Posts Tagged ‘Kitchen’

Where Do I Start?

July 28, 2013

One good place to start is with a couple of adorable pictures from my sister Candy while cat sitting.



      Kittyboy Litterfoot (Petey)      The Zen Purr Master (Emma)

I have been neglecting this blog for a while because of the kitchen remodel – haven’t been able to let those who like my post how much I appreciate it.  I am even more amazed and delighted to find I have almost 60 followers – that means quite a lot to me.

No doubt (or maybe not) you are wondering what I have been doing for the last few weeks.  There is my Mom and where she is at this point.  I have begun to visit her in the morning, not always easy, because after lunch she is ready for a lie down or a nap.  She is a bit more with it in the morning, we have a visit.  She is having trouble saying what she wants, she tends to mumble more and more that I don’t really understand  it.  There are times when she is with it a bit more and I tell her what I have been doing.  I haven’t told her about the kitchen remodel, I am not sure what she understands and I wonder if it would agitate her.  I tend to go with “If you aren’t sure, don’t”.  Maybe I am just chicken.

She is having trouble with arthritis in her knees, one especially.  She doesn’t like to walk or move because she knows it will hurt, though some days she is doing well and uses the walker.  If it is a bad day, they will have in a wheelchair.  They don’t want to make the wheelchair a habit or she will not walk again.  Last Wednesday was her evaluation with DSHS – I learned things I didn’t really know – or didn’t want to know.  Essentially she needs help with everything,  she can wash her face if they give her soap and washcloth ready to go and she can eat by herself but someone needs to be there to keep her on track.  Otherwise, she needs help or have it done for her in everything else.

I knew she had to have help with a lot, but I didn’t realize the extent – threw me for a loop.   I am still digesting it, I am not sure how I feel about it – I am not sure I feel anything at the moment.  I knew it would come to this and she would only go downhill, I am not sure I am ready for it.  Looks as if I will have to be ready for it.  One thing I have learned recently is to do something after I see Mom, even if it is just to go to Lowes for something for the house.  Or wander around somewhere just looking and seeing what’s there.  I am working on doing an errand after I see her, though I sometimes forget.  Then I go earthing on the Allen’s grass because it is softer and nicer than ours.

She can be very feisty sometimes, not wanting to shower, wash her hair or change her clothes.  However, Judy told me when she is having a good day, she is a darling.  I know it is the dementia that is causing a lot of this,  still hard to see it happen to Mom.  My sisters call her, but now it is hard for them and for Mom.    I had an email this morning from Candy, she had called Mom the other week and this was how she described it.

” I can tell that Mom is “disappearing” by our phone calls. She managed an “I love you, too” at the last phone call, but mostly it is a couple of minutes of me talking, and any answer she gives is so garbled it makes no sense. I tell her we are all fine. I tell her she’s been a wonderful mother and is free to leave, that we will be all right. I tell her I love her. I’m not sure she really knows who she’s talking to, though it is made clear at the beginning of the conversation that it’s her daughter from Nashville.”

A lot of other things have been going on as well, plenty of things for several posts.  I always hesitate to  publish things about my Mom, she is a very private person and she might be upset for the whole world to know.  Yet I also hope that writing about what is happening for our family can be of help and benefit to others dealing with a similar situation.  More early childhood training.

New Experiences This Week

June 23, 2013

Ellen sent a lovely beach rose photo the other day:


I have spent so much time catching up with pictures and my kitchen remodel blog that I have not had time or energy for this one.  Working on the remodel takes more time, downloading the pictures, rotating and that need it, a little adjusting, etc.  Then it takes quite a while to upload to my media library; then it goes more quickly.  I usually have a comment on each picture – that takes the least amount of time.  I admit it has been an interesting adventure the past 3 weeks – especially now that it is definitely looking more like a real kitchen than that just my imaginings.  I am so delighted with how well it has turned out so far, Mary Ellen was such a big help in choosing colors, flooring and counter tops.  Plus I have  received compliments on the blog – I started it to show my two sisters what was happening to house we grew up in.  They have been very supportive and really like what we are doing.

