean and habitable, and the guest room WAS being the tool room for like three years and is now 'ex tool room dirt explosion', so that's fun.

On the good side, doing the cleaning rush for the guests from Quebec means that I'll have a headstart on the bigger cleaning push for later July, when Erik's mom is finally coming out to visit. She's not staying with me, but I still want the house to be nice, and yarden to be... as nice as I can manage. Erik helped with the latter last night, cleaning and re-arranging the back storage-patio (I have a covered patio running along the back of the house that accrues stuff, and then an uncovered patio that's actually used for sitting or grilling and what not). Then he called me 'nouveau white trash' because A) the storage-patio is always a disaster and B) part of the disaster is a bike tire I have yet to install. But at least I no longer have a lawnmower up on blocks, which I did for awhile. 

(Erik is from Connecticut, and he doesn't like most of the middle-class trappings he was brought up with, but I swear the super-Connecticut-ness comes out when confronted with my trashy patio. I never care about the patio because it's the catchall place for the detritus of actually important projects, like big home and yarden improvements -- I have a hard time working on 'tidy' when I want to spend my time working on 'big change'. Even though tidy DOES make it easier to work!).



Oh, and I need to add 'installing that bike tire' to my to-do list. I've been putting it off 'cause the sidewalls are so stiff that installing it is really difficult on my hands. I already switched out the back one (old tire had come apart), and I gave the tube a pinch -flat in the process and had to do it all again. So I'm not eager to do the front.

Oh! And speaking of Trash In My Yarden (because I am hippy trash, my yarden totally shows it, it can't be denied), dad is supposed to finally come 'round with the trailer this weekend and take a bunch of stuff to the dump. YAY!
shadesofmauve: (Default)
I spent Monday and Tuesday up in Seattle for two appointments -- supposed to be three, but the nutritionist got pneumonia. Ended up being two whole days off for two twenty minute appointments, but I got to see Emony and and family and have lunch with Alexis, so that was good.  Then yesterday I took the morning off to get an IUD, and the cramping from that turned it into a whole day off, but it's better now.

Today I'm trying to remember how to Job, figure out how to look for Job, and worrying that the next potential job I found may be out of my grasp. I was super excited, but one of the requirements is 'has two years conveying complex scientific information to a lay audience' which... I just don't have. I'm pretty damn sure I can do it! But I've got no way to prove that I can. And it's something I really want to learn how to do, which means it'd actually be a great fit for me, because I need challenges to succeed. :(

Oh, and I have my fiddle student today. And didn't really sleep last night, because I'd napped away the cramps, so I'm tuckered. Oof.
shadesofmauve: (Untwist Thy Knickers)
The GOOD news is that I just heard from one of my references. She'd spaced on the email from the Potential Employer for a few days due to Life, but called them today, confirmed she wasn't too late, and sent in a glowing reference. \o/ So it looks like I'm still in the running, and the Potential Employer was waiting on information for the last few days. So now I have another two or three day window of uncertainty during which I am Not Supposed To Panic. 

[Speaking of Not Panicking, is there a way to change the little emotion image deelyboppers on dreamwidth? Because the little blue square just doesn't express my soul]
shadesofmauve: (Garden)
I had a job interview Tuesday, and took the rest of the week off. Wednesday I woke up to an 'assignment' in my inbox -- a presentation rebranding the department I'm applying to by 4 p.m. the next day.  So that changed up vacation a little bit. My current boss and coworkers know i'm applying elsewhere and are all really supportive, which is great -- and means that I know know they started contacting my references yesterday. Good sign, yeah? 

I'd hoped to devote the week to gardening and painting, but there was that application assignment... and errands... and the house was a mess and we had company for dinner Saturday... and, well, I ended up gardening and painting all Monday, so at least I got SOME time in! (I did a little painting before, but it was just the sketch for a new piece, and it doesn't feel like painting).

