Friday, February 13, 2015

Jury Duty in JoCo, KS is a fucked up process

I'm "on call" for jury duty for the entire month of February.

This has happened 2 other times in the past...the last time was when my dad was still alive, I think, so it's been a while.

This whole system is a pretty fucked up way to do things, I think. How it works is that, between the 2nd and the 27th, I am on-call. Which means that every Friday, after 6 p.m., I call a phone number to find out whether or not I need to report to the court house on Monday morning.

Because of the not knowing whether I have jury duty or not the following week until 6 p.m. Friday night, I have to cancel/move all appointments I might have to another day/another month. Which sucks a lil' bit.

Also, I live in south Johnson County. There is a courthouse about 8 miles from me, in Olathe. However, for some reason, the courthouse I have to go to is in KCK (a.k.a. Kansas City, KS), which is almost 20 miles away from my house.

I don't get how jury thingies work, but both the Olathe location and the KCK location are US District Courts of Johnson County. So wouldn't it make more sense to have me report to the location that is less than 10 miles from my house? I think it would. But maybe that's just me.

Anyway, I am currently a self-employed (ha.), pretty-well-educated, childless, disability-free 41 year old woman. I guess they don't technically know this about me, but I am also middle of the road when it comes to politics, open-minded with regards to religion and all religion-related issues, and like to think that I'm pretty non-racist in most regards. I think Hitler was an evil human being. I think we are likely not alone in our universe. I love puppy snuggles.

These are all qualities that would make me a fantastic juror.

In spite of all that, I have never had to report any of the previous times that I've been on call. And I wonder if I'll have to report next week, or the week after that. If they aren't calling people like me to serve, then who the fuck is sitting on all the juries in JoCo, KS???

But, is up with the whole KCK location thing? That really chaps my hide, and I'll be sending someone a strongly worded letter about it, if I do wind up having to drive up there, goddammit!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Wallpaper-removal mojo is not to be underestimated.

Ah, the art of wallpaper removal. Such a fun past time. ::sigh::

Actually, I find it strangely gratifying. It's an immediate gratification process, so maybe that's what makes it tolerable, in small doses. I don't know. Everyone has their own way they think works best, but for me, the entire piece being removed needs to be soaked in the warm water/soap/whatever-magical-potion-you-prefer mixture, and then the paper needs to be removed from the bottom up. In this photo, you can see the result of my attempting to remove from the top down.
It took me 30 minutes of fighting with the paper before I finally walked away, took a break, ate some food, and stretched my hands out a bit. Prior to that patch, I had been working with much smaller sections around the window, and on the soffit over the vanity area. It had taken me about an hour, or so, to clear two walls of paper, so things had been going well. So when I hit this frustrating point, it really riled me up!

And here you can see the results of me realizing what made the previous two walls so easy to peel, because I had done them from the bottom up, and I was able to finish this small wall in less than 25 minutes once I figure out that "secret".

Whoever wallpapered this bathroom was serious about it. They were so serious, they even wallpapered the air vent cover, the switchplate cover, and the plug cover. It...was a little nutty.

And here we are! Back to bare walls again! WOOHOO!

This one looks like it's been extensively patched, for some reason. Maybe there's a small human plastered into that wall?

We had the issue of having to patch the floor in there after removing the old vanity that had apparently been there since the house was built in the 80's. Thankfully, our contractors are here working on a deck project we have going on right now, so they were able to get some guys in here supah-fast, and the floor was patched up faster than you can say "holy shit! the floor is whole again!"

Right now, we're letting the floor stain dry, and then I can finish sanding the walls, and hopefully get some primer on them this week. I'm so excited to get it all completed! It's going to be so much more pretty, you guys. Say goodbye to the 90's, little powder bathroom! You will be more up-to-date and transitional than you ever have been in your life!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Will we miss this wallpaper? No. No, we will not.

Our powder bathroom is a funny little thing. It's teensy. It's back in a corner of the house that people don't even notice unless it's pointed out to them, a lot of the time. It's decor is straight out the 90's, and has always reminded me a bit of the house I grew up in when my twin and I were in junior high, in Lake Arrowhead, CA. Kind of a rustic traditional type thing. It serves it's purpose well. But it has this GIANT vanity in it that makes no sense. And was apparently built into the room in spectacularly pain in the ass proportion. 

We've officially lived with it for, what? 4 years now? It's time for it to move on and say goodbye forevah.

For those who haven't had the opportunity to see this lovely little space, here are some before pics:
The toilet and the cute lil' window it sits below...
The monster vanity, and the outdated mirror wall above it.
Ahhh, wallpaper. I can see you want to be removed, my friend. No worries. It's a matter of time, now. You will be heading to wallpaper heaven vereh soon.
My favorite part of this wallpaper is that it shows every little scratch and scrape that happens to it. Such a fun quality!

