Friday, May 22, 2015

Updates on Everything

I've been an AWOL blogger.  Things moved at warp speed and then came to a screeching halt when I fell two days after I got here.  Wheelchairs, walkers, braces, physical therapy -- I'm so much better now but will never get to the point I can live life without this leg brace unless ...

I'm having ACL reconstruction surgery on 6/17.  Initially I was told that I was not a candidate for this surgery, but I have been working so hard in PT building up all the leg muscles.  (I could barely leg press five pounds at first and now I'm up to 100 pounds.  Just call me Superwoman!)   So the therapist and the doctor got together and decided to offer the surgery to me because I am so motivated.  It'll be another tough six months, but there is that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.  Without the surgery all I kept seeing were more tunnels.  I have so much to do before then.  First thing is finding a caregiver or someone who can come and help me out a bit as I will be non-weight-bearing for six weeks.  I commented to the doctor that I guess I'd be living upstairs for six weeks, and he and the therapist both said I would be shown how to negotiate the stairs.  It'll be a huge step backwards as far as my mobility but then I can only look forward to a bright future with being able to work in the yard, kneel, squat down to pick up things, and not wearing this brace all the time.  I never realized how often I knelt and squatted until I couldn't do it any more!  I'll find out on June 3rd the logistics of the surgery and whether a rehab hospital stay will be involved. I'm not going to be able to drive for a while and I mentioned to a friend that I would just call a taxi if I need to go somewhere.  They about fell over laughing.  Apparently there are no taxis in my small town!  Anyway, please think kind thoughts and send good karma if you happen to think about me in the middle of June.

The last coat of paint is going on the inside and outside trim of the windows today.  It has been a long haul getting these things done, but I absolutely love them.  It was tricky trying to match the trim paint.  I think I came up with good choices, though, and now I know what colors to use when the rest of the trim is painted.  And there's a LOT of trim.  At present it's all different colors, and while that's not noticeable walking from room to room, it really bothers me.  There will be some touch-up that needs to be done on the gray house wood around the windows.  I went to Sherwin Williams in this little town and picked out a color I thought would match best.  I came home and put the sample up against the wood and it looked great.  Then I found an old can of paint in the storeage room on the property and it was the same color I picked!  Maybe quilting has honed my senses a bit on that score!

Anyway, there hasn't been much quilting going on but things are shaping up nicely so that I can dive into it during my recovery.  The Cottage is almost completely devoid of boxes, and I just need to figure out where to put the little knick-knack things that we all collect in our studios and get the boxes of kitchen stuff unloaded back there.  I am still looking for a few things, i.e., the first three months of Austin Bluebird blocks, but I know they're there.  Just need to put my hands on them.

I've given away a lot of furniture that was left here on the property when I bought the house.  There was a fire in a small apartment house downtown, and my cleaning lady's daughter-in-law was one who lost everything.  So they came last week and took the two white sofas out of the sunroom, a chest, a vacuum cleaner, a twin bed set, and a coffee table that I was temporarily using in the living room.  I now have a "gap" in front of the sofa but I plan to find a smaller table this week to put there.  (Excuse the piles in the photo.  I've been sorting stuff out and tossing and those things haven't been put away yet.)

It sure felt good to able to give this to a family who could really use them, and they were delighted to get them.  Win/win!

This week I also got in the four chairs for the kitchen that I ordered from Crate and Barrel.  I had put a small round table in the kitchen, but was just using the three dinky chairs that were left here.  I was so scared that those chairs would collapse with someone sitting in them.  Anyway, those two big boxes were left on my doorstep, but I managed to get them inside and unpacked.  It looks so much better now in the kitchen.

I now have a formal table and chairs in the dining room.  I've been so used to walking straight through the room that I actually ran right into the table a couple of times!  Also my bedroom looks so much better.  There were horrible old bamboo shades and awful maroon curtains in my bedroom.  When I put the recently finished Heritage quilt on my bed it did not improve the looks of the room any. I was going to get wooden blinds or plantation shutters but the windows are 75" wide and those have to be custom made.  So I went on an adventure to find a Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought a lot of panels of beige colored curtains.  Wow, what a difference it made, and the color matches the background of the quilt.  They aren't the perfect solution but I'm happy with the interim choice I made.  I'll get a picture of that for next time.  Next up is scrubbing down the large sunroom and getting some wicker furniture or something that will enhance that nice area.  Choosing that furniture will probably have to wait until I'm recuperating, as will painting all the walls in the house.  I need to lighten up the dark colors that are on the walls.  So much to do, but I have decided to just take it one room at a time and not get overwhelmed by the whole project.

