Angst Girl

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It’s Done!

One of my mantras for 2014 is beauty and a goal I had set for myself regarding that idea was to paint my living room. I’m happy to say that I’m finally done with it and have it all put back together. Special thanks to my friend Rex who did almost all of the actual painting.

When I moved in, the living room was all white with a wallpaper border at chair rail height. I removed the wallpaper and all the adhesive they used (THAT was a major project because instead of wallpaper glue they used some industrial strength adhesive). Because the walls have a sort of vinyl finish on them I decided to prime with Kilz before painting. Then Rex applied a pretty chocolate brown paint to the walls and white paint on the trim.

After the painting was done, I did a major rearrange of the furniture because previously all the furniture was arranged against the walls. I wanted to create a more cozy feel so I put one chair facing the center of the room with its back to the front door. All the rest of the furniture is against the walls but I think avoiding placing the one chair against the wall helps create a conversation area.

Here are pictures of how it looks currently:

LR Far Corner and Back Window


This is what you see when you first enter the house. As you can see, there is a big open space in the corner; that is where my brown leather recliner is going to go. I don’t get good television reception in the living room so I’m waiting until I get cable to move my recliner in there. Currently I have another television and the recliner in the master bedroom.




LR Armoir and Elephant Cabinet



Moving around the room to the left you see my armoire and display case that houses my elephant statue collection.





LR Front Door and Window



Continuing to the left there is a television in the corner, a window, and the front door. The curtains are a beautiful turquoise and have a lovely texture to them. You can also see my favorite lamp that is also a wonderful turquoise. My dog, Daisy, had to get in on the act. You can also see her bag full of toys in front of the television.


LR Circle Chair and Front Door




In this view you can see the chair that has its back to the front door.




I love mid-century traditional so I decorated with many pieces from that era and style. All the tables were purchased on eBay and are from the fifties. The lamps are also from eBay and are vintage from the same time period. Eventually the carpet will go and I’ll have a laminate wood floor installed. I have a gorgeous rug that will also go in the center of the room.

I can’t wait to start living in the room but, like I said, that will have to wait until I get cable TV. I hate the idea of paying for television but that’s the only way to get reception in that room.

I have a lot more painting I want to do but both Rex and I need to recover from this experience first. The front bedroom will be painted lavender with white trim and that’s where I’ll sleep, the front bathroom will be white with medium pink trim (I have a flamingo theme in there), the master bedroom will be aqua with white trim (and will be transformed into my studio where I will create greeting cards), the master bathroom will also be aqua with white trim, and the kitchen will be turquoise with white cabinets. The third bedroom will be a storage room so I’m going to leave it as is. It’s taken me seven years to get the living room painted so who knows how long it will take me to get the rest done. But I’ve started and that’s the important thing.

Julia Signature




My time in cardiac rehab is coming to an end so I really need to get set up going back to Curves. I KNOW I need to call them to see if they want a doctor’s okay or for me to set up a time to go through orientation again. Am I doing it? Nope. I’ve gained a little bit of weight lately so I really need to do something, but I just can’t get myself to do it. I’ve always hated exercising and that hasn’t changed.

One of my worst habits is procrastination. I make to-do lists all the time but I use that to avoid actually doing anything. I enjoy being able to cross things off the list but that’s still rarely enough to give me the impetus to actually do anything. I hate it and I use it to chastise myself, as if that’s going to get me to move. It doesn’t. I just sit there beating myself up and use that to avoid the tasks I need to get done.

I am envious of people who actually are able to keep moving and get stuff done. My best friend is one of those people. When she has things to do, she’s a maniac. She has her days during which she relaxes but for the most part she’s always moving. Why can’t I be more like her?

Right now I’m writing this blog entry to avoid going to sleep. Yep, I even procrastinate when it comes to sleeping. It’s sad. If anyone has a magical way to stop my procrastinating, I would greatly appreciate it if you shared it in the comments.

Julia Signature

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Decorate Your Life


One of my three mantras for 2014 is “decorate.” My goals for this year so far are to paint the living room and hallway, paint the small bathroom, and hang all the pictures in the living room and hallway. I’ve been having fun looking at paints online. I think one of the smartest things they’ve done in the past few years is to make available small sample sizes of the paint. A little less than $3.00 and you can get a much better idea of what it will look like on your actual walls than from a little paint swatch on a small piece of paper. I know that what I see on my monitor and what the paint actually looks like might be two different things so I’m planning on ordering a couple of the shades of each color in the sample size.

