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Courtney and I had an interesting conversation about shame as it compares to godly sorrow. For context, we were talking about addictions and overcoming them.

Shame is the tool of Satan. It is his version of overcoming our problems, and like all of his tools, it is a lie at the core. Shame relies on secrets, embarrassment, and hiding. Shame tells us that if we don’t confront the issue, it will go away. Shame tells us that our mistakes define who we are and that our mistakes then ruin us permanently. Shame is synonymous with sinner; the word sinner focuses on the internal and therefore inherent nature of our wickedness and unworthiness, which is false. Shame means we are personally wicked instead of being made unclean by the sin. Shame forces solitude in our guilt and turns us toward selfish behaviors.

Godly sorrow on the other hand is God’s way. It is a unifying principle that teaches us that we are inherently good and have the opportunity to give away our wickedness in favor of something better. It tells us that our weakness is opportunity for growth and strength. It tells us that our sins do not define who we are and especially that our divine potential is eternal as long as we choose to repent and change. Godly sorrow tells us that weakness is healed through relying on the support of others, particularly the Savior. Godly sorrow is open and asks us to set aside embarrassment with the knowledge that we are all beggars (Mosiah 4:19). Godly sorrow reminds us that repentance is not hiding, but is a full turning away from sin (D&C 58:43). Godly sorrow asks for a sharing of the load and helps us turn outward (Matthew 11:29-30).

Over the last few months, those verses in Matthew have come to me again and again:

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

The invitation to repent is clear, but these verses are not just about repentance and neither is shame or godly sorrow. As we struggle with whatever it is we face in life, shame tells us that it is better to hide and deal with our trials on our own or bury them, but the Savior has openly invited us to come, to follow, and to have peace.

In seminary, I remember learning that when we read of eternal joy and eternal suffering in reference to the final judgment, what we are really learning is that the word “eternal” doesn’t define the length of the suffering, but the manner. It is eternal because God is eternal. It’s His joy. His suffering (see D&C 19:11-12). Heck, go read all of D&C 19. It’s all relevant. :-)

In the same manner, is not godly sorrow the sorrow that God feels? If we look to the life and the Savior, we see how He sorrowed, and I think that gives us clues to both how He hopes we will feel about our sins, errors and weaknesses but also how He Himself looks on us. Here’s a few:

How did the Savior handle scary, hard tasks?

Mark 14 tells us about His suffering in Gethsemane: “And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.”

Earlier in the same chapter, we read that “he [took] with him Pete and James and John … and saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.”

Luke tells us that an angel was sent to support the Savior during this trial (Luke 22:43)

So what’s the lesson? First, the Lord knew His weakness. He knew where He needed help. He was scared, He recognized it, and He asked for help. Second, we learn that the Lord was willing to set aside His worries, His fears, His doubts, and whatever semblance of pride or shame He felt at the prospect of being incapable of completing His task. Third, the Lord got help. He took with Him arguably His three best friends to the garden. He asked His Heavenly Father for help. And He got it.

Shame would have led Him to hide the horrors of that night.

How did the Savior handle death, grief, and pain?

John 11 tells the story of Lazarus who was dead and then risen by the Lord. We see the Savior mourn and weep with Mary and Martha (vs 35). Despite His knowledge of what was about to happen, He still felt compassion and sorrow for His friends and their suffering. Our shame tells us that we must be alone in our hurt, that it is our own to bear. Godly sorrow tells us that pain–while universal in its condition–is not lonely and that we find solace and support in the comfort of others, especially in the truth and reality they offer us. While the Savior truly did mourn the death of Lazarus and the pain His two friends felt, He was also quick to testify to them that their brother yet lived. Truth guided His actions, love guided His tears.

