Friday, January 25, 2008

Temporarily Out of Commission and Also Ready to Quit (whether I want to or not)

I'm temporarily out of commission. For the past two weeks I've had excruciating back pain in my lower back. I thought nothing of it - besides the fact that it kills, because I'm always in some sort of pain. I have fibromyalgia (was diagnosed with it in 1996) so I'm used to something hurting, but this was bad. But I figured OK, maybe I slept funny or turned funny and did something to it, but it never went away. Then on Wednesday, while the pain stayed in the lower part of the right side of my back, it had also traveled to my pelvic area. Then yesterday it was the left side of my lower back. It was definitely time to go the doctor. But going to the doctor for me is never easy. (a) even though I moved (years ago now) I refuse to switch my primary because he knows my history and pretty much will give me any referral or refill I need no problem and (b) I hate change. So I procrastinate. Plus I hate being that person who has to leave work to go to the doctor.

This morning my co-worker and friend Jenn told me to call him. I figured, nah, if it still feels bad in the morning I'll go to the urgent care hours his office has. But she insisted I do it so I called first thing this morning and got an appointment for this afternoon. So I go. Now normally when I run to the doctor with odd pain, etc... it ends up either being nothing or some weird random thing they can't figure out. (remember, you're talking to the girl here who never had the chicken pox or the flu - knocking on wood now).

Turns out he believes I actually have a kidney infection. He did a full blood workup, urinalysis, etc... Gave me some high-powered antibiotics and sent me on my way. Of course since he's my doctor - he's notorious for this - he gave me a pregnancy test to go with it all. I'm supposed to call first thing tomorrow to get those results before starting the Cipro - just in case. But I know I'm not pregnant and he says he doesn't think I am so it's only precautionary. Then on Monday I have to call him to get the results of everything else.

I'm also running a low-grade fever and frankly haven't felt like myself in easily a week and a half. The good thing about this diagnosis is that I've been instructed to rest and now can do it without feeling guilty - I'm never good with lounging around doing nothing - always feel like there's something else I should be doing.

So that's that.

Oh and then this - where I'm going to need all of your help.

I asked him if he could refill a couple of prescriptions for me while I was there. Specifically my estrogen-free birth control and my migraine medication. He said no problem, then reminded me that I still smoke against his wishes and gave me the lashing of with my migraine history and birth control pills - smoking is a wish for a stroke and that I need to quit - today. (He also went so far as to say that he was only refilling my birth control for two months and will even test my urine for nicotine before giving me a refill two months from now). I had been planning to quit (see my New Year's resolution post). So I told him I bought two boxes of nicoderm patches the other day - only to find out from him that using those is just as bad as smoking. Great. I have an addictive personality - but thankfully this is the only true addition I have (OK that and computer solitaire at night, don't know why but I just can't stop playing). So I emailed Nikki for some advice, got in my car, smoked the last butt I have and now I'm here. I guess basically beginning a smoke-free life. I hate smoking, hate the way it smells, etc.. but there's something about it that keeps me from stopping. I'm going to need a lot of strength to do this and so is everyone around me especially C because I know how irritable I can be.

When I head down to the pharmacy in an hour to pick up my prescriptions I'm planning on buying a bag of lollipops and a ton of gum (although I HATE chewing gum). Hopefully it helps. Right now I'm drinking a glass of wine to see if I can do it without smoking (course I have no choice because I don't have any and have no intention of buying any).

Wish me luck!

(oh and wish me luck on returning the $60 worth of patches and hopefully finding my receipt so I can get my money back!)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Room Designing 101

I've been meaning to blog for days but honestly I do not know where the time goes. There is just so much going on with everything right now (mostly not house related) that I'm having a heck of a time trying to focus on what's really been and really should be at the forefront of my thoughts - designing the rooms in our new house.

