Sunday, August 28, 2016

Doing Well

Thank you all for the good wishes on my last post. The surgery is done and I am doing well. I hope to get back to proper blogging very soon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Body Repairs Tomorrow

My surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. I'm a little nervous. I've had surgeries before, but the last one was 13 years ago when my body was younger and in better shape. I'm not very fit these days. :( But my overall health is okay - nonsmoker, healthy weight, good blood pressure, etc. - so hopefully I will heal quickly.

I filled a prescription for pain meds but hope I won't need them. The last time I took a narcotic pain med, I had bizarre dreams/hallucinations. I saw a team of football players, about 10 inches tall and dressed in red uniforms, walking out of my closet. Tiny football players?! I have NO IDEA where in the deep recesses of my brain that came from.

I also heard and felt my dog jump up on my bed and lie down beside me. I reached down to pet her... and she wasn't there. I wasn't just seeing things, I was hearing and feeling things. Freaked me out a little. Hallucinations = not fun. (Clearly I have no future as a drug abuser. Heh.)

If all goes well, I'll have a few days of hallucination-free rest and recuperation, and then I'll be back online.

By the way... It's been about five weeks since the attempt to dye my hair purple. I've shampooed it about 25 times, and it still looks black. The color has not faded at all. My hair stylist doesn't quite know what to make of it. She said she's never seen hair do what mine does. Yep, I'm a mutant. :P

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Quick Update

Hello! Just a quick post to say I'm still here.

Progress has been made with remodeling my bathroom. The new flooring, new toilet, and new vanity, sink, and faucet have been installed. The baseboards and door casing have been painted and are ready to install. I have most of the accessories ready to go in - shower curtain, rugs, towel hooks, etc. I just need to find a new mirror. The bathroom is going to look very different than I'd originally hoped for - more White Efficient Practicality than Dark Gothic Glamour. :( But it will be a huge relief to have it finished. I'll try to post about it soon!

I'll be going in for surgery in about two weeks. Hopefully, I will be able to quickly return to projects and posting. Please bear with me in the meantime.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Disappointments

I regret I haven't had much to post about lately. And unfortunately, I may need to take another hiatus from blogging. Things haven't been going well for me.

I was expecting some good things this summer:
Finish redoing my bathroom
Have my patio replaced
Have my yard landscaped

What I am receiving instead is a series of disappointments. :(

I bought a cabinet for my bathroom. Two attempts to paint it failed. I bought a new cabinet and tried a third paint method... which worked. Based on that success, I bought a sink cabinet. (Not an easy feat getting it home. Two Home Depot employees barely shoehorned it into my car, and I had to take it apart to get it out of the car.) I added decorative wood onlays and feet, and then I painted it using the same successful method... except it wasn't successful on the sink cabinet. The primer did not grip and the paint chipped off easily.

Supremely frustrated, I abandoned the idea of having what I really wanted in my bathroom: decorative black cabinets. I needed a cabinet of some sort, but I could not face the ordeal of trying to get another large, heavy cabinet home. The solution was IKEA. I bought a cabinet which is white and very plain, but was easy to carry, load in and out of my car, and assemble. It should also be easy to install... but my bathroom's existing plumbing is too wonky. I will have to hire a plumber.

As mentioned in a previous post, I had a new stamped concrete patio put in last month. Now the damn thing is cracking. A six-week-old patio is cracking! There are cracks that are three and four feet long. They continue to grow and new cracks continue to form. I cannot even express how disappointed I am.

My employer pays a bonus at the beginning of August. I planned to use mine to have my yard landscaped. The poor state of my yard has been gnawing at me for five years. I look at my yard (and now my patio, too), and I seriously want to cry. I was so excited to FINALLY be able to do something about it.

But it's not going to happen.

Because I need to have surgery.

Just when I was starting to improve after not feeling well for nearly three months... a health issue from my past resurfaced. It means surgery and about three weeks recovery time, which means I won't be in any shape to hire a landscaper and monitor the work. And at least some of my bonus will be going toward medical bills.

I have a new boss at work, which is not a disappointment but does cause me some stress simply because getting to know a new person is always stressful for me. Now I will have the additional stress of preparing to be out of work for three weeks. I'm hardly mission-critical, but my sense of responsibility drives me to try to ensure that my absence causes as little disruption as possible.

Lastly... adding injury to insult... two days ago, I tried to move the cursed heavy sink cabinet out of the way, and I strained my back. It hurts when I sit still and hurts even more when I move.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get in bed and pull the covers over my head.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mutant Superpower

My mutant superpower is hair color retention. I dye my hair, and the color never fades. I dyed my hair black seven years ago. Since then, I have dyed only the new growth... yet the ends of my hair are the same dark black as the recently dyed hair. With me, the claims on the hair dye box become true... it really is PERMANENT dye. :P This permanence is great... unless I want to change the color.

Bored of solid black, I went to the hair stylist to try for a black-to-purple ombre type color (if she could get the black dye to budge).

The bleaching process went surprisingly well. The color lifted to orange with only one round of bleach. Then on went the purple dye... and my mutant superpower went into effect. Every strand of hair united to GRAB ALL THE PIGMENT! So instead of rinsing out to a nice bluish purple, the color stayed super dark.

After my 4-hour salon visit, my hair looked...

basically the same! :P (Well, except it got frizzy when I walked to my car in the rain.)

There is definitely purple in there. When I shampoo, the lather rinses out a beautiful shade of bright purple. If only my hair were that color!

I'm told it will fade, and the purple will become more obvious. But I can practically hear my hairs saying, "Fade?! Muahahaha! We shall never fade! We shall retain every particle of pigment for all eternity!"

