Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell to another year

Here we are, at the end of yet another year.
It always amazes me how quickly the years pass, yet how easily they meld one into the other.
For instance, it seems like just yesterday that my beautiful boy was an infant; and I'm sure John will tell you that I've always been here.
Yet, I've only lived here fifteen years, and my grandson is already nine years old.
"Time flies when you're having fun," as the saying goes.
Ain't that the truth!
Another year wraps up and I've not made any further inroads with my family tree research, primarily because I've not spent any significant time on that project.  However, now that I have my sanctuary, I plan to get back to that in earnest in the new year.
As this year closes, I can't help but think of the family and friends who are no longer with us:
  • My brother, John, left us in August (he was 56 years old).
  • A very good friend, Duane, passed away in September.
  • In November, my grand-niece, Tamarra, was taken (only 18 years old).
  • Just four days before Christmas, my cousin Gerry passed away very suddenly (57 years old).
  • A friend (and regular reader of this blog) lost her father-in-law on Christmas Eve.
May they all rest in peace, and watch over their loved ones here on earth.
And as this year comes to an end, I'm reminded of my resolve of many years ago -- a credo I adopted as a teenager and have tried to live by ever since (admittedly, I have on occasion lost sight of it but I eventually always come back to it).  I had read The Serenity Prayer I know not where, but I know I was still a teenager when it first came to my attention.
"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."
Although I was still quite young, it struck me as such a common-sense approach to life.  Essentially, if I could live by its philosophy, the easy stuff would take care of itself and the tough stuff, well -- not much I could do about that over which I had no control.  I try very hard to identify that which I should accept.
My resolve for 2011 is to remember to keep the lessons of that prayer in mind as the new year progresses.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What a wonderful Christmas we had

It truly was a terrific Christmas Day.
I actually slept 'til about 5:30am (record late for me) and tried my darndest to wake John -- sometimes it takes a while.
I turned on the coffee as I made my way to my sanctuary to collect our stockings, which were chock-a-block full of goodies!
By the time I got back to the bedroom with the stockings, John was suitably awake and sitting up, waiting for the onslaught.
We emptied our stockings and then we each pretended that we were being patient about moving into the sanctuary to find out what else Santa may have left for us.
Eventually, one of us (I don't recall which) simply said the words, "Coffee must be ready by now," and we were both out of there like rockets.
We opened our gifts, of which there were many, and then got ready to go into the big city to join my little chickadee and her family for our traditional breakfast.
The drive to the city was uneventful; practically no other cars on the road, and thankfully, no snowstorm to delay us.
My beautiful boy was already splayed out on the carpet building his beloved Lego but he broke from doing that long enough to give us hugs and kisses and to show us all his gifts.
Breakfast was its usual delicious: waffles (with three different toppings from which to choose) plus whipped cream; sausages; bacon; coffee; juice (with champagne of course for the requisite Christmas cheer).  Absolutely scrumptious!
Then we opened gifts again.
Later, when we left MLC's place, we stopped at my good friend LC's for a quick visit with her.  We didn't stay long because we wanted to get home to get our dinner started.
This year, for the first time, we actually cooked a full-course Christmas dinner, with all the trimmings -- for just the two of us.
Of course, we didn't cook a turkey -- instead we cooked one of our home-grown chickens.
And it was delicious!
But the topper on the whole day was the e-mail I received from MLC this morning, which read:  "Marcus told us last night that if all he had got for Christmas was the watch he would have been happy. "
Now that just warmed my heart to no end.
The watch was from his Grandma and Grandpa!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas to all my friends and family.
Here's hoping everyone has a safe and happy holiday.
We're off to MLC's for Christmas breakfast, then we'll drop in at LC's for a brief visit before heading home to a quiet dinner by ourselves.
We'll be having our Christmas brunch on the 28th with the blended family, an event to which we both very much look forward.
Isn't Christmas wonderful?

Joy to the world! the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and heaven and nature sing!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Finally, it's Christmas Eve!

Wow, I thought it would never get here!
I love Christmas.
I'm still, after all these years, like a little kid on Christmas morning.
I wake way too early.
I immediately go get the stockings (which I filled, you realize).
I take them into the bedroom and wake John, trying to sound all 'cited like a child, telling him that "Santa came!"
And John, being the sweetheart that he is, plays right along with me.
He sits up, rubs his eyes in wonder, and proceeds to open the goodies in his stocking (and feigns surprise because by now, he knows precisely what to expect).
Once we've demolished the contents of the stockings, we move out to the living room where the presents are (the difference this year of course, is that we will move to my sanctuary to open our gifts because that is where Santa should visit this time -- I hope!).
My sanctuary, ready and waiting for Santa -- cookies and milk will be put out at bedtime.
BUT, before we're allowed to open gifts, we must have a glass of juice.  That's a carry-over from my childhood when my parents always required that we at least have a glass of juice before opening gifts (the thinking was that we were getting little else in nutrition for several hours, given all the excitement of the morning).
Once we've opened our gifts (from each other, and from Santa -- yes, we each get each other gifts from Santa because Santa still comes to our house!), we shower and dress for the day.
And then we head into the big city to have what has become our traditional breakfast at my little chickadee's home.
We started this tradition, somewhat by accident, when my beautiful boy was about a year old.  Naturally, I couldn't handle NOT being with them on Christmas morning so we've always driven in early in the day.  MLC figured that if we were going to be driving in anyway, she might as well feed us.
And a tradition was born; a tradition that we all now very much enjoy.
John salivates about the scrumptious meal for days leading up to it!
Every year, MLC sends out an official invitation, although we've usually discussed the logistics ad nauseum by the time the invite arrives.  It's not like we don't all know that we're going to be there.
Included in the event is my good friend, RLR, who happens to be one of MLC's other mothers.  RLR's immediate family lives in Saskatchewan -- we are her "Ontario" family and she has been part of our Christmas mornings all of MLC's life.
Here's hoping Santa is good to you!
Have a wonderful Christmas everyone.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Where do I start?

