Spring Cleaning

Greetings, you lovely six! Rip Van Blogger here, awake from my writing siesta and ready to….

To be honest, after following the news as closely as I am of late, I’m inclined just to crawl back in bed and pull a blanket firmly over my head. Are you like me? (say yes please). Do you start an article about the atrocities being inflicted in Ukraine, only to stop reading after about three paragraphs? Two paragraphs? I can’t blame you if that’s the case.

For me, it all stems from a sense of utter frustration along with a deep feeling of helplessness. The images are heartbreaking and certainly deserve our attention and action. While I usually make my lone call for generous solidarity from our collective wallets at the end of a post, I’ll do so now here at the top. I do this because those persnickety bean counters at this blog’s HQ inform me that my readers begin to head for the exits somewhere around paragraph six, those ungrateful gits. I’m speaking of my HQ staff, not you, dear readers.

So please join me in donating needed funds to assist with the massive refugee crisis caused by Russia’s brutal invasion. I’ve chosen the International Rescue Committee. A click on their “One-Time Donation” tab and choosing “other” will allow you to make a monetary amount of your own choice, if you so wish. As I write this, estimates are that there are approximately 9.8 million Ukrainians displaced by the war.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Do pull up a chair. Let’s catch up, shall we? When we last convened together, before I suddenly took a rather sudden hiatus, we were all staring at yet another holiday season with social distancing and more mask wearing. I do hope all of you have made it through the seasonal tidings safely.

Unfortunately in late January, I succumbed to a visit from Mr. Omicron himself. He wasn’t invited, but he made himself present by inflicting a persistent headache and a low-grade fever on me. It lasted about four days. Somehow through sheer luck, or probably the fact that I was jettisoned to the guest room, Gorgeous never caught it. With her safety in mind, our dinners were choreographed similar to how Vladimir Putin sits at tables with his own visitors. I am obviously grateful in how the two vaccine doses and one booster allowed my encounter with covid to be a relatively mild one.

With “version one” of omicron plummeting here in the U.S., and “version two” allegedly warming up for an upcoming summer tour (tickets and dates TBA), we’ve availed of ourselves of the opportunity to enjoy freedoms again. On that score, it was especially heartening recently to run into a familiar face at our gym. He and I were regular pre-pandemic kibitzers at the elliptical machines, briefly solving the world’s problems as an excuse to avoid getting onto the next phases of our daily workouts. I literally hadn’t seen him since March of 2020, and so it was wonderful to catch-up in person again.

And speaking of the gym, I now I have a new enemy at each visit: a dastardly invention called the “endless rope.” It always wins, I know that much.

The appropriately named Endless Rope

The major news, however, is that we are finally about to have our poor kitchen renovated. Our 2021 turned into a year in which an untold number of contractors completely ignored our appeals for help. At one point, two adjacent condo neighbors of ours who were also looking to renovate, lured a contractor to each of our homes one September morning in an effort to create a “package deal” of sorts. The guy visited all three of us, charmed at each location with a boatload of ideas, and subsequently ghosted everyone with no further contact or follow up. Such was our luck for nearly the entire year.

Thankfully, our own perseverance paid off in the end. In December we signed a contract with the husband of an interior decorator we had used for our living room a few years ago. Work is scheduled to start on the kitchen in early May.

Because of supply chain problems, it was strongly recommended that we order our new appliances well ahead of time. When I asked our contractor if he could be more specific, he said “Well, now [December] would be a good time” So immediately after the start of the year, we ordered everything.

The stove, refrigerator, built-in microwave, and dishwasher have all arrived, and the washer-dryer combo is scheduled to be delivered later this week. Ironically, the new kitchen sink, about which bad jokes are potentially boundless for someone like myself, is being held for us at the stone and countertop shop. A pity because I could have done so much with that one, too.

In the meantime, things are a little, well, awkward at the moment as we settle in each evening to get comfortable:

Looking forward towards summer and a completed kitchen, it still remains hard to really wrap our heads around any kind of plans involving traveling to visit with friends or family. My personal feeling is that we’re always just a new variant away from everything changing again, plus getting on a plane still sounds like an experience I’m willing to put off for another year or so. We do have a milestone anniversary coming up in December, however, and those credit card award points for appliance purchases should to be used for something after all. So we’ll ponder that a bit.

