Signs of Aging

31 07 2007

1. Falling… check.

2. Forgetting things… check

Today was a relatively normal morning in my house. I got up and ready for work, gathered up my purse and my new cell phone (which I adore, by the way!), grabbed my travel mug full of piping hot Tazo “Ohm” tea, set the alarm, locked the door from the inside, and then there I was… standing on my front porch… with no keys in my hand… or in my purse… or anywhere on this side of the locked door. Stranded. Well, nearly-stranded, I suppose, seeing as how I did have my cell phone. (My new pink RAZR phone that I love – have I mentioned it yet?!)

Now, it’s 7:15 in the morning so my options are limited. My neighbors’ homes all look silent, so I tried to be independent and use 411-directory-assistance. The operator-lady was kind and pleasant, but the two numbers she gave me both came with this pre-recorded message, “I’m sorry… the number you have dialed has been disconnected or is no longer in service…” Drat. (or another 4-letter word that hits much harder and is much more inappropriate) So I called Jocelyn. She doesn’t have to be at work until 10:00 a.m. so I KNOW she isn’t up yet this morning. No answer on the cell… message left at home… *sigh* (or another 4-letter word that hits much harder and is much more inappropriate) God bless her, she did call me back a few minutes later, and got me a phone number for a locksmith near by. And she called a couple more times to check in on the situation, too. I love my friends!

So there I was, just sitting out in my front yard (probably getting eaten alive by the mosquitos out there) and waiting for someone to come break into my house for me. Now, if this were a movie (I think the character of Me should be played by Catherine Zeta-Jones) the locksmith would be this stunning, striking, gorgeous man, and we’d live happily ever after…. There isn’t a word big enough to describe how very OPPOSITE my life is from this lovely scenario.

For the most part, locksmiths pretty much freak me out. I mean, this stranger comes to my house, and then breaks into it. Yes, it’s all on the up-and-up, but seriously, it weighs on my soul that I am paying money to someone who breaks into people’s homes/cars/offices/safes for a living.

Not an inexpensive morning in Kristen’s world. And the worst part is that it’s all my fault, so I can’t be frustrated or upset or irritated with anyone else’s idiocy. I don’t like being the idiot. *Grrr* (or or another 4-letter word that hits much harder and is much more inappropriate)


I Fell

30 07 2007

Yesterday I came home from a long Sunday at work (I traded a-day-for-a-day so I have Friday off to go to California!) and it had rained at my house sometime during the day. Apparently my stone walkway gets slippery when wet, because I TOTALLY bit it out there in front of my house. Just dropped straight to the ground. I don’t think that anyone saw me, but who knows. But, OUCHIE! And I know that I landed just exactly the way my little-old-lady-patients fall when they break their hips – and were I fifty or so years older, I know for a fact that I would have done just that. As it stands, I’m very bruised and quite tender. Didn’t sleep particularly well last night, as every time I rolled to my right side, I was awoken by the ensuing flash of searingly blinding pain. I can stand with no problem. Walking is slightly more uncomfortable, though, because of the “pressure” of my clothes on the lateral portion of my upper thigh. But SITTING is what nearly brings me to tears. Especially on softer surfaces (aka: sofas and the car seat) that you sink into a little bit, causing there to be intense, gripping pain when the cushion pushes directly on that part of my leg. And in the car, I found the worst thing was when I had to make a left turn (or even a lane change to the left) because as Newton’s First Law of Motion (it’s Physics 101, people) causes my body to lean to the right, I am forced to take more weight through that painful right hip. I cringe just remembering the drive to and from work today, with the audible soundtrack of “ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch…” from the driver’s seat every time one of the aforementioned “lefts” occurred. Bad times in The Escape… bad times.

It’s hard for me not to chalk this up to karma… just this week I was bemoaning the fact that one of my little-old-lady-patients had spent the better part of thirty minutes describing to me all the various situations and circumstances surrounding any one of her numerous previous falls at home… Now, if I’m admitted to the hospital for any reason in the next six months (God forbid) I’ll have to check the little box labeled “Yes” on the admission form next to the question “Have you had any recent falls?” Drat.

On a completely unrelated (but much happier!) note… My new phone was delivered today! It’s a RAZR phone… pink… naturally. It’s fabulous. But I don’t really know how to work it yet. I’ve sent a text message – I think. And I definitely answered an incoming call, because I did talk to Jocelyn earlier. But the rest of it is still somewhat over my head. All this blasted technology, when all I really want is a pretty pink phone that plays something like “Pour Some Sugar On Me” or “Ice Ice Baby” when my friends call me.