OK, I've been remiss again and I apologize -- big time!
Since I last posted, I've been kind of busy.
Let's see now.
On Sunday, I did not much of anything -- 'cept fritter away my day on my very favourite pasttime (what I call "looking for my dead people" -- genealogy research) .
On Monday, I again did not much of anything.  Having spent the day before on genealogy brought to light the fact that I had numerous digital records still to be processed -- they just had to be put in proper order.  So that is what I did.  The files are now all organized, by generation, and now I have to do the grunge work that is required to produce the final documents.  I have my work cut out for me in the new year!
On Tuesday, I went into the big city for my physio, which I needed desperately, having missed last week's session due to the weather conditions.
And this trip was being combined with many errands, plus an overnight at MLC's so John could get some more painting done around here.
Before I got to physio, I made several stops en route -- Christmas is coming you know.
And after physio, I went to visit my good friend LC, whom I hadn't seen in quite some time (it was a surprise drop-by and fortunately for me, she was delighted to see me).
Then I went to MLC's place and we had numerous errands to run before picking up MBB at daycare.
MLC and I were very productive before we collected MBB and then we headed off to his very favourite restaurant to have dinner (but first we stopped to deliver a special package to my hairdresser -- it is Christmas, after all).
We ordered our dinner very promptly and were warned that it might take a while since the kitchen was extremely busy.
OK, we were warned.
Fine by us (although both MLC and MBB were really really hungry!).
After waiting an inordinate length of time, and after receiving numerous apologies and assurances from our server that ours was coming right up, our server arrived at our table with the manager in tow.
"We're really sorry," said she, "but the printer broke and your order never made it to the kitchen.  But we've now put a rush on your dinner so hopefully it won't be too much longer."
"Oh," we said, "that's too bad because this little guy," (pointing to MBB), "is really really hungry."
And let me tell you, my beautiful boy was being an awfully good boy while he waited -- he really is a remarkably well-behaved young man, a delightful young man indeed!
The manager must have come to our table another three times to apologize before our dinners finally arrived (one time sending over nachos and salsa to tide us over).
MLC suggested that they must be used to being yelled at when these things happen, given all the apologies we were receiving.
They very nicely brought MBB's food immediately that it was ready, telling us that ours would be "right up," and apologizing again.
And shortly after our food did arrive, the manager appeared at our table again.
"I won't disturb you while you're eating," she said, "but your meal is on me.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate that you didn't yell at me or the server when your dinner was delayed so long.  And again, I'm really sorry for the long wait.  But thank you for not yelling at us."
We really had a chuckle over that -- MLC's assessment was right on the money!
Later, once MBB was in bed and shortly before I crashed, MLC left to go to the movies with her neighbour.
The next morning, MBB decided that he was "still too full from dinner the night before" to go for breakfast with me.  So we delivered him to his daycare before MLC and I went for breakfast ourselves.  We haven't done that since before MBB was born, I'm sure!
When we got to MLC's work, she got out of the car (I always make her drive in the city) and as I was getting out of the passenger side, the heel of my boot caught on the strap of my purse.  I was propelled out of the car with such force that I had no control over where I was going.  I did manage to avoid landing on either hip though, but landed on the heels of my hands and on my left knee.  Man, did it hurt!
I stayed down trying to collect myself, and realized that I first had to untangle myself from my purse before I could even attempt to get up.  And I wondered why MLC hadn't come running around the car to help me.
It turns out she hadn't realized what happened because she had gotten out of the driver's seat and turned her attention to the back seat to get her purse and bag, but she had wondered why she couldn't see me!  (We had a good chuckle about that -- later.)
Anyway, I was -- and am -- OK but my left knee somehow managed to get cut sufficiently well to bleed significantly (the inside of my jeans was stained with blood, yet the fabric is not torn!).  I came home and iced my knee, and tried to take a nap -- but as usual, naps don't happen for me apparently.
My left knee has an ugly scrape on it with significant bruising, but that's it.  My wrists are still a little sore but not anything to worry about.  My mid-back, however, feels as though it suffered a whip-lash type of injury -- it is really sore even today, more than 24 hours after the fall.
So today, I've just been taking it easy.
Gotta rest up and be ready for the big man's visit tomorrow night.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

All I want for Christmas ...

... is a pair of legs that work.
Please Santa.
That means I need a pair of hips that work, because it follows that if my hips could function, my legs would work.
I am soooooo tired of these damned hips, of the constant pain.
Does anyone out there have any idea how fatigue-inducing it is to have to "drag" one's legs around all day -- legs that just don't want to co-operate with you?
How annoying it is to wake constantly all night long from the pain coursing down your legs (emanating from the hips)?
Yes, I'm sure there are lots of people who know precisely what it's like.
Because my hips don't work as they should, I can't tell one leg to move in front of the other; I have to almost "roll" my body from side to side in order to walk forwards.
And that is exhausting.
A simple change of position -- from any position to any position -- causes excruciating pain in the groin.
And the need to change position is never-ending because no position is comfortable for any length of time.
Car travel is difficult because sitting is difficult.  And my legs need to be rearranged constantly; not easy to do in a vehicle (fortunately, my car gives me some leeway in that depatment).
When I watch television, I'm like a jumping jack (albeit a slow one) because I simply cannot stay put for long periods of time.
And while I have to "keep moving," every movement hurts.
And the pain doesn't lessen as I keep moving -- it heightens if I push myself through the pain.
There are no easy answers.
All I want for Christmas is for the pain to stop.
I've been a good girl Santa, honest I have.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No physio today ...

I've cancelled my physio appointment for today.
There's simply no way I'm up to the longer than usual drive to and from the big city that can be expected due to the harsh weather we're having.
Of course, I might not be able to go anywhere anyway ... probably won't be able to get out of my garage (it sits atop Mount Methuselah, as I call the hill that becomes insurmountable with very little ice conditions).
I had big plans for today too.
Several stops en route to physio, not the least of which was a brief visit with my little chickadee.
Oh well, you can't have 'em all, as someone once said.
It just makes no sense to put myself through the agony of such a trip when I know the impact on my body would far outweigh any benefit I would derive from the treatment.
My pain level has been through the roof lately, primarily emanating from the hip joint.
And nothing seems to give me relief.
There is no position I can sit in to be comfortable.
No position I can put my legs in to be comfortable.
No position I can lie in to be comfortable.
It doesn't matter what I'm doing -- I am in dire pain.
Of course, it doesn't help that I have had to stop using the TENs machine, hopefully only for a while.
You see, my wonderful body for some reason decided to react to the electrodes a while back.
Yup, I broke out in an angry rash from the electrodes and have had to suspend use of the unit until the response stops.  The last time I tried using it, I developed the rash after only a short period so that is a no-go for a while longer yet.  I have no idea why after all these years of using the TENs I would just now start being allergic to the electrodes.  But that's my body:  find something that works well and it decides that was fun, now what are you gonna do????
And because of what painkillers do to my system (bowel function), I try not to take them.  But obviously, I'm going to have to break down and use them because I can't continue like this.
I'm wearing my compression shorts; I'm using the compression brace; I'm using the acupen; I'm doing my stretches; I'm going for my physio sessions (well, except for this week); I'm going for my massage therapy.
I'm doing everything I can to keep the pain under control and it still isn't enough.
Each modality has its application and provides relief but each has its limitations -- and none works continuously.
I need a pain-relieving implant of some kind I guess (haven't we had this discussion already?)
As for today, I guess I'll manage to find something to fill in my time.
The Christmas cards are in the mail; the meat pies are baked; the village is up; the gifts are wrapped.
There's nothing left to do but play now, and wait for Santa to get here.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ready for Christmas

