It’s A Cranky Pants Day

I think that most people have certain expectations when they hire someone to do a job.

For a contracting job like this craft room, it can be expected that your life is going to be at least somewhat interrupted and inconvenient for the duration. That people will be going in and out and making noise. That there will be messes. That the people involved provide some basic courtesy and respect for you and your property. That the company treat your job seriously and give it priority when it is being worked on. That plans are followed and what you asked for and got a bid for is what you receive.

Over my years of being a home owner I’ve had a range of projects where contractors were needed.  These expectations are all pretty standard and, for the most part, every company I’ve ever worked with did a decent enough job to mostly meet those expectations. I’m not being overly picky or unreasonable about most of them anyway.

So far, this crew has done a pretty great job in almost all of those areas. The one that has been a problem, and is the fault of the company, not the crew, is the giving our job priority. For the second day in a row, our crew has gotten pulled to go do something on another project.

Now, I’m flexible and understanding. Yesterday was about going back to a previous job and fixing something, so no big deal. I do understand and wasn’t too bothered by it. When they showed up this morning and told me they were getting pulled again, I joked with the guy about going to the same problem job (he is chatty so I got to hear about some of the issues and how bad they were), but no. This time it was a different job and I was really NOT happy.

There are multiple issues that I have with this and it really kind of ticked me off. One is minor, but annoying, and that is the fact that I was up, yet again, at the ass crack of dawn so they could get started. They showed up ready to work when they get the call to go to the other job. If they had been told yesterday before they left here (and I think it was a possibility), they could have just let me know they’d start later like they did the day before and I could have stayed the hell in bed. But no. They didn’t get notified until they were about ready to walk in the house and I was already up.

Another issue is the fact that this company seems to make it clear that our job isn’t a priority for them. I don’t think I’ve worked with a company before that didn’t have the policy of “once we are there, we stay there until the job is completely done” kind of thing. I’d never really understood why they all stressed this until this project. Now I know why that is so important and I value that even more now than ever. It is extremely frustrating to feel like your project is the bottom of the priority ladder. Now I’m wondering how long this project is going to drag out because other people get to butt in on the time the guys need to finish.

Either that or, and this is becoming a concern, that the work they are doing is problematic enough to require regular call backs to previous jobs to fix the problems they created. It definitely doesn’t reflect all that well on the company with either option.

The other, and this one really pisses me off, is the exponential exposure risk these guys are bringing with them. I have been so extremely careful since spring to protect my family and myself that it bothers me to no end that someone else’s lack of concern, after I emphatically let them know that I am at high risk, may negate all that hard work. The back and forth and in and out here and at multiple other job sites, pushes my comfort level a bit too far.

I understood I was taking a risk having people in my house working. I’ve done everything I can to reduce that risk as much as possible. I wear a mask the entire time they are working and I stay upstairs unless they need something. I was okay with that when I thought they were going to be here for the duration of this project, but I really don’t like this 2 out of the 3 work days they’ve had so far being pulled to different locations.

Another piece added to this exposure risk issue is the fact that apparently the electrician lives part time in Florida and has been there for the last week or so. This is something I was not made aware of before this whole project got started. I do not like the fact that I wasn’t given all the information I needed to be able to make an informed decision.

To add to the cluster this day has apparently become, my guys showed back up as I was writing this only to inform me that the head guy was headed to the hospital because he thought he had an appendicitis. The other guy that has been working with him is brand spanking new and can’t do the work, so we are on complete hold.

I feel absolutely horrible for the guy because those are miserable. I hate it that he feels so crappy. I absolutely want the guy to go and get it taken care of. You cannot be expected to do a job under those circumstances.

As sympathetic and understanding as I am, I also expect the company to make contact with me outside of the guy coming and talking to me himself to give me an idea of plans moving forward. At this point, I don’t even know if they have anyone outside of the guy that has been doing the work that is capable of finishing this project. For all I know, I’m in permanent limbo.

There are so many different possible outcomes going on here. If the guy does in fact have an appendicitis and gets surgery, then he is out of commission for a while. Is our project on hold until he can work again? Or, he doesn’t and it is something else that they send him home with meds of some sort and he is back to work on Monday. After having spent a significant amount of time in a hospital. Amping up my already huge concerns about exposure risk.