In the Book of Mormon, we see another example of how the Savior handles death, grief, and pain. In 3 Nephi 17, we read the following:

  • vs 7–“Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.
  • vs 11 – 17–And it came to pass that he commanded that their little children should be brought. So they brought their little children and set them down upon the ground round about him, and Jesus stood in the midst; and the multitude gave way till they had all been brought unto him. And it came to pass that when they had all been brought, and Jesus stood in the midst, he commanded the multitude that they should kneel down upon the ground. And it came to pass that when they had knelt upon the ground, Jesus groaned within himself, and said: Father, I am troubled because of the wickedness of the people of the house of Israel. And when he had said these words, he himself also knelt upon the earth; and behold he prayed unto the Father, and the things which he prayed cannot be written, and the multitude did bear record who heard him. And after this manner do they bear record: The eye hath never seen, neither hath the ear heard, before, so great and marvelous things as we saw and heard Jesus speak unto the Father; And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father.
  • vs 21 – 22–And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them. And when he had done this he wept again.

And really, I could go on.

In this case, Christ asked these people to share their burdens with Him, not hide them. While He certainly knew all their pains and weaknesses, He allowed them the time to come and see Him. Instead of simply healing all with a single wave of His hand (which He most certainly could have done), He invited them personally and individually to see Him, touch Him, and know His voice. This is not shame.

Of the most powerful words spoken in all the scriptures, surely “One by one” stands out as the hallmark of who our Savior is, how He feels about each of us, and how He loves us (see 3 Nephi 11: 14-15).

How does the Savior ask us to help others in their sorrows?

In Mosiah 18, the prophet Alma teaches us about what it means to be Christian, saying:

And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you? (emphasis added)

The way that we are asked to support others in their trials is to do as He did with Lazarus and the Nephites and so many others. It is to mourn and to comfort as thou we were experiencing the trial ourselves. One thing to note, of course, is that showing that kind of support to another requires the sufferer to witness of their own sorrow. It is hard to mourn with another when they do not mourn themselves, and that is shame (or pride, which is the root of shame) that asks us to hide from our own experiences.

I’ll end with these words spoken by Jesus:

Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him—Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life (see D&C 45: 3-5).

Shame would have us hide our sins, our weaknesses, our frailties, and the very humanity that makes us God’s greatest creation from the one person who is actively and consistently pleading for our care, our support, our rescue. Godly sorrow is, in the end, nothing more than saying, Yea Lord, I believe.

And then living it.

Since my gallbladder attack, Courtney and I have really been focusing on our health, and it’s shown. We’ve both lost a lot of weight while gaining some muscle. We feel a lot better, more alert, and generally happier. I’ve noticed my general mood has stabilized, and I just pretty good.

The biggest thing we have tried to do is eliminate sugar. The more I learn and read about sugar (and particularly high fructose corn syrup), the more I’m convinced that our bodies just weren’t made to handle it. I watched a presentation by a professor who went into the chemical responses our body makes to sugar and hfcs (thank heavens for college biology classes!), and it was almost scary to see how those substances behave in our bodies and what they do.

That was about three weeks ago, and we decided in that moment that we were going to move towards a sugar elimination diet. When we did our big monthly shop a few days later, we stocked up on big supplies of nuts, high fiber breads, fruits and veggies, and so forth. Here’s a few things we learned:

