Oct 142015

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Sorry for the long absence.  Yes, 3 days does seems like a long time to not blog.  Time in the blogging world does not move at the same pace as time in real life.  Sort of like time when you are moving at the speed of light versus time when you are moving at a normal pace.  Please, don’t ask me the math on it, I just know that time moves at different speeds.

While I have not been able to get on the computer to update on the 21 Day Challenge, I have been working and making progress.  Day 5 of 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life talks about making a plan for when you hit a road block.  One of the questions was, “What will you do if you have to skip a day?”  Well, I got to that particular problem on Day 4.  I took the weekend off due to all the activities we had going on in various places.

At first I felt guilty for not doing yet another thing on Saturday.  Then I realized that running myself ragged was not the point to this challenge.  The point was to get back on the path to being more disciplined.  Taking a day of rest was not the enemy.

Farm Market Swap 2015 collage

I made a plan.  I would enjoy the day and pick back up on Sunday.  If Sunday did not work out, then Monday would have to be Day 4.  I was not going to feel guilty for taking some time for myself, by going to the Farm Market Swap, after days and weeks of constant going and craziness for others and our home.

My original plan for Day 4 was to take a day to wipe down the ceiling and walls in the small area at the top of the steps, take a day to do our ‘old’ upstairs bedroom, take 2 days to do the ‘new’ upstairs bedroom and take a day to clean the floors.bedroom above garage collageMonday came and I had renewed energy.  Instead of sticking with my original plan for Day 4, I did the ‘new’ bedroom in one day and swept the floors as well.  I will need to go back and wash them down, but they are much better.  I even did this with both kids at home, which is a small miracle.  It was not lost on me that this little feat would have been impossible a year or two ago.  There were still squabbles, but I was able to do this work with minimal stoppage.floor of bedroom above garage collageTuesday (Day 5) I tackled the ‘old’ upstairs bedroom and the small area at the top of the steps.  This is the point when I realized that I should put on one of the audio books I had recently picked up at a library sale.  Turns out it was the perfect choice for that day.  I knew Who Moved My Cheese had been a huge hit when it came out, but I had never read the book.  I am so glad I decided to listen to it while I worked.  Jack got to watch a documentary on Lewis & Clark, then some Rescue Bots.  And all was happy in our home.

One thing both of these days had in common was that I started early.  Mornings are the calmest time in our household and when I am able to focus the best.  As the day goes on my energy become depleted at a pretty fast rate.  Patience also starts to wain.  By the kids’ bedtime I am exhausted.  Sometimes I can gain a second wind, but it is not something I can count on.

Knowing this, I chose to do the biggest part of the Mega Project on Monday morning.  It stood to reason that I would be able to get the most done while expecting the best behavior from the kids.  Once I get to the next stage, the actual painting, I will try to do this when the household is asleep or after bedtimes.  I would rather wake up an hour earlier and get in some focused time, instead of having to stop to do this or answer that question.  That is the plan beginning this evening or tomorrow morning.

Yesterday found us in Big Town, taking our laptop to a computer repair store.  Of course, I had tackled the day’s Mega Project immediately after taking George to school, so that part was done and out of the way before anything else needed attention.  Jack and I stayed in Big Town, ate a picnic lunch then went to the library to do school work.  This is a great benefit of using the modified drawer system.  I was able to fill his folders, add in my binder and the pencil box, then pick up the crate and take it to the car.  Everything was there.tires and pumpkin autumn decorToday we have a field trip to a local pumpkin farm with some other home school families.  Some we have met before, but most will be new to us.  Please pray that Jack will make some friends.  He is often missing his school friends and there are less than a handful of other home schooled kids here in Small Town.

I have been doing well keeping on top of the dishes.  Yesterday morning found me short of time and a clean load of dishes in the dishwasher.  I have to admit that I left the dishes undone while we went to Big Town and only had a small bit of guilt.  I had to remind myself of priorities, that the dishes would still be there when we got back but the computer really needed attention.

The first thing I did when we got home was to unload and reload the dishwasher.  It was full, so I turned it on to run.  This meant it was still going when supper was finished.  However, we had tomato soup and grilled cheese for supper, so minimal dishes.  This morning, while breakfast was cooking, I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher with all 4 bowls, a plate and accompanying silverware.  Once breakfast was finished the dishes were added to the now mostly-empty dishwasher.  I love the look of clean counters welcoming me home.