The day started with me in an awkward and unhappy position and is now in limbo mode. This company has already make it clear that they aren’t overly concerned with exposure risks, either to their people or their clients (though the guys do wear masks unless they are working alone in the basement with the door shut), so I have no doubt they fully intend to send our guy back the second he is able to work and is most likely their plan. I would hope they’d actually call me and tell me that. Or anything at this point would be nice.

Craft Room Project: Construction Day 1

I’m calling yesterday day 1 of construction because they didn’t start actually building anything until yesterday. The day before was doing a lot of measuring and laying out of walls, but no visible progress.

Yesterday was a whole lot of visible.

We now have the framing in place for a new doorway into the “cat room” storage space. This is the home of the litter boxes and the source for one of my biggest peeves in the basement: kitty litter dust. Not the actual litter pieces, but the dust it produces ends up on EVERYTHING. The hope is that with a door there, one with a cat door, will help to keep that problem to a minimum.

Wall Framing And New Doorway
Wall Framing And New Doorway

They also got the framing done for the entire back 2 walls. Except… I’m probably going to piss them off today because one of those sections is supposed to have been built out (not sure if they were still planning on doing that) and then had the frame work for some recessed shelves that isn’t there.

Back Corner Wall Framing
Back Corner Wall Framing

 

The section in question is from the pipe to about the corner. That whole section is supposed to be built out to sit about 11 inches from the concrete wall. I need that to be precise because I already have my counter tops. Having that measurement off will make my life extremely difficult when the guys are done if it isn’t accurate.

They have a late start today because they had to go fix something on a previous job, so the head guy is probably not going to be too thrilled when he shows up today and I have to tell him they are probably going to have to redo a whole section.

I’ll take credit for part of this as I don’t think I was very clear when we were talking about the recessed area. I didn’t actually get this piece addressed fully in walking through the layout originally because we got stopped at that point and were supposed to resume the next day, but the guys doing the work never asked again for specifics on that wall before starting. That and I think that my original plan wasn’t going to work exactly the way I’d laid it out and needs to be tweaked, though I probably would have caught on to that if we’d gotten to go over the details of that part before they started building that wall. So the miss on the recessed portion is understandable. The miss on the build out, something that got brought up several times, isn’t so much.

Overall, I’m really pleased with the guys and the work they are doing. That may change depending on how they respond to fixing that wall. The head guy seems personable enough to take it in stride, but you never know.

Fingers crossed it goes well today. I’m just giddy about seeing any kind of progress that I can’t help but be excited, even with this little bump.

Too Dark O’Clock

Being up early enough to get a sunrise shot is the pits, but it looks like I’ll get to see quite a few as long as I have contractors working. I’m going to be a zombie by the time this project is finished.

Mornings are made even more difficult when I have to herd the cats into rooms they can’t get out of so they stay out from under the feet of the guys working. Our older kitty, Cleo, is fine. She is the lovable one and has no problem getting picked up and loved on, which makes it easy to get her corralled. Our younger black cat, Midnight? She is a little bit evil and SO doesn’t like being messed with.

We had them in the same room yesterday but all I heard all day long was yowling. We are trying them in separate rooms today to see if that makes things better.

It took us nearly half an hour and all 4 of us to get Midnight into her room this morning, ending when MC picked her up after donning a nice thick sweatshirt to protect his arms. I’m going to have to seriously think about keeping her confined in that room completely until this project is done. Yesterday, we let the cats run free as soon as the guys were done for the day, but I don’t think we can do that and get her back in again tomorrow.

It might make things extremely complicated if we have to keep her confined completely for the duration.

It’s Starting!

I was up at the ass crack of dawn today.

Why?

Because my contractors are coming out today to start on my craft room!

I’ll be flat out exhausted by this afternoon, but it is well worth it. I’m not sure my kids are going to agree as we’ve realized we might run into some logistical issues. Noise is going to be a big one for pretty much everyone because Hubby, MC and BG all are doing video meetings.

