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To quote Liz Lemon, “Blerg!”

When I woke up on Saturday morning (oh so gloriously late, with the sun shining in, sigh), I had a slight sore throat, which I thought nothing of, because that sometimes happens, and it goes away, and all is fine. And that’s what happened – it went away.

But then it came back, and at the most inopportune time. When, exactly? 4 a.m. I was so very, very tired, and lying awake in bed in so much pain – if you’ve roamed the internet today (blogs, Facebook, whatever), it seems like many others have this severe throat pain. The two kinds of cough drops we had in the house didn’t work (did you know it takes almost 15 minutes to finish one of those off?), but by 4:30 I was still ridiculously tired and I just forced myself to fall asleep before having to swallow again. (I liken this particular feeling of tiredness to what it feels like to be a parent, forced to wake up out of a really good sleep, to deal with an ailing child. Only, in this case, I was the child and the parent. Oh, and I didn’t cry. And if worse came to worse, I could drive myself to the store. But I digress.)

hopped out of bed on Sunday morning and got himself all ready for the day. He wanted to go to a computer store. He came and told me his plans (I was lying in bed, trying to be asleep, but not really being successful because of all the pain), and I said that I was going to get up and go to Walgreens. (Surely, they must have something there that will make this go away.) Well, unfortunately, his computer store wasn’t open yet, but he did volunteer to go to Walgreens for me. So very nice. Chloraseptic spray and three types of throat lozenges later, I was feeling better. The pain had subsided enough for me to know that things were swollen – they felt wrong, you know?

But, life goes on, right? I got myself dressed and we headed out to Home Depot and Lowe’s (we had three coupons for Lowe’s, so it was worth the 30 minute drive). Friday night we had gone to Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Bed Bath and Beyond, and West Elm to look at curtain rods. I honestly did not think this was going to be the difficult part of the project. Alas, it was. Saturday morning I went to Home Depot, since a friend had mentioned they had exactly what she wanted (originally I was unimpressed with their website selection, but thought I’d give the store a chance) – they had absolutely nothing longer than 84″ wide, and since our patio door is 100″ wide, that just wasn’t going to work.

Home Depot matched our Lowe’s coupon (they do that you know, match each other’s coupons – handy to know), so bought his much coveted air compressor – nail gun set. Lovely. I had wanted some paintable caulk, which the internet had told me was the thing to use to make the paint job in the bedroom look professional (filling in the gaps between trim and wall/ceiling is where us amateurs usually fall short). There were two (!) staff persons in the caulk aisle, and they were very helpful. (Note to self: the best time to go to Home Depot is Sunday morning, when no one else is there, and the staff is more than willing to talk to you – we had multiple salespersons talk to us and offer assistance throughout the store.) I hoping that this small success would be repeated again at Lowe’s.

I was not disappointed. Their selection of curtain rods was potentially bigger than any other store we went to. Perhaps not by brand (only 2 main brands, with maybe a third brand of the really cheap crappy stuff), but by style and sizes, they beat out everyone. After much debate, we made a decision and used another coupon. Yay for coupons! We still have a $10 off $50 or more, after spending the 10% off and the $25 off $250 or more (the latter was spent on the air compressor, the former on the curtain rods). We actually decided on a hack, since they didn’t have exactly what I wanted (but, for half the price of something comparable at Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware, which would have also been a compromise on style, I was willing to be creative). We bought a double rod set and a single rod set (both 72″-144″ wide! so luxurious!), as well as some tiebacks. We planned on replacing the finials on the front rod of the double rod set with the ones from the single rod (they only had one or two style options for double rod sets, and both were kind of boring).

Image courtesy Lowes

Image courtesy Lowes

(The color match in person is much closer.)

One small hiccup here – though both curtain rods were from the same company, they used different size screws to attach the finials, so boo on that. Unfortunately, allen + roth does not seem to have a website, so I cannot let them know that this small inconvenience could be easily fixed and then I would love them more. says we can fix it, so we’ll get around to doing that later. He worked hard at measuring everything precisely, and we got the hardware installed with relative ease (it’s always difficult to get the screwdriver at just the right angle in that small space they allow you), and the rods went up easily (when they get that big, they’re in three pieces instead of two, which is a lot easier for installation, trust me). The tiebacks are waiting for curtains to be made, so I can see exactly where I want to put them and what it will look like. (But I’m very excited about these tiebacks. Aren’t they lovely?)

Image courtesy Lowes

I had been wildly successful on my SR Harris trip on Saturday afternoon, having found the perfect curtain fabric. I’m going to keep it a surprise for now, so you’ll just have to trust me. Everything is washed and pressed, so I just have to buy some matching thread and we’re in business. (Actually, there are some logistics as far as adding a ruffle that I haven’t exactly figured out, but I think one of my sewing books may have the answer.) Hopefully there will be curtains up by the weekend (at least sheers – those just have to be hemmed). The sheers are actually hanging up right now, draped over the rod just shy of “in half,” because I wanted to make sure that the colors were going to look good. And yes, they do. (Here’s my inspiration photo from Better Homes & Gardens. Their instructions on adding a ruffle are severely lacking.)

While installing the curtain rods, I decided that though Valspar said it cured in one week, I am not going to trust that. I’ll wait a full month before putting tape on those beautiful walls (so I can paint the trim). I’d rather wait than end up pulling paint off with the tape. I can be patient. (You’ll have to too, since I won’t have any more pictures to post of the room until I make progress on these projects.)

So back where we started… my sore throat got much better throughout the day, but it wasn’t gone. I woke up this morning in the same state I had on Sunday, great pain, but I was happy that I’d slept through the night (I had planned ahead, though, and put some cough drops near the bed so I wouldn’t have to blunder about in the hallway looking through the medicine cabinet). More cough drops, Chloraseptic spray, and some Advil, and I was feeling OK by 9ish (I went to work – there’s nothing else wrong with me). The warm cup of Teeccino felt good too.

However, my head is starting to hurt, and the sore throat is not easily mitigated with cough drops. Alas. I think it’s time for more Advil, and a whole lot of water / Crystal Light. I am glad that I’m not stuffed up, nor do I have any other symptoms of a cold, nor am I nauseous (thank goodness). I should probably take my temp – it’s the only other real symptom of strep that I can test for at home. I find it unlikely that I have either strep or a fever, but if this goes on for another day or two, I may have to go to the doctor. (Edit: WebMD says that strep goes away by itself in 3-7 days, and while a doctor may give you antibiotics, it’s totally unnecessary. Perhaps we’ll just wait this out.) I have turned in so many leave slips lately that I’m hesitant to ask for more unless necessary (and I have to turn in yet another one for Thursday morning, so I can meet with the teacher who is reviewing my lesson plan – I also rescheduled Orkin to come out that morning, so I’m killing two birds with one stone, but it’s still time off work).

All that said, I am in a surprisingly decent mood, what with it being Monday and my being sick. Oh, and I have class tonight, and still have a paper left to write for tomorrow night’s class. Still not grumpy. Life could definitely be worse.

(Editor’s note: WebMD also told me to not share toothbrushes with anyone. Ew! Who does that? Well of course you’re sick if you’re using someone else’s toothbrush. You totally deserve that for being gross. Also, I’m glad I don’t have a red rash – that could mean I have scarlet fever. WebMD is a dangerous site and I think I’ll go somewhere else now, like perhaps cuteoverload.com.)

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