Hiccup…

Well, we had a hiccup… not with the house, but with me. As you know, I have SVT (supraventricular tachycardia). Well, my heart rate has been a little wonky lately… yesterday? It went bonkers…

Off we went to see my doctor. I did NOT want to walk… my heart rate was bouncing all over the place… let me correct that my heart rate was bouncing high.. higher… high… higher still.. high… plus, I felt not so good… to put it mildly…

Well, they wanted me to walk… (Not my choice) to the examine room… where I had an EKG… then, another EKG. Both were normal.  During all this, not only did my heart rate jump all over the place, but my blood pressure did too. 

Finally, they decided I was dehydrated and needed to go to infusion to receive IV fluids and collect more blood for testing. When the fluid infusion was done, I definitely felt better and we were ready to go home. I was chagrined that I had been careless enough to not drink enough fluids. Then, the phone rang. My bloodwork was back. One of my levels from my bloodwork was elevated. The one level that could imply I might have had a heart attack. 

IV time…

So, not home… to the emergency room. Stripped of my clothes… put in a gown… new IV port. More bloodwork… another EKG… another bag of fluid dripping into my veins. Me? Freezing… they keep ERs COLD! 

After another liter of fluid, bloodwork came back showing I was still severely dehydrated, but the heart attack level was perfectly normal… so… ANOTHER bag of fluid was attached to hydrate me. Finally, all bloodwork looked good… three EKGs looked good… and my rhythms, though too fast, were very steady… no, weird bounces. So, I was allowed to go home with a follow-up appointment with cardiologist. 

Home… So far, so good… definitely drinking more fluids… 😏

Princess and the Pea…

Now it is time to talk about mattresses. We need a mattress for our master bedroom bed.

Because I have a “Princess and the Pea” syndrome…. we planned to order another Tempur-pedic. We have been sleeping on them for the last twenty-five years because I have ongoing hip problems that were aggravated by using a less accommodating mattress. But, I learned about another mattress (the Saatya) that is supposed to be as good as Tempur-pedic, but way less expensive, is eco-friendly, has an organic cotton cover, and the inner springs are constructed from recycled steel. 

The more I looked into it, the more excited I grew. Though we could not give it a test lay, I assured Scott that I thought this less expensive mattress would work as well as either of the Tempur-pedic’s we had over the last couple of decades. He was hesitant because he knows the challenges I have faced with my hip and just the fact I am not an easy sleeper. Thirty-five years of being on high alert really ruined my sleep pattern. Scott on the other hand, being a former submariner, can sleep anywhere any time. But, weighing all the pros and cons, we finally decided to gamble on a sold exclusively online mattress. May 2nd we ordered our mattress… in nine to eighteen days we would have a mattress. 

In the meantime… the support for the mattress needed slats no further than three inches apart. Yikes! The slats on our frame were over three inches no matter how we shifted them. Okay, we will buy a few more boards and everything will be fine, right? Wrong! Could anything be that simple? No! The slats that came with the frame were one half inch thick. Problem? The only one half inch lumber sold is only six foot long. Our bed is seventy-six inches wide… four inches too wide. 

original slats…

So Scott went to Lowe’s and bought sixteen 3/4” thick boards, eight feet long. Of course he had to cut each board. But, my ever thorough husband did just that. Now our slats were not only less than three inches apart, we had a solid platform. 

solid foundation…

The phone rang… our mattress was ready to be delivered… one week after being ordered. Last Friday our mattress was delivered. Scott and I now have a lovely mattress on which to rest. As of today, we have had three nights of comfortable sleep…  will keep you updated on our mattress comfort level… 

Saatya…

Lamps, Hanging…

Lamps… We need a hanging lamp for each side of our bed. Of course, it must be Victorian in style.

We found a lovely Victorian pendant to add another vintage piece of yesteryear to our bedroom. The dome shaped shade is crafted of elongated panels of creamy natural fabric. Each panel features an alternating pattern of straight or sunburst design that is handcrafted. The bottom edge of the shade is bordered in a matching fringe that gives the lamp its Victorian feel. The pendant hangs from a round metal ceiling canopy, wire cable and chain, all finished in warm Antique Brass to add to the period charm.

We have the lamps, now we need the bed and nightstands to be in place so Steve, our awesome electrician from Modern Electric, can hang them in the perfect location. 