  • Healthy does not mean healthy–If I asked you if yogurt were healthy, you’d probably say healthy, right? When was the last time you looked at the ingredients? It’s not healthy. Most yogurts I looked at have as much sugar in them as a typical candy bar, and most of them use hfcs.
    But we love yogurt! I’d guesstimate we spend a good $50 a month on yogurt in our house, and we’ve always felt so good about doing it. No longer. We invested in a yogurt maker, and we’ve been enjoying home-made fresh yogurt since last Thursday. We started last Friday with a yogurt smoothy made with our yogurt, frozen berries, and honey. It was divine, and every thing in there was something we either made ourselves (honey and yogurt) or was a whole food (berries).
    We’re experimenting with using plain yogurt, which is pretty tart, as a substitute for other ingredients we commonly use like sour cream. It’s been great so far.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup is poison–I used to buy into that idea that sugar and hfcs were comparable to each other. They simply are not. If you’ve got 90 minutes, watch this. If you don’t have 90 minutes, watch it anyway. You will come away convinced of the poison of hfcs. More so, though, you will come away with the knowledge of why it is. The presenter here is a college professor who goes through the biological processes your body uses to process the various kinds of sugar and explains the history behind sugar consumption. That video as much as anything was the proverbial straw.
  • Be patient and prepared–I think this was the hardest part for us. We’ve done sugar elimination diets before back when Courtney was having her sugar problems, but this was the first in which we both were strongly on board and really pushing for it. We spent the first few days/weeks feeling seriously deprived, and I think the only thing that got us through was having the solutions readily available. We bought those nuts, mixed in raisins, and found a new side to sweetness that was filling and refreshing. We bought small quantities of dark chocolate and limited ourselves to nibbles to take the edge off. We didn’t run screaming from treats if someone brought something to work, but we went into the moment with information and knowledge which helped us limit. We talked about it often to make sure we were on the same page and encouraging each other. And we celebrated the successes in the right way. Combined, we’ve lost around 25 lbs in the last month.
    It can be done!
    And who cares if you crash and burn once in a while. One bad day or donut does not invalidate the rest of the day, week, or month. Let it go.
  • Make it all or nothing and all or none–In the past, we’d either have one of us committed or we’d not include the kids. It makes it hard to stick to it when the person next to you is eating chocolate, so we made the kids join us, and we went all the way in removing heavy sugar stuff. These last three weeks, I have brought home in my grocery cart (I do the grocery shopping) a grand total of ~30 grams of sugar. Over three weeks. That is, by the way, roughly the amount of sugar in a single yogurt. It has taken a little more effort, and we’ve had to change our diets, but it wasn’t that hard.
  • It’s not more expensive–We assumed our budget would have to go up, but what we’ve found is that it actually costs less to eat better. Here’s the deal: I can go get 2 lbs of bananas for $1.18 currently OR I can spend $3 on a bag of chips. Both would get demolished by my family the second I walk through the door, but I could do 2.5 times the bananas before I got close to spending as much as the bag of chips. Milk on sale at Wal-mart is $2 a gallon. That produces ~1 gallon of yogurt in our yogurt maker. That same amount in quart tubs would cost me ~$10 if I bought the tubs. If I bought the Greek yogurt that Courtney and I like, you’re looking at closer to $15 or even $20.
    It’s not more expensive. Unless you want it to be, I guess….
  • Taste buds change–Ask my mother: I did not eat my fruits and vegetables as a kid. You couldn’t get me to touch an apple, and I’d sooner vomit than eat a tomato and that behavior continued well into adulthood for me. Our dinner tonight is salad. On Saturday I had one of the sweetest apples I think I’ve ever had. When I go shopping, easily 50% of the cart is rabbit food. I’ve eaten more salads in the last two years than the rest of my life combined. Easily.
    Once you kill the sugar, food starts to come alive again. You discover newness in flavors that had been hidden by sugar. But it takes time. Be patient.
  • Fat is not the enemy–Here’s some interesting thoughts for you: the obesity epidemic matches (inversely) the advent of the low-fat, fat-free diets. In other words, the more fat we remove from our diets, the higher the rates of obesity. Why? Sugar. My brother, a professional chef, has long chanted the great mantra of the cooking world: Fat carries the flavor. When you remove fat from food, you remove the flavor. And how do you replace the flavor? Sugar, hfcs, and other sweeteners.
    Since January, Courtney and I have stopped paying attention to fats as the critical component of our diets and looked more to sugar as the problem. It’s worked.
    Note: We are not, of course, excusing dangerous fats nor are we encouraging high-fat diets. Rather, we’re encouraging real food. Fat is a part of food. Natural fats in natural foods aren’t going to kill you. It’s the fat that comes from processing foods and oils that I’d worry about.
  • Health is not boring–Let’s see… Breakfast burritos stuffed with hashbrowns, eggs, bacon, mushrooms, cheese, and salsa. Balsamic vinegar reduction drizzled over tilapia, rosemary potatoes, and green beans. Chicken enchiladas with refried beans. Asian stir fry with squash, zucchini, peppers, onions, chicken, mushrooms, and broccoli. Sweet and sour chicken with ham fried rice. Omelets with ham, mushrooms, cheddar, cottage cheese, and toast. Spinach salad with homemade raspberry vinaigrette, homemade croutons, boiled eggs, nuts, orange slices, bleu cheese, and raisins.
    Yep, that is just part of our menu over the last few weeks.
    Food should be enjoyed. Food isn’t solely a tool nor is it a weapon of shame and guilt. It’s one of the greatest parts of life, and life is good.

