Posted by: Brenda Kula | July 12, 2008

Remodeling & Menopause Does Not Mix


I promised myself I would share this ridiculous story of what I mistakenly did on Thursday. It has been a hectic week. Thursday was a mere day two of the bathroom renovation. Do you remember when I said the thought of remodeling sets my teeth on edge? I get a bit frenzied with all these people stomping through my house and leaving my lone toilet seat up, etc.

I had decided to go out and run a few errands. Of course I have to worry about the dogs with the workers milling about and going in and out. So instead of just shutting them in the garden room, I decided to put them in the dog crates I’d brought out of storage for that very purpose. Because one of the men could always open the garden room door to speak to me, and let them out.

So I am hungry, and a bit hurried. I shove their yapping selves, one to a huge crate, in. Now I’m thinking as I attach the hard plastic doors to the crates: Hmmm. They make this a bit difficult. Funny…

And as I’m about to go out the back door, I have a thought. Well, Mom, you really should give them a bone to chew. So I get a bone for each one and I can’t get the doors to the crates open. I am puzzled, admittedly. Hungry and puzzled does not bode well for me.

Guess what I did? I l put the doors on backwards and locked the dogs in the crates!

I quickly move from puzzled to completely beside myself. I cannot get those doors off. I try the sides. Nope. The back. Nope. I call Walli who lives behind me. She is fixing herself a sandwich. I tell her to drop it and run. I have a real problem.

I meet the poor woman at the back door. She quickly sees that we have a "predicament." I am wondering aloud if we should call the fire department. She says no, that would upset all the neighbors and give someone a heart attack. Gosh, Walli, I’m about to have a heart attack! Well, she says, we may have to put the big crates into the Pathfinder and take them to the fire department if we cannot come up with a solution.

She tells me to go find some tools. I fetch the heavy toolkit that is holding up the large print that stands against the bare wall of the exercise room. Remember the hole in the wall behind the bathtub story? Well, that room is next on the renovation list. For now, the big framed print keeps the pet babies from going into the dark hole that seems to be the innards of my house.

Walli saves the day! She wrangles around with tools and manages to snip a piece of the hard plastic doors off enough to pry her fingers inside and flip the switch that I unwittingly closed. The yapping dogs are freed.

I must have aged five years in that dreaded event.

It is now Saturday, Day Four of the master bath renovation. For two days they had the old toilet sitting in the master bedroom. Susan from Blackeyed Susan’s Kitchen blog suggested I place flowers in the toilet bowl as a joke to liven the place up a bit. I told her the dogs would rip the flowers to shreds, then Bonnie the white cat would eat the rest, as she eats any green thing that comes in the door.

The toilet is now gone (thanks to Walli’s husband Ken who decided he wanted it for their country place. I had told him he could have it. Didn’t know he had someone help him move it until I went outside and followed the trail of water down my paths and out my gate and down the street!) Don’t they drain these things first… I don’t know much about remodeling and such. Oh, but I’m learning!

I have trained my dh to put the toilet seat down, lest one of the pets go for a dive. But I do not feel comfortable hounding nameless workmen about more than the front gate that must be shut to keep the dogs from running out. And I don’t seem to be able to break the language barrier there either.

I take them a tray of snacks mid-morning each day. Something to be said for trying to stay on their good side. (I hope…)

The dogs and I spend our days here closed off in the garden room. Trying to stay out of their way. And you know I’m never too far from my computer.

My bathroom now has sheetrock. Otherwise it is a room with a drain that will be the middle of a shower stall eventually. Yesterday I had my house jackhammered yet again. (How on earth do these plumbers hear after engaging in such activities!) It is a shell that I hope one day will be a relaxing bathroom.

Alas, as with most remodeling projects, there have been a fair share of snafus. I’m happy I already take blood pressure medication, or I’d likely be in the hospital by now.

Oh my, does everyone think remodeling is horrendous? 

Anyway, Violet at Lady Greenthumb’s Garden has tagged me. In my confused menopausal state, I seem to remember a few week ago that Cinderella from Hopscotch And Hydrangeas tagged me too. I just hope in my feebled mind that it was the same tag. Anyway, here are a few things I will admit to:

I have already linked to the people who tagged me, so I have fulfilled that requirement. Below are the rules. And here are 6 random things about me.

1. I am impatient as h**l

2. I drive too fast, walk like I’m escaping a raging fire, and eat like the plate is about to be jerked away. In other words, I’m one of those people you try to dodge in the grocery store lest you be run over.