I have to select a brown shade for the living room and hallway. It’s going to be a fairly dark brown which I know might make the room a little dark (and the hallway even darker than that) but I’m willing to take the chance. I want a deeper brown to really set off the turquoise accents. I’ve found a shade that I think might work and you can see it HERE. It’s named “Hot Chocolate” which I think is a sign because I love chocolate.

Another paint I need to choose is turquoise. I have some accents to paint turquoise for the living room and then I’ll use the same turquoise on the walls in the kitchen when I get around to painting that (the walls will be turquoise and I’m going to paint the cupboards white). I’ve also found a shade that I think will work. Take a look HERE.

So the living room will be brown with turquoise accents, my kitchen will be turquoise with white cupboards, the small bathroom will be white (it’s decorated with bright pink flamingos), the front bedroom will also be white (I have lavender bed linens and curtains), and the master bedroom and bath will both be aqua. Let me tell you, looking at samples of both turquoise and aqua can make you crazy after a while.

Ultimately I want to have laminate wood floors installed in the living room/hallway and in the master bedroom (which will function as a studio) and master bath. I haven’t really picked out flooring for the living room/hallway yet, but I do have something I think will work for the studio and master bath. Take a gander HERE and HERE. I think the white wood would look look good with the soft aqua walls. The flooring in the living room/hallway will be a traditional brown.

Obviously all these projects will not be done all at once or perhaps even in the same year. But I have my goals set and I plan to carry on with them. I’ve been watching the show “Knock it Off” and been getting inspired to actually get this decorating done. Not that I’ll be as creative or into DIY as they are, but it’s inspiring to see the before and after pictures of the rooms they remodel. My mother has also gotten bit with the bug and is thinking about redecorating her living room, too. I think it’s going to be an exciting year!

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Here’s to Your Health

Healthy Cupcake

It’s a new year and so many people make resolutions regarding their health. I don’t really make resolutions, per se, but I definitely have goals that I work toward. This year it’s my year to work at losing weight. I need to do it because I need to get more healthy, but I also need to do it so I can have open-heart surgery. Unfortunately, telling me I have to lose weight in order to have heart surgery isn’t really going to motivate me because who wants to have heart surgery? But I do want to put the whole thing behind me and I do want to be more mobile and in shape so exercise, here I come.

In case I haven’t already mentioned it a million times, I HATE exercising. Hate. It. And now I’m a little scared of exercising very strenuously because I’m afraid I’ll have another heart attack. I’ve been going to cardiac rehab where they monitor your heart while you exercise. It’s been going fine with no heart episodes, but it’s not very strenuous exercise compared to what I used to do at Curves. But my time at cardiac rehab is coming to an end (insurance will only cover about 20 visits) so I’m being kicked out of the nest to find my own way. That’s scary. But I know I can make more progress as far as weight loss goes if I put more effort into it and exercise more than the three days a week I’m doing now. Do I really wish I could wake up in the morning and be at my goal weight and skip all the exercise? You betcha. But that hasn’t worked out so far so I doubt it’s going to come to pass.

The heart surgeon said he wanted me to lose 50 to 60 pounds before he’ll do surgery. I go to see him later this week and I think I weigh about the same as I did when I saw him two months ago. So I’m not really looking forward to his reaction to that. But I have to go face the music and let him know I’m going to be working on it harder than before. All I can do is the best I can do. So far I haven’t been doing my best and that has to change. I really need to get this extra weight off me because I don’t want the gastric bypass surgery to be for nothing.

