I can't remember why I took a break, maybe I just needed one so I could focus on getting things done around the house. There is always something to do. This past week I had my niece over for several days. I was nervous about how it would go since she hasn't spent a long stretch with us before, but overall it went very well. This was the week of heavy duty cleaning which was probably not what my niece had anticipated when she arrived. Monday night I stayed up late talking to her parents. I don't often see her father, she doesn't see him very often either which is really a shame because she's a great kid. My kids talk back to me, I've heard my niece sass my sister, but she was very polite and obedient during her stay. I think part of that was she was kept pretty busy, and kids have a tendency to behave better for people who aren't their parents. Last week I had prepped a bunch of food for meals. I'm not sure where we went wrong, but we ended up snacking instead of sitting down for regular meals. Part of that may have been my zeal to get things done. The girls scrubbed the floors while I cleaned in the bathroom. Last night they cleaned out the fridge, we did some light dusting, wiped down chairs, put together some patio furniture I bought, and folded laundry except for the things that needed to be ironed. The little bathroom is almost done. Yesterday it received its first coat of paint, the vanity is in, the sink is ready to be installed, and it isn't my dream bathroom, but I'm wildly excited for the completion date. The girls pulled weeds in the driveway, that was a big task due to the size of our driveway and the overgrowth that had sprouted up during the abundance of rain, it took them a while, but I kept sending them out there whenever they came in with stories of large insects or other distractions.

My niece helped me take apart the wire shelving that had been in my closet. I probably should have left the shelves along the narrow back corner, but I don't miss them now that they're gone. I bought some storage cubes that I don't really like, but work well enough. I have those sitting at the edge of my bed and I'm happy to report that I have most of my clothes in them and still have room for more. I put my desk in the closet, I had it in there. took it out, and then my sister said she thought it would look better in there than against the wall so I moved it back. I flipped a bookcase from one side of the living room to the other. We were able to get it across the room, but I forgot about the header so we had to have some help getting it under that. Before the bookcase held mainly books. My ex always wanted to display things on the bookcase, I didn't know how to do that and I didn't like the way he approached it so it held books until this week. A while ago I had watched a tutorial on how to make a bookcase more decorative. The video was trying to sell things like baskets and decorative clutter, but I have a lot of books so those were my focus. Considering I didn't really have a plan or know what I was doing, it didn't turn out too badly. I probably have too many books in there, my plan is to start reading the bookcase by starting at one end and working my way down to the other. I saw that idea online somewhere and thought about how I continue to accumulate books without reading the ones I have which means I end up with multiple books on the same subject. I don't mind being well informed, but I have a tendency to get carried away. 

I'm really happy with the changes we were able to make. We still need things like paint and trim, but it feels more like a home instead of a collection of badly mismatched furniture and odd collections of clutter. Once the bathroom is finished I can work on my sun porch. I found a set of patio furniture that had been marked down and didn't buy it. I don't know how I feel about that today. Part of me is gald I resisted, the other part of me wishes I had it. Another part of me realizes that the prudent thing to do would be to wait until the sunporch is cleared, measure it again, and put together an actual plan. One thing this bathroom remodeling project has taught me is there are no end of purchases that I didn't anticipate. I love our contractor, but there were a few communication glitches and other things that were nobody's fault such as him telling me what grout to buy and the store not having the color we agreed upon. It was kind of cool to be involved in the decision making like that. He's a very detail oriented person which I appreciate, but can also be frustrating at times since I want to hurry up and rush through things. I think we're a decent team and hopefully he doesn't view us as customers from hell since there have been a few issues along the way. My daughter got stuck mowing so I asked him if he would help unstick her. That was a process, but we had a laugh at the end. I had put some lumber I wanted to frame the garden with on a hill and Jill had driven the mower over it, not realizing the long grass was hiding that wood.

The mower blade may have been damaged or moved since the rest of my lawn has deep cuts where the blade is too low, hopefully my ex will be willing to fix that for us. I've had a lot of time to think lately. He filed the divorce paperwork so even though I was unhappy, I feel tossed aside. There was an incident that I don't want to write about here that really hit me hard. I bawled while I was driving and then later on at home. I couldn't stop crying, but like everything else in life, you get over it and through it and the sun keeps rising and setting despite your pain. I took the girls in and found out that their pediatrician is relocating out of state. I felt like crying when I heard that since she's been wonderful. I told her she will be missed and she said it was an honor to be able to take care of the girls these past few years. Life is a swarm of people moving in and out of my circles. Some days I feel that more keenly than others. My sisters don't understand what I'm doing, I think it's something I don't want to admit even to myself. I've never lived by myself before, never been able to make decisions about what to put where or what to bring home from the store to put my stamp of personality on a place. Sometimes things are not right nor wrong, just wise and foolish. I don't regret most of this. Getting divorced is a huge life changer. I'm learning and I should expect to make mistakes as I go. We watched a movie with my niece and it was good to go to bed at night knowing that we had put in a full day's worth of work. I hope the girls value and treasure that as they get older. I didn't realize what a gift that was when I was younger, but I'm beginning to appreciate it more now that I'm middle aged. Life slips by when I least expect it to, at the end of the month my daughter will be in high school and a part of me is crying because that part of her childhood is gone for good. My sister's on the phone so I have to get going...

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