I’m Melting!

For most of my life I have felt too tall. I reached 5’9″ in Grade 6.  I felt like a giantess, even though I was one of the shorter women in my extended family. My mother was 5’11 and her mother was 6 feet tall.

Husband and I remodeled our kitchen about 15 years ago, and the contractor was concerned when we replaced the soffits with cupboards extending to the ceiling that it might detract from selling the house in the future.  “Not everyone is as tall as you and your husband” he warned. “Some people could have trouble reaching those top shelves”.

Well, “some people” now includes me. I am 1.5 inches shorter than I was 15 years ago and the top shelves are a real stretch.  For the first time I regret losing some of my height.  That inch and a half has made quite a difference in my reach. My doctor isn’t too concerned. I have a good diet rich in calcium.  I get exercise. I often call on husband to get down the things I need. I make good use of tongs and grabbers. I haven’t yet resorted to a kitchen stool.  For some reason, a Joni Mitchell song keeps going through my head whenever I have to get something down from the top shelves in the kitchen:

What didn’t you know you had until it was gone? Ever done a remodel you regretted? What is your favorite Joni Mitchell song?

45 thoughts on “I’m Melting!”

    1. I was thinking about it the other day… kinda waiting to see if this is really spring or not yet. It may have to be a Sunday. April 28th. Would that work for people?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. While I’m not so short that I can’t reach my cupboards, I am the shortest one in my family. This has been an issue for me all of my life. Even though the doctor says I’m not really 5 6, that’s what I write on every form I have to fill out with my height.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Choosing just one favorite Joni Mitchell song is pretty hard to do. As with much else, it partly depends on the mood I’m in. This one is in the mix for sure, along with half a dozen others:

    Liked by 3 people

  3. April is my birthday month, and in celebration of my advancing age, I scheduled a bunch of medical appointments of various sorts. Partly, this is a routine annual check-up, but it’s also to address some increasingly annoying issues that I have been ignoring.

    Twenty years ago I was diagnosed with osteopenia, and since then my height has gone from 5’9-1/2″ to 5’7″. A DEXA (bone density) scan on Monday revealed that my bone density has further deteriorated and that it is now categorized as osteoporosis. A good diet, calcium supplements and moderate exercise are not getting the job done. Now more aggressive treatment is needed to reduce the risk of fractures.

    An eye exam on Tuesday revealed that scratched and dirty lenses on my glasses were not the sole cause of my increasing difficulty with reading and seeing things clearly. I have cataracts on both eyes, in addition to an issue with the retina in the right eye. I’ll need three separate surgeries to fix this. I had hoped that a pair of fashionable new glasses would be the answer to my problems. I am grateful, however, that cataract surgery is fairly routine and amazingly successful these days, and I should be back in the swing of things soon.

    And no, we have never done a remodel we’ve regretted. There are some remodels that I regret we haven’t done. Does that count?

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      1. I took it for about a year about ten years ago, and stopped. Don’t recall why, but probably because I was concerned about long-term side effects. My doctor is advocating that I take it again, so I will have to do some more research.

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    1. Did you get your height from your mother or your father? My mother’s family are all really tall. One of my great grandfathers was a grenadier in the Prussian army. Grenadiers had to be tall so they could lob grenades over the heads of their comrades into the enemy ranks.

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      1. Mom was 5’4″ and dad maxed out at 5’7″, so I suspect my height may, in part, be the result of better nutrition. I resemble dad a lot more than my mom, though. My sister takes after mom, she, too, maxed out at 5’4″.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I bet it was the Danes who supplied your height. My best friend’s ancestors came from the Isle of Fehmarn, which is pretty Danish. She is 5’11”.

          I think North Sea people are pretty tall. Fred Manfred, the Minnesota writer, was a Frisien whose ancestors came from the island if Borkum, I believe. He was almost 7 feet tall. My dad’s family were Frisien, too, but they were what I woukd call “sawed off, hammered down Dutchmen”, all pretty short. My dad was 5’7″.

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  4. Hi-
    We remodeled our kitchen in 2004 and removed the soffits and had the corner cabinets go to the ceiling. Nope; we can’t reach any of them. But we have a stool and it’s a good place for those things we use but just not that often. (It was helpful when son was still home because he could reach all that stuff).
    I can’t think of any home remodeling regrets. We think about things for a long time before they happen. If there are regrets, it’s just that the whole room wasn’t big enough to start with or something like that.
    We only have a single car garage. We have talked about trying to make it a two car, but there’s not really room. There is a few feet off the side of the existing garage, then a slope down about 6’ to the road and then off to the side of the road is the septic tank.
    With farm machinery going down the road we wouldn’t want the garage too close and we wouldn’t want to move the road too close to the septic tank so … I park over in the shed. It works.