I'm ready now.
The village is up -- different than last year's but of course, each year it is different.  I don't know how I fit everything in last year but there was no way all that stuff was going in the same space this year.  I had to put the train station off to the side this time.  I guess people will simply have to take a cab to catch the train, which will then take them for a ride 'round and 'round the village -- good thing it's all imaginery so one can make up whatever story one wants to suit the arrangement.
This photo was taken in 2009 -- the scene has grown somewhat since then but this captures the essence of the corner that will remain until January 6th (Little Christmas).  You see, I also put up a Creche each year and actually follow the story of Christmas.
The above photo was taken on Christmas Eve last year -- Joseph and Mary are there, but the baby isn't because he hasn't been born yet.  The shepherd will also arrive on Christmas morning.  And the Three Wise Men won't appear until January 6th, after which time I will dismantle "Christmas" for another year.
Crazy I know.  But it's what I've done since my little chickadee was a very wee little chickadee (using this exact same creche and figurines, I might add) and I continue to re-enact the story even though there is truly no need to do so in this household.
Old habits die hard, I guess.
Even my new sanctuary is getting into Christmas mode.
The rocking chair has finally been added to the room (all that's missing now are the blinds and a seat cushion for the rocker).
My step-son and his wife arrived the other night with a "room-warming" gift (a plastic poinsettia plant, since I'm seriously allergic to the real thing).  It makes a nice addition to the room so I thought I'd add a few other seasonal touches:  a snowglobe; a candle; a small tree, which will acquire decorations with time; a stocking, hung with care.
I wonder if Santa will find this room?
I managed to get the meat pies made yesterday so all that's left to do now is the wrapping of gifts. Since we appear to be headed for a couple of days of being snow-bound, I guess gifts will be getting wrapped before too much longer.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Getting ready for Christmas

Now that my sanctuary is finished and I'm all settled in, I can finally turn my attention toward getting ready for Christmas.
Most years, I've completed my shopping by Remembrance Day (yes, you read that right).  I really don't like being in the stores as it gets close to the big day; I simply can't handle the hustle and bustle any more.
But having been delayed this year by all the construction chaos around here, I've only recently got started on the serious business of holiday preparations.
Fortunately, we don't have a long list of persons for whom to buy gifts.
The difficult part, for us, is deciding what to get for people.
You see, I really don't see the point in buying a gift simply for the sake of having something to give to someone.  I choose gifts that are specific to the person, something I think they would like (or something from the list they have nicely provided to me).
Of course, we also make our own greeting card every year.  And usually, we take the photo one year to be used on the following year's card.  But for some reason, we didn't do that last year.  So when I pulled the file, there was no photo in it.  Luckily, we had a brief dusting of snow one day and it stayed long enough for us to get a suitably "wintery" shot to use for the card and I managed to get them all printed without too much hassle.
This morning, I signed my share of the Canada-bound cards, and they are ready to go in the mail.  John is busy signing his now, so they will all go in the mail on Monday.  (The UK and USA-bounds ones were mailed this past Tuesday.)
In the meantime, I've managed to amass a collection of gifts for all but two recipients so I guess I'm doing not too badly in that department, all things considered.  I even have two gifts for my darling husband!
This evening, my step-son and his wife (the step-daughter-in-law who is a year older than I but who calls me "Mummy" just because we like to have fun with that) are coming for dinner so they can see my "ready for viewing" sanctuary.  They were here before any furniture was put in place and they loved it then, so now they are anxious to see how I've organized it.
Over the course of the next three days, I plan to put up my Christams village and make my meat pies.
Then, I'll be ready for the big day and I can rest until it gets here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Welcome to my sanctuary

My sanctuary is now open and ready for business.
And I am oh so happy with it.
It is everything I imagined it would be.
John is delighted with it too (sometimes a little too so, methinks) and feels it was worth every penny spent.
The room is truly an excellent addition to the house and already seems such a natural one, almost like it's always been here (OK, we're still getting used to a few of the changes but they're all good!).
The only thing we're waiting for are the blinds, which have been ordered and should be here any day now.
But I figured I could answer the call for photos without further delay (too many people have been begging to see the room).
So now, in segments, here's my work area (the north east corner of the room):
(I'm very busy at my station already, as you can see.)
Here's the "study" (the north west corner) -- a rocking chair will soon be added:
The exercise ball will be moved once the rocking chair is ready to join the room (it is waiting to be painted); the ball's eventual 'home' will be beside the television.
Here's the "leisure area" (the south west wall of the room), for lounging, taking work breaks, watching telly, and of course, for use by those occasional overnight guests:
This spot has also become the favoured seat for our before dinner drinks each evening ("drinky-poo time" as it has come to be known in our household).  The futon is a remarkably comfortable sofa; I can only imagine how comfy our overnight guests will be, once they start appearing on our doorstep.
Here's the south east wall (the telly and the broom closet):
Our overnight guests will be able to watch satellite TV, view a DVD movie (or VHS tape if they prefer!), play a music CD, whatever they want -- all the comforts of home right at their fingertips!
And here's a view of the room, overall -- John has a fancy lens on his camera that lets him take funky shots and he loves putting it to use:
I've been getting serious kudos from all who view this room: the floor; the painted crown moulding (what an ingenious idea!); the closet door; the colour choices -- everything is just oh so perfect.
John says the room has character.  He really really really likes it. 
And for that I am glad.
Because I really really really like it too, especially with yesterday's addition of my new 27" monitor -- it's just that extra touch that the room needed (the other monitor looked so puny against the openness of the room).

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Where to start?