Beds and nightstands in place… Steve on the job… and, he brought his youngest brother, Michael, along… after measuring and adjusting to the night stands, the lights were installed. Voila! Lights! Now to install the smoke and CO2 detector.

Michael
Steve
Installing…

While here, Steve also installed permanent breakers in our electrical box. Another level of electrical safety achieved. 

Voila!

Rails…

It is getting close folks! A bedroom is on the horizon! 

Picture rails are a necessity for our Victorian bedroom… authenticity! 

Length was not a challenge… but… where the ends meet the cornice boxes? the beam? Therein lies the challenge… Scott needed to route out the end areas so that the moldings and picture rail would mesh perfectly. And, they do! 

After days, not hours of fretting over the ends, Scott has finished installing our picture rails. We will be hanging all our pictures Victorian style (once we unpack!) 

One step closer…

Puka Update…

Well Scott has the basics completed on the original closet that has been converted to our Knickknack Puka.

He went to make the shelves (for our knickknacks) Those shelves need to be made from plywood so that they are strong enough to not bend over time. They are 3/4 inch thick… Scott planned to put a front molding on them so they looked finished. But, I hate to tell you, but 3/4 inch molding is not really 3/4 it’s more like half inch. Therefore nothing fit correctly.

John, our “kitchen whisperer”, stopped by to see how we were doing. He loves the work that Scott has completed in the room.

sigh… not wide enough…

When he saw his struggle with the knickknack puka shelves, he said, “Let me make the molding for you.

So we are waiting for the molding for the shelves to be manufactured before completing the knickknack puka…

KnickKnack Puka…

I know it has been a while since I have posted anything about our future master bedroom. Things have been progressing… but very slowly. Please remember!!! My precious husband has NEVER EVER done work like this before.

Scott studies the situation, sits down and draws out what he wants to do, goes back and studies the situation some more. When he is comfortable, he will proceed. It is not uncommon, that he does one step, steps back, and studies the situation some more. He wants this done correctly. Until he is really comfortable, he will not proceed. That can be a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days. But, I know that when he starts, it will be done correctly.

This knickknack puka has been an absolute challenge for him, But what he has done is beautiful. First, he had to put in support for the box to be secure in the space. Then the box… Scott still does not have his Shopsmith set up(because he is trying to finish our bedroom). So he had to use a circular saw to cut the wood. That is much more challenging to do properly.

The priming, staining, and sealing of the wood was the easy part.

The box needed to be built in two parts…The lower half and the upper half. The center shelf is the stationary shelf that gives the whole box stability.

Then drilling the pukas (holes) for shelf placement possibilities. Again, if he had his Shopsmith it could be done quickly, but he is having to do it by hand. Measuring and re-measuring to make sure the pukas are aligned properly so we have straight shelves.

Temporarily, we are putting a plain frame around the Knickknack Puka.

But you can see the pattern that will be carved into the wood at a later time…

Splintered

As storms buffeted our area this past winter, one of the pine trees that line the far side of our garage… splintered. We are fortunate that it did not fall. It could have taken out a power line. But, Its branches entangled in the trees on either side, held it aloft. 

Splinter
helpful branches…

Yesterday, our tree doctor, came and removed the damaged tree. So now instead of twelve trees (that all need to be removed) we have eleven…

controlled removal…

April Showers…

Oh, April showers have come our way… but, this past Friday we had a surprise April snowfall…

Friday snow field…
Friday snowfall…
Snowy trees…
Beautiful tree…

All afternoon and  half the night, it snowed. By the time we awoke Saturday morning we had a good two to three inches of fresh snow, but the roads were clear. Scott and I enjoyed picturesque snow scenes as we drove to Troy, New York for a local quilt show. Here is one of the winning quilts.

Amazing Quilt…

Throughout the morning, temperatures rose… by the time we returned home, most of the snow was gone. But, we had had a beautiful morning treat.

For those of you who love dogs, cats, or children… you might appreciate the extent we go to when catering to our pups. We were ten minutes late returning home. First, please understand, our pups are fed on a schedule that only varies when we are away. Because we used a precise schedule with Josh, we do the same with the pups. Alarms go off three times a day for feeding, pills, and supplement administration. Any other needs are met with additional alarms. Both pups are quite in sync with the feeding times. They knew we were late and informed us immediately. 