I started doing rough layouts of the rooms based on the measurements I took during the home inspection. Thank goodness Jordan's Furniture has an online room planner - that's the easy part. The hard part is determining how to layout furniture in a long (width of the house) room. So I'm going to need your help. As you can see I've started, but I'm stumped what to do with the left side of the room, although I'm definitely thinking bookcases along the left wall to the window. (if it's too small to see click on the photo and you can get a better look).

What do you all think? I'm desperate for suggestions so please feel free!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Color Conundrum

It’s funny now that all is said and done and we are simply just waiting to close on the new house, there’s a long list of things I’m trying to figure out before we get in there.

With C poised to jump in and start doing work (removing carpeting, putting down new carpets and flooring in the lower level, painting and even talk of updating the kitchen counters to granite) I have – in my own true fashion – given myself a deadline which I feel is looming.

First step: paint colors.

Why did I think this would be easy? Probably because I quickly and easily picked them for the two largest rooms in the house – the living room and the master bedroom. Basically I fully intend on painting the master the same color I chose for our old house because I absolutely loved it! And the living room will also be a tan color – just slightly lighter than the bedroom paint.

I’m thinking Benjamin Moore’s Monroe Bisque for the hallway, staircase and landings, as I know it’s a very neutral color that slightly changes depending on the amount of light it gets so I thought that would be best for these areas that flow into each other. But now that I’ve hyperlinked it – the color is looking a bit too “tan” for me. Oh God.

The dining room, however, is another problem. I’m stumped. Honestly. I’d love to paint it a deep cranberry – but I fear it may darken the room too much. But it’s a large square space with white trim and a wood floor so I think it would look great. I just can’t pull the trigger. For that reason and because I’m flip flopping on colors – originally I thought of doing that room a pale green or a Wedgewood blue – but I’m really not a blue person and I think I can use the green in one of the other upstairs bedrooms. So I’m torn. Maybe Cranberry Cocktail or Cherokee Brick?

I do, however, know for sure the second of the two other bedrooms will have the same paint color as one of our spare rooms in the last house – Benjamin Moore’s New Hope Grey – I just loved it for a bedroom.

And Saybrook Sage for one of the two bathrooms – which one I haven’t decided yet


Monday, January 14, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

If you live in New England there's two things you know: December was one of the snowiest on record and last week it all melted as temperatures soared into the 50s and 60s. Between the warm weather and the days starting to get a little longer, I somehow managed to convince myself spring was coming. Even some trees had buds on them - no joke! But the joke was on me. I woke up this morning to find the weather forecasters were right on the money for a change - calling for close to a foot of snow in our area. Thankfully I have the luxury to be able to work from home so I'm in my sweats, sipping coffee and working from my home office. But before I settle down for a day's work here's some wintry shots from my front and back door - and it's not even 9 o'clock yet!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Love, Love, LOVE Our New House!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't express it enough! I'm absolutely in love with our new home and so is C. It's everything you could ever want at a great price! And the best part is it's like buying a brand new home (because of the age 3 years) - OK so it's slightly used, but who cares! Fresh carpets and some paint and it's going to be incredible. We spent hours there today during the home inspection (which went well) and we also had an environmental guy to come in and check the air quality and for any mold, etc...) It's a three-bedroom, one and a half bath split Gambrel Cape. Waiting certainly paid off and all of you who told me when we found the right house we'd know - well we knew. :-)

Here are some pix:

Exterior Shot


Looking into Dining Room from Kitchen

One End of Living Room

Other End of Living Room

Fireplace in Living Room

One End of Master Bedroom

Other End of Master Bedroom

Basement (a.k.a. "Man Town")

Upstairs Hallway and Staircase

Full Bath Upstairs

Half Bath Downstairs

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Home Sweet Home

The house is ours. Our offer was accepted over all the others (it was an out and out bidding war on this property - which is grossly under priced). The P&S will be signed in the next day or two and barring nothing we can't handle doesn't come up in the home inspection we will close in early February and it will be ours. I can't bring myself to get too excited yet. It's a town I'm very unfamiliar with but the location isn't bad, and it's a nice, small town. Maybe it's because the whole house hunting process has been such a grind (totally burned out). Maybe it's because we made so many offers and had nothing to show for it in the end. Who knows.

