Sunday, February 7, 2016

Tying up Loose Ends

My feet will never look this nice again!  Tomorrow morning I go in to have my big toe on the right foot fixed.  That means I'll have two scarred toes on the right foot.  I have been working like crazy to get my feet in nice condition so the surgeon and assistants aren't grossed out by them.

I've put my pool membership on  hold.  Between this surgery and the one that comes next on the ankle, I won't be back in the pool or doing anything more than light peddling for months.  I'm even considering cancelling the membership because when I am healed enough to possibly get back in the water, it will be way into the summer.  At ten bucks per month to keep it on hold, I might do better just to pay a new sign-up fee later in the year.

I've rushed around town getting stocked up so there is enough food for TBG to fix for us.  I spent a lot of money at Dollar Tree -- they have cheap frozen fruit that is a better deal than even Price Rite.  A good amount of money went to HBA because I don't trust TBG to find bargains when he shops for that stuff and I won't be shopping for a while. Then I did a PR run too, followed by a trip to CVS.  CVS has laundry detergent on sale for $1.99 (regularly $7.29) so the two I grabbed were free because I paid with $4 of Extra Care Bucks.  So we'll be set in that area for a couple of months too.

This girl will not be doing an Super Bowl partying.  We'll go out for dinner -- whenever one of us has surgery, we pick that person's "Last Supper" and when it's me, I also make sure to have a snack at the very last time I'm allowed to eat.  My surgery is at 1:30 and I hope it doesn't get delayed!

I won't be posting for a while -- thanks to all who have tolerated my sporadic posting.  I'll miss you all! 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Made in the Shade

This is the custom made shade we ordered from Home Depot.  I am so very happy with it.  It's made by Bali and the color is "Mica."  This set us back $128 and was a splurge but the look is so perfect.

While it looks opaque, you can see through it -- which I like.  It's thick enough, and there's the patterned glass on the bottom, that no one can see in the bathroom.  I can check outside to see what the weather is like without having to raise the shade.  In Buffalo, you need to check the weather each morning.  If there's snow or ice on the ground, I know I have to hurry up so I have more time to scrape the car windows!

There was no way to buy 26" blinds off the shelf.  Also, this is not a common color or style.  I checked at JCP and it would have cost two to three times as much for something comparable.  I'm glad we went with this treatment.  It is a nice finishing touch!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Talented Friends

Many of my friends are photographers, one of whom is a lady I enjoy the yearly Buffalo Garden Walk with.  This year, she sent me two pictures I knew I wanted while we were doing the tour.  I didn't realize just how useful they'd be until the new bathroom was shaping up and we had to come up with art for the walls.

Taking advantage of a CVS photo special, I ordered two canvases made up from her prints.  These set me back fourteen bucks a piece and I couldn't be happier with them.  I plan to look through her pictures and make up a few more.

Here's how they fit on the wall.  I had originally thought of architectural prints of buildings in the city, however once the tile was in place, I felt we needed art that was more "organic" and also more "stone" oriented.   How lucky was I to have these two images on my PC?

The image to the left is from a fountain that was in a beautifully landscaped backyard.  Wouldn't you love to be able to have a garden with a fountain sculpture like that?  The bird house was in a small well-packed foliage heavy backyard which was absolutely tiny.  Paula zoomed in on this one bird house and fake mushrooms surrounded by ivy.  I love the green color of the leaves against the wine colored wall.

The opposite wall is larger and will require a 16 x 20 canvas.  I will have to see what other images I can pick from our tour and can't wait to have another great photograph from a good friend grace our walls.  I don't think she'll mind that her talents are being used in a bathroom!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Towel Bars

Our old bathroom had only one towel bar.  As a result, we relied on an over the door rack to and a few ugly wall hooks -- cheap stuff to be sure.

The new bathroom has a better selection of hanging accessories.  We just got in the 28" double bar.  The original intention was to have a long 36" bar but that size was discontinued.  A double will work fine.  In December, I purchased some plain gray towels on-line through Macy's and they go very well with the patterned set, which came from Big Lots.
This picture shows the two towel bars a little better.  The one on the right was 21 inches but even that did not fit on the wall, so the bar was sawed down.  It still holds one towel.  Between the two of us, we use three towels each day.  I need to have one for my body and one for my hair.  These don't get laundered after each use -- we just don't have the time!

In addition to these two bars, there is a robe hook that isn't pictured on the same side of the room as the short bar -- it's hung high on the wall to hold a bathrobe -- or two towels if we have guests.  We ordered two double robe hooks and the other will go on the side of the cabinet that is to be built in back of the toilet. 

We have a towel ring which I already showed when I posted the area around the sink.  It is so nice to have the face/hand towel right next to the sink.  Before, it was on the opposite wall.  We are also really loving the new toilet paper holder.  The old one fell off the wall every time you changed the roll.  With the new one, you lift the bar up (it is hinged on one side), slide the roll on and just lower the bar back into place.