Today’s application and things to think about were focused on keeping things realistic.  I feel like I have done that this go around.  Maybe I have learned from before or perhaps I am giving myself more leeway in other areas.

How are things coming along with your project?  Having any struggles or finding yourself hitting any walls?

Oct 102015

Last night, the last thing I wanted to do was finish loading the dishwasher.  I had every excuse, one of them being the fact that my back was really sore.  I did stretches.  I laid on the floor.  I did more stretching.  Nothing seemed to help.  So I took some medicine, laid on the floor a bit more, then decided to just get it done.  If my back hurt while not doing anything, it may as well hurt while I was being productive.  Silly back.

Please forgive the bad photo below.  It was late, the only light on was above the counter, and I was too tired to play around with the other lights in the room to get the right effect.  Right after this I went to bed.

What I do want you to notice is that not only is the dishwasher on (and running), but the counter above it is also cleared off.  I really had all intentions of only loading the dishwasher and calling it a night.  What happened, though, was what often happens in this situation – I couldn’t stop.

As I cleared the dishes off the counter and loaded them, I came across an empty bottle that needed to be thrown away.  Then another bottle that went into the cabinet.  Some peppers that needed to go into the fridge were next.  By the time these little, quick things were done I realized that there really were not that many more pans, measuring spoons, and other items left to wash by hand.  “I may as well do those, too.  It won’t take that long.”  And it didn’t.

Now I am on the other end.  In order to run a load dishes in the washer tonight, it has to be emptied this morning.  As the day goes along, dishes will be added to it.  Hopefully the counter will stay clear of clutter that always seems to collect with even a few dishes sitting on it.

This habit, of running the dishwasher at night, is at least two-fold.  Not only do the dishes need to be in there and the washer turned on at night, it also needs to be unloaded in the mornings.  Previously this was one of the kids’ jobs.  With no washer working, that job left the rotation.  (Come to think of it, all jobs left the rotation when that happened.  Hmm.)

In 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life, Crystal encourages her readers to find a bad habit to change or a good habit to start.  This habit should be something that is a life hack, that will boost your energy due mostly to how it makes you feel.  The morning unloading of the dishwasher is something I want to keep up with and have the boys start helping me with again.  This will mean we have items ready for use and a dishwasher ready to be loaded.

Farm Market Swap collageFor yesterdays step toward my Mega Project I wanted to wipe down the walls and ceiling of the stairways.  It was right before supper before I finally was able to do it, but do it I did.  It did not take that long, but did leave another layer of dust on the kitchen floor like I thought it would.  A quick wipe with a damp rag got up the majority of it.  

Today is a very busy day.  Soccer game this morning followed by the Farm Market Swap this afternoon.  I was not sure what my husband’s schedule would look like, so I arranged a babysitter for the kids.  At first I thought about not going to the Swap, then realized that I too was allowed to have fun and be around others.  Self deprivation is no way to live life or have a happy mom/wife.  We all need to be around friends at some point.

Once my husband found out, he decided to take advantage of this and finish up a paper he has due for one of the classes he is currently attending.  This will free up time later as a family.  As of late Saturdays have meant he would go study at a library for a few hours and/or have a group meeting.  It is kind of ironic that the first Saturday where I want to go do something with other ladies, he has nothing he had to do.

With more out of home activities going on today, I am doing a smaller section of my Mega Project.  I want to continue on with prepping ceilings and walls for painting, though for today I aim to do the smaller landing area at the top of the stairs.  This ‘room’ has a new ceiling but only a small wall space.  It is probably the least square footage of all the areas needing done.

For now I am going to switch over the laundry, think about lunch plans, begin breakfast and perhaps set out items to make muffins later.  Oh, and I need to get in a shower this morning as I can feel drywall dust in my hair. And so the day begins.  🙂

How are you coming along?  Have you decided to join in and tackle some things around your place?  It does not have to be large or even contain a Mega Project.  Setting a goal to do some of the smaller things around your place will also have an impact.

Oct 092015

It takes 21 days to make a habit, or so the saying goes.  And while it may take more than a day’s resolve, that does not mean it is too hard to do.

Our dishwasher started going out this past summer.  The signs?  It stopped drying the clean dishes and every so often it would take more than one push of the start button for the cycle to start.  This issue was not a new one, as it happened to us a few years back.  At that time we found a temporary fix that worked very well for a few years.

When the issues started to arise again, I did our default action to “fix” the problem.  This time, though, it did not work.  Seems it was time for a new dishwasher.  We waited until the day it would not longer turn on at all, which of course happened when it was fully loaded with dirty dishes late one night.

