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Monday, January 8, 2018

Getting Through the Tough Stuff

I’m trying to get a good fast going, beginning last night.  I have made it more difficult for myself by being lax in my eating – too many carbs, sugar, etc.  I did do the 1-1/2-day fast last week.

I am struggling with a bit of a cold, but other than a sinus headache (pretty sure it is from sinus), I don’t feel too bad.  Just a little congested in my sinuses.

The rest of the challenge comes from emotional things I am dealing with.  But there will always be those, from time to time, so I cannot use them for an excuse.  I will feel better if I push through and do what I need to do.

I downloaded a fasting app on my phone and I hope seeing how many hours I have under my belt will motivate me.  I started the timer after eating yesterday evening (which was an effective way to keep me from eating anything else last evening).  I often forget to count the time from the last time I ate to the next morning.  I think of it as starting in the morning when I miss my first meal.  As of late morning, I already have 15 hours or so under my belt.  I would like to get back to my prior schedule of fasting, and that would be 84 hours, I believe.

It remains to be seen whether I will do that, but that is what I want to get back to, at least part of the time.  (I do not need to do the same thing all the time or my body will make adjustments; best to keep it guessing.)   In the meantime, the eating I do needs to be low carb/high fat.  That will get me “fat-adapted” again, which makes fasting easier.  I do believe the fasting app will help.

I did not get much done this weekend.  I kept my grandson overnight Friday night, and it was very hard to get anything done.  Then I spent two hours at a bank refinancing a vehicle (time-consuming, but fruitful).  Then my daughter and I did a little shopping.  Neither of us is feeling at the top of our game, so by the time we got home, we were ready to chill.  Yesterday we had our Christmas get-together with my son and his girlfriend (which means my whole immediate family was there).  That involved a trip to Arlington.  We did a little work in the morning, taking down the Christmas tree, etc., but going to Arlington took a good part of the day and we weren't very motivated when we got home.  I need to get some stuff done in the evening this week!

Later

It is now 4:30, and so far so good.  My mind seems to be in a better place today.  It is almost like I now feel like my holidays are over after having the get-together yesterday, and I feel more determined.  I am a little hungry; I checked my tracker and I am at 21 hours 40 mins, and that is indeed encouraging.  I do not feel tempted to stop at this point.  Fingers crossed!
 
Evening
 
Still going.  I got really hungry a bit ago.  But the wave has pretty much passed now.  I think I will go to bed early.  I feel tired.  I had a hard time going to sleep last night.  It seems like I was only half asleep for about three hours.
 
I got the wood from the old shelving in half of my closet pulled down (it turned out to be only particle board).  I had to figure out how to get it off without putting holes in the sheetrock, which was what happened with my first attempt.  Prying the wood away from the wall causes my pry tool to break through the sheetrock.  I figured out if I put a scrap piece of flooring behind the tool when I am prying, it protects the sheetrock.  Now I need to paint where the wood was and then I can hang up my shelving on that side.  I am going way too slow, but just so I make some progress most every day....
 
I'm struggling with some depression right now.  I will bounce back soon.  Just have some things on my mind.  A better night's sleep will help.  I wanted a Monster today, but I resisted -- even though I was tired and sleepy.  My resolve feels stronger than it did last week.  But I feel like I want to knock on wood or something when I say that, because I never know right now when I am going to lose it.  I just know that if I get through the tough part, I can get back on track.  And I certainly know I will not quit trying until I do!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Short and Sweet

I'll keep it short and sweet today.
 
I haven't fasted, but also haven't eaten much.  My stomach felt extra growly this morning.  It is okay -- IF is just that -- intermittent.  My eating has been basically low carb last night and today.
 
I got a little more done at home last night.  It is good to have that bit of activity every day.  I need a tool to do what I planned last night, so will stop by and get it on the way home.
 
When my eating has not been that good, sometimes I don't want to put on clothes that I have not worn in a while.  I'm afraid I will have gained weight and that would become apparent when I put on the clothes.  I kind of had no choice this morning because of my closet issues; I had to wear what I could easily put my hands on because of time constraints.  Anyway, the clothes I put on were quite loose.  That was encouraging.
 
