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 ...