Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow days

For the last three weeks, we have had at least one snow day each week, sometimes more, and/or a delayed opening.  The public schools have closed for an entire week or most of the week for the past three weeks.  Needless to say, there are a lot of angry parents.  It's not really that the weather has been consistently bad or dangerous, there were a few days, but not enough to justify the continuous closings.  It feels like people just don't want to go out in it and are jumping to closings when they're not really necessary.  

In other news, my best friend was correct about the paint color of our house, we were indeed able to find our house in a snowstorm.  We thought it looked lovely.  How's winter treating you?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The 2015 Oscars

I'm staying up very late to watch the show.  So far the highlights for the Oscars:  Patricia Arquette's speech, the performance of Glory, and Lady Gaga's performance of The Sound of Music.  The first hour and a half was a waste, this last hour was worth waiting for.  And now, the acceptance speech by Graham Moore, who won for best adapted screenplay for The Imitation Game.  Ooh, surprise!  I hadn't expected Eddie Redmayne.  I'm glad he won.  Okay, back to watching.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Am I up to day 16 of hives?  They are moderately under control, but still not gone, I keep having wheezing and sore throat that goes away, then returns.  I also have bad indigestion that's becoming regular.  I'm not prone to indigestion, so this is a new experience for me.  I had a blood test on Monday.  I don't know how long it will take to get results.  The doctor's office is supposed to call me tomorrow.  I do not like this turn my health has taken. Trying hard to be patient while we figure this out.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

11 Days with hives

I am including pictures with this post, they are not of me, but of some other poor soul who suffered from the same thing. So 9 days ago, I began itching during the day, but didn't think much of it. It being winter and dry here, itching is normal. By the time I got home after work though, I ITCHED like crazy, felt hot, and was beginning to hurt in various spots on my body. When I took my clothes off, I discovered an array of problems. 1. I had a lot of little red spots all over that looked like they had the potential to become problems. 2. I also had bigger red splotches that looked angry, and then 3. I had raised hives all over as well. I believe these were the three stages of my hives. Here are some pictures of what I'm talking about.

Unfortunately, I was supposed to get up very early the next day to go out of town. I have had hives a couple of times in my life before, and I was always able to take Benadryl and a few hours later they would be gone, so this was my plan of action this time.  I took meds and went to bed, thinking all would be better in the morning.  Well, the hives were still there Wednesday morning, and now I also had a bad cold, when I really needed to leave for the airport.  They weren't any worse, but weren't gone either.  I had recently begun taking a new medicine for cholesterol and so figured that was the cause of the allergic reaction.  I stopped taking the cholesterol drug, took more Benadryl and went to the airport.  I figured it would take a few days for the cholesterol drugs to get out of my system, so I kept taking Benadryl, and soldiered on.  By the time I returned home on Sunday evening, I had been dealing with hives for 5 days.  My next plan was to go directly to my allergist's office first thing in the morning and be waiting when they opened, and get them to see me without an appointment.  They did, and diagnosed it as an allergic reaction, which, d'uh, I already knew that.

The doctor prescribed a menthol cream, and a couple of heavy duty anti-histamines to be taken at the same time to knock the allergy out, however, I wasn't supposed to take the anti-histamines until they could run tests on me to figure out what I was reacting to.  The earliest they could do this was Friday.  Well, Tuesday morning my hives got worse than they ever were and I was wheezing.  I had to take the meds immediately.

So today, Friday, the eleventh day after all this began, the hives are gone, only itchy red spots remain, and I'm supposed to stay on the anti-histamines for quite some time, then later get test for all my allergies all over again.  I have no idea what I could be reacting to, because the hives started before I left town and continued after I returned.  They lasted longer than the time it would take for the new meds to get out of my system.  Viruses can sometimes caused hives, but I got over my cold and still had hives.  I bought different clothes and wore them while out of town because I thought I might have developed an allergy to laundry detergeant. So, I'm at a loss over what was the constant, ever present allergen that was causing all the trouble.  I sure hope they can figure this out. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Leavin' 'Nawlins

