Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Hump Day Poll

Let's talk spirit animals! 

Before. I used to think maybe I was a dolphin or an otter or some animal that I thought was cute.  It wasn't until after I visited Yellowstone National Park and read this article that I realized what mine was...

A bison.

In the article, it says "After their babies are born, they’ll stand their ground, snort, and charge to keep them safe."  While I may not have children, I am this way with the people closest to me especially when I see them being disrespected, taken advantage of and/or in physical or emotional danger.   The Mr knows if the potential for a physical altercation was there, I was beside him, not because I didn't think he could handle himself but to show the other person, you have to go through me to get to him.  Like he always said, "it's not me you should be worried about, it's my wife!"  😆  The same applies if I feel he's being disrespected and I have ZERO problem calling someone out, if necessary, to set them straight.

I tried to do the same thing with Grandma and be her health advocate as much as I could until I was outvoted.  It was the last thing I whispered to her before telling her it was okay to go.  "I tried, Grandma.  Please forgive all of us.  I love you."

Now my poll question is, what is your true spirit animal, not just an animal you think is cute?

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

A Meshy Situation

Yesterday, it was time to get downstairs and get the first layer of mud on the seams and screw holes.  We both watched a buttload of YouTube videos on the subject, and one thing I can tell you with authority is everyone has a different method.  People will tell you that X is the right way and anyone who does it Y way is wrong and vice versa.  Mesh drywall tape is crap and paper is king.  Mesh is fine, it's based on the job.  Use a 6" drywall knife, then 10" and finish with 12".  Don't do that, skip the 6" to avoid waves and get straight to the 10".  Use a ton of mud to apply the corner piece for adhesion to avoid bubbles.  Use very little mud to apply the corner piece, or you'll get bubbles.  Stagger your butt joints for better results, which we can't do because of stud placement and doorway restrictions. Basically, wing it and hope for the best because everyone has an opinion and you know what they say about those.

We had this corner piece we had to contend with, so the Mr worked on that by putting up a corner doohicky, which I believe is the technical term in the biz.

I worked on taping the seams, so I got those meshed up.  Some will tell you to put the mud down first others, mesh first then mud.

The mesh is self-adhesive, and that seemed like a waste of mud to do it first, so I put it on afterward.  We both did the first pass on the screw holes too and now to wait for 18 hours.

In the meantime, we got down to business with our workout with our bitchin' new temporary entertainment center.

We did Turbo Fire HIIT 25 and LIIFT 4 Chest and Tri's.  I couldn't take another step sesh with Shaun T given how broken my legs were.  Today, we'll do pass #2 on the wall at some point.

What tutorials have you looked up that gave you conflicting information?

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Monday, July 29, 2019

Build the Wall Weekend Recap

Howdy do, all?  I hope you had a lovely weekend full of fun!  I told the Mr Sunday evening that I felt like a hitchhiker who finally got picked up, realized once the car hit 55mph that the "good samaritan" was a killer and rolled out of the car at top speed.

Friday night we did a good bulk of our grocery shopping.  In between runs, I asked the Mr if he wanted to rent a truck from Home Depot to get the drywall and we just squeaked in under the deadline.  We told them we wouldn't even need it for 30 minutes but I think he thought he was joking.  While he was renting that, I took a big cart to the drywall area.  I tried to get it myself but they pack those bastards two slabs at a time!  48 lbs per sheet and unwieldy do not mesh well.  So the Mr rounded the corner and I flagged him like Goldblum running from a T Rex

Why do they not have wheel locks on those carts?? 

We managed to get them loaded on, bought, then loaded into the truck, unloaded into the garage and returned the 19 minutes. 

Of course, we forgot shims so we had to go back but still. 

I don't know what it was but the workouts last week did my legs in BIG TIME.  Friday night I had the Mr massage my calves but everything was too deep-rooted to get.  I woke up the next morning around 5:45am and my legs felt like a mess.  I grabbed my shiatsu massager and moved it incrementally starting on my hamstrings to the ankles and up the other leg for an HOUR.  I still had to use The Stick to loosen a few stubborn knots.  I knew we had a lot of walking ahead of us and 4 hours on the asphalt in the sun was not my friend.  But at least we got a corn dog and elephant ear for our trouble.  We got some planks we needed for the basement then got back to the house collapsed for an almost 3-hour nap!  I woke up and my legs were seized up.  I waited for a break when I could swing the legs off of the couch and used the Pure Wave to jackhammer and loosen things a bit so I could even stand.  Yeesh.  I had grand plans of getting downstairs and getting started on the drywall the second half of the day but that wasn't gonna happen to the extent I thought it would.

We finally went down and got measurements of the first piece to line up to the middle of the stud like I researched.  Then, of course, realized that the friggin' junction box was going to be in a potentially tricky spot.  I was super nervous about cutting the outline despite measuring and re-measuring how far up to come, how far in to go and the dimensions of the box.  I got it almost completely perfect but then the Mr remembered we can't have the drywall touching the floor due to potential mold.  We consulted the Google Handyman and verified this and saw that most will just put scrap pieces of drywall underneath as the guide for screwing it in.  We did that and cut a little bit down into the junction cut out and will use that piece to fill in the gap that would be on top now.  I am so happy with the results because after having replaced all of the faceplates on the light switches and outlets in this house, I can say I did a MUCH better job than the "professionals!"

