Thursday, September 29, 2016

Unfriended....

I found myself thinking of an old friend today.

When I got home I popped her name into Facebook just to see what she'd been up to.  We have been "friends" on Facebook for probably the last 10 years. Six years ago she found a new job, and our friendship became very much hit or miss, but I did check in with her every so often.  Somewhere around the 2008 election I hid her husband from my news feed, not because I didn't like him, but because I didn't like the hatefulness in which he was expressing his political opinion.  About 3 years ago, I hid her from my news feed.  Her marriage had exploded (again), and while I reached out to her in a real way, offering an ear, breakfast, coffee, she never took me up on it.

Which was okay.  I get it.  When you are in that moment, you don't always want company.  She chose to stay in her marriage, to work things out (again).  And while I don't judge her for her choice, I worried for her as my friend, that the 5th time would become the 6th...7th... It's tough to watch someone stay on an emotional roller coaster by choice, but it wasn't my choice to make, and I can respect her decision.

Anyway, today I popped her name into my FB and she was gone.  I'd been unfriended.  Ironically we still have 5 mutual friends, people she also has very little contact with, but yet she unfriended me. Now, we haven't talked in 3 years.  We are in very different places in our lives.  We have very little in common.  My husband is not a huge fan of our friendship because of the drama that is ever going on in her life.

And yet, the unfriending bothers me.

Then I got to wondering who else was still left in my news feed.  Ironically, I am either tied to most of them through Scouts, work, or the internet. A quarter of my "friends" I have never met. I have hidden another quarter of the list from my feed, and I find myself enjoying my unknown friends more than the known ones. It slowly started to come to me that it's not about the people in my list, it's about the connection that Facebook assumes that you have. The other half of my feed is advertisements now. So if I'm not feeling crappy about not being able to see an old friend's life, or smirking over a completely fake joyous post of someone I know is outright miserable, I am constantly being reminded of how I can "heal my foot pain", or get cured of my diverticulitis.

What am I doing?

I really hate Facebook.  I hate the time it takes up.  I took the app off my phone, and yet sadly I find myself checking in in other ways.  I hate the way it portrays everyone's life as perfect, and yet often through over-posting, pathetic.  I hate the way a friend's post about how wonderful her husband is about staying with her 7 hours in the ER makes me think "Oh, nice" and "Wait?  Isn't that what a husband is supposed to do?"  all at the same time.

What I hate most of all, is that realistically, I can't just deactivate my account right now.

Facebook messes with the mind, folks.  It will make you crazy.

In truth, I don't want to reconnect with her face to face,  I just wanted to know that she was okay. Which she is of course, she's just doing her own thing.  As am I. Who knows why she unfriended me.  Maybe she was just surrounding herself with like minded people. Maybe she thought I'd judge her for staying. Maybe she just didn't want my non-sugar coated thoughts on things. Which makes me think she may have never even known me at all.  Or maybe, like myself, she too looked at my random posts and felt conflicted, like I was trying to portray something that wasn't my reality.

Or maybe, it was just time for us to finally be done with our time together.  Maybe our friendship had run it's course, and the connection through Facebook had perpetuated it way past it's time. Like a life support that continues to breath life into something that the plug should have been pulled on long ago.




Sunday, September 18, 2016

About Time...

I returned to work three days ago.

I made three afghans while I was home.  

 I ran errands.

I scheduled all the events for the Scouts through next year.

I spent lots of time with my Mum, niece, and nephew.

I napped.  A lot.

The other half of clueless construction and I are currently painting the exterior of the house.

I helped by painting the lower 6 feet since the foot wasn't quite ready for the 40 foot ladder.  We're on a 12 month time schedule for completion.

There were lots of other little things that I did, but I figured I'd share this one with you.  Actual time for completion was about three months most of which was done before I left work, because it required a lot of thought, muscle, and well, money.

About six years ago my cousin gave me some Ikea book shelves that were in her daughter's room.  They were sturdy, somewhat feminine, off white, and came complete with all the standard evidence of a young girl in her teens.  Sticker residue, nail polish, and some unidentifiable brown goop that is better left  not discussed.   I forgot to take before pictures, but they looked like this...

They had been re-homed everywhere in the house, until they finally landed in our bedroom.  I should mention that we have ONE closet in our house. O.N.E.  The struggle for storage is real.  Really, real.  So, I got resourceful one day and hit Lowes storage section where I bought a standard storage cabinet meant for a laundry room.

It worked well, but wasn't very mobile, so one day I flipped it over and put wheels on it.  Good, but it lacked stability. It eventually became so un-sturdy that when both doors were open at the same time occasionally it would start to tip.  And even more important, when you flanked this cabinet with the two shelves, it blocked the only heating/AC vent for the whole room.

So I got to thinking...