For almost the past month, my evening routine of loading the dishwasher and doing dishes was disrupted.  I was not 100% perfect in this routine.  More like 75%, but I was working on it.  Now, faced with a counter full of dishes at the end of supper, the time of day when my energy is the lowest, I became overwhelmed.  A new habit began.  After supper we would clear off the table, I would turn off the lights in the kitchen and go sit on the couch in the living room.  “The dishes can wait till the morning.”  And wait they did.

This new bad habit meant that I started every day faced with a messy kitchen.  Instead of using my morning energy to get our day going, I was using it to clean up yesterday’s mess.  By the time the dishes were done, I had no desire to do more.  Guess what happened at lunch time and again at supper time?  That’s right, I put the dishes off till the next day.  No magic fairy came to do them, they were always there the next morning waiting for me.

A good thing that came out of this was the realization of exactly how many plates, cups, and utensils we use in a day.  There are only 4 of us.  There really should not have been that many dishes. When you cook 3 meals a day and most of you are home for all those meals, that tends to happen.  It was a reality that was masked by the wonderful maid called the dishwasher.

This past weekend, our new dishwasher was delivered and installed.  Picking back up where I was a few months ago was harder than I thought.  The layout of the dishwasher was different so I had to put thought into where things went.  The old layout did not work as well in this new dishwasher.  For the last several days I have tried to get the dishes loaded and all the pans cleaned right after supper.  I am doing better, but there is a lot of room for improvement.

To work toward the goal of having the kitchen cleaned after supper, for the next week I am going to work on loading the dishwasher and running it every night.

cleaning kitchen floor collage

Yesterday’s quick project was to mop the kitchen floor.  I did not get to it till last night, the point in the day where my energy is the least.  I wiped down the tile area (10 minutes) and saved the moping for this morning.  I woke up a few minutes early and tackled this job.  It took me all of 25 minutes this morning and is now drying while I type this post

The pictures above do not do justice to the amount of dust that was there and now is not.  It really did look like someone took a sifter full of flour and walked around the kitchen doing a cha-cha dance as they went.  It still is not perfect, but is tons better than before.

washing garage floor

Step 1 toward the Mega Project of painting all of the new drywall was to wipe down the garage ceiling and walls, as well as wash the floor.  I lost track of how long this took, as the kids started to play in the water running off the floor.  I can say that it was easier than I thought it would be.  While not perfect, the garage floor looks a lot better and should track in less dirt to the house.

unpainted stairway collage

Step 2 today is to wipe down the walls and ceiling in the stairways.  I will need to hang up a sheet or some other barrier to keep the dust from coming onto my newly mopped kitchen floor.  Perhaps that order of activities was not the best.  However, I think I will be able to dust mop any dust that finds its way into the kitchen.

How are things coming at your place?  Was there a quick project you were able to take care of yesterday?  If not, why not look around for one today.  It does not have to take as long as mopping the kitchen floor did for me.  Actually, I would suggest something faster.  How about a new habit you want to work on forming?  What small step can you take today toward achieving it?

Oct 082015

Day One in 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life could not be titled any more appropriately – Discipline is a choice.  Over the past few months I have chosen not to let self-discpline happen.  I have chosen instead to set things aside till ‘later’.  I have chosen to pile up papers instead of filing them away, put off following up on items that should have been addressed months ago, and not finish what I have been working on before starting something else.  I have chosen to blame the circumstances around me rather than view the real issue – I have chosen to not be self-disciplined.

This choice has resulted in a home that feels chaotic, kids who are responding accordingly, a husband who is already stressed feeling even more stressed when he comes home and myself not feeling at all restful or productive.  There are so many things we could be doing but I feel so behind I have no energy to make headway.  So now, at this moment, I am choosing to start changing.  I will show self-discipline and do the important things that need to be done so we can life and enjoy life later.

nature center bird feeders tree pond

Today is the day.  I have room to breath a bit and tackle the things that have been overwhelming me, or threatening to do so.  I have begun to take on one of the larger projects and work on smaller ones, but just as they come up.  From past experience I know that if I were to have a plan and a goal in mind I could be doing so much more.  So here it goes, my plan to get back on the ball, to start up some of those habits I began to drop a year ago when our home life was disrupted by work on the house and adding in home schooling.  I am excited to get going and see what changes can be achieved in the next 21 days.