Once we got everything to our liking, we decided it was a good stopping place because it was too late to start pounding like maniacs.  (That's what she said.)  We then pondered how we were going to make rip cuts on these planks because they have a trick to them.  The thought of using a table saw terrifies me and he didn't grow up with a handyman dad so we're both not super comfortable with that stuff.  I grew up around it but dad bolted before I was old enough to be comfortable using power tools. After checking out the tools in our future, we wound down by playing some old school Crash Bandicoot.

Sunday was a new day and we both felt pretty broken.  We had to wake up a bit so got sucked into two episodes of Say Yes to the Dress.  I couldn't help but feel sad because in all of the years I've watched this show, I never heard them talk about "cancellation dresses" and they brought it up in both episodes.  Under any other circumstances, I wouldn't have likely noticed but now I know what someone feels like having to cancel their dream wedding.  Friday I got the invite for my friend's bridal shower that came with a note telling people about the cancellation.  It was honestly the saddest invite I've ever received and I burst into tears when I opened it. 

We turned it off before another episode started and got downstairs.  We screwed in the piece we cut the night before and were happy to have our starting piece in place.

Then it was time to work on the other piece and we had a light switch junction box to contend with.  We measured just as careful as the night before and got pretty close.  There was a gap on the bottom of the board because as you will find when you do something like a wall, your house ain't square, yo.  I feel like I became the planing queen, shearing off edges and ends so drywall dust went EVERYWHERE.  It was literally and figuratively irritating.  We got that done so the bottom part was ready to go.

We then moved on to what should've been the easy ones with no junction boxes to worry about.  It wasn't, of course.  We worked together to get everything where it needed to go.

It was nice to get the next section up.  The Mr went out to cut the last piece while I put together a little time capsule to put inside the wall.  Just some prices of stuff, whose popular and asking them why they're tearing our wall down! 

When we finally got the last piece all cut and shaved down, we finally had a wall!

We had some smaller sections to work on over the door, to the right of it and to cap off the end on the left.  When we were done, there was no time to relax, we still had one more grocery store to go.  It was so painful for both of us.  When we got back, I got to making dinner and he cut my produce for the week.  Then I finished up this post while he's passed out on the couch.  It's so good to have this part done but each part we have to do has its own cringe-worthy challenges for us novices.  But we're getting there!  It's nice to know when presented with challenges that my paternal genes kick in on the engineering front.  I'm proud of us for getting it done up to this point.  Now on to the next part which is mudding and taping and sanding.


How was your weekend?

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Friday, July 26, 2019

What I'm Reading This Week #30

Happy Friday everyone!  It's the last one of July, so enjoy it.  I seriously don't know where this summer is going and I'm not complaining.  You know the first day over 85 degrees, I am counting down the days until Fall.  (59 days)  We did want to take some summer road trips and stuff but with the days swirling down the toilet, I don't want to keep putting off making progress on the basement.  We're still able to work out but it's overwhelming thinking of all we still have to do and then hoping more life grenades aren't thrown into our laps.

But enough of that stuff, let's jump into...

How Much Added Sugar Should You Limit Yourself to a Day?  (One of the best guidelines I've seen.)

Are vitamins a waste of money? A new study says yes   (To their "bottom line"...blow it out your butt.  Some of us eat VERY healthy and are still deficient because it would take an insane amount of certain foods to bump up specific nutrients, I've tried.   Track your nutrients, see what you're consistently deficient in and supplement accordingly as long as they don't interfere with any meds you could be on.)

Skin Repair Reduces ‘Inflamm-Aging’ Factors Linked to Chronic Disease   (Make a point to take care of the largest organ you've got!)

The 9 Best-Kept Aldi Secrets You Didn’t Know About   (Spilling the tea)

New breast cancer drug found to boost survival rates by 30%  (Pass it along if you know anyone going through it.)

New Research Finds A Big Link Between Physical Exercise & Alzheimer's  (It's a little unnerving to know what we're doing isn't enough.)

How to Stop Catastrophizing: An Expert’s Guide  (VERY good tips)

4 Steps For Clearing Your Head & Staying Calm During An Argument  (A good outline to try to memorize.  Sometimes you need to take a step back.  (But also, sometimes people know better and don't care to do better so....) )

Flight attendant union calls cramped airplane seats 'torture'   (Yes they are and I have a $2000 doctor bill to prove it and am now leery about flying.  So what's going to be done about it?)

You Can’t Solve Other People’s Problems: How to Stop Trying to Change Others  (Stop cutting so close to the bone, will ya?)

Life is Fragile: Say “I Love You” a Lot  (I make sure to do this too.  The last thing the Mr will ever hear me say when we part ways for work or a grocery run is "I love you.")

It's grocery weekend.

wait for it

There's a carnival going on this weekend so the Mr and I are going to get our annual fill of carnival eats.   We do it once a year without guilt and I'll be rubbing my Buddha belly when we're done.  After that, we'll need to make sure we get into the basement to make some progress of some sort.

