March 2017

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Friday, August 30, 2013

My Week

The kitchen's on hold for two weeks while we wait for the granite countertops to be prepped for installation on September 5. I thought the wait would be extremely frustrating, but this first week flew.

This picture is obviously distorted.
Jonah's legs and feet aren't abnormally
tiny. But this cucumber that got lost
among the veins in my daughter's
garden was that large. Jonah loves
harvesting their vegies.
Because the dust-producing work is done on the kitchen, I was able to finally thoroughly clean the family room, knowing it'll stay that way for awhile. I was also able to restock the laundry room/pantry that's off the kitchen because that room is finished.

And, since school's back in session, I spent Tuesday and Thursday with my three-year-old grandson, Jonah. This year is off to a good start. Jonah is much more mature now and, therefore, watching him is a lot more fun than work. It'll be even better when we're able to use the whole house. Jonah is our budding gardener and chef, so I can't wait to cook with him in the new kitchen.

Despite no physical activity, I actually do have some kitchen updates. Yesterday, the counterstools were delivered. Overall the stools are larger than our old ones and the seats are two inches higher. I'm reserving final judgement until the countertops are installed.

And, today, I got a call from Best Buy letting us know all the missing microwave parts have arrived and are ready for pick up. I also just got the digital image of how the countertops will be cut on the slabs.

All in all, I've had a good week. I'm now looking forward to a three-day weekend with hubby. It's Labor Day weekend and that means fall is just around the corner. Yay!



Friday, August 23, 2013

End of Week 6

Great strides were made in the kitchen this week. The carpenters set the island, built in the banquette, added baseboard and some cabinet trim, and painted the laundry room, baseboards, and window frames. They also replaced all the cream outlets and the cream light switch in the laundry room with new white ones. And three other vendors took measurements for the countertops, cafe shutters, and valances.

The granite is now set to be installed September 5 after which the backsplash will go up; the electrician will make a final visit to install lighting and hook up the appliances; and all the final touches will be made, including a second coat of wall color. Until then, however, we're at a stand-still.

Between now and September 5, I'll hopefully receive the replacement table, two counter stools, and the missing microwave parts, but there'll be no activity in the room. This has to be the toughest period of the project to get through.

My survival plan is to concentrate on enjoying some privacy during the day, and to keep reminding myself we're over half way to completion. And to come up with three more weeks of menus I can prepare with just a hot plate and crock pot!

The banquette lid is propped open while the first coat
of paint dries, but doesn't it look great!
Hopefully you can see from the pictures there is plenty
of room around the island as well as in the breakfast area.
I was extremely anxious about everything fitting until
I actually saw the pieces in place. Huge relief!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mom Update

I'll post pictures of the kitchen tomorrow, but today I thought it was time for an update on my mom.

Last week mom came off hospice, for the second time, due to weight gain. She still sleeps nearly 22 hours a day, rarely makes any sounds, is on a prescription pain killer because she moans and groans when handled, and can do absolutely nothing for herself. Nevertheless, mom gained eight pounds in just a few months because she eats and drinks anything and everything placed to her lips.

Medicare has strict hospice guidelines regarding weight. So, despite mom's clearly declining condition and confirmed terminal illness, she no longer qualifies for hospice simply because she gained weight. It's incredibly frustrating because, without hospice, mom no longer has her comfy geri-chair and bed pad and the extra attention she got from her hospice team.

I have a Care Meeting at the nursing home next week and plan to address the weight gain. Since mom can't feed herself, it seems to me her calorie intake could be controlled. At 5'9", mom was at a healthier weight when she was 160 pounds. Now she's at 168 pounds and will continue to gain on her current diet. I talked with two hospice organizations and both confirmed mom is probably just eating and drinking everything offered because she can do nothing else. It's also safe to assume mom can no longer feel full.

Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease 10+ years ago and has been in a nursing home for over four years. Frankly, I don't see this nightmare ending any time soon.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

End of Week 5

Here's how Week 5 ended. On Monday, we tackle placement of the island. I love seeing that hood every time I look into the room!

Crown molding will be added, taking the cabinets to the ceiling.
See that thin wood area between the last two cabinets?
That's a pull-out spice rack.  Too cool!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Kitchen Update and Start of School

This week it seems work on the kitchen is moving at a snail's pace. I think it's because I thought the cabinets could be installed in one day. But, as Jonah would say, "No way!"

Walls were primed with one
coat of final wall color.
Monday was dedicated to priming the walls and moving plumbing, so no cabinet installation that day. But now we're in day three of cabinet installation and I doubt it will be completed today. Absolutely nothing is going as quickly as it does on HGTV!

And, to add to this week's fun, school started on Tuesday. First there was the fiasco of bus transportation not being aware Elliott needed to be picked up and dropped off at our house. So, I've been doing parent drop-off and pick-up the last two days, which is more time-consuming then one would imagine because of the large number of students who don't ride the buses. Then, today, I'm entertaining Jonah and am extremely doubtful we'll have a successful nap time with all the kitchen activity.

Oh, and the new kitchen table was delivered yesterday with some weird imperfections on the top. Fortunately, however, Restoration Hardware did a follow-up call and will be sending a new table in 7-10 days. Thankfully, another example of good customer service!

And, on another positive note, we were finally able to uncover and put back the furniture in the family room last night. Watching our 40" flat screen, again, from the comfort of our couches was just the lift we needed!


Monday, August 12, 2013

The Chaos

A friend asked for pictures of our chaos. I'm glad, because it motivated me to take shots of our current living conditions, which is a big part of the remodeling process.

All of the cabinets should be placed and hung by end of day Tuesday. But until then. . .

We have a ranch home. This shot of the family room
was taken from the hallway that leads to the bedrooms.
Our foyer leads straight into the family room. We'll
be replacing this old tile with what's now in the new kitchen
hopefully in November.
This shot of our dining room was taken from the foyer.
More cabinets are being stored in that room in addition
to everything that was in our old kitchen cabinets.
Here's another shot of our family room. The glass doors
lead to our three-season room where there are more
cabinets in boxes.
This shot of the family room was taken from the kitchen.
Now you can see the hall that leads to the bedrooms
as well as the back of our refrigerator that's been
in the family room for four weeks.
Here's what happened last week, a lot of mudding after holes
were patched with drywall. You can also see some of the can
lights that were added to the ceiling when the electrician
was here while we were on vacation.
 Our laundry room is off the kitchen. I've been doing a couple
loads of wash everyday since it was put back together
last Tuesday. I love having a first-floor laundry room!
I thought I'd include pictures of our current living space.
Over the weekend, we put lawn chairs in the basement
exercise room. That way we were comfy watching movies
with the Roku that's attached to the television in that room.
I bought these chairs at Target, at the end of the season,
probably 10+ years ago for something ridiculous like
$8 each. We had only used them a half dozen times before
Saturday, but now I'm glad we held onto them.
And here's a shot of our entertainment center over
the weekend. On the right you can see some of my cooking
tools, because. . .
. . .the exercise room is also our temporary kitchen.
I've been preparing meals with just a hotplate and crock pot.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

New Appliances

In the spring of 2012, our neighborhood Best Buy closed its doors. But before it did, they offered bargain prices on all their inventory. I took advantage of the sale and bought a LG double oven and microwave at 50 percent off normal retail prices, saving us approximately $1,700. Best Buy bubble-wrapped both appliances, which were floor models, and we hauled them home.

For over a year, we've been storing the double oven in the garage and the microwave in the basement, both still bubble-wrapped. Yesterday, we decided it was time to unwrap both appliances and make sure we have all the parts. We discovered the microwave is missing three pieces.

