It’s 35 degrees this morning, cold for Alabama, and my dog Blackberry is taking comfort in the eastern sunlight streaming in through the french doors in the family room.
The cold seems just a bit more tolerable when you can be soaked in warming natural light.
Pretty smart girl, isn’t she!
For more interpretations of Let There Be Light! check out Weekly Photo Challenge here.
I thought I had it all together.
This major remodeling project, this project I have waited 13 years to do. How can anything I have waited so long for be anything but wonderful I had thought.
That was, until I discovered the mistake.
That unexpected mistake.
And although I called the contractor, and he came to the house, and he admitted the error and he said he would come on Monday to fix it, this was, for me, like an error too far.
I felt vulnerable and I don’t like feeling vulnerable. I was also let down and who likes being let down. I felt I depended on, and paid someone to do a job and it wasn’t done right. And now, despite my confidence in him being shaken, I was still depending on him. He had to come back and do the job for a third time and I had to believe this time it would be done right.
And I also felt this sense of despair. Does anybody care about what they do?
Oh how I dislike thinking people don’t care.
If we have anything, we should have pride in what we do.
As I was having these thoughts I became very aware of my body and how it felt like all the air was being let out of me.
And that’s when I noticed again the ringing in my ears. I thought back on my day. This ringing had been there for hours. First I thought I was hearing feedback from the washing machine, but I recalled hearing the same sound in my bedroom too. Constantly. Everywhere I went this far off whistle sound was with me, quietly filling my head.
So I googled “ringing in the ears” and read it can be associated with high blood pressure.
“I wonder,” I thought.
So I got out the blood pressure cuff…
50% higher than a normal reading. Although unusual, it was not unexpected.
Instead, it made sense.
Suddenly I saw how all the decisions, all the design ideas, all the drawings, the labor, the contractor, all the thises and thats were occupying my time and taking over my mind. If I am not at work, I am at home working and if I am not working I am thinking about working. I didn’t even exercise this week. Like this new sound, the project was always there.
I realized I was consumed.
“I gotta chill out,” I told myself aloud.
This project will work out but not at the expense of my health.
So I walked away from it and walked on my treadmill instead. And when I finished walking I sat down again and this time I breathed. Maybe for the first time in several weeks. For the remainder of the day I chilled and later that night I retook my blood pressure.
It’s been four days since this happened and the contractor did come back and he did fix the problem but I didn’t immediately jump back into working. Rather than hang insulation last night I watched an episode of Orange is the New Black with my husband, and this morning I resumed my normal workout schedule. Today as I walked on the treadmill I looked at the blank wall in front of me and got an idea for two pieces of typography art I should make. The first one would read, ”Worry less. Exercise more.” And the second, well it will be a bold 149/98 in a red circle with a line through it.
There are lessons that can be learned through the Unexpected.
For more Unexpected check out Weekly Photo Challenge here.
This morning, like the last 10 mornings, I sat in my big comfy reading chair I put in my new favorite spot. The chair’s new spot lets me look out my new french doors – 24 feet of windowed wonderfulness and because I can see both south and east I can watch the sun come up over the trees. It’s a great way to start my morning and today, as I looked at, and out, these windows I have waited 13 years to get, I thought about how in about an hour the contractor’s crew is going to be here to take them out. Continue reading
The last post in my Fireplace series described the basic process involved in framing a fireplace surround. In this post it is time to cover up all that work and hang some slate.
We have a lot of fun here at LIfe&Ink, don’t we. And you know, I am being only slightly sarcastic when I say that because it really is fun to see the surround come together and getting the slate installed, the slate I purchased a decade ago, yes, 10 years ago, is well, it’s the stuff awesome is made of.
So, here goes it. My first ever vertical tiling job. My only tiling before this project was installing the slate in front of the fireplace. Continue reading
There is one common denominator in every DIY project I have ever done and that is the project has always been inspired by an idea, that comes to me in the form of an image that I can see in my imagination. This idea comes as a flash, sometimes when I am looking at the specific space and sometimes not. But what is consistent about these flashes is the image is clear and is consistent with my design sense and I am fed with the desire to make that image real. Unfortunately these flashes of inspirational images have yet to come to me with step by step directions. How to bring what I see in my head to life, well that has been the challenge, and the delight, of my DIY experience. Continue reading
The story of our current family room remodel begins with a giant fireplace.
It was a brick monstrosity.
It measured eight feet high.
Six feet wide.
Two feet deep.
It was so large the firebox held our 36″ TV…
It was the brick fireplace that ate our family room. Continue reading
Oh how I love construction. Well, in this case destruction, because it means change is happening.
From the day I first walked through our house, more than 13 years ago, I envisioned a wall of french doors leading from the family room to the backyard.
That is now happening.
So much has been happening here I haven’t been able to organize my thoughts let alone sit down and write about them.
I refaced all our kitchen cabinets.
I built a fireplace surround and a bookcase.
And will build another bookcase once the doors are installed.
The entire back of my house, more than 30 feet, is being demolished.
And I am on cloud 9.
And soon, soon when my busy brain can settle down I want to share what I have learned about the projects I have been doing.
Oh it is great fun making what you want to happen, happen!
I’ll be back soon!
Currently my tour of books on social history has lead me to The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. I wanted to share specifically what I read this morning about “autism.” (In quotes as it was in the book.)
As the mother of an autistic child, it was particularly interesting for me to read the thinking from 1963, two years before my birth. I have frequently heard mention of how it was once thought autism was the result of The Refrigerator Mother but never have I read such a gross account of just what that perception meant and the impact and prejudice I can easlly imagine resulted in such thinking. Continue reading
I am thin so I have thin privilege.
My dad was successful at making money so I have class privilege.
My skin is white so I have white privilege.
I stayed at home with my children so I have privilege. (I don’t remember the specific definer attached to that one.)
I don’t have autism so I have neurotypical privilege.
And because I am so-called neurotypical, I have the world is easier for me privilege. Continue reading
I have a companion. He’s with me on every phone call I make, every email and text I write. He knows my every Google search, and what’s more, he cares about my actions and how I spend my time so much he holds on to everything I do, like cherished memories in a scrapbook. So that maybe one day, if he gets to thinking about me, all he has to do is go to his metadata storage facility in Utah and he can revisit all those old times.
Yes, my companion is James Clapper, Director of U.S. National Intelligence.
For more Companions and information about the Weekly Photo Challenge, you and Director Clapper, your companion too, can click here.
Photo credit: Associated Press
I’ve been busier than normal lately, beeboppin’ around from project to project.
High school graduation, college orientation, summer visitors. All good stuff. But when I go from this to that it’s hard for me to keep up with my thoughts.
As I wrote that I wondered, “Maybe that’s not such a bad thing!”
But there’s so much I want to tell you, so much that has happened, so much that I have come to realize and learn in these past nine, rollercoaster months of my life.
I will get to it all. I will.
But today, before I run off to do several things before work, let me share this video I was lucky enough to find.
First, it’s funny. And well, it’s Monday and I mean really, is there not a better way to start off the week than with something that will make you laugh.
there’s also a message on perspectives in this skit.
I hope you watch, enjoy and have a terrific day!