Friday, May 25, 2012

making a little bit of progress in the house

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. This first floor re-do in my house was a lot more
 complicated than I ever imagined. To be practically living in the basement amongst all
the stuff from the first floor thrown everywhere was chaotic and nerve-wracking.

But...the painting is done and now the clean-up (oy!) and putting-the-house-back-together
has begun. There was plaster dust everywhere. I have vacuumed the whole house ~
including floors, window sills, inside cabinets, you name it.
Today I am washing the floors in the living room, kitchen, and hallway.
I just finished moving living room furniture around (Superwoman!) and
decided that the red sofa chair we have in there is simply too large
for this small room. So, I'm taking off to Home Goods to look for a slipper chair
and a bathroom mirror.

In the meantime...

There was one day last week when the contractors were at my house and I was tired
of hiding out in the basement. I had taken a couple of vacation days to stay home and
keep an eye on things. Besides, I would've never found my work clothes, shoes, or purse!
So, I headed out for a long walk in one of my favorite places: the State Park.

It was so cool to walk along this boardwalk through the marshy field...

There were beautiful flowers everywhere...

And Sandhill Cranes...

I hope to be back soon with pictures of my "new" rooms!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

before: let the destruction begin!

 Thanks for all your kind comments on my last post.
My life has been pretty darn stressful lately.
Someone had asked if I'd ever had panic attacks before. There's no definite answer for that question.
Several years ago, I started experiencing what I thought were panic attacks
but after describing what happened to my doctor, she was perplexed.
I had a ton of tests, including a brain MRI, an EEG, an EKG, and blood work.
Everything came back normal.
Anyway, this anxiety or panic attack that happened last week at work was
indeed a true panic attack, from what I've heard from others who have had them
and from what I've read.

Sooo...just to add to my stress level a little bit, we decided to have the ENTIRE  house painted!
It started out with just having the main hallway bathroom painted and the painter
 that we hired said that he could do every room in the house in a week
 and that his prices were really low.
After giving us a price - including refinishing all the oak cabinets in the kitchen, we said,
"Go for it!"
Nuts, I tell ya.

It gets even better. The painter called us Tuesday night and said he could start today - Wednesday morning. We had absolutely nothing prepared! Nothing taken off walls, no furniture moved, no supplies bought. Hubby and I worked like whirling dervishes - with a little help from our son - 
and moved most stuff downstairs into the basement. And then hubby had to run to Home Depot at the last minute.
We didn't get much sleep and were up at 6:00 for the painters.

 Here's what we're living in and with for a week:

The living room...

The hallway...

Guest room/office...

Master bedroom not prepped yet, but a lot of stuff from the closet thrown onto the bed...

Master bath...

Hall bath...

 One of the kitchen walls...

The basement piled with stuff from upstairs - we look like hoarders!


 Oh, so there's where some of my clothes are!

 Needless to say, I took a vacation day from work today and tomorrow. I don't work Fridays,
Saturdays, or Mondays, so those days are covered. (And the painters don't work on
Sunday.) As for next Tuesday and Wednesday, well, I guess my son will have to
hold down the fort.

I know it'll be a challenge to put everything away and back into place once the painting is
done, but the part I'm looking forward to is re-decorating.
Hubby just shakes his head. ;-)

Friday, May 11, 2012

flowers and sunshine are good therapy

 I had a really bad day at work yesterday.
I suffer from anxiety, so I need my life to be as peaceful as possible.
Of course, some of that is beyond my control.
I work in a high-stress office and yesterday was just totally insane.
By 2:00, I finally snapped. I had to get out of there.
I got up from my desk and walked out of the building.
I could feel the hot tears spring to my eyes as soon as I got outside.
Then, I started having what I guess was a panic attack. My heart was pounding,
my hands were shaking and then went numb, and my head would spin
 if I tried to stand up. I tried breathing techniques that I've learned in yoga,
but it didn't really help. I couldn't go back into my office because I was afraid it'd make my
panic worse. But yet, the fact that no one was coming outside
to look for me also freaked me out.
  My supervisor, who is also one of my best friends,finally came outside and said,
 "Oh, there you are! Are you OK?" 
To make a long story short, she went back in the office and got my stuff so I could leave.
She walked me to my car and made sure I was OK to drive.
I made it home, got into bed, and slept until 7 PM! I was actually able to go to bed for the night
at 10:30 PM and slept all the way through until 7 AM.

I don't work outside the home on Fridays (one little blessing is that I only work PT),
plus today was in the 70's and sunny - perfect! This May weather here in northern IL
has been so iffy lately, that I haven't even been able to plant flowers yet.
Today was the perfect day to head up to Home Depot and buy some blooming beauties.

I love fuschias ~ I buy them every year.

This welcome planter is actually leftover from Christmas. 
It was filled with evergreens and holly when we bought it.
I picked out these flowers because I liked how they hang out of the basket,
but after planting them in this planter, I realize I need something tall to fill the
space between the basket and the welcome sign. Hmm....

I ADORE daisies!

These little petunias will look so much better when they fill out in this
vintage iron pot.

I know geraniums are a popular flower, but I've never seen ones with a 
trailing vine like this. Maybe the vines are a different plant?
All it said was "geraniums" on the plant marker.

 It felt so good to be working outdoors, feeling the warmth of the sun on
my skin and the breeze gently blowing some of my stress away...

Monday, May 7, 2012

milwaukee public market

I love spending time with my family and discovering new places...

Good question! 
This was the first time any of us had been to the Milwaukee Public Market...

My adventure crew...Aunt Suzie, hubby Brian, and Mom...

Tons of spices to choose from...

And wine...yes, please!

We had a wonderful lunch from The Green Kitchen.
I had herbed egg salad on multi-grain bread.

After we walked around the market and bought some food items,
we headed outside for a walk through the downtown area.
These girls certainly were having a good time!

Spied an Anthropologie store and exclaimed, "I have to go in there!"
I love looking around in this store, but I didn't buy a thing.
Talk about over-priced! And all the clothing items I looked at were made in China or Vietnam.
Same with the jewelry and most of the dishware.
Walking around the store, we realized that people get caught up in the atmosphere
and design of the store. These designers know exactly what they're doing.
It's all about marketing, folks. Didn't fool us one bit though. 
My mom did find a packet of cookbook bookmarks for a good price,
and knowing I use little Post-It flags in my cookbooks, she bought these pretty
bookmarks to save for my birthday in August. I pretended I didn't see her buying them. ;-)

You'd have to know us ~ we are Goodwill shoppers. (Not Anthro!)
We thrive on finding designer clothes, purses, and home decor
at bargain prices. So when we spied a Retique store (a really cool Goodwill boutique),
we just had to go shopping in there. Aunt Suzie and I found some clothing items,
but not my little mommy. Isn't she so cute and tiny for age almost-72?
Oh, she's going to kill me if she ever reads this, lol.

So, tell me...when was the last time YOU did anything for the first time?