Incentive tricks

Because life has been a bit...different since Christmas time, I'm playing catch up on my MSc project. And I gotta admit - renoing my kitchen sucked away all my free time in the first half of february too.
I was just given the dates for my first committee report meeting and the 30 minute talk I have to give on my project the week after, so it is a 5 week countdown to play catchup. I need to be on the ball with this. I can't fail - there's too much tied up in it, and this project will really show my higher up bigwig bosses what I am made of (or not). My future here at work will be hugely impacted if I can pull this out of my butt and impress them by keeping up with everything. AND I'm not using my Mum as an excuse any more than it really is. To me that is disrespectful...
After a small wig out and hyperventilation session I am ready (meep). My sh*t is in a pile and I'm getting ready to time applied, weekends here in the lab for the next 6 weeks or so. I could whinge about it, and (who am I kidding) I probably will, but I signed up for this. I knew it would come to this off and on even before Mum got ill...and I think I am ready to stand up and have at it..
My cold is reduced to the smallest of sniffles and my knee feels AOK, so as incentives for working hard I had a brilliant idea.

Part of the "perks" of being a grad student is free access to the kinesiology centre, pool and workout gyms with my student card. It's a new building full of all the fitness stuff you could ever want. Well I went and got my smiling photo on my student card and I am all set to use it. Since I (*sigh*) will have to be in most saturdays and sundays from now until at least (*sigh*) mid-April to try and catch up on everything, I am going to reward myself for each hard day of weekend work here with a trip to the university gym. It's on the bus route home, and I do believe there are cardio/yoga classes I can attend so woot. I'm getting the class schedule this afternoon, and by god, I'm going to reward myself with health for all my hard work. Getting up early to workout again and staying late and weekends to do this project will be trying...I like my husband and want to see him. I have a kitchen to reassemble and put back together, and I also like to sleep.
I plan to give myself these little workout fitness rewards to keep me going.
I may be in here less coherently over the next while, but never fear. I'm here.
I'm just time warped to the max :)


I just discovered the big deal of podcasts yesterday. I assumed they were lame. Honestly, sometimes I do myself a great disservice with my snobbery of all things new and modern. Seriously - these things are exactly what I think the internet *should* be used for.

Holy crap.
I mean, all these live DJ mixes of music just sitting there for lectures...

My brother lent me his old iPod nano now that he has a new one. My old ancient iPod won't do podcasts so I hadn't looked at them as I couldn't listen to them anyways...and I must say - I'm so impressed at what I now can bring with me to work to fill the hours in the lab.

Today will be full of new fresh DJ mixes of electronic music, happily bobbing my head in the lab.

Me hee...
I'm all up ins.


Yesterday was so utterly normal. After the last few months, I so miss normal...I'd almost forgotten how lovely it can be.
I loved every minute of it.
I worked late (did some MSc work), came home to a happy J and we made some almond chicken and spaghetti squash, watched a bit of "it's always sunny in philadelphia", went for a walk and then went to bed with a book and tea.


Kick in the ass

Well then.
Yesterday I had an "intro" meeting for my MSc. Got the old pep talk and polite reminder of how nice they are to be letting me work full time and work on my Masters at the same time and a few more details about the program. They expressed condolences about Mum and hoped I was coming along nicely...hint hint

And so I must get at it. January is a bit of a blur with the funeral and all, but I'm finally "back" mentally and yesterday was a kind solid reminder that life is here and I must get to it. My kitchen reno is at the point where it's functional again and other than needing to finish cupboard doors over the next little while we're largely (yay) done and I have been slowly putting stuff back and using it, so I have no major huge distraction anymore - and a lot to do!

