Shortly after that post last January, I bought a new refrigerator. We had been talking about beginning to replace our very old (like original to the 1970's house old) kitchen appliances as the start of a gradual process of remodeling our kitchen. I wanted to strip everything down to bare walls and start over, and we assumed much money and time would be involved – hence the idea that slow and gradual would make it affordable. After the refrigerator was ordered and delivered, we went shopping for a new oven and cooktop at our neighborhood Lowe's. And as we got to talking to the sales people there, we found out that what we wanted to do wouldn't cost nearly as much as we'd imagined. And suddenly we were deciding to go ahead do it all NOW! Buying that refrigerator was like starting a tiny snowball rolling down a mountain and ending up with an avalanche. Completely unplanned!
So it took, overall, from January to September to completely remodel our kitchen. We did some of the work ourselves, which was intense, and there were a few not-so-nice surprises along the way – like what we found under our old flooring after we pulled it up – but the Lowe's people who installed the new flooring and cabinets were marvelous and the job was very well done.
I took pictures all along the way and intend to post a detailed photo chronicle of the process. But for now, here's the before and after pics. We went from this:
OMG – YAY!
Then just when most of the work for the kitchen was winding down, most of my time this fall was taken up by helping my mother and grandmother. My mother, who is almost 80, started having increasing trouble with a blind spot in her right eye, and needed me to help her more, especially driving her to doctor appointments, grocery store, etc. She's now had three eye surgeries since August – two to remove cataracts in both eyes and the third, in late October, on the blind spot area itself. But my mother was also the primary caregiver for her own mother who turned 100 on May 6 this year. This fall, my grandmother's health also began to rapidly decline, and she died in hospice this November. We held a memorial service in her hometown in NJ the first week of December. So it's been a hard few months here at the end of the year. But my grandmother very much wanted to pass before the end of 2014, so that her tombstone could read 1914 - 2014.
On her 100th birthday:
I bought the headband with the number 100's for her and she had a great time wearing it. She had such a great sense of humor, always ready with her instamatic camera to take candid shots of our most embarrassing moments. She was the one responsible for this set of pictures of me as a baby. :D She was also the first of four generations of women artists: herself, my mother, myself, and my daughter. We all owe a lot to her wonderful creative spirit!
She did get her final wish:
Hopefully, I can be back on LJ more now. I can't wait to see what 2015 is going to come up with! ;-) New laundry room is on the radar... And some of those on-hold art and writing projects hopefully will get finished. I'm more than ready to get to work on those! <3