The last thing that i would add is that it’s important to know why something is good or bad. Marketing does a great job of trying to tell us what is good or bad for us, but letting a company with a strong bias in favor of their products dictate what is and is not healthy is a poor logical argument. You and you alone are responsible for the decisions you make, and you can either be informed or not.

I remember when we first embarked on really driving our debt free lives. It was very interesting to quickly stop and look at the lives of people around me and start recognizing the impact of their decisions. We started seeing people who had to have the latest cars and recognizing that that meant they’d always be chasing a car payment. Or had to have the latest phones or the biggest data plans or see the latest movies in the theaters. We don’t criticize their choices, but we finally could see why those choices were not for us because we wanted something greater than that.

I’ve started to see that in my grocery shopping. I don’t hate people who choose to do that nor do I criticize their choices, but I will say that I will not do it. I used to be one of them. I used to walk down the aisle and see a granola bar and assume healthy because it’s a GRANOLA BAR!!! When was the last time you looked at the ingredients of even the “healthy” ones? I was in a Sams Club the other day just in time to hear someone proclaim the latest energy drink as a “health” food. I took a bottle and looked at the ingredients. The first ingredient was water (it’s a drink, no surprise). Second? Sugar, specifically hfcs. I couldn’t even pronounce most of the other ingredients.

Knowing the why behind food has not only left us feeling more motivated to make the change, but it has also reinforced our reasons why. Before we understood the dangers of debt, we always wanted to be debt free. It took that understanding to drive us to make the decisions that led us to today where we are watching our last non-house debt collapse and die before our eyes. Similarly, we’ve always wanted to be healthy. It has taken learning why and how to finally get to a point where it’s working.

It’s a good place to be.

Courtney told me about the Enchroma glasses you can get for colorblindness today. I’ve heard about them before, but I’m honestly not that interested in them. I’m proud of my colorblindness (I truly am), and I do not see it as a handicap.

However, I do like to read up on colorblindness (I’m a strong deutan, by the way), and I read somewhere today that it’s estimated that many colorblind people only see 2.5% of the full color spectrum. That was… shocking. Normal vision can differentiate between ~1 million colors. Colorblind vision is closer to 25,000.

But I still don’t really want the Enchroma glasses. I’m happy being who I am. I can see all the colors of the rainbow and while the richness of those colors may be less than normal vision, I can’t be bothered by that which I’ve never known.

I also read that many colorblind people compensate with a heightened awareness of textures and shape awareness. It’s like my own personal little super power, and I can confirm that it’s true. You don’t want to play SET with me. Aside from the truly cruel colors for the hashed cards (Red, Green, and Blue!!!), I simply don’t lose that game. I think Emmerin took me to the edge once, but I don’t think I’ve ever lost. It’s a game that relies on shapes and patterns, and they just leap off the table to me. The only thing that slows me down is considering what color I’m actually looking at.

One of the stories about colorblindness that I saw today was about bananas and how colorblind people have trouble buying bananas. I don’t buy bananas based on color. It’s texture. As the bananas age, the peel starts to wrinkle and pit ever so slightly. This starts just before the brown spots begin to appear.

Maybe that’s my superhero name and power! Banana Man, able to spot ripe bananas with a single glance! Seems like a truly worthless super power, but hey… don’t make the Banana Man!

Now I just need a uniform. It should be a lovely shade of… um… a color.

It’s swarm season, and I’ve heard from many of my fellow beekeepers that they’ve already lost several. My last survivor has been big and heavy all spring, and I’ve been worried that with the bands of storms we’ve had marching through, the queen would feel crowded and leave on me. Today was finally a sunny day (well, aside from the storm that just rolled through), so I hoped in real fast after work. Boy was I glad!