(Btw,  I worked out roughly how much yard I can clear of ivy and blackberries in a serious work session, and how big my lot is minus the house, and it looks like I could manage the whole thing if I just had fifty six days off. If I get this full-time job I applied for I'm hiring help).

Oh, and there was music too, because of course there was. A tune class Wednesday night and a really productive practice with E on Sunday. We moved one of my songs up a whole fourth, from A dorian to D dorian, which means I'm singing it entirely with my head voice. It feels super weird, but Erik says it's pretty and I recorded myself in both keys on my phone and I think he's right. (Besides, it'll let us medley the song with the tune we want, without having to transpose the tune). 

Now I'm back at the day job, crossing my fingers about the job I applied for, making progress on current project (more van art), and futzing with connecting my new(ish) portfolio site's blog to other services (Installed JetPack, connected things, really just need to write a new post to test it).

shadesofmauve: (Default)
I'm moving everything here over to dreamwidth, if that function will just start working, and then I'll delete it. Please chime in here with your user name over there! I'm ShadesOfMauve.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
I have occasionally been thinking it'd be nice to have a blog with reasonable privacy controls again. Not necessary, but nice. Sadly, keeping up with more than two social media platforms at once seems to be beyond me, and Facebook is useful for my local community & music friends and tumblr is where lots of people are and it's just so *easy*, so I've been scarce.

But it really is a good idea. I mean, I'd like to have the interface be less eye-searingly lilac, but the concept is sound.

So, uh, if anyone's still following me (or have me on your read feed or whatever the heck the cool kids are calling it these days) here's what's been going on:
  • It turns out I have an autoiummune disorder called Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (exciting?) which lead to months of fatigue (totally not exciting)
  • I had lots of tests and started some meds and eventually the symptoms got way better (exciting!)
  • There was a Hell Meeting at work during which I was bullied by the HR manager and the prime Smug Condescending Asshat with the cooperation of the big Director, permanently ending any desire I had to stick around and try for my boss's job (exciting in a negative way)
  • I finished up outside work on the house and got off the permit (exciting in a positive way!)
  • I applied for a new job a week ago, had an interview this week, and finished up a post-interview homework-assignment today, so we're into fingers crossed tense-waiting time (EXCITING?!?!)
shadesofmauve: (baby)
Since I made the giant house To Do list here in April, I've been almost non-stop busy -- and still haven't struck much off the housey list. Here're some of the things I DID manage, so I can put it all in a bit of perspective (and try to remember it):

  • Designed, laid out, and made maps for a 150 page freelance project document, which meant working three or four hours after my regularly scheduled 8.5 hour work day an 10 hours on weekends for basically the entire month of May. There've since been lulls of a few weeks at a time while things are reviewed by my client and the head contractor, and we're just now finishing up... though more edits will come after community feedback, as part of a new contract.

  • Did a logotype/business card freelance project for far too little money, and learned the valuable lesson that I shouldn't give people quotes face to face because I don't ask for enough then.

  • Designed and printed invitations for Kiyoko's bridal shower, including a vector illustration of her favorite type of teacup because why not. ;)

  • Technically this was done before the giant to do list, but I'm proud of it, so: did a charcoal and chalk portrait of a friend for his new album cover, then did all the album cover design/layout. I did every step from original art through to production, and it was the first project done in my new studio!

  • Performed at the Couth Buzzard in Seattle, twice at the Olympia Farmer's Market, at Dupont's 'historical' (ha!) festival, and for the Batdorf & Bronson 30 year anniversary party (B&B are Erik's employers).

  • Wrote a 3 page summary of my weird health issues dating back to when I was in college, with dates and medication trials, and organized a medical binder that impressed the heck out of various office staff. I think there were at least four doc visits in this time frame, and one of them lasted six hours. (No, we still have no idea why I'm itching everywhere).