The other Best Thing to Happen Today is that the new season of my new favorite TV show is tonight! “My Boys” is on TBS, Mondays at 10 p.m. (yes, it’s a little on the late side… but it’s totally worth it!) and it’s fabulous. I highly recommend it. Go to the website (My Boys) for online episodes from Season One. The only (SUPREMELY) annoying thing is that in order to watch any portion of any episode, you must first suffer through a Chili’s commercial… the same Chili’s commercial… over and over… every time you click… “welcome to CHILI’S!” it screams from the little video screen in the upper left hand corner of the website. But, that’s why God (and Bill Gates) invented the mute button for computers. Use it. You’ll thank me. Or you’ll commiserate with me if you decide to disregard my warning.

Sump Pump: 2 – Kristen: 0

25 07 2007

Sump pumps are L-O-U-D. At least mine is. And it’s located directly below the wall between my two bedrooms, so it’s fairly disruptive. And this loud disruption occurs every stinkin’ hour. Sometimes more often than that. Seriously. And it’s running for 7 or 8 minutes at a time. Mom actually slept on my sofa in the living room because she couldn’t sleep in the “guest room” with all the noise. I’ve gotten to where I can sleep through it… though, I’m pretty sure it wakes me up every time it goes off, but I go right back to sleep. Unless maybe I DON’T go right back to sleep. Come to think of it, I have been supremely tired the past few weeks…

I even went down into my crawl-space the other day to get a glimpse of just what is going on… I saw the bucket-sized hole in the floor, and I saw some water in said hole, and the pipe that empties into the hole, and the pump and motor. And (of course) the pump was running. What I also saw was that I have no idea what I should be looking for, any clues as to any problem with the whole get-up, and that it’s creepy and really cob-webby down there… so I high-tailed it out of there and resumed my seething ignorance of the entire issue.

The irritating part (besides the sound of an airplane engine running below my floors) is that I don’t even know who to call about this thing. Plumber? General Contractor? Handy-Man? It’s a good question for my nice neighbors, I think. I wonder if they can hear it at their house, too? If they could hear us hammering nails into the walls to hang pictures, it’s not too far of a stretch to imagine that they, too, are suffering through my Sump Pump Woes.

So time to refocus on The Mom List – the to-do list Mom scribbled down on some scrap of paper while she was here, but that neither of us ever saw again. Anything that isn’t particularly fun or exciting, but is all-together important and necessary goes on The Mom List. Here’s what I recall from our first The Mom List… Make doctor/dentist appointments – Sump Pump – Security system – motion detector lights (with security system?) – find out how the ceiling fan works.

*I just scribbled all these things down on a non-scrap piece of paper, and I’ll lay it directly on my laptop keyboard (when I’m done typing this) so I’m sure to see it when I get home from work today. It’s (past) time to make some phone calls.*

Kristen’s House!

17 07 2007

After a longer delay than I anticipated – due to cable-and-internet-out-ness from a stormy late-afternoon in Atlanta – here are some snapshots of my house. Mom and I created a fabulous place for me over the past four days……


Living Room

Living Room 2

Living Room Projects — Furniture placement (sofa, chair, ottoman, tables) – Curtain “rod” (PVC!) – Curtains – Media center invention – Hang mirrors – Hang Jill’s photos – Hang artwork – Fabric for throw and pillows (not seen because it went home with Mom for assembly!) – White taper candles – Lamp shade – Door stop – Shortened blinds – Dress the mantle


 Study bookcases

Study (or “Gallery”) Projects — Furniture placement (trunk, bookcases, desk) – Unload book boxes and stage bookcases – Hang diplomas – Create/change and hang artwork – Shortened blinds – Touch-up bookcases – Prep to hang shelf (not seen, it’s opposite the bookcases) – Re-move furniture (bookcases, trunk) – Re-hang diplomas (in location seen above)


K Bedroom

Bedroom Projects — Curtain “rods” (more PVC!) – Curtains and grograin ribbon tie backs – Striped fabric in glass panes of cabinet (Mom’s idea!) – Underbed storage boxes – Hang art – Furniture placement (futon, rocking chair – in 2nd bedroom, not seen)