Another one I’m going to need to discuss with the contractors is potential power outages. They will be adding electrical so the power will go down at some point, but I have no clue when or how long. My fingers are crossed for this week as MC has tests next week.

The photo is of the current unfinished state of the stairs going to the basement. I still haven’t decided exactly how I’m going to do any flooring on the stairs as that isn’t part of what the contractors are going to do. I might want to get on that.

Passing The Torch To The Next Generation

We have a lot of traditions around the holidays. The santa curtain is the first Christmas decoration to go up every year after Thanksgiving dinner once the dishes are done. Decorating is done the day after Thanksgiving. I get a nutcracker every year to add to my collection.

The nutcracker tradition started when I was 16 and I was given my first nutcracker by my parents for Christmas. The tradition has continued nearly every year since, with my parents and later Hubby and occasionally someone else giving me a nutcracker at Christmas. Needless to say, over 30 years later and my collection is LARGE.

A few years ago, Hubby decided that he needed to give it to me either when we were decorating for the holidays or, as happens WAY too often, as soon as it arrives, no matter when throughout the year he bought it. It is still always a surprise as I just never now when he is going to present me with that year’s nutcracker.

Hubby is also the one that morphed this tradition into a theme for the year. The nutcracker always reflects something significant from the year. Like the year he gave me a mountain climber/hiker one when we took a trip to Colorado or a Charles Dickens one the year I published my book. It is as much fun getting the nutcracker itself as it is seeing what theme he is going to pick for the year. It makes it fun when it is time to bring them all out for the season to see those themes and reflect on when I got them and why. There are stories for every one and the kids, especially BG, love to talk about them.

I’d decided a while ago when I saw how much BG loved this tradition, that I’d start her on her own tradition of nutcrackers when she turned 16. I’ve been thinking about it for the last couple of years and finally got to start it this year.

As often happens when we are decorating and putting out all the nutcrackers, Hubby slides downstairs and slips the box in next to one of the bins I was unpacking. The kids know he does this and MC saw this and waited for my reaction not knowing that this one wasn’t mine. BG was oblivious.

When I called her over and handed her the box, she was bit confused and asked me if Hubby had gotten me another new one (I already got mine this year). When I said no, this was hers so she could start her own collection… her face!! The utter shock was just over the top. It is hard to really surprise her and she had no idea I was planning this.

Then she absolutely lost it and started bawling her eyes out. I really didn’t expect that. I had expected her to be a little surprised, even excited to get her own nutcracker, but she was just so emotional about it I was floored. I had no idea just how much doing this would mean to her which made this all the more special.

We were both a bit of a blubbery mess for a few minutes. Then I lost my helper as she took off upstairs to make a space in her room to set him up in a place of honor.

Following tradition, hers is somewhat themed in that it matches this year’s pointe costume almost perfectly with the pinks and golds. The fact that it also has a ballerina with it is kind of icing on the perfect cake.

The photo is of her very first nutcracker (on the left) next to my first ever nutcracker (right). While I will still be getting my nutcrackers, I’ve passed the tradition down to my girl this year. I never could have anticipated how much this means to her, so I’m overjoyed that I get to share this with her.

It is moments like this that I love the most. These little points that make up our stories and the pieces that stick with us for a lifetime. Now she is going to have her own physical story reminders she will get to unpack for years to come.

Cooking Marathon

This is just a little of what I spent my day doing yesterday. Let me tell you, it was a hell of a struggle to get it all done when I had zero energy. Again.

In all, I made 4 batches of pie crust, a huge batch of my dumpling style egg noodles, a batch of rolls, and 3 mini pumpkin pies.

It has been interesting to try and figure out how to split all of this up to make two full Thanksgiving meals in a way that was easy to transfer since one of those is going to my FIL. The pies were a big one as it isn’t exactly easy to just cut an entire pie in half and transport it. Some are easier than others, but I also want everything to still look appetizing when it gets there.

I found some 6 inch pie pans that I thought would work to split my recipe into two (since it normally calls for a 9 inch) or something close. I’d planned on doing only 2 small pumpkin pies and using the 3rd for the chocolate, but when I went to pour the filling, I had more than enough to do all 3 shells. They worked wonderfully, though.