It is still dark outside and Jack woke up.  Yes, it is 6:35 a.m. which is right at his wake up time, but I was hoping the darkness would give me an extra 30 minutes.  No such luck.

His first question of the day, “What are you doing?”

“I am trying to set my goals for today.”

“Oh.  What are they?”, he asks with an innocent voice.

“I don’t know yet.  That is what I am trying to figure out.”

A few sentences later I clarify for him that I have 3 top goals for today:

  • Finish his school work for today.
  • Clean the garage of as much drywall dust as I can: finish wiping down the walls of the garage, wipe down the washer and dryer, and clean the floor
  • Spend an hour cleaning the house: picking up and moping the kitchen floor to get as much drywall dust up as I can

The last two goals may sound like complicated goals that could be broken down, and they could, but in reality they are not that bad.

Moping the kitchen floor is a smaller goal I have had for a while.  It is the first thing we see when we come into the house and really set the mood for how I feel about the house.  With the drywall dust and work dust having covered it often these past few months, I have also noticed exactly how much it impacts the cleanliness of the floors in the rest of the house.  Don’t believe me?  I now have white foot prints everywhere to prove it.  This really, really, really needs to be done.  And to that end, it is also why I am wanting to clean the floor in the garage.  We enter the kitchen from the garage.  The two floors are united almost as one.

The garage is 95% of the way done.  Wiping down the walls and the washer and dryer should take about 10 – 15 minutes.  This part is a step toward working on my Mega Project.

Quick project to jump start the 21 days: mopping the kitchen floor

Mega Project: Paint the new drywall in the garage and house

I will need to sit down later today and break my Mega Project into smaller bits.  For now I am going to finish up the first step I started this past weekend, which was wiping down the walls and ceiling in the garage.  Below you can see what it looked like before being cleaned out and after.  It is harder to see exactly how much dust was wiped off, but it was enough to cover me and make the whole room look white.

new garage clean out

Is there a quick project that you have been putting off?  Make time today to tackle it, then share with us how long it actually took.

Oct 062015

produce auction mums flowers

Why, Hello there. How are you?  I’m swell, thanks for asking.  Just thought I would pop in and let you know that I have not completely forgotten about what I said I was going to do.  Rest assured, I am not sitting around watching the weeds grow, though grow they do.

What I have been up to is forgetting to look at the calendar for the week ahead before committing to something that would require me to blog every day.  Seems I am something going on every day, which makes the days so much fuller and energy draining.

That is right, I too am human and sometimes forget something as simple as looking at a calendar.

What this does not mean is that I have not started on my Mega Project, which actually is a smaller part of the large home project we have been working on for more than a year.  We are at a point where the new drywall needs to be painted.  Painting I can do.  It just takes a bit of time. Time is one thing we do not want it to take, as winter will be here soon and we are wanting the electrical and HVAC to be in soon.

In my head, I would spend a few hours at night painting and have it all done in … a week.  Our garage is about 24′ x 24′, the room above it the same size, plus the ceilings in both rooms.  And the two stair ways.  And the (old) upstair’s ceiling and calls.

Yes, you may laugh.  I can take it.

Sunday I cleaned out the garage, and wiped down the ceiling and 90% of the walls.  I came away looking much grayer than I really am, but it was a preview of where my hair color will be heading soon if we keep having days like today.

I had planned to finish the garage today and start on the stairway, but we had a day of attachment and sensory issues that manifested themselves as, or triggered, very strong ADHD behavior.

Need an example?  Think, not being able to handle the mixed emotions of saying Goodbye to a friend you do not see very often, while at the same time being tired but not able to slow your brain down enough to rest.  So you decide to climb on the hood of the car instead of getting in to leave to come home.  Then, when your mom gets out to make it clear it is time to go, you run in circles around said car while your Mom starts to get really frustrated at you. Once home, you throw your eraser down the air register because you do not want to do school work, then demand your mom get it back out. This all makes perfect sense to do if you have trouble handling your emotions and self control.

I would never have considered doing this when I was a kid, I would cry if someone raised their voice to me even a bit.  It has taken me a long time to even begin to understand this behavior in my kids.  Now that I am beginning to understand it, I can see it in their lives from the day they came to live with us.  And it is not me just going crazy, though that seems to be happening over time. 🙂

This was my day today. All day.  By 6:30 p.m. my husband called it bedtime.  Wise person that he is, he knew this was a better decision than sitting on the couch with Jack and George to finish Jack’s read alouds (for school) before going to bed at 7 p.m.