Before closing, I do wish to mention the passing of fellow blogger Cordelia earlier this year. Her posts, which often chronicled her brave battles with both depression and breast cancer, remain as testaments to how we can face such challenges with grace, beauty, and the best of the human spirit. Gorgeous and I were fortunate to have a tiny bit of long-distance contact with her over the last few years. I recommend her two books, “In Bloom” and “Well Done Me,” the latter published just before she entered hospice care.

Until next time…

36 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning

  1. t’s nice to see you back and glad you only had a mild case. I can barely read or watch the news, yet have managed to see enough to be completely impressed with Ukrainians. In my old life having to deal with the aftermath of Katrina, seeing these people packing up their pets for evacuations just makes me admire them even more. Your friend at the gym is a bad-ass and I want his t-shirt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can only imagine how much you understand what people go through after losing/leaving a home, Tracey. It’s just heartbreaking to watch. My gym friend always has the best t-shirts for sure!

      BTW, I’m watching the weather where you are (heading here in two days too), so do be careful!


  2. Happy dances here to see your post link show up in my email inbox! That little ping your website received the other day was me making sure you hadn’t posted anything after abandoning us last year. I’ve given to several entities recently but not the IRC. I’ll check them out. Like Tracy said, I want your friend’s t-shirt too. So far, my husband and I have avoided the virus but we are under no delusions that it is over. I’m happy you just had a mild case.

    It’s great to see you back and I hope this is just the beginning of regular updates from Martyville.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Janis! I pretty much stopped looking at my stats during the hiatus, but I’m glad to know someone was watching just in case. πŸ™‚

      I wasn’t completely surprised I came down with omicron, given the lax mask observances where I live. What shocked me, though, is Gorgeous not getting it. Even with our keeping our distance from one another, I figured it’d only be a matter of days before she started to feel unwell. But it never happened!

      Martyville. lol Thanks for the laughs.


  3. So glad to see you back, Marty. You have some classic Snake in the Grass lines in here; they have been missed. Sorry you had to put up with a bout of COVID. Absolutely love the t-shirt photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good to see you back. Our kitchen was finished at the end of February. Our supply issue was the sink. We waited and waited for the local distributor to get one for us. I got so annoyed I checked Amazon. They had one I wanted so I bought it. I received it in 5 days (some of those days were weekends and holidays — it was Christmas week). If Jeff Bezos runs for president I’m voting for him. I don’t care what his space ship looks like, he knows how to run a company! Yes to supporting the people of Ukraine. Mostly no to the news. It’s not good for my health. I’ll need a small in that shirt. That’s for when you put the order in. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your kitchen is the gold standard, Kate! In an early draft of this post, I linked to your post on it and referred to you as that “show off, Kate.” But it ended up on the cutting room floor only because the post was getting too long. It would have been fun to keep in though. πŸ˜‰

      Kudos to you for finding a way to get that sink. The only snag with our sink is that after telling us that they would keep the sink at their store for storage (and also inspect it after receipt), the dealer wanted to reverse course and have it shipped directly to us instead. But we talked them into holding it for us. They’re the same place from which we ordered our countertops, so I didn’t feel guilty holding them to the sink promise.

      I’ll let my friend know your size preference. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Where to start? First off, it was a real thrill to see you pop up in my email and glad to hear you only had a mild version of the dreaded Covid. We’ve avoided it so far. It’s great you have your kitchen reno up and moving and although it’s an inconvenience to have appliances sitting around, just think of all the stress you’ve avoided. I have no words to describe how I feel about the invasion of Ukraine. I certainly don’t want to be involved in WWIII, but how does the world sit and watch what is happening and not do something. And, yes, I want that shirt too! But, I don’t want the rope. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to be back, Judy! On a full disclosure (something I meant to mention in the post but edited due to length), I was the one who was against ordering the appliances early. I couldn’t wrap my head around them sitting in the living room. But Gorgeous held firm, worried about having the kitchen finished with no stove, fridge, etc, for weeks. In the end, I’m glad she held her ground. It hasn’t been that bad having them sit in that corner.

      Re: Ukraine. Reading about it is awful because the details are just heartbreaking. But watching the carnage on the evening news is just as bad. I’m praying for a miracle there, as we all are.