I mentioned last time that I have been having more fun watching to see what will pop up around the property in the way of flowers or plantings.  The hydrangeas that I thought were dead have greened up and now have a couple of blooms on them.  I was so happy to find hostas under the oak trees in the front.

They are in a couple of spots, and really look nice.  I love hostas but have never been very successful in growing them because my areas were always too sunny.  As you can see from the lack of grass in this area, it's real shady.  A friend here suggested that I have the oak trees manicured to remove some of the smaller branches so that light will get to the ground in the spots where there is no grass.  Another project for another day.  One project at a time, Vicky.

Penny is over the moon about this yard.  I'm still keeping her in just the front part of the yard between the house and pool.  It's a nice big area and she really doesn't need to explore beyond that.  Her usual routine is taking care of business, and then sniffing around all of the flower beds and shrubs.  Then she finds a sunny spot and stretches out.  Oh, to be my dog!

Hopefully my next post will have something quilt-related in it!  I've been doing a little sewing but my free time is sadly lacking these days.  And here I thought I would be bored when I retired! 

Friday, May 01, 2015

Joyful Progress

I'm so stoked today.  I woke up to new windows in the den and an absolutely breathtaking view. 

It was traumatic to watch these guys lift out a 9 x 20 foot window.  I'm amazed it came out in one piece and, frankly, I think the contractor was also. 

Whew!  That's done!  Now there's a gaping hole in the wall.  The contractor had to do some reframing because this old house just ain't plumb!  I was watching him measure and remeasure and then do it all over again.  I said, "Measure twice, cut once, right?"  He laughed and said he measures a lot more than twice!  A sixteenth off here, and a thirty-second off there and it was done.  He really is a master at working on old homes.

It doesn't look that big sitting outside, does it?  Oh, there's a shutter or two missing off the back of the house.  Those are being remade.  I guess they struggled through one too many hurricanes and it was time to fix them.

At two hours later -- ta dah, new windows!  Lots and lots of wide open glass with a window that opens on each end. 

Oh, hello Cottage!  I remember you!  You're going to be my quilting studio.  I plan to get real intimate with you really soon!  Hang in there, honey.  It won't be much longer!

While the windows were going in, another crew was taking out this tree that broke.  Or the part of it that broke.  Pictures can be deceiving because this doesn't really look that bad.  It broke over 20 feet up, and there were 30 feet of limbs hanging down over the fence and into the yard.  The removal debris entirely filled a large trailer, and some of the trunks were two feet across.  The good news is that the fence wasn't broken.  The other good news is that the neighbor's dogs didn't eat me up when we went over there to remove the tree limbs on their side of the fence.  The bad news is that now I have an unobstructed view of their green greenhouse.  Get it?  Green greenhouse?   Did I ever say that blue was my favorite color? 

PT is going great.  Now that the exercises have been ramped up, I'm "glowing" after each session.  I really am sweating like a pig, but I've been told that it's much more Southern lady-like to glow.  Let's just say that my glow would light up the State of Texas for the day!  I had a really down moment last week about the therapy.  It's been five months since the injury, and the doctor told me he wants five more months of PT before a decision is made on what to do with that knee.  But my absolutely adorable therapist gave me a pep talk and I'm back on track.  Of course, the fact that he's so cute has absolutely nothing to do with my wanting to continue those sessions ... and I will never admit to anyone that I just said that!

Today the cleaning lady comes and hopefully we can rid this house of some of the sawdust that is lingering on every flat surface.  The contractor did a good job of cleaning up but it needs a woman's touch.  He'll be back today to do some caulking, and the painter will be here next week to paint the new window frame molding inside and out.  It will just get dirty again but I can't wait until they're done to clean up.  I'll just have to do it over when they're finished.  I always say I have to do everything twice.  I can't wait to get that room furnished, get the landscaping done, and be able to sit and enjoy the fabulous view all the way back to the bayou.