I really hope to get as close to my goal as possible this year.  I need to stay focused.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Empty Cup

I made it through yesterday, so finally have one day under my belt!  That feels so much better.  I know some may think I put too much pressure on myself with fasting, but actually it is the opposite.  I spend so much time and emotional energy dealing with food issues when I am on a "bad" track.  I feel guilt, I feel more pain, and I am constantly thinking about what I will eat next.  I don't do that when I am eating LCHF and IF.  And it frees up so much time.  Not to mention, once I get going, I feel better.  I am hopeful now that I have gotten past that first day, I can continue as before.
 
As the morning progressed, hunger made itself known.  Hunger comes in waves, so if you ride out your hunger for a few minutes, it will go away for a while.  After 3 days or so, it pretty much goes away for me.  The thing is, I know a lot of this "hunger" is just the sugar and carbs talking.  My body has gotten used to burning sugar for fuel instead of fat, so when it is out of sugar, it cries out for more.  I need to wait for it to shift over to fat burning and I will feel much better.  I tried to talk myself into doing alternate days for a while, but I know that is my "flesh" talking to me, trying to get me to compromise.  (I am not saying that is always the case; I just know that, right now, my flesh wants me to keep eating like I have been.)  I need to get the junk worked out of me so I can get back to the way my body is supposed to work.  I haven't decided how long this fast is going to be, but it needs to be longer than just yesterday.  At least until Friday is what I am thinking.  But I may go longer on this one, just to get the junk worked out of me and to strengthen my resolve.  In the meantime, thoughts of food are definitely entering my mind....
 
I did go home and do some work last night.  Nothing major.  Just putting some things away and unpacking a couple of boxes and tidying up a bit. sweeping, etc.
 
I have had this situation with my closet.  We had some people helping us when we first started the remodel, and a friend of my daughter's took out all my closet rods and shelving.  I don't know why she thought she needed to do that, but I haven't been able to figure out how it was supposed to go back together.  Not only that, but the original shelving, etc. was done in a weird way, so maybe it needed to happen anyway.  I found a shelving kit on sale (organizational stuff is on sale right now) and I ordered two of them, which should work for each side of my walk-in closet.  You can configure the kits according to your needs.  Like this:



Those are supposed to come in today, so I should be able to get those up beginning tonight and can finally put away some stuff I have not been able to put up yet in my closet.  We had put one of the old shelves back in a while back.  I knew it didn't look exactly right, and I must have been right.  I had put a storage bin up on that shelf and a couple of nights ago the bin fell off and hit me on the head because the shelf tilted and dumped it.  I am so ready to get the closet organized so I can put things away!!  I emptied out my clothes last night so it would be ready to get started tonight.  I hope this system will allow me to do some customized organization.  Being more organized is a goal of mine.  Especially with the last two or three months of chaos I have been living in with the move and the remodel.  I should have enough room in this house to put everything away, and to have a place for everything.  As for the old shelves, I am thinking I can use them in my garage to create some more organization there.

I hope, as the months go by and I am losing weight and feeling better (I have faith that is going to happen!), I will be able to learn to do some "handy" things around the house.  I have always wanted to do some wood working and other easy remodel projects.  One thing I was thinking about is my garage.  It is not finished out very nicely and I might want to do some projects there to help me learn.  Like tape and bed the sheetrock in it and assemble some shelving, etc.  It just depends on how much physical work it takes, how I am feeling at that point, and if I can learn the skills.
 
I am trying to stay awake this afternoon.  My mind is telling me I need a SF Monster, but as I wrote yesterday, I am trying to kick that habit.  I am going to take a NoDoz and see how that works.  I can't try coffee at this point since I would want some cream in it to try to help with the taste if I try to learn to like it.  That is one reason I kept going to the Monsters.  And I just like them.  :p
 
I said something yesterday about feeling constantly overwhelmed for at least most of the last 13-1/2 years.  (That is the amount of time I have been divorced and became solely responsible for my household.)  Actually, I think it began long before that because I was always the "responsible one" in my marriage.  But I was thinking this morning, some of the reason I feel overwhelmed is because I have a tendency to take things upon myself that are not necessarily my responsibility, instead of letting the person who should have the responsibility bear their own burden.  And I am not very good at not doing that.  But I am going to try to be more aware of it and work on it.  The other things that make me feel overwhelmed are working so much, my physical issues, all the physical things my daughter has gone through, etc., etc.  I don't have a lot of control over those things.  But I am going to give more thought to what I can do to help the situation.
 