Jack was asleep almost immediately and George asked to go to his bed (he was laying down in our room) at 7.  I am not sure he lasted 5 minutes before going to the Land of Nod.

I started to write a post, then opted to sit by my husband and watch a movie.  When that was finished I looked up some books on Amazon, then felt calm and collected enough to start writing a post again.  Being kind to yourself is important at times like this, but often something I forget to do.

cart of produce auction hay tomato apples

I met up with a friend at the produce auction today; it was only the second or third time I have gone this year.  I was hoping for some time visiting while Jack played in a neighboring field with a new toy he had.  Instead, he could not seem to accept the fact that I needed/wanted to pay attention to anyone/anything else besides him, and actually would not go that far away from me.  He tried several tactics to make sure I knew that he really did not like what I was doing.  It could have been worse, I guess.  At least he was not playing behind cars?  He is getting better at listening, slowly.  Once, when I told him not to run, it only took him about 4 steps to stop running and 3 more to stop skipping … but then … well, let’s focus on the positive, shall we?  He helped two people load things into their cars and received tips.  He was so excited by the few dollars he earned.  I can see him becoming the local lawn mowing and snow shoveling kid in a few years.  rotary phone with pinstrip border

Something I did get accomplished today, I hope, was finding an oral surgeon that takes George’s insurance card.  Up till now I have heard stories about how hard it is to find doctor’s that take the state’s Medicaid insurance, but I had never really run into it.  At least, not to this extent.  With an OT we use for one of the kids, it took us calling a second OT office before finding one that took their insurance.  Same for the new optometrist, though they stopped taking it a few months ago.

Seems the oral surgeon at George’s dentist office retired.  The one in the neighboring county is only open to residents in that county.  The 5 others in our area whom I called do not take his insurance.  One office did give me a head’s up about an office in our neighboring state with whom they have worked before.  I gave them a call too.  Seems the nearest one in our neighboring state, who does take our state’s Medicaid insurance, does not have an oral surgeon or anesthesiologist in their office.  However, this particular dentists office does have another branch in another town a few hours away which may have an oral surgeon.  I am waiting for a call back tomorrow to see if we can set up a time.  In order to avoid having to pay $1200 out of pocket, I am willing to drive a few hours to find someone who takes George’s insurance. Besides, we have some friends who live there so we can make it a dual-purpose trip.

garage and basement collage

So, where does that leave me with the 21 Day Challenge? I am still working toward it, even if I have not posted the first post.  It seems the cup of regular (caffeinated) coffee that I have been working on all day has finally kicked in, as have the pain meds.  I have some muscle pain that was only made worse by sitting down at the computer.  It is amazing how much more you can accomplish when you are no longer in pain nor having a kid (seemingly) do everything in their power to annoy you so you will give them attention.

The 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life will start a few days later than I had planned.  What a great reminder as to why I really feel the need for this challenge again.

Even knowing that I will be working through the book has motivated me in a few areas to stop slacking off.  I have been using the chaos created by our home renovation as an excuse to slack off in several areas of life.  While some of these were justified or due to a change in how we carried out the actions of a routine, others were due to my lack of discipline to keep up with some of the habits I had in place.

Tomorrow Jack has a class in the morning, then home to do some of the multitude of minor things requiring my attention.  By Thursday I think I will be ready to jump into Crystal’s book and actually focus on changing some bad habits and tackling the Mega Project with gusto.

Nov 172013

Weekly Goals collage May 2013

Last Week’s goals:

  1. Add a pull chain to our living room fan
  2. Add something to kids’ dresser so it doesn’t make a loud noise when closing
  3. Hang bird feed
  4. Install gutter guards
  5. Remove fence from around garden
  6. Pull up dead tomato plants and store trestles
  7. Mulch leaves
  8. Clear off kitchen shelf
  9. Prepare for a birthday party this coming weekend (it is a last minute decision so I’m keeping it as simple as I can considering we are actually inviting more than just family and family friends)
  10. Read through 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life in preparation for starting the challenge next week.

Menards had a great deal on gutter guards last week.  Since I was in Big Town at the beginning of the week I picked up a couple to take home and see if they would fit.  They did.  When I went back last night the store was out of the white colored ones.  I was able to order them, but will have to wait a week or two for the rest to come in.