3. I hate noise. The TV grates on my nerves. When I’m out and about I feel crazed listening to all the varied cell phone conversations coming from every conceivable direction.

4. I like to listen to talk radio, particularly NPR while driving at alarming speeds through my city. (Well, I will amend the alarming part. I have only had two traffic tickets in my life and I’m 51, so either I’m luck rides with me. Or I don’t drive as fast as I think.

5. I have never played cards. I have never gone bowling. I have never been wed properly "down the aisle." And I’m on number 3. (Not likely to happen now. Oh, I’ve never been one for ceremonies. I was one of the few little girls who never dreamt of the beautiful white wedding dress!)

6. I’m not entirely proper. Which means I often shock people by saying what I should just keep to myself. My goodness, they likely think, a woman her age just saying whatever comes to mind… Oh, the old menopause syndrome bails me out once again. (Psst! When is it I have to give up that tired excuse?) I try not to offend. I help elderly people whenever in a store and they appear bewildered. I volunteer my time. I don’t break the law. So why can’t I just be myself and not have to lie at this point in my life? I never was good at social dithering. That’s why I stay to myself.

Now I get to extend this to six other bloggers who will probably curse me.

1. Tina, Stitching In Texas 2. Tracie, My Petite Maison 3. Curtiss Ann, Pressing On 4. Beth, Gathering Dust 5. Joanna, Sweet Finds 6. Teresa, French Poppy.

Teresa just a few days ago sent me the gorgeous print above. I won it in a drawing, and she is the talented artist who made it. I thank you, Teresa! I shall have it framed and cherish it forever!


  1. Hi Brenda,
    First of all, Teresa’s print is darling; second, I’m so sorry to hear about the crate situation with the dogs; third, those men should know to put the lid down, someone should have trained them by now, and last but not least – I think I should copy your tag answers because many of them are the same for me and just make minor changes (like the eating one – I take forever and a day to eat) and do it that way – lol!
    I don’t know how you stand the jackhammers, that’s the reason for locking your poor doggies in the crates 😉

  2. Once again you are making e laugh- not because the dogs were stuck in the crate (that wuld have had me in a major panic too) but just the fact that you did it- sounds like something I would do. It’s just the way you tell a story. You are such a great writer you make me feel like I am right there with you!!
    I am one of the odd balls…..I actually enjoy remodeling projects. In fact I thrive on them. However, my huband and I always do the work ourselves which I think is why I enjoy it so much. I would definitely have a hard time dealing with people running around my house during a project and the total chaos and upheavel that goes along with said strangers!! But I love the site of a frehly gutted room…… the empty shell that holds so much possibility. I love the smell of fresh cut lumber, plumbing sauder nd drywall mud……….ahhhh. I know- weirdo, huh? I grew up in a family of construction workers so it must just be in my blood. But to me remodeling projects are like a fun journey and when you getto the end it islike you have entered a new place. A place of beauty and achievement. There is something very gratifying about it. Just sit back and try and enjoy it if you can and realize that it will be over soon enough and you will have beautiful new spaces that replace the noise and strangers that once filled your quiet domain!!
    -Cinderella 🙂
    PS LOVE the print!!

  3. Poor poor Brenda! Hope all you woes will be over soon. Poor little poochie darlings! Glad they were rescued. You had better to go to bed early tonight and get your rest!
    Be a sweetie,

  4. I know that panic feeling. I locked my daughter in the car when she was six weeks old. I hope your remodeling speeds along next week! xo, suzy

  5. Oh my goodness, your story telling makes me laugh! Although I’m sure locking your puppies in was not funny at all. Glad all is well now and you seem to be making it through the renovation so far.

  6. Oh Brenda, you make me laugh (I’m laughing WITH you, not at you)! That whole scenario with the dog crates sounds like my life, so I sympathize with you, too.
    You are a crafty lady, get to craftin’ and make yourself a cute little sign to put over the toilet (in 2 languages, if necessary) saying “Put the friggin’ lid down!” (something more tactful if you feel so inclined) Blame it on menopause! haha
    Did you take b4 pix of the bath? I hope so, can’t wait to see the finished result. It will all be worth it when you can retreat into your new bath and RELAX.

  7. LOL! Brenda, I sooo enjoy coming here to visit you. I wish you were my neighbor. The delight I would have in listening to your days events would be wonderful!

    Can’t wait to see the finished bath…

  8. Thank you for making me laugh Brenda! I hope the remodel gets done as quickly and painlessly as possible, and everything returns to normal (whatever that is,) as quickly as possible.

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