This constant feeling of being overwhelmed makes dealing with anything "new" that gets thrown at me feel a lot more challenging.  It's like the straw that breaks the camel's back.  And when other people are presenting new expectations to me, it feels like more than I can handle.  I usually do handle them, but it always feels like too much.  And when you add another "constant" feeling I have -- the feeling that I am not doing a good enough job -- that load feels heavy, indeed.  I know I can't make these feelings magically stop, but I can at least acknowledge them and confront them when they come to mind.
 
I think I have become selfish, in some ways, in the last few years.  Or at least I feel like that is probably how people view me.  Maybe preoccupied with my own troubles is a better way to put it.  In other ways, I feel like I want to make all these outside pressures stop for a while and let me get off and rest.  How am I supposed to be there for other people in a meaningful way when my own cup is so empty?  And it feels mighty empty.
 
After getting that all out there, I broke my fast.  I have eaten only low carb food (some nuts), so it is not a big thing as long as I keep working at things.  I guess I let my emotions get the better of me.  I may eat something tonight (low carb only) and I plan to start another one tomorrow morning.  Just have to get on a good rhythm again.
 
I will close for tonight; it's almost time to go home.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New Year, New Start

I should start the new year off right (with a post).  :)
 
I will start with weight loss issues -- after all, this is supposed to be a weight loss blog.  My eating has been BAD the last couple of weeks.  I have even eaten wheat.  I don't know what got into me about that, except that a coworker was taking a cookie decorating class and that made me wish I could eat some Christmas cookies.  She brought some pretty ones she had made to share at work, and I gave in and had one.  And I continued that trend, at times, in the following days.  The result -- not great, but not as dramatic as I thought.  I was on a round of oral steroids, so that likely helped.  The steroid is beginning to wear off, so it could rear its head at some point.  I have had somewhat of a headache today.  Other pain issues are starting to flare more.  That is not only from the wheat, but the carby, sugary eating of the last few weeks.
 
I have tried a few times to get a fast going and would end up giving in.  It is really hard during the holidays.  If I had not gotten going on a bad track, it would have been easier.  Still, I am not being too hard on myself about it, as long as I get going again.  So far, so good today.
 
I saw a post on my IF Facebook group about someone's relative having a lot of health issues, including Alzheimer's.  That reminded me of one reason why this is so important.  Alzheimer's is a big concern to me, since it runs heavily in my family, and I think my best "bet" for avoiding it is healing insulin resistance and everything related to that.  So it is very important that I get back on track, not only with fasting, but with eating low carb.  Plus, it is the best thing I have found for weight loss at this stage of my life, and it has helped my pain issues more than anything.
 
I am telling myself that it is very important that I get through this day.  I think if I can get through one day, I will not have as much trouble continuing.  Am I hungry at times?  Yes.  But it is more the mental issue that has been getting me more than physical hunger.  I need to strengthen my fasting muscles again.  I can do this.  And I want to do this.  I feel so much better, in every way, when I am eating LCHF and IF.
 
I had a good Christmas.  The house is not done, but I got the living room done enough to look nice (I did get my tree up about 3 days before Christmas) and feel cozy, and I got the kitchen done enough to cook Christmas dinner (everything turned out good!), but that is it.  My son was not able to be with us.  He lives in Arlington, which is a good little trek, and had to work on Christmas Day.  We had planned to get together with him this past Saturday, but it turned out he was sick with the flu, so we still have not had our Christmas with him and his girlfriend and her kids.  Hopefully we can do that this weekend sometime.  Both my daughters were with me, as well as my son-in-law and, of course, my grandson.  Here are a couple of pictures.
 