The other biggie was doing the turkey. I’d hoped to find 2 small ones so I could just send off the whole thing, but that SO didn’t happen. I’m now cooking a huge bird today so I can include it with everything else, but that means we get it as leftovers tomorrow. I wanted to limit what I had to do that with, so most everything else I’m doing in two separate batches.

Today I’m working on cooking that turkey and then doing a full on meal prep of one batch of everything else and we will be taking it and dropping it all off this afternoon.

So far, I feel better today than I have the last couple of days, so hopefully I won’t be wiped out tonight when I finally get to sit down again.

The fun part? I get to do it ALL again tomorrow except the turkey.

Little Touch Of Last Year

It dawned on me the other day that this is the first year in at least a few that we have no leaves on our front maple tree when it was time to put up our holiday decorations. The last couple of years, we still had a lot of this going on making it incredibly hard to put any lights in that tree. This year, it is absolutely bare.

Yesterday, my motivation way outstripped my energy levels. I had fully intended to get the outside done completely, but I only managed about a quarter before my body wasn’t having it.

It is one of those odd things with my bronchitis that hits every once in a while. I’ll be feeling pretty much normal other than the occasional coughing fit and then out of nowhere, I feel week and have zero energy. I’m talking doing even the slightest thing feels hard and exhausting and I feel weak as a newborn kitten.

That feeling hit right about the time Hubby got all my bins upstairs and I’d started organizing stuff to put out. I pushed through enough to get my garland up and that was all I could do. My poor nutcrackers didn’t even make it upstairs yesterday.

Now I have to try and work on getting the rest out throughout this week in between working on all the stuff I’m making for Thanksgiving, which is interesting this year as I’m having to do two rounds. One for my FIL that we are taking out and dropping off with him on Wednesday. And one for us on the day of. Working out the logistics of splitting that meal up has been fun (NOT).

I’m hoping the low energy thing was just yesterday because I’d had a couple of nights of not sleeping well. I’d run low on my cough meds and couldn’t get it refilled right away so had to ration it out which left me coughing more than normal. Now that I’m back on schedule with my meds, I’m hoping the sleep gets back to normal along with my energy.

I have way too much I need and want to do this week for my energy to decide to take a vacation.

Bring On The Nutcrackers!

My guys are coming up out of storage today along with all of my other outside decorations. It is a little early for me as we usually wait until the weekend after Thanksgiving, but I’m opting to take advantage of the nice weather today to work outside.

I’m standing firm that there are no indoor decorations yet, because I have my santa curtain tradition that is important to me and I really need that this year.

Doing this part now also gives us the chance to organize that under stair storage space for the contractors to be able to close it off when they come to work on my craft room.  Since they are supposed to start any day now, this really needs to get done.

Getting these out is making me want to work on another project, which I can’t yet. My cabinets are going to be my next project. But these were SO much fun to do! I’ve tossed around the idea of trying to do some much smaller than life sized versions, but what I want to do requires even more tools that I don’t currently have. And I’m SO not going to buy anything for like 10 years after my craft room is finished!

But… if anyone else out there is feeling extremely ambitious and wants instructions, feel free to steal or use as a guide for your own version… https://tjfox.net/2018/11/26/repost-giant-nutcrackers-how-to/.

 

Not To Brag…

Okay. I’m totally going to brag because I need to focus on something awesome.

I’ve mentioned that MC was invited to become a TA for his computer programing teacher. Originally, he couldn’t and get paid because of financial rules, but he is going to be able to do it as a volunteer next semester instead even though he is only a freshman.

He was also recommended to become a tutor (pretty sure this is for math), again as a freshman, which looks like is also going to happen next semester and will count towards his service requirements for his honors scholarship program.

He is trying out for his eSports team this weekend at the request of other team members and looks to have a great shot at making the team. This will be a major time commitment because of the number of hours a week he is required to practice with the team, but he is stoked to add this to his list of things he is doing in college.

THEN… he had his communications teacher ask him to join the speech team this last week. This one makes me not just brag, but laugh my butt off because MC is SO not one to enjoy doing speeches. He is REALLY good at them, but he doesn’t like it. Even though they asked, I think he might turn this one down as it just isn’t his deal, but it is amazingly cool that he was asked.

