Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I got up early on Saturday to get a head start on cleaning or demo, which ever I decided to do first. I decided to go to Lowes and Target instead. I had a few items to still pick up at Lowes and when I couldn’t find everything I needed I headed to Target. I couldn’t find a small roll of duct tape to save my life at Lowes. All they had was huge $8 rolls. I knew I would only need a small amount so I saved that for Target. I was also surprised to find a very small selection of extremely expensive reciprocating saws at Lowes. I know Target has power tools, so I have 2 more things on my Target it list.
I knew the linen cabinet in the bathroom was going to be tricky to get out, but I didn’t expect what I found. I believe the cabinet was glued on the wall. There are no nails or screws or anything I could see attaching it to the walls. So I decided to try the take a hammer to it with all my strength trick. That didn’t work at all. My hammer bounced back and vibrated the wall. With no luck there, I got out the reciprocating saw and started sawing the sucker off the wall. Since I’ve never used that type of saw before, I tested out how powerful the saw was by cutting off the middle support on the bottom section of the front. It sawed through it like butter. I then cut off the heat vent that comes up through the bottom of the cabinet. Since that created a ton of sawdust, I decided to get the vacuum out and clean up. I got bored with the saw and thought it was time to see how easy it would be to get 50 year old drywall off the wall. It was pretty easy with the claw part of the hammer. I worked on the section next to the cabinet above the tile. I was dying to find out why the tile wouldn’t come off the wall. As I got closer to the tile I noticed a piece of wood that was at the top ledge of the tile. I was hoping it was just the size of the stud. I stuck my hand down the gap to see how long it was. That board is at least as deep as my hand. I know my hand is pretty small, but come on. I think that is a little over kill. It’s not like they put granite on the wall and needed the support.
No demo or cleaning got done at all. I had Church from 10:00 – 1:00, then went to lunch with some church members, and after that went to test one of the streams my Church’s team are responsible for. I only had about 2.5 hours at home after that until I needed to be back at Church for the Church Council meeting at 7pm. Then I needed to go to the grocery store. I only had time to wash a load a laundry. I lost that day.
After work I decided to do some much needed cleaning/rearranging/sorting of the office and 3rd bedroom. I made some good progress and even found some stuff I had lost. I finally washed and put up the Christmas dishes I bought last Christmas. Found my extra pillows and a few little kid books for Morgan to look at while they’re here. It took a lot longer than I thought and didn’t finish before it was time for bed. Both closets were a little disorganized and I had to straighten them out before I could add more to the piles.
After work tonight I am headed over to the NASA fitness center to get a membership and maybe walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes or so. After my chat with Chad last night, I need to then go get a few more things from Lowes and then continue with the demo. I hope to unlock more of the mystery of the over-the-top, crazy tile support system on the wall.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I went out on Saturday morning to get the major items for the bathroom remodel. I spent a little more than what I had figured from my price finding trip to Lowes 2 weeks ago. I ended up buying a more expensive bath fan and shower head/tub faucet set. I also decided to get some silicone tile grout to repair the cracks in the master bath floor and tub surround. I think I made some good purchases. I usually lean towards the most expense items whenever I have a choice. This time my picks were not the most expensive or top of the line items.
The medicine cabinet I choose has a top molding that matches the sink and vanity profile. It is also half recessed in the wall and half sticking off the wall, so it is extra deep.
The bath fan is the decorative item. I had originally picked out the traditional fan with a light, but I decided to go the fancy route. It looks just like a regular light with a hidden fan.
I needed to get a longer towel rack than the existing 18” rack I have right now. I decided to get two 24” racks in addition to the 18” rack. I got luck that Lowes still carries the style and brand I bought when I first moved into my house. I also bought the matching robe hook. I used to have a hook that stuck to the back of the door, but it fell off and won’t stick back on. Now it’s time for the screw in kind.
Here is the shower head/tub faucet set. I didn’t get to get the one I really wanted that matched the one in the master bath because the only box was opened at the store and it looked like pieces were missing. This one is a little fancier than what I need, but I’ll live.
