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Monday, February 15, 2016

Old Dog Learning New Tricks

Shamelessly stolen from Megan Hills at mycartoonthing dot com .  Because if you know TheQueen, you know she does not decorate. She is even less likely to redecorate. She wants her stuff put in place and left there for eternity.  Like a flowing mane of hair, taut abs and other things she has long resigned herself to doing without, decorating is not part of her CV. In fact, furniture buying and renovating fill her with dread. TheCastle is perfectly fine just the way it is for just the way things are. (think "Pawpaw always said ...")  At least, this is true right now - while she's still werking and goes to her lovely office 5 out of 7 days a week.

The thing is - she won't be werking forever. Not too far over the hill, although still a ways to go, is

And all that private space she's had, all these years, in her office, at werk, will belong to some other lucky person and TheQueen will have to find a place to play with her toys somewhere in TheCastle - where ThePrince (Consort) has been strewing his stuff about since 1992!

Uhhhhh. So not happening in this space.

Thus, while I'm still able to escape the madness of a building project, I'm hoping ThePrince  will make some additions to our space. First off is a downstairs bathroom into which geezers can get their walkers and wheelchairs. Wide doors, smooth shower stall, maybe even a flexible vanity top. That way we can move our bedroom to the first floor and I can have that old bedroom for a studio - where my toys don't have to be put away so that we can sit down to dinner. The pleasure of leaving a sewing machine AND an easel set up and ready for play sounds like pure heaven to me.

Of course, such a shift means all the public and joint recreation stuff we do in the den-but-future master bedroom has to be done somewhere else. And that is why, as we slide into our geezer years I am pushing someone to make this house bigger.


or should I say


I do not want this construction project to end up being a deconstruction project. Let it not be the seismic shift that splits a 45 year old relationship apart. We nearly came to blows over the bathroom renovation of a few years ago and every day I have to listen to his complaints about the finished room - now, at last, made of new enough components that it can be cleaned. It fits me just fine but he complains that the tub is too short, too shallow, the shower head is uncomfortable and the sink is too small. I have to go into my head- buzzing white noise space whenever he gets going because, honestly, the bathroom is just fine. It's just not the old bathroom which had been built with second hand tub, tile and a formica counter top.  Old is the operative word - because anything that came before is better than anything that could possibly come after. (that is the first trick this old dog ever learned when it came to ThePrince)

ThePrince and I play well together but we have never worked well together and renovation is very hard work. Also - we have different taste - and we do different things in a house. But this time I am going to learn some learn some new tricks and the first one is to not care what we end up with but to let him build anything he wants. Though he has different taste, he does have good taste. He is the scion of a family of quite notable decorators. All H-family women can decorate. I just have to trust that he won't go off on too wild a tangent as this project unfolds. Now that I think about it - none of my talented sisters "decorate" and even though my artist mother could have been a decorator, she was not so inclined either. We would never go to a furniture store and select a "room". We are far more likely to assemble pretty things we've made or collected in artistic, if eclectic, groupings and besides, I love the old family furniture given to me by my mother-in-law.  I love the stories they tell, even if they don't all go together.

And so I have told ThePrince that the job of choosing for this new bathroom is his. Actually, I told him that he had good taste and I trusted him to select lovely things for this new bathroom. And honestly, I will like whatever he picks (even if he does use the old faucets from the renovated bathroom that he cherishingly stored out in the tool shed).  What I want out of this project is a studio for my toys. And the first step to having a room of my own is to get a bathroom downstairs - and a living room off the end of the house - with a guest bedroom over it.

Because in a few short years I will be here all day long and as it is right now - there's no place for my toys in this house.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Weight-ey Issue or Getting My Act Together

Ooops. I wrote this a week ago and forgot to post it. But I think it's worth sharing (because of course everyone is interested in mememememe) and it will be interesting to come back here a month from now and see if I hit the target this time. As of last week, 2016 was .0658% over and I hadn't yet mapped out the year with resolutions, plans and lists. At least, I hadn't completed all my lists. Of course, I never do complete them. Usually I just stop adding to them somewhere around Easter.

So - what's the hold-up? What's blocking the flow of New Year's Delight? What's causing me to suffer from Non-Startitis? Time to sit down with TheBrains and figure this thing out.

Okay, guys - what's going on? Why are we such slugs?

LEFT BRAIN: Ho Hum.  La de da da da.

RIGHT BRAIN: Where is the chocolate? Why doesn't anybody have any chocolate around here?

LEFT BRAIN: Vanity Vanity, life is Vanity

RIGHT BRAIN: I need sugar. No. Butter. Where's the butter?

LEFT BRAIN: I think I'll take a nap

RIGHT BRAIN: Cheese! No. I want Cheese. Macaroni and cheese. Lobster macaroni and cheese. with bacon. 

Hey Guys. This is not working. Besides. I know you're listening to me, even if you do pretend you're not.