I've got plans people. I'll be busy, but I signed up for this so I need to get at it.
Plus I have to pay tuition next week. Something about shelling out a grand makes you remember "oh yeah, this *is* a big deal"...I've got methods worked out, and plans in place and meet with my supervisor tomorrow to go over big plans. My first "progress meeting" is the second week of April and I want to be able to show up and be proud of what I've done...I can do this. My bosses boss is the chair of my committee and I want to impress him. I want them all to be happy of how they accepted me into the program and not regret what they're letting me do. No more Facebooking and renovating away my free time. I've got cells to culture and sciency wiency things to do...

Thankfully, my knee has been kind and normal for 2 weeks now. Had I not gotten this cold I'd be working out this week already...and as of this monday - the morning workouts are on again. Belly dance class has been good (we're learning floorwork and back bends...oh my burning thighs) and I want some muscle tone back. I need the energy and I really can't wait to get back to it. The key will be easing back in so I don't stress out my knee.'s all coming together...

It's the little things...

I'm only sort of sick. I'll take it. My cold appears to be staying in my nose, which isn't great, but isn't getting worse. I'm hoping large amounts of tea will politely nudge it on. It's like I'm just sick enough to be a bit low on energy, so I can still get things done, which is nice.

I finished caulking and painting in the kitchen yesterday - only the cupboard doors left now. When people on renos make perfect caulking beads and run their finger along I want to know just how they do it without being covered in goo...I haven't worked that out yet. Now that it's done I can start putting things back in the kitchen - a functional kitchen. I can hardly stand the excitement! I'm going to do it bit by bit to reorganise and declutter the kitchen...
I discovered a very evil thing though - when Dad and I carefully measured and cut the glass tiles to fit around the outlet holes in the kitchen with the diamond saw we were very proud of ourselves at how well they fit. Unfortunately, I learned yesterday when trying to put the covers on the outlets that neglected to make sure there was room for the little screws that go in to hold in some of the the plate covers. Yeah. Not cool.
I'm putting on my thinking cap as to how to get around this. I'm considering putting thick metal plate covers and adjusting the outlets out a bit and bracing them with wire or metal, hopefully leaving room behind the adjusted out outlets for the screws to go in. I might have to grind down the screws a bit in length or find some super short ones. It's a little annoying thing that is rather a big deal and annoyingly, neither Dad nor I noticed this, even when he went through at the end of the job and carefully adjusted the outlet height for the covers! I could try and drill holes in the tiles, but that's just asking for trouble. That is a last resort. I think I'll try my adjustoplate thingymabob first. Or velcro...or something. Who knows.
Here's crossing my fingers.
It's really all in the little things...

You could say the secret ingredient is salt!

I ditch my hubs and have supper every Wednesday at my brother's. It's a good chance to visit with them.
Last night was an ordeal, mostly for them. Their new student from Japan turned out to be suffering from major depression and despite their best efforts to help her, she needed to go home to get help after a few weeks here. She was not being kind to herself and it was very sad...their students are usually here by choice and love Canada. It was sad to see her go...but I hope she will be happier back at home and get the help she needs. She was not happy here. To try and cheer them up we watched a funny movie and ate comfort food...

And the meal, while it was mostly delicious, to me was was very very salty. Thing is, I've stopped cooking with salt. It's in baking (half the dictated amount) and other than that I leave it out, as it tends to be in enough component spices and such to give me the salt it needs. I rarely add it, unless something is "missing" in a flavour...and MAN when I eat at other places where they use salt I can't ignore the salt. I put out the shaker for company and family when they are over and notice how they usually find the need to put some on (which is fine). J and I have remained low sodium...and I just can't go back. Maybe it's that I'm slowly coming down with a cold despite my best efforts and some of my tastebuds are on vacation, but last night's meal was so incredibly salty. I still tasted the salt after the meal and had to have a mug of tea to cleanse my palate.

Anyone else find your palate changed when you changed your eating habits??


I miss having Dad's so quiet now.

I posted some reno pics on my other blog. I finished the final coat of blue on the cupboards...and now have a few days break for paint to cure before I can seal grout and such.
Right now, lots to do. Maybe even sleep!
Must run...

I have made it this far. I have become king.