He isn’t even out of his first semester of college as a freshman and he is being requested or recommended for so many things he never would have even remotely considered before starting college. As a mostly introverted guy, this is kind of huge.

Oh, and he doesn’t have lower than a 97% in ANY of his classes, with a bulk of them currently sitting at over 100% (because he is too ambitious to ignore any extra credit chances). My mind is absolutely blown.

So, yeah. I’m going to take a moment and brag on my kid because he is apparently well liked and amazing. Well, I KNOW he is amazing, but now I get to see that others are noticing as well.

My Chicks Are All Home In The Nest

I just got done unloading MC back at home until at least after the first of the year. He will be home for the remainder of his first semester at college and, fingers crossed, hopefully all of next semester as well.

We’ve moved all his stuff back home to be on the safe side and to avoid needing to go to campus after Thanksgiving to pick stuff up if they do determine he doesn’t need to live in a dorm next semester. If he does, we will just do like we did to get his stuff home and bring it in batches. He isn’t a “stuff” kind of guy, so there wasn’t a ton.

So many things around here have changed in the last few days. A lot of things are being forced back into all virtual or reduced capacity and gathering limits. As usual, this was lead by our mayor and not our governor. I’m grateful that our city government sees how important these things are for everyone.

This doesn’t do much to impact BG’s schedule much. Her dance will go online for 2 weeks after Thanksgiving, but they’ve not said anything at all about their Christmas program. I’m still standing firm on my position that if they attempt to do so with masks being optional, she will not be participating.

It is my fervent hope that people in this country will abide by the CDC’s new recommendations for no travel over Thanksgiving. That people will stay home and pick up the phone or do a zoom call with their distant family and loved ones instead. That they can find peace in knowing they did their part to ensure everyone’s family is still there for them next Thanksgiving.

For us, we are officially hunkered down for a while in our little nest. I’m a happily relieved momma to know that my chicks are home and safe.

And Done!

I got the last of my errands today, so I’m now set to be entrenched at home for a while. BG has her dance shoes. I’ve shipped a batch of masks to a friend in need and I have on hand all I need to get some work done on the craft room when the time comes.

Our mayor yet again showed up for the residents of this city and has imposed more restrictions to try and help slow this spread down. It did it’s job in the spring, now the rest of the population needs to get on board so that our local hospitals aren’t being overrun by people that live in areas that don’t have those restrictions.

The new restrictions will also most likely impact what BG’s dance studio will be doing about their classes and Christmas program. I’m hoping to hear from them soon, but as of right now, if nothing changes, she won’t be performing even if they are allowed. I’m not good with anything that is mask optional and Hubby and I agreed and discussed this with her today.

The only remaining open question is MC and what his plans are going to be. He was supposed to try out for his college eSports team over the weekend. If he makes it, he is required to be on campus in their eSports practice area several times a week for multiple hours. I don’t think there are that many members, so I don’t know how or if the new restrictions will impact him. He was originally planning on being home after Thanksgiving and potentially next semester as well if the school gave him permission to not live on campus next semester. We are still waiting to hear on that one.

I’m not a fan of being in limbo, but I do feel much better about where we all are today than I was even just yesterday. I’m ready to hunker down into hermit mode for the winter and I’d love it if all my little chicks were able to do the same.

Home For The Holidays

I was given this year’s nutcracker last night! Hubby had started giving them to me early so I could enjoy them the whole season. Some years I get them earlier than others because he cannot stand to hang on to it after he gets it. This showed up on the porch yesterday afternoon and it was sitting in my spot at the table for dinner last night. I loved what he picked for the theme this year.

So much is going to be different this holiday season, but I’m good with that.

I won’t be doing bake sale baking this year because there won’t be a bake sale. The organizers are still taking donations to be able to support the families they provide for through the holidays, but no one is in the office right now, so a bake sale isn’t feasible. Instead, we are going to donate what they normally make off my baked goodies to help make up the difference of what they’d get from the sale.

