Photos of the writing studio/library project. There is still quite a bit left to do, but I am making progress. Of course now my dining room is a mess! The photos are in order of completion. The end is in sight!
I regret to say that my kitchen remodel is on hold. At this juncture I am not sure for how long the project will remain on hold. SIGH! The life of a single mother on a fixed income 🙁.
With the kitchen holding I have another project that will not cost me money(at the moment). I am revamping the library/guest room.
Currently this how the room looks. It’s a small room but has a lot of potential. The walls are acceptable colors and there is a closet.
1. Move things out of the room
2. Build desk
3. Make closet into book shelf
4. Make and find things to hold craft supplies
5. Write/paint favorite quotes from books on wall
6. Move everything back into the room
I have already started building my desk. My brother-in-law has picked up some used shipping pallets from his work. They were going to throw them out!
The book shelf will be built after I get everything out of the closet. My house isn’t very big so I have to do things in stages or Anastasia and I won’t be able to move. Not mention the dogs and cat freak out when the house is cluttered😱.
This new space will be our creative area. It is bright and welcoming and sure to get some creative juices flowing 😊. I already have an idea for a series of children’s books and I am writing about my experiences since losing my husband. My lovely, unique Anastasia has also started writing! She is collaborating with a young artist and I am hoping the book will be out by Christmas 🤞.
Here’s to revamped spaces and waiting projects! I hope everyone else’s projects come together without delays!
Hello! It has been awhile since I have written anything :(. Big things have been happening around my house :)! I am considering a promotion at work, I have started the process of publishing my second children’s book, I have started writing a for all ages book(sort of) and I have contacted a plumber to try to get the ball rolling again on my kitchen remodel. Lots of things happening!!!
I am really excited about my upcoming children’s book! It is called No More Hugs and is super cute! I get to meet with my illustrator, John Olmstead, towards the end of May to go over some of the rough drawings. I am hoping everything will be completed by the end of June so I can have it published by September. YAY!!!! I have also begun work on a book about enduring the loss of loved ones. The book is my story of loss and how I found my new normal. It is a hard story to write so it may take me awhile. I think it’s time to write it though, maybe someone else can benefit from my perspective.
The plumber is going to come to give me an estimate on moving my dishwasher sometime this week. I am not sure why the dishwasher was across the kitchen from the sink and not next to the sink in the first place. If I find out that it can’t be moved I think I will have it completely removed. I have found this amazing piece at a great local store that is handmade. It’s a bit rustic looking and I think would fit great in my house! With a kid and animals I don’t want to feel like things have to be pristine. I want that loved/used look that let’s people know I like to cook and makes my house feel comfortable and inviting. I have never felt comfortable in houses with formal living rooms and formal dining rooms. You know, the ones with the furniture you are afraid to sit on because you might break it or get it dirty? The houses where you feel like you can’t relax and sink into the furniture, instead you sit on the edge of the couch or chair to make sure you don’t somehow mess it up. I am glad that I can start that project within the next month! I told myself that I am not in a hurry and can be patient, but I am ready to start the next phase of this remodel!
I was recently offered a promotion at work. I have been considering taking the position for about a month. During this time I have been training for the job on a probation period. I think I will be decent at the job. My struggle with taking the promotion has several layers. Layer #1: I have had social security benefits since my husband died six years ago. This has allowed me to work part-time and be home more for my daughter. By taking this job I won’t always be able to take off work for day time school functions. On the flip side, I will get off most nights between 5 and 6. Which means I will be home to make my daughter dinner and help her with her homework. If I officially take the job I will lose the social security. This means if the job doesn’t work out there is no getting that back, I will have to get another job. Another job that may not be as flexible with lunch breaks and child illnesses. Another job that may not allow me to pick my daughter up from school and bring her back to sit in the office until I get off work. This is a scary prospect. An unlikely one, but one that must be considered.
Layer #2: I like teaching and working part-time as a tutor allows me to teach. Becoming the Director of Education will not leave me much time to teach. I have spoken with the owner and the Center Director and I will be able to teach a couple of hours a week. It isn’t the same as being a teacher, but at least it’s something.
Layer #3: I like to write and would really enjoy making that my full-time job. Taking this job will make writing more of a part-time job. On the other hand, taking this job will make it easier to pay for my illustrator. At least I think it will. I have not yet spoken to the owner about salary. During my probation time I am considered hourly. I have an appointment tomorrow to discuss salary. I am crossing my fingers and sending out as many prayers as I can that we can come to an agreement about salary that will make it worth giving up the short-term financial stability that I have with the social security. Social security isn’t much and there are some months when I wonder if I am going to be able to pay all of the bills and put food on the table, but it is a guaranteed amount of money coming in every month. Taking this job means losing that stability. Which in turn means that I need my salary to be more than what I get from Social Security after taxes to make it worth losing the benefits and the ability to be available for my daughters school functions.