    I think ‘Free Man in Paris’ is my favorite Joni song. Big Yellow Taxi is good too.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. I used to be quite flexible. Sitting cross-legged on the ground was easy. I did not anticipate how quickly that could go downhill as I remained flexible well into my 40s – something shifted in the last couple of years and now sitting cross-legged just hurts. Doing some yoga now, and that helps – but even though I knew I would not always be as flexible as I was when I was 20, I didn’t really think about how that would affect everyday things I want to do.

    And remodels I regret…well…I wish we would have used a different contractor and done the basement differently. When we moved into the house the basement was a warren of tiny rooms. We took out all the false walls and made it one open space, but it got cruddy looking quickly. I had hopes that having it open might make it more functional and it seems to have done just the opposite. (Full disclosure: we also just need to suck it up and get rid of some stuff that we haven’t used in years that is stored down there…but that won’t change the weird painted flooring…)

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      1. That’s part of what got us into this mess. We have these footed presswood square tiles over what we discovered was likely asbestos riddled linoleum. It seemed like a good solution at the time – but the paint got dinged up pretty fast. 😕

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  6. I too have lost about an inch and a half in height, though not by melting. I’m becoming more concentrated.

    Over the years I’ve singlehandedly remodeled a kitchen—from the studs inward—and build a couple of second bathrooms. When we moved into our current house, I completely remodeled the attic, turning it into a livable room. All of those remodels worked out well. The only regret I have is that I raised the bar too high. As I get older I find my energy level and drive aren’t up to the precedent I’ve set and home projects tend to drag on much longer than they should.

    I’ve never been a big Joni Mitchell fan. Heresy, I know. I do like a song of hers done by Cristina Branco of whom I am a fan:

    Liked by 6 people

  7. It was easy for me to avoid remodeling my home. My erstwife controlled decorating decisions, rejecting any suggestions I made. My parents, expert home remodelers, offered free labor when we needed to improve the bathroom, kitchen and living room. I was a passive observer of all the changes we made, helping when I could but deciding nothing.

    That changed dramatically when my wife left. I finally understood there was nobody to veto my preferences. I needed to reclaim my living space. I studied the history of domestic architecture, discovering that my home was a Craftsman bungalow. Bungalows have a fascinating history and represent particular values. For over thirty years I lived in one without knowing that.

    Only then did I realize our earlier home improvement projects had been stylistically inappropriate. My dad learned home remodeling when my mom was passionate about the Colonial style. Dad spent his life building and renovating with the Colonial style; it was all he knew. That’s how I came to own a Craftsman home with a huge Colonial bookcase. Did I have regrets about those early projects? Not really. While the style was wrong, the projects arose from love. I couldn’t feel bad about that.

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  8. I was just thinking about this while driving back here the other day, Renee – how I never appreciated when I was younger being able to move all my limbs and rotate all the moveable parts without pain. Shoulder issues now, and pain around the hip (not the hip joint itself – top of the femur) when I sleep on my side. and the CMC joint at the base of my hand. Thought of that line too: Don’t it always seem to go…

    Night in the City from Song to a Seagull album:

    Liked by 2 people

  9. We’ve never really remodeled anything, just changed some surface things like wallpaper, stripped woodwork, painted. But we did add that lovely Screen Porch in back of our Robbinsdale house… no regrets there, just wish we could beam it here.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. well i have enjoyed remodeling, i am fearless in my visions
    punching holes in the walls for big and small modifications are part of the fun
    i am designing container homes now for some future endevour both modifications to mid century ranch things and also multiple container designs
    architecture r us
    i look and see what i want and figure out how you get there instead of looking at what’s there and modifying it
    not smart but satisfying

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I know the feeling, Linda. I just love her work.

      As you (baboons in general) may recall, I spent an afternoon hanging out with Dave van Ronk after picking him up at the airport many moons ago. He regaled me with stories about Joni (Joan Baez and others) for about three hours before taking the stage at the Cedar. Fun memory. This song, evokes that memory:

      Liked by 3 people

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