It’s  actually hard to believe but we’ve already plowed through January. And although we’ve had something like 20 straight days of cloudy weather, it went by at lightning speed and has been a surprisingly busy, productive time in my household. And the remarkable part is that, I, who always laments the length of January, is saying this!
January was shaping up to be  quieter than usual this year – a perfect time to fill it up with needed household projects. Our front parlor, which serves double duty as my office, needed to be painted, along with 3 of the bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. I wanted to try something a bit different this time. I’ve always liked the idea of painting the ceiling a color rather than just plain white – either a coordinating color or the same color as the walls. But I had concerns that it would make the room look like a giant box. So, with the attitude that it’s only paint, I did have the ceiling of one of the bedrooms and the first floor parlor made the same color as the walls where the color we chose was light enough not to be oppressive but dark enough to show that there was an actual color. And I am thrilled with the result. Because of the way the light hits it, the ceiling actually takes on a lighter hue than the color on the walls and I in no way feel boxed in.



Also in the parlor, we painted my stained brown bookcase a high gloss white. The once-brown blob is now a luminous white! The difference is remarkable in how it opens the room and shows off the books and other things on the shelves much better than the dingy brown did!
About seven years ago, we renovated our kitchen, removing everything back to the walls and starting over. Our kitchen is  a reasonably large room that sits at the back of our house and is darkened by a large  adjacent screen porch. My husband and I had a number of discussions about what style and finish we would use on the cabinetry in our new space. My husband strongly prefers stained wood; he has never been a fan of white cabinetry. My position was that while I do like natural stained wood, I also like white, thought  it would brighten the space and tends to be timeless. I’ve also had friends who have white kitchens and they are gorgeous.   But I eventually caved and went with the stained wood since my husband was not in favor of re-doing the kitchen in the first place and was conceding on other items I wanted. So natural cabinetry was my big give – a huge give in retrospect since the cabinetry is one of the most obvious changes in any kitchen re-do. I must say that since I like the warmth of stained wood in a home  I was not totally against the choice at the time we redid the kitchen. Even now when I look into the kitchen I like the feeling it conveys – but I can still see the benefits white would have brought, now more than ever since I’ve had other things  painted white.thumb_img_0135_1024
One thing I eventually did in the kitchen was to change the appliances because they were getting old and would need to be replaced soon anyway. In the old kitchen, I had black dish drawers and a black stove, which I loved. When I redid the kitchen, I had stained wood panels made for the new fridge to match the cabinetry. Black, and particularly, if it had been available at the time, the new black stainless that is becoming so popular now, would have worked wonderfully in my kitchen remodel because my new cabinets have black piping in the doors and crown molding. I eventually replaced the black appliances  with the ubiquitous stainless steel only because at the time,  I couldn’t find the brand or style of appliances I wanted in black.
The other change I made this month was to the dated oak cabinetry we had installed in our basement thirteen years ago. Instead of the honey colored cabinets we had, we now have bright dove white cabinetry that lights up the whole room. In addition we are having a custom cabinet built for an alcove at the bottom of our basement stairs that will serve as additional storage for rarely used kitchenware, also to be painted in dove white.   Looking for other opportunities to use white paint!
Lastly as far as current projects are concerned,  we replaced the baseboard in several bedrooms with the more substantial 4-inch molding. In addition we replaced the wooden baseboard in our master bathroom with stone skirting to match the ten-year old tiles on the bathroom floor. It was a bit of a challenge to find stone that would match the tile but eventually we did make a choice that coordinated nicely.


thumb_img_0124_1024In the midst of all this activity at the house, there was also an opening for me to have bunion surgery that I have been contemplating for the better of ten years!    Having spent my career in health care, I am, more than acquainted with the wonderful, often miraculous, work that is done in hospitals every day.   I personally, however, am  slow to agree to  any procedure on my own body  that involves cutting or anesthesia.   So when my podiatrist said, “I can fix this” he caught me at a vulnerable  moment.   I had about had it with the unpredictable pain that I was experiencing with ever-increasing frequency, particularly on my right foot.  And it was January, after all; what better time to move forward with this, so that .    So last week, terrified,  I had my right foot bunionectomy and other required foot reconstruction in a same day surgery unit at a local hospital.

Here’s what I can say about my surgery:  I had a wonderful podiatrist who did it.  And I have waited for the past 7 days for the post-surgery pain the start.   And, thankfully, it has not.  I have not needed even one dose of the pain med to help with discomfort.    The surgeon, his staff and my nurse friends are kind of shocked at this.  Me too – shocked but happy!    I tend to be a positive thinker so I’m not looking for a dark cloud here but it actually crossed my mind that maybe my foot is permanently numbed.   But that’s not the case since I feel small twinges all over my foot that lead me to believe that some healing is already happening.     I will say is that the experts are correct in that you really don’t approach this surgery solely for cosmetic reasons (and heaven knows, I love my shoes!) because the length and  inconveniences of the recovery are pretty daunting.   I have a lot of it ahead of me still but, suffice to say, so far so good and for now I hobble around on my crutches and my  little scooter!

Until next time!

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