  • hosted a studio celebration / yard party

  • finished and posted a chapter of the aStSHB sequel fic

  • Was Maid of Honor in Kiyoko's wedding, which was three days of festivities as well as all the dress buying and shoe fixing and planning things. Oh, and the speech! I managed a sentence in Japanese and thankyou in Tagalog, so got both her family and aunties in the Phillipine American family she's marrying into to cry. \o/

  • I got the partial path in back redone in sheet mulch with a recycled wood border. The path isn't done, but the section of it that I made once with gravel and then dismantled is done, so it's no longer an ankle breaker. WIth the help of the neighbor's kid I also got a sheetmulched wide path to the compost bins.

  • I painted a mural for [livejournal.com profile] emony42's baby Benjamin, and I'm quite pleased with it.

shadesofmauve: (Default)
I saw the list I posted last time I popped onto LJ, so I decided to copy it and see how much I'd gotten done!

Almost none of it, it turns out.

I got an extension on the Fake Driveway, so it's not due until November 11, which is good because the giant freelance project that was supposed to be done in May is STILL going in August, and there was another one in that time, as well as several gigs, Kiyoko's wedding, and ongoing health issues.

Fake Paver Driveway / Patio (must be done by June 1!)

  • Finish digging driveway hole (mom helped)

  • Order & spread gravel ($125 and mom's help)

  • Form 'pavers' ($200, halfway done)

  • pour driveway ($$$, requires dad's help)

  • get inspection!

Other Yarden things

  • Build short  retaining wall + steps in front ($$$$, hiring friend Tom to do it)

  • Take down ~50' of old fence (the neighbor had that done with a backhoe but now she's super antsy that I haven't built a new one yet), build new fence ($$$ and work party)

  • cut old fence boards down for border (borrow or buy saw)

  • take down cherry tree (requires dad's help or $$$ to hire someone)

  • limb up / clean up maple ($$$$ to hire arborist)

  • redo back path with fence-board border & sheet mulch

  • edge existing south bed with fence boards

  • continue sheet mulching back yard (made progress, nowhere near finished)

  • build raised beds in front yard ($$$ for materials, probably soil)

Exterior House things

  • install ridge vent ($$$, dad's help)

  • exterior trim for new windows ($$$ for material)

  • wire in extra porch light from outside

  • siding patches on new areas ($$$ for material)

  • final inspection and off permit!

  • remove alumnimum siding from front

  • clean & paint front of house

Interior House things

  • studio window trim

  • studio chimney trim & shelves

  • sand & finish studio door

  • finish drywall mud in laundry room

  • replumb laundry room ($$$, dad's help)

  • floor laundry room ($$$)

  • patch living room drywall

  • paint living room & hallway (already have paint!)

  • replacing living room fan

  • replace living room baseboard & door casing?

  • replace living room heater

  • paint dining room

  • rewire master bedroom for wall sconce

  • paint master bedroom

NEW things

  • Pay a plumber one thousand dollarses for a new main water line

shadesofmauve: (can we fix it?)
I realize those still in LJ land haven't yet seen pics of the progress I've already made (if anyone can recommend a free image hosting service that isn't a pain in the ass, please do!), but it's time for me to do another giant to-do list.

I have end of May/beginning of June deadlines for both a big ol' freelance project AND getting my fake driveway done, so that basically accounts for all of May.

Fake Paver Driveway / Patio (must be done by June 1!)

  • Finish digging driveway hole (easy except that I've had health issues, so may require help)

  • Order & spread gravel ($$$, plus extra for fence)

  • Form 'pavers' ($$$, requires dad's help. The 'how' part is somewhat of a mystery)

  • pour driveway ($$$, requires dad's help)

  • PROFIT get inspection!

Other Yarden things

  • Build short  retaining wall + steps in front ($$$, hiring friend Tom to do it)

  • Take down ~50' of old fence, build new fence ($$$ and work party)

  • cut old fence boards down for border (borrow or buy saw)

  • take down cherry tree (requires dad's help or $$$ to hire someone)

  • limb up / clean up maple ($$$ to hire arborist)

  • redo back path with fence-board border & sheet mulch

  • edge existing south bed with fence boards

  • continue sheet mulching back yard

  • build raised beds in front yard ($$$ for materials, probably soil)

Exterior House things

  • install ridge vent ($$$, dad's help)

  • exterior trim for new windows ($$$ for material)

  • wire in extra porch light from outside

  • siding patches on new areas ($$$ for material)

  • final inspection and off permit!

