Thursday, January 27, 2022

Count to Ten, Breath, Repeat

We are back at it... home improvement projects are in full swing, again. We are so lucky! Mike is here, and using all of his skills to stop leaks, and fix problems, to upgrade things, and make our Bird House a cozier, prettier, safer, better home. You may recall my indecision, my hemming and hawing about how to finish our bathroom? It was down to choosing shower and flooring tile, considering colors, patterns etc? I really managed to drag that out, agonizing over the choices, and then being derailed by supply chain issues. Well, last week I settled all of the issues, and placed the order! What a relief!

But. Nope. Yesterday, I got an email from the supplier, to tell me that the flooring order had to be cancelled. Ok. I took a deep breath, went back to my inspiration boards and pages of saved ideas, and spent several hours scrambling to find something new. And I did! I found something lovely, and in stock, and affordable, and not slippery, not porous... etc.
Like it? Okay, well, don't get too attached, because a second, then third email came in, and you guessed it: The rest of order was cancelled due to supply chain issues. Not only was I missing my tile, but I am running out of time, because Mike is here, and working at his quick rate, so I need to keep the supplies ready to go! I spent two days running to the hardware store for things for the second bathroom upstairs that is getting repaired, and trying to find tile for our primary bathroom... tile that we like, that is available, non-porous, pretty, available. I admit, it doesn't sound as daunting and Herculean when I write it down, as it was in practice. It did, literally, take many many many hours, and lots of double checking, second guessing, and straining my brain. It's not all bad. Right? Once, I walked away from the line in the store, and went out through the nursery, just to look at the flowers. Looking at the flowers made a lot of the stress feel less consequential.

If you are stressed, too, I hope these images help relieve some of the heaviness.

William came with me to the hardware store, and shared some wisdom, his opinions, and his calm. Between him, the hours invested in looking at every tile ever made, and triple checking inventory and stocks in the store, and online... I made another order, and some of it is already being shipped, and ready to be picked up at the store! What a relief... I hope it's gonna stick, this time!

Meanwhile, we are still in a global pandemic (insert that sad trombone.) Some people won't vaccinate. Some people wear their masks beneath their noses. We have had twenty new reported cases from Maria's school, just since Monday, and another notice that she was exposed last week. Thankfully, she has tested negative. Thankfully, we have a few test kits at home, because the school asked her to test before coming back in, and gave us only 12 hours notice, and they don't reply to messages on their "hotline," and their test center didn't have appointments until the 31st. It's frustrating, and I count to ten, and remember that the schools were never designed to be pandemic control stations. Hey. It's not that any one thing is too much to handle, untenable, but the pressure drip, drip, drip that'll never stop, whoa, it's a lot. Thank you for the link, Anna Banana. Thank you for the earworms, Miranda.

Speaking of drips, this upstairs bathroom, had one of the three skylights that we covered over when we put on the new roof, and it leaked, badly. So, now, thankfully, Mike can repair the leak damages, drop the ceiling, add lighting, and get rid of the old fan. The fan sounded like it was grinding thumbtacks! The grout around the tub needs to be refilled, this time with something that flexes. Also, we need a new tub faucet, a shower valve, and to lose the glass doors, which with our hard water look like they are in a dingy fog, and no one wants to spend their lives scrubbing mineral deposits. Honestly, the new lights, even hanging from the unfinished drywall, and taking out those doors, already makes the room feel better, brighter, less gloomy. Maria is leaning toward shades of terra-cotta for paint around the shower room. She wants to gets William's view on this. The vanity and sink area is separate, and she's thinking of painting it Blackberry Jam. Oooh... I wonder what she would think of Tumeric, with Blackberry Jam. Hmmm... no. Too yellow, maybe?
Well, before we have to decide on paint color, there is one more skylight recess to repair. This one goes way way up, and Geoff and Mike agreed it would would be a prime spot to get attic access! Right now, to reach our furnace, and the connections for the solar, we have to go through a space in our closet ceiling. It's not convenient. Not. At. All. It means shoving a ladder in the small closet Geoff and I share, and then pulling yourself up into the attic. My clothes always come out dusty and littered from this effort, and it's a basic all around hassle. Now, we will have pull down stairs, and a wide entry. Plus, Mike is going to put down rudimentary flooring (cedar fence boards) and add a convenient light switch and a row of l.e.d. lights along the ridgeline. Geoff wants to put in a window, a desk and chair, a mini-fridge, hammock, bookcase, digital control boards, and other, untold features that will make this secret clubhouse the envy of all!
These are the flowers that I did not leave at the nursery, and in a moment, I am going outside to admire them, again, up close, then check on the daffodil bulbs I planted, and then I will look for eggs, feed the goats, chat with the hens, and remind myself to breath. Breath. A brand new notification just arrived, asking us to get Maria tested for COVID, again... We have been alerted that your child may have shared indoor airspace for 15 minutes or more with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 (ie they were in the same class, club, sport etc). We are following public health recommendations to ensure that the person with COVID-19 follows instructions for isolation and remains away from others until they can safely return to school. The individual with COVID-19 was in school while infectious on [1/24/22-1/25/22]; this is called the exposure period. Oh, and we have learned that some families are choosing to not report when their children have COVID, and they send their kids to school sick. Flowers. I am going to go stare at those flowers. And Breath.


Nicole said...

Those flowers! So lovely. Thank you for posting this. It will be many months before I will get to have flowers in my garden, so I really loved seeing these.

Home improvement projects are so interesting to me! There are so many decisions to be made, aren't there. And the supply issue seems to be keeping us all on our toes.

MASKS UNDER THE NOSE, WHY. Why are we still here? Why do people need that reminder that noses exhale too? I mean, really.

lilysgrannie said...

Love your tile choice!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Oh, super! I hoped at least one person would find them lovely... and Nicole, I was thinking of you, particularly. When spring comes to Calgary, finally, I hope it's a spectacular one!
Yes... lots and lots of decisions, and I used to imagine how marvelous it would be to have choices and the opportunity to make something as I would like it. Well, it is marvelous, but also daunting, for me, anyway. It occurs to me that one difficulty is my fear of wasting the opportunity by making poor choices, doing something big that I end up regretting. I am putting a lot of pressure on myself. Hmmm, I must learn to get comfortable with me, I think.
Maria's quick test came was negative, again. Can you hear my sigh of relief?

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Lily's Grannie... I love my choices, too. Alas, those are the ones that couldn't be fulfilled! Whah!!!
The good news is, as I type this reply, I hear Mike carrying the tile we ordered, upstairs! I got superstitious about posting pictures of my latest picks, lest I jinx another order! I am hoping that the ones I finally settled on will look amazing, and last forever and ever!

Janece said...

William has such good energy. I'm glad he was able to go with you. And I can't wait to see what Maria chooses for paint colors.

Yes, to breathing. Right? One of the ways that I release worry is sighing. Often, I'm not even conscious that I'm doing it. But Paul and Acorn will hear me in some corner... and pretty soon: "What's going on... you're sighing a lot..." 😉 Staring at flowers seems like a good option. ((hugs))

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Flowers invite sighs! And when they smell pretty, deep inhaling breaths, too.
The paint is drying as we speak. It is dramatic! I think it all hangs in the balance with picking the right shower curtain ;-)
I am so thankful for William's calming wisdom.