Mother’s Wisdom

Kitchen Projects — Spinning spice rack (far right on counter – looks sort of shiny and fiberoptic-esque, but it’s not) – Swapped plastic canisters out for cute condiment caddy (white ceramic vessels to the left of the spice rack) – Rug at sink (not seen) – Wine rack – Hang Portland skyline watercolor above fridge – Mother’s Wisdom (Mom’s darling “welcome home” gift, seen above) placed on fridge



Sunroom Projects — PT school books under the window seat – Basket under window seat – Moved moving papers and boxes into outside shed – Pillows and hurricanes on window seat – Hang calendar


Thumbs Down

Backyard Projects — Mow lawn (note my stellar outfit – the pants are tucked into the socks to keep the bugs away from my legs, and what you can’t see is the quart of OFF bug repellent that I just sprayed over my entire ensemble and my bare arms) – Weed and trim backyard foliage (6 huge yard debris bags worth) – Move garden path stones to frame bark-chips at shed and around tree – Bought bug repellent for body and lawn – *note – the day before this photo was taken, we spent no more than 15 minutes out in the front yard, weeding out the front pathway, and I ended up with no LESS than 15 mosquito bites… hence the darling look above, and the bug-killing-spree I intend to embark upon when leaving the house from now on*

So, it was a wonderfully productive long weekend, but even better was the great Mommy-and-Me time that we got to spend together in Atlanta! Hard to make the airport trek this morning – not just because it was in the middle of the night (aka: 6 a.m.) but because I just didn’t want to see Mom leave. I am happy to know that 5/6ths of the family (sans Mark, who’s baseball-ing in Green Bay) will be in California in just a few short weeks.

It’s going to be a looooong 5-day work week (yes, that includes Saturday) for me. But it was completely worth it!

Gone… with the wind(?!)

17 07 2007

Just dropped Mom off at the airport, and since it’s still the middle of the night (read: 6:30 a.m.) I had enough time to come back home before heading off to work. We were B-U-S-Y for the past few days, with ever so much wonderful adorable-ness to show for it! And show I will. We finished up too late last night for a true photo-shoot, but that’s on my list for this evening when I return from work. So be on the look-out for “the reveal!”

We went about our decorating projects in quite the willy-nilly way… on Sunday (Day 3) Mom wondered if perhaps we should have done one room at a time, instead of almost-finishing one thing and moving away to the next. We dubbed our weekend, “A.D.D. Decorating.” But the finished product is just darling! Stay tuned….

My Mom is Here!!!

13 07 2007

Mommy and Me!

This is a self-portrait of us in my living room… which is totally adorable now that we did a little bit of furniture relocation! And leave it to My Mom to come up with a very creative and wonderful “media center” – photos to follow when I’m not so exhausted.

I’m tired because we drove to Chattanooga, Tennessee (that’s a lot of double-letters to type in just two words) today to meet up with some of our favorite family friends. It’s a 2-ish hour drive north-west of Atlanta, but the drive back took closer to 3 and a half with traffic because of some stupid accident.

I’ll have to fill in the project details later… but suffice it to say, we’re having a GREAT time!

Kristen-izing my home

8 07 2007

One project down… oh, probably about 26 or 27 to go!

The bathroom is freshly painted and decorated… and it looks so great! Jocelyn and I had quite the day.

BEFORE – buttery yellow looked dingy and wasn’t “me”….


DURING… fyi: painting is NOT my favorite…

Painting is Fun

 And the ever-important AFTER!….


Of course, the main event of any bathroom is the shower curtain….

Shower Curtain close-up

But my favorite part has to be the artwork….


Artwork 2

They’re all black-and-white photos from Paris or Rome or Sienna… and all were taken by either Jocelyn or myself! They’re actually WAY too nice to be hanging in a bathroom, but I absolutely LOVE them in here! And they “class” up the otherwise whimsical shower curtain! It’s a big impact in a teeny-tiny little space!

Oooooh, actually I could count this as another completed project… I invested in my first flat-screen, HD-compatible television!


My cable won’t be connected until Friday (when my Mom is here!!!) but I figured I’d better get The TV before they came and hooked up my little 19-in box TV set that I bought five years ago at the SuperWalMart in Sylva, North Carolina. Wooo hooooooo!!!

So, my first Atlanta-bound weekend in a very long time turned out to be very productive, if not restful and relaxing. I worked today (Sunday) to substitute for this coming Friday, when my Mom is here!!! I’ve been thinking up all sorts of wonderful “Mommy and Me” things to do and see. It’s going to be such fun to share my new city with her!