We are also holing up and not leaving again after this week. I have one more errand I have to take care of, then I’m going to do my best to not leave the house again until after the first of the year. Hubby will still take care of our essential shopping, but I won’t be leaving. I’m not taking any chances with a lowered or suppressed immune system.

We got all the pieces I need for my craft room project yesterday to paint the walls and install the floor. I figure that after the contractors are done, that is about all I’d be able to get done until after the first of the year and will keep me from needing to leave to get any supplies.

I have my fingers crossed that our local government actually implements the health department recommendations of no gatherings larger than 10 as that will mean I don’t have to make the decision to keep BG from participating in her Christmas dance performances. The studio has put us in another awkward position as parents because they said they were going to make masks optional for the performances. They are live streaming them instead of having families come to the studio, but I think making it mask optional is recklessly stupid and I’m leaning towards keeping BG out because of that (and many other factors as well).

The last piece that is up in the air on our total stay at home for the holidays plan is what MC’s school is going to do. We know that they are not required to come back to campus after the Thanksgiving break, but they still have not answered questions about his requirements to live on campus next semester, so I have no clue if we are moving him out of the dorms in the next couple of weeks or not.

Staying home also means no big meal with Hubby’s dad and sister. For either Thanksgiving or Christmas. We haven’t seen either one of them since February other than Hubby taking care of a few critical appointments with my FIL, but we are all in agreement that we need to do this.

I am planning on fixing a full Thanksgiving dinner to take out and drop off with them the day before. The whole family will go, but we will only stay outside and just long enough to drop it off and leave. I will probably also do something similar for Christmas. At least he will get a nice, home cooked meal that way even if we can’t spend any time together. That is the best we can do right now. It helps to make sure that EVERYONE is still around for next holiday season.

And just to give you a visual reminder….

Intubation Graphic
Intubation Graphic

 

Rainbowed Sunset Behind A Tree

I finally got my test results back yesterday afternoon. It took longer than the 24 hours I was originally told, but I got the expected negative so I’m good to go to take the meds I need to kick this bronchitis in the butt.

Even better, I noticed that the amazing, saintly doctor I spoke to not only gave me a generous size bottle of the desperately needed cough medicine, but he gave me 2 refills on it as well! Every past doctor I’ve seen with the exception of the one while I was pregnant with BG that took pity on me and gave me enough to last about 2 years has treated that stuff like it was liquid gold.

I do get why, but it just makes it that much harder to get enough to get this under control normally, which means I have to go in multiple times every year. I really wasn’t looking forward to that this year so I did a little happy dance when I saw the number marked in the refills box on the label.

Fingers and toes crossed that all of this is enough to knock this out early this year.

Craft Room Project: HVAC & Wall Drawings

Today was a rather productive day. And kind of exciting as well.

I now have the HVAC installed in the new space! Damn, but that was LOUD! I’m so glad that neither Hubby nor BG had meetings going on at the time because it really wouldn’t have been possible.

I also completed the bulk of my drawing on the walls fun. It is really rough, but mostly accurate. I ran into a couple of issues that I had to correct, which was the whole point of the exercise, to make sure my designs would work and to help me with the final layout of outlets and lighting.

Back Wall Layout
Back Wall Layout
Workbench Wall
Workbench Wall

Above are the designs for my back wall and my workbench wall (where most of the cabinet work is going). Below is the design drawn in place on the walls. As you can see, it is really messy, but it does allow me to see that my design is going to work as I’ve laid it out.

Cabinet Design Drawn Out On Walls
Cabinet Design Drawn Out On Walls

I also had to do some very basic outlining on the floor, though it is almost impossible to see in the photo. This is because I don’t have a wall to draw on there. This was mostly so I could mark placement for the outlets on this wall. Or at least have reference points to where they will eventually go (on the left side of the below photo).

Portion Of Back Wall And Floor
Portion Of Back Wall And Floor

This is the layout for the currently non-existant wall. This is the partial wall that will remain open to the rest of the basement.

Left Work Table Wall
Left Work Table Wall

The flat designs aren’t great to be able to tell exactly what I have going on, but it does give an idea.