What are y'all getting into this weekend?  What's your favorite festival food?

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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Tools of the Trade

Happy (almost) Friday!

You should really play this in the background as you read.  I'll wait.

I've been a destructive little minx this week.  We have some grand plans for the spaces between our joists on the wall because, frankly, they ugly.  But there was one part of the drywall that was bowing out and wasn't installed flush because, as we later found out, there was a nail in there that sticks out just far enough to be a nuisance.  I thought a long screw through the drywall might attach to something behind it but nothing was long enough.  Then I thought I'd "tap" it in with a rubber mallet and just before, I thought, "this is going to go really well or really bad."

It went really bad.

I couldn't stop laughing.  It's like that laugh that is borderline "of course that happened/FML" or calling the dudes with the white jackets.  It was in a delicate area, as far as there being physical obstacles, because that's how we do.  We have a capped gas line from the kitchen hanging as well as a live electric wire for the outlet for the scale.

There were box cutters, mallets, and hammers

... and it left quite the mess.

I worked up a sweat finally getting it done and underestimated just how much drywall dust I was sucking in because that's all I could smell the rest of the day, hacked up during my workout and had crusted in my eyes the following morning.  When Hurricane Anele finally blew through, I had what I was looking for.

I took out the old insulation and grabbed my hammer and chisel and got to work on removing the construction adhesive around the edges so I'd have a clear path of wiggling in my new piece.  I replaced the insulation with some extra we have from putting it up in the garage.

I measured three times to hopefully cut it as precisely as possible.   Unfortunately, as we know, nothing is ever square from top to bottom or side to side.

I made my marks with my measuring tape and used my drywall square to make a line from mark to wonky mark.  I used the box cutter along the square and prayed to the DIY guardian angels to let the line snap cleanly in both directions.  Thankfully, it did and I was pretty proud with the final result.

I prayed that I would be able to just slide it in with no issues but I knew that would be a Christmas in July miracle.

I thought it was just the live line that is stapled to the joist that was the problem and I couldn't get the leverage I needed.  I turned off the breaker to the outlet and got some needle nose pliers to try to wiggle the staple out but it wasn't budging no matter how much leverage I got.  I noticed it was zip-tied to the metal part a foot down the joist so I snipped the tie hoping it would give me enough slack to be able to pull the line out.  It did but the drywall was still a little too wide and tall by about 1/2" which made no sense given the measurements to the closest ends.

I used the drywall saw the Mr picked up yesterday along with the 2x2 drywall patch to hopefully be able to shave off enough.  It took two tries but it finally fit!

I put two screws in and caulked around the outside and turn the breaker back on.  All I have to do is trim some of the insulation paper that is sticking out of the bottom making it look like it's still bowing out.

I've gotta say, I'm pretty proud of myself.  I know it looked like a small job but it wasn't and there was a lot more to it than there should've been but those lines caused some headaches.  It's a small thing in the scheme of everything but it means we can start the next phase of the project which is both exciting and a little scary.

How have you made yourself proud lately?

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Hump Day Poll: Grillin' and Chillin'

We are in full swing of summer, and if you're like us, you've been having a few cookouts.  (Or hoping to when it's not scorching hot!)

We have our staples:  burgers (usually 85/15 organic grass-fed beef), hot dogs (Trader Joe's has these really good ones from Chicago that taste like Maxwell Street Polish) or vegan brats, brioche or Hawaiian buns for both, baked beans, corn on the cob, and chips.

So that got me wondering, especially since food can be so regional...

When you think cookout, what are you must haves?

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

What Made Me Happy

If you've been following along for a while, you know we do One Happy Year, where every day we write what made us happy each day.  I have to say lately, it helps a lot because, with all of the crap flying from different directions, it can make me focus on something other than all of the bad.

Yesterday, all of the stresses of the past few weeks caught up with me, and I had vertigo for most of the day.  I used to have it a lot when I was overstressed, but thankfully, it now just happens when something pushes me over the edge.  We were dealing with another BS red tape issue with trying to change the Mr's doctor to one we actually trust.  You know how you just don't see something coming and when it does, all you can do is sit there with your mouth agape and question the corruption of our broken health care system?  I'll go into it when I'm sure the new appointment is secured, and another shoe isn't going to drop.

Focusing on the things that went right or were nice about my day helped me to stop shaking and screaming at my laptop.

1)  Drawings

The Mr has an audit this week and has to be in the office a few days that he usually isn't.  I was goofing with him yelling NO! before he went to bed, and it was making him laugh.  So I drew three different notes of me yelling no and put them in the medicine cabinet, on his lunch in the fridge and his seat at the table.  He got a kick out of them, and I asked what he thought when he saw the first one, and he said 1) the amount of detail I used and 2) he knew it wasn't going to be the only one.  He knows me too well.

2)    Chatting with the Mr. at lunch

He got away from his desk and went out to the car to call me.  We chatted about the medical crap, and it was just nice to vent to each other, especially since we don't really call each other when he's at work.  Messages and emails are nice, but there's nothing like hearing your honey's voice unexpectedly.

