Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


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Making House Decisions

I’m making choices right and left; you’d think I’d been contemplating making changes to the house for years. Well, er, um, I have been, just not thinking I could actually do any of them.

In the last two weeks I’ve made decisions about a whole bunch of things.

  • Cabinets: I’m not painting them. I like the wood, and the dark wood trim in the kitchen, and I’m keeping them.
  • Countertop: I visited three granite yards, one of them three times. Such pretty colors and patterns! And the prettier the pattern, the pricier the slab.
  • I picked Giallo Napoli Granite. I fell in love with the purple splotches that look like little drops of wine. This wasn’t my first choice, but when I went to pick out faucets and sinks, I saw a counter on display made out of this granite. I just loved it, so I went back to the yard to look again. It’s hard to envision from a giant slab what a smaller section will look like, so it was great to have the chance to see it before I committed to my first (and more expensive) choice. It didn’t appeal as much in the slab but looks amazing as a counter, and I’m very pleased with it.
  • I picked a faucet and new composite sink (no sink picture; sorry, but here’s the faucet). The double sink will be “chestnut” which has a little sparkly in it, with a low divider between the two sides, making it easier to wash large pans. The faucet has a pull-out sprayer on the end that pulls back with magnets. I’m also getting a new disposal.
  • Yesterday I picked out a porcelain floor tile and a marble and glass tile backsplash. It has rough stone with both frosted and shiny glass, and is pretty neutral. Here they are with a small door from my cabinets and my granite sample. Because the cabinets are heavily grained and the granite is busy, I wanted neutral floor and backsplash that wouldn’t fight with either one. They will really brighten up the space, and the floor tile is textured so it won’t be slippery.

Still not sure what I’m doing about paint colors – so many! so many that look almost alike, except some are pinkish or tint yellow or green or are too dark or whatever. But it’s probably going to be one of these:

To help me figure it out, I’ve ordered more 12×12″ peel-and-stick samples from Samplize.com. These are so cool and so easy – they paint the squares with real Sherwin-Williams or Benjamin Moore paint. You peel off the backs, then slap them up on a wall – or cabinet, or ceiling. Whatever. Easy to peel off and slap up on another place to see how it looks in different light. Right now I’m leaning forward Kilim Beige but we’ll see after the samples get here.

I have an estimate from one contractor on all of the work requested, including screening in the back porch, reworking the garage dryer vent, and painting the bathrooms. The bottom line is below the number I’d mentally set as my limit. I’m pleased and relieved to know I can actually do this, with money left over for soft changes like window treatments, a new couch, and new seats for the dining room chairs.

I stopped by the cemetery today to talk with my mom about changing her kitchen. I know she’s not actually there, and I’ve talked with her here at the house. But I just want to feel that she’s okay with the changes I’m making to her home. And I think she would be. She would want me to be comfortable, to make this place mine. She wouldn’t be going as fast as I seem to be in moving forward, but she would support me – and go with me to pick things out. I miss you, Mom.

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Where did this stuff come from?

When it’s time to pack up the kitchen before countertop demo in the coming weeks, I decided to go through everything in the cabinets to see what I no longer (or never) use. Packing is laborious enough – why include things that I don’t need?

First I weeded pots and pans. Casserole dishes. The dutch oven my mom used for pot roast but hasn’t moved in at least 8 years. A juicer. Melamine dishes. Loaf pans. Mom’s old cookie sheets. All now boxed up to deliver to charity.

Next up were plastic containers. Dear Lord, where did they all come from? Were they making little baby containers in the back of the cabinet? Why don’t the tops fit the bottoms? Honestly, I was stunned by the debris but think the collection really got started when my dad died and when I was post-op and people brought food. I sorted and weeded, trying on tops and then just giving up and dumping a whole lotta plastic. Kept about 1/8 of what you see on the counter. Now I know what I have and everything can go in the freezer, which is important.

Still need to go through what’s on the top shelves of the cabinets. I never use them because I can’t reach, being shorter than everyone else in my family. What’s the point of putting something on a top shelf if I can’t get it down?

By the time I actually need to pack things up, it should be super easy – she said optimistically.


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The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon

Oops – I wrote this a week ago and wondered where it went. Voila! The Draft folder.