My mantra for 2014 is HEALTHY. I’m going to try to eat healthy, exercise to get healthy, and take my medications to stay healthy. Oh! I just thought of another mantra that I totally want to focus on this year: DECORATE. I’ve lived in this house for about seven years and still haven’t really made it my own. I want to paint every room except one and I have wall hangings that need to be put up once the painting is done. I’m not planning on any big, expensive projects (like taking up the carpet and putting down a laminate wooden floor) but I think painting will be totally do-able. I’m shooting for early spring to get started on painting and I’m really hoping my bestie and her man will be willing to be hired out to do the painting for me. Not that I’m expecting to get all the rooms painted right away but it would be nice to at least get the living room and hallway painted. And maybe I can talk them into doing the small bathroom at the same time. I haven’t talked to them about it yet and don’t know what they’ll charge me for their services, but I’m hoping it will all come together. I’m also not sure where I’m going to get the money for the paint and primer but let’s not sweat the details yet, ok?

So there we go: 2014 is the year of being healthy and decorating my crib. It’s kind of all about surrounding myself with beauty; the beauty of a healthy body and the beauty of a well-decorated home. Hmm, maybe I should add a third mantra: BEAUTY. I think I deserve beauty in my life and it’s worth it to put some effort into creating that beauty.

Now that I have discovered my three mantras for the year I just have to dedicate myself to them. All of them are a little out of my comfort zone but I’m committed to making them work. I’ll check in here from time to time to let you know how they’re working out. Wish me luck!

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Loosen Up, People!

It’s that time of year again. When silver bells ring? No. When it’s a marshmallow world? No. It’s that time of year when some people get their panties in a bunch over what kind of seasonal greeting you offer.

Personally, I usually say “happy holidays” or “season’s greetings” to people I don’t know because those include everyone. But primarily I don’t think a whole lot about it until I hear someone bitching about the absence of “merry Christmas.” Yes, I can only recall hearing complaints about the kind of greeting from what I assume are Christians because they are offended that someone said something other than “merry Christmas.” Their complaints can range from such platitudes as “Jesus is the reason for the season” to “keep Christ in Christmas.”

I’m not a Christian hater. I don’t have anything against any religion. I just find it odd that some people, who reportedly claim to want to be Christ-like, are looking to divide people. Don’t we have enough that we already allow to drive wedges between us? Supposedly this time of year should be full of love and caring so, especially at this time of year, shouldn’t we be looking for ways to respect ALL people? Isn’t society in America based enough on Christianity? Do we really need to make sure we use a greeting that may be against our beliefs just to coddle some people?

All that being said; lighten up, people! No matter what religion you are or aren’t, accept the greeting in the spirit in which it was given. Who cares if it doesn’t reflect your beliefs? The underlying message is one of well-wishing so accept it and move on with your life. I choose to be inclusive but don’t get all upset if someone is less inclusive. Why do we have to be so offended by stupid crap like this?

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Super Size It

Strong People

Yesterday, in about 50 cities, fast food workers were on strike seeking higher wages and the right to unionize. The average worker makes the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. That’s a little over $15,000.00 a year BEFORE taxes and health insurance payments. How in the world can people live on that? I am outraged by all the companies that pay only the minimum wage and am discouraged that the minimum wage is so low. These people are living below the poverty line and struggling to survive every day. They are asking for $15.00 an hour which sounds like quite a jump but I support their efforts and, although it’s a slim chance, hope they get what they want.

Of course I realize that if the companies give them a raise it will mean they will pass on the extra cost to the customers – that’s how big business gets to be big business. I saw a news report, however, that stated it would mean only a $.65 increase to the cost of a big mac. I think we can afford that in order to give people a better life. And perhaps, if people feel that $.65 increase is too much, they will make better food choices so we can also fight the epidemic of obesity. I know, I know, it’s not that simple. I also know that some low income people choose fast food because, many times, it’s more affordable than a balanced meal. But I still feel the slight increase in price is worth it if it means our fellow citizens can live easier lives as far as money is concerned. We really need to revisit minimum wage and make sure it is set at a level that helps ensure people are able to breathe easier. So many people are one or two paychecks away from being homeless. The programs that support the homeless population are expensive so either we pay a little now or a lot later. I vote for making a positive change NOW. We all do better when we all do better.

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A Pain in the Knee

The continuing saga of my knees. The latest chapter involves an injury that occurred Sunday. I stepped into my house and felt a searing pain in my left knee. That’s right, I was STEPPING INTO MY HOUSE. For fuck’s sake. It hurts really bad (worse than other knee injuries I’ve had) and I’m now walking with a cane. Or I should say hobbling with a cane. That just pisses me off. Is there no end to the negative ramifications of being fat?