      That rope is my mortal enemy, I have to tell you! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoy your updates and there’s certainly much to reflect upon these days. Not to sound too nonchalant, concerning your appliance storage in your LR due to supply demand issues back in December: good thing you’re not doing a bathroom reno and had to add a toilet to your loveseat & couch grouping…
    there you have it. Welcome back – even if its every 6 months, I get that too…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, you just had to bring up the bathroom, didn’t you Laura? That’s the next project! Our challenge with that one will be the scope because we’ve placed no limits on the kitchen, but we’ll have to on the bathroom unless I can find a counterfeiting printing press on eBay. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wellll…when we redid a bathroom in another home years ago (read: way before COVID supply issues) our contractor pulled the old toilet and placed it in a corner of our LR to take back for his own use…it stayed there for several weeks before he finally took it! We agreed to that only because we were changing out the carpet soon anyway.
        Why the LR? I think he was lazy and didn’t want to move it farther away from the front door…
        So, maybe keeping the old one ain’t such a bad idea? HA!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. You’re back! Yay!! I’m sorry to read about your time with Omicron, but pleased to read the update about your kitchen plans. We start our bathroom renovations in May, too. I like your gym friend’s t-shirt. That’s smart thinking right there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ally! We have two bathrooms and both need renovation also. We’re thinking hard about each because I know we won’t put the same amount of money that we’re spending in the kitchen — they’ll be more replace, re-paint, and keep things simple. Then there’s the window treatments, oh and window too now that I think about it. Yikes! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My oldest daughter has long been a volunteer for the American Red Cross, which (like the International Rescue Committee) is also doing great work in Ukraine. I don’t wish to infringe on your charity of choice (the IRC), so I won’t put a link to the American Red Cross here….but if anyone does want to help Ukraine through the ARC, please so specify with your donation, otherwise it goes into general ‘pot.’

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Welcome back to blogland Marty, it’s good to have your take on the world back to lighten up our days. Here in the UK, there are a massive amount of local initiatives transporting practical essentials over to mainland Europe. Brexit has, of course, made all that harder, which is why more & more people are being directed towards the DEC (disasters emergency committee) which is my method of choice. But so long as those who can do select one method to support, that’s all that matters.

    Your friend’s T-shirt is ACE. I want one for Himself. Indeed, I may seek out a T-shirt printing place and get him one πŸ˜€ I’d like to see anyone challenging him (he’s a big guy). I’d like to be there so I can kick them while they’re down too πŸ˜€ Sorry I may have displayed a certain degree of thugishness there.

    Sorry to hear about your visit from Mr O. We’re still free of that visit, but I feel certain it’s only a matter of time so widespread is it getting. Glad it wasn’t too ghastly and that you managed to avoid infecting your good lady. Nice work on that score.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do like your thuggishness side, Debs. Quite butch… in a feminine way, of course. πŸ˜‰

      Oh my, I hadn’t thought how Brexit could disrupt charitable giving too. And here I thought it was really just all about commerce, though I guess charity is commerce too now that I think about it. But as you point out, it’s merely the method. As long as you have one!

      How Gorgeous managed to avoid getting my infection is indeed the truest of mysteries. To further illustrate, she take a med (Humira) which lowers one’s immune system. Logically, she should have caught it from me. But thankfully she didn’t!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ha ha Marty femininely butch – I like it πŸ˜€

    Brexit’s impacts are way wider than many of its supporters realised or envisaged. There were warnings, but they were swept away by those promising nirvana – which has yet to materialise. I say yet, just to be fair, for I’ve no actual expectations it will, sadly.

    Oh Gorgeous’s medication scenario must’ve been extra scary for you both. I’m even more glad she was able to stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “Will trade racist for refugees” sounds good to me….and while we’re at it, how about trading Trump for Putin, and then put Putin on trial (something we seem incapable of doing with Trump)..

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Like most (if not all?) of your followers, I’ve missed you, too, and as others have explicitly expressed, I agree with your thoughts in this post. So much so, in fact, that I just made a donation to the linked cause. I must say that I have finally reached the point in coming out of my personal cocoon, at least financially, where I am comfortable in donating to any and all causes that speak to me, especially when referred to them by a trusted friend like yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

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