Fun or Else

Starting today, I’m gonna have fun all day long OR ELSE. That means, even at work! So what if I had Zoom meetings at 10,11,12,1,3, and 4 today? Fun times shall occur at 2 pm. It’s 2:30. I’m blogging. Thankfully, I consider blogging fun.

To start that fun off right, I made myself Zoom backgrounds so it will look like I’m in my new office. And I wore a cheerful shirt, plus lipstick!

Now, doesn’t that make meetings fun? Sure!

And to paraphrase Lee, I “get” to have a lot of meetings today. But, it’s true. I get to talk to a lot of interesting people. It was work book club day, which meant lots of fun.

Such a nice bunch of blurry people to chat with over lunch!

I did “get” to run over to the new office building, sign in to swear I am not sick, and get some pretty pictures of the completely finished stairs. Ahh.

Fun is how you define it! No wonder I surround myself with things that cheer me up. It makes whatever I’m doing fun. I’m extra glad for the happy keyboard and mouse, since most of my “fun” is typing!

Thanks, happy keyboard

What fun have you been having? Do you define your own fun, like I do?

Bright and Shiny and Cheerful

I do believe I now have my office set up to where it will force me to be cheerful. My pink chair showed up today, and it fit into my reading nook exactly how I’d hoped it would. When I look up from my computer, I will see this screaming pink beacon of comfort, which will look even better when the art is hung and the hanging lamp is hung.

Meanwhile, Chris continues with his finishing touches as we await the go-ahead to actually use the place. The upstairs windows in back no longer stream in light, so that should help the air conditioning bill, though I’ll miss the light.

Just makes you want to take a nap, doesn’t it?

And the white trim along the edges of the stairs is being painted on. That’s the final step to stairway completion. What a journey that has been!

But, the most best accomplishment of the day was that my little black hooks arrived from Amazon, and they worked just great to hold the crystals I bought for my chandelier.

Not too much bling, but enough to give me something to enjoy in a tedious meeting, or to take a break from working.

I somehow have three extra that I can’t figure out how I’d attach, but maybe I’ll figure out something. Or I can put them in the window.

It’s extra shiny when it reflects in the mirror! (Oops, there’s a thing on the mantel that I should have moved. You get the idea, though.)

Other than hanging the pictures and bringing in the stuff for my desk, my work here is complete. I have a place to work that will make ME feel comfortable and focused. No, it’s not minimalist. It’s okay. I think curated clutter is IN. And if it isn’t, I DO happen to know that timeless things that aren’t necessarily trendy are also in fashion. There’s a design trend I can agree with!

Safety Time at the Pope House

What an achievement! We have half a safe stair rail at the new office. Today, Chris got the big rail all painted a shiny black. It was cool how he held it up.

Later he and our strong assistant administrator, Meghan, hauled the gigantic contraption upstairs. I think they’re both glad that only has to happen once!

It looks pretty good, doesn’t it? I’m obviously feeling very safe now that it’s screwed in. Yes. Safety achieved. Now he’s working on the smaller stair section, which shouldn’t take too long.

Woo hoo! Rails!

As for my office, I just did a few little things. I brought over the big art pieces and even hung my favorite! Tomorrow the rest of the furniture comes, other than the computer. Can’t actually work here until it’s all certified.

Sitting in my chair looking at flowers.

I ordered lighter and pinker rugs for the seating areas and a very pink chair to put in the dark corner. All was deeplyon sale, so if it looks awful, I can change it.

Speaking of Shiny Things

The fun with mirrors didn’t stop all day today, plus Chris finished the stairs, which are ready for the rails to get fabricated. The shiny wood is complemented by shiny metal trim that will be darned sturdy.

All the sides and edges are finished.

Chris was saying this staircase is his most impressive creation. I must agree. This is one hand-made object with so many parts!

The real and fake wood look good together.

Every time I climb these shiny stairs I’ll think of all the work that went into them and the horrible staircase they replaced.

Shiny!

Since we were on a mirror kick, I brought over my Ann Allen original mirrors that I’ve been carrying around for years (since 1998). They are really happy things that I knew would look great in my office bathroom.

Why have only one mirror?

I’ll smile every time I wash my hands from now on! They will go great with the other art I plan to put in the room. So glad I know so many creative people.

I really need to change out those light bulbs.

