Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

One thing leads to another, and another, and another

Last Spring I finally decided to finish my basement remodel project, which I began over 10 years ago. I had one finished room and a half bath in my basement when I bought this house 15 years ago. After the basement flooded in 2007, however, I spent months tearing everything out; the finished room, the bathroom and the unfinished storage space. I'm allergic to mold so tearing everything out was a necessity. I received some flood assistance to remodel, but that money ran out before the project was finished. Last Spring I decided I had the time, energy and funds to tackle the project once again.

Ten years ago the plumbing, electrical, walls and ceilings were finished. I needed flooring, trim, doors, and bathroom fixtures. Fortunately, I met a handyman I trusted through work. Unfortunately, that handyman, whom I hired in the Spring, quit before he ever started. That was in July. It took until September to find another semi-retired, competent professional. I hired him and a flooring guy to finish the work.

They were both busy until November, so the work didn't start until after Thanksgiving. It took through December and into January for them to finish, not because there was a ton to do, but because they were simultaneously busy with other projects. Now it's done. Two days ago my basement was finished. It's so cool!

Well, you know how one thing leads to another? With the new tile on the basement floor the wooden stairs leading to the basement looked awful. So I hired the flooring guy to also tile the stairs, and since the stairs descend from the kitchen, with it's well worn linoleum, I had to ask him to do the kitchen floor, too. That work will begin tomorrow.

Once I decided to tile the kitchen I could no longer ignore my walls, which I painted 15 years ago. So I decided to paint the kitchen. But since I was painting the kitchen a lighter color, I had to paint the trim, too! I mean it was brown. I like white. Besides, my kitchen is tiny. How hard could it be?

It turned out painting the trim was a very time consuming, back-breaking little project! I had to sand it, but even with sanding the paint just wouldn't stick. My trim took 3, and in some places 4 coats of paint! Painting the ceiling, walls and trim, a project I thought would take a few days, turned into a project which stretched into 2 weeks!

At least one full day of that two weeks was spent changing outlets and covers. With the new white trim and lighter colored walls the damn almond-colored switches and outlets looked like hell, so I had to change those, too. My hands ached after removing each outlet and switch and rewiring each in order to change them from almond to white. I had to ice my hands that night, but they look a lot better now.

Unfortunately, despite all of that work not every part of my kitchen looks better, so my kitchen actually isn't done. I discovered way too late the new wall color almost matches the counter top, backsplash, and cabinet color. I need some contrast. I did some research. The least costly and labor intensive solution seems to be changing the backsplash. I picked out the product, but that project will have to wait until well after my hip surgery.

I'm trying to get everything else done before my hip surgery on the 24th. After painting my kitchen the plan was to repaint my living room, hallways, bedroom and all of the trim. When I made that plan in late November, I had no concern about getting it all done before January 24th, but after my kitchen experience I'm ashamed to say I threw in the towel. I decided to hire someone to do the rest.

The painting will begin Tuesday or Wednesday so I spent my weekend removing everything from my walls, emptying shelves, storing knickknacks, moving furniture away from the walls, and cleaning everywhere. Phew! I'm tired. This is the first time I sat down today.

By the time the flooring and painting is finished I think I'll have just enough time to replace the furniture, hang the pictures, unpack and replace my stuff prior to surgery. Now I understand why I let this basement project sit for 10 years! It will be nice, however, to have everything done when I'm sitting in my house for 4 weeks doing little to nothing; nothing that is except enjoying my new floors, walls, outlets and trim.


Paul Lamb said...

When I've "upgraded" rooms in my house, I always swap out the old receptacles and switches (and I go with white if the room is suited for it). Apparently these things come in three grades, and the ones put in most houses are the lowest (least expensive) grade. So I don't mind spending up a few dollars to get the best ones that will actually hold the plugs in them. It's the small things.

Katy said...

Wow! That is amazing that you have gotten all of this work done. It is so hard for me to manage things like this. I find it so overwhelming and difficult to manage all of the upkeep that needs to happen, and my thinking seems to spiral out of control regarding what needs to happen. Oh, I can't deal with the front yard which means I'm a terrible mother and wife and... No one else says this to me. I just say it to myself.

That is huge that you finished the basement AND you are able to start other home improvement projects, too. That calls for a celebration! Seriously! Congrats.