I added the task of installing a light above the kitchen sink. Since the kitchen sink wall will be exposed when I take the bathroom wall off, I’m hoping it won’t be too much work to install this light and a light switch. Chad, I hope you’re not mad. :)
I brought home some color palettes to see which color might work best in the bathroom and be something that could go with almost any décor. I’m still thinking about the pale lavender and now I’ve added the lightest green. Cream is out because I think it’s too boring. Color suggestions are always appreciated.
Friday, October 30, 2009
I have until Tuesday, November 24th to remove the toilet, sink, light fixture, medicine cabinet, built-in linen closet, the floor, and drywall from the walls and ceiling. It looks like a big task. I really want to try to remove everything as clean as possible, but I have a feeling and been told that is impossible.
This weekend I'm going to go to Lowes and buy the new medicine cabinet, shower head/tub faucet set, bath fan, more towel racks, and a robe hook. I will go look at new tile for the floor and tub surround, but I don't think I'm going to buy them yet. I'm going to save buying drywall and drywall supplies until Beth & Chad get here so that Chad can tell me exactly what to buy.
I have a feeling that when we are all finished, the hall bath will be nicer than the master bath. I guess I will then have to do something to the master bath to make that a little fancier.
I will be posting pictures of the progress when ever I have something to show. Monday morning I should have pictures of all the stuff I bought.
I am stuck on the paint color. When I first moved into the house, I had picked out a light lavender color to match the flowers in the shower curtain, but I don't know if that would be a good color for when I put my house for sale. I would probably have to repaint that room. I want the tile to be a light gray; so lavender would look real nice with it. I guess I will have to go get some more paint samples.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Trip to Stennis Space Center, Mississippi
About a month ago I was given the choice to have my annual performance review either through video conference or in person at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. I didn’t hesitate at the chance to get out of the office for a couple days. On Sunday, March 22nd I flew out of Huntsville, AL to New Orleans, LA. The supervisor over the Education Specialists and my Supervisor was and still is traveling to each NASA center to see the Specialists in action and to meet with the education Directors, Center Project Leads, the Project Assistants, and anyone else the Project Assistant at that center thought would be a good person to meet with. The trip to Marshall is not until the middle of May and my performance review had to be done by April 10th, so that is why I had the option to travel to Stennis or do it over video conference.
Once in New Orleans, LA, I met up with my supervisor (he flew in from Penn State Univ) at the airport to wait for the Specialist’s Supervisor to come pick us up and head for Slidell, LA to our hotel. I actually take care of all the admin stuff for Steve (Education Specialist) at Stennis along with everything at Marshall. I had never been to Stennis Space Center before and it eerily looked just like Marshall (my center). After Steve took us around the Center showing us all the places he frequents, he took us to his office and we parked our stuff, toured the museum, and got some lunch. After lunch I had a 3 hour performance review. That may sound bad, but it was really good. My Supervisor is new as of November and doesn’t know much about what the Project Assistants do, so we all have been telling him about what we do from our perspective. I came out of the review with the highest marks. It felt really good! Tuesday morning I was headed back home to Huntsville.
Wednesday was my only day in the office for the week. All I did was catching up on entering expense reports in to the system and getting ready to be off for Thursday and Friday.
Sinus Surgery #2
Thursday, I had some outpatient sinus surgery again. This time it was minor and very quick. I have some scar tissue on the right side of my sinuses that was making me get frequent sinus infections again. This surgery was hopefully going to take care of that, becuase I’m tired of having sinus trouble. I didn’t have any pain with the surgery even though I had lots of sinus pressure that made me off balance. I was given some pain medication to help with the pressure, but it made me very hungry, shaky and disconnected. I went back to work on Monday and had to take my medication so that I could take my mind off the sinus pressure. That was very interesting to deal with since I wasn’t suppose to drive while on the medication. It took about 45 minutes to take effect, so I would take it just before I walked out the door. I would have about 15-20 minutes at work before it would start making me drowsy. I had to make sure I brought my lunch so I could take another pill before lunch. That way the medication would be out of my system enough for me to drive home at 4:30. By Thursday, April 1st, my nose had healed enough for me to start blowing it. One side effect of being able to blow my nose is that I started getting motion sick very easily if I got over heated. I would get it without even being in a moving vehicle.
