Independance Eve, Eve

I really need to break this cycle of posting every three weeks. I kinda have an excuse for not writing last week. Nora and I traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN because I was scheduled to get restarted on a med for afib and possibly have a caThe culprit is a medication I take to help my heart work better and when I am on the full dose, I feel really good. Probably better than I have felt since my first open heart surgery in 2009. However the med also does not play well with my kidneys, so for the past 5-6 months we have been playing a game of finding the sweet spot where I am taking as much of the med as I can without aggravating my kidneys. In August, I will be headed down to Mayo again so that they can insert a device that will measure the pressure in my pulmonary vein and give them great data to show how my heart function is going.

So Nora and I drove down on Saturday, arrived in time for dinner. Then went back to the hotel and I went to sleep soon after, as I needed to be at the hospital by 6 am. I got checked into a room, had a visit from my nurses and a doctor, they drew blood and about 30 minutes later, the doctor came back and told us the news about my kidneys. So we waited while they worked on the discharge paperwork, which kinda cracked me up, seeing as though all I did was have my blood drawn, but rules is rules I guess. Nora and I got back on the road at around 1 pm central time and arrived back in Jake by around 9 pm eastern time. 

So I was too pooped from all the traveling to write Sunday and even pretty tired Monday, so I figured I would just put it off until today. So here I am!

Not a whole lot of excitement has happened since I last wrote. The day after my last entry I celebrated another trip around the sun. My tally is now 57. I’m getting up there! I remember how 57 seemed like such an old age, probably until I was working through my early 50’s and then each year I get older, the age does not feel that old. Anyone else feel that way? I can tell you that my aches and pains are more noticeable, but one of the meds I am on also enhances that. My heart stuff also impacts my physical abilities quite a bit. I and SO thankful that I have not had to do an ounce of work at the new house. I really am not sure what I would have even been able to do if I had tried. I am building the kitchen cabinets, but more on that in a bit.

Two weeks ago, Nora and Grace were in Eagle River for the week so that Grace could attend a figure skating camp. This camp is pretty cool, coaches from not just around the US, but around the world come to instruct the skaters. This time around, Grace started working on a move in which she does 1 1/2 revolutions during a jump. To aid in the learning process and keep the skaters from falling and hitting the ice, they put the skater in a harness. That gives the skater a lot more confidence performing the jump, until they no longer need the harness.

When Grace was not skating, her and her friends were having a lot of fun hanging out at the campground they stay at, playing games, bike riding and swimming, lots of swimming. They are burning the candle at both ends, but are also young enough to be able to pull it off. Although it does not take Grace long to crash out on the drive back to Jake.

While the girls were gone, we had a pretty crazy thing happen. I had gone to the grocery store and picked up some things. One of them was a glass jar of monterey jack cheese. The jar had a steel lid that holds the vacuum seal to keep the cheese from spoiling. I had put the jar on the counter in the kitchen, thinking I would have it later. I then went down into the shop to do some work and when I came back up, the jar and lid were sitting on the floor in the bedroom. The lid was off the jar and the jar was empty! I could not believe my eyes! I knew Bleau was the culprit, as he has pulled other things off the counter to feast on them. But how did he get the lid off! I am 100 percent sure that I had not taken the lid off and there were some bite marks on the lid, but still, getting those lids off can be a challenge for even species with an opposable thumb! I feel like I should set up some cameras and recreate the scene to see if he an pull it off again!

So as mentioned, I have been working on the cabinets just about every day now. The going is pretty slow, as my poor heart/body just cannot work like it used to be able to. It’s a little crazy to think that I was able to do so much work on the addition in Mohawk, even after two open heart surgeries and a couple of “regular” heart surgeries. However, those days are gone. I can still do the cabine work, but can only last a few hours most days, before I feel like I have just completed a triathlon. Most evenings, every joint and muscle in my body seems to ache and the deeper and deeper into the evening I go, the harder it becomes to just walk to the bathroom!

Now, not feel sorry for me. Even though the work is much harder than it used to be and I really hurt by the end of the day, I am still enjoying the process of making the cabinets. As things sit right now, I have all the boxes for the base cases done that will be along the walls done and almost all of the face frames on them done. The bottom rails still need to be done for each unit and I will be starting them up tomorrow. Typically that job would be an hour or two process, but these bottom rails will have some special details to them, so they will take a bit longe. Once I finish them, then I need to make the doors and drawers, mount them, put a finish coat on everything and they will be ready.

I’ve pondered the thought of not doing the special details on the bottom rails and using either pocket screws or dominos to join all four sides of the drawers together, but I am going to be living (and seeing) these drawers for the rest of my life and I know I would really regret not using dovetail joints at each corner. I also would really regret not having the special detail on those bottom rails. Once these cabinets are done, I still will need to build 5 upper cabinets for the walls and 6 more bases for the island, but really need to get the bases along the walls done so that the counter top folks can come and get their measurements and fabricate the tops. I don’t have any pics of the cases as they sit right now, but here is an “action” shot of my friend helping me surface the cherry boards to thickness before I cut them up into the face frame parts. I’m pretty confident that the next time I write, the cases and face frames will be all done and will be sure to take pics then.

Over at the house, the progress has slowed a bit as well. It’s the heart of building season up here and the contractor has to spread his workers out to the varying jobs they have. I totally get that and am fine with that. We are getting so close at the house that sending a whole workforce would be too many bodies anyway. I can’t remember where we even stood the last time I wrote, but I know for sure that the stairs were completed since then, the backer board for the fireplace brick has been installed, all of the interior doors have been hung and about 90 of the trim is done.

Really, all that is left is for the trim to be finished, the stone to go up on the fireplace, some electrical work needs to be done and electricity still needs to be brought to the house. Last week, they did landscaping over the new septic field and tank, with grass seed planted and straw put over it. The landscaping around the house still needs to be done, but that will be a one day job for them. After that, I guess they will be waiting for the cabinets to get installed so that the appliances can go in and after that, it will be move in day(s)!

Nora, Grace and I are all very excited, but not antsy to get moved in. There are just so many things that will be better for us all once we get over there. Also, we all feel so blessed to be able to make this dream come true. I can’t imagine what I will do with all my free time once it is all done! Well…maybe I can!

Good Night from the Keweenaw..