May 2018

May 2018

Sunday, September 29, 2013

End of Week 11

No more cooking and eating in the basement! Yahoo!

Last week the electricians were here two full days. They installed the nine can lights, outlets, chandelier, pendant lights, and under-cabinet lights. They also hooked up the refrigerator, double oven, cooktop, and dishwasher. The microwave will be installed this week after the missing screws arrive on Wednesday.

Working around the electricians, the carpenters installed all the remaining cabinet doors and most of the drawer pulls and door knobs. The rest of the pulls and knobs will be installed this week after yet another trip to Lowe's for the right length screws. In addition, the brushed nickel door knob and hinges on the laundry room door were replaced with black ones.

The carpenters/handymen also installed the faucet and turned on the water. What a wonderful thing to have water, again, in a real kitchen!

Of course, there are a few things that need to be fixed, but nothing preventing us from using the space. First of all, we recently discovered one of the doors on the island is the wrong size, and one of the doors under the sink is warped. (How neither one of these obvious problems wasn't noticed weeks ago amazes everyone!) Replacement doors have been ordered and should be here next week. And now that the cooktop is in place, it's clear the back of the drawer underneath needs to be notched out an eighth of an inch. Plus, one of the two under-cabinet lights has a hum. A replacement is due this week.

So how do I like my new kitchen so far? It's wonderful!

I've been washing dishes and stocking cabinets off and on all weekend. My new deep single-bowl sink and gooseneck faucet have made washing large casserole dishes, big pots and pans, and cumbersome refrigerator shelves and drawers a breeze.

I haven't used the cooktop, yet, but the electrician gave me a short demo. I was amazed at how quickly the burners heated up to full power. I think I'm going to really enjoy having nine heat levels plus a warm setting.

I also haven't tried the double oven. Although I read the manual and am hoping it works as well as described. Logically, it has to be better than the 30+-year-old double oven I had been using. At least I now have a working oven clock!

The carpenters will be back in the morning to install the remaining ceiling trim on the cabinets and the crown molding. This week they will also be putting final touches on the banquette and painting window trim and walls.

Then we wait for the window treatments and seat cushions, which should be in no later than the first week of November. We can finally see "the light at the end of the tunnel!"

(Happy 35 birthday to my baby girl, Emily!)

Monday, September 23, 2013

At Peace

Mom passed late last night. Her body has now been reunited with her soul. That's how I feel. Mom's soul departed as soon as she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. Certainly the woman who raised me ceased to exist 10+ years ago. So mom's passing is a long-awaited blessing.

I want to share some of mom's journey in the hope it will help others be better prepared. Mom started having memory problems in 1999 at age 68. She was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2002. After suffering through mom's bouts of aggression, depression, anger, and paranoia for seven years, dad agreed to place mom in memory care in 2009.

Thanks to the security of a locked environment and daily socialization, for the most part, mom was able to enjoy life to the best of her ability for roughly two years. Then, suddenly, mom could no longer walk and was moved to the medical floor.

Mom was placed on hospice in October 2011 because she began to lose weight. But, despite two bouts of flu, back to back, in January 2012, mom rebounded and no longer qualified for hospice by May 2012.

Then, in February 2013, mom had a presumed stroke and was placed on hospice, again. She lost strength in her right side, couldn't talk or feed herself, and slept most of the day. But, by August, she no longer qualified for hospice due to an eight pound weight gain.

Within a couple of days, however, the disqualification was retracted. For no real reason other than an Alzheimer's Disease decline, mom began eating less, pocketing food, and drooling. On September 16, mom stopped eating and drinking. Mercifully, she passed seven days later on September 22.

At age 62, mom had emergency quadruple bypass. The surgeon gave her no more than eight more years. Despite exercise and a healthy diet, mom was never able to get her cholesterol under 200 and her blood pressure was always a little high. Nevertheless, mom did not die of a fatal stroke or heart attack. Instead, Alzheimer's Disease ultimately took her life at age 82.

To our knowledge, no one else in the family has had or has Alzheimer's Disease. Dad is a healthy 83-year-old who swims six days a week and cooks healthy meals for himself seven days a week. I pray I've pulled more from dad's gene pool than mom's.

God bless all those currently on their own Alzheimer's Disease journey. I pray there's at least a glimpse of a cure in my lifetime.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013


Today I finished all six seasons of the television series Numb3rs that ran from 2005 to 2010. The acting was possibly the worse I've ever seen. And every episode included an annoying droning noise in the background. So why did I watch all 113 episodes?

Mainly because I liked the idea of the family dynamic of the three main characters. The oldest brother is a FBI agent who solicits the help of his mathematician brother to help solve cases. The genius younger brother still lives with their dad who's maintained a home, after the death of his wife, that both brothers still enjoy.

I also liked getting an insight into the world of mathematics in a prestigious university albeit a fictitious one. I'm always intrigued by how individuals with superior minds manage in a world of average.

It's really too bad better actors weren't chosen for a drama with refreshingly likable relationships. But Numb3rs ran for six seasons so I suppose most viewers didn't mind or recognize the bad acting and annoying background noise. For me, Numb3rs did prove that, to survive, a show's concept is secondary to the characters.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

End of Week 9 + 3 Days

The backsplash was grouted this morning. After 72 hours, it'll be sealed and, therefore, finished. We're very pleased!