If I had to guestimate (since I don't have the invoices in front of me), the towel bars, robe hooks and toilet paper holder probably set us back $150 at TBG's cost.  I'll have the old towel bar (which is similar but not exact) sawed down so it fits on the bathroom door -- but I'll probably put that on the back since it doesn't match the group inside the room.  I'm also going to buy a new rack for the door.  Any extra hanging bars will help me when I can get back to hand washing bras, stockings, etc.

Towel bars were a small part of this project and we got a good deal on them, but they are adding so much to the quality of life that I'm glad I went a little wild with them.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Glass Story

The story of any project we do is that just when we think we're done, we have one more thing that holds things up.   Added to the list of things that didn't come in right, we can add the shower glass.  TBG lied and told me he had a meeting all afternoon but in reality, he sneaked home to accommodate the glass guy.  He was all set to surprise me with a fully functional shower.   I have spent the last month showering in the phone-booth size shower in the basement or making do at the gym.
The problem is that the glass door just isn't fitting in right.  That meant the guy took the hinge assembly back to the shop to work on it some more.  The door itself is sitting here in my office, taunting me of a shower I can not yet enjoy.  Now I must wait until Saturday when the guy can come back and try it a second time.

It is so hard to get a good picture of anything in this tiny bathroom.  However I can tell I like what is there so far.  The door spacing is working out just fine -- the shower is not claustrophobic and the frame fits in well with the tile pattern.

Once the door is in, we'll have to pay the $600 balance on it and then most of our big spend is done.  The shade came in today and I'll take a picture of that mounted too.  There is one last cabinet to be made and a little more grouting.  I get impatient because it's been so long, and I don't want the end product dragged out with anything left undone.  Now that I have this nice space, I can't believe we were able to cope with the old bathroom as long as we did. On the other hand, I also don't know that I want to take on another big project like this for a while!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Temporary Window Treatment

I am using the curtain we had in the bathroom's prior life to serve as a window treatment until our custom blinds come in.  I picked up two of these shower curtains on sale at Kohl's and one was used as intended -- as a shower curtain, and the other as a window treatment.  It is nice that their color fits in with the new design, but I'm not wild enough about it to forgo the blind we picked out.

Don't look too close at it as it is a wrinkled mess.  There's still a lot of construction debris in front of the spot where I hide the ironing board!

One of these days our life will get back to "normal," and I just hope that occurs before I have my surgical adventure!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Insurance - Planning to Pay

My first surgery is scheduled for February eighth and I called to start my disability claim.  I have to open two separate claims -- one for each procedure.  That's a pain.  However, I'm sure I want to do them one after the other.  It will be a pain to go back to work for two weeks and then take off again, but I don't think I have much choice as the recover for the toes have to be complete before I can move on to the ankle.

I have no idea of how my employer is going to handle the transition between sick time and disability but I guess I'll have to find out by going through it.  Since we have a "consumer driven high deductible plan," we get billed for everything until we meet the deductible.  That means I don't want to pay for pre-op testing twice.  I shouldn't have to do that if the surgeries are down within weeks of one another.  As a consumer, that's my choice.  I'm also not willing to pay for a second opinion when I agree with the first one.  We're sucking it up and dealing with a hit of about 4K to our finances.  It will come back over the year as my flex money builds up.  I spend extra in my pay for extra coverage on disability so my income won't plummet.  We'll get by!

I wore the ankle brace the doctor gave me today and now realize how much stability I had lost on that side.  Wearing the brace will support the joint but it won't make it heal because once a tendon is torn or stretched, it can't be exercised or healed back to the original length.  Since I am active, my muscle support is fine and we can't do more with that.  Since I have a bad right toe, I can't do any strengthening exercises any way.  I really shouldn't be swimming or doing anything and part of me figures I should just stop since I've got four month of inactivity ahead of me anyway.  The other part of me figures the ankle is shot as it is so I might as well keep my muscles in shape for another two weeks while I can.  I don't even want to think how out of shape I'm going to get this spring!

My gym membership will go on hold and maybe I'll work out some sort of upper body weight and floor exercise program to at least keep active and burn some calories.  I was feeling sorry for myself because I'd kept fit all of these years and ended up with injuries, but then the PA told me that he sees feet that are in worse shape than mine because people are inactive and develop diabetes and other issues.  It was nice to be told my feet look nice -- even if they're a mess under the skin.

I have this obsession whenever I am scheduled for surgery -- I have to make sure that body part is well groomed and looks good so I don't look like a mess while I'm under anesthesia.   Guess I'll be using my  battery operated callous remover, filing my toe nails and moisturizing the hell out of my feet.  It's good to have a goal...