The Magic of Christmas
 
My Favorite Gift of All
 
First Fire in the Fireplace
Lest someone worry, I now have a screen on the fireplace.  I really want some doors, but was able to get the screen for under $40, so went with it for now.
 
I did not get much done this past weekend.  We did get out of the apartment and closed that chapter.  Now I need to devote some time every day to getting things at the house "finished."  It would be easy to let it stay this way, way too long.  My goal is to spend 2 hours a day, whenever I can find them, getting things done.  Some days I will not be able to do that (if I have to work late), but I got up at 6:00 this morning and worked some on cleaning and putting away stuff, and plan to work an hour or so this evening.
 
I want to start preparing my mind for going to church this next Sunday.  I always feel a time crunch, but I really want to start making some friends.  I guess I am going to keep going to the downtown church since if I want to be involved in the music, that will be the most realistic place for me to make that happen.  I always have to work until at least 6:00 p.m., so to try to get back to Garland and to whatever church by 7:00 or so for a choir practice would be very difficult.  Getting involved in music is not only a way for me to be more fulfilled, but also another way to get to know people.  This has also been a thought, and I do not intend for it to sound like bragging:  my musical talent has always been something people remember about me.  I hope that by getting involved in music at church again, it will be a way to help that along -- making friends, that is.  Hopefully it will make me less of "just a face in the crowd."
 
It's about time to go home, so I am going to close.  I think if I go home and get busy with whatever work, I can finish this day out with my fast.  I need to get a day under my belt and I feel hopeful that I will do that today.  I did drink SF Monster today, but I plan to put that to an end after today.  It only increases hunger and cravings, and it is not healthy, not to mention it is expensive, so I need to put that habit to rest.  And not pick it up again!  If I could learn to like coffee, the excuse I give myself for picking up the habit again could be met with another solution.  I read today that if the bitterness puts you off (that is what I do not like about it), adding some salt will help with that.  It's worth a try!  I really do want to learn to like it so I have another source of caffeine when I need it.
 
That's it for today.  I am hoping and planning to reach my weight goal in 2018.  I feel certain, for the first time, that I have the tools to make that happen.  I just have to get on a good track and stay with it.  The good part of this is that although I have not eaten well in the last few weeks, my clothes are still quite loose.  I am sure I gained some weight, but my body has done enough healing that I did not gain weight as quickly as I used to.  I am sure all that work would be undone if I kept eating the way I have been lately, but if I get back on a good track, my good results will continue.
 
Have a happy and blessed 2018, everyone!!
 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Blue, Blue Christmas

I'm having one of those days, so thought I would try to get some thoughts down.  Honestly, I am feeling pretty down.  I do not feel free to share why, but it has hung on throughout the day.  Let's just say the timing of things could have been better.
 
The timing of other things could have been better too.  If I had any choice in the matter, I would have chosen to do this home-buying/home-renovating thing at a different time of the year.  But I didn't really have a choice, since my lease is up at the end of this month.  Moving and renovating at Christmas-time is not the best, to say the least.  I want to be able to get some decorations up, but we are in no shape to do that yet.  However, Jim (my son-in-law's father) said things should move along quickly after Monday.
 
What is happening Monday?  We found someone to place the support beam for the price I needed.  Jim (who had back surgery about 3 weeks ago, so cannot do it himself) is doing all the prep work so I can get it done for that cost.  Actually he did it today.  And then he will do the finish work (sheetrock, texture, etc. that needs to be done to finish things up).  I am a little concerned about running out of funds.  It is more than a little stressful.
 
As for progress on the house, I got the pantry mostly painted, the shelves covered with shelf paper, and the boxes of food I have come across so far put away.  I did not do that on the night I intended since we ended up going somewhere that night, but it is done now.  We have interior doors now, with  most of the hardware installed.  I didn't buy enough doorknobs, so had to get a couple more today.  (Actually, I bought the wrong kind for a couple of doors.)  Other than that, they got the prep work for the beam done today and probably a couple of odds and ends I haven't thought of.
 
I have worked today not only on the pantry and some box-emptying, but just doing some cleaning.  It is so dirty and dusty, I wanted to get some of that cleaned up.  Now I need to get up and do some box-emptying.
 