The Great Moonbuggy Race
The week after my surgery I had 3 days to get everything in order for me to be gone for 2 weeks because the Great Moonbuggy Race was Thursday – Saturday. This year I was asked to help with registration as well as be in charge of the 2-way radios. The Moonbuggy Race is an engineering design challenge NASA created for high school and college students to create a buggy that could stand up to the harsh elements and terrain on the moon just like the original one. Once they have their buggies made they race against the other school to get the best time on the obstacle course that weaves around the different attractions outside at the US Space and Rocket Center. Usually the weather is bad on either Friday or Saturday and part or all of that day is cancelled. This year Thursday afternoon was bad and Friday and Saturday was nice so both days of the race went as planned.
Woman’s Leadership Conference, Penn State University
Sunday, April 5 started a 2 week trip. The first 4 days of the first week I was at Penn State University for a Woman’s Leadership Conference and a Professional Development day at the office, and from there I went to Minnesota to visit the family for Easter.
The Woman’s Leadership Conference was really good for the first conference I’ve ever officially attended. My Supervisor decided to bring all the Project Assistants to Penn State for the Conference. The conference was actually only one day, but was repeated the next day so you could take sessions on the second day you didn’t get to on the first. Out of the 7 sessions I took, only one was really boring and fought to stay awake.
The third day at Penn State was a professional development session on how to communicate with difficult people in the morning and a few hours of just talking with our Supervisor in the afternoon. That probably doesn’t sound like a fun day, but it was actually a nice day and very productive.
Easter/Vacation in Minnesota & Wisconsin
When I left from Penn State I was on my way to Minnesota for some relaxation and family time. I got to see my Grandma who is temporarily in a rehab nursing home preparing for some foot surgery. I got to see all of my extended family at Easter – drama and all. Spent Easter weekend at my Sister’s and took care of my niece Morgan the Monday after. I always joy my time in Minnesota.
As usual, I don’t get as much time to spend with my friends as I’d like, but they all have lives and I’m the one on vacation. I always have lots of fun when we get together even though the time flies too fast.
My favorite part of my vacation in Minnesota was all the time I got to spend with Morgan and see how she has grown. I can’t believe that at 18 months she is running around, talking about everything, repeating everything you say, and putting together 3 word sentences. She is full of energy and is nonstop chatter. She pronounces most of the words she says clearly except for my favorite word she says “gibbage”, which is garbage. I’m very happy that she can pronounce my name correctly. Most toddlers pronounce my name as “Tatie”, but she says it like “Kay-Tee”.
The last big activity I went to while in MN was a piano recital for my step nieces Margaret and Mary Emma. It brought back many memories of my own piano recitals and actually has sort of given me a bug to start playing again. I have one problem with this bug, I don’t have my piano – my sister does.
Monday, March 9, 2009
As much as you may like this blanket and want me to make one for you. I’m sorry to announce that I will not be making any more of these blankets for a very long time unless it is for me. They are very time consuming! If you wanted to attempt to do one of these blankets yourself, they are at the novice level. You have to know cross stitch, embroidery and sewing basics. The pattern is from Jack Dempsey. There are actually a lot of patterns to choose from. They also have table cloths, napkins, pillow cases, baby bibs, etc.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I have had quite a week. I don’t get real sick too often, so when I think something is really wrong I usually get it checked out. That is what I was doing last week at the ENT doctor. I went from thinking last week that I may be in for some more surgery to being on the brink of death with a sinus infection. I know that sounds a little dramatic, but that is how I felt Tuesday around noon while waiting for my medication at Walgreens.