3)  When our workout was over

They look so damn innocent, don't they?  I was so dreading working out and thinking of alternatives like walking the neighborhood instead.  But honestly, the workout is what stopped the spinning for good, and I always feel whipped, accomplished, and better when it's over.  Just over a week of LIIFTformation month two left under our belts.

4)  Movie night

We had a free Redbox rental from the side of a Jolly Time Healthy Pop box, but the movie rentals have been abysmal the past few months.  I was seeing if anything was appealing and remembered we thought the trailer for Little looked good.   We didn't expect too much, and if it was bad, at least it was free.  Thankfully, it was a good movie and somewhat of a spin on Big but different.  Cute and good laughs.

5)  Trailer for Mr. Rogers movie with Tom Hanks

While I'm mixed on my feelings of the portrayal, what made me happy was actually when he said: "Sometimes we have to ask for help, and that's OK."   It's very true and something we all need to remember no matter what we're going through in life.

Sorry if this had a bunch of typos, I did it after my proofreader went to bed.  😁

What made you happy yesterday?

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Monday, July 22, 2019

Half Baked Weekend Recap

Happy Monday, everyone.

I made my lime bars for our gathering Saturday, and I think I might've baked the shortbread for a normal time instead of slightly underbaking.  When I went to cut it, something looked off, and I cut, I realized all of the lime filling went under the crust and baked upside down. 

I almost tossed it, but I put a plate down and flipped it.  It wasn't too bad and had some of the filling still stuck to the parchment paper.  Old me would've been freaking out, but I think I'm just so over everything right now, I was like "eff it" and put them together and figured it's all going to the same place, so I didn't care.   I talked to my friend going through every life crisis, and it was confirmed, terminal cancer out of the blue of the father figure in her life, so the object is to make him comfortable because he's too old for chemo.  Truly, it's a miracle the man has made it this long given his diet of "sit on your butt and eat vats of candy and chips or pretzels."  He's thin too.  Go figure.  She flew home that night and will be back for her mom's next chemo treatment assuming she'll be able to have it.  Then I had to tell her I was going to be out for the day and entertaining that night and have a safe flight because I was taking on her stuff and I've got enough of my own and needed that day to just not worry about more than what was in front of me.  I did as much prep work as I could before going to a vintage shop to pick up some items I bought online.  There's a talented painter there who is about to take a break (and I think she might not come back) so I wanted to get some of her work.

We went to a few shops in the area, and I picked up a Christmas gift for a friend, so I have two things for her and one thing for my mom, so I feel like I have a little bit of a head start.  I was hangry, so we went to the closest restaurant, which isn't a place we would've chosen typically.  It was decent, but I don't have a desire to go back.  We saw the other side of the freeway was backed up for miles, so we took the back way, and it took us past an area we used to frequent when we were first dating.  It's a lot different but always brings back memories.  We got back home and took about a 30-minute nap before I had to get to boiling corn, get burger trimmings on a platter, get the beans cooking, etc.

Our friends were bringing tres leches cake, which neither of us ever had before, chips and mac salad.  When they got here, I put on the burgers and brats, and we dug in.  It was a nice, catch-up session.  We both agreed afterward we're not fans of the cake.  I ate half of my slice because I didn't want to be rude, but I didn't think it had much flavor.  They were here until around midnight, and when they left, we didn't feel like going up to bed but were both freezing, so we cuddled up under blankets and faded in and out of consciousness until 2am. 

Sunday we got up, and the Mr was kind enough to get the patio all covered back up.  We had several good chats throughout the day an hour at a know, solving the world's problems and all.  I reheated leftovers and really shouldn't have, but I was in no mood to do more than microwave something.  I entered my stuff in Cronometer so I would have to burn 890 calories to undo what I did.  I knew I could likely do it if we did our scheduled workout instead of painting like we've done the past 2 Sundays.  We went to Home Depot to get a few things, and we came home and got to our workout.   I burned 960 calories, so that was good but doubled my sodium so my legs are good n' tight.  Womp womp.   Then it was time to wind down for the evening and psych ourselves up for the week.

What did you guys do this weekend?

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Friday, July 19, 2019

What I'm Reading This Week #29

Happy Friday y'all!

This week went by kind of fast somehow, but I'll take it!  It was another whopper, but we've got friends coming tomorrow for a long overdue visit so that'll be nice.

Speaking of which, let's visit...

Why You Feel Groggy After a Nap — and 4 Ways to Snooze Like a Pro  (Heck, it takes me 10 minutes just to get comfortable, five to make sure the Mr isn't staring at me or something and five more to just start to relax...*alarm*..." nap" over.)

Should You Use a Personal Loan or a Home Equity Loan to Remodel Your Home?  (Good tips)

'Hospital Diversion' Is Perfectly Legal and Putting People at Risk. Here's What You Need to Know  (Well, this is terrifying!)

Do You Need Wedding Insurance?  (Given what my friend is going through and the number of deposits she's NOT getting back from unfeeling douche nozzles, my answer would be yes.)

The 20 Things No One Tells You About Owning a Home  (When it rains it pours, and you're never really "done.")