Also, this week has been busy as I was putting together quotes for the new client.  He wants denim shirts, polos and tees; I put together each category in separate quotes.  Then I had my group price them for me and Friday morning they came back; then I put them in each quote and sent them off.  The proof for the lapel pin has been approved to put them into production.  He is very pleased with how well I have been doing things for him – a lovely compliment I am very pleased to hear.  Especially as  I have been having trouble delivering an item another client wants – my group has not worked with any of the suppliers and that makes them nervous.  I proposed I would pay for it and to order the one the client likes.  I haven’t heard anything yet, though that was on Friday and I can’t remember when I sent the email.

Friday was an important day for my Mom – we went to the oncologist to find out the options for her breast cancer and treatments.  She doesn’t really know what is going on and I am not sure she would understand, so I haven’t said much to her about it.  I have explained what we are doing but I think it is confusing for her.  I am amazed at how calm I have been about the whole thing because I am usually a worrywart about things.  The part I have been somewhat apprehensive about is how she would deal with the whole experience.  Many times she has asked why are we doing this but so far has been fairly calm and cooperative.

I went over to the house by 1 pm when the van was due.  I had brought my bag again with kleenex, cookies and chocolate plus my book.  The van didn’t arrive until about 1:45 – our appointment was for 2.  By the time he secured Mom’s wheelchair and I finally got in, we were off.  The van is a high one and I couldn’t quite bend my left knee enough to  use the bar to pull myself up.  Ricky must be used to it because he held my right leg and lifted me up and there I was!  Traffic was somewhat heavy, so by the time we arrived, it was waaaay after 2.  The traffic was somewhat heavy but we moved most of the time.  I was surprised we were at the Polyclinic – that is where my rheumatologist is and Infusion Therapy .  We had gone to swedish 1st Hill for the other two appointments.  I was able to slide down to the curb, much easier coming out than going in.  The office is on the 5th floor, not too far from Infusion Therapy, so I felt on more familiar ground.

The doctor is a young Chinese man, though I have to say he looks like a high school kid.  He is not that tall and has no wrinkles in his fave, but after a bit I realized he had some grey in his hair, so he can’t be that young.  He was very nice and had all the records, so that helped a lot.  He examined Mom and asked questions and had some good news for us.   He is not one for invasive or heroic measures.  He said the stains show it has to do with estrogen – good news – and intermediate aggressive.  He recommends Tomoxifin (I think that is right), a once a day pill.  It keeps the estrogen from turning on the growth message to a cell, so the cell dies.  He thinks it may even shrink the 1 1/3″ cancer – too big to  just scoop out and having surgery to remove it would be very hard on Mom.  He feels this is a good option for Mom.  He has spoken with Dr. Myre and she will arrange for the prescription.

We were finished about 3:30, so I called Tri-Med to pick us up – it was close to 5 before they arrived.   Darryl was very friendly and helped both of us into the van.  Mom sat in front because she couldn’t bend he right knee to have all legs in.   It took some doing for me to get in the back seat – I couldn’t get my right leg to bend enough to be tucked in.  Finally I found a way to do it and had to side sideways and out my feet in the middle of the van; then would be the how do I get myself out.  Even though it was 5, the traffic wasn’t very heavy going south – usually on a Friday everything is so backed up.  I called Eddie to let him know where I was and what was happening, then I would call when I was ready to leave Mom’s house.  That meant I would have to figure out how to get out of the van.  Finally I realized I could put my left foot on the floor and stand a bit until I had my right foot out enough to  leave the van.  however, it wasn’t easy to get to the ground because I needed enough leg length to reach the ground.  I felt myself falling backward but found Daryl was behind me to keep me from falling.  Those Tri-med guys are so great.

By the time I was ready to leave for home, it was almost 6.  I told Didi what the doc said and that Dr. Myre would be sending the pills.  She has received the anti-psychotic pills and has been taking them for  a few days.  Mom was really tired when she came back, but they decided to give her dinner first and  I suspect she went to bed early.  They had given her a small can of apple juice at the doctor’s office but was able to drink it until we were finished.  I asked if she would like a cookie and she was definitely open to that.  I brought three and it probably held her until dinner.   Never did get to the chocolate, I’ll save it for another day.