To back up to Friday’s appointment at the ENT doctor. She looked at the CT scan and said that all my sinuses were clear except for my right side below my eye had a little infection in it. So with much discomfort to me, she irrigated out that side. I believe she really angered it instead of flush it out. I picked up the prescriptions she gave me on Saturday morning from Walgreens. After taking my first dose of medication Saturday afternoon, I started with a cough that lasted until about Monday afternoon and then it went down hill from there. I stayed home from work on Monday because my lungs hurt so much from coughing for the last day and a half. Monday night I went to my second job and ended up agitating the infection even more and left there with a fever, headache, and a lot of congestion. Tuesday morning I got up and went to work because that is where I keep the phone numbers to my doctors. All morning I was cold, congested, every muscle ached including my teeth, had a headache, dizzy, my face hurt, only had about 25% functional mental capacity, and the congestion had moved from my nose to my lungs. These symptoms were every single side effect the medication gave and said to call the prescribing doctor immediately. I called the ENT doctor to see what they would say, but all I got was the nurse’s voicemail. I left a message and waited an hour to get a return phone call. After that hour passed, I called my regular doctor and he got me in at 11:00am. After I made that appointment, I called my supervisor at my second job and told her I wouldn’t be in. By 11:00am on Tuesday I was knocking on death’s door and so he gave me shot in the hip to jump start my recovery. This time I went to Walgreens and waited for my prescriptions because I didn’t think I really should have been out driving around town. Once I got the prescriptions and got home, I ate a quick lunch and fell right to sleep. I didn’t even wake up to watch my new favorite show, which I only get to watch when I get to go home early, the Doctors at 4:00pm. When I woke up at 5:30pm, it was like a brand new day. I could breathe out of my nose again, wasn’t achy and I didn’t have such a headache anymore. I felt like a new woman. Yesterday, I went to work with a horrible cough, but I felt about 90% better. Today is about the same. I should be back to 100% by this weekend. To end the story, my regular doctor thinks I am allergic to something; which is why I keep getting sinus infections even though having the sinus surgery was supposed to prevent that. So finding out what I’m allergic to requires eliminating things. He told me to take out my ear rings, clean my house really well, and even said I should temporarily remove Pepper from the house. Hopefully my Aunt & Uncle in town will be willing to take him for a week or so. He doesn’t really believe my allergist that says I am not allergic to almost everything that grows anymore. He really thinks I am still allergic to cats. As sad as I would be, I think I could get rid of him if it means I don’t get killer sinus infections anymore. It would be even better if my Aunt & Uncle could take him. My Aunt already has said that if I bring him to their house he is no longer my cat, she will claim him as hers.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Back to reality, winter is not over yet. There is a new cold front coming in tonight and I definitely feel the affects in the form of a headache, ear ache, drippy eye, and more than full sinuses. All are psychologically extra amplified by my trip to the ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor yesterday afternoon. I’m having trouble with my sinuses again and I’m going for another CT scan of them on Thursday to see why they are so clogged. I am having flash backs from when I had sinus surgery on February 13th, 2 years ago. I don’t know if I have to have surgery again, I’ll find out on Friday. I hope this is a better experience than before. I have better health insurance this time and I know what to expect.
Happy Groundhog's Day!!!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
In other news, as some of you know, I am the Assistant Sunday School Superintendent at my church. We over the last couple months I have been forced to do everything except for anything that has to do with the Youth Group (we have a leader for that). Keep in mind that I don’t really know how this church does Sunday school because 1) I don’t have any kids to put in the Sunday school, and 2) I just haven’t paid any attention up until I got this position. In the month of December alone I had to figure out what was going on with the Children’s Christmas program, figure out what the Sunday school attendance was when I didn’t I needed to keep track of it, and take down the Christmas decorations in the social hall that the youth group put up. So far in January, I’ve had to create the 2009 calendar for the Christian Ed board even though I didn’t know what events they are responsible for because only 1 person showed up for the board meeting before the calendar meeting, and holding a Christian Ed board meeting this past Sunday because the chair person, and Sunday School Superintendent, has been MIA pretty much since the first part of November. Running that meeting was like agony for me because I was furious that no one on the board came to help with the calendar meeting, and I’m not even the board chair and has not been to a Christian Ed board meeting since I joined the board. It was like pulling teeth to get them to agree or volunteer to take the lead on anything. In the end we ended up with a new board chair and a date for Vacation Bible School (the dates needed to be changed). I went away from that meeting with a huge weight off my shoulders. I no longer have to be responsible for the entire board, just Sunday School.
