Monday, March 31, 2008

Mom's gone-don't read if it will make you sad.

On Friday evening my mom passed away from Renal cancer.  It was a long hard battle, she was determined to never give into it or let it get in the way of living life to the fullest.  I remember as a kid worrying about the day my mom and dad would pass away and how I was ever going to be able to deal with it, I was hoping I would be at least in my 70's when it  happened  because  I thought  I might be  old enough to handle it by then, I imagined that they were around 100 years 
old when it happened.  Unfortunately, I don't think your ever old enough to handle it, but I know that it was too soon.  

My mom and me are a lot alike, we both don't like to cry because it gives us a headache, but mostly because we don't like to make others feel sad or uncomfortable so we cry when we are alone.  I call my mom atleast three times a week and we talk about our crazy dreams, what is going on in our lives and we laugh a lot, I am going to miss her so much I want to pick up the phone and call her right now because I know she would make me feel better.  We both love music, she would play the piano and I would sing for hours, we both love southern gospel music.  We also love to do anything crafty, I taught myself to crochet when I was a kid and then taught my mom and she has made  a  zillion  crocheted  things since. She  taught  me to  sew  when I was young, she   made  all of  my clothes  until I was  in Junior  High. My  mom was the best artist, that is  something  I didn't  inherit  from her,  I am not  very good at drawing.  

I couldn't have asked for a better mother, my friends use to say, "Your mom is so nice", and I had to agree, she was the perfect mom, she always said that she raised all four of us like only children and that was so true.  I think she dressed me until I was 12 and ran my bath water for me until I was in Junior High as well.  I remember the time that on St. Patrick's day she put green food coloring in my milk that was in my thermos for school, I think I was in the fourth grade, I was laughing so loud when I went to pour my milk at lunch time, I knew she was at home watching the clock and waiting for me to discover it.  Another time she crocheted these Oreo cookies and put them in my lunch sack on April fool's day when I was in beauty school, it was soooo funny.  She had the most incredible sense of humor and wit.  

I got a call from one of my mom's best friends the day after she died and she was talking about how proud she was of us and how wonderful she was and just then while I was looking at my computer screen my mom's picture popped up on my screen saver, it was a picture of her when she was visiting here and she had come to see where I worked and I was pretending to do an eye exam on her so I had this light shining in her eyes and she had her eyes really wide open and although it was a funny picture it is just so hard to look at.  I am going to have a headache now.  I am trying so hard to stuff all of the emotions down but they just keep coming out in waves, one minute I am numb, the next it is all right on the surface.  I know in time that it will get easier, but I also know that anytime you lose someone close to you that you lose a little of yourself and you are never the same, I miss my sister just as much today as I did the day she died and I want to call her too.  

I made a decision not to fly to Alabama right away, my dad didn't want anyone to come down right now but my brother and two nieces decided to go down anyway and I am glad they did, but I think I will come down after a month or so when everyone else gets back to their lives and I think my dad and brother will need me then more than now.

I am staying busy to keep my mind off of things, and although people might think it is not a good idea to avoid or deny my grief, I have to do it my own way, I can only take the reality of it all in short doses, then I have to busy myself, I will be fine.  Somehow I have managed to finish all of my wiring in my kitchen remodel and we have started to put the drywall back up, I am so grateful that I have this project right now, it is keeping me from dwelling on the negative.

I feel so fortunate to have gotten to visit her earlier in the month, although she was tired and weak, we were able to go out to lunch almost every day, we even went shopping one day and we sat and talked and talked like always.  When I left to go home and gave her the last hug, I knew I wouldn't see her again, and it was hard to keep it together, but being strong was something else I inherited from her.  I also talked to her the day before she went into the hospital and I kind of knew that was the last time I was going to hear her voice, I have always had a spiritual connection with her, my asthma has been its worst the whole week before she died, I could feel that something was wrong, my dad called me at work at about noon on friday and said they had removed the breating tube and she had passed, I was devastated, but I didn't feel she was gone yet, I thought I was just in denial, then when I got home the hospital called and said she hadn't passed, that they were mistaken, she was breathing on her own and responding to my dad's voice, I can't even  describe what emotions where going on in my head when I heard that.  I did know that 
it was still just a matter of time and later in the evening she did pass, my heart 
was palpatating and my asthma was getting worse all evening  and  all  of  a  sudden I felt better, about an hour later my dad called and said that she was gone.  I don't 
typically believe in that sort of thing, I am a huge skeptic, but all my life I could 
feel her presence.  I now feel empty. I am going to miss her so much!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The plumbing is in!

Actually, the plumbing is replaced with new shiny copper pipes, no more galvanized pipes except for the drain pipes. I got some of the electrical work done while the plumber was plumbing, I put in six new GFCI outlets, we use to have only two. I spent most of the time taking out the old wiring and the rest of the drywall. Once the wiring is done then onto drywalling, whoo hoo! No more destruction, it's all construction from here on out, well except for the bathroom, but that's another project. Craig got the pocket door sanded and stained today so we can put it back in the pocket soon. I didn't mention in my last blog that the reason I ended up pulling all of the drywall out was partially because I discovered that there is no insulation in the exterior wall so we will put some in before we seal it back up.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

How about the rustic look!

