Screw it. I’ve got to get through these days somehow.

I’ve now spent more than a month doing work I don’t like, for results I won’t get to enjoy, on a house that’s not going to make us any money.

Wanna buy it? It’s going to look gorgeous when we’re done!

Today’s post is just a small collection of motivational photos and sayings that have kept me from plunging my head into a full paint bucket, aiming the nail gun at my own thigh, tossing a lit match over my shoulder as I walk away, or otherwise losing my mind during these past five weeks of DIY home fix-it hell.

Quite a few of them contain R-rated language. Sorry. It’s how I cope. Scroll at your own risk.

Angela Bassett, you had the right idea. (Waiting to Exhale, 1995)

Angela Bassett, you had the right idea. FWOOOMP! (Waiting to Exhale, 1995)

And this is why I spend hours awake in the middle of the night. What's on tomorrow's work list? Do we have the materials we need? Don't forget to pack lunch. Don't forget the house key. My arm hurts. It's probably an elbow tumor.

And this is why I spend hours awake in the middle of the night.
What’s on tomorrow’s work list?
Do we have the materials we need?
Don’t forget to pack lunch.
Don’t forget the house key.
My arm hurts. I probably hit it with a hammer, but is elbow leprosy a thing?

I know we'll be done... someday. (Artwork is on a notecard from Lenox&Lucy, by our talented niece, Maddie, who died from complications of Lupus in 2014)

I know we’ll be done… someday.
(Artwork is on a notecard from Lenox&Lucy, by our talented niece, Maddie, who died from complications of Lupus in 2015.)

More from Maddie's talented hands, this saying that helped me through breast cancer treatment in 2014, and a few less difficult situations since.

More from Maddie’s talented hands, this saying that helped me through breast cancer recovery in 2014, and other challenging situations since.

"Laughter out of inadequate materials" is a permanent reminder for me. It's how I got through cancer. The quote is from "The Grapes of Wrath," by John Steinbeck, in describing Ma Joad's ability to keep the family together despite abject poverty. "It was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials."

“Laughter out of inadequate materials” is a permanent reminder for me. It’s how I get through life.
The quote is from The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, in describing Ma Joad’s ability to keep the family together despite abject poverty. “It was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials.” It’s my habit too. Need someone to make you giggle uncontrollably at a funeral? I’m your girl.

The weather for most of May was cold and rainy. Two different pairs of gift socks made it so that I could wear reality on my left foot, and dreams on my right.

The weather for most of May was cold and rainy, and we worked right through it. Outdoors. Two different pairs of gift socks made it so that I could wear reality on my left foot, and dreams on my right.

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What it all comes down to

The one time I did have a spewing meltdown? May 8: Mother's Day. I should have said yes when Tim offered me the day off, but I thought it wouldn't matter, but then it did, and then on top of that I got upset that I let it matter. This was my mantra on Monday, May 9.

The one time I did have a spewing, poisonous, highly regrettable meltdown? Sunday, May 8: Mother’s Day.
I should have said yes when Tim offered me the day off, but I thought it wouldn’t matter, but then it did, and then on top of that? I got upset that I let it matter.
So this was my mantra on Monday, May 9. Also? Sorry, Honey.

And when all else fails: go with pigtails. Even when you’re on the near side of 50. Even when your hair is gray. Life is short. Give no shits.

And when all else fails: go with pigtails.
Even when you’re on the near side of 50.
Even when your hair is gray.
Life is short. Give no shits.

Many days, just when I think I've had it, we do get what we need. A friend shows up with a meal, or a cold adult beverage, or a hammer and a couple hours of free time, or a hug and a "Heyyyyyy. That looks niiiiice." We cannot possibly thank those people enough.

I might not give shits, but I do give thanks. Many days, just when I think I’ve had it, we do get what we need. A friend shows up with a meal, or a cold adult beverage, or a hammer and a couple hours of free labor, or a hug and a “Heyyyyyy. That looks niiiiice.”
We cannot possibly thank those people enough.

Two(-ish) more weeks to go…

Other posts on this topic:

  1. How it all started
  2. Getting things started
  3. Bye, Lola.
  4. Before & Afters

Home for the month: not lake side, nor even lake view, but kind of lake near

After ten days of “leave at 8:00, commute 45 minutes to Norfolk, work on house all day, drive 45 minutes back home, shove something edible in our faces, get clean, go to bed, and repeat,” we took today off to explore our home at Davis Lakes Campground.