I am a reno slave. But soon I will be king.
Thankfully I seem to be nearing the end - only about a week left...which is good, cause I have other stuff to do! (like my MSc...ahem) and I'm reaching the end of the "this is exciting" and moving into the "let's be done know" mood. My wonderful wonderful Dad has finished all the renos he came to do *(and more) and I've finished putting up and grouting the glass tiles and patched, sanded primed and painted the holes in the wall from the wiring. I've sanded primed and put 1 coat of paint on the cupboards too.
I'm bloody exhausted, but the end is in sight.
It looks freaktastically good.
And George (new stove) works great. I've made pies in him - lime for me and raisin for Dad. He passes the test. He can be my friend...

My Dad has decided to head home today. It will be odd having him gone, but he's done everything imaginable reno wise here that he signed up for and he's not one to sit around. He's nervous to go home, but he was starting to feel like he was putting it off. He has some things to do at home before he heads out with my uncle and aunt to Nevada for the month of March, so I know he'll be OK...just lonely. I had a sniffly goodbye with him this morning.
I hope he'll be OK. It's meant a lot to have him here for both of us, and I'm glad to see him ready to try and figure out life. I'll miss him, but I hope he'll start to figure things out bit by bit...

I'll try and finish my renos this weekend so I can have my life back. I'm getting behind in other things and I want my kitchen done. I might even achieve that if I keep at it like the good little reno slave I have been.
But for


So. Tired.

It's been 2 nights in a row up until midnight doing kitchen stuff. (and a bit of MSc work...because I'm really really behind. Heh. Nervous? Why no...eep)
Nothing makes you cheerful like trying to slide on side panels to a stove at midnight when you're tired.
According to the guy in the store "they just pop right on!"

Um yeah...sure...if you're coordinated. It took Dad and I over half an hour and much crank...

BUT the stove is now in the kitchen *with* sides, ready to be installed today by Mr. Gas Dude. And Dad is putting in the range hood too... Then this weekend I can paint the cupboards and grout the tile...and maybe get my kitchen (and spare time and sanity) backby NEXT weekend...

oh lordy...

my hands are sore

My arms and hands are sore from installing the glass tiles in my kitchen for 17 hours yesterday.

But they're in. Just need to be grouted in a few days...


Friday again...

I've been listening to the new Doves album, particularly the song Kingdom of Rust non-stop lately. Jetstream and Kingdom of Rust are in my head constantly. Perfect running tunes. I've always loved the Doves. Their earlier album The Last Broadcast is a top 10 favourite of has songs like Caught by the River and There Goes the Fear ...songs that that make me happy and floaty deep deep down in my brain just listening to them. Maybe it's a sign I'm feeling a bit comforts me. To me, music is a necessity of life. Don't know why. Just is...
Bellydance class last night was great. We learned some new moves and spin combinations and a zills routine. I went and forgot my zills at class so I have to practice with "pretend" zills, but I'm pumped. It was nice to move and see other people and just dance. I love to dance. I find it so freeing and joybringing. It was so nice...
I wore my new choli that I'd sewed for myself before Christmas and my instructor is making me a tribal style belt with tassels on it. All my gear is Egyptian style with lots of coins so it'll be nice to have a tribal style kit too. Soon I'll be ready to perform in public and I'll need something to wear. Once I have one made I can use it as a prototype and make myself it's nice to just get something pretty for myself. I have to remind myself it's OK to pay someone else to make something...just because I can make something, doesn't mean I have to.
If only my knee would let me get back to it. It's still not normal. I think I'm going to begin some physio exercises on it - some leg extensions. I hope that helps.
I just wish I could workout. I'm honestly scared to do it...if my knee starts to hurt again I'll be very very frustrated. I used to run 6K no problem...I don't get why a half an hour on the elliptical is such a problem.
I must be a patient grasshopper.
Permit me a pouty lip and a whine or too...I miss my exerbuzz....I think it would help me get on with things.
Having my Dad here with us has been good. He's finally seemed to turn the critical corner from being utterly devastated to sad, but able to deal with things. I am so glad. I really want him to be able to go on...that the memories might be sad, but that he can not be trapped by his sorrow. Having things to do here in my house (oh the things he's been doing) has helped a lot - he's keeping busy and doing things. He's laughing. He's able to talk about Mom again.
This is good.