Perhaps I should discuss the state of my being, of late, since the title of this blog is "Living with Fibro."
I've been having increasing difficulty with my hips lately, as well as with my hands.  That tells me that my arthritis is in a flare-up, most likely from the unseasonable amount of rain that we've been "enjoying" (NOT).
Last week, my massage therapist got a scare when she was working on my left hip.  As she was manipulating in the area of the hip joint, I all of a sudden yelled out in agony (I was seeing stars).  She jumped away from me as I reacted to whatever she had done.  It took a good five minutes for the sensation of pain to lessen enough for her to be able to make any sense of my babblings.  The only way I could describe the pain that she had induced was that it felt as though she had pushed the ball joint into the hip socket and had hit raw nerve.  Whatever had happened, it hurt like a bugger!
When I saw the physiotherapist on the following Tuesday and told her of the incident, she wondered if I had any cartilege left at all in that area.  She suggested that my doctor really should be referring me to the Hip Replacement Assessment Centre because she was quite confident, based on her many examinations of my range of motion, that I am due for a hip replacement.
Well, I saw my medic on Thursday morning.
I told him about my physiotherapist's assessment and opinion.
"Tell your physiotherapist to relax," he says.  "Your pain comes from your bursitis.  I have your X-ray results here and there is only mild degeneration in your hips."
As we continued to discuss the issue, and I mentioned the incident with my massage therapist and the increasing difficulty I'm having with movement, as well as the intense pain that is emanating from the groin area, he decided to examine me yet again.
"OK, that X-ray report doesn't support what I'm seeing here.  Have you had an MRI done?  We've had this discussion already haven't we?  I'm referring you to an orthopedic surgeon."
So in the space of about ten minutes, he had come full circle.  But now, he was by-passing the assessment centre and was going straight to the surgeon.
I left his office (thanking him for getting my hips all riled up again!) with a referral to a surgeon as well as a request for more X-rays, to be taken once I get the call from the surgeon's office with an appointment date.  I'm to ask the radiology department to give me the actual film this time, because the surgeon will need to read them himself.  We will be ready!
When I saw my massage therapist the next day, she was delighted to hear of the referral because she too is quite convinced that I am a candidate for hip replacement.
My physiotherapist will be over-the-moon when she hears of the referral.
Will be interesting to see what the surgeon has to contribute to this discussion.
Also this past week, I saw my ENT specialist.  He had to again vacuum my left ear.  My Lord that is a painful procedure.  He tells me that I will have to see him every four months to have it done to avoid its getting as bad as it was this time (this was five months since the last time).    My right ear is not as much of a problem (it required only mild suction, which did not hurt at all).  Oh the joys of wearing hearing aids.
So, other than my sleep being its usual upside-down, there is nothing else new to report.
My sanctuary is now complete and we are just putting the final touches to it (shelves) so I can empty the last of the boxes.  Then I will take photos of the room and post them.  I've been reluctant to take photos of the chaos while I moved in because it was really quite unsightly.  But it's all coming together now so you should see photos up here by tomorrow, I hope.

Monday, November 29, 2010

R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen

Another of my heros has left us.
Last July, I posted here about my love affair with Leslie Nielsen.  I'm repeating it today in his memory.
Gosh, I love that man dearly!
R.I.P., Leslie my love.
(Reprint of blog originally posted 6 July 2010):
Let me tell you about one of the most exciting evenings of my "political career," as John likes to call my many years on Parliament Hill.
Way back in 1982, I was hired in the office of Bill McKnight, Conservative Member of Parliament for Kindersley-Lloydminster, Saskatchewan and member of "Her Majesty's Official Loyal Opposition." (Bill eventually went on to become a Minister in Brian Mulroney's government -- that's a whole other story vis-a-vis my life on Parliament Hill).
In the office hierarchy, I was the low (wo)man on the totem pole, as it were. Being a single mom, my first priority was to my young daughter so I wasn't much interested in taking on any serious responsibilities in my job. I just needed to pay the bills. However, being the political junkie that I was, working on Parliament Hill was right up my alley.
Anyway, by February 1983, Joe Clark, the then-leader of the Conservative Party, had announced that he was stepping down as leader to allow a leadership race to take place, and he was throwing his hat into the ring. That meant that an interim leader had to be selected.
Well, there was a fairly tight group of MPs in Bill McKnight's circle of friends, all of whom became familiar with the staffs of each other's offices.
So it didn't take long for me to be on a first name basis with a lot of heavy hitters in the Conservative party (Erik Nielsen, Don Mazankowski, Charlie Mayer, Otto Jelinek, Elmer MacKay to name just a few -- they would all later become Ministers of the Crown in Brian Mulroney's government).
It just so happens that Erik Nielsen was chosen as Interim Leader of the party while Joe Clark tried to retake his place as leader (Brian Mulroney eventually won that race).
Now, I used to tease Bill that the only reason I took the job with him was because I figured that one day, I would meet my idol -- Erik Nielsen's brother Leslie Nielsen. I mean really, surely the connection had to pay off eventually! I had been in love with Leslie Nielsen since I was twelve years old when he was on Peyton Place (yes folks, he was on television's first evening soap opera!).
Well, like I said, I was a single mom of a young daughter (my little chickadee was only seven years old at the time) and my work day at that time ended at 3:00pm so I could get home to meet her after school.
One day, Bill called me into his office and told me that I "had" to attend the Conservative Party function that was happening that evening (I never attended them -- for obvious reasons).
I explained to him that I had child-care issues and could not easily, on such short notice, make arrangements for my daughter.
He simply smiled and said that since I took the job with him for only one reason, I might want to find a babysitter -- and fast!
Now, my momma didn't raise no dummy and it took me about a nano-second to figure out what was up. (The event that evening was to celebrate Erik Nielsen's having been named Interim Leader of the Party.)
I raced back to my desk, heart pounding, and called my little chickadee's father.
"You HAVE to pick up your daughter tonight and stay with her until I get home because I'm gonna meet Leslie Nielsen tonight," I said.
He hemmed and hawed and insisted that he couldn't do it (this was something that simply never happened).
I argued and insisted that he had better come through -- a lot of people had made special arrangements so that this could happen for me.
So, child care arrangements taken care of, I hung around the office until the call of the curtain.
The deal was, Bill would take me over to Erik at the appropriate time, and Erik would escort me to Leslie to make the introduction.
So, as had been pre-arranged, at the appropriate time, Bill grabbed my arm and said, "This is it kid, make it count."
We walked over to Erik and all Bill said as he passed me to him was, "Your turn now."
And Erik Nielsen and I walked, hand in hand, over to my idol, who was watching us approach him. All Erik said to his brother was, "Bonnie's been waiting a long time."
So Leslie and I talked. In the photo above, we were discussing his role in Peyton Place (he couldn't believe anyone remembered him from that show -- it was a minor role, in the scheme of things). I was explaining that nobody, but nobody, would believe me when I insisted that my crush on him went back that far!
To make the evening more memorable, a group of us went out for dinner after the formal gathering: Bill and his staff, Erik and his brother, Maz and a few other people (some MPs, I don't remember who but there were about sixteen people in all).
We got to the restaurant last and Erik et al were already seated. By the time I got back from my pit stop (yes, even back then my bladder was already the size of a thimble!) the only chair left was way down at the far end of the table from where Erik and his brother were sitting.
One of the very gracious attendees grabbed the empty chair and brought it up to place it between Erik and his brother and told me to sit down. (You haven't had fun until you've dined between those two clowns, let me tell you!)
So you see, I had the pleasure of a night out with Leslie Nielsen (forget the fact that so many others were there -- he only had ears for me!).
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Now the tale kind of gets better still, I think.
There was a lovely photo taken that evening, of Leslie and me.
And the girls in the office had it enlarged, and sent it over to Erik's office so that he could in turn send it to his brother to have it suitably inscribed for me. I knew nothing of this plan until the autographed photo was given to me some weeks later, already framed, ready for me to hang in a place of honour.
Shortly after receiving the framed, signed photo, I had an unexpected visitor to my office. There stood Erik Nielsen, carrying an envelope, which he handed to me saying, "I figure if you have an autographed photo of my brother, you should at least have one of the Interim Leader of the Official Opposition too."
I thanked him for the photo, and laughingly agreed to always hang the two photos "side by each," but he would have to forgive me if the one with Leslie just happened to have a slightly more lofty position than his.
Oh, those were the days, my friends.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sad times for my family