But this house has to be some type of sign. It was the house that started the entire house search oh so many months ago. It was one of the first we saw, but then it disappeared from the radar. The fact it came back on the market as a foreclosure within hours of us walking away from the other house has to mean something. I am a bit excited, but honestly I will not be completely excited when all is said and done, when all the T's are crossed, all the I's are dotted and the moving truck is pulling into the driveway. Then the fun begins (furniture shopping, picking out paint colors (who am I kidding, I've already determined what will be done in each room, etc...)

Here's a look for those of you who haven't seen it. (Did I mention it's only 3 years old!)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

We Got It!

We got the house! I'll give you more details as they become available!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A New Year = A Time for Reflection

I've procrastinated listing my New Year's resolutions far longer than usual. I'm sure it has something to do with the same reason I procrastinated getting a sticker for my car, buying Christmas presents, making New Year's resolutions, etc... - because my life is still in flux.

However, it's now Jan. 1 and it's time. But before I do that, I did spend some time reflecting on 2007. Actually, before I could really do that, C talked to me about it this morning after going through my year's worth of blog entries. It was a pretty good year. A momentous year, a year where we thought we'd have challenges but instead easily coasted without incident. And while the end of 2007 definitely had some challenges (moving to temporary housing after selling our house, losing my other grandmother, still looking for a new home, Nana falling and ending up in rehab and her future still up in the air), overall it was a pretty good year.

My job is still amazing, although I'll still hold firm that I'm grossly underpaid (though paid much more than I was when I was in the newspaper business), my friends (old and new) are still the best people anyone could ever have in their lives. C is more than I could have ever imagined in a partner. My family is wonderful and healthy, supportive and a ton of fun. 2007 also brought a whole other person into my family's life - a toddler version of what was once Baby Anthony. He's talkative, interested, hysterical, a pure joy and honestly the happiest little guy I have ever had the honor of knowing.

Now a new year is upon me. A year full of more joy from my family, C and my nephew, who will continue to grow in leaps and bounds. Two girlfriends got engaged over the holidays (best wishes Nikki and Lynne!) so there are weddings to plan and celebrations all around. At some point (hopefully sooner rather than later) C and I will be moving into our new house and creating a home in which to build many future memories.

My life really is pretty good and I really don't have anything to complain about. Which brings me to my list of resolutions. (which are hard for me because anyone who knows me knows I'm great at giving advice, horrible at taking it - even my own)

1. Stop sweating the small stuff - stop over agonizing about things I can't do anything about. I need to roll with the punches and let the chips fall where they may.

2. Finally, really (no joking) quit smoking. I hate it (have for years now) so there's no point in continuing. It's bad for you, me, everyone but particularly me and there's no reason for me to continue poisoning myself. It's going to be hard, but with some support from all of you I believe I can do it.

3. Get back to the gym - or any type of exercise regimen. I can make time, I just never do and no more excuses. I'm not getting any younger so it's time to treat my body the way it deserves to be treated (after all, it's put up with me all these years).

4. Lose the final 15 pounds I've been dragging around the past year and a half. So far so good, but now I need to make it happen (no excuses).

5. Stop being so negative about things. Overall I'm a very happy, outgoing person, but I tend to focus more on the negatives than the positives and I really have no need to. I need to stop and smell the roses and not be angry if they are growing up around my windows and driving me insane.

6. I need to focus on my future and the next steps in my career. I need to create a game plan of where I want to go from here and then determine how to attain it.

I have more, but frankly I think six is enough work for now. When I achieve one of these I'll add one to mix, but for now I think in 2008 I have plenty of work ahead of me.

Happy New Year everyone! May 2008 bring you all much joy, happiness and good health!