When I purchased the appliances, I also bought extended warranties, two-years on the microwave and five-years on the double oven, but the warranties mainly cover performance. Nevertheless, we decided to see if Best Buy would help us with the missing parts and took a trip to the nearest store with receipt in hand. Without hesitation, Best Buy ordered the parts for pick up in their store at no cost to us. That's impressive customer service!

And to make yesterday even better, the replacement cooktop arrived in perfect condition. Onwards and upwards!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Kitchen Update

Last week was all about the electric. They had to run three new circuits, cutting into the garage ceiling and going through basement rafters. Much bigger job than originally anticipated. . .not sure why. But the new ovens require more power and we added nine 6" can lights and a couple of under cabinet lights, so makes sense electric would not be a small task. Plus they had to move and add wall outlets to accommodate the banquette.

Oh, and the cabinets were prematurely delivered last week. They're now sitting all over the dining, family, and sun rooms. If I'd been home, that wouldn't have happened. Price we paid for leaving town. But, as hubby keeps reminding me, better early than late!

This week is mostly about drywall, a time-consuming wait-for-mud-to-dry job. However, they did set up my laundry room on Tuesday, so no more trips to the laundromat, which honestly wasn't that bad. The other goal for the week is to paint the ceiling.

As of yesterday, I'm still being told cabinets will be installed early next week. If that sticks, it's also possible a template can be created for the granite late next week. However, that can't happen until I have a cooktop.

The week before we left, the cooktop was delivered with a severely cracked corner. The replacement is due Saturday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed the second one will be good. If not, I may have to look for a different cooktop, something I can get locally. It's especially annoying because I could have dealt with the cooktop months ago. But I just didn't want yet another appliance sitting in my basement waiting for the remodel.

I told the kitchen designer yesterday I always wanted a new kitchen no later than my 62 birthday. Since that's now only 2.5 months away, I'm starting to wonder if we'll make that deadline. But, if not by then, I at least want to be able to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Funny Jonah

Before I forget, I want to share these funny moments with my three-year-old grandson, Jonah, while we were on vacation. I remember when Jonah's older brother, Elliott, was three he, too, said the funniest things. Enjoy!

============================
As we started our descent into the Fort Myers airport. . .

Jonah: What's wrong with my ears?

Then a short time later. . .

Jonah: Oh, why are my ears not working!?!

============================
When the plane hit the runway. . .

Jonah: We're back at the airport!?!

After 2.5 hours in the air, Jonah thought we had returned to the St. Louis airport. When asked, he said he thought the plane was taking us straight to the beach.

============================
During one of our many rides in the rental van. . .

My daughter, Emily, to Elliott: How many times have I told you not to touch your brother? How many times?

Jonah: Three times, mom. You told him three times.

Emily to Elliott: Right. So how many times do I have to tell you?

Jonah: Four times, mom. You have to tell him four times.

Monday, August 5, 2013

We're Home!

Last week was our annual trip to Sanibel Island with my daughter's family. We always stay in a lovely condo at Sanibel Moorings. Click here for online photos, but the images don't do the unit justice. It's so comfy, roomy, and well done, I could easily live there year-round.

Our week was filled with playing in the sand, looking for shells, touring the island, indulging in local cuisine, and hanging out in the condo. I did my part to entertain the boys by bringing several craft projects, which they both enjoyed. And, this year, the boys were big enough to participate in the "Make It and Take It Bead Bracelet" event held every Thursday at Three Crafty Ladies.

My son-in-law gave my daughter a new camera right before we left, so she literally took 1000s of photos. Here are just a few of my favorites:

Love this photo of Elliott (7) and the perfect rainbow!
Every trip includes shopping at She Sells Sea Shells.
Here's Elliott displaying a grandma project, a sea turtle bag puppet.
Jonah (3) was very serious about his bead bracelet.
Mid week we took a nature cruise and netted and dug up sea creatures.
Jonah wanted to hold and touch everything!
In the gulf near our condo, we found 100s of sand dollars.
Every beach outing included building sand castles
or forts, always with a moat.