Other quirks… Emmi came to us quite skittish. She had been in a house with nine children. I fear she may have not been treated with the gentleness her nature needed. She never detached from her birth mom and they had to pull her out from under her when we picked her up. She wailed… I cuddled her and told her we would keep her safe. After about thirty minutes, her wails reduced to sniffles and she cuddled tighter. She tries to be very protective, but runs to me, wanting up, when challenged. And, poor thing, she shakes uncontrollably if anything on the stove sizzles. So, now, nothing in our home sizzles. So, Emmi is on two different natural anti-anxiety supplements. They have helped. No one should have to be that terrified by life. 

Happy, having lost so much of her muscle mass, chills easily. And though she can rise and walk on her own again, she can not sit back down. We keep her pretty bundled. Her favorite spot is in a lap. Since Emmi claimed me, she has capitulated and accepted dad’s lap… though she still wants hugs and kisses from mom. Our biggest concern is… she will think she is a pup again and try to jump. Her bones are just too fragile… we hold our breath when she skitters about. 

bundled Happy licking nose…

Are they spoiled? Definitely! No denial on our part. But, they are great entertainment… 

Residual snow in our yard…

Cornices…

April 1 and we had a light dusting of snow awaiting us when we awoke. I like to think it was our Davey saying, “Hi, Mom” Today is the twenty-fourth anniversary of his leaving us… 

Well, Scott has all four cornices completed, but (isn’t there always a ‘but’?) in order to install the last cornice, he needs to lower the opening to the original closet. This ‘closet’ is the future home of recessed shelving for some of our treasures.  We decided to call this area our Knick knack puka… 

fourth cornice…
original opening
tight fit
lowered opening

Anyway, he framed in the necessary area and it is now dry walled and mudded. 

He has made so much progress he is removing the left-over wood scraps from all the window framing and cornice building. Then… (there’s always a ‘then’ too!) he is staging the woods for building our Knick knack puka… 

Update on our Happy dog… she is now standing (independently) and romping throughout the day. As well as  becoming quite vocal if we move without her approval. Our biggest fear is she might try to jump. We know that could be not successful and she could injure herself. We are watching her closely. 

So, all in all, progress is happening and we are all improving… 

Defrost…

Though we still have snow (dirty due to the passage of time) on the ground, today will be the first twenty-four hours (50° during day) without a freeze since sometime in December.

Dirty, dirty, snow…

Update on our Happy dog… the anti-inflammatory and pain medicine, plus the supplement (Purina’s Forti-Flora) suggested by Dr. Katelyn Sharpe for Happy have produced a miracle. Happy is now able to sit, stand, and walk independently. Though she still likes Daddy to help on occasion, she is growing more frisky each day. She has started dancing for her food. Pretty good for a pup that could hardly raise her head four months ago. 

Shout-out! I must mention that today is the birthday of a friend from college. The only one who ever came to visit, not once but twice,  when I was in Hawai’i. She is one of the sharpest wits I have been privileged to know for almost sixty years. 🎉🎂 Happy Happy Birthday, Bonnie! 🎂🎉 

Now to progress on the home front: Scott has almost completed the third of four cornice boxes. They are beyond what I dreamed would grace our windows. My wonderful hubby continues to fulfill all my dreams. Thank you, Sweetie…

Spring 2019…

Well, we still have snow on the ground, but it is melting quickly. I guess word is out.  Spring has sprung! 

Side note: We were out the other day and saw one of the shortest trains we’ve seen since being here… Just six cars…

I realize I have not been updating you lately. My precious husband had a physical and bloodwork drawn. Numbers on his bloodwork came back with a lot of questions. So he has had two procedures which have ruled out a lot of nasty possibilities. We have one more appointment at the beginning of April that I hope will rule out more nasty possibilities. But why his bloodwork is such a mess, we all wonder. Numbers that should be up are down and numbers that should be down are up. And, just in case you’re wondering, they redid the bloodwork to confirm that the numbers are accurate. Also, just in case you’re wondering, he is feeling fine. Maybe he’s just turned into an alien! 😏

Then this morning we took the puppies for check ups. As you all know, our Happy dog has been struggling with numerous health issues. They put her on a new painkiller that does not damage her liver but will help with the inflammation in her arthritic limbs. I asked if it was available for humans and learned  it is still just for our friends in the animal kingdom. They also prescribed probiotics which will also help with her inflammation. Actually, both puppies received prescriptions for special probiotics. Emmis are to help her remain calm. Who knew probiotics had so many benefits? Again, I asked if the special probiotics were available for humans and was assured that they are still just for the animal kingdom.