It's getting uglier by the minute, I spent all day Saturday pulling out drywall. Craig and I went to the dump twice, he managed to get the lawn mowed while I kept pulling out drywall. We removed the partial wall and now I have our light switch dangling from the ceiling.

We had to put a big piece of cardboard over the back wall because it had huge holes that went to the crawlspace under the house and the entire area where the tub is on the other side of the wall is open and we didn't want the cats back there. It was pretty scary taking out the drywall in that area because I wasn't sure what I would find back there, well, it wasn't pretty. We knew that in the past we could hear mice or rats in that wall and on a few occaisions we could smell a dead one so now we know why and how they got in there. We are going to plug up every hole in there and seal it tight before we put the drywall back up.
The plumber is coming on Tuesday to replace all of our old galvanized piping throughout the house. I am going to work on rerouting and replacing all of the wiring in the meantime. Basically I will have to re-wire everything because the way it was done before is such a mess and I will have to add some new circuits and lines for the built in microwave/convection oven, the dishwasher and garbage disposal and the under cabinet lighting.
I talked Craig into putting a new french door in where the sliding glass doors are, yes I said doors, we have two, not side by side, but one on top of the other, I hate them. We live in the Port of Seattle noise reduction zone, in other words we live right under the flight path of SeaTac airport and years ago they put in all new high quality vinyl windows and insulation in the attic and they added a second slider to our back door slider, it sucks. So we are going to replace those with one beautiful french door that has built in blinds between the glass, I can't wait.
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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Today's remodeling progress

Well, I got a wild hair to put in a pocket door to replace my ugly bi-fold doors on my craft room. Craig was busy tearing out the kitchen and dining room floor, and I was just about to start painting again when I got this idea. I never liked my bi-fold doors and I thought, what the heck, the house is already a wreck so why not. So I headed off to Lowe's and bought my pocket door and went to work tearing out drywall. I had to carefully cut out the studs as not to disturb the drywall on the other side and then I put in a header across the top.

Craig was still working on the floor, and as you can see by the picture, it was quite a project.

Here it is somewhat installed. We have it temporarily in place until we can get it sanded and stained to match the other doors. Once that is done I will put the drywall up and start painting where I left off.

Here it is in the pocket, pretty cool huh? Of course once the drywall is back up you won't be able to see it anymore.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Before pictures of kitchen

I thought I should put a couple of before pictures on here so you can see the progress from start to finish. I guess I could have cleaned up a little before taking these pictures, but oh well, you get the idea. I put our old cabinets out by the street hoping someone would take them and last time I looked out there it looked like about half were gone. We will continue to rip up the old floor tomorrow and tear out the partial wall by the fridge and who knows what else we'll get done, but I'm sure it will get blogged.

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Tearing out the kitchen

Today was tear out the kitchen day. So that's what we did. It's scary to see what is behind and under your cabinets and appliances. At one point I wanted to just move out, or at least run out, but I hung in there and we are working on getting at least two of the layers of floor up, we decided that we shouldn't mess with the bottom layer because it probably contains asbestos. The fridge is now in my craft room along with four large boxes of our food, we will have to survive with this make-shift kitchen for awhile, I foresee many meals out.

You can see in this picture below, my temporary wiring for the new canned lights in the living room. That wall is being moved out about a foot so I will put the switch in there permanently when we get the wall moved.
There are all kinds of funky wires and holes to nowhere that I will have to fix. Some of the holes in the floor and the walls are covered up with old mason jar lids.
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More remodeling!

I forgot to say on my last blog that we started our remodel on Wednesday night, on Thursday is when I finished getting the carpet out and on Friday night after work I pulled all of the trim off from the doors. Then Saturday was painting and floor day. On Sunday I got the trim on the garage door and the front door and most of the baseboards down in the front room and put the furniture back in somewhat the right places. The fish tank will go back in after we are pretty much done with everything.

We are going to put crown molding up all throughout the living room, dining room and kitchen. Again, you can see Craig working away on the kitchen drawings.
On Sunday night I marked where I wanted our recessed lights, we have six of them, and on Monday I got up in the attic and put them in. Today I got back up in the attic and got them wired and working. I attached them to a dimmer switch which also has a remote control. I added a new circuit breaker to the panel because we didn't have an existing light in the living room.
Next will be the demolition of the kitchen. We will start that on Saturday. I need a couple of days to get everything packed up and ready. We also need to do a little regrouping, I feel like the house is a disaster right now.
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Remodeling project

Well, we have started the remodeling projects. Carina and I started by pulling out the carpet to reveal the lovely hardwood floor underneath.

As you can see, the floor underneath was in bad shape. I had to shuffle the furniture around to get all of the carpet out.
After getting the carpet out it was time for paint. I painted the walls a color called "carmelized onion" and the ceiling is a lighter shade in the same color family. I painted over my stencil which I decided had been enjoyed long enough, time for something new.
Once I got the painting done I moved on to the floor. I am putting down a laminate maple floor. The blue stripes are just tape. Again I had to shuffle furniture around to get the floor in. You may be wondering where Craig is, well he is hard at work drawing up the specs for our kitchen cabinets and making a cut list for work. I was trying not to bother him with all of my chaos, and somehow he got most of his drawings done and they look great.
I stopped the floor at the edge of the hall. We will finish the floor on into the hall and kitchen once we get the kitchen gutted.
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