Eating has been pretty bad today.  I did end up breaking my fast the other day.  :/
 
I don't know that this has really helped my state of mind, but it at least got my mind off the thoughts that were bothering me.  Hopefully I will feel a bit better tomorrow.  The more progress I make on the house, the better I will feel.  I am in a constant state of feeling overwhelmed (that happens often to me, my life is so chaotic, but it is worse than usual right now), and a little more order and progress will help.  I just have to get through this week and then there is 4 days off (including the weekend) for Christmas.  (Goodness, I have to finish my shopping!!)
 
Over and out.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Need for Relationships

This is a post I started between the last one and the one before.  Feelings expressed are still valid, so I will just post it....

There are some things in my life I feel so "done" with.  Let's just hope I feel done enough to actually change them.

Mainly, I'm tired of being such a lone wolf.  Because of fear, physical issues, working too much, etc., I have not made relationships outside of my family.  That means the only people I really have to count on are my kids, and sometimes that is a little precarious because they have lives of their own.  It's not that I want relationships that are all about what I need, but when you are in situations like I am in right now, it would make a difference if I had some people who had my back.  The load feels so heavy right now.  If I had a group of friends, I feel sure I could have called on them (say, a Sunday school class) to come help me with my move.  A group of adult singles tends to pull together about things like that.  But I am not involved anywhere, so I don't have anyone to call on.

I've said this many times, but I need to get back to church and make relationships there.  The thing I have to decide is, since I am moving further away from where I had planned to get involved, is that still the right place, or do I need to look for something closer?  It is still close in that I work downtown and the church is downtown.  So if I get involved in music, which has its regular practices on Wednesday nights, I just have to go from my office to the downtown church.  But to go to services, I will have to drive a ways to get there.  Wherever I choose to do it, I am sure I just need to jump in and start getting involved.  If I wait for the perfect time, it is never going to happen.  And I am tired of feeling alone.  I probably should just jump in and go Sunday; but I feel pressed about using all available non-working time to finish things up so we can move, so it will probably have to wait until after that.

I am just so tired of feeling so alone.

I am craving carbs and sugar quite a bit today.  Really, what I am craving is comfort and help and rest.  I may think eating comfort foods will help (and it will for a short minute), but it actually will make things worse because then I will have regret to deal with, and more importantly, added pain to deal with.  I am limping around today, but I am hurting in so many places that limping does not help.  My left hip (related to the pinching pain I described a couple of days ago) is hurting quite a bit today, as well as my right knee and my right Achilles.  When you have pain on both sides, limping does not do any good because you are limping on both sides.

Pooped, Progress, Plans and Priorities

Tuesday

I wrote this part of this post on Tuesday and did not get it posted.  Then I am skipping to Thursday, today.  At least it gets things caught up a bit.

I am pooped!  Exhausted!  But there is so much to do.

I thought I would take a minute to get a few thoughts down.  My boss was here for about 30 minutes earlier, will be back for about an hour late afternoon, but has to leave for the day at about 5:30, so I have some time to “catch up” on some filing, etc.

I have not been following any fasting regimen the last couple of weeks.  I have started on a couple of occasions, but by dinner ended up eating.  I don’t necessarily look at that as a failure.  There is so much going on in my life right now, and I know that I have the ability to do what needs to be done when the time is right, so I am giving myself some grace right now.  However, I have been doing some “less than desirable” eating as far as what I have been eating, and I do want to change that.  I am doing better so far today.

Specifically, I have been eating too many carbs, and eating sugar.  I need to stick to eating keto/ low carb during this time.  That way weight loss can continue, or at least I am not undoing progress.  If I can get my body back to being in fat-burning mode (called being fat-adapted) – which will happen if I eat high fat/low carb – then it will be easier when I do go back to fasting.  (If your body is used to using the fat you eat for fuel, it is easier for it to switch over to stored fat when you fast.)

