So many projects…

that my husband is completing! He’s on fire! I’m looking very, very lazy in comparison.

We started this summer break (JF is also a teacher) insulating the other half of our manufactured home’s attic space. Or not a real attic but you get the picture. I feel like I was a pretty decent sidekick on this job. I fed the insulation machine, while JF was up on the roof blowing in the insulation. Best laid plans to do it in early June to beat the Texas heat didn’t work well with the record high temps we’ve been having, but it got did! 🙂

Next up, JF painted the outside of the house. After painting the shop a few years ago, we decided the house (now 21 years old) needed a sprucing up with paint to match the shop. But, due to several things, painting the house was pushed off and off. Paying others to do the job was/is not in our budget. I tried to talk my husband out of doing this right now based solely on the ridiculous temperatures we’ve been having since the end of May.

However, he was not dissuaded. He’s been working on it for weeks, finishing up just a few days ago. It looks great! I’ll get some pics and post soon. On this project, I was not really helpful at all. I was out one morning for an hour or so painting seams, but I just can’t handle the heat. For my part, I supplied lots of ice cold lemon water,  fetched the ladder and supplies as needed, and made sure there was food to eat!

What else? JF replaced a side door we use to access  our home. I honestly was dreading this even though it really was needed (the original door was bent and not closing right at all). On this one, I just stayed out of the way. The door opens from outside into the laundry room. We don’t use the actual front door much since it’s part of the area we have fenced in for our dogs. Anyway, the new (used) door is taller and wider than the old door. Needless to say, there was a lot of banging, sawing, nailing, etc. going on the evening JF decided to get it done.

But, it’s in, and it’s great to have a bigger door that closes without slamming it or trying to finagle it into a spot where it will actually close properly! Today, JF has trimmed it and painted the inside white to match the rest of our inside doors. It’s really looking awesome.

My job will be to clean in that room once everything is finished up. Like dusting and cleaning the glass in the door, scraping off the drops of paint on the floor …. Still not much compared to the work my husband has put into getting that door installed.

There’s been lots of other smaller things he’s been doing as well such as: cleaning out the pond pump, rewiring a paddle fan, staining the deck out front, and building  outdoor counters as a side job (see pics below). These counters turned out beautifully, and the customer was very pleased! Whew! I’m exhausted just by putting it down here! I don’t know how he can keep up the pace.

Here’s #1 of the outdoor counters JF built. Installing the grill was a real challenge, but it worked out well!
Here’s #2 with a mini fridge. Nice!

Me? I’ve been trying to be a good helper turning on and off breakers, fetching tools, and trying to be supportive. But summer projects on my list? I didn’t have any. After such a tough semester health-wise, I decided to just see how it goes this summer. Being mostly a type A personality all of my life, making a list then not getting it done is not productive for me, and I acknowledge that. It’s taken years for me to learn some acceptance of my limitations because of chronic illness (still working on this!), and  I still struggle with being ok with the things I can do and letting go of what I just can’t do.

We still have a few weeks before the teacher work days for this next school year begins. I’m hoping my husband will relax some and that we’ll be able to do a quick overnight trip to the San Marcos river. But we’ll see. While I do not have a list, my husband does and for some reason, it doesn’t seem to be getting shorter!

Take care, friends. I hope you are having a few lazy summer days! Peace – belle

Pico, the Magnificent

Hard to believe

After a decade of chronic illness, I’m still surprised sometimes. Not just 6 months ago, I was almost bed bound. I could maybe manage 3-4 hours upright daily with very minimal activity. I had to take a medical leave from work.

Last week we spent in Colorado with my in-laws. We were outside doing something every day. Hiking, swimming, white water rafting. Granted, every day I had to lay down for an hour or so to recharge, but I was so far away from the me I was in January. I know that being on vacation can definitely help mask some symptoms, etc. but it was still a gift to be able to feel mostly like a real functional person for a bit. 🙂

With chronic illness, things can change in an instant and so I’m really trying to be grateful for this small reprieve I’m having right now.

I hope you and yours are having a good June 2022. Take care. Peace-b

Some more Colorado

The Spanish Peaks

Sleep eludes me

I’m supposed to be asleep already. With my doctor appointment early tomorrow in downtown Houston, I tried going to bed early this evening. I was actually sleepy about 8:30.….but that time has passed, and I’m not sure why my brain is on. And I know I’ll have a hard time getting up in the morning! Why do our brains/bodies do this to us?

Today, I also was up fairly early (for summer 🙂) to take my mom to her doctor for a simple procedure. But the doctor only does this at the Pasadena office, which round trip is about 3 hours. Traffic wasn’t bad at all on the way there and just jammed up in a few places on the way back, so overall it was not too bad. Just long. And it turned out to be a pre-procedure needed for insurance. Hopefully, the real deal will get approved quickly, and my mom can get some relief from her serious back pain.

Once home about noon, I tried to get some things done around the house. I feel like I did a lot and yet not enough. I’ve had a few days this week in a row where I’ve been feeling better than I have in a long while, and I’m very thankful for this! However, it’s hard to pace myself after months of severe fatigue. I want to do all of the things!

Alright, I’m going to try to close my eyes. The appointment I have tomorrow with my CFS/Lyme specialist here in town is my regular 3 month visit. I don’t expect much to change at all, plus my out of town CFS/Lyme doctor just put me on a pretty entailed plan on Tuesday that I’d like to try to follow to see if I can make some much needed progress with the fatigue and cognitive issues I’ve been experiencing. Luckily, both of my doctors are cool with me seeing both of them and open to one another’s suggestions, etc., and they know each other professionally. I can only be grateful about the options I have where I know that others do not.

Have a good night, friends and take care! -b

*the photo is our dog Boo Boo. He’s a hot mess of a Chihuahua. Very spoiled and very adorable!

COVID and final exams

So, just to catch anyone up who might be interested 😉 May was flying by as it usually does, and I was finishing up community college grades, finishing up paperwork for the semester, keeping students half-way interested…We we’re rolling along, and then I got COVID. I’m glad my mom insisted that I do a home test on May 21. I honestly just thought I had a mild cold. Then it was confirmed at CVS that afternoon that it was for real.

Unfortunately, I missed the last 4 days of school (finals) and graduation, which I signed up to work 😦 And I missed my niece’s high school graduation as well (double sad faces!) It was for sure all the way around very disappointing. The worst days for me were like 3-6 of the virus. It took about 8 full days to get back to myself.

It was hard to not be at school to close the year. I’ve never missed a last day, let alone the last week! Luckily, my classes had their little end of year celebrations the week before; plus, I didn’t have any students taking a final, and my grades were already completed. Yippee!

It finally feels like summer this week. Not that I’ve done a bunch this week, but it’s here, and I made it through this semester and this year. After starting the semester on medical leave and ending with COVID, I’m so glad I made it to the finish line, not gracefully, but still! My students were so great and my colleagues really supported me in more ways than I can count.

I had my phone appointment with my out of town doctor yesterday. We’re changing the game plan since the meds and the plan I started in December aren’t necessarily giving me the progress we want to see. More to come.

We’ve had the hottest May here on record since early 1900s, and now, it’s basically July weather already, and we haven’t had any rain in weeks. Today, it’s 96 and the heat index is 104. Not sure how this weekend will go. Sat/Sun the temp is 101…so heat index? Let’s just hope that ERCOT can keep the electric grid intact. Not a joke BTW.

Take care and peace to you -belle

A Turtle named Sassy…

Summer basking for this snapping turtle....

Black Swallowtail

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