As for the leaves, well, I decided it would be a great thing for the kids to play in outside at the end of the birthday party.  They had a lot of fun having leaf fights, throwing arm fulls of leaves at each other.  Update: we had very strong, constant winds last night … most of the leaves blew away.  🙂


This Week’s Goals:

  1. Begin working my way through 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life
  2. Mulch leaves
  3. Trim and remove tree limbs
  4. Send Thank You cards from birthday party

While working through the book, 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life, I hope to get things back in order while working on a larger project.  There will be a few days taken for Thanksgiving, but otherwise I hope to work my way through with few delays.  I would love it if you would join me. After considering the intent of this goal this morning I realized that I would be rushing into going through, trying to make it fit and becoming stressed out in the process.  Though I don’t really want to be starting this in December, it really would be a better time to do this.  

storage totes in basement

What better way to bring 2013 to a close than with setting yourself up for a more discipline life in 2014?  With that in mind, I’m going to wait a week and a half and begin working through the book on December 1st.  In the mean time here is what I am going to be thinking through:

  • What large goal do I want to work on?
  • How am I going to get there?
  • Are there smaller goals I also want to accomplish?
  • What needs to be done do I can focus on working on those goal? (Do I need to finish a current project so I can move on to the next thing?  Do I need to menu plan so I don’t have to think about it later?  Do I need to finish my Christmas shopping?)

I’m not going to stress myself out by saying “I am going to post every day with 10 gazillion pictures of my progress”, because life might happen and then I’ll feel guilty for not having told the truth.  What I am going to do is designate Tuesdays and Fridays as update days.  That is when I am going to post my progress and invite you to do the same.  It will be a great opportunity to encourage one another.


This post contains affiliate links.

Mar 282013

21 Days To A More Disciplined Life

21 Days To A More Disciplined Life

The long awaited final post to the Mega Project for February’s 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life is here.  Okay, I’m not sure if you have be awaiting it, but I sure have been awaiting getting around to being able to write and post this final post.  Did you follow that?  It honestly hadn’t taken me all that long to finish this project as it may seem, due to the lateness of this post.  The biggest delay was the wiring …

GFCI outlet in bathroom remodel being installed

light switch in bathroom remodel being installed… it still looks like this.  The light switch has a broken wire inside the box and the GFCI outlet won’t reset for some reason.  We have had this particular breaker off for sometime.  It was only after shutting it off that I realized how many random things in the house are on this circuit.  Outlets in our basement, main floor and the upstairs as well as the lights in this bathroom and some (but not all) in the bedroom beside this bathroom.

I initially told myself that I would post this final post after I did this final step.  Now the step involves and electrician whom we have not chosen yet (still awaiting a second quote).  Said person will also be installing the vent, replacing a vent in our other bathroom, installing a light switch for a light that is always on, and fixing the two issues above.  Sometimes, you just need to know when to call for help.

Okay, so what does the rest of the bathroom look like?  Take a look.

finished bathroom remodel decorated

The odd light is a reflection off the mirror.  I tried from several different angles but kept getting the same result.  As that is what a mirror does, reflect, I gave up and moved on.

bird clock in finished bathroom remodel decorated

I intend to add items around the clock, small pictures, as I come across them.  This is behind where the main door opens and is above the closet door you see.  I wasn’t standing on a chair to take the photo.  It is a short closet tucked into the attic space.  It hurts like the dickens to hit your head on the frame, which is something I never thought I would have to say.

finished bathroom remodel decorated 2

This is the view from the door way.  Again a mirror is reflecting on the right side.  This particular mirror was in the bathroom when we moved in.  It is kind of neat in that it extends and swivels.  You can also flip it to have a mirror that magnifies.  I have found it useful to see the back of my head or as a second mirror if the larger mirror is taken up.  The hand towel and bathmat are new.  The picture was picked up from a garage sale last summer with no really home.  Once I decided on the color I wanted this bathroom (tan and red) I realized it fit perfectly.

I didn’t tell my husband when I finished the bathroom.  Instead I let him find out for himself.  He came back downstairs commenting on how much he liked it and that it turned out better than he thought it would.  He also wants me to do the same for other rooms in the house.  The biggest difference?  Art work on the walls.  Specifically, art work (or pictures) that are sized to fit the space.

This project seemed so big at the beginning and never ending while doing it.  However, now that it is done I am so much happier with this room.  I also won’t feel embarrassed to let visitors use it.

Feb 222013

21 Days To A More Disciplined Life

21 Days To A More Disciplined Life

Today started early.  5:40 a.m. to be exact.  The alarm went off at 5:30, I laid there for a few minutes before talking myself into getting up.  The motivation?  To get  paint onto the bathroom wall before anyone else woke up.  My clothes were already laid out, which made getting dressed take all of 1 minute.