Do You Sit Too Much? Sedentary Lifestyle, Health Impacts, and Solutions  (Word to your mutha)

Bad Real Estate Lessons You've Learned From Watching HGTV  (The only things I've ever taken from HGTV shows are 1) de-personalize your space when you're going to sell and that's true because I get weirded out when I see people's kids plastered all over the walls at open houses.  2) ALWAYS flush the toilet after you turn off the water until the tank is empty and BAG the bottom of the toilet if you're removing or replacing it during renos.  That second one served us well!)

How to Keep Home Improvement Projects From Busting Your Budget  (That reminds me, I need to buy that cut out saw for the drywall project.)

Bath & Body Works Just Dropped Its Fall 2019 Candle Collection, and We're Freaking Out  (OMG!!  Pumpkin Peanut Brittle!  Pumpkin Pecan Waffle!  Sugared Snickerdoodle!  Salted Butterscotch!  I just wish I burned candles more.  Do they have votives?  LOL)

The Legend of The Blair Witch Project  (I remember when this came out.  The fake website and hype around it to promote the movie was the first of its kind.  It was amazing to be part of all of that and trying to find clues and analyze it before it came out.  It also shows that the best psychological thrillers don't have to show a dang thing, your mind is the horror show.)

For any Cure fans  (If you're a fan, here's their AMAZING set at Glastonbury!)

Always Makes Me Smile (When I need a good laugh and a reminder of who I want to be in 20 years, I always look to Grandma Fancy.  Because nothing makes people more uncomfortable than a granny and sexual innuendo.)

I need to get a grocery list together and get as much prep work done as possible for tomorrow.  Thankfully, the house stayed pretty company ready after our window man visit Tuesday, so we just had to do some touch-ups today.  It's supposed to be disgusting hot, so I might be grilling indoors which kind of sucks.  This is the second time I've planned a cookout, and the weather looks to derail it.  Pffft. 

What are y'all into this weekend?  Stay frosty!

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Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Body Part You're Ignoring After Your Workout

Whether your workout includes walking, HIIT, plyo, strength training or basically moving at all, there is one thing that takes the brunt of everything we do that we don't pay enough attention to.  They say it's best to foam roll after a workout but you never see people talking about a rolling technique for the hardest workers we have with the least amount of care...our feet.

Our feet have 100 muscles per foot and if you think those muscles don't get as sore as your biceps or calves even if you don't feel it, think again.  Tight foot muscles can contribute to balance and mobility issues and if you can't move, then it's hard to get much of anything done.

Every morning I use these three things to relieve the soreness in my feet from the previous night's workout.

Lacrosse Balls are the perfect size and firmness to roll the tiny muscles in your feet.  I use them to roll the plantar fascia that connects the heel to the arch and then roll all over the bottom of the feet to find any spots I didn't know were a problem.  The relief can sometimes be the difference between getting up out of bed and getting up and hobbling for 3 hours especially after the workouts we've been doing lately.

This spiky ball is a little tough to take in tender spots but especially where the tendons meet on the side or if the balls of your feet are sore.  When I roll it on the outer part of the bottom of my feet, I can feel so much release and it gets me ready for the final roll.

That's right, a good ol' fashioned tennis ball.  My tendons get out of line pretty easily from sitting and then throwing it into weight lifting and step aerobics from hell.  Heck, even a long day of shopping can send me into a bit of a hobble.  When I do a final roll with a tennis ball, my tendon in my arch will snap back into place from the gentle resistance a tennis ball gives over the other two.  We also travel with them and have one in the car for relief if we need it.  I now roll my feet after workouts with these to help keep things in alignment.

If you practice foam rolling or are interested in being as kind to your feet as you are to the rest of you, consider making foot rolling a part of your post-workout routine.

Do you roll your feet?

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Hump Day Poll: Best Laid Plans

We had our meeting with the window dude.  I had already done extensive research on the "big boys" in our area as well as a cautionary tale from my friend who had gotten quotes from all three big window companies and had horrible experiences with all of them.  (As well as ridiculously quoted prices.  I did enough searching to see what windows should cost in our area as a ballpark.)   I sent this local company who did not advertise but had 5-star reviews on all of the major review sites to the Mr and said I felt like we'd be cutting through the crap if we went straight to these people.  We knew on the high end, we should expect to pay around $1000 per window since they are vinyl, not wood, so we figured around $3000 for the job.  Now we had to put our game faces on.

We said we weren't going to sign a contract, we weren't going to tell him about the icicle that grew between the panes this winter, we were going to say we had another company coming out the same day so we couldn't give an answer that day and just the three windows.  We would price out our dream window but probably go with something middle of the line but still way better than we currently have. 

We were going to be an impenetrable wall.

Well, that didn't last long. 