Layer #4: Since 2011 my priorities have changed. That year I lost my husband, my grandmother and my Dad. Making money has never been first on my priority list, but that year made me realize that life is too short and too precious to not spend time with the people I love. My daughter comes first. She always will. I realize though that money is needed to provide for my daughter and living on social security and a part-time job does not always provide her with opportunities to experience life and learn new things in interesting ways outside of the classroom. As I said earlier, there are times when paying for food trumps paying the electric bill. Taking this job might mean that I can take her on vacation or send her to a summer camp. It might mean that she can join after school programs like track or take a martial arts class or purchase the drum set she wants so she can learn to play the drums like she’s been wanting to do for a year now.
That’s it! Big things happening here! Decisions to be made and lessons to be learned. Life is bittersweet and losses sometimes happen with gains. Until next time my friends! I hope your life is filled with a great mix of ups and downs. May the downs not be too low or too long and may you always be grateful for the ups and everything in between. As someone wise once said, “It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you have.” Lots of love friends.
Well, I have had a pretty crappy week! Today, in particular, was spectacularly awful. I am really trying to maintain a level of positivity, but I am going to allow myself a little pity me moment right here.
Today, I decided I finally had enough time to cut the plywood and put my sink back in place. I figure the plywood would be ok until I could decide what to do about a new counter top. I am not in a hurry, I just wanted the sink back so I could stop rinsing my dishes in the bathtub. My saws did not work the way I felt they should and I ended up using a hand saw for most of the work. UGH! I was knocking off the tiles from the sink that did not want to come off when I removed the old countertop and sliced my hand on the broken tile. Then I missed a tile and hit the sink, yeah, I broke the sink. AHHHHHHHH! Turns out it didn’t matter because I cut the opening for the sink wrong! FUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!
Yes, I cursed, I am sorry but it was needed at this time. I decided that to calm myself down I needed to just clean up and make soup. I made my daughter and myself a very yummy broccoli cheese soup. I am currently sitting at my dining table taking deep breaths and writing this.
I would like to state that I did not think that a remodel would be easy, especially doing most of the work all on my own, but some days are just really rough!
I am going to continue to rinse my dishes in my bathtub and use my dishwasher to wash said dishes. Yes, I was smart enough to leave the dishwasher in place. When I have a little extra money I am going to purchase plywood and eventually a new sink and have someone help me cut the plywood. I wanted to start with the flooring and work from the ground up, but things are not happening the way I hoped. Things rarely do. My stove and refrigerator are still working just fine, knock on wood, so it is really just the sink that is the issue. Thank Heaven!
While I am waiting to purchase a sink I will continue to price flooring and repair drywall and plaster. Knocking down walls and removing countertops didn’t really require any money, so the easy part is done. The hard part is now beginning, but if I am patient and do things right I will have a nice kitchen by next summer and hopefully without spending a lot of money.
Here are some pictures of what has been done.
I had some family and friends helping so the work wasn’t horrible and now I can rebuild it:).
Hello, family and friends and readers of my blog. This is just a note to let you know that I am not crazy or in an irrational state of mind :). I am, however, in a mood to do something that I have been wanting to do for a long time, remodel my kitchen. Here are some pics
I have been watching DIY shows and looking through Pinterest and HGTV magazines for years and I finally have an idea of what I want to do to my kitchen. No, I do not have a budget. I am a single mom with a part time job and the dreams of being a professional writer. My bank account frequently screams in agony and every time I use my debit card I hear alarm bells sounding. This will not stop me and here’s why.
Life is really fucking short! It’s too short to wait until the “perfect moment” and definitely too short to wait for my bank account to always be in the black. Life is too short to sit around and whisper “someday” into the air. My someday is now. To some of you, this might seem foolish, stupid and perhaps a bit absurd. I mean who starts a remodel without having a budget in place!
The answer to that, perfectly understandable, question is this: someone who doesn’t need near instant gratification, someone who plans on doing most, if not all, the work herself. Yes, I do have big plans. Yes, I do know that not all of those plans will work. After all, I am not a plumber or an electrician. I do know how to hang drywall and swing a sledgehammer, I can use a saw and put down tile. I plan on doing things slowly and scouring places like the Habitat for Humanity Restore, Goodwill, and the Salvation Army for materials. I also plan on using some material from my basement that will no longer be needed down there. I will price and shop around for needed supplies and buy them as money comes available. I am in no hurry. In fact, I want this project to take a little while. Believe it or not, this project is helping me deal with stress as well as satisfy my desire to remodel. I am not perfect and I am sure there will be times when I curse myself for even starting this project. Mostly, though, I am happy. I am adding to my coping skills. In the past, I have used retail therapy and food to cope with stress and feelings of inadequacy. Today I am using my writing, the gym, and now home improvement projects to cope.
The last, almost, 6 years has been rough. I have walked that long, lonely road of grief and I have done and said some stupid and crazy things. Through it all, I have had my family and friends standing beside me letting me know that I am safe and loved. These past 2 years or so I have finally decided it is ok to be happy and I am figuring out what that means. I have had to rediscover who I am and who I want to be. Please try not worry, I am ok and I do know what I am doing, for the most part ;).
Just so you know, I will still complain about not having any money. That is a never ending situation no matter what I am or am not doing. Love to all! I will continue to share my Remodel on a Budget of $0. Demoing is kind of fun, the clean up not so much.