Tonight J and I are going on a date. A restored film print of the old sci-fi 1927 film Metropolis is playing in the old 1930's style theatre here in town, complete with the local orchestra playing the original sheet music written to go along with it (it's a silent film). It's a favourite film of both of us...I'm looking forward to it. A night out together will be just the thing I think. I'll have to pretty myself up...
Dad said this the other day and I agree - it's time to live again.


I do believe I sprained my toe

A few days ago I rammed my foot very firmly into the corner of a box of recyclables in the hallway. I danced and howled, but after it all it seemed it was OK...nothing hurt.
Although my middle left toe has been a bit stiff and this morning it is increasingly stiff and rather red and puffy.
I am thinking that I have sprained it.
How odd...

I've got two legs from my hips to the ground and when I move them they walk around...

Well yesterday was a much better day. Moods were up and Dad's been busy in the kitchen. He's taken down the cupboard he has to rebuild to install the range hood above where the new stove will be. He's already made all the holes and such for all the outlets and wiring he's putting in, installed an electrical subpanel and has moved a light switch and installed a light in my pantry. YES. I will soon be able to *see* in there. Very cool.

Stuff is going on.

And for some reason our spirits were up too. That was a huge bonus after a super extra mopey monday. J and I got groceries and made sure to stock up on a bunch of Dad's favourites so he's happy. We even picked up Zombieland for cheap on the way home. We hadn't planned on it but he and I cozied up and watched it last night. It made for a later night, but it was good to laugh and be together. That movie cracks me was just the thing...

I'm giving my knee until monday to fully heal up. I can go up and down stairs like a normal person now (can I get a wohoo!), but it still clicks occasionally, so I'm erring on the side of caution. Healthy eating is the way of things now too - I'm trying to have salads and healthy things for main dishes and fruit for snacks and desserts around the house. So far so good.

Heh. I just typed so fat so good.
Freudian slip? :)

long day

Last night was a long sad night.
It's very exhausting to be sad and comfort someone who is sad. It's like double sad with extra sad and mopey sprinkles. Some nights I just can't smile by the end of it...

Thankfully I got a good night's sleep.
We shall see how today goes...

Monday - so it begins

Well, I have successfully relocated my kitchen into my living room for a bit. On the weekend we spent too much money at Rona getting all the stuff we need to start redoing the kitchen. I'm hoping the gas install isn't too much today, as after that, with any luck it will just be paying the inspectors to come check out all the work. I think they sold us the wrong electrical permit, but I'm sure the inspector will let us know if we need more...I've never done stuff on a level that requires a permit before. It's exciting that it's finally happening. It's given Dad something to focus on and do, so he's been a bit more level too. I'm so glad he can do the work for's a lot of work and it would cost a lot to pay someone to do it. We just have to feed him and give him lots of hugs when he's feeling mopey. He's still having a hard time of things - it's hard to see him so sad when he has spells of sadness, but he's been there for me so many times - now it's my turn. I've got lots of hugs :)

A huge plus is that my knee doesn't hurt anymore. It's a tiny bit stiff yet, so I'm giving it a few more days before I workout again, but it's nice to be pain free and not need to be concerned about wrenching it when I turn to quickly. I also am back to 133, so I'm almost back the 132 I was before christmas food insanity came along. It's all coming together slowly slowly...
So, we shall see how today goes. I'm excited about everything and I hope it won't be too crazy having my kitchen in the living room. Thankfully I'll get to keep using my stove for a while yet, so it won't be too weird for a while.

HAve a good day OK?