“There is no rest for the weary .” Prov

Another of my father’s favorite quotes…

It’s November; the weather was unusually mild and Thanksgiving is only 11 days away.  What happened to August?  It seems as though yesterday we were driving our daughter to college and now I’m scheduling her trip home for the winter holidays.  Did the days always fly by this quickly or am I only beginning to notice it as I grow older?

The phrase “grow older” doesn’t agree with me.  As far as I’m concerned, I’m still in my early thirties raring to go.  Actually, when I was about 42, I was in the best shape of my life; lean and mean.  I am trying to stay on the right path as far as nutrition and physical exercise are concerned but now it seems like such a chore.  What happened to all the fun I used to have raking leaves, shoveling show, trimming shrubs and bushes, painting, decorating and cleaning?  I suppose I’m in a new life cycle, or so I’ve heard.

Today was a busy one for me, which is always a good thing.  While my husband was cleaning up debris from the yard and blowing leaves, I helped by clearing out our pond, trimming bushes and cleaning up the flower beds.  When I paused to prepare lunch, I decided I’d bring all the Halloween storage bins that had yet to be put away, back up into the attic by myself.  It wasn’t that I minded so much, lifting all the boxes up the narrow stairs to the attic, what concerned me was I felt I had no arm strength.  This was the first time I ever felt weak and I didn’t like it.

I can still lift the 42 lb. package of cat litter fairly easily.  I carried the heavy Halloween props in and out of the house and onto the lawn by myself.  Yet I had trouble lifting the boxes up into the attic.  It occurred to me that I need to incorporate a lot more strength training in my workout routine.

After the boxes were stacked in the attic, I figured, since I was already up there, I may as well bring down some Christmas lighting.  The weather was calm and my Christmas decorating usually begins in a couple of weeks anyway, so what the heck.  I managed to put up several strands of lights around our garage and a couple of trees as well as assemble our outdoor music light show.  All the lights worked however I won’t be turning any of them on until the weekend after Thanksgiving.  It felt good to get some of them up before the colder weather sets in.

Between doing yard work, decorating and cleaning, I feel I got a lot accomplished today.  The first day of my Low Cholesterol meal plan is going well:  ½ Grapefruit, ½ English muffin with lowfat spread and tea for breakfast, lowfat yogurt, banana and walnuts for lunch and a large salad with 2 hardboiled egg whites and lowfat dressing for dinner was pretty satisfying.  My husband had somewhat more substantial meals today: Oatmeal w/skim milk, yogurt, melon, turkey sandwich, baked flounder with LF/LC dressing, brown rice and green beans were on his menu.  Not too bad for the first day. 

The box-lifting incident motivated me and I think I’ll change up my exercise routine tomorrow.  I still can’t believe Thanksgiving is around the corner and Christmas right on its tail.  There is still so much work I would like to finish before mid-December including the traditional decorating, baking, shopping, gift wrapping and writing cards.  I’d really like to have the foyer painted before my daughter comes home to make it more welcoming.  I just wish sometimes, there were more than 24 hours in a day. 

I have to say that I am satisfied with what I accomplished today.  It’s now time to relax for the remainder of the evening.  Fuzzy slippers, green tea and two soft furballs on my lap sounds like a plan.  I am surely blessed.

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” ~ Ovid

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My Remodeling Journey: 2+ Years and counting

I’m quite exhausted, having spent a good 8 hours outside this afternoon pruning bushes (with the vengeance of a chain saw murderer), trimming trees, cutting grass and raking leaves. It was all in preparation for my Halloween decorating.  Without proper landscaping, even my larger creatures would be swallowed up by all the greenery which seems to mass produce every year. By the time I finally dragged my aching body downstairs into my craft room to gather some decorations, it was getting too dark to begin lugging skeletons, skulls, spiders and spotlights outside.  It’s better I wait until tomorrow and decorate in the daylight, even though the forecast calls for showers.  Great.

While I was downstairs, I realized I have a lot more room to spread out all my decorations and supplies because we had recently finished remodeling all but two areas.  We started with the outside and migrated into the lower level about two years ago.  It’s been a very long process and we are not finished yet.  Slow and steady as they say.  I’m really happy with the way it turned out and I thought I’d share some before and after photos.

The two bathrooms were completely remodeled.  We expanded the laundry area but it’s still a work in progress.  The craft room and back bedroom were updated but I’m not posting pictures right now since I have decorations scattered about.  I’ve shown the outside, lower entrance hall, three bathrooms (we added one in the office/den) and the kitchen in various stages of remodel. 

Although I love all the new rooms, my favorite is the kitchen (but, of course!)  The original cabinets are solid wood and in great condition.  Rather than replace them, we had them sanded down and stained a lighter shade.  All new stainless steel appliances made a huge improvement.  We also had all new electrical, lighting and plumbing work done which makes me feel much safer.  New windows, doors and even an additional set of stairs at the back of the house were added.

I’m thinking the new office/den my husband wanted is really going to become his “man cave” because, in addition to the new full bathroom, he had a mini-kitchen area built complete with cabinets, a microwave and small refrigerator.  He’s also set up with a large screen TV, complete stereo system (CD/DVD/VCR) and there’s even a fireplace in the room – perfect for his “cave” setting.  As long as he doesn’t ask me to chop any wood, I’ll be happy 😀

The main apartment has been finished for a year but we’re still in the process of completing the office/den, back stairs and landing and the laundry area.  Once that’s done, if we’re still alive and have some money left, we’ll tackle the upstairs where I merrily prepare my meals in the Brady kitchen.  I guess it could be worse; I’m not complaining.  But where’s Alice when I need her?

I hope you enjoy the photos. 

“If you’re tired of taking one step forward and two steps back, just turn around. That way you’ll be going forward in reverse.” Jarok Kintz, The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They’re Over