Friday, January 31, 2014

One Step Forward?

(This post was written on Wednesday night.  It is now Friday night and welcome to the first post I am sending from my own WiFi network at home.  Woo hoo!)
 Well, I’m trying to revel in the small victories.  The theme for the past couple of weeks has been “one step forward, at least one step back.”  Ergo, not a lot of progress has been made in any part of my life.  Let’s review.

On Sunday the 19th I dropped poodle off at her cousins’ house and flew off to Vegas to attend the West Coast Art & Frame Expo.  I haven’t been to this show in a few years; it was a bit strange walking in by myself but my objective was to sniff around for any employment opportunities.  In that regard, I had a few good conversations and I’m following up this week.  Truthfully, I’m not very optimistic but I needed to try before I look elsewhere.  I lugged my camera all the way to Vegas and didn’t take a single picture at the tradeshow.  Instead, guess where the show was held?

I had a lovely and quite tasty dinner with Derek on Monday night at Olive’s in the Bellagio, and was invited to attend the 20th anniversary breakfast “party” for an industry vendor on Tuesday before I headed for the airport.  Lo and behold, my phone rang at 6:30 Tuesday morning, and so began a travel adventure I do not wish to ever repeat.  My flight from Vegas to Washington, D.C. was canceled, and I was rebooked on an earlier flight into Philadelphia instead.  There went the breakfast event.  I got to the airport before 10:00 a.m. and on a whim I checked my bag.  Got up to the gate with plenty of time to spare.  Bought a stupid magazine and a book and settled in to wait.  Waiting waiting waiting.  Next thing I know there is an announcement that the Philly flight has been canceled.  Since I had the US Airways 800 number (having spent some time with them on the phone earlier in the day), I called to rebook my flight.  Guess what?  The only flight I could get out of Vegas that day was leaving at 7:00 p.m. and heading to Los Angeles.  What?!?  Yes.  From there I could catch the redeye to Philly, and get the 9:45 a.m. flight to Burlington the next morning.  Otherwise I could stay in Vegas another day.  Except I no longer had a hotel room and didn’t want to pay for another night, plus $40 in cab fare.  So I settled in for the long haul.  If you are keeping track, this was Plan C.  Good thing I hung around because about an hour later I heard someone mention that a Philly flight was going out after all.  They put me on standby for that one, but informed me that my connecting flight to Burlington had been canceled.  The only thing I could get wouldn’t be leaving for Vermont until the following morning.  Plan D?  Poo.

I did get on the afternoon flight out of Vegas, but at this point I don’t know what plan we are on because they rebooked and canceled me on two or three different flights from Philly to Vermont.  In fact, when we got to the airport I asked the gate agent to check and let me know when I was scheduled to fly out and she said I was on the 9:30 p.m. flight on the 23rd.  I said, “That’s tomorrow, right?”  And she said, “No, tomorrow is the 22nd.”  Huh.  She put me on the 9:30 p.m. flight for the 22nd, and said the two morning flights had already been canceled but I might make the 1:30 if I got myself on the standby list in the morning.  So there I was, very late at night, preparing to wander aimlessly all by myself through the dark, quiet, lonely Philadelphia airport all night long.

Except it wasn’t dark, or quiet, or lonely.  All kinds of people spent the night in the airport.  Derek told me later that 3,000 flights had been canceled that day because of the crazy weather.  I was all set to do a photo essay about a lonely airport at night but, well, it didn’t happen.  This was the best I could do.

Long story longer, I DID get back to Burlington on the 1:30 p.m. flight on the 22nd, but my bag didn’t make it until the later flight so I stayed in Hinesburg.  My bag was delivered around noon the next day, and Ann and I went to Home Depot to look at unfinished kitchen cabinets, flooring, kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, and who knows what else.  It was a relief to finally make it back home and take a shower.  It is always nice to sleep in your own bed, even when said bed is an air mattress on the living room floor.

So what else.  Before I left for Vegas I finished almost all of the painting in the bedrooms upstairs.  I sprayed the floor in the little bedroom with Anti Icky-Poo (heh heh, that’s so funny), and painted on two coats of Kilz.


The carpet was supposed to be installed on Thursday last week but I called from the Vegas airport and asked to bump it a day.  We ended up moving it to Tuesday this week – which was yesterday.  This worked out well because I was able to put the final coat of paint on the walls in the little bedroom and, just for kicks, I slathered more Kilz on the questionable part of the floor.  Did I mention that I got home from this trip with a cold?  It’s true.  So I didn’t finish the painting until Monday when I felt mostly human again.

 Nick the carpet installer got here at about 9:30 Tuesday morning and he was finished by 2:00 p.m.  We checked it out while he was at lunch and poodle rolled around on it and gave it two thumbs up.

It looks great upstairs now; this afternoon mom said she can’t believe the carpet was just installed yesterday.  We hauled the beds upstairs but we can’t finish with the log bed until I borrow a socket set from Ann, which she is lending me tomorrow when we meet at Home Depot to order all the kitchen cabinets.  Poodle got tired of posing for me – can you tell?


And speaking of the kitchen, here is where we really took one step forward, then a whole bunch back.  We had a moment of success when we actually got one of the upper cabinets off the wall today, but we found ick on the ceiling above it.

Yes, the bathtub is up there.  And the sink.  And the toilet.  *sigh*  Mom went to town with her mad demolition skills, and a bunch of the tiles are now gone.  So are bits of the wall behind the tile, but that’s okay because that drywall has to go anyway.

Then – more success – we got another cabinet down.  Now before I show you the picture - which I can’t believe I am going to do, but we’re all friends here and I don’t want there to be any secrets between us – make sure there are no small children looking and make sure you aren’t sitting alone in a quiet room late at night with slightly scary music playing.  This picture is nightmare-inducing.  Okay, ready?  Here it is:

See what I mean about one step forward and a whole bunch back?  Yikes.  I am trying not to be discouraged.  I am telling myself how glad I am to have found all this ick so I can fix it.  And I’m keeping my eye on the end result, which I know is going to be totally awesome.  It is just going to take a whole lot longer to get there, and cost a whole lot more money.  Which is why I need a job.  And to sell more paintings.

 And speaking of THAT, my internet service gets hooked up on Friday, which means I will re-open my Etsy store.  To finish on a happy note, here is a picture of the first painting I did in my new “studio” space:

Just for kicks, here is that same painting in front of the startling yellow walls that someday soon will become boring beige:

And, last but not least, here is the best dog in the history of the universe:


  1. Wow! Simply WOW!!!
    Don't get discouraged.

    1. I know, right? Don't worry, it gets worse before it gets better. Stay tuned....

  2. That's how all major transitions go! Fingers crossed for the job prospects. On a happier note, I spent that week at a writing retreat in Charlotte, NC, and did NOT get stuck by the bad weather to the north -- got home before the ice, etc. hit the south. During that retreat, I successfully killed you on p. 39. I'm up to page 94 now, and it turns out that most of the villagers are really sad -- except for Sally, natch. They liked you and miss you. And that part, of course, is based entirely on reality. xoxo lab

    1. See? There's some good news already! "Ding Dong the witch is dead!" Woo hoo! I can't wait to read the book, Leslie. But first I can't wait to read Crime Rib!