Leo and I got started on Monday this week, pulling the doors off the cabinet, and taking all the hardware out of the room. That was easy, of course. And since we started another major reno on the house on Monday as well (that's another story for another post...), we have another Dumpster in our driveway right now. The vanity went in there today, as we tore it down piece by piece. WOO!

I forgot to get a picture of the pile of rubble that the vanity wound up being when we were done ripping it out, but suffice it to say, it was in a lot of bits. We salvaged the sink basin and the faucet, because they're both in great shape and can be donated. But the rest of it? The rest of it can SUCK MY BIG LEFT TOE. This is what the space looks like now:

Before we pulled it out 100%, I held on to my last hope that the hardwood floors somehow might continue underneath the damned thing. I bet Leo $5 that they did. We shook on it.

He won the bet.
HOWEVER, I was positive we could remove the huge mirror in one big piece, and Leo had no faith in that theory. And we DID it. One big piece. And even though we didn't make another bet on that one, I felt it was pretty much implied. So I said we're even, and since I'm a beautiful wife, I win at all the things in the end.

Which makes projects like this so much more fun!

The wallpaper will be next. Wish me luck, and send me big-pieces-of-wallpaper-coming-off-at-once vibes, if you would. Don't even talk to me about the floor. I haven't decided what we'll do there, yet. I have ideas...I'll share them maybe tomorrow or Friday. Let me know if you have any ideas...I'm open to suggestions.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

It's a DIY. Haven't DIY'd in a while...I'm a bit DIScared.

Our guest/powder bath is a nasty mess. It needs remodeling, and because it is tiny, I feel we can do this one ourselves. So here's where it begins, with this here vanity I just bought off eBay:

I can't WAIT to tear out the old vanity, and begin tearing the wallpaper off the walls. It's what it wants. It's been peeling itself off for years now. So I'm just going to finish what it started all on its own, really. I'll take some good pictures of the hideousness soon, and get them posted up. I'm fired up, people. FIRED. UP.


Monday, December 08, 2014

What I've Been Up To.

I haven't been a good blogger. It's weird, this whole not-having-a-job thing. I don't have much to say any more.
And that's disconcerting. :/
Anyway, here's what HAS been happening in my life. A friend of mine hired me to help her design an event she was putting on at her work. We created a little seating area out of hay bales, blankets, and spread out some rugs to make it cozy (which was pretty tough to achieve because it was COLD that night!), and unfortunately, we didn't get very many good photos...

Our puppy, Stella, is 5 months old now, and is settling her sassy ass down quite well. She loves, loves, LOVES being outside. She was born in July, so she doesn't know what snow is. I can't wait to see her in it for the first time!
We even bought her a sweater, just in case she needs it. She's not as furry as our other two fur babies. So we just wanna make sure she doesn't get cold.
Lastly, I have gone the most bold with my hair color than ever before. I've died my hair purple.
I love it!
I want it to be a lavender color, and my hair-stylist is doing a great job of working toward that goal with me. After this, I want to go a dark platinum gray color. So the purple should be a good base for that.

I don't know why I went this direction. It's not a desire for attention, but that must be lurking somewhere under it, I suppose. A day doesn't pass without someone mentioning it, and I notice people looking at me more than usual when I'm out in public. I think that it really just all stems from a desire to be different, is all. Probably a part of that being-a-twin thing that I guess I won't grow out of any time soon. ;)

I'm off to yet another session of therapy. I still don't know entirely what I'm looking for in all this work I'm doing. It's such a slow process...but I know that it'll all come together eventually. I just have to be patient...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sometimes, just *being* is a tough enough job.

I think I'm having a mid-life crisis, guys. I don't know how else to ID what the hell is happening to me! It's a depression one day, and then it's perfectly fine the next day. And then it's a complete meltdown on others.

I've been processing a lot internally over the last year. I've been doing hypnotherapy for...well, it started as a weight loss thing a long time ago, but quickly turned into me just figuring out why I hate my "inner child" so damned much, and learning how to deal with that. It's been a year and a half, I think? And I finally don't hate that chick anymore. It might sound hokey and silly to you, but to me, it's been a whirlwind of discovery about myself.

Dealing with the trauma of the bullying I experienced when I was young.

Dealing with the emotions that accompany what it was like to be one of the youngest in a family of five, who also happened to be a twin, who's twin also just happened to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when we were just 6 years old.

Dealing with the identity that I took on at that point in life, trying to be noticed, trying to be accepted, trying to be an "easy" kid that everyone liked.

Dealing with the fact that I was identified as "the chubby twin". That's how most people told us apart during the early part of our life, because we looked so much alike, and it was the 70's. No one thought about how discouraging it might be to a kid when she's being identified as fat, and that's what makes her different from the person who looks almost exactly like her.