Being able to walk down the stairs and see this as a mostly life size design I can walk through is amazing. I’m thrilled that the HVAC pieces are done. Now it is down to waiting on my contractor. The only thing I have left to do before they start is to finalize my lighting and possibly get them purchased. The rest of my part now has to wait until I have electrical and walls in place.

Tiny Rainbows In Fall Leaves

Covid test is done. I’d rather not have to do a repeat, but it wasn’t horrible. It wasn’t awesome, but it wasn’t horrible. Now I have to wait 24 hours for results.

I’d hoped to start the cough medicine and the antibiotics today and wait until I got my results tomorrow before starting the steroid, but when Hubby went to pick up my prescriptions, they were out of the cough meds (one of the most important pieces to getting this under control) and wouldn’t get more in until later today.

So, I’m still in wait mode and probably won’t be seeing any kind of relief for at least another day or two. Blech!

And my nose is still tingling and I feel like I need to sneeze, but can’t.

Can I just take a nap?

Covid-19 Test And Bronchitis

My annual bronchitis has settled in nice and hard.

Joy.

It is bad enough that I caved and called the doctor this morning. The amazing, incredible, awesome, goddess of a woman that took my call and initially told me that the first opening wasn’t until Thursday, heard me coughing and decided that simply wasn’t good enough. She went and spoke with the staff and managed to squeeze me in for a video appointment this afternoon.

After absolute shit timing of my internet deciding to die and a rushed and panicked call into the office, I was able to do my appointment via phone.

It was honestly the best appointment I’ve ever had when it came to dealing with this yearly, all winter long nightmare. We discussed what worked in the past and some new suggestions and settled on my normal meds (thank goodness!) that tend to work best.

The only problem? The steroids I normally take and that work well are being very cautiously prescribed because it can impact your immunity. With a pandemic going on, that really isn’t a good thing.

I now have to go in for a covid test to ensure I don’t actually have that instead of my bronchitis before I can start on my meds. That could have been another epic wait, but again, the staff doing the scheduling saved my butt when a spot opened up, while still on the call, for tomorrow morning, though it isn’t at a close location.

Apparently, accessing tests in my area right now isn’t all that easy because of the growing number of cases. It really is kind of terrifying.

I’m almost 100% sure this is just my usual winter crud. Everything I’ve got going on is classic for that crud, but it is still a possibility that I’m wrong. I found out that the timing on our HVAC guy’s test was probably a lot closer than I originally thought (though still a slim chance) and BG is always going to be pretty much THE potential to bring it home. So, while I am pretty sure, that little bit of chance doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy. Definitely not feeling the warm fuzzies of a potentially suppressed immune system while on these meds.

So, now I have to go get a brain poke while trying not to cough up a lung, at a place that does covid testing. You know, where people quite possibly have covid. All so I can, maybe, take the meds I need to stop coughing.

Wear your masks people!!

And Done!

I’ve done my part. It was shockingly quick. Probably the fastest I’ve ever experienced. I was really surprised as I was prepared for something entirely different even though we’ve never really had any kinds of lines to speak of at our polling location.

I’m just glad it’s done. Now to attempt to ignore the chaos for most of the day or my stomach is going to eat itself from stress.

Golden Orange

My next stage in the craft room project is to get that space cleared out completely so it is ready to go for when the contractor starts.

This is one of those easier said than done projects because that means I have to find space to put everything. Space that still allows for the contractor to work, doesn’t block any access to our storage (I have to do all my holiday decorating around the time this is getting started, SO fun! Not) and, as I’ve been so clearly informed, I don’t block BG’s practice floor. A floor that takes up a considerable amount of space. Space I’m not allowed to use.

I have so far figured out where to put the majority of the larger pieces and have gotten them moved. All I have left is to empty out the two cabinets I have and get those moved. I’m not looking forward to those as they are both crammed full and are heavy and awkward to try and move.

Once I have all of that out of the space, I’m going to start drawing on the walls.

Okay, that isn’t going to be as fun as it sounds as I’m just going to try and draw the basic layout I have planned for my cabinets on the two existing walls so I can mark where I need my outlets and to make sure my layout is going to work the way I’ve gotten it drawn.