M had a conference to attend in New Orleans, so I tagged along, and got in a visit with my sister. It had the makings of a great mini-vacation, but the night before we left, I broke out in hives. No problem, I had started on a new medicine a couple days earlier, so I figured it was an allergic reaction and stopped taking the meds. The first day I woke up in New Orleans, I had a cold. So 6 days later, I still have my cold, and I still have hives. I have been popping anti-histamines and cold meds round the clock and am still not better. I will call the doctor first thing Monday and hope for the best.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bathroom remodel

So last I left off, I started a post about the bathroom remodel, but then the holidays ensued, Winter classes began, and as usual, one thing led to another, and I never got around to doing the next post.  So as a refresher, the upstairs bathroom was the last room in the house that hadn't been remodeled.

When we first saw this bathroom prior to buying the house, we saw the relaxing brown and the huge jacuzzi tub, and thought, "awesome, we'll have our own spa."  Nope.  The tub was really hard to clean, it took an entire hot water heater to fill it, and was really impractical.  It also didn't have a regular shower, just a hand held one.  So M was really wanting a new bathroom, and she only had to wait 9 years to get it.  

The demolition part went very quickly.  Given our experience with other remodeling projects in the house, we chose to gut the entire bathroom down to the studs, including ripping out the ceiling and the floor.

We didn't want any surprises, wanted everything done right, up to code, new plumbing and wiring.  It was a good thing we did, because the previous homeowner did some wonderful things like cutting into joists, and shoving random pieces of wood in huge gaps where the walls he built didn't meet the ceiling.

M knew the type of walk-in shower she wanted, which would require a bigger bathroom.  So we expanded into the hall closet and took a corner out of B's bedroom.

It wasn't a problem taking the chunk out of the bedroom because it was a weird indent that didn't make sense anyway.  When the previous homeowner put in the jacuzzi tub, he bumped out into the bedroom just where the tub was and left the weird corner in the bedroom.

M wanted a huge walk-in shower with no door, like ones she'd seen in fancy hotels when we traveled. The fancy showers had half walls with glass to the ceiling.

Another feature of the showers that she liked was a rain shower head coming out of the ceiling.

So the destruction part went quickly, then things bogged down while waiting for an electrician to come in, then cutting the knee wall shorter, then the drywall went up quickly.

It was finally looking big and bright.  We had a short wait for the drywall taping and primer to be done, then we did the painting ourselves to save a bit of money.

As you can see, M picked a turquoise blue for the bathroom, very similar to the blue in the kitchen and the outside of the house.  I told her this would be the last turquoise for the house.  Next the orange underlay for the tile went in, then very quickly the gray subway tile and mosaic tile went in.  I got M an early Christmas present, and had them install a towel warmer for her.  She loves that thing.  

So somewhere I have a picture of the finished bathroom with the glass installed.  I'll have to go look for it.  

I found it!   Okay, one other thing about the bathroom, we have been trying to find things to hang towels on and to hold magazines.  We didn't want what we had in there previously, because none of it went with the new style, but none of the new stuff appealed to us either.  

So we found this old rack in a local junk store and thought it would be good to hold magazines, but not like this.

This is just the pop of color we needed against the turquoise and to liven up all the gray.

We're planning on using a wine bottle rack for towels, because they look more interesting than a regular towel rack, but we haven't found one we're completely sold on yet.  Maybe something like this:  

So we have the bathroom remodel out of the way.  It took about a month, and now we're just doing finishing decorative touches.  Now we're moving on to getting a new roof on the garage because it's leaking.  I really wanted to start on the attic, but it will have to wait.  It's always something with old houses.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

We're going to a late dinner with friends, dessert back at our house, then downtown to watch a lit ball drop.  It's below freezing here and my feet hurt from helping my daughter clean out her apartment today.  Let's hope I behave myself and don't get too cranky.  M says I've already snapped at her once tonight.  Tired, hurt, hungry, cold, those are my triggers to being disagreeable.  Wish me luck, and I hope all of you have a great 2015.