The contractor is working on getting the electrician scheduled by early next week. That'll be a big day. The electrician will install all the appliances, light fixtures, outlets, and switches. What remains after that (crown molding, final cabinet pieces, paint, and installation of window treatments) can happen while I'm setting up my new work space and actually using it. I just might be in before the end of the month!


I need to give you another update on mom. She hasn't eaten since Sunday and has only taken in one or two sips of water. The decision was made today to no longer get her up for meals.

When mom stopped eating, she also stopped taking her meds that were crushed and hidden in food. She's now only on Ativan and Roxanol (morphine). Both are liquids dropped under her tongue.

At this rate, we've been told mom could continue 3-4 weeks since she's currently a healthy weight. Seeing her dropping pounds daily, losing color, and becoming more and more frail will kill my dad. Pray the end comes sooner.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Good News Day

I got the call this afternoon that the kitchen backsplash will be installed tomorrow. Yahoo!

It's been three weeks since the contractors were here, two waiting for the countertops and one waiting for the backsplash tile. Knowing that progress, once again, will begin tomorrow was just the lift I needed. It's been a rough weekend.

It's nice how sometimes things turn around very quickly. Yesterday dad called yelling and crying about mom being mistreated. He was completely irrational. Mom's care team are saints in my book. Then, within an hour this afternoon, I get a happy call from the contractor and another one from an apologetic dad.

Not sure what happened, but, for the first time since mom's diagnosis 10+ years ago, dad said it would be best for mom to go. Best for her and best for the family. In other words, he's finally letting her go.

Maybe dad's change of heart is what God's been waiting for. I sure hope so because our family desperately needs some peace.

Have a good week everyone!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Checking Out the City

Hubby and I have lived in St. Louis county all of our lives. We're just 30 minutes from the city, but rarely spend any time there. We used to go to the zoo several times a year, but now it's maybe once a year. And it's been a long time since we've visited the Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri History Museum, or Saint Louis Science Center. Hubby has been to a few ballgames this season. And we both saw performances at the Peabody Opera House and the Fox Theatre last year. But, for the most part, we do not take advantage of what the city has to offer.

And that includes the diverse eating establishments in St. Louis City. Which is odd because, when we travel, the highlights of our trips are the great meals we had. So I've decided to remedy that failing and start checking out St. Louis City restaurants, beginning today.

For lunch we ate at Pappy's Smokehouse after shopping at the Soulard Farmers Market. It was two firsts for hubby, but I had been to the Market once or twice many years ago. The produce was bountiful, beautiful, and reasonably priced. Plus we got two huge mums for just $5 each!

I found Pappy's when I did a Google search for St. Louis barbecue. It was the first listing. When I saw the name and remembered they were recently featured in a Food Network show, I was even more eager to check them out.

Just as I had read, even at 11:30 A.M. there was already a line. And it seemed as if we were the only two in it who had never been to Pappy's before. But the line moved relatively quickly and it wasn't long before we were able to judge Pappy's famous barbecue ribs and turkey for ourselves. We weren't impressed. The servings were fair and the food was good, but I don't see us returning. For our tastes, there's better barbecue closer to home.

Nevertheless, today's experience won't keep us from trying other St. Louis City restaurants, and becoming more familiar with our own backyard. It's adventure with no need for a plane ticket!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

General Updates

At her review mid August, it was determined mom would be dropped from hospice on August 31. Within days, however, her conditioned changed. Mom began favoring mushy food, pocketing food in her cheeks, and drooling. Hospice quickly changed their diagnosis of "improvement" to "clear decline." They are now keeping mom on and will re-evaluate in two months.

Last week mom was put on a mechanically-softened diet. This morning I was told mom's sleep apnea has become acute. She now often stops breathing for a full minute. This is no way to live and a horrible way to die. I hate this disease.


Over the weekend, I lined and stocked several of the new kitchen cabinets. I really enjoyed finally working in the new space. And I was able to get a sense of how nice it'll be to work in a kitchen with better traffic flow and more cabinets and counter space.

But now I've fallen into a funk. There's nothing more I can do until the electrician comes, which won't be until next week at the earliest.

We're currently in our ninth week of not having a proper kitchen. I'm tired of cooking with only a hotplate and crock pot, and washing dishes in a bathroom sink. And I'm weary of climbing the stairs to and from the basement several times a day.

I know, in the end, it'll be worth all the inconveniences. I'm just extremely eager to finally see the end.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

End of Week 8

The countertops were installed this afternoon and look beautiful!

Colonial Gold granite with an ogee edge.

Now we wait for the backsplash tile that I just found out today won't be in until September 12. In the meantime, I may cut shelf liner for the cabinets and drawers that won't be disturbed during the final electrical step. That way I at least can start restocking the kitchen.

All the waiting is really getting old. Plus, late last week, I learned the shutters won't be ready for 6-8 weeks, which puts us into late October. At this point, I'm just praying we don't have to make reservations for Thanksgiving!