I came home and Brad was gone and Eddie was taking me out to dinner.  I didn’t feel so tired and worn out this time, that helped a lot.  We had a quiet dinner at California Pizza because going into Seattle wasn’t appealing at that point.  I had a chance to take pictures for my blog afterwards and just stand and admire the kitchen.

That was my week.  I loved Ellen’s beach roses but it was hard because she also sent a gorgeous clematis.  So I’m putting in both photos.  Thank You so much Ellen, you have such lovely pictures.  Next time it will be Candy and a set of really wonderful photos.  Won’t tell about it, so wait and see.


Finally Up and Running

June 8, 2013

I have finally been able to put together the  blog with the kitchen remodel and published it – you can find it at  It is more pictures with a bit of description or commentary.  I have the before pictures first in the Kitchen Remodel and then under that (I hope) I have labeled it Day 1.  I also plan to do a category that shows the outside of the house and some of the interior, then another with pictures of the “garden” – I use the term loosely since it is more bare ground or weeds rather than garden.

UPDATE: I can’t seem to get the link to work and I don’t know what is wrong. I thought it was publishing but it sometimes goes to something odd.  Well, let me know if you can get through in spite of the  frustrations.

It is strange to find myself doing two blogs at the same time, one will no doubt be a bit behind – it may go back and forth.  I appreciate your patience while I catch up.  Now that we have been doing it for a week, I am surprised I don’t feel terribly stressed out – tired, you bet!  But it has seemed to take so long to come and now at last the remodel has arrived.  Dealing with no water except in the bathrooms turns out not to be so bad – we seem to eat a lot of sandwiches and don’t use a lot of plates.  Eddie uses the downstairs bathroom while I find upstairs more convenient. We trade off who does the dishes, so no one is stuck doing it all the time.

We really enjoy Brad and one thing we notice is that at the end of the day, everything is cleaned and vacuumed before he leaves.  He has also been using the vacuumed right up close when he is taking something down or cutting somewhere since there is lead pain all over the house.  He did that when did the bathroom for us.  This time he isn’t taking out all the walls, so there is less work in that area.

Thursday this week the plumber came and turned the water off just as I was leaving for my massage, he said he would have it back on about 2:30.  So I decided to entertain myself until 3.  I had a lovely massage and Debye said that Spirits were telling me to go out in Nature and breathe it in deeply.  Also, they told her I had already decided, so they were validating my inclination.  Wow!

I stopped for some lunch to go at Subway – not a smart choice and will not go there again.  But I took it over to the park and hoped there would be a parking space.  We have been having lovely warm weather and figured everyone would be there.  As I drove down, all the places by the beach looked full – then I saw an empty space.  A handicapped space just where I wanted to be because I planned to go down to the south end of the park.  They were looking out for me.  I walked down quite a way and found a place I could go down the shallow few steps and over to a log with only a small stretch of sand and stone.  It faced west and the sun hadn’t come around all the way, so I had a lovely time eating my salad and my drink while reading my book.  It was amazingly quiet and peaceful most of the time, it was what I had in mind.

Around 2:15 Brad called to let me know the water was back on, so I cleaned up things and came home.  I was surprised to find myself so tired, I had no energy to do anything but relax.  Greg was gone and had no trouble doing the plumbing for the kitchen sink and Friday the inspector was due.  I have been taking pictures of the progress, so he was kidding me a bit about it.

Friday the electrician came – Bret has down things here before so he is familiar with the house.  He is a hoot and does an excellent job, I am glad he is doing the work.  He asked what we wanted for outlets and such 0 he said he could do anything we want.  I thought he was going to turn off the power, but that will be Monday.  So I was able to write my blog and work on getting the remodel one going.  I also went to see my Mom, she was kind of tired and when I asked about her bears, she wasn’t sure where they were.  I pointed out to her and asked if she would like to hold a bear – she was very happy to hold on to the big bear, her favorite.  I noticed she kept closing her eyes and so I asked Judy if she had slept the night before – Judy said she woke up quite early.  That may explain why she was nodding off.  So Judy helped her to get ready for a nap and I left.