Yesterday afternoon, my grand-niece lost her battle with brain cancer.
She was only 18 years old.
I never had the pleasure of meeting Tamarra, but I followed her on FaceBook and she was certainly loved and admired by her family and friends.
Tamarra was my brother John's granddaughter (he lost his battle with cancer not quite three months ago).
As my little chickadee said to me this morning, "It sucks to have Cherryholme blood lately."
My heart goes out to Tanya, Tamarra's mother, who in the past two and half years has been asked to cope with more pain than any one person should have to endure in such a short period of time.  Her grandmother (my mother) passed in January 2008; a month later, her mother died suddenly in February, 2008; her father (my brother) succumbed to lung cancer on 27 August 2010, and now her only daughter has been taken from her.
Such events bring one burning question to my mind:  What more could the good Lord ask of one person?
A mother shouldn't have to bury her child.
Cancer shouldn't take anyone, much less a child.
Rest in peace, Tanya's angel.
Tamarra Cherryholme
6 Jan 1992 - 23 Nov 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

I am sooooooooo tired

This moving really sucks -- big time.
I mean, I am soooooooo glad I'm not moving a house because all I've done is relocate half a room from one level of the house to another -- and it's a nightmare.
The domino effect is unbelievable!
I can't unpack until the shelves are in place ...
The shelves can't be put in place until they are altered ...
Some shelves need to be painted ...
They can't be painted until I'm not here ...
I've managed to unpack the files that go into the file cabinet.
Everything else must wait for something.
The satellite wiring isn't quite right (not sure which connection is wrong ...)
My internet connection is working but the signal is low so therefore very slow (not sure which connection isn't quite right ...)
I have phones but all the lines are the fax line (someone is coming to fix that ...)
Other than that, things are moving along.
Eventually, my sanctuary will be ready and I will post photos of the fully functional room.
Right now though, I have to go to bed because I've been up since 1:30am and I am tired.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I can move in!

The building inspector said I can move in!
He also said that the room is very nice indeed.   He especially likes the floor I chose, and he thinks the colour scheme is very attractive.
So there you have it.
My sanctuary is now official.
Woo hoo ... now the fun really starts.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Paying the piper

OK, so I'm paying the piper (big time) but I'm not allowed to complain because I swore to my little chickadee that I would not do that.
So I'm not complaining.
Last evening, after spending an extremely busy day restocking the pantry (while wearing the TENs machine, without which I would never have been able to put in the day I did), I resorted to a jet massage bath to soothe my aching body.
And oh I needed it.  I don't think there was a muscle in this old bod that wasn't screaming.
But there was such a sense of satisfaction knowing that my pantry contents were no longer living out on the porch.
I hit the sack verrrrrry early last night too.
Nothing like being super tired to induce a good night's sleep, right?
I still woke every two hours, like clock-work.
And right on cue, at 3:30am, I was awake -- mentally ready to start another day.
Except my body was not going to co-operate.
It wasn't letting me move one step this morning.  Not a one I tell you.
So again, I'm wearing the TENs machine to allow me to move about the place.
After all, I have things to do.
My horoscope even says I should keep at it:  "Things are really cooking around you, so don't take time to rest when you should be in the middle of all the excitement."  (Good thing I read that in the morning so I know how to organize my day, don't you think?)
Today, I'm doing laundry (already started on that), and I will wash the shelves in the closet of my sanctuary to get them ready for stocking.  There's nothing else can be done with respect to my sanctuary until we get the green light from the building inspector to allow us to occupy it.   *double sigh*
In any event, my sanctuary is truly gorgeous, just as I had imagined it would be -- and I am ever so anxious to occupy it.
Above is a view from the north wall -- essentially what I will see when I look up from my work corner (my desk will be situated in the north east corner of the room).  The small closet to the left is the broom/vacuum closet; the large blue door is the entrance/exit to/from the pantry/kitchen (I can grab a snack on my way into my sanctuary).  The closet to the right is waiting for the sliding mirror door to be installed (the left half obviously will be storage and the right half will be a wardrobe to store off-season clothing).
And here's a shot of the north west corner, taken as I stood in front of that large blue door:
There will be wall shelving installed in that corner and a rocking chair will be placed there (on loan from my little chickadee, the chair was given to her by John on the occasion of my beautiful boy's birth -- it needs a home for a while).
This afternoon, I have my weekly massage session so I expect my therapist will have a challenge working out all the knots this visit.
With any luck, the building inspector will show up today and give us his blessing so that we can start moving into my sanctuary tomorrow (and then John can get started on his studio).
One can only hope.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Restock the pantry day

A lot happened yesterday on the home front while I was in the city.
The electricity was hooked up; the phone lines were installed (sort of); and most of the trim and baseboards were put on.
So today, I'm trying to put the pantry back together.
Now there's a challenge!
Sorry for the brevity of this post but I'm busy as a beaver because I want that pantry done so I can concentrate on moving into my sanctuary by Friday.
Did you hear me?
Friday, I said.
We've put the call in for our final inspection because all that's left now are a few cosmetic touches -- the room is essentially "ready to occupy," but we can't occupy it until it is designated ready by the inspector.  *Sigh*
Gotta go ... my pantry beckons.

Monday, November 15, 2010

We're almost there ...

