Friday, March 29, 2019

getting closer

Hello friends, and happy Friday. We've had a couple of beautiful "teaser" days here in northern Illinois where the sun is shining and it's warm enough to open the windows. It actually got up to 63 degrees yesterday. I had every window open in the house and the cats went crazy, not knowing what to do. They didn't nap the entire morning - they were too busy running from window to window, sniffing the fresh air and lunging at the birds and squirrels. Good thing we have new, strong screens! I can't tell you how wonderful it is to not only feel the fresh air in the house again, but to hear birdsong all day long. The extended forecast shows much cooler weather and lots of rain, maybe even a little s*** mixed in, so I'm enjoying every moment of this beautiful weather while I can.

And my lilac bush is starting to bloom! Another sure sign of good things to come.

Back at the Big Box Store again - this time looking for a large houseplant to go in a corner (I didn't find what I was looking for). I was so excited to see the pansies are here! Granted, they're inside for now because our weather is still too iffy, but next time I'm in that area, I think I'll get a pot of flowers for my porch and then put them in the garage at night.

The painting of Tim's room and the hall bath is done. You can see what a small bedroom this is. We're making this room into an office (for Brian)/guest bedroom/lounging spot. I wanted a day bed for this room but discovered they are bigger than I thought. So now I'm looking for either a love seat that pulls out into a bed or more of a twin platform bed: Something that doesn't have a headboard. It will go on that wall to the left, towards the window. Which also needs curtains.

This is the only spot that worked for this big desk. I wanted the desk in front of the window, but it blocked the vent. And if I moved the desk over to the right where the vent would be under the opening in the desk, it was too close to the closet door. Why do builders put vents right underneath windows?! I could never figure that one out. We also need to find a desk chair that "goes" with this desk. I've been looking on Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp almost every day. I know eventually it will come to us!

Here's the other side of the room between the closet and the door.

The bathroom color isn't much different than the previous color, though this gray is pretty much a true gray and a little darker. The previous color had slight blue undertones. We also had the painter paint the wood trim at the ceiling white. All I need to do in this room now is decide on shelving for above the toilet and then on the wall to the left, decide whether we want to re-hang the towel bar or find a decorative board with two hooks. I might even look for a new shower curtain.

Bathroom After:

Bathroom Before:

Speaking of painting, I'm working on chalk painting the old window that I've had on my buffet for years. It was getting way too worn and chippy.

See the worn part? That's how it was all over. I didn't sand the window - I was kind of afraid to since it's most likely lead paint. The chalk paint has worked just fine going over all the chipped parts anyway.

An update on my back issues: the x-ray showed I had height loss in L4-5 which basically means disc degenerative disease and then arthritis in L5-S1 (lumbo sacral area). Like I said in my last post, one really needs a MRI to see what's truly going on. When I questioned the nurse who called with the results, she said insurance dictates that you do x-rays first, then physical therapy, then have a MRI if needed. Ah yes, the good old health insurance protocols in the US. In the meantime, a friend of mine gave me a recommendation for a good physical therapist. I called to set up the appointments but can't get in with her until April 23rd. In the meantime, it's all about self-care and doing what I have to do to keep the pain at bay. I can't sit too long and I've also discovered that our living room couch is mostly off-limits for me. It's too soft and doesn't give any support. If I sit on it for longer than just a few minutes or dare to lie down on it to read, my back yells at me when I get up. So I'm staying active, taking walks either around the neighborhood or walking on the treadmill, doing yoga stretches twice a day, using a heating pad first thing in the morning when my back is especially stiff, spraying Bio-Freeze on my back several times a day, and taking CBD oil to take the edge off the pain.

Hope you have a great weekend with some fun plans!


  1. You should do lots of planks to strengthen your core, that will help support your back. So says the woman that needs to get off her butt and do some exercise, other than a billion chores!

  2. I can't wait for spring. We haven't had any days even close yet, but I'm optimistic. Love those kitties...

  3. Every evening after I shower I get out my portable massager (Shiatsu) I got from BB&Beyond, my ice pack and heating pad. I alternate them on my neck and back or I'd never be able to sleep. Apparently they don't think physical therapy will help me. Surgeon just said when I literally can't stand it anymore, he could do surgery, but not to expect much. Happy weekend! Do you have carpet in your bathroom? I couldn't tell.

  4. Yeah to see your lilac coming to life. That is a positive sign for us. I cannot wait to see the new Brain Office and guest room. Maybe get a murphy bed like I have. They work so great in a small room and do not take up room until you open it.

  5. I take CBD every day for my neck/headache pain. I think it really helps. So sorry you are still experiencing this back issue. Take good care of yourself.

  6. I cannot wait for open window weather on the regular but I will take that tease we got.
    It makes me laugh how exactly a month ago, it was 0 and today it will be 40 and we are like OMG IT IS SO COLD.

  7. I could just picture your cats going nuts with the windows open for the first time this spring! So cute! I love having my windows open too, especially now with all the birds chattering outside. Melanie, your paint job looks so nice! Isn't it amazing what a lift a paint job is to the spirits? And now you have the fun of making the room what you want it to be. But it does amaze me that you get so much done while suffering from this back pain, although I understand that movement is better than sitting too long. I hope the PT helps. Wish it could start sooner for you. I'm sure you'll be outside working in your garden just as soon as the weather allows.

    Thinking of you and hoping for less back pain very soon,

  8. Our temps got to high 80s today. Not looking forward to summer heat at all. I liked the shelves above your toilet. My husband took over the boys' bedroom with half his clothes in there. It's like he thinks it's his own personal walk-in closet and dressing room. He seriously has more clothes than I do. :/ Sounds like you are doing all the right things for your back that you can. Sure is no fun when it's painful. My husband dealt with some pain for a couple of weeks. He really needs to take it easy lifting things at work. Or at least needs to learn how to lift properly without causing back strain. He said it hurts every morning so we just flipped our mattress and will see if that helps at all.

  9. It's been so nice having our doors and windows open this weekend. Snow is in the forecast for later this week, so I'm enjoying it while I can. Like you, I'll be putting the pots of pansies on the front porch in the garage. The house is looking so nice. I love the color of your hardwood floors. I'm sorry to hear that you are having such trouble with your back. And then dealing with healthcare on top of it. It's just wrong. Sending healing thoughts your way.

  10. It's been wonderful to have the windows open with fresh air! Oh fresh air is wonderful! Murphy bed works good in a smaller room! I hope you can get some relief for your back. My problem is my knees!

  11. Hello Sweet Melanie, I've been enjoying having the windows open too and have been waking to bird songs each morning. I love the time of year when you don't need the heaters or the A/C on. Although; we have been using our furnace in the mornings and at night, because Steve is cold all the time. He has lost 70 pounds since last Fall, so no wonder he is always cold. Your comment was so kind; yes my faith is strong, but my heart is still broken and believe me my emotions run overtime. There are times when I cann't stop sobbing. I do my best to not be around Steve when it comes on, but that doesn't always work. You are a sweetheart and your prayers are a blessing. They are a treasure that we both are very grateful and appreciative about. Thank you so much.
    Wishing you a lovely Easter.
    Oh, your rooms . . . they look so nice. Fresh paint is always so up lifting and fresh and your floors, they are gorgeous. You certainly have a knack for making a house a home :)


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