When we were asking about the triple-paned windows, and he told us it really wasn't better than double as far as energy savings so we could spend more if we wanted to, but that was up to us.  That was $500 per window.  I was starting to twitch because I wanted to say "DO IT" but you know...wall.  I mentioned how I wanted quieter windows since the cars that go boom like to thump by on occasion, and he said triple-paned would actually help with that.  We asked him to price out the mac daddy of windows with triple-paned, double strength glass with satin nickel hardware and it was about $740 for the two-bedroom windows, each,  and $650 for the slightly smaller kitchen window.  Now I could see we were both ready to break.  The Mr asked about the patio door.  I wasn't on board because I'd read some stories that the manufacturer wasn't the greatest.  He said he understood the concern, but he'd never had a problem, and if there was one, he'd fix it asap and not just when it could be fit in.  He priced the regular door, and the mac daddy door and the Mr said if we didn't replace it, it'd be the weak link, and it's the biggest sound conductor we have.  The warranty is incredible, and the total was $5000 with double insulation around the door, both foam, and batting.  He emailed us the quote, took his sample window back to the car, and we both looked at each other, and the Mr said he was ready if I was.  The dude comes back in, and we're like "do it."

The best laid plans, eh? 

I only hope the install and actual product are as good as the "pitch." 

What best laid plans have you totally caved on?

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

What Now, Old Man Beatdown and DIY Life Lesson

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

It was a long weekend, and honestly, I just didn't have it in me to type a dang thing Sunday night.  My friend's life continues to spiral out of control to the point you look at the multiple things that she could potentially be facing 3 deaths in her life, and it's like what do you even say?  She will be in town today, and I will be available to her if she needs me, but I don't want to put additional demands on her time so she can focus on her family.  Two of these people have been in my life for 30 years and are like a second family.  If I have anything to share from this situation, it's if someone is going through a health crisis and you are secretly going through one of your own, DON'T hide it because you don't want to add more stress.  Now they are likely past the point of no return.  I had to just not open my email accounts Saturday because I couldn't take one more thing.  It's good to be there for people, but there's also no shame in taking a day to say the world can wait while you focus on yourself for your mental health.  A boost to my mental health came in the form of a card from my bestie knowing how much crap life has been throwing our way the past weeks.  It's always nice to know you're loved and thought of.

I spent hours at the end of last week and Saturday looking for a new vacation spot for us and all of the places we wanted to go were booked well ahead.  The only things left were either out of our price range or places that would not be a vacation for us.  Don't put all of your 80's furniture in a cabin and slap the word "luxury" on it.  It was maddening, and I had to step away from it because I'd wasted almost a whole workday looking for a place.  But I did have to share the funniest thing I saw in my search:

("You keep your G.D. eyes off of my Myrna, or I'll snatch 'em outta the back of yer head, you old bastard!)

Hilarious.  We so need this, and I'm praying the perfect place shows itself soon.  We have not been able to breathe since that ER visit in March, and we both need the recharge. I also got to start claims processes with travel insurance since one place wasn't refunding deposits we paid.

I had to get out of the house, so we went shopping and just wandered around for almost three hours.  We got a few things for the basement, and then it was back to it.  You think you're further along and then you're not.  I did try staining an area to see how the finished product was going to look.  Here's where the DIY life lesson comes in.

Even though we had the fan running, we were running the dryer, and about 5 minutes later, we started to smell a butane/kerosene smell.  We were freaking out trying to pinpoint if something was on fire or not.  I turned off the dryer, and that's where the smell was coming from.  We pulled everything out of the dryer and hung them on hangers from the rafters.  I placed an order at Home Depot for a box fan, dryer vent (it's been a while since it's been replaced) and some other stuff we needed for the next day.  We painted for 3 hours before calling it a day.  I started looking for a new dryer just in case, and the Mr showed me an article about the same situation.  A woman was varnishing her cabinets in another room, and her dryer started smelling like that.  They thought the dryer was bad, replaced it, redid the laundry room, and put the cabinet project on hold.  When they started varnishing again, the kerosene smell came back.  She found out the heat from the dryer mingled with fumes from the varnish to produce the smell.  So we've got all of our laundry done for the week, the pilot light and gas will be off when the staining commences.

Sunday I had to clean the bedroom for the window company to be able to actually walk around to inspect the windows.  I know that sounds simple, but there was still crap from Vermont piled in there so yeah, seven months of being a catch-all.  By lunchtime, I had no desire to do anything fancy for lunch, so I grabbed the impulse buy of TJ's lightly breaded cod sticks and baked fries.  It did the job.  It was back to the painting with a break in there for grocery shopping then back to more painting.  I keep apologizing to the Mr for starting this damn project, but he said we're further along than he anticipated, so it was all good.  We'll see how he feels as it progresses.  I'd like to say the worst is almost behind us, but the next challenge is around the corner.  We rounded out the night with the finale of Kate Plus Date.  Don't judge me.