That child was so fucking obnoxious. I initially looked back on her with a shame that brought me to tears during most of my sessions with my therapist. I couldn't stand her! I didn't want to hug her or tell her that she was beautiful, as was being suggested during my hypnosis sessions. I wanted to cry because she was such an idiot.

Over a year later, I've figured out her motivation. I've been trying harder to see her again from her own eyes. She was trying to make things easier for everyone by being a good kid. By making people laugh. By being everyone's friend. She just wanted to be liked, and seen as an individual. She loved being a twin, but she hated that her closest friend was sick, and there was nothing she could do to help. At the same time, she resented that she wasn't "special" in a way that made mom and dad worry about her all the time, too. She was just ordinary. So she had to try to be unusual in some shape or form.

I can respect that.

I'm not yet at the point where I feel like I can help her 100% yet. I look at my "healthy, wise adult" self as being a 45 year old me. Someone that has taken the time and effort to work all this shit out. Even now, just thinking about it and writing this all out brings tears to my eyes. Because being happy isn't something you just DO. It's something that you have to work at. It takes a lot of inner focus. It takes a lot of time. It takes so much of an emotional toll, from time to time, throughout the process.

But I look at it all as being extremely important. I have to stay focused on the importance of it, or these periods of depression and overwhelming BLAH of it all will take over and negate all that work I've done already! I can't let that happen.

I won't let that happen.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Propranolol Weaning and Heart Rate Exploration Project - Part 3? 4? I can't fucking remember...

What I last spoke about my Propranolol weaning, it was the beginning of August, and I was excited about the changes I was seeing in my heart rate activity. I was also feeling encouraged about my ability to wean off the meds without having a terrible time of it.

I have had one cluster attack in the weaning period. It wasn't too terrible, though. I was able to kill it with a dose of my pain meds on the 2nd day of it. Since then, I've just had standard headaches that respond fine to Advil.

So. I'm down to taking 2 doses of Propranolol per week. I'm pretty sure I've been doing that for long enough now, and next week, I'll go ahead and transition to just once per week on Fridays. That way, it won't affect any of my "big" workouts with my trainer (they're my high calorie burning workouts), and I'll have a relatively quiet day to deal with side effects, which are pretty pronounced at this point in the weaning. (The sleepiness is the worst. I often can't make it through the day without one or two long naps on the days that I take it...)

That said, here's how awesome things are, heart rate-wise:
Early - Mid August: Maintaining an average HR of 110 throughout workouts; Max HR peaking at 129
By Late August: Able to maintain an average HR of 114.5 throughout workouts; Max HR peaking at 142.3
Throughout Sept: Average HR is 113.6 throughout workouts; Max HR is averaging 139.3

I work out for anywhere from 4.5 - 7 hours per week. Usually on 4 - 5 various days throughout the week. I see my trainer on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and those workouts have average HR of 122 - 126, and max HR levels of 151 - 163. We're supposed to be keeping it between 126 - 153 on those days, so we're really working at that when we're together. He prefers for me to go as high as possible because CALORIE BURN, YEAH BABY!, and while I want to agree with that, my genetic tests said I should not go above that max, max heart rate of 153. If I do, I'm pushing my body too far which will lead to me releasing more cortisol into my system, which signals my body to start holding onto the fat. And that's kind of what we're trying to avoid, here! So we're working really hard at staying in those limits.

On my other workout days, I walk the dogs, I use my treadmill, I do pilates or yoga...and I'm averaging a heart rate of 98 - 117, and maxing at about 120 - 144. I should be keeping it much lower than that (between 90 - 117), but it's so haaaard! Especially when I'm walking 3 fucking dogs at the same time! That's a hoot and a half, lemme tell ya. But I'm still working on it.

I took my Propranolol on Wednesday last week, and then saw my trainer for a workout on Thursday morning. I was busting my nut, and was huffing and puffing with a heart rate of about 120. And I told him that it was certainly an eye opener to feel like I was achieving a max HR of 155 - 160, but only actually being at 120-ish. I'm really hoping all this "research" I'm doing on myself will help him with other clients he might have, now or in the future, that take meds that affect their heart rate. Because here I am feeling like I'm at my max, but according to my monitor, I'm barely getting my heart rate up at all!

And that is absolutely NOT the case.

I'm seeing a small change in my body at this point. I feel tighter. I'm down to 216 pounds from the 219 I was at a couple of months ago. This week, we'll measure at the gym and we'll see if there are any "official" changes to my size...I feel like there have been, but the tape measure doesn't lie as much as my jeans with Lycra might! ;)

I'm feeling really positive over all about it, though. And I'm so grateful that the weaning off the meds is going as well as it has thus far. Here's to hoping that I can continue down this path!