Today we have taken our time doing things, I even had plenty of time to look through 3 quilting magazines.  We are both tired from the week and the weekend of moving stuff.  We slept well last night and probably will tonight as well. Sorry, no pictures for this post – you will find a lot on the remodel one.

Yikes! The End Of The Week Already!!!!

June 7, 2013

At the beginning of the week I thought I had things well in hand – not so much at the end of it.  I was beat when I finished up the last of the moving out of kitchen stuff, I figured I could relax.  But it wasn’t to be.  I went to see my chiropractor Monday morning for my regular appointment, glad to be there because I was stiff and sore.  She really helped me with that and my shoulder, so I figured I would be able to sleep better.  So I came home and wrote about Day 1 and decided to create a new blog just for the  remodel.   I was really tired after that, so I just relaxed.

Dinner was an adventure – we still have the stove so we cooked the artichokes.  I filled the pot from the shower, then later washed all the plates, etc. there as well.  That was something because I was bending over to do it and my back wasn’t happy.  I decided the bathroom sink would work better.  A little awkward but it does the job.  We are planning on very simple meals while this is going on – sometimes we have to go to different rooms to collect what we need.

Unfortunately I didn’t sleep all that well Monday night, not sure if I was still too tired to sleep.  I started working on the new blog, then had to leave because I had to do a medical day on Tuesday.  I first went to Radiology for my Dexa Scan, I only had to take off my shoes and unhook my bra and unzip my slacks because they were also doing my spine as well.  I didn’t know that, they did it the last time, I thought it was only my right hip.  They could do my right because of the broken bone, they can’t get a match to the 2005 one – yep, it’s been that long!   I got up on the table and she positioned me, then had to reposition – telling me not to move, she would move me.  It didn’t work as well, so back she slid me to the first position.

It was a little hard for her to put me in place because of the RA, but she was very friendly, just all business.  She printed pages out for me to take to Dr. Sheets, my rheumatologist.  I found out my numbers are higher than what is normal – 28 instead of 20 or below, 4.2 instead of 3.6, no idea what they all mean but according to her I am at great risk.  Hmmmm, is it as bad as that or is that medical overanalyzing?  Of course the doc wants to put me on Fosemax-type med – been there, done that, no desire to repeat.  I will see my primary care doc on the 18th and will discuss it with him.  Otherwise, she is pleased with results of Orencia.  My blood work was done when I had the infusion, so she probably has them by now.

Up to the Infusion Center where I was able to relax, read and enjoy the view from the other corner suite – not quite the view but very nice and quiet in the corner.  The Mt. Ranier was out and I could look south to see it and the freeway – we have been having warm sunny days this week.  Everything went smoothly so I was finished by about 2:30 and home by 3.  I didn’t plan to visit Mom because it would be late when I got there.  So I said I would come Wednesday morning.

Didn’t sleep very well, something was off but I didn’t know what it was.  I went to Breakfast Club and forgot it wasn’t at the usual place – the place was dark, which gave me a clue.  We were meeting at Dr. Rob’s vet clinic, he finished the remodel and it is really wonderful,  he put an addition on that increased the size to twice the space.  I also took Vickie aside and apologized for not getting her order on the day she wanted it.  I haven’t been as diligent as I needed and I had trouble getting answers from Kristen.  That is the first one that didn’t make it to the starting gate – really bothers me.

I went to have coffee and read for a bit before seeing Mom, it was 8:30 and I usually don’t go until around 10 or 10:30.  She was sitting at the dining room table, alert and with it.  We talked a bit and then ran out of things to say.  It is hard because I don’t know about telling her about the house, she would want to come and see it.  The things foremost on my mind I am not sure about telling her – would it just confuse her or make her agitated?  I don’t want to stir the pot.  Yes, just call me chicken!  She has an appointment with the oncologist on June 21st at 2p.m. – we’ll see what this doc has to say.  Then it will be talking to Dr. Myre to decided the best course of action for Mom.