Between Scott’s tests and puppies needs, work on the bedroom has slowed to a crawl. But, Scott has finished installing the crown molding. He is now working on the cornices for the last three windows. Then it’s completion of the fireplace and the curio closet. Maybe by June??? we will have a real bed upon which to sleep… 

Unbirthday…

Last week we took two days off to celebrate Scott’s very Happy Unbirthday (Scott is my sweet Leap Year Hubby)!

His submarine friends will understand that to celebrate his Unbirthday, we spent two days reading The Trident Deception by Rick Campbell.

The Trident Deception is a five book series, but I told Scott I could only handle that much tension and suspense once a month. He is waiting until the end of this month for book two.

And, this weekend Scott had a winter storm named for him. In this local we received a meager two inches of snow.

Then, he continued working on our crown moulding. This is stage I 

Stage I

and stage II. 

Stage II

Scott is working in stage III today…

Plugging Holes…

Today we expect another 3” to 6” of snow. It is chilly outside, but we are snug on our second floor. The kitchen is still complaining it needs more insulation. At the moment it is just able to maintain a temperature in the upper 40s. 

For the last several days Scott has been whittling and paring down plugs to fill the indentations left from the screw and nail holes. It is a slow tedious job. But, those plugs provide a more finished appearance.

Pounding in plug…
Finished…

Putting up crown moulding, building three cornice boxes for the remaining windows, finishing removing the old paint from the fireplace and varnishing it, and building in the curio insert next to the fireplace left to complete before we move into our master bedroom.

The list, though still long, is shorter…

Columns…

I forgot to mention that I sent the blog announcement out twice last week because three hours, after I sent it over half of you had not received it. I apologize for the double mailing. Hopefully this will not happen again.

Today we are experiencing  Winer Storm Quiana. Though she has caused much devastation in other areas, we have been blessed in the fact that we are receiving bearable winds and over three additional inches of snow.

Window puzzle solved. Only two of the windows were the same size. So it wasn’t just make one… then duplicate. Each window required individual calculating and adjusting of lengths so they looked balanced.

Scott now has the challenging puzzle of which piece of wood goes in what order for the columns, beam, and crown molding ends to look continuous. My Scott is very meticulous. He measures and remeasure’s. He draws, rethinks, and draws again. Then, he studies it some more and measures again. This is not a look at it, slap it up, one day job. He may only add six inches in a whole day when he is adjusting intricate corners. 

Drawings…

But, as far as I am concerned, it is totally worth every moment we wait. The hardest part? Because of my limited vision, Scott takes pictures of what he completes on the iPhone. Then, I wait until iCloud transfers them to the iPad. Not until all these steps have been completed, do I see the amazing work he has done… 

Column and Cornice in progress…
Only touch-up of paint remains…

Healed Cottage…

Remember that huge slab of ice with a sharp point that slid off the upper level roof and crashed into our kitchen roof? The weight of that block of ice, the speed of the fall,  combined with the sharp point of the falling block… drove through our new kitchen roof. 

Original ice block…

Well we had quite a rain storm last week and the tarp did not prevent water from, again, leaking into the kitchen. 

I called Jeremiah and asked him how soon we might be able to fix this challenge. He said. “let’s do it Monday. If it is too cold, I have a torch to heat the tar up to seal the shingles.” (It is 20° and snowing!)

This morning first thing Jeremiah and his crew arrived. The good news is there was no structural damage… just a small section of planks that need to be replaced. There was a lot of water in the ceiling. Because of the tile design, they were filled with water. First, they used the wet vac to suck up most of the water:  then they dried the rest up manually. Insulation was replaced, they laid a new section of plywood and shingles.

Pulling out water and wet insulation…
Checking…
Hole…
Sealing roof…

Jeremiah suggests we purchase a pallet to keep on that area of the roof… just in case… 

If another weird weather system accumulates ice, the pallet would act as a cushion.

So our sweet cottage is healed… we are warm, and dry…