Sunday, April 22, 2012

Coming back, one achy grip at a time (icky picture warning)

In one post I mentioned needing surgery on my right wrist.  That was taken care of on March 6th.  It went extremely well and wasn't painful at all.

The day after, all puffy and bandaged.

Nurse Brian, making sure I'm following the elevation + ice-on-15-off-15 rule. Not sure how he can enforce this while he's sleeping.  All post-surgery victims need a 21 pound dog plopped down on them.  And you know you like my cupcake-covered flannel jammies.

Four days after surgery.

I was out of work (my real job) for two weeks.  That was like being in my own personal Hell; seeing all the things that need to be done around the house, but not being able to do them.  There has been very, very little accomplished since around mid-February.  All remodeling had to stop because of my weakened grip, combined with my hand always going asleep if I tried working on something even for only a few minutes.  On March 31, eleven days after getting my stitches removed, and coincidentally the anniversary of my property purchase, I began painting the bedroom.  That was a huge mistake not discovered until later.  I primarily painted left-handed, but had done all the cutting-in and occasional rolling with my right. About an hour after getting the first coat on the ceiling and cleaning up for the day, the achiness and swelling started setting in.  I spent the next few days intermittently icing and elevating my hand.  Had it hurt while I was working, I'd have stopped immediately but there had been no indication and it had been feeling great for days.  Kind of like a dirty trick my body played on me to force me back into resting.

This was an evil grin hiding under the bandages.  Very creepy.

I tried painting again around April 10th or so.  Same results.  Didn't hurt until afterwards.  Back to rest and ice.  Dammit.  This is ridiculous.

In the meantime, I did some electrical work since that's something I could do a little at a time and stop if my hand got fatigued.  I rewired a beautiful black cast iron lamp found in the attic.  It's tall; 30" base bottom to finial top.  It had two of the pull-chain sockets.  Lowe's had replacements plus a new cord.  Garden Ridge had the perfect shade that's the exact brick red as my quilt and shams.  So, for $21 I have a very cool new bedside lamp.  The stained glass one from before is now in the dining room on a half drum table.  Looks better there, anyway.

Attic find!

A bare-bulb fixture ordered a few months ago off eBay got new life because its wiring was original and very crumbly.  Lowe's had three porcelain replacement sockets for about $7.  A little Brasso cleaned up the trim rings and I left the paint original because it matches the ceiling color almost perfectly.  That was a very nice happy accident.  Some rust spots here and there make it look authentic.  The bulbs I chose are the small, round, clear kind and 40w.  I tried 60w but it was like standing under the sun.

Seller's photo from eBay.  Couldn't get a good photo after it was cleaned and installed.

After doing research on what 1930s ceiling fans looked like and quickly realizing an antique one wouldn't fit my budget, Lowe's (gotta love Lowe's....except for their paint) had about the closest thing I could find.  It's their store brand, Harbor Breeze, was $99, and with the blade, metal, and glass shade shape and color that looked pretty close to 1930s, it works fine.  The only trouble was it made a *tink tink tink tink tink* noise when running.  I figured out it was an unsecured trim piece on top of the motor that was clanking against the housing.  There was no way to secure it, so a few pieces of electrical tape stuck on top of the housing now prevents the metal surfaces from hitting together.  No more *tink*ing.  And I wish it was a flushmount but that option wasn't available.

Lowe's stock photo.

Finally, tonight, the bedroom painting was completed.  The colors are Valspar (a paint brand choice mistake I will NOT make again).  It was bought last year with the rest of the paint, so I had to go ahead and use it at $32/gal.  I can't remember the ceiling color but it's a shade lighter than the walls.  The walls are Bungalow Gold.  It looks very dark for now due to the room's having only one double window.  The addition of picture rail, wider baseboard and base caps, and door and window moulding in Craft White (a creamy off-white) will brighten it up a bit.  And at some point I will be adding two windows on the long wall that faces the back yard and that will make a huge difference.

Before painting.  You can see where a large bookshelf was removed after I moved in.  Photobomb Brian in the picture, of course.

With new paint.
Dresser wall.

It was nice finally being able to put some color into the house.  Looking at drywall patches, plaster patches and soot-smeared old white paint had run its course a long time ago.