  • remove alumnimum siding from front

  • clean & paint front of house

Interior House things

  • studio window trim

  • studio chimney trim & shelves

  • sand & finish studio door

  • finish drywall mud in laundry room

  • replumb laundry room ($$$, dad's help)

  • floor laundry room ($$$)

  • patch living room drywall

  • paint living room & hallway (already have paint!)

  • replacing living room fan

  • replace living room baseboard & door casing?

  • replace living room heater

  • paint dining room

  • rewire master bedroom for wall sconce

  • paint master bedroom

...so that's not so much!

Mind you, these are the 'little things' -- the finishing-up parts of my major project, before starting any new major projects, like the kitchen or bathroom remodels. :P

The exciting part for me is that there are a bunch of things in both the yard and the inside of the house that don't require (much) money or external labor. Patching, painting, trim, edging, replacement of lights and heaters -- those are all really cheap and things I can easily do on my ownsy. There are just a few big-ticket items where I have to figure out if I have any friends left whom I haven't already hit up for manual labor!
shadesofmauve: (Default)
I knew E's mom was having to step up and stretch to be a caregiver for her husband, but I didn't realize how much. She never balanced her checkbook. She's never pumped her own gas. She worked part time as a hair dresser for awhile once, and buys and sells stuff on consignment, but her world is amazingly small (the town 15 miles away from their home in Connecticut was 'all the way over THERE?!'). It's kind of neat to watch her grow, but kind of terrifying to realize how stunted she was.

My grandmothers are both very near her age; definitely the same generation. My paternal grandma has a college degree and worked as office manager in her husband's law firm up until she retired a few years ago. My maternal grandmother is STILL the book-keeper at the town hospital, took five children on a cross-country road trip while pregnant with twins, and spent a summer living so far up the Elwha with those same kids that the weekly groceries were delivered by pack horse.

Granted, maternal grandma's life is pretty strange by many standards, but even my paternal-grandma's country-club/shopping/ladies-luncheon world is broader than E's mom's to a mind-boggling extent.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
E and I have been in Wake Forest NC since Saturday, visiting his parents, who moved down here from Connecticut. By every real measure it's a great visit, and the move was a great move for them. I'm usually pretty skeptical of people moving AWAY from their established communities after they retire, but they had a hub of family down here and moved into a much more friendly neighborhood -- luckily, since the health problems E's dad had been having got even worse pretty shortly after the move. There's an undercurrent of tension in the house, as his mom tries to be the nurse to his dad, who now has a VAD, requires wound dressing care morning and night, and is having short term memory issues.

For E and I, used to going about and spending a lot of time doing our own things, it's a very cooped existence. Fine for a few days, but we've both reached the point of feeling mildly anxious/stir-crazy.

On the bright side, it turns out his dad has headphones for the TV, so we're no longer listening to hard-of-hearing-volume Fox News whenever his dad is awake. That shit is terrifying.

Hopefully tomorrow the weather will clear and we'll be able to go for a long walk at a park or nature preserve, and we can get some wiggles out.
shadesofmauve: (garden)
It's very strange to wander back onto my LJ after just under a year and realize that my last real journal-type posts were from back when I thought two weeks of work missed due to illness was excessive. Back before I knew that particular crud would last three months.

And be followed by allergies to grass that swelled my eye shut.

Followed by whole-body mystery urticaria.

Hello, Livejournal! Last time I talked to you I was just getting into the illness and emotional crap that would eventually help trigger a new stage in my undiagnosed autoimmune disorder!

And now, a year later? I'm finally seeing a rheumetologist on Wednesday. WHOO!

ALSO I HAVE AN ART STUDIO AND I'M SITTING IN IT.

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