My biggest hive ever consisted of two deeps and two mediums around 70% full. This hive is three deeps and three mediums, and it’s close to 90% full! It’s bursting at the seams, but still no sign of swarm cells. This hive is easily the biggest hive I’ve ever seen, mine or otherwise.

I’ve been trying a new brood method this year called the Rose Hive. A few clarifications:

  • His method isn’t really “new.”
  • He uses all the same size boxes; I use deeps and mediums, though I readily admit that if I were to start over today, I’d standardize on all mediums.
  • The big “difference” is that instead of supering on top (Nationals, Langstroths for example) or the bottom (Warre hives), you super the middle either right on top of or in the brood nest.

The idea is that by putting the space in the brood nest or on top of the brood nest, you save all the energy it would take to move honey out of the way for your queen to expand the brood. You basically put space right where she wants it.

I’ve always kind of done that in that when I go through in my inspections, I will often move less developed frames inward and push more developed frames outward. I’ve heard from some that that practice disrupts the hive and causes problems, but I don’t know. The idea of supering the middle, however, has intrigued me, and I have to say it seems to work.

I added a medium to the middle just ten days ago, and it’s 100% full already. It also hasn’t slowed down growth in the rest of the hive. They were full wall to wall top to bottom when I opened it today, and I added a second deep to buy myself a lot of time to figure out how I want to proceed.

I do want to split this hive this year, but as well as it is going, I admit part of me wants to see what I can do. My city has an ordinance that restricts hive heights to six feet; I’m beginning to think I might hit that if I keep this hive together! If I do split, though, I want to wait to let this queen get as much production as she can. I want to split a huge hive to two big hives instead of a big hive to two mediums. Our honey production was so poor last year (we got two gallons and ran out of honey in March. I–a beekeeper–had to buy honey in March!!), that I’m determined to get a good harvest this year.

I guess we’ll see what happens.

Has anyone else out there tried the Rose method? I’d love to hear how it’s worked out for you.

We ended up needing to go to battle with our insurance company. They came back and initially said all the fence damage could be fixed for about $600. Our neighbors, who had less damage than we did, were getting quotes for $2,500 plus! It took about two weeks, but we finally got them to agree to damages of around $2,400. After splitting that in half (because it’s shared with our other neighbors) and subtracting our deductible, we are walking away with just shy of $600 all told. We spent $200 of our own money fixing it along with probably 100 working hours (combined with everyone helping) to dig out the posts and re-hang the slats. I still think we’re getting the bum end of the deal, but good enough. There comes a point where it’s not worth it to keep fighting, right?

We also got our notification of water restrictions. We are fortunate that our community is on irrigation water for lawns and gardens. I prefer that method because there’s no point in treating water I’m just dumping on the ground. Usually, we get notified towards July or August of what the water restrictions are for the year, but we’ve already been put on notice. Effective May 11th, we only get two days of water a week. It’s that bad.

Fortunately, we have a string of thunder storms rolling across the state for the next week, and I’m hoping we get some good, consistent rain out of them. We need it! Last week I saw an article talking about how we often get a late snow storm in May and for us to catch up on the water year, we’d need 140 inches of snow in this single storm. At this point, even rain won’t do it for us because it moves too quickly to be effectively caught by the reservoir systems.

Add in that our county is supposed to double in size to over 500,000 people by 2050, and you start wondering how. Kind of scary.

The bees on the other hand are doing well. I went in very quickly on Saturday just to peek inside, and they have FOUR supers full to about 80%, and all of them are brood. Solid. I haven’t seen any swarm cells, but I have to get this hive split ASAP. I admit, though, that I’m more than a little tempted to let this hive build all summer long so that I get a great harvest.

When I was inspecting, I found quite possibly the biggest spider I’ve ever seen (outside of a cage/zoo/pet store). I should have taken a picture, but it was easily 1.5 inches long (body only), big, black, and hairy. The legs stretched out for another inch or so around the body. It had several white dots on its abdomen. I should have taken a picture, but I didn’t even think about it until just now….