But one reason I would like to get back to fasting right now is I do not have time to cook, the kitchen is still not even begun as far as putting things away, plus if I do cook something, it requires me to clean it up.  There is too much to do right now and it would be much easier to be fasting.  So, just because I am extending grace to myself for breaking a fast does not mean I do not want to get back to fasting.  I will get there.  Just have to get my mental toughness back enough to fight off the bits of hunger I have, and more importantly, the ability to keep going even when I feel this tired (since that is such a big trigger for me).  Getting fat adapted again would make it much easier.

As I sit here, I am trying to stay awake.  I am just so tired.  It has built up on me for the many, many days I have worked so hard.

I started this post, then went back to see what my last post said about where we were on the house, so had to insert some information.  We did hire someone to do the floors and to finish out the doorway between the living room and the dining room (more about that in a minute).  They got the floors done a week ago Saturday and did a good job on them.  The picture is a snip of a still picture of a video my daughter took, so the quality is not great.  And she took the video before we cleaned the floors, but it gives you an idea, anyway.
 
 

For the doorway, they were supposed to insert a beam to provide support that was to be removed from the doorway being widened.  They started that a week ago Monday.  Stephanie came in from work that day and they had removed all the 2x4’s from the wall, but had done nothing about support!  The ceiling was actually bowing down in the dining room.  My daughter’s feisty side came out and she demanded that the contractor come and do something about it and also insisted on seeing his proof of insurance (which his contract said he had).  I called him when I heard about it and said he needed to get someone over there immediately to get some support under my ceiling.  (I am not an assertive person, so this is difficult for me, but I did do that.)  The guy said he had workers coming over within 45 minutes, but asked me to please call off my daughter!  Lol.  I did not.  He refused to show proof of insurance (I am sure because he did not have any).  As it happens, my son-in-law’s father (who had been doing the skilled work at the house, but had back surgery days before this) was over at my other daughter’s house (which is only a few minutes away from mine) and he came over and had to show the workers who came back how to construct a temporary support under the ceiling.  It was obvious they did not know what they were doing.  If my daughter had not been so on top of things, I believe their intent was just to sheetrock and finish out the opening, thinking us two females wouldn’t know the difference.  Wrong!  Anyway, we ended up firing them because they obviously were incompetent for that kind of work.  The ceiling still just has the temporary support, but no permanent damage was done.  I say that.  We cannot put things back like they were, if we so desired, without quite a bit of expense.  I had paid them half down, which covered the floors, and had given them another check for another quarter of the cost, and I stopped payment on that check.  They cannot say I broke the contract because they had in the contract that they had insurance and they obviously did not.  I ended up paying them another $75, which covered some extra square footage on the floor, and we called it done.  They did a good job on the floors, anyway, which would allow us to move in.

We moved from the apartment to the house last Friday (December 8).  The house is nowhere near done, but the floors are in and it was too difficult to keep going back and forth every night.  At least we can come home and work and not have to drive back to the apartment every evening.  But now we have to work around our stuff, plus there is the getting things put away.

This morning was frustrating and difficult.  For one thing, we have no interior doors in the house.  I don’t think taking those off was such a good idea, this long before the new ones being installed, but it made it easier to paint the trim.  Since we have now moved, having no doors makes a bigger difference.  Stephanie’s room and my room are right across the hall from each other.  Plus we have the dynamic with the pets.  Maggie constantly wants to get after the cat.  I have the gate on my door so she can’t get in, but she sets herself up in the hall outside my door and watches him.  Cas (my Yorkie) feels the need to police the situation, and the cat sometimes milks it for all it is worth by taunting Maggie.  So I cannot close my door on that situation, and every time I try to leave my room, Maggie is right there, trying to get in the gate.  This morning, as often happens, I woke up fairly early.  I needed to go to the restroom, and my back was hurting enough when I got up that I decided to move to my recliner until time to get up for the day.  I tried to do that quietly so as not to get Maggie riled up so that she woke Stephanie.  Also, we are working on Cas’s potty training outside of using pee pads and I did not want him to wake up enough where I had to take him outside (which would get Maggie riled up).  There was no way to close the door on that situation.  I finally did have to get up and let Cas out, before Stephanie was ready to get up.  Of course, that means I had to let Maggie out too.  Stephanie has trouble going to sleep at night, so I hate to disturb her unnecessarily in the morning.