Builder man's ears must have been ringing all week-end.
He and his assistant arrived this morning gung-ho to get that floor installed today.
They worked like beavers all day long.
And the floor got installed.
It is gorgeous!
Tomorrow, they'll be back to install the baseboards and to finish putting the trim on the windows and doors.
And painter man will be back to do the touch-ups and repaint the pantry door.
The electrician will be in tomorrow as well to do his thing.
Heater man will be here some time this week to hook up the ducts that sit in wait to be attached to the house system.
I'll be in the big city tomorrow, spending money and picking up stuff I bought last week -- and visiting my physiotherapist.
Once heater man has been here, I believe we can call for our final inspection (the room must be in "take occupancy" state).
With any luck, I'll be moving into my sanctuary by week's end.
I can only hope.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I am sooooooo frustrated

My sanctuary is within a week of completion -- honest it is.
The hole has to be cut in the floor for the cold air return.
Both doors in the sanctuary still need their hardware to be installed.
The hardwood laminate floor has to be installed.
The sliding mirror door on the closet needs to be bought and installed.
The electrician needs to come back to finish hooking up the room and get it functional.
The heating man needs to come and connect the ducts to the existing system.
The building inspector has to come and conduct the final inspection.
The trim still has to be installed on the doors and windows.
There are a few paint touch-ups that have to be done to the walls (I noticed a few "oops" spots).
The sanctuary doors need another coat of paint (seems painter man must have "forgotten" to apply a second coat).
The pantry door needs to be painted to match the walls (another "oops" that I want corrected).
Now, John can do any or all of those jobs (other than the final inspection of course) -- some with a little assistance from various people on whom we could call for help.
But we'd like to allow builder man the opportunity to complete the task he was hired to undertake.
However, John just this morning shared with me a little piece of information that I guess he found out during my absence last week.
Seems builder man is planning (has planned?) yet another hunting excursion.
He will apparently be away again as of mid-week (Wednesday, November 17th).  I have no idea when he'll be back.
I was not happy to hear that.
Now, I understand that this too might very well have been booked before we hired him for the job (his trip to Montana had certainly been).  But he started what should have been a simple project in early September.  Were it not for repeated interruptions to partake in his personal pursuits, the job would be completed by now.
In the interim, the contents of my pantry have been living on my porch -- and I'm tired of it.
So in two days, builder man must complete all of the chores listed above?
Not bloody likely!
John and I have developed a plan of action.
We will sit down with builder man when he arrives tomorrow morning, and we will ask for a timeline from him -- how does he see this week panning out?  (We have a priority list of what we want to ensure is completed by the end of the day Tuesday.)
Should builder man indicate that he will in fact be taking off yet again, he will be instructed to complete our priority list of tasks by the end of the day Tuesday, (at which point he will be asked to take his leave of the jobsite).  The rest will be finished by our own means.
I mean really.
Enough is enough already.  There is no reason on earth why this job should not be finished by the end of this week, except for the unreasonable delays that have been imposed upon us -- like builder man causing repeated unnecessary breaks in the workflow.
I've been patient long enough.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I'm going out walking again

Quite some time ago, my physiotherapist was all excited about a new-fangled tool she had found that would be just perfect for me.
She had been to a workshop for these things and thought of me immediately; she bought a pair for her clinic so she could present them to her clients as the need arose.  But she couldn't wait to try them with me because we had often talked about my reluctance to use my cane since both hips were now so bad that I felt like I actually needed two canes.
Last week, on Tuesday while I was there, she finally had the chance to introduce me to the Activator Walking Poles and she sent me home with a pair to try them for a week.
On Wednesday, I showed the poles to my good friend, RLR, who also happens to have mobility issues and she was astounded at the potential benefit that she might derive from them.  When she saw her physiotherapist the next day and discussed the matter, she got an immediate thumbs up for using the poles in her therapy as well.  By Friday, she was actively trying to find retailers in the region who carried them.
This morning, I woke with extremely sore hands again, and my right hip was screaming in pain.  I think that steroid shot has run its course after only eight weeks (you will recall that I had enjoyed 12 weeks' relief from the injection in my left hip).
My physiotherapist is insistent that I must walk, so in spite of the pain, I suggested to John that we head out for a walk -- the first time we've attempted walking in many months.
So, out the door we went, I using a loaner pair of Activator Walking Poles -- and they are every bit as beneficial as they purport to be.
Because of my experience with walking with a cane, I had no problem adapting to the use of the poles -- you'd have thought I'd been using them for months.  And I'm pleased to report that I was able to walk -- without pain -- for ten minutes (the return home was testy because I went too far for a first outing but I'll learn my limits, eventually).
The interesting thing about that outing is that while my hands were and are extremely sore today, they did not hurt while I was on this walk, using these activator poles.  (Usually, when my hands are like this, I have great difficult gripping the steering wheel or holding anything in my hands.)
There was also no pain in my hips until about the six minute mark (which is one minute longer than the total time I should have been out for a first attempt, in any event).  With time and training, I should be able to walk that 20 minutes that my physiotherapist would like to see me do (she would love it if I could manage 30 minutes but that's a little ambitious because of my bursitis).  When I go out again on Monday (that R&R day has to be in there), I will make sure I limit my time to five minutes so that I don't sabotage my own therapy efforts.
When John and I went on our errands this morning, one of our stops included an outlet in Carleton Place that just happened to have one pair of the poles which they were trying to clear from inventory -- I picked them up at a $20.00 discount!
My physiotherapist will be delighted when I land on her doorstep on Tuesday, returning her poles, and tell her that I already have my own pair and that I'm actually going out walking again.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Yet another delay

