A Bit of a Setback

I made a comment to my daughter, Jen, the other day, that once Halloween passes, the rest of the year is toast. No doubt (since we were speaking on the phone), there was an involuntary rolling of the eyes, and an “oh Mom” thought on her part. But, since mothers are never wrong, I have proof that I am right:


It doesn’t get more legit than when the fairy godmother thinks so, too.

Why am I even concerned about the passage of time right now? Well, karma delivered me a wee setback during Halloween week. You know that statement: “Life is what happens when you are making plans”, & then there’s “the best-laid plans of mice & men”. Well I am a prime example of a person with a plan, and all of the confidence and energy to complete said plan, until the unexpected happened.  More on that later.

Greg  & I have been busy beavers trying to turn the doggy lounge into a bona fide, relaxing, & dare I hope, luxurious master bedroom.  Below is a sample of the dog- dominated space (chewed sheets & blankets, I assure you, are in there somewhere!):

066 065 067 068 072 IMG_3284

Below are pics of the initial painting process:



I had originally chosen a SW color called “Dignified”.  Thankfully, I just purchased a sample size of it, because it had way too many purple & magenta undertones for my taste.  We finally settled on SW “Denim”, which is a deep, rich blue, but not as dark as midnight (remember, this is a basement studio apartment, and our bedroom only contains one 36×36″window, which, due to the surrounding treed land, lets in minimal light). Greg added 4 ceiling pot lights, which help

In my previous post, I described how touched I was by the lyrics of the “Peace like a River” hymn. Well, since our bedroom walls are now newly painted I decided to create that sentiment on one of the large, blank walls in the room. Little did I know that this minor project would take 2 full week-ends, with very few Michelob breaks in between, to complete. Once I describe the process, it will be clear why it took so long.

The first step was to find a font that, at size 72, was legible on the wall. The only one that fit the bill was “An Unfortunate Event”. It would not have been my first choice, but, it passed the visual test, so it was a go.  Next, I printed out the verse in MS Publisher, and cut each word out separately.

Then, I grabbed my level and yardstick and with white chalk, marked a 24×36” rectangle for the text to (hopefully) fit in. (No, I did not perform any mathematical calculations in this step. I am very much a “fly by the seat of your pants & hope for the best” kinda person.)

The next step in the process was t-e-d-i-o-u-s, made more so by my writing difficulties ( i.e., controlling the movements of a pen or pencil). It involved rubbing white chalk over the back of each word, placing the word on the wall, right side out.  Then, I traced over the text, hoping against hope that the chalk would leave an outline that could then be filled with white paint.

It took about 8 hours to transfer, & then paint inside the “lines”. The major difficulty was figuring out which scratch marks were the correct ones. :>) Needless to say, a lot of ad lib-ing took place, but since the end result was “rustic” but legible, it was deemed a success.

After the text was painted in place, I wondered how to frame it. After considering a wood frame, the decision was made to decoupage a leafy bower around the quote, complete with a yellow bird perched atop. (Sorry about the quality of this pic; better ones to follow):


As an aside, I have apparently contracted another incurable disease. The main symptom of this new scourge is a compulsion to decoupage anything that doesn’t move. Really! Wonderful graphics (I collect them ravenously), homemade Modge Podge (Elmer’s Glue-All diluted with just a tad of water), my wonderful HP color laser printer, and an old version of Microsoft Publisher, are the tools of my trade as I sneak up on an unsuspecting piece of furniture, or wall, that is crying out for some bling. There are two real problems created by this affliction. First, the floors in the house always looks like this:


The second is that the process is so fun, and the results are so interesting (and sometimes, unexpected), that it’s hard to know when to stop!

So, with that project done, my next steps in the bedroom makeover require a lot of sewing: window treatments, a cushion cover, throw pillows, and a bed throw. I purchased a queen-size blue & white quilt set for $39 on the zulilly* site.  It is still so pristine, since it is still in its original packaging, far from the attentions of a destructive Bear.

Before we even started painting the walls of the room, we decided to make a major furniture swap between our bedroom and the guest bedroom. The guest room furniture featured a queen-size platform bed with storage drawers, a storage headboard, and a roomy dresser with accompanying mirror, complete with glove box. The finish on all these pieces is pickled pine. I really like the contrast between the dark walls, and the light wood.

Sadly, my participation in this reno process, as well as the commandeering of holiday decorating activities, must go on the back burner for about 6 weeks.  The reason is this: I have bi-lateral hip replacements. The right one has been the bane of my existence for over a decade.  It has dislocated at least a dozen times, which is extremely painful.  Each time it comes out of socket, it must be re-set under anesthesia.  Well, the right prosthesis popped out again on Thursday, Oct. 29th, when Greg was in Knoxville visiting his father in the hospital!  Luckily, Dad was home, and he helped me arrange an ambulance ride to the hospital.

When we arrived at the hospital, after waiting for my Atkins bar breakfast to fully digest, 3 very competent orthopedic specialists were unable to reset the hip, due to a revision that was made to the joint in 2005 to prevent it from ever dislocating again! So, it was back into the ambulance for a 45-minute ride to a hospital in Cumming, where my official orthopedist now practices. By the time we arrived there, it was too late to perform surgery, plus I had already been served a daily dose of knock-out drugs.  So, it was 7:30 on Friday morning before the operation started…almost 18 hours after the dislocation.  I don’t have words to describe how painful it was to lay in bed for that amount of time with a dislocated hip that kept causing pulsating waves of pain.  Drugs can only do so/not so much…Anyway, I now have a shiny new ball and socket! Oh, boy..:>{

If there is a silver lining from this mishap, it could be that the 4-hour surgery fixed a problem that was causing me awful back and groin pain on my right side. Apparently, the old prosthesis was becoming imbedded in muscle!  If that is the case, hopefully, my walking will improve as soon as I can move around.  Truly, I feel like I am way too old to go through this slow & painful healing process again, but do I have a choice?  Nyet!

Now, if I told you folks that there wasn’t a rousing pity-party starting up in my mind after this latest hip debacle, it would not be true. There has been plenty of wailing, frustration, pain, and gnashing of teeth!  However, the timing of placing that quote on our bedroom wall is amazing, as it has given me pause, and allowed me to acknowledge all of the blessings I have been given.  Pain is temporary; the love of family & friends is eternal.  All is well with my soul!

Oh, the Lord does work in mysterious ways!


*zulily.com is an amazing shopping site.  I have done a lot of Christmas shopping there, because the prices are unbelievable, and the selection and quality of goods is wonderful. If you place 2 orders there within 24 hours, the second order ships free! (Beware. It can be very addictive to frequent that place!)


About vkroo

I am passionate about writing, as well as design/DIY/decorating. I decided to combine these skills in a blog, that describes the joys and challenges of transforming a shaggy, baggy elephant of a mountian house into a stunning home.
This entry was posted in life's surprises, pain is a pain. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Bit of a Setback

  1. Lee Ann Adams says:

    You never cease to amaze me with your talent, creativity and perseverance. Your house looks like it just be featured in a magazine. It always inspires me every time you finish another project, which has been an ongoing process of miscellaneous things since we met a few years ago. 2012 in the spring I believe it was. I can’t wait for your Christmas decorations! I’m thinking I can come help you put them up since you’re still a bit less than up and around yet. I’d love to! Talk to you soon my dear BFF…


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