Friday, July 15, 2016

Haul Post Trepidation

One of my favorite bloggers, Meagan Kyla from Coffin Kitsch, just wrote about responsible spending and saving money.

This was only two days after I gleefully wrote about my frivolous spending. Yikes! Have I become the little devil standing on people’s shoulders encouraging them to do bad things?!

Nah. The truth is I am a big proponent of responsible spending. I carried debt when I was younger, and it was a heavy mental burden. In recent years, I have become quite frugal, and I’m much happier for it.

I have established a system that really works for me. I set up direct deposit that automatically divides my paycheck:  some goes into my retirement account, some goes into savings, a little bit goes into my fun money account, and the rest goes into my household/regular expenses account. Knowing my expenses are covered and I am saving appropriately, I can spend my fun money as frivolously as I want without any guilt.

Of course, as I mentioned in my last post, it’s rare that I actually spend my fun money. Frugality has seeped into my bones and become part of me. ;) But I do believe we should all give ourselves a little treat now and then... though that treat can certainly be an experience rather than a purchase!

After receiving my first package of treats, I debated whether to post about them. I have mixed feelings about “haul” posts. On one hand, they’re fun in a window-shopping sort of way. It’s interesting to see what’s out there in Retail Land, plus I like to see how people incorporate new items into their wardrobes or home decor. On the other hand, they can be a real downer for people who don’t have the means or opportunity to obtain similar hauls. (I always feel guilty posting about Halloween stuff that is only available in the States.) Worst of all, if presented badly, haul posts can come across as bragging.

Thus it is with some trepidation that I am doing a haul post. It’s really meant to be more a review post, as I made some first-time purchases.

I’ve browsed the website of Angel Clothing many times, but this was my first time ordering from them. I was impressed with their quick processing and shipping. I placed the order Friday, July 8 and received the package Thursday, July 14. From the UK to the US in only five business days. Nice! :D

One item I bought is essentially a duplicate. I had purchased this bag in the white bats version some time ago. It’s HUGE for a handbag but great as a tote. It’s perfect for hauling my stuff -- purse, drink bottle, lunch, sunglasses, etc. – back and forth to work. I like it so much, I decided to get the purple bats version. I was pleasantly surprised that the lining is purple. :)

On to the cardigan! I love cardigans. LOVE them. But I need tall sizes thanks to my ridiculously long arms, which means my options are generally limited to plain cardigans from JC Penney or Old Navy. Bleh. :P I love decorated cardigans by brands such as Sourpuss and Banned; however, I never bought any because I knew the sleeves would be too short.

But then I saw the Banned purple bats cardigan. More specifically, I saw that the sleeves went down over the model's hands... which meant they might actually reach my wrists.  And they do! :D Hooray!

The cardigan appears to be of good quality. The fabric feels very nice, soft to the touch with some stretch. It's 80% rayon, so I'll probably overheat and burst into flames the first time I wear it... but at least I'll go out with my sleeves touching my wrists, dammit! ;)

Finally, the jewelry. Restyle has some pretty jewelry, but they’re always out of stock on their website. Alchemy Gothic pieces are gorgeous but expensive. Angel Clothing to the rescue! :) They had some Restyle jewelry in stock, and their prices on Alchemy Gothic jewelry were excellent… so I purchased from them.

Restyle Vivian earrings: Large but not overly heavy. The stones are a very pretty shade of purple.

Restyle Vespertilio necklace: A dramatic piece; large and quite heavy. I will have to be careful not to bend over and conk myself on the forehead with the pendant swinging forward.

Restyle Flying Crows necklace/brooch: Very pretty! I like that it has a pin on the back so it can be worn as a brooch.


Alchemy Gothic Viennese Nights necklace: This is my first AG necklace and I absolutely love it! The metal has a nice patina and the crystals are lovely.

Overall, I'm very happy with everything I bought. Angel Clothing has good prices and excellent service, and I'll definitely shop there again. Though it might be six months before I'm willing to spend frivolously again!

This concludes my haul/review post. I very much hope it did not generate bad feelings in anyone!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Update

I said in my last post "I have returned." Yeah... well, perhaps not. I thought I was feeling better after having been ill, but it turned out to be just a brief respite.

I haven't felt well for the last couple of months. A few days ago was my fourth doctor visit. I received a third diagnosis and a prescription for a fourth treatment. I'm moderately optimistic that the diagnosis is correct this time. The first diagnosis was an infection for which I was prescribed antibiotics. I was skeptical because I very rarely need antibiotics (maybe twice in the last 10 years). The second diagnosis was an allergic reaction. I was skeptical because I've never had allergies of any type. The third - and hopefully final! - diagnosis makes sense to me, though the doctor seemed skeptical. Heh.

The main problem has been sleep disturbance. I'm sleep-deprived, and I feel lethargic most of the time. My brain has been so sluggish, even routine thinking has been a challenge. My coworkers probably think I've been replaced by an incompetent robot with faulty programming.

Due to the insomnia, I've been doing a lot of late-night web surfing. Coincidentally, I was struck with my roughly twice-yearly urge to go shopping. Throw in the poor decision-making skills of a sluggish mind, and the inevitable end result was frivolous spending.

I'm not upset, though, because honestly, it's about time I did some frivolous spending. :P  I routinely set aside some "fun money" from every paycheck... but I rarely spend it because I'm too practical and frugal.

So now I am looking forward to the arrival of eyeglasses, jewelry, and a few other goodies. :)

Completely unrelated to my shopping spree (I made the appointment two months ago), I'm also looking forward to visiting my hair stylist Friday. She is going to add some purple to my hair and, if I'm brave enough, maybe give me a slightly different hair style.

And I have slept progressively better the last two nights, so maybe I will be feeling well enough to actually enjoy all these new things!