Monday morning, I was completely seized up.  I couldn't raise my arms to brush my hair, and my legs were beyond tight.  The Mr left me a note to paint and stain to my heart's content to which I laughed heartily because I barely made it down the stairs and the thought of sanding and staining overhead seemed like a 10% probability.  Somehow I willed myself down there around 12:45pm and started sanding.  Between stamps of lot numbers, chunks of 23+-year-old mud and random marker slashes, I had my work cut out for me.  Then I went over things with a tack cloth, opened the basement window, blasted both fans, put on the respirator and got down up to staining.  I got almost every beam stained except for one because I couldn't safely get to it.  I was done with coat one by 2:15pm and came up for lunch.  I have to say, if you've got any painting/staining projects on tap, the respirator and proper cartridges are crucial.  While it does feel like breathing at high altitude, I was able to get through it without smelling a thing.  Now that I'm upstairs with a window open and fans going, the vapors are getting to me for sure.  I think of all of the times I did spray paint or paint projects without it.  *shaking head*

Needless to say, there was no way we could workout down there, and it was 90+ degrees outside, so we crowded our weights onto our 5'x7' area rug and did LIIFT4 Back and Bi's and our Transform 20 Burn.  Two LONG aerobics steps that didn't even fit side by side and somehow we didn't fall on each other.   I was a sweaty mess afterward, and it sucked given the limited space, but we got it done because it's how we do.

We finished cleaning the house after dinner because the window dudes are coming out today to give an estimate, so I've got my fainting couch ready.  Plus a family member is coming to pick up our old Total Trainer.  I suddenly got very nostalgic for all of the exercises I won't be able to do on it, but we had our chances, and instead, they became clothes hangers.  She actually works out, so I know it'll be put to good use.

Catch me up, what did you do this weekend, and do you have any DIY life lessons to share?

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Friday, July 12, 2019

What I'm Reading This Week #28

Happy Friday peeps.  Sorry if there are any typos, I forgot to run it past my editor.

Just gonna say it...this week can suck it.  My friend decided to cancel her wedding because it became nothing but a source of stress for her.  Either her mom may be too sick to travel to it or will have just died and she said there was no way that she could stand up in front of everyone and not lose it.  So they will get married on their honeymoon alone.  My heart is so broken for this situation.  I really think she should've given it a week because there was a miraculous corner turned of tumor shrinkage and they are going to resume chemo next week and monitor her vitals.  I just don't want her to get to her would have been wedding date, her mom is still here and she ended up cancelling for nothing.  But, what's done is done.  She has waited so long for this day.  We would talk about our weddings in 7th grade so this has been a long time waiting for her big day.  She's my age and it's her first marriage.  I looked at her Pinterest wedding boards yesterday and cried.  So much time and thought put into them all now for nothing.  I so wish she lived close to me because we both could use a big hug.  Now it's on to cancelling our trip.  We added on Savannah, Charleston, and Virginia after her wedding.  Since there's no reason to go down there, the South in hurricane and 90+ degree season does not sound appealing.

I've spent the past two days before I got that news looking for vacation rentals for this weekend anywhere but here.  Life kind of sucker punched us with a few people seeming to be put out with the Mr's new reality and how it would affect them. 'Scuzi??  I thought a self-imposed restraining order might do the trick especially since he's worked OT this week and is getting off of work early today.  Even though I had a place ready to click "reserve" on, I refrained.  It would likely have been crowded, hotter than forecasted and I'm sure the Mr would be even more anxious not having the weekend to clean up since the window dudes are coming to do an estimate Tuesday.  So, I will do the right thing and throw myself into the crap that needs done around here and try to say fungool to everyone else that stuck a burr far up both of our butts. I seriously do not even want to get out of bed today for fear of what's waiting on us.

But enough of our crap, let's jump into...

If You Exercise Regularly and Still Have Belly Fat, This Could Be Why, According to 3 Experts  (So basically, you're effed?)

30 Amazing Cleaning Hacks You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner  (Most of these are awesome, but #15 makes me a little nervous.)

How Much Cardio vs. Strength Training Should I Do?   (Good guidelines!)

One Lifestyle Change Helped This Woman Reverse Her Hair Loss   (So true...but how to tackle it?)

This Weight Loss Technique Works 8 Times Faster  (I need to put this into practice.  Who remembers vision boards?)

Weight Loss Maintainers Ritualize a Time of Day for Exercise  (It's true!)

Stop Trying To Be Happy  (This is so true.)

When Family (or Any Relationship) Hurts  (Sigh)

The Family Road Trip  (A fun look back from road trips past.)

Most Adorable Moment At Disney World   (Seriously the cutest thing you will see this week.  I bawled at how adorable it was and the reactions of the employees especially when she met her "twin" are too much.)

We still have so much to do in the basement and the bedroom, there will be no shortage of things to keep us busy if we buckle down.  The weekend will blast by in a flash, I'm sure.  Thankfully, we have a gathering with friends next weekend to look forward to!

Any work and/or mischief on tap for the weekend?

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

It's Hump Day Poll Time!

Do you ever come across a show and you're vaguely intrigued for some reason, and before you know it, you're binge-watching all of the past episodes?  The kind of show that when you'd tell other people about it, they look at you kind of sideways and you say "look, I know.  I never thought I'd watch THAT, but it's actually good!"

For us, that show is Homestead Rescue on Discovery Channel. 

I'm fascinated by the people who have the chutzpah to live off-grid and be self-sufficient that go all in for better or worse.  I would love to do it but don't think I have what it takes to truly do every aspect, especially when it comes to killing animals for food.  I already cry when I walk by the frozen meat section and see elk and bison after our Yellowstone trip! 

