Saturday, January 30, 2010


I have been busy all week packing up things that I think we can live without the next 5-6 months. I am amazed at how many things that includes. Seems like I am cleaning out a LOT of stuff, but I am also packing a lot of stuff too. Maybe, when I UNpack all those boxes I will again discard some of the things that we are storing now.

Earlier in the week I was overwhelmed with boxes, but my dear husband carted a whole load of boxes off to be stored today. While he was gone I began building up my stack of packed boxes again. One thing I am sure of is that our house will look much larger as we move things out.

All of this is a bit unsettling as I dismantle this house that we have lived in for so long.

Friday, January 22, 2010


We got our first set of plans from the architect yesterday and that made things seem more real. I think I am entering a state of shock--or maybe it is just the cedar pollen that is getting to me??

I spent the morning with the builder looking at other houses and my head is swimming! A minute ago he was back here sat the house trying out the treatment that he wants to use on our brick. Every time I look out he is here measuring, just looking or trying something. He is really enthusiastic!

I am packing, making trips to Goodwill, looking at plans, packing, visiting houses, gathering ideas, packing, throwing things out, cleaning up. Whew! This remodeling is beginning to feel like real work! Gotta pick up speed on the packing because I am not making very much progress on that task.

Friday, January 15, 2010


We have decided to remodel our 1950s style house that we have lived in for almost 40 years. Our plans began because nothing in our house is very accessible for the handicapped. My mother had trouble going up the two steps at every entry to the house. When I had both hip replacements I could not shower for a week because I could not climb into our tub-showers. We had friends over for dinner one night and it was very difficult getting his wheelchair up onto our front porch with the two steps even though she brought a folding ramp. And maneuvering the wheelchair down our hall into our bathroom was almost impossible.

About a month ago we began talking to a builder and decided to update one bathroom and take out the wall between the living room and den. The more we talked to the builder the more the project developed what our son says his company calls "scope creep." The scope of the project keeps creeping bigger and bigger. Yesterday my husband said our project has developed "scope leap" and now includes almost a whole house renovation.
The real crunch came when the builder said that we would have to move out of our house for the 4 months or so of remodeling. That sent me into a dither when I looked around at our accumulations over the years. We plan to pull a travel trailer into our backyard for the time we have to be out of the house, but I stayed awake all night trying to figure out how I was going to accomplish packing and storing all of our stuff. What would I need for the 4 months? Clothes for two seasons, a few dishes, my painting stuff (or would I have time or a place to paint??), bathroom items, computer (and how would I connect it to the Internet?). Would they disconnect our cable and my washer and dryer (probably)? So many questions and no organization forming in my mind. First of all, I did not know how much time I would have--today the builder said at least a month--WHEW! Yikes! Only a month??

A friend who does not live here suggested that I share some before and after pictures and keep a running report on my blog so that those who live away will know what is happening to us the next few months. An exciting adventure, but a bit overwhelming right now! Below are a few of the BEFORE pictures.

Our tiny den that is part of the den/kitchen area. We will take out the wall between den and living room (seen through the doorway).

My kitchen and kitchen table (which is now disguised as my art studio) and will need to be cleaned up before I serve supper. I will continue to post pictures as we progress through this project!

Friday, January 8, 2010


Today I had an interesting experience. I belong to a group of ladies who meet regularly for breakfast and we discuss lofty topics like grandchildren, children, our aging bodies and even spiritual things. Last week one lady in our group had a new grandchild here in town and she sent out an e-mail with pictures and a description of the baby.

I wanted to send a little gift to them, but I could not remember the couple's last name. I had the name of the baby and I could remember the first names of the parents, so I was puzzling over the best way to send the gift. This afternoon another member of our group called me and asked me if I could remember the name of the husband and I knew that. She remembered the last name of the couple and had asked the grandmother for the address. She also told me that the family had requested no gifts, so I will merely send a congratulation card.

What struck me at the end of the phone conversation is that each of us often has a piece of the story or the truth, but not all of it. However, when we get together in a group and share, all of us contribute whatever we have to offer and then we all leave with a more complete picture of the topic that we are discussing.

The same thing happens when a group of us are dressing together at our fitness center. As we gather at the mirror someone will ask if anyone knows a good doctor, or a recipe for salmon, or someone to clean their house. Inevitably, someone standing there has an answer or suggestion. We often say that there are few problems that we cannot solve in the dressing room while putting on our makeup and combing our hair. Someone will present a problem and several people will chime in with solutions.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


The past week we celebrated New Years, our #2 Son's birthday, their anniversary and just being together as a family and watching 5 grandchildren (ages 1 1/2 to 9). What fun we had and lots of goodies to eat also.
Granddaughter Em pouring sparkling grape juice for Miss Ella Bella who was ready to party!
Two of my sweet daughters-in-law huddled in the kitchen to compare parenting notes--or maybe recipes??
Sons #4 and #2 with their dad.
Son #2 getting ready to blow out candles on his birthday cake. How many candles are on that cake??
Miss Ella Bella next to Soph, taking a BIG bite of birthday cake.
Soph and Grandson #2 wrestling on the floor.
Son #2 unwrapping "the clock" that belonged to Mother. He was pleased to inherit "the clock" that all the grandchildren remember seeing at her house.
Learning to Wii??
Grandson #2 conked out towards the end of the celebration and I enjoyed the cuddle time.
Before we all left for home we tried to get a picture of ALL the grandchildren who gathered for the festivities. Unfortunately Grandson #2 was more interested in watching all those girls than posing for my pictures!
But the girls did pose nicely for me. Such a sweet group of girls!