We got 2 excused hours of work to watch the inauguration this morning. I wouldn’t have wanted to be in DC today. I enjoyed watching the whole ceremony from the comfort of the conference room here at work. I got to see up close and there was no microphone echo or jumbotron to deal with. My day is extremely slow, so I might try to sneak away again to watch the parade. Happy Inauguration Day!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Here is a quick snapshot of how the last week and a half was for me.
Week of Christmas
I was given a nice Christmas gift from my second job (Surgery Center) – an early day on Christmas Eve, Christmas day and the day after off. On Christmas Eve, since I was already off from NASA I was able to go there early and get my work done from 1:00pm – 3:30pm. I was then free to attend the 5 o’clock Mass with my Aunt, Uncle and the rest of the family. I would have rather gone to my church’s service, but it was at the same time as dinner. It was good to see my cousins - Matt, Cindy, Karen w/boyfriend Jonathan, and David. All of them were only in town for a couple days, they decided to spend most of their time at home with the family instead of with friends. We watched tons of movies – Burn After Read, The Dark Night, Death Race, Juno, Narnia-Prince Caspian and Ironman to name a few. Friday and Saturday I spent in Nashville with my Dad, his fiancé Mel, her kids and parents. We again watched movies and I helped Dad and Mel’s Dad pick out a new computer desk for the bonus room. I forgot to bring the Christmas gifts, so Dad decided that he would bring the kids down next Friday to get out of the house for a little while.
Week of New Years
Starting on Monday, I had my days off and worked only at night. New Year’s Eve: I started off the day with going to church and helped take down the decorations in the social hall. When I got home I noticed the neighbor’s dog on my back deck. Wondering how he got into my closed backyard, I put my stuff down and went to go see where she went. I couldn’t find the dog, then all of a sudden from below I heard banging. I’ve been having trouble with my crawl space door not closing and it wasn’t closed this day. Not really knowing the temperament of the dog, I called the Huntsville Animal Control. Unfortunately for me they don’t go under houses to retrieve animals. So I had to try to remember what house the dog belonged to so I can go and hopefully find someone home to retrieve the dog. Thankfully there was someone home and by the time they got to my house their dog had come out from under my house, jumped my fence and was waiting patiently in the neighbors yard. I opened the gate and just as they were about to click the leash on the dog she ran under the neighbor’s deck. Now that crisis is over, I need to figure out how to make or buy a better crawl space door. Mine is made of 2x4 and plywood and I would like to find a plastic one. That evening the surgery center didn’t close early, but we all helped each other to get everything done by 9:00pm (instead of the usual 10:30pm) so everyone could enjoy the evening. I didn’t have any parties or anything to go to, so I just stopped and got something to eat as a way to ring in the New Year. The New Year’s Eve shows on TV were not as entertaining as I hoped it would have been. Robbie Knievel’s jump over the volcano at the Mirage hotel in Los Vegas was not as amazing as I hoped and Dick Clark probably shouldn’t have made an appearance on his show. I was off from both jobs on New Year’s Day so lounging in my PJs all day was in order. Friday, the surgery center decided they were going to have another half day so that everyone would have plenty of time to prepare for the Univ. of Alabama vs. Utah game in the Sugar Bowl. I had no intentions of watching the game, but I was going to my Aunt Kandy & Uncle John’s house to meet up with my Dad and the kids for dinner and John is huge Alabama football fan. I was forced to be tortured with watching the game and to add insult to injury, Alabama lost the game. Dad and the kids stayed at my house Friday night. Saturday morning we went out for breakfast and decided to go international – as in IHOP. Their caramel pecan coffee cake pancakes are very good and very sugary. Yum! After breakfast, we did a little shopping and they left to go back home around 3:00pm.