Eddie had a dentist appointment in the afternoon so I stayed for when the 1 800 Junk guys came to finish up clearing the end of the basement.  I went down to see how it looked  after they came Saturday and stayed down to check out where my pictures were – don’t know where all of them are but I did find the one with my flower-pot lady.  I made it when I was in Fort Wayne but left her because I didn’t think she would make it through moving.

Flowerpot Lady

 Well, I will have to see where they are when we move the furniture upstairs.  They even took the old In Britain magazines my Dad kept – Center for Wooden Boats took the  Wooden Boat mags and ones about live steam.

Eddie came back from the dentist – good report – just as they were preparing the bill.  Now the area is clean and ready for the plumber and electrician.  I was feeling tired again – it’s like watching the movers packing or loading, I watch them work and I am exhausted.  What I really appreciated was how  well I slept that night.

The electrician is here and will be shutting of power shortly – not possible to do things on my desk top Mac with no power.  I will have to finish this later.

The Adventure Begins

June 3, 2013

I was feeling good and energetic on sunday, good thing because I spent a lot of the day cleaning out things in the cupboards and then putting them in places other than the kitchen.  Eddie dropped off about 5 bags to Goodwill this morning, plus we have filled the recycle wheely bin to the top.  Not sure if they are coming tomorrow or next Tuesday.  Even after all that, this morning before Brad arrived I was running back and forth to literally take things out of the cupboards to make sure they were empty.  I still have things in the pantry, but for the moment that is okay.  However, I am going to have to find boxes or something to empty things in so I can move them when Brad paints the pantry and puts new vinyl flooring down.

I thought I would sleep well last night because I was so tired – for some reason I didn’t sleep all that well, so I was tired and sore and achy when I got up in the morning.  I had an appointment with Dr Cheryl for an adjustment and I was so glad.  I just had a banana for breakfast and then left.  She really helped this morning with my shoulder as well as my back and neck.  Then I decided to go somewhere for coffee, relaxation and read my book for a while.  I really need some down time now.

When I came home around 12:30, Brad had a lot of the cupboards down and out – the kitchen was on the back porch.  The kitchen has been echoing lately and it keeps getting more pronounced with each thing removed.  I went for a lie down because I wasn’t sure if I would actually sleep – I just knew I needed to rest.  I heard the saw and other things but it didn’t bother me because I was so tired.  So I cuddled with Bunny for two hours and it felt so good.  I finally felt ready to get up, so I decided to see what Brad was doing.  Wow!  He had packed most of the cabinets into his truck – he had broken them down, otherwise it wouldn’t have been possible.  There are still a few things left but most of it is gone.

He left us the stove and the refrigerator and had them plugged in to make it possible to use them if we wanted.  We  didn’t have water in the kitchen, so I filled the pot for the artichokes in the shower and later washed the few dishes in there after dinner.  there will be a scramble for a while as we both find out where the other put things.

I have been taking before and during photos the last few days, my sister Ellen asked if I would.  I wasn’t around much to document the new bathroom, I had only been out of rehab 3 or 4 days before I moved to a hotel and Mom when to the adult family home.  I was still using the wheely walker and my progress was slow and careful.  Sometimes Eddie and I came by the house for him to get something, often it felt like a lot of effort to  go up the walk and up the one step, then navigate through the piles.  So I would wait in the car for Eddie.

One thing about Brad, he is very good at cleaning up during the work and at the end of the day.  Kitchen is probably cleaner than it has been for some time.  He will be here  later than 8 tomorrow because he plans to pick up the new back door and install it – can’t wait for that.  The one we have now doesn’t shut properly and anyone can can easily break in.  He is also going to take the front door locking system to see if it can be repaired – I asked how he would keep the door secure while it’s gone, so he is working on a plan.

Well, rather than use this blog for the kitchen remodel because it may not be all that interesting to people, I have a blank blog that I am going to put pictures and descriptions on to see if I can document the progress day by day. I will give you the address as soon as I have the it up and running.

Tomorrow is a medical day – Dexa Scan, rheumatologist and infusion – so I will see Mom Wednesday morning after Breakfast Club.

