Fruits of My Labors



Yesterday I decided to tackle some tasks, a little of this and a little of that. When the sun started to set, I realized I’d been at it for hours. And while I got quite a lot done, you couldn’t really tell from the looks of things.


I had pulled out a plethora of tools and was searching the interwebs for tips on things I had never done (re-keying a lock, for example). Based on all the clean-up I had to do, you’d have thought I’d rebuilt a danged wall or something.


Some jobs (and some days) are like that. You put your time in, and then you look around and you don’t find much to show for all your work. Don’t get me wrong. I love getting shit done. For me, it’s what I imagine a runner’s high to be like. I mean, I get giddy and excited and absolutely thrilled when I accomplish things. It just tends to help if I can see the fruits of my labors.


Oh well. I still got a lot done. And I’m still giddy about it. In fact, I may have done a little dance in celebration of all my work. Who am I kidding? You know I did a dance.

Work is a Four-Letter Word



Yesterday I worked hard in the Rumpus Room. The largest wall received 2 coats of paint and the fireplace mantel got its final stain applied. At some point last night, I was working on touch-up painting when I realized I was flubbing the job so badly, I’d have to touch-up my touch-up. That’s when I decided to call it a day.


So today I will indeed touch-up last night’s errors. I will also apply a coat of varnish to the mantel. Me being me, I’ll probably tackle some other task as well.


All this manual labor is quite tiring. It is also immensely satisfying. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see the big blue wall in the Rumpus Room. And the fireplace, though not quite finished, is fabulous. I can hardly wait to share photos!


In the meantime, there’s more work to be done. And though I’m beat, I’m just the gal to do it.




I can’t help it. It’s the end of the year, and I can’t seem to do much of anything but lollygag. And I like it, dammit!


Maybe this is a time to stop trying to help it. I mean, the New Year will be upon us soon enough, and there will be work, goals, resolutions and general life to contend with. Maybe a little lollygagging now is okay. I vote for yes!




Note: I’m about to over-share…


Several years ago I was breaking down. I was. I knew it was happening, but I didn’t know how to save myself. I reached out to my friend, Mare, and she offered up the contact info for a buddy of hers – a therapist.


After making the initial call (which took more deep breathing than I care to relate), I began seeing the therapist on a regular basis. That stint lasted about 2 years. Years! But it did come to an end, and my therapist and I agreed I was ready to head off on my own and deal with my life. The timing was right and I did indeed manage to function productively for quite a long while.


Cut to around a year ago. I wasn’t managing well at all. I knew it was happening, and this time I knew enough to call the therapist I’d had so much success with all those years ago. She fit me in her schedule and new work began.


For those of you who’ve experienced therapy, you know what I mean when I say “work.” For those who’ve not called on outside help, you’re just gonna have to trust me when I tell you work is a 4-letter word. It can be hard as hell, but for me, it has been worth it. Digging into my psyche and my soul isn’t always pretty. Pretty ugly is more like it. But each time I’ve pushed my ego and fears aside and faced myself, I’ve come away a bit more sure-footed.


I’ve been seeing my therapist every other week for several months now. Last month (November), she suggested we try scheduling 4 weeks out (versus every 2 weeks) and skipping a full month between sessions. I was game and that’s what we did. Earlier this week I met with her and after a while she asked if I wanted to schedule 1 more session or say our goodbyes. I thought about it and said, “I think I want to be brave and say goodbye today.”


For me, being brave right now isn’t like jumping off a cliff into a rushing river below. It’s about caring for myself. Today, bravery means choosing to tend to me and exactly who I am at this moment. It means owning my imperfections and holding my head up.


Before I left the therapist’s office, she offered me a talisman. She held out her hand, and there were several different stones resting in her palm. Each was lovely in its own right, but I was drawn to a small scarred stone with chipped edges. My therapist asked if I was sure about my choice and I said yes. That little stone reminds me of my heart. It’s been through the wringer and is a little worse for wear. It’s still lovely, with smooth parts and complex colors. When I turn the scarred side over, the underside is shaped like a heart. The similarities to my own heart are not lost on me. I’ve made an excellent choice.


I’ve made a brave choice.




I got my car back yesterday! Woo-hoo! (She’d been in the shop since early last week.) The old gal ended up needing new brakes and engine mounts. Basically, the transmission was one pot-hole away from just falling out of the danged thang.


When I picked her up, my mechanic and I chatted about the car and life. He was telling me how much he loves his job. I asked if that was because he gets to work on cars each day and he said no, as he doesn’t really care for cars. I was visibly taken aback, so he went on to tell me that what he loves most is the interaction he gets to have with his customers. He said the people inspire him to show up for work on time, and that the people keep him going.


I love that my mechanic has found his niche in this world. He’s pretty freakin’ awesome. I and my car are blessed to know him.

Mister’s Daddy



Mister’s Daddy is in town. He’s helping us work on the new pad.


That’s his hand above, next to a giant hole in our wall. He taught me how to patch giant holes in walls, and now it’s just, well, a wall. Learning stuff is good, y’all.


Anyhoo, we’ve been working away on the place. But we’ve also climbed The Beast, drank some good wine, eaten some good food, bobbed in the good pool and hung out. Mister’s Daddy is good at hanging out.


He’s good at a lot of things, actually. And I am more than grateful to be a beneficiary of his knowledge. My hole-y walls are grateful, too.