Sorry I've been so distant these days. My last post was actually on New Year's Day! Wow... the time just flies by.
So, to answer Mago, yes, there is still an Old Fish in my life. Right now I am living with him; me, the dog and the cats. More on that in a minute.
No, Teak has not had surgery. I have not succeeded in raising the $5000 needed for the hip operation and he is doing fairly well on carefully controlled meds, top quality food and plenty of not too strenuous exercise. He has actually built up muscle in his hip and thigh, although it is obvious he still prefers to be pretty light on that leg at times. He's a lovely dog. The longer I have him, the more attached to me he becomes, and the more obvious it is that he's spent time on his own (not really socialized with other dogs at all, so that involves careful introductions and close supervision), has had exposure to people and especially children (you should see his tail wag when we walk past the playground!), and has unfortunately been yelled at a lot. He takes any loud voice as a direct reprimand, whether it is intended for him or not (it is usually the Old Fish's dog [a fuzzy brained youngster who has ball OCD] or Lila...).
So. Here's the scoop. Because of the absolute chaos in my house due to of the basement reno, life is mostly happening (still) at the Old Fish's place. Everyone (including me) has settled into a routine with him and his two furry friends. His dog is learning that I am an alpha bitch (in the dogworld sense, not as in being a meany) but his cat has taken a definite dislike to me. Now, I don't know of that is because I brought two other felines into the fray, or because I take up a lot of the Old Fish's attention these days (or a combo thereof) but he can be pretty snarky if I come near him. Unless I am feeding him, that is. Then he will let me close, but remains suspicious. Oh well. The dog is fine, playful and friendly, and has learned what being growled at means. He really hasn't ever learned what respecting someone's space is, or when shoving a ball into your lap is no longer welcome. He's part goofy teenager, part toy obsessed border collie cross. One day he'll grow some brain cells!
Life with the Old Fish is great. Except for our work schedules, but we live with that. As a nurse, I work shifts, but not nights. And I always have Sundays off. His bookkeeping business is very slow to take off so to supplement that, he drives truck at night. Just short runs out to a hub 3.5 hours away, usually hauling 3 trailers of food stuffs for restaurants, and bringing 2-3 empty trailers back. All things being good (like the weather and a truck that runs properly), he is out and back in 7 hours. Some nights, like tonight, he is on his way before 9:30 p.m. Wednesday nights are late, 11:30, but occasionally he lucks out and they have the trailers loaded and ready to go by 9:30 or 10. He drives Sunday to Thursday, so has Fridays and Saturdays off. I work every second Saturday so we make sue with what we've got! It's not perfect, but we're making it work.
This weekend, I am off, so we will be hauling a truckload of debris to the dump. Half of my basement has been gutted down to the insulation. There is a mass of panelling, drywall, wood bits, nails and screws to clean up. We have replaced all the posts supporting the main beam in the basement with steel teleposts and have levelled the house as much as possible. (Once the basement is redone, I will have lots to do repairing all the cracks in the drywall upstairs so I can paint and put in the flooring [to match what I put in the bedroom last year].)
This weekend, my electrician friend will be installing a new and larger electrical panel. This weekend we will start rewiring all the circuits that need to be rewired, add in a few outlets and switches that don't yet exist, and swap out some of the light fixtures in the basement for new LED ones. The upstairs is included in all this and because the ceiling is open in the basement, running wires upstairs will be relatively easy.
Last weekend, we mapped out all the circuits on the electrical panel to see what was what. (That involved me going around the house, turning on lights and plugging a little lamp into outlets while he flipped breaker switches.) It's ugly. There are numerous lights and outlets on the refrigerator circuit, when it should be all by its lonesome. (Yikes!) Plus, the outlet that runs outside where I plug in my truck (up here in the bitterly cold Canadian winters, we have things called block heaters installed in vehicle engines to keep the oil warm enough to allow the engine to crank ~ frozen oil = no going anywhere) is. not. grounded. =O Plus (yeah, the list goes one and on) one of the breakers started sizzling not long before we were going to leave. An emergency call to Lee (caught him going through the McD's drivethru) and he popped by in a few minutes. So that one is now turned off, and he said that it's a good thing we're replacing the entire panel as those breakers are old (you can't get ones like that anymore) and obviously at the end of their lifespan. I'm just relieved we avoided burning the house down!!
Doing a lot of the work ourselves, and having an electrician for a friend, means I should be able to get all of this done for around $1000. That is his labour costs, and all the parts and fixtures. Not bad, I'd say. And because he works for the local hydro company, he will be able to disconnect the main power, do the panel and then hook back up and seal the meter. Very handy indeed!
I've been gluten free for the past 3 1/2 weeks, to see if it makes a difference in how I feel. I have a sister and niece who are truly gluten allergic (celiac disease) and it is thought that gluten may cause chronic inflammation that exacerbates fibromyalgia, which I have. I have steered away from the store bought gluten free breads and most other products (except pasta, of which I have had two servings in that time) because they are very high on the glycemic index and it is becoming known that they cause celiacs to become overweight and diabetics by raising blood sugar tremendously. So I have been making paleo bread with almond flour. I think I have made 4 loaves in the past few weeks, but because it is so calorically dense, I've actually put on about 7 pounds. Not happy!!!! So now, since both Old Fish and I want to slim down, we are doing a modified low carb (think Atkins) diet. But modified because the Atkins thing is just too extreme. So we will see how that goes.
So there you go. Now you're up to snuff on what's happening in my little corner of the woods.