Progress Pictures!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am actually making progress in my home. I was looking at some photos from when I first got back from Europe, and I can’t believe the difference.

Remember the table of despair? It’s gone. Well, by “gone,” I actually mean it is folded up and waiting behind my bedroom door to be carried down to the garage. But it is ready to go! Here’s the Before:

Here is that same location, After.  The living room rocker is currently in our room because of the whole moving-furniture-for-Greg thing. Ultimately, it won’t live there. Disregard the tied-together drapes, too… I do that to let more light in since these are stopgap curtains from our old house. Yeah, we’ve lived here for seven years. I haven’t decorated a single thing since we moved in, just made do with stuff we had around at our first house and some big pieces – like these wardrobes – picked up on Craigslist.

Lest you think that I just hid stuff out of sight of the camera, let’s look at another angle! Remember this photo from a few weeks back? It’s the Before:

Well, here is a new look for you! Sorry about the whole day-photo versus night-photo thing, but I just ran up and snapped this, and it is already dark out. It does give you a nice reflection of the other side of the room, though!

Pretty impressive change, no? Both of these photos were completely unstaged, too. Believe you me, I would have done some serious staging otherwise, so that you think I have at least one iota of decorating style. I do not… but I would like you to think so. Maybe someday, instead of Before & After Clutter photos, I’ll be using these as Before & After Decorating photos! there’s a fun thought!

xo – Lori

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful for Pinterest, believe it or not! I actually pinned some things today. I am very proud of myself for figuring it out. Finally!

Element of Light

David and I had a really good time at the concert last Thursday. It was fun to go on a date on a weeknight; I believe I am going to like being the parent of a teenager more and more as time goes on.

The Doug Fir was packed. We’d hoped to get a seat for me, but though we were early, everyone in Portland was earlier. We checked out the merchandise and got a Fellows CD (but passed on the t-shirt).

Peter Buck – playing his 4th gig ever as a lead singer – sounded pretty rough, I have to admit. I haven’t heard the record yet, but I imagine it sounds better than he sounds live at this point. Still, it was a definite “I was there” sort of experience!

The lovely and talented Young Fresh Fellows were a treat. They played only one bona fide hit – Picture Book, that Jim Sangster bounce-along goodie – but plenty of hits from our house: Go Blue Angels Go, Taco Wagon, I Got My Mojo Working, If You Believe In Cleveland, and more.

Robyn Hitchcock took the stage with a large variety of friends: Sean Nelson from Harvey Danger joined in for vocals for most of the show and Colin Meloy from The Decemberists got pulled up for a song or two; Scott McCaughey, Pete Buck and Bill Rieflin (who make up Robyn’s latest backing band, the Venus 3) came up for the electric part of the set and were joined at the end by Kurt Bloch and Jim Sangster from the Fellows. My personal highlights: a lovely rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s The Only Living Boy In New York, and Airscape, which may just be my favorite Robyn Hitchcock track ever. It brings back memories of being 21 and newly out on my own… long, long ago.

Some kind woman in the crowd even took a video. Isn’t the internet fun? (This is about as close as David was; I was leaning on a pole in the back, trying to keep off my feet as much as I could.) Enjoy!

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful for the burst of energy I have had the past few days. We have made amazing progress on the house, though so much stuff still needs to be put away, you’d hardly guess!

I am, of course, grateful for the fine video as well.

The School of Shut The Heck Up

I had a hard week, physically. Exacerbation, steroids, lack of follow-up, more steroids, drug reactions, insane water retention, dizziness, wooziness… It was nuts.

At one point, when the only part of me that didn’t hurt to move was my thumb, I picked up my phone and got on Facebook.

Holy freaking prednisone. My body is rebelling against it, but every tissue is holding about three times the appropriate amount of fluid. I feel like I am literally going to burst through my skin. Oh. My. Gosh.

Guess what happened? My friends came through with sympathy, commiseration, offers of help, funny comments, and words of wisdom.

The next day I’d started to shed some of the water and I felt a bit better, and I started feeling bad about my griping status update. I thought of my Facebook friends and the things they don’t say: the friend with rheumatoid arthritis who’d rather talk about her work or her kids; the friend with Crohn’s disease who posts about his lovely wife and his golf game; the friend with Guillain–Barré syndrome who shares about paddle-boarding or lightens my heart with Bible verses of praise and gratitude.

I’m humbled by these friends, the ones who have physical conditions that most people don’t ever hear about. I wonder about myself, about my need to do all my thinking out loud, to reason and rationalize and – yes – moan and groan, all in public. When my transverse myelitis diagnosis was changed to MS last year, I decided to tap right into the power of social media and specifically asked my Facebook friends to pray for me and say nice things, because I needed to hear them.

One of my wise friend’s comments the other day was, “We are all social beings or social animals. :-)We all need emotional support.” I guess I just want to be sure that I am about more than the stuff going on in my spinal cord. So while my lovely husband played me fantastic music last night, I thought about what I wanted to say, and posted this:

Things I learned today from the School of Shut The Heck Up:
– I have wonderful friends.
– My blessings WAY outweigh any other issues.
– Other people have all kinds of stuff going on in life, and they just get on with it. Maybe someday I’ll get to that point and we will all be relieved.
– XTC is a really cool band.

Fifteen people liked it. Yeah, I know – they could have been agreeing about XTC… but that’s great, too.

xo – Lori

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful for ride home and the Taco Del Mar dinner from Dad and Ann this evening. It’s always sad when fall comes and I know they’ll be heading to the desert soon. I’m also grateful for the incredible burst of energy I got tonight! Two rooms tidied and vacuumed, after a full day at work and a lymphatic massage.