By 5:40 I was up, dressed, bed made and in the kitchen getting breakfast prepped.  Breakfast today was shakes, so it was pretty easy to get it mostly ready.  All I had to do when I came down was add bananas and milk, then mix.

One way I decided to save money on this project was by using tan paint I already had.  This morning I took a few minutes to see which paint colors I had in the basement and how much of each there was.  Initially I had wanted to paint the bathroom a yellow color or something light.  Then I realized we had several gallons of paint in the basement.  It just seemed wasteful to let the paint sit on the shelf and instead go buy more.  There was also a new brush sitting on the shelf that I could use for the tighter areas.  Instead of using paint to add a lot of color I’m going to focus on accessories.  The rug outside the shower is very old and really needs replaced.  It was going to be replaced anyway, so I am going to look for a brighter color.  Also a new hand towel or two, which we also need anyway, in the same color scheme.  By altering my plan I saved about $25.

I heard the first sounds of movement at 6:30 a.m. when footsteps sounded on the way to the bathroom.  At first I was a bit let down that I wasn’t further along before being interrupted.  Then I was greeted with a great surprise.  They had dressed themselves after they woke up!  I had hoped they would finally pick up on this fact.  One of the routines we do every day is to get up and get dressed.  Every. Day.  You must be dressed and bed made before you get to eat breakfast.  I chose to not make a big deal of the fact that one had on a shirt that belonged to another and was two sizes too small.  I did point it out and suggest that that one go pick out something on their own.  (Apparently I had forgotten to put out a shirt and the one to whom the shirt belonged chose this moment to offer to share.)  I’m thinking that this came from the positive comments given yesterday when the one actually made their bed (“your job”) without being told.

Then, not only were they dressed but they proceeded to play nicely for about half an hour till I was at a stopping point. I could get used to this.

It was during this point that my husband came in.  He hasn’t seen the bathroom since I was still working on taking down some of the wallpaper.  He was surprised and wondered why it had taken us so long to do this.

Here was the result of this morning’s work:

In the second photo above you may have noticed the orange sticky note on the wall.  I didn’t forget it was there.  It is actually doing it’s job – reminding me of something.  Under that spot is a stain that kept showing through the Kilz primer we used.  After two coats and a third extra heavy one just over that spot it still came through.  I will need to do something else to cover it, and another spot just like it on a different wall.

Once the brushes were rinsed and the paint tray wrapped in a plastic bag, to keep it from drying out, I went to finish breakfast. After breakfast we all finished getting ready for the day.  An impromptu  play time with some shaving cream ensued, where they were introduced to the joys of shaving cream on a mirror.  Yeah, everyone was in a great mood this morning.  We even got Bible Time started AND finished before the bus came.  That doesn’t happen every day, unfortunately.

School bus came and went, load of laundry started and painting was resumed.  8:30 a.m. till 10 a.m. was painting time.  The rest of the walls were rolled and corners, both along walls and next to the ceiling, were painted.  The corners and tighter sections took longer than I thought.  I hadn’t realized how much faster a roller was than a paint brush.

At 9 a.m. here is what the progress looked like:

At 10 a.m. here was the progress:

Yesterday I was able to get the vent cover off.  I have tried and tried to do this but it always caught on something.  For some reason it worked this time.

The design you see in the middle is actually the grate on the other side.  This is a return air vent that pulls air from the bathroom and the bedroom in which the bathroom is located.  After taking off the vent cover I realized how much it really needs attention.  Removing rust and repainting would make it look a lot better.  This will have to be a project for another day as it is just too cold to strip paint in the garage.

The paint needed four hours to dry before a second coat could be applied.  I had all intentions of doing this later in the day.  However my plans were changed by the weather report.  See, I don’t watch the news nor listen to it.  I’m not against doing such. It is just that I have found life more peaceful if I’m not always hearing about all the bad things that are happening.  One downside is I can miss some things, like the fact that a winter storm was on the way and has been talked about for the past several day.

My husband asked me, when he was home for lunch, if I knew what the weather for tomorrow was supposed to be.  He then proceeded to tell me that we were supposed to get snow and/or ice, more than just flurries.  This meant that instead of putting a second coat of paint on the bathroom I did three more loads of laundry, started supper and cleaned up the kitchen.  See, I wasn’t worried about food or paper products as I have a stockpile of such things.  We would be okay for over a week if it was impossible to go to the store.  However, things would have to be really, really bad for us not to be able to do that.  It would be more along the lines of us not wanting to actually leave the house to go to the store.  I was more worried about the cold water making it impossible for me to do laundry and I needed socks.  See, I’m working on priorities this week.  =)

My plan is to do a second coat of paint in the morning.

