Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Single Life?

I have been living as a single woman for over two weeks now. I do miss my husband and certainly miss his excellent abilities to take out the garbage, the recycling, and walk the dog in all kinds of weather. But the single life does have its rewards.

Although I had intended to do way more constructive things than I have actually done, I have nevertheless accomplished a few things in his absence.

We began fixing up our circa 1965 kitchen over two years ago. In February of 2004 my husband put up all new ceiling tiles, and painted the little thingies that hold them up. This inspired us. So we went and bought a new stove and dishwasher. (Nothing like instant gratification and not waiting until you truly deserve the reward.)

So now we had the new appliances and were very happy. Nothing further was accomplished on the kitchen till the following winter, when once again inspiration hit and my husband labored long and hard, priming the whole kitchen, both walls and cabinets, and then painted the wall parts yellow. (We're doing this kind of Provence theme - yellow and blue - the kind of thing where you want to put up Van Gogh pictures and cutesy sunflower decorations everywhere when you're done).

My job was now the woodwork and the cabinets. I valiantly began to paint those an electric shade of blue last winter and then they languished unfinished all through the summer. So last weekend I broke out the paint and finished the blue woodwork and cabinets. I was very proud.

Today I started painting the rest of the cabinets. We had decided the upper cabinets shouldn't be blue. Too much Smurf Blue is just too much. So we're doing them in the same yellow as the walls but in shiny paint. So today I did another section of cabinets. I find when I paint my arm gets tennis elbow after about 10 minutes. That's just from stirring the paint.

Once all this is done we will replace the floor and recover the countertop surfaces.

To be honest, I have to admit that we should have ripped out the whole thing and done it over. But I don't believe in spending our hard-earned money on new kitchens. I'd rather save it for a trip to Hawaii or some other experience. I also like to waste it constantly by sending away to Amazon.com for any new book that strikes my fancy. So I have a pile of books next to my bed instead of a brand new kitchen.

The Provence idea was inspired from watching shows like "Surprise by Design" (which I don't think is on TV anymore). It was one of those shows where someone plans to re-do an entire room in one day as a surprise to a family member or friend. And this gay guy and this woman come along to advise them what to do within the budget they have allotted. It amazed me to watch this and see dull boring kitchens that were badly in need of an update, suddenly become wild, crazy and funky (as opposed to totally redone for $50,000) on a budget of $500. Basically there was a lot of bright colored paint and some new furniture and add-ons. That was what inspired me to think, yellow and blue Provence decor would be a cheap way to re-do our kitchen. If we can't look elegant we might as well look funky. So that is where it stands.

I have been suriving pretty well for the past two weeks. I have discovered that despite my best intentions, the thing I most look forward to when I arrive home exhausted from my job at the Big Corporation is plopping myself in front of the TV with my meal of the evening and watching, in an obsessive manner, the Discovery Health channel. I watch it all..Mystery Diagnosis, Plastic Surgery Before & After, and Dr. G - Medical Examiner. I also discovered a really good show on Friday nights called The Ghost Whisperer. As you can guess, I'm usually not even home on Friday nights. I find this very relaxing, but rather disturbing that I am not reading any books. I thought I would indulge in an orgy of book-reading. Apparently I can only do that when I'm actually on vacation.

The dog is missing her daddy, especially the fact that her daddy took her for longer walks than Mommy does. I find taking her for walks after work, in the dark, kind of scary and rather dangerous. No, not for the reason you're thinking. She's a pitbull. I'm not really worried about anybody bothering me. What is dangerous is my own complete klutziness. Twice I have injured myself while walking her, both times by tripping on the sidewalk. The first time I just stubbed my toe so badly that I was limping the next day; the next time I actually fell, nearly crushing the dog, who immediately turned around in great concern and started licking my face. Luckily I wasn't gravely injured and I managed to get up without having anything to hang onto (a feat in itself given my aging knees).

Less than a week to go and I still haven't done the rest of the things that were on my list to accomplish while living alone:

- Clean out my closet and get rid of all the clothes and shoes I no longer wear.

- Clean up the dining room.

- Sort through all the memorabilia from my old house.

Well, at least I'm working on that kitchen...

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