Saturday, February 27, 2010

And - I'm Back!

Who Dat! (as they say in New Orleans)

Yes indeed - I am home but I left my heart back in New Orleans (once more).

We had a marvelous time and I will tell you more about it in the next post.

I'm still tired from the trip and haven't got it in me to write a full post. But I will. Promise.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm Leaving - On a Jet Plane

Last year The Man asked me what I was doing on Valentine's Day, 2010, and I replied "I guess whatever you're going to tell me". He then gave me 2 tickets to the NBA All Star game in Dallas, Texas!

For you non-basketball fans - this is THE game played by the players who received the highest number of votes by fans and players alike. It is THE EVENT besides the play-offs in NBA basketball. And as you all know - The Man and I are basketball fans with the New Orleans Hornets being 'our' team.

Since that announcement last March, I have been battling illness and constant pain and waiting to see various doctors and surgeons. So far nothing has happened except that I have fallen back into that depression that I have battled for 12 years to overcome.

I now have a new doctor and she is an amazing person. What doctor hugs you when you are leaving and promises to help make you better?

The Man and my doctor agree that I need to get away for some kind of break from all of this and to have some fun. So - with tickets in hand to the NBA All Star game - we are heading to our favourite city for two weeks with a jaunt over to Dallas for the game (a day's drive).

New Orleans - I'm coming!!

The difference this time is that we must fly.

Since we have lost our new tow vehicle and had our trailer written off - I do not have my home away from home with me and I have been panicking for some time now. My new lovely doctor has helped with some medication to calm me down and of course The Man knows when I am panicking and wraps me up in those big arms to keep me safe until the panic lessens. He has also booked our rooms with full kitchens to help keep me gluten-free. I can't have a gluten attack by eating out. That would do me in for days!

So here's the plan. We will be seeing 4 basketball games in New Orleans while we are there and in between dashing to Dallas for 2 days to see the All Star game on Valentine's Day. What a present! Then we will drive back to New Orleans just in time to experience Mardi Gras! Oh boy.....

I do not like crowds and every single big event we are attending is crowds plus. Yikes! (I'll be okay - I'll be okay - I'll be okay).

The Man has also scheduled an airboat ride through the bayous in between everything else. It's a jam-packed two week holiday!

BUT!! It's in New Orleans. The city The Man and I both love.

So wish me luck and hope I don't panic! I'll be back in two weeks.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

If I Had To Choose

Last night I watched 'This Is It' - the documented performance of what was to be Michael Jackson's 50 sold-out concerts.

Some of you may be Michael Jackson fans - some not. In the end it doesn't matter. What does matter is the message that Michael wanted to give the world. The message that the earth needed protecting and it needed help. But most importantly - one of love. That we need to love one another and not to judge each other. The earth would be a better place if we all just tried.

When the film ended I was left feeling profoundly sad that this incredible performer was gone just days before his attempt to heal the world with his music. I went off into the bathroom and had a good cry because it seemed like such a waste to me. To lose someone who might have eventually made a difference with all his fans - and maybe those that weren't as well.

I personally do not care what the media has had to say about Michael over the years. I had always wished they would just leave the man alone. Can you imagine living in a glass house and under a microscope all of your life with big faces peering down at you - and the word here is 'down'.

When I awoke this morning I read a story about a local hero who had been stabbed and was recovering in the hospital. This hero was not just your ordinary guy - but a homeless man who lived under a bridge. He had saved 2 different people from drowning and because of it had moved into a government owned apartment block. It was here that he was stabbed.

From that story I moved on to one about tainted cocaine laced with levamisole - a veterinarian drug used to treat intestinal worms. This combination can eventually kill the person if left untreated. But the world of drugs is one of profit and it doesn't matter to the dealer how that profit comes about or what it might do to others.

Now - I have admitted that I did cocaine in my youth. I spent a year trying to run away from the abusive relationship I was in by doing cocaine as often as I could. I knew it was cut with something but at the time I didn't care. Just reading this story made my stomach clench and I thought of how lucky I really was to have survived that stupid habit.

Put this all together and we have the harsh reality of life mixed with Michael Jackson's desire to bring peace and love to the world.

