Saturday, December 16, 2017

Surgery, Coffee Table and Making Memories

Sorry I've been away for a few days. I've been running around trying to get a few things done before my surgery, which has FINALLY been scheduled for December 27th.  Two days after Christmas and on my granddaughter's birthday.  ::sigh::  But, I need to get this over with so I can get back to a normal life.

One thing I must do before surgery is go to the DMV to change my driver's license.  My medical card expires at the end of this month and the doctor who usually does my DOT physical told me that I can't get a renewal until I am finished with this worker's comp thing.  So, I have to downgrade to a regular license and then I have one year to get my commercial license back after I can pass the physical.  What a pain.  

Who knew a stupid fall could end up like this?  You just never know.  I may not go back to driving, because it's too hard on my body and very unhealthy due to lack of exercise.  You can't sit on your butt 12 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week and maintain your health.

On a happier note, I finally finished the coffee table.  I wanted to allow ample drying and curing time, so I didn't rush this project.  I love how it turned out!

Gel stain is my new favorite make-over tool.  Most people use General Finishes, but I used Minwax in the Coffee color.  It does a great job for a lot less money.

I have several projects that I plan to use this on.  One being the little corner built-in I have in the dining room and the matching end table to this coffee table. I also tried wipe on polyurethane for the first time and I love that too!  Goes on so smooth and dries evenly and streak free.  Much better than with a brush. I used two coats and the finish is so pretty.

When I first moved into this house 6 years ago, one of the first things I did was replace all of the outlets on the top and main levels.  This house was built in the early 80's and they were so worn out that whatever you plugged into them would fall out.  I decided to get started on the ones in the basement, because I turned it into a playroom and media room for the kids and I.  And none too soon.  

I was a little horrified at the condition of some of them.  This one above was the worst.  I can rest a little easier now that they've all been replaced.  They're very easy to do.  You don't need an electrician.  Just a little common sense and the right tools.  Just look at the way the old ones are wired and remember where the white, black and ground wires go and you'll be fine.  Surely it goes without saying, but just make sure you turn off the electricity first.

My little granddaughter, Zaylah, and I have begun a little nighttime ritual.  Not sure exactly how it got started, but every night, without fail, my daughter brings her upstairs for her bath.  While the tub is being filled and pajamas and supplies are being gathered, Zaylah sits on "Me-Maws" lap and we watch sing-a-long videos for children.  

After she gets her bath, she comes back in and we watch a few more while I comb her hair.  She goes off to bed easily and quietly.  I think it relaxes and calms her and that's why she sleeps so well.

I love the back of her little head.  Hahaha

So, my posting may be here and there for a little while.  I have preparations to make for convalescing and to get through Christmas.  I have a little over a week and a half.  We also have two birthdays to celebrate, so it's a busy time.  I'll try to chime in when I can.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Feeling a Bit Better and a Coffee Table Make-Over

I felt better this morning than I have in a couple of weeks now.  I think running the humidifier religiously in my room at night has helped.  It keeps my sinuses from drying out, which is a big deal for me every year when I start using the furnace.  The dry forced air makes me sick every time.  Every year I say I'm going to get ahead of it and start using the humidifier before I get sick, but I never manage to make it happen.

I'm actually enjoying the holiday season this year.  God has been so good to me in spite of my fears and lack of faith at times since my injury.  I don't want to make it sound like it's all about the money, because it most certainly isn't for me.  But....when I can afford to make it nice for the kids, that makes me happy.  I have 4 grandchildren and it brings me a lot of joy to see their happy faces on Christmas morning.  We adults agreed a few years back not to buy gifts for each other, although I do get things for my own grown children.  It's worked out well.

Of course, I explain to them as their old enough to understand, that the birth of Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas, and that the gifts are a symbol of charity and giving and that people brought gifts to the newborn King.  I make sure they understand by having them explain it back to me.  We always attend Christmas services at church and I'm looking forward to that this year.

With my daughter's help, I finally dug into a project I've been wanting to do for a while.  I've had all this time off, but when don't have full use of both arms, it makes it kinda hard to do things.  So, I got her to help me do the heavy lifting.

I've had this coffee table for a few years and there's also a matching end table.  I didn't take a before shot, but you can see it in this photo.  The finish was worn in many spots and I really don't like the color.  These are very good quality tables made by Broyhill.  Solid wood and very sturdy. 

I couldn't bring myself to just get rid of them and being a thrifty good steward of what God has given me, I decided to give them a modern farmhouse make-over.  Here's where I'm at so far with this.  I'm using gel stain, which is amazing stuff and this is after only one quote.  It kinda goes on like a paint, but the wood grain still shows through.  I'll probably do about three coats and then seal it with a satin polyurethane.  

This is what I'm going for.  

Photo Credit:  The Steel Fox Home

I highly recommend gel stain.  I used Minwax brand.  Most people are using General Finishes Java gel stain, but it's more expensive and I don't see much difference in results.

I will post pictures of mine when it's all finished.  


Friday, December 8, 2017

Miserable Mornings

Sorry I haven't posted for a couple of days.  I've been trying hard lately not to complain about how awful I feel, but I feel awful.  Especially in the mornings.  Since the docs won't let me take ibuprofen anymore, my whole body hurts.  I wake up in the mornings feeling like I got trampled by wild animals.  My back hurts, my head hurts and I just feel crappy in general.

Until I've gotten up and taken what little medication I am allowed to take and had my coffee, I am utterly miserable.  I sit here thinking that I'll just lay around on the couch all day....sleep.....and do nothing.  I always feel much better after I've been up a while and things change, but it's a vicious circle.  I dread going to bed at night, because I know what I'll feel like when I wake up.

I've been waiting over a week for a new surgery date, but nothing yet.  They keep telling me they'll call me back, but I hear nothing.  So again, I wait.

But, enough of that.  I have been enjoying putting things out for Christmas.  These are small things I can manage that doesn't bother my shoulder too much and keeps me sane.

When you have nothing to do but sit around and look at the walls, you start to see all the things that you have neglected in your normally busy life.  For me, it's been the accumulation of clutter.

I wish I had taken a before of this.  It was literally stuffed with all kinds of knick-knacks the time I got them....I didn't really have a place chosen for them, so I'd just stick them inside the china cabinet.  This cabinet belonged to my mother and I cherish it, but it needed a good cleaning out.

I took everything out of it and cleaned all the glass.  I put back a fraction of what was in it and relocated all of that stuff out of the way until I can figure out whether to keep it or get rid of it.  I think it looks much better. 

I'm actually pretty happy with these photos.  This stuff is usually hard to photograph because of the glass.  My mister gave me his Sony HandyCam which takes still photos and video in HD.  So much better than my phone or my old camera.

Things are looking pretty festive around here.  I still haven't gotten a good photo of my tree yet.  It seems anything with lights on it comes out blurry unless your camera is absolutely still.  I'll have to get the tripod out for that.  But, I did get a good photo of the topper again.

I will post more tomorrow.  I've got a project going that I'm dying to share that involves the coffee table in the living room.  Thanks to my daughter for doing the heavy parts for me so I can get this accomplished.