... I needed a vent specially designed to go under the cabinet, and since no one sells this, I made it with my own two hands. Then of course, the cabinet needed a platform for to sit on so as to not crush the vent. And the shelf on the right had to be cut down to fit the space because nothing is ever easy....

So we cut down the shelves. And by we, I mean the husband cut it all and I just directed, because he just had no idea what we were doing. I replaced all of the cheap cardboard backing on the shelves with 1/4 inch plywood to make them a bit sturdier, and then we put the cabinet, sans wheels, in the center space...

...which just happened to leave exactly the space we needed for an extra cabinet on the other side. Which we also found at Lowes for $89.  It's not as deep as the cabinet we had but you can't see the difference when it's all together.  Here it is with the doors and extra unit in place...

Not bad, but still not done.  I trimmed off the curves from the top trim on the bookshelves, and then replaced all the side trim. I replaced the baseboards we removed and ran them around the base of the wall unit. Then I painted...
 I love the look of the gray inside the shelves and the clean white cohesiveness of it.  Is it perfect? Lord, No. But  all the cords are tucked away, it won't fall over, and it fits all my clothes...

Love it when what is in my head somehow all comes together in real life...
And now I'm back to work. Which means all these projects will come to a screeching halt and I'm okay with that.  But if on the off chance I need to go out of work again...

...Oldest has me down for another afghan.

Friday, September 9, 2016

How To Freak Out Your Family On A Sunday....

Do this to your ONLY bathroom at 530 in the morning....


The truth is, this project needed to happen a LONG time ago.  And in fact, was finished back in May, but due to phone updates, new computers, and the never ending "Where did I save that picture?" conundrum I find myself in, this post has just been a long time coming. But it's here now, right? And that's what counts.  (Tell me it is... you'll be my favorite.)

Anyhoo...  Sometime between my 40th birthday hospital stay and my massive post surgery weight gain, I put my toes up on soap dish area of the cheap surround that once protected our shower walls so I could shave my leg.  And, I swear, I only used a little pressure, but it was no match for my shaving acrobatics, and soon gave way under all the excitement.  So, I did the only thing a girl could do.  I patched the 3 cracks with clear Gorilla tape and then forgot about it for months.

Months.

Until one day I was doing laundry and saw some water dripping down into the basement.

Crap.

So, I thought about it for, oh, a few more months.

Then I realized that I needed to get this done before I went out for my next surgery in July. So, again, I did the only thing a girl could do, and ripped the surround out.

See all the water damage in the middle there?  That's cement board people.  It took 3 days to dry out completely.  That's talented neglect, folks. Anyway, after taking down the surround I thought I might like one of those neat little nooks that everyone is doing for my shower stuff.  

Tony thought I was ridiculous. 

I've only tiled one thing, ever, in my life.

We have no idea what we are doing.

So, I waited until he went for coffee before doing this...

When he came home, he found me cutting out the wall supports with the saws-all.  Best. Tool. Eva. I made the box out of spare 2 X 4's that I found lying around in the garage. And, after a lot of dirty looks and some mild bickering, we eventually managed to get to this point...
Lucky for us, I had creatively saved the extra cement board from when we demo-ed the bathroom a few years back, so the husband got cracking on the inset pieces, and we came up with this without spending a dime...

We also had clear silicone sealant in the garage left over from something else, so I was able to seal all of the seams water tight. After 3 days of letting that cure, we started the waterproof membrane portion of our project...

We called this stage "Satin's Shower".  Youngest was a bit bummed we didn't go with this color scheme, but I just can't please everyone.  This stage had to cure for, like 3 days, and we both had to work throughout this project, so yeah.... this lasted for a while. We had to hang shower curtains around the entire tub for weeks to keep the project dry while we worked.  By week 4 it stared to look like a circus tent.  Just sayin'...

Soon enough though, we were on to the tile.  Which would have been so easy if I had just laid it straight and square.  Nope.  I wanted it on the diamond.  There's a very good reason this costs twice as much to do folks, a VERY good reason.

And so it began....


What a giant pain in the a$$.  You'll notice that the sides of the nook are darker than the tile.  I wanted it to stand out from the tile and off set the accent tiles that went into the center. And.... I couldn't just lay them horizontal like everyone else...

And since they had gone on sale since my original purchase of them, I had to go back and buy up some more and do an accent strip on the other wall...

At this point Tony didn't like the design, but he just wanted to take a shower without plastic surrounding him so he just smiled and let me teach him how to grout. 

This is a panoramic picture of the tub area.  It's a little distorted, but you get the idea...

So yeah... it took 4 weeks from start to finish. We upgraded the faucet and handles, but of course I can't find the picture of this.  The husband was wonderful enough to repaint the walls and we have patched the ceiling damage from when the crown molding came down...


The canvas has been repainted bright white and is waiting for the painting mood to hit me.  I'm thinking hydrangeas, but I'm not 100% on it.  Now all we have to do is repaint the ceiling...

And with that, another project by Clueless Construction is 90% done.