It clashes horribly doesn't it? It makes one's mind almost twist if you juxtapose one over the other.

I've been on the other side - the hard side - and even though everyday is a party - it's not that fun. Believe me.

For me - I'd choose Michael Jackson's world any day. One of love and the joy of music and singing and dancing and giving your all so that it would be a better world today.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Rambling Post

I’m probably going to ramble here a bit today because I have a few things on my mind that I must get out.

First of all – the refinishing of the dining room floor. I have to admit that this has been a true learning experience. I have swung from determination to  exasperation to anger and back to determination once again with a little hope thrown in.

After a long week of applying a total of seven coats of polyurethane,  I finally remembered my brother’s advice to call the company that makes the polyurethane and ask them the correct way of putting this stuff on the floor. It was no where near how HOME DEPOT told us how to do it – and that was from the guy at HOME DEPOT who was demonstrating how to refinish a wood floor!

With proper instructions from the company, Sam (my winter house guest) and I sanded for 6 hours in an attempt to take off a couple of layers of the stuff.

Let me tell you. Sanding with a long pole a room about 20 feet by 15 feet is very hard work. My body is in complete rebellion, which, added to my health problems is not a good thing. However – anyone who knows me knows that I do not lay down and relax when I am not well – I attack all manner of work to be done (mostly renovations) and I work as hard as I can to forget what ails me.

After 6 hours of sanding and then finishing with a complete vacuuming and then wiping down with mineral spirits – which  HOME DEPOT told us was the same thing as Varsol (which it definitely is not) Sam and I sort of melted into a puddle and with weakened limbs crawled off to our respected corners of solitude and tried to deal with it.

Today we will apply another coat of polyurethane to the floor and see what happens. This time I think we have the proper procedure to follow and we have our fingers crossed!

If anyone wants to know how to do this for future use – here’s a small list of what NOT to do according to HOME DEPOT and what TO DO according to the manufacturer. (Can someone tell me what has happened to knowledgeable service? Anyone? Anyone?)

Crap! I could work in all departments at these hardware stores because I know far more about everything than the people working there do and that’s just from doing it myself!

Anyway – sorry about that small digression there – I had to rant.

First of all – sand your floor down to the bare wood starting with a large grit and working your way down to a fine grit. A sander is a good thing to rent for this purpose and please don’t forget to wear dust masks and wipe down the walls afterwards.

Then use a lint-free cloth and MINERAL SPIRITS to wipe down the entire floor and allow to dry completely. (HOME DEPOT told us to use a water-based varsol and just to go at it after we had wiped it down. First of all – water-based products DO NOT mix with oil-based products. Rule one. Then – a completely dry floor is needed along with a completely dry applicator – either sheepskin or something similar. And be aware – fake sheepskin sheds all the time and that then stays in the polyurethane and stays on your new floor. The applicator has to be vacuumed and washed with mineral spirits and allowed to dry before being used. This may take a couple of days. DO NOT soak it in water-based varsol and then use it to apply the oil-based polyurethane to the floor while wet.

Thin coats are best – not thick coats. Sanding is needed between each coat to remove any bubbles or (hairs). Do NOT just keep applying the polyurethane once the coat is dry. HOME DEPOT told us we “could sand if we really wanted to”. Uh NO! You need to sand. Not only to remove debris and bubbles but also the surface needs some scratching up so the polyurethane has something to adhere to.

A maximum of 4 coats is what is needed. Not seven and on into infinity which is what we were looking at! Thank you again HOME DEPOT!

Finally – let cure for at least 72 hours before walking on it. And don’t forget to seal off your room and wear gas masks as the fumes are dangerous (believe me – even if you are not applying this stuff and are just sitting in another room – the fumes affect you.)

So there you go. We are going to be applying polyurethane today according to the way we were instructed by the manufacturer. Hopefully this is the last time we have to do this in this room.

Then I have the adjoining living room to do and a hallway as well. I should be an old pro by the time this is all done.

One last thing. Those names did not reappear once we started applying polyurethane. I was sort of disappointed but there’s still a chance something will show up in the next areas!