Smiles VII – DIY Safety

The following made me smile:

We had a warm day yesterday, reminding us that Spring will eventually come

Fog—it reminds me of my home near Seattle, Washington

I finally learned how to maneuver the corner on the way to Dr. Chill’s office without popping the curb—Yay!


DIY Safety

After believing that you know all you need to about your DIY project, safety is one of the most important considerations before beginning the project.

Safety glasses, proper work gloves, earplugs while using power tools, and a proper face mask during dusty jobs, or jobs which will produce toxic fumes. I go with a full-on Darth Vader respirator because I panic about things going into my lungs. Anytime I can see the air, or smell something like smoke I believe I can’t breathe. I will then have a panic attack, which makes me feel as if I can’t breathe. It’s a vicious cycle, and it is one of the anxiety triggers I can’t seem to conquer. The mask works fine, I see no reason to change my behavior.

Unplug power tools when not in use. Do not leave cords lying across your path to trip over. Keep the cords free from getting caught up in power tools. Also, know how to properly use your power tools—read the instructions until you won’t forget anything. Then follow the instructions that you just studied.

Being smug about your knowledge will most likely end in some sort of mishap.

My handiwork.

From a job I was working on a couple of years ago. I fixed it though. Had to replace the cord and the switch, but with YouTube, I think I can do anything! :D

Keep your work area clean.

Watch where you place your fingers.

Which reminds me….keep an emergency first aid kit handy.

I wore socks the first day of our bathroom demolition. Shoes would have been a wiser choice. Heavy duty work requires steel toed boots if you want to keep your toes.

Pay attention to your surroundings. My husband had cut a hole in the sub floor to replace the drain assembly. I swear, if there is a hole within an inch of my personal universe, I will fall into it.

I knocked myself over trying to avoid that hole. As I sat there a little stunned, I began taking inventory of my appendages making sure nothing was broken. Miraculously, I didn’t step into the hole and put my feet through the ceiling of the floor below. But there my feet were…in the hole. Somehow I didn’t place any weight on my feet. That made me smile.

I also gave a little thanks to the part of my body that took the brunt of my ignorance. The part of me that isn’t aging so gracefully is a little further south than it used to be. If I had fallen 30 years ago, I would have landed on my thigh. Because I now have a sagging rear, I had plenty of padding to soften my fall.

Remember—safety first. :D

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Smiles VI – I wish I were a poet

The sound my little cat makes when she sees a bird.

The sound of that bird’s song.

Those made me smile.


I wish I had paid attention in English during our studies of poetry. Apparently, I’m a black and white sort of person with no room for grey. I’m a rule follower and a person in need of specific instructions. Ugh.

If I were a poet, I could use a word here or there, connected with other words here or there and leave it to the reader to interpret as they wish.

Most poetry is beyond my desire to stop and pay attention. To allow my mind to flow, and not follow a set pattern.

To feel the words and not just read them.

To daydream.

I’m not comparing myself to poets, I simply wish I could use a few vague words and tie them all together in order to make my words have feeling.

Instead, I have to spell out all details to express myself. I simply wish I could do that with fewer words.

Sometimes I would just like to release some dark thoughts.


But, I am who I am….and I’m okay with that.


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Smiles V – Research, research, research

I’m continuing with the things that make me smile, I hope it reminds you to step back and recognize why the battle is worth fighting. If I’m inspired to write about something else, I will tack it on the end of my worthy notes.

Yesterday was not one of the better days of the week. However, the following made me smile:

  • While stopped at an intersection, my husband interrupted what I was babbling about to tell me a story about a nose picking co-worker

  • Our oldest son went on his first business trip – we are proud parents

  • Continuing with my ban on sugar–a little sarcasm here, the Heath Bar Dairy Queen Blizzard made me smile because they added extra Heath Bar for me

Now, onto a new series– DIY Projects With Your Spouse.

I haven’t finished with my series, Thirty Random Days to Organized Chaos because — well, they are random and so far the office is the only organized section–for the most part. I haven’t forgotten about That Cancer Thing either. I have a fear of a recurrence, but the more I write about it, the more it stays in the crosshairs. I’m choosing to ignore it until I have a scan showing me I have something to worry about.

Some of you know we are doing a bathroom remodel. You can read about the beginning of our journey here and here. Recognizing the high points of a day, the remodeling project, and a huge knitting project have taken my mind off some issues that are bringing me down.

I won’t be writing a step-by-step DIY series, because I wouldn’t want anyone to follow our/my steps–we’re learning as we go, and maybe someone can glean some information from our mistakes.

If your knowledge of a home remodel project has been gained from being your dad’s shadow helper for most of your life, watching DIY shows, a few YouTube videos and internet articles, research some more if you insist on doing it yourself.

So far, we have been to the hardware store six times. Yup. That’s right. Six. Actually, I think two of them, I stayed home. We thought we struck knowledge-gold last week when we met Dave in the Tile Department. He was full of information that coincided with what I had studied, so I was feeling a bit more confident.

We went home and completed our demolition of the shower and tub surround. My husband prepared the walls for the installation process.

Friday, we went to the hardware store and gathered some more information regarding drains and how to attach the drain to the existing plumbing. We received a wealth of information from Sam. However, Dave was not there, so we decided to return Saturday.