Oh great… I just found it on Wikipedia…. It’s a jumping spider…. I think they’ve misnamed it. That thing couldn’t possibly jump at that size. Tackle you maybe…. Wrestle you to the ground and take your lunch money surely…. Feel free to look it up (Phidippus audax) but I won’t dare post a picture on the blog. All the hairs on the back of my neck and across my head are standing on end just looking at the pictures…. [shudder]

It had three dead bees in the web. Since becoming a beekeeper, I struggle to kill spiders (don’t like them all that much, but still…), so I brushed it off with my hive tool and sent it scurrying into some leaves away from the hive. Had I known it could jump… sorry… tackle me, I would have requested back up. And when I said that I brushed it off and it scurried away, what I really meant is that when it hit the ground, it left a crater, and then it thundered into a nearby forest, uprooting trees and sending local wildlife fleeing in terror. It then roared its displeasure to the valley and ate a herd of cattle. Finally, it retreated to Middle Earth where it eventually met its end at the hands of Samwise Gamgee.

A parade will be held in his honor next Thursday.

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We had a monster wind storm come through the area last night. Gusts easily into the 50s, and I suspect substantially higher in small areas. Our area was nailed hard. I got a call from Courtney around 4:00 telling me our fence in the back was coming down. I wasn’t really concerned until she said that the bees were in trouble as well.

Have you ever tried to move a hive in a wind storm? :-)

I’m glad I did. One of the fences that came down came down right where the bees were at, and had they still been there, they would have been crushed. Since we now have several inches of snow falling (what happened to spring?!?!?), they would have certainly died even if they survived the fence.

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Because of the wind and cold, I had to move the entire hive as a unit, and those little boogers have been very busy. I’d guess the hive weighed close to 120 – 150 lbs. I ended up tying it all together and lifting it using the ropes. What a pain, and the bees were very unhappy. Fortunately (or sadly…) any attacker was quickly blown away in the wind.

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All told we lost 12 big panels and had several 6X6 inch posts snapped in half. And I think we were one of the lucky ones in the neighborhood. Pretty much everyone lost their fence last night, but we didn’t have any big trees to worry about like some others did. The insurance adjustor is coming out today to tell us what the insurance will cover. We share the damaged fence line with three neighbors, so it’s going to be a royal pain figuring out who pays what. We spoke with everyone, though, and I’m hoping we can come to an agreement fairly quickly and easily about what and who should pay what. Some of the fence panels are probably salvageable, which helps.

Good thing we have an emergency fund….

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Myron’s New Room

One of the things that really attracted us to this house was the fact that it had four (!) family/living rooms! I love public, open spaces in houses, and this one just had plenty of them. We liked the idea that we could have our formal living room (formal is a very strong word there…) plus a family room for all of us and a second family room where we could throw the kids without worrying about the mess and noise. It’s made life so easy to be able to send them downstairs where they could just go crazy and have fun.

But that fourth one we’ve always planned on turning into a bedroom for Myron. We started Friday:
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The best part about all of this is that the house was laid out electrically to add this room. All we had to was put up a wall and a door. The light switch you can see just inside the framing on the right of the picture controls lights that are inside the room. There’s a second switch behind the camera that controls a “hall” light there.

Same progress from the other side:

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The room even has a closet already. About my only complaint is that the room itself does not have a heating register (you can see one on the opposite wall outside the room there. To heat that in the winter, we will need Myron to leave his door open OR get a space heater. I’m not in favor of the space heater because I just don’t see Myron playing well with it.

And a shot of the finished drywall:

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Today I’m planning on taping and mudding. Next week I’ll sand and texture it, and the following week, we’ll paint. I’m having Brandon (the guy who designed and built this) come back after that point to do trim, molding, and some other projects I just can’t stand to do. I’m not that great of a handy man (plumbing and a few other basics are exceptions), but I can follow directions well enough if I’ve got someone guiding me. Brandon is perfect and quite skilled at handling the things I can’t do. We’ll miss him when he moves from the area (all too soon probably).

Best part was I had Myron come and see it at this stage. he ran into the room, got a huge smile on his face, threw his arms around me, and shouted, “My own bedroom!!! Thank you, Daddy!!!!” He then immediately left to go play on the iPad. :-) At least he’s learned to express gratitude, right?

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