The dishes were all in the wrong place when I went to get a bowl for breakfast this morning.   Nope, the dish fairy didn’t magically move things overnight while Tessie and I were curled up in bed.  Everything was in the exact same spot it had been in since I moved here almost 3 years ago.  I just realized I needed it to be different.

For most of my life I’ve used dinner plates, pasta bowls, and cereal bowls for my meals, but I haven’t done that since being banded.  My portions are small and I’m only cooking and plating for one, so there’s no need for the big dishes.   And for some odd reason, moving the big dishes to a higher shelf and bringing the smaller ones within easy reach gives me more shelf space so I can also rearrange glasses, mugs and ramekins.  So it all works.

Yesterday I got my new Creme Brulee set in the mail from Amazon, the source of all goodness without having to outside to shop.  I bought it so I could make protein souffles but realized when it got here that the ramekins are a perfect size for other things as well, and the base pan is 8×8 so it also can do double-duty.  Yayy for smart shopping 🙂  And now I have room for those little ramekins in the cabinet.


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I Love My Microwave

MicrowaveWhat else can I say? I came in from the gym after work, hungry and impatient to eat something. Thanks to my preplanning (pasta and meat sauce yesterday divided into 6 portions), dinner was ready in 3.5 minutes. Voila! Hot and steaming yummy healthy dinner that I can eat while my leg is up with a bag of frozen peas on my knee, instead of having to stand up in the kitchen for a long time (hard on the knee) fixing something healthy or eating something crappy just to eat fast. And the microwave was only $35 at Walmart when I bought it 3 years ago – barely more than my toaster was!

Twenty plus years ago when I got my first microwave, I took an adult ed class to learn how to use it. Oh, I could reheat things. But this class was amazing. Taught by someone at the County Extension Office, we learned how to bake cookies, roast chicken, cook multiple things at the same time — all before Lean Cuisine or microwave cookware was invented. I never actually did that much cooking from scratch in my m’wave – still don’t – and no longer feel guilty for mostly using it to heat things up, steam veggies, bake apples, or cook rice or couscous. I don’t bake cookies anyway and use the crockpot for lots of stuff. It’s still indispensable. Besides, how else do you make microwave popcorn?

I managed 40 minutes of cardio at the gym today, 7.5 min. of bike, 2.5 min. of elliptical, and 30 min. of treadmill. The plan was to do the elliptical before the treadmill but the place was filling up and I was afraid all the treadmills would be busy with long-distance runner types by the time I got to it. So I did the elliptical at the end. I need to find a better way to do this, though obviously doing it in the middle was what I should have done. Duh.

Getting on and off the machines is difficult. Not just getting my legs up and over and in position – the machines are just too close together for large people to actually get between and on. The only way I could use the bike and the elliptical I used today was because no one was on the machine next time – which is not usual for the post-work time slot. I was seriously annoyed because it limits me, really, to having to use the machines on the end of the row. I felt fat and uncoordinated trying to “slip” between the equipment and get gracefully on. Ha. It makes me want to just use the treadmill; I know how to do that without looking or feeling stupid.

I didn’t venture downstairs to the strength training area, although I had an internal debate about it. My knee was not happy by the time I finished my little bitty time on the elliptical so I decided to skip downstairs today, though I feel a little wimpy doing it. However, 40 minutes of cardio is more than I usually get so I have nothing to feel bad about. Except the need for peas on the knee.

My irritated eye continues to irritate today, in spite of frequent applications of fancy expensive artificial tears. So on Lori‘s prompting, and because she was right, I made an appointment with my ophthalmologist, getting an emergency slot tomorrow. I’m actually shocked that I’m getting in to see him that quickly, though I was pretty sure they’d find someone – it’s a big practice in a busy diabetes center, which has a large opthalmology service, so there are lots of doctors around. I’m just hoping I don’t end up with yellow-stained eyes and a big patch. It could look dashing but mess me up at T’ai Chi – they might not want me to even do it if I look injured, and now that I signed up for it, I’m determined to go.

Food was good today 🙂 Breakfast was Vive cereal with strawberries and FF milk. My morning snack was yogurt with fruit and 10 almonds. Lunch was my usual salad with chicken (and black bean/corn salsa, roasted veggies, tomato, blue cheese, and craisins) and 15 Kashi crackers. Afternoon snack was 2 small clementines and 10 more almonds. Dinner was pasta with meat sauce and chocolate fudge pudding. I’m full, happy, and within my points.