Tomorrow is Day 21 and the end of the book I’m following.  There are still some finishing touches that will need to be done after the last coat of paint goes on.

  • electrical outlets and switches need to be updated to a more modern color and to be grounded (I think I have what we need, though may have to buy the outlets)
  • towel racks or hooks need to be installed and/or made
  • pictures need to be hung
  • vent needs to be installed

Speaking of the vent, I have an update on its installation.  The electrician was called over a week ago, but my call was never returned.  Come to find out, the electrician no longer works independently and actually works at a company now.  Bad new.  Good new is I was given a name of someone else who may be able to come install the vent.  This isn’t a job that must be done right now, so it could take a few weeks to get installed.  The important part is that we have the vent and have a plan for it to get installed.  Worse comes to worse we could actually do the job.  I just was not looking forward to cutting the hole in the side of the house and screwing in the outside vent while balancing on the roof.

Have you been working on a project?  How is it coming?  Will you be finished with it tomorrow, did you finish it early or do you think it will take you a few more days?


Feb 202013

21 Days To A More Disciplined Life

21 Days To A More Disciplined Life

I feel as if I’m almost done yet so far away from the finish line with this bathroom.  There is only a wall and a half to still prime, but I ran out of primer yesterday.  The first thing on the list of items to do after breakfast this morning is a run to the hardware store for more primer.  I really thought I had enough.  Apparently not.  Since I want to do a second coat I will need to pick up two gallons of it.

Pictures from yesterday’s work:

The lines in the photo above are reflections from the mirror.  Here is a before photo of the above section, so you can see the difference.

Not the best lighting, I know, but it still shows the difference.

How are your projects coming?

Feb 192013

21 Days To A More Disciplined Life

21 Days To A More Disciplined Life

I took the weekend off from this project as we were visiting family.  Instead of skipping ahead the three days, I decided to pick up where I left off.  Sometimes I find that putting a project down for a brief (days, not years) time allows you to come back refreshed and with the energy to finish it.

Today’s part of the book talks about strengths and not comparing yourself.  Guess what I spend Sunday morning doing?  Yup.  Comparing myself.  Then I gave myself a talk, reminding myself that this person’s circumstances were, and still are, different than mine.  Also, I don’t know everything.  I get to see a small part of their life.  There may be things going on that I know nothing about.  “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

This morning I woke up, got a shower and finished spackling a few spots I had missed.

I sanded down the area around the edge of the shower, wiped it clean, then applied spackling.  By sanding it down first I was able to make the transition edge not as abrupt.  There also seemed to be spackling built up from a previous fix.  Once this was reduced I applied spackling, smoothed it over and moved on to the next area.

There were two small cracks in the corning of the ceiling.  This area holds duct work.  The cracks seemed to be along the edge of the metal …. I’m not actually sure what it is called.  What I do know is this crack formed along the metal edge they install to either give the drywall a smooth edge or to support the duct work.  Not an uncommon place for cracks to form.  I also applied a second layer to a previously covered area (the pink spot on the wall).

I decided not to go through and cover all the places where the top of the drywall (the paper) was pulled off while taking off wallpaper.  I had debated about this.  In the end I was reading up on it and decided that a coat or two of sealing primer (Kilz) would work well enough.  I’m okay with knowing that in the future if there are issues related to this decision, I’ll be the one fixing it.

Here are pictures from last Friday:

I painted the ceiling but found it hard to take a picture of white on white.  This picture does show you the new part (textured) and the older part (smooth).  Not exactly a great picture, though it does show I GOT TO PAINT!!

Perhaps this is a better “evidence” picture, though that is only because I got paint on the light fixture.  Not exactly a thing I was meaning to do at the time.  The whole ceiling, except along the edges, was finished.  I’ll work on the edges when I also do them for the primer on the walls in the next day or two.

I also painted primer on the metal strip around the shower.  I did this before starting on the ceiling.  That way it was able to dry to touch before I worked near it.

 What I don’t have pictures of is the wall I applied primer to.  Close your eyes and imagine a white wall.  There.  Wasn’t that exciting?  Yup, that’s what I thought too.