LEFT BRAIN: Okay. What do you want now? La! I can't wait till I ...

DON'T say it.

RIGHT BRAIN: Say what?

LEFT BRAIN: Okay. I won't. But you know what WE are all thinking

It doesn't matter.  Putting all positive action off till that One Fine Morning will only ruin the here and now and leave a wake of unfinished obligations that shames us in the future. We're going to deal with the sluggishness of 2016 and we are going to start with the Weight Creep. You do realize we're heavier than we've been in 3 years, don't you?

LEFT BRAIN: Don't look at me. I'm not the one pawing through cabinets looking for cheesycocolatesugar bombs.

RIGHT BRAIN: Hey! We're all in this together.

She's right. We're all in this together and we are not all fitting into those skinny jeans, either. So what are WE going to do about it?

RIGHT BRAIN: Yeah, what are WE going to do about it, Miss Naggypants List-maker?

LEFT BRAIN: I've started many lists and whenever things get hard you just wander off. I can't make a list if you aren't giving me input.

Listen, guys, blame throwing isn't going to do us any good. So let's start with this question:  When it comes to our weight, what is non-negotiable?



LEFT BRAIN: Getting too fat for all our pretty clothes

RIGHT BRAIN: It has to be fun

Good - now - what is important?

LEFT BRAIN: Not paying Weight Watchers to go to their meetings

RIGHT BRAIN: Looking Hot Hot Hot

LEFT BRAIN: Being at goal

RIGHT BRAIN: Finding a way to eat and exercise that feels comfortable

LEFT BRAIN: But you know that can be hard

RIGHT BRAIN: I don't mind hard.

LEFT BRAIN: It takes time though, to plan and shop for healthy stuff

RIGHT BRAIN: I don't mind spending time and I love to shop

LEFT BRAIN: You have to decide, though. Decide what we are going to eat for the week.

RIGHT BRAIN: I know. It's hard for me to decide but ... but I like to try new things

this is all good. What else is important?

LEFT BRAIN: Health - strength, vigor, pride

RIGHT BRAIN: Yeah! I want to be a winner at the weight game!

Well - good. Good to hear you thinking this through


With Feeling


So. is there anything that's desirable ... but maybe not really important.

LEFT BRAIN: Weight 143 lbs.

RIGHT BRAIN: Sculpted arms. too cool. wouldn't that be fun?

So are they important?

LEFT BRAIN: Nah. Just ... you know ... desirable.

RIGHT BRAIN: Yeah. I could live my life without either of those.

Okay - so ... What are we going to do about this?




RIGHT BRAIN: (Pssst. You got any sort of list)

LEFT BRAIN: Well. Okay. Umm. Let's start with the here and now. Let's start with what we weigh tonight at WW.

RIGHT BRAIN: I'm not sure I like WW any more.

LEFT BRAIN: Well, neither am I, but let's give it a try for, oh, say, 5 weeks. Till March 1.


LEFT BRAIN: So - we start with tonight's weight and we give it a real honest chance. We'll plan out our meals each week and shop for just that stuff.

RIGHT BRAIN: Uh. gulp. Okay.

LEFT BRAIN: We'll plan a dessert every night too.

RIGHT BRAIN: Oh. Whew. that's better.

LEFT BRAIN: but it has to come from the WW cookbooks and fit within the points.

RIGHT BRAIN: I'm good with that.

LEFT BRAIN: And we will get in 10K steps every day.

RIGHT BRAIN: what about the gym?

LEFT BRAIN: We can do that too or instead of, but the fitbit will register 10K steps. Come on - you know you want that. And you know why, you sneaky competitive thing you.

RIGHT BRAIN: (blushing) Yeah. I didn't think I was so competitive.

LEFT BRAIN: I know. In fact, you brag about not being competitive.

RIGHT BRAIN: Well, I don't really care if I'm not the best on the fitbit roster but I do care if I'm not the best AND I didn't reach 10K steps a day. I don't mind if I'm not the best but I mind if I didn't give myself a chance to be.

LEFT BRAIN: I knew that. It's one of the things I like about you. One last thing.... that I promise won't be too hard.  We're going to put a tall cup of water on the kitchen counter every morning when we're making coffee - and we're going to empty it twice

RIGHT BRAIN: Oh - easy peasy. the sink is right there.

LEFT BRAIN: ha ha - funny you. We will drink 2 tall cups of water every day. You know we'll feel better for that.

RIGHT BRAIN: Okay. Just foolin' with ya anyway.

LEFT BRAIN: Okay. So. You good with this plan?

RIGHT BRAIN: Actually - yes. I am.

LEFT BRAIN: Ready to start pawing through the cookbooks?


Well. Good. This is a start. I'm glad you two have a plan. Let's see if we can lick this weight creep - and maybe unplugging that will unplug the creativity too.


RIGHT BRAIN: May Bees don't fly in January either

Cute. Now, lets' roll.