Basement pictures and tonsils

The basement renovation is proceeding well. It’s taking a little longer than I expected, and I hate drywall dust, but I shouldn’t really complain. Of the renovations I’ve had in the past, this is the least amount of dust I’ve had to deal with. But I still hate it. I had to ask the workers to stop sanding because of Michael’s tonsillectomy, so they’ll pick up again after Christmas.

Speaking of Michael’s tonsillectomy, it’s been quite a trial. The operation was on Tuesday, and he still can’t talk much or swallow. It’s very, very painful. I can hear some of David Barker’s jokes already (about Michael not being able to talk). We found an online diary of a fellow who went through one, and it helped us a lot – just knowing that some of the symptoms are normal is good. But now we know to expect a longer recovery time than we originally thought.

And now, back to our originally scheduled blog… here are some pictures of the basement, starting with the before pictures. I think I’ll just keep updating this blog entry and add more as they become available. We’re going to take advantage of the empty basement to have a LAN party between Christmas and New Years. Want to come? Let us know (quickly!)

Before…

The basement
Reid’s cave

Wiring
Ugh!!

Emptying the basement…

Mostly empty desk area

East side

Stairs

Laundry room
Laundry room

Deconstruction

Demolished office area
Just a little dusty!

More demolished area

Recreating a livable space

Insulation in office

Stairs, office and new laundry room wall
Laundry room “cut” in half by adding a wall, so we could add to the office space

Drywall up
Drywall up!

Reid under the duct
Reid now fits under the duct work!

Weird angles
The ducts and stairway create interesting angles

Office with floor
Floor’s in!

Panorama
Panorama view

More to come…

Catching up

Having not posted anything since April (Yikes!), I thought it would be best to provide a catching up post:

Work
I was working at Bell for the last year, but my contract has come to an end. They have a policy of not keeping contractors for more than 1 year. It’s been a great place to work, and I really hope I get a chance to go back some time. My last day was Nov. 23rd, so now I plan to take December off, perhaps longer, because of the stuff below!

Health
Did I ever mention that having ulcerative colitis sucks big time?? I’m hoping to spend some time to try and tackle it. It’s a very weird disease – I think it’s linked to the phases of the moon, combined with months that have an “R” in it, along with a roll of a die. There’s no way for me to peg what makes it gets worse, or what makes it gets better. Often, I hear it’s tied to stress and keeping track of it over the last 9 years, I think it is for me, but not the way you expect. It’s at its worst when I’m relaxed and at my happiest. It’s twice now that it’s gotten worse soon after taking some time off work to relax, and again, a few months before a delightful trip to Italy with my mother. So I’ve decided I need to be very stressed to be healthy. Go figure.

Case in point… last Sunday I took a nasty fall outside my front door, slipping on some ice. My feet flew out from under me and I landed full on my tail bone. It was extremely painful, and a week later, it still hurts quite a bit. But of course, the colitis is better than it has been for months. Another good thing: that fall should have broken a bone and it didn’t. Being on steroids as often as I have, I should be suffering from some bone density loss. But, I seem to be pretty good in that area. I started with a higher than average bone density, and it so happens I eat foods very high in calcium because of the colitis diet I’m on. So I’ll cling to that good news while I hobble around the house.

Hospitals
My dad is off to the hospital for a (non-serious) operation in early December. As my parents age, they have a harder and harder time understanding what’s going on. Particularly in areas of health. I’m hoping to take some extra time to be around for them. And then later in December, Michael is having an operation as well (having his tonsils removed).

Renovations
Well, here we go again. Poor Reid, who is happy if you stick him in a big cardboard box (as long as it’s more than 6’2″ tall), is being uprooted from his home office in the basement while we renovate it. It’s been a thorn in my side for years, and thought this would be perfect timing (except, well, I fell and hurt my back!!). I can’t believe how much stuff we had in the basement. We spent most of November putting everything into the garage, and it’s quite packed. Thank heavens for my burly 17 year old who helped out.

It’s a fairly simple renovation – just drywalling over the horrid stucco, and moving a wall. We’ll also be lifting some ducts so Reid can fit throughout. And they’ll be tearing out the carpet. We’re responsible for getting the floor done. (I’m thinking of doing it myself). And we’re also responsible for painting. (My back HAS to get better now or I’m toast.) I’m anxious to get Reid back into his office, and out of my office where he’ll be temporarily. (I’ve moved myself to a tiny corner of my bedroom for the time being).

Other stuff
I now have TWO teenagers, as Ronnie turned 13 in November. We’re also looking at different schools Ronnie can attend, rather than his home school. We’d love to send him to Delphi (formerly ASE, an alternative school), but it’s so far from home. And Michael will be starting university next year. Michael wants to follow in our footsteps – computer science at University of Toronto. Reid and I accompanied him to the UofT open house in November. We had lots of fun running around the campus. The highlight for me: on a tour of Trinity, they showed us the quad and we told Michael how nicely we set up Tom’s room there. Also, when it came time to show us a residence room, they went to a familiar hall and Reid’s eyes lit up in delight. They opened the door to David Brake’s old room, and Reid ran down the hall showing Michael which were Tom’s, Harald’s and Peter’s rooms. (Am I forgetting someone?) I think Michael would love to go to Trinity, but it’s so hard to get into. I think he really liked University College.

Once I get some time (*snort*), I’ll update with some pictures.