March 17, 2018: Big Texas House Cleaning

Saturday. I woke up just before five in the morning and instantly had that “mind racing” problem that told me that if I stayed in bed for any length of time whatsoever that I would be having terrible insomnia and would not get back to sleep.  Even with a snuggly Liesl sleeping with us it was not going to get me back to sleep.  So I just got up and went over to my office and got to work.  No reason not to.  I was awake and felt fine.  Wasn’t even anxious, my mind was just ready to go and did not want to be kept in bed.  So my day started much earlier than I would have expected it to.

I ended up going back to bed closer to eight in the morning and sleeping for another three hours.  So I got a full night’s sleep, just broken up into two sections, which was a bit abnormal for me.

Today was pretty much an all day cleaning day around the house.  So much to do.  Paul gets here tomorrow in the early afternoon, and the house is an epic disaster.  I also did a lot of work on learning Ruby on Rails, which I have used before but not for several versions and I am working on updating my skills on it.  Dominica just cleaned and cleaned, as she’s been doing for a couple of days.

We are both feeling a bit better today.  I still have a cough, it’s been almost a month now with it, but it is very slight and I can feel that it is nothing like it was even two days ago.  Dominica is still weak, but barely coughing and mostly just tired.

I managed to get SGL caught up completely for all of March and the majority of February today, which is astonishing.  There is still much to be done, but it is great progress.  We are finally, we thinking, edging towards having a more stable lifestyle now that several big things in our lives have been worked out.  So that will make it easier to be keeping up with SGL.

Dominica and I have been watching a few British garden shows recently, including today, and have been kicking around some ideas with our house here in Carrollton.  One big change is that we are pretty sure that we are going to scale back dramatically with our plans for altering the house here.  We will not put an additional roof on the house, as much as we’d like the extra interior space, but are just going to try going for something like an Italian style small garden in the atrium instead. Something with really strong drainage to help to deal with the flooding problem, and maybe a partial plastic deck so that we can easily sit outside.  We have to take out the tree that is out there no matter what.  And putting in a pergola might be just the thing to create softened, dappled sunlight out there to cool the atrium (and the house) and make it a space that we can use a lot more.  It needs to be a serious garden, an oasis in the middle of the house.  I imagine Liesl discovering it to be an awesome reading nook as she gets older.

We are thinking about removing the back driveway and putting a deck over the top of it so that the back yard becomes massively more open and useful.  Our back yard is not large, at all.  It’s quite small and so there is only so much that we can usefully do with it.  But watching these British gardening shows, they often have even less yard than we do and are able to do so much interesting with it.  We should be able to do something nice.  The hardest thing to do that I really want is to have an “office pod” in the back yard.  That is neither cheap, nor easy, nor is it easy to fit into the space.  Much to figure out.  But the bigger it is, the nicer it is, the more it would be useful.  I really want to get my office moved out of the house, though, and into the yard on the far side so that we have more space in the house for home things, and so that I can have a really great, dedicated office space where I can totally get away and seal off and, hopefully, that can double as an additional guest bedroom, a little oasis space, etc.  Liesl has already announced that when she is a teenager that she wants her own room, so we have to be prepared for that sooner rather than later.  That will only leave the current “summer office”, the one that we built, as a guest room once that happens.

We have more immediate house plans, though.  Hopefully work on the girls’ bathroom will begin soon.  It needs to be torn down to the studs and rebuilt with insulation, new dry wall, completely new tile, new bath fixtures, new sink, etc.  Absolutely everything needs to be done fresh in there.  Which is all very doable, we think, but it is a lot of work that we do not know how to do ourselves.  Always a challenge.  But Dominica is interested in learning how to do tile and there is a lot of potential tile work to be done around the house.  That might work out really well.

Got the family ready for bed at about eleven.  Loads and loads of additional cleaning to be done first thing in the morning tomorrow.  We are going to be exceptionally busy trying to get things ready for Paul to move in.

I wrapped up pretty much all of my stuff just minutes before midnight.  I was feeling a bit tired myself, but am making a real effort to make SGL a priority to get updated at night before turning in.  The writing is always so much better when I do it on the same day that things are happening.  Last year was just such a disaster in so many ways, I could not find the time nor the energy to get SGL kept up with.  This year, that is all different.  The money is mostly figured out, we know what we are doing for work now (which is nothing), the house has been sold and is no longer killing us, we know that we are going to be in the Carrollton house quite a bit, etc.

Tomorrow will be another new adventure.  I am sure that I will have much to report.