Another issue is that I have not located all my boxes of clothing and gotten them put away (I basically know where the boxes are, just need the time to do it), so finding something to wear this morning was more challenging.  Also, all of my coats are boxed up.  I am riding the train to work now, which requires me to sit outside waiting for it for a bit, and the sweater I had on was not warm enough this morning.  I am not going from parking garage to parking garage anymore.  (If I ever move again – which I hope will not happen – I will do things differently with my packing.  I should have left clothes in the dresser/chest of drawers and moved all my hanging clothes at the last minute instead of putting them in boxes.  I was trying to save myself walking, but it did not really help.)  Tonight’s job is to find all my clothes and my coat(s) and put them away, so I have them available tomorrow morning.

Another issue is that many nights, there are a number of people at the house doing work on it.  That’s a good thing, but sometimes you just want to come home to some peace and quiet.  There is not much of that right now, except after they all leave.  And if they are there working, I feel like I need to be working, so there is little time to rest.  Also, the people there -- Jim, Tom and Penie (plus Bethany and Carter) -- are all pretty intense people.  Everything is OH MY GOD!!!  I am not that way.  I lived with way too much drama for many years, and I do not want to live that way again.  So this intensity is a little tiring.  But I do appreciate the help, don't get me wrong!  No one was at the house Sunday, so Stephanie and I did only what we felt up to or absolutely needed to be done (that is a relative statement, since there were probably a lot more things that most would think necessary, but not necessarily what we had the energy to do).  Even after taking some time that day, I am still very, very tired.  We still have no Christmas decorations, which makes me sad.  Things are not quite ready for that.

As for the rest of the progress on the house, here is what has happened.  Unfortunately, we have not gotten someone to do the support for the wall yet.  I got bids for $3,000 and $2,350 (and this was not supposed to be a fully load-bearing wall).  That was with the wall already completely demo’d and everything exposed.  I cannot do that.  A couple of other people are coming to check things out.  If nothing else, we will install a support post(s) in the opening.  It will still be opened up, and that would provide the support and not be as expensive.  I would be fine with that alternative.  It would still be opened up a lot more, and the post(s) would look fine -- could even look very nice.

We got the “shiplap” up on either side of the fireplace and it looks really good!  This is an inexpensive way to do the shiplap look.  The wood will be painted white and is on either side of the fireplace.  There will also be a “shiplap” wall in my daughter’s bedroom and on the lower half of a wall in the bathroom.  We have since decided to do the backsplash in the kitchen with this.  It is only temporary since I plan to redo the kitchen as soon as I can, but this is pretty inexpensive and it needs something to look decent besides just paint.

 


They got all the baseboards cut and ready to install, also.  They are primed white (which is the color they are to be painted) and we may wait a bit before doing the painting.  Just to take a break.  They look really good as they are.  They just need to be nailed in place and caulked before painting.  The French doors were partially installed yesterday.  They have also gotten the decorative beams on the ceiling partially wrapped with stained wood (needs to be finished; progress has been made since this part of the post).

As for what is left (for this portion of the renovation), there is some painting to be finished (trim, touchup, a closet or two, the mantle, and finish the kitchen painting and do the shiplap I mentioned above; it will just be a temporary solution since the next renovation will be redoing the kitchen, so there is not much point in spending much time or money on it right now); the shiplap needs to be primed and painted and trimmed out; the shiplap in my daughter’s room and the bathroom needs to be done; the doors and hardware need to be installed.  Of course, there is the doorway I talked about above.  I am sure there is quite a bit more, but that is most of it.  It is coming along, even if I am at that stage many homeowners go through, wondering why in the world I wanted to do this.  I am just tired.  It is going to look really good.  There may be a couple of other things I decide to do depending on if I have money left.  I am doubting it at this point, as much as I would like to do them.

I would love to get a big claw-foot bathtub.  I need a soaking tub to help with pain issues, and the only bathtub in the house is just a standard size.  (Gives me more motivation to get smaller!)  That will likely have to be part of a later renovation.  That is the biggest thing I am going to miss from my apartment, I think, is the huge tub.  And the distance from work….