Here we are. Our spot's off to the right, near the recreation area. And the dumpsters. The spots around the lake are all parallel parking for better views, although "parking" seems like too temporary a term for some of the set-ups we saw.

Here we are.
Our spot’s off to the right, near the recreation area. And the dumpsters.
The spots around the lake are all parallel parking for better views, although “parking” seems like too temporary a term for some of the set-ups we saw.

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Many lakeside encampments blur the line between temporary and permanent, with patios and other covered structures built on.

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The Plunging Swirling Hole of Transport to the Middle of the Earth! OK, so it’s probably just a drainage thing, but there’s no fence around it, which is astounding, because if I were 8 years old? First place I’d go.

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Best part of camping here: daily bunny outside our doorIMG_5869

Funniest part: signs

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True story: the odometer in the BFT hit 99,999 as we rolled by this sign a few days ago.

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Every RV’er needs to review the departure checklist. No spouse left behind! Well, not by accident anyway.

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Um… this is a section of our lease. It very clearly and consistently follows the “If you’re not sure when to use an apostrophe s, just use it everywhere” rule.

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No fish were using the sinks today.

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… of gravity?

Worst part: lack of time and/or warm enough weather to enjoy the lakes

Don't let the sunshine fool you. It's 67 degrees today. So not beach weather. Talk to me when it's 20 degrees warmer.

Don’t let the sunshine fool you.
It’s 67 degrees today — not beach weather. Talk to me when it’s 20 degrees warmer.

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But hey, I’ve got a sassy new shirt to wear when we do get a chance to spend a day on the lake. Thanks, B!

When home changes, but it’s always the same, and will never be the same

A few days ago, I added an event to our calendar because “Oh. We’re in town! We could go to that!” 
 
Didn’t hit me until yesterday that San Antonio is not the town we’re in anymore.
 
It’s due to a combination of having so many places we think of as home, thanks to Tim’s military career, and the fact that the interior of our home no longer changes along with our location, so I sometimes forget where we are.
 
Also, I’ve been inhaling a lot of paint fumes, as we work on our S&B house (in Norfolk — I know we’re in Norfolk now), so that may be part of it too. But look at how much progress we’ve made!
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Those are cedar shake shingles. After priming and replacing them for nearly two weeks now? Only a mad man…

Just don’t remind me that this is Project 1 out of 5. Five big ones, most of which we are doing ourselves, before listing this house for sale with an agent. If you or someone you know wants to get in at a pre-listing price, please see this ad (link removed 6/11/16), and give us a holler! Our neighbors are so good, they are actually helping us get this done. Who wouldn’t want to live in a ‘hood like this one?
And speaking of homes, we’ll be leaving this one tomorrow, the Sea Mist RV Park at Dam Neck Annex, because our reservation expires. Wish we could have enjoyed more of the beach out our back door, but neither the weather nor our work schedule supported it. But we knew we were on a military base (again), when we were greeted by this sign:
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and noted the following verbiage in our page of rules and regs:
“Surfing, fishing and sunbathing are allowed on the beach any time it is not secured for drone launching.”
Right, then.
~ ~ ~
A final heartbreaking note: if you’ve been following us on social media (all the links are over there on the left side), you already know that our home will never be the same. Due to advanced kidney disease, we had to say goodbye to our faithful RV dog, Lola, earlier this week. It was a comfort that we were here in Norfolk, where we adopted her nearly ten years ago, and could take her to her old veterinarian to ease her way out of this life. She came home to go home, and we will miss her terribly.
Lola. Oil on canvas by my sister-in-law, Whitney, who gifted us with this art for Christmas, before knowing of Lola's illness. It's even more of a treasure now, and displayed prominently here in this home.

Lola.
Oil on canvas by my sister-in-law, Whitney, who gifted us with this artwork for Christmas, before knowing of Lola’s illness. It’s even more of a treasure now, and displayed prominently, here in this home.

Other posts on this topic:

  1. How it all started
  2. Getting things started
  3. Coping Inappropriately
  4. Before & Afters