Due to the injury and limited mobility, it’s easy for me to get depressed. I have a history of clinical depression but I’m on some good medications now so I’ve been feeling pretty good. But I’m feeling depressed and worried about the trip to Europe I’m supposed to take in October. My usual knee pain was going to be enough of a hindrance but if I’ve seriously injured my knee I don’t know what I’ll do.

So I’m sitting here with my leg up and iced and I pick up the phone to make a call and there’s no dial tone. Nada. Zip. Zero. I unplug the phone and plug it back in. Nothing. I check all the other phones in the house and they’re all on the hook and none of them has a dial tone. I get on my phone company’s website and that’s about useless. I’m trying to figure out what to do when I suddenly remember I have a cell phone. Duh. I know that sounds stupid but I rarely use it; I really only have it for emergencies. I call the lovely phone company and inform them of my trouble (after a maze of automated bullshit). They first inform me that the minimum charge, if the problem is on my end, is $85.00. Crap on a cracker that’s expensive. But he checked my line and said there was a short in the line so it’s a problem on their end. He said they would have it fixed by 7:30 PM the following day.

And that’s how I came to where I am now: sitting in my recliner with a sore knee, depressed, and without communication with the outside world. NOT a good combo for me. I’ll live through it and there are certainly worse atrocities in the world. But I’m just feeling a little helpless and lost right now. I go to the doctor tomorrow morning (showering should be a joy) so maybe I’ll have a course of action after that. I’m not actually going to the doctor for my knee; I need to talk to him about some lab results, but while I’m there I’ll discuss my knee with him. He’s the king of referrals so I will not be surprised if he just dumps me off on another doctor.

Ok, let’s say something good about the day. I found a portable, folding stool to take with me on the trip and ordered it thanks to my mom. That way I’ll have a place to sit down if I need it no matter where I am. There, that’s something positive. Good girl, Jules!


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Pissed Off

It pisses me off that I have to worry about watching what I eat every. stinking. day.

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I have been fat most of my life which means my body has been very challenged. I have had knee pain in both knees for a few years and I know it’s because I’ve carried so much extra weight throughout my life. But what’s done is done and I just need to find a way to improve the situation to the best of my ability. To that end, I visited with an orthopedic surgeon last week.

When I got to the doctor’s office I was almost immediately shuttled into the imaging department for x-rays of my knees. I very wisely wore a dress so I didn’t have to get into a medical gown. It went ok although it was a little bit of a challenge to stand for them, but we got it done and I went into a little room to wait for the doctor.

I didn’t have to wait too long for the doctor to show up (miracle of miracles) and let me just say, he’s a pretty good looking guy. He looks young but he can’t be as young as he looks. Anyway, he pulled up my x-rays on the computer and it took him a few seconds to tell me the verdict: several bone spurs and acute arthritis. Yay. He said I would need knee replacements but they won’t do them until I’m at least 50 (I’m almost 45) and lose more weight. I wasn’t terribly surprised by the diagnosis but it’s still disheartening to hear.

I told him I would be traveling in Europe in October and asked if there was anything I could do to improve the knee pain. I can’t take an anti-inflammatory because of the gastric bypass surgery so that was not an option. He advised that I come back to see him a week to ten days before the trip so he can give me cortisone shots in both knees. I’m certainly no expert, but that sounds painful. He said they would be more painful for a day or two following the shots, but then I should get some relief from the pain. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little freaked out by the prospect of a long needle being inserted into my knee. I don’t mind needles but it just seems wrong to mess around inside the knee; especially when it’s already sore. But I’ll do what I can to make the trip more comfortable so back to the doctor I go on September 30th.

If anyone out there has had cortisone shots in the knee please let me know what it’s like and how much it hurts.

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Stop. Go. Stop.

The city is installing signal lights to take the place of a four-way stop at an intersection near my house. The intersection has been closed for quite a while so they could widen one of the streets and put in turning lanes. Currently the signal lights are up but not operational yet so we have temporary four-way stop signs. Here’s the problem: People are idiots. I thought people had trouble at the old intersection, but now that there are four turning lanes it’s ridiculous. People either sit at the stop sign for far too long, or zoom into the intersection taking someone else’s turn.  Why can’t people get it together?

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