But, riding the train is working okay (as soon as I find my coats!).  I need to get organized and make sure I have a book with me each morning.  It has been a little hectic, so far, but I have made it to work on time.  It still requires me about 40 minutes to get to work, but I much prefer this to fighting the traffic, and traffic is usually bad on the route I would have to take to work.  Riding the train, I can read or watch a video or just chill.
 
Thursday
 
Since writing the above, a little progress has been made.  I updated portions to reflect that.  I feel like I am not getting enough done at night, but I am just so tired!!  Monday night I had to stop at Home Depot to get a few things needed, including a doorknob for the French doors -- we totally forgot about that.  We also needed a shower curtain rod and I needed a curtain rod (among other things).  Tuesday night we did not have any "help" there and I worked on finding my clothes and coats as mentioned above.  I know there is another box of clothes somewhere, but I did enough to have a decent selection of something to wear, and I found a couple of my coats.  Last night I worked a little late and stopped off to get something to eat.  I went to a grocery store intending to get something more healthy, but this grocery store was not great and I ended up just getting something I absolutely did not need and nothing else.  The grocery store was in the same parking lot as a Whataburger and I talked myself into getting a vanilla milkshake there (an old behavior I had not indulged for a while) since I had already gotten the other at the grocery store.  After eating, I was falling asleep in my chair and did not get anything done last night.  I did get up this morning and put some things away in the kitchen -- emptied the boxes that were in there, for the most part.
 
I think, because of how tired I am, I need to set a goal of one or two things to accomplish each night (at least).  It would be easy to just go home and watch a Christmas movie, but I need to make progress -- and Christmas is coming!  I hope I can catch up over the next few days and not feel so drained.  I think I am doing more than I am giving myself credit for, but there is so much to do!  I am trying to begin a fast today, even if just a couple of days, so I don't have to worry about planning what to eat, fixing it or buying it, or cleaning it up.  Plus, I need to get on a better track.  I woke up with quite a bit of pain during the night!  Pain is definitely up because of all the hard work, plus the increased inflammation from my sloppy eating.  My shoulders were really hurting in the middle of the night.  At least most of the heavy lifting is done, and I mean that literally.
 
So, tonight I think I will plan to work on finishing painting the pantry closet so I can get food stuffs put away and have them available to use.  (I am going to need to make a "legal" dessert soon so I can get off this sugar trend and get to feeling better.  I need an alternative that doesn't have the negative effects.)  I also bought some shelf paper to cover the shelves in the pantry, so I can put that on.  I also need to get all of the shelves back in my closet (for some odd reason, a girl who was helping us took all of it down!) so I can better put away all the stuff in my closet.  The trouble is, I'm not sure exactly how it is supposed to work together.
 
I also need to go to the grocery store, but will probably wait a day on that since I am getting a fast going anyway.  (We will see how I do on that.)

One thing I did not say earlier is that Bethany had a pretty significant wreck on the day the contractor worked on the "support beam" for my house.  That is the reason my son-in-law's father was at their house.  She is still sore, her car was totaled, and they are dealing with that issue.  She is going to need follow-up care.  She had run out of gas and was sitting on the side of the road with her emergency flashers on, waiting for roadside assistance, when she was struck quite violently from behind.  She was on a freeway, so the guy was going 50 mph plus, and there is no evidence that he even applied his brakes.  He was distracted and just did not see her.  She had gotten out of the car to check on something and gotten back in on the passenger side, since there was a lot of traffic passing by on the driver's side.  She did not have her seatbelt on because of that, but it likely saved her from hitting the steering wheel, anyway.  Her back and neck are hurting her.  They had bought this vehicle (used) earlier this year and it has been a lemon.  They had just put a new engine in it.  Hopefully they will get reimbursed for all that (they should, I believe).  But this was just another blow in a series of events, one after another, that have made life a little rocky for them lately.  I hope at least part of it will be a blessing in disguise -- that she will get a good settlement for the vehicle and out from under a problem vehicle.  The insurance company already offered $1,000 more than they paid for it before learning about the recent work done on it.  They submitted the receipts for that and are waiting to hear.
 
I know this post is very long, but I wanted to catch up a little bit.  I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!!