Dave wasn’t there on Saturday, so we purchased our drain assembly and some wood to patch the hole my husband cut to replace the drain.

On Sunday, Dave was working. However, almost everything he said the week before was different this week.

I almost sat down and cried in the middle of the tile section.

Apparently, preparing a shower pan and tiling is a Ford vs. Chevy kind of thing. Everybody has their own opinion/technique—and Dave had both opposing opinions.

We went back home with the concrete stuff, a trowel, and some liquid waterproofing paint intended to be used in showers.

I sat at the computer again—I researched some more. Just about every video or article I read, the way our shower was installed was not according to the proper code. In my mind it didn’t make sense, simply because I know that water will flow to the lowest point in the floor. If the floor is flat—hmmmm.

One too many experts in the videos I watched waved various code regulation books. All the articles I read referenced the same code regulation books. All of them specified the one proper way to build a shower pan.

So, I’m going with my gut on this one and we’re not going to build the shower pan as it was first installed, and we aren’t following Dave-at-the-hardware-store’s second set of instructions.

I will not cry. I know we can do this!

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Smiles IV

Worthy of a smile

  • watching the soon-to-leave-our-house–three toothed grand kitty run across the floor with his belly swaying, wondering how his little stick legs hold him up

  • just after reading another article about why it is good to cut sugar from my diet, my husband came home from the hardware store with a bag of Peanut M&Ms

  • the smell of sawdust

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Smiles III

Today the following made me smile

  • the smell of coffee

  • a story my mom reminded me of

  • the feel of the yarn I’m currently knitting with

  • the phrase rooty tooty fresh ‘n fruity—actually that one made me laugh with a little snort (not exactly sure why)

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smiles II

I’m going to have to do this for a while, and I can’t decide on titles…so they will be a little lacking in creativity.

Today these things made me smile:

  • the sound our mastiff makes when she is dreaming (if that’s what dogs are doing when they twitch and make noises when they are sleeping)

  • checked off the second week of reaching that minuscule goal my therapist had me set for myself

  • the pecking order/dynamics of the cat society in our house after Scrawny Old Cat passed away

  • the many kinky ways one of my cat’s whiskers swirl about his face–in his crossed eyes–in his nose–in his mouth….

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smiles from these

  • watched huge snow flakes fall

  • thankful my husband left work early, made it home before the ‘storm’ and that it didn’t take him 9 hours–like it did last year

  • snuggles with each cat

  • pancakes for dinner–prepared by my husband

  • finished all the laundry

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paying homage to my tattered shorts

Tis a sad day for me, while my husband rejoices.


I must say goodbye to my lovely work shorts.

The shorts worn while painting many rooms in many different houses, including my mom’s. They were worn as I weeded flower beds, scrubbed bathrooms, built several short retaining walls, and through my beginner woodworking projects. I have been wearing them during the current shower remodel.

The button has been missing for years, but I have been able to keep them up where they should be. The rips have enlarged with each project.

They are a testament to all the projects I am proud of.

Alas, they must go…

… my granny panties must not show.

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Hold on! I need to clarify something……

My post, Letting go of my anxiety–whew!, I think I may have sounded like getting rid of anxiety has been a cake-walk.

In fact, I take a handful of pills to tame my anxiety.

My dream is to really be a super hero and not rely on drugs to maintain some sort of dignity. If that never becomes a possibility—then so be it.

I take 2mg of Xanax throughout the day. I am weaning off this one because my pill pusher has given me Buspar to help with anxiety. I know that each person is different, but Buspar has been the only drug I have taken that gets close to taming my anxiety so that I can work through the process of eliminating it.

I take 60mg of Prozac, 150mg of Welbutrin XL, and 200mg of Lamictal (a mood stabilizer) as well.

It has been a combination of these medications and the help of my therapist that has helped me reach my current state of mind.

However, it also took an extremely strong desire and a lot of hard work on my part to comply with everything the doctors have either given me or told me to do.

The only super heroic thing I have done is making myself move forward one step at a time. I slip now and then but I keep moving forward. The heroism is in my determination to never give up.

I blog about my successes to give others hope.

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Letting go of my anxiety–whew!

One of my anxiety producing thoughts came to fruition this week. I lost my 18-year-old cat. It took a couple of days to process my grief, and it stirred up grief I continue to live in spite of, but I didn’t go off the deep end.  I’m still standing. I’m not a gelatinous mess of my former self.

The fears that I would come completely apart at the seams, were a waste of the precious time I have been given to live life to its fullest.

This is the second time I have found myself shaking my head over my ‘anxiety thoughts’. I have incessantly worried about our oldest son and his situation. All is fine. He has formed a goal and is working toward reaching it.

While worrying about things beyond my control, moments tick off that can be spent doing something more positive.

Lesson learned?

Excess worry over situations I have no control of, can be better used to improve the way I feel and think about myself. Anxiety only weakens me, making life harder to manage.

Second lesson learned?

That’s the first time I have written those words, or said them aloud, and I seriously believe that anxiety (other than the normal amount) no longer serves a purpose for me.

Hopefully, the lessons I’ve learned will make me stronger against depression. If that black dog, Hagatha, comes a-sniffing around I will not give her any treats so that she hangs around—dragging me down.

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