I’m hoping that exercise will also help me to plan out the finer details I need to work on the interior designs of those cabinets.

Just to give  you an idea of what I’m working with here, these are my before pictures.

Craft Room: Before #2
Craft Room: Before #2
Craft Room: Before #1
Craft Room: Before #1

The storage area stuff isn’t going to be dealt with until I’m pulling out the holiday decorations. Then I have to make sure that everything that is there is still under the stairs section so it can get enclosed. Every single thing else has to come out and I’m down to just the white and gray cabinets. And waiting for the contractor to start around Thanksgiving.

Baby steps of progress.

School Heading Into Fall And Winter

Up until recently, I’ve been mostly happy with the school situation with both BG doing her junior year remotely and MC being nearly all remote for his freshman year of college, but still being required to be in his dorm.

Ideally, I’d still prefer MC do be able to do his part from home, but I’ve been really pleased with how his school has handled things. So far, there have not been any cases on campus, which is kind of shocking. They are being told that they are not required to come back to campus after their Thanksgiving break because of concerns of students getting together with families over the holidays.

I think there are plans to go full virtual after the new year, but I don’t think they’ve confirmed those plans yet or how that will impact those students like MC that have the campus requirement for their scholarships.

With BG, I’ve been more than thrilled with her being virtual. She mostly prefers it that way, but has run into a few bumps and frustrations, mostly with a less than organized teacher that has extremely poor communication skills and never answers emails. There is most likely going to be the option to choose virtual again for next semester and she will absolutely be taking that option when it finally comes up.

The problem I am having is that she is still required to go to the school for some of her tests since they are for her AP classes and have to be monitored. This wouldn’t bother me nearly so much if I weren’t now getting a daily email of yet another positive test case at the school and I wasn’t also aware that it is absolutely possible to proctor an exam virtually as MC has done that for all of his online only courses.

We had reasons to choose the online only option. We made that decision after carefully considering all the different pieces and risk factors involved and determined it would be better for all of us if BG did the online only option. Yes, she has a risk through dance, but those factors were less of a risk than the school (fewer contact points, less time, better environmental factors) and some social interaction is important.

I strongly dislike the fact that she is still required to increase her exposure risk by going into the school building and sitting in a classroom with other students and a teacher going between two different classrooms of different students in the process when there are other options. I am even more upset now that there are beginning to be so many cases in our district, yet they are still requiring this in person testing.

It is already becoming a problem as some students that were in person and may have been in contact with a positive test case are forced to quarantine and cannot be in the school at all until they are out of quarantine, so they can’t take those tests until later, which kind of goes against some of the protections and reasons they require these tests be proctored.

I get it. This is unprecedented and these teachers and administrators are treading brand new ground and don’t have any kind of playbook to follow. I do think that some of these teachers have done a stellar job, going above and beyond to educate these kids (BG has a couple that she absolutely adores and so does MC). I do understand that we are probably more fortunate than a lot of others as I’ve seen some really awful stories about other people’s experiences. At the same time, sometimes I really wonder if some are ever actually thinking or if they just truly don’t have a clue.

Sadly, I think we are at a point here, or at least very close to it, where more and more students are going to be forced to go online (possibly even completely), so it is only going to get worse and I don’t know that our district or teachers are actually prepared for that.

Garage Workbench: Done!

This is SO not pretty, but… it wasn’t intended to be. I also didn’t get any before pics because that whole thing was a disaster before I started working on this and I wasn’t going to share the nasty.

Anyway!

The two cabinets were originally separate and on crappy plastic legs. They are now connected and have locking wheels.

The benchtop is my old jewelry bench, which is getting built new when I redo the craft space. I made some major modifications, taking down the short tool walls and extended the surface so that there would be a full overhang of the cabinets underneath. The surface is attached to the cabinets so the whole thing can easily be moved when I need to do a bigger project (like the cabinets).

While it is kind of ugly because I really only used scraps or repurposed stuff I already had with the exception of the wheels, it was the absolute perfect project to test out all of my new tools except my router. I think I have a decent handle on most of them now. Even the nail guns!

I has nail gun. I. am. BADASS!! 🤣🤣