I Am Not Unique

June 2, 2013


I received this from Ellen this morning and I love it so much I decided to add it to the blog.   I love peonies!

I saw Dr. Cheryl for my adjustment on Friday and mentioned how tired and dragged out I had been all week.  She said she has talked to a lot of people who have felt the same way.  Hmmmm, in my own self absorbed world this week, I thought I was the only one feeling that way.  NEWS FLASH Sister, you are not unique in this.  Maybe it is all the dust I have inhaled the  past two or three weeks from the kitchen.

Now we actually have money in hand for the kitchen remodel, we feel we needed to start cleaning out cupboards.  I filled a box for my sister Candy with Mom’s cookbooks, she may get more than she bargained for with that box.  I started another one for her with the cocoa set and some cookie cutters, plus some silverware and utensils.  I put the bread machine aside as well in case she would like that.  Unfortunately there are only the smoke and light blue glasses left – I broke the green one last year.  I need to check with Ellen in case she has changed her mind about things.

Yesterday the 1-800 Junk guys came and cleared out part of the basement where the electrician will need to work.  I kept the Christmas decorations – hope I didn’t miss anything.  I went through before they came to be sure – found some quilting stuff, the two card tables and can’t remember what else.  I guess if I can’t remember or haven’t used it, I probably won’t miss it.  Still have a cupboard to go through and  figure out where we will store things while the remodel is in progress.  More stuff to Goodwill as well.

We worked a lot of the weekend and the holiday, though we also made sure we had time to rest and relax.  Tuesday I found myself tired, the I went to visit Mom and that really did it to me.  I went in the morning and found she had not slept well that night before – she was in bed and hardly awake.  I just let her know I was there and would come back to visit.  I really felt down even though my mind told me she has had lots of mornings like this, often afternoons as well.  I am not sure why it hit me like that, but it did upset me.

I went in the morning because the interior designer was coming at 1.  I have been going round and round trying to decide what color to paint the kitchen – my mind just went into neutral.  So Mary Ellen was a great help and fun to work with.  I told what I was thinking and we looked at color samples, plus I brought one of our sofa cushions up to help with the color for the living/dining room and the hall.  I was thinking pale peach because I want it to feel warm and light on those cloudy, cold, rainy days.    What we ended up with was the same color for the kitchen as well.


I took before pictures of both the kitchen and living room – Sherwin  Williams has a program on their site to see how colors look.  The color sample on top is the palette, the color is the second lightest, called Creamery.  The trim will be White dove, the last chip on the other sample.  I am going to see if I can do a before and after picture of the wall and trim colors.  The little sample on the white rectangular piece is the counter top, the white on is the cabinets.  My photos aren’t the most accurate with color, because the sample is lighter.  The floor covering is at the bottom, plus I took one by itself on the floor – not the bets colors either.  But at least it is something to give you an idea of what we chose.

We then went to the wholesale place to find counter top, backsplash and floor.  While I was waiting, I could have easily crawled on the table and gone to sleep I was so tired.  I don’t know what happened, maybe a combination of together ness and seeing Mom in the morning.  I was like that on Wednesday, I went to Breakfast Club and had some time to wait to see Dr. Cheryl, so I parked in the Kent Station parking lot and decided to read.  Instead I slept, couldn’t keep my eyes open.  then I had a call from Cheryl, we had changed the appointment to 9:15 instead of 10:15 and I didn’t look at my calendar.  That’s why I saw her on Friday after my haircut.  I went home and knew I should do more cleaning out, but didn’t.  Eddie came home from the archives and we went out to do a couple of things, then came hoe.  Thursday I had my massage and although the afternoon was free, I opted for a lie down.  I had had naps during the weekend but it didn’t seem to make a difference.  I knew I needed to clean out more but I didn’t.

Friday I saw Mom in the afternoon and she was doing well, she had slept both nights before and was alert.  She was doing okay with the walker but her knees still hurt.  she was using the wheelchair but Didi and Judy were concerned she would get used to it and not use the walker.  I had taken an apple pie on Tuesday morning and I am sure she enjoyed it, even if she didn’t remember.


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