And Tubby got put to work today. He makes a good mask drying rack! It’s nice to be able to use the office a little bit.

Shinier Tubby PLUS Cabinets!

It seems like a never-ending saga, but it is a saga that will eventually end and has certainly been great for keeping us busy during the pandemic and such. So, what’s been going on at the Pope Residence for the past few days?

Tubby has been getting all white and shiny. Chris has now applied two coats of porcelain paint, and plans to do one more, because he’s not real happy with the bits of texture that show up from using a roller on the second coat. I’m just happy to see Tubby standing up on those new black feet.

Chris went into the shipping container and got our cabinets for the break area out. He was most disappointed to discover they had mold on them. It’s not surprising, since it sure has been wet outside, but we thought it sealed better than it apparently does.

Luckily, the stuff came right off, and the cabinets needed to be sanded anyway before they could be painted. While I’m glad to see they were made of sustainably harvested wood, I must also say that the construction quality is less than ideal. They are also really inexpensive, so what did we want, anyway? We will get them looking great before finding our granite and putting it on.

Proof that the cabinets are sustainably made. I believe that’s their best feature.

Other stuff’s been happening, too. The stairs are now curing away and look quite shiny and nice. While that’s going on, Chris is painting miles and miles of quarter-round trim. Whee.

Looking down the stairs. They blend nicely with the flooring, but aren’t exactly the same.

And Randy is back helping out! Today he is arranging things on the second floor to have furniture (new and old) in one room, wood and other supplies in another room, and who knows what in a third. The bedroom leading to our deck will get cleaned up and maybe a couple of pieces of furniture put in it for top-secret meetings (not in the summer!).

It’s a good thing we have so many rooms upstairs that we aren’t even using yet! We are tantalizingly close to being able to put the bathroom fixtures in and call in the plumbers…yay.

Tubby’s Makeover Continues

The serious work that’s going on at the Pope house is that the stairs are getting their final coats of urethane today. These pictures are from the first coat, which looks darned nice.

Chris didn’t sand the stairs very much, because, as he rightly pointed out, it’s good to have some traction on stairs. With my propensity to fall and slip, I will be very grateful for any help I can get. And of course there WILL be “trim” along the wall and stair rails!

Tubby Is Special

Mrs. Swallow says she hopes we hurry up and get away from her damn nest.

I just couldn’t wait like a good blogger and do my other writing before sharing this. I am so excited about that darned bathtub! It’s our special labor of love.

This morning Tubby went from drab to fab with two coats of flat white Rustoleum paint. All that sanding made a difference, because other than a few lumps from when it was cast, the outside looks pretty smooth and nice.

It’s the new Tubby!

And then, what did I find in the mail today but the replacement legs! These are MUCH smaller, but do have claws.

Not as fancy as the other ones, but they do FIT.

Most important, they FIT. Those little black feet make Tubby look just about ready for his big debut!

A thing of beauty is our Tubby.

We’ll have a helper next week, so Chris will be able to get Tubby set up and installed in the bathroom, and we’ll get the last few stains out of the inside. Gosh, someday it might even hold water (more likely, water the plants).

Can I Be More Tired?

Oh, Probably

But I can’t hardly feel my legs, and my stomach muscles are yelling at me. Plus, my head is all fuzzy. It’s both physical and mental. But, I kicked butt and took names today. At least until I got home from work.

I had a couple of pretty intense work meetings today, and I had to work up some courage to take up space, I guess, to not get put down and belittled. So I put on makeup, a nice shirt, and a power necklace, just to feel the part.

Everything went just fine, and I enjoyed myself, even. Immediately after that I ran across the street to sand away on the bathtub. I changed my outfit, as you can see above. Made me feel strong and powerful in a different way.

Chris figuring out one sanding method.

The rest of the day I was in so many meetings that my ears hurt. Luckily I was only in charge of a few. It does hurt my brain, but I like learning stuff at work, too.

I appreciated the sanding stand. I don’t know how Tubby got up there, though.

Back to sanding I went. Between me and Chris, and three sanding methods, it’s as good as it’s going to get. I got the tub exterior all clean, so it’s ready to paint.

Believe it or not, this is an improvement.

Chris went at the interior of the tub with the CLR and got almost all the stain off. One more attack should do it.

The stain is almost a dim memory for Tubby.