Sometimes I think my sanctuary will never be ready for move-in day.
I went away for three days to allow the painting to happen -- and it did get done (in just two days!).
On the third day, builder man came in and started installing the trim (a herculean effort if ever there was one!) and he built the shelving for the closets and the pantry (now there was a challenge).
Anyway, when I was heading out on Tuesday, John had called me and advised that painter man didn't think we should paint the pantry the colour I had chosen (same as sanctuary ceiling) because the ceiling paint wasn't as durable as the wall paint.  (Remember that  I had wanted to meet with painter man before I vacated the premises? He was supposed to get there by 8:00am - or so I thought.  I waited as long as I dared but finally had to leave at 8:30am because I had an appointment in the big city at 9:30am.  John told me he arrived at 9:00am -- his "start time" both days.)  So, I told John to have him paint the pantry the same as the sanctuary walls then.  Sounded logical to me (the ceiling was being painted a lighter "gray" than the walls).
So I get home and the first thing one sees as one approaches is the pantry (one must walk through the kitchen to get to my sanctuary).
And it jumps out at me.  The walls are darker than the pantry door, which looks white in comparison.  I don't like it!
As I found out later, he did paint the walls of the pantry entrance the same colour as the sanctuary walls, but he acquired a quart of higher grade paint in the same colour as the ceiling so he could paint the door!  So, why weren't the walls painted that same colour with that higher-grade wall paint I ask?  Why on earth would I want the door different from the walls when I asked that they be the same?  I'm guessing that the higher grade wall paint used on the door would also be suitable for the walls.  Which means my original request could and should have been met (I'm paying for the paint anyway).  Duhhhh!!!! 
But I digress.
And at least I have lots of shelves in my pantry (which is a good thing let me tell you!)
Into the sanctuary I go (where the boys are still working putting the trim on and hanging doors).
It is just as I asked -- and it's gorgeous (albeit still very cluttered with lumber and miscellaneous work equipment).
The ceiling is lighter than the walls.
The walls are a light blue-grey.
The crown moulding is navy.
The doors are navy.
It is stunning!  Just the effect I was trying to achieve.
And I have a closet with shelves -- lots of shelves!
My sanctuary, as seen from the north wall; the sliding mirror door will be installed after the floor is in place.
And here is a view of my sanctuary's north wall, now fully painted and waiting for the electrician to come back and finish wiring the room.
So, why did I title this post "Yet another delay," you ask?
Because today, nothing further will be happening.
In spite of the fact that the electrician needs to come and do his thing.
In spite of the fact that there is still trim to be installed (lots of it too!).
In spite of the fact that the painter has to come back to fix the screw-up with the colour of the pantry door.  (It will be painted to match the walls and I have asked that he do that on Tuesday next week when I again have to be out of the house.)
In spite of the fact that the heating guy has to come and hook up the ducts to our existing system (the vents have now been cut in the floor so he can come any time).
In spite of the fact that the floor still has to be installed.
Any one of the above could be being done today.
But no.
My builder guy isn't showing up here today (for why, I know not).
Builder guy will be back on Monday to proceed with this project.
So, yet another day down the tubes.
I don't like unnecessary delays on any project.
Once started, I like to see things done in a timely fashion.
This, my friends, is not timely.
If not for the delays that have occurred for hunting purposes, my sanctuary would already be complete.
Apparently, one should not embark on a building project in the country in the fall.
Not unless one is prepared to put one's entire upside-down life on hold for much too long.
My horoscope for today states:  "Making some changes to your home will be pleasing and will benefit you in many ways."
Precisely.  So get on with it so I can benefit already.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget

Remember our Veterans.
Many gave their lives for us.

Percy E. Gibson was an uncle whom I never knew, but I recall hearing his name often (his widow, Mary Gibson, was my mother's sister).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I've got crown moulding ...

Builder man and assistant showed up bright and early yesterday morning and got right up to work (notice John there, ready to take pictures ...)
By lunch time, they were all but finished, including having installed supports for the new pantry shelving:
As I've stated here many times already, the new pantry will be about a third the size of its former self but it looks like this one will be quite roomy anyway.  John and I had a most interesting discussion once these supports were visible.
J:  "That's an awful lot of pantry you're going to have there, Bonnie."
B:  "Not anything like what we had before darling."
J:  "Yeh, but there was a lot of junk in there before; shit we never used."
B:  "Oh, like the stuff you won't allow me to throw out you mean?"
His smile indicated that he got the message loud and clear, and that he just might let me wean some stuff from the holdings.
You see, I've been trying for years to clean up this place of non-requisite "junk" but John simply can't part with his beloved nothings.  (I maintain that he'll never get rid of me -- he can't throw anything out!)
Anyway, here is my sanctuary as it appeared yesterday afternoon, waiting for painter man to arrive (he is due here at 8:00am this morning).  This is a shot looking towards the north window (look at that view!). 
My desk will be in the right hand corner, so I will be facing the east window or the north window, depending on what I'm doing.  But most of the time, that north window will be behind me, to my left.
And here's my sanctuary from the north window, looking back into the existing house. (See builder man there?  He's measuring the door for the pantry.)  
The small closet on the left will be a broom/vacuum cleaner closet; the larger closet on the right will have sliding mirror doors and will play a dual role.  The left half will be chock-a-block full of shelves (can one ever have enough shelves?), while the right half will be an off-season wardrobe closet.
I'll be leaving home this morning, once painter man gets here.  I need to verify that he brings the correct colour palette and will be doing exactly as I asked.  Since I can't be here to catch errors, I want to make absolutely certain that everyone is singing from the same songbook.
John has been duly tasked with staying on top of the situation, vis-a-vis my colour choices.
When I return in three days' time, I'll post photos of the finished masterpiece.
It's going to be oh so gorgeous!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pain, Pain, GO AWAY ...

... and don't come back another day, PLEASE.
I am oh so tired of this latest inflammation.
Last night was just horrid!
Both hips are screaming, preventing me from getting any rest.
And this morning, my hands are burning again.
What the hell is going on?
Why, oh why, am I staying so inflamed I wonder?
I can only assume that the varathane continues to offgass, a full five days after its application.
Which leads to the question:  How long will it really be before I will be able to tolerate my new sanctuary?
It's going to be primed and painted this week.
The new floor will likely be installed this week, as will the trim.
And the trim still needs more varathaning.
I'm moving out for three days, but will that really be enough?
The idea of being away for even that long is causing me some distress, although I've managed to book appointments to help occupy the days.
And I am looking forward to the special time with MLC, Pauple and MBB.
However, I hate to be away from home, I really do.
My once-a-month overnight visits to the city are sufficient for me, and I enjoy those excursions.
But this imposed absence is going to be hard enough on me without my having to endure all this extra pain at the same time.
What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The pain is lessening

I'm gradually becoming more mobile again.
My hands remained quite inflamed right through yesterday -- hence I hadn't posted here in the interim.
It occurred to both John and me that I was probably not doing my hands any favours though.
You see, I've spent the past few days packing my office -- getting it readier for moving day. (I'm convinced that moving day will arrive, eventually, and I want to be ready to go when that day comes.)
So now, everything that can be packed, is packed.
And boxes surround me, everywhere.
File cabinets are emptied so they can be moved easily.
Desk drawers will be moved individually (contents included), making the desk itself slightly easier to move.
The shelf unit that is affixed to the wall has to be rebuilt to accommodate the space in my sanctuary.   I can visualize the reworked shelving in its soon-to-be new home and I'm quite anxious about the redesign.  It's going to be quite attractive, I just know it! 
I also took the opportunity yesterday to take some of the pantry contents that have been living on the porch and move them to the new shelf that was put up in the laundry room for the express purpose of storing "pantry overflow."  Since the new pantry is going to be about a third the size of its former self, there will be excess content, all of which will need to find new homes.  May as well get started on those projects that are inevitable!
The bottom line is, all the packing and rejuggling of boxes didn't do my hands any favours.
So while the initial cause of the inflammation was, I'm sure, exposure to the varathane, I haven't been giving my hands sufficient time to recover before I bombarded them with tasks that, in the best of times, would send them into overdrive.  No wonder they have been staying so sore!
Needless to say, today they will take the day off and recover properly.
The day of R&R will also give my body, most especially my left hip, a chance to recover too -- it has been screaming for relief.  That could be because of the abuse I subjected my legs to yesterday when we went into town to visit the Christmas craft sales that abound in this area.  I love looking at all the creative stuff that the artisans are peddling, but it simply involves way too much walking for me.  At one point, I had to tell John that he was "walking too fast" for me, and he was not going very fast at all.  Pathetic really!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It only hurts when I move ...

