15 October 2011

Julia and Ellen, her therapist, after day 3 of kitchen renovation. More renovation pictures are at http://acrosstherubricon.blogspot.com/2011_10_01_archive.html. After a week of work, the kitchen is completely stripped, and the structure which is not be bad shape has been reinforced where needed and the structural inspector has okayed it. Yesterday, the electrician spent the day with Ed and they wired all that that could inside the walls. Ed also took down all of the insulation that was in the basement. I had wanted this done eventually because it didn't seem to serve any purpose. The insulation, especially in the basement was filled with mouse remains and so I am very happy to be rid of it. Monday's work will be to spray foam insulation into the kitchen outside walls and into the basement around the perimeter of the house. This is an unexpected add onto the the project. We expected to use sheet insulation, but there are enough small spaces that could not be insulated to make this worth while. Also, I did not expect to touch the basement during this renovation but as long as the kitchen is being done by an subcontractor, it is a minimal addition to do the basement. Of course, it does mean that tomorrow morning, Ed and I have to shirt everything in the basement into the center of the floor so that the insulation guy can get to the perimeter. The Universe seems to be providing a way for me to handle all of my "stuff" over and over.

Maybe to make sure that I am really not leaving any box, bag, or plastic container untouched. In the magical thinking sense, I don't believe this, but it is a little more of a reminder of my pledge to myself.

Towards the end of this week, I have entered a new phase. The house and renovation provides a limbo state. It is noisy during the day and hard to concentrate on reading or writing. It is confining to be without a kitchen and without direct and easy access to the basement. I have the bookcases protected from the ever rising dust with plastic and the little dining room-kitchen set up makes meal preparation challenging. And of course, I am never alone. I don't really mind Ed, my contractor, in the house. Shades of Murphy Brown. But the noise that comes with the work, the subs and inspectors that come in and out, the music being played, the disturbance -- I see how private I like to be during my days. Ed usually checks in with me at the beginning and end of each day and occasionally, I am necessary in the middle of the day but rarely. I don't have to be social or do business with subs or inspectors. Ed handles that and I am happy that I am paying him for that and not responsible for the supervision part of this work. I do not know enough to be my own contractor.

And so, this is a good time to be out of the house for big chunks of the day. Finally, I am at the Y and exercising like I've wanted to. Slow and carefully right now, not really working up much of a sweat, but this forced time out of the house is just the jump start I needed.

Today, I realized that I have put myself to many tasks which do not include much time to read and do research. It is what I wanted and what I planned -- purging and cleaning and sorting is physical work for the most part. Where it touches the mind right now is merely tangential. This is what must come for me before the work of the spirit and soul, and certainly before, I can begin again to read in depth and as broadly as I want. Where I was content to sort books and pack up the kitchen a few weeks ago, I am impatient now to move on. Being in the present continues as a challenge. Yes, I want to know where I will get to in a few months. I must remind myself of the process. I must remind myself all the time. Becoming more of the process than the product remains a great challenge.

I've been combing my favorite gardening shops this week -- one of the out of the house activities that I probably would not have done as completely if I had the run of my whole house. I bought a few "bargains" to begin to fill the base garden with -- two holly bushes, a big hydrangea, and a few perennials. Bought at a fraction of their retail price. They will go in the ground tomorrow or the beginning of next week, and then I will pray for their survival through the winter. With luck, they will do fine.

Julia had a hard day today. Opposition at school and also with her therapist. I hope it is the drugs -- three more days of the steroid and antihistamine -- and the disruption in the house. The change of season is never easy for her. Again, I hope she pulls out of it especially at school. She is learning. She is bringing home maps of parts of the United States with states labeled and sometimes colored. She can read a majority of the state names. She doesn't know anything about the states, I imagine her classmates know something about their geography and state capitals and the like, but she is understanding the concept of maps and that we know people who live in some of the states and that we've visited some of them. This understanding is still so new and her world is broadening.

1 comment:

Amber said...

Good luck with the renovation! My daughter learn this year, the rivers and places of America. Fortunately, the states they do not learn in the Netherlands.

Roos