Speaking of Sanding

Of course, Chris got a lot more sanding in than I did. He did ALL the stairs.

Sanded stairs

Then he applied stain. Maybe it will be dry enough to seal tomorrow. Then he does the trim and they’ll be ready for rails. Wow!

Stained stairs.

I heard that the new, smaller tub legs are on their way, so maybe Tubby will get installed soon and the rest of the plumbing will go in!

We’re still debating what to do with the floors. Lee doesn’t want to sand them. I do. Chris is stuck in the middle. I think I’ll lose this one. Oh well. I’ll buy rugs!

Is It a Bathtub Beauty Yet?

Today has mostly been about doors and stairs. All the doors are now stained and hung, which is a significant milestone!

The rest of today, Chris has been covering nail holes, sanding, and otherwise preparing the stairs for being stained. That will be another huge milestone.

Stair preparation is well underway.

But yes, I did get CLR, which is a product to remove lime stains, rust, and such, this morning. I ran out between phone calls to see if it would work. I was not as happy with it as I hoped to be. It’s definitely not a miracle product, and appears that it will need to be used repeatedly with the scrubber. I can’t use a metal scraper, because I don’t want to damage the tub. Sigh. It’s getting there.

It sure felt good to scrub hard, though. Renovation is very good for the frustrated.

Bio Blitzing and Mental Gaps

Today’s big activity (and ONLY activity, thankfully) was to go to a local park and do our very first bioblitz in Milam County. That’s where you find as many plants and animals in a specific place at a specified time. I had a lot of fun, though there was a lot of cat herding involved and I didn’t do a very good job of trying to teach what I wanted to teach. If you want some photos and such, visit the blog article I wrote for the group.

The sun even shone a little bit.

I enjoyed hanging around with my old and new friends, and sure found a lot of plants that were hard to identify, but I guess that’s part of the fun. If you want to see what plants, animals, and birds we found, you can visit the little project we created for our bioblitz.

Nature’s bird bath.
Chickasaw plum is one of the first trees to bloom here.

After the blitzing, we came back to our office, where it was warmer, to talk about uploading our findings, then a few of us had a quick lunch. There I was a bit disturbed at myself. I could not remember things. The entire topic of the mind blindedness I wrote about just last week completely escaped my mind. I blanked out on the names of a couple of people I knew, too.

More and more often I find myself coming up with a big hole where I was certain a word, fact, or memory should be. I’m not declaring myself to have dementia or anything, but it sure is annoying. It’s hard to know when you’re just tired, and it’s normal, or when there’s something actually wrong.

So, if you know me, let me know if I’m drifting off.

Look. Insects doing it. I actually typed “insexts” at first. They are crane flies.

ANYWAY, I did get to take my friend Dorothy to see the Pope House, and there we found beautiful stairs! I was pretty excited and ran up them.

Stairs! Indoors! Safe! photo by Dorothy Mayer

The steps themselves are really pretty. Chris made them bull-nosed, so they have a lot of class. I can’t wait to see what next week brings. Until then, I am officially resting, reading, and maybe even knitting for a while. I hope I remember what I’m doing.

Those steps are gorgeous, and nice and deep, too.

Clearly I Care

I’m not talented with construction and building things. But I can clean stuff.

The crystals have ferns etched on them.

The big chandelier in the main room at the Pope House is a mess, since it’s been hanging there through the remodel. Yesterday, Randy patiently took down all the crystals, which was quite a job. There are over 90 glass crystals and who knows how many plastic ones, which I don’t know what they do, exactly.

It’s naked!

So I took the crystals home last night and washed them. Geez. That took longer than I thought it would! So many crystals. But they are pretty.

Soaking away.

They are also quite heavy. I carefully packed them in a box so none will break. It looks like I’ll get to the plastic ones tomorrow. I’m sorta hoping we can not use the plastic ones. In any case, I’ll have to buy a few replacement crystals. I hope they make similar ones still.

Drying.

Going Up!

I’m enjoying being in Cameron this week. I got to go to Rotary Club yesterday. Most cool, though, is construction supervision. I’m excited to see our electric boxes are in.

This will be nicely covered.

Best, though, the stairs are going up today! Here’s the first step. Heh heh. Step.

Ready for stairs.

Want to know the plan?

Chris’s stair plan.