Fibro is no fun, to be sure.
I have been plunged into a flare-up as a result of exposure to varathane.
You will recall that I had been away for the last few days of the week leading up to Hallowe'en weekend.
John took advantage of my absence to start on the varathaning project to get the trim ready for my sanctuary.
When I arrived home on the Friday, the house still smelled quite strongly of his efforts, but he had closed the workshop door, opened the window, and put a fan on to blow the fumes to the outside.  Of course, I couldn't actually smell anything, what with my lack of working olfactory bulb.
By Saturday, I was suffering with very sore, inflamed hands.
By Sunday, it was serious.  In fact, my post for that day was about my need to wear my arthritis gloves again.  I hadn't made the connection to the varathane at the time, assuming the colder weather was the cause for the inflammation.
Fast forward to Tuesday of this week.
I had again vacated our home while the drywaller did the final sanding of my sanctuary.
So, while I was away, John again varathaned and again closed the workshop door, opened the windows, and put the fan on to blow the fumes to the outside.
And again, when I got home, I couldn't really smell much but this time I was aware of a chemical presence (the fumes burn my passages but I can't actually smell them).
On Wednesday morning, John tried varathaning a few pieces of trim (he's worried that he won't meet the deadline required by builder man for all this work to be completed). 
And by yesterday afternoon, my hands were swollen again and very painful if held down by my sides. (I'm having to keep my hands at elbow-height to avoid the pain -- the perfect height for raising that wine glass!).
John made the connection to the varathane and the fact that it was the common denominator to last week's inflammation too.
Duhhhhhhhhhhh!  Sometimes I can be so dense.
Of course!
This is essentially the same response I used to have to the paint at my workplace.  But I also used to visibly swell in the chest, neck and face at that time, and my breathing was seriously affected too.  That's why I'll be leaving home next week when painter man is here.
I could understand having a respiratory response to the varathane, but I hadn't recognized that as the likely cause of this flare-up.
But it certainly makes sense.  I mean, really, swelling is swelling.  And I guess it's just a matter of time before repeated exposure will cause respiratory distress.
When I woke this morning, my whole body felt like it was swollen.
I don't appear to be swollen.
But I only hurts when I move!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Boxes, boxes everywhere

Is it possible for a person to drown in boxes?
Because that's what I believe is happening to me.
Boxes seem to be taking over every room in this house.
I had to vacate the place yesterday while the drywaller came in to do the final sanding of my sanctuary. There was no way I could be present for that stage of the preparation. Fortunately, I had appointments in the big city so it wasn't difficult for me to fill in the time.
When I arrived back home, the room was finished, ready to be painted:
Beautiful isn't it?  Too bad it has to sit -- again -- while the contractor(s) go hunting (not a contractor in Lanark County who doesn't shut down for the deer hunt the first week of November every year!).
You will recall that the contents of the pantry have been sitting out on the porch since late September, waiting to be relocated to their new homes (no way everything will fit back into the new, smaller pantry that will be left).
In addition to that mess, I now have boxes filling up the dining room:
Boxes taking up space in the entrance way:
That's my new filing cabinet and the lighting fixtures for my sanctuary.  Behind the red door?  The trim that is being prepared for my sanctuary -- John has been working hard for weeks sanding and varathaning to get it ready on time!
And of course, there are boxes in the "old" office (soon to be John's studio), waiting to be moved to their new home:
Now I'm told that I will move into this sanctuary by the end of November -- guaranteed!  Here's the scoop:
Builder man will be here on Monday, November 8th, to build the shelving for the closets (pantry and sanctuary) and to install the crown moulding before painter man shows up.
Painter man arrives on Tuesday, November 9th -- at which point I hightail it out of here for at least two nights while both my sanctuary and the pantry are painted (primed and two coats of paint).
Painting will take at minimum the 9th, 10th and 11th (but I'm coming home on the 11th because I have a massage session booked for that afternoon and I refuse to miss it).  We will have to put a plastic barrier up between the main house and the pantry entrance when I get home, and keep the sanctuary windows open to minimize the fumes for me.
Builder man will install the floor once the painting is completed, and then all the trim has to be installed (and there's lots of it!).
So, the way I figure it, I could conceivably be moving in by Wednesday, November 17th (yes folks, two weeks from today!).  But even allowing for as-yet-to-be determined unforeseen delays, I'm guessing that the outside limit for move-in day will be the week-end of November 20th (are you paying attention MLC and Pauple?).
Imagine.  A mere three months ago, my sanctuary was just a vision ...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Damn change of season ...

Snow on the ground this morning.
And I woke with seriously swollen hands.
Back to wearing my "arthritis gloves" to help alleviate the pain.
They do help with the swelling and they allow me to function (although with my thimble-sized bladder, they have to be removed way too often to suit me!).
I'm also wearing the TENs machine because the stiffness is at an all-time high these days, most likely from the change of weather too (I can always count on having a major fibro flare-up at this time of year).
I took yesterday to veg after my nearly three days away from home but it apparently wasn't enough because I'm still really drained.
So, today is another day for vegging and trying to get my energy up again.
I'll have another opportunity for R&R tomorrow because nothing will be happening on the construction front, but the next day will be a long one for me.
I have to be out of here early on Tuesday and I have to stay out for the day because the drywallers will be sanding my sanctuary.  The dust that will be created will be too much for my lungs so I've been banished for the day.  Fortunately, I have two appointments in the big city that day so it works out well all around; I'll just have to leave the house a little earlier than I had planned (of course, I've already thought of several things I can do with that time).
Once that sanding has been done, the room will sit and wait for the painter to appear on Monday, November 8th (after he has enjoyed a week of hunting, remember?).
I have faith that eventually, this project will be completed.