Plus, I got a taste of that in kindergarten when we lived with my great grandma for a year, and she hacked off a chicken's head after we collected eggs and watching its headless body run around was something that left an impression.

(Heeeeere's Granny!!!  via

Homestead Rescue brings in a family of life long homesteaders from Alaska (the Raneys) to help people who jumped in both feet without dipping a toe in the water.  People who likely romanticized the idea of being reliant on themselves but aren't close to nailing it or even have the hammer to do so in some cases.  The dad, Marty reminds me a lot of Dog the Bounty Hunter (another show I thought I'd never watch...RIP Beth).  Marty and Dog say and do things that normal people look at each other and think "is this dude for real?" and act a little dramatic, to say the least, but entertaining none the less. 

His adult kids have good heads on their shoulders, and all have mad skills to make things that will blow you away from crap just laying around a homestead.  Their knowledge is truly remarkable, and it would be awesome to spend a month training with them to learn survival skills.  I showed the Mr the show, and he got hooked too, and it's now his new favorite show.

What's a show you thought you'd never watch but just can't help it?

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Actual Proof "Eat Less, Move More" is Total Horse Crap

For every article I read about weight loss, there's one common thread from the beginning of time to now..."eat less, move's that simple."

Aww...bless your heart.  (Which all good Southern girls know is code for "eff you.")  This tends to be uttered by a lot of people who 1) have never had a weight problem and/or 2) someone who has lost weight that now likes to brag about how easy it was.  I'll be the first to tell someone who asks how we got started that we lost our first 50 lbs with nothing more than portion control and a cheat day.  Exercise didn't consistently come into the picture for almost a year.  We could expect a two-pound loss every week like clockwork for the first four years.  So much so, that at the end of seasons, we would buy clothes the next size down for the following year because we knew we'd be down by then and we were.

This month, we're going like gangbusters on month two of a step/strength training program that nets us calorie burns like the old days in the range of 600-1000 calories on the higher intensity days and 350-500 on the two lower ones.  The Mr had been losing his 2 lbs per week all of June which hadn't happened in a while.  I was losing 1 lb per week on non-period weeks (but 2 on period weeks as usual) despite everything on paper saying I should easily be losing two pounds.  I track my food because I've tried intuitive eating but I'm the kind of person who likes to see what I'm supposed to eat.  I rarely ever deviate from that even if I want something more except for the occasional popcorn at 120 calories per bag.  I watch my nutrient levels and supplement individually where needed.

For me to lose two pounds per week, I need to be at a 1000 calorie deficit between diet and exercise.  These were my numbers for last week...





(Thursday- Painted in addition to regular workout)


I GAINED a pound.  So did the Mr.

On paper, I should've easily lost almost 2 1/2 pounds even if that wasn't what I was shooting for.  Some may say I need to eat some of the calorie deficit, but I did that the previous two weeks so I was around 1100-1200 on my deficit and was still losing a pound.

What the numbers can't tell you is the stress we were under last week.  From waiting for the Mr to get his invasive echocardiogram, the extreme rudeness of the doctor and knowing he was not going to be part of our team moving forward, to going to a new gynie and trying to see if she's the right fit for me, the stress of undertaking a project in a room that is the heart and soul of our health and fitness goals which is in chaos right now.  Wondering where the hell we were going to put everything, dealing with the huge vat of sealer in the living room and trying to pawn it off for free and how we'd get to the toxic waste site before it closed before Home Depot took it back since it sucked.  Then having a hard discussion about his health and what we are both comfortable with where potential restrictions are concerned, wondering if I was going to be strong enough to get the heavier end of things that we needed to move out of the basement and scared that he was still lifting too much.  We drank less because we were out of our routine, we did more exercise in the form of painting and breathed in more toxic fumes than we should have even with respirators and that work had us both sore, hobbling and I'm sure retaining whatever water we did drink.

Those obviously aren't our typical life situations but the past 4 months have been a constant source of stress in dealing with inept medical professionals so that has always been in the back of my mind.  Now we start this week off with a death, impending death, not being able to be there physically for my friend as her mom dies, worrying about the health of another friend, breaking the news to my family about his new limitations, continuing with the crapfest that is this refresh and still pushing to get our workouts in already tells me not to get my hopes up this week even with all of the extra movement I'll be getting in.

They say numbers don't lie but clearly, they can when you aren't taking into consideration the mental part of this journey.  I'm sure if they had cortisol at home tests, mine would be off the charts but I just keep doing what I do.  I'm not interested in cutting food groups or "jump starts" though I won't lie that I've been tempted at times.  I'm just a lady trying to do her best, work with what she's got and create a space to support those goals, keep her hubby safe and sound and hope my body eventually falls in step.

So if you or someone you know is ever tempted to say "just eat less and move more", please don't.  Sometimes it's not as simple as that.  They could have been tested for things like thyroid and anything else that could be an issue and they're "normal."   Sometimes people can be doing all of the right things but just have a crap ton of stuff going on that is making their body fight against them.  If someone tries to give you that load of crap, before throat punching them, direct them to this post and tell them to suck it.

Keep fighting the good fight, y'all!

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